By Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito on August 19, 2014
The Oakland Raiders finally have some positive momentum to build upon as they enter their third week of the preseason. While there are still some issues, most notably with the offensive line and the secondary that need to be addressed PDQ, the Raiders did some pretty good things against the Detroit Lions, including coming out of the game with a win. Here are five players who stood out in Week 2.
Sheets, the CFL product, is fighting for a roster spot. And he's doing a good job of separating himself from the other backs in camp. Well, the backs not named McFadden, Jones-Drew, and Murray, anyway. His running has been strong and decisive, and his five-carry, 27-yard performance against Detroit didn't hurt him any. But his pass catching ability is something the coaches love and something that may give him an edge for a final roster spot.
Most of the talk about the receiving corps this preseason has been centered around Rod Streater, James Jones, Juron Criner, Andre Holmes, and Denarius Moore. Over the first two preseason games, Butler has come out of nowhere to be the most reliable and productive target, catching 4 balls in each game. If his play continues like this, the coaching staff will have a hard time justifying not giving him a roster spot – and playing time.
The seventh round pick has been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders this offseason. He's been turning heads in camp with his athleticism and big play capability. He's far outshined fourth round pick Keith McGill, not to mention veteran starters Tarrell Brown and Carlos Rodgers. And his 50-yard punt return certainly didn't hurt his case. Carrie has gone from the roster bubble to somebody who should get significant playing time this season.
McFadden is in a make or break year. After six years of injury and disappointment, the one year “show me” contract he signed this offseason may represent his last shot in the NFL. Or at least, his last shot at a lucrative contract. And so far, McFadden hasn't disappointed. He's been decisive and powerful in his running, looking more like the back the Raiders thought they'd drafted in the first round so long ago. But it's early yet.
Before being knocked out with a a concussion, the rookie had a solid outing and showed flashes of how good he is going to be with some more experience. One play, he threw an absolute laser while on the run, and led the Raiders on three scoring drives. He looked more confident and poised than he did in the Minnesota game, but still has some things to work on. It's hard not to be excited about the future of the club with Carr under center.
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