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Silver and Black Pride's Sunday Community Poll: The Hot Seat

Thirty-two days and counting until the start of training camp for our Oakland Raiders and it can't get here quick enough. I don't know about all of you, but enough of this offseason lull and boredom, let's get ready for some football!

In this lull period before the draft choice signings and before camp starts, it is pretty difficult to find Raider related things to write about. However, I was thinking that when camp does start, that besides the multiple areas where there will be competition, there are a select few players that either have something to prove or will be on the Hot Seat a soon as camp commences. The Hot Seat means that the player is in danger of either being released, demoted or a downgrade in expectations.

Players worth mentioning because of the their "reach" status where they were drafted, but will not be included in this poll, are Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell because they like all of the 2009 rookies get at least a one year grace period before they get to the "Hot Seat".


The players that are on the Hot Seat coming into the 2009 camp are:

From the offense:

  • JaMarcus Russell - At 23 years old, being drafted as a junior and really with only one full season under his belt, if Russell was drafted with the 25th pick in the first round, he would not be on the Hot Seat. But when you are the first player taken in the draft, you are on the Hot Seat from the moment you sign the contract. With Russell being pushed by Cable and Garcia, having experienced position coaches tutoring him and now having a supporting cast to work with, 2009 is the year that Russell must validate his status as being selected No.1 and prove he is the face of the franchise at least on offense.
  • Arman Shields - Drafted in the 4th round last year, Shields never saw the field in 2008 due to injuries. With the Raiders bringing in an influx of new blood at the wide receiver position to go along with Schilens and JLH, Shields will have to be a camp stand-out in order to make the cut this year, as the Raiders will likely only keep five WR's on their roster.
  • Javon Walker - The time is now for the former Pro-Bowler, even though Walker restructured his contract this year and "appears" to be healthy and ready for camp, the patience of the Raider organization this year with Walker will be thin. Walker is the only true veteran with experience at the WR position and if he can contribute like he should be capable of, then he will be a real asset to the team not just for production, but for the mentoring of the youngsters.

From the defense:

  • John Bowie - Drafted in 2007, Bowie is infamously known as the player that the Raiders got for Randy Moss. Due to injuries, Bowie has not seen much of the field either for the Raiders and he will come into camp with long odds to make the cut if he doesn't show that he is worthy of making the final 53. He first must prove that he can stay healthy and then that he can suitably play his position, something so far from the OTA's, he has not excelled at.
  • Michael Huff - Drafted in 2006 with the 7th pick, Huff has yet to show any of the abilities that he displayed in Texas. In fact, Huff has been a liability to the defense with his poor angles and apparent fear of tackling, which led ultimately to his benching last season. Granted, Huff has been moved around between strong and free safety, quite possibly been misused and not taught the proper techniques by the Rob Ryan regime, but Huff so far has not shown the Raiders anything yet to expunge the "bust" label that he has acquired. With Tyvon Branch and Mitchell in the house as well as the Raiders other offseason acquisitions, Huff will have to come into camp showing that he has progressed and acquired new good habits to replace his poor habits.
  • Terdell Sands - For a man that is 6-7, 335 pounds, Sands sure does disappear a lot on the field. Sands got the big contract and was supposed to be the big plug in the middle, tying up lineman, closing gaps and allowing the linebackers to make plays. Instead we get a guy who is out of shape, easily gassed and is usually one step late to the play. Maybe there is a Rob Ryan factor here as well, maybe now that Greg Ellis is here along with the new coaching staff, Sands will "get it", if not, what he will get are his walking papers.

So Raider Nation, training camp is thankfully soon upon us, which player do you think has the most to prove to get off the Hot Seat?