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Raiders preseason week four Ballers & Busters

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Defensive end Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks pressures quarterback Terrelle Pryor #6 of the Oakland Raiders
Defensive end Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks pressures quarterback Terrelle Pryor #6 of the Oakland Raiders

That one may just be a game to forget. Luckily for Raiders fans, there was some instant gratification as we all watched as most of the players who stunk it up in this game sent packing the next day.

It is games like this where I think it is important to put together a B&B (and I don't mean a Bed and Breakfast). We need to sort through the rubble for the gems. There may not be many, but they should be dusted off and brought to light.

On the other hand, it is important to point out those who were the most chronic offenders. It may not be fun to relive but remember this is for posterity. It's also preseason so the sting should be pretty minimal anyway.

Here were those diamonds in the rough (deep rough), and the rubble that lay on top of them.


Nathan Stupar

He was playing for his NFL life in this game. His final stat line is impressive enough as it is-11 tackles with 3 tackles for loss and a sack. He had not looked great in the previous three games which is part of the reason the team decided to cut him but this performance helped make it an easy choice to sign him to the practice squad. He is clearly improving and the practice squad is a great proving ground.

Christo Bilukidi

He was worked to death in this game. After the first series with the starters, Bilukidi was in for every snap. He played so long that he eventually had to leave the game with cramps. The rookie sixth round pick was proving to his new team they were correct in drafting him. He wasn't perfect. He had an offsides penalty and was blocked for a couple decent runs. But he made up for it with a couple run stuffs and the sack Stupar had was due to the pressure Bilukidi put on the quarterback. He also got up and blocked an extra point. Stupar finished the job. How bout the Raiders' last two rookie draft picks, eh?

Pat Lee

Cemented himself as the Raiders nickel corner in this game. He was the only backup corner on this team who could feel good about his spot on this team come the Friday cutdown deadline. In the second quarter, he had a pass defended on third down. Then he finished off the first half with a gunner tackle on a punt return. To start the fourth quarter, he came up from the secondary and had a perfect tackle on Seahawks athletic quarterback Porter. Porter originally scrambled into open space and looked to have some room to run. But Lee cut him off and had him running backward where he tackled him for just a one yard gain. It looks like the Raiders have a complete defender in Lee. He covers and tackles with equal proficiency.

Shane Lechler

Fans admired Marquette King's punts until Lechler came back. Then it was like "Oh yeah, that's right. That's what All Pro punts look like." He punted eight times on the day because King has a toe injury. Lechler's second punt was a towering shot that was fell untouched and was downed at the 10 yard line. His next five punts traveled 56, 59, 53, 54, and 54 yards in the air. Then after the Raiders gave up a safety, he blasted a punt 66 yards in the air (45 net). His final punt of the day traveled 50 yards and was downed at the 8-yard line. He also pulled down a high snap that threatened to kill the Raiders' chances at their only points of the day.

Curtis Taylor

He had five tackles on returns in this game-- one for a five yard loss. With all the problems the Raiders have had on special teams, that deserves mention. He also had five combined tackles on defense. He didn't end up making the team but he made a good case for it in this game.


Backup offensive line

These guys gave Terrelle Pryor almost no time to throw and did similarly to Matt Leinart before that. The running backs had little room to run either. The biggest offenders of the group were right tackle Kevin Haslam, left guard Tony Bergstrom and center Colin Miller. Things got started off in the first quarter when Taiwan Jones couldn't find an opening and was tackled for a loss. Next play Lucas Nix gave up a run stuff for no gain and the drive ended with a three and out on the next play.

To start a drive in the third quarter, Kevin Haslam gave up a sack. Next play, Pryor go happy feet and was tackled for a two yard gain. Next play Haslam gave him reason for those happy feet when he gave up a pressure. Luckily Pryor escaped it and made a nice play for a 23 yard gain. Two plays later, Tony Bergstrom gave up a hit on Pryor that was nearly a sack fumble but Pryor's arm was barely moving forward when he was hit. The drive ended two plays later when a rattled Pryor had a delay of game penalty followed by a scramble that was short of the first down.

The next possession had Pryor getting sacked again. That was followed by a false start penalty on Haslam that put the ball at the two yard line. Pryor handed the ball off to Mike Goodson who was tackled immediately in the endzone for a safety. It was Colin Miller's man and he was brushed aside with ease. The same ease the team had in brushing him aside come cutdown day.

The next drive ended with a three and out when Bergstrom gave up a run stuff.

The final Raiders drive saw Pryor barely escape a sack on a jailbreak meeting at the quarterback. The next play, Haslam and Bergstrom were both beaten by their defenders to give up pressures on Pryor. Then the cherry was Joseph Barksdale with a false start on third down.

Haslam and Miller were cut but Bergstrom was the team's top draft pick this year so he made the team. Nix and Barksdale also survived the first wave of final cuts. If any of the Raiders starters go down injured, this team should be very worried.

Roscoe Parrish

He wasn't asked to do much in this game. Only the one thing he has always done in his career-return punts. The first time return he had, he fumbled it away to the Seahawks. They would get their first score from that turnover. The second time he was to return a punt, he didn't have his helmet strapped up and was still fussing with it when the punt was in the air. He broke late on the ball and dove for it only to muff it. He is lucky it was knocked out of bounds. He shouldn't have tried to touch it at all. Or he should learn how to use a helmet. I mean, for whatever team he plays for because the Raiders cut him.

Mike Mitchell

Mitchell was headhunting in this game. It's too bad it didn't come with some discipline. He started out with a tackle on a three yard run which was good. There wasn't much good after that. The Seahawks would get the ball right back after Parrish's fumble. Then on the second play, Mitchell lost his man and gave up a 20 yard catch to put the Seahawks in scoring position where they would kick a field goal. The next series, he gave up a five yard catch. In the third quarter, he had a pass interference called that even a replacement official could see. He didn't even go for the ball. He just nailed the receiver well before the ball was there. If he had gone for the ball, he probably could have intercepted it. Instead, it helped the Seahawks march for another touchdown. The next drive he gave up a 10 yard catch. He went out on a high note with a coverage incompletion though.

Matt Leinart

He was coming back from the finger injury he suffered in week two so perhaps that's why he looked so out of sorts. But regardless of the reason, he looked bad. He finished 3-11 for 14 yards and an interception. His first pass was tipped at the line incomplete. The next play, he missed a wide open Juron Criner and threw into coverage instead. Next play, he tried to roll out left and tuck it and run it and ended up getting sacked. Then there were a couple drops by Travionte Session and Brandon Carswell. Then in a "why bother" type play, he completes a one yard pass to Richard Gordon. And the drive ended in him throwing too high for Carswell and having it intercepted. Next drive he threw too low on one play and into coverage for an incompletion on the next play to end the drive. His longest completion came on his last pass. It went for 8 yards and Carswell had to lay out for it. Leinart looked quite good in the first two games of the preseason. There was no semblance of that in this game.

Travis Goethel

If the team was having lingering concerns about Goethel as the primary backup at middle linebacker, he didn't do much to help ease those concerns Thursday. He started it off by giving up a 14 yard catch on a third and 13. That's a first down in case you weren't doing the math. The Seahawks would get their first points of the game on a field goal on that drive. He was blocked on two run plays for a total of 20 yards on the Seahawks touchdown drive to end the first half. He had seven combined tackles but only one of them was at or near the line of scrimmage.