The other day someone commented on one of these posts that counting down the days like this was making it feel like forever before the season gets here. I get that. A watched pot never boils type thing. And being that we're still 82 days from the Raiders season opener, that does seem like a long time. But if you consider training camp is just five weeks away and the preseason begins a couple weeks after that, things will pick up before you know it.
As I said though, we are on number 82. That means we talk about the best to ever wear it and the guy sporting it now.
Who wore it best: WR James Jett (1993-2002)
The former Olympian with the last name that was to describe how he flew down the field always carried high hopes for the Raiders. He came along seven years after Cliff Branch had retired and of all the post-Branch hopefuls, Jett turned out to be the most successful.
He was with the team for ten years. What Branch did for Fred Biletnikoff back in the 70s, was what Jett did for Tim Brown in the 90s. He was a deep threat which forced the safety to help over the top. In Jett's rookie season in 1993 he had 771 yards receiving with an eye popping 23.4 yards per catch. He didn't become a starter until his fourth season and then spent five seasons as the starter opposite Tim Brown. In that time Jett had over 800 yards twice and averaged around 650 yards and 5 touchdowns per season. Then Jerry Rice came along.
Who's wearing it now: TE Gabe Holmes
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Purdue, this former basketball player is hoping to show enough in training camp for the Raiders to keep him around. At 6-5, 260 pounds, he certainly has the size, and at times showed great potential in college. With the top three tight end spots looking like they're locked up and the next in line being Brian Leonhardt, Holmes is a real long shot to make the roster this season. If he can show some enticing skills, perhaps there will be a spot on the practice squad for him to see if he can develop into an NFL tight end.