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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 57 is Cory James, who wore it best?

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In exactly two weeks, the Raiders will hit the field for their first training camp practice. It also puts us at 57 days until the start of the regular season. We mark the day in our countdown with the man wearing the number 57 these days in Silver & Black.

LB Cory James

James was a swiss army knife coming out of Colorado State in 2016. He jumped around to every linebacker spot as well as defensive end in his three years as a starter. NFL teams don’t typically like ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ types. For the Raiders, they saw what he had done at middle linebacker in the latter half of his senior season and took a flier on him in the sixth round.

Just two games into his Raiders career, James found himself starting at the middle linebacker spot. He was taking the place of Ben Heeney who was struggling to handle the duties. James looked like a decided upgrade at the position, but after two games, the team decided a true veteran middle linebacker was needed. So, they signed Perry Riley Jr off the street and immediately made him the starter.

After a few games sharing staring duties with Riley, James was relegated almost solely to special teams the rest of the season, which is more in line with what you’d expect from a rookie with his skillset.

This offseason, James has again been lining up as the first team inside linebacker alongside Tyrell Adams. That’s primarily because James’ 5 starts last season made him the most experienced healthy inside linebacker on the team. Just as with Adams (58) before him, it will be interesting to see if he remains the first team middle linebacker come training camp.

Who wore it best: LB Jerry Robinson (1985-91)

The one-time Pro Bowl linebacker spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Eagles. He joined the Raiders in 1985 where he would spent the final 7 years of his career. In the five seasons from 1986-90 he was an everyday starter, first at outside linebacker and then inside linebacker. In total he appeared in 101 games with 72 starts including playoff games.