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Raiders countdown to kickoff: 49 is Jamize Olawale, who wore it best?

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As of today we are exactly 7 weeks from the start of the Raiders 2017 season. That’s 49 days in case you didn’t have a calculator handy. Let’s look at the man wearing 49 these days for the Silver & Black.

FB Jamize Olawale

This San Francisco native and Long Beach Poly grad was signed off the Cowboys' practice squad back in 2012. The Raiders had plans for him. The next season he saw action in every game at fullback and hasn’t looked back

In many ways, he is a Marcel Reece clone. Both were former wide receivers who went undrafted and were converted to fullback. So, when Olawale got a big extension form the team in 2015, it looked a lot like the 30-year-old Reece’s days in Oakland were coming to a close. Reece received a four-game suspension for violating the league’s rules on PED use and when it was up early last season, the team released him.

It’s now the 28-year-old Olawale’s job for the next few seasons. While the 6-0, 235-pounder does good work as a power blocking fullback, his history as a receiver shows up and often sneaks up on defenses. He doesn’t rumble, he streaks — hence his impressive 18.9 yards per catch average. Defenses have little choice but to cover him with a linebacker, making him a mismatch.

In his second season as the full time starting fullback, look for Derek Carr to utilize him more than the 14 targets he received last season.

Who wore it best: WR Mike Siani (1972-77)

It's tempting not to put Carl Weathers in this slot just because he is Apollo Creed and was in Predator. But I gotta go with those who did more than warm the bench for the Raiders for a couple seasons. The Raiders first round pick in 1972, Siani played six seasons in Oakland. The first couple seasons, he was a fulltime starter opposite Fred Biletnikoff.

He had some good performances in the playoffs and especially got up for the Steelers. His first playoff catch came in the ‘Immaculate Reception' game in 1972. The following year in the playoffs had 5 catches for 68 yards in a win over the Steelers, following by a 3-catch, 45-yard and one touchdown performance in a loss to the eventual Super Bowl winning Dolphins. He had 8 catches for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns in the 1975 playoffs, including a 5-catch, 80-yard, 1 touchdown performance against the Steelers. Though he wasn't a major factor in the 1976 playoffs, his previous efforts were rewarded as the Raiders finally broke through to win their first Super Bowl.

His final season with the Raiders was 1977. From there he played three seasons with the Baltimore Colts before retiring from the NFL after nine seasons.