Minicamp wrapped up today, sending us into the largest downtime of the offseason. The Raiders will report for training camp exactly six weeks from today. A couple weeks after that, the first preseason game. And a month after that, the 2018 season will open. That’ 88 days, to be exact.
There’s a new number 88 in Oakland. And he has the perfect name for it. His number is literally in the pronunciation of his name — Marcel Ateman.
The 6-4, 220-pounder was the Raiders final selection in the 2018 draft. They grabbed him out of Oklahoma State at pick 228 in the 7th round.
He brings size to the Raiders they didn’t have, making him a candidate as a red zone target in the same mold as former Raider, Andre Holmes, who left before last season to sign with the Buffalo Bills.
Though Holmes didn’t catch a lot of passes in his final two seasons in Oakland, a whopping 25% of those catches (28) were for touchdowns (7). He had a specialty and the Raiders are hoping to get that from Ateman. Preferably with a bit more offensive production.
What 88 means to the Raiders
Bo Jackson has come up a few times in this countdown. Mainly because he is known for having had some big time runs, including the longest in franchise history for a running back of 92 yards. He had an 88-yard run as well, which carries a more dubious distinction. It’s the longest run in Raiders history that wasn’t for a touchdown. It came in 1990 against the Bengals.
It was an incredible run that went a hell of a lot more than 88 yards in actual distance ran. The Raiders had the ball at the 11, Bo got the ball, ran nearly to the left sideline going as far backward as the three yard line. He then cut back and nearly ended up on the right sideline, cutting through Bengals defenders and broke for the score only to get tripped up by cornerback Rod Jones at the one yard line.
The Raiders would score on a 1-yard pass from Jay Schroeder to Ethan Horton and win the game 24-7.
It was part of a 5-game winning streak and the Raiders would face the Bengals again in the playoffs and beat them again to head to the Conference Championship where they would lose to the Buffalo Bills 51-3.
Sorry. That took a dark turn at the end there.