Raiders comfortable carrying 2 QBs
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)
Despite a roster tilted heavily toward the offense, Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he's comfortable carrying only two quarterbacks into the regular season.
Oakland's decision to cut Trent Edwards on Sunday left the team with only starter Jason Campbell and backup Kyle Boller. The Raiders also have Terrelle Pryor, but the former Ohio State star can't practice with his teammates until after serving a five-game suspension.
That leaves little margin for error - or injury - as Oakland prepares for its season opener at Denver on Sept. 12.
''I feel comfortable where we are right now, I really do,'' Jackson said following practice Sunday. ''This is all about our team, just making sure we have enough good players to play. And I'm very happy with the two quarterbacks we have.''
Jackson spoke with reporters for the first time since the Raiders trimmed their roster to the 53-player limit.
While most of the moves were expected, the decision to part ways with Edwards was mildly surprising. He and Boller had been splitting time with the second offense during training camp and both played behind Campbell in the preseason.
The Raiders instead opted to go with two quarterbacks, six running backs, seven wide receivers and four tight ends - somewhat perplexing considering apparent needs on defense.
''They say I'm an offensive coach, right?'' Jackson said with a laugh. ''There's no doubt some decisions could have gone the other way but at this time we did what we think is truly best for our football team right now.''
Letting go of Edwards, Jackson said, was one of the toughest calls he made.
Edwards signed with Oakland just before training camp and was listed third on the depth chart but put up better numbers than Boller did in the preseason. Edwards completed 22 of 39 throws for 254 yards with one touchdown and a 74.1 rating, while Boller was 27 of 45 for 268 yards and a 67.6 rating.
''That was a tough call,'' Jackson said. ''Trent did some good things, he really did. He's a good player and he deserves an opportunity in this league. But at this time this is kind of where we are.''
Jackson said Sunday that six-time Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler would be emergency quarterback. Lechler played the position in high school but has never thrown a pass in the NFL.
Lechler routinely works in training camp throwing passes to wide receivers or defensive backs during positional drills.
''I trust him,'' Jackson said. ''He takes snaps, he's done it all. I know he can get it done in a pinch if we need him to.''
A more pressing concern is the health of tight end Kevin Boss.
Boss was signed to replace Zach Miller but hasn't practiced since injuring his knee while making a catch against the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 20.
With his status uncertain for the opener in Denver, the Raiders opted to keep holdover Brandon Myers and rookies David Ausberry and Ben Gordon.
''What we're doing is just making sure that if he's not (ready) that we're capable of doing what we need to do,'' Jackson said. ''All those guys are deserving. It's not like they didn't earn the right to be here. We're not giving anybody anything.''
The Raiders made a few roster moves a day after final cuts were made, signing linebacker Ricky Brown and releasing tackle Seth Wand. The team also placed wide receiver Shawn Bayes, fullback James McCluskey, guard Roy Shuening and cornerback Jeremy Ware on injured reserve.
Additionally, cornerback Sterling Moore, defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie, defensive end Mason Brodine, fullback Manase Tonga, offensive lineman Alex Parsons, tight end Kevin Brock, linebacker Jeremy Leman and wide receiver Eddie McGee were added to Oakland's practice squad.