Oakland Raiders News: Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen Ready For Training Camp, Former Scouts Accuse

Why the Raiders Will Regret Not Drafting Matt Barkley

(Photo : Reuters) " The Oakland Raiders went 4-12 last season and after a very active free agency and offseason period, head coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie are ready to see what the team has when they hit training camp later this month. According to Pro Football Talk, some former scouts in the organization were none too happy after they lost their jobs after the 2012 draft, as Jon Kingdon and Bruce Kebric sued for age discrimination. The report says that they filed in Alameda County Superior Court after being relieved of their jobs after the draft and Kingdon had previously spent 33 years with the team. Like Us on Facebook When he was fired, Kingdon was college scouting director and the report says that the law protects employees over the age of 40 from adverse employment action, although the Raiders said the claim was "meritless". The Raiders have said that they have always been an equal opportunity employer and that the case has no basis. The Raiders also had some personnel issues when Mark Davis fired PR director Zak Gilbert over a bad story in Sports Illustrated. He has since been hired by the Cleveland Browns. The team is looking to improve big time after going 4-12 last season and brought in a host of new players, including Charles Woodson, Tracy Porter, DJ Hayden, Kevin Burnett, Nick Roach as well as some exciting rookies on offense. The team also traded for quarterback Matt Flynn. "The Oakland Raiders have a long history of being an equal opportunity employer, without regard to race, gender, or age," the Raiders said in a statement issued to PFT. "These claims of age discrimination are meritless." Related News

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Now, lets get to the silver linings. The Raiders are better in July than they looked in April. Generalmanager Reggie McKenzie did well to bolster the roster late in the spring after free agencys first wave. Another positive for Oakland? Division rivals Kansas City and San Diego have their flaws, too. Second place in the AFC West isnt an impossible dream for the Raiders. However, the 2013 Raiders face many challenges on the path to competitiveness. They have parted ways with some of their most proven and expensive talent, with quarterback Carson Palmer s departure to Arizona the most notable move.

Raiders check in at No. 32 in PFTs preseason power rankings

The Seahawks have claimed that the crowds roar at CenturyLink Field can reach a decibel level of 112 , which makes their stadium the loudest stadium in the NFL, though still far off from that Turkish soccer teams record. Maybe the home opener against the 49ers will be enough to put the 12th Man over the top. Posted by Curtis Crabtree on July 9, 2013, 1:32 AM EDT AP Nearly 10 months removed from the call that brought him into the national spotlight while serving as a replacement official for a Monday night game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, Lance Easley was back in the Seattle area on Sunday as he served as an umpire for Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman s celebrity softball game. Easley infamously called a touchdown 0n a last-second Hail Mary from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate to hand the Seahawks a 14-12 win over the Packers when it appeared as though Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings had intercepted the ball. Easley posed for pictures with Tate and made a few questionable calls on the base paths that led to arguments from both teams at Shermans softball game Sunday. Wilson stormed out to first base to confront Easley after a close play at first and subsequently picked up first base and took it with him (following in the footsteps of former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon). It was a light-hearted moment for the ref who is praised in Seattle and loathed in Green Bay for his call to end the Monday night game.

Preseason Power Rankings No. 32: Oakland Raiders

He has the ability to competently play quarterback at the pro level and can game-manage for a good team, but thats about as far as his abilities go. Because of that simple fact, its a bad sign that its going to get worse this season. As of right now, the Raiders list of quarterbacks includes Matt Flynn, rookie Matthew McGloin, rookie Tyler Wilson, Terrelle Pryor and, according to reports, former Raiders draft-pick JaMarcus Russell. Thats not exactly a line of QBs thats going to inspire confidence in a team. Flynn is likely going to be the starter, but a lot of Flynns value is based on the fact that he played one great game in week 17 in 2011 for the Green Bay Packers . Overall in his career he has thrown just 141 total passes and has thrown for just 1,083 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. Thats not exactly a resume that screams hand me the reins to your team. All in all, it really looks like the inexperience or shear ineptitude that the Raiders have at quarterback is going to be tough to watch.

Both have physical limitations, and it's possible that neither will be the long-term solution for their respective teams at quarterback. But the Raiders missed an opportunity to bring in immediate competition for Matt Flynn by failing to land Barkley in the 2013 NFL draft. According to LenPasquarelli of the National Football Post , the Raiders actually preferred Barkley to Wilson and were prepared to select him with their fourth-round pick. According to a report by Steve Corkran of the ContraCostaTimes.com, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen stated earlier this offseason that Flynn is his starter "until the competition dictates otherwise," and there has been no indication, thus far, that Wilson has closed the gap. Both Wilson and Barkley are limited in terms of their long-term upside due to their physical abilities, but Barkley is the more polished of the two quarterbacks at this stage of the process. As a result, if the Raiders wanted someone to push Flynn for the starting job, Barkley would have been the guy to target. Barkley's lack of downfield accuracy severely limits his ability to succeed in most NFL offenses, but he can be successful in the right system. A quick-strike offense would play to Barkley's strength and allow him to find immediate success, even if his long-term development may be limited. The play below demonstrates Barkley's ability to quickly and accurately get rid of the football with pressure closing in on him. During the play, Barkley maintains his composure, and his footwork and mechanics remain steady, allowing him to deliver a quick strike. Wilson, however, lacks Barkley's fundamentals, and when pressure closes in on him, his bad habits lead to mistakes. Even without pressure, Wilson tends to use a long windup delivery which hinders his ability to get rid of the ball quickly and accurately. When a defender is closing in, Wilson speeds up his awkward motion and often throws from an open stance which leads to errant throws into coverage. Wilson's issues are correctable, but not if the Raiders force him into a starting role. He is still a decent developmental prospect, but the Raiders would slow his growth by throwing him into the fire early in his career. Due to Barkley's fundamentals and ability to handle pressure in a quick-strike offense, he would have been a viable option as a starting quarterback for the Raiders in 2013. In 2012, the Raiders ran a fairly friendly offense for Barkley's skill set. Only 19.8 percent of Carson Palmer's pass attempts were beyond 15 yards downfield which ranked in the lower half of the league, according to Advanced NFL Stats . New Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson is also known for running a quick-strike offense which would have fit Barkley's skill set perfectly. In 2011, Olson's last season as an offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay , Josh Freeman ranked dead last in the NFL with just 14 percent of his pass attempts travelling more than 15 yards, according to Advanced NFL Stats. Who will ultimately be the better pro quarterback? Matt Barkley Submit Vote vote to see results Who will ultimately be the better pro quarterback? Matt Barkley 76.3% Total votes: 2,419 Clearly, the Raiders are intrigued by Wilson's upside, but ifPasquarelli's report is accurate, the Raiders missed an opportunity by failing to ensure themselves of the opportunity to land Barkley. Not only did they reportedly prefer Barkley to Wilson, but Barkley would also offer a more immediate upgrade at the position. By selecting Wilson, the Raiders simply have another developmental prospect who may never be given a fair opportunity to succeed due to the talent-depleted roster in Oakland.

Oakland Raiders Quarterback Play Likely Going To Be Depressing

] Biggest Bargain: Stefen Wisniewski is one of the more underrated centers in the league. The 2011 second-round pick out of Penn State has been durable, playing in 100 percent of the Raiders' snaps as a rookie and 93.3 percent of the snaps last season. Wisniewski had just four accepted penalties in 2012 (three holding calls, one false start) and is exceptional in pass protection. Wisniewski will earn $750,946 in base salary this season with a $1.128 million cap figure, which is about 30 percent of what Samson Satele (the player Wisniewski replaced at center in Oakland) will cost the Indianapolis Colts in both cash and cap space this season. Potential Camp Casualty: The Raiders have over $50 million in "dead" money on their 2013 salary cap as most of the cuts and restructures took place earlier this offseason. Only two players running back Darren McFadden and kicker Sebastien Janikowski have base salaries exceeding $2 million.