Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

FOX: SCOUT'S HONOR: Hambrick a good fit for Raiders


Recommended Posts

SCOUT'S HONOR: Hambrick a good fit for Raiders


Here is the latest in a continuing series of free agency breakdowns as the league prepares for June 1, when more players will be cut for salary-cap reasons.

Former Cowboys running back Troy Hambrick should be an ideal fit to support Tyrone Wheatley for the Raiders. Wheatley is currently the frontrunner to handle most of the rushing load due to his power and ability to help the Raiders establish control of the ground game. But Wheatley is no sure bet to stay healthy for 16 games, which makes the addition of Hambrick a solid move for the Raiders.

Hambrick is a good inside runner with some pop when his offensive line opens holes for him. He's most effective for a few series a game and could fill a bigger role if Wheatley goes down for a few games. Hambrick proved last season in Dallas that he's not a feature back. Unfortunately, he can't be trusted on third downs, either. Hambrick tends to miss too many assignments in the passing game. He also will get some reps at fullback and play a solid role in special teams coverage.

But the guy who really needs to emerge for the Raiders is Justin Fargas, who is entering his second season. But there are a lot of questions that must be answered from Fargas. Can he avoid problems with fumbles and prove he can remain durable for a 16-game season? There are strong doubts there.

Former Steeler Amos Zereoue is also expected to fill a situational role with his quickness to the perimeter.

Expect the Raiders to keep an eye on a lot of potential feature backs while scouting this season. New coach Norv Turner wants to build around a power ground game. The mix right now offers an adequate stopgap situation for 2004, but the Raiders will need to settle the long-term outlook in the backfield next spring. If everyone remains healthy this season, this group should provide enough of a ground game to keep defenses honest.

New York Giants — Bill Gramatica, K

The Giants made an interesting move to create competition in the kicking game when they added former Cardinal Bill Gramatica.

Incumbent Matt Bryant struggled with consistency at times last season, although he hasn't done a bad job for the Giants. Kicking in the Meadowlands isn't easy. Bryant struggles to get good lift on his balls, which affects his accuracy at times.

Gramatica, on the other hand, has a stronger leg and more upside. The knock on him is that he needs more polish and consistency with his kicks. He displays a strong leg on kickoffs, but tends to be erratic with his placement. He's also struggled with injuries the past couple years, which has stunted his development.

More Scouting Buzz

Veteran wide receiver Keenan McCardell has been sitting out formal workouts with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this month. Sources indicate he's looking to boost his contract. He's been very productive and dependable over the years, but landing a significant pay raise at 34 will be tough.

Around Jets camp, offensive coordinator Paul Hackett is feeling the pressure again. This time, high expectations are being placed on the offense, with QB Chad Pennington emerging as a leader along with RB Curtis Martin and WR Santana Moss. Former Titans wideout Justin McCareins has the physical tools to help the passing game regain the punch it had when Laveranues Coles broke out two seasons ago. But Hackett is being extremely cautious and has been downplaying the expectations for his unit.

Leaguewide, teams are investing in young quarterbacks more than ever before. With the emphasis on so many young signal callers, coaches are trying to protect their prospects and avoid controversy at all costs. The trend is evident in the lack of interest in Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner, who are getting spurned by teams looking to avoid a quarterback controversy. Veteran Damon Huard is getting a lot more feelers than Collins and Warner put together because he's not considered a threat to a young quarterback. Huard has limited physical skills, but he's smart and an excellent team player who will support a young prospect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...