Oakland Raiders: Training Camp Position Battle Priorities

For those of you not counting down, it is only 17 days until the Oakland Raiders assemble in Napa, California for their training camp. There will be several position battles beginning on July 28, all of which will play prominent roles in determining who cracks the starting lineup and who gets cut. 

I will rank the importance of these position battles from last to first.

Free Safety:  This match is pinning Michael Huff (No. 7 overall draft pick in 2006) against restricted free agent Hiram Eugene, who the Raiders signed as an undrafted rookie in 2006. Eugene has piled up 106 career tackles, with six passes defensed and 1 INT (last season vs. Pittsburgh), and he's never played a full season. 

Michael Huff was handed the starting job as a rookie in 2006. Since then, he has made 215 tackles, 31 passes defensed, and four INTs (three last year). 

My Prediction: Huff and Eugene have had a back-and-forth style. Tom Cable benched Huff for Eugene back in 2008. Then in 2009, Huff started strong, with three INTs in the first two games. But he then went quiet until he made a lights-out shot on Brandon Marshall in Denver as the Raiders won.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj4FFsctEcA  

I expect to see another power struggle between these guys. Contract sizes have made the last say on playing time in the past, which I will mention again later. If this is the case, Huff will get the job but it won’t be safe.

Defensive End:  On one side of the line, there is Richard Seymour. He has no threat to take his playing time. But the other side is up for grabs, with Matt Shaugnessy (26 tackles, four sacks as a rookie in 2009) against Lamarr Houston (second round pick from Texas) and Jay Richardson (82 tackles, seven sacks in three years). J-Rich has ...

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