The Litmus Test in Oakland: Can the WRs Take the Next Step Forward?

For Oakland to rise to the next level, the WR corps needs to improve, rapidly.

Last season the Raiders went through a period of six different weeks where they scored seven points or less. For the season, their best option was from the Tight End position, and Zach Miller's skills.

The talent that the Raiders bring to the table are as follows:

Louis Murphy led the WRs with 34 catches and picked up four touchdowns. He had a total of 521 yards, not too shabby for a rookie.

Next up is Chaz Schilens, who is currently healing again.

Last year an injury limited him, but he still managed 29 catches , two touchdowns and 365 yards in only eight games. The Raiders are hoping he'll be good for training camp.

Johnnie Lee Higgins was the vanishing player.

In 2008 he was a useful surprise with run talent who could return punts and also make some nifty catches in traffic. This last season saw him make 19 catches, with zero touchdowns. Four fumbles didn't help his standing with Tom Cable, either.

Then there's Darrius Heyward-Bey. Like him, hate him, or throw darts at his cards, he was our draft pick that is still raw. More so visible due to poor throws and the hype of a first round status.

He managed nine catches and a single touchdown but lost a key throw against the Chiefs that sealed the fate late in the game.

These four, plus the addition of Jacoby Ford, present the team with some interesting options.

First, the good news, JaMarcus Russell is no longer with the team.

The Raiders felt, finally that his work ethic, lack of improvement, and overall performances, were not going to improve.

In his place, the Raiders traded for Jason Campbell, a QB with a habit of throwing the ball more accurately, but not wildly. Unless he feels it is a sure thing, he'll keep looking for more options, as needed.

Secondly, one has to ima...

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