Raiders take look at TE Kevin Boss
NAPA, Calif. (AP)
Boss caught passes from backup quarterback Jordan LaSecla for about 15 minutes after practice under the watchful eye of coach Hue Jackson and other members of the Raiders coaching staff.
Oakland has a big hole at tight end after Miller signed a deal with the Seahawks. Miller had led the Raiders in receiving the past three years but Oakland was unable to keep him in free agency.
"There's going to be some tough decisions, we're going to win some and we're going to lose some," Jackson said. "Obviously, Seattle won that one. Good for him. Good for them. The Raiders, we don't get caught up in all that. We're not worried about it. On to the next man, on to the next situation."
Miller was Oakland's most consistent threat in the passing game in recent years and was like a security blanket for quarterback Jason Campbell, who knew he could always rely on his tight end to get him out of tough spots.
"It's a big part of our offense. He was a big target. You don't ever just replace guys like that," Campbell said. "We've just got to keep pushing forward, but definitely losing him was a tough loss for this team. Congratulations to him. It's a big signing and we have to move forward."
The question now is whether they will be moving forward with Boss.
Boss had 35 catches for 531 yards and five touchdowns last season for the New York Giants. He has 119 catches for 1,600 yards and 18 scores in four seasons. He got his shot as a rookie in 2007 after Jeremy Shockey got injured and helped the Giants win the Super Bowl.
"He's a big target. He's a big guy. But it all comes down to the coach's decision and if they feel like he fits our offense and the things that we do from that standpoint. He's a guy, he's big, he can run, and he's played in tough games before, so ultimately it will probably come down to how they feel with the guys that we have here and how he fits into our offense."
If Boss signs, he would have big shoes to fill.
Miller joined the Raiders as a second-round pick out of Arizona State in 2007. He led the team in receiving each of the past three seasons. He had 60 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns last season and was selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
Miller had 226 catches for 2,712 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career in Oakland. He was third on the Raiders' list for receptions by tight ends, trailing Todd Christensen (461) and Dave Casper (255).
With Miller gone, the Raiders are extremely thin at tight end. Brandon Meyers is the only player on the roster with NFL experience, making 16 catches his first two year, playing mostly on special teams.
Rookie David Ausberry is making the transition from receiver in college to tight end. Fellow rookie Richard Gordon had only 10 catches in his college career at Miami. The only other tight end on the roster, Kevin Brock, has yet to play in an NFL game.
"I'm ready to step in and compete for a job," Myers said. "'That's everyone's goal is to be able to compete for a job. I'm excited. I just got to earn the trust of the coaches and go out there and perform."
Notes: RB Darren McFadden left practice with what Jackson called a nick. ... WR Louis Murphy and OL Cooper Carlisle were among the players who sat out with injuries. ... WR Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced on a limited basis for the first time this summer. ... The Raiders signed LB Darryl Blackstock.