Curry: A legit roster candidate


Posted Aug 21, 2003



 

The Oakland Raiders appear to have found a position for Ronald Curry – but will that be enough for him to earn a roster spot?

            Curry may not be a lock by any means but his chances of being a Raider when the team takes the field for its season opener at Tennessee on Sept. 7 are much better than when training camp opened.

            The Raiders drafted Curry as a quarterback out of North Carolina in the seventh round last season. Oakland not only tried Curry at quarterback but as a kickoff returner. Curry was among the final cuts last season but the Raiders thought enough to put him on the practice squad. Curry was active for one game as a kickoff returner but was placed back on the practice squad.

            Curry’s chances of playing at quarterback were slim at best since the team had Rich Gannon, Marques Tuiasosopo and Rick Mirer. His chances at kickoff returner are not much better since the team signed Ronney Jenkins.

What about his chances at receiver? Oakland kept six players at that position last season. Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Jerry Porter are arguably the best trio in the NFL. Marcus Knight, who handled the kickoff return duties last season, entered training camp as the likely candidate as the No. 4 receiver but has struggled at times in training camp and exhibition season.

Curry, meanwhile, seems to look most natural at his current position. Curry has caught four passes for 41 yards. That’s not anything earth shattering but he is helping his cause to make the team.

“I feel like I’m really easing into the position,” Curry said. “I feel pretty comfortable with the position. I’ve got a long way to go but I think I’m learning.”

Another reason Curry feels more comfortable is because he is running the Raiders’ plays now – not the ones on the scout team.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Curry said. “You feel more a part of the offense. It makes you concentrate and focus more. Once they throw you in there, you know what to do. It’s a great confidence boost.”

Theirs is much talk of how much volume the Raiders playbook has. Curry, however, does not feel totally overwhelmed because he had to learn three different systems at North Carolina.

“Everything I see is on a positive note,” Raiders head coach Bill Callahan said. “He continues to get better and push for a roster spot. When you think he’s not there, he shows up coming across the middle making an acrobatic catch. When you don’t think he’s there, he’s blocking a defensive end. When you don’t think he’s there, he’s out on the perimeter stalking a corner.”

 Vince D’Adamo can be reached via e-mail at vdad7@yahoo.com



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