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
“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
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
“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.”
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