The Oakland Raiders also activated safety Jarrod Cooper from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. Cooper, who was primarily a special teams performer after coming to Oakland from Carolina last season, had been recovering from a knee injury he sustained at the Raiders April mini-camp. Anderson was the Raiders starting strong safety last year after coming to Oakland in a trade from Green Bay.
“It’s a combination of things,” Raiders head coach Norv Turner said of the decision to release Anderson. “Probably the biggest thing in terms of where he fit with us, and we got cooper back today, was the coverage stuff and playing him the way we want to play him is not his strength. I think the decision to do it now is so he has the opportunity to catch on with someone else.”
Anderson’s release clears the way for Derrick Gibson to become the starting strong safety. Gibson missed the entire 2004 season with a shoulder injury that landed him on the injured reserve list. Gibson has been mostly disappointing since the Raiders drafted him in the first round out of Florida State in 2001. Gibson has not been the second coming of Van McElroy by any means in 2005 but has enjoyed a solid enough training camp to where he’s not beating himself – and for Gibson’s NFL career, that would count as progress.
Gibson, however, is not viewing Anderson’s release as a way to draw conclusions.
“Let me just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Gibson said. “You only control the things you can control. That’ll take you a long way in this league.”
Receivers closer to returning
Injured wide receivers Jerry Porter, Carlos Francis and Ronald Curry took one step closer to returning to action. Porter and Francis did some individual work on Monday according to Turner.
Porter and Francis have been recovering from hamstring injuries while the Raiders have been cautious with Curry, who is recovering from an Achilles tendon injury that ended his season last December. Turner said that Porter and Curry will most likely on Friday when Oakland hosts Arizona.
“He was on me late in the week last week to get some snaps,” Turner said. “I think we did the right thing.”
Backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo has a light fracture on the tip of his index finger but will likely play Friday.
The Raiders wrap up training camp in Napa, CA, on Wednesday before returning to their headquarters in Alameda.
Vince D’Adamo can be reached at email@example.com