ALAMEDA –- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed passes to 10 different receivers during Sunday’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
The bulk went to receivers and running backs, with tight ends remaining fringe players in the passing game. While we’re just two games into this season and such a small sample size doesn’t make a trend, it’s an interesting note during a season where tight end usage has spiked.
Mychal Rivera is the primary receiving option, with Lee Smith primarily blocking and rookie third-round pick Clive Walford as a secondary option thus far.
That trio has seven catches for just 30 yards through two games. The Raiders would like to get them involved more, even with one ball for so many offensive weapons.
Receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will typically be first through the buffet line. Latavius Murray has been active in the passing game, but might deserve more touches than he has received.
The Raiders have talent at tight end that could be more active than in previous weeks.
“We’d like to see more touches for everybody, but especially the tight ends,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “More touches for Latavius as well;. The more the merrier.”
Walford was expected to be a major player in this offense, but his start was slowed by hamstring and knee injuries in training camp. The team still has high hopes for the young talent.
“He’s definitely making progress,” Musgrave said. “His coach, [tight ends coach] Bob Johnson, thought he had his best day at practice yesterday as we spoke as a staff afterwards. He’s making progress and getting back into football shape after missing, really, the entirety of training camp.”