Raiders' focus shifts to future
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — For the Oakland Raiders, the focus has already turned to the future.
With six straight losses, all that's left for the Raiders (3-10) to play for in the final three weeks is pride, draft position and the opportunity to evaluate some of the younger players on the roster.
Coach Dennis Allen has already gotten increased playing time from young receivers like Rod Streater and Juron Criner, cornerback Phillip Adams and defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi. Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie want to get a more detailed look at third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor and rookie offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom in the final three weeks.
"All of us, as competitors, we want to win. That's what it's all about," Allen said. "But I also understand, and I've got a big-picture view of what I want this football team to look like. Reggie and I have talked about it. We knew what we were dealing with when we came here. We knew we had some depth issues on the roster, and we couldn't sustain a lot of injuries. We've sustained a few injuries in some spots. We all want to win, and I understand that. And I want to win now, but I'm looking at the long-term future of this team. We've got to prepare for the future."
Streater is coming off his best game as a pro, catching four passes for 100 yards — even besting his top single-game yardage mark from two years at Temple. Streater signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent and has been one of the brightest developments this season with 28 catches for 429 yards and three touchdowns.
"Experience is definitely valuable," Streater said. "A lot of things you can't just teach. You got to kind of go out there and experience the good and the bad. Getting that experience will be good for me next year."
Criner, a fifth-round pick, has 15 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown and has gotten increased playing time in recent weeks.
Adams has gotten more time at cornerback the past few weeks and has interceptions the past two games, while Bilukidi is part of the defensive line rotation.
Allen said he would look at possibly starting Bergstrom as the organization figures out which players will be part of the future.
"It's going to take time," Allen said. "It doesn't happen with one decision. It's an accumulation of decisions made over time that gets everything to be exactly how you want it."
The most interesting case is Pryor, the former Ohio State star who has no official plays in two seasons as a pro. Pryor got on the field once as a rookie and committed a false start before his only play.
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