Oakland Raiders receiver Chaz Schilens has a lot riding on his shoulders as he enters his third year in the NFL.
After fighting injuries his rookie season, the 2008 seventh round pick out of San Diego State clawed his way into the starting line up, and drew the notice of fans by scoring touchdowns in the final two games of the season.
In 2009, Schilens was supposed to be the Raiders primary wide receiver complemented by rookies Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy. This did not materialize as Schilens broke his foot during a non contact drill during training camp, and that injury cost him half the season. In his absence the Raiders receiving corps struggled, as Darrius Heyward-Bey had a server case of the dropsies and Johnnie Lee Higgins was a complete non-factor. 2009 fourth round pick Louis Murphy increasingly came into his own as a receiving threat as the season wore on.
Schilens had a corrective surgery on his foot after the season. This procedure sidelined him for much of the offseason. He did return to practice during the final mini-camp which was sooner than expected. This is a good sign for his 2010 because the Raiders are going to need his consistent hands and playmaking ability on the field and not on the trainer’s table.
The season will also be pivotal for Schilens’s career. As a rookie he flashed enough potential that he rose to the starting position. It was the potential that had him named a starter before his second year started. However, with injuries each of his two years, an injury in 2010 could get him a new designation: Injury prone. If he earns that dubious distinction, then his meteoric early rise will end up being a flash in the pan.
With Schilens’s work ethic and a stable quarterback under center, he should have the first 1000 yard by a Raider receiver since Randy Moss in 2005.
I blew it yesterday in that I forgot about Vince Young’s suspension. I apologize for the error.
Fourth round pick Jacoby Ford inked his contract on Monday leaving Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston, and Stevie Brown unsigned.
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Patrick Patterson’s other writing:
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