Raiders hope tight ends grow quickly

Tight end appears to be an area that the Oakland Raiders need to work on.

Last summer, strong pass-catcher Zach Miller signed as a free agent with Seattle. The Raiders signed Kevin Boss from the Giants. However, Boss was cut this offseason in a salary-cap dump. He is now with the Chiefs.

The Raiders are going to camp with Brandon Myers, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon as their primary tight ends.

Myers is the most experienced player of the three. He has 32 career catches in three seasons. Ausberry, a converted receiver, had two catches as a rookie last season. Gordon, also a rookie last season, had one catch.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen has been impressed with the group in the offseason. Gordon, primarily a blocker, made strides as a receiver in the offseason and Ausberry has strong pass-catching skills. Yet, he has to prove he can play tight end at the highest level. Myers has come through when asked to early in his career.

Because of salary-cap issues, the Raiders have to rely on their inexperience at tight end and it will be one of the positions that will be most closely watched in the preseason. Perhaps Oakland will seek help at the position if an experienced veteran gets cut during the summer. If not, it must hope these young players catch on quickly.