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Menelik Watson a hot topic in England

There is no question the most interesting Oakland Raiders player to the British media this week is reserve offensive lineman Menelik Watson.

It's not even close. That would explain a backup getting his own news conference.

The offensive tackle is from Manchester, England, and he is a local hero. Watson writes a blog for NFLUK.com during the season. It's only natural he's a face of the game this week as the Raiders prepare to play Miami in London.

Watson, the No. 42 overall draft pick last year, was hoping to come to London as a starter. But a preseason hip injury stalled his chances of getting a starting job. He does play in some rotations, but Watson is not where the Raiders hoped he would be yet.

But the Raiders are far from giving up on the talented but green Watson.

"I think, the one thing we have to remember is that Menelik is still a young player," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday. "He doesn't have a lot of football experience. He's still relatively young to the game. I'm not in any way disappointed as far as where he's at. He's just still got some development to do, some growing up to do. I still think that he's going to be a really good player at some point."

Perhaps if the Raiders play in London again, Watson will have more of a starring role.