Question: Jason, all the talk has been about the Raiders upgrading their offensive line and their quarterback positions. Don't you think that they should also be looking at drafting a tight end on the first day of the draft? P.S. - Has anybody ever told you that you look like Tyrone Wheatley?
- Dan, Fremont
Answer: I agree 100 percent. The Raiders haven't had an impact tight end for sometime. The addition of a true tight end (not a bulked-up wide receiver) would help the offense and give it more options. While using an offensive lineman (usually Chad Slaughter last season) as a tight end might add size, it limits what the offense can do in the passing game in short yardage.
The Raiders signed two tight ends this offseason (Tony Stewart and Fred Wakefield), but a legitimate pass threat at tight end would help the offense a lot. Making the tight end a part of the passing game would help the wide receivers get single coverage and the offensive line because it would give the offense a quick outlet.
And nope, I've never been told I look like Tyrone Wheatley. I've been told I look like several current and former NFL players (being about 6-foot-2, 275 pounds will do that) including Art Shell. In fact, when I went to Shell's news conference last year, I was told by fans to wish my "dad" good luck.
And there's nothing quite like being asked for my autograph during training camp or when on the road and I'm around players.
But I don't think any kid out there wants me to sign their football with my old high school number from my high school days as an offensive lineman. (I wore 57 because I couldn't get Howie Long's 75).
- Jason Jones