Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 19, 2008
New tight end?

The NFL Network (which means it's probably correct) reports the Raiders have signed TE Ben Troupe.

The team would need to release a player to add Troupe, who was recently cut by Tampa Bay.

Why would the Raiders want another tight end?

If Troupe proves to be a good blocker, it all makes sense.

The Raiders are looking for ways to free up Zach Miller to be a bigger part of the passing game.

Here's what Kiffin said about Miller on Thursday when asked him about moving Miller around to create more opportunities in the passing game:

"The thing with Zach, as we talked about before, is he's so good at other things. He's so good at blocking, he's so good at pass protection that that's hurt him a little bit in the passing game because of the way we use him. We use him a lot to help our guys. We use him a lot to stay in protection. With our other tight ends, we don't necessarily have a dominant blocker with our other tight ends. They're more pass receiving type guys. As far as numbers and catches, he's hurt himself a little bit that way because he's so good that we use him so much in protection."

Having another tight end that can catch and block gives the offense flexibility in the passing game and makes it less predictable.

Perhaps an official announcement will come sometime tomorrow.

Here's some background on Troupe:

*6-4, 260

*Second-round pick of Tennessee (40th overall) from Florida

*Signed with Tampa Bay this year. Was released when suspended tight end Jerramy Stevens was activated.

*He has 106 catches for 1,056 yards and seven touchdowns for his career. His best season was 2005 when he caught 55 passes for 530 yards and four touchdowns for the Titans. He had only five catches in 16 games with two starts last season. He didn't catch a pass in two games with the Bucs.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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