While there’s a little doubt further down on the depth chart, Rod Streater and James Jones are clearly the Raiders’ top two receivers. Instead of positioning both receivers on the outside and calling it a day, the coaching staff has started playing Streater and Jones at the slot receiver position during training camp.
The importance of slot receivers has increased in recent years, with some of the best receivers in the game — guys like Wes Welker, Percy Harvin and Victor Cruz — spend most of their time in the slot.
Getting consistent, quality play from the slot receiver position could be crucial for the Raiders this season. The slot receiver typically runs more high percentage routes in between the hash marks. This is the kind of route that plays into Matt Schaub’s strengths. He’s known for throwing a high percentage of passes to his tight ends, and Schaub does so because he is much more consistent when he targets receivers in the middle of the field than on his throws to the outside.
It’s yet another move designed to put Schaub in a position to succeed. They put together an offensive line with hopes of taking some pressure off Schaub by enabling the team to run the ball consistently. The run game should also set up the play-action pass, an area where Schaub excelled in Houston. They had two tight ends that excel in the passing game (until David Ausberry suffered a season-ending knee injury) and two big-bodied receivers in Andre Holmes and Greg Little that can provide solid red zone targets.