Heyward-Bey fails to silence critics in Year One

Posted Jan. 02, 2010 @ 8:32 a.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Raiders rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey will head into his first full offseason having failed to silence skeptics that mocked Oakland for selecting him with the seventh overall pick in April's draft. Heyward-Bey started all 11 games in which he played and made just nine catches for 124 yards and one touchdown. He wasn't much of a contributor in Year One, but the passing game as a whole was not productive with JaMarcus Russell under center for most of the season. Publicly, the Raiders' staff has been supportive of Heyward-Bey, and didn't pull him from the starting lineup, even when other receivers outperformed him. It sounds simple, but catching the ball with his hands, rather than securing it after it hits his body, is something he'll have to improve upon if he's going to validate Al Davis' decision to draft him ahead of Michael Crabtree. Heyward-Bey missed the last four games with a foot strain, but he returned to practice Wednesday and may play Sunday.


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