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Hard work paying off for Heyward-Bey

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Recent posts by Eli Kaberon

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Posted Nov. 03, 2011 @ 3:20 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

It has been a long time coming, but the Raiders are finally starting to see the talent that made WR Darrius Heyward-Bey the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft. The third-year pro has worked closely with offensive coordinator Al Saunders, a former receivers coach, to develop his route running and correct his fundamental flaws. Heyward-Bey also has increased his own attention to detail and focus, resulting in his best season, with career-highs in receptions, yards and yards per catch (16.1).

We hear that Heyward-Bey's extra effort has been extended off the field as well. The receiver has put in extra work with Carson Palmer in the meeting rooms, helping the recently acquired quarterback become adjusted to the Raiders' playbook. The team is hoping that the combination of hard work put in with Saunders and the extra preparation done with Palmer will make Heyward-Bey a No. 1 wide receiver and open up more space on the field for their other playmakers.

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