It has been rumored for the last two weeks and now the news has been broken by Oakland Raider beat writer David White of the San Francisco Chronicle via Twitter of all things.
According to the aforementioned White and Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Raiders have added fullback Lorenzo Neal to the roster. Neal, a former Fresno State Bulldog and central California native, is a four time pro-bowler and has made his mark in the NFL as a top tier blocker for no less than five different 1,000-yard rushers.
Lorenzo spent last season in Baltimore backing up Pro Bowl fullback Le’Ron McClain. At 38-years of age, Neal’s best days are behind him but his professional demeanor, hard nosed style of play and years of experience will be invaluable to the young Raider roster.
After parting ways with Justin Griffith back in February, the Raiders were banking on Oren O’Neal to recover from a severe knee injury and emerge as the first team fullback. Lorenzo Neal’s addition is the best possible insurance policy for the depth chart should O’Neal’s injury issues persist.
With O’Neal and Neal (sounds like a Vaudeville act) in the back field, Michael Bush can breathe a little easier knowing that Tom Cable won’t be asking him to open holes for Darren McFadden in 2009. The very thought of being able to line up with Lorenzo Neal and Michael Bush on short yardage situations is a scenario that should cause major concern for defensive coordinators in the AFC West.