TJ Carrie ready for big role in Raiders unproven CB group


May 26, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie at press conference at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders surprised many during 2015 NFL Free Agency as they opted not to make a move to bring in a proven cornerback, instead deciding to place their faith for the upcoming season in the corners that they already had. Names like DJ Hayden, TJ Carrie, Keith McGill and Chimdi Chekwa now shouldered with the load of doing the job for the team as they enter 2015 Training Camp in Napa this week.

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Going with four relatively young and unproven players at one of the most important positions on defense, the Raiders are taking on a ton of risk that could have a big payoff if their young corners can make the most of their opportunity at maximum snaps in 2015. The hope being that a mix of recent draft picks can develop in a situation where the team will be throwing their unproven cornerbacks in the deep end and seeing what happens this season.

Part of the reason that general manager Reggie McKenzie is confident in taking on the risk is the play of 2014 draft pick TJ Carrie who shined in special teams as well as at the corner after being selected in the late rounds out of Ohio. After one season under his belt, Carrie is entering camp more than ready to take on the increased role that team apparently has for him after opting not to bring in any cornerbacks of note during the offseason.

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“When you are looked at as a starter, the mistakes and errors have to be limited to pretty much none,” Carrie told Bill Williamson of ESPN. “So last year as a rookie, they’re willing to give you those mistakes and opportunities to fail because you’re learning, you’re getting acclimated to the NFL and to the season and the different aspects of what you have to do. But coming into the next year and you’re projected to be a starter, they expect more of a higher level from you as an athlete. The pressure is definitely building higher.”

“That’s something that we live to play this game for, is to be in the pressure. All pressure is good pressure.”

With unproven cornerbacks, it is going to be up to players like Carrie to make sure that the inactivity at the position doesn’t come back to haunt the Raiders during the season. With a ton of faith placed in the still unproven, but extremely promising youngster the sophomore season for Carrie is an important one to prove that he can be a cornerstone going forward at the position. Handed an opportunity of a lifetime, Carrie says he is ready to make the most of the faith the team has put in him which makes him a player to watch at training camp and going forward as one of the underrated key players on the Raiders defense this season.