Brandon Myers may be getting most of the looks, but the Raiders tight end believes there’s strength in numbers that go beyond his passing stats.
Myers and second-year players David Ausberry and Richard Gordon have been a productive trio for quarterback Carson Palmer as the Raiders prepare to face the Broncos in Denver.
The lion’s share of the work has gone to Myers, who is tied for fifth among NFL tight ends in receptions (15) and is second to Tony Gonzalez (205) in yards.
Most impressive, Palmer has thrown 15 passes to Myers and completed them all. No other player in the NFL has more than nine catches without a miss.
“I don’t pay attention to that stuff,” Myers said.
Myers has had the look of being “the man” before. After Zach Miller was signed by the Seattle Seahawks, the job appeared to be his. Then the Raiders quickly signed Kevin Boss, relegating Myers to a reserve role.
Boss was waived after one season, and Myers was excelling at training camp, only to miss time with a shoulder injury.
“You never know what’s going to happen, especially with a new organization and new coaches and things like that,” Myers said. “For them to do that, it was on us to step up in the games and make plays. So far, we’ve done that.”
Ausberry, a converted wide receiver and seventh-round draft pick, has three catches for 56 yards and comes in as an extra tight end in some packages, occasionally going in motion or splitting out wide.
Gordon is the most stout blocker of the three but found time to catch a 1-yard touchdown pass against Pittsburgh.
The heavy participation from the position comes a year after they were virtual outcasts in the Hue Jackson offense.
“The key to the tight ends being involved is the offense really involves them,” Palmer said. “There’s a number of opportunities for them to get big plays where they’re not really deep quarter or clear routes, but the No. 1 option, the No. 2 option.
“They’re similar, but have certain characteristics that differentiate them.”