Over the last few months I have been writing about the potential of Oakland Raiders tight end David Ausberry. Ausberry has the chance to become an explosive weapon in the passing game but he has to improve his blocking to see the field. During last week’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys, Ausberry showed his explosive ability with the football in his hands and the same sub-par blocking skills that has led him to limited action in his career.
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New offensive coordinator Greg Olsen looks like he will be running a run first, power run blocking style of offense for the Raiders this year. Opposing defenses will get their fair share of Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings and Latavius Murray running through them this year. With new quarterback Matt Flynn not able to chuck the ball all over the field, this style of offense makes the most sense for the Raiders. Unfortunately for Ausbery, the tight end in a power run blocking system should be able to open up holes for the running back. If the first preseason game is any indication of how Ausberry has improved as a run blocker, he will not be the starting tight end on week one.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Ausberry looked fantastic after turning a short catch in a big gain against the Cowboys. Very few tight ends in the NFL have the athletic ability of Ausberry and he would immediately give the Raiders their first explosive tight end since Rickey Dudley (Hopefully Ausberry has better hands). With Flynn expected to dink and dunk the ball around the field, Ausberry would be almost impossible to stop because of his big size and explosive speed. Ausberry would probably be one of the top tight ends in receiving yards.
The frustrating Ausberry, will make the coaches decisions difficult, on who will become the starting tight end because of his explosive ability and lackadaisical blocking. Hopefully, Ausberry somehow improves his blocking technique over the next few weeks so Raiders fans can see his big playmaking ability on Sundays.