Do the Raiders have a special teams stud lying in wait?

The Oakland Raiders saw a significant chunk of their special teams unit leave in free agency with the departures of Brynden Trawick, Darren Bates and Andre Holmes. All three played a major role in kick and punt coverage and all three were partially responsible for the Raiders having one of the best special teams units in the entire league.

So why were the Raiders ok with letting the core of a very good special teams unit leave in free agency? In part because the Raiders likely believe they have a stud special teamer lying in wait to can fill in some of the void created by those departures.

Who, you ask? Why James Cowser of course.

After an impressive training camp and preseason, Cowser spent much of the 2017 season on the sidelines. But when he finally got a chance to play a little, he really shined. He only got into six games, but that was enough to see that he’s a guy that’s capable of contributing to NFL teams.

He may never be a starter but he showed flashes of being a solid rotational pass rusher because of his never ending engine, as well as the ability to be a very good special teamer.

Though most were focused on what he could add as a defender, and rightfully so considering he had nine tackles. a fumble recovery and a sack in an extremely limited number of defensive snaps. But it wasn’t his play on defense that really caught my eye, it was his play on special teams.

As a defender, Cowser will have a hard time making a huge impact but on special teams, he could be an impact player in 2017. He has a high motor and a great nose for the ball. Those two talents are ones that often lead to a very good coverage player on kicks and punts. It’s a small sample size but Cowser showed that he was more than capable of putting his skill set to use on special teams as he made a few very nice plays.

So while it may appear that the Raiders have a big need for coverage talent on special teams, don’t be surprised if the unit is just as good in 2017 thanks to the efforts of guys like James Cowser.

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