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Leinart to visit Raiders

The Sports Xchange
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--Matt Leinart will visit the Raiders Wednesday, but general manager Reggie McKenzie stopped short of an ESPN report which said the quarterback would "likely" sign with the Raiders.

"We're bringing him in for a tryout," McKenzie said. "We want to see him throw, see how he is."

Leinart broke his left clavicle, his throwing side, in the first half of a start for the Houston Texans on Nov. 27 and missed the rest of the season.

The Raiders' offensive coordinator is Greg Knapp, who was quarterbacks coach in Houston and whose offensive system has borrowed heavily from the Texans.

The other quarterbacks on the roster are Terrelle Pryor and Rhett Bomar. Pryor got extensive work during the Raiders' first minicamp. McKenzie said going into the camp he wanted to see Pryor seize the moment and show the coaching staff he was ready to be the backup.

In a local radio interview following the camp, coach Dennis Allen downplayed the backup aspect and said he simply wanted to see Pryor improve every day.

--Wide receiver Juran Criner, the second of two fifth-round picks, has heard the criticism about his top-end 40-yard dash speed but isn't overly concerned about the stop watch.

"I would just say that there's a difference between playing on the field and having field speed rather than straight-line speed," Criner said. "I don't feel like I would have a problem."

--Linebacker Miles Burris has some lofty role models when it comes to defensive football.

"I've heard a lot of comparisons with different players, a little Clay Matthews just because of the position I played in college," Burris said. "I don't try to emulate anyone on the field, but there are things from a mental standpoint that I like about Matthews and Brian Urlacher.

"They bring the same intensity to every play and that's something I try and do on the field, just play as hard as I can and that's when good things happen."

--What sixth-round pick Christo Bilukidi lacks in football experience, he thinks he made up for in world experience.

The son of an Angolan diplomat, Bilukidi was born in Angola and has lived in France and Brazil before settling in Ottawa. He speaks fluent French.

Bilukidi wouldn't have done it any other way.

"It made me cultured because I lived in so many different cities and countries and stuff, Bilukidi said. "It definitely opens my mind more, because I learn more about different people. It makes me more humble and makes me appreciate people far more than if someone who just lived in a small city and didn't know what was going on around the world."

--Defensive end Jack Crawford worked out not with a former defensive lineman, but a former offensive lineman when it came time to get in shape.

Former NFL lineman Tra Thomas served as Crawford's conditioning and technique mentor.

"He is just so insightful and has so much experience," Crawford said. "It was a good thing to see things from an offensive tackle's perspective. It helped me out so much. He told me things I didn't know. The small things that you don't recognize in a game. Helped me mentally a lot."

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It was extremely difficult, especially when you get to the middle of the third round and a lot of names you like are falling off the board," -- Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie on not picking until No. 95.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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