Oakland Raiders: Rookie WR Juron Criner Talks "Mental Reps" and Blocking
Stuart Kovacs – Jun 4, 2012
Many reporters feel that Oakland Raiders’ rookie wide receiver Juron Criner has been one of the most impressive players in the team’s OTA’s thus far. So impressive that they feel he can push someone like Louis Murphy towards the back of the depth chart, potentially costing him a roster spot.
Criner sat down with Jeanette Thompson in a Behind the Shield segment to talk about the many aspects of OTA’s including having patience, learning by watching the veteran players, and how important blocking is for a receiver.
As a rookie who was drafted by the Raiders in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Criner understands that his role at this time is significantly less than that off Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, and Jacoby Ford.
With having a smaller role, comes less reps in practice. Because of this, the receiver realizes just how important it is to have patience and take mental notes regarding what the veterans are doing during their reps.
With respect to taking "mental reps," Criner had this to say:
“First and foremost you’ve got to be patient. With being a visual learner, I can see a guy run a route and I can go try to imitate it as best as I can.”
The former Arizona Wildcat has also been told that to get playing time in this offense, he’s going to have to do a good job in the blocking game. With the Raiders having a guy as dynamic as running back Darren McFadden, blocking is a significant part of the offense.
“That’s a major part of the game. With guys like this, a breakout run can happen at any moment on any play so you always have to be ready to go find work and make the block. With me, I have to learn the different angles guys take and the different sides you have to aim for so you can run to where he’s going to be, not where he is.”
After making the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2011, Criner is looking to make an immense impact for the Raiders in the 2012 NFL season.
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