Nov 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders TE Mychal Rivera A Foundation Piece?

Even though Mychal Rivera never played a down for Butch Jones at Tennessee, he still can’t escape one of Jones’ favorite words — foundation.

The former Volunteer tight end was recently identified by Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen as a potential “foundation player” in the Raiders offense.

Rivera, who was drafted by the Raiders in the 6th round in 2013, played in 16 games for Oakland last season and caught 38 passes for 407 yards and four touchdowns. That’s not bad considering the Raiders had a less than ideal offensive situation.

Unfortunately for Rivera, it doesn’t look like the Raiders’ offense is going to be any better in 2014.

Oakland acquired former Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub this off-season. Schaub was benched last season by the Texans, but Allen believes he’s a quarterback that’s on par with Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers. 

While Schaub isn’t necessarily as terrible as he looked last season, it’d be a HUGE stretch to put him in the neighborhood of Manning or the vastly underrated Rivers.

But the good news for Mychal Rivera is that Schaub does love to throw to his tight ends. Tight end Owen Daniels, when healthy, excelled with Schaub at quarterback in Houston.

If the Raiders truly want Rivera to be a cornerstone of their offense, they’ll have to get him a lot more involved in his second season.

Rivera proved last season, in a limited role, that he could be a key part of the offense. He now has a golden opportunity to break out in a big way in 2014.


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Tags: Football Tennessee Volunteers

  • friendship220

    Isn’t Rivera on the short, light, and slow side? Skilled, yes. The Raiders, due to their inability to make players better, tend to like players who are as good as they possibly can be coming out of college. That way, they can pass the buck. “Well, he’s skilled, that must mean that we’re good coaches.” No, that means that Tennessee had good coaches.

    David Ausberry 64 243 452
    Mychal Rivera 63 242 468
    Nick Kasa 66 269 471

    The Raiders plan to build a foundation with a TE who is the same size as another TE, but significantly slower, and the same speed as another TE who is significantly bigger.

    Yes, Rivera was trained well coming out of Tennessee, but there’s something wrong with the Raiders if they can’t train either their bigger, but just as fast, TE or their faster, but just as big, TE. Aren’t coaches supposed to be able to coach players, to make them better?

    Rivera is a slower, shorter Kelvin Benjamin. A possession WR. Well trained, though, good job Volunteers.