Raiders’ Routt will get plenty of time to impress in ‘07

By Anthony Carroll  |   Thursday, July 12, 2007  |  Comments( 36 )

Oakland Raiders
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For an early second-round draft selection, Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt sure is an unknown.

The 23-year-old defensive back has started in just four games since entering the NFL in 2005, despite being the sixth overall cornerback selected in his draft class. In Routt's four lone starts, the former Houston standout has posted 10 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed.

This year, though, the youngster will finally have an opportunity to make a name for himself.

As an indoor track standout with the Cougars, Routt took full advantage of his blazing speed on the football field. In 47 career games with Houston, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder racked up 136 tackles, seven interceptions and 23 passes defensed. In 2004, Routt also earned honors as the Conference USA Men's indoor track Athlete of the Year.

As a tall, well-known speedster, the dual-sport standout was the prototypical Al Davis draft pick. He had the size of former first-round Raider Charles Woodson and the speed of fellow draftee Fabian Washington.

Washington, though, is the reason Routt has seen such limited time in his first 32 professional outings. That, and veterans like Renaldo Hill and Tyrone Poole and have stolen time from the young DB.

With both aforementioned veterans long gone, the Austin, Texas, native will finally take full possession of the nickel cornerback slot, and -- if the cards fall right -- the team's No. 2 spot.

Washington, though a large part of the Raiders' No. 1 pass defense in 2006, could be pressured by Routt to retain his job this offseason. The 24-year-old, who has started 25 regular-season games since being drafted 16 slots higher than Routt, posted 40 tackles, four interceptions and 11 passes defensed last season. However, sporadic showings like a Dec. 10 outing at Cincinnati, when he allowed eight receptions, 118 yards and one TD, plagued the soon-to-be third-year corner periodically throughout the season.

Though it will be very hard to replace Washington, it's not impossible.

In the meantime, Routt has been hopefully, and patiently, watching from the sidelines.

Last offseason, No. 26 made it clear that he has no intent to stay there.

"I consider myself a player that continually gets better," Routt said prior to the '06 season. "I don't consider myself a finished product, but I don't consider myself kind of like a slab of clay. I consider myself somebody that could definitely still get a whole lot better."

Just 15 minutes into his first start of the season, the "slab of clay" recorded an interception. It was the first of his career.

"I consider myself a pretty darn good football player," Routt said close to 12 months ago.

If time is any indication, 2007 could be Stanford Routt's year.

Anthony Carroll, a senior writer for RealFootball365.com, can be contacted at acarroll@realfootball365.com.
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About Anthony Carroll

Anthony Carroll began writing for RealFootball365.com on Sept. 26, 2005, making him one of the longest tenured contributors to the “365” team. As a senior writer, Anthony has taken on the task of delivering original content to the silver and black faithful year round, despite having to deal...
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