Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 7/17/12

The Oakland Raiders punt returner competition will be one to keep an eye out for during training camp and preseason games. Last season wide receiver Denarius Moore handled most of the duties, but with his expanding role in the offense, will the Raiders risk him returning kicks.

All offseason coaches and players have been impressed with Moore. During the organized team workouts he made strides to improve from last year's breakout rookie campaign. With a starting wide receiver role in his future this season, Moore may have to juggle both returning and receiving responsibilities.

// > “I would say he’s an exceptional route-runner,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of Moore after OTAs. “He’s got great speed. I’m really looking forward to working with Denarius. He’s going to be a really good football player for us.” Last season Moore returned 25 punts for 216 yards, an average of 8.6 and a long of 34. The only other Raider on the current training camp roster to return a punt last season is cornerback Bryan McCann. McCann returned three punts for 29 yards. However, McCann is on the roster bubble and may not make the final cut. McCann has the ability to have a good training camp and preseason to solidify his roster spot and being a kickoff and punt returner will help him do that. If McCann is not on the roster, the onus falls back on Moore. It does not appear that any of the rookies with a chance of making the team can return punts. Both wide receivers Juron Criner and Rod Streater, who have the best chance to make the final roster, are more physical than fast or quick. The defensive backs the Raiders signed in free agency are veterans that cannot help in the return game. It is not out of the question to consider that Moore can develop as a wide receiver while handling the punt return duties. Many receivers have done both including Carolina's Steve Smith, Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson, and, at the time, Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes. In less than two weeks the Raiders will open up training camp and it will be interesting to see how they approach the punt returning job. Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101. var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});

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