Aug/30/12 09:09 AM Filed in: Roscoe Parrish
Punt returner Roscoe Parrish's head was still spinning Tuesday after his first practice since signing with the Raiders.
Who could blame him?
"Yesterday was just kind of hectic for me,” he said. “Actually woke up as a Charger, went to sleep as a Raider. That's how I look at it.”
Parrish was cut by San Diego but was unemployed for only a few hours.
With Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore both injured, the Raiders needed a punt returner. Parrish, who led the NFL in punt return average twice with the Buffalo Bills, needed a job. It didn't take long to strike a deal.
“We wanted to get a chance to take a look at him, especially as a punt returner,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We're watching the waiver wires to see if there's anybody that we feel like's got a chance to help us. We'll get a chance to get him out there to return some (punts) on Thursday night (at Seattle) and see what we've got.”
Before signing as a free agent with San Diego this year, Parrish spent seven seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He became the first player in NFL history to lead the league in punt-return average in consecutive seasons, averaging 16.3 yards in 2007 and 15.3 in 2008.
“I like the fact that he was in the tops of the league for a couple of years in terms of being able to return the ball,” Allen said. “(I like) the fact that he can get under it and catch it and make a move and get upfield and gain some yards for us in the return game. And that's an area that we got to get better at.”
The Raiders are averaging 4.4 yards per punt return during the preseason. Parrish returned 135 punts for 1,622 yards and three touchdowns for the Bills, averaging 12.0 per return.
“Coming over here when they need a returner is a good feeling because that's what I do,” said Parrish, who can also play slot receiver and return kicks. “Just go back there and make plays.”
Parrish suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 against the Raiders last year, but he said he has recovered completely.
“I mean, I'm back. I feel like haven't lost my skill set. It's all about opportunities. I was in a situation (at San Diego) where they brought a slot guy in with Eddie Royal, and we did the exact same thing. It was just a tough situation.”
If Parrish makes the Raiders' final roster, his first regular-season game will be Sept. 10 against San Diego.
“I'm ready,” he said. “So ready. So ready. That's all I can say.”