It may not have happened just how he would have liked, but Ryan O'Malley is now on the active roster for the Oakland Raiders.
After signing with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in May, the former Penn Quaker spent the Offseason Workout Program and training camp with the Silver and Black before being released, and subsequently signed back to the practice squad.
Now though, after Lee Smith was placed on the reserve/injured list, O'Malley is on the active roster, and will likely see his first playing time in a regular season game Sunday afternoon as the Raiders take on the San Diego Chargers.
"It's super exciting, because it's something you've dreamed about since [being] a little kid," said O'Malley. "It's unfortunate circumstances with Lee going down, because he's such a great player, and a great teammate, but I'm thankful for the opportunity, and hopefully I'll make the most of it on Sunday."
O'Malley appeared in 40 games during his career at Penn, catching 43 passes for 495 yards and nine touchdowns, and like Smith, the rookie tight end considers himself an asset as a blocker.
"I think I'm a physical player, and I think that blocking is probably the best part of my game," O'Malley said. "But I'm able to go downfield, and run routes, and catch balls too."
Head Coach Jack Del Rio said earlier in the week that it would take several players to fill the void caused by Smith's absence, and while fellow tight end Clive Walford knows that the entire tight ends room has to step up, he's also confident in O'Malley to perform when called upon.
"I have a lot of confidence in [Ryan] O'Malley," said Walford. "He put in a lot of work during training camp, so it's the next man in, that next-man mentality. I have a lot of faith in him."
As O'Malley said himself, he fancies himself a quality blocker, and Walford credits Smith for helping the rookie improve in that area since joining the Silver and Black.
"He [O'Malley] learned a lot from Lee, but we all learned a lot from Lee," Walford explained. "Just hand placement, footwork, just finishing on defenders, but I think O'Malley will be ready."
Even though he's now just in his second season as a Raider, Walford – along with Mychal Rivera – is now the elder statesman in the tight ends room, and since Smith has gone down, Walford has made a conscious effort to take more of a leadership role, particularly with O'Malley.
"I talk to him every day, but I have a lot of confidence in him, man," Walford said. "I tell him just to continue what he's been doing, even in training camp, and he'll be ready."
S – Nate Allen – Quad – Did not participate – Out
T – Austin Howard – Ankle – Limited – Questionable
RB – Taiwan Jones – Knee – Limited – Questionable
T – Matt McCants – Knee – Limited – Questionable
RB – Latavius Murray – Toe – Did not participate – Out
LB – Malcolm Smith – Quad – Did not participate – Questionable
TE – Clive Walford – Knee – Limited – Questionable
T – Menelik Watson – Calf – Did not participate – Out
-The CBS broadcast crew of Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta, and Amanda Bailonis was on hand Friday afternoon at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility, to take in the Raiders "Fast Friday" session.
-Similarly to Thursday, during Friday's practice, a quartet of Blue Angels flew over the Raiders practice field, albeit it a little bit later in the team's session. Nevertheless, the demonstration squadron was impressive once again in its preparation for Fleet Week.
-After not practicing Wednesday and Thursday, linebacker Malcolm Smith was able to return to the field in a limited capacity Friday afternoon. His status for Sunday's game is officially "questionable."
-Following practice, safety Nate Allen, running back Latavius Murray, and tackle Menelik Watson were officially ruled "out" of the Week 5 tilt against the San Diego Chargers.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio talks about linebacker Perry Riley Jr.:
"He's done a nice job. Veteran guy, so it's just processing some of the new terminology, really, is the biggest thing for him. You can tell he has terrific instincts. Has great temperament, and we like the way he's preparing. Looking forward to getting him in."
Clive Walford discusses Lee Smith:
"Smitty [Lee Smith] was a guy who played through, and after, the whistle, so in the tight ends room, we just have to take a lead, and follow his lead with playing longer, setting our clocks for a longer time."
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