Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is showing that he might actually make contributions this year. Part of it has to do with how the Raiders are using him.
Heyward-Bey's forte was supposed to be the deep ball because of his speed, but the 6-2, 210-pounder had problems holding onto the ball. So the Raiders are using him on short and intermediate routes in camp, and he appears to be responding positively.
Perhaps the change is working because he has less time to think when the ball is in the air. Instead, he has to react - quickly.
Considering the state of Oakland's receiving corps with Louis Murphy out and Chaz Schilens consistently fighting injuries, a productive Heyward-Bey could play a big role early in the season.
Heyward-Bey might be improving, but he's still undraftable. If he shows anything early, maybe he'll be worth adding as a free agent.