QB Engemann making a positive impression

Former BYU quarterback <b>Bret Engemann</b> impressed coaches during his recent mini camp try out with the Oakland Raiders, but faces stiff competition from two others in his bid to secure the third and final QB slot, sources confirmed to <b>TotalBlueSports.com</b>.

In an TBS interview, Engemann recounted his mini camp with the Raiders, where he is trying to earn a roster spot as an undrafted free agent. He is back in Provo after spending all of May and most of June working out with the Raiders strength and conditioning coach and working on drills with offensive assistants Jim Harbaugh and Fred Biletnikoff.

"I like the fact that I'm fighting for a job every day because it pushes me," said Engemann.

Engemann selected the Raiders as a free agent and participated in their mini camp immediately after the draft. It was for rookies and other players who hadn't played significant amounts -- and were required to go. Engemann was the only QB in camp and it was a great opportunity for him personally since he got all of the repetitions (reps) in front of coaches.

Asked about the feedback he has received since rookie camp, Bret replied: "Not a whole lot," adding that the Raiders are still bitter about losing the Super Bowl and the veterans have been getting most of the reps in the other mini camps.

What are Brett's chances of making the Raiders roster? All-pro Rich Gannon is the starting QB and former University of Washington star Marques Tuiasosopo is currently his back-up. Engemann is battling for the final slot against veteran Rick Mirer, the Raiders' third string QB last year and former University of Tennessee QB Tee Martin.

Economics may play a factor in who the Raiders ultimately decide to keep as the third string quarterback. If the Raiders go with Mirer, they will have to pay him approximately $1 million because he has played in the league for eight years.

The NFL minimum salary, which increases with each year of experience, begins to hurt veterans the longer they play in the league. If the Raiders go with a rookie, they can save about $700,000 against the salary cap, since the rookie minimum is $270,000.

The key to the Raiders' decision is really Tuiasosopo. If they are comfortable with Tuiasosopo as their back-up to Gannon, they will be more likely to cut Mirer and go with a younger guy as their third string quarterback.

Coming out of mini camp, Bret's main objective is to improve his understanding of the offense. He has been working daily with his dad and they have come up with an interesting method for learning the offense.

His dad calls out a play and Engemann draws it up on a dry erase board. After drawing up the play, Bret then teaches his dad all about the play -- what they are trying to accomplish with the routes, the protections, etc. While his father does not know a lot about the ins and outs of football, Engemann is actually teaching himself as he explains the plays and formations to his dad.

With the focus on veterans, Engemann has not received a lot of reps since the initial rookie camp, but he noted "they (Raiders coaches) have said a lot of positive things about my physical tools."

He said he feels good about his chances and thinks he may have to go to NFL Europe to gain experience. He told TBS he is willing to do that, but feels "real good" about his chances of making the Raiders this year.

Engemann also finds himself among friendly and familiar faces with six former BYU Cougars in camp this year.

Last year's standout rookie TE Doug Jolley impressed everyone at the Raider organization. He has been joined by former Cougar Ronney Jenkins who had three solid years as a return specialist with the San Diego Chargers. Three other Cougars, Dustin Rykert, Joe Wong and Isaac Herring, are also vying to earn spots on the Raiders offensive line depth chart.

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