ALAMEDA – Keelan Doss got tons of airtime on this season of “Hard Knocks.” The HBO documentary show, which followed the Raiders experience through training camp this year, followed the undrafted receiver through four episodes and painted him in a flattering light.
It was a feel-good story. An Alameda native and UC Davis alum doing well a stone’s throw from where he grew up. Doss did look good in camp and in preseason games, and seemed to have a real shot to make the 53-man roster.
The Raiders retained Marcel Ateman and Rico Gafford, two more impressive receivers from their camp.
Letting Doss leave the organization was disappointing to fans who grew attached to him watching “Hard Knocks.” Gruden praised Doss’ effort several times during the preseason and again on Monday, but pushed back against the wide-held belief that Doss was destined for the roster.
“That was your storyline. That wasn’t my storyline, just so we’re on the same page,” Gruden said. “He did a heck of a job. We tried to keep him on practice squad. He felt like he had a better opportunity to make the team in Jacksonville. You hate to see him go, but we’re happy for his future. We weren’t eager to get rid of Marcell Ateman. He started several games for us last year. Rico Gafford made some big plays this preseason, and he’s only played receiver for one year.
“[Doss was] in a tough spot. He’s a big story on the TV show, but that’s not the reality that we saw on tape.”
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Doss will continue his career with the Jaguars, a team without much receiving talent. He only got to play at Oakland Coliseum once in an Aug. 10 exhibition against the L.A. Rams, where his first professional catch was a touchdown.