Friday, March 17, 2006

News You Can't Use

Well, Raider Take’s favorite columnist is at it again. Our romance was, alas, brief.

This columnist, who spent the entire 2005 season flapping his gums about how the
Raiders’ past is irrelevant to the present, is suddenly invoking the Raiders’ past to prove a selective point about the present. How convenient.

Following is a brief Raiders Relevancy Lesson for consistency-challenged columnists:

Irrelevant to the new millennium: Mike Rae as a Raiders QB draft pick in 1973.

Relevant to the new millennium: The Raiders going to the Super Bowl after winning the AFC West three straight seasons in this decade, which still has four years left in it.

In this same column, our columnist states: “(Raiders fans) didn't warm up to the concept of Gannon either until they discovered that he could win games, and they loved him until his neck accordioned and he couldn't win for them any more. Raider fans are fair-minded that way. They'll do anything for you if you win, and they'll do anything to you if you don't.”

Let’s analyze this. His implication is that it is somehow bizarre to embrace players who win. Isn't that usually how it works? Then, he slanders the Raider Nation by saying that we stopped loving Rich Gannon when he suffered a career-ending neck injury. What a vile thing to say.

Moving on, he states in this same column: “(The Raiders) have had a hard time growing their own quarterbacks over the years. Rich Gannon was a Viking, Jeff George was a Colt, Jay Schroeder was a Redskin, Jim Plunkett was a Patriot, Daryle Lamonica was a Bill, and Cotton Davidson was a Dallas Texan.”

Jim Plunkett won two Super Bowls. Rich Gannon led the Raiders to a Super Bowl. Daryle Lamonica led the Raiders to a Super Bowl. Homegrown Ken Stabler won a Super Bowl. The Raiders’ methodology really backfired, didn’t it?

Brett Favre: Falcon! Steve Young: Buccaneer! Oh, the horror!

Our guy doesn't stop there (he must be making up for lost time). He also states: “If they trade up in the draft from their current position of seventh to second, they want Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt. If they trade from 7 to 5, they want USC's Matt Leinart. If they stay where they are, they want Vince Young of Texas.”

Since when has Leinart fallen behind Cutler? Where have I been? More important, where has our columnist been?

This is all verging on crazy people behavior. Somebody grab his pen before he hurts himself.

And that, Raiders fans, is news you can't use.


Blogger Calico Jack said...

It is ridiculous for Ray "Smarmy Mug" Ratto to say Jay Cutler will be the #2 pick. Even the novice, casual football fan who occasionally watches ESPN and reads a sports article or two (not including Ratto's rag) knows Leinart will be the 1st QB chosen.

To think that a professional, SPORTS columnist who gets paid a huge salary could be so off the mark is an embarrassment to the SF Chronicle. My 10 year old nephew could come up with a more accurate mock draft than bozo Ratto.

Either Ratto is so lazy that he doesn’t bother to read any credible sports journalist’s expert analysis on the draft or he just doesn’t care. What sports fan worth his salt is ever going to believe anything that this chimpanzee bangs out on his computer in the future?

I used to think this guy just had an axe to grind with the Raiders. Now he is just an ignorant buffoon who isn't worth acknowledging.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Apparently, even Josh McCown was also of the mind that the Raiders are going to draft a QB. Not wanting to be the guy keeping the seat warm for a rookie, he signed with the Lions.

So I guess we're not the only ones speculating that Raiders will find a quick fix for 2006 while grooming a rookie. Although this would explain why few free agent QBs are showing interest, there's one thing about this offseason that bothers me.

It's not that people aren't signing, it's that there doesn't appear to be a major push to do *anything*. Al dragged his feet selecting a head coach. When all the top candidates were gone, he wound up finally settling on Art Shell who was about the only guy who WANTED the Raider job. On a similar note, unlike the last couple of years where we signed/traded for Sapp, Collins, Moss, Jordan, etc. there has virtually zero movement attempting to bring in new talent to right a ship that has gone 13-35 over the last three years.

This is so unlike Al Davis that I'm starting to become concerned.

Is Al's health okay? Is he able to put the same energy behind these moves nowadays as he's done in the past? His hands have rarely been slow to reload his weapons. Why all the delays this year?

Or should we believe the media hype that the Raider Way has become a vision of a dinosaur amongst the league, and that no one wants to be associated with them? No one seemed to want to coach the team and no free agents are coming any help them out this year (although the cap might have something to do with that).

Or maybe I just need to take a deep breath. They were, after all, the last team to get a head coach. Not only was Art late to the party, but he also hasn't been coaching for some time and probably needs some additional time to evaluate their current roster. You combine those two and it's understandable why the Raiders haven't been quick to jump on free agents.

Still, something needs to be done, and it needs to be done soon. Ramsey signed with the Jets, Gus Frerotte signed with the Rams, and Brian Greise is visiting the Bengals and Bears this weekend. If they don't act soon, they will be out of legitimate veteran options and KFC *will* be the only guy left. The one thing Al *has* done this year is reaffirm his commitment to the Raider Way by re-hiring Art Shell. And the thought of him putting the ball in the hands of an unproven NFL QB to start the season goes directly against conventional Raider wisdom.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Brooks is tentatively scheduled to visit the Raiders on Tuesday.

One other scenario for the Raiders to find a veteran QB is to wait until AFTER the draft. Although this will require more patience, it might bear fruit.

For example, consider these 2 scenarios;

Tennnessee drafts Leinart; Would the Titans keep Leinart, McNair, and Volek on their payroll? My guess is that McNair would be cut.

NY Jets draft Leinart; Would the Jets keep Leinart, Pennington, and Ramsey on their payroll? Or would the Jets be willing to re-trade Ramsey for a future 2007 pick.

Another name that I haven't heard mentioned that merits some consideration would be Trent Dilfer. Dilfer who is a decent game manager, would be a good mentor for Walter plus a good insurance policy.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that the Raiders have resigned Derrick Gibson. Is this true ??? If it is, I must move myself away from all sharp objects. Someone, please explain why the Raiders STILL do not know that Gibson is horrible. I thought they were returning to smart, tough play, so where does Gibson fit in ?? I guess KFC won't be far behind. I just don't understand this.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 - Please stay away from any sharp objects. According to the Oakland Tribune, the Raiders are expected to re-sign Radio Gibson and OG Chad Hulsey. After losing Renaldo Hill to Miami, our secondary is a major question mark. Right now we have Jerrod Cooper battling Radio Gibson for the SS slot. Neither is proficient in coverage responsibilities. I am hopeful that we can draft Darnell Bing in the 2nd round to improve that area. As it stands right now, the only position group that is set is the WR corps.

In review;

QB - Major dilemma

RB - No depth behind Jordan

TE - Courtney Anderson; inconsistent

O-Line: Needs an overhaul. A reshuffle of the line and a young, mauling OG needed

D-Line: Lose Big Ted, Sapp coming off of injury, need another pass rushing DE

LB: Need OLB playmaker plus depth

SS: Glaring weakness; needs major upgrade.

So far our lack of activity in free agency and questionable reaches (Henri Crockett? Fat Boy Fonuti failing his physical; CB Everson Walls being brought in?) is very puzzling.

It looks like we are trolling the bottom of the barrell for cheap, out of work 3rd tier free agents. We will need to hit a home-run in the 2006 draft to right the ship.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't look now, but Aaron Brooks is being brought in for an interview...

This may sound like blasphemy, but having KFC return from the dead may be as good an option as bringing in Brooks.

What to make of moves like this one and losing Renaldo Hill to resign Radio Gibson (thus "solidifying" the saftey spot for years to come)?

"BRILLIANT!" is not the first word that comes to mind.

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is Al was at a crossroads back in January and he took the road all too well traveled (unfortunately for us Raider fans). We had become the laughingstock of the league and it was because of his decisons over the last fifteen years... jett, trap, eddie anderson, travian smith, tyler brayton, philip buchanon, kerry collins, jay shroeder, Jeff George, jano, fargas, ashomogue, anthony dorsett, gibson... man I could go on for days. Finally, it was exposed in its entirety that Al was the problem. Gannon was gruden's pick, fox, bresnehan, gruden, shanahan etc. could all coach... they weren't the problem Al is the problem. He simply doesn't know talent anymore (exception Moss... but my daughter could have told us that one).
At the start of the year Al was at a crossroads... realize he's been wrong and change his ways or withdraw back into his outdated philosophy
Guess what he's doing? Walsh? Art Shell? Ignore play makers? Bring back Gibson? is KFC next?
Al's crawled in his bunker, stubbornly insisting that he's right and we'll see... we'llsee, he says.
Look at the safety spot: it has been a damn problem for about 18 years minus one or two seasons with Rod Woodson back there. Get Dorsett and Pope the hell out of there and we don't give up that 95 yard Shannon Sharp touchdown back in, what, 2000? The ravens punt from their endzone in a knotted up game and we got a good chance at moving in for a score... and beating the giants for another ring. Yet still we ignore this position... rodney harrison, john lynch etc.
Cut Fargas. Can someone tell me what he's still doing on the team?
Trade picks round 2 thru 7 for number 3 in the first round and pick-up one of the three stud QB's in the class. Then take Hawk or Demeco Ryan at #7.

Easy thing. I mean who will Al draft with 2-7 anyway? A bunch of combine guys, track stars and other non-football players that we've been so (nauseatingly) used to seeing. Waste, waste, waste.

Al's crawled in a bunker and refuses to see the truth.

Don't be surprised if we sit at #7 and take a freakin cornerback or defensive tackle. A DT? when we have Sapp and Kelly? Don't discount it.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:54--sorry, Rich Gannon was Al's pick.

“Gannon was thirty-three years old and had kind of bounced around the league. But he had played well against the Raiders, and Al Davis and Bruce Allen wanted me to take a look at him.”
~Jon Gruden, Autobiography: Do You Love Football?!, p183

While I appreciate Al Davis' loyalty to his players, I do agree it is painful as chewing on aluminum foil to see him hang on to players who obviously just don't get it and never will. "Players" (and I use this term loosely in this case) like Radio Gibson and Tony Dorsett, Jr.

Maybe Michael Huff will come aboard the ship and make us forget those two Bozos... and Marquez Pope... and Patrick Bates...

Remembering Rod Woodson. Remembering Ronnie Lott. Remembering Jack Tatum. Ok, sorry, was verging a complete nervous meltdown for a moment. Had to pull out the old-schoolers to regain semblance of mental balance.

Huff reminds me (and a lot of other folks) of Ed Reed's brains and Ronnie Lott's CB/S versatility.

Anyway, perhaps I was too hard on Aaron Brooks. I just have mental vision of him from last season. Every time he showed up on SportsCenter, it was fumbling or throwing a bonehead INT...some of the plays can be found on Winkipedia as illustrations under the term “stoopid”.

But prior to last season, Brooks was pretty good (120/84 : TD/INT ratio), so maybe we should cut him some slack. Post-Katrina 'Nawlins (or San Antonio or Oklahoma City or wherever it is the 'Aints played in ‘05) wasn't exactly the place to be.

Welcome to Hades, Drew Brees.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

In any draft every NFL team is going to have its fair share of both hits and misses. You could easily make the argument that Al has done fairly well in the last 2 drafts.


- Fabian Washington - starting CB
- Standord Routt - Nickle CB w/potential to start in 2006
- Andrew Walter - potential franchise QB
- Kirk Morrison - led team in tackles.

- Robert Gallery - starting OT
- Jake Grove - starting C
- Stuart Schweigert - starting FS
- Coutney Anderson - starting TE

If you are able to get 4 building blocks per draft, you have done well.

With the Raiders having so many needs to fill (LB, SS, OG, DT, DE) it would not make sense to trade our picks in rounds 2-7 to move up a few places in the draft. If anything, it would probably make more sense to trade our #7 pick to move down in the draft to get an extra pick.

Although I wouldn't argue with drafting Michael Huff with the #7 pick, I think we would find better value drafting a SS in the 2nd round such as Darnell Bing (USC), Donte Whitner (OSU), or Daniel Bullock (Georgia).

Anon 12:54 - I think we do need to find a DT in the draft. We lost Big Ted Washington and Sapp is coming off an injury. Even if Sapp comes back at 100% and Kelly improves, the D-Line needs depth to allow for a rotation of fresh bodies.

Also, if the team's goal is to grab 1 of the 3 QB's, we wouldn't need to trade our picks. Cutler and/or Young will be available at the #7 pick. The only team drafting ahead of us that has a pressing need for a QB is Tennessee. If the draft were held today, this is how I would see the 1st 6 picks;
Texas - Reggie Bush
New Orleans-D'Brickshaw Ferguson
Tennessee - Matt Leinart
NY Jets - Mario Williams
Green Bay - AJ Hawk
SF - Vernon Davis or Michael Huff
Oakland - ?

As far as the Randy Moss trade, I would say it was a stroke of genius on Al's part. Yes, everyone knows Moss is a superstar talent but how no other team was able to make it happen? It was Al's decision to make the move and swindle the Vikes.

There is no question that this upcoming draft is piviotal in the Raiders fortune. Al will need to hit more bulls-eyes than air-balls.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Calico, I have to disagree with your point about the Raiders doing fairly well in the last two drafts because many of them are starters. It's difficult to gauge draft success after only two years, but the only real success stories of those picks so far has been Morrison (who's far exceeded expectations) and Washington. Gallery and Grove were the best players at their positions coming out of college and haven't lived up to billing yet. While the others you mentioned have been solid, it's difficult to judge success by their position on the depth chart when your record over the last two years is 9-23.

I am, however, a bit optimistic because the fact that they *are* starters and haven't disappeared from the league yet unlike some picks from other drafts. If they're starters *this* year, I'm hoping that they'll be in the Pro Bowl next year or shortly afterwards. Because of this, plus with better coaching, Gallery and Grove might live up to the star billing that's been predicted of them. So yes, they have been fairly successful, but part of that might be a backhanded compliment on my part because they've done so badly over the decade and a half.

Maybe I'm being a bit too harsh on them. It's just that with so many disappointing drafts in the last 15 years or so (Sporting News' 2006 Draft Guide gives the Raiders a "D+" for draft success over the last five years...the worst in the league), I'm anxious for a major turnaround, especially with the high picks they've received in the last few years. It just kills me to see the successful teams like the Steelers and Patriots consistently restock their teams through great draft picks while the Raiders usually stumble. You did hit on something important though...they managed to parlay their #7 pick last year into Randy Moss, so no matter how good/bad the 2005 turns out to be in the long run, the fact that they got Moss out of it should be factored in.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be surprised if we signed Brooks. I am surprised we signed Gibson--but did we? I haven't seen that on any list of transactions anywhere--anybody see it in print?

9:17 AM  

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