Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rejoice, Reload and Repeat

Welcome, Aaron Brooks, to the Raider Nation!

Yes, I feel much better now. The rain clouds have parted. Optimism blooms anew. A silver and black rainbow arcs overhead.

The consensus in New Orleans was that Aaron Brooks, despite having all the measurables (speed, mobility, size, arm strength), is an inconsistent underachiever with poor decision-making skills. Such an assessment, I must admit, puts the fear of Jeff George and Kerry Collins in me.

However, it is also quite possible that Aaron Brooks underachieved because…he was with the New Orleans Saints, the NFL’s definition of underachievement.

Regardless, I can live with the following depth chart:

Tui/Someone Else

If Walter is starter material, he will beat Brooks for the job. If Brooks is better than we’ve been told, then he can fend off Walter. Either way, the Raiders fan wins.

As I watched the Raiders hang out while QB after QB was snatched up by other teams over the past several weeks, I had to wonder if the plan was to pick a QB in the first round of the draft. And if Brooks had flown out of Oakland without signing on the dotted line, I would have been convinced of it.

I see no need now to pick a QB in the draft (except maybe in late rounds, if we smell a steal). We need to build depth on both sides of the ball. We have two good-to-excellent QBs in Walter and Brooks. Let’s save our picks to bolster the lines and add a punishing linebacker as well.

Brooks brings mobility and juice to a position that had the life sucked out of it last year. Walter adds an unknown “X” factor with a ton of upside.

The Kerry Collins era is OFFICIALLY OVER. Rejoice, reload and repeat!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Now its time for a beer. You said it all RT, I hope Walter has a chance to play.

5:42 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I agree - let's put the "draft a QB" conversations to bed. We need too much help to spend the pick on a QB right now. I doubt Hawk or Williams will fall to us, but Huff or Ngata would be ideal. Pick up an offensive lineman or linebacker in subsequent rounds and we'll make some progress in addressing our greatest weeknesses.

Brooks is young enough that we have a couple of years to figure out if Walter is the real deal or not. As for Tui, well, I hope he comes in on fire this year. I can see playing the good backup when he was first drafted, but he should have been pushing to keep the number 2 spot when Collins was first signed. Leaders don't sit back and wait for the opportunity - they seize it. If he can't beat out Brooks and/or Walter this year then we can easily get a better quality backup next year.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I don't see Tui coming back this year. Tui's a draft leftover from two regimes ago. The West Coast offense is long gone and, of the few chances that Tui got, he wasn't able to capitalize on them.

With the long ball back in play, the new favorite son is Walter. But if they draft another QB this year in the seven slot, then Walter might be out the door as well. I still think that the #2 slot will be their QB of the future and the #3 slot will be occupied by a middling veteran.

6:31 PM  
Blogger js said...

I like the move. I don't know if I've quite made it to optimism yet, but signing Brooks seems like a sound idea. Next, we need a line that'll protect him--Brooks seldom had that when he was in New Orleans. reports that Cowboys guard Larry Allen is interested in coming over. He could be useful to us while we groom draft picks underneath him. (Of course, that was the thinking with Ron Stone, but sometimes that manuever does work.) Sadly, it's a thin guard market and the Seahawks are also in the mix.

But at least now that this QB unpleasantness is over, the Raiders can begin to make heavy investments in very large men.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I'm so elated and relieved to know that the Tin Man era is officially over.

Since our #1 & #2 slots on the depth chart are filled, I think it would make sense to keep Tui as the #3. Since the #3 QB is for emergencies only and Tui would only count $727k against the cap, we should keep him from a practical standpoint. I wouldn't see any value in signing a higher priced vet to hold the clipboard.

I also don't think it would be prudent to waste any draft pick on a later round QB. There would be a better chance of finding a special teams player or hidden gem in the late rounds. Don't be suprised if KFC ends up in Arizona. If Warner gets dinged up it would be poetic justice to have KFC visit the House of Thrills next season. BTW, we play AZ in Oak-Town this upcoming season.

RT - We could still have a nice KFC bonfire in the parking lot although this time it would be a celebratory, rejoicing bonfire!

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not excited about this move, I don't like it. I may be the only one on this site. Yes, I'd much rather have Brooks than Carrie Collins. No argument there. I'd rather see Billy Jo Hobert and Vince Evans back than have Carrie Collins back!
I think we could have waited to see if Favre was going to retire or not. I feel that if he decides to play, he will be cut from Green Bay. I really think Green Bay is trying to force him into the sunset, and have already started to paint the picture that if he doesn't retire, "then we gave him a chance to come back" statement, after they release him. I'd much rather have Favre than Brooks! Yes, it would have required a little more patience from us fans, and the front office.
The other reason I don't like this move, is Brooks hasn't proved anything in his 85 starts in the NFL! He's had a decent running game (granted, no pass protection or decent WR's, though he did have one), I don't think he can fling the ball to Gabriel on a slant, let alone Moss and Porter on the fly!
I agree with sixptstar "Well Tui, I think this is finally your chance." Let's see what you're made of. If you don't get it, I hope Walter does. It's yours to lose Tui.
Either way, I can't help but think what would have happened with our line up last year, with a healthy Rich Gannon at the healm.
Maybe I will feel better once we sign Larry Allen.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The draft is a crap shoot anyway and not that many #1 qb's make it to the big dance plus we don't need to pay a lot of $$$$$for someone to sit on the bench

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon, sure drafting a Qb is a crap shoot, but so is picking up these journey men vets every 2 yrs. It worked out great with Plunkett, & Gannon, but the list is long of Jeff George, KFC types who fell straight on their faces. There is no more certainty that Aaron Brooks will help us more then a Jay Cutler would. I would like to see the Raiders use next season as the great Qb experiment. Shell should name Tui the starter right now, and tell him the first 6 games are his to keep, or, lose the job. If Tui fails, in steps Walter to show what he's got. If Walter struggles, only then would I turn to Brooks. This is the only way to find out what we have at the Qb position. Otherwise, I fear that Brooks will not be a bridge to Walter, but rather a bridge to the next journey man vet Al Davis can find.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could Brooks be the tutor Young needs to transition to the NFL?
Brooks is looking at a 2 year contract. I could be reaching...
I have included an interesting
post from
"Rumour's" section.

POSTED 12:01 a.m. EST, March 22, 2006


A league source tells us that the Oakland Raiders "were all over" quarterback Vince Young at his March 22 pro day workout in Austin, and that there's a strong belief in league circles the Raiders will select him with the seventh overall pick in the draft, if he's still available.

We're also told that the Raiders are worried that Young won't be available in the seven hole.

The Titans, with the third pick, could be the best bet to take Young. The Jets, at No. 4, are a more remote possibility. Other teams could try to strike a trade with one of the teams who pick before the Raiders in order to move up and get Young before the Raiders can gobble him up.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Allen move would be great! Those who think he is old.............700lb bench this summer tells me he has gas left in the tank and the skills to train our younger players. Allen lives in the bay area and this is a great chance for him to come home. He played at Sonoma State and his home is near there. Lets pick up Allen and draft a strong O lineman to make the O line stronger. Then It should be all about line backers and DT's. Things are looking up so lets hope that we keep going forward...........Not backward. Great to know KFC has left the bulding and I will buy the #5 jersey for the bonfire at the Black Hole!

8:58 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Raider Greg, you alone would be responsible for a 100 percent increase in the sales of Collins jerseys. The bonfire might be small, but I know it would warm our hearts.

Some folks have questioned why I'm so excited about signing Aaron Brooks. Here's why: because our alternatives AT THIS POINT consisted of things like re-signing KFC, signing Tommy Maddox (TFM) or spending much-needed draft picks to grab a QB in the first round only to have a depth chart with a total experience of two NFL starts.

That's why this news is music to my ears.

9:08 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Oh sweet relief! I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about Brooks. We’ll never know what the problem was down in New Orleans. As a former resident, I always have a place in my heart for those boys. One thing about the franchise that has always fascinated, and disturbed me, is that they revel in losing. They wear it like a badge. Winning is the only thing the Saints struggle with.

Now, I may be misreading the situation, but I’d like to offer a possibility. Several “promising” free agent QBs made the pilgrimage to McAfee. All but Brooks opted for far less promising teams. Why? Some have said it was money. Some say it is because of Davis. This is the most absurd explanation available. Al loves winners. Any self-respecting QB thinks of himself as a winner. Hell, even KFC thought he could win games. He couldn’t, but that is not the point. Why would someone go to Detroit when they could go to Oakland? I think it is possible that in these meetings it has been made very clear that we aren’t necessarily hiring a starter. Hard to swallow if you think that you are finally getting your chance to step out from behind of the shadow of Kurt Warner. I think RT is on to something. We have a spot to fill. It could be the second, third, or starting spot. That will be decided in training camp.

May the best man win!

One other comment. Regarding our beloved Tui. Gruden would have made something of him. I truly believe that. Norv never had the fortitude to weather the storm long enough to find out. Art. Well, Art has the unique luxury of being the guy Al brought back with an apology. Now, he may not spend that credit on this decision, but we can’t forget that he has it to spend.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one question. How can you rate Walter & Brooks as "good-to-excellent" QBs? What is the basis for ur judgement? What criteria did u consider? What kind of rating would u give other QBs around the league then? Personally I would disagree, but nevertheless, I'm curious on ur reasoning - besides everything is subjective.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I don't have a scientific criteria for that statement.

I'll say that the alternatives to "good to excellent" are "poor to not so good" or "not so good to good." Do you think that those terms apply to Aaron Brooks or Andrew Walter? I don't.

Walter was a fantastic QB in college, and many in the Raider Nation think he's long-term starter material. On that basis, I would call him good to excellent until proven otherwise.

As for Aaron Brooks, the Raiders just signed him. They must think he's at least good with the potential to be excellent. If that's the sentiment in Alameda, then I think it's a legitimate sentiment here at Raider Take.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time caller, long time reader, RT. Keep up the good work.

I dunno, I saw stuff from Walter last year in teh pre-season that had my juices flowing something fierce. I also think Tui is NEVER gonna work at the Raiders: he was always Chucky's pet project, and not the type of guy to play an al davis game. Another year of holding a clipboard beckons, and then the Washington state can have him back, for all I care.

I honestly don't know what to say about Brooks. It's true, NO were underachievers, but they had talent on offense just like the Raiders do now (Joe Horn, Deuce McAlister, heck RICKY WILLIAMS) and couldn't get it done...And Brooks looks like a less statue-esque version of KFC. I'd like to be optimistic that all the signs are wrong and he'll turn it around in Oaktown, but that's what I said about the aformentioned "he-who-shall-not-be-named" KFC.

But for now till mid-October at least, hope springs anew!

10:51 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - For what it is worth, I rate your latest post as 'excellent' (not 'good to excellent').

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al will still take a QB in the first round this year you wait and see. Brooks got a two year deal. Time enough to teach a rookie the system. If Al thinks Walter is the real deal then maybe he won't draft a QB but Josh got the feeling Al was looking for a stop-gap at two years and when that fell through we got Brooks.
And why do so Many people think Brett Farve would even think about playing for anyone but Green Bay. It won't happen. He'll retire or play for them period.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The most strenous activity for Tui this year will be picking up a clipboard and changing the batteries on his headset.

AJ Hawk's name get mentioned quite a bit in various Raider forums, blogs etc. However let's separate fantasy from reality.

Fantasy: AJ Hawk falls into the Raiders lap at #7.

Reality: The Raiders have no chance in hell of selecting AJ Hawk (or Mario Williams) UNLESS they trade up from the #7 pick to at least the #4 slot.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yup. i agree. now that we have our back-up qb, we can play walter. davis MUST now do what he can to get one of those top 2 defensive studs.

if he really wants one of 'em, he's gotta go get him and that only means trading up.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can I say about my beloved Raiders? Hire a Head Coach! Bring in an Offensive Coorinator! Don't let these bed & breakfast managers run my bbeloved offense! Big Al should have sold lottery tickets and raffled the HC and OC jobs! Tom Walsh is already teaching the qb's and running backs how to fold bed sheets and ...jeesh!

sad raideh...

8:16 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tennessee is going to play a pivotal part in how the draft shakes out. I think Tenn. will re-sign McNair who will take VY under his wing. Call me crazy but this is how I project the 1st 7 picks;

1. Texans - Reggie Bush

2. NY Jets - Matt Leinart
(* swap picks w/NO for extra pick in 3rd round)

3. Tennessee - VY

4. New Orleans - D'Brickshaw Ferg.

5. Green Bay - AJ Hawk

6. SF - Mario Williams

7. Oakland - Vernon Davis

Side Note: Mario Williams and Vernon Davis are 2 of the most gifted, physical "freaks" in the entire draft.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Is anyone else out there puzzled and disappointed by the signings of CB Poole & CB Starks? It really doesn't make sense to sign these 2 vets. I can understand possible adding one of the two for depth but here's the problem;

1) Poole is 34 years old and played in only 6 games the last 2 yrs.
2) Starks is 31 yrs. old and played poorly in New England
3) Starks can not be converted to a Safety because he is too small
(5'10", 173 lbs)
4) We need these roster spots for other areas of need
5) Neither Poole or Starks can contribute to special teams
6) It eats up $ cap space that should be used elsewhere
7) We already invested a 1st round pick in Washington and 2nd round pick in Routt last year
8) Neither Poole or Starks are projected as starters. Why sign a FA unless he (a) fills a need and (b) is a starter

This is how I project our secondary
LCB - Fabulous Fabian Washington
RCB - Nnamdi Asomugha
FS - Stuart Schweigert
SS - Gibson/Cooper/Draft Pick? (Darnell Bing)
Nickel Back - Stanford Routt
Dime Back - Tyronne Poole/Chris Carr

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right Calico. It seems like Poole/Starks were brought in to replace Hill, & for depth. Are we going in circles ? And what about the O-line ??? Larry Allen goes to Niners, and we are desperate for help here. Unless Shell, Slater, & Eatman are going to put on the pads, the O-line looks the same as before.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Right on the Money.......Calico! These signings were questionable at best. Do you think that Ryan had his hand in this? Can't see the reason.....Pool is like a Woodson without the tackeling skills and Starks was a flash with out the bang........At best! I sure hope Ryan has a better plan.......I for one feel the front four is our Bread and breakfast, oh I mean butter. We can get pressure, desperately missing last season.....4 monsters up front with an anchor Freek like Hawk at LB and the DB's will be bored to death with no balls in the air. I feel our D line needs to be the "Nastiest" in the NFL for our D to be respected as they did back in the day.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Right on the Money.......Calico! These signings were questionable at best. Do you think that Ryan had his hand in this? Can't see the reason.....Pool is like a Woodson without the tackeling skills and Starks was a flash with out the bang........At best! I sure hope Ryan has a better plan.......I for one feel the front four is our Bread and breakfast, oh I mean butter. We can get pressure, desperately missing last season.....4 monsters up front with an anchor Freek like Hawk at LB and the DB's will be bored to death with no balls in the air. I feel our D line needs to be the "Nastiest" in the NFL for our D to be respected as they did back in the day.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our society, and I am fairly confident when I say that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further innovates, the possibility of downloading our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about every once in a while.

(Posted using NetBrowze for R4i Nintendo DS.)

11:51 PM  
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6:02 AM  

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