Monday, February 05, 2007

The Last Laugh: In Progress (Again)

The 1991 biography Slick: The Silver & Black Life of Al Davis reveals that in 1989, Sports Illustrated painted Al Davis as “haunted by mortality” and “practically establishment” in the wake of a five-year playoff drought. The author then notes that “those who had been ready to bury Davis hastily backtracked—by early in the 1990 season, Sports Illustrated had this as a cover line: ‘Rebirth of The Raiders.’ By the end of the season, they were playing in the AFC Championship game.”

In other words, Al Davis has been through this before, and so have we. Yes, Mr. Davis is older now. Yes, our most recent playoff drought has been worse than any before it, in terms of wins and losses. But adversity is something that the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis and the Raider Nation have overcome before, and adversity is what we are facing now. I like our odds.

Now, there is no shortage of commentators here at Raider Take who feel that Mr. Davis has become a liability. I’m not talking about Raiders Haters. I’m talking about dedicated Raiders fans who know how to state their case. They are surely entitled to their opinion. You know that I’m of a different opinion. To me, Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders are synonymous, like the Eifel Tower and Paris or Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. But this place would be rather boring without a diversity of thought that is reflective of the diversity of the Raider Nation itself, in all facets of the term. But there is one fact that I embrace, and that we all face: Mr. Davis is still in charge, not just now, but for years to come (God willing). Some may wish otherwise, but a fact is a fact.

I guess my point is that we’re all rooting for the last laugh, are we not? You, me and Mr. Davis. We’re all in this together. Our last laugh is Mr. Davis’s last laugh, and vice versa. Whether you like him or not, our fates are intertwined.

You know that when the Raiders advanced to the AFC Championship after the 1990 season (followed by playoff appearances in two of the following three seasons), those who were writing his epitaph in Sports Illustrated just one year earlier were thinking, well, Al Davis finally got his last laugh (although I admit a Super Bowl berth would have been a much bigger laugh, there’s a still a big difference between “has been” and the AFC Championship game). But that wasn’t his last laugh. The Oakland Raiders and Al Davis were again declared DOA in the late 1990s, just before…winning the AFC West three straight times, advancing twice to the AFC Championships, and earning a Super Bowl berth after the 2002 season.

Surely, that was our last laugh, right? No, actually, it was our second last laugh, according to the pundits and the Raiders Haters. And now we’re working on our third. The Raiders Haters will come in here and say I don’t have a leg to stand on. Based on the past four seasons, I don’t. But I have more than the past four seasons.

I have a collection of gravestones that were hastily etched by wishful thinkers. They speak of a team declared dead, and an owner declared outmoded, and a fan base declared deluded. One is from the late 1980s. Another is from the late 1990s. And the latest is from the late 2000s.


Someday they might be right, but they've always been wrong before. I like our odds. If I'm a betting man, I'm betting on a last laugh...again.

102 Comments:

Blogger nyraider said...

I think for many it’s a Love & Hate relationship with Al Davis.
While I've always respected the man and what he's done for the Raiders (and for me as a fan), I've done my share of barking for change these last few years. Now, however, it seems like the current coaching direction should quiet even the most vocal of “living in the past” pundits.

Here's hoping Al gets that last laugh!

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you 1000%. Al is the only one who gets crucified when we lose. However, all the credit for the victories goes to the coach (i.e Gruden) and Al suddenly is not this controlling dictator. It can't be both ways!! I think we are close and we will be ok. Long live Al!!

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for a breath of fresh air. I AM SICK OF THE ESPN DOOMSAYERS!
We had a very good defense last year and a very poorly coached offense. Especially the o-line and the play calling was terriable. I like the SC connection in the coaching enhancements and with just a few changes in personel I think we are competitive once again. Far from a disaster I think we are just a few moves away from top in the afc. Thankyou Al Davis.

6:50 AM  
Blogger azraider63 said...

RT,
Once again I agree with you 1000%. Well written.

nyraider & anon's,

You have all summed up my thoughts...I have nothing to add except...lets make them all eat their words with either a:

1) Winning Season
2) Playoff Birth
3) Super Bowl Victory

within the next 2-3 years

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Raider Greg said...

"I love Al Davis!" That being said, for the part of the Raider Nation thattcontinues to make statements regarding Al's stepping down (or worse), Picture the Raiders without the cornerstone, innovater, renigade and impassioned owner of one of the greatest sports franchises in history.

Who woud dare to take this team over and have half the football knowledge, the "balls," the insight? What owner whould you pick in this corporate NFL to run our team? The thought freaks me out! To put it plainly........In this NFL, it's about huge money and I cannot pick one owner that comes close to the passion and dedication to their team. WIN, LOSE OR TIE.......AL DAVIS "IS" THE RAIDERS!

8:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Raider Greg, I think you're on to something. For those who feel Al should step aside, we need to ask them, "Who would you have replace him?"

The thing I keep hearing most is that Al always does the exact same thing, and it doesn't work any more. Well, let's look at the "clones" who have been Raider coaches. Which of these are just alike, or used the same formula?

John Rouch
John Madden
Tom Flores
Mike Shanahan
Art Shell
Mike White
Joe Bugel
Jon Gruden
Bill Calahan
Norv Turner
Art Shell
Lane Kifin

Answer? Number 5 and number 11.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT: This has to be one of my favorite takes. And although I believe Davis is a liability in the recent past, his dream is my dream, Raider Domination. He is and will always be the face of the Raiders.

It does seem that he learned from that horribly failed experiment that was a return to 70's football. I really like the coaching moves that Kif has been making. I thought for sure Trestman was going to be forced on Kif. But he appears to be cleaning house and bringing in his guys.

Minty fresh indeed!

Roy

8:49 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And BTW. I've already heard Al Davis express interest in JaMarcus Russell. If we don't nail down JR this year, it will be on Kifin.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous hs said...

Agreed, in fact at the beginning of Jon Gruden's third season most of the pundits were hammering nails in his and the Raiders collective coffins.

They were stating he would be gone before the end of the season and the Raiders would, alas, be searching for a new coach.

They were also down on Gruden's youth, much as they are about Kiffin.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess you could say we aren't even close as an organization to being successful. the debacle last year was his doing and doesn't inspire confidence. a man that is moving up there in years and we all know what happens to most minds as they get to that age. when an organization is run like the way it has been since the 80's and with dysfunction abound,it was on the team even when we have won in the last 20 yrs. it isn't stable,i think that stability is the first step to being successful. if it all changes with a 31 year old, fresh as a daisy kid, i will be the first one to say i don't know a damn thing. how many years have we said that Al will get it right? only to see the team in disaray and a coach standing on the sidelines looking like a dope and a qb getting hammered all year? .......... those are tough odds to overcome and if you were a betting man .......jones

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

br,that may be your answer,doesn't mean it is the right one. i say #4 and #8 with #9 being part of 8,same thing. all the rest were the vertical offense.i know you will say white but go back and look and you will see it is Al's version of offense with a HC's sprinkle on it as it was with all of them....jones.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I, for one, have never wished Al Davis to leave. Frankly, I can't imagine the Raiders *without* Al Davis. I do, however, wish he would give the GM job to a fresh face.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Al doesn't know anything about talent anymore, how do you explain the #3 ranked Def. made up of recent high draft picks, and a couple good free agent signings?
I'm 50, and for all of my football watching life, so called experts have been slagging the Raiders. I'd be willing to bet that Al loves it when they do, just so he can show them wrong, just like I'd be willing to bet that this next " Last Laugh" will be a real rib tickler!

5:19 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

I think every Raiders fan everywhere wants to see Al Davis raise that Lombardi trophy one more time, at least.

Another Super Bowl or not, Al is already a football legend, but the long championship drought has been painful for all.

I think the hire of Kiffin is a great first step in the right direction.

With a good draft in April, the future will be looking very bright.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous RAIDERTAKEFAN said...

First, I agree about Al Davis, and add this. Al Davis is an American icon that transcends sports. I also hope the Raider Nation can continue to give the respect due to Art Shell. I point out that there has to be a leader and a standard in the locker room before ANY coach can succeed. Can you imagine a couple of the current crop of players saying what they did, and walking into a locker with Lyle Alzado...or Hendricks...or Stabler...or Tatum, on an on. Not one of those guys was it ever about ME. Not one.I salute Warren Sapp for his attempt last year, and I have heard some utterings since the season ended...but until this team accepts a standard of excellence and maintains the dignity and pride of the Raiders in the locker room...well, draw your own conclusion. Come on guys...STEP UP.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al doesn't bat a thousand but a guy who did what he did & the way he did really leaves no room for doubts, you have or you don't. I sure hope that when that day comes when the skull and bones is passed off we get half the man that was Al Davis.
But back to our present crisis, as it has been said before I will say it again the last laugh will be a sweetness familiar to those of us who blead silver and black.

8:37 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

Excellent take. I think Al is well on his way to turning things around. With Cable officially on as line coach, it looks like he is giving Kiffin the authority to make the moves necessary to put the Raiders back in the playoffs. I don't think anyone can say Al is undermining change, stuck in the past, etc at this point. While I'm not a wild eyed optimist, I do think they are on the road to being very competitive next year. The record will be dependent upon who the QB is, but it should be clear by the first few games what impact these changes will have. I'm betting on Al.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

i'm with doobie on the wish list for a GM.

1:21 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

RT Fan, re: Art Shell, nothing he did as a coach tarnished my image of him as a Raider. His presence on the playing field was too strong. Because of that, it's easy to separate his coaching from his HOF playing career. Besides, he also had some decent success coaching in the 90's, so it wasn't like he was a complete flop.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

In case you didn't see it as well, not only is Cable the O-line coach, Kiffin went out and grabbed Darren Perry as our DB coach.
"Who's Darren Perry?" you ask. Darren Perry has been the DB coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers since '03, and he resigned after speaking with Mike Tomlin, the new HC of the Steelers.
GREAT MOVE!

5:33 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I like these hirings. We're emerging from the acid trip of 2006, in which we hired a head coach away from his desk job, our OC away from rural retirement, a QB coach with no NFL experience (and minimal experience as a QB coach) and a line coaches with little coaching experience. In retrospect, it's no wonder our offense looked disoriented. Our coaching staff was disoriented.

All of these new coordinators/coaches are already engaged in the game at an NFL level, and while Kiffin is new to the NFL, he has been prowling a sideline for the college team that most resembles an NFL team. We still have a ways to go, we still have player personnel issues, but I think that the confusion and disorientation of 2006 is being swiftly resolved.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

Way to go, RT! We've risen from the ashes so many times we should move to Phoenix....

8:10 AM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

The thing that I don't understand is all these people hating on Mr Davis, he has made mistakes but who hasn't? I for one know that I make mistakes on an everyday base, I also like to think that because of my mistakes I become a better person, the people that have all this hate for him, in my opinion is because they hear what the media has to say and wether they want to believe it or not, they are being manipulated by them, two choices here, don't listen to the media (they will make you commit suicide) or get the hell out!

Mr. Davis is the Raider's, before there were dreams of greatness or players that changed the game Mr Davis had a vision, a vision that he put in place and made what is today the greatest franchise of all sports.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sick of hearing about the Al Davis bickering. Whatever you feel about Mr. Davis is what it is. And at this point, we've heard the two sides.

I for one am much more excited about the way in which good coordinators and position coaches are flocking to the Raider's sideline. I'm not sure how Kiffin and the organization are presenting themselves to these candidates, but I like the results. Knapp should be a perfect fit to fine tune and focus Kiffin's offense into a legit NFL scheme. Cable has great credentials and, having worked with Knapp running Atlanta's superb running attack, should be right back in his comfort zone and be able to build a solid OL. And finally, Darren Perry is a steal seeing as he left the Steelers under his own will and has spent the last 3 seasons there putting out a top of the crop DB unit.

While I am anxious to get under way and see how we draft and how the team comes together next year, I can honestly say my mind is at ease with the coaching staff, how quickly it is coming together, and what quality there is in our signings. Last season, there was a hope and prayer that Shell could pull through but it was almost always a teetering nervousness, not excitement. This has changed.

We have a young team developing together and now are putting together a mix of new ideas with solid and successful experience in our coaching staff. And that, my friends, has me chomping at the bit for next year to get under way.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Franco...

8:59 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

After studying Mr. Davis for many years, I can tell you that not half of what we think we know about Al Davis is true. And I've come to the conclusion that Al Davis likes it that way. A myth, good or bad, is always more fearsome than reality. I have witnessed the media report many things that I know for a fact are not true, yet Davis never answers back. He lets the misinformation stand. He may question if you know what you think you know, but he rarely corrects.

He is also a far deeper man than most people realize, with many interests and causes outside of football. In spite of Jones' assertion that Davis is likely senile because he's over 70 (how many people over 70 do you personally know, Jones? - "and we all know what happens to most minds as they get to that age." - tell me, Jones, what happens to "most minds"?), everyone who discusses their meetings with him say he's sharp and stunningly insightful. Including Kiffin, Gruden, Madden...

In 2006 Davis decided that he may have neglected bolstering a Raider tradition in playing style. I was standing right there routing for him to be successful in that endevor. But times had changed too much to reach back to people who had been out of coaching for many years. Nobody (not any of us) have realized that more fully than Al Davis, and every move he makes he continues to reflect that. He continues to surprise us all.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous R2G said...

Actually, I'm not seeing two sides of this particular take. Why do people "hate" Al Davis? I wouldn't say that people hate AD; rather, people hate what he has done in the last few years to our beloved football team. It's slightly comparable to the disdain that we have for Elway and Schottenheimer minus the pure malicious contempt we have for those particular individuals: we hate the source of our heartache. Sure we all make mistakes, but my mistakes don't impact RaiderNation and the silver and black fans around the world. Sure, we love the renegade owner who's not afraid to stand up to the league, but it seems the NFL has found ways to pain Mr. Davis at the most inconvenient times(it's strange that I've seen the "tuck rule" enforced only twice since the infamous snow bowl). Al's legendary reputation and ego were the reasons that top-notch candidates aren't beating down the doors for what should be the greatest coaching position in sports. Lately, I don't care for the power that he has given the players, and I can't blame anyone else but Al for not disciplining Porter and Moss. When I think of how today's players are coddled, I think back to how Al ran Marcus Allen out of LA after he helped deliver a SuperBowl: where has that stern authority figure been over the last few years? Shell inherited a team that Davis put together and suffered the consequences when his players quit on him. I applaud the new direction that the franchise is taking, but Al needs to check his ego and understand that he needs to put leaders back in the locker room and a GM in place immediately. Everyone knew that Moss was a cancer, but Al was too obsessed with his talent and signed the future team captain, the perfect poster boy for the '06 offense. As for the GM, can you imagine the chaos that would ensue in the event of AD's untimely demise? Despite their ill-will, the media hasn't prevented Al from securing an heir to the throne; it's been strictly his decision, another one in a long line that I've grown to "hate".

10:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Does Al Davis own the Dallas Cowboys? He must, because we all know that the only owner who hires coaching assistants and insists that the HC use them is Al Davis. And this is, apparently, the thing that keeps Norv Turner from becoming Dallas' new HC.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

And it's interesting that media's take on this seems to be, "Get real, Norv! You don't have that kind of barganing power!"

Well, Al Davis isn't the only owner who does this. He isn't now, and he never was. He's just the only owner who gets criticized for it.

12:14 PM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

Blandarocked 9:31

I have herd that Mr. Davis doesn't do anything but football, he is te only team owner that dedicates his whole life to football, he doesn't (or didn't) play golf, tennis or any sport, his devotion to his team is exemplary and no other owner shares the same attributes.

He owns a house in the Palm Springs area and his front door is glass and inside the glass it has the Raider's emblem, the inside of the house has "of course" the Raider's colors and memorabilia, I guess that you could consider this house a museum of what the Raiders have been, I am sure that he is quite excited just like we all are about the next and new memorabilia that is going to be going up in his museum.

1:12 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

raiderdecoachella:

Well, you've exposed another myth. Davis has a very avid interest in politics and current events, and world events. He's known to discuss these topics as avidly as he does football. I'm also told by someone who has met him that he's extremely knowledgable about the law. Since he's been in so many court battles, he's taken it upon himself to be able to speak on an equal basis with his lawyers.

This, of course, does not even touch on charitable projects which are to many to mention.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

br....quit with the misquotes. never said Al was senile,so don't say i did if you want to keep credibilty.you don't know what happens to human beings minds as the reach into the late 70's and beyond? do you have to be a doctor to know that one? they sloooowwww down,the mind isn't what it was,it begins to fade. if you don't know that then i don't know what world you are living in. as far as reaching back,i was one of many who KNEW it wouldn't work so don't write how now Al knows more than anybody that it wasn't the right thing to do. tell you what though,it is looking a lot like when he hired gruden,letting kiffin get his own people and letting HIM be the trend setter. so far,it looks like Al may be doing what so many have asked for and that is to back off and actually put up some dough and get some good coaches. not jimmy raye,not jackie slater or tom walsh. it is looking different compared to all other hirings other than the gruden hire. now we are getting our wish so to speak and we will see how it plays out....jones

3:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Jones:

The quote I attributed to you was a cut and paste. A quote is a thing with quotation (" ") marks on both ends of it.

It's not the mind that slows down, it's the body, unless Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia is present. Without dementia (which MOST ederly people DON'T have) there is quite a bit of experience to learn from.

My father has 10 years on Al, and my father is one of the sharpest people I know. It's his body that's falling apart. With all of that acquired knowledge and experience, that's the hell of it. Seems to me that Ben Franklin was about Al's age when he helped create a nation. Al only need concern himself with the Raider Nation.

But you're right, you don't have to be a doctor to know that. You just have to read and to know some old people.

4:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

One added note...

I was never a Ronald Reagan fan, but he said a few things that I appreciated. When Reagan was running for his second term, well into his 70s, a reporter asked him about the "age issue." Reagan said something along the lines of, "I promise that I won't take advantage of my opponent's inexperience."

4:38 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Seems ESPn was talking about the fall of the Celtics the other day.
They were vey deferential, very kind, understanding, almost even, feeling their pain.
They handled the topic with very soft kid gloves. How nice.

How come when the subject is the Raiders fall on hard times, the ESPN clowns can't keep from laughing, joking, high fiving, and just plain having a good old time ??

Now I realize that most of these ESPNers are former jocks with tiny minds, but still, you have to wonder, who runs such a network where this nonsense is allowed ??

5:15 PM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

Blandarocked:

I am going to go to a book store, ebay or somewhere and buy Al's biography, I feel that I need to know more about the man, to be perfectly honest I have read the bio's of most of the people that I have believed to be of special interest to me, Al being one of them and I have not read his biography.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

br... you are a spin machine. "In spite of Jones' assertion that Davis is likely senile because he's over 70 (how many people over 70 do you personally know, Jones?" look,you wrote that. this is the quote i'm talking about,don't play games,keep it real otherwise you aren't worth it. well you know 3 people into their high 70's as examples that ALL 75+ year olds don't lose it mentally. WHATEVER,like i said,you aren't worth it. you are a spin machine and you will spin till the cows come home. you go ahead and live in your fantasy world,thats fine,what ever gets you through the day.no wonder you can't get any posters to this site when you have br and panty as the "star" bloggers,ridiculous.

8:52 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

raiderdecoachella:

I don't think there is a biography of Davis in anything other than articles - no books. Generally I just try to avoid giving any credence to the pot shots, and read people who have known Al Davis and write about him in their autobiographies. I do know that Davis played in multiple sports in college, and I know most of the history of his rise from his early days as a football coach. Actually the biggest biography I've seen of Davis is on Wikipedia. It's not a bad one, but doesn't provide much insight.

I do know that Davis said many years ago that he is single minded about football to the extent that he lives outside society. I think that Davis prefers being a mystery. I think that he prefers whatever image his publicity (factual or not) creates. I think he wants people to THINK they know who he is and how to deal with him. I think that gives him added power over his adversaries. You learn the most about a man by the way he answers criticism. Davis simply doesn't answer.

9:07 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

raiderdecoachella:

I don't think there is a biography of Davis in any book. I don't think he's ever authorized one, and he's never written an auto biography. The best thing to do is read what people who know him have said about him.

There is a reasonable biography on Wikipedia, and that's probably the most extensive one you'll find. I think the reality is that Davis doesn't like people (and potential advisaries) to know what he's about.

Davis realizes something. You learn the most about someone by the way they answer criticism. Answering criticism displays a weakness, a sensitivity, a worry about how one believes he is perceived. Davis simpy doesn't answer it. This keeps him a mystery and gives him power. It also creates a very large number of people who just want to see if they can knock a chip off of him.

9:15 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Weird... First post didn't go, then I rewrote and posted, now they are both there. Weird.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

There is a biography called Slick: The Silver & Black Life of Al Davis. It is certainly not pro-Al Davis, but it contains many insights into his background and legend. Al Davis doesn't have to be a saint for me to appreciate his talents, contributions and stewardship of the Raider mystique.

It's my pastor's job to lead by example. It's Al Davis's job to win football games. Rare is the person who ascends to the very top of his or her profession without making enemies along the way, especially amid the cutthroat environment of professional football.

10:24 AM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

Blandarocked:

Man you know your stuff! I tell you whenever I get confussed I look for your input and it's like bam, there it is!

RT:

When I first came to your take there was this guy that wrote a book about the Raider's first years, he compiled it from the local newspapers and people that knew about the Raider's back in the day, do you remember the tittle and the author?

1:31 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, that book is called Pride & Poise: The Oakland Raiders of the American Football League by Jim McCullough. Enjoy!

1:44 PM  
Blogger azraider63 said...

raiderdecoachella & RT,

I bought the book that your refer to (The Oakland Raiders Of The American Football League) and am just finishing the last chapter, the 1969 season.

There are some great insights into Al, the Raiders organization and seasons between 1960 and 1969.

Each chapter starts off by describing pre season acquisitions, coaching changes and various happenings around the league. The bulk of each chapter as well as 75 percent of the book details game by game recaps.

I personally found this book useful because I collect old Raider memorabilia including game programs between 1960 and 1969. I am kind of anal about them, so I try do do as much research on each program to find out the game summaries and player stats (for no other reason but Total Raider Fanatasism).

Great book, lots of game detail with a smaller amount of behind the scenes stuff. I consider myself very knowlegable about Oakland Raiders history, and this book added new information to my Silver & Black brain cells.

Let me know what you think after you read it.

2:54 PM  
Blogger azraider63 said...

Sorry RCoach, RT had it right. The actual name of the book is

Pride & Poise: The Oakland Raiders of the American Football League by Jim McCullough

3:00 PM  
Blogger azraider63 said...

Raiderdecoachella,

I did read and enjoy the book that Blandarocked mentioned, Slick: The Silver & Black Life of Al Davis.

Good book as well. Like he said, not always a positive look at Al but probably the closest thing you could read that details his life. The book ends a few seasons before the Raiders move back to Oakland (for what thats worth)

Also good reads:

"Snake" by Ken Stabler

and

"You're OK, Its Just A Bruise: A Doctors Sideline Secrets About Pro Footballs Most Outragious Team" by Dr Rob Huizenga (Raiders team doctor while in Los Angeles)

Once again, hope you enjoy.

3:09 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Another great coaching hire...

It's just been announced that Tom Rathman will be replacing Skip Peat as RB Coach.

Still need a WR coach and a ST coordinator.

3:53 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The shaping of the Raiders is currently an interesting pattern. Think about. Last season Davis attempted to reach back into his past by attempting to return to the type of team he once built.

This season he appears to have severely altered that approach. He is attempting to recreate, in Kiffin, the young Al Davis.

4:09 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Man, the coaches just keep on comin'. Tavor Johnson is now an assistant DL coach.

http://www.raiders.com/newsroom/newsroomNewsDetail.jsp?id=30077

Kiffin is being given the same kind of power Al Davis was when he first came to the Raiders. He's completely rebuilding the coaching staff (except those in place for the long term for Ryan's defense), as well as hiring scouts and player evaluation positions.

You guys tell me... Does it look to you like Al Davis saw himself, 46 years ago, when he met Lane Kiffin?

4:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Yeah BR, the autonomy Kiff has seems unprecedented, that is, unless we've ALL been fooled up to this point in our Raider fan careers.

Also, this year appears to offer a superior collection of available coaching talent compared to last year, when we couldn't buy a HC or any assistant coaches. Maybe it's coincidence, or maybe it's the "Kiff" factor.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever it is, I'm loving it. The swiftness of these quality hirings point towards a dedicated and motivated young leader in Kiffin. The coaches are seemingly lining up to work under him and everyone should be feeling good about this.

...Franco...

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al is going in a different direction...no longer waiting to fill the coaching roster with has beens and waiting until the end of febuary to get it done. he hasd let kiffin even get a front office man hired ala gruden/allen. he is definitely reproducing the gruden era which is a good thing. no more reaching for the past,hiring someone and letting him take the direction of the team. hopefully now Al will let the coaches and his new personnel man decide who plays and who stays. this will be a winning direction and what many of us have been askin for,it is GREAT TO SEE!!!!!.....jones.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Live long big al (MR.) davis , "the genius" (heavy on the MISTER). I hope your illustrious dictator lives to be 110, as long as the "gift of god to all footballdom" is still mouth-breathing your faidas will be the laugh of the league. "kiffey" and all of "his" men won't be able to put your faidas together again! 0-16, it's a new season, the parts are in place to make history again, just keep beleiving babies.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

For the record, his mother lived to be 104...

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey anno,if you haven't noticed Al is turning over a new leaf again. remember what happened last time he did this...we are going forward now,we are becoming a proffesional organization again. your words could very well be hollow as this new direction continues to take shape. will you come back on here and declare yourself a dummy if this new direction takes us to at least .500 next year ? this will not be the same mickey mouse Raiders,you watch,it is going to be different,the actions taken are speaking volumes and it will make our team instantly better because the players will feel they are now a part of an organization heading in the right direction instead of floundering around trying to relive the past. mark my words....jones

7:47 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Hail to the Kiffer!

Long live Al Davis!

6:56 AM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

Didn't Al Davis say at the end of the 2006 season that there was going to be radical changes to our organization?

I guess that the old man wasn't lying ha!

Keep it up Al, I am sure that I am safe to say that most of us are with you on all that has taken place so far!

7:56 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

New post at BlandaRocked.

http://raiderhistory.blogspot.com/

11:36 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

On the subject of books,

please check out, "Jim Otto, The Pain of Glory".

A great read about an incredible man.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Fast and furious-

According to Fathead at Raider World (he has yet to be wrong)

A new special teams coach -

Brian Schneider Air Force Academy

1:36 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT:

I followed your "Throwback Raider Jersey" link. I couldn't help but notice that the Moss Jerseys are now marked down by over 50%.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think the Raiders should trade the number one pick down and get some additional picks. I just don't think JaMarcus R is the man for our team.

Some Raider fans' believe we would make a hugh mistake not taking him. But ponder this for a moment. Why would we spend $50-$60 million on an unproven QB? I just don't see it happening. JaMarcus couldn't win the big games until the Sugar Bowl

"Statistically, JaMarcus Russell has improved dramatically from 2005 to 2006 adding 34 yards per game to his average and upping his completion percentage from 61 to 69%. He has improved his game to such an extent that he can now consistently dominate the weaker opponents on the schedule, as he should. However, it's when you break the overall numbers down that you realize the inadequacy of his performance in certain key areas.



When playing against elite SEC opponents1 in 2005 and 2006 he has averaged 204 yds/game and a mediocre 55% completion percentage averaging less than a touchdown per game while also averaging one interception per game. Those two stats alone will not win you many ball games. Should LSU expect to see a W in an SEC game against an elite opponent when the quarterback averages less than a touchdown, one interception, 205 yards, and only a 55% completion percentage for the game?



For those of you saying right now, “what about Alabama, Auburn, and Florida a year ago”? LSU won those games in spite of Russell, not because of him. .



In 2005, Russell had two interceptions against Florida. Against Auburn he had 190 yds passing and only one touchdown. Against Alabama, he only completed 53% of his passes and threw one touchdown. His salvation at Alabama came when he heaved up a prayer to help win the game, but up until that point his performance was lacking. As for this year, his performance this year against Auburn (zero touchdowns) and Florida (three interceptions) weren’t stellar, either.



While one might argue that Russell’s performance against the SEC overall is good and struggling against the elite conference teams is to be expected, his performance against all of the SEC opponents on his schedule in 2005 and 2006, is not significantly better. He averages only three more yards per game, his touchdown average climbs from 0.86 to 1.25 per game, while his interception rate drops from 1.0 to 0.92. Better, but still nothing to write home about.



Probably the most important statistic a QB can have is the ability to win on the road, a characteristic marking your program as one of the best. Unfortunately for Russell and for LSU, this is where he has had his worst performances. He averages only 212 yds/game and 0.5 touchdowns per game to go with one interception per game in these elite SEC games on the road. You won’t consistently win games on the road against top SEC opponents when you are putting up a pick, 212 yards and < 1 touchdown. Against all SEC opponents on the road, Russell’s statistics are equally pedestrian. He averages 214 yds/game and 1.1 touchdowns per game and slightly less than one interception per game.



Comparing Russell’s SEC statistics to those of the last three SEC championship winning quarterbacks: Matt Mauck, Jason Campbell, and DJ Shockley.
While facing all SEC competition Russell has averaged 206.9 yds/game, 0.92 int’s/game, 1.25 td/game, and a 59% completion rate. By way of comparison, the three championship quarterbacks averaged 206.4 yds/game, 0.77 int’s/game, 1.73 td/game and a 62% completion rate. What sticks out with this comparison of quarterbacks is that against the SEC overall JaMarcus Russell’s numbers are pretty comparable to previous championship quarterbacks. Where the numbers diverge is in games against the elite SEC teams.



In games against elite SEC opponents Russell has averaged 204.3 yds/game, one int/game, 0.86 td/game, and a 55% completion rate. The three championship quarterbacks averaged 218.4 yds/game, one int/game, 1.5 td/game, and a 63% completion rate.



What does all this mean? It means Russell, while possessing exceptional talent, still has a lot of room to improve. To date, he has been either a neutral contributor or even a liability against top SEC opponents."

These stats show us what we are in for if we draft a rookie QB.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anno,good post and good research. maybe this will lighten up all those russell guys who say he is a sure thing. the guy was hardly talked about until he beat a very inferior notre dame team. these russell guys are the ones that complain how notre dame is getting all the hype during the year and then when russel has a good game against them they annoint him the SURE THING. we have many holes to fill and like you say,investing all that cap room and bonus money for maybe not a sure thing doesn't make good business sense.....jones

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether you read this as good or bad, let's not forget that JR is only 19 years old.

Regarding David Carr:

Not comparing playing style...

But comparing situation...

Steve Young in Tampa Bay???

Maybe it's worth discussing?

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

or you could say andrew walter ,Raiders 2006. yes jr is only 19 that makes him even more of a question mark.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jones-

Thanks.

ANON-9:43

I too have high hopes that Oakland goes after Carr. A quick break down-

Born: July 21, 1979
Bakersfield, CA
Height: 6-3
Weight: 230 lbs. Age: 27
Experience: 5 years
College: Fresno State
Drafted: Year:2002 Round:1 Pick:1, Texans

The last 3 years his comp. pct. has been 60% or better, 2 out of 3 years he's had a QB rating of 80% or better. And in 3 years his thrown 41 tds vs 37 int's, not great but not awful like Aaron Brooks. His 2006 campaign was his best yet under Kubmeister. Mechincally Carr got better.

This is the way I look at it. Jake Plum is probably going to land in Houston soon. Leaving Carr out in the cold. Now the Texans thought Carr was the right man for the job. Which I believe he is, he just hasn't had the best system around him to take it to the next level.

He was born in Ca. and went to Fresno State, ring a bell. Kiff went there as well and played. There are some ties there that would make sense. I mean Carr could be a solid QB within the right system. I believe Carr could very well be our next Jim Plunkett.

Now by saying that, I mean finding a QB who can resurrect his play if he were to play for another team. They are compeltely different QB's, just making a point.

What's most we could get for him a 3rd or 4th. I am looking for Carr to be in a Black&Silver uniform next season.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you.

IMO, Carr is not a bust.

He can make all the throws and he has mobility. He can lead and he has intelligence.

His perceived shortcomings are a product of the system, environment, and talent (excluding Andre Johnson) he's had in Houston. Namely, pass protection and a lack of a sustainable running game (unfortunately, the same circumstances facing our team).

But, we are all assuming that Kiffen's offensive philosphy, as well as coaching hires, is going to remedy those issues in Oakland.

In that sense, I believe David Carr could be successful here.

If so, you're only giving up a 3rd round pick for that opportunity.

If that's the case, we can trade down from the #1 and take Adrian Peterson who I believe is the best player in this draft regardless.

If you are concerned with his ankle and freak collar bone injury, see Willis McGahee and Frank Gore coming out of college.

Both with far more severe injuries, but now elite NFL backs.

In this scenario:

David Carr (via 3rd round trade)
Adrian Peterson (1st round pick)
WR / DT / DE / OLB (2nd 1st round pick secured by trading down from #1 overall).

11:15 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Have a hard time gettin excited about Dave Carr.
Carr, drafted in 2002, and what has he done in five years ??

I know he's been on some bad teams, but isn't the Qb suppose to make the team better ?

If he can't help Houston improve, what makes anyone think he can help the Raiders ?

Here's a trade for ya.

Moss to Tennessee for Albert Haynesworth.

Raiders can use a mean, head stompin, run stuffin DT, and Moss will finally have his leader to follow in V. Young.

Sounds like a happy ending to me.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

to the last anon. i could go for carr being a raider. heck, i was hoping he'd be one before he signed his last deal. if we give up only a 4th rounder i could go for that. but houston will want a heck of a lot more than that for a former 1st overall pick.

the more i think about it, the more russell is scaring me. great arm, great potential BUT he IS unproven. there is really no reggie bush type impact player in this draft. even the guy i like - peterson, has injury probs. BUT he's still a stud running back and we need one o dem being in the afc west.

alright i'll say it! i'm glad davis took on mark jackson to help kiffen evaluate/scout players. could this be the GM type we're looking for? ok so davis is allowing kiffen the leeway to make his own hires. will he also leave jackson and this coaching staff ALONE to make those picks? again, king davis will have his influence on the pick. so we'll see if he screws it up again or not.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drafted in 2002 as the #1 overall to an expansion team.

Again, I'd like to compare his situation to Steve Young's in Tampa Bay.

Granted, the current situation in Oakland isn't much better....currently.

But when all is said and done, this could be an opportunity to land an LT and Drew Brees type of addition with Adrian Peterson and David Carr + an additional first round pick by trading down.

As the previoius Anon pointed out, David Carr's stats aren't that bad.

And, he was a somewhat consensus #1 pick at the time, and his play (if you consider his environment)does not warrent him to be labeled as a bust.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

A few quick hits since I'm catching up...

From anon a while back: "no wonder you can't get any posters to this site when you have br and panty as the "star" bloggers,ridiculous". Assuming he's talking about RT, is he kidding me? There's so many comments being tossed around in here, it takes forever to get through them all! :)

I've liked Carr for a while now. He's got a strong arm and hasn't had any offensive line to protect him in the five years he's been in Houston. And besides that, he's only missed 4 games in those five years, a testament to his endurance. They also had no running game in 2006, which put even more pressure on the passing game. If the Raiders could get him for a respectable pick, he would be a good choice...although it would raise questions about Brooks and Walter.

Also, I'm not sure what source anon 5:48 pulled those Russell quotes from, but it underscores my personal concerns about him. Are ready to spend a #1 overall pick on a person with considerable question marks?

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I don't know if we can afford NOT to draft Russell. All three blue-chip QB's looked pretty decent last year ... do you think anyone regrets drafting Young, Leinert, or Cutler last year? I'm sure if you put their career before they were drafted under a microscope they'd all also look pretty iffy.

And the alternative is Carr? That's not ALSO a crap shoot? Schaub, or Huart aren't crap shoots? ANd we'd have to give something up for both Schaub and Carr... we have lotsa needs. I see no sense in giving up any of our picks for anything. I don't think you see perennial powerhouses like NE, Indy, or Philly throwing their draft pics around... they collect them, and BUILD from within... and all got their QB's from drafting... not by taking some perennial loser or career backups off the scrap heap.

There is no such thing as a sure thing in betting or the NFL... but I think we all can agree on one thing and one thing only... THE RAIDERS ARE DESPERATE FOR A QB!

I think Al is killing himself for passing on Leinert... Russell is a done deal IMO.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

if the raiders do pick russell, they would need a veteran to start until the team feels he's ready. as much as i like him, carr doesn't fit that bill. an older type of veteran would. if we traded for carr, he's the QB for the long and short term.

i'm for davis "correcting" art shell's WRONG and trading for leinart as i've mentioned before. but since that was a lie, it ain't gonna happen.

do we REALLY need a QB? kiffen sees that the priority is to build the o-line. if i were a GM, i would get a stud running back to take that pressure off the young qb whoever that young qb may be. as attractive as russell is, i just don't feel he's ready to start and win RIGHT NOW. not just start but to carry an entire team with leadership, the ability to read defenses and mesh with his receivers. OK let's assume that kiffen has rebuilt the line. who do we hand the ball off to to take that pressure off the young QB? which is where the stud running back comes in. jordan isn't cutting it i'm sorry to say. he talks a good game but he's not the answer. the answer is names like tomlinson, johnson. THEY are the offense of their respective teams.

as attractive as it is to pick russell, i think peterson should be our choice. what about the QB? we already have walter who was screwed by shell and walsh and not given a fair shake. he should be given a chance to succeed. kiffen (USC vs. ASU) of all people knows first hand what walter can do.

so i'm going against the grain. i'd like to see peterson as our pick. this of course would mean we should trade down. but in thinking for the future, what's the 1st overall pick worth to a team? i say, for our 1st overall, take their 1st (the trading team of course) this year AND next and an extra 2nd rounder. this'll set us up for this year and next.

who knows? if our QB still sucks, there's always a chance to manuever up with our 2 1st's in '08 to get a QB.

11:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There is further evidence that Kiff has Russell on his mind. He interviewed Tom Martinez (Russell's most current QB coach - hired privately) to be the QB coach of the Raiders. This is not only a sign of what Kiff is looking at, but it's also an typical Al Davis move. Kiff can interview Martinez for an open position, and at the same time pick Martinez's head about Russell.

Rathman was an excellent hire. As the RB coach for the 49ers, his RBs led the league. He coached Detroit's rookie to the 2nd best season ever for a rookie running back.

As for Carr, I think he's every bit the question mark that Russell is. That's not necessarily a criticism, because he's been on bad teams. Plunkett was a question mark, but we had the luxury of sitting him on the bench his first year with the Silver & Black.

We can, however, pick up Carr, and we have the means to do it in addition to drafting Russell. I don't think that you have to make the long term commitment to Carr in order to bring him. All we need to do is promise him one year as the starter so long as he performs. If this happens, and we find that we just can't sit Carr down, Russell will still likely bring a good trade. If we decide we like Russell better, we're still likely going to be able to find a team to pick up Carr's contract for his services. Might not be a bad insurance policy.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda - yeah i just read that too. i'm all for carr on our team BUT you'd STILL need to give up a high draft choice and/or possibly a player to get him. this falls under the category of "rent a player". especially if his only purpose is to warm up the seat for russell to take over in a year. with so many holes to fill every draft choice high or low should be considered precious.

i just don't see this happening. carr that is. i don't know the list of free agent QB's that are available but why not sign a vet instead? this is of course a moot point of the texans release carr. they'll see what they can get on the trade market first before they cut him.

i was just saying that we would be in better bargaining position FOR a QB NEXT YEAR if we traded our pick for a 1st round pick this year and next. someone like peterson which we REALLY need (more than a QB) can contribute RIGHT NOW. heck even calvin johnson can help RIGHT NOW. call me over-conservative but we should use that pick more wisely since there are so many holes to fill.

is everyone basing their HARD ON for russell because of the one and only game (sugar bowl) most people watched him play? i think he's too much of a risk! look - martinez is a FRIEND of tom brady. he still consults his old coach every now and then. he can spin russell any way he wants but do you really think he's ready and willing to help the raiders? huh-uh!

if AL REALLY wanted a QB, he would have picked him last year. that QB was leinart. and most of you heard him say it - leinart was his choice. So if al didn't pull the trigger and over-rule shell then (again supposedly), what makes us think he'll pull it this time to pick up someone not as experienced and has the jewelry like leinart? does al have the time to wait? how old is he?

walter has shown flashes of what he can do. the dude broke records at ASU for cryin' out loud so shouldn't we give him the weapons to work with and benefit of playing an entire season with a decent o-line before we crucify him?

2:15 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

At first there was a clamor for Walter to get another shot. Now the call is for Carr?

Carr and Walter are very similar. Both tall, strong-armed, but Carr is SLIGHTLY more mobile. Carr had a bad line and only Andre Johnson last season. Walter had a bad line and Ronald Curry. If just last month people felt so strongly about Walter then why now the push for Carr?

Walter can be a good QB in this league, but he's going to need one of the best lines in all of football and a good/great running game to be effective. So if you stick with Walter you'd better take the best RB you can with that first pick because Peterson and Lynch are both projected to be gone by pick 16. Keep in mind that there is no consensus Reggie Bush pick out there this year(except maybe Calvin Johnson), so just how much will we get for trading that first pick?

So you're looking at RB, LT, WR, OL, FB, DT and whomever the best that's left, because Gallery can't block an old lady and Grove is at best a backup. They've both been here for a while so what makes you think the light bulb is suddenly going to come on now?

That's if you keep Walter as the starter. If you bring in Carr it will be the same thing. So if that's the case, why bring in Carr other than he's more experienced? He's not that big of an upgrade. Oh, wait a minute, Brooks was the experienced veteran last season and we all know how that turned out.

And if you next suggest Damon Huard, keep in mind he had a VERY good line protecting him in KC. There will also be a large price tag with picking him up after last season. How would he perform with the saloon-door Oakland offensive line?

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone's opinion on the QB issue. I posted the stats on JR.

JR was never even in the top 20 before the Sugarbowl. And now he is likely to go number 1? He was a nobody before, how can anyone select him #1 overall and pay him $50-$60 million?

That is the question? Everyone who is pulling for JR to be picked, does anyone really think Al Davis is going to pay 50-60 million dollars, to a virtual unproven, 19 yr old kid?

I don't think it will happen. That's like saying Davis will allow Aaron Brooks to stay on the roster and collect $5 million due? Wrong.

Al Davis' rule number 1, never over pay. Davis doesn't believe in big spending. He like's collecting. ie When he sued the city of LA.

We are $13 million, point something under the cap for 2007. We would have to restructure half of the rosters' salaries to compensate for drafting JR. It just doesn't make sense.

5:24 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

JaMarcus Russell is 21, not 19; and he was only a Jr. last year, so, I’m not sure why some people expect him to have the accomplishments and accolades of a graduating senior. He would have been the early front-runner for next year’s Heisman, had he stayed in college.

I don’t necessarily disagree with some of the draft selections that have been mentioned. We could sure use Peterson at RB, Thomas at LT, etc., however, if we ever expect to get back to the SB, we will need a franchise QB (remember Gannon was MVP during our last run).

Besides Gannon in 2002, you need look no further than NE or INDY for the proof. Yeah, SD has LT and KC has LJ, but when did they help their teams win the SB? Those teams are still a franchise QB away (albeit, maybe Rivers is maturing into one — oh yeah, he was drafted).

And, anyone who believes we can draft and sign FA’s to make a run next year didn’t truly see the depth of our despair in 2006.

Assuming Tui and Brooks are shown the door (as they should), we will need to sign two QB’s for 2007. Most likely, we will draft one QB and sign one FA QB. I can’t imagine trading, particularly if it costs us draft picks (although Moss could be bait).

If not Russell, then drafting Peterson makes the most sense to me. However, we will still need a franchise QB. Short-term, I’d rather have a vet like Garcia than Carr.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

In terms of the financials, I don't think it's a JaMarcus Russell issue, it's a #1 pick issue. Look at how much DE Mario Williams banked from the Texans at #1 last year. So if we don't want to pay for Russell, that means we don't want to pay for a #1 pick, which means trading down, does it not?

8:17 AM  
Blogger azraider63 said...

RT,
Great point, high dollars paid out to the number one pick is inevitable regardless of who it is. I do not see us trading out of the pick based on Raider draft history (whether we should or not).

Scorpio,
As far as MY "Hard On" for JR, the blood flow to my "Unit" started two years ago since I have followed LSU football and JR's career.

I understand most peoples concerns about him, but one of the reasons he was not talked about until after the ND game is that he gave no indication that he would be entering the draft (as a Junior). Therefore he was not included on many peoples mock drafts or draft boards.

I like Walter and think he could still be a good QB for us, but we do need more QB's on our roster. I think that JR's talent/potential is FAR above anybody else in the draft or that of existing NFL free agents.

IMO Adrian Peterson would be a great addition, however I like Marshawn Lynch better, and we could possible get him in the middle of round one should we decide to package Moss and another one of our picks to trade up.

I would be OK with Calvin Johnson, but not with the number one pick. On a good day, WR's get how many catches?? 8-10? To me, that's not enough touches to pay number one money. QB's and RB's that handle the ball and control the game from start to finish is where I would spend my number one money.

I value everyone's opinion here in Raider Take, I just don't agree with some of them.

Go Raiders

9:22 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

re J. Russell.

I don't know why people keep identifying JR as 19 when he's 21. And yes, nobody considered him as high draft potential, because he never mentioned the possibility of coming out for the draft early until just before the Sugar Bowl. And yes, that game began the formulation of my opinions of Russell. That game inspired me to look further. I hadn't seen any LSU games before then.

I've seen clips of Russell in college going back to high school. He was doing things in high school that you can't teach. I understand that these are clips of his best moments, but isn't it nice to know your QB is capable of such things?

I think it's time to forget about Leinart. He no longer exists. I don't think he's elligable to be drafted this year. And Leinhart still hasn't shown anything but potential. I think Russell's potential is larger.

Drafting Russell does not preclude signing a veteran free agent, nor signing another high first round pick at another position. Someone even suggested drafting both JR and Brady Quinn. It's kind of a dumb idea, but it's possible.

Yes, Russell is a question mark. So was Leinart, so is every #1 draft pick. Remember when SD used their first pick on that sure thing, Ryan Leaf? But guess what. Every pick, from the first round to the seventh, is a question mark. Steals are only manifested after they are no longer question marks. Ken Stabler wasn't a steal in the 3rd round until three years after we drafted him. This is the gamble of the draft.

The draft is "like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get

10:20 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

i did not imply that we would use the #1 overall pick on peterson or johnson. common sense tells you that if we were to take either of these players, we would have to trade down.

if we do trade the pick, say to the browns or lions (because these 2 teams annually SUCK so ya know their 1st'll be really high), we would need a minimum of their 1sts in '07 & '08. Then we can get either of the above mentioned players. if the QB position still sucks, THEN go out and get a colt brennan (by trading intothe 1st overall pick) or whoever the flavor of the month is with our 2 '08 1sts!

i merely said that QB is not as much of a priority "RIGHT NOW" as other positions. again, assuming the o-line is rebuilt, who's russell or walter gonna hand off to? dancing feet jordan?

we could do MORE with this pick in terms of trading down and still plan for the future.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Sure nobody heard of Russell until the Sugar Bowl... same as nobody heard of Vince Young until the Rose Bowl... and he just threw a TD in another Bowl... the PRO BOWL.

I wouldn't hate drafting Peterson at one, or even trading down... but I still think we can't keep passing up on all these franchise QB's. It's killing us. Nobody let's go of great QB's to free agency these days. We hit the lottery with Gannon. Aaron Brooks and Jeff George are the norms.

Oh, BTW, I just thought of a silver lining to the Moss trade... if the trade didn't happen, we still woulda had Nap Harris and never drafted Kirk Morrison.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR - The 'steal' that you refer to in the 3rd round of 1968 was actually Art Shell not Snake. Snake was drafted in the 2nd round, not the 3rd round.

Notables from 1968 Draft:

1st Round: Elridge Dickey, QB
2nd Round: Ken Stabler, QB
3rd Round: Art Shell, T
4th Round: Charlie Smith, RB
7th Round: George Atkinson, DB
11th Round: Marv Hubbard, FB

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...great draft that was,except for dickey... imagine if we could draft that well again,it wouldn't matter who was coaching,the team would be great at all positions. drafting well and keeping your core is the way to be a winner. let's hope we DON'T draft a qb #1,unless the other players are as good as '68,then go ahead and draft a qb #1....jones

7:40 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I don’t buy the notion that no one heard of Russell because he had not yet announced he was coming out early, or that he had not yet declared. For the last several years there has been much commentary about potential first round picks, potential number 1 picks, and I can’t find one story about Russell being a probable number one selection prior to the Sugar Bowl. By itself that’s a non-issue, but could it be we’re revising history to justify the selection? There should have been significant buzz about him in my opinion.

Looking at the NFL draft value chart, no one currently has the ammo to make the deal with picks this year. If we’re looking at drafting Peterson (my preference, whether we trade down or not), we’ll likely need to accept a pick this year and another in 2008. I’d deal with the Lions, Browns, or Bucs, but probably no lower than that. Those teams should be drafting in the upper half of the draft again next year, so the gamble is acceptable. And if we can get decent value for Moss, we’d have the best of both worlds in terms of options to build the team up via the draft.

Finally, in terms of the cost of the pick, I don’t think that’s an issue. If they feel Russell is the guy, Al will pay him the money. We just can’t afford another Gallery – not this year.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Peter Fleming said...

Hey Gary,

If Jeff George is the norm, I'll take his season anyday. Am I the only one who thought back then we were on to something with Jeff and just needed to do something on defense to compliment him?

Of course we hired Chuckie the next season, but what if we could have put Ryan's defense with that team? I still feel that was a missed opportunity. A defenseive headcoach and we still would have had Chuckie's Glory years, maybe just a little earlier.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

peter......... you will take a jeff george anyday? my oh my,what are you talking about? the guy was a no heart,poor leader and many others....no,we would not have gone anywhere with him or collins or brooks. these guys can tease you but when it comes down to being winners, WRONG. if gruden hadn't come in and brought gannon,we would have still been doing the 5-11 but damn that QB can sure throw a nice ball....jones

7:54 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico:

It appears that if we want to talk about steals, we need to talk about Marv Hubbard in the 11th round.

8:55 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I think we may be getting a little bit over excited here a little too early. No final decision regarding drafting JR will be decided until after the combine. Historically, the Raiders play their cards close to the vest. The Raiders also don't pay too much attention to who's hot and who's not at the combine, except to how it relates to potential deal making. The Raiders have always felt that you get the most information from actual playing time, not from simulated playing time.

We won't even be sure what the Raiders plans are until the actual draft. Every year the prognosticators predict the Raiders will do one thing, and then they do something else.

If JR is a huge hit at the combine, there are teams who will place everything on that, almost willing to sell their own mother into slavery in order to get him. They will give up far more than his value. If such occurs, expect the Raiders to jump on it.

But this does not just apply to JR. Whomever is the "star" of this combine will be the presumed #1 draft choice. The Raiders could still possibly trade down for more picks, and pick up JR as well. We still don't have enough information to be hard and fast with our opinions.

9:41 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Rob Martin was a 12th round selection. How can anyone nicknamed "the claw" be a 12th round selection? Obviously, he was not known to miss many tackles. Now, that's a steal!

More contemporaneously, Ronald Curry is a 7th round selection.

10:02 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

BR: I disagree with your comment ”...The Raiders also don't pay too much attention to who's hot and who's not at the combine....

Raiders have historically been fascinated with whomever runs the 40 the fastest. This is well documented by WR and CB selections throughout their recent history. Unfortunately, this type of information processing has hurt us as much or more than it’s helped us. Players with heart seem to get overlooked by stats.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Easy to connect the dots plus this might have been mentioned already BUT if the Raiders hire Tom Martinez as the QB coach, you can bank on JRuss being our pick.

If the Raiders don't hire Martinez as the QB Coach, he might be hired as a part time "QB consultant".

12:32 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico:

I suspect that meeting was more desinged to pick Martinez's brain regarding JRus. Martinez's health issues seem to indicate that he may not be up for any more than along the lines of QB consultant. But either way, it is a strong indication of where Kiffin's inclinations lie.

If such is the case, it might be an intersting exercise for us folks, who post in these parts, to analyse what we can get in addition to JRus, and how we go about getting it. I think we have the tools to acquire another 1st round pick in the top 10, in addition to JRus, if we play our cards right.

1:46 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Great!

"'I just got done talking to the ticket people, I'm trying to get my family, which is my wife, a 2-year-old and a 3-month old, into the Black Hole,' -- New Raiders coach Lane Kiffin on the Raiders notorious north end zone."

I trust you folks with season tickets in the Black Hole will give them a great Raider Nation Welcome!

2:00 PM  
Blogger azraider63 said...

nyraider,
Don't forget Reggie Kinlaw (12th round draft choice - 1979)

He was instrumental in 2 of the Raiders SB victories. He ATE the Eagles center for lunch, prompting Dick Vermiel to ask, "Where the HELL is the nose tackle coming from?"

2:55 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Peter Fleming,

I was a big Jeff George fan when he was in college. I never saw a Qb throw a football quite like he did.
I wanted the Raiders to trade up and draft him, and when they didn't, I was greatly disappointed.

When he finally did wear silver, & black, I was happy as can be.

But then, reality.

The problem with George, and the veritcal in general, is that there are just to many three and outs.
The big play is nice, but it's just so much harder to come by these days.
This makes it very difficult to have a good defense, while using the vertical, as they are on the field all the time.

So as far a Jeff George goes, I file it under getting what I wished for, and regretting it.

BR,....the Raiders don't go for what's hot ???

Larry Brown was hot

Desmond Howard

Sometimes they do.

3:10 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Guys, don't misunderstand. I'm talking about what the soup of the day is to the rest of the NFL. When the Raiders go for the speedster they see at the combine, he's not somebody the rest of the NFL is clammoring for. The Raiders like that player for the speed, and they view him as a project.

As for Larry Brown - nobody knows exactly why Al wanted him. He never had what you'd call a stellar season. He had two interceptions in one Super Bowl where there was no receiver within a mile of him - meaning he was out of position - on both interceptions.

The same is true for Howard. He had great speed, and he had a good Super Bowl (making SBMVP) with two TD returns. Howard was a receiver, and wanted to be a starting receiver, and I think there may have been a touch of Moss in him. Refusing to be effective as a return man so that he would only be used as a receiver. Both of these pick ups are so questionable that I suspect Al was too involved in litigation to fully scout them.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

so al is an impulsive buyer then..... he got hard over those 2 guys without researching properly. this is exactly the kind of crap from al davis i keep talking about.

what happened to all of the picks in the gruden trade? another example. GONE! WASTED! that trade was supposed to set us up for YEARS if we played our draft cards right. BUT noooooo.

which is why the raiders should NOT pick russell. too much of a gamble. trade down and get peterson or johnson. do it davis! there are just too many holes to fill.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

And on a completely separate note, it appears that long time fader (that's F-A-D-E-R) Mary Schottenheimer has been fired by the Chargers.

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