Friday, April 13, 2007

Campaigning for JaMarcus

No offense to Michael Huff, but if I could turn back the clock, I might want to re-think our 2006 draft. Imagine Lane Kiffin working with Matt Leinart during these recent minicamps, trading down a few spots for extra draft picks, then unloading Randy Moss and replacing him with Calvin Johnson. I can think of worse scenarios than Leinart to Johnson, especially in an offense designed by Kiffin and Knapp.

But since my time machine is broken, I cannot agitate for Calvin Johnson as our first draft pick, whether we trade down or not. Rather, I vote for JaMarcus Russell with the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft. We desperately need a franchise quarterback, and he’s my favorite of the bunch.

I don’t want to hear that Russell might not pan out, that he might actually suck, etc. without some reasonable analysis to back it up. Every prospect might suck in the NFL. There’s no such thing as a sure thing. Otherwise Robert Gallery would be going to the Pro Bowl, David Carr wouldn’t be backing up Jake Delhomme and the Detroit Lions would have the nastiest receiving corps in NFL history. Just saying a prospect might not be what he’s cracked up to be is simply stating the obvious. If there wasn’t guesswork involved, we wouldn’t be talking about the draft in the first place.

In his prime with the Raiders, Rich Gannon was a franchise quarterback. Same with Jim Plunkett and Ken Stabler. It’s not a coincidence that our best years have coincided with our greatest quarterbacks. That tends to happen in the NFL.

It’s funny the lengths some folks will go to discount the importance of a franchise quarterback. Until early February, you’d always hear about how Peyton Manning sucks. Donovan McNabb, he sucks, too. Didn’t Trent Dilfer win a Super Bowl? And look how far Rex Grossman went last year! I’d trade McNabb for Dilfer in a heartbeat!

Just because you run with scissors and make it to end of the hallway without hurting yourself doesn’t mean it was a smart thing to do. The same goes with ignoring the law of the franchise quarterback. This is my main argument for drafting JaMarcus Russell.

I already hear the cries: We got Plunkett and Gannon off the scrap heap, didn’t we? Yes, and Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins and Jeff George, too. Do you see any budding Rich Gannons out there on the market, guys with enough skills, moxie and leadership to be the centerpiece of a Raiders resurgence over the next three to five years? Waiting for the next Plunkett or Gannon—free agents who outperform your wildest fantasies—is not a plan, it’s a perpetual gamble with long odds.

Look at all of the franchise quarterbacks who were playing well into last January: Manning, Brees, Brady, Hasselbeck and McNair. Coincidence? Conversely, all of the loudmouth superstar wide receivers were cooked by the end of the wild card games (if not much earlier), leaving Marvin Harrison as the lone longtime standout at the receiver position among the eight teams to advance to the divisional playoffs. Again, it’s not a coincidence. Receivers can’t throw themselves the ball.

This is where some of you might interject that Andrew Walter could be the next Drew Brees. Fair enough. I’d like to see Walter pan out. But would I bet the Lane Kiffin era on it? No. I don’t have anything against Walter. I know his hands were largely tied last year by awful coaching and playcalling. But when, in all of those games, did you see Walter rise above the circumstances and show flashes of serious potential? Leinart was stuck in a similarly awful offense (ie: no running game, no offensive line, fired offensive coordinator, soon-to-be-fired head coach, talented receiving corps), but I saw plenty of flashes from that guy.

When the Chargers drafted Philip Rivers to back up Drew Brees, everybody won, did they not? By the end of last year, both Rivers and Brees were taking their teams to the playoffs. So why is it always Walter or Russell, instead of Walter and Russell? “Walter, Booty, Otis or Bust” is not my idea of the ideal offensive start to the Lane Kiffin era. Do you think Kiffin disagrees?

I know that the Raider Nation is divided regarding the upcoming draft, so I look forward to your comments. You now know my vote—what’s yours?

89 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm all for Russell too. But somewhere between signing a $50 million QB and adding depth, Al better put aside a little extra cap $ to make Burgess happy before the season starts. He's more than deserving of a big$, long-term deal and I don't blame him one bit for holding out. I hope this does not get ugly, but I'm optimistic that it will not.

Nnamdi is being a real nice guy about his situation also, as Burgess did through 2 years of domination. I wouldn't count on Nnamdi being quiet for too long though, we need to hook him up ASAP {hopefully with Moss' $).

Good post RT. If only your time machine worked.
-Psycho-

11:10 AM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

Are you rewritting history to justify wasting the 1st pick on Russell?
Plunket wasn't a franchise QB. Plunkett's Raider teams relied on the running game (King, Allen)and a Strong, Intimidating, defense.
The same could be said for Stabler's run.

Yeah ... it's a shame they didn't draft a QB last year so you could all be crying he was a bust, (Ryan Leaf) playing in that pitiful excuse for an offense, an drooling over Russell as the new savior.
At least Walter would be spared that abuse.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Thanks for all the congrats in the last post.
BR-Hopefully he could be a potential QB draft for the Raiders. I'm going to definitely encourage him to play, but not going to force his hand. If he does play, hopefully he won't do anything stupid that would tear ligaments in his throwing arm and neck that would force him from playing effectively like his old man did. :D

11:48 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Plunkett and Stabler weren't franchise quarterbacks? Say WHAT? And you say I'm re-writing history?

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

RT-there are 2 potential QB's that are free agents, that we can sign for cheap; that could turn out to be Gannon-esque:
Tim Rattay and Koy Detmer.
They both are career back ups, but have a lot of drive to win, shine when they play on the field, and can potentially make great coaches down the road.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Kenny King? He scored a grand total of seven touchdowns during his Raiders career, and exceeded 300 yards rushing in only two of his six seasons with the team. Yet he gets more credit than Plunkett?

11:56 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

And by the way, Marcus Allen was still in college during Plunkett's first Super Bowl.

All-time Raiders passing leaders, in this order: Stabler, Gannon, Lamonica, Plunkett. Guess who were the quarterbacks in all five of our Super Bowl appearances?

What I said: "It’s not a coincidence that our best years have coincided with our greatest quarterbacks."

And the problem with that statement is...?

12:11 PM  
Anonymous R2G said...

Doesn't this franchise need a savior? I'd much rather have Russell for the journey ahead than have CJ or any other prospect retread a path we all know too well.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose Cliff Branch, Freddy B and Dave Casper all threw to themselves enough to achieve HOF calliber careers. Let's hope Calvin Johnson can do the same if we go that route.
-Psycho-

12:13 PM  
Anonymous stick'em said...

No matter who is picked at #1, I hope Al uses the other 9 picks on O-linemen. Hell, trade Moss'n'Porter, pick up two more first day picks, and make it 11.

Doesn't matter if Russell is throwing, Johnson catching, or Peterson running. Without a new O-line, they all will fail.

Here's hoping for Kalil, Blalock, or Staley at #33.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stick em - I wouldn't mind seeing any one of those players taken to bolster the line. And a few months ago I'd also say I wanted aa slew of new linemen. But I'm actually feeling pretty good about where we are right now.

LT - Sims
LG - Cooper Carlisle
C - Newberry (Kalil would be great)
RG - Boothe
RT - Gallery

Sims is getting old so I wouldn't mind getting young there, but was he that bad before last year? Gallery at the very least should be a diecent RT, possibly a helluva lot more. The rest is solid in the middle.
-Psycho-

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It’s a perfect fit, I love it. I love the tempo of what they’re trying to do at practice. I love the schemes of what they’re trying to do, I love the verbiage, I love the terminology, I love all that stuff. It’s a perfect fit and I’m thrilled by it." - Andrew Walter

I'm not jumping off the Russell bandwagon or anything, but this is encouraging if anything. Hopefully Walter lives up to everything we hoped he'd be in this system. IMO his immobility doesn't quite fit in with all the rolling out he'll be doing, but hey whatever works.
-Psycho-

1:01 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RT-
Nice take. I particularly like the running with scissors analogy.

Drafting Russell makes so much sense. He AND Walter could lead this team well into the future. And if both perform at a high level and we trade one, ala SD with Brews and Rivers, then all the better for us.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Heartland (stupid) Raider fan said...

Yeah ...Raider Take you're right...I'm wrong Plunkett lead the league in passing every year, and every game was a blow out victory.
What a shame you're not old enough to have watched Plunkett and Stabler play every week.

Raider Take ...draft a QB every round that way we're assured victory and another Superbowl, Hell... a Dynasty because they'll have to be a "franchise" QB emerge from among them to lead the Raiders to victory every game. That's all this team and every team needs.

1:48 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Brews? I wasn't trying to be funny. That must be Drew and Brees typed together. Nice! It's Friday... the 13th no less.

1:49 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

heartland (stupid) raider fan-

Interesting new handle, but why would a franchise QB have to lead the league in passing? You yourself said you didn't want a QB that leads the league in passing.

Plain and simple, Plunkett was one of the must gutty players to ever play. He could make something out of nothing. Isn't that what it takes to win? And, isn't that what's all over Russell's highlight reels?

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider take I am with you, I don't care about a wide receiver, I don't care for a defensive player and for sure I don't care for a special team's guy for the first pick, it should be a QB, I hope that they pick Russel.

raiderdecoachella

1:55 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Heartland, thanks for addressing my specific question. Not.

By your definition, Brett Favre, Joe Montana and Rich Gannon were/are not franchise quarterbacks. Only stat freaks like Peyton Manning and Kurt Warner.

And what do blow-out victories have to do with the concept of a franchise quarterback?

Considerng your rather low opinion of Stabler and Plunkett, I might assume that you, unlike me, are not old enough to have watched those two every week.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

It's rare that a team has an opportunity to have 2 real threats at QB, comparable to a Brees/Rivers, Simms/Garcia/Plummer (possibly), Kelly/Reich, Simms/Hostettler, and Leftwich/Garrard.
Drafting Russell does not guarantee him to be a "Franchise QB," but rather gives he and Walter a chance for some good old fashioned competition for that title. I think both have what it takes to be that.
The plus side for us, if one doesn't work out, we have trade bait. If one goes down in injury, we have a capable back up that could lead us to the promise land just as good as the "franchise."
Does Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, Greg Maddux, etc strike out every batter? No. Then what makes them franchise pitchers? Their ability to step it up in crunch time, and shut down the opponents.
Does leading the league in TD's, Passing Yards, Completion %, etc make a QB a franchise QB? No, their ability to step it up in crunch time, shutting down opposing defenses, and getting the "W" lofting the Lombardi is what makes a franchise QB. That is what I want, and I see that in both Walter and Russell.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

54 years old how about you?
LA Raider season ticket holder.

Plunkett and Stabler both formes the teams identity and were natural leaders, they were'nt the only reason for the teams success.

2:08 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

Heartland wrote

"Yeah ...Raider Take you're right...I'm wrong Plunkett lead the league in passing every year, and every game was a blow out victory.
What a shame you're not old enough to have watched Plunkett and Stabler play every week"


Heartland,

You must be kidding. Do you REALLY think that leading the league in passing is THE determining factor in being a franchise QB??

Does a franchise QB lead his team to a BLOWOUT every game, as you stated??

Everyone has their own opinion and definition of a franchise QB, but in this case...you are wrong.

Please do not say that just because you watched every Stabler and Plunkett game that you somehow know more than us...the people that do not agree with your point of view.

I too am an old dog, and spent many Sunday's in the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum watching Stabler, Plunkett, Blanda and Lamonica.

Your sarcasim is sometimes funny, but your extreme scenarios to back up a point are dead wrong....sorry.

I own over 150 full Raider games on DVD, from 1971 through 2006. Many from the Stabler and Plunkett era. You are more than welcome to borrow them sometime to refresh your memory.

As always, I respect your opinion, but in this case...you are wrong. I'm sure you disagree, but I'd like one other blogger in here take your side on this one.

Crickets anyone?

Take care

2:21 PM  
Anonymous stick'em said...

I'm tellin' ya, as much as we all like Lamonica, Stabler, Plunkett, and Gannon... ask yourself, "How many Pro Bowlers for offensive linemen did they have in front of them?" Yep. Countless.

Then ask yourself, "How many Pro Bowlers are on the current Raider O-line?" Nope. Zero. Nada.

Matt Leinart and/or Jay Cutler and/or any other QB starting in the NFL last year would have gotten KILLED behind the Raider O-line.

Russell will turn out to be Aaron Brooks if he's protected by the same weathervanes.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'm old enough to remember my older brother literally crying over the the Immaculate Reception, although I admit I was a wee Take at the time.

I never said that Plunkett, Stabler or any QB was the only reason for a team's success. Please don't suggest that I ever said something that silly.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

AZ I'm not saying I know more than anyone....I'm saying you don't have to have a so called,
"franchise" QB to win a championship.
In fact the point I was trying to make, is the one you did. Plunkett and Stabler both owe the majority of their success to the players around them. Plunkett would be the first to tell you all the talents he had didn't amount to squat until he joined the Raiders and was surrounded by the quality teammates he had.

2:38 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

stick'em,

I agree with you that those QB's had a great HOF O-line in front of them. And I agree that it was a determining factor in their success as well.

But, do you think David Humm, Mike Rea, Marc Wilson and or other Raider backups's during that era would have performed the same?

In fact, I know they wouldn't, cause they didn't.

It is definitly a team thing, but for Heartland to say that Stabler and Plunkett were not franchise QB's is just...well...wrong.

Sorry Heartland...my Raider brother from another mother.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

Let me put it to you this way...
if your boat has a hole in it and sinks, do you use the insurance money (which comes in yearly installments)to go out and buy a new fancy Evinrude motor or fix the leak first?????

2:42 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

Heartland,

No problem, I agree with that. The way you just put in in your latest post is more digestable for me to take...but not the way you did in the earlier post by suggesting League Leaders and Blowouts.

Man, I can't wait for the draft...you?

2:43 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

Heartland,

Good point...almost as good as Raider Takes scisors analogy.

P.S. Congrats Raider Nate.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

in the situations where Humm got to play ...I'd say Maybe.....as for Wilson he was another Shell victim.
Wilson was mobile and had a good arm...I'd have loved to see him play in a West Coast Offense.

2:46 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

Heartland,

If my boat sunk, then that would mean it would be at the bottom of the lake (or NFL in this case).

I think I'd buy the Evinrude and strap it to my ass and pray. LOL

2:49 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Favre in his prime, Warner in his prime, Gannon in his prime, McNabb in his prime, Brady in his prime, Manning in his prime = January on regular basis.

I freely admit that a Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson can sometimes get it done...once.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

One and out satisfies you in January???
Not me!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Compared to anything else that's transpired since the 1983 season with the Raiders, I would have to say that, yes, I was quite satisfied with the Gannon era, which was the LEAST spectacular of those other QBs I mentioned, such as Warner's Rams (two super bowls, one ring), Favre's Packers (two super bowls, one ring), Brady's Patriots (three super bowls, three rings), McNabb's Eagles (four straight NFC championship appearances and one super bowl appearance), and Manning's Colts (see February).

3:14 PM  
Blogger OregonRaider said...

Calvin Johnson is as close to a sure bet as your going to get. Why not stick with Walter and take a QB in the second or third round (Trent Edwards?) Then look for a veteran quarterback to add to the mix- one is bound to be cut between now and August.

The downside is the possibility of another rough season... which means that Oakland's draft position is strong again in 2008.

Hate to say it, but that may happen regardless of who our beloved Raiders draft, QB, RB, or WR with the top pick.

PS: Won't be disappointed if the silver and black draft Russell. Either choice (JR or CJ) is intriguing, but I hate to see the Bucs get CJ. Hate it!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

3 of your so called franchise QB's weren't 1st round choices...hmmm

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Raider Greg said...

I will say this...Big Russell is known to be less than a go getter and for my 50 mil. give me two or three players that "might" make the grade. We do need a franchise QB and I think its Walter. If you look at all the games J.Russ played this season and just take the hardest games....He was NOT very good...In fact, not good at all....It was the Bowl game that pushed him up the ladder....If he had lost....We wouldn't be talking about him..........Thats it.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

"So-called" franchise quarterbacks? Damn, you have a strange definition of franchise quarterbacks, that's for sure, if you don't consider Brady, Manning, Favre, Warner and McNabb franchise QBs in their respective primes.

Do I have this correctly: Stabler and Plunkett weren't franchise QBs, because there's no such thing as a franchise QB, unless the QB in question wasn't picked in the first round, in which case he would be a franchise QB except for the fact that he didn't win five straight Super Bowls, which appears to be the definition of the nonexistant franchise QB?

3:49 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Wilson? Slowly I turned...

I'm sorry but I was at almost every LA game that Wilson started. Mobile???? Are you kidding me? The guy was like a waddling goose. He had absolutely no sense of of the rush and would either throw too soon or fumble while standing there like the Statue of Liberty.

I'm sorry, but we're really going into strange ground now. Stabler, Plunkett, and Gannon not so good. Wilson, good. My, oh my...

3:55 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, and by the way... How, exactly did Shell ruin Wilson, since he was only an offensive line coach at the time?

4:01 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider Greg-
You might be right, because then we'd be talking about Brady Quinn and how he CAN win the big game. But as it turns out, it's quite possible he can't. But, we still need a QB.

For all that suggest a later round pick at QB, let me remind you that odds drop quickly after the first round that a QB can play at the NFL level. Guys like Tom Brady are an anomoly, nothing more. Let's give the scouts a little credit for knowing their job.

4:03 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

Blandarocked ,

"Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch..."

Seriously LMAO. TFF

NYRaider,

I've seen those stats regarding 1st round QB success...around 47%. Round 2 and later drop off dramatically.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous franco said...

I'm far too young to be hearing this re-writing of history left and right! Somebody put my mind at ease and tell me the truth! Did the Raiders ever have a good QB? Was it always the defense and run game? Were the backup QBs better than those starting in Super Bowls?

Thank you veteran Raider fans...you've destroyed my sense of reality...I need a drink.

4:32 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Franco-
put your mind at ease, I seem to remember some pretty good Raider QB's. The fact is, we were a more balanced team (run/pass) than we've shown in recent history. The O-lines of old were solid and gave the QB time, but it still takes a QB with heart and sole to win games. In my time, Stabler, Plunkett and Gannon all had that "X" factor.

In today's NFL, guys like Carr and Harrington are happy to be backups, so let them. Let's keep our eye on the prize.

4:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Coincidentally, the one element that really seems to be missing from past great teams is a solid anchor at center. Otto, Dalby, Mosbar, Robbins... these guys made it happen.

4:49 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

franco,

I think the problem is that some of the veterans in here started "Happy Hour" a little early today. You have some catching up to do.

To answer your question, we had great QB's, a great running game, great offensive lineman, great receivers and tight ends.

I guess some of us put a little more emphasis on certain pieces of the puzzle than others.

But one thing is clear, the QB is an important part of the puzzle.

Now, go have a drink on me.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Very interesting discussion.

My definition of a "franchise QB" is a QB that contributes to sustained playoff opportunities.

Yes, Lamonica, Stabler, Plunkett, and Gannon meet that definition.

The majority of franchise QBs were in fact drafted in the 1st round. Is JRuss a "franchise QB"? Nobody knows. IMO he has the potential to be a franchise QB and I for one am more than willing to take this calculated risk.

Sir Stick'em: Nice seeing you around these parts again. I guess you were in hibernation awaiting the draft and real bullets flying. I share your view that an above average OL is one of the keys. I would rate our needs as QB, OL, DT, TE in priorities.

The signing of Jeremy Newberry, Cooper Carlisle, Cornell Green plus the hiring of Tom Cable is certainly progress.

As far as the draft goes, I would like to see the the following prospects considered;

1st Round: JRuss (QB)

2nd Round: Justin Harrel (DT) and either Tony Ugoh or Aaron Sears (From Moss trade)

3rd Round: Samson Satelle (C,G,T)
and Michael Bush (RB)

Satelle in particular looks to be an intriguing prospect. He has played C, OG, and T.

This is how one scouting combine rates the 1st 3 rounds of OL prospects:

5 Joe Thomas (OT)
10 Levi Brown (OT)
20 Joe Staley (OT)
31 Ben Grubbs (OG)
39 Justin Blalock (OG)
46 Ryan Kalil (C)
53 Tony Ugoh (OT)
54 Aaron Sears (OT)
56 James Marten (OT)
61 Ryan Harris (OT)
71 Marshall Yanda (OG)
76 Samson Satelle (C,G,T)
85 Josh Beekman (OG)

4:53 PM  
Blogger AZRaider63 said...

NYRaider,

FYI "Happy Hour" was not in reference to you. Your post was well said regarding Stabler, Plunkett and Gannon.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I think someone spiked my coffee this morning.

4:59 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks AZ. Happy hour has already come and gone here... but like some drinkers, I believe my posts only get better after I've had a couple.

Calico, think Michael Bush will last to round 3? Your list of OL prospects looks fairly deep and should be a focus for us by the early to middle rounds.

The prospect of a 2nd round pick for Moss should be all we can hope for, but I'm worried that it won't be enough for big Al.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The following take is from FRKYRaider, who is having technical difficulties logging into Blogger:

i want Russell. plain and simple. he's the one i want. he fits what we'll be doing offensively and we have needed the swagger that he takes the field with and we need someone who is capable of making others follow. humble-ly. this kid has the right attitude, (there is no need for the trash talking big timer that thinks me me me, i'm tired of it) plays the right position. is the right guy for us to "gamble" on. no such thing as a sure thing in the draft. say what you want but calvin could be the next mike williams just as easy as he could be the next moss (athletically). we need to start somewhere with this offense. if walter steps up and takes the job, fantastic. and we'd have a stud in the wings for back up and trade fodder.

it is easier to compete at a high level with a stud QB and mediocre WR's than the other way around. and i don't think our WR corps are mediocre.

we have upgraded the O-line as of the signing of carlisle, and we will probably address this need a time or two durring the draft. i too would like to nab Kahlil. there are also plenty of WR's to be had later in the draft if we choose to go that direction.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous franco said...

Bush's ranking has fallen drastically due to injury concerns so I think he would be a great 3rd round pickup.

Glad to know my perceptions of the great Raider quarterbacks can remain intact. NFL Films couldn't make them look THAT good if they weren't decent leaders and franchise quarterbacks in every sense.

Also, it's apparent to me that Newberry isn't dependable long term so someone like Kalil would be great.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you bring up a good point.
Walter = Brees.
It wasnt that long ago everyone in SD wanted to run Brees out of town not to long ago now he is a franchise QB. I wonder how well Walter could play with a decent offense? J-Russ is an over rated wannabe from just about every raider fan on the planet.
Walter = Brees.
No thanks to Russell

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a piss poor argument. Nobody wants to run Walter out of town. That's just the argument everyone uses against picking Russell. People want to see competition and energy in the process of finding a starting QB and simply handing it over to Walter can lend itself to complacency and a lack of fire to win. Russell is an obvious talent and people would like to see him go head to head with Walter and whomever else we bring in to set some sparks flying and get the juices flowing. Nobody said get Walter out of here, not one.

4:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, no one knows the future, but Russell will be a bust. The college game is so much easier than the pros. He is like Culpepper when he was younger, except Jamarcus is slower. I don't want the Raiders to pick Quinn, but Quinn is the better
pro prospect. Heck, I think Rohan Davey could be better if given a shot. And the jury is still out on Leinhart. Russell is similar to Leinhart in that they both are slow decision makers and over analyse the coverages they face. Both had great lines in college and too much time to throw. NFL is much faster. Strong arms and a big bodies are wasted assets in the modern NFL. Johnson or Thomas or trade down! Go Raiders!

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SlvNBlk4Lf here for the first time....I have been on the CJ wagon for a while by RT makes great points in why we should take JR. The only thing that worries me is MONEY!!!! JR will command plenty of cash and as a few of you guys wrote, we NEED to sign Nnamdi and DB!!! What about Josh McCowan (Sp?), the Detroit backup? This guy post a .500 record at Arizona, and even though those aren't great numbers, for Arizona, they ARE great!! This guy has skills. By signing him, we can get CJ, DUMP MOSS, save plenty of cap space to sign our two best defenders!!

Just a thought! Either way, I think we will be getting a great player!

7:31 AM  
Anonymous stick'em said...

AZ:

We're on the same page.

Case in point: Jim Plunkett

He got absolutely massacred behind the pitiful O-lines in New England and San Francisco. Didn't amount to $h!+ and was injured more often than not.

Then he's introduced to Gene Upshaw and friends, and it is SB time - twice!

Case in point: Todd Marinovich

Put this guy behind Jim Otto and he'd still fumble the ball looking for his crack stem.

My point is to be a successful QB, you can't be running for your life on every play.

Also noted you can't turn chicken$h!+ into chickensalad, regardless of the O-line.

The truth is no one player is going to save this or any team. There are 11 people on the field, and last time I checked half of them are linemen when you're on offense.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'm all for bolstering the o-line. It's not an either/or equation. The need for a strong line is self evident. I can't think of one o-lineman in the NFL that I would trade straight up for Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, though.

If we're ever going to build an effective offense with the type of long-term franchise QB leadership that is the hallmark of the most consistent winning teams, when do we start planning for it? Now or next year or the year after? And how do we plan for it? Free agent pickup, betting on Walter or draft pick?

8:19 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I like the effort & progress that we have made this off-season to improve & upgrade our O-Line.

Consider:

(1) The hiring of Kiffin, Knapp, Cable, Rathman = a modern offense, better playcalling which will probably help out the OL more than any other thing.

(2) Zone blocking & hybrid WCO will aid our OL's efforts

(3) The signings of Stewart (TE), Griffith (FB) upgrades both our run blocking and pass blocking significantly.

(4) The signing of Newberry gives us at least 1 year of quality OL leadership to accelerate the progress

(5) The signing of Cornell Green gives us added depth

(6) The signing of Cooper Carlisle who is the perfect fit for our new offense & blocking scheme.

The draft should provide the Raiders with 1-2 blue chip OL to further stimulate the competition.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous stick'em said...

RT:

Agreed. It is not an either/ or question. You can have both and we have had both... when we were good.

Take this into account:

Peyton Manning had two linemen who were in the Pro Bowl last season, Tarik Glenn and Jeff Saturday.

Tom Brady had Pro Bowl Tackle Matt Light.

Drew Brees had Pro Bowl Tackle Jammaal Brown.

You see the pattern.

Now I'm not at all an advocate of picking Joe Thomas #1. He's not worth it, IMO.

My point is regardless of who we take at #1 (Johnson, Russell, and Peterson are the obvious blue-chip players), the O-line needs immediate attention or they will not have the time or holes to make plays.

I got burned like Richard Pryor jumping on the "Art Shell will fix the O-line bandwagon"... and before that the "Jim Colletto will fix the O-line" bandwagon.

I ain't jumpin' on the "Tom Cable will fix the O-line bandwagon." I'm some stoopid, but not that stoopid. We need PLAYERS! New players. Cable won't accomplish d!ck with the same old sh!+ players in a different wrapper.

Give RT his QB if you wish. I'd rather have JaMarcus Russell than his teammate, JaRon Landry, thus continuing the serial-DB approach - LOL!

Give me Calvin Johnson if it means nothing more than I can put my size 11 up Randy Moss' and Jerry Porter's asses. I'll use their overinflated salaries and the draft picks we get in exchange to pay for another QB.

Speaking of overinflated salaries, I am glad we didn't shell out $10 mil. for the likes of Langston "Stay Puffed" Walker. FAgency was NOT the place to find O-line starters this year.

But for gawd sake, draft me someone. Waiting for Gallery and Grove to arrive has gotten old and I ain't believin' in 'em any more.

We need a wholle lotta more of a Plan B on O-line for when/if Gallery and Grove fail than Cooper Carlisle and Jeremy Newberry.

IMO, be prepared to torch the place and start over. The Saints had the balls to.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Classic! Great take.

Alas, time is getting pretty short if we're going to light that torch. The Raider Image is billing its authentic Barry Sims jerseys as "new." Randal Williams and Courtney Anderson can't seem to play their way out of the lineup, no matter how hard they appear to be trying. Moss? What more does the guy have to do to get the boot?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous RaiderNick from Los Angeles... said...

The past can not be fixed only learned from...

Instant fixes are a thing of the past. We need to draft J.R. and build around d him. EXAMPLE, look at Indy when they drafted P. Manning, the first year was bad but look at them now, they are greatly benefiting by building around him.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous stick'em said...

Verily, RT, I wouldn't care if Al Davis drafts Fred Biletnikoff #1 overall as long as it guarantees there is no roster spot available for Mandy Moss or Jenny Porter - LOL!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

I have been watching from the sidelines during the last several, and quite entertaining, takes. It was also nice to hear from Panty.

It seems the only discussion going on now is Russell vs Johnson.
But is Quinn totally out of the question? We all know the physical aspect of Russell. Can throw 70 yards standing on his head, etc. Gannon's physical skills and mobility were a great advantage. Would you rate them, what, above average? But what about his football instinct and knowledge of the game? Could that be rated on any scale? Sure he played a long time and learned alot from experience. My guess is no one worked harder on the field but more importantly no one worked harder off the field. I guess it is a bit late as this is the Campaigning for Russell Take but I am just not sure.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Most know I am a huge Russell proponent. He has to be coached up but I'm just tired of the white, immobile QB with good arms. I just want a change in our identity. It starts with the coach and extends to the QB. Russell just gives us a fresh, tough identity. This kid played in three pressure packed situations where I saw him turn into the type of QB that is simply considered a winner:
1. Beat unbeaten Alabama when they were #2 in the nation 2005... in OT... at Tuscaloosa.. threw a bullet TD pass that silenced about 85,000 and ended the game. Avoided the blitz to do it.
2. Came back in front of 106,000 orange fans in Knoxville to win the game against Tenn last year (4th Qtr)
3. With all the chips on the table and everyone watching, he outplayed Golden irish Boy in the Sugar Bowl. Everyone says don't put too much into that game. yet think about the pressure both kids were under. Don't underestimate how much pressure was on both Russell and Quinn in that prime time game. We see how they both fared in that pressure cooker.
Other news, Favre says he's 100% sure that Moss will be a Packer. If prima donna favre is acting like a ten year old demanding a new toy and he's 100% sure his spoiled ass is getting it, then that must mean the Pack is going to oblige his wishes. If that is true then Al is is the driver's seat. We should rape the PACK for this. Absolutely rape them and make them pay for how they coddle to Favre. Settle for nothing less than their 1sr round pick. Nothing less. If cry baby Favre wants Moss so bad, then make them pay the highest price for their prima donna's wishes.
If that goes through, here's who I like for our draft:
Rd 1- Russell (or quinn)
Rd 1- Jarvis Moss or Dewayne Bowe
Rd 2- If we didn't get a DE in Rd1 (J. MOss)then I like Charles Johnson or Quenten Moses DE's, here. If we took a DE in Rd 1, take best WR left... Jarrett... ran a terrible 40 time, but knows our system
3- Garrett Wolfe RB
3- best OLB on the board
4-best OLB, TE, RB or OL on the board
5- Leron McClain FB (insurance against griffith going down. You just wait and see what having a true FB does for our offense! Griffith is great. And Leron is a carbon copy of the guy)
5- Whatever we haven't taken between OLB, RB, TE, OL
6-7 do not care.
Also- Though his injury is a major concern I would roll the dice and try to pick up Al Wilson. he was a dominant LB and though he plays the middle perhaps he could go outside. Neck injury and even out of position at OLB, he'd be more productive than Sam Williams. Plus, Wilson would love to stick it to Shannahan.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

Well put Bama 7 now it's a racial thing, except the last I looked Johnson is black too.
The Raiders really need to change their identity at the bottom tier of the NFl with another Vince Evans (only taller and slower) a "Black", "mobile", "strong armed", QB that could scramble to avoid the rush, and still throw an interception.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Er... I'm not sure how they do things in 'Bama... but where I'm from, racism is racism and discrimination is discrimination.

And you just made a racist remark.

Wanting a change from a "white" QB to "black" one is just as stoopid as the wanting a change from a black one to a white one. If you don't understand why this is so, then I don't have the time to explain it to ya.

What I want is a QB who will win some D@MN G@MES!!! and that is all.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

Will history repeat itself if the Raiders draft another "Russell" in the 1st round?
Come to think of it are Jamarcus and Darren related?

12:59 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

heartland-
Do you mean Darrell Russell? Darrell was extremely talented, but sacrificed his career unnecessarily with off-field distractions.... If you're suggesting JaMarcus Russell will bust for similar reasons, you really need a better argument than that.

If taking a QB is so much a of problem for you and others, than make a case to trade down and take either Peterson or Thomas. Fact is, we still haven't really addressed our concerns at the tackle positions. Going into the season with Sims and Gallery as the only legitimate starters seems risky at best. On the other hand, trading down for Peterson would be very San Diego-esk, ala trading down for LT. They were scared out of the first pick by their history with Ryan Leaf.

IMO, the case FOR drafting Russell has been posted up and down this board.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I swear Heartland hates the Raiders.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

For all the folks willing to put the majority of their eggs in the Walter basket, I would be interested to hear your thoughts on contingency plans. If Walter isn't nimble & mobile enough to effectively run the hybrid WCO, what then? How comfortable will you be with options like Stanton/Edwards and Booty? Do you want to roll the dice on McCown being more than a 1 year stop gap.

For all the folks campaigning for Calvin Johnson as our #1 pick, isn't it just as "risky" to invest $50M in a WR? Consider this; Calvin Johnson was virtually shut down in 4 games.

9/16 vs Troy; 2 rec, 9 yards, 0 TDs
10/21 vs Clemson; 0 rec, 0 yards, 0 TDs
11/11 vs UNC; 3 rec, 13 yards, 0 TDs
11/25 vs Geogia; 2 rec, 13 yards, 0 TDs

That is a 4 game average of 1.75 receptions per game, 8.75 yards per game, 0 TDs per game AGAINST college DBs.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

CJ: When your QB completes less than 50% of his passes and throws as many INTs as TDS, you just might seem to disappear in some games.

Reggie Ball - Calvin Johnson's QB at Georgia Tech - absolutely sucks.

But your point is well taken. If Calvin Johnson's QB in Oakland sucks, he'll disappear here too...

Somehow I doubt Josh McClown or Drew Stanton throwing to 'em would be much different than Aaron Brooks or KFC would have been.

I'm with RT. Gotta get a QB. Time to do something different, even if it's wrong.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous heartland raider fan said...

What makes you think Russell would play this year????
You rationalize throwing Walter under the bus for a pipe dream that Russell will get away with his college heroics in the NFL.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland - If you read my last post, and my numerous posts since January of this year, I have in no way, shape or form EVER thrown Walter under the bus.

What I am suggesting is that I have doubts about Walter as a #1 signal caller. I want a strong QB depth chart where a premium is placed on upgrading the QB position.

In addition, at NO time have I ever suggested that JRuss would come in on his shining horse and save (start) the day from day one. Far from it.

The model that I would like to see is Rattay/McCown battling with Walter for the opening day starter's role with JRuss (if ready) starting near mid season (like VY & Leinart did) or starting in 2008.

In the future please do put words in my mouth, make bogus inferences, or misrepresent any of my opinions which is exactly what you did with your last post.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heartland raider fan:

You're way out of line. I thought you made some good points at first, but now you're just flaming the damn boards!

Who are you Don Imus? Just take the rhetoric down a notch, for Pete's sake. Everyone gets it; you don't want Jamarcus Russell. BUT your arguments are no longer logic based, and instead have become needlessly petty and nasty. I wouldn't say anything if it were just a manner of you being sarcastic, but you do it soooo much. And, your sarcasm is starting to get NASTY:

12:27 AM  
Anonymous guess said...

zufkBoo hoo ....I should be able to say anything I want to and not be called on it. How dare anyone question my opinions (they're gospel) or express dissenting thoughts reguarding what I post.
Besides you're only supposed to take what I post at face value and not be smart enough to understand what I'm inferring.

4:41 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

Wow--sorry I came late to this discussion. Way to sum it up, RT.
I've been in the JaMarcus camp since day 1, draft him and let's see what Kiffin & Co. can do with him and AW. Yes, we need line help, but my take is you can't pass on rare talent. Also agree w/ anon 11:10 about finding $ for Burgess/Asomugha, maybe from Moss getting walking papers

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

CJ,
I know this is how one scout rates them:
5 Joe Thomas (OT)
10 Levi Brown (OT)
20 Joe Staley (OT)
31 Ben Grubbs (OG)
39 Justin Blalock (OG)
But if Justin Blalock is available at the #32 pick, I'd take him.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider Nate 75:

The OG position is less of a priority IMO with the recent signing of Carlisle. I think we need to draft the best available OT to provide competition with Sims and Gallery.

Perhaps with the trading of Moss we could move up to snatch:
20 Joe Staley (OT)

or with the extra 2nd round pick from a Moss trade, take:
53 Tony Ugoh (OT)
54 Aaron Sears (OT)

7:09 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Most know that I initially advocated going the free agent rout at QB. The Sugar Bowl prompted me to take a good, hard look at Russell and now I'm pretty firmly in Russell's camp. I'm really tired of the "one game" comments. I've looked and read into far more than the "one game."

Anyway, no one should be counting Quinn out. Just because the Raiders and the press haven't discussed him as much, doesn't mean that he isn't in the picture. I think it is very possible that Kiffin could decide that Quinn is the better fit for his offense.

It's interesting that in today's press (not going to link the articles) that there was one reporter talking about how trading for McCown would be a sure sign the Raiders are going to take Johnson, and another said that would be a sure sign the Raiders are taking Russell.

9:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

BR-
I read both those articles. Somebody's going to look smart, but IMO, it's a sure sign nobody has a clue.

10:04 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I've been meaning to jump into this discussion for a while, but the word verification keeps giving me the business!

I think JeMarcus Russell has incredible potential. I'm not saying it is a sure thing. That's the nature of the word "potential". I'd rather have two potentially great QBs, instead of one. Wouldn't that be a nice change!

BR, I saw both of the articles you mentioned. It's just further evidence that we are all guessing. Al and Kiffin may know. If they don't, they'll know on the 28th, shortly before the rest of us do.

No matter what, I'll be eating Chili, drinking beer, and welcoming someone to the Silver & Black come draft day!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous js said...

I also agree with you, RT. If we'd drafted a QB last year (and the reasons why we didn't still escape me), we could grab Calvin Johnson with the top pick. But mistakes have consequences, and we have to accept them. Besides, it shouldn't be so bad. This year's draft showcases a lot of WR talent. Someone good should slip down to us at pick #33 if that's where we're looking. But we can no longer afford to pass up on a signal caller. While it's true that a bad pick this early can hurt, a good one could set us up until the 2020s, keeping us competitive in the arms race with Denver and San Diego (who are both starting 1st round QBs we could have picked in earlier drafts).

Andrew Walter remains an interesting guy, but nothing I saw in his play last year would compel me to pass up other talent. If there's doubt about Walter's ability to be the answer at QB (and I think there is), we have take advantage of the opportunity to pick up players with greater potential. Walter may be handy to keep around. He's cheap, and if our 1st rounder turns out to be a bust we may be glad to have him. But I haven't seen evidence yet that he is, or is likely to be in the near future, "the guy".

The same goes, by the way, for Josh McCown or any other QB that might come to us via trade or free agency. We have to remember that teams get rid of players for all kinds of reasons, usually good ones. Yes, Rich Gannon fell out of Kansas City because the Chefs were too stupid to see what they had (or too committed to the greatness that was Elvis Grbac). But we can't rely on the idiocy of our opponents all the time. Why did the Panthers and Giants give up on Kerry Collins or the Saints on Aaron Brooks? We found out for ourselves, didn't we?

I go back and forth on the whole Russell/Quinn debate. There are points to be made for either, and both carry risks. Indeed, picking a QB early in the first round is the riskiest decision the Raiders could make, except for all the others.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Sweet take, JS!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

you know, for all this hype and argument about who to draft, the negatives being spewed out about quinn, russell, and johnson are pretty similar.
all 3 do not have nfl experience. thefreakingpope hit it right on, the draft (thank god) is not based on nfl experience, but rather "potential" talent that fits in a team's system and way of doing things. all 3 of the afore mentioned, has "potential" talent that will fit our system; but the question to look at from here is, "who will make the bigger impact with their 'potential' talent?" the answer to that at this moment is russell or quinn.
that could change a bit with joe thomas in the picture; or if we rid ourselves of moss. but right now, to me, it's russell or quinn. i'd rather have russell.
i'm also open to drafting someone else, and picking up troy smith, john beck, or drew stanton.
my 2 cents though, if we are in a position to get the best qb with the most "potential" talent, then why not? i know cap space is a problem though, and that is the only reason i see us passing on russell, is if we cannot work out cap room.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

The hot rumor is that TB offered up all of their first day picks for our number one.

If true... sorry JR. See ya! We can plug some SERIOUS holes with that kind of booty.

I honestly am starting to think TB is going to pick number one, Chucky is that Jonsing for Johnson... what they give us to do it will be very interesting! It's good to be KING!

3:55 PM  
Blogger scoobysnacker said...

I'm not a Raiders fan (well, I am, but not locally). I'm aSaints and LSU Tigers fan, and as you might predict, I'm suggesting the Raiders take Russell in the draft over the others.
Why? Because I've seen the guy firsthand, and realize what the hype is about. Arm strength? People talk about how overrated it is, and then those same folks rave about Brett Favre... and Favre has never had anywhere near the arm Russell has. Only Elway in my experience compares with him. What this means, and I really don't think people are realizing it, is- Porter or Moss is open on a 20 yard out pattern, maybe just 1 yard separation? No problem- no windup, no hanging ball maybe picked off, just bang- it's there. Yes, he can throw the ball 80 yds in the air, and yes he can put touch on his passes; but even more impressive is he can throw a 50 yd rope.
Only Elway had that, not Marino, Culpepper, Favre, Vick or anyone else.
For those guys who say people in the NFL won't bounce off him like they did in college, let me point out that a whole bunch of those college players are touted as 1st rounders this year (the Florida and Arkansas guys), as well as the defensive rookie of the year last year, who came from Alabama. Unless Russell is expected to suddenly shrink after he's drafted, how can you be that concerned? Honestly, I fully expect to see ESPN showing a highlight of Russell stiff-arming Merriman to the ground this season. A little secret- his weight has never been an issue at LSU, because once you see him you realize the numbers are just that- numbers. People get concerned about his weight being 260 until they see him, and then realize the man is just bigger than other people. He's not soft or overweight; he's big.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

Scoobysnack:

Elway wasn't the only one who had that kind of arm. Jeff George did too.

Difference is Elway had the will to win. In the 4th quarter he was money.

On the other hand, George had the will to duck and hide. Any time a pass rusher got in his grill, George did the stop, drop, and roll.

No one questions Russell's arm. Question is can he lead a team to the "W" at money time?

Not sure anyone can really answer this question till we've seen 'em in the NFL... but here's hoping he turns out like Vince Young... that dude knows how to win!

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is that the Raiders need leadership. J Russell, may have the potential, but have the Raiders really had success with 1st Round picks in these types of positions? The answer is no. The Raiders missed on Walter, Marinovich, and Tui and threw an interception not picking Cutler as the back-up to be mentored. If you trade for McCown, you should have just kept Brooks. A leader/ winner is not born overnight, and McCown has not demonstrated the ability to win. I think you have to use some of the old playbooks like rehabilitating veterans, but Brooks…? I agree that Johnson is a bargaining chip. Has anyone considered a more reasonable draft trade? Who cares about a rift between Gruden/Allen/Davis. The Raiders have done some stupid things. For all of the innovation and leadership that the Raiders have provided to this league, not adapting to 2007 (vice the 1960’s) has been one of the biggest failings. Davis has been able to pick and mentor some of the winningest coaches in the league, but somehow alienates them before they start to produce (Gruden, Shanahan). How about Draft Calvin Johnson, trade to Bucs for “the snake” (familiar?) Plummer and the Bucs first round pick (4) and anything to be named later and try to get the future QB (Russell/ Quinn) lower in the draft. Use the extra money to continue to bolster the line and try to rehabilitate Randy Moss…at least get him mentally to the place where he was when last year started to spiral out of control. The players don’t have to agree or even be PC (Porter) as long as they have a “Commitment to Excellence” and “Just Win, Baby”.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh,I'm an LSU fan and JR will never beat out Walters for qb unless Al Davis comes down and holds his hand during the game..and he's not a franchise qb he's the biggest hyped up crap I've ever seen in the draft,and it's no joke he's being projected straight at Oakland..THIS GUYS NO MORE THAN A 3RD STING LIFER...SO QUIT SUCKING MEL KIPERS A** AND GIVE THE RAIDERS SOME REAL ADVICE!

LSU FANS ARE REAL HAPPY WE CAN NOW HAVE A SHOT AT A TITLE.

10:22 AM  

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