Thursday, April 05, 2007

News You Can't Use

From the Sports Illustrated writer who last year tried to sell us a bogus report about Eddie Debartolo and Carmen Policy potentially taking over the Raiders (and who subsequently whined when the Raider Nation called him on it), we now have this: JaMarcus Russell is the next Jim Druckenmiller.

This is my second post in as many days regarding a Sports Illustrated writer offering dubious advice to the Oakland Raiders. Our guy even claims to have picked up the scent of the team's intentions: "Maybe so, but something tells me Russell to the Raiders isn't as certain as most people are portraying it to be. Sure, the franchise needs a quarterback the way some folks in the Oakland Hills neighborhood in which I used to live need Xanax, but I'm hearing from people in the know that Davis is locking in on Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson. The thinking is that Davis, who is 77 and said to be in poor health, is desperate to win now, and he understands how hard it is to do so with even the most talented of rookie quarterbacks. Davis also is well aware of the glaringly low success rate of quarterbacks drafted in the first round over the past 15 years. Remarkably, he still has faith in incumbent quarterback Andrew Walter, and Johnson is the closest thing to a sure bet -- and, potentially, an instant impact player -- that the draft has to offer. Inside at least one rival team's pre-draft meeting on Wednesday, the talk was that Johnson to the Raiders is a done deal. If these plugged-in personnel people are right about that, it would certainly shake up the top of the draft."

Notice the use of the first person. This guy never fails to insert himself into the story. You see, we're supposed to care where he used to live, and who he thinks should take Xanax. Also notice the liberal references to the 49ers, which are nearly as frequent as references to himself and his nightclubbing with 24-year-old football players.

Even if the Raiders are interested in Calvin Johnson, comparing JaMarcus Russell to Jim Druckenmiller simply on the basis of arm strength and physical size is asinine (cue up highlights of Russell and Druckenmiller in college if you don't believe me). Of course, our intrepid reporter then gives himself an out, saying that he consulted with experts who confirmed that Russell is the "real deal." So you see, he's probably not the next Jim Druckenmiller, but then again he might be the next Jim Druckenmiller, just as Eddie Debartolo might take over the Oakland Raiders, and just as space aliens might be controlling the White House. With the power of might, every absurd "possibility" becomes a legitimate story.

Think I'm being too hard on our guy? Consider the following tidbit, which he tagged on to the end of this Russell-Druckenmiller piece: "The two words used most frequently on draft weekend by Raiders coach
Lane Kiffin will be 'Yes, boss' -- followed closely by 'Great call!' and 'Cream? Sugar?'"

Somewhere, a 10th grader working on the school newspaper is bummed that Sports Illustrated stole his joke.

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT I too read this article, but I go you one further in saying that the writer listed multiple sources that were ADAMENT that Russell was not a Druckenmiller. The article clearly states that all the "experts" the writer talked too said that Russell was the real deal (as you wrote, RT) and even went as far as to quote one guy as saying "NNNOOOOOO"... Russell is no Druckenmiller. So, once again we hear even more experts and scouts that are convinced Russell is a pretty sure bet.
The article's title and initial read make you think the writer's purpose was to plant the "Russell is another Druckenmiller" slant, which is what you correctly assert, RT.
Lost in all of these writer's "calvin johnson's a sure thing" hype... and suggested advice for Oakland to steer clear of the Russell "trap" is that almost to a man all of the scouts say Russell IS FOR REAL. And they are pretty emotional about that.
I think Kiffen wants Russell. I hear it in his comments and I still say the reason Pete carroll came out and said that "russell is exactly what Kiffen wants" was planted by Kiffen to help him get the guy he wanted. I think Al, on the other hand, wants Johnson as all the writers are starting to suspect.
If we take Johnson it means Al hasn't changed a lick. He's still sabotoging the team and his coaches with his obsession with the speedy, track type athlete.
Peter King has written in his latest article that oakland would be more prudent taking a QB because a receiver cannot influence things like a QB on a football team that needs to be turned around.
we have a chance to land what could be the next Elway, but Al will fu(*... just wait and see.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also just tallied Calvin Johnson's catches and yards for his 14 game 2006 season. He is averging 5.4 catches a game for a little over 85 yards a game.
5 catches a game is what we'd be spending 30 million on and also hoping to turn around the franchise... if we take Johnson.
5 friggin cathes a game!
Russell, in his 13 games, has QB rating of 114... averged 2.2 TD's a game, averged 17 of 26 passing for 241 yards and gets about 10 yards rushing per game.
Why would we even consider taking Johnson at #1?
i think the writers love bashing us so badly that they are trying to badger Al into taking Johnson... so they can ROAST us later.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Great take, Bama7.

The mention of the expert opinions is simply the writer's escape hatch from a specious position.

The logical response after such feedback would be to simply NOT write an article comparing Russell to Druckenmiller. Just as Amy Trask's "No way in hell" response logically suggested that this same writer NOT write an article saying that Eddie D. might take over the Raiders.

The established pattern is: Run with a bogus idea despite considerable evidence to the contrary, but make sure you work in an out for when the idea is exposed as bogus.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you people know what a reality check is?

I need someone in here to tell me what makes Russell so great?

His college stats must be phenomenol, and head and sholders better than any QB that ever played the game of football.
He must own every NCAA fottball record in the books.

He must be undefeated in every football game he ever played.

Russell is(in most of your opinions) the top rated QB ever, and the top player in the draft.
Was a 2-14 season so much to bear that you have tunnelvision and think an overhyped , oversized, strong armed, slightly better than average college QB is your holy grail?
I see him as the top rated QB in
a dismal (medeorcre at best) draft class.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heartland I agree with you!

I cannot understand the fascination with Russell? The Raider Nation is truely divided on this one. I am not against drafting a QB in the 1st round but I am against drafting someone who everyone thinks he is the next coming of "John Elway," as Al recently stated.

There is an interesting post I read in another forum. This guy who writes this is a true die hard Raider fan like all of us. But he does his homework like no other I have ever seen.

"College statistics really can predict NFL performance. For our 2006 Pro Football Prospectus, we studied 10 years' worth of drafts and discovered that the single greatest indicator of NFL success for QBs taken in the first two rounds is the number of college games they started. Philip Rivers, for one, started 51 games at NC State. Donovan McNabb started 49 college games and Carson Palmer started 45. On the flip side, busts-to-be Joey Harrington (28), Jim Druckenmiller (24) and Akili Smith (19) had relatively little starting experience.

Brady Quinn started 46 games and completed 58 percent of his passes, almost identical to McNabb and halfway between Palmer and Jay Cutler. JaMarcus Russell completed 62 percent of his passes but had just 29 starts. Those are numbers similar to Kellen Clemens' and Rex Grossman's. Russell certainly has first-round talent, but if the past is any guide, a team that drafts him ahead of Quinn could be turning over a new Leaf. ""

I do not want a Ryan Leaf in our uniform, do you? But if we pick Russell, these facts speak for themselves. Take it how you want. We all know Kiffin is gushing over Russell, some other senior staff members are in favor of Quinn(more polished), and Davis is said to be goo goo for Johnson. Only 3 weeks away until....................

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want Quinn either. Both Quinn and Russell in a good draft class would be "lucky" to go in the first round.... period.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is some real news you can't use RT. It comes from FoxSports' Czar of football. He blogged about the recent passing of Darryl Stingly, and how Tatum was an ass for not ever seeking reconciliation with the man. He even stated, and I quote:
"Tatum is fighting his own battles these days. He has lost one leg in his battle with diabetes and all the toes on his other foot. Stingley knew of Tatum's physical losses, but refused to say the obvious, 'What goes around, comes around.'"
The hit was not illegal, it was unfortunate. The news media doesn't know if they did or didn't meet, and square things away! Because if they did, it would reflect what Stingly himself siad in 2003, according to the article. Again, I quote:
"Stingley told the Boston Globe in 2003 of the interview attempts, 'If they showed up at my door without a camera then we could have some real healing. This is a world built on hype,' he said."
And if you know Tatum, he feels the same way. So here's my comments to the Czar at Fox Sports, listen ass (again, to steal a phrase he used to describe Tatum), just because they didn't do it publicly, doesn't mean they didn't do it at all. Just because they didn't do it for the ratings on your program, doesn't mean they never spoke.
I thought it was the most ignorant article of Raider Hatred EVER written. It's got my blood boiling this morning (7:45am CST). The thing I hate the most about these writers, is they don't have the balls to tell this to Tatum to his face. Nor do they allow for you to write the author of the article to call him out for his ignorant babble; because he knows he'd never hear the end of it. It's another stab at a Raider, who was involved in a very unfortunate event; to make him look evil.
The article can be found here:

5:46 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, every year I've been wrong about who the Raiders will pick, with the exception of last year. They're pretty good at surprising folks. For all we know, and this is no joke, they'll draft Joe Thomas.

Draft season is getting to be like a political campaign. All you hear is hype and no substance. I'm sick of hearing about all of Russell's bad habits, but nobody seems able to back up their criticism with any facts. A lot of people are making shit up just to make their point.

Regarding Stingley, the point of Tatum's book, They Call Me Assasin, was not a boast about that nick name. Tatum said that from the time he started to play he was rewarded and praised for hard hitting. Then one day a man doesn't get up, and "they call me Assasin."

Little discussed about that incident is that all representatives for NE left on the team plane, leaving Stingley alone at the hospital in Oakland. It was John Madden who came to his bed side day after day. Early on, Tatum did show up at the hospital on a couple of occasions to see Stingley, but Stingley refused to see him.

Regarding the hit, it was absolutely 100% legal, there were no flags. Viewing the film the hit didn't even seem that devistating. It wasn't a matter of force. It was a matter of unlucky timing.

But with all of that, it's easy to see that Stingley and Tatum talked and found common ground. Indeed, it appears to me that they communicated regularly because both seemed to always be aware of the things the other was saying.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starts is a predictor of NFL QB greatness huh? I'm pretty sure that Chuck Long started nearly every game in four years at Iowa, and look at how illustrious his pro career was.

Russell came out early, no wonder he less starts.

Also, with Carr signing with Carolina without even getting a sniff from the Raiders seems to me pretty clear they are going to draft a QB. Plus, with Carr so willing to accept a backup role kinda gives ya a hint of where his heart is at. He woulda been a waste of money.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Gary,
Carr has no heart at all and you're a genius.
Delhomme isn't injury prone and has made every NFL start in his career with the Panthers (a perennial playoff team I might add)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'm with Gary.

Hey, Anon, over the past four seasons, Delhomme has started all but four of his team's games (for a total of 60 starts out of 64 games). You call that injury prone?

Hello, JaMarcus!

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well as you all may know by now the Raiders are in discussion with the Lions to acquire Josh McCown via a draft pick.


2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCown: Not the answer. he couldn't crack the line-up on the Lions who own the 2nd worse record in football. So he's our saviour? Al has got to be interfering. I like McCawn as a back-up... if that's what al is thinking.
I see our position needs as:
1 more productive LB.
1 productive DE
1 or 2 decent OLinemen
1 good QB
That's it.
The one area that looks stacked is WR: Say what you want, but put Curry, Moss & Porter in the USC offense and we should have one of the best WR groups in the NFL... whether you like their personalities or not. So why take a WR in the draft? Makes no sense.
Moss may be an as^&*(), but it was just two years ago that he was the most fearsome offensive threat in the NFL. Walsh killed him last year. Absolutely killed everyone. Walter included.
Will see what happens.
Let me ask a question of heartland and Scorpio: Is your problem with Russell more that your a diehard Walter fan as opposed to a CJ fan? Is that the real problem you have with taking Russell (or even Quinn)... that you feel strongly about Walter?
I say let Walter have a shot with some competition. My problem with Walter is that you'd think with Walsh's shitty system that he, Walter, would have at least drawn up some plays in the dirt (in private) with Moss and company. He never once, from what i saw, audibled into anything successfull.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I liked McCown last year as competition for Walter for the starting job, and I like him this year as competition for Walter, but with this added twist: We pick a QB in the first round.

Last year, we suspected that the Raiders would ignore the QB position in the draft and instead seek a Kerry Collins replacement via free agency, and they did just that (passing on Leinart and Cutler). This left us with the following:

Brooks (or McCown or Kitna or...)

Comparitively, I much prefer the following possible scenario:

JaMarcus Russell

Russell is way better than Brooks, and McCown is better than Tui and perhaps better than Walter (look at McCown's record as a starter with the lowly Cardinals, he performed quite capably under the circumstances). In other words, we would be significantly improved at the QB position if we drafted Russell and picked up McCown.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nice take. I live in Chicago so there was quite a bit of coverage on Stingley's death. The Tribune ran a large photo of the hit and, unlike the deception by bspn and other hater outlets that it was from behind, it was clearly from the front. There was also a nice Madden interview.

I'm with Raider Nate. bspn has no problem stating on their ticker the hit was from behind. By all accounts, Raiders, patriots, nfl officials even Stingley himself state the hit was legal. Yet these hater outlets continue to not just misrepresent Raider related issues but out and out lie about something this life/career altering.

They are held to no account. When it comes to the Raiders it is almost surreal what they say. I have proposed a boycott of all of these outlets in the past. Cancel subscriptions, bombard their servers until they crash. The Chicago Police mounted a protest against warner communications in the early nineties against ice t for the song cop killer. They mailed bricks with the postage paid subscriprion cards attached! That got their attention.

I am not adovcating that (of course the season hasn't started yet). But be adult enough to at least allow an email response or rebuttal. They make me sick the cowards.....

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, RT... nice QB scenario. Much better indeed than last year's trio.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow it continues to amaze me how intuitive some of you are, on who's making what decision, or interfering with decisions of Kiffin.
McCown was a failure with Arizona and Detroit....both Superbowl contenders every year? ...or offensive systems as pathetic as the Raider's last year?
Has McCown ever played in a west coast offense in the NFL?
So I guess Kiffin (no judge of talent) is an idiot if he thinks McCown has the skills to play in wait, that's senile, meddler Al Davis pushing his weight around.

4:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Since the Raiders have quite a record of using their top pick where nobody would have guessed, I've been trying to think of where that could happen this time. I'm not advocating this, but I won't be surprised (and there's a good argument to be made for it). Maybe they pick Joe Thomas.

Can you name me one NFL team that's made the Super Bowl with a less than stellar Quarterback? Of course you can. Can you name one NFL team who made the Super Bowl with less than a stellar defense? Absolutely! But you can't name me a championship team which had any less than a very good to an excellent offensive line. The OL is the most under valued unit on the field - at least to the fans.

There is a good argument for establishing, first and foremost, a strong infrastructure for this team.

I tend to think this won't happen because Al isn't a "long term" kind of guy. He wants to win now. Just sayin'...

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing! The Russell haters, can see bust a mile away, yet every other QB out there is a complete stud. Carr best ever, McCown golden just needs an opportunity, Walter best thing since the Snake.

So let me get this straight Russell sucks but every other QB is a sure thing. That makes great sense.


4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wait I got it! The Russell haters are eager to defer to the wisdom of Kif if he goes with anyone other than Russell. But if Kif decides on Russell than he is an idiot.


5:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I, for one, have no idea what you're talking about. Did you have a point in that mish mash? Are trying to tell us that the evil Al Davis has shoved Kiffin aside and demanded he trade for McCown?

Whether the Raiders draft a Quarterback or not, they still need to sign a veteran. No? I like McCown better than Carr. McCown was not a failure in AZ. He played very well there.

The acquisition of McCown would tell me that the Raiders are poised to use their number one pick on either Russell or Quinn. The reason I think it might be Quinn is because it looks to me that the effectiveness of Kiffin's system is going to rely on timing and precision - much like Gruden's. It could be that Quinn is more prepared based on his greater experience for that role. I still prefer Russell because a new offense is bound to have numberous break downs, and Russell seems to me to be better at improvisation and thinking outside of the box.

Maybe it's better, heartland, if we just say that anything that the Raiders do that you personally don't like was done by Al Davis. As an Al Davis fan, that works for me.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blanda rocked...I'll try to keep it simple for you.....

I'm ridiculing all of the speculations some you are making on who is making the free agency and draft decisions, or interfering with them.
Al Davis it seems.... is a meddling imbecile, everytime a decision is made that doesn't personally coinside with their opinion of a good player acquisition.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland Raider - It is clear from the majority of your posts that you don't want the Raiders to take Russell. OK. Fair enough. You are entitled to your preferences.

However, I have yet to hear what your plans are for buiding our QB depth chart. Who would you want to have as the starter? What free agent would you like to target? What QB would you draft?

I find it amusing that you like to sarcastically badger all of the Russell supporters yet when the shoe is on the other foot, namely you stating who you would like as our #1, #2, and #3 QBs, there isn't anything but the sound of crickets.

My best guess is that you would like to see Walter succeed. Fair enough but what if Walter doesn't pan out? Who will be his back-ups? Is Walter any more of a "sure thing" than Russell? Quinn? or McNown? I think that most of us agree that a healthy competition between Walter, a draftee, and a veteran is the logical way to build a QB depth chart.

I personally would like to go the route of Rattay, Walter, and Russell. Rattay is very familiar with Knapp and the hybrid West Coast offense. He would be relatively inexpensive and an ideal mentor for Walter & Russell. Rattay has been a #1, #2, and #3 QB and could provide a 1 year stop gap/bridge to 2008.

You see Heartland Raider, whether you agree with my preferred depth chart or not, at least I have stated my opinion. I think all of us would love to hear your ideal depth chart because otherwise all of the Russell bashing seems fairly hollow. Somebody got to chuck the ball to CJ, right?!

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Calico... if you've read all my posts you'd see that I've defended Walter and can't see any reason not to give him the reigns one more season.
McCown and Booty are all the insurance the Raiders require for a new coach and new system. Hell, Gruden won some games with Hollas comong off the bench.
It sounds like you're a potential boo bird who requires the bench to be fully loaded so you'll have something to squawk about at the first few series that don't end up with a TD, or God forbid the Raiders lose a close one.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

A depth chart of Walter, McCown and Booty? I prefer the sound of crickets!

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were the crickets louder when it was George, Hollas , and Wilson, or just Gannon, and Hoying the following year?

10:24 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland Raider -
I have read all of your posts and thoroughly enjoy your takes.

Now that you have stated your preferred depth chart, it seems that you are quite content with the following;

A QB (Walter) who has 8 miserable starts under his belt. At this point in time we seriously know less about Walter as a viable starter than we did in August of 2006. I have no problem whatsoever with Walter EARNING the reins...I do have a problem with GIVING him the reins. I hope that I'm pleasantly surprised about Walter but the jury is still out. My doubts about Walter far outweigh my belief in him as a #1 QB.

A QB (McCown) who was unable to unseat Kittna, a perennial backup, as a starter in Detroit. I think McCown would beat out Walter which is a sad commentary in itself.

And a QB (Booty) who hasn't played football in quite a few years and is practice squad material or NFL Europe material at best.

For the record, I'm not a "boo bird". I fully support whoever we have behind center. However, as
a loyal fan and paying customer, I have much higher expectations in the quality of our QBs. Settling on unproven QBs (Walter & Booty) or marginal, FA retreads (McCown) is unacceptable to me.

My bottom line is that I want the Raiders to have a stable QB situation where there is a clear-cut goal of having a franchise QB for long term success not just a 1 year band-aid.

The depth chart of Walter/McCown/Booty is a band-aid that would give me no sense of confidence or hope in our future success. I can honestly say that I can not forsee any of the above 3 QBs leading us to the playoffs in the short or long term.

At the end of the day, isn't this what all the discussion should be centered on ... finding a QB who we believe has the ability to lead us to the playoffs and have hope for future SB glory?

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Band-aids are used until healing is accomplished.
Wasting the 1st overall pick on an overhyped, oversized, strongarmed, slightly better than average college Quaterback cures nothing.
Building a dependable, strong, cohesive, offensive line is the first step to a long lasting, solid recovery.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heartland, I know now that you don't know what you're talking about. Josh Booty as part of your QB depth? Josh Booty? I watch SEC football as much as I watch the NFL. I like Russell and have watched him many, many times. I have also watched plenty of Josh Booty. Josh Booty is terrible. He sucked at LSU badly. He is NOT and NFL quarterback. Ask the LSU fans.
I don't know why he was even picked up by us. Maybe it's a favor to his brother from Kiffen. JOsh Booty must be there to help the team until the real QB's get there. Period.
Josh Booty? Come clean, Heeartland... you're a Chief's fan that is simply fu%$ing with the rest of us.
Blandarocked, I'm going out on a limb and saying that I think the OL would be fine with one quality free agent brought in. Art Shell's power scheme is to blame for last year's mess. I'm convinced that Cable's zone blocking scheme along with KIffen's offense will allow even average linemen to look good. I don't think we have a line problem. What we need is a real offensive scheme and a QB that can audible.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY Raider

you said "Building a dependable, strong, cohesive, offensive line is the first step to a long lasting, solid recovery."

That's the most sensible thing you've stated. But I'm confused. Do you now want Joe Thomas as the #1 pick? Or would you suggest we trade down a couple slots and hope JT falls to our spot?

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor slobs, or is Pavlov's dogs more appropriate?

The sports writers and ESPN ring the bell and you Russell touters
salivate uncontrollably.

Denver is pissing all over themselves trying to get the 2nd pick...for whom, I wonder?

Cleveland's Phil Savage was suppose to be Oh so enthralled by Russell too, but is busy courting Quinn now. I know...just to fool the Raiders.

I'm such an idiot for wanting to go another year with Walter. But is it stupidity or foresight??
You see, I know there will be an NFL Draft next season too, so I'd rather not waste the pick on an "overhyped, oversized, strong armed, slightly better than average college quarterback".
I'd take Calvin Johnson and wait until 2008 and get a "real quality", proven 4 year starting quarterback like Chad Henne. Louisville's Brian Brohm would definately be better than Russell too.
Who knows... with the improvements in the ofensive line and zone blocking , the running game, and a modern day offensive scheme, Walter may just fool all of you and flourish.
If not there's next April's Draft.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY Raider

Personally, I'm hoping the Raiders don't end up with another top draft pick next year. So, if they elect to draft a top flight QB prospect next year, it may actually cost more than this year, e.g., future picks for trading up in the draft plus the same guaranteed monies (plus cost of living adjustment) as we face this year.

IMHO, your contingency plan sucks. I can respect wanting Joe Thomas at LT, if that's your pick de jour,
but you need to be more realistic about QB.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Add this to your Pavlovian ESPN take: Merrill Hoge says he's not convinced that Brady Quinn even merits selection in the first round.

He claims to have spent two months watching tape of Quinn and Russell. Says that there's "no comparison." He said that Brady Quinns come out every year, aand that JaMarcus Russells come out once "every seven to ten years."

The "experts" were sort of right about Reggie Bush and Vince Young, and I think they're right about Russell. Just because I agree with them doesn't mean I'm being led by them. I didn't need anyone to tell me that Reggie Bush would be a human highlight film in the NFL.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Realistic about the QB situation?

Let's talk "Reality" shall we?

How "realistic" is it to COMPLETELY blame a 2nd year player/1st time starter with the dismal performance of the Raiders last season?

Tell me "realistically" the things Walter "should've/could've done to make the Raiders a better team offensively last year.

Can you "realistically" name me even one, NFL quarterback (past, or present) that could have been productive in that Raider offense last year?

How "realistic" was Gruden starting his first season with Jeff George, Donald Hollas , and Wade Wilson, or with just rich Gannon, and Bobby Hoying the following year?

Do you "realistically" believe a 1st year/1st time coach, and a team playing in a completely new system are instantly playoff contenders?

Do you "realistically" believe all the HYPE on Russell?

Do you "realistically" believe Russell is a "top flight" quarterback or the top rated passer in a crappy draft class?

Can you "realistically" provide evidence (stats) that back up the Russell hype?

Do you "realistically" believe that NFL cornerbacks and safeties are as slow and inexperienced as those Russell played in the SEC?

WoW too much reality ....I need a drink!

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would urge everyone that is in the draft Jruss camp to do a little more research.

No doubt we have all seen the clips of Jruss' superhuman strength, as he flicks his wrist and hurls the football 70 yards downfield.

But there are other clips of Jruss out there as well. Clips that show him struggling with his mechanics, footwork, and carelessly tossing the ball into double, and triple coverage.

I've tried to view both sides of Jruss to form an objective opinion, because all I really want is for the Raiders to get the best value with their pick.

What I see is that Jruss has special size and strength/arm strength for a Qb.
But his big frame, and big arm aside, I do not see a Qb with any special skills in Jruss.

The thing is, if we do end up with Calvin Johnson you have to wonder, why did we not make an all out effort to sign Jeff Garcia ??

9:57 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland Raider:
Let's take your rote statement of JRuss being "an overhyped, oversized, strong armed, slightly better than average college quarterback" apart piece by piece. (And to be frank, this statement sounds Pavlovian)

Overhyped: Is JRuss overhyped or is it just because there is increased attention leading up to the draft? Is it overhyped when JRuss has been carefully scrutinized by countless scouts, personnel men, sports writers and the vast majority are impressed?

Oversized: Yes, JRuss is much bigger than the average QB. At 6'6", 260 lbs. he is a freak of nature. And it is bad to be a big, strong, athtletic man in professional football?

Strong Arm: This one cracks me up. The JRuss haters actually want to use this asset against him making the false and ignorant assumption that is JRuss' only attribute.

Slightly better than avg. QB:
Referring to JRuss as a "sligtly better than avg. QB" is too funny for words! Even a known hater like Mike Silver from SI who wanted so desperately to claim JRuss was just another Drunkenmiller, was forced to confess that numerous NFL scouts and personnel men said JRuss is "the real deal".

"Slightly above avg. QB?" It is a given that JRuss has way above avg. phyiscal tools. It is a given that JRuss played in the best conference against the best defenses. It is a given that JRuss had way above avg. statistically. So to review ... JRuss' physical skills and tools are way above average, he played in the best conference and put up way above avg. statistics and his makes you "a slighly above avg. QB?" Yeah, that is some sound logic.

What kills me about your latest post is that it seems that you are resigned to putting all of your eggs in the Walter basket and basically throwing away next season BEFORE the season has even started ... for the possibility of taking Chad Penne? Are you for f'n kidding me? Is it Fools Day?

Henne is a robotic, smaller version of McCown. Not only is JRuss a far superior QB with far superior physical talents than Henne, his statistics across the board were better.

JRuss threw for more yards (3129 to 2508), a higher comp. % (67.8 to 61.9), for more yard per catch (9.15 to 7.65) better TD/Int ration (28/8 to 22/8), was sacked less often (15 to 24), and had a higher QB rating (167.03 to 143.37).

Yes, the healing starts now in the year 2007 but we don't need to wait until 2008 to establish the need and importance of placing a premium on the QB position.

Just say "JRuss" and let the healing and drooling begin! I'm excited, pumped up, and hopeful about the possibility of JRuss wearing the Silver and Black.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Nice take, Calico Jack.

Andrew Walter is the only QB on our roster at this moment to have taken a snap in the NFL. Let's all think about that for a second. Now, discuss...

10:14 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland Raider: Let me answer your "realistic" questions, point by point.

How "realistic" is it to COMPLETELY blame a 2nd year player/1st time starter with the dismal performance of the Raiders last season?

(No one is COMPLETELY blaming Walter for the offensive ineptitude of last year. However, he is responsible and accoutable for his actions NO MATTER how bad the situation might have been. He does deserve his fair share of the blame)

Tell me "realistically" the things Walter "should've/could've done to make the Raiders a better team offensively last year.

(audible, get rid of the ball quicker, move his feet better, throw the ball away, be more decisive, make better reads, be more accurate with his passes, be a better leader, have better pocket awareness)

Can you "realistically" name me even one, NFL quarterback (past, or present) that could have been productive in that Raider offense last year?

(There are different degrees of productivity. Statistics & W/L would be one measure. And yes, by the way, I can name at least 1 QB who could have been productive in last year's offense...Gannon)

How "realistic" was Gruden starting his first season with Jeff George, Donald Hollas , and Wade Wilson, or with just rich Gannon, and Bobby Hoying the following year?

(Considering the drafting positions and personnel it is an apples to oranges discussion. I really can't tell you why Gruden was content with George, Hollas, and Wilson his 1st year and that doesn't exactly make it right now does it?)

Do you "realistically" believe a 1st year/1st time coach, and a team playing in a completely new system are instantly playoff contenders?

(Absolutely not. Realistic would be 5-8 wins)

Do you "realistically" believe all the HYPE on Russell?

(Most not all of the hype. I have read a wide array of scouting reports, articles from a broad spectrum of sources. I have relied on 2 draft gurus/experts in particular that I trust and respect namely Mike Mayock and Todd McShay.)

Do you "realistically" believe Russell is a "top flight" quarterback or the top rated passer in a crappy draft class?

(I sincerely believe JRuss is a special & unique talent that does not come along very often...definitely a top flight prospect)

Can you "realistically" provide evidence (stats) that back up the Russell hype?

(Yes which I have been consistetly providing in various posts)

Do you "realistically" believe that NFL cornerbacks and safeties are as slow and inexperienced as those Russell played in the SEC?

(Of course not. There is a natural progression that EVERY NFL QB makes going from the college game to the pro game. The question is whether or not the QB has the ability to make the necessary adjustments. Further, JRuss did face some of the best, most talented (and yes, fastest) defenders in the SEC which will help make the transistion smoother)

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me "realistically" the things Walter "should've/could've done to make the Raiders a better team offensively last year.

I'll play: As someone else mentioned, it coulda helped if he was smart enough to audible into a quick slant or something when it was obvious they were sending the entire team at him.

It coulda helped if he would have hit wide open receivers when he had time, or didn't hold on to the ball until he got pummeled when he didn't (he agonizingly got more hesitant with every start).

It coulda helped if he would have shown one iota of leadership on the field instead of looking like a deer in the headlights... seriously... his demeanor reminds me so much of Jeff George or Kerry Collins it gives me the creeps.

The only concrete things that we have from Walter are EXCUSES and blind hope.

At least the blind hope us "Russelites" have isn't something that is almost completely irrational... there are plenty of experts that think he is the real deal... try to find an expert ANYWHERE that would say that about Walter.

Sorry man... pinning our hopes on Walter is irrational at best, and moronic at worst.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further, JRuss did face some of the best, most talented (and yes, fastest) defenders in the SEC which will help make the transistion smoother)

To me, this is why drafting a QB early is now becoming less and less of a gamble... the defenses in college are getting more complex and faster.

Most of the early QB draft choices lately look pretty decent right away (Young made the Pro-bowl) and need I remind people that one of them won a SB in his second year?

That is why I think it would be such a huge mistake to pass on Quinn or Russell... we need to get a bluechip QB in a Raider uniform and on the field as early as possible to make a playoff push in two years. Waiting another year just puts us another year behind everyone else that took one of the pro-ready bluechippers.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico....admitt it...when you were a child and your mum took you to the store with her ,you'd cry and pout to get the toy you wanted.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Heartland, I've got a new slogan for you: Booty or Bust!

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Take ....I've got one for you too....Waste not, Want not

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can name at least 1 QB who could have been productive in last year's offense...Gannon

Still laughing...Gannon and Gruden were pretty much on the same page but still had knock down, drag out fights on play calling and audibles. I'm sure Shell and Walsh would have tolerated it much better..ha ha ha. Hell, Walter got benched for it.
I'm sure Gannon could have absorbed those 46 sacks, and countless knock downs Walter took much better.
Just a thought for you, but what play would Gannon have audiblized to?? If it's not in the play book how does he call it? Go to the Buick and cut back?

11:34 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's useless to speculate about what could have happened last year. Coaching and playcalling aside, Walter remains an unknown.

The simple fact is that we can't begin the 2007 campaign with only Walter at QB; and I for one hope we don't approach the QB position similar to last year, i.e., by waiting til the 11th hour and signing a Brooks type.

Assuming Walter is capable of guiding the Raiders thru 2007 and beyond is risky at best, but where’s our contingency? Are the Raiders (at Heartland Raiders’ and others behest) just going to hand Walter the keys and hope for the best? Don’t we at least need a capable backup and perhaps someone for Walter to compete with?

Sure, Walter should be to allowed compete for the starting job, however, beating out Booty and Otis isn’t going to be difficult. Shouldn’t there at least be someone else to safeguard us from another failure? What if it wasn’t ALL the coaching or the playcalling? What if Walter really sucks? Then what, or better, who?

12:06 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland Raider - There is no need for you to resort to cheap insults and troll in the mud.

I think it is very safe to say that all of us realize that the work enviroment of last year made it extremely difficult for ANY offensive player to shine. No one is arguing that point. Bad coaching, bad playcalling, bad offensive line, bad rushing attack, bad effort, bad execution ...etc.

To wash Walter of all responsibility, accountability for what happened on the field is asinine. When he had good protection and misfired on the pass is that not his fault? When he had good protection but held on to the ball too long is that not his fault? When he didn't adjust his footwork to account for oncoming pressure is that not his fault? When he didn't make the proper read or sight adjustment is that not his fault? When he didn't audibilize or adjust the play in obvious situations is that not his fault? When he didn't throw the ball away and took a sack is that not his fault? I could go on and on but I think you catch my drift. Each and every player has an assignment to perform which includes execution, adjustments, and overcoming challenges.

"What play would Gannon audibilize to if it is not in the playbook?" Are you kidding me? Do you honestly think that any QB worth his salt is unable or incapable of dialing up basic football plays that they have run they entire life? Uhh how bout a quick hitch, or slant, or crossing pattern, or delayed screen, swing pass, or draw, or 5 yard stop? Believe or not but one of the requirements of a QB is the ability to think on their feet. By not attempting to audibilize out of a known bad play, Walter was in essence throwing up the white flag of surrender.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

calico.."moronic at worst" isn't an insult?

there's a 45 second clock between plays...are you suggesting Gannon had enough time to chalkboard out all the blocking assigments for the other 10 offensive players for the plays he'd have audibled that were'nt in the book. more reality sorry

12:24 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

If you would be so kind as to check the posts, you will realize that I never said "moronic at worst". I'm not above using sarcastic humor or poking good fun at each other but when you call me out infering I'm a "crybaby", I think you have gone too far.

Are you suggesting that Walter (or any NFL QB) is not equipped with the knowledge and wherewithal to audible into some basic plays/sets? Look, we can go around and around on last year's ineptitude and the ability of a QB to improvise, adapt and audibilize but it seems rather pointless.

For all practical purposes I have washed 2006 from my hard drive. It is time to start a new minty fresh chapter in Raiders history. No point beating the dead 2006 carcass anymore.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I do not believe that those of us who are weary of drafting Jruss # 1 are Jruss haters.

And the fact that he has the strongest arm is not an asset that really means anything.
The same as Joe Montana's "weak" arm meant nothing during his career.

When looking at Jruss we have to see the total picture. Not only his big arm, & 6'6", 260 lb frame.
There is more, much more, that goes into being a top NFL Qb.

Is Jruss the best player in this draft ? I don't think so.
Is he the best Qb in the draft ?
I guess, and maybe that is what will win out in the end.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 - I completely understand that there is a lot of skills and traits that goes into a being a successful QB.

By the same token, I do not believe that those of us who are leary of Walter as our #1 QB are Walter haters.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Would you be up to drafting a later round QB prospect and if so, who? Or does Booty really fit the bill for you?

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palmer or Ratliffe might be interesting in the later rounds

7:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The following excerpts from an article by Todd Beckstead suggest that scouts are pretty good at judging QB talent based on draft order. Here’s a link to the article:

“The 10 NFL drafts from 1995 to 2004 were analyzed to shed a little light on the success of quarterbacks drafted in rounds one through six. The 2005 and 2006 drafts are left out of the discussion since those quarterbacks have not had time to really prove themselves.”

“As would be expected, the odds improve significantly when analyzing the first round selections. Only 48% of those quarterbacks drafted in the first round are not their team's current starter. And, contrary to sixth-round selections, many of those first round non-starters are still contributing as backups on current NFL rosters.”

The percentage of non-starters drafted by round is as follows:

48% First Round
89% Second Round
92% Third Round
94% Fourth Round
100% Fifth Round
86% Sixth Round

Stated another way, over 50% drafted in the first round are starters (not including Leinart, Young and Culter from last year).

Then, zero to 14 percent are starters taken from rounds 2 thru 6, respectively.

That's pretty stunning, but not surprising. Hopefully, we won't decide to draft a QB after the first round.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good link, NY Raider. Says it all, huh? And Heartland, Gannon wouldn't need to worry about each lineman's blocking assignment when you call a play that is designed to get rid of the ball in 2 to 3 seconds. I think your "reality" checks are getting a bit weak.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Play the game and then tell me about reality.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just got back from a short vacation... got caught up reading all the blogs.

this is interesting back and forth chatter and all, but frustrating.

you all know how i feel. i'm not saying ANYTHING more until draft day.

good luck everyone!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland - The ability to audibilize isn't rocket science for a QB nor is it difficult for the other 10 offensive unit members to carry out their assignments. The "reality" is that being able to audibile is basic, rudimentary football that any and all professional football teams should be able to easily handle. You can continue to make excuses and be a Walter apologist all you want but I refuse to lower my expectations for my favorite football team.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stated another way, over 50% drafted in the first round are starters (not including Leinart, Young and Culter from last year).

Then, zero to 14 percent are starters taken from rounds 2 thru 6, respectively.

That IS pretty stunning.

Add to this that there has been 82 SB quarterbacks, and 31 of them were drafted in the top 5 overall.

I just looked it up here...

Lets cut the odds here while we have the chance. Hopefully we won't sniff another top five pick in awhile with this young hot defense.

8:53 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sure, there will always be potential for another Ryan Leaf or even Tom Brady in any draft, but the percentages don’t lie. How long can we be happy living on the arms of retreads. Risk vs reward, drafting Russell is the right thing to do!

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've never said that i wanted to give up on walter. i agree with you that nobody could've been successful at qb last year, no, not even gannon.
to call audibles, would mean that there would have to be alternative plays in the playbook. if you listened to walter complain last season, you'd realize there were no alternative plays in the playbook. audibles do not change the play. audibles change the routes of the play. bed-n-breakfast did not have ONE audible in the raiders' playbook last year. so what was walter suppose to do? play street? that's my problem with the "audible" argument.
i do think walter deserves another shot at qb. he shows similar talent that jruss has shown, though i do have my concerns with both. walter first: a) the inability to get the ball in the end zone from the 20 yard line last year. again, was it walter, or the coaching staff? don't know, but that is why walter should be given a shot to prove himself.
b) he consistently threw behind receivers on the slant, and as the game progressed, under threw and skipped his passes. some will argue that he was benched because of his complaints about the system, but he started 3 more games after his complaint. he was benched because his arm was giving out. he had just come off shoulder surgery, similar to what gannon had. i don't think he was 100% last season. just a personal opinion.
jruss: a) tries to buy time to pass the ball, and is indecisive on running or passing. you cannot do this too often in the nfl; or you'll get creamed. every scramble he made produced 1-3 yards because by the time he made the decision to run, the linebacker was coming in. the positive on this is his scrambles were positive yards. the negative, he waited too long and tried to force something.
b) he put the ball on the turf a little too much for my liking. he didn't protect the ball well when scrambling.
for both of these guys, walter and jruss, these are fixable problems with good coaching. the shoulder problem for walter is strength and conditioning. i don't think the raiders' have had a good strength/conditioning coach the past few years; which is why a lot of the guys have their own program. i think walter should consult with gannon.
i also believe that he couldn't get the ball in the endzone because of the play calling last year (or lack thereof). the plays were simple, the defense knew what was coming, and there was nothing set for audible. walter proved to me last year that he is coachable.
jruss can be coached on his decision making abilities. he may not get it the first few snaps, but he'll learn under kiffin. just like carrying/protecting the football when he scrambles. he too, is coachable.
some people (in sportswriting) say that jruss has more pocket awareness than walter. i disagree, how can you have pocket awareness, when the whole pocket collapses before the snap of the ball?
walter and jruss are similar qb's. i think that they would compliment each other. jruss would be a great backup for walter, and if walter should go down; kiffin wouldn't have to change his game plan. that's the difference i am presenting by drafting jruss. that has been my stance from day one.
i'd be fine with calvin johnson, but we don't need another receiver at this point. that is not going to be an impact player position we need. qb, left tackle, tight end, and defensive tackle; are the impact positions we need right now.
we do need more qb depth. mcnown is not the answer, neither is carr, neither is brooks. the free agency depth at qb is worse than the draft. but there are a few dark horses in there that seem to be forgotten.
i would like us to pick up one of the following vet qb's that no one (save one) has really mentioned:
tim rattay (only one mentioned)
koy detmer
joey harrington
drew bledsoe
in that order too.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider Nate - I respectfully beg to differ on the opportunity for Watler to audible last year. No matter how "skimpy" Walsh playbook might have been there were more than enough basic plays and sets to effectively audible out of 1 bad play into a better one.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Calico, you're no rocket scientist.......with no audibles in the playbook....Walter would have seen a defense he didn't like for the play called in the huddle, and yelled out ... "89 slant, 18 post, 25 hitch, from 3 step drop, on 2". That would have fooled the defense.
Get a clue!

8:12 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

Soley on the "Walter didn't audible" point, I believe he stated that he had one alternative play to check into each time he broke the huddle. Now whether that was due to the design of the offense, or their lack of faith in Walter's abilities, we don't know at this point. However, the play you check into has to have a better chance for success. Based on what we saw last year, does anyone believe there was a great play waiting to be called, that went unused? My guess is no - the alternate play was probably just as bad, or relied on effort from Moss, or for Whitted or Anderson to beat their man. Ugh.

9:19 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Ya know, it's really not possible to argue with someone who has all his own personnally manufactured "facts."

If you want to discuss Walter, lets go for the most apt comparison in terms of the way he played. Andrew Walter is Mark Wilson. You could put film of the two side by side, and you couldn't tell the difference.

Regarding Shell and Walsh's playbook - everyone who actually saw it said it wasn't any different than anybody else's. The difference was in the number of plays selected to work into each game. The idea on the part of the coaching staff was to perfect less, but to perfect something. Not that that was successful, but there's always a plan to everything.

The opinions I read on JRuss are from nationally known scouts and draft analysts, as well as college and NFL coaches. About 95% of what I read about JRuss is gawkingly positive. The bad stuff I hear tends to be cheap or off hand comments that generally seem to crop up this time of year to scare other people off of certain selections. 95% of what I hear of Johnson is positive, but I hear the same 5% of crap I hear about JRuss. But the fact is, we don't need a WR, we need a QB. (Johnson didn't come from a quality program, and he got shut down by the better DBs in college ball.)

Also, if the #1 pick is wasted on a QB, then it would be wasted again next year too, wouldn't it? I don't see that Henne is any better prepared for the NFL than JRuss. His stats certainly don't match JRuss'.

You haven't used any logic at all here, Heartland. Do you have any? Can you understand that when you have a large stable of WRs who are fairly talented, you don't use the #1 overall pick in the draft for a WR? When Mark Wilson, eh, Andrew Walter is your only QB can you acknowledge the possibility that we might need another? Drafting Joe Thomas would make more sense than drafting Johnson, but you don't use the #1 overall pick on an OLineman either. We're weaker at the RB position than WR. Peterson would be a better pick than Johnson. That's not to say that Johnson shouldn't be a number one pick for a team in great need of WRs, but WE DON'T NEED A WIDE RECEIVER!

9:32 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


My understanding was that the coaching staff would give Walter two plays for every huddle, and for him to choose, in the huddle, which one to call. They seemed to discourage Walter from calling audibles, and I suspect that it was because they didn't think he was capable of it.

The 2006 Raiders were a better team than 2-14 if there was a maximum effort. I've come to realize that Shell never went in to 2006 with the intention of winning in spite of the assurances he gave in press conferences. He went into the season strictly with the idea of changing the culture first, and the team rebelled on him. He lost the team.

But 2006 isn't, I don't think, a totally lost season. Shell was not successful at changing the culture, but he's now placed the players in a position where they have to fight for their careers. None can afford another season like the last one. They are going to clutch on to Kiffin as though he is their only ray of hope. The players will give maximum effort in order to attempt to prove that they were not the problem last year. (With the possible exception of Moss.)

9:43 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Heartland - You are right. I'm not a 'rocket scientist' ... just a Raider fan grounded in common sense. Common sense would seem to dictate that in the months of training camps, 100+ practices, 100+ QB meetings, that audibles would be discussed, practiced, and ultimately used.

If you know for a "fact" that the Raiders had no audibles in their playbook, that in itself is quite remarkable. Please send me the link of anything that confirms this remarkable "fact" and I will happily stand corrected. Also, let's not confuse the 'alternative' plays that Walter could use/choose in the huddle and basic audibles that could be run at the line of scrimmage. These are 2 entirely separate issues.

10:15 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Calico said "If you know for a "fact" that the Raiders had no audibles in their playbook, that in itself is quite remarkable."

I agree 100%. That would be utterly ridiculous and most certainly an NFL first.

Regarding the basic plays, I remember hearing in a video interview exactly what Blandarocked suggested, that the Raider QBs were given two plays going into the huddle. One was a running play and one was a pass play. Insomuch as that may be true, something from nothing is still nothing.

I also agree with B-Rocked that the players have everything to lose this year. It’s time to put up AND shut up!

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Put up AND shut up"

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One or two audibles is not significant in a NFL playbook. As a High School QB, I had 6 different audibles for one given play. I cannot even begin to imagine how many are in an NFL Playbook for one play.
He may have been given an "alternative" play to run in the huddle, but that doesn't mean anything. To me, that means the choices he was given was "pass the ball" or "run the ball."
Walsh's playbook was similar to any other teams playbook, if you were playing Madden '07. They may have set it up like a NFL playbook, but they didn't plan on using that playbook. They planned on using fixed plays that failed. I said that all last year! John Shoop may have "taken over" as offensive coordinator, but he was given the same crappy set of plays to run.
Being given a choice of plays to call in the huddle, is not an audible, nor is it set to audible. They didn't have any audibles to call for a play, that was proven by Shell's post game comments for all 16 games! He even said it in training camp, "We are going to attack straight at you, with downhill running, and deep passing." That was their offensive game plan, no need for audibles there. I just didn't think they were going to come out with a Pee-Wee Football playbook the way they did.
So when I say "no audibles," their audibles were not significant in their changes. Meaning one+ receiver was always going to run deep, nothing short. Or the running game was either going to be on the right side of the center, or his left.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah... but it's still all Walter's fault he wasn't a Pro Bowl performer last year!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Heartland, we all know the scheme was shitty, but how come even Brooks had a game or two where he moved the ball? He actually looked good aginst the Chiefs until he botched it. Walter had very few shining moments. In short, he sucked. It may have been primarily scheme but he sure doesn't make rational Raider fans feel warm & fuzzy about our QB situation. Whether they take Russell or Quinn or McCown, Walter has two bad flaws... he's immobile as hell and has an arm that repeatedly tires out. There's no debate to those flaws.
Al's gonna do what Al's gonna do as to the Qb situation. I think most of us just hope he rolls the dice on a 1st round Qb... if we're going down let's at least go down with a fresh outlook.
I still can't believe the LB & DE talent available in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. We could sew-up our defense for the next 3-4 years. LB's Timmons and Buster Davis are really good and even Timmons may still be around with our 2nd pick as may Charles Johnson or Quenten Moses.
Also Cooper Carlisle would be a great FA addition on our line. He knows the blocking scheme Cable wants to run and is quite good at it.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider Nate:

You wrote: "One or two audibles is not significant in a NFL playbook."

First, I find it rather hard to believe that the team only had 1 or 2 audibles. I would love to see any source that confirms this.

You wrote: "As a High School QB, I had 6 different audibles for one given play. I cannot even begin to imagine how many are in an NFL Playbook for one play."

My point precisely. You mean to tell me that a H.S. team would have more audibles to run than a professional team? Seems dubious and unlikely.

You wrote: "He may have been given an "alternative" play to run in the huddle, but that doesn't mean anything. To me, that means the choices he was given was "pass the ball" or "run the ball."

I understand that. As I stated, in my previous post, alternate plays to choose from in the huddle and audibles to run from the line of scrimmage are 2 entirely different things.

You wrote: "They didn't have any audibles to call for a play, that was proven by Shell's post game comments for all 16 games! He even said it in training camp, "We are going to attack straight at you, with downhill running, and deep passing."

Your statement above does not prove whether or not the Raiders had audible plays to run or not.

If the following is true:

The Raiders didn't practice running audibles and didn't have multi-audible sets to utilize in their playbook, I will stand corrected. It would be the 1st time in modern professional football history that a team was so ill prepared to not have this basic tool at their disposal.

Heartland: I sincerely hope that Walter is given every opportunity to compete and put his best foot forward in 2007. I wish that I shared your belief in Walter to be a successful #1 QB in the NFL. We shall see...

No matter who is under center in 07, the signing of OG Carlisle would be a major upgrade to our O-Line.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news...the Raiders had a private workout with Trent Edwards
and are taking a look this week at Feidler.. Very interesting

9:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Harrington signed with Atlanta to backup Vick. Now add him to the list of losers (along with David Carr) who signed new deals to be backup QB’s. Why would we even consider a QB that WANTS to be a backup? That’s two down!

Now who’s left? Culpepper, Bledsoe, and a couple nobodies. Bledsoe might be a good choice because of his extensive pro experience with great coaching. He’s got to be near retirement. My gut feeling is he’s a capable mentor, and prepared to do just that at this point in his career.

Day 1 QB rotation: Walter, Bledsoe and Russell. (A rotation that's likely to change quickly.)

Culpepper could represent more of a stopgap should Walter not be prepared (or adequate) to start the season. Or, we through Russell right in the mix.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1st Calvin Johnson
2nd Trent Edwards

"Stanford senior quarterback Trent Edwards
The 6-foot-4, 224-pound athletic passer rebounded from a season-ending right foot injury to post 40-yard times in the 4.75 range. He then wowed scouts and quarterback coaches with his quick, compact delivery; overall accuracy; and deep ball during workouts. In fact, even some of the all-time best talent evaluators of this position weighed in following his pro day.

"He had some of the best pure mechanics and setup that I have seen in recent years," Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh told reporters after the workout.

Edwards' rare physical tools and better-than-advertised toughness have helped push him back up the ranks the past few months. There is at least one NFL offensive coordinator who has him ranked among the top-2 QBs in the draft. He has had private workouts with a number of teams among the top 10 who are in need of drafting a quarterback and could now be taken as high as the first 35-40 picks. "

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lost in Paridise:

Came back to Thailand for 3 days and trying to find out what is happening with the Raiders....I guess no news is good news....but on the Russel thing...I will be "Sabi Sabi" (Happy) if we take him at #1..."FutureHope"....

In the morning back to Cambodia but now I finally have a Slooooo InTerNet conection so I can watch the Draft....

What do we know about the QB's the Raiders signed....Josh Booty...Jeff Otis...


9:33 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

As a resident of the Big D, let me assure you, we don't want Bledsoe. He goes on the tilt and makes rookie-quality mistakes. His bad decisions compound. He would be the second coming of KFC.

Great contest at

Who Will The Raiders Select In The 2007 Draft?
Tell us who you think The Raiders will select with their 1st and 2nd draft picks in the 2007 NFL Draft for the chance to win one of the following prizes:

1st Pick Package (One Winner):
• Authentic Raiders jersey signed by Strong Safety Michael Huff
• Raiders Mini Helmet signed by Raiders HOF Jim Otto
• History of The Raiders DVD

2nd Pick Package (Five Winners):
• Raiders Mini Helmet signed by Raiders HOF Jim Otto
• History of The Raiders DVD

3rd Pick Package (Ten Winners):
• History of The Raiders DVD

Interesting to note that the default answers are: Calvin Johnson, Tony Ugoh

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trent Edwards... hmm. I see, heartland, that he was a 7 for 13 for 68 might yrads against that vaunted Notre dame defense you think so little of. Hmmm... yeah, I'll take that over Russell.
Keep trying heartland and meanwhile we'll keep hammering your weak points. Combine Johnson's Georgia game and Edwards Notre Dame games and your two pick would net us a nasty 81 yards of total offense. Impressive.
Heartland, come on throw in the towel or do better than that sh*&.
Edwards may end up being special, but if you're leery of Russell, sheez you'd have to be a nut not to be absolutely scared shitless of this Edwards guy. did he ever finish a season? He was 12 for 23 with 3 picks and no TD's against UCLA. I could go on and on... his resume looks extremely weak. I do see that stanford finally won a game AFTER he got hurt, beating Washington 20-3.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama 7
Do they teach english in that part of the country?
I'm not suggesting Edwards over Russell. If you read it again, I suggested Johnson over Russell.

Pretty fair comparison... LSU and Stanford.
I'm sure Edwards had the same quality of supporting teamates as Russell did.
Bill Walsh is an idiot too what does he know about QB's?

10:42 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I understand your concerns about Bledsoe, however, I'm not suggesting Bledsoe as a stopgap, but as a capable mentor for the young QB's on our roster.

If we draft Russell (or Quinn) and go into the season with all young QB's, we will need that veteran presence. There are of course other options, but none of them are ideal by any means.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The big rumor and it's really heating up and we'll begin to hear this soon is the Raiders are leaning toward taking Calvin Johnson. They will trade Randy Moss to the Baltimore Ravens for QB Kyle Boller which makes sense to me. IF he's in the right system which allows him to show off his arm strength then it will work out ala brett favre with atlanta to green bay. By no means I am making this comparison of him but he does have the potential. He's shown flashes lately in baltimore and is a local native from Cal. I'm all for it. Calvin Johnson will be in silver and black and Kyle Boller will be a great acquisition.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heartland I'll take your primary rebuttal, which was a slam at my grammar, to mean you have no real come back for my shredding of your poorly researched, knee-jerk desire for Edwards as our 2nd round pick.
And I think your response in your last email should have been written as "If you (WERE) to read it again..." I'm also pretty sure english should be capitalized. So looks like we both need a remedial English course. Give me your address and I can save you some embarrassment... I'll get you a JR car sticker (JR "the QB") to cover your "W" sticker on your car... or have you already scraped that off along with about 50,000,000 other Americans.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I coming to see you Elizabeth! Lamont, call the doctor.
I was too busy fighting off heartland to read "True's" blog.
True- are you trying to give everyone a coronary? Of all the lamebrained scenarios we've discussed that one probably has made to be the worst.
Three basic, undisputable draft rules:
1. Never take a kicker or punter in the first round (we didn't abide by this)
2. Never take a QB from Houston
3. Never take a Tedford QB. Repeat, never take a Tedford QB. How many Tedford busts do we need before he is unable to even recruit a QB? Boller wasn't successful with a good running game, a future hall of famer LT and arguably the best defense in the history of the NFL.
And you like the idea of getting Boller? Please tell me this rumor is unfounded. Th eonly way I'd take Boller is if someone wanted me to take his contract off their hands and then offered me draft picks with it as further enticement. Moss for Boller? The Indians got a better deal for Manahattan.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey pope,
it is interesting to see who the default people are in that contest. i think that will guarantee that neither will be selected; and they are using that as decoy to get you to take it.
unless, they think "this is what everyone will think, and won't select these 2, so nobody will win." ooooooo man, i'm confused.
i love draft day analysis and conspiracy. did you know:
the root word for analysis is "anal?" as well, conspiracy is made up of 2 words: "cons" and "piracy?" something to think about. how's that for an english lesson heartland and bama7?
seriously, i don't really care who we pick. i've stated my opinion and reasoning as to why i think we pick russell.
cj-i only threw in the play calling take in my last post in reply to what you said. i respect your opinion, just like you do mine. but i think the fact stands that either: a) the raiders had audibles in the playbook, but didn't utilize them, nor allow brooks or walter to utilize them.
b) the raiders playbook was void of any real audibles.
personally, i think it was a mixture of both. they didn't have a lot of audibles, and the few they had, they didn't allow brooks or walter to utilize them. i say that, solely from art shell's comments he made throughout last year of: "our game plan is simple. we are going to run hard at you, and throw deep." and evidence of last year's games shows it really was that simple.
that was the point i was trying to make. again, i'm not saying it proves it; but what i am saying is the writing and evidence is on the wall. the writing and evidence is: walsh is an idiot, and last year's offense was pee wee league at best.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What will the Raiders do? Haiku

Who will be drafted?
Russell, Johnson, or SURPRISE!?
Our choice equals guess.

Al Davis knows who
But nobody else knows who
Mysterious Cloud

Raider Nation grins
With whomever it will be
At the number one

1:55 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I'm sorry Heartland but I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that you wrote, "Great news...the Raiders had a private workout with Trent Edwards and are taking a look this week at Feidler.. Very interesting"

Walter, Booty, Edwards, and Fiedler... oh my! The words "great news" and "Jay Fiedler" should never be in the same sentence!

Fielder didn't play at all in 2006 and threw a whopping 13 passes in 2005. Last significant action was 2004.

Booty hasn't played in a real game since 2000 at LSU

Edwards has only completed 1 full season (2005) and has never led his team to an above .500 winning percentage (3-5; 4-5; 5-7; 0-6)

Walter has started 8 games in which he struggled mightily ... I know "It wasn't his fault".

This scouting report captures what I consider some of Walter' shortcomings:

"Walter isn't experienced or very athletic. He is heavy-footed and needs good protection to thrive. He lumbers and offers little as a scrambler. He can get happy feet in the face of pressure and isn't nimble enough to routinely sidestep the pass rush. His accuracy suffers in less than ideal throwing conditions. He has a long, fairly slow release. He sometimes tries to do too much and will force throws"

3:27 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Walter scouting report - ouch.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well for all you JR fans, I just recently saw an interview with JR on ESPN. And Russell has had numerous injuries, did anyone else know this? His' had ligaments repaired in his throwing hand, a dislocated shoulder and a few bangs on his head, oh that's why he talks slow lol.

Anyways, doesn't this make all of you a little weary of us selecting Russell? If it doesn't you all should be worried. Fat and injuried not my cup of tea.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Walter isn't experienced or very athletic. He is heavy-footed and needs good protection to thrive. He lumbers and offers little as a scrambler. He can get happy feet in the face of pressure and isn't nimble enough to routinely sidestep the pass rush. His accuracy suffers in less than ideal throwing conditions. He has a long, fairly slow release. He sometimes tries to do too much and will force throws"

Uhhh... this is obviously an EXPERT. Wow. Point ofr point correct.

But what do they know?

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If Edwards is your man... what happens if he is already drafted (there are certainly more than two teams looking for QB's) and what do we do with Moss?

With Moss, Johnson, and Porter on the same roster, we are looking at what, 20 million dollars per year on one position?

And maybe I missed it, why don't we simply make offense revolve around Curry?

As the old movie kinda goes... at this point, I'd piss on a sparkplug right now to get us some wins. I don't see anyone convincing me that drafting Johnson would help much.

Maybe it's because premier WR's so rarely help crappy offenses... in fact I can't think of an instance when it has worked.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know i wasn't gonna say anything more - about the draft that is.

no matter who we get, all walter needs is a FAIR shake! it was basically his first year as a starter. you can say it was his rookie year. the press and many of us expected the world from him especially after davis passed on leinart and cutler. anyway, he's getting his reps in this mini-camp. he got his feet wet in '06 and i think he'll be alright in '07. we still need to trade for a vet though to push him.

come on guys say it - ANDREW! ANDREW! ANDREW! ANDREW! ANDREW!


6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would take Fiedler or Rattay over Cullpepper, Bledsoe, or any other FA QB out there.

Fiedler may have been marred by injuries, but he sure would be a better mentor to Walter and any other QB we bring in than Bledsoe. Fiedler has had success and would not be seeking a long term starting slot having been out of such a position for a few years. And, he would likely come dirt cheap.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon 6:12 - Yes, JRuss has had a few injuries and it would worry me if these injuries were within the last year BUT he played the entire 2006 season ... all 13 games and passed for 3,129 yards at a 68% completion rate, 28 TDs to 8 INTs, for a QB rating of 167.03.

Gary - In regards to the scouting report from ESPN Insider ... It described some of my doubts and concerns about Walter being a viable #1 QB and also our current overall QB dilemma. Regardless of who we draft or sign, I would love to see Walter compete and put his best foot forward.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with that negative scouting report on Walter ?

Wasn't there anything good in that report ??

If that report is true, than the Raiders had no business drafting Walter as high as 3rd round pick.

Anyway, scouts don't always know, or else Tim Couch would be a star today.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 - Whether you agree with the scouting report or not, it captured and articulated some of my concerns about Walter.

I'm not implying that Walter isn't capable of being more productive with better coaching, a better system, better O-line protection, and better playcalling.

What truly bothers me the most based on what I saw last season was Walter' inability to adjust, move, slide in the pocket to avoid pressure. Unfortunately, IMO, his lack of agility, nimbleness, mobility and pocket awareness demands near perfect protection.

Obviously these shortcomings can be minimized in the hybrid WCO but I feel it is a legitmate concern.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's not that I disagreed or agreed with the scouting report. In my mind it's way too early to judge Walter, or to know if the report is correct.

All I'm saying is that a scouting report usually contains both pro, and con, of a players abilities.

The report you cited was all con/negative with seemingly nothing good to say.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some nice pics have been posted in the raiders' photo gallery, with the 1st day of minicamp. moss, sapp, burgess, jano, or lechler was not there; but kiffin spoke with each.
a mediot asked kiffin, "[Andrew Walter] was moving around more than we [the media] are used to seeing. Is that a part of his game that you think can be exploited?"
to which kiff replied, "That’s our system. Guys come in and play within our system and we have to get guys better at what they don’t do really well in the system."
This was followed by the question, "How is he doing?"
kiff's response, "He’s getting better."
that's fabulous, really great insight to how the team is doing. when asked about the #1 overall pick, kiff's response was, "it's a great situation."
i asked him what he ate this morning, and he replied, "breakfast."
i asked him what system he would like to run with the raiders, and his reply was, "one that will help them play better."
i then asked him, "you said you spoke with randy on the phone, what did you talk with him about?" kiffin replied, "we talked about the future of the team, and what we looked for with the minicamp after the draft."
i'm amazed! that is the most anyone has got out of any raiders' coach before preseason. i thought he gave away too much info (i say that in all sarcasm)!
he and al davis DO have a lot in common. the only difference is, kiffin did all of this with a smile.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes Russell got dinged up on two ocassions. Once against Florida and once againt Georgia in the SEC championship (2005). One thing that I wish everyone would understand is the level of defensive comeptition this guy faced. Let's take Georgia and Florida defensers alone, that will be taken in the first 3 rounds of the draft:
DL: Jarvis Moss (DE Florida, certain 1st rounder) Charles Johnson & Quenten Moses (DL Georgia... possible 1st rounders, sure 2nd rounders). Marcus Thomas DL Florida... 2nd round. Brandon Siler LB Florida... 1st maybe, 2nd round. Earl Everett LB Florida, will go on the first day. Reggie Nelson, S Florida... 1st Round.
Let's also consider these guys: Patrick Willis the consensus best LB in this year 's draft (Ole Miss), Juwon Simpson LB from Bama a sure 1st day pick and solid hitter, Jamal Anderson DL Ark, one of the top two DE's in this year's draft, Justin Harrell one of the top D-linemen in this year's draft (Tenn), Turk McBRide his teammate, another day 1 pick.
These are all 1 day picks, many are 1st rounders or 2nd rounders... really talented, quick defensive players. Russell has played all of these guys year in and year out. He also faced last year's defensive rookie of the year Demeco Ryan two years straight and did well.
he ahd a little trouble against Florida's defense last season... but fared better than Troy Smith! he also beat Florida in 2005.
Russell is battle tested. Will he need coaching to reach his potential? yes. Will he need a running game? yes. Can he succeed? Yes. At LSU he got better each season and he is very young.
Why did Kiffen recently add two black, southern coaches to his staff? They seem to be very obscure picks. One coached at a college in Louisianna, the other here at an all black college in Bama.

7:09 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Yeah, sapp, burgess, jano and lechler were not at the Raiders' 1st voluntary mini-camp, but Jerry Porter WAS! He was quoted as saying ...hearing Kiffin bark instructions reminded him of Gruden... in a good way I'm sure.

Apparently, practice was shortened (atypical of last season), but run at a much quicker pace. That makes a lot of sense. Quality over quantity.

9:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

What I'm hearing during the off season (putting it all together) is that Shell was hired way late, and never really got off the ground. He spent his entire season adressing attitudes among the staff and the players without showing anyone a solid plan. Players were afraid to address they "plan" problem because they were afraid that they would be identified with the "attitude" problem.

This suggests that Shell, putting Walsh aside, simply wasn't ready to resume head coaching responsibility. He had been out of it for too long, and he had too short of a time after being hired.

While I still feel that Shell would have been far better and more prepared in his second season, I think that Davis was right in that there was a growing mutiny in the works.

Good luck to Shell, now that he's back in the offices of the NFL. I feel very positive, right now, about Kiffin.


Good to have you back with us, even if it's only on occasion.

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