Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Myths of the AFC West

The arguments against our pick of Darren McFadden are dropping like flies on the heels of Dominic Rhodes, who was released yesterday.

How many times have I already heard from the media that Al Davis couldn’t “resist” McFadden, or that McFadden was “irresistible” to the Raiders? In other words, the Raiders couldn’t help themselves. It sure wasn’t a sensible strategic decision, because…well, that just doesn’t fit the Hater Worldview.

So we hear all this bleating about how running back wasn’t a “need” for the Raiders. Really? We have two guys (I mean, one) who couldn’t crack last year’s starting lineup, a guy who’s never played a snap in the NFL, and a guy who, despite having a “breakout” year, scored a total of four touchdowns in 2007.

Such a running “attack” only becomes formidable when the media need to use it as a convenience to support their preordained assertion that McFadden was “irresistible.”

The problem is that some people are confusing moving the chains with scoring touchdowns. Yes, we racked up some healthy yardage last year. But in the red zone, we were a disaster, as we were the year prior.

Aside from Daunte Culpepper’s fluke trio of rushing touchdowns against the pathetic Miami Dolphins, the Raiders had a total of eight rushing touchdowns in 2007—four less touchdowns than Adrian Peterson alone scored in 14 games last year.

Fargas scored four touchdowns last year (one more than Culpepper), doubling his career total. LaDainian Tomlinson, meanwhile, scored four touchdowns against us on October 14.

It’s not just about moving the chains. It’s about making people miss on third-and-goal at the three-yard line. LaDanian Tomlinson passes for touchdowns. He catches touchdowns. He goes airborne for touchdowns. He jukes for touchdowns. He draws attention that creates open receivers who catch touchdowns. Does Fargas do that? Crickets.

Isn’t it time the Raiders scored some touchdowns, too? I’m not going to compare McFadden to L.T., but who wants to bet me that he won't match Fargas's career total of six touchdowns in his rookie year alone? Any haters in the media want to take me up on that? Didn't think so. So much for not having a "need."

Which brings me to the myth of the AFC West. I keep hearing how, particularly because we play in the AFC West, we should have focused on stopping the run instead of running the ball.

Yet in a bad season last year we still beat the Chiefs once and Broncos once. We easily could have beaten the Broncos twice if not for a botched field goal. And we lost to the Chiefs by two points not because we held them to 12 points, but because we couldn't score more than 10 points ourselves.

So watch out for those big, bad 4-12 Chiefs with Brody Croyle and Larry Johnson? So scary! They put up a whopping 29 points on us last year. And those 7-9 Broncos really ended the season on an up note with their fearsome rushing attack of...who, again? Come on. Quit running scared and start running the ball.

It’s not 2005 anymore, folks. We’re starting to turn the tables. Now they get to worry about our rushing attack. How can you not be pumped up by the thought of that?

Of course, San Diego and L.T. are still a problem (but not just for us, I can assure you), and our rushing defense was, indeed, a train wreck last year.

I believe, however, that our line will be improved this year on the basis of experience and cohesion. I believe that our linebackers are up to the task. I believe that DeAngelo Hall will free up our safeties in the open field. Gibril Wilson bumps Michael Huff to a more natural role, and Stuart “Patty Cake” Schweigert to the bench. You might get 12 yards on us. But the days of the unabated 30-yard romp are coming to an end on the defensive side of the ball (and just getting started on the offensive side of the ball).

The reality, not the myth, is that the Raiders now have the second-best running attack in the AFC West. The reality, not the myth, is that we have nothing to fear from the Broncos and Chiefs in 2008. The reality, not the myth, is that McFadden was a sensible pick who fills a dire need for scoring touchdowns and winning games.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call Me Assassin:
A Game Breaker is what we drafted, pure and simple. I know there are quite a few of us in Raider Nation that question the wisdom of this selection but D-Mac coupled with the unveiling of Mr. Michael Bush (depiction to come later) will strike fear in the hearts of our opponents this upcoming season.
It will become obvious the very first time MaCfadden breaks off tackle through an arm tackle, ducking into a hole you didn't notice till he passed through it, slipping now, past an out of position linebacker, angling towards the sideline just now appearing on the safety's radar. MaCfadden will hesitate just a moment before dropping into that "next" gear, destroying the last line of defense's angle of pursuit, turning upfield along the sideline and leaving a vapor trail in his wake. A roar will rise at Rickey's and wherever else Raider Nation congregates, a din so loud you won't be able to hear yourself think. Sloshing beer will escape your mug, back slapping and high fives ensue. the chant of
RaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyDuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhssssssssssss is sure to follow and like it or not you'll join in trying to remember the last time watching a Raider game felt like this but already knowing that it doesn't matter cause the Raiders are back!
Really there's just one question to be answered, what # will MaCfadden be sporting. With 25 taken at the moment, I'd guess 32 as its available and has considerable history attached.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a reply to CJ in the last post. The other teams won't pass knowing it's our strength defensively, if they can gain 20+ yards rushing, especially if they have a rookie RB. They take the opposite West Coast offense, where they dink/dunk for a few passing yards, and BAM, hit you with a long run. As good as our passing defense is, it is not the best either. We gave up some pretty big plays on the pass too.
The philosophy I'm taking is, yes it will dictate some what they do offensively if they are down, but in 3rd and long situations, we should guard against the draw. Stopping the run becomes vital when we are ahead, just as much as it does when we are down. If we want them to play to our strength defensively, we have to reinforce our weakness. I think with Warren coming back, and Kelly going to the 3-point, we should be able to plug the hole, and open opportunities for Burgess and Co to get more sacks.
The problem with our D-Line has become that the opposing O-Line knows they do not have to double team the DT's. We will see if that changes.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT, I agree that we needed identity offensively, and I agree that McFadden is a talent. In my opinion, we already have a "game breaker RB" in Michael Bush. Say what you want about McFadden not having a QB, but again Michael Bush made Brohm (Louisville's QB), not the other way around; or otherwise Brian Brohm would have been selected higher in the draft, and Louisville would have been just as effective as they were with Bush. But instead, they are coming off a mediocre year, and Brohm did not have a great season.
What scares me about McFadden is the undying comparisons to Reggie Bush. Yes, Reggie is a weapon. Yes, Reggie has unbelievable talent. But Reggie does not have NFL Power to bowl people over, and essentially becomes ineffective.
The difference between Bush and Adrian Peterson, is Peterson has the speed and power; Bush only has the speed.
You should say that we have the best unproven Offense in the league with McFadden, Bush, Fargas, J-Russ in the backfield, Walker, Carter, and Curry at WR (with Buchanon, Higgins, and others), Kwame Harris at LT, Gallery at LG, Wade at C, Carlisle at RG, and Green at RG, with Miller at TE. Unproven Mario Henderson, McQuizzie, and Grove with others on the bench. Not too mention if J-Russ goes down (God forbid), we have Walters and Jeff Otis at QB.
To be honest, we don't know what we have on offense. We don't know if this "change" will be for the better or for the worse.
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see "big" changes offensively. I see improvement, but is enough to make a tremendous difference? I don't know........

6:04 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Well said, Take.

Despite the 2007 ranking, there’s no question our running game is a work-in-progress. And McFadden adds a dynamic that simply didn’t exist. Most notably, he’s a home run hitter who can score on any play, from anywhere on the field. Also, he will make the players around him better (e.g., Russell, the O-line, WR, etc). To this extent, he will command the attention of opposing teams and provide other play makers opportunity. IMO, Run DMC comes in with a boatload of talent and a great (winning) attitude.

As for our run D, we almost certainly will get better, just how much will be the issue. As Calico Jack has pointed out, Kelly should be a considerable improvement against the run over Sapp. At DT, look for Warren and/or Joseph to make a contribution. Two talented high-pick underachievers with something to prove.

And despite losing Clemons, we may be in better shape this year at DE, with the maturation of Richardson and additions of Edwards and possibly Trevor Scott (DE, Buffalo). One of the latter should step up and become the pass rush specialist that Clemons provided.

Actually, I’m still concerned about our secondary. Hearing Ryan speak a few months ago about SS, I get the impression that he has made this position too cerebral. I believe Huff is a smart dude, but the multitude of assignments placed on SS may have put a stranglehold on his raw talents. Moving Huff to FS and playing to Gibril’s strengths would be tremendous. Let’s hope it gets done. Meanwhile, Schweigert needs to shut up (in the locker room and in interviews) and accept his new role as a backup.

Finally, I’d like to discuss special teams, which has been below average and quite boring for years. As much as I rank on our propensity to draft CBs, this year’s selection of Tyvon Branch makes sense. For all the hit and miss selections, this guy seems to bring the right skill set to the job, i.e., a proven kick returner (with 4.31 speed) and a good tackler. This guy plays CB, S and KR.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are 100% right. taking a defensive lineman sounded logical. But you had to take a step back and realize Oakland still had major problems scoring points last year.TD's specifically.Rushing TD's came fewest of all. And while I respect Fargas and love his heart and ability,and he plays harder that anybody,he is not THE guy. He had a great year in 2007. But you hit right on the head, he scored 4 td's all season.That doesn't cut it. AL obviously thought so as well Not to mention,when he finally gets tabbed as the starter: lo and behold he unsurprisingly goes down injured with Rhodes becoming the starter in the final 2 games.And he didn't start from opening day. I wish that had surprised me. He is tough, but I just can't imagine Fargas going 16 games without injury. As an every down starter he will spend a minimum of 5 games on the sideline injured, McFadden was basically a need.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

RaiderNate 75, I hear you, but if Mr. Davis and Kiffin had any evidence that Bush was capable of breaking out to be an elite back in the NFL, I doubt they would have drafted McFadden.

I don't think McFadden was "irresistible" to them in the way of a shiny penny to a toddler (as the media would have us believe). I think he represented a smart choice, in their opinion, to take our running game to the next level, a level that Bush cannot.

Whether they are right or not (about both Bush and McFadden) remains to be seen. But I've got to think they know something we don't about Bush at this point.

We've been moving the chains but haven't had anyone who can punch the scoring ticket with regularity from the five- or three-yard line. Fargas and Jordan just don't have the moves to cut through, juke around or fly over the goal-line stand.

The evidence is in our eight total non-QB rushing touchdowns all of last year despite having the sixth-ranked rushing offense in rushing yards per game.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, this is a band-wagon I can jump on. The only thing as consistent as our poor run defense has been our scoring the last 5 years. We were 23rd, 32nd, 23rd, 18th, and 26th.

In comparison, we were 31st, 25th, 25th, 22nd, and 32nd in stopping the run.

We haven't been able to put points on the board, nor stop the run... it's amazing we won 19? games.

It's no wonder the Nation was largely divided in whether we use that first pick on stopping the run or becoming more explosive.

BOTH need to be accomplished in order to become a playoff team.

Myself.. I think the biggest change on defense will be Gibril (or maybe just having Stuey anywhere but on the field). All the best teams have the best safeties.

This could work!

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article today. I agree, the haters will be wetting their pants when we get going this year. I especially love your points about the KC game we lost. 10 stinking points against that sorry defense they have, made me sick (only game I could get to last year and my wife's first live Raider game). I think we're going to have a pretty decent offense this year. If the defenses stack the box, I believe Russell will make them pay, if not, McFadden will.

At first I was thinking I'd like Chris Long as DE still seems pretty weak on the one side. But the more I think about it, I'm pretty happy with the McFadden pick. Let's face it, guys that we've drafted for the same reason before (Allen, Bo, and even Kaufman to a degree) changed the entire offense and the way the defenses had to line up against us. Let's hope history repeats itself here.

9:26 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I wouldn't discount Michael Bush. I see him as an integral part of our "identity" at RB. He may prove to be a huge weapon for us, even if only short-yardage, goal line and protecting 4th qtr leads.

I was on the edge of my seat last year when we drafted him, and was extremely disappointed he was not activated.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I sure hope Bush pans out. Word is that he's looking strong. I just figure that Davis and Kiffin still sensed additional need at the position. Either that, or they're just hell-bent on having an epic 1-2 combo, which is fine with me.

9:40 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take a look at what's happening. KC had, what, 13 draft picks and did next to nothing in free agency. They will be working with a very young team this season, likely reflecting very much how the Raiders looked last season.

Denver, after breaking the bank in free agency last season, did next to nothing in free agency this year. They are still trying to solidify their front office in order for Shanahan to realign the executive structure and keep his job.

San Diego, also avoided free agency, didn't do anything spectacular in the draft, and signed 17 undrafted free agents.

This is the way the Raiders looked last year when Kiffin was worried about putting a team of 53 players together who knew how to play football. Last year after the draft, Kiffin rounded up almost every player who wasn't yet signed with another team. This year, he picked himself up a handful - and there's more free agency on the way.

We have some players who could be starters elsewhere that we can trade off or cut to find money to sign better players at positions of need.

The question for us is not whether we have, now, a talented enough team to win, but how long it will take to get these players to mesh and play as a unit.

Davis, the presumptive GM, has done his job. I'd compare his off season moves with any other team in football. No the ball is in Kiffin's court. Kiffin and the rest of the coaching staff must build this group of talented athletes into a team.

9:43 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

An interesting pick is Schilens. I saw some Y-Tube video of him. This guy is FAST! He can stretch the field. He can get behind defenders and make the catch over his head.

Question... Is he the next James Jett? Jett's problem was not that he wasn't talented enough for the NFL, it was that he couldn't convince himself to spend enough time on the practice field to learn new skills. He turned into a one talent wonder on a team that didn't have the QB to get him the ball.

We have the QB to get Schilens the ball. If defenders just decide to stay in front of Schilens like they did with Jett, defenders will find a happy relationship developing between Russell and Miller - or McFadden.

From what I hear, Schilens is also a hard worker and eager to learn.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man I can't wait for Madden '09


10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottom line, why did we lose more games last year? Was it because we couldn't score or because we couldn't stop the other team from scoring?
On the offensive side, was our lack of scoring more because we didn't have the air game(quarterback and wide receivers worth their salt) to complement the running game or because our running game couldn't punch the ball in?
On the defensive side did we give up points because we couldn't scheme or because we couldn't tackle?
Does anybody want to take all the confusion on, and instead of making everything complex, simplify the Raiders formula for success for 2008-09? Is it really to force other teams to abandon the run playing catchup?

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

true blanda - but davis MUST give this coach a chance to do his job. i for one believe this could be a playoff team. as a fan, our expectations are high but so is davis'. at kiffin's press conference when he was hired davis said he would right the ship again or something to that tune. but didn't he also say that it would take time? davis can't possibly expect a college coach with zero NFL experience to succeed immediately can he? if so, these are very unrealistic expectations. our long term success depends on stability of management to be patient now. doesn't matter how old davis is, he has to believe he is leaving his franchise in capable hands.

10:44 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Kiffin kept reiterating the same thing about our run defense last season. I.e., it's not one thing. It's a lot of things. Kiffin refuse to identify one specific unit on the defense that was the cause of the problem. In fact, he implied on more than one occasion that the offense had something to do with it as well.

Having one dominant player on the defense will not solve the problem. Nor will having a dominant player on offense solve the problem. The problem is fixed (or at least addressed) by improving the overall quality of both units.

Teams run on you when they can afford to. If you're not putting points on the board, they can afford to. How many times last season did we effectively stop the run on 1st and 2nd down, only to give up 15, 20, 30 yards on a third down run? Teams are going to be less willing to run on third down if they believe that we can score on our next possession. Teams are going to have to challenge us in the air against Nnamdi and Hall. At their own risk.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk and imagination of great winnings are cheap and limited only by the creative imagination of the fan! What should the Raiders play any game next season? I declare the Raiders as AFC Western Division champs. We already know the game outcomes and how D-Mac will dramatically win the games!! sic gloria transit

11:20 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Okay, he will have limited impact and we will fail. Hooray!

11:25 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

We've had 13 touchdowns TOTAL scored on the ground by our running backs over the past TWO seasons. Who needs McFadden? Hooray!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letting go of Kiffin before 2009 would be like letting go of Madden before 1976, assuming he continues the job his is doing.

The expectations in the early/mid 70's were to win the Super Bowl and nothing less. Al stuck by his guy and the expectations were met.


11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCAR: I will tackle your question. It's a TEAM game, what one side of the ball does, effects the other side. Our inability to punch it in, throw, and effectively eat time off the clock; effected how the defense schemed and played. We shot ourselves in the foot knowing that most teams were going to run the ball on us, but we did nothing to stop it (like stack 8 in the gaps).
This led to long drives and points for the other team; which put us behind with little time to work with.
That effected our offensive attack. Late in most games last year, we had to abandon our strength, the run.
It's a wash, both problems are at fault. Both problems need to be addressed. Our problem offensively isn't necessarily the running game, but the pass protection, and receivers. The question to me going into the season is "Did we do enough to improve?" My answer is not a "No", but it is not a "Yes." My answer is "We'll see." Not very reassuring.
Defensively, our problem wasn't at CB, it was at DT and Safety. Did we do enough to improve these areas? Again my answer is "We'll see." We didn't pick up anyone who has proven to meet our needs.
Football is about balance on BOTH sides of the ball. This is what has made the Patriots good through this run (as well as cheating). This is why the Giants won, they were well balanced on both sides of the ball. Rarely do you have a team like the Bears, Ravens, Rams, Raiders (in '02), and Buccaneers who are dominate on one side of the ball, and lackluster on the other side win championships.
Most teams win with a balanced team. That is what the Raiders need to do, is balance their team for success on BOTH sides of the ball.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a lot out of this interview with Warren Sapp, who loves the McFadden pick and weighs in on why the defense has struggled. Once agian leave me troubled with Ryan at the helm. Also liek his take on Lamont Jordan:


11:51 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

I posted this last night but it better applies to this thread topic....On the last thread I was getting ahead of the group....Now I'm right with it....

Well as always I'm more than willing to step up early so here goes...

Season Record "08"....

1st off....Last year I projected us to be 10-6 if the "OL" showed up and 6-10 if not....Well I was wrong...The "OL" showed up but the "DL" did not...Who was to know..."WR" core sucked for the most part...Also the "QB" play was horrendous....And to think I was campaigning for Culpepper so hard....But he did play better than McClown....

SO what is the big issue this year...."DL"-n-"OLB"s....If these units perform well enough to slow down the running game and get average pressure on the "QB"s...As in 15th "D" in the NFL...Our overall "D" will be a top 10 unit because of the secondary we are fielding....

The "OL" should be even better with the "ZBS" experience under their belts and the addition of Veteran and Rookie players at "OT"-n-"C"....The "WR" core should be vastly improved with Walker-n-Curry-n-Carter...Higgins-n-2 Rookies we drafted for depth...."TE" is settled and very good...."RB"s...What can I say...We will have the Rushin Title..."QB" should become a strength instead of a weakness just because JaMarcus will be the starter and get sufficient reps to prepare for the season....NO more "QB-ShuffleBoard" from game to game...."RB" by comity can work but "QB" by comity sucks the big one....

"08"s schedual is very favorable for the Raiders and half our division is falling on hard times and the other 1/4 didn't improve....Got older and status quot....

Projection....10-6 as a wild card team and we win one play-off game....Against "SD"....

Who is our competition for that "WC" spot...Jacksonville-Tenn-Cleveland and possibly Houston...NE-Pitts-Indy-SD should again be division winners....Indy-n-Pitts get the 1st-n-2nd place Finnish....NE-n-SD play the 1st week of the "PO"s....We get SD and the other "WC" team goes to NE....After we win we go up against Pitts in a "Snow-Game" in January and play well but don't advance...Pitts-n-Indy play in the AFC championship and Pitts goes to the "SB" against Dallas with their second year coach and loose....

Bill Cowher is the name that services to replace "ShannaAss" after a 3-13 record as coach at "MuleHigh" but he refuses the job....They turn to "Marty" ball instead....The "Donko"s get the 2nd pick in the "09" draft and "SadFran" gets the #3...Atlanta gets the #1 after their 1st rd "QB" flops and their "D" give up huge yardage and points....Should have taken "DT" Dorsey....

Well that's my very advanced pre-season projection...I would be interested in reading yours if your ready to walk the plank so soon...


8:20 PM

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe LB Ali Highsmith (LSU) and DB Simeon Castille of Alabama did not get drafted. These guys are definitely worth a look.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT I do enjoy your blogs and just as much the 5 to 10 dedicated, and insightful commenters on here.
I always read and rarely write.

Well, as a fan of the Raiders since the wild card run leading to a superbowl victory, I am dreaming that Darren McFadden will be talked about by Raidernation the same way Marcus Allen is. I am wishing that M. Bush is the Raiders version of J. Bettis. I fervently hope that J. Russel has a career comparable to Brett Farve. Kiffin? Let him be talked about in the same breath as Madden and Flores, thats my dream.

The old man said he wanted two more before he retired...Are we closer with what transpired this offseason? I say yes, and I am In.

12:07 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Did we improve our run defense this off season?

We've stood pat at LB. That's a point I wanted the team to address, but they haven't yet.

On the DL we've moved Kelly back to his natural position. Last season he played out of position for less than half the season before being injured. Healthy, he should be a major force in the middle, and play in 16 games. Is Kalimba an improvement over Brayton? I had been unaware of Sands off field difficulties last year. Fully focused, he should improve. I count a net improvement on the D-line.

Our safeties last season were FS Schweigert (natural back-up) and SS Huff (natural FS). This year we have a pro bowl caliber SS with Wilson and Huff playing his natural position.

Our CBs at the start of last season were F. Washington and Nnamdi. Washington wasn't very good at coming up to stop the run, which is one of the reasons I think he lost his job to Rout. He was also one of the reasons we were giving up big yardage on 3rd down runs. This year we replace Washington with Hall who can single cover along with Nnamdi. Hall also has a nasty streak and enjoys playing the run. In addition, when the opposition comes out in a two WR set, both Wilson and Huff can stuff the box and rely, still, on effective pass coverage.

That's the way it looks on paper. It's now Kiffin and the rest of the coaching staff's responsibility to make real life reflect what paper shows.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Take, I needed a little kick in the head to get focused away from the haters chatter - - second best run offense in west allows Russell to operate w/o getting nailed like walters; let's hope kelly and sands can step up, but by damn if i aint ready to roll behind my nation

12:23 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

We now have an Elevated Tremendous Gargantua's "Fear" of the "Donko"s Rushin Attack....Just look at what they are about the through at us on MonDayNight...

Anthony Alridge, 5-9, 175, running back: Ranked sixth in Houston school history with 2,595 career rushing yards

How will we ever stop such a Monster Back....We should have taken "DT" Dorsey....Oh! The Horror!!!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

We were victims of the run because teams 'discovered' that their O was on the field..........A LOT!
Our O couldn't move the ball, eat clock let alone score points, so why would teams not run the ball on the Raiders???

12:41 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Well...I just could not resist...So I posted this comment at the "DonkeyPost" under Cargile, Smith among Broncos cuts...

Oh!...The Horror!!!

Anthony Alridge, 5-9, 175, running back: Ranked sixth in Houston school history with 2,595 career rushing yards.

We should have drafted "DT" Dorsey...How will we ever stop the "Terror-o-da-Rockies" when he comes out and runs between our legs....Oh! The Horror!!!

So....The Raiders are well known for 1st time Hires....Black "QB"-Black Coach-Hispanic "QB"-n-Coach-Woman Chief Executive...But now the "Donko"s will always be remembered for drafting the NFL's 1st "Midget"....I hope he makes your team and I'm happy to see you are "Equal Opportunity Employers" who look for ways to help the "Under Developed"...I heard there was a Female "FGK" out there....Maybe you should go after her too....

PantyRaider...da "HateMailer...Heeee! Haaaa! HEEEEEE! HAAAAA!......

1:38 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Steve The "Wiz" has a nephew playing at his almada as an "OG" so he could be in the Raiders future plans.....


2:02 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Raiders | McFadden seeking big money
Tue, 29 Apr 2008 08:20:41 -0700

David White, of the San Francisco Chronicle, reports Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden will command a six-year contract worth at least $50 million with no less than $20 million in guarantees.

He will be well worth the $$$$'s...But could you have seen us spending all that "$$$$" on another "DT"-"DE"....The "Billion $$$ Line"....


2:06 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

The Raiders have signed about 8 players as Un-Drafted "FA"s....Why don't they show up on the roster or as transactions...I want to know who we have...


2:13 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Here's some info, Panty...


3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SI article:

at least we don't have any reaches according to them.... then again, they don't list any steals for us either....

3:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jerry Mac pointed out some amusing post-draft stuff.

“Remember how Davis made such a big deal over Kiffin’s recruiting acumen?”

“Ten USC players were drafted Saturday and Sunday. For the second straight year, none by the Raiders.”

Meanwhile, J-Mac believes “...in Kiffin’s mind, putting together a team will be more difficult than it was last year because of free agency and the draft.” “Last season, Kiffin said it wasn’t all that tough (to make cuts) with the Raiders because they simply weren’t all that talented.”

“Teams will scramble for (undrafted free agents), with the stone reality being that of all the undraftables the Raiders bring in, it’s possible none of them will make the 53-man roster.”

“Last year, the Raiders didn’t find a single undrafted free agent worthy of making a team coming off a 2-14 season.”

4:59 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Okay, let's see where the Raiders are according to the media.

Russell is 300 lbs. and looking for Big Macs. He won't "look good" getting on the bus, because he'll likely squash it.

Kiffin will be fired any day. Apparently all of this hard work he's been doing has been to help the newly hired Lofton take over his job.

Davis has been spending the entire off season looking for more guys who "look good getting on the bus" without any concern for whether they have ever played a down of football.

Darren McFadden was an absolutely ridiculous pick, because when you've had poor defenses against the run the last thing you should be thinking about is scoring more touchdowns. The Raiders should have been looking for ways to make every game end at 0-0.

Further, McFadden has "issues" which will make him a lousy pick for the Raiders. On the other hand, he'd have been a brilliant pick for the Patseys because they know how to look beneath the surface for a man's hidden true character. He also would have been a brilliant pick for the Cowboys if they'd traded their first rounders to the Raiders. Doesn't matter that they already have Barber.

Hmmmm... sounds like a typical off season to me.

5:22 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Think this might be confusing? Two undrafted rookies we signed...

SS Darrick Brown
CB Derrick Brown

Why... I've confused them already. I have to believe that the Raiders didn't intend to sign both of these guys, but when Kiffin told the front office to pick up Darrick (or Derrick) Brown, they just grabbed both.

Why Rhodes was released before Jordan. I believe that Rhodes was rewarded for having the better attitude. He was going to be released by June 1st, but this way he gets in the undrafted rookie jumble is more likely to find employment on another team than if he'd been released on June 1st.

Also, they may still think that a trade involving Jordan is possible. Maybe the Jets will be interested in getting him back since they were unable to get their hands on McFadden.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR: Good point about why Rhodes was released early. I could easily see the Colts resigning him to be Addai's backup. As far as Jordan goes, the rumor is that there is an outside chance that the Aints are interested in him. If we can get a box of Krispy Creme donuts and a case of brew for Jordan, it is well worth unloading him. Otherwise, he will be cut on June 1st.

P.S. I believe the expression is "looking good getting OFF the bus" vice "on the bus". :) CJ

P.P.S. DeAngelo Hall has chosen #23 as his jersey number. Any guesses on Run DMc's jersey #? I'm guessing either #32 or #34.

7:17 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I completely agree that Rhodes was released for good behavior. I'm willing to bet that was a factor when they restructured him. If they get McFadden, it lessens the cap hit when they decide to dump him. If they don't, it makes him more cap-friendly to keep. It's probably the reason Jordan is still on the roster. Once Jordan clears the magic date he should be gone as well. I wouldn't worry about any delays signing McFadden until Jordan is gone.

7:26 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

I read a comment in the USA Today....It said the Raiders "O" Backfield looks on paper to be very good especially if JaMarcus can step up in his second year...Now hows that for some positive "Smack" from the "Mediot"s...

I'm have so much fun rattling the cages of those "MuleHead"s out in "Donkey" Land....They are so worried about MonDayNight and we are lookin forward to it....

HEEE! HAAAAA!..."Rip da Tails Off da Donkey"....


7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's why Rhodes was dumped:

John Clayton, of ESPN.com, reports the Oakland Raiders are back under
the salary cap after releasing RB Dominic Rhodes Monday, April 28. The
team took a $1.093,750 cap hit when they traded CB Fabian Washington
Sunday, April 27, putting them over the salary cap. Rhodes had a $1.75
million salary, enough to put the Raiders back under the salary cap.

8:18 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Looks like Rhodes wasn't a happy camper:


3:55 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Reportedly, in a Sirius Radio interview, Rhodes said his contract had a provision for his release if the Raiders drafted McFadden. Be it this or a salary cap issue, Rhodes wasn't happy about his limited playing time. Of course, a 4-game suspension to start the 2007 season didn't help his case much.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

signing mcfadden will put us over the cap again, but the release of jordan on june 1st will put us under the cap. we cannot afford to trade jordan, we will take a bigger hit against the cap by doing so. plus, the aints know he will more than likely be cut, so they will deal with him then, and not lose anyone.
i'm to the point right now with everything, that the raiders are going to have to show me something. i have been hopeful for the past few years, that they would come out and break even at least; but in the end, they are paper champions.
i'm not making any predictions, nor am i making any comments to "how great we will be." they have to prove it to me now. bottom line is, offensively we have just as many question marks coming into this season as we had at the end of this last season. the majority of these question marks have to do with healing from injury, pass protection, and young players living up to their potential. rt pointed out our horrendus ability to run the ball into the endzone, and we still don't know if we can do it. so this is the year of "prove it to me." kiffin cannot have any excuses this year. he's putting his puzzle together. ryan does not have any excuses this year, he's got who he wants as well. so oakland, prove it to me. prove that you are the team you're making yourself out to be. prove to me that the last 5 years have been a fluke. just prove it!

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhodes & Jordan remind me of my little kids. It's everyones fault but their own.

Will someone please just cut Jordan now so the cancer doesn't spread to our new young RB in mini-camp?

We don't need McFadden learning how to NOT get into shape and NOT learn the freaking blocking schemes. All Jordan can teach him is how to do the freaking Riverdance in the backfield before looking for a hole.


6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm liking this Y.Branch kid more and more. I guess they're moving him to Safety which makes a lot of sense after looking at how he hits people.

His dad is a huge Raiders fan so you know he's pumped.

We already have 2 great ST players and I think we've added another. On paper he reminds me of Tatum, just being a big guy with speed and not affraid to lay the wood. Simple physics. Get a large mass moving really fast and someone is going to get hurt.


7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the rookies don't count as much against the cap... can't remember how it works. They have their own cap numbers already built into each teams cap IIRC.

8:55 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

On the heels on Sapp and Rhodes both throwing daggers at the dysfunction of the Raiders, Jason Jones had this to say:

"I can't wait to hear what LaMont Jordan will have to say if/when he is released."

Honestly, you have to wonder how much say Kiffin has really had with the free-for-all FA aqcuisitions. You would think for Kiffin to have to best chance to be successful, he should be able to have the final word on player personnel. I think we all know that's simply not the case.

Did Kiffin want Russell?
Did Kiffin want McFadden?

Of course he said he wanted RUN DMc. It would be PR suicide to say otherwise.

9:18 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I read Rhodes' comments. First off, players aren't generally the best source for what's happening internally. Basically that's because, unless the player is tight friends with one of the coaches, executive decisions, etc., don't generally get reported to them unless they are at the receiving end of the decision.

There's no way that you can convince me, based on the things that Kiffin has said, that Kiffin was not on board with the McFadden pick. On draft day Kiffin was like a five-year-old on Christmas morning.

The fact is that Rhodes just got in a situation that didn't work out for him. It's as easy as that. He was suspended for four games, and when he came back, Fargas was tearing up the field.

While Rhodes was right that we had three backs already here who had 100 yard games, I'd point out that two of those backs were with us the year before, and the best of the two (Fargas) only had around 700 yards. Kiffin's offense, and Cable's blocking schemes had as much to do with the 100 yard games as the running backs.

Rhodes also said that the off season has not gone well for the Raiders, that everything is jumbled, and no one is on the same page. Looking at the progress this off season, I hope the Raiders stay this disorganized for some time.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan is probably on his 2nd or 3rd draft, writting down exactly how he will bash the Raiders upon his release.

Al should install metal spikes on the doors for when they hit these guys in the ass on the way out.


9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's why jordan is currently on the injured reserved list; he has writer's cramp, and writer's block.

10:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Sapp's comment also strikes me. It seems to me that a couple of years ago he was saying that the reason the Defense didn't work was because we had 4-3 personnel in a 3-4 defense. Seems to me that we didn't have a lot of defensive personnel changes in two years.

Sometimes Sapp is all talk.

10:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Nate... At least he can block SOMETHING.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiffin's biding his time, auditioning for his next job. And he and the offense will be fine, because the scheme is sound and Al, to his credit, has put some good talent over there for Kiffin to work with. The offense will be fine.
Our defense, on the other hand, is another story. I still don't see the hardhats on that side of the ball. Guys that want to put a helmet on someone. I'm sorry, I just don't see it. Still.
Perhaps Kelly & Warren can perform adequately in all phases at DT. This I think is a possibility. The secondary has the staff in place to be a good one, but a secondatry is only as good as the 7 guys in front of them... I don't care if you are stud, pro-bowling CB. Matters not.
What we STILL lack is a big, all-around solid DE and also the Butkus/Ray Lewis type LB that leads the team. we haven't had one since Romo... and before that you had to go back to Jerry Robinson or Rod Martin. Al puts no value in this type player and it is why our defenses are soft. It is why our defense when they have to stop someone, can't.
Why does Al not see the importance of these two type defensive players? Right now, Takeo Spikes has no home. I cannot believe we don't make a move for this guy. I cannot believe it.

11:18 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, I agree with you that we haven't sufficiently addressed LE or SAM LB. That's one of the reasons I thought they might trade down and nab Rivers.

Regarding Spikes, I've heard some negative things about his current health. It could be why nobody has tried to pick him up - he can't pass the physical.

However, I disagree that we haven't acquired anyone who can put the hit on. That's one of the primary things I hear about Branch (our 4th round pick), and a couple of the undrafted signings as well. Wilson is also known as a hitter, and Hall is a good hitter when playing the run.

11:30 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

All this talk about Kiffin being gone is total "Bull-Shit" Nonsense...It's become very apparent he is building a team to his liking and "MrD" and Kiffin are working together very well...

It was "SOB" who was lookin for a new job "NOT" Coach Kiffin and it's "SOB who is on the "Hot-Seat" now NOT Coach Kiffin"...Now why the hell do some need to keep "Pimping" the idea that Kiffin is a "Lame-Duck"....Hidden Motive...."IAAF"ers...."HateTripper" in Raiders Cloth....

Stop the stupid "Bull-Shit" and enjoy the freakin season...We have a lot to look forward to as we climb out of that "Black-Hole" we have fallen off into for 5 freakin years....

"Prove it to me" I can understand....Sounds like "Show Me" and that's a word of encouragement to your team to take what they now have out on the field and "Kick Some Freakin Donkey Ass"....


11:47 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

As far as Rhodes being cut and us getting the "Cap" hit for Fabian...

We had him on the books already for his entire "08" salary so trading him freed up money...It didn't make us above the "CAP"... So I don't think that Rhodes was a "Cap" casualty....If there was a clause in his contract to be free if the Raiders drafted another "RB" than that's OK....

But every team in the NFL has to cut players as of Monday to be down to the 80 Man Roster limit....So we lost 2 players but have signed about "7" un-drafted "FA"s and drafted 5 more players....

"68" are listed on out current roster + 7 "FA"s would be 75 + 5 Drafted players would come to "80" current players on the books....We are at the limit....If we gain one we have to lose one....Sounds like pretty simple math to me....

If there was NO player personnel limit Owners like "MrD'-n-"JJ" would go out and sign every talented player left just to keep the other teams from developing them threw training camp....

"NOOOOO"....Our Lovable "MrD" would never do something like that....Hiding players from the other owners...Keeping them on the "Back Shelf" willing and waiting for an opportunity to "Whipem-Out"....Why...That would be "Un-Sports-Man-Like-Conduct" and certainly draw a "Flag"...For sure we would be hit a lot worse than "Eddy" at "SadFranchise" and "BellyCheat" of da "PatsyCheatsters" or "Carmen" "Dog-Meat-Brownies"....

PantyRaider...."Maverick" Strikes-Again!!!

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate the Broncos...


1:40 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

While folks often gripe that Davis always gets his say in FA and the draft, it happens on other teams as well. As PFT reports, the Lambs new president made the SOH pick while the coaching staff wanted Dorsey. Such things happen with the Cowboys and you can expect Parcells to frequently overrule the Miami coaching staff as well. But then, we give Parcells credit for knowing something about football. Al hasn't been given much credit for knowing something about football since a couple of years after he stopped coaching. Timmy Kawakami and Nancy Gay both think that they could teach Mr. Davis a thing or two about pro football.

That said, in order to determine how much say Kiffin has had in selecting RunDMC, all you have to do is review how Kiffin has talked about exactly how he'd be used (well before the draft) and what Kiffin has said subsequent to the draft. Kiffin has also stated that they weren't sure that McFadden would still be on the board at 4, so all of the talk about D-linemen was to prepare the fans in the event he wasn't.

After RunDMC fell to us, he went on about how excited that made him. Kiffin wasn't telling us about Davis' concerns or excitement. He was telling us about his own. So either Kiffin was on board with the pick from the beginning, or he managed to warm to the idea pretty damn quick.

1:50 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Kiffin just did a nice 15-minute interview on Sirius NFL Radio. The transcript should be posted soon.

I missed the first several minutes, but he spoke highly of Walker and Carter as WR additions, and said Walker has been on the field practicing and looking good (not 100%, but very promising).

He stated that the coaching and front office (he and Al) are on the same page.

He also seemed very relaxed and yet focused on this offseason.

I find it ironic that there has been a virtually explosion of interviews and media participation by the Raiders since the draft. Yeah, I understand it's common practice. But, IMO, it just makes the months of silence seem even more bizarre.

1:52 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

It would be nice if said media would mention that the Lambs coaching staff wanted Dorsey. But in their view dysfunction is a singular trait of the Raiders.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

NY Raider, I've noticed the sudden uptick in interviews and access as well.

It's probably a sign of healing. It could also be a sign the team has realized that, as some of us have suggested, hiding from the fans isn't a great way to generate excitement and ticket sales.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I broke Raider Rule #69 and watched "Path To The Draft" again...

Once again Mike Lombardi was a guest host along with T.Davis.

This, the day Rhodes spoke to a radio station about being cut. So right off the bat I anticipated a Donco-Loving circle jerk.

It was actually pretty calm though. Lombardi dismissed Rhodes' comments as "him not being there very long" and actually agreed with the moves we've made. TD said McFadden was "A great fit". Lombardi also praised the Fargas & Kelly signings and pointed out the many moves we've made to fill holes elswhere. He actually hinted as us "not having holes" to fill with a #4 overall pick.

What did you guys put in the Denver water and where can I get some?


2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, this time last year we got an unusual amount of media exposure. I think it's all Kiffin. J.McDonald called us "The new media friendly Raiders" last year.

I think Kiff was just waiting for the draft be end so as not to give out any clues.


2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He just be wait for draft to be end so he be all like, talking & stuff....lol


2:25 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Knapp and Caveman have been let out to play, too.

2:26 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

da "Mediot" "HateTripper"s will always spin it in a Neg---- when it comes to reporting about the Raiders and "MrD"...As we make successful strides this season to bring back the "S&B" Attack they will NOT jump all over our "BandWagon"....MonDayNight it will be the "Donko"s who always start the season a little "Flat" and how the Raiders were lucky in taking advantage of their "Lack-o-Emotion" in that 1st game of the year....

Against the "Squaw"s it will be that they are in an obvious "Rebuilding-Fase" but will be much better later in the year when they will dominate us...

Against the "Bill"s they will simply speak about how our opening schedue was very easy but now we will start our "Losing Steak" against "SD" before the "Bye"....

If we go into the buy at 3-1 or better they will continue to speak bad saying we will come out with a loss of the momentum we had before the bye and lose to the "Ain't"s who are a far superior franchise to the Raiders...

Jet's-Ravens-Falcons are all going to be losing teams...Panthers could be tough..."Fin"s-Donko"s-"Squaw"s will be losers also..."SD"-"NE" could be loses for the Raiders..."Texan"s-n-"Buck"s are a question mark...

At some point they will have to start talking about Kiffin being "Coach-o-da-Year" because he found a way to win with what that lousy owner "MrD" put on his platter...But now we can expect him to have a new job with a better franchise because he has proven to the NFL that he can coach at this level and the offers are already coming and all Al can do is sell him to the highest bidder like he did "GrudDumb"...

It will never end...So why even listen..."HateTripper"s are what they are...Clueless "Nerds" who never strapped on a jock or competed at anything...They still think a "Jock" is a "NoseGuard"...."Mommy this thing stinks"...

PantyRaider..."Mediot" Rejection!!!

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just a warning being as i live in NY Giants territory. Gibril Wilson is not a stud safety, so we should not expect him to elevate our defense by the wide margin it sounds like people expect. He is decent, makes some stupid mistakes occasionally, but on the other hand performed very well in the postseason last year (as did the entire Giants secondary).

I am certainly optimistic having him on the field over Schweigert, but am tempering my excitement.

2:41 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


That's the thing about the "Good" players...They have the ability to elevate their game when it really counts...The "Midget"s were the #7 "D" in the regular season but became the #1 "D" in the post season...WHY...Because of quality players like Wilson....

The reports are that most of the "Midget"s fans didn't want to lose him so that makes me all the more happy to have him....Maybe he can help Huff get "Elevated" when it counts..."Enthusiasm" rubs off as does "Malcontentment"...


2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda, I hear on you Spikes, but the reports I've seen is that San Fran will probably sign him. I say Takeo Spikes at 90% still adds a much needed dimension of toughness to our defense.

3:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Regarding the silence before the draft, and all of the talking since, I suspect that the Raiders felt they could use the rumors of chaos to their advantage.

People might be able to figure out who Davis would pick, and they might be able to figure out who Kiffin might pick. But the rumors created confusion so nobody was sure who would make the pick. Kiffin added to the confusion by coming out before the draft and talking about drafting D-linemen.

I think the Jets wanted McFadden so badly they could taste it down in the pit of their stomachs. If Kiffin had not lulled them into thinking the Raiders would go d-line, they might have traded up with the Lambs or Parakeats to beat the Raiders to the punch. I believe they were comfortable in their belief that McFadden would fall to them at #6.

I think that's also a good explanation for why all the criticism about the Raiders selecting McFadden. We know of the strong East Coast bias in the national sports media. They wanted that pick to fall to the Jets. It's not that they believed that the Raiders NEEDED d-linemen, it's that they believed that the Raiders would select a d-lineman.

4:09 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Good point...Nike and others have already contacted "McFabulous" so he will NO doubt be a very big "Spot-Light" player...NY wanted him bad...They need all that "Broadway" stuff to market their losing team where the "Midget"s play....

Also "JJ" wanted him down in "CowTown" for the free "Pub"...

Now all that free "Pub" will come to the Raiders...Oh! So Sad...

4:31 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I entered Sirius Radio into Google to see if I could find anything posted on the Kiffin interview. I got about a dozen hits on interviews and reports coming from Sirius posted around the middle of February. All of those articles said that Kiffin would be toast by April 1st. I don't remember anyone at Sirius ever tagging an "April Fools!" on those articles.

Now Kiffin is interviewed there and insists that he and Al are on the same page. Classic!

4:32 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Great comment about Rhodes' comments regarding the Raiders, posted on Jason Jones' blog.

"This is a guy that only blows a .09, yet is wasted enough to piss his own pants in a squad car. Sounds like a bitter little girl to me and I'm glad him and his weak bladder are gone."

5:50 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blanda- The Jets can still have LaMont Jordan back. What more can they ask? Just send us some free movie passes and a bag of popcorn... and he's on a plane back east.

BTW, Kirwin and Ryan were giving Kiffin plenty of love. They asked Kiffin to be candid in his answers, and that's when Kiffin pretty much said all is well in Raiderland. I'll log onto my Sirius account and see if I can find text of the interview... not sure if they do that for the $12 a month I pay them.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little disappointed no one has been looking for me. I actually have posted several times but nothing has shown up after I log back on. I blame it on the daughter's new Mac Book.

I have circled the wagons even tighter in terms of
Raiders coverage after the draft. I am done and happy about it. Jerry Mac and Jason Jones and that is all for me the rest are such clowns it is beyond any logical understanding they get paid.

Here's a summary of the Kiffin Sirius interview off of WFIB.

Coach Kiffin just spoke with Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan on Sirius NFL Football. The interview was very positive and Coach was upbeat. He said that McFadden was always the guy they wanted. They considered moving south in the draft but passing on McFadden was too great. Branch will play FS but will work extensively on special teams right away. He also likes the big-play potential of Shields. Coach Kiffin says he is settling into coaching the NFL athlete. He struggled some with workout regiment of the college player (having them daily) to the NFL player. He told Kirwan and Ryan that Burgess never works out with the team during the off-season but he is a very well conditioned athlete and will be ready for training camp. He says Javon Walker looks very good and is the big-play WR they have needed. He applauded the work of the scouting staff and says everything is much better.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McF takes #20...

6:53 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

In hindsight, Kiffin did an excellent job of effectively communicating false smoke signals about who the Raiders were interested in drafting.

He had me fooled. On 2 separate ocassions leading up to draft he made it known that (a) the RB position wasn't a need (b) DL was an "urgent" area to address.

As BR pointed out, this gave the Jets a false sense of security about McFadden being available at their pick.

Why the sudden avalanche of interviews, PR, and public availablity of the coaching staff? I think it is a combination of a few factors;

(1) Predraft the Raiders staff was extremely busy with the business at hand.

(2) A realization by the organization that 2008 could be special due to the key FA signings and draft.

(3) A thawing out of any possible hard feelings from the end of the 2007 season.

(4) The organizational staff getting on the same page through hard work and clear direction from the top down.

From May 9th leading up to the opener on Sept 8th vs. the Donkeys is the time where the real heavy lifting needs to take place. This is especially true concerning the meshing of new players and getting Russell in a comfort zone.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I questioned the security of my #4 pick several times during the process but was re-assured by my USC insider who is very well informed...He was so right on with everything last year so I continued to trust his incite this year...Correct twice in a row and more importantly was correct on all the "Bogas" reports about Kiffin becoming a "DeadDuck" "HC"....

I think I reported it before but he was a "K" for USC and after graduation he returned as a "Marketing Intern" working with the "Sports Dept" where he was involved in everything from ticket sales to team "PR"....So he had a real opportunity to be around all the different coaching staffs up until late "06" when he became a BarTender here in Morro Bay....Go Figure!!!!

"MrD"-n-Kiffin..."Masters-o-Disguise"....I heard it said once that we are easiest to deceive with what we want to hear...So the Raiders gave the Jet's and the "Mediot"s what they wanted to hear and they swallowed it "Hook-Line-n-Sinker"....


9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoops....Signed in under my other name...

9:46 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Jets false security about us not taking a RB was justified... we simply didn't need a RB. But they neglected to realize we need to score TDs.

You know, when Kiffin stated almost right before the draf that RB was not a position of need for us, that should have sent a red flag to every team looking at McFadden.

It's almost like the old man staged it. Kiffin is still an unknown in the NFL. If anyone else in the Raider org had said that, you can bet nobody would believe it. Kiffin won't get away with that type of statement again.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you see McFadden will wear #20? Is it for sure?

Well here we go with the Barry Sanders comparisons.

I don't want to start with the whole "Kiffin is a puppet" non-sense, but it did seem like Al was talking through him the last few weeks.

The deception worked perfectly and Kiffin was basically put in the spotlight as the guy running things. McFadden said Kiffin called him personally and said he was the guy if he was there and he said "see you soon".

There is no question this was Al's decision to make and it seems like he gave Kiffin his final decision days before the draft, coached him up on how to play the media, and let him run with it.

It makes for good PR. What I take from it is Kiffin and Al are on the same page at least and are obviously moving forward. Both guys have to be happy with our moves.


6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda, found these LB's and DE's as players unsigned. all are pretty productive players. what do you think:
Donnie Spragan LB, Randall Godfrey LB, and Renaldo Wynn DE.
Renaldo Wynn is a big DE that has been pretty productive in the NFL.
Still think we need a big versatile DE and one more starting OLB.

7:04 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, I think it very likely that for the time being, the signings, trades, and releases will cease. I think the team is looking ahead to the Rookie OTA, then another team OTA. June 1st I think the team is limited to 80 players and they are about right at that now.

These OTAs will determine what they have to work with, and as we head into camp further needs will be assessed where we will pick up one or two more players and release some (perhaps make a trade). Any players left unsigned from the draft at this point are likely players that Kiffin believes are of lower value than what we have.

I think what concerns me most right now is the lack of depth at LB and a more solid SAM. It could be that's the way it will remain throughout the season. Disappointing, but we've still addressed so many other needs that we are making great progress.

At this point in 2007 none of us had a clue where even to begin. We needed to address everything. If we're down to LB, maybe a LE and maybe a LT, we are down to the level of concerns that a WINNING team should have.

With what we have, I'm confident that we can compete in the AFC West in 2008. If we build on that in 2009 with additional depth at D-line and LB, then we'll start to resemble some kind of Super Bowl contender. And we can safely narrow our needs in 2009. We won't need any part of an offensive or defensive backfield. The trenches will be all we need to worry about.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely. We've reloaded this thing pretty good and just about maxed out our wiggle room for the time being.

I feel real good about the guys we have. At this point we'd just be adding insurance (OLB, DT, DE, WR, OL) if not trying to become an elite team all around overnight.

We have guys in place, they just need to play up to their potential or close enough to it.

We're on a very realistic path, but we've been extemely aggressive at the same time.

So I guess with the rookie moving to FS, Stew's days are numbered. I think Kiff is just threatened by Stew's age since he's pushing 30. lol


10:07 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


One of the Un-Drafted "FA" "LB"s we signed was projected to be a 2nd-3rd rd selection at the 1st of the season but he played at Louisville where Patrino had been coach and with his departure came a huge fall-off in the "D"s play...So this "LB" did not look good as a Sr and was passed-up in the draft....he could be a steel because he was a very good player "06"....Just in a bad situation "07"...Malik Jackson was his name....

Here is all the info I could find...

Jackson had 43 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks.

The 'Wheelers defense was playing without usual jack linebacker Malik Jackson. The league's second-leading tackler is nursing a minor knee injury and didn't make the trip.

Linebacker Malik Jackson led the defense. The former Western Illinois player recorded nine tackles, recovered a fumble early that swayed the momentum in Q-C’s favor and batted down a pass late that landed in the arms of defensive end Adam Vogel, resulting in an interception

"8" FA's Signed....

The Raiders signed the following undrafted free agents: LB Shane Simmons (Western Washington), TE Chris Wagner (South Dakota State), RB Louis Rankin (Washington), C Adam Spieker (Missouri), OL Brandon Rodd (Arizona State), FB Matt Hahn (Penn State), CB Derrick Brown (Southern Utah) and LB Malik Jackson (Louisville).

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a Fantasy Football guy but this was interesting:


G.Blanda made the top #10 list of all-time fantasy football seasons.

To put that into perspective, Barry Sanders made #23 and Jerry Rice made #29. Although #1 almost made me throw up.


11:34 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


McFadden is listed on the Raiders official website (roster) at #20. Other interesting numbers:

#18 Drew Carter
#58 Kalimba Edwards
#92 Akbar Gbaja Biamila
#23 DeAngelo Hall
#77 Kwame Harris
#96 William Joseph
#71 John Wade
#17 Javon Walker
#28 Gibril Wilson

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Calico.

Hopefully on Dec 14th when I'm wearing a burned/cut/spray painted/pissed on #18 jersey people don't think it is D.Carter

After the game I might leave it in the bathroom for people to wipe their asses with.


12:29 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Question. Why did Jon Gruden fill the Raiders with aging WRs, RBs, and DBs? I guess the answer is that's because he couldn't find enough QBs. Gruden now has EIGHT QBs. And people talk about Al and CBs...

Well, we're going to need a back up QB to add to our mix. We better get one before Gruden signs all the ones who are left.

1:25 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Here's a player to target for next year's draft. Bama7, you want a slobber-knocker, here you go:


I've heard that when Keith Rivers was having his Pro Day, the scouts kept turning around to take a look at him.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

QB is like the only spot where taking your starter out is considered taboo in most cases. What the hell are you going to do with 8 of them besides waste time training them? No wonder he hasn't won there.

Maybe he'll trade one for a CB?

I can't watch it, is that the guy with the tats on all over his arm? He's amazing if so.


1:59 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

WoW!...Are you sure that kid is just "HS"....He looks born to ba a Raider...He does it all...Rush the Passer....Fall back in coverage....Int's for "TD"s....P-n-KR for "TD"s and he's hard to catch and bring down too....Can we drft him now....

3:39 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks for all the cool links, everyone!

I want to mention a free site called www.tinyurl.com.

You can plug in a big long URL and it will turn it into a short one (don't ask me how, it's magic). Very quick and simple.

That way, your links don't run off the page or have to be stacked.

Here's an example, I turned a huge link into a Tiny URL:


4:02 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Rookie DE Trevor Scott got Tyler Brayton's old number (91). Smart choice. That number comes with a 3-sack handicap, giving him half as many sacks as Brayton has in his five-year career.

4:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RT - That's amazing! Modern technology... it's tough to keep up.

4:12 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


I will be leaving Tuesday for 6 more months of "FreeDome" outside US AirSpace....Last time you mentioned wanting some pic's of Khmer-n-Thai's with Raider Gear...So this time I have some to take with me and will send some pic's later...

Making RaiderFans Internationally...

4:21 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

We'll miss you, Panty. I hope we provided some fun and entertainment and, until you return, may all your Raider dreams come true.

4:52 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

He's going into his senior year at USC, Panty. Mike Mayock mentioned him when he was talking about Keith Rivers.

5:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

What stands out is that he's so damn fast. He comes all the way across the field and chases RBs down from behind. Even if he gets a bad angle, no big deal - he'll just chase his man down. I've never seen a LB that size do that.

With that speed, you know he's got Al's attention. Could be that's our SAM for next year's draft.

5:51 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Oh!...My mistake...When I clicked on the "Vid"s it said "HS" and I thought that was for "HighSchool"...He looks way too good to be a "HS" player and he looks damn good as a Sr College Player....Has a "LB" ever gone at #1....Jr Seau....Any other....This guy could go very high indeed...

6:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Panty: I must confess ... the 1st time I came across you on RT's site I couldn't stand you. However over time I have come to really admire you, enjoy your wit, and relish your unique perspectives. Your writing style is pure genius but most importantly, you Raider heart is pure and undiluted. You will be sorely missed. I sincerely hope you can hit up a few internet cafes in SW Asia.

Side Note: I will be in Thailand from July 24 to August 14 ... if there is any conceivable way of hooking up, please let me know. My personal email: chbraidernation1@sbcglobal.net
Best Regards,
Calico Jack

P.S. 1st round of Singha or Chiang Beers on me! Cheers mate!

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian cushings at usc is another standout linebacker. that team is stacked for success because of the lb crew. ken norton jr has done an outstanding job, and i wouldn't mind him coming aboard as dc for the raiders in the future.
panty, you will be missed here. best of luck on your journey, and hope that you have safe travels. chat with you upon your return.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Panty! I not often agree with your opinions, but they will be missed for awhile.

10:06 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Thanks All for the cool words...I will find opportunities to post when in Thailand or at the InternetCafes in Phenom Phenn...But it wll not be very frequent....

CalicoJack....I will mark it down on my calendar and send a e-mail for the record to mark the address...

PantyRaider....GOOOOOooooo RAIDEEEEeeeerrrrssss!!!

10:59 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Panty, you should be ridin' high for quite a while... after da Raidas pickin' your man, Darren McFabulous. Needless to say, we're all in your corner now. Best of luck, mate!

6:29 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Ahoy and bon voyage, PantyRaider! Off you go again, sailing the high seas, spreading the Raider Nation gospel and doing good works...May your plunder (and internet connections) be bountiful.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Later bro have fun out there. I'll try to step up my hater mail skills to help fill the void. We don't want the Donco fans to get too comfortable!


7:33 AM  
Blogger H said...

I hate the Chefs.


8:02 AM  
Blogger H said...

I hate the Dolts.


8:02 AM  
Blogger H said...

I just had to finish Psycho's list.


8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hate the patsies, i hate the 40 whiners, i hate the seahags (old afc rival), i hate the steelers, i hate the cowboys, and i hate the buccaneers.
that's my list outside the afc west rivals we play year in and year out.
teams i respect outside the raiders:
titans, jaguars, and bears.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Oddly, I have a soft spot for the Cardinals.

8:23 AM  
Blogger H said...

Wow, I feel like I just read War and Peace or maybe a Tom Clancy novel. But, that's the price you pay for staying away for an entire week.

A lot of good points here. I got my main wish, I didn't want SOH or McFadden going to any AFC West team other than us. I know I argued against McFadden, but I was looking at trading with the Cowgirls or the Bi-Planes.

I think things will be fairly quiet on the Kiffin rumor front until the preseason prediction shows gear up. At that time I precict they will start an official "Kiffin Countdown Watch".

I remember clearly the "Hot Seat" was applied to Gruden's third season with many predicting he would be gone before game 8.

I also think Kiffin had a lot of fun with the diversionary pre draft tactics. Plus, he's a good actor. I bought it.

Jordan will be released June 1st because of cap considerations. It's a much smaller hit.

There is one point on the Rhodes release that tells you McFadden was the one all along. Part of the agreement to restructure the contract was under the stipulation he would be released if McFadden was drafted. He stated, "They kept their word."

I think the glass is now 77.3% full.


I agree Highsmith and Castille are worth a look if they aren't already picked up. Castille would be a decent backup and better special teams player.


8:23 AM  
Blogger H said...

I've given it much though and here's my list of teams other than the Raiders that I respect:


8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to all for finishing my list. It was kind of a turret syndrome like post, it just came out.

Here is my "respect" list which is shrinking by the year:


8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoot, we should all be sending flowers and gifts to the G-men!
Specifically Strayhan, you have to believe they wouldn't have made it without him.

I saw an 18-1 shirt somewhere, we should get it for patsieboy (don't hear much from him these days)

8:47 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The teams I respect outside of the Raiders. (crickets)

The teams I hate? All of 'em except the Raiders.

But I've always said that my two favorite teams are the Raiders, and whoever is playing the donkeys.

I guess, outside of the Raiders, I like.... Payton Manning.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RaiderRealist, Maualuga looks tough indeed. Looks like a young Seau. Would love to have him next year. He absolutely dwarfed the RB from UCLA.

9:00 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The G-Men earned much respect of the Raider Nation. This year's Super Bowl was one of the most satisfying games I've ever watched.

I think I might hate the Patsies as much as I hate the Donkeys... and it goes back to the days of Howie Long, Matt Millen and the Sullivans. There's no respecting their arrogance, and the contempt they display toward the NFL and other teams with regard to their cheating fiasco.

9:13 AM  
Blogger H said...

Oh, I respect the Giants for whooping the Patsies. But, after a week I had recovered.


10:50 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

With ya, H.

11:03 AM  
Blogger H said...

My dislike for the Patsies and NE fans goes back to the way they treated Jim Plunkett.

I was living up there when he came back too soon from a severe shoulder injury. Their line at the time was on a par with our 2006 gang. He had a bad game and they booed him when he came off the field after a hard hit.

He was the only thing the team had and he left everything on the field, but the local sports outlets were labling him a bust.

Now on a more positive note. The bar I used to hang out at (I'll never forgive Eric for selling the joint), the cook there was a huge (about 260) Midgets fan. He made the best hot wings in the county.

I would call ahead and tell them I was on my way and Isabelle, (best looking bartender in the county too) would tell the cook I was on my way. I would walk in and sit down at a TV already tuned to the channel for the Raiders game with an order of wings and my favorite libation already on the bar.

I guess I needed to say something good about fans of the Midgets.


12:00 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, if you thought Plunk was treated badly by the fans in NE, you should have witnessed the way the local press treated him in San Francisco.

When Plunk was in SF, the offensive line there made our 2006 O-line look like a Pro Bowl squad. Plunk didn't "drop back to pass," he ran for is life. The only thing he had time to do after taking the snap was duck.

The local press ripped him to shreds, and practically claimed that he was personally responsible for ever 9er losing team dating back to the 50s.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI reagrding McFadden wearing #20...nobody of "great" importance has worn #20 for the Raiders, so Run DMC can make it relevant all on his own.

Here is a history of the #20 on the Raiders since 1961:

Charles Fuller (61-62)
Willie Simpson (62)
Warren Powers (63-68)
Jimmy Warren (70-74, 77)
Neal Colzie (75-78)
I.M. Hipp (80)
Ted Watts (81-84)
Chetti Carr (87)
Willie Teal (87)
Chris McLemore (87-88)
Dennis Price (88-89)
Tahaun Lewis (91)
Derrick Hoskins (92-95)
Perry Carter (96-98)
Tory James (00-01)
Justin Fargas (03-06)


3:38 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The Raiders signed some LB help. Today they signed Edgerton Hartwell who was a stud for the Ravens before losing the last couple of seasons to injuries.

He's a Mike, but I doubt that he'll compete with Morrison. Since he has a history of playing the run well, he'll probably be moved to the Sam position. He can move inside on plays utilizing the 3-4.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Call me Assassin:
Raider.com has McFadden listed as #20 on roster sheet

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda, Hartwell is a step in the right direction. When he was healthy he was very productive.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Hartwell. Good signing. Yet another guy with a huge upside if we can get him to play right.

He sort of reminds me of all of our DT's because we need to get consistant play out of him.


6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...




6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


lol! RT said the Cardinals, is that why you had Lineart and Boldin on your fantasy draft last year?

8:55 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

And Fitzgerald, too, I think. What a disaster.

7:12 PM  
Blogger H said...

Slow weekend, did everyone spend the weekend painting and imbibing like I did?

I'm trying to find the article again, but I saw one that said the Raiders were the most underrated team of the 2008 off season.


6:12 AM  
Blogger H said...

Well, never mind on the article. It was a rambling mishmash of complete nonsense, and a very poor attempt at humor. Aside from that I didn't see any grammatical or spelling errors.


6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things sure got quiet without Panty around. Or is everyone just getting a head start on the cinco de mayo celebrations?


8:32 AM  
Blogger H said...

I'm trying to figure out why we celebrate a war between Mexico and France?

Just you and me Psycho.


9:49 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm around. I guess most folks don't have much to say until the next phase begins.

The media isn't talking much. I've run across a couple who are still holding on to reporting that Kiffin is gone by the bye.

10:15 AM  
Blogger H said...

I just knew Blanda would be slinking around in the shadows.


10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if I get too bored I'm going to start making up stuff again...

Hey did anyone else hear about JaMarcus buying a Burger King and having it re-located next to Raiders HQ?


10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's hard to believe france fights. isn't their weapon of choice the white flag?
i'll celebrate any war against france.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

psycho, i heard kiffin threw davis' walker out the office window for drafting mcfadden.
i also read j-mac's blog about warren sapp's comments on the raiders and how davis controls everything. dude is pure entertainment.

11:19 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Hey, I've been calling around and it turns out that McFadden is on the run from the police after joining an Oakland street gang and capping two kids in Berkeley. JaMarcus' season is is jeopardy after learning he has type 2 diabetes after ballooning up 375 pounds. Kiffin and Ryan were caught throwing punches at each other in the HQ parking lot. Davis has been diagnosed with advanced Alzheimer's and he's ready to begin coaching again. He demoted Kiffin to Special Teams.

It's all true, guys. I called around. And look up at the top of this post. It's all written down so it has to be true. Right?

11:31 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

H - We celebrate Cinco De Mayo because Mexicans and Americans are good friends ... friends who celebrate liberty & freedom. Under US General Sheridan, we gave Mexico the necessary ammunition & weapons to help expel France.

Although May 5th is on everyone's minds today, May 9th is circled on my calendar. Can't wait to see McFadden wearing the colors.

Finally, H, just curious what your beer of choice would be for today. Negro Modelo, Pacifico, Corona, Dos X, Tecate, Tres X.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had Modelo Negro once and I broke into a horrible rash all over. It didn't go away for like 2 months.

You just brought up a painful memory. But not as painful as the "14 bottles of Corona" memory, or lack thereof.

I celebrate any holiday for any country as long as it involves beer.

Psycho - (curled into fetal position in a dark corner)

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and you guys are being totally immature making up stuff. I was serious about the Burger King.

White flag? Clasic. Maybe France should change their official colours to white/white.


12:29 PM  
Blogger H said...


Definitely a Negro Modelo. Amongst my words to live by is "Never trust beer you can see through." And, hold the lime.

If you gotta add anything to the beer, don't order one.


12:41 PM  
Blogger H said...

I had a chance to buy a vintage WW II French Army rifle. Dropped twice never fired.

I called around too. It seems Russell was sighted in Tokyo where he had entered the spring sumo tournament.


12:49 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There was a lot less land to have to expel France from after we appropriated Texas and California.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

br said, "There was a lot less land to have to expel France from after we appropriated Texas and California."
and the sad thing is they couldn't get the land. doesn't bode well for canada's excuse.
h, loved the "dropped twice never fired" crack.
h said, "I called around too. It seems Russell was sighted in Tokyo where he had entered the spring sumo tournament."
i read that too, and the only reason he is over there, is because he's moving to the o-line at left tackle and he wanted to learn a good hand technique. he will be on the line now to protect our young franchise qb, jeff otis. poor andrew walter, will he ever get a chance, or is he the next tui?

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard JaMarcus was in shotgun and the snap was too high. He jumped up in the air and got stuck.


2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to tell you guys!

JaMarcus has had his own reality show for a while. Some of you may have seen it already.

It's on MTV and it's called "Rob & Big"

Even you older guys should seriously check it our for at least 5 minutes. Funny show and see if you can guess which of the two main guys is JaMarcus. Here is a hint: it's not the 5'2" white guy named Rob.


2:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Very interesting. Jason Jones has an article about Washington from Baltimore. According to the article, which doesn't quote Washington regarding the statement they attribute to him, the practices with the Ravens are "more intense than the Raiders and have a more organized program compared to the chaos that tends to reign under owner Al Davis’ direction."

First off, the owner doesn't set the practice regimen. That's done by the coaches, even in Raiderland. Second, I'd probably agree that under Callahan and Turner mini camps were loose, disorganized, and - well, lazy. But the players didn't like Shell because he was like a drill Sergent (especially after Turner). Then when Kiffin came in, the Raiders got fined by the NFL for practicing too rough.

But how much different can it be working with OSOB (Other Son of Buddy) after SOB. The quote from Washington regarding that seems to put the lie to the statement by the reporter: "They sound alike, they look alike, other than the haircut, and they say the same jokes. Every-thing's the same, so you feel like you went out of one office and right back in the same office."

I think this might be the first time I've seen a reporter make an assertion and then, in the same article, offer a quote that puts the lie to what he just said.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we should have traded that woman beating loser washington to that toilet bowl of a country france. they'd be a perfect fit for each other.

scorpio - posting from the philippines!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Good points BR.

The way I look at Washington's comments are:

(1) Who cares? If he remained with the Raiders he would have been our dime back. He is a 1st round pick boarding on the "bust" tag who should be more concerned with acclimating with his new squad not worrying about the Raiders.

(2) With all of the negative articles & comments that come in a steady stream from various sources concerning the Raiders, I have reached a point where I just don't a $hit.

I don't care if Peter King ranks us #30. I don't care if Joe Blogger says the Raiders made a mistake by taking McFadden. I don't care if some national sports writer says Kiffin is powerless. I don't care if Tim Kawakami says we overspent on injured FAs ...

The only things that matter in my book are (1) the organization is on the same page (2) the expectations for the team's success has risen dramatically (3) Kiffin and staff maximize and mesh the 53 man roster (4) the performance on the field in 2008.

All the preseason predictions, polls, and opinions are meaningless until the regular season gets underway. The tally of W's & L's in 2008 will be the true test and barometer of how much progress the Raiders have made. 8 or more wins in 2008 would be solid progress.

With a favorable schedule, a relatively weak AFC West, and the most talented roster since 2002, I expect the Raiders to make real headway. The 2008 season should be the on ramp to the playoffs in 2009.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Hey Scorpio! Where in the PI are you? Are you there for business or pleasure? I was stationed in the Philippines 20 years ago at Subic Bay and did a 2 year tour there. My current company has a large office in Makati which is the business district outside Manila. There is a good chance I will be going to Makati in late 2008 for a recruiting project and HR audit. Enjoy a cold San Miguel or Red Horse!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi calico, i'm here for pleasure for now. i'm staying in manila with my uncle. tomorrow i'll be heading for my hotel in makati. i'll be here until the 14th.

i figured ehhh, nothings going on at raidertake right now so i thought i'd come over here, visit a few relatives, do some shopping and take in some sights.

i was in the "Nav" too and i am very familiar with the reputation of subic/olongapo at the period of time you mention. i wasn't stationed here but stopped into subic as part of my boat's cruise. i was an airdale. my boat was a frigate, the uss lockwood. aside from being born here in manila in '59 was here several times over the years to visit relatives. in 81/82 i was at subic/olongapo. let's just say the old saying rang true - your money goes a long way ifyaknowhatimean. not any more though.

weather here is hot and very muggy. sure miss that bay area year-round mildness right about now.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said!

Psycho - Cinco De Mayo WOOOOO!

9:15 PM  
Blogger H said...

Scorpio and Calico,

I too blew through the Philippines a few years back. My team was on a disaster relief mission in '73 after they were hit by about 3 typhoons in a month, if memory serves.

We were designated to an area on the southern part of Luzon, I think near Naga. The place was under so much water we were bilited in a convent because it was on the town's high ground.

Every night after 14-16 hour days the local law officials would bring us a case of San Miguel. Everyone on the team was awarded Philippine Jump Wings. But, I digress.

Calico, good points.

Blanda, just when did Washington attend these practices? They only opened camp yesterday. And, aren't they under a new head coach?

Plus, if the Raiders were fined for being too rough, why isn't the league checking into the Crow's practice methods?


5:31 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Calico said - “All the preseason predictions, polls, and opinions are meaningless until the regular season gets underway.”

Agreed. I reached a point where I couldn’t read another pre-draft prediction, or look at another mock draft. It’s all B.S.

BR- Whether or not the Washington story is true, the thing about guys like Washington and Schweigert (who has made no bones about being upset with his demotion), they feel the Raiders have wronged them, when it’s really their own personal limitations that cost them their starting jobs with the Raiders.

It’s not like they work in jobs where they can bring other skills to the table and excel in other areas. They either have it on the field or they don’t. And Kiffin didn’t exactly hide the fact that he will play the best players... ala “open competition.”

6:05 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Regarding players like Schweigert, Washington, Carr, and several others, I never felt they were "Raider quality" players. When they were installed at their positions, I viewed them as stop-gap players until we could get something better on the field. The problem was that each successive year these guys managed to hold onto their jobs.

Regarding the latter, I gave them credit for fighting off the competition that was brought in against them, but that competition never seemed attached to any urgency. But players like Washington and Schweigert tell themselves that they are starters because they've always fought off the competition. They don't recognize that the competition wasn't very good either.

Enter Kiffin. Kiffin's first message was attitude adjustment. It was clear to me that his first season was more about evaluation than performance. While many would disagree with that approach, the evaluation process was long overdue, and the Raiders needed desperately to take the team inventory to see exactly what we had. The Raiders were doomed not to progress without that honest evaluation. Kiffin proved to Davis that he had many players who couldn't cut the mustard.

The inventory taken, Kiffin has now added the element of urgency.

The Raiders are again on the rise.

8:32 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Lessons of the past. But not necessarily the Raiders' past.

I've often been amazed that so called 49er die hards don't know any of the 9er QBs prior to Joe Montana. Some remember Steve Deberg, and they are aware that someone named Brodie once played for the team, but that's about all the memory they have in their hard drive.

Mixed in with several years of futility, the 9ers actually made a run at the playoffs. The QB at the time? The amazing legend, Scott Bull. Bull would primarily run for his life, or sometimes run up about 12 passing plays per game. An awesome aerial display.

The 9ers were capable of staying relevant, without any kind of a passing game, because of Wilbur Jackson and Delvin Williams. While these two running backs are not NFL legends, during that particular era of NQB (no quarterback), each ran for more than a 1000 yards in the same 14 game season.

That season the 49ers beat both the Rams and the Vikings who were playoff bound.

I bring this up because in spite of having the #6 rushing attack last season, if the Raiders (who's philosophy is that it takes 3 years to develop and NFL QB) truly want to keep the pressure off of Russell, building that rushing attack to the #1 in the league is a superior idea.

Initially I supported bringing in a defensive player. But now I'm fully on board with the idea of bringing in McFadden to join Fargas and Bush. I predict that TWO Raider rushers will have 1000 yard seasons in 2008. And sweetest of all? JaMarcus Russell - thankfully - is no Scott Bull.

9:50 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Well sitting here at "LAX" waiting for my 3:30 flight and have free "Wi-Fi"....How about that...Something at an airport is actually FREE....

Scorpio aren't you enjoying yourself in the tropics...I will also have the rainy season starting in Thailand-n-Cambodia but it's a nice warm rain and feels like an outside shower....NO Shirt just Shorts-n-Sandals and the warm "DownPoor" of fresh water..."Pleasant"...Grab a bar of soap and hope the rain don't stop...That happened to me once and I was perplexed about how to get all that soap off when the only water around was as mud on the ground and my Khmer family was laughin at me....But they laugh about everything which is nice too...

Kiffin is in Charge now for a certainty and all that talk before about him being a "LameDuck" was total nonsense....There are a few more "Bad Attitudes" that need to depart like Jordan and the "House Cleansing" will be complete....Just imagine how our Raiders will look with a "New" Attitude and a "Willing" Spirit...We may just see some "Heart" in the 4th to close-out a game with a win instead of loosing it when we led most of the game....OR...Some more of those "Come-Back Wins like we use to just expect....How long past has that been....


10:03 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Speaking about "NQB" I was over at the "DonkeyPost" to listen to the "Howling-Mules" and saw where their "QB" is now Type #1 Diabetic...He lost 30#'s at the end of the season and complained about feeling tired and weak....So now that's his excuse for having a low "QBR" and NOT making any long completions to "WR" Walker last year...NOW....Do you suppose Walker knew something of the problem and couldn't wait to get out of the "MuleValley" and away from that "Deficiency"....

Now I don't delight in the suffering of any individual but they are just "AniMules" so....


10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished reading that about Cutler. I didn't want to be the guy to rub it in so thanks. Just suffer baby.

I have to end it like Panty to keep things going for a few months...


10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting Jerry McDonald post which some of us can relate to:



10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to take my new puppy down to get "fixed" soon if any of you know of any Doncos who want to tag along.

Can't wait to see whatever Saturday has to offer.


11:13 AM  
Blogger H said...

Hey Blanda,

Since you are mentioning Whinner QB's, you left one off the list. Y. A. Tittle was traded to the N. Y. Midgets and immediately took them to an NFL Championship game.

John Brodie is held up as some great quarterback but, in my humble opinion, he was slightly above average.


11:40 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I always thought that Spurrier, during the Brodie days, was the better QB. One year Brodie was injured early, and was out for almost the entire season. Spurrier took them to the playoffs and then was benched for round one in favor of the now "healthy" Brodie. Brodie immediately lost the game.

My dad was once a big 49er fan who thought that Tittle was the greatest QB he ever saw. He never forgave them for that.

He was also a big Kilmer fan. Kilmer got in a car accident, and it looked like his career would be finished in that he might never walk again. He worked himself all the way back and was dumped by the 9ers. Then he took Washington to a championship. And they call the Raiders "dysfunctional."

12:00 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

How I see McFadden being used this season.

I think that McFadden will be brought into the mix slowly. However, I don't think will focus too much on who wears the brand name, "starter."

I think Fargas and Bush (with Fargas' toughness and Bush's power) will start things off to tire the D-line and LBs with constant hitting. During that part of the game, McFadden will likely be in on 3rd and longs.

After the defense has acclimated itself to Fargas and Bush, McFadden will come in and say, "catch me if you can!" It will be at that point that defenses will begin to stack the box with safeties and even corners. From there, JaMarcus opens up the artillery with Walker, Carter, and Curry as targets.

Man, I've almost forgotten what donkey steak kabobs taste like. A little Shanarat Pie for desert.

12:26 PM  
Blogger H said...


What I know of Tittle reminds me of Plunkett. A true warrior. Bloodied but unbowed.

He may have never won an NFL Championship, but he never left anything on the field. His problem was he never had talent to match his own. Something Plunkett finally achieved.


12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys have to stop saying Tittle. I almost busted a blood vessell in my eye from laughing!


2:07 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


2:23 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I like your plan BR of Warrior Fargas and big boy Bush softening up an opponent's D with McFadden being able to bust some long runs in the 2nd half. Our rushing attack should be able to create some big plays in the passing attack when teams stack the box.

In a theater soon "The 3 Headed Monster" ...

I'm really looking forward to the day when Fargas, Bush, and McFadden reach a point in the season when each has carved out a niche in the offense and feed off of each other's success.

What about the numerous playcalling possibilities when you line up Fargas/Bush or Fargas/McF or Bush/McFadden in the same backfield?

Kiffin can use differnt sets & backfield combinations to keep the D guessing and the chains moving.

The backs will be an important tool in the passing offense especially as safety valves for Russell.

There should be an opportunity to to mix and match this 3 headed monster in the red zone to great effect. Lastly, a real added bonus to the 3 headed monster will be to keep the rotation fresh throughout a difficult, long season. I'm pumped!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "three headed monster" might actually be more reminiscent of the last year we lead the league in rushing.

It was with Wheatley the punisher, Kaufman the scat-man, and Gannon continually sprinting for last ditch first downs all the way down the field.

It nearly won us a ring!

I really don't see Fargas at all in this equation except for depth (unless Bush is shot).

The 3 headed rushing monster should be Bush, McF, and Russell, IMO.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm.. looked up the stats from that year.

Wheatley had 1046 yards on 232 carries.

Kaufman 499 with 93.

Gannon 529 with 89.

Not sure I see Bush carrying the ball 232 times with not having a carry in three years, but IN TWO SEASONS this should be the blue print.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was clear to me that his first season was more about evaluation than performance.

It's actually pretty similar to what Gruden did. I think the big difference is that St. Gruden brought in last-gasp veterans to fix things.. and it nearly worked. The problem was the aftermath.

The new strategy seems to be to bring in younger guys with injury problems and hope they all were anomalies. It worked with Burgess... I think thats what set the fire under Al's ass with this strategy.

As always with Al, it's high risk... but it could work.

All of the key players we are hoping to rise to the make us playoff caliber are coming off major injuries with the exception of our stud draft picks.

Bush, Kelly, and Walker are basically the key to this team being either 8-8, or a playoff team in the coming years, IMO.

It should be interesting... to say the least!

9:52 PM  
Blogger H said...

Psycho, are you still going through puberty? Never mind, I never left it myself.

A wise man once said, "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was."

Gary, lets just call it a four headed moster.


Remember a few decades back, the Chefs had their first three receivers out due to injuries. Stram put in a full house backfield with two tight ends. Dawson only threw like 10 passes and the Chefs had almost 400 yards rushing and won the game. Thank goodness it wasn't against us.

What about all three on the field at the same time. Talk about scary. It'll never happen, but one can dream.


6:21 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary: When you say 'all of our key players are coming off of major injuries' who exactly are you referring to? The only 2 key players coming off of major injuries are Walker on O and Kelly on D. I don't count Bush since he is 3rd on the depth chart and by all accounts is 100%. I don't count Fargas since his injury was so minor that it didn't require surgery.

QB - Russell (no injury)
RB - Fargas (minor injury)
RB - McFadden (no injury)
WR - Walker (major injury)
WR - Carter (minor injury)
WR - Curry (no injury)
TE - Miller (no injury)
LT - Harris (no injury)
LG - Gallery (no injury)
C - Wade (no injury)
RG - Carlisle (no injury)
RT - Green (minor injury)

DE - Burgess (no injury)
DT - Sands (no injury)
DT - Kelly (major injury)
DE - Richardson (no injury)
WLB - Howard (no injury)
MLB - Morrison (no injury)
SLB - Thomas (no injury)
* Hartwell (major injury)
CB - Asomugha (no injury)
CB - Hall (no injury)
FS - Huff (no injury)
SS - Wilson (no injury)

ST - Cooper (major injury)

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the 3-headed monster and comparisons to Wheatley/Kaufman/Gannon:

You can pretty much throw in C.Garner with McFadden's recieving skills.

I think that is where you might see all 3 on the field at the same time, with McFadden at WR. You may get your wish.

BTW when my age is as advanced as your's I'll still come through with the same lame humor. I just hit 30 and it seems there is no end in sight for puberty. Trying to live up to my name. I have a reputation to maintain. :)


8:51 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

"Major" injuries are not quite the same as they were in the pubescent days of Grandpas H and Blanda.

Two things have changed. Sometimes, back when Grant was president, players who got major injuries ignored the pain and tacked a couple of extra years on to their careers.

Later, after they invented medicine and doctors, doctors would inform players that if they didn't retire after a career ending injury, they might spend the rest of their lives in a wheel chair. Players started being less macho.

But in these blogger days, sometimes the advancement of surgery techniques have so greatly advanced that a player actually comes back stronger after a major injury. I think that's what we're seeing in Curry, and it is part of what Al is now banking on. It may take a couple of seasons for the player to fully come back, be he comes back stronger and better.

9:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The amended rule for the 21st century...

50 is the new 30.

The 20th century rule that all men have a right to go through puberty until at least age 40 is still in effect.

Both H and I will be going through puberty for at least another decade or so.

Psycho is just entering puberty.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, I was wondering about all the new hair everywhere. I just thought I was a warewolf.

Hey, before all this fancy surgery beginning in the '80's didn't they just amputate limbs with a hacksaw? I thought that's what happened to Tatum & Otto?


9:56 AM  
Blogger H said...


I think actual medicine came into being sometime during the late 80's.

Back during the medieval days when I had my surgery they actually cracked open my ankle with a hammer and a chisel.

But hey, I got a neat looking scar and the pin and screw they put in makes some neat looking xrays. As a bonus I didn't have to shovel snow that winter.

Many injuries of the past that would require major surgery and a cast for two months are done on an out patience basis and they wear a boot for a week before starting rehab.

Psycho, it depends where the hair is. One morning your will wake up and have to trim your ears.


10:00 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


The funny thing about puberty is that you start loosing it on the top of your head, and it grows out of your ears and the end of your nose.

There's also that thing you go through around the age of 12 when hair stops growing on the palms of your hands and reappears underneath your underwear.

10:45 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Definition: Puberty in men - the length of time it takes for the body to go though all hair relocations.

Let's turn this into a biological science website until rookie camp.

That will drive Patsy Ano nuts, because he's just gotten used the hair on his palms.

11:16 AM  
Blogger H said...

It would only be his first two fingers and the thumb.


12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol @ H...

Hey I made a crack about Tatum's leg earlier, then irony struck.

I was reading a Raiders-related book on my lunch break as usual and I came accross a Willie Brown quote. This was while discussing his close relationship with Tatum and it was written BEFORE Tatum lost his leg:

Willie - "If Jack needed a right arm I'd give it to him. If my arm would grow on Jack, it would be his."


12:24 PM  
Blogger H said...

And then there's the voice that sounds like a rusty hinge accompanied with the urge to hide things under the mattress. It's instintive and not a learned response.


12:28 PM  
Blogger Old Skool Raider Fan said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, RAIDERS WILL WINS AFC WEST


1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey all,not gonna touch the puberty/hair thing.
modern surgery/joint repair is amazing.
about the three headed monster i'm salvating. with bush ,russell,mcfadden and curry that's four good arms on the field.
the possibilities are limited by imagination. this is gonna get interesting!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT Poll Qustions #1:

By the end of the season, how would you project the number of carries (by %) of McFadden, Fargas, and Bush?

I will start things off first.

McFadden 55%
Fargas 35%
Bush 10%

My personal feeling is that by mid season (if not sooner) McFadden will be the primary ball carrier, Fargas the rotational back, and Bush the speciality back (short yardage, red zone).

Poll Question #2:

How many yards do you predict for each back?

My guestimates:

McFadden 1150
Fargas 710
Bush 190

Fire away gents ... I'm very interested in your projections.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your guestimates are probably as good as can be. I'll play!

Fargas - 60%
McFadden - 35%
Bush - 5%

Fargas - 1,250 4.2 ypc
McFadden - 800 4.6 ypc
Bush - 100 4.0 ypc

I think McFadden will get his share, but will not be able to overcome the pure unadulterated ass-kicking attitude of Fargas just yet. Or maybe not until towards the end of the year anyway.

I think McFadden will need a little time coming from a wacky system and learning ZB. For all I know he's a natural at running the Stretch, but I'll just go out on a limb and say "no".

Maybe Kiffin will be more willing to share the load this year but so far he seems to commit to one guy and only give the 2nd guy a few shots, with the 3rd+ guy not getting much at all (see Rhodes, Etchemandu). That's why I think Bush will be sort of the odd man out other than some short/goal line work. Or maybe he's having visions of a 3-headed monster like we are, who knows.

Even though Kiffin commented on not over doing it with the McFadden possibilites I think he'll try some non-RB stuff when he see's Fargas hanging onto his spot and McFadden sitting over there on the bench too often. He says he wants to keep McFadden grounded as a pure RB but I don't know, trickery is tempting with such talent.

Whatever happens it's going to be fun.


7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico... I have to admit your injury list looks a lot more encouraging than my hyperbolic post did.

As far as the carries.. what I would LIKE to see is 33% for all three this year.

What will actually see happening... holy cats thats tough because Kiffin seems to lock in on one guy... it's trying to guess which one. I suppose it will be Fargas.

8:21 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Three heads...

I don't think Kiffin locks in on one guy if he feels he has more than one option. White got a significant number of carries behind Reggie Bush. However, if a runner looks hot at the moment, Kiffin will stick with him.

I think that McFadden will lead the team at season's end with the largest yards per carry average, Fargas 2nd, and Bush 3rd.

McFadden 5.2
Fargas 4.4
Bush 3.9

McFadden will lead the team in rushing TDs, edging out Bush, with Fargas 3rd.

McFadden 9
Bush 6
Fargas 3
Russell 2

Fargas will lead the team in total rushing yards. McFadden close behind, and Bush well beneath.

Fargas 1225
McFadden 1105
Bush 297

Just guessing, baby...

8:47 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A little explanation...

The way I see it, Fargas will be the lead back on any drive started at the Raider end of the field. Entering the red zone, we'll switch over to McFadden to provide a rushing break away threat in order to keep the other team honest covering receivers in the end zone. When we get inside the five, then it's Bush's turn.

8:53 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, and doing the math for you, that comes out to about 278 carries for Fargas, 212 for McFadden, and 76 for Bush.

8:57 AM  
Blogger H said...

Of course I have to dissent.

First of all, I believe Bush will get more carries than most think.

Kiffin now has the ability to game plan his rushing attack according to the other teams weakness. Some teams are weaker on the edges, this plays well to Fargas and McFadden. Others are weaker in the middle, which will tend toward Bush. Fargas also does well between the tackles because of his quickness to the hole. McFadden has a learning curve on the offense and how to run inside in the NFL.

We may even see a different starter on some weeks. Also, somewhere along the way at least one or more of the three will get nicked up and miss a game or two. Kiffin might even look at a three back rotation to keep injuries to a minimum.

Hell, I could even see a situation where Bush completes a pass to McFadden and vice versa.

Just think, if this is successful, all the NFL will be looking for three backs to use.


10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dammit, I'd make a horrible sniper because I'm tired of camping out today.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:31 PM  

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