Friday, April 23, 2010

News You Can't Use

Well, it's been a long time since the last News You Can't Use, but the following headline on the San Francisco Chronicle web site inspired me to get back on the proverbial horse:


Say what? The NFL team with the worst run defense known to mankind selects the top middle linebacker in the draft doesn't fill a need?

(Here's a link to the article, the headline is a bit different than the one on the home page, replacing "need" with "hole," which is the same thing)

While even the national sports media are begrudgingly acknowledging that the Raiders made a smart choice by selecting Rolando McClain, our friend at the Chronicle stomps his feet, covers his eyes and tries to play Jedi mind tricks.

Quick, call 911...or at least an editor. Someone is having a mental breakdown on Mission Street.

To prop up his position, the author invokes the Great God of the NFL Draft, Mel Kiper (the same Mel Kiper who compared JaMarcus Russell to John Elway a few years ago): "Kiper doesn't like the pick of McClain, noting that the Raiders' biggest needs are at offensive line and quarterback."

Stopping the run isn't one of the Raiders' biggest needs? You say that with a straight face? Really?

The Raider Haters have won the Hater Lottery over the past several years, as the team has bent over backwards to give them legitimate material for bashing and criticizing.

And yet, they just can't help themselves. They still have to make stuff up and play Twister with the facts. Ah, true colors are just so hard to hide.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raider Take War Room Now Open

Please, no running with scissors during the draft. Please, no "projects," wide receivers or defensive backs in the first round. Please do something to stop the run. That's not too much to ask, is it?

On another note, the Steelers are apparently shopping Big Ben for a first-round pick. If I'm Al Davis, I would pick up the phone and call Pittsburgh, if only to window shop and kick the tires.

Has Big Ben behaved like a reprehensible jackass? Of course. Has he finally learned his lesson, and is he ready to turn his act around? Maybe. Is he one of the top five quarterbacks in the league, a rare talent and a proven winner, and the kind of guy you can build an offense around for many years to come? Absolutely.

I'm not sure I'd pull the trigger on Big Ben, but I'd definitely think about it, even with a six-game suspension on the near horizon. The unanswered questions bother me, but his proven talent is extremely tempting.

Now, some folks are going to freak out because I was firmly against the Seymour trade for a first-round draft pick in 2011. Well, if you look at an apple and see an orange, then go ahead and freak out.

I didn't think Seymour would have an appreciable impact on our defense, and I was right. It struck me as a panic move to compensate for the serial neglect of our defensive line. It's not that I dislike Seymour or think he's useless, but in terms of overall value, I thought it was a questionable trade.

Roethlisberger, meanwhile, is three years younger than Seymour, and he plays a position that can be played at an elite level well into one's 30s, and that can single handedly make or break a team.

Go look at the division winners last year. In all but one instance (Big Ben's division, coincidentally), the team with the best quarterback in the division won the division.

Is that a trend that we are going to buck with Russell or Gradkowski? Not likely. Just saying.

Meanwhile, I might as well revive the Stick 'Em Pick 'Em challenge once again, in honor of our friend Stick 'Em accurately picking the first seven selections of the 2006 draft, right up through Michael Huff.

Can anyone here top that and pick the first eight selections of 2010? I know I sure can't, so I won't even try.

And be sure to come back tomorrow evening, I'll be pouring virtual beer and handing out free scissors to celebrate the first round of the draft.

P.S. Update: With the selection of Rolando McLain, if I'm doing NFL betting, I'm picking the Raiders to finally climb into contention in the AFC West in the next few years.