Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Question of "Now"

“I mean, they’re real strict on discipline now as far as showing up to meetings (on time), they’re even making us check in for lunches and dinners now,” safety Tyvon Branch said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “We know that our discipline is what got us in trouble in the past,” Branch said. “That stuff trickles down on the field, and we need to cut down on the penalties if we want to be the team we want to be.”

Now? They're real strict on discipline now?

There's sure a lot of talk already coming out of Napa, eh? In my last take, I noted how our defensive players are thrilled to finally be playing "real" defense.

Now they're talking retroactive smack about an institutional lack of discipline, even though promises of discipline and accountability have hardly been in short supply during preceding training camps.

I don't know what to think. On the one hand, the players sound liberated. In fact, they sound relieved. On the other hand, we've heard it all before, haven't we?

For years now, I've been shouting from the rooftops: no excuses. Well, we're finally and completely out of them. Our defensive "stars" are stepping up to the microphones and saying, "We're now exercising discipline. We're now playing real defense. We now have a defensive-minded head coach."

Good. Now we'll find out how good--or bad--they really are, right?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Bite, Less Bark

From the Associated Press: 

Safety Michael Huff said he’s happy to be playing a "real defense" in his seventh season with the Raiders. "Nothing personal but, obviously, before with Al, rest in peace, he had his hands in all the defense." Huff said. "He had all his little things he liked to do. Now with D.A. out there, we got all kinds of blitzes, we got 3-4, 4-3 fronts, just a lot of different variety and a lot of different things going on. So, I’m going to love it."

Training camp is finally here. It's already starting to feel like autumn, even though the calendar says it's July.

Michael Huff sounds pumped up. Tommy Kelly has made similar comments. But here's the thing: talk is cheap. If anyone should know that, it's Raiders fans.

It's time for Huff, Kelly and Company to step up and turn our defense from a farce into a force. It's sounds like they are retroactively blaming the scheme for the defense's poor performance in recent years.

Okay fellas, now you're getting what you say you've always wanted, so no more excuses. Go ahead and talk about how you've been limited, and how you're finally being unleashed. But from this point forward, we need less bark and a lot more bite on the defensive side of the ball.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A Day of Remembrance

Well, it's a bittersweet day in the Raider Nation.

We start with the sad news of the passing of Ben Davidson. Simply put, the dude was epic. The epitome of a true Raider: big, gnarly, distinctive and mean, but with a twinkle in his eye.

An autographed photo of Davidson stalking Bob Griese is proudly displayed in my den, and it now means more to me than it ever did. Rest in peace, Mr. Davidson.

Tomorrow, Independence Day, also marks the birthday of Al Davis. It's a time to not only celebrate a great nation, but also the man who developed and defined the Raider mystique.

Training camp will begin soon. It's enough to light a fire under me and to fire up this blog more often heading into the 2012 season. I can't wait, can you?