Sunday, December 31, 2017

Chargers Gameday Thread

 The rumors of a Jon Gruden return are a fitting punctuation mark on this flailing 2017 campaign. These are desperate times. Let’s see if we can end this lost season on a respectable note.

209 Comments:

Blogger nyraider said...

Listening to the start of the game, it sounds like business as usual for the offense.

Save some useless bragging rights, this game means less than a fourth pre-season game. Why would they play their $25mm a year QB with nothing on the line.

Derek Carr should be benched!

This team needs to finish healthy and hand out some pink slips.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Del Rio is officially done.

5:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Four weeks ago, the Raiders controlled their own destiny, needing four wins to capture the division, including two divisional games. They proceeded to lose all four games.

This year, overall, they suffered six blow-out losses to the Redskins, Ravens, Bills, Patriots, Chiefs and Chargers.

They were regularly out-played, and regularly out-coached. I'm not sure the Raiders successfully converted a 4th down play all year, and they went for many... including mid-field and in their own territory.

Derek Carr forgot how to play QB. There's no way to sugar coat it. Carr sucked!

The Raiders abandoned everything that made them successful on offense last year, opting for zone blocking which has failed them so many times in the past.

Without question, this was the worst season since McKenzie took over, particularly in light of expectation.

Tomorrow is Black Monday. Raiders need to clean house... maybe all the way to the top!

5:08 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That's totally fair, given what Del Rio accomplished this year. Also, it paves the way for Downing and everyone else to be fired.

Enter Jon Gruden!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Del Rio announced he has been fired by Mark Davis. After tonight's game, I don't blame Mark. I said last post that Del Rio deserved another year with a different OC, but that he needed to be more assertive in the game with his Coordinators. I don't think that fits his personality, so it was a good move.

I am not sold on Gruden because he is a West Coast/Zone Offense guy. We do not have the roster to fit that mentality. I'm not sold on Pagano as DC either though. Yes, he did better than Norton, but he game plan came out flat today. Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson need to go too. Our next coach needs to be Power/Aggressive on both sides of the ball. Crowd the LoS and bump opposing WRs on defense; and power block and run on offense. Not sure who we should bring in as coach right now. I think they need someone with tangible experience. Chuck Pagano is the only one who fits that bill right now, and I like that move better than Gruden. Pat Shurmur may be a good choice at HC. He is currently the OC in Minnesota. Frank Reich, the OC in Philly may be another good candidate. The problem with both though, no HC experience. They would need stellar DCs to help balance them out. Going to be another interesting offseason.

5:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Tom Cable? He's more experienced and wiser now.

5:46 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

The King is dead. Long live the King. #gruden

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY

Happy New Year. Tom Cable how much bubbly were you drinking last night lol. Guys if Gruden comes we should be celebrating. He has the personality, love the Raiders and is a tactician at Andy Reid level. Most importantly he is a QB guru and will help Carr get to the next level.

Nate happy new year to you too. As far as West Coast I think Carr fits that system perfectly and played it at Fresno. In regards to running I remember plenty of power concepts back in the days of Kennedy, and Robbins.

Go Chucky Go

All the best
Sandy

6:20 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Happy New Year, Sandy.

It was a question, not a New Year's wish... to answer Nate's desire for power-based system. But I am cautioned not to discount it. You and I don't make the decisions, and the Raiders are capable of anything....

Cable has ties to Oakland, and was pushed out by AL after he brought the team back from oblivion despite the ultimate obstructionist as a boss. Too, McKenzie has brought more personnel (players and coaches) from Seattle than from any other org., including GB.

It's curious that Davis acted so quickly to fire Del Rio. Does he have something up his sleeve? Maybe Gruden is already packing!

Del Rio deserved to be fired. Sucks for fans, because we have to endure starting over, again!

7:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Reading the media reports, Gruden to Oakland is practically a done deal. They already having him picking assistant coaches. It will get interesting fast, because Gruden is calling the Chiefs playoff game on Sat., the internal workings of which Andy Reid might not want the Raiders' next HC to have access.

Assuming Gruden is not a done deal, what about John Fox? He flopped in Chicago (with a bad team) but has two Super Bowls under his belt.

Sucks starting over, but the Raiders have an opportunity to take a step in the right direction.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

NY
Ben McAdoo is available for HC too. Look how well he did in New York after running Tom Coughlin off! Hell, NFL Network is saying Dennis Allen is a potential HC again. Let's team him up with Tom Cable and Hue Jackson, and have 3 Head Coaches!

I thought this crap was done when they brought in Del Rio, especially after last year. Letting Musgrave go was a big problem. Del Rio not being assertive with his coaches was the other issue.

Hard to tell what is really going to happen. All indication is Gruden is coming back. I still like Chucky, but I'm not sold on him right now. He has to come in and prove it. But let's look at the reality for a moment. First, this time last year, he was with Jim Irsay talking about a GM/Coaching position with the Colts and turned it down. Since he became a TV analyst, his name is the first name attached to NFL/NCAA coaching jobs; and has he taken any of them? He has even been connected to the Raiders (three times now) since Mark Davis took over. I'm not saying it won't happen, I just don't believe the hype until his name is on a contract.

Again, if that happens, I'm not sure he fits the strengths of our current roster, which as Reggie put it last season, was to build a bully. I think you have to find a coach/GM that will mesh well in philosophy. Not sure Gruden and McKenzie will.

John Fox may be intriguing here, but it depends on who he brings in as an OC. I like him better as a DC. Bottom line for me is: HERE WE GO AGAIN ON THE CIRCUS CAROUSEL

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Jack Del Rio had lost the team. When Mack and Irvin walked off the practice field it was over for Jack. Carr was mailing in games like he wanted the HC to be fired.
Ex; Raiders have the ball at midfield with 2 mins left in 2nd qrtr. Any QB knows that ball security is most important and the clock needed to be run down so Rivers could get his hands on the ball before the Half. After the 2 min. warning, Carr throws into double coverage in the endzone and it's picked off. Rivers marches down the field and puts up six before the half is over.

I'm sure Mark had discussions with Carr about Gruden and Carr knew that Jack was the walking dead. Mark has always wanted Gruden as HC and it seems it's about to become a reality.

Jack showed he is not a HC by his coordinator moves and his in game management. It seems he lost the team as well. At least we won't have to cringe when Downing does his stupid run down the sidelines after a TD.

Wilson

9:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I am a big proponent of continuity, but what Del Rio did this year was inexcusable. He proved incapable of managing his coordinators and coaching up the team when they needed him most. Norton's failure as DC was more Del Rio's failure. And Del Rio's inaction (or inability) to get Downing to change his approach was epic.

Right now, everything is pointing to Gruden. Gruden has the awareness and acumen that Del Rio lacks. He's a hard worker, and earns the respect of his players. I think he can bring Derek Carr back from whatever it was that caused him to do a 180 this year.

Gruden with Fox as DC would be a huge step up from Del Rio and Norton/Pagano.

It's extremely important for Davis to get this right. He can't afford to do a face plant on his way to Vegas.

I still think McKenize's role might be a sticking point for Gruden. Like Del Rio, McKenzie has been given his chance.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


I love Gruden, but I'm always weary about reaching back to the past. Trying to recreate the magic from 16 years ago is a difficult thing to do.

I wish Gruden were coming in as the GM rather than HC. This way Gru could pick the HC, and draft the players.

I just don't think GM Reggie found enough talent in mid to late rounds. And most of his top picks were stinkers too. It was Carr & Mack, and not much else.

They say you can't go home again...I guess maybe we'll find out.

5:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00 - Gruden can bring savvy that Del Rio just doesn't have. Frankly, that McKenzie doesn't possess either.

IMO, Del Rio's handling of the Raiders in 2017 was so bad it should preclude him from being HC again.

I think Davis (and fans) could have lived with Del Rio promoting Downing, but Del Rio's inaction to correct failures over an entire season led to his firing. Some guys, like Norv Turner, are good coordinators but can't manage any larger responsibility.

4:26 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Rumor that Rich Gannon will be QB coach.

What happens in 2-3 years? Gruden becomes GM/minority owner and Gannon HC?

4:42 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PS McKenzie's job is not secure right now, with Gruden presumably being given full authority... which goes back to the central point; Raiders desperately need someone who is capable of making football decisions. Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio are not. These guys presided over the 2017 Raiders....

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I am reading a lot of "reports" about Gruden contacting people to be on his staff should he become the Raiders next Head Coach. Look at some of the people being "linked" to Gruden's "staff". John Morton is linked coming to Gruden's staff as OC. Greg Olson is linked to coming to Gruden's staff as QB Coach, but so is Rich Gannon. The problem, though, with Morton and Olson is that you cannot hire a coach from a different team for the same position, unless they are released. So Gruden cannot pry away Morton and Olson from the Jets and Rams to be the OC and QB coach if he is becoming the next HC of the Raiders; according to the League rules.

So, this has lead me to think of a different scenario: What if Gruden is coming in as a GM with ownership %, and not HC? If this is the case, to me that means John Morton (Jets OC) be interviewed by Gruden as the Raiders next Head Coach. Another more scary scenario is then: Greg Olson is a guy Gruden wants to bring back as the Raiders OC, not QB Coach. Remember Olson? Vanilla, ZBS/WC offense of run up the middle, run up the middle, short pass on 3rd down? Yup, and that is the same dude that Gruden wants? I swear I'm swimming in the images of a "revived" Lame Kiffin/Dennis Allen era.

Again, I love Jon Gruden; but seriously, this is scaring the life out of me. If it goes down this way, and we go back to a ZBS/WC offense with the current roster; we are going to be hurting for at least 4 years. I don't think the Raiders can afford doing something like this, especially with their excitement of heading into Vegas. If you really believe that Gruden is going to come in and take us to the Super Bowl; you drinking the Kool-Aid. He is going to have to tear the O-Line roster down and build a new one that will compliment the ZBS he wants to integrate. Say goodbye to Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Donald Penn, and Keleche Osemele. We will have a line and a team that looks similar to the Jets, Texans, and Redskins. Not sure that I can swallow that.

11:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, take a breath, man. That sounds nightmarish. Del Rio was fired (instantly!) to make room for Gruden. According to media, Morton was given permission to interview and make a lateral move.

I wouldn't assume ZBS. That would require, as you say, completely revamping our line. Raiders need to play to their strengths... something they failed to do in 2017.

2:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I would add two things: First, I agree, Greg Olson entering the building would be a huge problem... I refuse to believe he would be given that opportunity, again. Second, Gruden is a QB guy, and exactly what Carr needs to get back to himself... and make it to the next level.

This should be a no-brainer.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate, what happened to the positive guy we know you to be. That sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory lol.

Check out article below from ESPN on Papa insightful stuff.

Bottom lone guys its all about the QB in today's nfl. Besides the charisma, love of the Raiders and game planning Gruden brings he is a QB whisperer and Carr obviously needs one. Del Rio is a good leader of men but no savant when it comes to strategy and tactics. I am happy to suffer through a crap season to get Gruden back.

http://www.espn.com/blog/oakland-raiders/post/_/id/20764/raiders-radio-voice-greg-papa-jon-gruden-has-to-fix-a-broken-derek-carr

Regards
Sandy


5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good comments from Peter King

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/01/03/jon-gruden-oakland-raiders-coach-peter-king-mmqb-mailbag

Sandy

5:43 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I saw the article which cites Greg Olsen might be under consideration. That's disturbing, but it's also reporting that Gruden would be calling the plays. Even so, I don't like the idea of Olsen being involved. He is a known ZBS guy, and possibly a one trick pony in that regard.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm not positive that Gruden is the right HC. With some of the things being said about Del Rio (mostly by Papa), he needed to go. He lost his team, and threw his QB under the bus; instead of his OC. It seems that Downing was Del Rio's guy, and would not listen to Carr or the O-line, so he lost the team.
It's not Carr I'm worried about, I'm worried about the O-line and the kind of system Gruden is going to bring, a ZBS/WC. Our current roster is not suited for a ZBS/WC offense. Maybe a hybrid Power/WC offense like we had in 2016, if Gruden can do that, I think we will be back on track. All indicators from the staff he is wanting to bring in, however, shows he is going back to ZBS/WC. When Gruden was here last, we had a stellar ZBS O-Line (L Kennedy, B Robbins, Mo Collins to name a few); but we don't have that now. Carr is only as good as his line, you have to play to the O-line's strengths, which is to be a powerhouse. Let them play to their strengths and Carr is going to flourish under Gruden. If not, this team is going to sink, and sink fast.
We have had our fill of ZBS with power O-line since Gruden has left, under Norv Turner, Lame Kiffin, Tom Cable, Dennis Allen, Greg Olson, this year with Todd Downing, and now this? I'm not willing to see our team go through that again. This season was bad enough, and look how much the Raiders regressed under it! I'm not optimistic about this at all. The ONLY way Gruden comes in and wins, is if he does a hybrid Power/WC scheme. If he doesn't, we are in for a long 4 year overhaul (if he lasts that long).
DC was broken this year because the coaches took away the power from the O-line, and took away DC's ability to make adjustments pre-snap. Then add to what Greg Papa said about Del Rio ripping Carr in meetings, no wonder the dude was lost this year! I agree, Gruden is going to do wonders with DC, but right now, it has to be with a Power/WC hybrid offense, and he has to give Carr the freedom to make pre-snap adjustments. The Patriots have been running this kind of offense for the last 4 years with Tom Brady, and Carr picked up on it, and showed the world last season what he can be capable of.
My concern with this is Gruden is not the kind of coach who allows this. He is an offense micro-manager, and that may suffocate Carr's ability. It works with Brady because although BB micro manages the defense, he allows Brady his freedom. This is how it is going to have to be with Gruden/Carr. So sorry, I'm not optimistic about this; especially after this season.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the Raiders run the ZBS first time around with Gruden? I seem to remember some power concepts with big Linc and Robbins.

Regards
Sandy

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

They were more ZBS, especially under Callahan. Sure they did some power runs with Wheatley, but pass protection was all ZBS.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ZBS who cares I prefer to focus on pics like this. Enjoy Sandy

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2009/12/13/mcdonald-forget-loss-to-redskins-grudens-visit-gives-raiders-fans-a-chance-to-dream/

6:26 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The more things change...From The Athletic:

“We had a good bunch of guys in the locker room,” one player said Monday, “but I think it was more about having a good time than doing everything it took to win.”

“There is talent here,” one player said. “But there was no direction here. Some of us thought they were going to clean house. Then they fired coach Del Rio. I guess that means they are going to keep us around.”

One coach still had a hard time figuring out how this season turned so quickly Week 3 at Washington. The Raiders got pushed around, losing 27-10, then lost three more games in a row and were never the same.

“Our quarterback lost his poise that game, and there was nobody to gather the troops and get them ready to get keep fighting,” one coach said. “We just kind of took it.

“The coaches are responsible for a lot that happens, but they can’t go in the huddle.”

https://theathletic.com/200695/2018/01/01/this-wasnt-just-about-del-rio-and-wont-just-be-fixed-by-gruden-the-raiders-have-major-leadership-issues/

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


IMO,the team saw that Jack had completely shit the bed with his coordinators and the team revolted. Downing had completely lost the Offense and Carr was put in a position because Downing was so close to him. It blew up the Offense and guys like Crabtree tried to stand up and say it sucked and look what happened to him.

Mack and Irvin walking off the practice field was another marker that something was really wrong in the locker room. The fact that Carr kept on saying in his pressers that nobody was paying attention to details, that is on the the players but it's also on the coaches for allowing it.

IMO, the team and Jack could probably hear the whispers of Gruden coming, because the way this is playing out, shows Mark had Gruden on the hook a while ago. Plus, Jack and Gruden share the same agent.

This hiring of Gruden has been a want of Mark's since he took over the team and the team saw it coming, I'm sure Jack had some idea too. Lame duck HC who lost the team means an ugly scene , man.

Guy

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, Gruden has learned and matured, probably. His tour around the league for all these years can't help but give him a broader perspective on what it takes to manage a team and to being a Hc.

IMo, he is not going to run the same Offense as he did years back, it won't work in today's game. He has to be smarter than that?

Guy

9:24 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What came first, the chicken or the egg? I would argue the culture had improved under Del Rio but deteriorated as this season progressed and the Raiders kept spinning out the same tired game plan. What was pretty obvious to all of us seemed to elude Del Rio and his coordinators. Pagano provided a boost on D, but it was too little too late... then got crushed in a meaningless game.

However, I disagree with the author's assertion that it won't change under Gruden. Have to believe the players want to win, and will buy into a system they can believe in.

Del Rio turned out to be incredibly wishy washy and inept... something nobody should expect from Gruden.

9:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Agreed. Gruden may have been out of coaching for a long while, but he has been closely studying the game ever since. His return to coaching will be fascinating to watch, and way more meaningful than the wasted draft picks and $8.0mm in cash that AL traded for him years ago.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I've said it before, that I'm not worried about Carr with Gruden coming in. Apparently, in some circles in the League, it is a concern.
ProFootballTalk.com gave this article about Derek Carr/Gruden factor:
"...the more important truth is whether Carr will still want Gruden to be his coach, after dealing with Gruden for a while. Per a league source, there’s a real concern that Carr won’t be able to put up with Gruden’s style for very long. Gruden will ride him and needle him and yell at him and criticize him and ride him some more. Carr will have to learn how to deal with that, or Carr won’t last. And that’s ultimately the concern: Carr, given the way he’s wired, may not make it with Gruden.
Here’s a prime example of the dynamic Carr will be dealing with. Remember his Superman routine after running for a first down late in the Cowboys game, when he lunged unnecessarily for the pylon and fumbled out of the end zone, essentially ending the game? Carr compared it to taking the last shot in a basketball game; Gruden will compare it to crashing the red Lamborghini, because there was still time to get out of bounds and take that last shot without trying to do too much.
And Gruden will let Carr hear it, if that happens again. (Gruden probably will let him hear about it during their first meeting.) And if Carr can’t take it, Carr won’t be long for the Raiders.
Coincidentally, Carr’s gigantic contract has a fairly early out for the team, allowing them to dump him after 2018 with only a $7.5 million cap charge, at a cash outlay over two years of less than $48 million. After spending a full season with Gruden, Carr may be willing to pay back some of that money in order to get out of town."

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

“There is talent here,” one player said. “But there was no direction here. Some of us thought they were going to clean house. Then they fired coach Del Rio. I guess that means they are going to keep us around.”
******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************


Had to laugh when I read this quote. The benefit of having Gruden come in is, he will not keep losers around that just want to "have a good time".

To Gruden a "good time", is winning, making playoffs, winning super bowl(s). And anyone that doesn't buy in, and put the hard work in, and do it on game day, will be gone.

And if Carr turns out to be a one season wonder. If he cannot put in the work, adjust his game, eliminate the mistakes, be a leader on the field, than Gruden will find a QB that can do it.

So my message to all the losers in the Raiders locker room that think Gruden is going to keep them around...Ya better start reading the classified section to seek new employment.

That's the price of having a good time while losing in the NFL.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT,

Sandy here happy new year. Would you mind pasting the text from that article in the Athletic? I don't have a subscription and though I like Tafur I refuse to support KAwakami lol.

Thanks
Sandy

4:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I don't believe Gruden will ride Carr (pun intended) into hating him. Gruden will do what he needs to do to motivate his players. Players whose egos are too big (and that doesn't include Carr), or can't handle Gruden's coaching style of tough love, should leave.

Gruden's relationship with Gannon was much different because Gannon is much different than Carr.

5:18 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Talks of Greg Knapp being Gruden's OC are heating up. That's really discouraging... to put it mildly. The only saving grace is Gruden would call the plays, and certainly has the savvy and the balls to take over if Knapp fails in Oakland, again!! This is where Del Rio failed the Raiders.

Another issue: where does McKenzie stand in all this? Gruden will have full control of the roster. No other way to see it. Is McKenzie out too?

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

NY, Here is a link to a good article, surprisingly from Jerry McDonald that sheds light on what Reggie's role could be. It seems he will stick around, or go to Green Bay to the GM opening there. If he does leave, who is going to manage the Salary Cap and scouting? That is a role that Gruden won't play as HC. Let's not forget either, that Gruden had Bruce Allen in both Oakland and Tampa Bay as GM.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/01/04/when-gruden-comes-does-reggie-mckenzie-go/

7:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks, Nate. J-Mac always does a nice job putting things into perspective. Makes sense that Gruden will need help in McKenzie's areas of expertise, but I think his scouting has been overrated. His biggest contribution has been contracts and cap management... as McDonald points out, neither of which Gruden can do.

It's interesting that McDonald confirms Del Rio was hired by Davis; something some folks here (previously) argued was handled by McKenzie. I think McKenzie lost that privilege after tanking with Dennis Allen.

Turns out, Davis's decision-making has been no better. Let's hope this hire changes that pattern.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Steve Cockran breaks the news that Gruden will be announced Tuesday, as the Raiders have reportedly signed him to a 10 year, $100 million contract. Yup, you read that right. The longest tenure, and highest paid coach. What could go wrong?

12:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

10 years is absurd. The irony is Gruden denies his deal includes ownership. Assuming there's
a significant guarantee for his salary, what's the difference?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY/NATE: Come on guys this is the best investment Mark has ever made, 100 mm to take the best possible shot at a superbowl that is short money. The Raiders window is now.

HC in football is more important than any sport. Raiders now have everything at once for first time in 15 years. Elite coach who loves the Raiders and is a real leader, real football hierarchy (hiring an EVP for football operations), young franchise QB.

It's all good, let's celebrate this weekend

Regards
Sandy

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

IF Gruden lasts all 10 years, he needs to win the AFC 8 out of those 10, and win the Super Bowl at least 3 times, in order for this deal to be successful. In reality, Mark Davis hopes this pays dividends with a Super Bowl win next year. I can't blame him.
Here is the real question, what happens if things with Gruden don't work out? Then what? Like I said before, I think this fails if Gruden goes with ZBS blocking. He succeeds with a power blocking/West Coast offense.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate how do you come up with you math. 3 superbowls 8 division titles. Man the last time the raiders won the superbowl was 34 years ago, I was friggin 15 years old. I will take 1 superbowl and be over the moon.

Who cares how Mark spends his money if it gives Raiders fans a better team so be it.

You guys seem so negative, I am ecstatic about this. Del Rio could not carry Grudens jock its not even close.

Gruden is a QB genius just what Carr needs.

Have a good weekend
Sandy

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With those expectations that would mean that even Mike Tomlin’s record wouldn’t cut it...If Gruden can match Tomlin and keep the Raiders relevant I am a happy camper! But having said that I wouldn’t complain about 3 SB wins Especially if it reinvigorates RT to start blogging again, that my friends would be a bonus
Topher

10:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, I'm laughing at the 10-year deal because it's not realistic and, if it comes with significant guarantees, it's akin to a stake in ownership which the parties deny. $100M is almost 10% of the valuation (and it comes with no debt hanging over it). But, as you said, it's not my money.

As for Del Rio, I liked him as HC until he became complicit in the failures of his coordinators and proved to be incapable of coaching the team out of the box he put them in. Raiders got all they could from Del Rio, and he has nobody to blame but himself. His 1-year descent was epic... and probably cost him another chance to be a HC in the NFL.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, Are you watching the first quarter of the Chiefs Titans game. More to my point the Chiefs are just carving them up and it's all brilliant play calling by Andy Reid Raiders have more weapons than Chiefs on offense with Gruden calling plays will be doing the same soon enough. Hope you're having a good weekend I'm looking at the temperatures in New York I imagine you're on the couch with a scotch watching football under a blanket regards Sandy

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Not much like the end of the Chiefs/Titans game, where Andy Reid went Andy Reid and lost. 6 straight home game playoff losses for the Chiefs. Awesome! Way to go Titans.

5:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

@ Sandy,

"I imagine you're on the couch with a scotch watching football under a blanket regards Sandy"

Lol. No blanket. Replaced that with a roaring fire in the FP.

Cheers!

Nate, for all the credit Reid gets, he can't figure out the playoffs.

Enjoy tonight's game, gents.

5:22 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Aside from the 2014 draft, McKenzie's drafts have not held up well. Not surprised to find out that zero draft picks remain from McKenzie's first two drafts. Here's the article.

https://www.silverandblackpride.com/2018/1/7/16861176/aside-from-2014-raiders-have-little-to-show-for-drafts-in-reggie-mckenzie-era

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

OH HELL YEAH! I'M FIRED UP NOW! Just watched the Chucky presser live on raiders.com; and I'm ready for this! All my pessimism has been laid to rest! I'm ready to run through a wall for Gruden now! The best quote of the presser:
"To end my career here on the Tuck Rule game ticked me off, and I have unfinished business to settle here."
I wished the season started tomorrow. JUST WIN, BABY!!!!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that is the Nate we know and love

That is the spirit.

Gruden is a true offensive mastermind a must in today's nfl. The more I think about Del Rio's staff the more I realize it was sub par. Even Musgrave and Pagano are middle of the road type guys

All the best
Sandy

3:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

A couple thoughts after watching the presser:

One, McKenzie appears to be on board, which is good. Despite some questionable personnel decisions, he has brought stability to the Raiders cap.

Two, Mark Davis has no more tricks up his sleeve. He has wanted Gruden since Day 1. Gruden is my first choice too, but he's not a lock to win. If this doesn't work, we're all screwed.

Worth noting: When asked how he felt about the Raiders moving to Vegas, he avoided the answer almost to the point of being uncomfortable. I get that he wants to focus on the "now" but not even a "we'll cross that bridge when we get there" response?

Bottom line: This is an exciting new time. Gruden stated he never wanted to leave Oakland. Well, we never wanted him to leave.

Go Raiders!!

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Sandy and NY,
I also liked his answer to the question of "What system is he going to use, is he going to bring back his old system?" His response was, "I have to evaluate the roster and see what their strengths are to set up a game plan. I can come back with what I used to run, but I don't have Gannon, Brown, Rice, Garner, Wheatley, etc. I have a roster of different guys from the past, and they have different strengths. So I have to find out what those are and develop a new system. Will I have some of my old stuff, sure; am I going to completely run it how I used to? No."

That answer sold me. I'm excited now, and I think if he comes in and builds a game plan in accordance to their strengths, we will win next year, big time. I can't wait for the season to start now.

Bleacher Report sent this video: https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/950820570291101696

If you can't see it, it is Derek Carr going through "Gruden's Playbook" and every play is Spider 2 Y Banana.

8:59 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Playing to the strengths of your players. What a concept. Downing was not capable of that, and Del Rio was not capable of correcting, or even recognizing this weakness about Downing.

That's why they're both out of a job. Although, I doubt Del Rio has more than hurt feelings because he's still gonna get paid.

2:27 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Media reporting Gannon will not join Gruden's staff. Honestly, that's probably better. Can't have two alpha dogs in Carr's face.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I think Del Rio lands a job somewhere soon (if he wants it). He may take some time off (like the year he took off after being fired from Jacksonville), but he will land as either a HC or a DC again. I'm shocked the Giants or Colts haven't reached out to interview him yet, honestly. Maybe they have, and he turned them down, I don't know.
I also think he'd do extremely well in NCAA. UCLA, Florida (with his son), Tennessee, etc. I don't think he's a bad coach, never felt that way, I think he needs to be more smart about his coordinators and needs to be more vocal about what he wants/expects from a game-plan perspective. That killed him this year.
I still feel bad for the guy. He gave his soul to this team, and changed the culture of our team from a laughing stock to respectable. The League feared the Raiders this season, and Jack picked the wrong OC/DC combo to lead us through it. He owned it like a man, didn't cast blame on anyone, and I respect the hell out of him for that.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best lines from Gruden's QB camp with Carr is:

Gruden: I pick you, what do you say about that.

Carr: Let's go win some championships.

Prophetic we hope

Regards
Sandy

3:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I like Del Rio but I think you give him too much credit. I believe the egg he laid this year will negatively impact his ability to ever get another HC job. More likely he will get hired as a DC and have to prove himself again. Even that's risky for any team, based on his inability to correct the Raiders defense over a period of several years.

Put it this way, he didn't do much to improve his resume while with the Raiders.

Culture is important but it's also intangible and typically aligns itself with wins (or losses). 2017 was a big step backwards for the Raiders.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Something I've been thinking about, regarding the egg laid this year, in light of the Presser to introduce Gruden. Mark Davis went on and on about how from day 1 he wanted Gruden to come back as coach, and Reggie as GM (which I believe, by the way, because he and Reggie have a better/longer friendship than he and Gruden). The problem, 6 years ago, he could have never had the money to bring Jon back. Reggie's job was not just to manage roster salary to a "normal" level and bring talent; but to help prepare to bring the overall $$ up to offer Gruden what he wanted. It took 6 years. We found that out from MD himself at the Presser.

With that said, how much of this did Del Rio know? Did he know that MD started talks with Gruden to be his coach during the season? If you listen to what Mark said, talks with Gruden began right around Week 1/Week 2 of the season. Our horrible season started Week 3. Everything changed Week 3. We were a completely different team from Weeks 1 and 2 through the rest of the season. Did Del Rio know he was losing his job regardless of if he won or loss this year? I don't know about you, but if I knew I was losing my job regardless of my effort, there wouldn't be much effort. There was no effort from our coaching staff, and it showed how the Raiders played on the field. I'm starting to wonder if Jack knew he was done, regardless of the results of the season. He and Jon have the same agent, so he knew from his agent about "dealings" behind his back.

This leads me to my other thought. If this is true, coupled with the argument that Callahan changed the game plan on the last practice before the Super Bowl; why don't the players rebel and call their own plays through audibles during the game? Gannon and Carr are smart enough to audible a play that puts the team in a position to be successful; so why didn't they do that? I wouldn't care if the coach told me not too, my reply would be, "I want to win, and if your play isn't going to work because of something I see, I'm not going to run it." When it became successful and the team won, do you think the coaches are going to call you out? If Gannon, Brown, and Rice did this in the Super Bowl, and Callahan went and complained to Al, who do you think Al would have stood by? The players. I don't think Mark is too different in that area either. This Presser showed, in a lot of ways, he is just like his dad. You take what you want, when you want it. Jack Del Rio is not our coach because 6 months ago (about Week 1 or 2 of the season), MD started talks with Gruden about becoming the next coach of the Raiders. Del Rio's agent informed Jack, and I can guarantee this with 99.999999999%. Del Rio knew as the season went on, his days as coach was numbered.

7:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I think Del Rio would have kept his job had he performed at a reasonable level. Instead, he proved inept, which made the decision to fire him an easy one. Some say he would have been retained if Gruden wasn't available. Maybe.

As far as Del Rio knowing about Gruden before the season ended, I disagree. Both Davis and Gruden had to keep it very close to the vest due to NFL rules and because Gruden was under contract. Even now, only bits and pieces of their interaction is coming to light, and the media is trying to pin the Raiders into a corner with the Rooney Rule.

for Carr, he seemed to buy into Downing's approach... which is bothersome. Carr is too nice, because anyone could see it wasn't working, and Carr was made to look bad as a result. I don't think Carr was put in a position which he could readily audible plays last year... which reflects the stupidity of Downing's system. Seems the new system will have Carr calling plays at the LOS based on the defense, ala Rich Gannon.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Seems the new system will have Carr calling plays at the LOS based on the defense, ala Rich Gannon.

This is where he excelled under Musgrave a season ago. Power blocking is key to the offense right now though. I think we will be back to run-n-gun type offense. I'm pretty excited to see how this goes.

Gruden and Del Rio sharing the same agent suggests that Del Rio knew about the conversations. I think this is a big reason why no one has heard from him. Yes, he could have helped himself by winning this year. Not saying that letting Musgrave go was a good idea, that was my biggest concern heading into the season. But to completely under-preform the way it did cost Del Rio his job. Solidified by Gruden wanting to come back. Mark Davis even said Del Rio would still be here if Jon didn't want to come back. That makes me think the opposite is true then too. Even if Del Rio won and the season went the way everyone thought it would go; if Gruden wanted back in to coach next season, Jack would be out the door. What everyone is starting to see about Mark Davis is that he is as cutthroat as his dad.

6:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Mark Davis has been pursuing Gruden for six years. But I mildly question the agent being involved with any discussions while Del Rio was under contract with the Raiders and Gruden was under contract with ESPN? I think it was more covert, but who knows. Some of what happened may have been because the media asked Gruden if he's ready to coach again, with Gruden responding that he's in "training" to coach again. That had to have been like a siren for Mark Davis that it's time.

As for Davis being cutthroat, I think that's a reflection of six years as an NFL owner, where they eat their young. He's channeling AL to keep from getting eaten alive.

I appreciate MD for expediting the process. Go Chucky!

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Aaaah crap! Just when I was getting hope, reports this morning are that Tom Cable will join the Raiders to coach the O-Line, which if true means that the Raiders are going back to ZBS. $(*&%^&@%$#!
Ball game, over. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If this is true, this will not bode well for the Raiders.

10:43 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Not sure what to make of that. Gruden will be calling plays, so I don't assume Olsen or Cable will be able to insert themselves too much, particularly, if what they suggest isn't working. Also, both are vet coaches that I'm sure are well versed beyond ZB.

That said, I can't help but be a little concerned. I despise ZBS. It has failed the Raiders many times before, and as recently as last year.

11:13 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Raiders biggest failure last year was trying to structure the entire running game around Marshawn Lynch and Seattle's system that Tom Cable worked. It fail miserably, and the Raiders became predictable and beatable, perhaps not to a level in the past which teams called playing the Raiders an extra bye week... but it was bad.

As good as Lynch was at times last year, IMO, the Raiders would have been better off without him. That would have forced the Raiders to spread the ball around more, creating a more diverse, less predictable system. Also, Lynch took himself out of the game so much, it became obvious that when he was in, he would get the ball.

Now, with Cable coming back, is it a lock that Lynch comes back, and does that mean we are in for more of the same? Gruden will be quicker than Downing at making adjustments but, as we saw this year, the season can get away quickly.

My instincts tell me it won't be until Gruden's second year that we see the results we are hoping.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The problem is not play calling, Olson and Cable are being brought in to implement a style that Gruden wants. It is becoming clear that Gruden is going to build a ZBS System, because that is what Cable does. Every where he has coach, ZBS is the style of blocking used.
Gruden doesn't have 2 years to turn this around, he has to come out swinging. He has to keep to his word that he will create a game plan to the strengths of his roster. I don't think bringing back re-treads who failed the first time around is going to bring different results. This is gearing up to be an epic failure like Art Shell's second time around.

10:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's discouraging when you think along those lines (pun intended). It's a square peg in a round hole, worsened by the fact the Raiders OL personnel is built for power.

But I don't timing is as important to Mark Davis as it is the fans. After all, Gruden has a 10-year contract. Raiders have a recent history of [stupid] patience and willingness to start over.

What's perhaps more encouraging is that Derek Carr will get far better direction from Gruden than from Del Rio and Downing. Gannon was a journeyman QB that became league MVP with a system Gruden installed.

Here's the bottom line: Who would you rather have as HC of the Raiders: Del Rio or Gruden? Based on what you know (and believe) at this point, would prefer Del Rio? Del Rio almost certainly would have changed gears on ZBS and gone back to power blocking. But is that enough?

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I don't think that is as easy to answer as you think. A Head Coach is as good as the staff he surrounds himself with.
We saw the capabilities of the Raiders last season under Del Rio with Musgrave. We saw Del Rio utterly fail this season by letting Musgrave go. Why did they let him walk? I will never know.
As for Gruden, and the staff he is building, Greg Olson and Tom Cable are not difference makers. They are system guys, and have proven they cannot work with players who do not fit their system. Derek Carr was not impressive under Olson 3 seasons ago, and excelled for 2 years under Musgrave. Musgrave, like him or not as a play caller, was a difference maker as a coach. With Gruden being more hands on as a Head Coach/Offensive play caller, he may prove to be the difference maker that Olson and Cable lack. Nothing about these 2 moves suggest that Carr is going to excel under Olson, nor will the O-line excel under ZBS. Power blocking would be a big difference to this team; this season proved it. A coach who will be in Carr's face while he is on the sideline, showing him adjustments needing to be made as the game progresses that will help him succeed. Derek Carr has only had that with Musgrave. Olson and Downing left him alone on the sideline. Gruden is not going to have time as Head Coach to do that with Carr.
So it is not one coach over the other, it is the coach and their staff. Right now, Gruden's offensive staff is equivalent to Del Rio's, if not worse. Del Rio had a better O-Line coach with Tice. Downing and Olson are almost equivalent, Olson has the upper hand due to experience. Gruden has a better Defensive Coordinator and Special Teams Coach hands down. To me, Del Rio with his last staff, and Gruden with his current staff; Gruden has a slight advantage by winning 7-8 games.

7:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gruden's offensive staff is equivalent to Del Rio's, if not worse...

Not sure how you can say that. Downing was a rookie OC under a defensive-minded HC. Isn't that's as bad as it gets?

That's not on the same planet with experienced position coaches working for an offensive-minded HC. All the above are prone to ZBS.

11:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The url article below speaks directly to the topic at hand. There's a lot of speculation floating around. IMO, it's too early to push the panic button.

Personally, I don't care if Lynch is retained, and I certainly hope Gruden didn't hire Cable just to accommodate Lynch. Besides whatever distractions Lynch has caused the Raiders (and there have been many... including game ejection and suspension), his presence on the field brings predictability to the Raiders offense... partly because he pulls himself out of the game so often. RB is a position that seems to offer many options. Drafts are usually loaded, and no name players seem to break out every year.

https://www.silverandblackpride.com/2018/1/15/16890642/tom-cable-to-help-marshawn-lynch-and-raiders-running-game

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Del Rio may have had Downing for a year, but he had Mike Tice. He also had a top notch RB and TE coach, unfortunately, none of the OC's knew how to use them. This is the strength that Gruden brings. Knowledge of how to utilize RBs and TEs, but his weaknesses were the strengths of Del Rio's staff. Great O-Line Coach, and great QB guy with Musgrave. That all fell apart when Downing took over at OC.
Tom Cable and Greg Olson are not difference makers, and never will be. We need difference makers in those 2 areas for the offense to be successful. Article says it best, Cable only does well with a good roster on the O-line. Anyone can coach a good roster. He's not a great coach. A great offense starts with a great O-line. We need a great coach to utilize the strength of our team, which is the O-line; and he goes and hires Tom Cable?
He wants someone to help mentor Derek Carr, and went and grabbed an Olson who was an utter failure with Carr? These guys are proven failures and retreads. Why is it going to be different, because Jon Gruden is there now? Gruden can't fix stupid coaching from Olson and Cable.

7:27 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, evidence would suggest that position coaches had far less to do with the failures of the offense than the OC and the system he installed. By extension, Gruden is capable of installing a system, coaching it up and making adjustments in a way that Downing will never understand.

I assume Olsen and Cable will do what Gruden instructs them to do. Otherwise, why couldn't Tice and other position coaches correct what happened last year?

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


The first time around, Al Davis picked most of Grudens staff....no wonder why.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys seriously can we move on from the doom and gloom. Guenther for Norton, Olson for Downing and Chucky for Del Rio are you guys really not in agreement that its a huge step up for the team.

What positions and players do you guys like for the draft? I am assuming Chubb and Fitzpatrick will be gone. Therefore I would like to see Ward from Ohio State and if he is gone trade down to get Payne or Vitea.

Second round best defensive player available.

Regards
Sandy

4:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, I'm on board with Gruden. And Guenther is a vet coordinator who the Bengals wanted to retain for a reason.

The concern is with zone blocking. Leaving aside the simple fact it never seems to work in Oakland, it's a square peg in a round hole with the Raiders' personnel. So either the Raiders have to find new personnel or rely more on power blocking, and less on edge zone blocking. Pulling Raiders tackles and guards is clumsy. Instead of us punching opponents in the mouth, they beat us down... and Marshawn Lynch can't beat anyone to the edge. It's ugly to watch. It's also how linemen get injured, trying to move laterally instead of north/south.

ZBS is the MO of coaches and assistants being brought in on offense.

However, Gruden is a smart guy, and he said he plans to work with the strengths of his personnel (but so did Del Rio and many others!).

It's another wait and see moment. Speaking from experience, how many off-seasons filled with promises have we gone through? The primary reason this is different is because we never wanted Gruden to leave.

My TOP PRIORITY right now is to sign Bowman! If the Raiders don't sign him before free agency and go into another season without an experienced MLB, I will be hugely disappointed. This is on McKenzie!

Honestly, the more years McKenzie is on the job, the more diluted his 2014 draft becomes. Because outside that draft, his personnel results quickly erode.

Cheers!

4:17 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PFF has the Raiders taking Penn State running back SaQuon Barkley

I am on board with that. Barkley led on college RBs in receiving yards out of the backfield.

Personally, I prefer that the Raiders do not bring back Lynch. I believe Lynch did well toward the end of last season but he's a liability to the Raiders for many reasons.

1. He's proven he does not mind being a distraction to the team, from kneeling to the Anthem to pushing a ref and getting suspended.

2. He's incapable of beating any defense to the edge, and the Raiders desperately need more speed in the backfield.

3. Lynch takes himself out of the game frequently, especially after long plays, when the offense is starting to roll.

4. Media reports indicate Lynch has been a distraction in the huddle, and steps on Carr's ability to be the leader of the offense.

RBs are a dime a dozen. Barkley would a luxury, as good RBs can be had later in the draft.

5:04 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

from media... "Guenther’s defense was built in Cincinnati, with current Minnesota head coach and former Bengals DC Mike Zimmer also contributing to the scheme. He runs a 4-3 defensive front with single-gap responsibilities. What you’ll see from Minnesota in the NFC championship will look a lot like the Silver and Black scheme next season."

The article further reported that Guenther doesn't blitz much. Well, he will need a better front four than the Raiders have to pull that off.

That said, with Guenther's mentor, Zimmer, as HC, the Vikings have among the top defenses in the NFL. This was Oakland's (our) expectation for Del Rio, being a defensive-minded HC. Yet, here we are.

I'm rooting for L Murray to have a big day.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Sandy,
You hit the head on the coaching staff and the style they usually bring. I'm excited about Gruden, really I am. I am not sold that he will turn it around, he has to prove it to me.
As far as the draft, I'm not sure Chubb will drop to 9 or 10. Mel Kiper has Roquan Smith (ILB, Georgia) going to the Raiders. If we don't sign Bowman, I would be okay with that move. But I'm with NY, Bowman has to be our top priority. If we sign Bowman, I think we can still draft Roquan Smith and move him to the outside.
Here are players I would like to see the Raiders consider on Draft day (In no particular order):
Vita Vea (NT, Washington). He is 6'5, 332 lbs. Raiders need a true NT on the defensive line, and this guy is it! Scouts compare him to Haloti Ngata in his prime. Raiders have a plethora of DT's, but no true NT. Vea would solidify the middle of the D-Line. I hope he is our 1st round pick; as we can draft a decent CB in the 2nd and later rounds. Though I say no particular order, well that is true after this name.
Joshua Jackson (CB, Iowa). He is 6'1, 192 lbs, and rocks at this position. I would love to see how he, Conley, TJ Carrie, and Amerson run the DB field.
Carlton Davis (CB, Auburn). Another 6'1, 195 lbs guy who rocks the DB field. If we can't get Jackson, we should be able to get Davis.
Adonis Alexander (CB, Virginia Tech). This guy is 6'3, 193 lbs, and would be a 3-5 rounder. He obviously has some issues to work through, but would be an awesome slot CB.
NY already mentioned Barkley at RB. I think he is good, but has some vision problems as far as reading his blockers. Like most rookie RBs, this will be a problem.
Mike McGlinchey (OT, Notre Dame). This guy is 6'7, 310 lbs, and would be a stout replacement for Penn, when he decides to hang 'em up. But for now, LT is not our issue. Gruden loves big offensive lineman too.
Martinas Rankin (OT, Mississippi St) 6'5, 307 lbs would be a good candidate for RT in later rounds.
Courtland Sutton (WR, SMU) is 6'4, 216 lbs. We need a #1 WR, not sure he (or any other in this draft) fits the build of a #1 WR, but he would be a welcomed addition to the WR corp. If Raiders want a #1 WR, they are probably going to have to sign one out of Free Agency (Jarvis Landry, or talk Megatron out of retirement).
LJ Scott (RB, Michi St) is 6'1, 230 lbs back that is a good pick for later rounds. This guy could be a big bruising back in the likes of Wheatley. I love Richard and Washington, but those guys are good at bursting to the outside, like Garner was. Raiders need someone who can pound it in close yards. LJ Scott could fit that bill.
2 other names here that are similar to Scott are Royce Freeman (RB, Oregon) and Kalen Ballage (RB, Ariz St). Both would be 5-7th round picks.

Free Agents I am interested in:
I already mentioned Bowman as a priority, and Jarvis Landry as a potential #1 WR. So here are some other names:
Kenny Vacarro (S/CB, Saints), an upgrade needed to replace Reggie Nelson, whom I hope we do not re-sign; and a compliment to Karl Joseph.
Ja'Wuan James (RT, Dolphins)
Kevin Minter (ILB, Bengals). This is another name if we do not re-sign Bowman, and he is familiar with Guenther, and better than Burfict.
Not much after this list. Maybe Teddy Bridgewater as a backup to Carr.

1:51 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I like the idea of a competent backup for Carr. Raiders have been extremely weak at QB depth.

And the importance of re-signing Bowman can't be overstated. If they don't that would once again place unnecessary pressure on the draft and free agency, unless they plan to enter another season without an experienced MLB on the roster. They only have until March to get it done!

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice list Nate.

I would take Robinson before Landry if given the opportunity. Less money more upside.

As mentioned I like Vea as well though I worry he would only be a two down lineman

Regards
Sandy

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I don't know if you guys play fantasy football, or football pick 'em games. I wanted to make you aware of a company that I played this year that I won't play again. The website is trywinwin.com Players from the NFL and now NBA have been using this company to help fund the player's foundations/community cause. The one I played in was for TJ Carrie a week before the Raiders/Cowboys game. I won an autographed mini-helmet from TJ (placed 11th, the grand prize was tickets to the Raiders/Cowboys game). The site is free to play, they just ask you consider donating to the player's cause; which I did for TJ.

The problem: The website says all prizes will be shipped within 2 weeks, and the winners will be sent an email of the tracking number. It has been over a month, and I had not received this information, nor the prize. I have emailed the company and the CEO every day for the last 3 weeks, and have heard from them 6 times.

Today (Jan 24th) I received a tracking # with confirmation that my prize has been mailed. Granted, the initial win happened 2 weeks before Christmas, and it is difficult to mail things during that time. They first assured me, that it would be done a week after New Years. I have 4 emails (2 from the CEO) saying it will be mailed at the end of business day within the last 2 weeks, but it was never done until I openly questioned the company's integrity on Twitter and Facebook. If you play these games, beware of this company.

8:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That's lame. Not much to show for your troubles. When McFadden was drafted, I opened a credit card account with Wells Fargo because they were offering a free McFadden-signed mini-helmet. They pulled the same crap. It took about 6 months and me calling them out as a scam to get them to finally send it. Probably signed by a bank teller. Just to add insult to injury, McFadden was a bust.

Anyone want a mini-helmet?

...it's in the mail.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY/NATE

After reading your respective stories, I am highly impressed. Your dogged battle with corporate malfeasance in the pursuit of a oak mini-helmet truly represents hardcore raider love

Have a good weekend
Sandy

7:02 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

There's a report out that says Marshawn Lynch faced stacked boxes more than any other RB in the NFL.

1. Marshawn Lynch: 21.3%
2. Chris Ivory: 17.9%

This is a point I made before. Lynch was a target of the defense when he was on the field.
And because he took himself off the field so much, Raiders were extremely predictable when he was on the field. He's a terrible receiving, and very slow to the edge.

Therefore, I hope Gruden decides to move on from Lynch. His best qualities are his beast mode style and his ball security, but he is a liability to the offense, as the stat suggests.

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7:44 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

When Brady fumbled the ball last night at the end of the game, I was jumping up and down, joyfully screaming, "IT'S NOT A FORWARD PASS! IT'S NOT A FORWARD PASS!"
I'm so glad the Eagles got a HUGE Touchdown on a questionable call (did he have control, or did he just shift the ball in his hand) catch. The other with Ertz diving in the end zone, it was clear that he took 3 step with possession of the ball, and therefore was the runner. I was afraid they would over turn both, but I am elated that they did not, and now Patriots' fans have a bitter taste in their mouth of being "robbed."
Now, it's time for the Raiders to shine and bring the Lombardi Trophy back and start a new dynasty. A Raiders Dynasty. Just Win, BABY!

8:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Congrats to the Eagles. In a strange way, it's more satisfying to know we are a key reason they never won a SB before... even if that was a million years ago.

Couple observations.

SB MVP Nick Foles is soon to become a rich man. Eagles can't afford to carry two starters for long. Let's hope he doesn't end up in the AFCW.

Eagles' WRs (Jeffrey!), and other WRs in the playoffs, are hands down better than the Raiders WRs. They run crisp routes, catch contested balls, and don't drop passes they should catch. IMO, Raiders need to clean house at WR. Maybe give Cooper one more season to prove he can catch. Raiders need a legit #1 WR.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders have cut David Amerson. I am surprised by this news. He came in and exceeded all expectations. This last season was marred by injury, and he clearly wasn't the same as the last 2 seasons. I was hoping that Amerson and TJ would be back next season. I guess they are putting their eggs into the Conley basket, but they may not have a proven support cast around him which worries me, and is why I was hoping to keep Amerson and Carrie.

As far as other players leaving, I think Edwards Jr, Lynch, and Sean Smith should be cut, Raiders should let Reggie Nelson walk in free agency, and Irvin should be moved to DE, where he was unstoppable in 2016.

I'm not sure what to make of Crabtree and his disappearance at the end of the season. Rumblings are he was being punished for disagreeing with Downing all season, something I don't really blame him for, as I would have done the same thing. Scott Bair reports that the question regarding him is could they use that $7.7 million "for a younger, productive pass catcher entering his prime?" Say like, Jarvis Landry? Crabtree has been our most productive WR. When you look at Seth Robert (set to make $4.45 million) and Patterson (set to make $3.25 million) I can see these 2 getting cut over Crabtree, and utilizing the $7 million between those two to get Landry. I would love to keep Patterson though. Seth has been average because he is inconsistent with catching the pass. You never knew which Seth would show up, soft-hands Seth, or hard-hands Seth. When soft-hands Seth showed up, he was unstoppable. But if Seth and Patterson are cut, and we sign Landry, can you imagine Crabtree, Landry, and Cooper?

I think Newhouse should be cut out of the O-line. Vadal Alexander and Jylan Ware should battle it out for the RT spot. The big question again this offseason is Donald Penn. Is he considering retirement? I know he is excited about Gruden coming and has another year left on his contract. But he was mulling about his future after he was injured this last season. Other question marks for me are Janikowski, Clive Walford (who should be cut), Cory James, Tavecchio, and practice squaders Fadol Brown and Elijah Hood.

Our free agents heading into this offseason are:
TJ Carrie (we should sign)
Navarro Bowman (priority to sign)
Jon Condo (I think we should sign)
Sebass Janikowski (not sure, I like Tavecchio, but he doesn't have Sebass' leg)
Lee Smith (mulling retirement, should let him go)
Reggie Nelson (let him go)
Aldon Smith (let him go)
Denico Autry (let him go)
EJ Manuel (let him go)
Justin Ellis (let him go)
Keith McGill (we should sign)

Here is my mock draft:
1st Round: Vita Vea (NT, Washington).
2nd Round: Carlton Davis (CB, Auburn)
3rd Round: Harold Landry (OLB, Boston College)
4th Round: Breeland Speaks (DE, Mississippi State)
No 5th Round pick
6th Round: Dante Pettis (WR, Washington) or Jaleel Scott (WR, New Mexico State)
6th Round: (from Seattle): Frank Ragnow (G/C, Arkansas)
7th Round: Brett Toth (OT, Army)

9:16 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Amerson was a cap casualty. Sean Smith should be gone too. He's been benched 2x. Raiders need to sign a vet FA CB to play with Conley and perhaps draft a CB. Free agency has some talent at CB this year, signing one shouldn't be a problem. Also, they will probably try and re-sign Carrie, who is decent and reliable.

Autry is a must sign, IMO. He's all the Raiders have for pass rusher outside of Mack and Irving. He has improved in each season, and he's among the best in the NFL at batting down passes and blocking kicks.

Edwards Jr is a solid run stopper, but lacks pass rush, and he's injury prone. But be careful wishing him away. Raiders are better with him in the line-up, until proven otherwise.

EJ Manuel isn't worth keeping, and neither is Cook, IMO. Raiders need a reliable backup QB.

Crab will be another cap casualty. Raiders would be far better off with Landry. I don't think Roberts is worth keeping either. He's average as a pass-catcher, and below average securing the ball after the catch. Maybe that could improve with better coaching.

Patterson is too versatile to let go. He's by far the best returner/gunner the Raiders have, and he's tough and fast when he gets the ball on offense... which I think should be much more often. The knock on him is, he's not a reliable route runner.

Reggie Nelson is long in the tooth. 2017 was his disappearing act. Raiders can easily find someone else to cover that role.

I'm torn with the first pick. I think it comes down to a couple talented LBs, Vea at NT and Barkley at RB. All three are positions of need.

Why haven't we signed Bowman yet?!!!!

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

NY, I don't think we can sign Bowman until March. I think 2016 proved we were better with Irvin and Mack at the ends. Edwards Jr is not a good DE, and is built for DT. He is too slow at DE which is why he doesn't get pressure. Irvin at DE was unstoppable in 2016, and he and Mack optimized the most QB Pressure. Vanderdoes is better than Edwards Jr, and by drafting Vea; the Raiders D-Line would be stout. Sure maybe keep Autry as depth, and maybe Ellis, but Jihad Ward is better than Autry and Latham and Hester are better than Edwards Jr.
I understand Amerson was a cap casualty, but Smith is the bigger liability. Amerson wasn't making so much that it was unbearable either. Both Amerson and Smith though, can be replaced by Malcolm Butler who has made it clear he will not be back with the Pats after being benched for the Super Bowl. The bottom line though, is how much is he going to ask for? Raiders don't have extravagant cap room because they are getting ready to dole out some dough for Mack. With the possiblity of chasing Butler and Landry, I think is too much for the Raiders. Darqueze Dennard (Bengals), EJ Gaines (Bills), or Rashaan Melvin (Colts) may be excellent second options to Butler at CB. Outside of Landry, Allen Robinson (Jags) is the only WR that stands out, so not much in that department.
To me, the top 5 tier free agents that will make big $$:
Le'Veon Bell
Malcolm Butler
Jarvis Landry
DeMarcus Lawrence (Cowboys, DE)
Kirk Cousins
Raiders could chase Landry, but not both Landry and Butler. There are better more reasonable options at CB than WR.

I would really like to see our WR corp stick around the way it is; see what Gruden can do with the current crew: Crab, Coop, Roberts, Patterson, Horton, Cook, Olawale, Richard, Washington. These guys are major weapons, and better than the Pats "dangerous" offense. The difference, the Pats know how to utilize their offense; the Raiders coaches (minus Musgrave) didn't. Gruden will, and I would love to see what he can do with this group (guaranteed Top 3 offense); and pursue Butler over Landry. I don't think we really "need" Landry (a slot WR, besides DeVante Parker is the better of the 2); we have plenty of slot guys. We need to utilize Crab or Coop to stretch the field.

So here is another question. Rumor is that the Doncos are going to cut Aqib Talib. Would you sign him to the Raiders? To me, he is a dirty player. He has no skill other than getting inside someone's head. He would be the most penalized player in the League if he came to the Raiders. But, he has a Bill Romanowski kind of intrigue. I hated that Gruden brought him in back in the day, but he showed up big for the Raiders and is one of the most loved guys by the Silver and Black; and he LOVES the Raiders more than any of the teams he played with. I think Talib could be like that, if he came in and show-cased his talent, and not his trash. Don't think that is possible with him though.

8:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

We can sign our own free agents anytime. Better to do that before they hit the FA market.

Bowman and Autry should be priorities.

Raiders are counting on Conley at CB, and they should. McKenzie can't afford to miss another high draft pick. Besides, Conley looked good when he played. I like Butler, and think the Raiders can open cap space to also go after Landry.

I disagree about our WRs. After watching what it takes in the playoffs, I can see our WRs don't have it. Because of age and contracts, Cooper is obviously gonna get another chance. But Crabtree's time in Oakland should be over.

Talib is talented, but can't play on the same team with Crabtree. The only way both are on the same roster is if Talib buys Crab a gold necklace... which sounds a bit strange but probably accurate.

Finally, and I have said this many times over the years, I don't agree with signing a vet RB (although, I was initially excited about Lynch). RBs are to football what guitar players are to bands; everybody plays guitar. Smart money is spent on singers, drummers and bass players. Raiders have young backs in the wings and can easily find more to audition. Somebody will stand out, just like somebody always did for the Broncos and other teams which were smart enough to take this approach.

Cheers!

1:32 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Amerson to Chiefs. Ouch!

Raiders are incredibly weak at CB. I.e., Conley has like 2 games as a pro. Sean Smith is probably done (if he's not, the Raiders kept the wrong starter). And TJ Carrie is a free agent with no guarantee he'll be back.

What would AL think of McKenzie's handling (mishandling) of the CB position? AL probably would have agreed with drafting Hayden due to high upside potential, but what a mistake to draft him so early coming off life-threatening injury. McKenzie looked smart dropping down +/-10 slots and gaining a 2nd round pick, but then he blew that pick on another project player. Sounds like something AL would do.

But Hayden is old news. The biggest recent mistake by McKenzie was allowing Breon Borders to be signed off the practice squad last December... at a time when the Raiders were desperate for CB help. Borders was a pre-season standout, then left exposed on the PC for the Bills to snatch up. Bills out-scouted the Raiders for the Raiders own player.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Not only has Amerson signed with the Chiefs, rumors have it that the Chiefs may be cutting Marcus Peters due to "Locker Room issues." If that is the case, I bet the Raiders jump and sign him. I would gladly swap Amerson for Peters.

I think TJ re-signs with the Raiders, especially with the stories floating around lately of him going to Children's Heart Hospitals. If he wasn't coming back, I don't think Oakland media would be reporting anything about him. Letting Borders go was a mistake, but Antonio Hamilton and Dexter McDonald has upside. I thought Borders, Hamilton, and McDonald deserved the roster over Sean Smith; but the Raiders didn't move on him quick enough to cut ties with salary.

Conley, I'm not sure about. Yes he had a few games, one was great, the other not so much. Same with Melifonwu, but you cannot judge those 2 based on 2 games a piece. I am wondering if Reggie shelved them for Gruden. Remember, the Raiders started talking with Gruden and his agent (who is also Del Rio's agent, and was formerly Josh McDaniel's agent before he reneged on the Colts HC) during Training Camp. I think Del Rio saw the writing on the wall at that point.

There are also a lot of mocks that have the Raiders picking several CBs at the 10 spot. I think the Raiders should take Vita Vea, or a DE that will compliment Mack like Bradley Chubb; but I'm not sure Chubb will be there. Maybe we go Vea with the 1st pick and pick Marcus Davenport (UTSA) in the 2nd round who was impressive at the Senior Bowl. That would be dependent on the FA acquisition of CB's though. If the Chiefs cut Marcus Peters, and the Raiders pick him up, I say the above draft scenario of Vea and Davenport would be a possibility. If we don't pick up a vet CB, then I think they go with Vea and a CB in the first 2 rounds.

11:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RN - I hope the Raiders do re-sign Carrie. If nothing else, he's consistent and reliable.

Not sure about Peter's. What a crybaby he is, and that's why the Chiefs are letting him go despite his obvious talent and age. Not the locker room presence you want.

Conley was a gamer in college. The short window he had in the pros seem to suggest he will carry that forward... more so than DJ Hayden.

Melifonwu (or however you spell it) was more of a project player out of college, with great Combine stats for his size. Raiders wanted him as a cover safety, but when they played him at CB (instead of signing Borders), Melfifonwu got schooled by NFL WRs. Maybe it was too much too soon for him but, damn, he got toasted.

Now that Amerson is gone, I don't think the Raiders have a choice but to bring in one, maybe two vet CBs... again!

Re: McDaniels, he's lost his credibility. He pulled a Nick Saban, but he's no Nick Saban. IMO, the Colts are probably better off with Frank Reich. But we shall see.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

NY, agreed about Reich. Solid dude, and is going to be a terrific coach.
Jarvis Landry is going to be Franchised Tagged by the Dolphins, which is why Gruden wants to keep Crabs. I read an article that Gruden told Marshawn that he doesn't need a "part-time Marshawn, we need a franchise back." So we will see if Beast Mode sticks around.
I think Melifonwu is going to replace Nelson this next season, and be back to his natural position at Safety. He's a hard hitter, and good cover man that should be able to help cover the TE.
I wouldn't mind Peters now that Gruden is there. He will be able to control things like "attitude" or they won't stick around much. Peters is an excellent Man-to-man cover guy, and that is what the Raiders need right now. Free agent wise, I'd rather go Malcolm Butler or EJ Gaines first, but wouldn't mind Peters if we couldn't land either of those 2.
The big issue regarding Free Agency though, is the Raiders do not have the Cap Space that we've had the last few years. Mainly due to Carr's contract, and Mack's pending contract. It is going to be interesting and fun. Even though Reggie is a "build through the draft" kind of guy, Gruden knows you need some savvy vets on the team (Romanowski comes to mind here). I think he will bring a good balance to McKenzie's style, and they will both succeed together.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys

Here are my ideas. Keep Beast Mode he was awesome the second half of the season, easily the best offensive player on the team last year.

Sign a second tier cb like Vontae Davis. Peters will not be cut and will not be traded to the Raiders so let's forget that. I also like our WR the way they are. It's too soon to bale on Cooper and Crabtree at 7mm over Landry at 14 is a no brainer. They should sign someone like John Brown he will demand less than 5mm and can stretch defenses.

As far as the draft depending on what lb or cb falls to the Raiders at 10 they should take one. If for some reason Edwards, Smith, Fitzpatrcik and Ward are all gone then trade down for someone like Vea or Payne, who are not worth a top ten selection.

All the best
Sandy

2:33 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My top priority hasn't changed; only getting more critical. Raiders must re-sign Bowman before free agency starts. How can this even be in question for McKenzie or Gruden?

If Lynch and Crabtree return they both need to step up. Lynch took himself out of games when he was most effective... meaning he was not in football shape. What Gruden said was, he needs a full-time Lynch, not a part-time Lynch. That says it all.

RN what I saw in Obi was that he was NOT a good cover DB. In fairness, that was playing CB, which he should have never been asked to do.

I like Peters talent but he's clearly a prima donna. If the Raiders win, he'd be okay, but if they lose, he may not be worth the effort. Sandy, I don't think the Chiefs (Reed) can keep Peters and maintain respect in their locker room. Peters dissed them too bad... throwing an official's flag into the stands then walking out during a game. He's a child.

5:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

S&B reports Raiders may let Bowman leave as a free agent. If true, that's unbelievable. Bowman is the second best defender on the team, and he can probably be signed to a reasonable short-term contract. The Raiders have struggled unnecessarily at MLB, sometimes creating their problems... by relying on unproven rookies to play the most important position on the defense. I'm fuming just thinking about how stupid this might end up.

Raiders have less than 2 weeks to get their own free agents signed!

-Bowman: How can there be any question what Bowman brings to the Raiders?
-Autry is a legit pass rusher and improves every year. Among league best at knocking down passes and blocking kicks.
-Carrie should be no-brainers. TJ Carrie made around $500k last year and played more snaps than any Raiders CB. That's a joke. Raiders own him retroactive pay.

Raiders need to sign these guys to mitigate their needs in FA and draft.

5:03 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Shaquon Barkley's Combine measurements were off the charts. That's on top of his well known skills out of the backfield as a runner and receiver.

We discussed this before but I would draft this kid in a heartbeat and let Lynch go. Problem is, he will never make it to the Raiders pick at #10 (after losing coin toss to SF). Barkley will be long gone by then.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Agreed Barkley is going to be a top 5 pick, if not the #1 pick. Cleveland can get Baker Mayfield at #4.
I was hoping for Vita Vea, but the official Raiders website threw up a story about Reggie's son Khalil. I think they may be vying to select Khalil McKenzie at #10. That would be disappointing.

3:36 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, that's a bridge too far even for Reggie McKenzie. I can't find Kahlil McKenzie on any draft lists. He's not even in the top 10 at his position.

IMO, Raiders should trade up for Barkley. This is a QB heavy draft, but Barkley will be the most dynamic and important non-QB player drafted. It's practically a lock. No player will contribute more to a team.

Re-sign Bowman!
Trade up for Barkley!

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY

You know that is not happening. Barkley may go 1 and even trading into the top 5 is too high a price to pay. Is there really such a thing as a franchise rb these days anyway.

It just seems you can get quality in later rounds.

I think the Raiders have way more pressing needs at CB, DT, LB etc.

I am in favor of bringing back Bowman on a short term deal.

Regards
Sandy

4:53 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, I am breaking my own rule with my attitude toward Barkley. I've always said RBs are a dime a dozen... like guitar players for a band. They're everywhere. But sometimes you stumble upon Joe Satriani or Eric Clapton (depending on your taste), which makes you do something that doesn't make sense.

Unlike several high draft picks McKenzie has made since his arrival, this kid is a proven talent. His ability as a receiver is well above average. He is quicker, faster and stronger than everyone on the field. His measurements at the combine were off the charts, not just against other RBs but against a wide range of position players that normally out-score RBs at strength and agility.

Yes, it's expensive to move from 10 to 2, but Barkley is low risk. He will be great, just not sure how great.

Raiders were stupid to draft Russell and pass on Megatron. In hindsight, would you trade up for Megatron?

The thing about RBs is, the great ones can account for 50% of your offense... Marcus Allen, Eric Dickerson, Hershel Walker, etc. 50% of your offense is a franchise player!

Not to sound like a broken record, but MLB would no longer be a desperate need if McKenzie would do the obvious and re-sign Bowman. He's 29 and has several years left. His contract doesn't need to be short-term. There's only five days left before other teams can contact him. Raiders have no depth at Mike and will need to start over, again!

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Vita Vea hurt his hamstring at the combine. Not sure what that does to his draft stock, so I guess we will see. I think he is our first round pick. Rumors are they will fill CB in free agency (hopefully TJ Carrie and EJ Gaines). If they don't, CB may be the first pick; but Josh Jackson and Denzel Ward may already be taken before the 10 spot. If that happens, they could trade down and select Carlton Davis (Auburn), that would be an awful big gamble though to try and snag Jackson or Ward in the draft; which is why I think they look to free agency to fill that spot.

As far as the 2nd Round pick, I think Shaquem Griffin (OLB, Central FL). We need depth here, and I think Irvin is going back as a DE. This guy's stock soared through the roof at the combine, especially running a 4.38 40. Walter Football has him going in the 5-7 Rounds, but not after the combine. He destroyed everyone else in the OLB position. He is going in the 2nd Round, and hopefully to the Raiders. The only knock on this guy is he is missing his left hand due to a birth defect. But the dude makes plays. Here is what Walter Footballs notes on him the last 2 years:
"...74 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and an interception in 2017. In 2016, he totaled 92 tackles with 20 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, seven passes broken up and an interception after being a backup in previous years."

Kolton Miller (OT, UCLA) would be my Third Round pick. He played Left Tackle last year, but the previous 2 he was on the Right side. We need a RT, this would be good competition for Vadal Alexander. I may look at RB's here too if they really wanted one. But Kerryon Johnson (RB, Auburn) may fit the bill, but he is similar to D Washington and Richard. So I would hedge on an OT.

In the 4th, I'd go with Jaire Alexander (CB, Louisville).

6th Round is CRAZY with picks. We have 6 6th Round picks, and will be used to fill in Depth. I'd start with Kameron Kelley (CB, San Diego State). Marcus Baugh (TE, Ohio St), Hercules Mata'afa (DE, Wash St), Dorian O'Daniel (ILB, Clemson), Justin Watson (WR, Pennsylvania), and J'Mon Moore (WR, Missouri).

7th Round-Peter Kalambayi (OLB, Stanford).

That is my take on the Draft. Good combine, a lot of surprises and talent. Can't wait to see what the Raiders do.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Something of interest, Ted Nguyen (of theathletic.com) wrote an article comparing Vita Vea and Maurice Hurst. Ted likes Hurst a lot better than Vea, says he has better technique that will take him places in the NFL, whereas Vea certainly needs some coaching and time to improve. If that is the case, I think the Raiders should go with Hurst over Vea. But do they take Hurst at #10, or trade down?

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

This just in, Richard Sherman saying "bye" to Seattle teammates. Come on Irvin (Baby Reg) needs to recruit Richard to the Raiders. With that said, I think I still like EJ Gaines better because he's younger and up-n-coming. Sherman is coming off a major injury and is getting older, but I'd still sign him if the price is right. And that is a big "if". I will say, Sherman's better than Talib any day. Sherman is a guy you hate until he's on your team. Talib ... everyone hates, even his own team.

Seattle's defense is imploding, and it is fun to watch. Pete Carroll destroying the Seahags the way he did USC. You get what you deserve Seattle. Stinky Pete up to his ol' antics, and back to the bottom for Seattle.

As to my previous post, the more video I watch, the more I'm impressed with Hurst. The only knock is his size. He is not "big" for a DT (6'2", 282 lbs), and I'm not sure how effective he will be at DT in the NFL. He maybe a player similar to Mario Edwards, Jr, and I'm not sure if that is positive or negative. Definitely not a first round pick. He has a tendency to get pushed around, especially against Ohio State. If he can put on some lbs, and keep up his stamina, then yes. But guys tend to lose a step when they gain weight, truly not first round material.
He does have great explosiveness off the snap though, and he's quick. I think he would have a problem jumping off sides as he does have a tendency to be swayed in by snap count. Not saying he won't be good, but I don't think he will be a super star that will change the D-Line of the Raiders.

Vea, however, is 6'5" 332 lbs, and is pretty dominate up front. Like I mentioned earlier, he is a true Nose Tackle, something the Raiders need, and one who doesn't just stuff the run, but has power to press the QB up the middle. His size and strength could require double teams, taking some focus off Mack, and maybe Irvin if he goes back to DE. He is not only powerful, but has good explosiveness off the ball for a big guy, and even if he doesn't get off quick, he makes it up with strength. I like this guy a lot. Some reports I see on him compares him to Haloti Ngata; but I think he could be a lot like Sam Adams (Ravens, and Raiders); remember him? Big guy who stuffed the run and got a lot of QB pressure. Still sold on him as our first overall pick.

1:01 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders have only $19 million to spend under the cap. That ranks 23rd in the NFL and several million below average.

However, the Raiders also have several players on the roster who have big contracts who would leave no dead money behind. Sean Smith is $8.5 million. Others include Bruce Irvin, Michael Crabtree, Marshawn Lynch, and Jared Cook.

IMO, re-signing Bowman far outweighs keeping any of the above players. Raiders could lose all five players and be better off with Bowman. And the Raiders could move Smith's contract over to Bowman and still have money left over.

Somebody draw a road map for Reggie McKenzie. It's like the guy prefers NOT to have any talent at MLB. That's how he's rolled since he showed up. Signing Bowman for 10 games last year was an accident in Reggie's world.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY I hear ya the Raiders have had a hole at mlb for over 10 years but you are acting like Bowman is Kuechly or a prime Singletary. Instead of a past his prime pro bowler he was great at one time now he is average and a good leader. With the exception of Sean Smith I keep every guy you mentioned before Bowman. There is probably 6-7 guys who are better free agent lb than him. Reggie is letting him test the market then he will properly calibrate his offer or get someone better.

Here is a question for you guys if you could take one of the following for the Raiders who would it be. Richardson, Wilkerson, McCoy, Vea?

Regards
Sandy

4:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, I'm surprised by your faith in McKenzie to figure out MLB on his own, and by your lack of reverence for Bowman who, in 10 games, was the Raiders leading tackler for the season as well as a much needed leader on the field.

Bowman's career is far from over. Raiders signed Greg Biekert when he was about the same age as Bowman is now. There are many other LBs who played well into their 30's at a high level.

Probably my strongest point is that the Raiders should not create more work for themselves by opening a hole at the position. They have so many other needs, creating more holes and more work is, to be kind, counterproductive.

3:42 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Your question about interior lineman is a good one, but tough to answer informatively. Vea and Hurst are both solid draft picks (however, the Raiders may be distracted by the need for a MLB).

Hurst, apparently, was identified at the Combine with a heart condition. Assuming it's not too serious and he can play, this is the type of pick McKenzie will make. He seems to prefer injured and injury prone draft picks... thinking he's getting a bargain.

Richardson and Wilkerson are solid vets, but I'd take Richardson first.

Raiders will need to add multiple players on the D-line, so FA and draft are both likely.

IMO, Raiders should place a priority on re-signing Autry. 2018 will be his breakout year on somebody's D-line.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY

Forgot my question I just saw Raiders re-signed Ellis at 5mm a year. Sounds high to me? Biekert was a draft pick of the Raiders nto sure what you meant by signing him.

Don't get me wrong I like Bowman but anything north of 6mm a year is too much. That is why I think they should let the market develop then make their move. Is he any better than Preston Brown, AVery williams or the other guys out there

Have a good weekend
Sandy

2:41 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bowman might be a better option than most due to his leadership skills. Brown would be a good option too but does McKenzie have it in him to sign Brown, who will want a long-term deal?

Raiders signed Bowman last year for $3.0mm. He was also getting paid by the 49ers. Maybe there's still room to build on that arrangement, even for another year... as a stopgap measure.

Bottom line is the long-term neglect at MLB has to end at some point for the Raiders to have a decent defense again. Raiders need to man the position with someone who is competent. McKenzie has proven he is not too concerned about it.

I thought the Raiders had resigned Biekert late in his career. A while back I read a list of LBs that fit the Bowman mold, and thought I saw Biekert on that list. I'll see if I can find it...

4:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Monday is the day teams can begin negotiating with free agents. My immediate concern is that the Raiders are at risk of losing Bowman and Autry. Aside from Mack, these two guys are arguably the best players the Raiders have on defense.

Raiders are really short on cap space this year, and they need to pay Mack and 10+ draft picks. So don't expect much.

I thought there might be some goodwill between the Raiders and Bowman, but it doesn't seem like there was even any negotiation. This is an area that I believe McKenzie sucks! It goes back to the days of Veldheer. He doesn't open a dialogue.

Autry was undrafted. He is just starting to peak in his career. He belongs with the Raiders. Come on Reggie. Do your job!

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Richard Sherman agrees to deal with 9ers. Talib and Peters traded to Rams. Silence from Raiders about their own Free Agents, not named Jelly Ellis, has been dismal. Rumors about Raiders looking at Doug Martin and back up QB Brett Hundley makes me wonder if they are aware of the glaring needs, or have a plan to fill those spots.
It seems to me that Reggie plays things close to the vest on how they are going to fill the needs. I knew Gruden did that as a coach too back in the day.
When was the last time Martin was healthy enough to play a season? Hundley would be good backup competition, but is he really necessary? I don't understand this right now.
Why are we not in the talks for EJ Gaines? Why is Sean Smith still on the roster? Why the silence on Bowman, Mack extension, Autry, and TJ Carrie? Are we letting those guys hit Free Agency, or will their deals be announced tomorrow?
These questions are important because I think it will tip their hand in what we do in the draft. If we let Bowman walk, they will probably draft Roquan Smith. But that doesn't necessarily ring true, it just makes the most sense. McKenzie is an oddity. Marches to the beat of his own drum, and so does Gruden. Gruden is a little more savvy about going after needs than McKenzie has been. But we will see.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I have said it before too, especially when Gruden was hired and grabbed Cincy's D-Coordinator to be ours. If the Raiders let Bowman walk, they could go after Kevin Minter. I would be ok with this as well. But something needs to happen in the MLB and CB spots this offseason in Free Agency. I know Gaeron Conley is going to be decent, but he needs some help and frankly, Sean Smith is not the dude that is going to help.

7:54 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I'm really taken aback by the apparent lack of effort by the Raiders. I thought Ellis was more expendable than Autry or Bowman. Ellis had a decent season, but certainly not great, and disappeared for multiple games at a time. So the Raiders pay him like a superstar.

Bowman is a QB of defenses. Guenther said he wanted Bowman back. It seemed pretty obvious that the Raiders should bring him back. Sure, there are options, and maybe even better long-term options in FA, but a bird in hand....

Autry is a versatile player. He can pass rush but he's also decent against the run. He also has a knack for knocking balls down, passes and kicks. His playing time spiked last year, and the Raiders were rewarded with results. Like Bowman, my fear is the Raiders will be left high and dry, or McKenzie will draft another shilique calhoun.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Good news: Raiders release Sean Smith, who put a guilty plea in his court case and will serve a year in jail, and 3 years probation. This frees up $8+million. They also signed Griff Whalen (WR, Ravens) who was released, and only played 2 games last season. Why?

Richard Sherman said he spoke with the Raiders before signing with the 9ers, and McKenzie said they didn't have the cap $$. If that is true, then the Raiders will not be signing Malcolm Butler, Trumaine Johnson, or any other high $$ CB available. So outside the draft, what bargain CBs can we sign, not named TJ Carrie who should be obvious? EJ Gaines is still one that I would target. Patrick Robinson (Eagles), Raashan Melvin (Colts), Darqueze Dennard (Bengals), Ross Cockrell (Giants), and Prince Amukamara (Bears) are other names that I would be meeting with.

Again, if we don't re-sign Bowman (who may be asking for too much $$ than we can afford). I already mentioned Kevin Minter, but here are some other names:
Avery Williamson (Titans), Demario Davis (Jets), Zach Brown (Redskins), and could probably get Derrick Thomas for cheap $$. I think if we don't re-sign Bowman, the draft (Roquan Smith) is going to be our best bet.

DT: If we are gunning for Roquan Smith in the draft, that means that we have to find a DT in free agency. There are big rumors surrounding Muhammed Wilkerson (Jets), but I am not convinced he is worth the $$, especially with the re-signing of Justin Ellis. But NFL.com has Wilkerson listed as a DE. The dude is 315 lbs, and to me, that is pretty hefty for a DE; but whatever. My problem is Ellis and Vanderdoes are similar players. We need a DT that can pressure the QB. If we don't, then at least find another DE because Mario Edwards doesn't cut it. I would rather have Irvin at DE. Names I would consider for this spot: DaQuan Jones (DT, Titans), and could probably get Dominique Easley (DT, Rams) to be a part of the rotation. The only problem with Easley, he has missed 26 games in 4 seasons; but if he were to rotate, it could help his overall health (unless he's just fragile). But like MLB, it would seem better to draft a DT (Vea).

DE: Kony Ealy (Jets), Courtney Upshaw or Adrian Clayborn(Falcons), Alex Okafor (Saints) though he is tore his achilles in November, Trent Murphy (Redskins) but he is coming off missing 2017 with a torn ACL and MCL. I'd consider Tamba Hali as well, but only for cheap $$.

Not too mention the Raiders have to find a Long Snapper since letting Condo go. I think RB should be a concern if Lynch decides not to come back; but there is no official word if he will or not. I think we should focus heavily on Defense, and very little on offense this offseason. But we will see....


1:33 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Is O-line the only position McKenzie has ever spent money in free agency? Seems he is willing wing it at every other position.

No question that we should not hold our breath for any FA signings. They will happen but don't expect top players.

Raiders weaknesses on defense might be too much to overcome in one off-season. On offense, they need help at RT, but many other pieces can be salvaged under Gruden's coaching. Crabtree and Cooper were good, once before. I hate all the drops!

I think the Raiders drafted a long snapper... on the practice squad. I am going off memory only... need to check that.

2:32 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders waved Marshall Newhouse. This is the best decision they've made so far, maybe better than re-signing Justin Ellis. Newhouse sucked with the Giants, and the Raiders were obviously uninformed when they signed him last year.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I agree about Newhouse. I thought Vadal Alexander deserved the spot at RT over Newhouse. Jylan Ware is a young dude too, that has put in a lot of work with the practice squad last season, and the Raiders' brass has been touting him saying he may be ready to step up. They were still talking to tackles at the combine too.

I'm not expecting a HUGE signing in free agency with little cap room, and a big contract coming for Mack. I think they are going to find scrappy players that are going to get the job done and hope for someone to step up. We will see.

6:27 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The money issue goes back to my original thought; dump some big contract players. Even if they keep Lynch, they should restructure his contract. Doesn't his salary go way up this year? Smith was an obvious decision, but not so obvious to the Raiders, who waited until he had legal issues. The guy was benched 2x last year.

Raiders are coming out of a period of bad coaching and bad decision-making. It seems as though that recovery is slow to progress. I get that Gruden wants to assess everything first but some things should be obvious to McKenzie... like dumping Newhouse, which he finally did, thankfully.

Bowman, TJ Carrie, Autry... these are guys the Raiders should be trying hard to retain.

3:47 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Raiders have agreed to a three-year deal with tight end Derek Carrier, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

Huh?

Carrier has 36 catches for 327 yards and one touchdown in his 4-year career.

This guy is supposed to replace Lee Smith?

Let's face, the Raiders are not going to make any waves in free agency. So forget a splash! They can't (won't) even sign their own free agents who can play.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY

I am okay with the Raiders not making a big splash in FA.

Nate

I think you are right they will sign scrappy low priced talent to one year deals

I agree with these strategies, you can count the big fa signings on one hand that changed a team's trajectory---Reggie White, Peyton Manning---I can not think of many more.

Obviously Osemele and Hudson were great, but when I see Butler getting 60mm and Watkins 48 or something, I am thankful for Reggie's conservative ways.

The only way to build a championship team for the long run is the draft that is FACT

Regards
Sandy

4:37 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I'm sorry, but negotiating deals with guys like Derek Carrier (who? Exactly!) on the first eligible day of free agency is a joke. Raiders can't avoid free agency and expect to get better. Building through the draft is great, if that's what you actually do. However, you have to do better than one good draft in 7 seven years to make a difference. I think most or all McKenzie's draft picks up to 2014 are gone, and many since then.

And 1-year free agent deals are useless in Year 2, as McKenzie demonstrates every year. At best, the positions subject to these deals lack continuity.

Raiders have 10+/- draft picks this year. So, clearly, they are relying heavily on the draft to fill roster spots, for good or bad.

Honestly, the Raiders look like they are in perpetual rebuilding.

12-4 two years ago was clearly an anomaly.

7:17 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Free agency hasn't officially started, yet the PFT top 100 FAs is already shredded.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/03/06/pfts-free-agent-top-100/

Honestly, I would relax if the Raiders would just re-sign 2-3 of their own FAs and not unnecessarily create more holes.

Bowman (or Zach Brown) We need a vet at MLB to QB the defense.
TJ Carrie (because we are in deep S*** in the secondary and while Carrie isn't great he's reliable).
Autry (because the Raiders can't do any better and he's getting better every year)

I'm okay to keep Crab and NOT overpay Jody Nelson, if we can somehow improve the D.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY Carrie just got close to 8mm per year from Cleveland. I am personally fine with not paying him that.

All that being said its hard to see the Raiders roster improved from last year. Specifically who is playing CB. Conley and who?

I would like Nelson as our third wr but only if we keep Crab.


Regards
Sandy

3:37 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, It's obvious that Conley had a significant injury which kept him from playing last year, so the Raiders have no assurances that he can play.

There's probably no position group on any NFL roster thinner than CB for the Raiders.

I think the Raiders are serviceable at safety without Reggie Nelson but might be past a point of return to field decent CB group. Allowing Borders to linger on the practice squad last year at a time when the Raiders were desperate for CB help was as stupid as it gets. If McKenzie didn't want to pay CB salary, as clearly he doesn't, Borders was his guy and he let him go.

If signed, Jordy Nelson would be the only solid WR the Raiders have. Crabtree and Cooper drop way more than their share, and neither is a possession WR. At least Nelson can catch!

I'm concerned that the Raiders may end up taking another step backwards, with new coaching and an inexperienced roster on defense.

Coming off 12-4 year, last year's debacle should just be a blip, but the Raiders continue to take steps backwards with the roster... again, mostly on defense.

Gruden and Guenther will need to be miracle workers.

4:24 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Autry signed with Colts, with a 2018 base salary of $3mm. Please don't tell me that was too much to pay a versatile D lineman. So much for hanging on to up-and-coming young talent.

$3mm should have been very workable for the Raiders: $3.5 Year two.

This is McKenzie's M.O., and why the Raiders Roster lacks continuity. If we keep reaching to the draft, and we don't draft better, nothing will change.

And if we regularly allow young players walk after their first contract expires, the window to make real progress gets extremely narrow.

Q: Aside from 2014 draft picks Derek Carr (who took a major step back last year), Mack, and Jackson, where have the Raiders notably improved their roster from the draft?

Please don't say Cooper.

Drafting is a problem for the Raiders. Turns out, so is free agency.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY,

I would say Edwards and Joseph were good pics and should improve. McGee, Murray, Ellis, Carrie all contributed. The mere fact they hit on Carr and Mack gives McKenzie some latitude.

I read Autry is getting 7mm for the first year.

Regards
Sandy

4:52 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, you're too kind. Edwards and Joseph have been marginal, i.e., when they play. Edwards lack of performance is likely the reason the Raiders reached for Ward (both drafted too high), and Ward is clearly a bust. Raiders expected Edwards to get to the QB but he had next to no sacks in college, and he's following that obvious path in the pros.

McKenzie got some value out of McGee because he had personal issues that dropped his draft stock and McKenzie took a chance. But McGee has been a disappointment too, and the Raiders have spent his pro career trying to upgrade McGee's spot in the rotation.

Joseph came on a little when he played closer to the LOS, particularly as a safety blitzer. But his coverage skills and ball awareness are very questionable. He's part of the backfield group that shattered the NFL record for no INTs.

Murray is gone, like so many other McKenzie draft picks. That's exactly why abandoning FA and placing too much emphasis on the draft is a mistake.

The average shelf life of a McKenzie draft pick is less than the term of a rookie contract. At best, it takes a perfect storm of draft and free agency to field a contender. If you perform poorly in the draft or abandon free agency, your chances only go down. McKenzie is teetering on failing at both.

Let's hope Gruden is ready to step up and help with the draft!

Cheers!

4:26 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

On another note, nobody can ever question Derek Carr's heart. Apparently, he went to the airport to speak with Jordy Nelson and convinced him to spend the night in Oakland before going to visit other teams.

If Raiders land Nelson, which I hope they do, it will be because of Derek Carr!

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY,

Were you willing to pay Autry 6.5 a year?

Regards
Sandy

4:54 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, I'm not saying he wasn't overpaid. He probably was. Raiders should have never allowed this to wait until the start free agency. Autry made less than $2mm last year; to which an offer that doubled his salary would have been very fair to both parties.

Unless the Raiders find (and pay for) a comparable free agent, they will have to rely on the draft... where plenty of Shilique Calhoun's are waiting to be drafted.

Until free agency started, there was no way to know that teams would be overpaying for mid-level talent. It's not like Autry is a household name.

This was an unnecessary risk and should have been handled better.

WRT, Bowman, the Raiders have some options, but maybe none as good as Bowman. Part of the reason he signed with the Raiders was because he didn't have to move. He expressed interest in staying and Guenther expressed his interest in Bowman staying. Probably, the Raiders could have signed Bowman for less than he will undoubtedly make now that FA has started.

I think back to the way McKenzie sat on his hands with Veldheer. That almost blew up in his face with Saffold failing his physical, then Penn fell into McKenzie's lap and saved his embarrassment. MLB is about as important at LT. A good one can change your D.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY

Your posts are always thoughtful but I am sorry regardless of the path to get there, Reggie swap of Veldheer or Penn turned out brilliantly and that is what matters.

Let's move on how do you feel about Nelson for Crabtree, that is wash talent wise but I guess Crabtree was getting on people nerves.

Doug Martin??? I hope the plan is for him to be a backup. He is no longer a lead back.

Regards
Sandy

5:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, history is relevant because it shows a pattern. McKenzie has whiffed more than his share. Not sure how releasing Velhdeer for Saffold was brilliant. At the time McKenzie made the decision, Penn was not an option. IMO, he has another opportunity now with Bowman, again willing to role the dice.

Anyway, Jordy Nelson is a good 1-1 exchange for Crabtree. At a minimum, we now know there won't be a game on our schedule which emotion will get our WR thrown out and suspended. In terms of production, it's a wait and see thing... but probably fewer drops!

The Nelson for Crab move aside, McKenzie does NOT appear to be trying to upgrade the team, particularly on defense. Just filling holes and adding bodies to the 90-man roster.

As you said before, it's all about the draft. If McKenzie is lucky, he'll draft 1-2 serviceable starters, but will that be enough to actually improve the team?

4:09 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Update: Apparently, the Raiders made Bowman an offer. It couldn't have been too good because Bowman opted to test the market, even though he expressed his desire to stay with the Raiders.

Re-signing Bowman would lift a huge burden off the Raiders, because they appear to have no intention of replacing him with equal talent.

4:22 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"Roll" the dice.

4:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, Okay I hear you now I had some time to think about the Doug Martin signing and that seems seriously insane especially if that cap room/$ could be used on Bowman. Martin might be the worst back in the league statistically the last two years. Maybe Gruden is trying to turn the clock back to 2008.

Regards
Sandy

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders signed Tahir Whitehead from Lions. He has had triple digit tackles last 2 seasons. He is a weakside LB. Not sure if he will move to middle, but we just got a good WSLB. Best signing so far.
I am disappointed we let Crab go for Jordy Nelson, whom we overpaid for. He has not finished the last 3 seasons. Did the same with Doug Martin too, which tells me Lynch wont be back. I am fine with Lynch not coming back.
I knew it wouldnt be a splash in free agency, but I thought we would pursue needs. So far we havent, and our big needs are still MLB, CB, and Rt.

6:33 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

With Martin's lack of production, and the frequency which Lynch pulls himself off the field, these guys together might not make one good RB. I'd rather roll the dice with Elijah Hood and Olawale (who's a far better receiver than Lynch).

If Barkley, by some miracle, falls to #10, it's a no-brainer!

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate, Lynch will be back and Gruden will run him heavy. That might be the one thing we can count on.

NY, with your comments about Edwards and wanting so much to keep Autry, do you believe Ward, Edwards and Vanderdoes are all going to be busts? Can either of you guys see any a quality starter. What about Ellis?

I know its depressing when some guy Hester taken in the 7rd seems to be even money with the players mentioned above to be a starter.

and Nate I read you loving Irvin at DE but I think we will only see that on 3rd down and other obvious passing situations.

Have a good weekend
Sandy

6:46 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Ellis, Edwards and Vanderdoes are all average. They all can play, but lack the push to the QB that the Raiders need from the interior. Ward is a flat out bust. McKenzie reached way too high for this kid, who was a "project" from the start. It seemed more like an AL pick but that's how McKenzie has rolled during his tenure; often picking players high in the draft on chance more than talent (Hayden-injury risk, Watson, Ward, and even Edwards, who had almost zero sacks in college).

Vanderdoes was a rookie last year, so he probably has the best chance to improve this year. But, as you said Sandy, Hester (and anyone else off the street) will be on the heels of all these guys because none of them stand out.

Meanwhile Raiders sign a guy name Tank, who is anything but, to possibly replace Autry? We can talk about the pay difference, but the Raiders probably had ample opportunity to sign Autry at a fair salary before free agency, but they chose to let him test the market... and that paid Autry dividends and left the Raiders without a true pass rusher and solid edge player.

Guenther's M.O. is he does not like to blitz. He prefers to use the base 4 to get to the QB. Unless he changes his formula, the Raiders will once again be worst in the league at sacking the QB.

Final note; Raiders are active in free agency, but mostly lateral moves and roster fillers. However, it's possible that choosing from a pedestrian group of CBs will be an improvement over last year.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders signed Rashaan Melvin (CB, Colts). 2nd best signing this offseason. Lynch received his roster bonus, so he will return. I still think we draft Vita Vea. Not much on the d-line interior from our starters. Hester was by far the most enjoyable to watch when he played. Vanderdoes has upside, but he faded off toward the end of the season as most rookies do. That is my concern with Vea too; strong beginning, disappears at the end. Justin Ellis is quietly getting stronger and better, but it seems our interior are a little anemic in size; which would be okay if they were stronger. Seems they all got pushed around a little too much.
We have made 2 good signings so far, and 2 bad ones; so our FA period has been a wash, unless you count who we have lost: Crab, TJ Carrie, Amerson, and Autry. When you consider those guys gone, then it is difficult to see improvement.

4:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's at least the second, maybe third time since McKenzie arrived that he cleared the roster of starting CBs and is beginning again from scratch. That's very odd.

What McKenzie has in his favor is that he's not opposed to bringing in lots of bodies. Raiders will get to look at a lot of players. Just not sure quantity is better than quality.

Still time to re-sign Bowman. That would go a long way to squelching my criticisms.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

It's being reported that Gruden wants Irvin back at DE. I think this is a great move, as he is able to free up Mack from being triple teamed. When he was DE a few years ago, when Mario Edwards Jr was hurt, Mack and Irvin put on a show. I think we will see more there.
Vic Tafur says he has rumblings about Bowman, but is not allowed to say anything. So I'm wondering if he will be re-signed soon (fingers crossed). While I like some of the moves, and despise others, they still have to perform on the field. I'm not sure 12-4 was a fluke a few seasons ago, as much as they found the chemistry/rhythm they needed to win. But every coaching/roster change is going to restart this chemistry/rhythm balance needed to win. I'm not overtly optimistic right now, so I'm back to the "Just Prove It, Baby!" No more "hype" for me, it has become nauseating. Time to win, and time for the Raiders to Just Prove It, BABY!

12:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, 12-4 was partly the result of some extremely ballsy moves by Del Rio, including going for 2 pts to win the game against New Orleans. He had so much luck with 4th down conversions in 2016 that he tried too many times to duplicate those in 2017 - to the point of being stupid - and got burned.

But everything about the Raiders history since 2002 says their 12-4 record in 2016 was an anomaly.

5:01 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Patterson traded to New England. The Patriots have a long history of getting the best of the Raiders, on and off the field. Trades are no exception. In this case, Raiders give up a valuable ST player and the best kick returner in the league. For what? They moved about 10 slots up for one pick, from the top of the 6th round to the bottom of the 5th.

Patterson was under-utilized as a WR, but he was far more reliable catching the ball than Crabtree and Cooper, both of whom dropped way more than their share.

Crab is gone, but Cooper still needs to recover from a bad case of stone hands.

5:14 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The math is now available. The Raiders traded a compensatory pick in the sixth and moved up 51 spots.

That's far better but, at the end of the day, is only as good as the pick itself.

Patterson is a top notch ST player and pretty damn good situational player. His problem is that he's not a good route runner as a WR. But he's had many break-out runs while playing for the Raiders. He's big and fast, which is a deadly combination.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Jamize Olawale was traded to the Cowboys. Gruden is lighting a match to this roster.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Eric Decker set to visit Raiders today (Tuesday), and Adam Schefter reporting that Suh will visit tomorrow.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Suh called off meeting with the Raiders, and walked out of the facility.

12:39 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Unless Gruden steps in, should we plan on McKenzie selecting DT Maurice Hurst, who is a talented player, but has a medical concern with his heart that kept him out of the Combine. Reggie has a thing for drafting players with uncertain medical. Many of McKenzie's early picks have spent much of the careers on IR.

Not sure to what extent a pattern of injuries were known at time of drafting, but here's a startling sample of early round picks that spent more time injured than not, since being with the Raiders.

Hayden
Watson
Edwards, Jr
Joseph
Conley
Melifonwu

That's some bad luck! But is it more than coincidence? Not sure if Hurst has been cleared but drafting him at #10 might eventually add to this list.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I am still pulling for Vita Vea, not Hurst. Hurst is not a top 10 player. The only exception for me is if CB Josh Johnson is there at the 10 spot. That is the only reason I wouldn't pull the trigger on Vea. But the Raiders still have a blaring hole at MLB, and that may mean they draft Roquan Smith. However, I don't think Gruden will allow McKenzie to get all stupid with his roster, otherwise we will see the return of Bruce Allen.
I do like the quiet signing of Emmanuel Lamur though; he's another strong pick up that plays SLB, and looks to replace Irvin there as Irvin will move to DE (per Gruden). This is a great signing, and I can say that we have a solid LB corp again, especially if we re-sign Bowman or draft RSmith. JUST WIN BABY

1:34 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Per Levi Damien:

"As it stands, [the Raiders] still have needs at all the positions they had needs coming into free agency. Not something you’d expect to say after adding 16 free agents to the roster."

It's a zero-sum-game.

The Raiders need to re-sign Bowman to make sense of their off-season.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Raiders have improved the roster with financial prudence.

LB: Whitehead, Lemur

DB: Wright, Melvin, Gilhcrist

T: Giacomini

DL: Carridine

WR: Nelson

FB: Smith

vs who they lost

CArrie, Autry, Crabtree, Olwaze, Patterson


Net net sounds like an improvement on defense and a wash on offense.

Regards
Sandy

5:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, aside from Nelson, I couldn't disagree more. Raiders ditched their entire starting group of CBs and signed one FA starter. Raiders, so far, lost a top-tier MLB and have yet to address that position. Sure Whitehead can play middle, but he's no Bowman. Lemur is a ST player.

Autry for Carridine is as lopsided as it gets. Autry is a player. He just needs more time on the field, which he will now get. Carridine is a bench guy with almost no stats.

The jury is still out on Osawale for Smith. Smith might be a better blocker but not a better runner or receiver. So we swapped a highly versatile back for a blocker. That might not sound all that bad, except our lead RB can't catch.

Patterson is the league's best return man. Raiders brought in another returner but with nowhere near the chops of Patterson. Big and fast is a freakish combination. Patterson was underutilized by the Raiders (who proved many times he is a dangerous open field runner). As I said before, the mere fact that he went to the Pats says it all. Pats have dominated the Raiders on and off the field for the better part of two decades, with some really embarrassing moments in that span.

Cheers!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Gilchrist, Melvin, Whiteheadm and Giacomini are the best signings. Lemur had a chance to play for Guenther, who made him a starter, and he did extremely well. This is a value signing along with Carridine.
We haven't lost Bowman yet, he is not getting offers anywhere else, and it is being reported that he is talking with the Raiders, and wants to stay. The Titans are reportedly interested as well, but haven't made contact with him.
Roquan Smith, Vita Vea, and Josh Johnson are our targets at the #10 spot. I doubt that Josh Johnson will be there, but if he is, he would be my top choice. If he is not there, then Vea. I would rather draft Vea over Roquan Smith. I think we could get just as good as value in the 3rd Round with Malik Jefferson (MLB, Texas), or Darius Leonard (ILB, SC State).
The same can be said about CBs. Josh Jackson is the best in this field in my opinion. But this is a deep position in the draft, and quality players are going to fall in 2nd/3rd Rounds. If we draft Vea, I go after a CB in the 2nd Round. Carlton Davis (Auburn), Jaire Alexander (Louisville), Mike Hughes (UCF), or Donte Jackson (LSU).
Here is my draft analysis for the Raiders, and who I would take:
1. Vita Vea (unless Josh Jackson is there)
2. Darius Leonard (ILB, SC State)
3. Carlton Davis/Donte Jackson (CB, Auburn/LSU)
4. Duke Ejiofor (DE, Wake Forest)
5. Keke Coutee (WR, TXTech)
5. Kameron Kelly (CB, San Diego State)
6. Jaleel Scott (WR, New Mexico State)
6. Darrel Williams (RB, LSU)
6. Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (OLB, Arkansas State)
7. Marcus Baugh (TE, Ohio State)

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY are you really worried about losing Amerson and Smith. I think Melvin is better than either. I agree with you on Autry, letting him go is perplexing.

Nate what is your rational behind Jackson over Fitzpatrick or Ward? I think they are both better prospects

Have a good weekend
Sandy

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Fitzpatrick is a Safety, not a CB. I believe he is a good Safety, but we have Nelson, Joseph, Gilchrist, and Obi Melinfonwu. Ward is good too, and he was quicker at the Combine. I believe Johnson is taller, a little more athletic, and has more football knowledge, discipline, and savvy than Ward. Coming from Iowa, rather than Ohio State, he seems more coachable and ready to succeed than Ward.
Ward may have a little more skill and speed than Johnson, but he has the personality of someone who is going to depend on his skill more than the knowledge of the game and his coaches. I think his speed makes up for the fact that he doesn't read the play developing as quick. He struggles getting himself in position to make a good defensive play.
Johnson is more adept to read a play better, and see it develop quicker, and he is quicker to put himself in a position to defend a play than Ward. So where he maybe slightly slower than Ward, he's quicker to respond to a developing play and put himself in a better position than Ward. This is going to relate to more pass deflects and interceptions.
Now, I agree Melvin is better than Smith and Amerson, but not TJ Carrie. Losing him was a real loss. I hope Johnson there at the #10 spot because that will make up for losing Carrie. We don't really need a DT, but if Johnson is gone, Vea is our best value at #10; and the draft is all about value. It's been an interesting offseason; and I can't wait for the draft.
I can't say that Jordy Nelson is better than Crabtree. He has more reliable hands when he's healthy, but he hasn't been healthy in 3 years. Losing Carrie hurt, and the Patterson trade hurt. We will see what Gruden does, and how the Raiders do. In the end, JUST PROVE IT, BABY!

1:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"NY are you really worried about losing Amerson and Smith"

Sandy, we lost Amerson, Smith and TJ Carrie. That's three starting CBs in a pass-happy league. Retaining one of these guys might have been wise. Carrie was the most obvious because he played the most and was the most consistent. Like Autry, Carrie is just becoming the player the Raiders needed.

Raiders draft plenty of DBs but struggle to field any of them. That's why free agency is so important.

Frankly, what other business hires young recruits, pays top dollar to train them, then shoves them out the door once they obtain the skill set to be successful? To this point, McKenzie's draft retention is dangerously low for someone who wants to build through the draft.

1:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

News today is that agent for Navarro Bowman will meet with Raiders to discuss his return.

The importance of a competent MLB can't be overstated. It was only by accident the Raiders stumbled onto Riley, Jr. two years ago, and Bowman last year. Both these guys were signed as free agents mid-season and both immediately brought stability to the position; yet both were more or less turned away when the season ended. Meanwhile, the last time the Raiders fielded a reliable MLB to start a season seems like forever.

Signing Bowman would bring this FA period into perspective. Bowman, IMO, was the Raiders #1 priority coming into free agency. That hasn't changed!

11:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Lions blogger gave Levi Damien a perspective on Whitehead, which reveals he is better at outside LB than inside. Lions moved him outside after he struggled inside. But even on the outside, his coverage skills are marginal.

This is more reason for the Raiders to sign Bowman.

The draft option is not a good one; i.e., to start a rookie at MLB, again. That hasn't worked for the Raiders in, like, forever.

Smith would be a solid pick at LB but he's probably too small to play inside. His coverage skills are solid.

Tremaine Edwards is a freakish prospect but will also be the youngest college player drafted, maybe in the history of the draft. That reeks of inexperience. This kid is a project player that will be drafted almost entirely on speculation. I think the Raiders should be real concerned about taking another project player with all their past failures and their current needs.

Bowman and Smith would be a huge improvement to the middle of the Raiders defense. Whitehead could battle with a few others for the other spot, and depth.

10:36 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders released Clive Walford. The 2014 draft with Carr, Mack and Jackson bought McKenzie a lot of goodwill but that jar is running dangerously low.

At this point, building through the draft means starting over, again! And the way McKenzie has bargain basement shopped his free agents, it's just like old times.

Raiders can only convince me they want to (expect to) win this year by signing Bowman. Otherwise, it doesn't look like a real effort is being made for 2018. Lot of stop gaps and roster fillers. Nelson for Crabtree was an even swap on salary, without all the drops and the attitude.

Can somebody please explain where the roster has notably improved.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY

I believe the DB position has improved. A healthy Conley paired with Melvin and Gilchrist is better than Smith, Amerson and Carrie.

If Obi or Luani can contribute I think the defensive backfield will be in much better shape.

The rest of the team has remained neutral but with better coaches should come better results

Regards
Sandy

6:35 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My take is the Raiders replaced three starting CBs with one FA starter, and a hope that Conley will be healthy and serviceable despite his lack of experience. He might!

I was in favor of releasing Smith, and I get they didn't want to pay Amerson his spiked contract, but Raiders are now without a reliable third option (slot). They could have easily signed Carrie to a fair contract prior to free agency.

Also, it's been a week since we were told Raiders would sit down with Bowman's agent. What gives? Sign the guy to another one-year deal and shut up, Reggie!

This is what Damien recently reported:

"One thing I noted when grading this year’s free agency for the Raiders was the rather astounding fact that even while adding some 16 players, the team’s primary needs appear to be unchanged. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it."

There it is. Even Gruden has been professing the Raiders needs to the media, which are still the same heading into the draft.

Should the Raiders spit and sputter into the season without a competent MLB, again, that would be unforgivable, IMO.

4:08 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Here's an interesting thought; Gruden Part I had AL picking high price players to fill his roster. While not always for the best, the result was a steadily improving team and, ultimately, a SB run.

Now Gruden Part II is totally unfiltered by AL or anyone else. He can easily override McKenzie on personnel decisions, with Mark Davis' blessing. But Gruden Part II has a much more pedestrian approach, much like McKenzie. This appears to be what has led us to lateral free agency with no clear improvement, or path.

But let's not kid ourselves, Gruden has what Hue Jackson bragged he had; total control of the Raiders football operations. That's what you get for $100mm. For better or for worse.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders sign 33 year old CB Leon Hall from the Steelers. Bargain shopping....

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY you are way too neg, with all due respect you and to a much lesser extent Nate need to be more positive.

Gruden coming back is the bet thing that has happened to the Raiders since Reggie lucked into Carr and Mack in the same draft. (as an aside I think this gets him a lifetime mulligan)

Already Gruden has called out Edwards and has infected the team with energy, toughness, direction, the best staff in 18 years and some low priced veteran depth.

The Raiders are on a run of long term success. In today's NFL its about three key items only: a) quality coaching/leadership, b) franchise qb and c) control of the salary cap.

If a team can do that they will be playoff bound for years to come.

The Raiders have those three things.

Enjoy the holiday weekend
Sandy

4:07 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, all the lateral moves aside, my primary beef is not signing Bowman. Raiders called it a top priority back in Jan. Honestly, how many times do the Raiders need to enter a season without a competent MLB to know that's not a good idea? It's not a cap issue. It's about paying fair market value, which the Raiders won't do (save overpaying Ellis). Otherwise, we'd still have Autry instead of some guy named Tank that sat on the 49ers bench.

You joke about a lifetime mulligan, but isn't that kinda what got us into this mess?

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders have released Marquette King. I hate this move. King was a tremendous punter and athlete. Opposing teams had to put a spy on him to make sure he wouldn't take off. Not too mention, he punted 60+ yards. Stupid move, Gruden. Stupid move.

1:31 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Is this an April fool's joke. That's not possible!!

2:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Not to bring more negativity but, as of today, I firmly believe the Raiders do not care about winning this year. They will take what they get while they completely re-tool the roster.

King was a weapon on special teams. Hard to appreciate that until you see other punters on a regular basis.

Sign Bowman and pump some life into this off-season!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY,
seriously at one time Bowman was a top five lb, no more.In fact he is not even top 25 now and is a two down player at this stage in his career. Tahir is equal to him
cheaper and younger.
regards
Sandy.

5:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, you've been drinking from the same cup as McKenzie. Whitehead had one good season at MLB behind Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

Here's what a Detroit writer reports happened after....

“The following season, Whitehead assumed the starting middle linebacker position, and although he posted his best statistical season (132 tackles), he actually looked more uncomfortable and out of place. His coverage skills have always been an issue, and he’s not the quickest read-and-respond defender at the position.

“In 2017, the Lions kicked him back outside and his play immediately rebounded. Tahir is a sound tackler and an above-average run defender. Occasionally, the Lions liked to send him on a blitz, and while it’s not something he’s fantastic at, it’s something that’s in his wide arsenal.

“Overall, Whitehead is very much a jack of all trades, but master at none type of player. He has some scheme versatility, but is best kept on the outside. His only real glaring weakness is his coverage abilities, whether it’s man or zone responsibilities. Outside of that, however, he’s an average or above average player at just about everything else.”


He's a nice FA acquisition, but he's not Navorro Bowman. Bowman is quick to read plays and QB the defense. He's a rare Alpha Dog at the position.

I'm surprised you are so cavalier about MLB after all the seasons McKenzie hoped youth could take over and they couldn't. The last two years, McKenzie had to scramble to the free agent market to get help. First, Riley, Jr., then Bowman. Both these guys were solid, and both have been turned away the following year... for the same dream of youth.

Bowman, IMO, represents a stopgap for the team to find its next young MLB, while maintaining stability at the position to actually win games. I'm sick of the wing-and-a-prayer approach.

Without Bowman, Raiders may feel forced to draft Smith or Edmunds in the 1st Rd. Neither of these guys is ready to play MLB in the NFL. Edmunds is the youngest player ever in NFL draft history.

McKenzie and Gruden are dismantling the roster and signing bargain players much like McKenzie did when he first got here.

Honestly, does it look to you like the Raiders are preparing for a playoff run this season?

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

They are saying that Marquette King was too much of a "free spirit" for Gruden's taste. Then why did he want Lynch back? Lynch, I think, was the cancer in the locker room last season. King is not only a great player, but he's entertaining. I wish him all the best.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate, King got cut because he was making three million a year and is a punter. Smart move by the Raiders. You guys are worried about all the holes on the team lets save that money for more important positions. I love Jano and was impressed by Patterson but axing those three saved 9 million. Makes sense to me.

Regards
Sandy

7:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I didn't want Lynch back for that reason... among others. I read a report that he sometimes takes over the huddle. He's too much type-A for Carr to be effective.

Sandy, some of the players they are axing were just re-signed last year. Nobody was complaining about their contracts then. Too much is being made of the salary cap, which is more than manageable. And when they extend Mack's contract, they will save even more room due to spreading out his bonus.

McKenzie is bargain shopping, like always. Raiders have not measurably improved their roster. There's no way to spin that. I could go thru the list, but it's pretty obvious. The latest move signing Dwayne Harris is another example. They dump Patterson, who is arguably the best returner in the league, and sign Harris, who broke his foot last year and offers no certainty he can even play.

Quantity over quality seems to be the Raiders MO. If you throw enough mud at the wall, maybe something will stick. We'll see.

One thing you can be sure, the entire org is getting a pass for 2018. That's a shame, particularly when you consider 2018 is one of those rare seasons that difficulty of schedule seems to be in the Raiders favor.

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Marquette King signs with Denver just to "Screw Gruden and the Raiders." Great.

1:52 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That statement only reaffirms the Raiders were probably right to release him.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY the reason to release him was he was making 3mm. I think the bottom half of the Raiders roster is significantly improved with all the veteran signings. I know you will come around once they resign Bowman.

Nate, Who would you prefer between Edmunds and Smith? I don't think we will get a shot at Fitzpatrick or Ward unfortunetly

All the best
Sandy

12:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, if Raiders sign Bowman and draft Smith, I will sit down and shut up... with a big smile on my face. Bowman proved his worth to the Raiders and could groom Smith. Smith plays with speed and intensity that the Raiders desperately need.

Edmunds is raw. I am concerned he is overrated due to athletic prowess but seriously lacks experience..., think Watson, Ward, and many others Raiders have drafted.

My biggest fear is the Raiders draft Hurst, who has a heart issue and will almost certainly fall to the 10th pick because other teams will wisely take a pass. I would guess no other team has drafted (and signed in FA) more players coming off injury than the Raiders. It's probably not even close. And how many of those have worked out? Zero?

It makes more sense in free agency because of the cost-benefit (however, the jury is still out on dumping a healthy Patterson for a broken foot Harris). But when it's your 1st or 2nd round pick, that's huge! Not worth the risk.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I fear the Raiders drafting Hurst at #10 too. That is too high for him, he is not a top 10 player. If they want to draft him, trade down, get more picks. I think the pick is either Vita Vea, Josh Jackson, or Roquan Smith.

I agree with NY, everything I'm reading on Edmunds is that he is too inexperienced, but has tremendous upside if he can learn the game quickly. My problem is a kid this young is more than likely going to rely on his talent; but you have to have more than talent in the NFL. They say the NFL is 3 times faster than the college level, so I'm not sure it is worth the risk.

I still like my last mock draft for the Raiders. I think they've added a few more picks though, not sure. But it looked like:
1. Vita Vea (unless Josh Jackson is there)
2. Darius Leonard (ILB, SC State)
3. Carlton Davis/Donte Jackson (CB, Auburn/LSU)
4. Duke Ejiofor (DE, Wake Forest)
5. Keke Coutee (WR, TXTech)
5. Kameron Kelly (CB, San Diego State)
6. Jaleel Scott (WR, New Mexico State)
6. Darrel Williams (RB, LSU)
6. Ja'Von Rolland-Jones (OLB, Arkansas State)
7. Marcus Baugh (TE, Ohio State)

2:28 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, your knowledge of college players far exceeds mine, but I like your position picks and the order of those choices. Funny how the Raiders went from zero 5th round picks to having two. However, I think they got robbed by the Pats (again!) by trading Patterson and a 6th for a 5th. One more example that the Pats absolutely own the Raiders, on and off the field.

DT and LB 1-2 is solid. It might go the other way around if Raiders take Smith at #10.

Smart to add a couple WRs. Two years ago it looked like a position of strength, then the entire group jump the shark last year. Aside from Nelson, the jury is still out if any of the Raiders WRs can catch, particularly contested balls.

Two CBs, another good choice. And a RB. IMO, RB is an important position to keep drafting. I'd use the FIFO method rotating RBs like the Broncos used to do.

One exception, Raiders have no room on their roster for a TE, and who cares about practice squad. I'd rather take a change with OL.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Thanks NY. Here are some of my reasoning with these picks.
Vita Vea is still our best bet at #10, as I don't see Bradley Chubb dropping down. Most mocks have Josh Jackson at #17, and Maurice Hurst at #22. I'm big on Josh Jackson if we draft a CB, but it looks like we should trade down to get him. I'm okay with that if we pick up 2 second rounders. There are some beat writers who love Hurst more than Vea; I don't know why, or what video they are watching, but Hurst was absolutely silenced in big games. I'm not sure he is better than Vea, and definitely not worth trading down.
I put Marcus Baugh in there, because I think he could actually make the team. I think he's the sleeper in the draft because hardly anyone is looking at TE.
Darius Leonard is a beast, he's not Roquan Smith, but he's a ball hawk that is not getting a lot of play at this point because of the depth of this position in this draft. He is a little raw, but I think has shown great ability to learn; also most scouts have him listed as an OLB; but he put on 50 pounds since being out of college, and that did not drop any of his speed/skills at the combine. Work on developing strength in that 50 pound gain, and bam, you have a hard hitting ILB.
I think Keke Coutee would be an excellent Special Teams returner/slot WR. He has potential to be like Rocket Ismail type WR. He needs to add strength to his game though. He does not do well if he has to contest for the ball. Seeing him play with TX Tech (where my wifey went to college), he can separate from defenders pretty good, but if he has to contest for the ball, no good. You know Gruden's boy will put some muscles on him though. Jaleel Scott would be a steal in the late rounds, and pounding WR, he's big (6'5, 215, 4.56-40 dash,). He's a little sloppy on route running, but you know Gruden will tighten the screws. He has potential to be a Terrell Owens type WR.
I like Duke Ejiofor in the third round because of his weaknesses that scouts give him. USA Today says this about him, "Though he may lack the elite explosiveness and athleticism of other edge players in this class, Ejiofor gets the most out of his physical tools thanks to his intelligence, instincts and technique. He’s got a nose for opposing quarterbacks, and gets to them by any means necessary." NFL.com talks about how he lacks agility to make sudden tackles, and has below average pursuit/tackle range. Yet when you see some of his highlights, I don't see that. I will say, he does play downhill more, and doesn't seem to have great technique off the block. BUT, with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin helping him on the edge, we could have a terrific 1-2 punch down the road. His intelligence and instincts shows that he is coachable, and can learn to improve.

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6:38 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The top of this draft has more depth than most, so trading down, while good in theory, may not be the best approach, IMO. There might be a star at #10. Also, Reggie has proven before that trading down is only as good as the player(s) he picks. With this year's depth, at #10 he will have an opportunity for a consensus pick with much lower risk of failure. However, if he picks Hurst and Hurst can't play due to his heart issue, that would be a colossal screw-up.

If the Raiders are more interested in adding bodies, which it appears they are, they have like 10 picks. That's already lots of bodies!

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Hurst is this drafts DJ Hayden. It will not go well for the Raiders to pick him. Docs have wanted him to lose weight due to heart issues, and with him wanting to play D-Line, he is on the smaller end of DT, and in this league, you need to be big to play DT. His stock will drop. Teams are fickle about players like him. He may even drop to early 3rd round. To pick him at #10 would be absolutely absurd. Besides, Gruden likes big DT's like Vea. So if he is going after that position, Vea is the pick, and that puts Edwards Jr out.
With that said, Silver and Black Pride released a list of official pre-draft players:
Malik Reaves, DB, Villanova (source)
David Goldsby, OL, Buffalo (source)
Joe Ostman, DE/FB, Central Michigan (source)
Tremon Smith, CB/PR, Central Arkansas (source)
PJ Hall, DL, Sam Houston (report)
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (report)
Frankie Luvu, LB, Washington State (report)
Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (report)
Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona (report)

The most intriguing guy on this list is PJ Hall. I don't know much about him, but read his draft profile here:
https://www.nfl.com/prospects/p.j.-hall?id=32462018-0002-5600-80fb-27db8391f2aa
Dude has major upside, and it appears that they are saying his weakness is the added weight seems to cause him fatigue more quickly. But that is where strength and conditioning comes into play. A school like Sam Houston may not have the best strength/conditioning system.
Interesting to see Jaire Alexander on that list. I think they had these guys come in to see where they would fall on their draft board. Also, Malik Reaves is an interesting visit too. He could be a solid Round 3 pick up as well. David Goldsby (OT, Buffalo) is also an interesting choice. Don't know much about him, but the only pre-draft ink I could find on him says:
"Offensive lineman David Goldsby, who is 6-4 ½ and 315 pounds and could be a possibility at guard. He played in 20 games in his two seasons at UB after transferring from junior college. He did 26 reps on the bench press during UB’s Pro Day."

Walter Football, which is a pretty good draft source, shows this list as Pre Draft visits by the Raiders, and it's more extensive:
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Mike Boone, RB, Cincinnati
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
Geron Christian, OT, Louisville
Austin Corbett, OT/C, Nevada
James Crawford, ILB, Illinois
Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
Dane Cruikshank, CB, Arizona
Michael Dickson, P, Texas
Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech
P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston State
A.J. Howard, FS, Appalachian State
Malik Jefferson, ILB, Texas
Arden Key, DE/3-4OLB, LSU
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Frank Luvu, ILB, Washington State
Frankie Luvu, ILB, Washington State
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Ryan Nall, FB, Oregon State
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Bilal Nichols, DT/3-4DE, Delaware
Joe Ostman, DE, Central Michigan
DeMornay Pierson-El, WR, Nebraska
Malik Reaves, CB, Villanova
JK Scott, P, Alabama
Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas
Linden Stephens^, CB, Cincinnati
Chandon Sullivan, CB, Georgia State
Jullian Taylor, DT, Temple
Chad Thomas, DE/3-4OLB, Miami
Vita Vea, DT/3-4DE/NT, Washington
Damon Webb, S, Ohio State
Connor Williams, OT, Texas
These visits include Sr Bowl, East-West game, private workout, Pro Day workouts, private visit, etc. Gonna be a good draft, at least I hope. I don't think Gruden will let McKenzie go with crazy picks. Fingers crossed.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Here's a new write up about Goldsby:
https://www.silverandblackpride.com/2018/4/12/17228326/raiders-host-offensive-lineman-prospect-with-similar-journey-as-recent-second-round-pick

They compare his journey to Menelik Watson. Let's hope he does better than Menelik.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Janikowski signs with Seattle.

2:26 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jano still has a little gas left in the tank.

Which reminds me, check you draft picks again. Don't the Raiders need to draft a punter?

4:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Patterson reported to media that King was like a diva, and "not well liked in the locker room." He's a punter that thinks he's a WR.

When he pulls some crap to get even with the Raiders and gets flagged 15 yards, it will be the Broncos problem, not ours.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders don't need to draft a punter, they can sign an undrafted punter. Marquette King was undrafted. Gold-mine.....

11:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Some mock drafts have Raiders drafting a punter as high as their 4th pick. I don't think they will leave it to chance with an undrafted player. Look for them to draft a punter with pro ready skills.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


Just weighing in on the upcoming draft.

Would like to see Raiders trade down multiple times, acquiring as many 2nd rounders as possible. I just don't think the 10th pick will help Raider team which needs so much. Raiders need many players, especially on defense.

Also would entertain idea of trading Mack to Browns for 4th pick + other picks. Mack has been great, but giving a huge contract at this point is foolish. Raiders need to build an 11 man defense, rather than a 1 man defense surrounded by 10 stiffs.

Just think of Richard Seymour. On Pats he was 1 of 11 defenders, and was easily replaced. Raiders thought Seymour would be a one man wrecking crew. It did not work out.

What I am proposing are bold draft day moves, not really Reggies history for his 5 drafts.

But think about how trading down, and trading Mack would give Raiders so many picks in this years, and next years drafts. Raiders need a lot, not just 10th pick.

2:22 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00 -

Interesting thought about Mack. But I don't think the Browns would trade away their stockpile of picks for Mack, because that's what it would take. They are position to draft at least two highly-rated prospects. Just what the Dr. ordered for that org.

Also, whoever you think will be available at the 4th pick might actually be there at #10. As many as 4-5 teams ahead of us are almost certainly going to draft QB, so we land a top five pick at #10. That's probably worth keeping, as opposed to trading down and winging it with McKenzie's poor history of drafting (save his 2014 miracle draft). When McKenzie trades down, we end up with DJ Hayden or M. Watson. No thanks.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


NYR.....Sitting with 10th pick, I figure Raiders can trade down 3 or 4 times, each time getting a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Raiders would end up with many picks...Would Reggie whiff on all of them ?

I would trade Mack for any of the top 6 picks, + other picks. Additional picks do not all have to be 2018 picks. Some can be 2019 picks.

Hopefully Gruden will help guide Reggie to better quality picks.

4:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Trading Mack for draft picks would be strictly because of his pending high salary, as you point out. However, he's arguably the best defender in football, so there's no fair compensation on the field. Hopefully, the Raiders have not reached that level of desperation. You need franchise players to build around. Mack is the guy who can dial it up and make a play that changes the outcome of a game. Anything short of the both the Browns first round picks would be unacceptable, IMO. Then you hope one of those picks becomes all-pro... something Mack did at two different positions in the same year!

Maybe the Raiders just need to be smarter and stop drafting project players who have not proven their worth even at the college level... Watson, Ward, etc.

Look up the Raiders draft history and remove 2014. Then see what's left. It's depressing. And I don't know how much we should be counting on Gruden to make a difference. Remove his time with Oakland, because AL was in charge, many pundits say he didn't do well drafting in Tampa, which is why they hired Bruce Allen.

Both Browns picks. Final offer!

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


All great points NYR....My fear is Raiders give Mack the big contract, then nickel & dime the rest of the defense. That's pretty much what we have now.

How about Browns give their 2018, 2nd and 3rd round picks, and their 2019 1st round pick for Mack?

Raiders have to try something. It will take Reggie forever to build a quality defense around Mack.

5:38 AM  

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