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@Indy!  Agreed and I'll be critical of the Raiders if they don't come out of the draft with a QB to groom.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://tfdssports.com/2014-articles/tale-of-the-tape-matt-schaub.html

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@Indy!  I agree, Indy. I think he's a decent signing. As I say, he's much better at guard than tackle, in my opinion. If he can continue to grow and develop, he can be very solid due to his size and strength.

3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://tfdssports.com/

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@Indy! @80kdot I'm good with low-key, inexpensive contracts. I think the Raiders have had a good, solid free agency. Good teams are built through the draft, anyway. The free agency period is just to get depth and stop-gaps at positions until a better player can be found.

4 months, 1 week ago on Tale of the Tape: CB Tarell Brown

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I don't follow Pats much but I think Dowling's big issue was injury, which is not what you want the Raiders to take on, so no.

I didn't have Hanson making the squad, anyway, so I'm not as worried about his absence.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on Predicting the Oakland Raiders final 53

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Vernon hasn't stood out in recent practices whatsoever.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on Predicting the Oakland Raiders final 53

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Wetzel has already been cut.

10 months, 4 weeks ago on Predicting the Oakland Raiders final 53

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@DanHartman There's a big difference between thinking he knows the problem and actually fixing it. Last year they thought they knew every week, too, but the OL didn't get substantively better. If they don't improve, that OL will get QBs killed. Yes, they can improve and I hope they do but they need to do so quickly.

11 months, 2 weeks ago on Oakland Raiders vs Dallas Cowboys: the good, the bad, and the ugly

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@JoshMcDaniels2 Thanks for sharing, Josh. I definitely think read and react is important, too, although as I said I think agility is a must for a cover corner. But, it's just my opinion and I appreciate you sharing yours.

I know what you're talking about with the tackles. He isn't an overly physical presence in tackling in general. Not to say he didn't tackle but he wasn't as physical with at as I'd like at that level, especially against any other position other than receiver. He was more a slow 'em down and let others help, guy.

1 year ago on Tale of the Tape: film review of Raiders' rookie CB DJ Hayden

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It's hard to take the Jaws review seriously in that Flynn has had very productive games and many other starting QBs have not. Flynn is physically limited, yes, but not so much as people would have us believe. He may not have a Joe Flacco arm but he can make most of the most needed throws.

Indy!, Jax has a QB competition between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne and Cleveland's QB is last year's rookie pick Brandon Weeden.

I liked this draft overall and I think each and every player can contribute to the 2013 team.

1 year ago on NFL Films' Greg Cosell speaks highly of Raiders' 2013 draft class

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He has as good a chance as any. If he applies himself to getting the fundamentals of the position down, he could be great, yes. He has the physical tools, certainly.

1 year ago on Tale of the Tape: film review of Raiders' rookie OT Menelik Watson

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 @Indy! It was a good signing for the Raiders to get a proven veteran and an outspoken leader in the locker-room.

1 year, 2 months ago on Oakland Raiders' camp battle winners predictions

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Tight end will be interesting. It seems a long shot for all 3 rookies to make the final squad. I expect Leonard to maybe get on the practice squad, not the final 53. It seems likely that Ausberry or Gordon, but not both, will make the final squad. My guess is Ausberry over Gordon.

 

I think that Jennings will make the final squad and he and Murray will be the backups over Stewart and Williams. I think Williams will be cut soon, actually. He had a bad rookie camp and isn't able to be at the OTAs, either.

1 year, 2 months ago on Oakland Raiders' camp battle winners predictions

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 @Indy! Yes. Especially since as of now, at least, his #9 is taken by Conner Vernon. Vernon was initially given #16 but he gave that number to Josh Cribbs when Cribbs signed and took #9 instead.

1 year, 2 months ago on Oakland Raiders' camp battle winners predictions

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 @Indy! I agree, it seems unlikely to me that he'd start off the bat. But if the Raiders struggle, again, he could see time at the end of the year, definitely.

1 year, 2 months ago on Tale of the Tape: film breakdown of Raiders rookie QB Tyler Wilson

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Do you feel I was judging Olson?  That was not the impression I was trying to give.  Looking at a coaches past successes or failures is not judging him, it's pointing out past history which can be applicable.  It doesn't mean that Olson is doomed to failure, here, by any means.

1 year, 6 months ago on By the Numbers: a look at new Raiders OC Greg Olson

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@Auburn Raider Fan I think that's very well thought out. I disagree with some of the small details but that's just my opinion and clearly you've put a lot of thought into why you think what you think so I can't help but be impressed. It's getting ahead of my articles but I also think the ZBS will be back. I go back and forth with Veldheer going to RT but as of right now I'm of the mind he stays at LT because of the promise he's shown there. I'm not sure how many compensatory picks Raiders'll get and I wouldn't count on much. The guys they lost were, by and large, all backups and they had some offsets in picking up Bartell, Brisiel, Wheeler, Spencer, Tollefson, etc. I'd guess they get, at a minimum, a late 7th but if they get a second I'd think it'd be more like a 6th or 7th rounder, not much, unfortunately. But, again, I can't fault your logic and that's just my opinion. You bring up some good points, thank you for sharing.

1 year, 6 months ago on 2013 Raiders Predictions: Defense

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I'm not super-thrilled about going with only 5 WRs but I don't see a good 6th receiver on the roster as is.  As Nilby mentioned I could see the team signing another receiver to play as returner, however.  Returner is an important position and the team just doesn't have many options there right now.

 

Allen said today that he's very confident that Moore will be ready to go for week 1 and maybe by the final pre-season game so that increases this scenario's likelihood.  Ford is also getting better so that's a plus.

 

Kilgore could earn a spot over Stupar, yes.  He's certainly flashed a bit more in games.  I also considered Kilgore of Ihenacho which is a possibility.

 

What will probably happen, though, is that other players will make the final squad.  I see Ihenacho, Cumbie and McCann as the players on this list whose positions are the least safe.

1 year, 11 months ago on Predicting the 2012 final roster, post-camp | January

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 @Jososi I think to look only at his total yardage only is not a good indicator of his talent.  He has crossed 1000 yards the last three years, yes.  He's also carried the ball a ton in that time.  His average yards per carry is below 4 the last two years.  In 2010, it was 3.5.

 

I took a look other big backs from last year to get a sense if bigger backs have a lower yd/carry average and they do not.  Or, at least, the good ones do not. Of the good big backs, the lowest avg yd/carry I saw was 4.2 and most were higher in the 4.4 or 4.5 range.

 

The highest avg yd per carry Benson has ever achieved in his career was 4.2 and that was in 2009.  That was the only time in the last 5 seasons that he was higher than 4 yds/carry.

 

Benson came out of college a workhorse RB with a lot of carries.  He has carried the ball in the NFL over 1500 times.  That sort of work takes a toll.  Plus he's 29, now and will be 30 before the season ends.

 

I think he's not been a productive back just that the Bengals continued to give the ball to him.  He's done much less with each carry than his fellow RBs which indicates that he's not a great player.

 

In addition, he's been one of the most worked players and he's nearing the end of his career.

 

So, what I think makes sense is that the Raiders sign him - if the money is low and not guaranteed - and give him a chance in camp.  If Taiwan Jones or Goodson don't seem to be able to cut it of if any of the 3 get injured he can be in the final squad as needed.

 

What I think is unlikely but I also hope doesn't happen is that he make it in solely on name recognition.  He's on the downside of his career and he's never been that amazing.  That type of player tends to fade fast.

2 years, 1 month ago on Raiders reportedly interested in RB Cedric Benson | June

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It makes little sense because Benson isn't as good at this point in his career as the two others.  If he's tabbed as a short yardage back, only, what's the point?  Reece or Schmitt can do short yardage situation.  Keeping a pure RB that cannot be explosive is a waste of a roster spot.  Are the Raiders going to keep 4 RBs and 2 FBs?  Probably not.  So, if Benson makes the team it'll be over one of the other other players.  Do you want Benson more than Goodson or Taiwan Jones?  More than Reece or Schmitt?  I do not.  However, if he comes on and really blows it up, he can earn a spot.  If Jones or Goodson get injured, he can be a decent backup option as well.

2 years, 1 month ago on Raiders reportedly interested in RB Cedric Benson | June

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 @Harder2000 My comparison of Goodson to Bush is more of a backup to backup instead of similar players.  They are not.   Goodson is more like Taiwan Jones than he is to Michael Bush.  As I said in there, he too quickly bounces it outside.  however, he is much more dynamin than Bush who was deceptively fast for his size but still not very fast especially as the season went on - he tended to slow. 

 

I think the Raiders could keep 4 RBs but wouldn't count on it.  I'd guess they'd have the 3 - McFadden, Jones and Goodson and two FBs with Reece an obvious one.  The second FB would be more traditional - Schmitt, Tonga, maybe Rashawn Jackson are competing for this spot.  Reece could then also function as a pounder as needed with the other FB as lead blocker.  It's just a guess, though.

2 years, 2 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Mike Goodson | May

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You're right, I meant to include Schmitt.  Interestingly, the Raiders have him as a RB not a FB in their materials.  I don't know if that means anything, but it's interesting.

 

McClain's contract makes it unlikely he's going anywhere - the cap hit would be huge.

2 years, 2 months ago on Catching up on multiple Raiders topics | May

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 @hnoodle I see him as insurance.  He'll compete in camp for RT.  If no one steps up they can use Barnes but if they have more talent at OL that's young and has better upside he could be cut.

2 years, 2 months ago on A look ahead at the final roster | May

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 @LC Williams Murphy is certainly in the mix but I don't see him as a lock.  The other four, I think, are going to be on the roster.  Murphy will be competing against Eddie McGee, Thomas Mayo, Brandon Carswell and possibly others.  If he can regain his earlier form, he has a good chance to make the squad but if he does not, I don't think it would be a shock if he didn't make the final roster.

2 years, 2 months ago on A look ahead at the final roster | May

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 @Harder2000 For some reason - I haven't determined why, yet - all reserve/future contracts have a minimum of 3 years.  So, that doesn't mean anything, really.  The Raiders aren't going to cut Lechler, no.  They're probably doing their due diligence in case there was an injury.

2 years, 2 months ago on Play Action: 09 Seahawks 2 TE set, pass | May

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 @nilbymouth I think you make some excellent points.  Thanks for weighing in.

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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I don't know if those of you in Litening status see the Twitter responses but there's some great discussion from @Jamalisms below

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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 @JasonPeters Some excellent points, here.

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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 @oaklandraider  Where is the line in Singapore? More or less than in US?

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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 @RaiderNation319 I made the point on Twitter that for one million dollars there would probably be people who would run across a firing range with people shooting at them.  That doesn't meant that we, as a society, should stand aside and let them take that risk, does it?

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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Would you be in favor of eliminating kickoffs or punts in some ways as those are some of the primary causes of injuries and collisions?

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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 @oaklandraider  It's preference right now. Aaron Rodgers wears a better helmet which is why it looks so large on his head.  Eli Manning does, too.  Many do not.  To many.

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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 @oaklandraider I also have much more of a problem with boxing.  I totally agree on making PED tests a primary issue.

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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Does the NFL have the responsibility to regulate what kind of equipment the players use? Should they require players to use the latest equipment, like concussion helmets?

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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For those who are "listening" in, do we as a society have a responsibility to limit what others do?  Or should people be able to do whatever they want, regardless of the risk, because it's their own life?

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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Anyone have thoughts?

2 years, 2 months ago on Discussion: long term injuries and the NFL | April

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 @raider lifer yes I will.  I'll do other active Raiders, too.

2 years, 2 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Dave Tollefson | April

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Just based the most sought after on the number of teams bidding for services.  Brisiel may have been the more interesting FA to teams but he only visited the Raiders whereas Tollefson had different visits and a bidding war for his services before he chose the Raiders.

2 years, 2 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Dave Tollefson | April

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 @massillonraider Oh don't sell yourself short. You're both impressed and impressive...

2 years, 3 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Ron Bartell | April

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 @ukraider78 I am planning on writing more.  I threw a vote out on Twitter last night on which player people would be most interested in next and Wheeler won in a landslide.  So, I started going through some Colts game tape last night to form an opinion.  Thank you for the kind words.

2 years, 3 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Ron Bartell | April

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 @Spartacus Poe is interesting.  He really shot up draft boards but has been cooling a bit from the Combine.  Some now have him as the 3rd or 4th best DT because although he's a great athlete he wasn't very productive in college.  It only takes one team to love him, however, so you very well could be right.

2 years, 3 months ago on Mock draft 1.0, by @SethMurphy4991 | March

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 @JarrodRollins That may have been my formatting issue, I'm not sure, but either way I now have that corrected, thank you.

2 years, 3 months ago on Mock draft 1.0, by @SethMurphy4991 | March

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 @Spartacus Maybe the second coming of Jared Veldheer who is also 6'8" and somwhere in the 300 range... Having those two at OT would probably qualify for the biggest tackles in the league.

2 years, 3 months ago on Raiders draft prep: OT Steven Baker | April

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 @oaklandraider Interesting question and I don't know the answer for this regime.  With the Raiders under Mr. Davis, they hardly ever drafted players they brought in.  I don't know if that is because it was just subterfuge or they didn't like something they saw or someone just fell to them that they liked more.  Probably a combination of all three.

 

I'm sure that all the other NFL teams know who this guy is, so it isn't like the Raiders are tipping their hands in that way, but it does signal interest.  He may have struggled at times or have other developmental issues so that he's a later round prospect and their trying to get more info on him.

 

Also, he may not be a good fit for power blocking schemes, which most of the NFL has.  If that's the case, there are only a few other teams that use zone blocking - Houston, Seattle - that I'm aware.  Perhaps he's a better ZB OT in which case it's not such a big deal, probably.

2 years, 3 months ago on Raiders draft prep: OT Steven Baker | April

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 @Indy!  @Jososi What, exactly, do you think I need to educate myself on?  I'm telling you that I'm familiar with what Al has done for the league and also the conflicts between Al and the league.  Nothing will allow me to experience them because I didn't.  I can only learn about it through reading.  I have done that.  Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm not familiar with what happened.

 

If what you're saying is that some HOF voters don't like the Raiders, I'd say that's probably true.  It's not Raiders specific, though, and there are other teams players that don't make it in the HOF because of stupid, petty reasons.  So, no, I don't see that as an anti-Raiders sentiment, just a HOF voter who doesn't understand what should or should not go into the Hall.

 

To address the ref situation: I'm sure refs bring in their own baggage.  I don't think the Raiders get any worse calls than other teams, in general.  I think that they do get a lot of penalties because they play undisciplined and once the officials start throwing flags they keep throwing flags.  If the Raiders can stop with the stupid stuff - the offsides, the false starts, the unnecessary roughness stuff, some of the ticky-tack PI calls will go away.

 

Look the Tuck Rule could have been Walt Coleman screwing the Raiders. We'll never know.  There are very reasonable people who have no stake in the question that believe it was a correct application of a bad rule.

 

The Louis Murphy call is technically the correct call on a bad rule and there are lots of examples of the same situation - he was just one of the first.  Google Calvin Johnson Rule and you'll see basically the same situation the next season.  It got much more press when it happened to him because he's the bigger name.

 

Basically, I think blaming the refs, who probably have no particular feelings about the Raiders or Al Davis of intentionally screwing the team for their own sordid schemes is ignoring that the Raiders put themselves in most of these situations with sloppy play, some bad schemes and some over-zealous hits.

 

I think that by and large, every team has it's issues throughout the years.  Seattle had the 2006 Super Bowl in which the ref admitted he made mistakes: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5444048

 

The Raiders are never going to get out of their penalty funk until they admit that they are bringing it on themselves and start playing better football.  If they start playing well and disciplined, the refs will be less likely to flag them for questionable penalties - that's not a conspiracy that's just human nature.

 

~Asher

2 years, 3 months ago on Raiders are awarded fantastic compensation | March

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 @Indy! I just wanted to address this to clarify my position.  I am aware of his significance to the league in terms of history but only as history, I didn't follow the team during that time.  Having said that, I think that is all irrelevant to the discussion at hand, unless your argument is that the league used to conspire against the Raiders but no longer do.

 

What I'm addressing in the article is that don't believe that the league is currently doing so and I specifically mentioned the last 10 years because  I have not seen anything in the last 10 years that indicates the league has a conspiracy against the Raiders.  Have you?

 

Outside of the last 10 years, what I'm saying, is I don't know because I didn't experience it personally.  Does that make more sense?

 

I also don't want to give the impression that Al Davis was always a poor manager - he won 3 Super Bowls for the team.  However, to think that because he did some great things at one point in his career means that he make poor decisions.  I believe that, towards the end of his life, he made some very questionable decisions and resisted making necessary changes in the organization.

 

I believe he can both have made questionable decisions and be a great man and have influenced the creation of the NFL as it is today.  The two are not mutually exclusive.

2 years, 3 months ago on Raiders are awarded fantastic compensation | March

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 @Indy! I'm not going to get into whether the league had a grudge many years ago - it's certainly possible.  I've been following the Raiders since 2002, so 10 years now.  In that time, I've seen no indication that there is any bias against the Raiders.  The HOF selection isn't run by the league, so that isn't a valid argument.  The selection is sportswriters so you'll have to blame them for Plunkett. 

 

Al Davis was a big part of the problem, too.  His refusal to change things that needed to be changed - like his defensive philosophy - put players in almost impossible situations.  He also refused to allow coaches to bench players he liked, which hurt the teams penalty situation increasingly, every year, until the league record was set last season.  The team had changed almost entirely since 2002, but the penalties were a problem every year and most of them were deserved.  Much of that blame goes on Al, since he was the only common factor in those years.

 

I think that is much more likely than there being a conspiracy theory.  I'm sure if the Raiders had been given very poor compensation, people would have felt that the league's "secret formula" was skewed to hurt the Raiders but because they were given very good compensation, it's written off as just fair.

 

To me, the compensation was fantastic - as I said the best I've ever seen - and the league is fairly good about treating teams equally and trying to create an even playing field.

2 years, 3 months ago on Raiders are awarded fantastic compensation | March

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@Harder2000 My guess, sources notwithstanding, is that Carlisle stays at his RG position and Brisiel gets moved to LG with Wiz sliding over to C. I can't imagine why the team would put the lesser G on the blind side and Carlisle is a career RG. Brisiel has, I've heard, played some C so he is the more versatile. It's also possible he would move to C and Wiz would stay at LG but that seems less likely. I think Barksdale deserves a shot at RT. He looked very decent filling in at LG when Wiz moved to C at times. We'll see what he has in camp. My guess is that Bruce C doesn't make it on the final roster. He's been through multiple head and line coaches and hasn't seen the field, yet. That has to tell us something - he doesn't have what it takes.

2 years, 4 months ago on Lots of action in the AFC West | March

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 @Jososi I think in the long term this will be for the better.  If the Raiders can take their pain up front and get the ship righted they can be much more competitive in the future than they would have been hampered by those contracts.

2 years, 4 months ago on The art of navigating free agency | March

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 @Spartacus The Raiders can't worry about where a player is going to go, they have to simply worry about getting their house in order.  What they want is to put together the best team. Then, it won't matter if the rest of the division wants their players because they will still be able to be competitive.  If the Raiders are keeping players in bad contracts simply to keep those players away from other teams, that's not a good situation.  They are focusing on what they need to to get their finances in order and will go about signing the players they need.

2 years, 4 months ago on Free Agency, Day 3: Taking Shape | March

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 @Black_Nightmare First, thank you for the compliment.  I'm pretty proud of this post, I felt good about how it turned out, so again thank you.  I agree with your point to some extent, I guess, but I don't think that it's quite true.  For example, Peyton is available right now and yet I don't see Raiders fans clamoring to have to have him.  And they shouldn't, we don't need him.  He's a luxury, not a necessity.  And with the Broncos reportedly offering him a $90 million contract, he's an expensive luxury at that.  No player without question marks hits free agency.  If Peyton didn't have question marks he wouldn't have hit the open market.  If Brees hadn't had question marks, he wouldn't have hit the open market.  Both were similar in that they had or have serious injuries and the team taking them on is taking a risk by signing them.  Obviously Brees worked out well and we'll see with Peyton.  Sure, if Peyton of 2008 hit the open market you break the bank for him - but that doesn't happen.

2 years, 4 months ago on The art of navigating free agency | March

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Here's my philosophy, Jarrod, whether or not it's right.  If a team goes out and signs a huge name, that person better be elite.  Most of the big time contracts and big time names that have been signed this far will be mocked in 3 years or so.  It happens every year.  Heck, it's partially what got the Raiders into the financial mess we are in today.  In order to get the best players on the field, you want contracts lower for a few reasons.  One, it allows you to make signings or cut players as needed - you're not hamstringed by the players' contracts.  Two, it doesn't make someone a must-start just because of their contract.  You can bring in low level free agents, rookies, undrafted free agents and have them compete for the spot.  Three, it allows you to fill out a team better because everyone involved tends to be there because they want to be there and because they are focused on the team and not just because they now have $50 million guaranteed.

 

So, be patient.  The Raiders will likely be active in free agency, just not with the top players.  But a good free agency class means that there is a lot of deep talent and it simply takes some time and effort to sort out the diamonds in the rough.

2 years, 4 months ago on Free Agency, Day 3: Taking Shape | March

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 @JarrodRollins  @DARKKUSH  @dondiraider Oh, man I had to weigh in on the Cornell Green comment.  Don't ever EVER wish that.  Don't even think it.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders Free Agency needs: Offensive Line | March

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 @JarrodRollins  @nilbymouth Yeah, this is correct, I believe.  There were years added to the contracts of Seymour, Huff and Palmer that are voidable by the club.  Basically all three players did the club a favor by doing this.  They didn't get anything out of it because they all got paid the same, they just get their money up front in the form of signing bonuses.  However, it doesn't hurt the players, either.  The lone exception is Curry who wasn't going to get paid the $5.7 mil he was scheduled to and took a pay cut to an incentive laden contract where he can only earn back that money if he hits performance incentives.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders Recap - Re: Cap | March

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 @Harder2000 Good point in that Goodell probably won't suspend all players but it could happen.  Especially for ones who participated heavily.  Hard to know if Porter was one of those at this point.  Still a risk, albeit probably not too big a one.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders’ Free Agency needs: Cornerback | March

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 @Spartacus  @Black_Nightmare  @JarrodRollins  @AsherMathews Wanted to clarify the $8mill number as well. That particular number is what CSN reported he would count against the cap, not what he's making this year.  Much of that is the signing bonus from his contract, prorated through the years of his contract.  I have not been able to confirm all numbers but near as I can tell, he's going to get paid about 2.1 Mill this season with the rest of that $8 Mil number part of the guaranteed money.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders positioned to do well on offense | March

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 @Harder2000  @Black_Nightmare Just to clarify, I'm not trying to compare these Raiders to the 2000's Colts by saying they'll be that good.  My comparison is that an offense can really be good if it has an above average player at these positions and I think the Raiders do.  No one can make the argument that Palmer will be as good as Manning in the 2000's and I'm certainly not trying to.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders positioned to do well on offense | March

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 @massillonraider DHB has come on stronger than I thought he would be he's just not a natural receiver.  He still has a tendency to catch most every pass with his body instead of plucking it out of the air with his hands.  DHB is also not good down the field at tracking and adjusting to deep balls and he isn't good at winning 1-1 matchups which means the Raiders can't just throw jump balls to him.  All that means he isn't #1 material.  While he came on during last season, which is good, he looked like the 4th best WR in camp.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders positioned to do well on offense | March

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 @hnoodle I'm glad you liked that.  Was going for stealth jokes...

2 years, 4 months ago on Some upcoming dates to know | March

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 @DARKKUSH If the Raiders want to, they can probably get big time free agents this year, but it would come at the sacrifice of later years and what I'm seeing from McKenzie is that he wants to get the finances in order, not mess them up further.  Because the organization had resorted to overpaying their players in order to reduce cap numbers now, there are too many players that are making more money than they're worth currently on the roster.  It's a system that isn't sustainable and now is the time to pay the dues.  Raiders will cut and restructure but moving forward I don't think they'll be a part of the big time free agency splashes that Al was.  Just doesn't seem as much like McKenzie's style.  And I think that starts this year - they may make one moderate splash but they aren't going to be bidding for any of the big names, I don't think.  Hey, I could be wrong - it wouldn't be the first time.

2 years, 4 months ago on Some upcoming dates to know | March

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 @JarrodRollins Unfortunately, cutting $30 million in space is still only $5M under the cap if the new reports that Raiders are approx $25M over the cap at this point.  Raiders are not going to be a player for Mario Williams this year, as much as he's a great player.  He may not be the right fit, anyway, if the Raiders are going to transition towards a 3-4

2 years, 4 months ago on Allen Speaks at Combine | February

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 @nilbymouth I am a little confused by the DHB number as well, actually.  I'll try to get an answer for you because I had heard he was reasonable as well. What may be the case is that his guaranteed money was prorated through the life of the contract so even though his salary cap hit is $8M his actual salary this season is closer to the $2M.  If that's the case, he's likely not eligible for a restructure because they can't cut out that much of the cap hit.

2 years, 4 months ago on Raiders Over Cap | February

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 @Indy!  @Spartacus I can't speak for others but Bush is not a dynamic back and the Raiders offense doesn't do as well when he's in.  He's good at getting positive yards and I'll give him all the credit in the world for that.  He almost always gets 2 or 3 yards, minimum.  But he isn't making people miss nor is he really driving people off his path.  If we were in a 3rd and 3 situation I wouldn't trust him to be able to get the 3 yards.  He seems to come up short in pressure situations.  He also didn't have the conditioning to be able to carry the load well last season.  His first games were really good and then he wore down and so did his ability to carry the team.  He was average, at best, by the end of the season.

2 years, 4 months ago on A Look at Raider Free Agents | February

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 @Indy! You must see a different Bush than I do. I see a guy whose good not great. Certainly not worth franchising. Plus he's getting older, will start to run down sooner rather than later.  The Raiders can find good production in a backup for much cheaper.

2 years, 4 months ago on A Look at Raider Free Agents | February

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 @dondiraider  @uglyorc I agree with you both. Barnes was both a starter and needs to leave. : P

2 years, 4 months ago on A Look at Raider Free Agents | February

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 @Black_Nightmare Thanks, man. I try to get to the comments to give my thoughts on whatever discussion is happening. I can't always do it, but I enjoy it when I can.

2 years, 4 months ago on Allen Speaks at Combine | February

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 @Black_Nightmare  @nilbymouth  @Indy! I actually do agree that finding talent was a strong suit for Davis - he had an eye for talent.  But his emphasis on athletes over football players and lack of organizational structure really torpedoed the success of the team in his later years, when he relied more and more upon himself.  When the team was winning it was always because he worked in tandem with someone else who he respected - Ron Wolf, John Madden, Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen.  When he didn't have anyone to tell him he was wrong and bring a different voice to the table - or at least no one he listened to - the team really suffered.

2 years, 4 months ago on Allen Speaks at Combine | February

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I agree with Nilbymouth that Davis' recent track record was poor and therefore I give the new regime the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.  Also, to emphasize, Allen will have input I'm sure but McKenzie - who has built his reputation on finding under-rated talent - will be the one making the determinations on players.  People had mentioned him as a great GM candidate for years and there was a time a few years ago that people DID think that Al Davis might bring him on to assist with the organization.

 

Indy, I hear you on McFadden - While I wouldn't want to trade him I think the Raiders will listen to offers made. However, it certainly seems unlikely they will trade him - he's their most dynamic player.  Hopefully, his issue this year was more related to the lack of training camp, etc.  I think there were many more injuries in the NFL this year, early, because the players' bodies weren't ready.

2 years, 4 months ago on Allen Speaks at Combine | February

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 @nilbymouth  @Indy! I think  that Palmer had the team around him plenty.  In his games, Campbell benefited from a healthy McFadden and that's a difference maker.  Coach Allen acknowledged as much when he had his combine presser yesterday by talking about how much harder the Raiders were to defend last year with McFadden than without.  Don't get me wrong, I like Jason Campbell - the guys a really good guy and a good QB. Palmer was much better at getting the ball out and Palmer's deep ball is much much more accurate.  That was Campbell's biggest weakness - he would misfire on the deep ball and mis open receivers deep.

 

However, Campbell isn't going to stay and be a back up because some team will offer him an opportunity to compete and he knows the Raiders will not.  Matt Moore isn't a free agent this year, so isn't part of this consideration.  Both the 9ers and Alex Smith openly acknowledge that he isn't going anywhere.  Therefore, we have to consider what QBs are available.  The ones I mentioned up above, to a man, have their faults but they've all been starters to some level in this league and had at least some success.  The Raiders need a QB that can step in and play if Palmer gets hurt, not two projects behind him.  Another option would be David Carr, who has been a backup to Eli the last few years, but I'm less convinced about him.

2 years, 4 months ago on Looking at the Raiders’ Top 5 Positions of Need | February

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 @JarrodRollins As much as I'd love getting Mario Williams, there is no way that is happening.  In general, I wouldn't expect Raiders to make any big free agency splashes and that's not a bad thing - it's better to have many quality players and the Raiders need help in a lot of areas.

 

I respectively disagree on Satele - I think he gets a bad rap because he isn't dominant but he's solid.  I don't think he is responsible for much of the sacks/pressures and I do think he's good, on running plays, at shedding his guy, moving to the second level and making a block on a LB or CB to spring and extra long run.

 

But, as it's a subject I'm interested in, I'll take a look at the game film and put together an article on him.

2 years, 5 months ago on Looking at the Raiders’ Top 5 Positions of Need | February

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 @dondiraider I put those players in my order of need, so WR is definitely at the bottom of that list but the Raiders have a below average WR corp, I'm sorry.  I watch other teams and the players want the ball, they hustle, they ,make difficult catches, they come back to the ball.  Moore is a quality player, has good hands, I have no worries about him.  Ford is good, too, but probably better for the slot which means they need a starting quality WR or they will have to put Ford up into the second WR spot.  Then, who plays the slot? DHB? I'm telling you he had so many poor drops it was incredible.  And he's only really effective on short passes.  In general, he can't adjust to long balls and he repeatedly could not win 1 on 1 battles.   Louis Murphy was worse.  Didn't contest over the middle, didn't turn and drive back to the ball on routes.  . D is more important, yes, but WR is a real need.

2 years, 5 months ago on Looking at the Raiders’ Top 5 Positions of Need | February

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I'm surprised at the number of people who don't see WR as a need.  Let's be honest, DHB is not starter-worthy.  He had his games, but he doesn't make difficult catches - he catches with his body not his hands too often.  Ford is decent and has had some games, too, but he isn't a great starter option outside - I would prefer him at slot.  D. Moore is the best WR on the roster, but who will start opposite him?I'll probably write an article on this at some point closer to Free Agency kick-off but I think people who expect the Raiders to chase a big option at most any position are probably just engaging in wishful thinking.  Vincent Jackson is going to be too expensive for Raiders.  Probably Colston will be as well.  Stevie Johnson probably as well.

 

Satele is underrated, I think. He's been solid enough and he's really good as a run blocker getting to the second level.  Barnes is terrible but he's not going to be back next year, anyway.  It looks like 4/5 of the OL spots are already likely penciled in with Veldheer, Wiz, Satele and Carlisle likely to reprise their starting roles and at this point Joseph Barksdale is most likely the RT - we'll see what happens.  I don't see that as being a big a need as many other spots.

 

LB is definitely a need simply because they hardly have any right now.  If Quentin Groves is not re-signed and Kamerion Wimbley doesn't agree to another contract and is cut as has been widely speculated, Raiders would have maybe 3 quality starters - McClain, Goethel and Curry.  McClain has issues, Goethel hasn't been able to see the field and Curry is due $7million and will need to restructure to stay around as well.  This has to be considered a huge area of need.  It doesn't mean they are going to go out and spend all their draft picks on LBs, but they'll need to get bodies in to compete.

 

Backup QBs aren't going to be perfect players which is why they are backups.  Henne has his flaws, yes, but he has the experience and the physical skills.  He could step into a game if Palmer were injured and execute the game plan. There aren't many players that can do that.  The Raiders need to have a veteran that is able to do that and help mentor Pryor.  Same is true with Garrard and Grossman.  They would be backups, not starters.  You rarely have an ideal situation with a backup QB.

2 years, 5 months ago on Looking at the Raiders’ Top 5 Positions of Need | February

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@Black_Nightmare True and I didn't really weigh in that part of it for this article. I expect at least two but probably not more than three. I don't think that all of those players will be considered and I do think that the Raiders will net some based on difference in quality. There have been past years where the Raiders got Compensatory Picks regardless of not having a net loss because the quality of the lost players was greater than the quality of the signed players. I think that definitely plays a part here. But yes, good points on the players I didn't mention that Raiders signed.

2 years, 5 months ago on Raider Look to get Good Free Agent Compensation | February

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@nilbymouth Good point on Howard, who I missed. Best answer: I don't know. It all comes down to what players the NFL chooses or are eligible to go into the calculation. I would think that Howard has a better chance of factoring into the equation than, say, Gradkowski or Johnnie Lee Higgins based on the fact he's started and put up some numbers.

To your second point, I think that Miller will count higher than Boss because he was considered a better player and therefore his contract amounts are much higher which the formula allegedly takes into account.

Thanks for the input.

2 years, 5 months ago on Raider Look to get Good Free Agent Compensation | February

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@RaiderDoc@LDizzle RaiderDoc, Those of us remaining will try to do Ballers and Busters or something equivalent, yes.

2 years, 5 months ago on Moving on... | February

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@Black_Nightmare@chitiger33 Good point. My guess is that it wouldn't come to that this time. Part of the reason is that because it went to court last time and was found in the Raiders' favor, there has been a legal precedent set. It's unlikely that the NFL would take the PR hit - not to mention money involved - taking it to court again given that precedent. More likely Goodell will simply attempt to push Mark Davis in the preferred direction. However, if Davis gets it in his head that he wants to move the team, it's unlikely that the NFL would actively try to stop him this time, I think.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Oakland Feeling Super? | February

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@chitiger33 Prior to Goodell's announcement that he wants to keep NFL teams in the cities they are, currently, I would have given Oakland to LA the edge based off Mark Davis' comments and the fact they had moved there before. Now, I'm not sure. I don't think NFL will actively stop a team from moving, but they certainly seem prepared to discourage it.

2 years, 5 months ago on Is Oakland Feeling Super? | February

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@HoangPham That's possible - Raiders do play gap scheme, but I'm not sure what the responsibilities would have been here, because on player to a gap with no backup doesn't make much sense - all it would take is a TE, like the Chargers did or a pulling guard for blocking and the RB will spring a huge hole. If they don't have more than a one person/gap responsibility scheme, clearly Bres's scheme is worse than advertised...

2 years, 6 months ago on Breaking down the 99 yard drive that broke the Raiders' 2011 playoff hopes | January

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@DevonRaiderUK Levi and I determined that for this article, the whole drive was relevant but what I envision for other times is breaking down one play in more detail. That would include who was out for the teams - probably not everyone, but certainly some key players - and then what happened on the play. For this breakdown, because it was so lengthy anyway, I focused on just a few keys for the plays but I like breakdowns where the routes are diagrammed and it explains what the offense and defense are trying to do to beat the other.

2 years, 6 months ago on Breaking down the 99 yard drive that broke the Raiders' 2011 playoff hopes | January

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@oaklandraider I'm sorry, I didn't see anything in particular one way or another. Routt and Lito were the clear starters but I didn't notice other than that. Despite the fact that the Raiders have drafted like 5 or 6 CBs in the last two years, it's still one of the - if not the - biggest area's of need on the team.

2 years, 6 months ago on Breaking down the 99 yard drive that broke the Raiders' 2011 playoff hopes | January

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Thank for the feedback, oaklandraider. I plan on doing more contribution for the site in the future and one of the things I will try to do is breakdown one play in more detail. This article was more about giving a basic idea of what the Chargers did and the Raiders failed to do and I didn't want to go into too much detail on the basics of who was out there for each team unless they happened to be involved - in order to not lose people in all the detail. In the future, if I'm breaking down just one play, I will try to be more detailed on the cast, as it were.

I will say, because it's still fresh in my mind, that on the 40 yard run by Tolbert the D line was, from Raiders right to left: Wimbley, Bryant, Kelly (I'm pretty sure), and Houston. Kelly and Houston got good pressure on the Chargers' right side, but they were single covered and the play was in the opposite direction so by the time they got there, the play had left them. Desmond Bryant impressed me on that play. He was the DT that was doubled and the line of scrimmage and yet he chased the play down - he was, I think, the closest player to Tyvon Branch when he brought Tolbert down - you don't often see a DT (or DE) chasing a play 40 yards down the field...

2 years, 6 months ago on Breaking down the 99 yard drive that broke the Raiders' 2011 playoff hopes | January

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