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@Asher, thank you for another good tale of the tape post!
I really enjoy these posts, especially when they are focusing on the lessor known high potential prospects, as these often get overlooked by others.
Murray has a lot of tools and when looking at the tape, he really reminds me of D-Mac when he runs. If he is able to clean up the technique and lower his pads properly, he seems to have the potential to contribute to the S&B.
I hope you will do David Baas as well, really a pick I am excited about as a potential steal! Hope he can get in and become a succesful situational and back up player in the first season when acclimating to the more competent competition!
Butler would be interesting as well - RMc must see something in him despite the lack of production, so can he become a better pro than college player? One to watch in OTAs and camp at least.
Again, thank you for the posts Asher, your work is appreciated!
1 year, 6 months ago on Tale of the Tape: film review of Oakland Raiders' new RB Latavius Murray
@dondiraider Yeah, they must think Brisiel can be a good presence when healthy, hopefully, but the jury is out and he Will be exposed of he as reported is lacking strength! They must have a better idea than we do though - he could be bulking up to add strength for the PBS! ... Still hate his false start issues though (have been following him from Texans)!
Aussey is interesting and with huge potential IF he can add the blocking talents that DA prefers! He is big and strong enough, think an extra yearworking at it could have him showing great improvements - he will be interesting to watch, im rooting for him! Big Bear Gordon as well - physical monster that one!
1 year, 8 months ago on Patient Raiders will look to leverage deep draft to find some gems
@dondiraider Myers is not suited for the PBS! In the PBS it is Essentials that the TE is able to overpower and shield outside rushers, be it LBs or DEs, but Myers lacks the strength and technique to do this! He was a pleasant surprise in moving the chains, but a lot of that was scheme and unimaginative Knapp playcalling, so his stats are probably inflated! They want another TE that is more complete probably, so Myers Will get a better offer elswhere i would think..
I am convinced that CP3 is currently the best QB on the roster!
... However, imo he is not one of the top QBs in the league and i don't see him as a QB that is able to take the team on his back and get us in the POs (like a Manning for instance). He is also up there in age and will not be here once we finally finishes the rebuild and start to become relevant again, why I would trade him in a heartbeat if given the chance.
He is expensive but could perhaps be interesting to a contender lacking a QB, and that could net us some added ammunition in the draft as well as clear up some cap room to add some pieces or the future! TP showed glimpses of what he can do but is still an unknown at this point, still I would prefer him to start the season as a trade of CP3 would help allow improvements on the rest of the team while giving TP his chance to see if he should have a future with us!
If TP would succeed - great, if not, then ok, the team got to improve the talentlevel (can add a couple of starters for what CP3 makes) and let's draft a QB.
Having a great QB is what we all want, but with the holes we need to fill, a QB like CP3 that is not another Manning, is no more than a stop gap that will never get the chance to lead us to where we need to go! A better overall team - sure, lets give him a chance, but rebuilding - let's improve the overall talent level and prepare for the next QB of the future!
1 year, 10 months ago on By the Numbers: Carson Palmer in 2012
The one thing with this new hiring and switching back to the PBS, leaving the ineffective (for us) ZBS behind for the time being, is that we just signed our most expensive FA signing Brisiel who is primarily a ZBS blocker, as well as we used our top draft pick (granted a 3rd is not a lot all things considering) on Bergstrom - a G/T prospect who is known for his ZBS skills (and lacking strength)!
Carlisle is clearly also a better fit for the ZBS and is getting to old to count on, so what to do?
I would really hope that we could get a guy like Jake Long at a reduced price (still a major force when healthy and he and Velheer could easily be our bookends for the future), or one of the tope RTs available in Vollmer, but with the cap and severely lacking overall talent on the roster (with more cuts coming no doubt), it's difficult to guess how the money and draft picks will be prioritized..
Would love to see us trade down in the draft to stack up on some overall talent level (even though the draft is not that deep this year)!
--- Trading our #3 for the Rams' #16 and #22 (fitting on the draft trade value chart) could be an option, but generating an extra 1st or 2nd rd pick or two in general could go a long way. RM definately considers it as he loves his picks, and Joeckel, Lotulelei or a riser could perhaps become the incentive that could get us there!
Just hope that we can get some continuity going so the draft picks and FA signings can be utilized going forward without too much replacing due to scheme changes!
1 year, 10 months ago on By the Numbers: a look at new Raiders OC Greg Olson
* With seasoned Bobby April hired as ST coordinator, let's go get a LB and Oline coach who can help turn it around!
On the surface i must admit that i don't really understand or like this hiring, but that is mainly based on the statistics from previous years as well as other available candidates, not any real knowledge of him or his playcalling!
... However, i do find some sort of solace in the fact that Dennis Allen most definately knows that his newly hired OC will need to greatly improve the Offense if he is to stay on as HC going forward, so it has to be a well considered choice of his (not buying the notion of him selecting an OC that would not shine too bright and take over his job)!
Dennis Allen undoubtedly has way better knowledge of football than i and the vast majority of fans do, and as he has no doubt done his due diligence, it will be interesting to see how it develops! Could be a positive surprise despite our initial reservations (unlike Knabb)!
I do have the concern that we only have had a very limited selection of potential OCs to choose from though, subsequently causing the hire to be more a result of limited possibilities than real abilities! Keeping my hopes high that DA truly have found us an OC who can surprise and establish the offense by playing to its strength and help create some stability and continuity going forward!
---> Now go get a seasoned ST coach and solid LB and Oline coaches as well, they are sourely needed!
@Indy! All with you on the rebuilding thoughts - would have been the perfect time to say "ok, lets start all the way fro scratch and rebuild as effective as possible - this is truly the new era!"!
Reg has undertaken a lot of changes, but if they ever truly believed (and i really doubt they did) that they had a legit chance of a PO adventure, they were seriously lying to themselves!
We should have been
- stacking up on picks from players that no longer fit while they still had worth, while significantly restructuring or cutting all expensive players with no future on the team and no trade value (happened to some degree already),
- securing players that needed to be secured long term (like Reece),
- adding young potential keepers in FA (Wheeler was a great and cheap addition,but several more could have been had; for instance Tulloch),
- giving the young hopefulls on the roster a chance to prove their worth in the games (Chekwa, DVD, Barksdale never really got a shot, and why is Pryor not at least in for some simple packages in garbagetime to see if he can complement the offense in spot duty) instead of relying on over the hill players with no future on the team as starters (im looking at you Carlisle),
- Establish a coaching staff you believe in for the future in order to create stability and continuity going forward (granted, Reg was out too late to get any top shelf talent on most positions so this might not have been possible at the time, but too many of the position coaches and the coordinator hunt seems to need replacing in the coming year which is another issue in a rebuild),
- officially let the fanbase and players know that the actions would serve to establish the base of the future, while letting the players know that only those who proves their worth would get to stay, and accepting that even though you field the best team possible, you would be underdogs to the division (not giving up, but accepting the terms)...
... instead it has turned into a cleaning process that will continue into the next season and postpone the progression another year! It usually takes 3 full drafts to rebuild a team from the bottom, and it seems that that is the way that Reggie is going! The coming off season will lead to yet another overhaul, hopefully one that will bring at least some progression, because we sure aren't showing any right now!
About the defensive players - imo you greatly undervalue both Shaughnessey and Houston! Both are very solid against the run and are young promising payers (Shaugh still not all the way back from injury, will be next year)! Houston has the versatility to play all positions in both a 43 and a 34 while Shaughnessey is naturally more limited to the 43 it would seem!
Giordano is a great practice player, reminds me of Gradkowski that way (did i read that comparison by you as well @nilbymouth ?) - and also in the way that neither are starterworthy in the league! He is a decent back up and he is fired up, but dang he misses a lot of tackles, is malplaced and just miserably fails to impact the game positively aside for a couple if ints that happened to fall into his hands (one great one if i remember correctly)! Not saying he should be cut, but to me he is not nearly a sure bet to be on the team and is a ST and 3rd string talent only imo!
I don't like Palmer because he was brought in and hailed as the second coming, but truth is that he is decent with a plus to it - nothing more nothing less!
He should not have to suffer for the fact that we overpaid for him (i have been judging him on that, but that is not his fault), and he is at least a solid transitioning QB for the next couple of years while rebuilding the roster! He can make all the throws, has a grasp of the defenses and knows the offense - yet he will never be a top shelf QB like Manning, Brees, Brady, Rodgers, or even the likes of the group right behind them)!
His stats are up as a result of garbage time catching up, and he makes too many mistakes to win singlehandedly (which most would) - but he is not the one costing us in games, and would definately be a lot more effective if we actually had a rushing attack to complement him!
Knabb and his inefficient running attack and unimaginatory playcalling, Offensive line woes , defensive blunders, no pass rush and absolutely no coaching adjustments are clearly more to fault!
It is just so frustrating to keep watching the games and our regression without any real consequenses to it! Please admit that this is a rebuilding mode and supply us with some sort of belief in the new era, because even though this new regime to some degree gets a pass as a result of the benefit of the doubt that goes with a rebuild, i personally lose a little bit of my faith in it every time we regress without owning up to the issues and openly admitting that we have lengths to go before we are where we need to be!
We are NOT competititve and and a threat to the division, and we will NOT be so in the coming years until the roster and rebuild is beginning to take shape! Raidernation is in it for the long haul, but we are starving, please give us something to believe in for the future!!
2 years ago on Into the garbage chute
@oaklandraider It speaks volumes when our team consistently is outplayed in the coaches quarter (3rd) and are incapable of any real in-game adjustments! Horrible!
2 years ago on With bad loss to Baltimore, Raiders' Allen should look to the future
@Ironhammer Hue had to go though imo - personally i really liked him as an OC, imaginative, daring and aggressive, but his head got too big for him and this franchise when he started talking about being the OC, HC and GM all at once! He misplayed his hand and had to be let go for it!
... That said, because the coaching hunt took so long we ended up stuck with several less than ideal coaching/coordinator positions which truly hurts us now!
ST is miserable. Knabb is miserable. Defense is horribly inconsistent and unreliable. The talent level is questionable and several of the good players we actually do have doesn't seem to be a great fit for what the new regime seems to go for!
It usually takes three years with subsequent draftclasses to re-establish a roster in a way that it fits what the GM and HC wants, so we are in for a lot more overhauling!
Hope some of the young guys gets a chance to step up and takes advantage of it - at least that would give us some hope for a speedier recovery than what it currently looks like!
That said - sometimes even a few pieces can go a long way; Indy might have one of the worst talent levels in the league, yet they are in the run for the division (which they will hardly get) and a wild card based on especially the selection of Luck! We will not be able to get a Luck, at least not next year (and Carson is at least adequate to compete for another year or two if utilized correctly), but a significant upgrade in especially OC and STC (personally i think Tarver can be ok if he is allowed to add a few key pieces to the puzzle and a healthy squad) as well as a couple of the position coaches could go a long way! Especially with a real draft for once and hopefully a couple of solid FAs (not like Brisiel - was always penalized in Houston as well, not really a surprise, but damn how he struggles all around right now)!
But right now, this is just horribly depressing to watch! Regression after even a slight improvement is just not what we need right now as fans!
@DonovanGibbs D-Mac should have been traded before the season with this way of running the offense! But his value is limited right now - whatever we would be able to get would not be what we would ask for probably! Really hope they start emphasizing plays that fits our talent (especially D-Mac), otherwise D-Mac deserves better!
2 years, 1 month ago on Blame Allen for Raiders' horrendous loss to Broncos, 37-6
@DonovanGibbs If it is said enough times then maybe it comes true? ^^
@KenRWilliams Makes no sense - especially with Mannings armstrength not yet at a 100%, giving him the short and intermediate routes free of pressure and with large cushion makes no sense! Also, the Falcons are extremely good at disguising the palys - always moving around! ... Why don't we do that? Manning could read our every blitz and is too good of a player to fall into the traps then! Crappy playcalling by both Tarver and Knabb!
Thanks for the post Darth!
Great to have cornerstone members of Raidernation showing up every gameday with the passion and fire that this franchise is all about! Much respect!
2 years, 1 month ago on Conversation @ http://www.tfdssports.com/2012-articles/october/don-t-quit-on-these-oakland-raiders.html
@Raider Nate 75 No doubt, we need the D-Line to play up to the best of their ability to free up the LBs in particular! The LBs need to do a solid job of covering, and the Safeties needs to help by coming up (wouldn't be surprised if we went to nickel a lot)!
... But if you play the Safeties all the way up and use press on the outside, you'll have an issue jamming the receivers for an entire game without having them burned at some point (an Manning will see it) - especially as both Thomas and Decker are huge compared to what we have out there, and Huffy ain't comfortable at CB yet!
It will be interesting to see, but there is no doubt that Manning is the threat in that game! Gotta cover his short throws efficiently to stop them!
2 years, 1 month ago on Raiders gut out big win over Steelers, 34-31
Barksdale also gone? Dang - DVD, Chekwa and Barksdale already gone, this new administration don't mess around!
Would have preferred if they had been given one more year, some players develop late, and it's not like we bring aboard stars, but guess they know what they are doing! Just hoped we would have perhaps received some late rd picks or excess players at least!
2 years, 2 months ago on Raiders gut out big win over Steelers, 34-31
@Indy! * The D-Moe TD was a great one by both him and Palmer!
@Indy! Palmer deserves his due, he had a good game and showed some poise! Still not impressed with his first two games this season, but hopefully this is a vision of what awaits!
And agreed - an aggressive and unpredictable team is what can help us to some wins! The division is still wide open, so we better seize every opportunity we get!
@Indy! Yeah, it seems like we are stuck somewhere between rebuild and reload squad right now! Several big contract players could have been dealt to get picks and safe cap space, but the balance and competitiveness is naturally important for any team culture!
Difficult to say from home, and they definately know what they are doing, but as a fan it is really hard to keep watching how they show glimpses of hope and straight after falls apart again - i personally would prefer a total rebuild mode that would allow for a complete restructure in the mold of the new regime; at least then i would be prepared to accept the 3 years a rebuild normally takes while hoping for developmental players to emerge in the meantime!
For now i just take it one game at a time hoping for the best - really, really, really hope they start to gel and step up their game so we have something to look forward to (with excitement) come sunday!
2 years, 2 months ago on If Raiders can get run game going, many other pieces will fall into place | August
"Heyward-Bey has been targeted 13 times and has caught 7 of those, so almost half the balls that come his way do not get received."
- Palmer is at fault for several of those incompletions! Bad passes and thrown in DC a couple of times!
DHB has improved, his hands as well, now they just need to get him involved in the new scheme! Having D-Moe back will definately help him a lot as he will force the D back and let DHB go away from the deep routes that really doesn't play to his strengths (as he just can't trail and catch a ball over his shoulders)! They need to call some short to intermediate routes as well as slants and other crossing routes for DHB and he will be fine - he is open often enough when he isn't called deep (into a 10 yard cushion), so Palmer just needs to get the ball out there now when D-Moe is back and represents the deep threat!
2 years, 2 months ago on The curious case of Heyward-Bey
@nilbymouth It's partially that D-Mac likes to read the defenses and choose his way as he goes, but it is also due to the complete lack of blocking in front of him - if it doesn't change it doesn't matter which back we have in, they will all be hit behind LOC as D-Mac is on almost every play!
A malfunctioning ZBS will always lead to tackles for loss because the D is then allowed to penetrate and step in front of the or at least hit the RB before he even hits the hole..
A wellfunctioning ZBS like the one the Texans run is really difficult to stop and the D regularily hits the back when he is through the hole and several yards down the field! And Ben Tate is a perfect fit for this scheme as you say! He does it all really well and has both size and speed to succeed!
Still, imo the main issue is the blocking part of the ZBS, before it is fixed it will be impossible to get a consistent and competent run-game going as it then falls to D-Mac to make something happen while starting a step behind, not an easy task!
Interesting notion about the possibility of a D-Mac trade - but the question is how much he could garner after the showing thus far! Best possibility would be for a starter to get injured somewhere with SB dreams, could make them steeply overpay like we did last year!
@nilbymouth Starting Lee and Hansen (and Phillips/Coye in trips) does not look promising with Wallace finding his footing and Brown looking great again! Huffy could help out, but Gio deep vs Wallace is not a promising thought either! Tarver and Allen have their work cut out for them this coming week!
With the upcoming pass challenge it is at least a good thing that Mendenhall is out - hopefully Redman will be #1 and Dwyer only featured limited due to his turf toe, as we are best suited to take care of a below-average-speed thumper like Redman!
Death Ro was solid in the first game, but definately didn't look good vs MIA - imo it is primarily his lack of speed (sometimes its looking like he ain't even running hard) that sells him - he just is not suited to be a 4-3 MLB sideline to sideline LB!! I still think he can be an asset in a 3-4 system as it will fit what he does best and ensure that he doesn't have to take care of too large a part of the field! If he plays like this going forward, he could very well be cut by Reggie next year (or take a pay cut), regardless of scheme change..
Is Curry the answer? Think he lacks a lot that the MLB takes care of, especially the organizational aspect (which TB33 could potentially handle) and ability to read the offense, but he gives the maximum effort and hustles all play every play, so it is an interesting thought though!
2 years, 2 months ago on Raiders drop to 0-2 after losing 35-13 to Dolphins | August
@ukraider78 No doubt - MIA game displayed some great issues on D, especially at CB (would have preferred to keep DVD to see IF he could develop), and in generel the entire D was dissapointing! Tarver needs to get the unit to step up and find some ways to help the underperforming CBs (Huffy can potentially help step in) and garner some more pressure!
Concerning QB, i'm not by any means trying to use Palmer as a scapegoat - Defense, O-line, Knabb bares the majority of the blame for MIA imo (D played good vs. SAN)! The point i'm making is that imo Palmer is not playing as the top tier QB that many has proclaimed him to be - he leaves to much on the field and is not (currently) a player that can win on his own (sans rungame) like other toptier gamechaning QBs can! Imo he is currently a middle of the pack QB, who can be effective moving the ball if utilized correctly, but who needs a functioning rungame to excell and turn the play into W's and a potential postseason!
So what to do? Personally i am not sold on Barkley yet (and i still hope we will not be able to pick that early), so unless a prospect shows Luck like promise or we can get great value at some point, i too would look other places and use Palmer for at least a year after this! We have so many holes that needs to be filled (CB, LB, OL, TE), so it figures to be more wise to build the supporting cast when we have a decent QB already!
Just for the record, i have not been yelling for Flynn and i see Pryor as a longshot developmental prospect who is far from ready to contribute at this point!
I would say though - as this is a rebuilding year, as soon as/if we are out of the division race (fingers crossed we will stay in it) i would consider trading some of the veteran players that could garner some real picks (if any) as this figures to be a process that takes a couple of years and could use some additional picks!
Same goes for D-Mac (personal favourite)- by my account the best back in the league and a beast when used correctly! ... but if keeping him means for Knabb to keep misusing him, then both he and the Raiders would be better off parting ways (if the compensaiton is right)! The ZBS does not require great backs, so if that is the philosophy going forward D-Macs value is diminished!
Agreed - Wheeler was a great signing, positively surprised by how well he has adapted! Great intensity and willpower (Burris as well)! Hopefully Curry can get back at full power as it would greatly improve the depth of the unit!
@ukraider78 True, it ain't all on Carson at all - but it is more than the simple TD throw to D-Mac, imo he just isn't there right now! Is it because of the questionable O-line that shakes him up and the lack of reps with primarily D-Moe? Perhaps, and hopefully, but he has missed a lot of throws and left a lot on the field the past two games, that is for sure, and for us to win without an effective D-Mac, that is throws he just needs to nail more often than not!
I really hope (and think) you're right about the Knabb thing though, but Saunders should get ready because another game or two like this and he should get canned!
@Raidah Let's hope they will be able to revaluate and change some things to get us going! Big Al would already be plotting to can Knabb (needless to say he would never have brought him back of course)!
Crazy how the D just died when they tired up, just started to get hope after the SD outing, but there they were, same ole Raiders!
Wow, just wow! Who would have thought we would be on display getting executed by a terrible Phins squad led by a really raw rookie QB who threw 3 ints last game (where is the big-play turnovers mad chemist?)!
Worst thing is, it's hard to watch how the O consistently fails to produce anything that resembles progress!
The ZBS is obviously not working yet - personel, teaching, experience and whatever else just isn't there, so why not mix it up with the PBS at times as well to make at least some positive runs! D-Mac might be a top-runner in the league, but when the ZBS doesn't work he is hit behind the LOC almost everytime he touches the ball, instead having to fight for at least positive yardage, and that's not gonna take us too far!
Aside for the atrocious O-line play, Knabb and Palmer really needs to get going and prove their worth imo!
Knabb and his vanilla and predictable offense is just sad to watch! Hue led it go to his head, but at least he had some imagination! There was a reason Knabb lost his privileges last time around, and he sure isn't proving it wrong right now! Worst part is his lack of in-game adjustment - just isn't there no matter what the game looks like! Shouldn't be too long before Saunders is given some more say in what goes on if this goes on (look at the coming teams; it won't get easier the next three games)!
And what is up with Palmer? Yeah, he has been hurried and hit from the bad O-line play, and it is good to see that he keeps the hazard plays and ints in check, but even when he isn't pressured he is way too often inaccurate simply missing wide open receivers! And where is the zip? Seems that he suffers from some diminished arm strength, as he just is not throwing the fast balls as he is supposed to! Even though he has been throwing a lot, racking up yards (although with low pts to show), i really am dissapointed in him for not making the easy throws (like the D-Mac TDshouldhavebeen and several potential D-Moe and Hey-Bey 1st dwn catches) like any vet or even mediocre QB is supposed to! Right now he is far from what was advertised when he was brought in, and he is not nearly what is needed to get a winning record if D-Mac isn't featured more succesfully - hopefully they will be able to get it going soon, otherwise this will be a really tough and long season to watch!
@oaklandraider @Raidah LOL , the McKenzie whirlwind - so true! Was a bit dissapointed to see DVD and Chekwa go (primarily DVD as Chekwa could be stacked on PS) because it always takes some time for DBs to catch up to speed and 1 year surely is not much in that regard!
... But they seem to know what they are doing, so it will be interesting to follow the progress we make going forward, especially as we have a couple of more drafts behind the belt! Looks promising for the future!
2 years, 2 months ago on With Hagan, could last year’s release effected this year’s signing? | August
@AsherMathews Ihenacho has a size advantage over both Stupar and (especially) Kilgore which makes him valuable in the hybrid scheme - DE/OLB is a valuable position, whereas Stupar and Kilgore appears as primarily 43 personel and keeping both would be a stretch imo, but we'll see soon enough..
Cumbie had a crazy game, think he is fighting it out with Hamilton who has impressed with workethic, dedication and raw power from what i have heard..
Think we will be going for 6 WOs as well, hope something good drops to us with the cuts!
2 years, 3 months ago on Predicting the 2012 final roster, post-camp | January
@Raidah Especially looking forward to see how the players react to the scheme changes, Defense in particular! Hoping for no new injuries, if we make it through the season without any significant injuries we will be very good i would think!
2 years, 3 months ago on Raiders hurting, especially at Linebacker | August
@nilbymouth I'd prefer to get him signed too - both to make sure he stays a Raider and to free up some cap-space as @MarkMorrison mentions!
... But that being said, RM and DA are most likely not willing to write a Griffin kind of deal out to a player who has yet to excell in the current scheme, so it might be a difficult negotiation right now with TB33 undoubtedly seeking top dollars!
Could easily end up with RM accepting the tender to let TB33 prove that he is worthy of a large contract next year!
Hope we get him signed long term though, he is a special player if used correctly!
2 years, 4 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Tyvon Branch | July
@DylanAlexander That's true - not a great game of him, but the entire defense (and DBs in particular) was suffering from poor communication and misunderstandings that game, so the team didn't do much better as a whole!
I think he has some tools that are very enticing for a scheme manager like DA and Tarver, so i believe that he can have an impact, at least as a situational player - and if he is healthy come camp i think he will earn a 1 year spot! Will he ever become a starter? No one really knows, as you say, we have no idea what his limits are when/if he is injury free! Will be an interesting group to watch throughout camp!
2 years, 5 months ago on Projecting the Raiders final roster | June
@ukraider78 He was mostly injured last year, but when healthy i actually think he did a pretty good job when covering TEs! Better than the other S at least!
- however, he was lost in coverage when defending WRs sometimes which raises questions about his instincts and field vision; naturally a bad sign if he are to compete for a starting spot down the road.
I totally agree though - RM and DA will not factor in previous draft status, and nor should they, so he will have to earn a spot through his play! If he doesnt, then a better player/fit has outplayed him, nothing wrong with that! Time will tell if he has what it takes, and trainingcamp should be the first good insight into how the backup S spots will play out!
I like Henry, Powell as well, and hope they both at least make the PS!
But i still think MM34 has the inside scoop for the backup SS until some of the other players is groomed for the spot, or another one brought in!
I also think that DA and Tarver will be able to creatively use him in ways that facilitates his strengths, so it will be interesting to see!
Personally i like what a power runner like Benson brings to the table - my bet is that they will kick his tires and that he will mainly compete with Schmitt about the spot, as RM talked about using the FB's as bruisers now that Bush left and no one was brought in to replace him!
If kept in check, he could be a good veteran back for short yardage and grinding sessions, in order to spare D-Mac a little, but i don't see us carrying 4RBs and 2 FBs on the roster - that's just too much!
TJ and Goodson are the primary back-ups to D-Mac as they have skillsets that provides the explosiveness and flexibility that D-Mac also does, and they both have loads of potential, so they will stay put barring injury or a really bad camp showing (a bad showing from either and a great showing from Benson could change this if they feel he has at least a couple of highly productive years as a back-up left)!
But Scmitt is expendable if they feel Reece can be an everydown FB and if they like Gordon enough to be the back-up emergency FB, so both Benson and Scmitt will have to show that they have something to offer that the versatility of the other players cannot replace, and the one who does it the best will probably don Silver and Black for the coming season!
@StevefromLA I also think Missile Mike will make the team! He is solid covering TE's, is a hard hitter and a very solid blitzer - what he may (or may not when coached properly) lack in instincts and vision to make him a starter, he makes up for in strengths and advantages to make him at least a valuable back-up, situational and ST player going forward!
I really think a change of scheme will help him greatly, as DA and Tarver will utilize whatever skillset the players have and put them in a place to succeed (especially with situational players)! I have high hopes for the individual improvements of several players, Missile Mike being one of them (Death Ro and Curry others).
Henry and Powell are competitors though, although as Asher states, they are primarily FS prospects who imo are more of a threat to Gio as long as we don't have a back-up SS (who will probably prevail yet again).
@nilbymouth Missile Mike was injured and often misused last year, imo, and when healthy and utilized correctly i think he has some value to this defense - did some great coverages on TE's for a couple of games as far as i recall (@Asher ; If you should have the time at some point, a Tale of the Tapes of MM34 would be really great), and he is definately best when having a special assignment (preferrably blitzing), as it seems to be his vision that is a bit off sometimes!
... That being said, Henry was one of my favourite UDFA signings as well, and i'll root for him come camp! He is not a hardhitter as MM34 though, and has better field vision and knowledge than hitpower and tackling ability, so if both performs well in camp he could challenge Gio a lot more as back up FS than MM34 as a back up SS. Still, i have every bit of confidence in this coachingstaff, so i'll be satisfied with whoever they decide to keep, as i expect that it will be what is best for the team and our scheme, so i just hope they will be healthy and able to show what they have to offer!
Thinking we only will keep 5 WRs?
I think we will keep 6, so DHB, Moore and Ford are locks (have been running with 1st team, Ford as a slot WR and probably #1 returnman), while Criner and Streeter will take #4 and #5 if they keep performing in camp and not get injured. So imo, McGee, Calhoun and Murphy will battle it out for #6, unless someone is brought in or explodes onto the field during camp to take the spot..
Still really uncertain about how the DL will end up, will be interesting to see how the group shakes out when the pads come on, because there are a lot of talent and potential in the group, and the selection (of the fringe players on the 53) will probably come down to scheme versatility! Bilukidi, Hamilton, Crawford, Dorsey and a couple of the second year guys (especially Ivey as he is the only true natural NT) will be interesting to watch battle it out!
2 years, 5 months ago on 2012 Minicamp, Day 2 | June
Encouraging to hear some of the guys are stepping up - especially Gordon as he has the measureables to become a real force in 2 TE sets (dude is huge, like an extra O-Lineman when he is in, and he is pretty fast and agile as well : If you get the chance Asher, could you ask him what his weight is this year?).
Powell probably won't make the 53 unless they see some return potential in him (but read somewhere that he had muffed a great deal of balls thus far), but he could be a very interesting PS player to groom for a year or two!
Really hope Missile Mike gets back out there so DA and Tarver can get at chance to see what he brings! They might be able to utilize his abilities to the best with the new scheme versatility and blitz emphasis!
(Btw : Juron Criner was a 5th rd pick, not a 4th)
The offense is looking good so far - WRs stepping up and a real competition going on (like the fact that we have added some size to the corps, good compliment to the speed we have), HB group that can really bring it, QB that has been looking good and on point, TEs that has been catching on and showing athleticity (even Gordon as i read has been catching some nice passes), and the Oline that has reportedly been quick to adjust to the ZBS calls and scheme (although they can't really be judged before the pads are on)! Looking good!
Will be interesting to see how far along the D is when the pads are on and they go full speed! Scheme might be a savior for us this year, seems that the players like what they see!
2 years, 5 months ago on 2012 Minicamp, Day 1 | June
Good post Asher - seems we have found yet another WR gem in the late rds in Criner! He, seems to be an excellent addition and complement to the other (faster) WRs!
Looking forward to some practices with pads on, will definately give a better impression of how we stand in the different position groups!
Seems to me that QB, RB and WR is pretty well set, so on offense especially the TE competition (Ausseys blocking efficiency) will be interesting, but also the O-Line is in play (seems realistic that one of either Carlisle or Barnes could beat out from the starting 5 in camp ; Barnes odds on favourite).
Defense especially LBs and CBs will be interesting to see, but personally i really look forward to the D-Line competition as we have a lot of talent fighting for limited spots! Hope we have found some gems in Bilukidi, Crawford, Hamilton and Ivey!
@AsherMathews have you seen any indications so far as to who are being preferred as PR and KR? Or who is the frontrunners in the competition?
2 years, 5 months ago on Digesting another Raiders OTA | June
@AsherMathews @Harder2000 Makes sense, and you're probably right! As long as they get a thumper i'll be satisfied (be it Cel45 with a FB in front or Cel45 in front of a RB doesn't matter to me)!
Remember when Rashawn Jackson came out? He was thought to be a great FB prospect despite his late position change, and he has both speed, athleticism and vision to be a good leadblocker - just needed to add some nastiness to his play! Of him, Satele and Schmitt, he definately has the most upside (if he has gotten it), so it will be interesting to see what he brings in camp when the pads are on!
Schmitt would be a decent addition as well! Not a ballcarrier, but he could open up some lanes when needed, and could easily be a lead blocker for Reece when we need to pound it with some weight behind it!
2 years, 6 months ago on Tale of the Tape: Mike Goodson | May
@Jososi A (proven) pounder to help wear down the defenses and help take some of the punishing, tough yards to save D-Mac a little is very important imo as well! Both to keep D-Mac fresh and healthy, and to be able to attack defenses in different ways depending on scheme and personel.
... Proven is definately a good thing, however, if DA and RM feels that Lonyae or Rashawn is ready for the task i am fine with that as well!
RBs usually either get it or they don't when they enter the league, so it figures to be time for either to get moving if they are to ever get a real shot at the roster (with Rashawn having adjusted as he was a FB coming out, and Lonyae having worked on improving blocking and hand use to help stay effective).
Interesting to see what happens in this group! - also with TJ and Goodson: will we keep 4 backs going in (D-Mac, TJ, Goodson and with the addition of a pounder), or are TJ and Goodson competing for the back-up spot behind D-Mac?
Personally i think we will bring 4 along as especially Goodson seems to be worked in a little at receiver as well, which could hint at some interesting and exciting formations when the RB's split out..
Comparing Goodson to Bush? Thought Goodson was more of a speed/scat back with receiving skills and home run threat than a powerback?
If i remember correctly (not saying it hasn't been fixed by now though) wasn't the biggest knock on him coming out that he did not possess the strength and bulk to be an inside runner, break tackles and push the pile; instead being better suited as a change of pace back and outside runner (or even receiver) with a threat to take it to the house?
Don't get me wrong - if he has put on enough to be an effective pounder and inside power rusher i think it will be great for us! ... But if he is still primarily a quick twitch, agile, speedy and athletic RB, then that is what we have in both D-Mac and TJ as well, so in that case we should still need to add one more RB to the 53 imo, with either Lonyae Miller, Rashawn Jackson or Schmitt (who really isn't a ball carrier) fitting the mold (unless they intend to let Cel45 carry the rock a little more often)!
We kept 4 RBs last year with Rock being a core special teamer (on a spot that is usually owned by seasoned vets) - could Goodson be a contributor on ST as a returnman that could probably hold true this year as well!
You guys seen the Death Ro video that surfaced (http://www.ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders/2012/05/16/video-raiders-rolando-mcclain-caught-on-tape-during-incident/) ?
Shows incredible poor judgement by Death Ro to be there imo, but as he is not seen on the video parttaking in the fight, it doesn't really seem to be too increminating (legally)! Also, i would think that most players with tough roots have been in dubious situations at a time or another in the early parts of their career, and it is what it is, but with several cases behind him and a couple of NFL seasons it is time for Death Ro to act the part of a NFL player and forget his old ways! No matter what the reason was for the fight and the threatening shot (rumours have it that it was because the guy had stolen from Death Ros sister), he will not be given too many chances going forward and needs to think before he acts!
Will be interesting to see how Reggie and DA (and Goodell for that matter) will handle these cases (Death Ro and DHB dui) as they happened before the change in regime.. DHB will probably get off easy, but Death Ro might be more difficult to decide on; hopefully he can respond to the new discipline and focus on football alone going forward!
2 years, 6 months ago on A look ahead at the final roster | May
@AsherMathews Ahh, i thought the contracts were only for a year at a time, so i figured that a 3year deal had to be more significant - thanks for clearing that up! Interesting youngster though, could be a PS player to groom for when Lechler retires!
2 years, 6 months ago on Play Action: 09 Seahawks 2 TE set, pass | May
Good post, interesting to see what we can expect to see come the season! Looking forward to see how they will utilize the different weapons we have!
As the TE spot seems like an important aspect of the gameplan it will be interesting to see who will step up from the TE group! Do they prefer blocking (Myers and Gordon) or receiving TEs (Aussey and Hardy), or one of each, when they rollout the 2 TE sets?
Just saw some mentioning of Marquette King the Punter we signed ; signed him to a 3 year contract ( http://www.fvsusports.com/news/2012/4/29/FB_0429124736.aspx ). Here is a short clip of him getting in a couple of punts after practice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9JOfctWnzM (he is definately not the Lechler body type that is for sure )!
After reading a couple of reports on him and watching some highlight films ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzNrS0ens0s ) he really seems like he might be our primary punter at some point (can a 3-year contract be put on practice squad?) ; could Lechler be traded or cut to save the huge contract?
This year he bombed a 76 snd a 80 yard punt, and the thinking is that he has as strong a leg as Lechler, who if allowed because of more speed in the NFL can do it every time (allowed as in "don't outkick your coverage)..
Really just thought he was a camp body, but a 3 year contract suggests otherwise, and he seems like a solid punter at that! Anyone know about him?
@xraided Everything does look very good on offense, and we have all the weapons we need to be a solid high scoring offense! Don't forget TJ to keep D-Mac fresh, he should get his chances this year as well!
Only questionmarks on offense is Knapp and the Offensive line imo - Knapp should be able to come through with the weapons he has at his disposal and with full control, so that leaves the offensive line!
- A wellfunctioning ZBS is a nightmare for Defenses, and it will allow for a lot of easy positive yards due to scheme alone (Texans which we will try to copy is masterful at this), however, a malfunctioning one leaves a lot of negative plays and could-have-been plays on the field (which we saw last time we ran it)!
Bergstrom should be able to contribute right away and fits the ZBS, and both Wiz Jr and Veldheer should be solid in the ZBS as they are athletic and smart, Brisiel a ZBS veteran from Texans will naturally be a great fit, but the RT spot is not really set in stone with Big Barks being a Power guy and Barnes being terrible no matter the scheme!
Makes sense that Big Barks will get the shot to start at RT and hopefully he can show that he is up to the task, while Nix, Hurd and Parsons will fight for a shot to back up the starters! But the line needs to gel really fast for them to be a force out the gate this season! It stands to reason that we will see some kinks as it is a steep learning curve in such a short period of time with a new group of personel, so it will be interesting to follow in the offseason and preseason games!
Hopefully they get the line set in stone and solid integrated as it would make this offense really, really promising!
2 years, 6 months ago on Play Action: 2009 Seattle Seahawks | April
First off, great work on the article @TylerDickson, very nice overview of the draft prospects!
Now, i don't get why everyone is down on the Jack Crawford pick! He is a player who has immense potential and upside, partly due to his elite size and strength, and partly due to his will, fire and hustle which makes him very coachable! Many analysts had him going in the 4/5 th round, so he fit the bill with our 5th rd pick!
He has fought through some injury issues, which has certainly had an influence on his play, but when healthy he is a strong and powerful DE who can anchor and rush on a very high level! He is very good at keeping his assignment (which we have needed in the past), and he is strong at the POA! Personally i think he could become a really solid player for us after he learn his ropes through situational and rotational duties, and he could very well become a starter after a year or two imo!
Like @nilbymouth points out, 5th rd picks are hit and miss, and there sure were several other interesting prospects on the table at the time, but Crawford has all the makings of a future surprise and good pick, and in the 5th rd it is a decent risk high reward kind of pick imo! For me, he is one of the more interesting players to watch as he has a very high upside!
Really like Burris although i think he could have been had a round later, but he is a great prospect who really is a solid addition to the LB corps! A hardhitting, disciplined worker who plays through the whistle!Liked him a lot for the Aztecs, and i really think that Tarver can find a nice role for him!
2 years, 6 months ago on Tale of the Tape: 2012 Draft Class | April
@nilbymouth Too bad, Lewis was one of the better UDFA signings imo! Like the Aaron Henry UDFA signing though - he has a real shot at earning a spot imo! Good prospect!
2 years, 7 months ago on Raiders pick ? | April
@nilbymouth * Seems we got Nix, pretty good UDFA signing if it holds up!
@nilbymouth He hustles, that's a good thing! Need hard workers, wouldn't be too bad if he could be the new Desmond Bryant or TK find!
Vontaze Burfict UDFA, Michael Brewster UDFA, Nick Jean-Baptiste UDFA, Alex Hoffman-Ellis UDFA, Donte Paige-Moss UDFA, David Molk in the 7th and Alfonzo Dennard in the 7th - all would have made great sense imo in the late rds! Don't see how you would not add proven players when there is no risk in it with late rd flyers (almost all the UDFAs mentioned has been signed by other teams)!
Don't really like this draft toom much overall i must admit, really think we overdrafted both Bergstrom and Burris, and Christo Bulukidi and Stupar seemed to be going UDFA (but ok, there is no reach in those late rds)! Bergstrom fits the scheme and should do well, but imo he should have gone a rd later as there were several better prospects on the board (perhaps not on Reggie McKools though). Burris has potential if he can add some strength and size, but it is too early for him!
Crawford was decent and Criner was a good addition with value (the new Chaz, good with some solid redzone size), so not too bad in all spots though! Fangupo and Paige-Moss especially seems interesting! Hope we get some good UDFA value, hate to see others, especially divisional rivals, pick up draft slippers who work out and become solid contributers!
@Spartacus But you're forgetting one thing though Spart; Hardy comes in straight away and can be evaluated now, any rookies will first arrive after the draft!
... Reggie was presumably intrigued by his physique, and as we have a need at the position where he might fit, they brought him in to get an extended look! If he doesn't project well into football they will see it soon enough and he will not be kept going forward! IF he does surprise, he will be kept to compete through preseason to see if he actually has what it takes to develop true football skills!
I see it as a no risk signing, and he will only take up a spot if he really shows that he has a special talent and great potential! Otherwise he will be a practice player no one will remember in a couple of months!
2 years, 7 months ago on Raiders sign developmental TE prospect Andre Hardy | April