Featured Post from CMACbyon 10-04-2010 at 10:41 AM
If this team had even an average offensive line and two OLBs who actually knew where they were meant to be from play to play, we could go 10-6 this year. Seriously.
But we don't have those two things. Instead, we have the worst offensive line in the league which is probably going to end Gradkowski's season before November, and we have two DEs playing OLB who are out of position on 75% of the snaps they face to the extent that I don't know why teams just don't run off-tackle on us every single first down. It's no wonder Branch is our leading tackler, he's basically playing as a LB to make up for those two idiots. McClain can't be everywhere at once.
Changes that need made now before this season turns into a total disaster:
1. Start Bruce Campbell at RT. Yes, I'm serious. He CANNOT be worse than Walker. That is totally impossible. We need serious athleticism out there because right now Walker is getting whipped like a bad dog by anyone with a modicum of pace. He actually made Mario Henderson look preferable by comparison today. Seriously, just run round Walker, it's that easy. How many sacks did he give up today? I think it was three. I don't care if Campbell isn't mentally ready, make it simple for him if that's the case: block straight ahead on run plays, block the edge rusher on pass downs, and "just make it a bit easier for the rusher" on screens. Point is, he's as fast and agile an OL as there is in the league, and that's what we need right now. That's your three plays chukker, think you can handle that? Oh, and when Gallery returns, bench Carlisle's ass, he's going 2 yards backwards on every run play. Whether Gallery plays at RG or Loper moves over, I'm not really bothered, just Carlisle needs to go. Loper and Carlisle are both journeymen, but Loper is the better one. Somehow though, Carlisle, in our awful offensive line, has been a starter for 4 years? Only the Raiders. I'm also now questioning whether Satele or Henderson is the bigger problem, but either way Veldheer needs to start somewhere.
2. Bench at least one of Groves/Wimberley. Seriously, they are totally lost out there, their positional sense is so far off it's scary. Was Thomas Howard REALLY that bad? At least he knows where's meant to ****ing STAND before the snap! Christ, give Sam Williams one last go, he used to have 1 good game in 3, which is a bit above Groves and Wimberley's strike rate at the moment. Ricky Brown, Goethel if we can get him healthy, it doesn't matter... just guys who know their assignments.
Oh, one last thing: our PR unit is an absolute joke. Don't blame Higgins, he's scared sh1tless back there because the wingmen aren't doing ANYTHING to keep heat off him. He can only run sideways because he has 4 guys in his face before he even catches it. We could put Deon Sanders back there and he wouldn't average 3 yards per return.
Start Bruce Campbell
Featured Post from BlitzChickbyon 04-30-2010 at 10:39 PM
Thatís what Coach Cable intimated in his post 2010 draft press conference.
Aside from the 9 rookie players in the 7 rounds of the draft, we also used draft picks to pick up some young vets that are still wanting to prove themselves. I know there will be some un-drafted rookie free agents that will join the roster, too.
Plus one. But Iíll get into that later.
For now I am going to talk some about the guys we brought in before the draft.
The first one, well over a month before the draft, is DE/LB Kamerion Wimbley. Wimbley was selected in the first round by the Cleveland Browns back in 2006. During his tenure as a Brown, he averaged over 6 sacks per season with a total of 26.5 sacks and had 7 forced fumbles. He had 183 solo tackles, 65 assists, 4 passes defended with one interception. Back in 2006, as a draft prospect, he was thought to be raw, but with a 4.61 40, this 6'3" player had some speed. Heís added about 7 lbs since his draft weight, and is currently 255 lbs. The Raiders have him currently slated to play linebacker. My thoughts : heíll be playing in the outside slot when we show a 3-4 defense. His draft prospectus alluded that this would be a position he could play. This is how we were using Trevor Scott last season with success. I like the idea of having either one of these guys to use on passing downs rushing the quarterback. With both on the field, they both have the speed to cover a tight end over the middle, but either one could rush, too. Fooling the offense, or having them wonder where the pressure will be coming from can only help. Add to that: he can tackle. This could help us stop the run. And we need the help. With the 4 years experience he brings, he cost us a 3rd round pick. While this shows Cleveland didnít value him too highly, this young man fits with what the Raiders are building.
Our 2nd pre-draft acquisition, Quentin Groves, came to us for a 5th round pick. Back in the 2008 draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to select this defensive end that they converted to a linebacker. We have him slated as defensive end. His numbers arenít much to look at, but he had only 7 starts in his 2 years there, and it was thought his time would be ending soon. He had a slightly slower 40 at the combine than Wimbley, a 4.57, but at 6'3" and 254 lbs., is pretty much the same size. Perhaps the switch to his former college position will give this young man the opportunity to live up to the potential he showed when he earned a Coaches All-SEC First Team Selection. Another important thing to consider, this young man knows what it is like to win. His senior class was the winningest in Auburn history, with 50 total wins.
The NFL draft itself showed the Raiders were serious about correcting the problems within the defense.
Though many mock drafts had the Raiders opting for an over-hyped and much maligned OT Bruce Campbell in the first round, the Raiders, according so some so-called experts, reached a bit and selected Rolando McClain. It is said he sat out the combine due to injury, but another report stated it was a decision based upon a problem with his Crohnís disease.
Playing for Alabamaís Crimson Tide, this middle linebacker was signal caller, team leader and the most active defensive player on the field.
Ranked by some as the 10th of top 100 draft prospects, I donít understand the whole ďreachĒ frame of mind for this Butkus Award recipient. Now it could be his average numbers at his pro-day may have had some questioning him. For me? Numbers at pro-days and combines may be indicative of what a player can do, or you need to see what a player has done in the game. This is a PLAYER. We can over look the average pro-day numbers. Some may have decided his Crohnís Disease could be an issue. Properly controlled and monitored, this shouldnít be an issue. Many of his team mates at Alabama werenít even aware he had the disease, so I donít foresee that as a problem. Add to that, the most recent reports are now that Mr. McClain may not even have Crohnís. There is no definitive test for it, so while there is a health concern, the cause is currently unknown. But as I said, proper monitoring of his health should cover this.
No, I think the ďreachĒ train of thought has to do with the fact that not many figured us to go with him. Add all the press about the multiple talks the Raiders had with Mr. Campbell, I canít help but think the so-called experts just had a little too much egg on their faces to wipe off and had their precious little egos bruised. It is a solid pick. The idea of a middle linebacker being able to cover the short zone on pass plays, directing his team mates will be a nice change for the Raiders. Donít get me wrong, I love Kirk Morrison. How could I not? Heís led the team in tackles more than once. However, ...
Featured Post from Tony Wadebyon 09-30-2010 at 01:00 PM
I was trying to think of what Sundayís Raiders game against the Arizona Cute ĎLil Birdies reminded me of. With muffed punts and boneheaded penalties, the Cardinals kept trying to give the Raiders the game and the Raiders simply refused to take it. It ate at me until I finally figured it out what it triggered in the deep recesses of my memory: the Goofy Gophers, Mac and Tosh.
Their names probably arenít that familiar (I had to Google them), but those who grew up watching Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoons will no doubt recall two gophers who resembled Walt Disneyís Chip and Dale who were extraordinarily polite and overly deferential to each other. If you substituted the Cards and Raiders for Mac and Tosh a conversation would go something like this:
CARDINALS: Please take the win.
RAIDERS: Oh no! I simply couldnít! Please, you take it!
CARDINALS: Oh no; I wouldnít hear of it!
RAIDERS: Come, come, I really must insist!
CARDINALS: OhÖwell...alright. You truly are much too kind!
RAIDERS: As are you!
When you bookend a game with special teams blunders you usually donít emerge victorious. Watching the Cardinals return the opening kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown stung. What stung worse was watching the Raiders last line of defense, kicker Sebastian Janikowski, whiffing on the tackle after doing a hopeless waddling sprint that looked like a pregnant penguin that suddenly discovered their egg is rolling downhill.
I appreciate that Jano gave it a little effort, but it would probably have been more efficient if he just took off his helmet, flung it at the runnerís feet and hoped he tripped on it.
Of course, the Raiders didnít draft Janikowski 10 years ago to tackle people; heís there to kick field goals.
The two relatively short kicks (41 and 32 yards) Sea Bass missed were out of character and I can choose to get angry about it or congratulate him on a near-flawless impression of North Mexico Charger kicker Nate Kaeding in last seasonís playoffs.
In fairness to Sea Bass, he has been clutch for the Raiders year in and year out and sometimes you just have a bad day. Also, a 32-yard field goal sounds easy, but when you think about kicking a ball ninety-six feet between two goal posts, well, I doubt I could do it.
Perhaps if I imagined the ball was ex-Broncos-now-Redskins head coach Mike Shanaratís head I could get the distance, but I would have no idea where it would go.
Kickers have always been on the fringe in football. I have been to the Raiders training camp a few times and I always trip that while the rest of the team is going through different drills, the kickers are basically just doing what Iím doing thereókinda standing around and watching.
During punt return drills sometimes punter Shane Lechler doesnít even kick at all. He just pretends to and they use one of those machines with two spinning wheels that shoots footballs up in the air for the returners to field.
By the way, I once had an awesome dream that I built an extra jumbo sized one of those machines and launched Chiefs fans through it.
Football games are rarely decided by just one play. Quarterback Bruuuuuce Gradkowski took a delay of game penalty which pushed the Raiders back from the 1 yard line. Settling for three points (or no points) once we were in scoring position didnít help. Plus our red zone defense, which inexplicably changed from shut down man-to-man to creampuff zone and allowed Cards receiver Larry Fitzgerald to catch the go-ahead TD, left me scratching my head.
It was excruciating to watch the Raiders squander a game they could so easily have won. I used to get really angry when my team let me down but now I realize it is just a game and in the grand scheme of things how important is it really? I have to go now and send another anonymous death threat to Sea Bass.