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Posts Tagged ‘Oakland Raiders’

Raiders send shockwaves through draft

Posted by davefowkes on 04/25/2009

Give Al Davis credit, he has everyone talking about the Oakland Raiders. Day one of the NFL Draft is in the books and the Raiders were number one in pulling surprises.

Reaching deep down the draft board, the Oakland Raiders selected WR Darrius Hayward-Bey with the #7 overall pick in the draft. After trading down in the second round, they went deeper down the draftboard to find DB Mike Mitchell out of Ohio University. Both players are super fast, but both players could have huge question marks and could have been had much later in the draft.

Hayward-Bey was the fastest player at the combine. Most people considered him an end of the first round or beginning of the second round talent. He never stood out at Maryland averaging 46 catchers per year and getting just 42 catches his senior year. He had some big games, but also some games where he would get shut out. But what is most frustrating to Raider fans is not so much that they went after Hayward-Bey, but there were two other wide receivers on the board graded much higher. Michael Crabtree is a two-time Biletnikoff award winner for best college receiver. But the Raiders went speed.

The Raiders chased that in the second round by shocking the world by selecting Mitchell. Mike Mayock on the NFL Network said he did not even know who Mitchell was until a couple of weeks ago when he ran a fat 40 at the Ohio University’s pro day. Mayock then raised him to a 7th round talent. Scouts Inc. was so excited by him they did not even include him in their coverage leaving him a zero grade.

With the draft nobody really knows what will happen. Who will be a steal, who will be a bust, who gets injured, but what we do know is about where players are to be selected. If the Raiders really wanted these speed guys, they easily could have traded down for more picks, or in Mitchell’s case waited another 3-4 rounds. There was a lot of other talent the Raiders could have used that was on the board when they selected Mitchell.

It just continues to show the Raiders have their own way of doing things, and that way seems to keep getting them back into the top 10 in the draft every year.

Today it certainly made for some good comedy while watching the draft!


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Garcia A Nice Pickup By Raiders

Posted by davefowkes on 04/07/2009

Jeff Garcia is on his way back to the Bay Area, but the surprise is he will be suiting up in Silver and Black this time around. The Oakland Raiders have signed the 10-year veteran to be the backup quarterback for Jamarcus Russell. I am not sure what has gotten into Al Davis, but this seems like a pretty smart move to me!

I’ll start with the negative because that is just the type of guy that I am. I have no idea how Garcia fits into the Raider offense. He is much more of a Rich Gannon type quarterback then they style of play Al Davis likes to play. Will Garcia be successful in the Raider offensive philosophy or will it be more like his Cleveland days?

That being said though the idea of bringing in a veteran to back up Russell is common sense at this point. this is truly a make or break season for Russell. It is not to say that he has to put up pro bowl numbers but it is time to show that he is a legitimate NFL quarterback. The first year was a bust because of a holdout. He showed some signs in a down year last season. Now it is time for Russel to shine.

But if he doesn’t, or more likely if he gets hurt, the Raiders now have  a legitimate quarterback that can come in and keep the boat from sinking. Garcia’s best days are obviously behind him but as he proved in Tampa the last two years, he can still play this game. And if they need him for just a two or three game stint rather than a full season, all the better.

Garcia will bring leadership, heart and desire to a Raider team that has lacked those qualities for years. The price was right, the risk is low, and the reward could be very high. This signing just makes a lot of sense.

Have the Raiders turned over a new leaf?

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Gorilla Rilla Lives!

Posted by davefowkes on 04/01/2009

I thought this was an interesting little feature on a star from the Black Hole!

Gorilla Rilla from

The Raider Nation is certainly filled with some colorful characters. Maybe more so then any other team. And they keep coming out to the park year in and year out despite the “great” results.

Then again if they stayed home, they might miss the games on TV.

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Let’s Play 18?

Posted by davefowkes on 03/25/2009

For years we have heard the whispers but now it looks like we may be getting close to an 18-game NFL regular season. So say the rumors from the NFL owners meetings in Southern California this week. Owners are interested in expanding the season and if they can get the players union on board, there could be a vote in May on the topic, with an 18-game season starting in 2011.NFL Logo

The idea of more football is very appealing to me, but in the end I think we need to leave things just as they are! I am a football-aholic, so more football is great! The possibility of getting rid of two preseason games in exchange is even better! I like the idea of the Super Bowl on Presidents Day weekend, it gets me that much closer to March Madness! Two extra weeks of fantasy football, who would not want that!

There are clearly a lot of benefits to the longer season, but in the end I come down against it because I believe it would end up compromising the level of play in the long run!

Look at all the injuries now. Football is a violent game. Even those that don’t count as walking wounded by the end of a season are certainly banged up and not playing their best at the end as it is now. Adding two more games? To counteract that the NFL would have to expand roster sizes, but that just dilutes the talent pool. Two extra games just gives to more possibilities for the great ones to get hurt.


Frank Gore

There are lesser reasons for voting against the increase like by adding extra games you slightly devalue the games themselves. Look at the NHL, NBA and of course MLB where regular season games don’t really matter as long as you end up winning more than you lose. With 16 games, every game is somewhat important, with 18, maybe they are not as important. That 0-4 start in September is not nearly as big a deal.

While I have said many times that I would love to watch football 52-weeks a year, I think in the end, the product is much better where it is now and increasing to 18 games -while adding two weeks of fun – would hurt the overall game. I say vote no on the 18-game season!

That said, I look forward to the extra two games when I know the NFL will eventually vote for them! 🙂


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NFL Gives Thanks: To The Raiders?

Posted by davefowkes on 03/24/2009

Just what the world needs on Thanksgiving Day: Oakland Raider football! The NFL announced a few of their games yesterday from the owner’s meetings in Southern California. The greatness of the Raiders is back in the limelight with a Monday Night football game against San Diego, and then the big shocker, a Thanksgiving Day match up in Dallas! Yum! Turkey, potatoes and all the stuffing to go with Oakland Raider football! Yeah, I can not wait for Thanksgiving!

The other Thanksgiving Day excitement will feature Green Bay visiting Detroit and in the NFL Network affair, the Giants will travel to Denver. Despite plenty of talk about getting rid of a horrible team on national TV, the NFL owners did not have the heart to take the Thanksgiving Day game away from Detroit! I suggest the Lions win one sooner than later though.

The opening weekend nationally televised games were also announced. Pittsburgh and Tennessee will square off in a very enticing match up that first Thursday night. The Bears and Packers will do nothing for me as the first Sunday night game. And then we have the now traditional Monday Night double header that this year will open with Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills playing host to the Patriots, followed by the west coast night cap of the Chargers in Oakland!

It is the third time in four years the Raiders have played that second game on Monday night. Their first two games were not fun getting shut out by the Chargers in 2006 and shellacked by Denver last year. Yet the NFL felt it wise to put them back in the time slot again this year? Well, at least it is one guaranteed sell out for Oakland!

To cap it off with the Raiders visit to Thanksgiving really is over the top. Is the NFL expecting the Raiders to be good this year? Did Jerry Jones suggest his old friend Al Davis just so he could guaranty the Cowboys a win? I agree the Raiders are set to improve, but Raiders Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day does nothing for me here in March!

But maybe in November we will all give thanks for the game! If not, pass the turkey please!

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Quick Takes

Posted by davefowkes on 03/05/2009

More details later but I want to vent a couple of thoughts now:

–Terrell Owens has been released from the Cowboys! It could not happen to a nicer guy. Speculation will clearly link the bad boy to the Raiders image. But let me float this balloon: Randy Moss found happiness in New England. What about TO to the Patriots? How good a comeback could Tom Brady have with TO, Moss and Wes Welker as receivers?

–The more I think about the 49ers signing of Damon Huard the more upset I get. He is a waste of a roster spot! What does he add? His skill set is basically Shuan Hill plus about five years. Did he sign to be a starter? They might as well go with Hill. Did he sign to be a backup? They might as well go with Alex Smith. Did he sign to be an emergency 3rd option? They might as well go with a draft pick! Just a stupid free agent pickup in my mind!

–Cal is likely going to the Big Dance in March, but picking up a win in the state of Arizona would certainly confirm that ticket! If the Bears end the season on a three game losing streak, then get up set in the first round of the Pac Ten tournament, they could be in for a world of hurt. A win this weekend would end all speculation!

–It would be nice to see Stanford win on the road once. I don’t think they have a shot against the defense the Sun Devils will put out there, but maybe against a struggling Arizona team? Unlikely but it would be nice to see the seniors pull off one upset in a season of what could have been.

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Raiders Do Something Right

Posted by davefowkes on 02/20/2009

Wow, I guess Al Davis woke hope and had a moment of clarity. I would say he did a very nice job in keeping the two best Raider players in house. The Raiders did not even need to use the franchise tag to keep either Punter Shane Lechler or CB Nnamdi Asomugha. I don’t know how the Raiders did it, but they seem to already be having the best off season they have had in years.

Lechler has clearly been the best Raider the past 5 years. When you have a bad team, the punter gets a lot of action! Lechler has been busy and he has responded with back to back pro bowl years. He is a great punter.

Asomugha was slower to develop, but once he did he has become one of the top cover corners in the NFL. When teams play the Raiders, pretty much forget the WR that is on Asomugha side of the ball. Losing him would have been a crushing blow to an already mediocre defense. You just don’t replace CB’s like that.

Last year Al went outside the organization for big names like Javon Walker, and stayed inside the organization for Tommy Kelly. Each getting huge pay days to under perform on a bad Raider team. They year the Raiders did it right, identify the few good players you actually have on the team and reward them! Neither were cheap, but both are worth it!

I have no idea the long range impact this has on the salary cap for the Raiders, but all I do know is why pay someone you don’t know when you can reward the guys that you do know! I don’t give Raider management much credit, but they definitely get an A+ on this one!!!

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Raider Slugs Punter!

Posted by davefowkes on 02/08/2009

I love the Raiders! Maybe not when they actually play a game but certainly off the field. This little tidbit is priceless.  A story in the San Francisco Chronicle discussed the difficulty that the Raiders may have in resigning both CB Nnamdi Asomugha  and P Shane Lechler. One of the reasons Lechler may not come bace? He got punched in the face by DL Terdell Sands!!!!

Now while it is not reported what the cause of the fight was, the bottom line is a lineman decided he needed to take is aggression out on a punter. Seriously, he punched a punter! This is football! Most lineman don’t even know that who the kicker and the punter are! Did Sands think that Lechlar was a stowaway on the plane home? I get that football is an emotional game and there are plenty of arguments among teammates and occassionally some punches. But with a punter as a target? Ya think Sands may need some anger management classes? Is there something worse in football than picking on a kicker?

Now K Mike Vanderjagt was an ass. So I could almost understand why someone would go after him. But Lechler has been consistently the best player on the Raiders since the last Super Bowl appearance. He should be receiving Barry Bonds treatment from his teammates. Instead he gets a fist in the face. And the Raiders will likely lose their MVP because of it!

Last week an Al Davis press conference and a punched punter. What will the Raiders have to offer this week? I can’t wait to find out!  LOL

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I Love Raider Press Conferences

Posted by davefowkes on 02/04/2009

It just does not get better than an Oakland Raider press conference with Al Davis presiding! Great stuff today in Alameda today! For those that don’t know, the Raiders officially hired Tom Cable as head coach. But while there were no overhead projectors this time around, I found myself laughing a number of times.

The line of the day actually came from Cable himself. “In sports there are three great teams: In baseball it is the Yankees, in basketball it is the Celtics and in football it is the Raiders!” Yes, he said that with a straight face!!! I certainly could not keep mine!

Big Al talked about the process of hiring Cable. He said he had two finalists, Cable and someone else. He told them to go out and find a coaching staff. Meanwhile Al started to hire the guys Cable recommended. So what did he tell the other guy? Al says “the guy” was told of the hirings and was only concerned with an offensive and defensive coordinators “and since he was going to call his own plays he really didn’t care about the offensive coordinator.”   HUH????

When asked about the potential for sharing a stadium with the 49ers that has been suggested, Davis said he would consider anything. To get something done someone would need to bring him the details of a plan and the economics of it and who would build it. He did not say he would do anything, other than evaluating any offers brought to him. When further pushed he just kept hinting it was up to others to bring him the details.  But then asked where the Raiders would play in 2011 when the Raider lease at the coliseum is up, he said he did not know. So would he try to build a stadium? We’ll see what people bring me. HUH?

 Time and time again there were comments that taken on their own I suppose made sense but when put into the real world just made you go huh?

In the end you were left with the realization that Al still lives in his own world. He has the perfect guy for his head coach, a guy that will bleed silver and black and will bring lots of energy to the job. Will it translate to more wins? Maybe one or two. But for now all that matters is that Al knows what he is doing and the rest of us do not.

But for me, it is just a blast to watch the press conferences and see what has become of truly a once great franchise from a long, long, long time ago.

Keep the comedy coming!

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