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Showing posts from February, 2008

A Plan From the Man

I don't think we give Al Davis enough credit.. Or maybe it isn't Al Davis. Somehow the Raider managed to not only keep us reading about the Raiders all offseason with the Kiffin job related drama, but they also managed to get the player agents calling Oakland before anywhere else. Al Davis has manipulated the system to work like he wants it to. Here is what we have done and how it impacts the league. 0. The Lane drama. Ever heard that no publicity is bad publicity? We had every free agents thinking about Oakland. Dysfunction, mystery, hogwash, whatever the FA players thought of it didn't matter, our name was out there. 1. Sign Fargas: Impact on the league is no one thought we were going to think about McFadden because of the signing, but in the fine print of Fargas contract you see that he could be cut after this year with no cap hit. That is a disguised deal. 2. Exclusive Tag for Asomugha. We said hands off league, we knew we were going to make the prices jump and we made

What the Tommy Kelly signing means

I think it is a lot, but the guy was our very best defensive lineman until he got hurt. Kelly was playing out of position at DT before he moved to DE. He played along side of Sapp at DT where he wasn't able to use his speed. With Sapp's departure he will play the 3-technique. Kelly should be able to dominate at the 3-technique position. Think about this, he was constantly a force against the opposing team's very best lineman last year (the LT). How much better will he do against a RG? I'd say he would maul a RG. From Football 101: "If you want to be especially good at rushing the passer you'll find four relatively athletic, perhaps somewhat smaller defensive linemen and line them up in a 1 gap scheme. Now you will have at least three gaps unprotected, so it's important in this scheme that you have three very solid linebackers who can cover these gaps." Sounds like our scheme and personnel to a tee. We are a team that wants a pass rush from our front 4,

Raider Rage: 0 "Introduction"

This is going to be a new feature for Raider Nation: Each week the authors of this blog will make valid arguments to a particular Raider subject. The format will be as follows: 6 lines , 10 , 7 , 6 , 3 Author 1: Italic Author 2: Bold Discussion for this feature is in a new forum at Raider Nation: The Forum Topic 1: What do you think of the Raiders Moves/Non-moves so far this offseason? Which players do we still need to target and why? Our current contributors are Chris and David. If you would like to contribute please click the link on the right side of the blog page.

Combine Report: Tuesday

1. Kenny Phillips benched 225 only 19 times. While that isn't bad, it wasn't near the top of any the DBs and you have to wonder if he is going to be a hard-hitting safety with that kind of upper body strength. I think 19 reps is adequate, but I hope it does make him fall, I'd love to get him in the second! 2. Aqib Talib is sloppy. "All over the place" Mayock said he is inconsistent. Reminds me too much of Phillip Buccannon at CB and he isn't even as fast. Not that we need a CB, but I could see this guy falling. Mayock pointed at pretty large problems with work ethic on film. I wouldn't draft him. 3. Rogers-Cromartie is fast and fluid. I could see himself going in the middle of the first round. 4. Tom Zibikowski may be a later round option for safety if we want to go Safety. He is strong and good against the run, but maybe a liability in coverage. With the strength of the rest of our secondary in coverage we can probably get away with him as long as he can

Combine Report: Monday

1. Keith Rivers injury keeps him from running. This is a re-occurring injury and could effect his draft stock. 2. Chris Long dominated the combine. However, even he admits he is going to need work if someone wants him to be a 3-4 OLB. 4.75 dash. 34" vert 10' 4" broad jump 3. Vernon Gholston was the best combine performer at DE. He benched 37 (1st), ran 4.64 (3rd), 35.5" vert (1st) 10' 4" broad jump 4. Sedrick Ellis had a solid performance. The Senior Bowl really hyped him up, but I've been saying and I've had at least one scout confirm my notions that he is more of a top 15 pick than a top 5 pick. I like him, but I think that if we are looking for a run stuffer Ellis isn't our guy. 5. Dorsey's pro day will be huge because of the injury concerns. I expect him to plummet if he doesn't do well at the pro day, because of the injury concerns. 6. LB's looked unspectacular overall. Woodyard looked like pretty good. 7. Trevor Laws lacked the

Picking the Studs Weeding Out the Duds

So I did some digging around on the WWW and found this article about bust percentages in the NFL draft. Players Picked in First Round & Bust Percentages OL -- 70 - 31 percent DE -- 55 - 31 percent CB -- 52 - 29 percent WR -- 51 - 45 percent LB -- 48 - 16 percent DT -- 42 - 33 percent RB -- 41 - 49 percent QB -- 30 - 53 percent S -- 19 - 11 percent According to these number there is a 34% chance overall. The author of the article was pretty accurate his selections could be guys such as Joe Thomas, Gaines Adams, Adam Carriker, LaRon Landry, Brandon Merriweather, Patrick Willis, Amobi Okoye You could add to that Reggie Nelson who had a great year. Apply these percentages to the latest Mel Kiper's top 25 , Mike Mayock's top 20 and Scott Wright's top 32 (26 made at least two of the prognosticators lists). I want to compare complete 31 team mocks (No NE) when I can get my hands on all three. OL -- Long, Clady, Williams, Otah (1 bust rounding normally) DE -- Campbell, Lon

Combine Report: Sunday

1. The biggest talk is going to be McFadden. He ran 4.27 and officially they gave him a 4.33. Lets call it 4.3 speed. We are all aware speed is just a gauge. This certainly will help his stock regardless. Mayock and Faulk (A HOF RB) both said McFadden best fits in a one cut and go system (Sounds like the Raiders). Look I am not saying we should for sure take McFadden, but he certainly fits the mold. Heck he is a lot like Fargas coming out but younger and faster. If he falls to #4, we have to consider it. So fans better get used to the fact that we may take him if he is there at #4. He also had a 10' 10" Broad jump and 33" vertical. The fast time doesn't surprise me, he has been training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center. Just for the record: I guessed McFadden's 40-time EXACTLY 2. Devin Thomas looked very quick and natural in drills and ran very well. 3. Mendenhall ran well and has good size. 4.4 4. Stewart ran very well considering he is a big 235. 4.4 5.

Combine Report: Saturday

My observations from today's combine workouts. I claim to be no expert, just observations and some analysis from a fanatical fan. I add what I can offer to the mix. If you missed the workouts and don't trust the media to be honest or accurate, here are the guys I observed that stood out. 1. Jake Long, OT is pretty solid, but I don't think he is a Joe Thomas. Probably a little better than Levi Brown. He is strong, decent 10 yard split and good footwork. I have to agree with Mayock. Pro Bowl RT, decent LT. 2. Dustin Keller, TE really impressed. He had the second most bench reps, the fastest 40 time, highest vertical and was catching a lot of passes. He might be a solid pass catching TE for someone in round 3 or 4. Carlson the top rated TE looks like a poor man's Zach Miller. 3. Jeff Otah, OT has nice speed but didn't run as fast as expected. He isn't very fluid and bends at the waist and in drills he was very high. I'd say a small stock drop for him. 4. Jeremy

Combine Report: Friday

1. Lost the coin flip . So there is no need for the NFL to try to make us do it again. The only way I see drafting four as a large negative is if Dorsey falls to #3 and Atlanta picks him. Otherwise I don't think it does anything but save us money. It may also reduce what we could get should we trade down, but it will also make it easier to move down should we try. 2. DeSean Jackson measured in at just 5'9" and 169 pounds. Huge knock to his draft stock for 3 inches and 3 pounds? How can they list him at 6'0" and he actually be 5'9"...that is funny stuff. I can usually shrug off 1 inch as rounding...but come on Cal. He has also been training for the combine, which means he may have weighed less during his playing years. 3. Rob Ryan insists the rumors about him being fired are fiction. You have to wonder if we have someone in the organization with a vendetta that is spreading these rumors. Rumor also is Al Davis is NOT impressed with Rich Snead, maybe it is

Combine Report: Thursday

1. First Item I found came from Jerry McDonald . Here is the quote: One personnel expert’s assessment of LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey as opposed to USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis: “Dorsey. Hands down. He’s a top four pick no question while Ellis is a nice player but belongs in the top 15.” I got pretty heavily criticized for saying we could get Ellis at 8. I think the Senior Bowl really hyped Ellis up among the fans. Apparently there is at least one personnel expert that thinks Ellis is more of a top 15 guy. If we start hearing more of this, then I might have to say I told you so, but I'll wait on that until after the combine results. 2. Also from Jerry: – According to one personnel man, Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter, scheduled for free agency after voiding the final year of his contract, may not get the big payday he desires. “Can’t run,” he said. 3. Jake Long is apparently left-handed . I wonder just how much advantage that would give him being at LT? I would think

Combine Report Coming to Raider Nation

Hello all, Well, I want to announce that I will be doing a daily combine report everyday of the combine starting Thursday with coverage any news about measurements of offensive lineman. I plan to keep a log in the exclusive section at "The Forum." The analysis will be here, but any hard data and a complete log will be a part of the exclusive section (Which is free if you become a member of the board, which is also free). Hopefully I can provide some insight on some later round picks that might be able to contribute. Things will likely be a bit slow until Saturday when the workouts start, but I will report on anything noteworthy. I am also going to try and keep an up-to-date list of the measurables. Check back for analysis from a true Raiders fan and the one and only internet hack of the Silver and Black. Corny? Probably. I doubt I am the only hack, but I hope to be one that the Raider Nation can turn to for honest and quality information. I need your help to get there, so pl

Asomugha Gets Tagged

Adam S. reports it is the exclusive version. What this means if his salary will be based on the 2008 Top 5 CB instead of the 2007 numbers. If Dante Hall gets a new deal or Asante Samuel signs a huge contract Asomugha's guranteed salary could be $10 mllion. I have a feeling Asomugha will get a long-term deal before the season. He is about as low-risk as you can get and has proven his worth to our team. Unlike the Jared Allen and Carl Peterson fiasco going on in KC, where Allen is a high risk due to his drinking problem and the relationship between the two is strained, Asomugha is the model citizen and hometown hero. To our knowledge he hasn't had any problems with management. We all knew it was coming. The exclusive part is no suprise either, because this shows Asomugha our commitment to keep him and should help with our contract negotiations. Unlike Woodson, Asomugha will get his deal done, because he has proven in all areas he is deserving, and also because I believe he wants

Fabian Washington Arrested

WWSB out of Florida reports he was arrested for domestic battery. So much for trading the guy. Well, maybe he will be able to play a bit more aggressive with a criminal record. This isn't likely to get him back into the starter role, especially with Kiffin's emphasis on character guys. Turd Watch points on PFT are likely.

Sedrick Ellis vs. Glenn Dorsey

I am thinking more and more about Sedrick Ellis. I am thinking he might be the perfect fit for our team. He is the perfect 3-technique DT. Sapp was our 3-technique. Dorsey may be an even better fit because he plays the 3-technique and is better at beating a double team. He also has size on Ellis and should be stouter against the run. In our defense, a 3- technique is important because we rush with just four lineman a lot. So we really need to a get a good 3-technique. Dorsey is stouter against the run and can eat up more blocker in the run game than can Ellis, which is why I still have Dorsey as my #1. I also think it is possible Kelly could play the 3-technique. When he played DT before he wasn't playing the 3-technique Sapp was. So maybe he could be a cheaper solution to our problem. Still if you have a chance to get a good DT like Dorsey or Ellis, it is hard to pass on them. Ellis didn't play the 3-technique at USC, so he may need adjustment time in the NFL. Dorsey did play

Update: Fargas Contract Structure

Breaking Down Fargas contract to find the hidden Raiders agenda and what it means for our cap situation going forward. 2008: According to Jason Jones, Fargas is due $6 million in 2008 . According to Jerry McDonald and the NFLPA, his base is $605,000 This means he is going to be paid $5.395 million in bonus money in 2008. Talk about a nice payoff. 2009: This is where it gets interesting. His base in 2009 will be just $2.5 million. 2010: $1.5 in base. I've confirmed Fargas base salaries with the NFLPA. Rotoworld reports all $6 million of the guarantees will be in the first year. I can't confirm this anywhere else. This is a clear cut sign that Fargas contract is a three year deal that could be reduced to one or two if need be. $6 million guaranteed in the first year ($605K of it being base) +$2.5 + 1.5 = $10.605. Where are we getting $12 from? How can he make all his guarantees in the first year and have those base salaries? Likely to be earned incentives could bridge the gap to

Cut, Sign, Change

Based on the salary cap and performance, the following are players that will or might be gone or need to restructure, may be traded, should be re-signed or will be moved to a new position. THE CAP CATEGORY 1. Jordan - His cap number and performance make this a certainty. No sense on spending any time on him 2. Rhodes - His cap number makes this near certain. He would have to restructure and may find himself as the 3rd stringer. Expect him to opt for being cut over a restructure, he complained last year about playing time, I don't think he would take well to being a 3rd stringer. 3. Warren - At times last year he was a very good lineman, but was rather inconsistent. Better than Sands, but also a cap monstrosity (Like Sands). It will be tough to swallow if we cut him loose because we gave up a 5th rounder. I'd bet we try and restructure his deal and make him more cap friendly, however there is the chance he could be gone. He might challenge Sands for the RDT starting spot. 4. San


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Sedrick Ellis

I've gotten a negative response from many people about saying we could get him at #8. Right now he is projected to us or to fall to #6 to NYJ. Before the Senior Bowl practices he was projected by many to go #9 to Cincy. Because we have yet to see him at the combine and/or his pro day, I think we would be jumping the gun to put him as not having a chance to fall to #8. A good example of how things change would be Alan Branch last season projected in the top 15 by just about every major draft prognosticator, who fell into the second round. I would rather hold off judgment about where guys may or may not go in the draft. If Mike Mayock is correct, we might see McFadden fall to the late first round. In past years plenty of guys have fallen in the draft. I would say Ellis has the chance to go the other way and pass up Dorsey as well. Mayock seems to think Ellis is better right now based on the Senior Bowl. Kentwan Balmer is also a stud and maybe he can help if we decide to trade down an

The Draft Conundrum

We lose the coin flip and McFadden is gone, Dorsey is gone, Chris Long is gone. Many of us like Ellis, but we could get him at 8. What is a team to do. The simple answer is trade down, something I have never seen Al Davis do in the first round. Jerry McDonald of ANG Newspapers put it this way, "The Raiders don’t normally trade down, but then again, Davis is fond of saying, “I’d rather be right than consistent; In other words, rule nothing out." We lack a 3rd and 5th round pick this year. For a rebuilding team, that is significant, especially since one of our best draft picks came out of the 5th round last season (ironically the worse pick came out of the 3rd). Trading down will likely net us a 2nd or 3rd depending on how far we move down and if we move down from 3 or 4. We could also shop Fabian Washington, who people still think has potential for a pick or two. Andrew Walter potentially has value and according to McDonald could bring a late round pick (borrowing a lot of Je

Offense just as weak as Defense

What some people aren't understanding is just how much a RB who can catch the ball would change the offense. Fargas is horrible out of the backfield and the others are sure cuts (Rhodes and Jordan). Bush can catch the ball out of the backfield, but doesn't have elite speed, at this point we don't know what to expect. Griffith was about the best we had. McFadden would help in this area tremendously. Also, how many TDs did Fargas have last season? 4. That is it! We have to do a better job of getting into the endzone. Last season the opposition stacked the line with 8 or 9 guys and Fargas couldn't go anywhere when we needed it most. We need to a) trade for an elite WR to make them respect the pass or b) find some other way of getting into the endzone (I think McFadden could help that.) Pat Sims in the second would help plug up the run of defense and just like you have addressed TWO of our biggest not RB, but scoring and rush defense. We ranked 18th in the leag

Fargas' Deal and What it Might Mean

According to Jason Jones, Fargas' deal is worth $12 million over three years with $6 million in guarantees. The contract could escalate to $14 with incentives. $6 million is also due to him in 2008. What does this mean Raider Nation? I see this signing in one of two ways. First off, the length is on the shorter side, with many people expecting it to be three or four years. Also, the deal is only worth $4 million per year, which isn't a huge number. $6 million in 2008 means just $3 (or $4 with incentives) due in 2009 and 2010. When I receive news of how the base and signing bonus is split I will let you know. It might mean a lot if we were to want to make him a backup in a year or two or cut him. The front-loaded deal does mean a couple things. Jordan and his $6.9 million are 100% gone. Also Rhodes and his $3.5 ($5.5 with incentives) is also as good as gone. This is where it will be subject to some debate. Does this mean for sure McFadden is not on our radar? I don't think

Fargas Re-signs

Ouch. This hurts for McFadden supporters. The terms of the deal will be interesting. One would guess this makes McFadden a lot less of an option, but never rule anything out with Al Davis. Bump up the likelihood the Raiders are going for a defensive lineman. Dorsey, Ellis, Long all now become tops on our list (or so it would appear). McFadden's receiving ability may still make him a darkhorse, especially if Dorsey and Chris Long are off the board. If ever there was a year to move down, this would be it. My guess is we could move down to 8 and still get Ellis. That would mean a #22 pick or so if we are going down from #3 or a #50 pick if we are moving down from #4. Then we could possibly acquire a SS and WR.

D-ebt T-ackle Ratio

I know defensive line might be our greatest need. From the poll results so far just about everyone is in agreement. However, the Giants may have ultimately screwed us. Here is how. The Super Bowl brought to light what a good defensive line can do for a team. The entire league is now thinking they need a better defensive line, even if they have a solid line to begin with. Now the market is inflated and I wouldn't be surprised to see Ellis go much earlier than previously anticipated. Also the price may skyrocket on players like Corey Williams and even our very own Tommy Kelly. Are we completely screwed? No, because with the 3rd or 4th pick we can pick one of the top three. However, teams will be looking for any help they can get on the line and should we cut Warren, would be there to pick him up. Here is something few people have mentioned as another hurdle in the race for a DT. We have Sands and Warren at the position. Look unspectacular? On the field it does. In Al Davis' wall

Position Analysis: WR

Hackett is the only one I see that fits the mold of the type of WR we need. Berrian I am not impressed with, but he would be interesting to see with a good young QB, unlike a bad young QB. Hackett is a great route runner and turns on a dime, he has size and speed, I think he is ready to develop into a #1. Apparently the Seahawks do to and Hackett is “...not going to some team where I don’t have a chance to win." This article says Berrian still could be franchised and he said he would prefer to stay in Chicago, but we have expressed interest in the Bay Area native. Choices are thin at WR, so we are going to need to figure out what to do in the event we don't sign a free agent WR. If we draft one, we need a guy with great understanding of the position. Many college WR need about 3 years to develop, we need production right away. Insult to injury, this draft is thin at WR, very very thin. Porter's antics as a Raider have not been well documented IMO. We let him off the hook

Position Analysis: RB

This will be the first of my posts analyzing the possible 1st and 2nd round draft selections and our positional needs. Please note that other RBs could come into play in the second round that aren't covered here. Before I go into McFadden, let's look at our other options. Justin Fargas (FA): However, Fargas is not the long term answer. Fargas has only had one completely healthy season and he didn't play that much. The more carries he gets, the more he seems to get hurt. I LOVED what he did for us this year. I like him. However, this is football team and our team needs to be smart about spending and what is really best. Also, keep this in mind. Despite Fargas success, he had just 4 TD. He also wasn't that consistant, with only four 100 yard games in 11. There was still a reason Jordan started over Fargas at the beginning of the year whether we want to admit it or not. I just don't understand spending the money on a 28 year-old RB with a long injury history. Also, Far

Talent vs Need: The Great Debate

The debate has long been discussed. Need or Talent in the NFL draft? What pays off? What doesn't? I will attempt to answer some of those questions here. I will judge how teams selected, and also give an impact ratio in (). First, lets look at the 2007 NFL Draft. The Raiders selected Russell over Peterson and Calvin Johnson because of need. Some could debate it was based on talent, but I find it hard to believe Russell would have gone #1 if it wasn't the Raiders picking in that slot. Need 1 Talent 0 The next player to come of the board was Calvin Johnson. Clearly, this was a talent over need pick. The Lions already had Roy Williams and Mike Furrey, along with plenty of decent backup options. It is too early to tell if this pick will pay off, but with Roy Williams entering the last year of his deal and the trade rumors swirling, you can bet Calvin gets his chance to shine. Need 1 Talent 1 The third pick was Joe Thomas. Cleveland clearly needed an offensive lineman and Joe Thomas