Skip to main content

Hit the Reset Button on Player Expectations

It's natural for fans to get excited about football players . The fan DNA is encoded to cheer and root for athletes we could only dream of being.

It can be dangerous when fans get carried away and before we know it a rookie receiver becomes a savior.

It's not negative to point out what players are having unrealistic expectations placed on them. This list isn't to say the player is not good or to thrash on them. Rather it is like hitting the reset button because you have been playing Madden on rookie for too long.

The coaching staff is also having to work with a short training camp and no mini-camp. It wouldn't be surprising to see many young players have their professional growth stunted by the abbreviated offseason.

So what players are overrated?


Nnamdi Asomugha

He isn't likely to be a Raider in 2011, but this might be the last opportunity to point out the fans that the Raiders will not be significantly worse in the secondary without Asomugha. Even the best corner in the league can be overrated.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you are prepared mentally to lose Asomugha in free agency. Don't make it worse than it is. Asomugha is 30 and Al Davis is smart to turn to younger players. Asomugha is the type of player who will go on to be successful elsewhere, but likely not be worth the huge amount of money that will be committed to him.

It would be tough to make a case that Asomugha has been worth what the Raiders paid him the last few years. A corner just doesn't impact the game enough one their own to earn money like a quarterback.

The fact that Asomugha was rarely tested didn't magically make Raiders secondary amazing. Asomugha also only plays one side of the field. He's not shadowing the oppositions top receiver. He's great, probably the best, but even the best corner isn't impacting the game enough to be worth $14 million per year.


Jacoby Ford

Ford was a lightning rod for the offense and he quickly became a fan favorite. He is blazing fast and almost single-handedly defeated the Chiefs at the coliseum last fall.

The risk here is that the fans and maybe even the organization are viewing him as a number one receiver. That's a lofty expectation to be placed on a sophomore receiver. Ford is a more natural fit as a number two receiver.

He's being pushed into the number one role largely because of the Raiders lack of top end talent. He's good, he's fast and he's dynamic. He's also got a lot to learn about route running and blocking.

That doesn't mean Jacoby Ford will not be successful, but temper your expectations and enjoy a handful of electric plays Ford will inevitably make. You can be sure defensive coordinators will know where Ford is lined up and with an entire offseason to study they will be ready for him.

Hue Jackson and Al Saunders will need to create new ways to get Ford the ball. With a short training camp, that may be more difficult than you might expect.


Jared Veldheer

He's firmly the Raiders left tackle. There is no denying Jared helped solidify the line last season with his versatility and generally solid play. He still made mistakes and had trouble with speed rushers around the edge. He'll play without Robert Gallery to his right in 2011.

Don't expect Veldheer to be Jonathan Ogden. If you watched Veldheer closely, you know he still has learning to do. You have to like how Veldheer competes. He's such a gym rat he opened his own. If the Raiders are lucky Veldheer continues to improve over the next couple seasons into what is considered a franchise left tackle. Until then, expect growing pains.

He could have really benefitted from more time with the new offensive line coaches. A short training camp means less time to work on his footwork.


Marcel Reece

A relative unknown headed into the 2010 season, Reece became a versatile weapon for the Raiders offense. He's an ex-receiver and really showed how dangerous he can be out of the backfield.

For as much as we all love Reece, he's still got work to do on his blocking. Picking up the blitzing linebacker or helping out on defensive lineman can mean the difference between a sack and a big play.

He's a fullback and although the NFL is going away from the fullback as lead blocker, it's still nice to have one who can do it.

Offenses will start to focus more attention on Reece if the Raiders fail to develop another weapon on offense. It's easy to love Reece, but he can still grow as a player.


The players on this list are among my favorites on the team. I want them to be successful, but success in the eyes of fans can often be unrealistic. Hit the reset button and  reevaluate what made these players a success in 2010 to avoid disappointment in 2011.


Popular posts from this blog

Oakland Raiders Swing for the Fences in 2016 NFL Draft

[embed align="center"][/embed] These aren't your daddy's Oakland Raiders or even your younger self's Raiders. If anything, these are your newborn's Raiders or your puppy's Raiders. These are the Raiders we've never seen before. Indicative of the freshness of the franchise was their 2016 NFL Draft. No longer slave to a high draft pick and desperate needs, the theme of the draft for the Raiders was upside. It's as if general manager Reggie McKenzie got so used to hitting his draft picks out of the park that he started swinging for the fences. We'll have to wait a couple of years before we know if he struck out or if he'll continue his Ruthian ways. First, McKenzie boldly went with a safety at No. 14 overall. Kyle Joseph is coming off a torn ACL and fills a major need, but safety isn't a premium position. Only a handful of safeties have been drafted in the first 14 picks in the last 15 years and include names like Ea

The Raiders aren't who we thought they were....they're better

The Oakland Raiders are tired of being the team that will be good in a year or two. The team expects to win now and it is winning now. We thought the Raiders needed more talent. We thought that being in the playoff hunt was a year away for this team, but we were wrong. This isn't the team we thought they were, they're better. On Sunday, they moved to 3-3 on Sunday with a 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers that wasn't close until the final minute. It was also the Raiders second road win of the season. The last time the Raiders had two road wins by their sixth game was 2011. Before that, a five-year streak from 1998-2002. The Raiders went 8-8 in 1998, 1999 and 2011 and narrowly missed the playoffs each year.  They made the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. They didn't have a losing record in any of those seasons because teams that can win on the road are usually pretty good. As the season matures, there is more and more evidence that some of the "best-case scenario

Looking Forward: Raiders 2012 Free Agents

Khalif Barnes - Weakest link on the offensive line with youth behind him. Raiders will look for for other options. It's not as if there aren't a dozen Khalif's on the street each year. Darryl Blackstock - Was a Chuck Bresnahan guy, but found a home on special teams. Would have to make the team as a reserve LB and special teams guy next training camp. Wouldn't be surprised to see him back as a camp body or gone entirely. Kyle Boller - Hue didn't have enough confidence to turn to Boller. Expect the Raiders to look elsewhere for a backup to Carson Palmer. Jerome Boyd - Was nothing more than a reserve and special teams player. Some good moments and some very bad ones. Camp body again and fate will depend on the defensive coordinator. Tyvon Branch - About the only consistent producer in the secondary. Raiders will want to bring him back. Desmond Bryant - He's been great in limited action and can play inside and out. Key reserve. Michael Bush - He'll find a home a