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Showing posts from February, 2012

Free Agency Strategy: Play Moneyball

A lot has been made of the Raiders lack of draft selections in the 2012 NFL draft. The Raiders have just two, but are likely to be awarded a few more by the NFL when they announce compensatory picks in late March. The best pick that can be awarded is a pick at the end of the third round and compensatory selections can't be traded. In the NFL there is a salary cap and salary floor to keep all the teams as competitive as possible, but when it comes to draft selection they are traded like currency for acquiring players or more selections. With such limited resources this offseason, the Oakland Raiders may need to take a page from the Oakland Athletics to stay competitive. The most important lesson of Moneyball was the A's determined a way to find value in the market. They did more with less and that's exactly what the Raiders need to do this offseason.   Don't Overvalue the Cornerbacks Four of the 12 playoff teams in 2011 were ranked in the top half of the league in pass d

Ranking the Oakland Raiders 2012 Offseason Hires

Al Davis carefully planned his estate so his son could retain full control of the team. It will be Mark Davis who leads the team into an era of Raiders football without his legendary father. Mark Davis waited three months before making any changes on the football side of the organization, but changes were inevitable. Perhaps the best slogan for the 2012 Raiders would be, "Under New Management." The Raiders have hired 21 new people on the football side of the organization and whereas a quality control coach will have little to no impact on the immediate or long-term success of the team, a general manager will have significant impact.   21. Eric Sanders, Quality Control - Defense He's been with the team for two years and even the most die-hard fan doesn't recognize the name. Sanders coached linebackers at U.C. Davis for two seasons and he was a psychology major before joining the Raiders. He'll make copies of play sheets and get the rest of the staff coffee. That&#

10 Biggest Roster Holes

The Raiders don't have many draft picks, but it doesn't mean there aren't several holes the Raiders would like to fill through the draft. Reggie McKenzie may try to add more picks via trade and will also look to add players that aren't drafted. Not all of these holes will be filled with draft picks, but McKenzie would do well to address as many as he can. 1. Inside Linebacker If the Raiders plan to play more 3-4, they will need to add one or two inside linebackers. Rolando McClain is likely to get one more year to prove he isn't a draft bust, but he will need help inside. Travis Goethel has been given an opportunity to play, but he can't stay healthy. Aaron Curry may be able to move inside when the Raiders decide to play 3-4, but that leaves a large hole at outside linebacker.   2. Outside Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley is the only lock to make the roster from last year's group of outside linebackers. Curry will need to restructure his $5.7 cap number to stick

Offseason Shopping List

As seen on Bleacher Report. The first offseason without the presence of legendary owner Al Davis will prove to be the most intriguing one in decades for the Oakland Raiders. Reggie McKenzie takes over as the main football executive and has already been working to shape the Raiders into his team. McKenzie started with the head coach and has been interviewing and evaluating his front office staff and scouting department over the past few weeks. Raiders fans are accustomed to coaching change, but front office and roster changes have always been subtle from year to year. Al Davis was the final decision-maker for the Raiders and he would slowly sour on players and wholesale changes would always come at the expense of the head coach.   McKenzie's philosophy will differ from the late Davis' philosophy. Davis loved speed, but he was just as interested in his size, strength, speed and other measurable traits as he was with a fast time in the 40-yard dash. Former Raiders and Packers gene

Access Denied

It's clear that Dennis Allen is ready to take the reins as a head coach in the NFL. Allen is praised by his peers, he has earned the respect of his former players, he has even been mentored by some of the games finest, but the challenges of being a head coach are never fully realized until you become one. Allen is just getting his first taste of those challenges. Since the day Dennis Allen was offered the job to be the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders, there has been speculation surrounding who he would choose for his staff. Allen is now ready to start answering some of those questions, but the answers didn't come nearly as easy as he thought they would.   Being the last head coach officially hired for the 2012 season and with the majority of the available coaches already finding new teams, Allen was starting from behind. It didn't affect Allen too much at first because he had a short list of coaches he wanted to bring in. As a head coach, especially a first time head

Allen's Coordinator Options

Defensive Coordinator   Bill Johnson - Raiders denied permission to interview. Age: 65 Current Position: Defensive Line Coach, New Orleans Saints Previous DC Experience: None Notes: Coached at Texas A&M during Dennis Allen's playing career and got him hired by the Falcons. Johnson followed Allen to New Orleans. Too much history here to ignore.   Billy Davis Age: 46 Current Position: LB coach, Cleveland Browns Previous DC experience: 2005-2006 49ers, 2009-2010 Cardinals Ed Donatell Age: 53 Current Position: DB Coach, San Francisco 49ers Previous DC experience: 2008 (Univ. of Washington), 2004-2006 (Atlanta Falcons), 2000-2003 (Green Bay Packers) Brett Maxie Age: 50 Current Position: DB coach, Dallas Cowboys Previous DC experience: None Richard Smith - Raiders denied permission to interview Age: 56 Current Position: LB Coach, Denver Broncos Previous DC Experience: 2006-2008 (Houston Texans), 2005 Miami Dolphins Joe Whitt Jr. - Interviewed Age: 33 Current Position: Secondary co