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Showing posts from October, 2009

Happy Halloween: Raiders Style

This is how the Raiders pumpkin turned out. I posted a lower resolution photo on Twitter last night, but thought I'd share the end result with everyone. Please don't drink and drive. Drink, eat and scare the crap out of the kids, but don't drive. Have a happy and safe Halloween and save me a few Reese's will ya.

Familiar Challenges

The Raiders dominated the Eagles offensive line to win the game in Oakland last Sunday. It was unique game for the Raiders, who in large part didn't have to respect running lanes with the pass happy Eagles in town. No one every would accuse the Raiders front four for failing to be good pass rushers. They criticism is always run stopping ability. Last Sunday, the Raiders defense pinned their ears back and dominated a dinged up Eagles offensive line. The Eagles line just wasn't athletic enough to handle the Raiders front four along with some blitzers. Will the fans see a lot of the same this week? Be careful. The Raiders face one of the NFL's best run blocking offensive lines. Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, left guard Alan Faneca, Center Nick Mangold, right guard Brandon Moore and right tackle Damien Woody. This line has churned out the leagues second ranked rushing attack in front of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington with a 163 yards per game. The average yar

No Charges For Tom Cable

Here is the description of what happened from the DA's press release: "Mr. Cable became angry and rushed toward Mr. Hanson. At that juncture, one of the other coaches in the room stepped in between the two and Mr. Cable bumped into him, which in turn caused that coach to bump into Mr. Hanson's chair in which he was leaning back, with his feet upon the table. As a result of the force, Mr. Hanson fell over, at which time he most likely fractured his jaw. This conclusion is supported by the statements of independent witnesses present in the room, including and especially the coach who bumped into Mr. Hanson's chair. The same witnesses did state that after Mr. Hanson was on the ground, Mr. Cable grabbed him by the shirt . The witnesses also made it clear, however, that at no time during this incident did Mr. Cable strike Mr. Hanson." As I have been saying all along. If the DA had enough evidence against Tom Cable, the charges would have been brought much sooner. T

Late Postgame

I am still on vacation and as such haven't had a chance to watch the game on When I get back to Nor Cal on Wednesday you should see something up in the way of postgame. I figured with a win that is a vit more acceptable.

Paul Just Can't Hackett

Paul Hackett is/was the wizard savior of a quarterbacks coach whose tutelage of JaMarcus Russell was supposed to propel the Raiders into respectability. By many league accounts Russell is already a bust. It is difficult to argue with what everyone has seen so far this season. I firmly believe the Raiders need to give Russell a full 30 starts before deciding what he is. At 1-4, the league doesn't have any respect for the lowly Raiders, so there is really nothing to lose. The gain could be a play-making quarterback. He may or may not always be prone to fumbles. That wouldn't make him a whole lot different than Dante Culpepper's younger years. Hackett always was the key to the Raiders season. If you have been reading my blog, you probably remember a post about Hackett's credentials as a QB coach. That was because I felt like he was the singular most important coach on the team. Even Tom Cable's playcalling couldn't have the same effect on this offense as Hackett an

Crapcap: Raiders 7, Giants 99

There you go, another terrible game from your 2009 Oakland Raiders. You know why it hurts so bad this time of year? Because you came into the season with high expectations. Maybe you were even trying to be realistic with a consevative 7 win prediction. Now it is clear, this team isn't good. At 1-4, there is little hope. My game preview was pretty spot on. Bradshaw killed the Raiders defense. I want Rob Ryan back? This defense should be better, why is it worse? Must be Davis meddling in the gameplan. Stop with the Russell bashing at this point, he didn't even have a chance Sunday. The defense spotted the Giants 14 points before the Raiders could run their fourth offensive play. We have wailed on him enough, and you will have more chances. There is some kind of sickness in the Raiders organization. I think it is a virus called Al Davis. Call it the silver and black plague. I respect what Davis has done, but he needs to know when to quit. His methods aren't working anymore. He

Game 5 Preview: Raiders @ Giants

The Raiders are 1-3. A single win that came against a bad team in a game in which the offense played poorly except for on the final drive. Embarrassed against the Broncos at home and on the road in Houston, the Raiders seek redemption. Typically you would hope for a game against the Rams or Chiefs coming off two blowout losses. Wouldn't you know it, the Raiders play the terrible Giants. Whoops. The 4-0 Giants. 1-4 and the season is basically over for the Raiders. The Giants haven't really played tough teams, but the Raiders don't qualify either. Sure no one expected the Raiders to contend, but I am sure the players feel like they should. Al Davis and Tom Cable feel like they should. If the players don't give it everything tomorrow, the playoffs are no longer even an option and that puts Cable's job on the line. Keys to the game: 1) Offensive line play: They must win the battles at the line of scrimmage, execute the zone blocking scheme effectively, avoid penalties a

Teammates Defend Russell

Earlier today I posed the question via Twitter , "Mr. Russell: Are you or aren't you doing the things it takes to be good and win?" I asked the question amid a flood of information regarding Russell missing and/or being late to meetings. Raider Nation would quickly give up on him, if they haven't already, if he wasn't putting in the effort. So what happens? I just so happen catch a clip on Fox Sports Radio where Petros and Money interviewed ex-teammate Dwayne Bowe. Bowe said missing or being late to meetings wasn't the JaMarcus he knew at LSU and that he hadn't heard that to be the case and didn't think it was true. Then comes this excerpt from Mario Henderson's Blog date October 8, 2009. I've had reporters coming up to me all week asking about JaMarcus and why he isn't playing better and all this stuff, but I tell them that the guy is doing everything right in order to try and get better. He gets there early, works hard, watches film an

Can Russell Avoid Bust Status?

There has been a lot of negativity in Raider Nation lately. Who can blame them? They feeling slighted after the first four games. After an offseason of hope and improvement and a first game that everyone considered a moral victory, the Raiders have had three straight terrible performances. Lucky to come away with a single win, the offense has been the target of most of the negativity. Now that Raider Nation has had their expectations changed for them, what can the Raiders do to improve? The biggest target of negative criticism is usually the quarterback and JaMarcus Russell is a big target in more than one way. His terrible play has effected the entire offense. His regression and lack of improvement is cause for great concern and his status as a bust is already cemented in many minds. I am not willing to give up so soon on Russell. In my mind, every quarterback drafted that high must be given 30 starts to prove or disprove themselves. By the end of the season, the Raiders and R

Houston Hangover: A History

What is happening to the Oakland Raiders? Six years is more than enough time to rebuild a team especially with a few top draft picks. After drafting a quarterback. runningback and receiver high in the first-round the last three years, the offense actually looks worse. Normally the easiest thing to point out would be a complete lack of draft picks used on offensive lineman. In this case, the team uses the zone blocking system which is one in which you don't need to spend top picks on lineman. It is possible to fault the team for failing to bring in players that do fit that scheme. Mario Henderson and Robert Gallery are the only two players on the line that have been consistently above average. For as many problems as this team has, the defense doesn't look like one of them. Has the defense been great? Not by a mile, but compared to the disease that is the Raiders offense, the defense is Penicillin. Too bad the disease is so bad the defense simply can't overcome those

9 Drops, No Blocks

As badly as the fans want to blame JaMarcus Russell for the things that are wrong with the Raiders, it just can't be completely put on his shoulders. I've been forced to defend Russell against unwarranted criticism. Obviously, some of the criticism is warranted, but lets not kid ourselves, the Raiders have plenty of problems. By Tom Cable's count, the Raiders dropped nine passes. Maybe more. Does Russell's 12 for 33 looks so bad if those nine passes are caught? 21 for 33 and approximately 224 yards? Not to mention what getting into a rhythm could do for the offense. There is a lot of truth to Cable's statement, "This is not on JaMarcus today...clearly his best game of the year." Those nine drops are a major concern. It wasn't just Heyward-Bey today. Murphy, Lawton, Miller, Watkins all had at least one drop. McFadden, Bush, Fargas three-headed monster that wasn't. Hard to blame it on them. There was a complete lack of playcalling diversity and the l

Game 4 Preview: @ Texans

A huge early game for both teams. The Texans lost to the Jets, defeated the Titans Ina shootout and were in another shootout losing to the Jags in week 3. One thing is absolutely true. The Titans run defense is terrible. The pass defense is just a tiny bit better. Overall, this team wins by outscoring the other team. Huge weight on the Raider defense or offense? The poor Raiders offense needs to get on track, but the defense must play better against a high powered offense. This could mean a big impact day from the special teams units to close any gaps or cracks that aren't filled defensively or offensively. Matchups: Nam vs. André Johnson - Probably the best individual matchup of the year. Huge challenge for both guys. Nam will want to prove he is better than Revis, but Johnson may want to prove he can best the elite CBs. Chris "Gametime" Johnson vs. Kevin Walter - Just as big of a matchup impact wise as Nam vs. André. When Johnson is shut down Schaub will look to Walter.

Friday Quick Hits

1. Chaz "X-Ray" Schilens will not play Sunday. Looks like the foot is taking longer to heal than the Raiders expected. Not a good sign for Raiders passing game. At what point do the Raiders stop relying on rookie receivers to carry the passing offense? It is so rare for a rookie receiver to be productive, you would think that reason alone would mean getting Higgins and Walker on the field. Walker wont play again and Higgins just isn't getting any plays run his way. 2. Seymour was fined for pulling Clady's hair last week. In my mind hair is part of the uniform, so tugging on it is fair game. If you tugged a guys shoulder pad would you be fined $7,500? 3. Looks like the infamous Friday practice was more crisp this time around. I hope it translates. 4. Eugene is back into the starting role at free safety. Huff gets nickel work. Maybe that is good, because Huff was really productive playing in the nickel packages. 5. Andre Johnson and Nnamdi Asomugha have mutual r