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Showing posts from January, 2011

2010 Offensive Line Review

by Rick Drummond , It’s best to refer to this group as a work in progress. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it has been in that state for several seasons now. In obvious need of an improvement over their 2009 output, the Raider O-line had to be overhauled. Recognizing that, the Raiders began the multi-season process by letting Cornell Green walk in free agency, selecting two linemen in the draft, and hiring a play-caller which freed Tom Cable to spend more time assisting with the line. Four of 2009’s five regular starters returned for 2010 with Green’s former spot at right tackle being the only immediate opening. Langston Walker won that job in camp and held it all season. Khalif Barnes, who was also in the running for the vacated right tackle spot, settled in as the utility player, spending the majority of his time checking into the game as an extra lineman / tight end. Of the four returning starters, only Robert Gallery at left guard was viewed as a fixture, leavin

Al Saunders Chooses Wisely

Al Saunders was an offensive consultant for Baltimore for the last two years and now he is the Raiders Offensive Coordinator. Saunders has coached great offenses in the past and chooses to come to the Raiders at opportune time. The Raiders offense ranked in the top 10 while shuffling quarterbacks. Hue Jackson and Saunders will now combine to see if they can turn the Raiders offense into an elite one. Saunders coordinated an elite for five years in Kansas City on the back of Priest Holmes. Cam Cameron was entrenched in Baltimore and Saunders had taken a few jobs in recent years that didn't give him the accolades he deserves as one of the better offensive minds in professional football. Now Saunders will help fine tune Jason Campbell and hopefully get Darrius Heyward-Bey going in the right direction. Now that it is official, Saunders can get to work preparing for the 2011 season, if there is one.

Epic Al Davis Press Conference Review

-Al Davis wishes he could slap Cliff Branch's number 21 jersey on Jacoby Ford and make him a reincarnation. Metaphorically speaking he wants Ford to be what Cliff Branch was. -Hue Jackson may actually believe Darrius Heyward-Bey is going to be a factor for the Raiders offense. -Al Davis still loves speed. "You can't discount speed. You've got to have it." -Hue Jackson wants a more aggressive defense. He wants a bully and a team that is ready to hit off the bus. -Mike Waufle could be a candidate to be defensive coordinator. As could Kevin Ross. -Hue Jackson doesn't feel like he need to recruit the players. -Al Davis isn't a fan of zone blocking, Tom Cable's specialty. Check it out for yourself and drop a comment with any parts you found interesting. Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: Part 5: Part 6:

Jackson Brings in Saunders, Pagano

The Oakland Raiders have found their next head coach. Hue Jackson will lead the Raiders into the 2011 season, if there is one. The move was expected for the better part of two weeks. The San Francisco Chronicle felt confident enough to report that Jackson had the job 13 days ago. It wasn't really the hire of Hue Jackson that the fans have been waiting to hear. Nnamdi Asomugha commented that the only way letting Tom Cable go made sense was to elevate Jackson. It was apparent to just about everyone. Who are the coaches who will coach under Jackson? That's what everyone really wants to know. Who will be the offensive and defensive coordinators? The new offensive coordinator will be Al Saunders, who has interviewed many times with Al Davis to be head coach. Saunders worked closely with Cam Cameron in Baltimore to develop offensive game plans in 2009 and 2010. Philosophically Saunders is a passing coordinator who is a member of the Don Coryell coaching tree. He worked under Marty Sc

It's Better This Way

Is Nnamdi Asomugha worth $16.875 million? When Al Davis signed Asomugha to an unprecedented three-year contract it contained simple language that voided it after two years if Asomugha didn't meet not-likely-to-be-earned incentives. Don't be confused by the name, these incentives weren't that hard to attain. If Asomugha had played in a greater number of defensive snaps in 2010, the contract would not have been voided automatically. Asomugha played in 14 games in 2010 as opposed to the 16 games he played in 2009. There was another way for Asomugha to earn his incentives: record one sack or one forced fumble or two interceptions. Each would have been one more than he recorded in 2009. He recorded zero in all these categories. The Raiders have paid Asomugha handsomely over the past three seasons and for little statistical achievement. The only why to compare the impact Asomugha has is to compare the passing yards the team allows when Asomugha isn't playing, but two games is

Who Will Get The Job?

Al Davis decided not to pickup Tom Cable’s two-year guaranteed option. Two years, fully guaranteed. Think about that for one second. It isn’t something to brush past in a rush to retain a coach that the players like. Tom Cable brought the team from five wins to eight wins. He was given two years and the only improvement was the offense, for which you can give Hue Jackson a lot of the credit. Tom Cable turned around a locker room. Tom Cable is a pretty good coach. He was well-liked as a blue collar ex-offensive line coach. A hard-working guy and respected by most his players. This wasn’t your typical Al Davis firing. He didn’t use an overhead projector or try to recoup money paid to Cable. Davis didn’t even string out the process. The team thanked Tom Cable and gave him ample time to find a job. The reality is that Tom Cable and Al Davis didn’t agree on things. The relationship was only likely to devolve further had Davis kept Cable around. At least Al Davis respected Cable enough

Hot For Harbaugh

Why are so many teams hot for Jim Harbaugh? Why do I like him so much? There is a pretty simple answer. Harbaugh is a good leader of men, he can develop quarterbacks, and he has instant credibility. Those might be the most coveted qualities in any head coach. He can lead, he is credible with players making millions of dollars and he can develop a quarterback to lead your organization. Josh McDaniels was given the job in Denver largely because of his good work with Matt Cassel. Charlie Weis developed Tom Brady in New England and became the head guy at Notre Dame. Mike Singletary got the job because he had instant credibility and was a good leader. You could say Tom Cable got the job because of his leadership qualities. None of those guys have all the qualities of Jim Harbaugh. It doesn't mean Harbaugh will be a success, but it does increase the likelihood. The biggest characteristic organizations are looker for is the ability to develop a good quarterback. It is only getting more im

Cable's Last Stand

The looming question headed into the off season is if Tom Cable will be retained as head coach. Cable's contract expires January 18 unless owner Al Davis picks up a one-year, $2.5 million-dollar option. That means Al Davis will have a couple weeks to evaluate his team and its performance this season. Davis convinces himself every year that his team is primed for a Super Bowl run. This is why there is a vast difference between 7-9 and 8-8 in the eyes of Davis. At 7-9, the team had a losing record and wasn't a real threat to challenge for the playoffs. At 8-8, you are close and just need to catch a break and win a couple close games to be in the playoffs. Going 8-8 also means 6-0 in the division and owning the division is a good springboard into the next season and something Cable can sell to Davis as reason to keep him around. Players almost always say they want a coach to return when asked. It isn't what players say, it is how they play. When players play hard and fight for