Thursday, June 16, 2005

He Said What

We all know that Randy Moss loves to talk, which is one reason why he will fit so well in a Raider uniform. Most of the talking is backed up by the black and silver though. The latest thing Moss had to say was about his x-quarterback Daunte Culpepper and his current quarterback Kerry Collins.

When it comes to athleticism, Daunte has Kerry beat by a large margin, but Kerry has pocket presence and knows how to read defenses. So Kerry has a slight step over Daunte." – Randy Moss

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Getting Interesting

With the addition of rookie cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Stanford Routt it looks more and more like the departure of Charles Woodson is bound to happen. As I said before he is worth $10.5 million dollars and the club really does not want to pay that. The club is keeping their eye on free agent Ty Law. Law fits that profile the Al Davis looks for in football players. It is going to be an interesting off-season.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Big Money

It has come to the point where the Oakland Raiders will take about anything in exchange for Charles Woodson. The high profile player was tagged as the franchise player for the 05’ season and is worth $10.5 million dollars. That is $10.5 million dollars that the Raiders would like to shed away from there salary cap.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Career in the Books

Last time I mentioned that Rich Gannon was probably not going to be playing next season in a Raiders uniform. Well the 2003 NFL MVP admitted just recently that there would be a press conference in the near future to talk about his retirement.

So now we will not see Gannon in any type of uniform this next season. Gannon has a nice 16 year career under his belt to take with him. Through out his career he posted 28,743 passing yards and had touchdown/interception ratio of 180:104. Thank you for the memories Gannon.

Monday, May 23, 2005

End of the Road

Quarterback Rich Gannon has seen better days. The poor guys still has not been cleared to return to practice. If you all remember he suffered a broken vertebra in his neck. OUCH! More than likely Gannon will be cut when June 1st roles around. The probability of Gannon playing another season of football is pretty unlikely. If he does play it will not be with the Raiders. Sorry Rich…

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Scouting Report

from Foxsports.com
Zack Crockett is back in the role he excelled in for so many years, that of the short-yardage, goal-line back. He all but disappeared from the Raiders offense under first-year coach Norv Turner last season, as Turner handed short-yardage duties to Tyrone Wheatley.

However, Wheatley is gone, and Crockett is ready to prove once again that he is one of the best at getting the necessary yardage on critical downs. He succeeds because of his rare combination of size, speed, strength and decisiveness. He also got a boost when Rob Konrad retired before playing a game for the Raiders. Crockett also is capable of being a load-carrying running back, if needed.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Mini-Camp

from Foxsports.com
Recent acquisition Renaldo Hill worked out at safety despite cornerback being his natural position. This unexpected move shows that Hill is versatile and that he might follow in the footsteps of Ray Buchanan, who converted to free safety after signing with the Raiders before last season.

Second-year player Stuart Schweigert and Jarrod Cooper remain candidates for safety spots, as does veteran Derrick Gibson as he returns from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 2004. Buchanan didn't pan out too well because he was at the end of his career. Hill remains young enough and fast enough that he can make the transition without much of a drop-off. The Raiders featured tight end Courtney Anderson quite a bit in what could be a harbinger of things to come.

Anderson showed great promise his rookie season last year and is someone who stands to benefit from an offense that features three standout receivers and a bruising running back. He is fast enough to get open downfield and strong enough to break tackles after short receptions. He needs to polish his blocking skills and become more consistent catching balls.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Hard Truth

The Raiders are doing themselves and backup QB Marques Tuiasosopo a great disservice by not taking the time to see if he is the quarterback of the future. First, they signed Kerry Collins before last season and jumped him ahead of Tuiasosopo. Then, coach Norv Turner, like his predecessors, wasted opportunities to get an extended look at Tuiasosopo -- he didn't play at all last season -- in a lost season.

Now, Tuiasosopo has well-regarded rookie Andrew Walter lurking over his shoulder and might be passed over by another player who is viewed as a better fit in Turner's offense. The Raiders need to take a hard look at Tuiasosopo in real games and make a decision on his long-term status with the franchise.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Moss gives Oakland a Thumbs-up

Associated Press, from ESPN.com
Randy Moss stopped briefly to answer to coach Norv Turner.

"How was it?" the Oakland Raiders coach asked his new star receiver after the team's first minicamp practice Friday.

Moss just smiled and gave the thumbs up sign as he walked off the field, his long braids swinging and shining in the California sunshine.

Acquired last month in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings, Moss looked sharp in a short practice Friday in his new No. 18 uniform and oversized gray shorts.

With no defenders on the field, he caught a 15-yard out from quarterback Kerry Collins, tiptoeing the right sideline before going out of bounds. Moss and fellow receiver Jerry Porter, re-signed to a five-year deal in February, squatted together on the field and motioned with their hands to diagram plays.

"It was cool," Porter said on his way to the locker room.

The Raiders didn't make any veteran players available to reporters, opting to formally introduce their new draft picks instead.

"The organization wanted to present its rookies," senior administrator Artie Gigantino said, "because during draft day we didn't have them in and we had mini-camp right after the draft. Why bring them in twice? That's always been the policy."

Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson, whom the Raiders are still seeking to trade, practiced and socialized with teammates all while spitting sunflower seeds.

Woodson is the Raiders' franchise player for the second straight season and he signed a $10.5 million tender in February -- a 20 percent raise over last year's salary of nearly $8.8 million. So far, the Raiders haven't found a team willing to give Woodson the lucrative long-term contract he wants.

Woodson spent Friday's session providing advice to two rookie cornerbacks, first-round pick Fabian Washington out of Nebraska and second-rounder Stanford Routt from Houston.

Washington, who ran a 4.29 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, wasn't ready to call himself the fastest player on the Raiders just yet.

"I don't know if I'm the fastest guy on this squad," he said. "Randy Moss is on this squad. That's a pretty fast guy."

Moss' arrival was minus the fanfare surrounding him last month for his introductory news conference. He showed up at team headquarters that day in a stretch limousine escorted by seven police officers on motorcycles.

Then Moss was greeted by fans and the franchise's three Super Bowl trophies.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

On the Radar

from Foxsports.com
The Raiders always see themselves as Super Bowl contenders. This year is no different, even though they went 5-11 last season. But to make a run at the playoffs, they need to upgrade the defense. The team has added DE Derrick Burgess and DT Kenny Smith, but it also cut FS Ray Buchanan and traded LB Napoleon Harris.

Selecting a safety such as Michigan's Ernest Shazor in the second round would make sense. Shazor is a consistent playmaker who could make an immediate impact. He has impressive size and speed for a strong safety and is a big hitter. He could challenge incumbent Derrick Gibson and Marques Anderson and turn a problem area into a strength. He has the size (6-3, 224) to match up against the division's monster tight ends, Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates.

Oklahoma State's Darrent Williams would be a nice selection in the third or fourth round. He's a polished cornerback who could provide immediate help in the nickel or dime. Williams (5-8.5, 176) is considered too short and too slight to be a shutdown corner, but he is one of the fastest players in the draft and can make big plays. Drafting Temple LB Rian Wallace in the middle rounds would help fill the void left by Harris' departure. Wallace is a dependable tackler who makes plays in the backfield.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Defensive Additions

The Raiders bolstered their defensive line by adding DT Kenny Smith. He is a fast, agile player who could help add depth behind Warren Sapp and Tommy Kelly. He isn't projected as a starting-caliber player, though he figures to carve out a spot in the overall rotation. The Raiders kicked off their offseason workout program Monday, with just about every key player at full strength. Turner was pleased with the turnout and what he got accomplished last year in his first season coaching the Raiders. However, this time he has the added benefit of knowing the majority of his players and his assistant coaches, so he intends to get even more out of this year's offseason workouts. Look for Turner to refine the wide-open offense he installed last season and for him to oversee a reshaping of a defense that floundered for most of last season.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Draft Buzz

Ffrom Foxsports.com
The Raiders remain without a first-round selection in this year's draft as a result of trading for wide receiver Randy Moss in March. However, don't be surprised if Davis finagles one out of a team in exchange for a proven player such as cornerback Charles Woodson or by packaging their second-rounder with a veteran player. The Raiders haven't been without a first-round pick since 1989, and they still are in need of a defensive player or two who can make an immediate impact. Adding defensive players still figures to be the main focus for the Raiders in this year's draft, particularly at defensive end, linebacker and cornerback.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Adjustments...

Your Oakland Raiders made an impressive move with the Randy Moss trade. That move by far upgrades the offensive and that is where most of the attention will continue to go, yet there is a concern to address their defensive. The Raiders still have yet to fix the on going dilemma with their star CB Charles Woodson.

Woodson is supposed to receive 10.537 million this coming season. And in all reality that is a lot of money for a corner back. It would also take up 1/8 of the teams salary cap.

Ouch!

Since the Raiders franchised him they are hoping both sides will agree on a long term contract that would lessen the amount he is supposed to receive this year. If not that would leave the Raiders in a bind, with no one looking to trade.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Something to Prove

from Foxsports.com
CB Phillip Buchanon is under scrutiny once again after a less-than-stellar season in 2004. He still lacks the consistency and shut-down playmaking the Raiders envisioned when they traded up twice to draft him in the middle of the first round. He also is fresh from a miserable showing as a punt returner and requested a trade late in the season. The Raiders aren't apt to trade Buchanon, but they also aren't likely to stick with Buchanon as a starter unless he improves his consistency in coverage, tackling and knowing when to gamble in going for interceptions. He has the ability to be a top-notch player but he won't reach that level unless he changes his mind-set and becomes more team-oriented.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Colletto is new OL coach.

From sports.yahoo.com:
The Raiders hired Jim Colletto on Thursday to fill the offensive line coach vacancy created by the departure of Aaron Kromer eight days ago, the team announced in a news release.

Colletto, 60, coached the Baltimore Ravens offensive line the past six seasons. In all, he has coached 38 years in college and the NFL.

"Jim brings an attitude and mentality about the run game that will help us," Raiders coach Norv Turner said in the team release. "What Jim has done in Baltimore speaks for itself as he's helped the Ravens produce one of the top running attacks in the NFL. With his experience and background, Jim will be a great addition."

The Raiders finished last in rushing yards per game last season. Running back Amos Zereoue rushed for only 425 yards in amassing the lowest team-leading total in franchise history.

Colletto was fired by the Ravens on Jan. 10, one week after offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh resigned under pressure. The Ravens ranked 31st in total offense this season.

Oakland's offensive line did a respectable job protecting quarterback Kerry Collins despite the presence of rookies Jake Grove and Robert Gallery in the starting lineup for a large portion of the season.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Radiers EX Shot

From sports.yahoo.com:
Former Oakland Raiders center Barret Robbins was shot and critically wounded during a struggle with a police officer investigating a burglary at a South Beach office building.

Robbins, a former All-Pro known best for going AWOL during the 2003 Super Bowl and other erratic behavior, was hospitalized in critical condition.

The former All-Pro sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the torso during a ``violent struggle'' with a Miami Beach detective Saturday night, police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said.

``The officer was literally fighting for his life, trying to get Mr. Robbins from getting his gun. That's when the shots rang out,'' Hernandez said.

Robbins, 31, was confronted in a second-floor office in a building that also houses a nightclub, gym and jewelry store. He was considered a burglary suspect, though no charges had been filed, Hernandez said.

``We just have to figure out what he was doing there,'' Hernandez said.

Hernandez said authorities had not been able to interview Robbins, but that the former offensive lineman was expected to face a charge of battery on a police officer. Hernandez also said police were trying to determine whether he would face trespassing or burglary charges.

Detective Mike Muley, who fired the shots, had minor head injuries from the scuffle and was treated at a hospital and released.

Robbins was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Hernandez did not immediately have Robbins' condition Sunday, and a hospital official did not immediately return a page.

Robbins was arrested last month in San Francisco for hitting a security guard at a night club.

The often-troubled player is best remembered for disappearing the night before the 2003 Super Bowl in San Diego. He spent Super Bowl Sunday in a hospital and later acknowledged that he had stopped taking his medicine for depression and bipolar disorder. The Raiders lost 48-21 to Tampa Bay.

Robbins was released by Oakland in July, a week after he and two other players were fined three game checks for testing positive for the steroid THG.

Robbins played all nine of his pro seasons with Oakland and made the Pro Bowl after the 2002 season, but did not play in the game. A year after missing the final 14 games of 2001 with an injured right knee, he was a pivotal part of an offensive line that helped the Raiders produce the league's top offense.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Season ender was not too pretty.

From sports.yahoo.com:
The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't know their season had ended until they made their way out of the rain and into the long tunnel that leads to the visiting locker room.

That's when they learned that the Denver Broncos beat Indianapolis 33-14 to knock them out -- the third and last scenario that determined the Jaguars' fate on the season's final day.

Byron Leftwich looked out of sync in the muddy, rain-soaked field, but did enough to send the Jaguars into the offseason on a positive note with a 13-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for their first winning season in five years.

It was disappointing finish for a club that hoped to extend its season the year Jacksonville hosts its first Super Bowl next month.

``That kind of put a downer on the day,'' coach Jack Del Rio said of learning his team was eliminated. ``I didn't see anything on the board during the game.''

Leftwich threw for 149 yards a week after sustaining a mild concussion and Greg Jones scored on a 1-yard run for the game's only touchdown, which broke a third-quarter tie.

The Raiders had a chance to send the game into overtime in the final seconds, but Kerry Collins fumbled the snap on fourth-and-goal at the 2, picked it up and was tackled for a loss.

``Guys have to make plays. Guys have to really commit themselves as to what it is they really want to do,'' Oakland running back Tyrone Wheatley said. ``The last two years here, we've had some guys who think they can just line up on Sunday and play football. It doesn't work that way. You have to commit yourself and stop thinking that your job is a sacrifice.''

By beating the Raiders in the teams' first meeting since 1997, the Jags established a winning road record for the first time since the '99 season when they went 14-2, 7-1 away from home.

But Jacksonville (9-7) certainly will be haunted by last Sunday's 21-0 home loss to the Houston Texans.

``Our season has been disappointing,'' Leftwich said. ``We had our opportunity to be playing last week. We had the opportunity slip away. If I played better, we'd be playing next week at Indy.''

Collins capped his up-and-down season with a statistically disastrous finale: three interceptions, one lost fumble, no touchdowns and a 17.3 passer rating.

``I made some stupid throws and some stupid decisions, things that hurt us,'' Collins said.

Donovin Darius intercepted two passes by Collins, including one in the end zone with 4:07 left in the game.

Zack Crockett had a big day for Oakland (5-11), which finished with just one more victory than the team's flop a year ago that led to the firing of coach Bill Callahan.

Crockett, a career short-yardage man, carried 11 straight times in the fourth quarter and finished with 22 for a career-high 134 yards -- his most rushing attempts since the 2002 season finale against Kansas City.

After making an 11-yard completion and being knocked down by Oakland safety Marques Anderson -- who immediately flexed his muscles -- receiver Ernest Wilford spiked the ball inches in front of Anderson and was hit with a 12-yard taunting penalty.

Jacksonville punted four plays later.

But Wilford made up for it with a leaping, one-handed reception for a 46-yard gain that set up Jones' touchdown.

It was a dreary homecoming for Del Rio, who grew up in nearby Castro Valley rooting for the Raiders. This was his first time in the Oakland Coliseum as an NFL head coach.

Collins threw interceptions on consecutive passes in the second quarter, sending the drenched fans into a booing frenzy.

``The only people that don't respect us are opposing teams,'' Raiders safety Ray Buchanan said. ``The only way you get that is by going out there and fighting against them.''

The Jaguars couldn't capitalize on either turnover and didn't exhibit a sense of urgency expected from a team fighting for a playoff spot.

Collins also fumbled three times, including deep in Oakland territory in the third quarter that was recovered by John Henderson, giving the Jags the ball on the 21. Josh Scobee kicked a 22-yard field goal five plays later that made it 6-6. Scobee also had a 26-yard field goal.

Jacksonville again struggled without star running back Fred Taylor, who missed the last two games with a knee injury.

The Raiders played without both their starting cornerbacks, four-time Pro Bowler Charles Woodson (knee) and Phillip Buchanon (tailbone).

Linebacker Napoleon Harris started for the Raiders but hurt his left leg on Jacksonville's first drive. Raiders center Adam Treu injured his left leg late in the game.