My Oakland Raiders

If I was running the Oakland Raiders

Free Agency is here!

Posted by Matt on March 5, 2010

Well free agency is finally here, and it’s time to improve this team.  The problem is that it is an uncapped year.  This should be great news for us, but we actually have money issues, and most of the free agents will be restricted which means that we would have to give up draft picks to sign the players we want.  Now as far as the unrestricted free agents, the class is very weak in the areas that we need.  There are no quality offensive tackles, and all of the good run-stopping defensive tackles got franchise tagged by their respective teams.  The player I would like to go after will be cornerback Leigh Bodden.  He is a very good quality #2 CB that would be great opposite Nnamdi Asomugha.  This way we can move Chris Johnson back to the nickel corner (where he excels) and Stanford Routt can be moved to dime.  It will be expensive, but most of the big money this off-season will go towards Julius Peppers, Karlos Dansby, Dunta Robinson and more of the big name players, so although it will cost a little bit, it won’t be a ridiculous contract.  A few other players I’d like to look at are right guard Steve Neal, and outside linebacker Danny Clark.  Steve Neal is 33 years old, but he still plays at a very high level.  I expect New England will try to keep him, but they have bigger fish to fry this off-season.  I think Danny Clark needs to come back to Oakland.  He played well when he was here as a young player, and now he has the experience he lacked as a youngster.  I think he would be a great compliment next to Kirk Morrison.

These are the moves that we will be pursuing this off-season, and if we can pull them off, it will affect how we draft in April.

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Richard Seymour will stay in Oakland at least 1 more year

Posted by Matt on February 19, 2010

The Oakland Raiders have stated that if they cannot sign Seymour to a long term deal, then they will opt to use the franchise tag on him.  This tag will cost them $12.4 million for the 2010 season, but considering they invested a 2011 1st round pick in him, they really have no choice.  We need to take the possible 2011 lockout into consideration when we are signing these long term contracts, as well.  Al Davis has never been afraid to spend money, and he might use this 2010 uncapped season to go and get every player he wants for a 1 year run.  I have never agreed with Al’s philosophy about trying to buy the best team possible, because players who are motivated by money rarely live up to those high expectation once they receive their huge payday, but considering these unique circumstance with the CBA, this might be the best (and only) way that Oakland has a chance to see a winning season in 2010.  Richard Seymour has shown leadership and accountability since being in Oakland, and I think he has earned a long term contract, but regardless, I am happy that he is staying on Oakland.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4925256&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines

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Sebastian Janikowski wants to retire a Raider

Posted by Matt on February 16, 2010

Here’s something that I completely agree with Al Davis on.  Sign Sebastian Janikowski to a long term deal so he finishes his career in Oakland.  Sebass signs a 4 year $16 million contract with $9 million guaranteed.  It is the largest kicker contract awarded in NFL history, and worth every penny.  The Raiders will continue to have the best punter/kicker combo the NFL has ever seen.  http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/02/16/raiders-reel-in-seabass/

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Mel Kiper assesses Raiders’ needs.

Posted by Matt on February 1, 2010

Mel Kiper has posted his assessment of the Oakland Raiders’ needs, and for the most part he seems to be right on.  They are: 1. QB; 2. LT; 3. DT; 4. LB; 5. S.  Now we all know that QB is the glaring issue with the Oakland Raiders, but there is no way we will throw 1st round money on another QB even if Bradford or Clausen are available.  So I see our most pressing needs as LT, a run-stopping DT, a nickel CB, center, and a weakside LB.  Now with the possibility of an uncapped year in the NFL, free agency will be a little different this off-season.  Over 200 players that usually would be considered unrestricted, will now be restricted FAs, so the talent level will be severely down this year.  I, personally, don’t see any quality left tackles available in free agency, so I would prefer to address that position in the draft.  There will be some talented defensive players available, so I believe that is where we need to address needs such as DT, CB, and LB.  Let’s talk DT first.  Vince Wilfork would be a dream come true for the Raiders.  Reports coming out of New England are saying that Wilfork is not pleased that he hasn’t received his contract extension yet.  In fact, rumors are abound that New England will end up putting the franchise tag on him, which will infuriate him even more.  If I had to guess, I think the Pats are going to franchise him, and then try to trade him for a 1st and a 3rd come draft time.  Free Agency is going to be a very exciting time this year because of no cap, and the possibility if a lock out in 2011.  Will teams like Washington and Dallas try to buy their Super Bowl this year?  Can’t wait to see what happens!

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Hue Jackson hired os OC for Oakland Raiders

Posted by Matt on January 26, 2010

Baltimore Raven’s QB coach, Hue Jackson was hired as the Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator today, as reported by Jason La Confora.  This move does make some sense because of his development and work with the Ravens young QB, Joe Flacco.  Also, Jackson had some success as the Bengals wide receivers coach with his work with Chad Ochocinco and TJ Houshmandzadeh.  This experience should help in the development of Russell, as well as the young receivers, Schilenzs, Murphy, and DHB.  These recent hiring are pointing to the retention of Head Coach Tom Cable, but the organization is still reporting that his evaluation is ongoing.

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Tom Cable will stay as Raiders Head Coach

Posted by Matt on January 23, 2010

According to Adam Schefter, Al Davis will keep Tom Cable as the Oakland Raiders Head Coach.  http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4852684

This decision will be very popular with the Oakland players, as he had widespread support throughout the locker room.

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What is Al Davis gonna do with the Raiders?

Posted by Matt on January 23, 2010

Another off-season and more speculation on what’s going to happen with the Oakland Raiders coaching staff.  As soon as the clock ran down on the last game of the regular season, there has been rumors and whispers that Tom Cable’s days in Oakland were numbered (especially after his comments about JaMarcus Russell).  And so the “Cable Watch” started, and every expert from Adam Schefter to Jason La Confora guaranteed that Al Davis would fire Tom Cable “any day now.” 

As Nnamdi Asomugha said, “the only certainty in Oakland is the uncertainty.”  The media has NO idea what Al Davis is going to do (and maybe he has no idea either).  We will go ahead and first talk about the coaching decisions that Oakland have made official.  Mike Waufel, former defensive line coach of the New York Giants, will take the same position with the Raiders.  Waufel was the line coach at Oakland when Gruden was still coach.

Now, let’s go ahead and join the chatter about speculation.  When the Oakland Raiders sent out their press release that Waufel had joined the team, the last sentence was very interesting.  “He and Coach Cable spent six years together at the University of California where they enjoyed working together.”  Why would they mention this if Cable wasn’t going to be the Head Coach going into next season?  On a side note, the Raiders are also interviewing Hue Jackson, current QB coach for Baltimore Ravens, most likely for the offensive coordinator position.  Cable and Jackson also have history together. 

All indications point toward Cable staying as Head Coach, but in Oakland, one never knows, sometimes not even Al Davis.  Once we get final indication on what next year’s coaching staff looks like, we will analyze the coaches, and see if they are the proper fit for the Oakland Raiders.

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What is the biggest need for the Oakland Raiders?

Posted by Matt on January 13, 2010

I know that there isn’t much we can do until free agency to start acquiring new talent to help this team, but I’d like to start addressing the most pressing needs for this team.  If you follow all the Oakland Raider chatter on the various websites, I’m sure that you’ve noticed that our most pressing needs have to do with our offensive line, and our run defense.  The right tackle Cornell Green has received most of the abuse from the Oakland fans because of his excessive penalties, and lack of pass protection.  Now I am not a fan of Cornell Green, and since he is a free agent this year, I will be happy to see him go, but I believe our left tackle, Mario Henderson, played much worse than Green did this year.  He does not get many penalties, but I think his pass protection and run blocking are worse than Green’s.  Now the left tackle has a lot more responsibility than the right tackle does, but I don’t think Henderson is cutting it at all.  I’d rather move him over to the right side, and try to find a franchise left tackle with our # 8 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Now the other main need we have is to try to find a true run stuffing nose tackle to replace Gerard Warren.  There are some very good NT’s coming into free agency this year, and several of them will be a huge upgrade from Warren.  Now free agency is still more than a month away, and we don’t know who’s going to re-sign with their current teams, but I am going to assume that everybody will be available, and here is my list from #1 on:  Vince Wilfork, Aubrayo Franklin, Casey Hampton, Marques Douglas, and Justin Bannan.  Now remember, I am changing the defensive scheme from a 4-3 to a 3-4, so a true nose tackle is needed for this team.  I have heard some chatter that some fans would like to move Richard Seymour to NT and maybe draft an elite defensive end for the current 4-3 scheme, but I think it makes more sense to get a good NT in free agency (where there is talent to be found), and then go after the offensive line in the draft.  There are NO good offensive tackles available in free agency this year, so I would not waste my money overpaying for the best of a weak group.  I’d rather go after the best of a VERY strong group of tackles coming in this year’s draft.  There is a good debate on this topic to be found at http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=363719

Let me know your thoughts.

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Oakland Raiders changing schemes

Posted by Matt on January 8, 2010

Well, we’ve hired a GM, head coach and new coordinators, as well as bringing Rich Gannon in to help out as our QB’s coach.  Now it’s time to talk about schemes.  With Clarence Brooks as our new DC, we will be switching to a 3-4 defense, and finally get away from the same defense we’ve used since the 70’s.  Now I’m not sure if this coincides with Marty’s philosophy, but I’m just going to assume that it does.  We will have to make a few major personnel changes, but our core should stay the same.

Now our future offensive strategy will be to throw the ball, because that is what the league is becoming, but not this year.  We currently do not have a franchise QB on the roster, and there is none to be found in free agency, so we will look  to the draft, and try to find something for the future there.  But this year we will improve our offensive line, and become a great running team.  We have a great stable of running backs in Bush, Fargas and McFadden, and when we use them properly, we will have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL.  We have good young receivers who will continue to develop, as well as a top 10 tight end.  Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy will be our starters next year with Darrius Heyward-Bey as 3rd string.  When Heyward comes in, Murphy will move to the slot.  A big concern will be the O-line.  There are no good tackles in free agency this year, so we will really focus on that in the draft.  There is some talent on the defensive side, so we will look to free agency for our overhaul on defense.

So we have taken care of our major issues, and we will look to free agency next month to see who we can pick up to help build the new Oakland Raiders!

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Rich Gannon as QB’s coach

Posted by Matt on January 6, 2010

Rich Gannon spoke about the current Raiders situation on his Sirius NFL Radio Show this Wednesday morning.  He commented that he was sad on what was transpiring in Oakland, and that he had reached out to Al Davis to see if he could help.  He would be willing to come in and help Tom Cable and JaMarcuss Russell in any way that he could.  We’ll see if Al Davis is smart enough to accept his help.  You can read the rest of the article at http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/8853/gannon-reaches-out-to-the-raiders

Rich Gannon was one of the smartest and most competitive QB’s to play in his time, and his presence on that sideline would do nothing but great things for this franchise.

So as the acting virtual owner of the Oakland Raiders, I have decided that I want to bring Rich Gannon in as the QB’s coach and assistant head coach.

Unless something else brilliant comes to mind, I don’t think I will be adding any more assistant coaches to this blog.  See you tomorrow.

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