Thursday, August 31, 2006

Al Davis to Have the Last Laugh?

There are a few truths about news we rabid Raider fanatics hold to be self-evident:

First, John Madden and Howie Long are the best NFL commentators in the game today. Second, Morningstar is the first place to go for all your Raider News (and to check your 401K, but that's a different Morningstar). And third, ESPN is where Raider Haters go to have their vitriolic babbling heard.

Their names are unfortunately familiar: Tom (If I only had the chance to Jack HIM Up!) Jackson, fellow Donco Mark Schlereth, insert mediot name here, ad nauseum.

However, here's a stick from ESPN which shows there is indeed an exception to every rule... from a writer based in Kansas City, no less. Jason Whitlock doesn't let the ketchup and mustard condiment colors of the Chefs cloud his vision, and he calls 'em like he sees 'em. The signing of George is a no-brainer.

The signing of Jeff George left us curious. Kinda like you wonder why that old girlfriend from college just left you a voice mail...

Does she really "just want to see how you are doing after all these years"... or is she actually interested in relieving that magic night she swung from a trapeze in a leopard skin outfit, while you yodelled like Johnny Weissmuller and grinned like Cheetah visiting the Chiquita banana plantation with an all-you-can-eat visitor's pass?

Most knee-jerk mediots simply slammed Al Davis and Art Shell's signing George as pulling a desperation move out of their habitual need to spout anti-Raider rhetoric; instead, being of sound mind, Whitlock ponders the actual possibilities...

Could a George and Moss hook-up rekindle old memories and add new ones to the fire? And what of the current third-string QB? Is this signing his "Dear Tui" letter?

The truth is Tui won't be around after this season, guaranteed. So the Raiders signing Jeff George risks them nothing. If George doesn't make the team, Coach Shell can always call him in during the season as plan D if there is an injury to one of the three QBs who do make the roster. Shell is evaluating his options. Far from being a move of desperation, signing George is more akin to simply taking out an insurance policy for a pittance of a premium.

There's really nothing to lose by bringing George in for a week, so why is it so many mediots say the signing is just further proof Al Davis has lost his mind entirely?

You know the answer, my friends. Mediot bias is real, not just our collective paranoid fantasy. If George doesn't bring it this week, just cut 'em and there is nothing lost. Certainly no one's mind.

In his autobiography (p. 173-75), Jon Gruden - George's coach during his previous tenure with the Raiders - had this to say:
I liked Jeff George. During our first minicamp he moved to his right and threw a pass from his hip thirty-eight yards on a rope that Orlanda Truitt caught right at his Adam's apple. It was unbelievable. I looked at the video guy and asked, 'Did you get that on film?"

"Yes." said the guy.

"Good. Because that's the greatest throw I've ever seen."

(But in game situations, George) would look way downfield and say, "I can make that throw," where other QBs would say, "No way. It takes too long. I'm going to get hit by three guys before I ever get the pass off. I'm going to check down right here."

I don't know if Jeff ever checked the ball down, but you'd see him throw a seventy-one yard pass that hit a guy right on the screws. As a coach, you knew the reality of the situation as you watched the tape: Every one of those is a sack. We're never going to get any of those off.

In our first game against the Chiefs, Jeff was sacked ten times.

So we see, the truth is George has talent like no other QB in recent memory, yet makes decisions that still baffle us after all these years.

The truth is George is a bigger threat to defenses than either Drew Bledsoe or Kerry Collins ever were or will be because he can not only throw the deep ball, Jeff does it with amazing accuracy. But just like Bledsoe and Collins, without protection George is a cigar store Indian waiting to happen.

Methinks a resurrection of the Greatest offensive line in NFL history - Shell, Upshaw, Dalby, Buehler, and Vella - could give George enough time to pull off a seven-step-drop, mad-bombardier, barnburnin' reign of mayhem and mischief.

Question is, "Could Gallery, Sims, Grove, McQuistan, and Walker?"

You know the answer.

But isn't it great fun to imagine the possibilities... and have the last laugh?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Even More News of the Weird

In even more News of the Weird in the world of QBs, Kerry F. Collins signed with the Flaming Thumbtacks.

It's official.

The good news is KFC is now unavailable to make a Night of the Living Dead return to Oakland. The bad news is Tennessee is not on the Raiders' schedule this season to beat up on 'em.

What are the chances KFC will still be around next season for the Raiders to channel the spirits of Bill Romanowski and Ike Lassiter to bust KFC's slack jaw with a well-placed forearm shiver?

When we reflect on the folly of the Thumbtacks, suddenly signing Jeff George seems, well, "Brilliant!" by comparison. While to say Randy Moss and KFC had all the good chemistry going of a crystal meth lab explosion in the basement of your average hillbilly is an understatement, it is worth noting George and Moss spent some time together as Vikings ('99).

Moss went to the Pro Bowl as the Vikings went 10-6 that season, immediately following George's departure from the Raiders to Minnesota.

We all have seen Moss' frustration on the sidelines last year and in this preseason as he has consistently been underutilized. The combination of last season's KFC fiasco and injuries from his Discharger mugging lead to Moss' worst full season to date.

Just as Art Shell introduced Joey Porter to pinetime as the result of his antics, perhaps Shell is rewarding Moss by bringing in George. After all, Coach Shell has praised Moss' leadership in the locker room. Moss' forte is the vertical game and George throws a bomb as well as the original Raider QB prototype, Daryle Lamonica.

Is bringing in Moss' QB is a resounding vote of confidence for Moss on Art's part more so than the "desperation move" spin many of the mediots put on the George signing? As long as Shell doesn't adopt "Meathead" Mike Tice's "Randy Ratio" nonsensical offense, I'm OK with it.

It's a shame the Raider practices are closed to visitors, as George does his best work in practice. Once he takes the field on game day, George's ego causes him to call his own plays at times and defy his coaching staff with the Mad Bomber act.

Yet Walsh and Shell are on record as stating their "Al Davis" offense will allow more QB improvisation than the previous systems, and we all know Moss certainly excels at improvising routes.

George's other main flaw I remember is he tends to curl up in the fetal position and play dead whenever he hears a pass rush coming. With the Raider O-line not exactly giving KFC the best protection last season, George's "stop, drop, and roll" tendency becomes more important.

Perhaps George will just be around till the final cuts and be an emergency QB on speed dial should Brooks, Walter, or Tui go down for the season, but in the words of Alice, "Curiouser and curiouser..."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Curious George

In a curious move, the Man in The Yellow Hat signed George... again.

It's official.

While the Raiders' press release says Jeff George "has been with the Chicago Bears for the last two seasons", this is a little like saying Paris Hilton has been with the Chicago Bears the last two seasons, based solely on the fact she had a highly publicized relationship with Brian Urlacher for a short while.

After all, George's stats show he hasn't thrown a pass during a regular season game since 2001. Five years is longer than the time period elapsed since the Raiders were last in the Super Bowl.

What can this mean?

Well, if O-coordinator, Tom Walsh, wants to install a vertical offense, why not have another strong-armed QB? As former Coach Gruden once said, George made throws in practice I have never seen anybody make anywhere, anytime.

Problem is, George doesn't tend to win. In George's previous tenure with the Raiders, he had a season ('97) in which he threw 29 TDs and only 9 INTs. I'll take a 3:1 TD to INT ratio any day, and twice on Sundays. But the Raiders' record in '97 you ask?

You guessed it, 4-12. Sound familiar?

The only conclusion one can reach is since Aaron Brooks once won the NFL's Strongest Arm Contest following a Pro Bowl by launching one 73 yards in the air, and Andrew Walter is the heir apparent gunslinger... the writing is on the wall for Tuiasosopo.

Tui has started exactly two games in his five year career. Tui tends to get hurt (as in always) when he does start.
Tui is a dink-and-dunk, West-Coast-Offense style QB...

Walter started exactly no games in his first year. Walter missed the last preseason game because of shoulder problems - a recurrent theme for 'em. Walter has the potential to sling 'em like Lamonica...

George is experienced, and "experienced" in the way another George - BLANDA - is, as in O-L-D. Looks like Walsh wants to run his vertical game no matter whether the QB is Brooks, Walter, or George.

Will Jeff George pull of the type of Miracle MVP season Blanda had as a relief pitcher in '70?

Here's hoping that by season's end, George's stats look exactly the same as they do now: no passes thrown since '01... and that the Raiders just had him in to give Walter's shoulder a rest for a short time.

Otherwise we'll be asking, what ever happened to Just Win, Baby! ?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Silver Ann Blackwell

James Blackwell is kind of a little bit of a Raiders fan.

How do we know? Well for one thing, in 1997 he named his baby daughter Silver Ann. That's Silver Ann Blackwell. As in the infamous Silver and Black of the Oakland Raiders. (Silver Ann is 9 now and loves her name, by the way.)

And just this week, when his house in Jackson caught fire in the middle of the night, embers cascading like a meteor shower, flames sailing off the roof like so many Hail Marys from hell, Blackwell — clad only in a robe (silver, with little black checks all over it) — charged into the burning building with the ferocity of a Marcus Allen. Did he want to rescue family photos? No. His clothing? No. His financial information? No.

His season tickets.

Oh, and the family and dogs got out, too, and everyone was fine.

"When we got out, I thought, 'What do we get out of the house?' And my wife said, 'James! Your Raiders tickets are in there!' So I ran in and grabbed everything off this one shelf where I keep important stuff, which was my wallet, my cell phone, some papers and my season tickets," he said. "I burned my feet on embers on the way out, but it was worth it."

Sadly, the house was heavily damaged and the family lost everything, including Blackwell's Raiders shrine, a collection the lifelong fan had built up since he was a kid. He had tons of autographed jerseys, lots of Jim Otto memorabilia, signed photographs and all things Raiders, from blankets and mini helmets to dishware and sofa pillows.

Everyone in the small community of Jackson knows the Blackwells. James is the main AT&T installation guy for the area and his wife, Wendy, owns a local beauty salon with a silver-and-black sign out front. She's a Raiders fan, too. Kinda has to be, don't you think?

So friends and neighbors are holding a benefit concert at the town's amphitheater tonight, and they even contacted the Raiders to donate some items for a fundraising auction.

"We know how big a fan James is," said friend Jake Woods, who is helping to organize the fundraiser. "He is such a fan that he converted me from a Niners fan to a Raiders fan. And he's a great guy, so we wanted to do everything we could."

Woods did reach the Raiders organization Friday. The Raiders were more than happy to help out.

"We are delighted to participate in the fundraising efforts to help the Blackwells get back on their feet," said Raiders CEO Amy Trask. "We're working on getting autographed memorabilia sent up there for the raffle, and we're putting together a package of clothing for the family.

"James is a passionate, passionate fan," she said. "He is a wonderful member of the Raider Nation, and we are so thrilled he and his family made it out safely."

She was a little alarmed that he would run into a burning building for his football tickets, however. "When I talk with him, I'm going to tell him, 'Do not risk your safety for tickets ever again!' We would have been happy to assist him with his seats," she said.

Trask called Blackwell on Friday. "I was pretty emotional about it, to hear from Amy Trask herself," Blackwell said. "I just thank them so much. And everyone here has been so great too. People have been donating bags of clothes and someone offered a kitchen table. We may have a place lined up that we can rent."

He even has a positive attitude about his Raiders collection. "After the fire was out, we were able to pull out the Jim Otto signed jersey," he said. "It was all smoky and water damaged, but I might be able to get it restored. I did lose all the autographed photos, signed helmets and stuff. But it'll be OK. I can start my collection again."

Friends have established a fund to help the family regroup. Checks made out to the Blackwell Family Fire Fund may be mailed to:

Bank of Amador
Box 908
Jackson, CA 95642.

Or gifts of clothing, Raider memorabilia, or other items can be sent to:

Blackwell Family
c/o Jake Woods
PO Box 1892
Jackson, CA 95642

Or help send the Blackwell family to Raider Mecca by clicking here.

Our family home burned to the ground when I was seventeen, so I know from experience this can happen to any of us.

I sent the Blackwell family this signed HOF card of Jim Otto - since he is James' favorite player - and one of my little eight-year-old girl's Raider T-shirts.

But this is not about me. The wounds I had as a teenager affected by a house fire have long since healed and left a few scars...

This is about Silver Ann Blackwell and her family, and how the Silver'n'Black family responds when one of our own is touched by tragedy.

What will you do to help? The Raider Way is to stick'em something in the mail and/or send your prayers.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lowering Standards for Writing: A Weekend at Bernie's

For a view of what an untreated case Raider envy looks like, check out this article by Donco writer Bernie Lincicome. In it, Bernie makes his case that The Induction of John Madden Lowers the Standards for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Let us dissect this view with all the grace of a high school biology student carving up a frog, for the article appears to be written at a high-school level of understanding of the game of football. To do so, we will consider the only football stat that really matters - winning.

Lincicome states, "John Madden has put Mike Shanahan in the Hall of Fame."

The first question is, "Why is this Donco bozo comparing Mike Shanahan to John Madden in the first place?" Madden is eligible for the HOF. Shanarat is not until five years after he retires. This is the equivalent of comparing a ripe apple to a green banana.

The reason Lincicome does not instead compare Madden to any of the Donco coaches actually eligible for HOF induction is none of them actually has a chance in Hades of being considered. While much is made of the Raiders' current three-year losing streak, consider the fact the Doncos had a thirteen-year losing streak overlapping the period Raider HOFers Al Davis and John Madden were head coaches of this team.

From 1960-'72 the Donco record was an abysmal 52- 123. Utter Raider dominance over the Doncos during the time in question explains why Lincicome doesn't mention such stellar Donco Head Coaching Legends as Lou Saban in his biased comparison.

Lincicome goes on to state, "Since Shanahan has already won six more regular-season games and one more Super Bowl than Madden, clearly the Bronco coach is beyond the entrance bar, and Shanahan will not need to wait 27 years and become a TV oddity to verify his credentials, as Madden needed to do."

Well actually, Shanahan's regular season record is 122-74, while Madden's is 103-32. If you do the math, Shanahan actually has won 19 more regular season games than Madden, so it is unclear where Lincicome gets his stats. But the truth is Shanarat has also lost 42 more regular season games than Madden. 19-42 is the difference. Twice as many more losses as victories. I fail to be impressed.

The bottom line is Madden's regular season win percentage is better than ANY head coach's, ever. Lincicome is wacky on the junk to think a regular season win comparison to Shanarat is the way to make his ludicrous case.

The case that Shanarat should get in the HOF because of his two Super Bowl victories does not hold any weight either. See Exhibit A, Raider coach Tom Flores, whose two SB wins have yet to get him enshrined.

And please note, the reason it took Madden 20+ years to get inducted has nothing to do with his merits as a coach. The HOF voters have a prejudice against allowing active coaches in the HOF. John began as the youngest head coach in the NFL and subsequently retired from coaching at the age of 42, an age when most head coaches are just getting their first gig. What really happened is the HOF voters always thought Madden would return to coaching one day, so they put his enshrinement on the back burner.

Madden got in as a coach, not as a contributor. HOF voters follow guidelines to solely discuss a coach's career as a coach; hence, anything Madden did as a broadcaster or video game innovator were not taken into account by the voters. Lincicome's "He needed to become a TV oddity first" statement is patently false.

Madden is a coach and got in as a coach. Were he voted in as a contributor, his broadcasting, books, and other contributions could have been considered. But they weren't. Verily, Madden did not get in because "He became America's goofy uncle," as Lincicome suggests.

The one comparison Lincicome makes that does hold water is comparing Madden to Packer great Vince Lombardi. Lombardi is after all the man the trophy is named after and coached during the same era as Madden. Lombardi's coaching record of 106-36-6 closely mirrors Madden's record of 112-39-7. Neither ever coached a team to a losing record.

If the coach who's career compares most fittingly to John Madden's is that of the man himself, Lombardi, how is it possible Lincicome can make a case Madden doesn't belong? A blind man with Alzheimer on peyote could see if Vince is in, John is too.

The Lombardi legacy is not at all tarnished by his relatively short career by today's standards. Vince Lombardi's coaching career ended after a bout with intestinal cancer and he died on September 3, 1970.

Citing health reasons during the January 4, 1979 press conference announcing his retirement from coaching, the 42-year-old Madden said the years of stress (which lead to an ulcer causing him to chug Maalox by the quart) had given him "the body of a 70-year-old," according to his doctors. Hence, Madden's coaching legacy is not at all tarnished by the fact health concerns forced his retirement.

Though in my opinion winning should be the most important criterion for HOF induction and Madden stacks up like none other in this measure, what about the fact Madden only won one Super Bowl? Shouldn't his teams have won more, as Raider persona non grata, Tim Brown suggests?

Perhaps, but consider Madden's teams played the AFC/AFL Championship Game seven times in his ten year career. Yes, Madden's teams lost six of those games, but didn't Marv Levy lose four consecutive Super Bowls and still get inducted? In seventy percent of the seasons Madden coached, his team was playing for all the marbles.

In contrast, Mike Shanahan's teams have reached the AFC Championship game less than half as many times (three) and it has taken Shanarat three more years than Madden (thirteen total) to do even this. Bottom line: Madden decidedly achieved a more consistent level of greatness than The Rat will ever reach.

But perhaps John Madden's most important legacy (yes, there are even more important things than winning, true believers) is his role in elevating the station of African-Americans in the NFL. John stood by players such as the Soul Patrol (Brown, Tatum, Atkinson, and Thomas) and the Highway (Shell and Upshaw) at a time when having a lot of black players in the NFL simply wasn't cool.

Madden went so far as to cancel away games when hotels in the cities the Raiders were visiting would not accept black players. Madden made a difference in the Civil Rights movement going on at the time, and did so simply because these were the best players on the field.

What leagacy is Shanarat going to leave behind? That he drafted troubled bozo Maurice Clarett in the third round and watched him stick up 7-Elevens and lead police on high speed chases with his flak jacket and arsenal of pistols? Puhlease.

It is clear this Donco hack, Lincicome, is just miserable 'cause the Mules have NO ONE in the HOF themselves...oops...forgot Mr. Ed-way. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

Remember, Edway was traded from the Colts to the Raiders before the Doncos sabotaged the deal anyway, so even Mr. Ed was identified by the Raiders as a player of greatness before he ever became a Horse-faced, Orange Push-Up Wearin' buffoon.

Imagine, the Donkey lovers look at this site and see their proud franchise listing the likes of Willie Brown (STILL a Raider coach) and Tony Dorsett (er...ya think he was a KY Cowboy?) as their only HOFers.

Is it any wonder this Mule Tool writer comes up with this fish wrapper?

Envy, pure and simple. He wishes the Doncos had even one third of the thirteen HOFers the Raiders list as enshrinees. It's like seeing your next door neighbor having Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston at the same time, then calling them "ugly" 'cause you never even get a phone number yourself.

In sum, while any orange-furred orangutan banging the keys on his typewriter can get published, Lincicome has lowered the standards for allowing primates to write.

Please feel free to tell 'em so by emailin' 'em at:

A sticky thanks to Rxtreme for tipping us off to this article.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lester Sighting

All-Time Great, Sticky Lester Hayes was seen at the HOF proceeding this weekend. He was amongst the many Raider players to represent.

The above photo was taken at the moment a reporter informed Lester he was not being inducted to the HOF (again) this year.

The Judge belongs in the HOF. Any argument to the contrary is a travesty of a mockery of a sham! 'nuff said

And here is one of Lester with Art Shell at practice. Great to see Hayes healthy and being an active part of The Raider Way these days.

Now, if we could only get Nnamdi to borrow a can of Stick-um...

Photos by Tony Gonzales

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Black Flag Network

The Raider Way is excited to announce the launch of Black Flag Network in unison with Silver and Black Forever and Raider Take.

Black Flag Network is a small band of marauding commentators dedicated to offering fresh and original content pertaining to the Oakland Raiders experience.

The goal of Black Flag Network is to grow reciprocal dialogue between network members and their fellow Raiders fanatics, under the belief that our collective synergy will surpass what we as individuals could achieve alone. While each member remains an independent entity, we are united in spirit, vision and outlook.

Black Flag Network embraces other Raiders-related forums and seeks a positive rapport with the entire Raider Nation. At its core, Black Flag Network is simply an extension of friends coming together in recognition of their common passion for the game, and in celebration of the greatest team and fans in the world.

Raise the Black Flag!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sticky Picks : HOF Raiders

Here's one I reserve for special occasions. No, not black tie galas, HOF weekends. My significant other said to tell you all that while she appreciates my Raider fanatacism, wearing the same T-shirt all weekend is probably not a good idea.

The good news is, since the Raiders seem to have a player inducted into the HOF almost every year, you'll get some wear out of this shirt.

The bad news is, since it I bought it before Madden's HOF induction, his name isn't on this one. But they do have this one and this one to get your Madden on.

BTW, rumor is Al Davis owns one of these shirts...the name at the top of the list is crossed out with a line through it and the word "Chief" is written in beside the name.

Tickets, Got Yer Tickets?

In one of Al Davis' many press conferences this week, Mr. Davis addressed the current status of ticket sales:

Reporter's Q: Are you satisfied or encouraged about the way ticket sales are going, do you see a substantial increase in season ticket sales this year?

Al's A: "No, I am not encouraged or satisfied .. unless we sell out. If that doesn't answer your question, no. I would like to sell out. Now, I don't know exactly where we are. I would like to sell out. Yeah, certainly. I'd like to do well with the tickets. They do help that other fellow, the owner ... not the football guy. Yeah. I'd like to sell out but 'encouraged'? I don't know what you mean by 'encouraged'."

Q: Do you think it is going better with the Raiders doing the legwork?

A: "Well you are looking for something I am not going to get into with you. I have Mrs. Trask here. She could answer your question very well. We had to take over the sales. Not that you made it sound like we took it over. We had to take it over. There was no way we could have gone out and had this community sell PSLs to the community. It would have been a rebellion. Rather than have that, that was one of the reasons we were willing to take it over."

Yes, I know. Encouraging you all to buy Raider tix is like preaching to the choir....

However, individual game tickets have recently gone on sale. Even if you can't afford season tickets, at least check out a game if you are able to do so. Sell outs mean no blackout dates, which means the folks who are at stuck at home and unable to afford tickets at all can see the Silver'n'Black on the boob tube.

It's all about the Raider Nation, the only Nation in sports.

Game tickets can be purchased here with no more PSLs to muck up your checkbook.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's Madden Time...

Boom! Just like that - Hall of Fame.

Congratulations, Coach Madden. It is past time.

~ Coach John Madden ~

His record is 103-32-7.

His 75.9% is the best regular season winning percentage of any NFL coach - ever.

His overall winning percentage is second only to the man they named the trophy after, Vince Lombardi.

His teams never had a season with a losing record.

His teams did not have a losing record against any single opponent during the regular season.

He has a winning record vs. every single HOF coach his teams faced (36-16-2), including Tom Landry, Bud Grant, Don Shula, Hank Stram, George Allen, Sid Gillman, Weeb Ewbank, and yes, Chuck Noll too baby!

His teams' record on the big stage, Monday Night Football is 11-1-1.

Here are the schedules for this weekend's HOF festivities on NFL Network and ESPN and Madden announcing the Raiders vs. Eagles game on NBC.

Madden once played for the Eagles; back in the day he was an offensive lineman who's career was cut short in the preseason by a knee injury. How's that for pregame drama?

Mad love to Coach John!

P.S. Here is Al Davis' introduction of John Madden into the HOF.

Here is John Madden's speech at his HOF induction.

Here is the post-induction interview with Al Davis in which he puts Donco Adam Schefter in his rightful place - under Madden's bus.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Depth Chart

The Raiders have posted the first depth chart of the season here.

Things will certainly change between now and opening day (they always do) but here are ten things to ponder for now:

1. Jerry Porter is listed as second string WR. 'nuff said on this subject. On to more important matters.

2. McQuistan is listed as the starting RG. This is a big adjustment to go from playing LT at a small college to RG in the NFL. Lots of folks just assume that if you can play left tackle, you must be good enough to play anywhere else on the line easily, including RG.

It doesn't work like that. On the right side, the hand and footwork will be reversed in mirror image. Think this is easy to pick up? Try brushing your teeth or writing McQuistan a fan letter with your left hand (presuming you are right handed. If not, reverse directions).

Also consider the closer you are to the center, the bigger the sasquatches get. Guards have to explode off the snap quicker than Tackles. They also have to play with more leverage and get lower than Tackles. This explains why most teams don't have their 6'8" bigfoots as interior linemen.

The Raiders have been missing anything resembling a push up the middle since Barret Robbins went off his meds. Can Grove and McQuistan be nasty roadgraders? Here's believing in both of 'em.

3. Andrew Walter has passed Tui at QB. The Tui experiment is officially over. Walter will be the next big thing, according to the Raider organization. This explains why Matt Leinart was passed over in the draft. Let's hope they are right and Walter plays sooner rather than later, 'cause Aaron Brooks is not the long-term answer.

4. Chad Slaughter is listed as the back-up LT. I had hoped Slaughter would be battling Langston Walker for the starting spot at RT. Slaughter is nasty (just ask Michael Strahan) and Walker is soft (just ask Langston’s belly). The problem is Slaughter just does not have quick enough feet to deal with the speed rush ends he'd see at LT.

5. Huggy Bear, Jr. is listed as the second string RB. If this development doesn't immediately wake you up and cause you to scream "Don't f'ing fumble, Fargas!!!" in the middle of the nite, you haven't been paying attention.

6. Tyler Brayton is listed as a starting DE. Ding dong, the witch is dead. Somebody finally poured a bucket of water on Ryan's Frankenbacker experiment. Brayton displays a good upfield motor and aggression; my question is can he stay home on running plays?

7. Tommy Kelly is listed as the starting DT. Much love to Kelly. The questions are, does Warren Sapp have enough gas to be half the player he has been as a Raider after becoming half the player he was in Tampa? A bum shoulder is not a good thing in the trenches. Anyone ever seen Sapp play NT?

And who the hell are Anttaj Hawthorne, Donnell Washington, Terdell Sands, and Rashad Moore? I've got 20/13 vision, but I can't remember ever seeing any of these guys make any impact in the NFL. Quite a feat considering each weighs 300+ pounds.

In a division where you face Larry Johnson, LaDanian Tomlinson, and the Donco RB flavor of the month twice each per season, all I can say is, "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

8. Danny Clark is listed as the second-string MLB. Much love to Kirk Morrison. Clark is needed because of his heart. He's got one. The Raiders collectively haven't had one for three seasons.

Questions are, can Thomas Howard play? He's got the dreaded "potential" label written all over him. And can Secret Sam Williams prove he's not a potato chip and finally justify Al Davis moving up to draft 'em? Here's hoping...

9. Derrick Gibson is listed as the starting SS. This is decidedly a fit of temporary insanity on Art Shell's part. Huff will puff and blow 'em down by the start of the regular season - guaranteed.

10. A fat, drunk Polish kicker is still listed as the starter. Seabass hasn't done a thing to justify his #1 draft slot (George Blanda he ain't). Question is, can some 7-foot tall, former swimmer, current hoopster from the Virgin Islands beat 'em out?

Word is Shell makes all the players run laps every time Seabass misses a FG in practice. That oughta sober 'em up.

Your feedback is welcome as always.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Al Speaks

Al Davis gave a press conference today and spoke to the Jerry Porter situation and the Raiders in general. This is Mr. Davis' take on Pouter:

Davis backed the way Shell has handled disgruntled receiver Porter and didn't believe Porter's trade demand or problems with Shell would hinder the team. Davis said he told Porter and his agent that the Raiders would be willing to trade him -- for equal value in players or draft picks and if Porter gives back the $4 million bonus he received this year. Porter has declined to talk to the media since making his demand public last week.

"If you think the locker room is that important, I don't," Davis said. "But we're talking about one guy. And I don't think he'll make any impression whatsoever. He's a good guy, but he just lost his way a little bit."

So we see, Al agrees. Pouter has lost The Raider Way.

Now it is time to see whether Jerry 5150 will put up or shut up.

The line has been drawn. Your choice is clear:

A. Pay back the bonus money you received before going gonzo green gorilla ape$h!t this offseason and your wish to be traded will be granted.


B. The Raiders will keep you in house and deal with you, which may include benchings or demotions as needed to get you to follow the way.

Is it all about the Benjamin$, Jerry? LaVar Arrington wanted out of DC badly enough to give back his signing bonus...

Or are you capable of stepping up for a full season instead of just the last eight games of one?

Show me the $, Jerry...

Watch Mr. Davis' press conference on John Madden here.

Read the entire press conference here.

Read more of Al Davis' latest takes here. And please note Al states plainly that the Raiders will stay in the Davis family, with Amy Trask on board, as predicted here not long ago.