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?


Blogger Raider Take said...

I'm with you, Stick'Em. After all of this suspicious media outrage about the signing of a fourth-string quarterback, I'm almost hoping that George actually takes a few snaps this year. It's just too tempting to try to shut that many pieholes.

September 01, 2006 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media treats the Raiders like Democrats.

September 01, 2006 10:45 AM  
Anonymous horsecollarjack said...

Amen to that...Imagining the possibilties is half the fun. Did you hear the explanation last night? That George worked out with Moss during the off-season and asked Moss to put in a good word? That's a possibility too.

Sadly, Gruden's description perfectly describes the Walsh offense. I'm hoping Brooks can check down before he has to lateral to one of his offensive line-men.

September 01, 2006 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HCJ: Methinks you are on to something.

This scenario is what I've been speculating too... Perhaps George is Moss' guy more so than anyone else's, and Art/Al brought 'em in for Randy's sake?

Hell, the brought 'em into town in a limo with a police escort on day one. Why not get him his favorite QB to play with for a week... or more?


September 02, 2006 6:10 AM  

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