Monthly Archives: October 2013

Marcel Reese

I am going to echo something I’ve been hearing through Various outlets in the media and blogoshpere. If the Raiders want to continue competing, The raiders need to get the ball to Marcel Reese,

First off, Marcel Reese is one of the best football players on this entire team. Reese is counted on in the running game, receiveing game, and especially the running game.

Ocutside of Mcfadden and Pryor, Reese is the Raiders biggest playmaker. His natural size and receiving skills of Reese are like no other at the FB position. I’m not sure that their is a linebacker who can cover him out of the backfield or the slot.

I think Reese’s lack of success boils down to a few factors, Yes the Raiders offensive line has been mediocre on a good day. Hence, eeese’s services have been needed in pass protection and lead blocking. The other problem is Terrelle Pryor. Pryor as a young player has really failed to utilize his dump off options. I’ve seen him hold the ball to long, or he’d rather scramble than make the smart dump off play..

The thing is, I’m not going to give gregg knapp, Pryor or Reese a pass for the above listed reasons. Marcel Reese’s size and speed make him a perfect change of pace foro Darren Mcfadden, similarly to Michael Bush a few years ago. The raiders also need to move Reese around the formation, in the I formation, TE, slot, and wing positions. His versatility will help shift the focus off of Mcfadden and Pryor. If the Raiders want Pryor to be comfortable in the offense by letting him go out of the shotgun, then they need Reese’s versatility to keep offense’s off balance.

Lastly, the Raiders need to get Reese the ball. Knapp talked about scaling back some of the decision’s for Pryor, and if he is serious than he needs to get the ball to Reese on designed screens. I wouldn’t mind seeing Reese and Pryor running a read option play either. Lastly, Reese playing all over the field gives him oppurtunity to be a decoy, but also to be a dominate blocker throughout the field. The Raiders Tight ends have been inconsistent, so Reese is needed to make those blocks at the second level. Even when he is split out out he can be effective of outside, crack, and screen blocking.

Reese is the Raider’s most consistent player. They need him to make plays. I’m tired of the Raiders offense stalling in the first half. Reese is exactly the weapon needed to mix up looks for opposing defense. He is both consistent and gamechanging. If Pryor can’t get him the ball on dump offs, then there needs to be more designed runs and screens for him. We are paying this guy as a pro bowler, and he needs to be utilized as one. Around the league he is recognized as a player who can redefine the field goal position, well now it is time for him to do it.  Otherwise, the Raiders will stall in the second half all season.  I expect him to have more than 10 receiving yards and 60 rushing yards. re

Raiders Globalization

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Earlier this season the Oakland Raiders announced they will play a home game in London. Last week they announced that they will be hosting the Miami Dolphins.

A few weeks ago, I read a report via Bleacher Report that said Al Davis would never consider forfeiting a home gome in favor of traveling across continents to Europe. The article talked about how the NFL pays the home team the same amount as if it were a sold out home game, but from a competitive standpoint it gives the Raiders only seven actual home games.

My thoughts are, what organization outside of the Raiders has an iconic logo and reputation? There are few organizations who have had as much influence on popular culture as The Raiders. We’ve seen rappers, actors, and all kinds of people have been seen rocking Raider gear as signs of Fashion rather than fan ship. Even on a smaller scale, the Raider logo has become a symbol of rebellion, and a statement of being unique. The fact is, like them or hate them, you know who the Raiders are.

Since Mark Davis became the face of the Raiders he has said that he is not his father. He has done everything he can to propel his Raiders into the times. Having a game in London is just another way Davis is showing he is committed to expanding the Oakland Raiders. He is also showing the NFL world, that this is not the closed market Raider team that your parents new. Rather this is the same Raider team in a global economy.

which brings me to my point, As a brand why wouldn’t you want to globalize such an iconic piece of the NFL and American culture. The Raiders represent a piece of NFL and iconic history. From a business perspective, the NFL needs to bring a rich piece of their history and brand into the globalization, so why not start with the Raiders? We have already seen the league make it a point for teams to do Hard Knocks, so it is only a matter of time before an overseas team becomes mandatory for teams. So if it is going to be any one, it mine as well be the Raiders.

As a bonus, expanding the Raiders brand can only help them appeal to the city of Oakland in their quest for a stadium. Or if they decide to opt for a stadium in The media capital of the world, Los ANgeles, well having a foundation in London can only make their franchise more appealing for Los ANgeles.

The Raiders already have two UK natives in Jack Crawford and Manelik Watson. The Raiders are already a symbol of popular culture in America. So why not build the foundation for fans in London. The Raiders brand is already a huge national brand, and now it is time to expand it to a global platform. Global Populations have already become familiar with the Raider logo from movies and music, so now its time to give those people a chance to buy into the brand of the Raiders. In the process, they might just become fans and followers. Either way this can only be a good thing for the Oakland Raiders and their brand.

Just Roll Baby!

Last week, there was some talk about the Raiders interest in Josh Freeman. Initially, I thought why hes a far less dynamic version of Pryor. Then I thought about the last disgruntled quarterback they went after, Carson Palmer, and how that quick fixed failed. I thought about why would you look to a quick fix after Pryor has injected so much hope into the team. Then i heard talks about the Mcfadden injury and I asked myself, why are the Raiders concerned so much with the quarterback when it should be the least of their worries. I hadn’t heard any talk about pursuing offensive line help, a pass rusher, reciever, tight end, running back, or any other position where the Raiders are lacking playmaking ability.

Then Sunday came, and the Raiders showed up underneath the lights. They played a bitter rival, The Chargers, but still seemed more inspired then there opponent. Even with a late rally, the team kept playing hard and managed to pull out a win rather than falter like previous teams. Therefore, I don’t want to talk about who is not in a Raider uniform. I don’t want to talk about the star safety, running back, and left tackle that are absent from the active list. I don’t want to talk about the free agent quarterbacks they might sign or ended up releasing. I don’t even want to talk about the players the roster is lacking at various positions. Rather, I want to talk about the team as it is constructed.

CHarles Woodson

He absolutely balled the last game and all season. If you think it is a coincidence that he recoved a fumble or got an interception than your dead wrong. Woodson has been getting to the ball all season long, so it was only a matter of time until they started creating turnovers. More importantly, you could see his leadership skills to rally a defense that seemed worn out as the Chargers tried to make a comeback.

DJ Hayden

I’ll admit I was pretty hard on the rookie all game. No means did play perfect, but his interception in the fourth quarter couldn’t have come at a better time. He finally showed some of those playmaking abilities when he broke on the ball and intercepted it. It is promising to see a kid get beat all day and then comeback and make a pick. To be a successful DB in this league, you have to posses that confidence and swagger. I know he missed a lot of training camp, so I hope this is an indication that he will continue to get better as the season goes on.

Terelle Pryor

After a tough game against the Broncos, and talk about Josh Freeman, Pryor was able to come out and ball. In the first half, lacking his dynamic backfield partner, Pryor was able to piece together nice drives. His speed and elusiveness were showcased as he was able to outrun linebackers and dbs to the corner. Even as his offense sputtered in the second half, he held his composure. I think this game really cemeted Pryor as a starting quarterback, because he was able to showcase his physical abilities and leadership qualities. I also seen his ability to throw on the run, and the receivers are beginning to adjust to Pryor’s timing and accuracy. I think as they get in more cohesion, Pryor and his receivers can only get better. Streater caught a nice ball in the first half, and Moore caught a few good passes to keep the drives along.

In closing, Pro Football talk moved this team up to number 18 in the power rankings. As they get healthier and as they continue to get better I can only imagine how far this team will go. If Pryor continues to show improvement week to week, then his team will as well. For the first time in a long time, it seems like the coaches, media, and team are starting to buy into the Raiders Starting Quarterback. Hopefully it means the team will end the playoff drought, but either way it is nice to see the Raiders compete in every game, and have an once of hope that their Quarterback can make a play when its time to.

The Failed Experiment

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On Monday, The Oakland Raiders said goodbye to the Matt Flynn era which only lasted about 3 preseason games. After an unimpressive outing against the Redskins, Flynn was demoted to third string quarterback. Only a few days later, the team released him, and coach Dennis Allen said he wasn’t quite sure why it failed but it failed and it was time to move on.

Initially, when the Raiders traded for Flynn he was rated pretty highly by many in the football world. Fans hoped he would be the second coming of Rich Gannon. However, even from the teams OTAS people wrote about how unimpressive the Raiders QB’s were in general. The sighted many of Flynn’s duck passes and lack of arm strength.

The Flynn experiment failed because Matt Flynn is merely a gamemanager. No one said this guy was going to come in and be Peyton Manning and sling the ball around. Rather people cited his I.Q. and knowledge from backing up Rodgers as his call to duty.

Well he may have a good I.Q the fact is that only gets you so far in this league. It is hard to ask someone to manage a game when he lacks the dominate playmakers around him. The Oakland Raiders young receivers have been inconsistent at best, and the offensive line has been banged up all season. It was unfair to ask Matt Flynn to go out and make plays when his whole career has indicated him incompetent at doing that.

This is the same guy who was beat out by Jamarcus Russell in college, Russell Wilson in Seattle, and Terrelle Pryor in Oakland. He didn’t get beat out by these guys because they were smarter than him. He lost his job, because those guys had the playmaking gene that he lacked. They had the swagger and confidence that Flynn could only dream of.

Therefore, The Matt Flynn expirrement failed in Oakland for no other reason than Matt Flynn. The Raiders new what they were getting when they paid for him, yet they failed to surround him with a situation he could succeed in. They expected Matt Flynn to show the kind of Playmaking ability he has lacked his whole career. Even at LSU the guy didn’t win a national championship because he carried them there.

In this league Knowledge gets you nowhere but in analysis seat next to Jessie Palmer and Tim Hasselback. At the end of the day, a quarterback is supposed to make the plays and the throws to help there team win. If your unable to make plays, if you lose your confidence, and you have a poor attitude well then you are on a fast track to free agency.

I understand, Matt Flynn cannot control his god given talent or the talent of the players around him. However, there’s a reason why an Undrafted rookie beat him out for the number 2 QB spot. Theres also a reason why the bills or jaguars aren’t jumping to get this guy.

Flynn failed to control the factors in his hands. He failed to maintain any confidence and failed to have a positive attitude. Any Quarterback must possess those to traits, which is why he ultimately failed as a starting NFL QB.

Flynn’s fortunate that opportunity knocked twice for him. He missed both so I’d be suprised if he ever has another chance to start. Even his old team the packers have denied any interest. His third opportunity will be as an ESPN analysis next to Jessie and Tim. Either-way, his one start has already netted him millions of dollars, which is more opportunity that a lot of Quarterbacks get at the highest level.