Monthly Archives: January 2015

Who should come back

The Oakland Raiders began their off-season by re-signing veteran Charles Woodson. Woodson had a redemption season by not only providing leadership and swagger but also as one of the best players in Silver and Black.

However, The Raiders have quite a few other decisions to figure out starting with the players whose contracts expired.

Who’s going

Andre Holmes

Proved his value this season equating almost 700 yards for the season. Well Holmes has shown flash as a deep threat for the Raiders, the team needs to upgrade the position. I see Holmes becoming a third or fourth receiver on a really good team.

Darren McFadden

As much as it hurts me to say, it is probably time to move on from the Run DMC era. At 27 years old, McFadden finally stayed healthy but had his worst season as a pro. McFadden still has value as a third down and spot play back. However, a change of scenery may be better for both teams. McFadden probably needs to go to an offensive juggernaut who will not only utilize him, but defenses won’t be able to key on only him.

Carlos Rodgers

Injuries and age make Rogers an easy decision. He played well before getting injured but aging corners are always available on the market.

Tarrell Brown

Brown too played well before injury, however, McKenzie has proved willing to substitute corners over the past few seasons. Combined with a new head coach and salary cap, the Raiders should upgrade the position with Antonio Cromartie among other names.

Pat Simms

I was all for bring Simms back last season after he played well as a starter. However, with Justin Ellis blossoming, having another run stuffing end may be redundant.

CJ Wilson

As a career back-up, the journey man should be able to find another gig. Wilson’s inability as a pass rusher just doesn’t warrant him coming back.

Chimdi Chekwa

Rather it is the practice squad, special teams, or spot up play Chekwa has been a contributor since he was drafted. Hopefully he has enough tape to stay in the league, but with young Carrie and Thorpe on the roster Chekwa is probably the odd one out.

Who’s Staying

Brandin Ross

I have never been a huge Ross supporter, but he got a lot better from the 2013 season to the end of the 2014 season. Therefore, why not? He is young, could be a special teams player or add depth to the team at a relatively cheap price.

Rod Streater

The media might have forgotten about the third year player who almost eclipsed 1,000 yards as a sophomore but fans have not. He is a fan favorite and one of the few weapons in the cupboard. He has a combination of size and speed that make him viable in the slot and outside. Please don’t let him get away!

Stephan Wisniewski

The Wiz kid regressed last season. He was ranked in the 20s by PFF and had a few fumbled exchanges throughout the season. Still, resigning the center means there is one less need on the team. McKenzie preaches building through the draft and it is time for him to continue that strategy by developing the young center. Plus, he is a Raider legacy!

Matt McCants

McCants played center last year, however, he did well as a tackle the season before. His versatility makes him a viable depth option for the Raiders.

Marquette King

No brainer. Keep the great punter lineage going. King is not only a developing young punter, but he is also an athlete and stable in the community.

Chopping Block

Tyvon Branch

I might take some heat for this one, but Branch has not been a reliable contributor since signing his last big deal. He was supposed to flourish under Dennis Allen but he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. If it is time to close the door on McFadden than why not do the same by cutting Branch and converting his salary into cap space. Why not replace him with Antrei Rolle?

Matt Schaub

Self explanatory. I would rather have Mark Sanchez or a laundry list of other quarterbacks backing up Derek Carr.

Maurice Jones Drew

Hype up the JDR MJD connection all you want. The two bay area natives worked to perfection in Jacksonville, but this is years later. MJD hasn’t been the same back in a few years despite a lighter body and lighter load. He is one of my favorite players an a bay area guy but their are far greater options in the free agency market and draft.

David Ausberry

Another no brainer. Has not met the hype. Should be cut in favor of adding any other veteran tight end.

LaMarr Woodley

Woodley’s stock has been trending down over the past seasons as fast as Sears. Either way, there are plenty of other free agent veterans worth taking a shot on. Woodley needs to go back to being a stand up end anyways, as 2014 had him relatively ineffective.

Nick Roach

It was admirable for Roach to play more than 90 percent of the defensive snaps in 2013. It is clear it took a toll on him as he missed the season to concussion. The Raiders have a younger Miles Burris to compete for snaps on special teams or as a starter. Hence, they do not need Roach as they should address the Mike position in the draft or free agency anyways.

Earning their Keep

Antonio Smith

No doubt the 30+ year old is on the decline. Still he proved he had value last season in spots. Using him as a three technique pass rusher or run stuffing end should increase his shelf life and effectiveness. Cutting him should not be an option as he also has playoff experience.

Austin Howard

Another one of McKenzie’s free agency additions that was ehhh…. Howard playing out of position at guard may give him another season in silver and black. Besides that is one less need the team needs to fill.

Frankly this team does not need another overhaul. This new regime faces it’s first test by getting their own free agents to buy into them. Otherwise, let’s cut the dead weight and get more cap space!

The defensive coordinator fiasco

Can we just hire a coordinator already?

The fact that Raiders have already added staff positions but have yet to net a defensive coordinator is understandably making fans anxious.

The Raiders have already explored options with Eric Mangini and Mike Smith who would have both been good coordinators. Ultimately, both have reportedly spurned the job.

Meanwhile the Raiders have been looking at college defensive coordinators, Todd Grantham also turned down the job and opted to stay at his post for the Louisville Cardinals. It is a testament to the quality of the job, so much as it is him being comfortable in Louisville. Maybe he likes the amateurism of the NCAA considering he had a taste of the league in 2007 with the Browns. Plus that program is turning out pros right now.

Either way, fans should not panic. Head Coach Jack Del Rio is an established defensive mind. He has been apart of Superbowl Defenses with the 2000 Ravens, 2002 Panthers, and 2014 Broncos.

It could be one of the reason why established coordinators are shying away from the job.However, Jack Del Rio was able to work under a defensive mind John Fox, so hopefully he can find another coordinator willing to establish a similar relationship.

Regardless, 60 million in cap space, a top draft selection, and a nucleus of Justin Ellis, Khalil Mack, and DJ Hayden are enough to attract a defensive coordinator. Plus, the players present are versatile enough that a coordinator can build the defense how they see fit.

Another reason to be optimistic is the hope of landing some key Seattle assistants once the Superbowl is over.

Hence, Raider fans do not need to panic just yet. Besides, Suh’s former head coach Schwartz is still out there!

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Bill Musgrave as Offensive Coordinator can’t be worse than previous OCs

Well atleast his name is not Greg.

Today, it was reported that the Oakland Raiders would hire Bill Musgrave as their offensive coordinator.

Some fans were underwhelmed by the hire considering they wanted Marc Trestman as the play caller. Trestman would have been a great candidate due to his work with quarterbacks like Rich Gannon, Josh McCown and others in the CFL.

But come on, do we really want a retread from the 02 season where we were dominated by the Buccaneers?

Either way, Musgrave would be a solid hire for the Raiders. His offenses have never been elite but they have finished in the top half of the league each year. He even did so with a 2013 quarterback disaster of Christian Ponder/ Josh Freeman/ Matt Cassell.

Plus, Musgrave helped Foles transform from a young quarterback into a borderline star. Imagine what he could do with Derek Carr?

Combine that with the fact that his team has finished within the top of rushing attempts and the Raiders have themselves someone who can help the offensive unit build into a bully.

It should be good to see Murray combining with another free agent or drafted running back to carry the load of the offense. Especially if the Raiders can build a dominate defense.

Either way, can he be any worst than the poor innovation and underwhelming play-calling of Greg Olsen and Greg Knapp over the past few seasons?

Musgrave spent a season under Chip Kelly and maybe some of those fast, spread elements can transfer to the Raiders. Further, it gives Jeremy Maclin a familiar face when he explores his options in Free Agency.

Also noted, Musgrave understand Del Rio’s philosophies having worked under him in Jacksonville, and he understands the bay area having been here in 1997. Hence, the Raiders could have done worse than hiring Musgrave.

Raiders got it right with Del Rio

Call it uninventive, or predicted but the Raiders got it right hiring Jack Del Rio.

The former Jaguars Head Coach wasn’t much of a candidate for any other coaching jobs but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t the perfect fit for the Raiders.

Granted, Interim Head Coach Tony Sparano earned the support of veteran players like James Jones among others. Still, Del Rio’s experience as player and coach combined with his connection to the Bay Area just made a ton of sense. So much sense even Al Davis would have liked this move.

Even if he isn’t the hot, innovative coordinator, Del Rio still had a top ranked defense each of the years he was in Denver. With almost 30 years of experience, Del Rio should net some experienced coordinators. Plus you remember the last bright young minds the Raiders hired? Cough, Lane Kiffin. Cough, Dennis Allen.

Either way, a lot rides on this coming season. It is year four of the Reggie McKenzie era and both he and Owner Mark Davis need a winning season.

The Raiders are amongst the leagues’ worst in attendance and tv ratings. They have been losing for more than a decade. Plus their stadium status is in complete limbo.

Therefore, why not give the coaching reigns to someone who the fans and owner can be excited for?

He and the organization stand with a lot to prove. It took Del Rio a while to net his second head coaching gig. Del Rio understands that he must seize this current opportunity with the Raiders as there might not be a third coaching job.

For the first time in a while, the Raiders have young pieces to be excited for and signing Del Rio is just another reason Raider Nation should be enthralled for the upcoming season.

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