Blog Archives

The Matt Schaub Situation

Raiders new starting QB Schaub address the media via Google images.

Last week, The Oakland Raiders acquired their starting Quarterback, Matt Schaub, from the Houston Texans for a draft-pick in the sixth round.

Matt Schaub was once the promising back-up for the Atlanta Falcons in the glory days of the Mike Vick Era. He was then traded to the Texans some seasons ago to become their starter.

In Houston, Schaub was a two-time pro bowler and had a QB rating in the top ten (Schaub Supporters won’t let you forget it). For the most part, Schaub was not an elite QB, but definitely above average as he lead the Texans to a few playoff births with the help of JJ Watt, Brain Cushing, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, and other key Texans’ Players. 

Many of us do not remember those days as vividly as we remember Schaub getting booed by him home crowd after an aparent injury. In a league based on ‘What have you done for me lately,’ I remember Schaub’s consecutive pick-six interceptions in four games last season, before being benched for a late-round rookie. 

In my eyes, even Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman are better options. Freeman was a one time pro-bowler, and Sanchez has an extensive playoff resume. Both are farther from 30 then Schaub (and Schaub is over 30). Even though both fell out of favor with their previous regimes due to off-field issues and on-field performance, under the age of 28, both guys have more potential for growth then Schaub.

The last capable starter the Raiders had was a young Jason Campbell who fell out of favor with the previous regime, and I think Sanchez or Freeman could have had a similar effect. Even after all Schaub and Freeman had been through, I am not sure either lost as much confidence as Matt Schaub did after fans booed him. Maybe they did not fit the scheme as well, or were not worth the hassle, but who the Raiders did not get is an entirely separate issue.

My problem is not with Schaub as a Quarterback. I understand he is the big, strong-armed quarterback capable of managing games and getting the ball to his play makers. I understand the familiarity with Gregg Knapp’s offense in Oakland, and I understand he is a more reliable option for managing defensive games, while being more predictable for the coaches to predict. 

Added, Schaub has been relatively successful in the league, possessing pro-bowls, playoff births, and a high QBR. However this is the Not For Long(NFL). Yes, there were not many viable options for a starting QB in Free Agency or the Draft, however that does not mean you give the job to the first semi-capable one that becomes available. 

The Raiders and Head Coach Dennis Allen have already gone on record as saying Schaub is their starter for this year and possibly years to come. I understand the Allen, Mckenzie, and Owner Davis have urgency for results this season, but their is no telling if Schaub is even capable of being the quarterback he once was.

Do we remember the last Matt the Raiders banked on, Matt Flynn? He was handed the starter job only to lose it in camp, despite being Reggie’s guy and having the highest salary of the other QBs on the Roster. I know Flynn and Schaub are not even close to the same player, but Schaub spent his own time as a back-up, and was only above average/solid/good for a few seasons with the Texans(that seems so long ago).

Schaub lost his job in Houston for good reason, so how can we simply hand this guy the job. Yes it is important for a QB a to handle adversity, but Schaub’s confidence seemed deteriorated after poor results and criticism from fans last season. If he struggles this season, even a little bit, the black hole is going to be even less forgiving, especially considering he is more pricey then any of the guys mentioned earlier.

My thinking is, why wouldn’t you want Schaub to come in and compete for the job? If he is truly capable of being our starter then let him go out and prove it to fans and , more importantly, his own confidence. Handing him the job is not going to do anything for his development. The Truth is Schaub has not seen much development over his past seasons. This last season we seen a huge digression which could have been a product of his team or it could have been the other way around.

Terrelle Pryor has asked for a trade, and I do not blame him. Many say the writing has been on the wall, and this was already a conclusion in process since Pryor fell out of favor with the regime. But why not let Pryor compete with Schaub? Even the undersized McGloin could give Schaub a run for his money, so why acquire Schaub to be your starter?

If Schaub was really the best guy and If he really wanted to be a Raider, why not wait for him to be released? The truth is, Schaub probably would have opted for Kyle Shanahan and the Cleveland Browns, but I don’t think they would have even named him the automatic starter.

Like I said, I do not blame Pryor for wanting out. it is hard to take hits and a beating for a team over a season and then hear they handed your job to someone who has not even beaten you or proven more capable then you. Does anyone remember how we beat Schaub at home a few seasons ago?

Whatever the case is, Allen and Mckenzie are banking a lot on Schaub this season. He may have been the best option for a starting QB out there, but that does not mean he is the best one for the Raiders. Schaub does not have much more potential. No one is even sure if he is the QB we saw last season or the ones from the previous few seasons. Either way, The Raiders will do well to invest in a young QB who can actually compete with Schaub and push him in training camp. Otherwise we may be looking at an uncontested mediocre quarterback with no future at the helm of our Raiders.

If Schaub fails then the Raiders, as a whole will fail. Losing Pryor takes away any other capable experienced option the Raiders have. Sure McGloin is a compeitor and a solid back-up but he is not the playmaker or gamechanger that Pryor is.

Hence, the Raiders are gambling on Schaub, and if he does not succeed then he, Allen, and McKenzie will probably all be looking for jobs next season. The Raiders will then be in exactly the same position they have been the past few seasons, looking for their QB of now and of the future.

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Raiders Keep one of their own

Reports indicate the Raiders boost their D-Block (Defensive Backs0 and are bringing back safety Charles Woodson on a one year deal.

Twitter reacted with Every Raider fan going nuts about the signing. For good reason too. Charles Woodson came in and made an impact for a defense desperate for playmakers and leadership. Woodson also represents a piece from the glory days of the Raiders and having him on the roster makes fans very happy. He embodies what it means to be a Raider, rough and tough.

From a football perspective, Woodson is the versatile Defensive Back Allen and Tarver utilize. He can line-up in the slot or at either safety position. He is not necessarily the kind of threat in coverage he once was, but he still has the range and speed to play safety. His tackling ability is up and down, but they have Tyvon Branch complimenting him at safety to cover those deficiencies.

Leadership wise, we understand what Woodson brings to the table. Reggie McKenzie’s trend is signing football players with Superbowl rings and Charles Woodson has one of his own. A strong Leadership presence will be on each level of Tarver’s defense. The Raiders look to be one of the smartest and versatile defenses in the entire league.

Additionally the Raiders made the re-signing of Usama Young, fellow safety. Young’s two year deal makes him an inexpensive back-up for Charles Woodson. Young started for the Cleveland Browns the year before serving as Woodson’s Back-up. He played well before injury took him out of  the line-up. Young is pretty good on Special Teams as well.

Young is a capable back up for Charles Woodson who should also offer some spot up duty. He recorded an interception and sack providing the kind of versatility to play all over the secondary. Preserving Charles Woodson is important and Young is more then capable of playing in his place.

The move indicates the Raiders are perserving 3 of their four starters from last season and a key back-up in Young. They also add a more season Brandon Ross and Chidekwai. FA Tarrell Brown is an unrated addition and they may even add a rookie to the mix. Dennis Allen specializes in Defensive Backs, so I have high expectations for them. They have the veteran leadership and continuity to be one of the strongest positions for the Raiders and i hope they produce

The Raiders Need Sammy Watkins


With a team desolated of playmakers and desperate for an identity, the Raiders have an oppurtunity to select Clemson Wide Out Sammy Watkins whom could change all of that presuming he is available with the #5 draft pick.

I have been an advocate for the Raiders selecting Watkins, however, earlier I broke down the deep recieving corps in this draft class. Any number of those guys could provide value to the Raiders, which would warrant a pass on Watkins and opting for a reciever in later rounds.

Since Watkins’ pro-day a few days ago, my stance has changed. The Raiders need Watkins to provide his explosive playmaking ability which could be the identity for the team. In his pro-day Watkins proved he was the best reciever in the class once again. Some even said it was one of the best pro-day workouts ever.

NFL Network Draft Guru Mike Mayock said Watkins is one of the best recievers he has analyzed in over 10 years. That is a great compliment. He very well may end up as one of the best players in this entire draft class.

As Raider fans, we still blame the organization for passing on Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson when there was an oppurtunity to draft either in their respective drafts.

Watkins showcased his capabilities in the Orange Bowl, where he put up 16 catches, with two TDs and over 200 yards against Ohio State. At Clemson he showcased his ability to line-up inside or outside. His speed was often showcased in the open field and his agility and accelartion displayed with a diverse route tree. Not only that, but has even showed a willing ness to block combined with a swagger the Raiders are looking for.

At the Combine, Watkins told NFL teams in interviews that he loves to dominate defenses. Denarius Moore could really learn from that midset. Leading up to the combine, Watkins hyped fans up by saying he would run a record setting time. His 4.43 official team underwhelmed but his game tape indicates plenty of speed for seperation at the next level. Watkin’s swagger and confidence are something the Raiders have been void of for years.

He elected to sit on his 40 time at the pro-day. Instead, Watkins made an impression with his route running, soft hands, and accelartion just like he did on tape and at the combine.

From a purely football perspective, Watkins can impact games after the catch or going deep. He can run screens, end arounds, and has plenty of value as a returner. Offensive Coordinator Greg Olsen could utilize Watkins and build the team’s offense around Watkins. For the first time in a long time, The Raiders could have an offensive identity with Watkins ability to change games(The Way Mcfadden was suppossed). He can line up in the slot and free up space for Moore or Rivera. He is fast enough to stretch the field for Streater and Holmes. Watkin’s hands are reliable enough for whoever trots out at QB for the Raiders. Neither is he afraid to open up wholes for a Raider running back.

The biggest knock on Watkins is he does not do anything spectacular. listed under 6’2 he does not very impressive size, nor is his 40 time spectacular, but his ability to impact games is surely spectacular. He is not the Big Fitzgerald, Megatron, or Julio jones. However, he is not the liability that Darius Heyward-Bey was either.

Watkins had the consistence in college that DHB did not out of Maryland, and Watkins played with another NFL quality reciver (Imagine if he didn’t?). DHB was suppossed to be the number one reciever for years to come, but has shown he is only a #3 reciever on his best day. Therefore, fans and management should not be weary of selecting a reciever high in the draft even if their is enough depth in the draft. The Raiders have yet to recover from Tim Brown days of having a true number one reciver. Selecting Watkins will allow Moore and Streater to thrive in the complimentary roles they are suited for.

The Raiders can not afford to let history repeat itself. Selecting Watkins makes too much sense for the Raiders. Watkins is one of the best prospects in the entire draft, he fills a team need, has a high ceiling, has swagger, and can impact games. This draft is too important for the Raiders to miss on, and Watkins has been labeled the can not miss player in the draft.

Defensive Players like Clowney and Mack come around once in a while too. But with Watkins you are talking about a guy who can legitimately score anytime he touches the ball, anywhere on the field. That is a value you don’t pass on as their will be other defensive prospects in FA and in later rounds.

He is the impact player Reggie Mckenzie and Dennis Allen are looking for, and the identity Mark Davis is looking for. It is becoming more evident the Raiders are not going to find that guy in Free agency. All the team needs to do is make the selection at #5 and let this guy dominate on sundays.

If he can make Tahj Boyd shine in college, surely he can do the same for any of the Raiders QBs. The Raiders do not need to draft a quarterback at the top of the draft, as they will have to wait for him to develop. Watkins is pro-ready and is the Nasty, Fast, and explosive player whom could be the face of the franchise for years to come. As an organization desperate to give their city and fanbase some hope of winning, Sammy Watkins has to be the pick when the may 2nd draft roles around.

First Round: Qb isn’t the answer

I think Mock Drafts at this point are stupid. The Draft Order is not set, prospects haven’t declared, free agents haven’t been resigned, and players haven’t been cut. Additionally, a lot of things happen from here to April that separate draft picks. People around the NFL dissect every part of these players, which makes many of them rise and fall.

A Few of the Mock Drafts coming out have had the Raiders selecting a QB in the top 5. I don’t think that is the answer for a team lacking talent throughout the roster. Regardless of who plays QB for the Raiders, they are going to need weapons around them. That starts with an offensive-line that needs depth and more aggression. The Raiders receivers and tight ends have been mediocre and inconsistent at best. The running-backs have been better, but Rashaad Jennings and Darren McFadden might not be on this team. I don’t like the idea of having a young quarterback, RB, and WR. People think the Raiders should draft a QB in the first round usually believe it is time for the Raiders to stop seeking stop-gap QB’s, and  should draft their franchise QB.

It is not that easy to draft a franchise QB. It is rare that a QB immediately comes in and changes the culture. If Dennis Allen is brought back, He and Reggie Mckenzie can not afford for a franchise QB to have growing pains. Their jobs will rely on the success of a 1st round QB’s leadership and success. Neither can Mark Davis afford another losing season if he wants to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

Free Agency:

I think the Raiders should go out and sign or trade for another QB. If Jay Cutler is available, some people think he is the answer, however, the Raiders just traded a gun-slinging QB named Carson Palmer. Not to mention, Jay Cutler is going to be owed lots of money.If Eli Manning becomes available than he probably falls into this same category. Both are upgrades, but are they the answer? Maybe in Al Davis days…

Then there are the backups like Ryan Mallett or Kirk Cousins. I am weary on those solutions because of the Matt Flynn effect. Backup QB’s are Backups for a reason! Mental reps are great, but they don’t equal results and neither of these guys have extensive experience.

There are also the Salvage projects. Maybe the Raiders think they can salvage some  production out of Michael Vick. Maybe they believe Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, or Matt Schaub can benefit from a change of scenery. These guys have competed at a highlevel, and the Raiders don’t have anyone on the roster like that.

Brandan Weeden, Jake Lockert, Jimmy Clausen, Christian Ponder, and Dwayne Gabbert,  have all flashed ability. They are also draft busts, which is why their former teams may decide to go in another direction. Sometimes a new situation can spark new direction for a quarterback. Rich Gannon is an example of that, but there are many others who have failed. The Raiders have gone this route before, but these guys were drafted high for a reason. Maybe one more season can remind people of that.

Then there are the journeymen: Jason Campbell, Luke McCown, Chad Henne, Ryan Firzpaterick, or Chad Henne. These guys days as potential starters are behind them. While they are not franchise guys, they do have starting experience, and could lead a team with good players around them.At any rate, Any of these guys give the Raiders competition at the position to push Pryor, McGloin, or any other quarterback. Maybe with the right coaches and play-makers in place,  they can lead a playoff team. It has been done before, ask Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson.

The Draft:

I am no where qualified to talk on the draft. I haven’t done hours of extensive film research, dissecting these quarterbacks, but here are my thoughts on the QB class based on my reading and observations.

So far, the consensus #1 QB in the draft is Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville. It is hard to find a scenario where the Jaguars and Texans pass on him. Hence, I don’t think the Raiders answer is at the top of the draft. It seems like most of the QB’s in this draft have their strengths and weaknesses, but Bridgewater is the only can’t miss.

After Bridgewater, it seems like Derek Carr is the next guy, but his last name is Carr, and he played at Fresno State. That may be a plus for some fans, however, to me, those are minuses.

Then some people have the electric TAMU Johnny Manziel and others think UCF’s Blake Bortes are shooting up draft boards.  However, I am not sure either of these guys are ready to change a franchise on day 1. These guys could go anywhere in the first or second round. I think they have strengths and potential, but are they Andrew Luck? I’d be presently surprised if they are. Maybe in the 2nd round, but the Raiders have two many needs to take a chance on one of these guys in rd. 1.

The Raiders are better off drafting a value guy in the Late Rounds. Maybe Clemson’s Tahj Boyd on day two, or Miami’s Stephen Morris on day 3. How about a developmental pick like Georgia’s Aaron Murray or LSU’s Zach MettenBerger. Both guys are hurt, but they have had high draft ratings before and maybe a year of seasoning could help them. They would be a great value on day 2 0r 3 of the draft.  San Jose’s David Fales or Alabama’s A.J. McCarron could have as much upside as Bortes, Carr, or Manziel but would be a much better draft value. All of these guys have starting experience and some consistency at a high level, which could translate to the next level.

The Raiders have too many needs to think drafting a QB #1 will change all of their problems. There is enough value in the later rds for the Raiders to take a chance that one of those guys can push a guy on the roster or a guy they bring in. Either way, the Raiders hope the guy they draft will pan out better than Tyler Wilson.

Pryor and McGloin deserve another Off-season

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The Quarterback position is the toughest position in the NFL. When a team succeeds than the QB gets the credit, and when a team loses they usually take the blame. A QB can be loved one week and hated the next. There are only about 90 QB jobs in the NFL, so it is a position based on the results.

Translated to the Raiders, the quarterback position embodies The Raiders season. At times, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin have showed ability to compete and make plays at this level. Other times, they have looked over-matched and over-ratted. Raider Analyst Rich Gannon and Raider Beat Writer Vic Tafur have both said next year’s starting QB is not on this roster. Last week, I was going to write that the Raiders QB shouldn’t be drafted in the higher rounds. Since, my status has wavered, but I still don’t think the Raiders answer is the high rounds of the draft.

The Raiders came into the season knowing they were salary-strapped, which limited the talent on the squad. The Raiders brought Matt Flynn in hopes that he could manage the game, and not hurt the team’s chances of winnings, despite the limited amount of players around him. When that failed, They started Terrelle Pryor in hopes that he could succeed despite his make-shift offensively. They hoped Terrelle Pryor could be the explosive play-maker, even-though McFadden and other guys were hurt. Then they brought in McGloin, hoping he c0uld be the intangible leader and get the ball out quick despite McFadden, Moore, and other guys being hurt.

The idea is, The Raiders have set their quarterback’s up for failure, all season. They have hoped that McGloin and Pryor would be able to make magic with a limitation of ingredients in their playmaker pantry. Both of these guys are young quarterbacks with limitations, but the Raiders have hoped they would be able to have success in spite of their terrible circumstances. McGloin and Pryor have been expected to do a lot with a little.

I want to see what these guys can do with a full set of playmakers around them. I want to see what they can do in a position where they can actually succeed. I want to evaluate if they can be successful in propelling a playoff team rather than a bottom feeder.

Pryor made leaps and bounds last off-season, admiting he still is just learning the position. I want to see if he can make the same growth after another off-season. I think the play of McGloin may signal that the organization is sour on Pryor. He has been in the organization long enough, and maybe he doesn’t deserve another season of evaluation. However, Pryor admitted he didn’t play the position until two years ago. He is still learing how to be a quarterback, and I think he can still develop with another year. Pryor has the leadership and confidence that you want in a Quarterback. He has some of the best god-given ability in the NFL. I think Pryor wants and can give more to the organization that took a chance on him. Even if he fails to progress, his contract ends next season and both can move on.

As for McGloin, if this guy is the intangible hard-worker and leader, then I want to see what he can do after an off-season of NFL preparation. The Raiders have already invested five NFL starts into McGloin, so he needs another offseason to prove he can play at this level. McGloin is undersized, he was the underdog walk on, and he probably will be an underdog next season. If McGloin possesses the leadership and work ethic the organization says he does, then I want to see if he can translate that into success. Maybe five starts is enough, but even if he fails he can be cut like any other non-drafted rookie.

I think both of these guys have flashed enough ability, surrounded by a lack of talent, that they deserve another season before the judge is out. I don’t think the Raiders need to draft a Quarterback in the top rounds. They have already spent giving these guys a season of experience. It is time to give them an off-season for progression, and hopefully they can actually be set up for success.

I will agree that there is a great possibility neither of these guys are the answer. I do think there needs to be more QB competition next season. I just don’t think it should come from the first or 2nd round of the draft. I prefer for the team to sign a veteran free agent, or draft a developmental project not named Tyler Wilson. Either way, Pryor and McGloin can be cut after training camp, but I think they deserve another opportunity to improve in camp.

Not For Long Raiders….

To most the NFL stands for National Football League, but to many others it stands for Not For Long. My oh My, what a difference a few weeks makes in the NFL.

A few weeks ago the Raiders were a young team aspiring for the Playoffs.

There hopes were centered around an explosive, Athletic Quarterback named Terrelle Pryor, a pro-bowl RB named Darren Mcfadden, and a breakout WR named Denarious Moore.

Fast forward a few weeks and the Raiders Playoff hopes are microscopic enough to rival Jamarcus Russell’s comeback hopes.

Not only has QB Terrelle Pryor gotten hurt, but he was superseded and outplayed by an undrafted rookie named Matt McGloin.

McFadden has been hurt all season, and veteran Rashaad Jennings has many people wondering if McFadden’s days in Silver and Black are numbered.  Moore has been the same inconsistent and banged up player fans have become accustomed to, but Andre Holmes has stolen much of his spotlight.

As a Raider Fan, it is hard to not see such talented players not succeeding for the Raiders. As fans, every week we tell ourselves this is the week that McFadden, Reece, or Pryor will get it.

While there have been glimpses, this is a league based on results.  They haven’t gotten it done, and the team is suffering.

In Contrast, as an organization, the team is happy with the success of McGloin, Jennings, and Holmes.

This is an example of the ‘next man up’ culture of competition that Reggie Mckenzie has wanted to established.

In context, we can apply the old cliche. If you have two than you really don’t have one, and for the Raiders that is the case at WR, RB, and QB.  Therefore, the team may be competitive, it may be on the rise, but talent is still lacking. Maybe the team isn’t the last place team ESPN analyst’s initially

thought they were, but they aren’t the Playoff team fans hoped for either.

In a recent interview, Coach Dennis Allen talked about this team being different

than last year’s. Allen said he doesn’t expect this team to quit on the season

or lose commitment.  Part of that is probably because much of the team has one year remaining on their contracts, and everyone is playing for contract somewhere.

The truth is, Allen can not afford to have this team quit on him. Allen may have all the potential in the world, but this is a league of results. Just ask McFadden.  Owner Marc Davis wants progress andfailing to win a few of the remaining games will result in Allen leading the unemployment line.

If McKenzie wants a culture of accountability it starts at the Head Coach, runs through the Quarterback, Runningback, and Wide Receivers. I just worry, the Raiders might get derailed if they have to replace all four. Regardless, no ones job on this team is safe, and these last four games will determine the faces of the franchise team going forward.

Either way, The Raiders have 70 million in cap room next season. Brighter days are finally on the horizons of this team, but these last four games will determine who is apart of it.  If this Raiders team is really different than the last 10 other losing teams, they are certainly running out of time to show it.

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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.

It’s Primetime!

 

ImageMonday night, The Oakland Raiders will take on Division rival Denver Broncos. Not only will the game be against all-time great QB Peyton Manning, but it is on primetime television for the world to see. 

This is a huge game not only for the Raiders but specifically Terrelle Pryor. Oakland faces its first test against a stout Denver defense. This will either showcase Oakland’s flaws or affirm one of the leads most potent rushing attacks. 

For Pryor, this is the first time a lot of fans, coaches, and players are going to Pryor in Action at the NFL level. This is the Raiders opportunity to prove that they are what everyone thought they were by folding or getting blown out by the Broncos. On the other hand, this is Oakland’s opportunity to prove Reggie Mckenzie and Dennis Allen’s message that this team can compete and win games

Historically, I have watched many games over the years were the Raiders have been in games only to commit a stupid turnover or penalty that kills the momentum. In the NFL, the margin for error is so small that these are often the difference from winning or losing a game. These stupid penalties or mental mistakes often bite the Raiders in the butt (week 1). 

For Terrelle Pryor this a monumental game. This is the first time a lot of fans are seeing him since his Ohio State scam. Monday Night offers Pryor an oppurtunity at redemption. This is his coming out party, to show he isn’t the same imature quarterback. This is his chance to show himself as a leader and veteran not afraid of Manning. Lastly, he needs to show the world that he is not a gimmick or product of the read option. Rather, Pryor needs to show that he can be a passing QB at the highest level.

This game will answer a lot of questions about the rest of the Raiders season, regardless of the outcome. 

 

Can The Raiders weather the storm?

 If Peyton Manning comes out and puts points on this team, will they fold like they have in years past? Do they have the heart to fight back, or are they the team to roll over for next years draft?

 

This boils down to Terrelle Pryor. If Pryor turns the ball over or struggles against the defense, then the offense will feed off of Pryor’s body language and composer. If he is able to hold it together, and keep fighting then I hope his team will follow. 

 

As for defense, this Raiders team addition of Charles Woodson gives them the swagger they need to go out there and make plays even if they get down Swagger aside, this Raiders defense is gonna have to make turnovers and redzone stops to hold a chance.

 

Can the playmakers make plays?

 

As a Raiders fan I constantly hear about the Raiders’ playmakers throughout the Blogosphere. I’m tired of hearing about it, I want to see it. I want to see the Raiders get the ball into Marcel Reece’s hands. I want to see Mcfadden get established early and often. The Raiders need to utilize their speed and the defenses aggressiveness by utilizing screens.

 

I know what Pryor can do, but I want to see him manage the game, and allow the people around him to make plays. Moore is gonna need to put it together and make that x factor play that keeps the defense offense. 

 

 Lamar Houston has a favorable matchup with Ryan Clady out, so I want to see him get after Manning. I want to see Hayden or Woodson get a pick. 

 

This is a superbowl calibur team, so the playmakers ability will indicate rather these guys really have the talent and game coaches and fans think they do. 

Will the Oline remain consistent?

 

I’ve heard much talk about the makeshift offensive line being the surprise of the Oakland Raiders. Tonight is a real test for the running and passing assignments. Mcfadden has historically had success against the Raiders, but Manning’s high octane offense may force Mcfadden out of the game-plan if he starts scoring early. 

 

Ideally, a defense can only cover receivers for so long, hence giving Pryor as much time as possible will be ideal to getting the ball down field. 

 

Mcfadden is the key to this game. He needs to get going early, and he needs to be the safety net for Pryor’s protection, and in the dump offs. More importantly, Mcfadden needs to change make the game changing play to keep Manning off the field. Hopefully the will open things up for Pryor in the passing game.

 

Can the Special teams be special?

 

The Raiders are going to need a big play from their special teams. Rather its a block, a turnover, or a return, the Raiders must make a game changing play on special teams. The special teams needs to remain consistent. They can not afford any missed field goals or shanked punts, so King needs to get his young head in the game. 

 

Tomorrow we will have a new perception on this Raider team. The Raiders are the same old, undiscipline, and overmatched team; or the Raiders are the surprise of the league. One way or another, this primetime opportunity will give the Raiders National attention they need, but only results will indicate rather its good or bad. Either way, tonite the teams character and the character or it’s QB will be tested tonite, and i will be reading into this game far more than just the box-score.

 

Either way, I’m ready for some football… Please Raiders Prove em Wrong! This is what the game is about, winning when no one else thinks you have a chance!

Corner Competition

The Oakland Raiders defensive Backs took turns getting picked apart last season. Throughout the season guys got, hurt, guys got signed, yet they were all interchangeably bad. This season the Raiders completed a complete overhaul of the entire secondary in hopes of reversing this culture. In The process they drafted a player in the first round and signed a few veterans with experience and a lot to prove. This unit has so much swagger that they practice with Blue Balls because there harder to find in the light

corner

Ideally, The Raiders hope that this new found swagger will change the dynamic of the defense. So lets assume that DJ Hayden turns out to be exactly what the raiders drafted him to be. If Hayden fully recovers and is able to translate his game to the professional level then he should be able to seize a starting spot at corner.

After that, the Oakland Raiders brought in a couple of savy veterans whom they hope will play chip on their shoulder.

Tracy Porter is a fimiliar face to Dennis Allen as the two worked together in New Orleans. Porter’s athletecism and ball skills have kept Porter in the league. His gambles, injuries, and tackling abilities lead him to the bench and a third team in three years.

Michael Jenkins was once a big time draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys who was expected to be a lock down corner out of USF. Initially Jenkins had plenty of success as a starter, but soon offenses began to pick him apart and he fell out of favor with Dallas.

Both guys have NFL starting experience. Both guys have made plays at the highest level of the game. Each has a slightly different skill set, but both are capable of being starting cornerbacks. One of the two is just going to have to stand out by playing with the bigger cheap on its shoulder.

Personally I’m gunning for Jenkins because he possess a bigger all around skillset. He has unique size and speed to match up in zone or man coverage. Jenkins does lack the ball skills and ability to create turnovers which is Porters strength, but I think the raiders defense could use the versatility and consistence.

We won’t even know who the winner will be until these guys start wearing shoulder pads instead of shorts and tee shirts. I want to see which one of these cornerbacks has more confidence after suffering a lack of success. The one with the bigger chip will be the one contributing on sunday. Who are are you taking to start at corner? I’m sure your happy as I am that it won’t be Ron Bartell LOL

Not so tight end

Don’t hold your breathe, the Oakland Raiders tight end position is filled with joe schmoes that will probably never be big time players. The Raiders will need someone to start for them on Sunday afternoons.

The tight end position is especially crucial for the Oakland Raiders because they lack a dominate force on the outside. Last season, Meyers was able to accumulate 80 receptions, from the tight end position, but he bolted to Giants for a bigger paid day. The current players on the raiders roster lack any real NFL experience or production.

What The Raiders do have:

David Ausberry is a wide receiving prospect out of USC whose lack of experience at blocking has held little production, in his first few seasons.

Richard Gordon has been on the field primarily as a blocking tight end. He has the most experience of the group, but his questionable receiving skills leave much to be desired.

Then there are the two rookies the team drafted. Nick Kasa out of Colorado is a converted defensive end prospect. His collegian production and blocking ability have many hoping his recieving skills will improve.

Michael Rivera out of Tennesse is an interesting prospect whose size lead to many TD receptions at receptions. Most of his production came when he was motioned outside, and his blocking skills have become liability.

As a whole the Tight end position leaves much to be desired. All of the four players possess potential, and the skill sets remain to be an enigma.

Ausberry possess the most well rounded skill set and highest ceiling. His route running ability and hands add versatility to the Raiders line up. Ausberry’s struggles to become consistented have been noted, but I along with a lot of people hope he can live up to his potential. His size alone makes him capable of being the red zone target the Raiders have been looking for. Another year of experience should aid the young tight ends blocking ability.

If Ausberry is able to have a successful season he will be the dependent reciever any of the Raider quarterbacks could utilize. Having a solid tight end will definitely open up the outside for Moore deep and streeter or Criner intermediately. Ausberry’s reciever skill set will make the defensive have to honor his receiving threat more than the other players on the roster.

The only thing that will hurt David Ausberry is his suspect blocking ability. The Raiders have made it known they will pound the football and if Ausberry is unable to block, Gordon or Kasa will gain those snaps. Meaning, he can’t be consistent or efficient if he is losing snaps because he can’t block. But if the competition does dicatate an increase of receiver skills than David Ausberry might be fighting just to stay in the league. Either way, if the Raiders can’t find production out of one of the Tight Ends, it is gonna be an even longer year for the Raiders Offense and whoever is QBing it.