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Friday, June 30, 2006

AFC West Divisional History

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of our divisional rivals mocking us and having no respect for our historic franchise. It is time to take a look at the AFC West and show where our pride and confidence come from.

All-Time Records (including AFL & NFL Playoffs)





It looks like our divisional rivals have a bit of catching up to do here. The Broncos are the closest but are still 40 wins away from catching us in this department.

Divisional Champions

Raiders - Have won the AFC West 14 times and the AFL West 3 times.
Broncos - Have won the AFC West 10 times and never won the AFL West.
Chargers - Have won the AFC West 6 times and AFL West 5 times.
Cheifs - Have won the AFC West 5 times and AFL West twice.

Once again the Broncos are the closet to us but still need to win it four more times to catch up to us. It is interesting to note that the Cheifs have a much better all-time record than the Chargers but have actually won the division less times. They must enjoy finishing second.

Hall of Famers

These numbers only reflect the number of players that actually retired with the team. I decided to go that route so players like Marcus Allen didn't count for two teams.

The Raiders lead the way with 13.
The Cheifs came in a not-so-close second with 7.
The Chargers are nipping at the Cheifs heels with 6.
The Broncos sit at the bottom with a pathetic 1.

We lead the way once again. We have had more memorable players that made more meaningful contributions to the game than our rivals. The Broncos only have one in John Elway. The Cheifs should only have 6 but some difficult situations led to Allen choosing to retire as a Cheif. There are some players upcoming that will change these numbers, most notably Tim Brown who is second or third all-time in nearly every receiving catagory and one of the best Raiders linemen of recent time, Steve Wisnewski.

Super Bowls

Finally, we're to the most important stat of all of them, Super Bowls. This is one that most fans will know about their own teams at the very least.





Denver may have appeared in more Super Bowls than us but they have won less and have a worse Super Bowl winning percentage. The Cheifs are long removed from a Super Bowl victory and the Chargers have never tasted the sweetness of winning an NFL championship.

Wrap Up

I do realize that we've struggled the last three seasons and finished last in the division in two of those. I also can already hear what a certain Cheifs fan and other haters will be saying. They will say that was all in the past and all that the Raider Nation talks about is the past. They easily forget that we won the AFC West from 2000-2002 and they we are the only AFC West team to appear in a Super Bowl during this millenium.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Raiders Player's Nicknames

Throughout the years, talented Raiders have been given many different nicknames. Today, I will look at some of these old nicknames and then look at some of our current players and ask for suggestions for new nicknames for them.

Old Nicknames
First let's look at some of the nicknames earned by Raider players.

"The Ghost"
"The Mad Stork"
"The Snake"
"The Assassin"
"The Rocket"
"The Mad Bomber"

Can you name these players? Post your answers in the comments section. These are pretty easy so I am sure they will get answered pretty quickly. There are many more but those above are a pretty good start.

New Nicknames
Now we'll take a look at some of our current players and some nicknames they have or some that may be just beginning.

Some of these aren't really set in stone yet but let's take a look.

Fabian Washington

"Braveheart McNasty"


Warren Sapp
"QB Killa"

These are only a few but what are some others that are popular or maybe you have your own nicknames for some of our players. Post them below and let's get them known. Let's see if we can come up with some names for guys like Schweigert or Huff.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


There are many forms of Raider Hating. Most people flat out blast the Raiders but there are those who are much more discrete. Let's take a look at some examples of what I'm talking about.

Example 1
Willie Gault wore a Raider's uniform longer than he wore a bears uniform and yet there is no mention of the Raiders in this article. Gault's best NFL season statistically was one in which he donned the Silver and Black.

Example 2
OLB Kirk Morrison led the Raiders and all rookies in tackles last season and no one outside of the Raider Nation knows his name. Only 17 NFL players posted more tackles than Morrison and none of them were rookies. His name will not be unknown for long.

Example 3
The Raiders are always perceived as a group of thugs but have done nothing to deserve the rap in recent years. Let's look at some NFL players with legal problems this offseason:
1 - The Vikings love boat crew.
2 - Half of the Bengals.
3 - The Steeler rookie WR Holmes.
4 - Redskin Safety Taylor.
There are more but the Raiders have a team that is committed to excellence and haven't been in the media for legal issues for some time. This is just an old rap perpetuated by haters.

These are just a few recent examples of the discrete hater but look a little deeper and you will find more. There are plenty of loud front-line haters that hide these little guys doing their dirty work behind the scenes. For some more good stuff on Raider Hating, check out Raider Hater Journalism 101 or Listen Up, Raiders Haters for some more good examples and opinions about the Haters.

Quote of the Week #1
"Plummer is the Billy Graham of the NFL. He can make 70,000 people say 'Jesus' in unison."
-Randy Cross

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Raider Look

A few days ago, Raider Take did a take on the Species of The Raider Nation. It got me thinking about how I became a Raider's fan and how large and diverse the Raider Nation really is. When I was a kid, I started liking the Raiders because of their attitude and I thought their colors were "cool." Now, many teams are trying to capitalize on the Raider's image. Many teams have changed their Jersey's and made them look a little bit more like Raider's jersies due to the success of the Raider's merchandise sales.

Here are a few that I've noticed.

The Atlanta Falcons
They now have an alternate jersey that is primarily black. This is a pretty sharp looking jersey and has a nice design.

The Carolina Panthers
The Panthers also have a primarily black jersey. This one isn't too bad but I don't personally care for it. I think it's the logos on the sleeves that I don't like.

The Cincinnati Bengals
Their black jersey may be my least favorite jersey of that color. It just looks bad.

The Detroit Lions
The Lions black jersey isn't too bad. It's pretty simple which I actually prefer.

The Kansas City Cheifs
I had no idea the Cheif's had a black jersey and for a good reason, it's hideous.

A lot of teams are adding black alternate uniforms and it is primarily due to the sales success of the Raiders. How many times does a team that finished in the bottom of the league finish in the top for merchandise sales? Not very often. The Raiders did black first and they do it best. More teams will add black alternate uniforms but the thing that makes the Raiders the best is simplicity.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Last Season and Hope for the Future

Last season was a tough season for all Raiders fans. There wasn't even a few wins at the end to give us hope for the upcoming season but there were a number of losses that could have easily been wins.

Week 2
In week 2, we played Kansas City and lost 17-23. We tied the game in the third quarter with a 64 yard Randy Moss TD but were unable to score again as Kansas City kicked two field goals and won the game. On the final drive of the game, we had the ball at the 10 yard line and on fourth down, Collins tossed the ball up to Jerry Porter and it was knocked away by the defender.

Week 3
In week 3, we lost to the Eagles 20-23. The Eagles made a 23 yard field goal to win the game with 9 seconds left on the clock. Akers kicked it in with an injured hamstring.

Week 9
In week 9, we lost to the Cheifs 23-27. Larry Johnson scored a TD with 5 seconds left on the game clock from the Raider's 1 yard line.

Week 15
In week 15, we lost to the Browns 7-9. This game was decided by a controversial fumble by Charlie Frye which led to Cleveland's last field goal.

These were the games decided by a touchdown or less but there were a number of other games that should have been won as well. Norv Turner had a large part to do with a lot of these losses. Poor play-calling and a stuggling QB added a few more. If the four games listed above would have went our way, we would have ended the season with a respectable 8 wins.

Other games that were lost by a larger margin, could have been attributed to players giving up and not beleiving in the QB or the system. With that said, our hope for the future is brighter and with the improvements we made, a 10 win season isn't out of the question.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Oakland Raider Potential Pro Bowlers

Today I decided to take a look at our Roster and see what players have potential to make the Pro Bowl. It is early and things like injuries can stop these guys from being honored but this is more of a look at potential and possibilities.

Should be in
These are the guys that have the potential and are expected to play like Pro Bowlers. Injuries are their main hurdle for missing the Pro Bowl.

    Randy Moss
    Moss is the most talented receiver in the League. He put up 1000 yards last year while not 100% and dealing with poor coaching and an inconsistent QB. If he puts up respectable numbers, he is a guarantee.

    Derrick Burgess
    He led the NFL in sacks last season and was the Raiders only Pro Bowler. With improvements on defense, he shouldn't be any worse.

    Shane Lechler
    Lechler has the highest punting average in NFL history. There just isn't any punter better in the NFL.

    Robert Gallery
    Art Shell has said he expects Gallery to be mentioned for the Pro Bowl this year. After moving back to Left Tackle and having HOF coaches, Gallery should shine.

    Sebastian Janikowski
    I know he struggled last season but Shell has also said there is no reason Jano shouldn't be in the Pro Bowl. He has one of the strongest legs in the NFL and one of the elite Kickers, Vanderjagt, is no longer in the AFC.

Could be in
These are some players that are not expected to be Pro Bowlers but could easily have seasons good enough to get them there.

    Warren Sapp
    Sapp is getting older and isn't the player he once was, but he had 5 sacks before getting injured last season and the emrgence of Derrick Burgess and addition of Lance Johnstone will force teams to focus on the pass rush from the edge. If he stays healthy, he has a chance.

    Aaron Brooks
    It's not easy competing for Pro Bowl spots with guys like Payton Manning and Tom Brady, but Brooks has the potential and the talent surrounding him to do it. Brooks should be excited to be a Raider.

    Lamont Jordan
    Jordan faces some pretty stiff competition from guys like Larry Johnson and LT but the extemely talented WR core and improved O-Line should help him.

    Michael Huff
    He may be a rookie, but if he performs like expected he will have a good chance.

I realize that their are other players with potential on the roster that could also make it that aren't mentioned above. These guys haven't done anything Pro Bowl worthy yet but you never know who will step up. These guys are guys like Stuart Scheigert, Jake Grove, Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Doug Gabriel and Nnamdi Asomugha.

It would be satisfying if we could at least send 4 or 5 guys to Hawaii at the end of this season and we definitely have the potential to do that.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What is the "Raider Way"?

This offseason we've seen numerous reports about instilling attitude and the Raider way back into the Oakland Raiders football team. Fans to young to remember or recent converts may not know what the Raider Way is. It's a concept that isn't very easy to put into words but let's take a look back to see what we have to look forward to.

The first step is to look at some of the quotes made by Raiders and about the Raiders. One of my favorites can be found at the bottom of of the site.

"You don't adjust. You just dominate"
-Al Davis

"Everyday I walked on to the field I was the best center."
-Jim Otto

"Everybody says the Raiders cheat...OK, we cheat. So, what are you going to do about it?"
- John Madden

"When you play for the Raiders you play to win and you play tough. It's not something the coaches teach or talk about. It's just there, like in the air. It's an attitude--you are going to hit people and smash them if you are a Raider."
- Phil Villapiano

"I'm gonna take off Joe Theisman's head."
- Lyle Alzado

"I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault."
- Jack Tatum

"If something is said about the Raiders, I'm ready to go to war."
- Jim Otto

As you can tell by these quotes, these teams oozed confidence and nastiness but also loyalty. This is what has been missing from the Raiders, that is what Art Shell is trying to restore. Art Shell has done a number of things this offseason to prove he's not just all talk. He is getting this young team to play Raider football.

Shell set the standard for Gallery in their first meeting. "I told him he's too good a football player not to be mentioned for the Pro Bowl, and that we've got to get him there," Shell said. "He's accepted that challenge. And I'll tell you, his potential is way out there. He can be as good as he wants to be. I think he wants to be good. I really do."

"We don't talk about timing here. We don't talk about so many seconds to get the ball out," Shell said. "We want to block. We're going to work to block until the quarterback gets rid of the ball, until the whistle blows. It's not 1.5 seconds or 2.2 seconds or whatever it is. You block, block, block."

Shell did not sound overly concerned about place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who managed to stay out of trouble last season but missed a third of his 30 field goal attempts. "It's more mental than anything else," Shell said. "He's had the same guy holding for him all these years, so that hasn't changed. He'll be fine. I told him I expect him to be in the Pro Bowl this year. He has that kind of talent." During Oakland's first mini-camp, Shell put pressure on Janikowski by making his teammates run laps every time he missed a kick.

A number of analysts and haters have said we "settled" for Art Shell. I don't believe that and feel Shell will truly restore this franshise by changing the attitudes of our players, by restoring the "Raider Way."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Raider "Nation"

Why is it called the Raider Nation? This is an interesting question that has a simple answer. It is called the Raider Nation because the Raiders have fans all over the world. They are one of the few teams in the NFL whose fans aren't limited to one specific region. Personally, I am from the midwest and around here people are primarily Vikings, Packers, Cheifs and Broncos fans but just about any where you go, you will see or meet at least one Raiders fan. It is this way every where across the country and even internationally now.

Lately, a lot of other teams have stolen the "nation" term from the Raiders. The most common recent occurrence is the Steelers Nation. When I first read the linked article, I thought they mistook the Steelers for the Raiders. Once the Steeler's lose their Championship hype, they won't have the regional bandwagon fans and will lose a large part of the Steeler "region".

The theft of the term isn't limited to defending champions. Our own hated divisional rivals, the Denver Broncos, have a website called The Bronco Nation. This is probably even more pathetic than the Steelers stealing the term. The Broncos are far from being a nation. If you leave Colorado and the surrounding region, you'll have a hard time finding Broncos fans. The Brokeback Broncos will never be a nation, they weren't even after winning their Super Bowls.

The only other teams with a nation-wide fan base are probably the Cowboys and the Patriots. The Patriots is most likely due to their recent success and will fade away but the Cowboys are one of the only other teams in the NFL that could probably use the term and get away with it. Yet, when you do a google search for "The Cowboy Nation," nothing comes up pertaining to Dallas stealing the term. It's because they don't steal the term and have their own ways of marketing to a nation-wide fan base.

As Raider fans, it may disgust us to see all these "pretender nations" but maybe we should view it as an honor. The pretenders can't think up their own catch phrases so they steal one from the phrase master himself, Al Davis. I guess that is the way the world works.

If you want to look, what other NFL teams can you find stealing the "Nation"?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Fantasy Football Team

I recently started a team in a Yahoo Public League for fun. It won't be my serious team in a league with my friends but I thought I'd make a riskier team. The team was autodrafted based on my pre-draft ranking so it didn't turn out great but here are the players I ended up with after adding and releasing a few players.

Trent Green, KC
Mark Brunell, WAS
Aaron Brooks, OAK

Stephen Jackson, STL
Warrick Dunn, ATL
Laurence Maroney, NE
Cedrick Benson, CHI

Randy Moss, OAK
Hines Ward, PIT
Roy Williams, DET
Eric Moulds, HOU

Randy McMichael, MIA
LJ Smith, PHI

Seabass, OAK


My QB situation is pretty difficult. I picked Aaron Brooks after the draft (he went undrafted) and was planning on getting rid one of the other two but can't decide which one. Trent Green has been pretty solid every season but Brunell should be pretty good too with all the additions that the Redskins have made at WR. I am thinking of trying to trade Brunell just because he hasn't been as consistent over his career.

At RB, I may not have any of the "elite" guys but I am pretty happy with my players. I think Stephen Jackson is going to have a break out year and be one of the top 5 RBs in the league this season. Warrick Dunn is looking pretty good if the Duckett trade rumors have any substance and Cedrick Benson is looking to be the starter in Chicago. I will probably drop Maroney just because I usually don't put much faith in rookies.

WR is probably my best position. Moss is the best WR in the league and Hines Ward should be even more of a factor in Pittsburg's offense with the Steelers looking the throw the ball more (The Big Ben accident concerns me a little bit though). Roy Williams is Detroit's number one man and should have a better year with a new QB in Motor City. Moulds is a pretty solid backup. He will be the No 2 guy in Houston but should fill in during bye weeks. I will be looking to add another WR with Brunell and Maroney as trade bait.

I am solid at TE with McMichael. He should benefit with Culpepper this season. LJ Smith has had some success with the Eagles and should be a solid backup.

A lot of people are probably scared of Jano right now but if he can find some consistency he should have a good season within Oakland's high powered offense.

The Steelers defense is a solid fill. They have a lot of playmakers and should be just as good as they've been in recent years.

As you can tell, I am putting more faith in the Raiders this season. I have quite a few Oakland players which may hurt in week 3 but I think the Raiders will suprise a lot of teams this season and the players I have should be a large part of that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Oakland Raiders Fantasy Football Analysis

Today I am going to tackle the ever-popular topic of Fantasy Football and how it pertains to the Oakland Raiders. I will look at some of the players and their fantasy potential for the 2006 NFL Season.

Early Rounds

    Lamont Jordan

Jordan tallied 1025 yards rushing on 272 carries and added 9 TDs in 14 games last season. He added another 563 yards and 2 TDs through the air. He is the sole feature back on the Raiders and that alone makes him valuable. The team has put emphasis on the offensive line this offseason and that should improve Jordan's numbers.

    Randy Moss

Moss had 1005 yards receiving and 8 TDs in his first season as a Raider. This is quite an accomplishment considering Moss played with nagging injuries and the wonderfully horrible Kerry Collins last season. Now that Moss is healthy and a new QB is in town, he should enjoy being one of the top receivers in the league again this season. It's hard to call an early round pick a steal, but Moss may have fallen more than he should have after the last two seasons and will out perform most of the WRs picked before him this year.

Mid Rounds

    Jerry Porter

Porter once again failed to break the 1000 yard mark last season with only 942 yards and 5 TDs. Will this finally be the year that Porter lives up to his potential? He will benefit from a healthy Randy Moss and new QB but is still a risk.

Late Round Gems

    Aaron Brooks

No body is high on Aaron Brooks. This might be a good thing for your fantasy team. Draft him in a late round as a back up and he may end up starting pretty quickly. The re-vamped O-line as well as lethal WRs, Moss and Porter, should lead Brooks to one of his best seasons as a pro. Don't forget he has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.

    Ronald Curry or Doug Gabriel

One of these two should have a productive season. Curry was on his way to a 1000 yard season in 2004 until he injured his achilles tendon. He rushed back from the injury and re-injured it in 2005. Curry won't be rushing back this time or his NFL career may be over. Gabriel has slowly evolved into a good receiver. He has improved every season and would most likley be a number two receiver on almost any other team in the NFL. Gabriel had 554 yards receiving and 3 TDs last season and will be looking to improve this season. Right now, the safer pick is Gabriel, but Curry might turn some heads again this season.

    Courtney Anderson

Anderson may not have had eye-opening numbers yet but OC Walsh historically likes throwing the ball to the TE and Anderson will be the beneficiary. Anderson is no Antonio Gates but should put up solid numbers and may be a nice back-up on your fantasy roster.

The Raiders have a number of solid fantasy football pick ups and some of them will fly under the radar due to the way the team has played the last few seasons. Some of these late round pick ups will have others in your league jealous by mid-season.

Friday, June 16, 2006

5 Things I Think about the upcoming NFL Season

This upcoming season has all NFL fans excited (as does every season) because everyone is undefeated. Every fan is raving about their teams offseason moves and thinks that this might be the year. Here are 5 thoughts I have about the 2006 NFL season as a whole.

Number 1
Everyone knows my thoughts about the Defensive Rookie of the year but the offensive rookie of the year is a bit more challenging. The second overall pick Reggie Bush is a popular choice but he may be out done statistically because he is sharing the load with Duece McAllister. Young, Cutler, and Leinert are all going into the season as backups and Rookie receivers are generally (not always) unproductive. One guy to really watch is the Colts RB Addai. If he gets the carries over Rhodes, he could have a very productive season with the opposing defenses focusing on Manning and the passing game.

Number 2
Payton Marino, I mean Manning, may never win a Super Bowl. He is one of the best Quarterbacks to ever put on the pads, but his window of oppertunity may be closing. James's departure to the Cardinals will be a mild sting but isn't the reason that Manning's window is closing. Marvin Harrison is entering his 11th NFL season and will turn 33 during the season. That may not be extremely old but he will start to decline and the Colts will be hard-pressed to find a receiver with as much talent. The huge contracts the Colts have invested in their key positions puts a strain on adding big talent and unless they find some young (and cheap) gems, Manning will be the next Marino.

Number 3
Seattle is cursed this season and everyone is still predicting them to go deep into the playoffs this season. Shaun Alexander will get injured or just have a poor season because of the Madden curse and the Seahawks also have to deal with the Super Bowl hangover curse as well. Here's the curse in action:

The Eagles went 6-10 following their Super Bowl loss.

The Panthers went 7-9 which isn't too bad but not what they were expected to do after a Super Bowl appearance.

The Raiders went 4-12 after being the dominant force in the AFC West for 4 years.

Seattle is doomed and they don't even realize it. Will they be the team to finally break one of these curses? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Number 4
The Steelers may also have a difficult time this season. I'm not sold on RB Willie Parker and Staley hasn't had a healthy season since he was an Eagle. This team may need to throw the ball more to find success in 2006. Which brings me to the QB position, Big Ben's accident will have an affect on this team. Even if he is back in time for pre-season, he is going to have to miss a lot of offseason practice time. This will affect his game whether any one admits it or not. Randel El was another loss for them this season too. His loss will make the Steelers remove a few plays from their playbook and utlimately hurt the passing game. The Steelers are still a great team, but not Super Bowl great.

Number 5
The AFC West playoff representative will win the Super Bowl. I beleive that whover emerges victorious from the brutal AFC West will have a great chance at being the Super Bowl Champions. In my AFC West Analysis I predict the division ending up like this:



Kansas City

San Diego

If the Denver wins the division, it means the Walker and Plummer connection is working out and they got a running game. If the Raiders win the division, it means they found a QB and Moss is back on track. If the Cheifs win the division, it means LJ is nearly unstoppable and their old team stayed healthy, if the Chargers win the division, it means Rivers played well. It's a lot of if's but at least one of them will happen and that team will be a very strong playoff team.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Oakland Raiders Penalty Stastistics

The Raiders have always been known as one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. Today I will examine and analyze the penalty situation.

A quick stop at the NFL Record and Fact book shows some nice history of Raiders penalties.

Here are some Raiders records for penalties:

Most seasons leading the league

Chicago Bears16
Oakland Raiders14

Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League

Chicago Bears4
Oakland Raiders4

Most Penalties in a Season

K.C. Cheifs158
L.A. Raiders156
Oakland Raiders156

Most Yards Penalized in a Season

K.C. Cheifs1304
Oakland Raiders1274
Oakland Raiders1266

Wow, those are probably not good records to have but not all of them have been earned fairly. The Raiders are a team that gets penalties called on them because of their history. Some teams, like the Patriots, have gotten the opposite treatment. Do a little research and tell me how many offensive and defensive hold calls were called on the Patriots during their three recent Super Bowl runs. I did some digging but couldn't come up with any concrete numbers. I do recall, however, some analyst saying that either in 2002 or 2004 the Patriots had zero offensive or defensive holding calls against them during the regular season. The stats I could find the number of penalties the Patriots had are


Let's take a look at the Raiders totals over the same time frame.


Don't forget that we had a Super Bowl appearance in that time frame as well. I'm not spouting conpiracy theories yet but it should not be possible for us to continually be penalized. The team changes constantly, we're not even close to the same team we were in 2002 but somehow, our completely different players in a completely different system will be one of the most penalized teams in the league again.

Let's hope Art Shell's discipline can eliminate the stupid mistake penalties like offsides or false starts so we can push the number of penalties down to a reasonable level. Here is the penalties by season during Shell's last run as our Head Coach.


It really wasn't looking too bad until you get to the 1993 and 1994 seasons. But if you look at Shell's first full season as Head Coach (1990) we only committed 97 penalties. If Shell can come in and do that with our team this season, it could make a huge difference.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Oakland Raiders Draft Mistakes

Today, I decided to look at some past drafts and see how many disasters there has been. Our most recent drafts aren't listed because it generally takes three years to really analyze the impact of a draft. Let's take a look back all the way to 1995, excluding 2004-2006.

The first round of the 2003 NFL draft saw us take Nnamdi Asomugha and Tyler Brayton. Asomugha has developled into a solid starting cornerback but Brayton has been playing out of position for most of his short NFL career. It is still too early to call him a bust though, so after moving back to his defensive end position, we'll have a better understanding of his talent and better be able to gauge if he is worthy of his first round pick.

In 2002, Phillip Buchanon was selected with the 17th overall pick. Buchanon flashed potential but was beat in coverage too often. He was shipped off to the Texans where he continues his spotty play. Buchanon was definitely a player who didn't live up to his draft status. Napoleon Harris was also selected in the first round in 2002. He was the 23rd overall pick. Harris played solidly but he also never lived up to his first round draft status. He is currently a Minnesota Viking. The shining gem of this draft was WR Ronald Curry in the 7th round.

The 2001 draft saw us take SS Derrick Gibson with the 28th overall pick. Gibson is one of the more notable busts the Raiders have had in recent years. He is still with the team but Michael Huff will be taking his starting role this season.

The 2000 draft saw us take K Sebastion Janiskowski with our first pick, WR Jerry Porter with the second and P Shane Lechler in the fifth round. Lechler and Porter have had decent careers thus far but Janikowski has been inconsistent. He has a powerful leg but his accuracy comes and goes. He isn't a bust, but needs to improve. Porter has played solidly but still hasn't acheived his potential.

In the 1999 draft, OG Matt Stinchcomb was selected with the 18th overall pick. He never played like a first rounder and is a bust. He is no longer a Raider.

The 1998 draft was a solid draft with players like Charles Woodson, Mo Collins and Jon Ritchie. None of these players are with the team but they were at least somewhat productive when they were. Ritchie recently retired after playing a couple season in Philadelphia.

Darrell Russell was the 2nd overall pick in the '97 draft. He had a couple good seasons but his career and life were cut short with off field issues. Our third round pick, Adam Treu, has played solidly in backup situations and filled in as a starter when needed.

Ricky Dudley was out 1996 first round flop. But DE Lance Johnstone, who is making his return to the silver and black, was a solid number two selection. Also, NT La'Roi Glover, 5th round, has had a solid NFL career with other teams.

In 1995, we drafted the speedster Napoleon Kaufman in the first round. Kaufman was an electrifying runner. Our second round choice, Barret Robbins, played great for a number of season but is known for his Super Bowl disappearance and his off the field troubles.

Looking Back
We've had some pretty big flops. The overall success of our drafts seems to come in rounds other than the first. Let's hope Michael Huff can put an end to our first round troubles with a solid season this year. The other recent first rounders Robert Gallery and Fabian Washington have shown some promise and shouldn't end up on a flop list someday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Oakland Raiders Not Quite Hall of Famers

In a recent article titled What about these guys?, Sports Illustrated writer, Peter King wrote about players who are not in the Hall of Fame that should be. I noticed that not a single Raider made his list.

Let's take a look at former Raiders who are not in the Hall of Fame that should be.

Should Be In

Ray Guy
The NFL named Guy the punter on its all-time team because he was a key to the Raider's Super Bowl winning teams of 1976, 1980, and 1983. In 14 seasons , he punted 1,049 times for 44,493 yards and averaged 42.4 yards. Guy played in 207 consecutive games, had 210 punts inside the 20, had 619 consecutive punts before having one blocked, and in the 1981 season, he had five punts over 60 yards. Guy is the standard bearer for how all punters are evaluated yet he is not in the Hall of Fame.

Current Raiders Punter, Shane Lechler has the highest punting average in NFL history

Cliff Branch
Branch caught 501 passes for 8685 yards and 67 TDs in his 14 year career. More importantly, he was with the Raiders for their three Super Bowl wins and caught 14 passes for 176 yards and 3 TDs in his championship appearances. Branch was named to four Pro Bowls and in 1974 he lead the NFL in receiving yards and receiving TDs.

Ken Stabler
"The Snake" completed 2270 of 3793 passes for 27,938 yards and 194 TDs in his NFL career. He was the AP NFL MVP in 1974 and led the Raiders to their first Super Bowl win in 1977. He is known for his late game comebacks like "The Ghost to the Post" in the 1977 AFC Playoffs.

Jim Plunkett
This Heisman trophy winner completed 1943 of 3701 passes for 25,882 yards and 164 TDs in his NFL career. In 1980 he was voted the NFL's comeback player of the year and led the Raiders to win Super Bowl XV. He threw for 261 yards and 3 TDs and was named the Super Bowl MVP. Plunkett also played in "Black Sunday," which was the Raiders 38-9 defeat of the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII.

Jack Tatum
The "Assasin" was one of the NFL's most viscious hitters. He is responsible for some of the most famous hits in the NFL. In Super Bowl XI, Tatum blasted Vikings receiver Sammy White knocking his helmet off but Tatum's most famous hit took place during a preseason game against the Patriots. Tatum hit receiver Darryl Stingley and damaged his spinal cord, causing him to be paralyzed from the chest down. Tatum was also named to three Pro Bowls and finished his NFL career with 37 interceptions.

Another player, who is not yet eligble, but should be a first ballot hall of famer is "Mr. Raider" himself, Tim Brown. Brown was another Heisman Trophy winner. In his NFL Career, Brown caught 1094 passes for 14,934 yards and 100 TDs and was named to 9 Pro Bowls. He also holds the franchise mark for punt returns. The only other receivers that compare to him is the legendary Jerry Rice and former Viking Chris Carter. Brown was unable to win a Super Bowl ring but played in the Super Bowl XVIII loss to Tampa Bay.

Not in but deserve Recognition

Greg Townsend
Townsend played 13 NFL seasons and finished with 109.5 sacks which puts him at 15th all time. He was the 1983 Rookie of the Year and was selected to two Pro Bowls.

Terry McDaniel
McDaniel intercepted 35 passes and returned 6 for TDs in his 11 NFL seasons.

Steve Wisniewski
Wisniewski was an Offensive Gaurd for the Raiders who played 12 NFL seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl 7 times. He is on the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team.

Rich Gannon
In his 18 year career, Gannon completed 2533 of 4206 passes for 28,743 yards and 180 TDs while only throwing 104 INTs. He was the NFL MVP in 2002 and led the Raiders to the Super Bowl. Gannon has set some NFL single season records like Most passes completed(418) and most 300 yard passing games (10).

You're all HOFers in my book
These players may not have Hall of Fame credentials yet, but they are all a major part of the history of the greatest franchise in the NFL and they are all honored members of a team that doesn't need hall of fame honors to realize how great their careers really were.

I read on the HOF website that any fan can nominate a player by simply writing in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so I looked up the address.

Pro Football Hall of Fame
2121 George Halas Dr NW
Canton, OH 44708-2699

If you want to see some of these players get what they deserve, write in and nominate the yourselves. The more that write in, the more seriously they have to take the nomination.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Oakland Raiders QB Andrew Walter

A lot of people are either singing Walter's praises or calling him the next Kerry Collins this offseason. He hasn't gotten any oppertunities to play any regular season games yet, but lets look at what he has accomplished.

College Career
In 2002, Walter completed 274 out of 483 passes for 3877 yards and 28 touchdowns while throwing 15 interceptions. He lead Arizona State to an 8-6 record.

In 2003, Walter completed 221 out of 421 passes for 3044 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing 10 interceptions. He lead Arizona State to a 5-7 record.

In 2004, Walter completed 224 out of 426 passes for 3150 yards and 30 touchdowns while throwing only 9 interceptions. He lead Arizona State to a 9-3 record.

All things considered, Walter had a very productive college career. He only had one losing season and Arizona State finished with a 22-16 record. He didn't have the supporting cast that a lot of the more heralded quarterbacks did but was just as productive.

NFL 2005 Preseason
In his rookie preseason, Walter completed 26 out of 44 passes for 352 yards and 1 touchdown while throwing 2 interceptions.

This isn't very impressive, but it is important to note that while the numbers may not look outstanding, Walter played better than is shown. He made good reads and showed confidence in his arm. He also played with backups and against backups so it's hard to translate these numbers into regular season play. The preseason is all about learning. Experience and time will improve him.

Just for a comparison:
In the 2003 Preseason, Carson Palmer completed 37 out of 54 passes for 451 yards and 4 touchdowns while throwing 4 interceptions.

His Future?
His college and preseason numbers may not be earth-shattering but they are solid. Walter has much support throughout the organization, from the front office to some of the players. Depending on Walter's preseason play, he may get a shot this season if Brooks falters.

If not this season, he will eventually. Aaron Brooks may not be around next season without restructuring his contract and career backup Marques Tuiasosopo will be a free agent. Depending on the coaching staff's confidence in Walter after this season, he could be our starting quarterback in 2007. He is the future of the Raiders and though he is unproven, he has a ton of potential.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Some Random Oakland Raiders Thoughts

Since it is a Saturday, I decided not to dwelve into any deep thought topics, but instead will write a few things and show some fun links I've found.

Division Rivals
Let's start on the topic of division rivals. The AFC West has some of the best rivalries in all of sports and it makes being a fan of an AFC West team that much more fun. You could argue all day about who is our best rivalry and still not be able to pick one. This is an interesting site I found about How to annoy rival football fans. Most of these probably already take place in AFC West rivalries, but it is funny to see them listed on the web so I thought I'd point it out.

Raider Haters
Another topic I've been thinking about is haters. There are probably more Raiders haters than Raider fans. This could have a lot to do with our rivalries, but we have more than any other team in the league. Just do a Google Search on "Raider Hater" and you'd be suprised how many sites there are out there that just slam the Raiders and do nothing else. Even analysts and journalists have the raider hating bug, Calico Jack has a really good post called Raider Hater Journalism 101.

Al Davis
I will conclude the post on the topic of Al Davis. Al is now 76 years old and many people are questioning his health. Al's mother, Rose, lived to be 103 years old. If Al inherited any of his mother's longevity, we could be seeing him around for another 27 years. Whatever happens, Al Davis is and always will be the Raiders.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Raider Rookie Michael Huff for ROY

Does Rookie Safety Michael Huff stand a shot at defensive Rookie of the year honors? Maybe. Let's take a look at some of the past winners.

2005 - Shawne Merriman, LB San Diego
Merriman had 43 tackles and 10 sacks. He was a first round pick and was picked 12th overall.

2004 - Jonathan Vilma, LB NY Jets
Vilma racked up 77 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 interceptions. He was a first round pick and was also picked 12th overall.

2003 - Terrell Suggs, LB Baltimore
Suggs had 19 tackles, 12 sacks and 1 interception. Suggs was a first round pick and was picked 10th overall.

2002 - Julius Peppers, DE Carolina
Peppers had 28 tackles, 12 sacks and 1 interception. He was a first rounder and was the 2nd overall pick.

2001 - Kendrell Bell, LB Pittsburg
Bell had 70 tackles and 9 sacks. He was picked in the second round and was the 39th overall pick.

2000 - Brian Urlacher, LB Chicago
Urlacher had 98 tackles, 8 sacks and 2 interceptions. Urlacher was a first round pick and was picked 9th overall.

1999 - Jevon Kearse, DE Tennessee
Kearse had 48 tackles and 14.5 sacks. Jevon was another first round pick who was selected 16th overall.

1998 - Charles Woodson, CB Oakland
Woodson had 59 tackles and 5 interceptions. C. Wood was a first round pick and was the 4 selection overall.

C. Wood was the last defensive back to win the defensive rookie of the year award. This award seems to heavily favor LBs and DEs.

Since 1967, here is how many times each position has won the honor.
LB - 19
DE- 8
DT- 5
CB- 5
S- 2

Based on history, it seems unlikely that Huff will earn the award but it has been done twice by safeties and Huff is a rare talent. The trend also shows that first round picks are more likely to win the award. The only exception since 1998 was Bell and he was a high second round pick.

Maybe our second round pick, LB Thomas Howard, will have a shot? He was drafted 38th overall which is a spot ahead of where Pittsburg took Bell in 2001.

Other than Bell, the latest a Defensive ROY has been selected overall is 16th. Let's look at the defenders chosen in this year's top 16 picks.

1 Mario Williams, DE Houston
5 A.J. Hawk, LB Green Bay
7 Michael Huff, SS Oakland
8 Donte Whitner, SS Buffalo
9 Ernie Sims, LB Detroit
12 Haloti Ngata, DT Baltimore
13 Kamerion Wimbley, DE Cleveland
14 Brodrick Bunkley, DT Philadelphia
15 Tye Hill, CB St. Louis
16 Jason Allen, CB Miami

Wow, that's a big group. Historically speaking, the defensive ROY will come from this bunch of players.

Mario Williams is a great talent but how many sacks will he get when his team is always behind and the opponents are running the ball to drain the game clock? Don't get me wrong, he is talented but for him to get the award, his team will need to force the opponents into passing situations which would take a big year for David Carr.

Hawk is talented and could be a huge factor in the blitzing schemes. If he can get some sacks, he would have a good chance at the defensive ROY award. A.J. Hawk should have a pretty good shot at the award but I'm still not sold on Donte Whitner. He was a stretch and probably shouldn't be in this group.

Ernie Sims is another guy that has a good shot and Detroit could use a guy like him to step up.
Ngata is another potential candidate. He plays on a stacked defense and will get some of the Raven's defensive attitude. His only problem will be that he is a run stuffer and sacks are what help defensive linemen win this award.

The same situation will apply for Wimbley as did for Mario Williams. Cleveland does have some offensive talent if they can stay healthy.

Bunkley...no, I don't think so. I have a gut feeling that his guy might be a first round flop but only time will tell.

As for our CBs at 15 and 16, sorry, you're not as good as Charles Woodson was and it takes extreme talent to win the award as a defensive back.

So the initial question still remains. Will Huff earn Defensive ROY honors? I think he still can even with the historical evidence and the defensive strength of this year's draft. He can at least match Woodson's rookie numbers and is a high enough pick to have enough hype to win the award. Let's hope he lives up to the number 24 he has chosen to wear.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Oakland Raiders 2006 Schedule Analysis

As promised, today I will show you how the Raiders are going to win 10 games this offseason. Let's look at the schedule game by game and see what will happen. Any analysis this early is unlikely to hold true but predictions are what the offseason is all about.

OAK vs. SD Sept. 11

The Raiders will open against San Diego at home on a Monday night. I picked the Raiders to win this game. Rivers will struggle in his NFL debut and the Raiders always play better in Prime Time. I would really like to see Michael Huff pick off a Rivers pass and take it the distance but we'll see.
WIN 1-0

OAK @ BAL Sept. 17

Even with Steve McNair, the Ravens still don't have any offensive weapons. Lewis is done and Mike Anderson is a product of Denver's system. Aaron Brooks will most likely throw an INT or two against this talented defense but the Raiders will still pull out the victory in the end.
WIN 2-0


The evil week three bye. Good thing we have a young team.

OAK vs. CLE Oct. 1

Cleveland is a team that has a lot of talent for the future, but this still won't be their year. Give Edwards, Winslow, and Frye another couple years and they will form a strong offensive nucleus but the Raiders will take them in this game.
WIN 3-0

OAK @ SF Oct. 8

The battle of the bays, it probably won't be as hyped as it has been in the past because both teams have struggled in recent years, but the locals will enjoy it. SF is improving but the Raiders will dominate them. Look for Burgess and Johnstone to get some pressure on the rookie and watch Michael Huff match up with fellow rookie Vernon Davis.
WIN 4-0

OAK @ DEN Oct. 15

Playing in Denver against the defending divisional champs is always tough. This will be a classic AFC West game but the Raiders won't be able to pull it out in the end.
LOSE 4-1

OAK VS. ARI Oct. 22

Arizona is one of the most improved teams in the league after a tremendous offseason, but Edge isn't quite as good as his Indy numbers make him appear and Warner is sliding downhill fast. If Leinert is in by this point of the season, he will have the usual rookie struggles.
WIN 5-1

OAK VS. PIT Oct. 29

The defending Super Bowl champs are coming to town. We should be able to compete and keep the game within reach but the champs will win it in the end.
LOSE 5-2

OAK @ SEA Nov. 5

Thats right, we play the two Super Bowl teams back-to-back. This game could really go either way, especially of Seatle has the infamous Super Bowl hangover but I have to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they will edge the Raiders this week.
LOSE 5-3

OAK vs. DEN Nov. 12

Uh-oh, we've lost two straight and the analysts are shouting "THE RAIDERS ARE DONE!!!." We'll just have to use the same spring board we used in our most recent Super Bowl run, that's right....The Donkeys. Our team will really click and the Donkey's won't know what hit them.
WIN 6-3

OAK @ KC Nov. 19

KC will suprise us and LJ (Johnson not Jordan) will run wild in front of the Arrowhead crowd. This will be a typical Raiders-Cheifs matchup and the game will be lost in the last 20 seconds.
LOSE 6-4

OAK @ SD Nov. 26

After such a dissapointing season thus far, the Chargers will be looking to this game. Marty will plan for this game weeks in advance and LT will have a big game. Rivers will still make mistakes, but LT will win the game for SD.
LOSE 6-5

OAK vs. HOU Dec. 3

The good news after losing two straight divisional games is that we won't be facing Reggie Bush. Burgess will have a multiple sack game and the Texans will lose big in this game.
WIN 7-5

OAK @ CIN Dec. 10

After facing an easy opponent, the Raiders will have to face one of the most talented QBs in the league and he will be in fine form this time of the year. The Bengals will win.
LOSE 7-6

OAK vs. STL Dec. 17

Stephen Jackson scares me, but the Raiders will win this game. Art Shell will come down hard on the team, not wanting to fall to .500 and the team will respond by beating a talented Rams team.
WIN 8-6

OAK vs. KC Dec. 23

This time the Cheifs come into Oakland and get destroyed. The aging Cheifs will be tiring by this point in the season and the youthful Raiders will run circles around them.
WIN 9-6

OAK @ NYJ Dec. 31

The Jets are another team on the downward spiral. The Raiders will beat this team but the backups may appear in the second half if the Raiders build a big enough lead.
WIN 10-6

After ending the season at 10-6, people will finally realize that the Raiders Super Bowl hangover is gone. Will 10-6 get us into the playoffs? Maybe. Maybe not. Even if it doesn't, there are enough positives from having a winning season that the playoffs won't matter quite as much to the fans.

Check back tommorrow as I analyze Raider Rookie Michael Huff's chances at the illustrious defensive rookie of the year honors.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Oakland Raiders - AFC West Divisional Analysis

Today let's take a deeper look at the AFC West and see how our opponents have faired this offseason so we might garner a better understanding of our 2006 potential.

Denver Broncos
Denver's most notable player acquired this offseason was probably WR Javon Walker from the Packers. Walker is one of the better receivers in the league and fills a hole for Denver. Rod Smith has slowly been on the decline the last couple seasons and won't be productive for much longer. Denver will once again be able to run the ball, they always can. I think I could run behind the dirtiest line in the league too.

Denver had a pretty solid draft. The biggest pick was Cutler but DE Elvis Dumervil may end up being being a solid player. Cutler won't get ant playing time this season so this draft may not have an immediate impact.

The Broncos lost a few players this season as well. Trevor Pryce was lost and DE Kenard Lang was signed. Lang isn't as good as Pryce but should fill the position.

The Broncos are also aging at some key positions as well. John Lynch has finally showed some signs of his age and won't be as good this season. Jake Plummer will most likely be the success or the failure of this team. If he can put together another good season, the team will be successful; If he reverts to being a mistake-prone headcase, the team will falter.

Denver is still the team to beat in the AFC West but their reign at the top may start slipping from them as early as next season.

Kansas City Cheifs
Larry Johnson has the potential to be the top runner in the NFL this season. He is one of the top running backs in the NFL. The Cheifs haven't made any huge free agency moves this season but may be looking at veteran CB Ty Law. The Cheifs are getting to be an old team. They are going to have to do a complete makeover in the next few seasons.

With their first pick in the draft the Cheifs selected DE Tambi Hali. Hali should be a solid addition as should second round pick S Bernard Pollard. The may have drafted Trent Green's successor in the third round by picking up QB Brodie Croyle.

The Cheifs have made some defensive additions and should have a slightly improved defense this season. Their problem lies on offense. Yes they have had one of the top offenses in the league the last few years, but they are getting old. The O-line may start to succumb to injuries because thats what happens to older players (it happened in Oakland). Johnson will fill Holmes's spot but the rest of the offense is on the decline.

The Cheifs are on the downward spiral but Herman Edwards probably got a better team than he'd have in NY.

San Diego Chargers
What do you do after searching for years for a Pro Bowl QB and then finally finding one in Drew Brees? You let him go?!?! If the Charger's would have kept Drew Brees, they would have been a trendy pick to win the AFC West but it now looks like they might be heading back to the AFC West Cellar with Philip Rivers at the helm. Rookie QBs generally struggle. Yes, even rookie QBs with LT and Antonio Gates.

LT turns 27 this month, which means he probably has 3 or 4 productive years left in him. It's too bad they will be used trying to groom a rookie QB. They are still weak at the Wide Receiver position as well and Gates may be Phil's only real target.

To make matter worse in SD, they are now looking to trade one of their defensive leaders in LB Edwards. This may go down as one of the Chargers worst offseasons,.....and they have had some bad ones.

The Chargers still have a young team and aren't completely doomed but they have made their share of mistakes this offseason. They will struggle this season but should rebound eventually...

Divisional Prediction
With all that said and done, here is my divisional prediction. This will probably be far off but it's still fun to speculate. I think Art Shell's Impact will be felt.

Denver 11-5
Oakland 10-6
Kansas City 9-7
San Diego 5-11

Can the Raiders really win 10 games? Sure, I'll show you how by breaking down their schedule tommorrow. Stay tuned.......

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oakland Raider Hall of Famers

The Raiders are one of the NFL's most storied franchises. Let's take a look at some of the elite players that helped make the Raider's franchise one of the greatest in history.

1979 Ron Mix

Ron Mix was an Offensive Tackle that played for the Raiders in 1971. He spent most of his career with the Chargers. He was nicknamed "The Intellectual Assassin."

1980 Jim Otto

Otto played Center for the Raiders from 1960 - 1974. He played in 12 all-star contests in his 15 years and was name all-league for 12 years as well. He was the anchor in of the most talented offensive lines in NFL history.

1981 George Blanda

Blanda was a Quarterback and Kicker in the NFL for 26 seasons. He played for the Raiders from 1967-1975. Blanda holds many NFL longevity records.

1984 Willie Brown

Willie Brown was one of the best Cornerbacks to ever suit up for the Raiders. He played in Oakland from 1967-1978. Brown holds the franchise mark for interceptions in his career. One of the most memorable plays of his career was the 75 interception return for a touchdown in Superbowl XI.

1987 Gene Upshaw

Upshaw played Offensive Gaurd for the Raiders from 1967-1981. In his career, he played in three Super Bowls and seven Pro Bowls. Upshaw now works as the Executive Director of the NFL Player's union.

1988 Fred Biletnikoff

Biletnikoff played Wide Receiver for the Raiders from 1965-1978 and held most team receiver records until Tim Brown came along. He was the MVP of Superbowl XI, was a four time Pro Bowler and played in two all-star contests.

1989 Art Shell

Shell played Offensive Tackle for the Raiders from 1968-1982. He was a first or second team All-Pro from 1973-1978 and also played in eight Pro Bowl games. He was the Head Coach of the Raiders from 1989 - 1994 and was recently hired to coach the Raiders again.

1990 Ted Hendricks

Hendricks played linebacker for the Raiders from 1975-1983. Hendricks played in eight Pro Bowls and also appeared in four Super Bowls, three with the Raiders and one with the Colts.

1992 Al Davis

Davis is one of a kind. He served pro football as a player personnel assistant, an assistant coach, a head coach, a general manager, league commissioner, and the principal owner and CEO of the Raiders. It was in 1963 that Davis became the Head Coach and GM of the Raiders and won AFL Coach of the Year honors. He was named the AFL Commissioner in 1966 and announced the AFL-NFL merger during his commissioner reign. After which, Davis returned to the Raiders to become a managing general partner. He still continues to own and operate the NFL' s most storied franchise.

1997 Mike Haynes

Haynes played cornerback for the Raiders from 1983-1989. Haynes was an All-Pro choice five times and ended his career with 46 interceptions, 18 of which came in Los Angeles.

1999 Eric Dickerson

Dickerson isn't known as a Raider but he did have 729 rushing yards in his solo season as a Raider. He played his last full season in Oakland .

2000 Howie Long

Howie played defensive end for the Raiders from 1981-1993. Long was named all-pro five times and helped the Raiders capture a championship in Super Bowl XVIII. He also played in eight Pro Bowl games. Long ended his career with 84 sacks.

2000 Ronnie Lott

Lott only played two seasons in the Silver and Black (1991 and 1992). In his first season in Oakland, he had eight interceptions. Lott is one of the best Defensive backs in NFL history.

2002 Dave Casper

Casper played Tight End for the Raiders from 1974-1984. Capser played in four Pro Bowl contests. Casper's most famous moment is probably the "Ghost to the Post." It was the 1977 AFC playoff game between the Raiders and Colts. Casper's 10 yard TD ended the double-overtime game. He also was the scoring part of the "Holy Roller."

2003 Marcus Allen

Allen ran for the Raiders from 1982-1992. During his career, he ran for 12,243 yards added an additional 5411 yards receiving. Allen also found the end zone 145 times. He earned MVP honors in Superbowl XVIII after running for 191 yards and two TDs. Allen was the League MVP in 1985 after rushing for 1759 yards and catching 67 passes for 555 yards.

2003 James Lofton

Lofton only played two seasons for the Raiders (1987 and 1988) and had 69 catches for 1429 yards over those seasons. He ended his career with 14,004 yards which was the best at the time of his retirement. He is currently an assistant coach in San Diego.

2004 Bob Brown

Brown played Offensive Tackle for the Raiders from 1971-1973. He played with fellow HOFers Ron Mix, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, and Jim Otto. That was one scary Offensive Line.

2006 John Madden

John Madden was the Head Coach of the Raiders from 1969-1978. His regular season record was 103-32-7 and he had a post season record of 9-7. He was AFL coach of the year in 1969. During his Head Coaching reign, the Raiders never had a losing record.

These are the Raiders that are currently in the NFL Hall of Fame. There are some players that aren't that should be like Jim Plunkett and Ken Stabler and there are some Raiders who will be in soon. Tim Brown should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Also, current Punter Shane Lechler is on the fast track to the Hall of Fame if he can continue to punt like he has in his career. The Raiders currently boast a pretty young team, so maybe we'll see these young guys emerge into the players mentioned above.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Some Oakland Raider Records

Today I decided to look up some all-time NFL records and see how many of them are associated with the Raiders organization. It was a lot of fun looking at some of these and I added a few of my own comments in for your veiwing pleasure. Most of the records I found came from the NFL Record and Fact Book.

This first one is one that a lot of people probably know.

Who played the most seasons in the NFL? The answer is George Blanda. He played for an amazing 26 seasons. He spent 1967 - 1975 in the Silver and Black. Blanda is also third all time in scoring behind Gary Anderson and Morten Andersen and attempted and made the most PATs in NFL history.

Did You Know? Sebastion Janikowski is tied with 5 other players with the most field goals in one quarter with 4.

Who scored the most touchdowns in their career?
Most fans probably know this one falls to Jerry Rice with 208 TDs but some may not know in third place is Marcus Allen with 145. Rice did most of this in a 49ers uniform but he did have one probowl year in Oakland. Allen on the other hand had his best years in Oakland but has issues with the organization and retired as a Cheif.

Passes Completed?
Rich Gannon holds the record for the most passes completed in a Season with 418 and doesn't even fall in the top three for most passes attempted in a season. 2002 was Gannon's MVP season and the last Oakland Raiders Superbowl run. Gannon also is third behind Donovan McNabb (24) and Joe Montana (22) for the most consecutive passes completed with 21 and holds the record for the most 300 yard passing games in a season with 10.

Wide Recievers!!!
Jerry Rice holds the record for the most pass receptions in his career with 1549 and Tim Brown is third on the list with 1094. Rice also hold the record with most consecutive games with a pass reception with 274 and Tim Brown is third once again with 179. Another of Rice's many records is the most yards gained in a career. He gain 22,895 yards and Tim Brown follows him in a not so close second with 14,934 yards. The touchdown mark, set by Rice, is 197 and Tim Brown is thrid with 100.

The Punter
Current Raider, Shane Lechler, holds the record for the Highest Punting average in the NFL with 45.9 yards per punt. Lechler is still young and will hopefully continue to add to his record.

Did you know? The mark for the most safeties in a career is held by Ted Hendricks with 4.

There are some other records that the Raiders hold as a team, like penalties, that we'll just overlook for now. If you'd like to see more of these records just check out the NFL Record and Fact Book.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Oakland Raiders Special Teams Analysis

We've worked our way through the loaded offense and youthful defense, now the special teams need a little attention. We'll take a look at some key players and positions in our special teams lineup.

Let's start out with the easiest one, our punter. Shane Lechler is entering his 7th NFL season and has an absolutely amazing punting average. In fact, it's the best punting average in NFL History. His career average is 45.9 yds. Out of his 442 career punts, he has kicked 170 of them inside the 20 and only 70 for touchbacks. His career long is 70 yards. If he can keep this level of performace, he will be a Hall of Famen punter.

Our kicker, Janikowski, has one of the strongest legs in the NFL. His career kicking average is 78.4%, which really isn't as high as we'd like. Last season, he made a career low 66.7% of his kicks. Seabass will need to improve so the Raiders can count on him in critical situations. Art Shell should help him. Shell has made the team run when Jano misses his kicks. He needs to show improvement this year or he may not get another chance in Oakland.

Last season, our kick and punt returner was an undrafted rookie named Chris Carr. Carr had some nice returns and several that were almost great. Carr has a lot of special teams potential but he needs to improve fast, Rod "He Hate Me" Smart was a Free Agent acquisition this offseason. If Smart is unable to beat Carr out, he will most likely be a camp cut. On kickoff returns, Carr had a 24 yard average and returned 2 for over 40 yards but was unable to find the end zone. On punt returns, Carr had a 5.5 yard average and returned 3 for over 20 yards but once again was unable to find the end zone. WR Carlos Francis may have an oppertunity to return kickoffs as well. In 2004, he had an unimpressive average of 18.5 yards but with his speed he could have an oppertunity again.

Some other special team performers to watch for are Jarrod Cooper, Stanford Routt, and rookie Darnell Bing. Bing could be an outstanding special teamer with his speed and size. Bing played safety for USC but is being converted to a Linebacker in the NFL. He won't play defense this season unless some key players are injured but will most likely make the team to play on special teams.

Overall our special teams looks to be a pretty sound unit. I expect both kickers to have good seasons and although we don't have an X-factor returning kicks and punts, we should get decent field position.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Oakland Raiders Defensive Positional Analysis

Well we went through the offense by position yesterday, so today lets take a look at our defense. The biggest additions on defense this season were made through the Draft. The Raiders already possess a young defense and by improving it through the draft, they are striving to ensure the defense will be a talented unit for years to come.

The starting corners are pretty much set with Asomugha and Washington. Asomugha is entering his fourth season and still hasn't intercepted a pass. Critics are usually quick to point this out but they are overlooking the fact that he has been very solid in coverage and prior to last season, the pass rush was non-existent. Asomugha will continue to improve and with additional help in the secondary (Huff) and a little extra pressure (Johntstone), Asomugha should continue to improve and have a quality season. I've heard many critics and "experts" say that Fabian Washington struggled in his rookie outing. I really didn't see that. I saw him get beat on occasion but I also saw him play very well. He should continue to improve this season and I fully expect him to develop into a quality coverage corner.

Schweigert is entering his third season and has shown good coverage skills. He still hasn't become the ball-hawk he was at Purdue but he has been pretty solid in coverage. His troubles have come in the tackling department. I'm sure working on his tackling is a priority this offseason. If he can improve his tackling he will be a quality starting Free Safety.

It is finally time for the Gibson experiment to be over. Rookie Michael Huff will shore up a position that has been a need for quite some time. In an pre-Draft interview, Huff said when he talked to the Raiders, they were planning to use him the way the Steelers use Pro-Bowler Troy Polamalu. Huff will be all over the field and if used correctly, he has a shot at defensive Rookie of the Year. He is also wearing No. 24 which is a pretty big number to live up to in the Raider organization.

Just a side note: If you are keeping track the Raiders starting secondary has 6 years of combined experience. The future for this unit could be bright.

Danny Clark has filled the middle linebacker spot amazingly since arriving in Oakland two seasons ago. He had 129 tackles in 2004 and 113 last season but his biggest contibution is the leadership he displays to this young defense. At 29 years old, he is one of the oldest players on the defense.

Sophomore Kirk Morrison led the team in tackles last season with 116. Not bad for a rookie. He stepped up and filled a huge hole last year and he should continue to improve this season. He is also an Oakland native so his career for the Raiders should be a long one. At the other outside linebacker position, there is more of a question mark. Sam Williams is healthy again and has played great but he is very injury prone. If he stays healthy this season, the other OLB position will be his. If not, there will be a battle with rookies Thomas Howard and Darnell Bing along with Free Agent acquisition Robert Thomas.

Last season Derrick Burgess came in from Philly and gave a the Raiders a remarkable pass rush. He led the NFL with 16 sacks and earned a plane ticket to Hawaii. With Lance Johnstone returning to the Silver and Black, the pass rush should be dominant. Johnstone played for the Raiders from 1996 through 2000. He sacked opposing Quarterbacks 7.5 times last season and will most likely only play passing downs for the Raiders this year. Former first round pick, Fourth year player, Tyler Brayton will be returning to the defensive end position. He is good against the run and hopefully he will come back strong this year. He will be needed to contain the dangerous running backs of the AFC West.

The only player with credentials on the Defensive Line is Warren Sapp. He struggled two seasons ago in the 3-4 scheme but was enjoying a nice come back last season after returning to the 4-3 before getting injured. Sapp had 5 sacks in 10 games last year. If he can stay healthy this season he should be able to provide problems for opposing interior offensive linemen. Who will be at the other starting DT position is still up for grabs. Tommy Kelly and Terdell Sands are the most likely candidates but there are some hoping that the young and troubled Anttaj Hawthorne can step up and be the player he was in college.

That pretty much sums up the Raiders defense. They are a young unit but are also a unit with a lot of talent. This defense could step up and suprise some opponents this season. I am excited to see how the secondary plays this season. They could end up being very good. The weakest spot is the DTs. Other than Warren Sapp there isn't any proven players. There is a chance a Free Agent could be picked up to fill the void but look for this position to be filled in next year's Draft.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oakland Raiders Offensive Positional Analysis

With the NFL only a few short months away and the majority of offseason moves wrapped up, it's time to see what we have on offense. The Raiders are completely loaded on offense but were unable to live up to expectations last year primarily because of bad coaching and poor Quarterback play. The Raiders attempted to address these problems with signing Aaron Brooks and hiring Art Shell back as Head Coach. Let's take a look at this loaded offense position by position.

The top three projected QBs on the roster are Aaron Brooks, Marques Tuiasosopo and Andrew Walter. Art Shell has not named a starter and most likely won't until a couple of games into the preseason. Aaron Brooks has a clear edge because of his experience and mobility but if he struggles, Andrew Walter could get his chance to shine. There have been an abundance of rumors and speculation lately that Walter might edge Brooks out at some point during the regular season. Whatever happens, it should be an improvement over Kerry Collins and fun to watch play out.

Signing Lamont Jordan last season provided the Raiders with a quality number one back. In his first season as a starting running back, Jordan put up 1025 yds rushing and added 563 yds recieving to put him close to the 1600 yd mark combined. The only problem was he only average 3.8 yds per carry. This was largely due to poor offensive line play throughout the season. The offensive line should be improved this season and I anticipate his average and total yards to be improved. Behind Jordan, there is a large gap. Zack Crockett is a shord yardage specialist and speedster Justin Fargas has been injury prone. As long as Jordan stays healthy, this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The Raiders boast one of the most stacked Wide Reciever cores in the entire NFL. Randy Moss should put up outstanding numbers this season with a new QB and an improved line. Moss's injuries slowed him down last season but he was still able rack up over 1000 yards receiving. Jerry Porter is tremendously talented but has never lived up to expectations. I think part of his problem has been lack of discipline. Shell will fix that little problem. Porter should be able to eclipse the 1000 yd mark this season. If he doesn't, he could be traded next season. Ronald Curry was enjoying a break out season in 2004 before injuring his achilles tendon. He then reinjured it in 2005 because he tried to come back to quickly. This year he should have had enough time to heal and should be a factor on offense. Curry and Doug Gabriel will battle for the third receiver spot. Either of them could be number two recievers on most NFL teams. Gabriel has been slowly emerging the last couple seasons and could also be productive if given the chance. The only problem with the wide receivers is that they are all too good and will have to compete for the ball.

Courtney Anderson will most likley be the starter again. He is young and has shown flashes of being a great TE but will need to improve his consistency if he wants the ball. Behind him is O.J. Santiago, Marcellus Rivers, and Randal Williams. If Anderson doesn't step up and be productive this season, TE is a position that may be addressed in next year's draft.

Art Shell has confirmed that he is moving Robert Gallery back to Left Tackle and Jake Grove back to Center. These two young players should show that they were worth those high draft picks this season. They should benefit greatly from a coaching staff that boasts two Hall of Fame Linemen. Barry Sims has been moved from Left Tackle to Left Gaurd. Sims should be solid at this position. Having him and Gallery both on the left side should should keep pressure off of the QB's blind side and provide some nice running lanes. At Right Tackle, Langston Walker will get his chance. Walker has potential and size and should be able to be a solid Right Tackle. At Right Gaurd, the position is still unsettled. Badger has experience but rookie Paul McQuistin will provide a challenge. This will be a camp battle and I anticipate McQuistin to be the starter at some point during the season. The greatest asset that this line has is the coaching staff. The coaches will be able to teach this mostly young offensive line how to get the job done.

With all of that said, the Raiders should have a formidable offense this season. The Offensive Line is really the key to success. If the line can gel and play solid, both Jordan and the passing game will be successful.