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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Responding to the Experts

Vic Carucci
NFL.com writer Vic Carucci wrote two articles this week that I decided to comment on. The first one, A look ahead to the AFC West, is an early divisional breakdown. I like the fact that Carucci recognized that Art Shell will have an effect on team's attitude. Many writers have been forgetting that coaching is more than X's and O's. He also said our only two problems were Aaron Brooks and our Linebacker position. I understand(but don't agree) where he is coming from with Brooks but the weakside linebacker position will be fine. Sam Williams is good when healthy but if injured we will see what another rookie can do. A similar thing happened last year and Kirk Morrison turned out to be pretty good. He didn't mention the defensive line as a weakness which was suprising. We have solid defensive ends but are lacking at the tackle position.

Vic's only real argument on why the Raiders won't be in the hunt is Aaron Brooks. Brooks may be mistake prone but when you have talented wide recievers the ball doesn't have to be thrown perfectly. Brooks will adjust well to being a Raider but if he doesn't, Andrew Walter will step in. Here is some food for thought: If Brooks was still on the Saints, would the experts still be so hard on him?

Carucci's second article, Carucci's Tuesday Huddle, ranks the 10 new Head Coaches. He has Art Shell at number 6. It's not horrible but Shell should be ranked a little higher. He has Herman Edwards at number 1 which is a little suprising. Edwards inherited a great running back but the team is aging and the rebuilding process will begin shortly. The only new coach ranked ahead of Art Shell that makes any sense at all is Sean Payton in New Orleans. He has a talented team and should be able to turn the team around with the additions of Drew Brees and Reggie Bush. Art Shell has already made major strides and has the player's support. The player's believe in him and he has already tackled the offensive line issues. Even if the line doesn't hold, Brooks is mobile enough to buy time for Randy Moss to get open deep.

To be honest, I usually don't like Carucci's articles but he didn't do as bad this time as he normally does. The fact that he didn't mention our defensive line as a weakness and has been so hard Aaron Brooks makes me question whether or not he did much research on the Raiders before writing the articles but at least he did mention some good things about Shell.

A Little Something Extra
The Raiders official site has a pretty cool page called Fantastic Finishes; Classic Comebacks. It has some classic games and their nicknames and is a great place for younger or new fans to learn more about our storied franchise.


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