The Autumn Wind is a Raider
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|12-16-2015, 11:01 PM||#9|
Re: The Autumn Wind is a Raider
All draft picks were selected by the GM. I did not need to override anything for silly drafting.
2008 Draft Class.jpg
2008 Draft Class UDFA.jpg
USC's Defense End Lawrence Jackson and Oregon's Quarterback Dennis Dixon are two of the biggest names from the Raiders draft class.
Here's the approvals from each pick, mind you the GM chose them!
Lawrence Jackson 28
Limas Sweed 70
Dennis Dixon 59
LaVelle Hawkins 87
Orlando Scandrick 32
The decisions made by the GM made sense. I mean, Defense was a priority and we were thin at end, with only two older (29 and 28 years old) starters. So Lawrence Jackson made sense here. At the same positions, there were probably other guys I would have taken; but whatever. It'll add to the challenge and story.
Limas Sweed is a big wr who has some speed. Having a 6'5" target for our 6'6" quarterback could create some great mismatches.
Dennis Dixon is a playmaker of the highest caliber. He was ultra-productive at Oregon, and slipped down this far only because of the knee injury he suffered his last year in school. He'll probably bounce between #2 and #3 QB, and maybe get in on some red-zone packages his rookie year.
LaVelle Hawkins is a speedster who runs decent routes and can also return kicks. He'll definitely stretch the defenses for us once he learns the system.
Orlando Scandrick has tremendous speed and great return ability. With our secondary so deep, he'll have to earn his playing time on special teams.
Jalen Parmele is a grinder that we hope can get some of those tough yards the way LaMont Jordan was able to do. Not known for his hands, he showed his senior year he can catch a little, but will have to either get more versatile or be too valuable as a pounder to make the final 53.
As for the Undrafted Free Agents, Coach Nutt was given control here; and reached out to three of his Arkansas Razorbacks that weren't drafted. Matteral Richardson and Michael Grant were his starting cornerbacks last year, and while Richardson seems to cover better, Grant adds value in the return game. Again, the secondary is deep, and got deeper with the drafting of Scandrick, so there's no guarantees here.
Marcus Monk is another former Razorback, and has great height that maybe can help him develop into a red-zone threat. He's got great hands and basketball skills, so the potential is there.
Mark Cantwell is a tall center, you don't normally see 6'6" centers! He's versatile enough to play guard too, and tackle in a pinch. The size intrigued me, plus playing ball at a power running school like Wisconsin. Center isn't a position of strength for us, so there's hope there.
Chauncey Washington is a solid back out of USC, the same school as current starter Justin Fargas. There isn't a lot of depth here either. After Fargas, there's Michael Bush, who missed all of last year and hopes to be healthy now; and Parmele. While Raiders are sure to add a veteran or two for competition, if Chauncey is focused, he could easily stick on the roster and make a case for playing time.
|12-24-2015, 10:39 AM||#10|
Re: The Autumn Wind is a Raider
Rapid Pre-season update:
I was ecstatic to see that Aaron Brooks and Tyler Brayton were added to the team as walk on free agents. I wanted both back. Aaron was out of football in 07, but was the Raiders starting QB in the previous couple of years. He's a perfect mentor for JaMarcus. Culpepper would have been great, but he's out there trying to compete to start, esp after scoring 5 tds in a game for us against Miami - he's got a great shot to start somewhere so more power to him. Tyler was a 1st round pick for us that never really caught on as the edge rusher we envisioned. Stupidly (in real life) they even tried him at linebacker at 6'6", 280) He's going back on the line, but will back up Alex Brown as DE and Jay Richardson at DT. His versatility will be huge and who knows, maybe he'll finally hit that 1st round status success.
Week One saw us play our rivals, the 49ers, in the annual "Battle of the Bay". Unfortunately, this one ended in a 49er victory, 21-15. Rookie running back Jalen Parmele was the lone bright spot, rushing 13 times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Michael Bush, coming off missing all of 07 while he rehabbed his knee had 5 carries for 27 yards, a 5.4 average. Jay Richardson and Tyler Brayon each had 2 sacks, Renaldo Wynn and rookie Lawrence Jackson each had one. Reggie Torbor started at ROLB and had a pick; and Bobby Carpenter came in as the #2 MLB and had a pick as well.
Week Two had us travel to Tennessee, where we were soundly defeated 27-10. The 3 QBs threw 4 combined INTs and no touchdowns. The run game, while quiet, saw Michael Bush rush for a score; and Chauncey Washington realized how tough the jump to the NFL was as he only had 1 yard on 6 carries. Lawrence Jackson had 2 more sacks, and Thomas Howard, Gerard Warren, and Alex Brown each had one. Thomas Howard also had an interception. We signed FA Devery Henderson at WR and he had one catch for 65 yards. Not sure if he'll make the roster, but that sure helps his cause!
I also decided I didn't want to get into a contract battle with P Shane Lechler, as he's just about the top punter in the NFL and we simply aren't paying top dollar for a punter. He was traded to the Ravens and we signed Ryan Flinn and UDFA rookie Durant Brooks for week 3. I also got the bust goal failure for Lawrence Jackson (83 pot) and the sleeper goal for Hawkins (90 pot) Meh. Whatever.
Week 3 brought the Arizona Cardinals to town, and they left with the win as well, 48-3. This was supposed to be our tune-up game; and we got demolished. The good news was that we notched 2 more sacks and 2 more picks. The bad news is Lawrence Jackson sprained his ankle and will miss week 4. Even though he's slated to be the #2 behind Derrick Burgess, missing any time as a rookie is tough.
After a poor showing, we cut the two new punters and signed UDFA rookie Keeley from Toledo. We noticed him when we were scouting Jalen Parmele; and in all honestly, Toledo has a couple intriguing players coming out of there the last couple of years. He was inexpensive, and the plan is to give him the kicking duties week 4 and if he tanks, we go back and sign Flinn. A few other backups were cut, notably former Pittsburgh running back Gary Russell, FB Lousaka Polite, WR Devery Henderson, and DE Renaldo Wynn. Former 1st round pick, WR Mike Williams, came back and literally begged for one more chance. Mike flamed out in Detroit, and spent part of 2007 with Oakland, then Tennessee. His career is on life support. If he's serious, he'll have one chance to prove it - as we will start him opposite Limas Sweed in the last preseason game, taking the place of Devery Henderson.
PRESEASON PROMISE - PLAYOFFS!!! (owner thought under .500)
The last preseason game of the year was against the Seattle Seahawks. Once again, we lost, 18-6; but it's preseason. Chauncey added one whole yard to his preseason total on 4 carries to bring his 2008 preseason total to 10 carries for 2 yards. I still expect something positive to come out of the UDFA rookie's career; but for now he's the #4 back.
Mike Williams came through, catching both his targets for 32 yards; which was the team high for yards against a tough Seattle defense.
UDFA running back Ryant Hunt - too much depth already
UDFA fullback Jason Walsh - not going to keep two fullbacks, will use the TE3 in an Hback role.
UDFA cornerback Michael Grant
UDFA cornerback Matteral Richardson - This was tough, as these two were Houston Nutt's starting corners in Arkansas. However, they would be the #5 and #6 corners, and even though they have potential, John Bowie is the guy we drafted with the Randy Moss pick, and the owner and GM are not going to cut him this year, and have him locked in at the CB4 position.
2nd year TE John Madsen - I need a 3rd TE who can also play fullback, and we found a rookie UDFA named Adam Beets to fill that role. Only 20 years old, the product out of Tuskegee is small for a TE; but can fill in at FB in a pinch.
(we got the Pat Lacey/Matt Barnes draft pick)
I've got the first two games of the year ready, however with Christmas and all, it'll be a few days before I get to post, unless there's a lull in the action!
One last thing: Big changes at QB for a number of teams - here's the highilghts:
The Bears are starting Andrew Walter over Rex Grossman and Dan Orlovsky
The Bengals traded for Kerry Collins to back up Carson Palmer
The Browns are keeping with 2007 surprise All Star Derek Anderson over 1st round pick Brady Quinn for another season.
The Buccaneers are starting Jeff Garcia over Brian Griese and Chris Simms
The Cardinals are starting Kurt Warner over Matt Leinart (yet again) and rookie 1st rounder Joe Flacco. Things don't look good for Leinart's career unless Warner gets hurt and Leinart lights it up.
The Chiefs starting QB Damon Huard is hurt, so Brodie Croyle will get a second chance to show he belongs in the NFL.
The Dolphins are starting rookie QB Brian Brohm over last year's 2nd round pick John Beck, and Ken Dorsey - the local favorite.
The Falcons are starting Trent Green, now 38 years old, over rookie Matt Ryan and former 1st rounder Derek Carr.
The 49ers are sticking with Alex Smith over Josh McCown and Shaun Hill.
The Jets have turned the team over to Kellen Clemens over Chad Pennington.
The Packers start the post-Favre era with Joey Harrington under center, where he'll face his former team, the Lions, twice a year. Aaron Rodgers and Chad Henne will back up Joey.
The Ravens are starting Brian Leftwich over Kyle Boller, JP Losman, and Troy Smith
The Saints starting QB Drew Brees is out a couple weeks with a bad hamstring, so Jared Lorenzen will start for New Orleans until he's healthy.
The Seahawks starter Matt Hasselbeck is also hurt, so Seneca Wallace will start, with Charlie Frye as the back up.
The Titans have 2006 Rookie of the Year Vince Young starting, and drafted the dynamic Josh Johnson as his back up.
The Vikings drafted Andre Woodson to back up Tarvaris Jackson.
(Huard will miss 4-9 weeks, Hasselbeck 3-5, and Brees 1-2)
(also, advance spoiler - all three of their teams lost with the back up in)
Next, here's the list of guys who landed on IR this preseason:
Mike Goff - San Diego RG 86
Jeremy Newberry - Rams C 81
Rob Meier - Jags DT - 75
Matt Wilhelm - Seahawks MLB - 75
Brian Williams - Seahawks FS - 84
Russ Hochstein - Jets LG - 82
Correll Buckhalter - Eagles RB - 70
Jevon Kearse - Eagles DE - 82
Next post: Opening Day depth chart and notes - and week one vs the Denver Broncos!!!! (a game with dual goals - beat Denver on Monday night, and the "fans want you to crush" goals!)
|12-31-2015, 02:43 PM||#11|
Re: The Autumn Wind is a Raider
RAIDERS DEFEND THEIR HOME TURF, DEFEAT THE BRONCOS, 21-19.
Denver came to Oakland coming off a 7-9 record last season. They had an impressive draft, and Coach Shanahan is setting his sights on the AFC West title. Here's a look at the Broncos' draft class:
*WR Early Doucet, Mark Henry
*LT Duane Brown
*ROLB Keith Rivers
FS Simeon Castille
*SS Jamar Adams
In addition, the Broncos signed coveted DT Albert Haynesworth (91 ovr) and RT Jordan Gross (90ovr) We definitely have our work cut out for ourselves!
We decided to wear our old-school helmets for this one.
For some reason, Justin Fargas popped up on the injury report and will miss the game.
Denver scored first on a chip shot field goal, but Johnnie Lee Higgins returned the kick 98 yards for a score and a fast lead! On the next drive, Jay Cutler got banged up and Patrick Ramsey took over for a few plays. We were able to stop them cold; but Higgins muffed the punt. We were able to stop them again, however our drive quickly stalled. Keeley's punt traveled 51 yards and we were able to down it on the two yard line. The next play Thomas Howard hit Shaun Alexander and caused a fumble that Reggie Torbor recovered for a touchdown! The first quarter ended with our defense and special teams hitting Denver with a 1-2 punch and a 14-3 lead. (Which was good because he had nothing going on offense, and only held the ball for 1:57.)
The second quarter was frustrating for the Raiders, as we were unable to move the ball, and JaMarcus missed several open receivers and threw an inteception. Denver was a little more effective on offense, but only got a field goal out of it. After Russell's interception, they had time for a field goal as the half ended, but Hanson missed it. We went into halftime up 14-6.
The third quarter opened and the Raiders had back to back decent drives stall at midfield. On their third possession, JaMarcus threw an interception to John Lynch, which was returned to the Oakland 12. A couple of plays later, Jay Cutler hit Daniel Graham for a 9 yard touchdown. A two-point conversion run by Alexander was stopped, however. On the ensuing kickoff, Orlando Scandrick returned the kick 94 yards!
Up 21-12 as the 4th quarter was winding down, Denver got within 3 as Shaun Alexander had an 8 yard touchdown run (and the extra point). However, we were able to run the clock down until Coach Nutt had the biggest decision to make of the game:
1:37 left, clock's running. It'll be down to about 1 minute when we have to run our play - but what to do? Punt? Try a 54 yard field goal and risk giving them good field position? Try to rush for the first down? Michael Bush is 243 pounds.. and JaMarcus is even bigger...
We decided to run a QB sneak. Both Coach and JaMarcus have a ton to prove, and we want to set a tone for the season. We need this. We line up - and they seem to know what's coming - but JaMarcus blasts through the line for a 9 yard gain! That's the game!! We bring in Aaron Brooks to take the last couple knees - and the VICTORY IS OURS!!
Reggie Torbor was AFC defensive player of the week with 7 tackles, a sack, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown.
Despite the excellent play of our defense and special teams, the offense output, or lack thereof, has me scared. We only generated 107 yards of offense...and were 1-11 on 3rd down.
Still, a win is a win. To get the win against a division rival, on primetime, is just huge. (Not to mention the goals achieved.)
Next week, a second division battle! Oakland Raiders vs the Kansas City Chiefs!
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