Sunday, January 9, 2011

Raiders 2011 free agents... resign or re-sign?

Bruce Gradkowski - Although I love Gradkowski I think his time in Oakland has expired. This past year he was injury prone and proved that at best he's a backup QB.  it may be wise to keep him if his price isn't too high. I'm thinking we just might draft someone.

Charlie Frye- I don't know how many QB's the Raiders will keep but I doubt we'll keep Frye.

Kyle Boller- Sorry buddy. You're out.

Michael Bennett- Depends on what happens with Bush. Bennett is a solid player and can backup DMC. However, I explain further below.

Michael Bush- We absolutely need to keep Michael Bush and start creating an old school formation for him and DMC. Keeping him happy is creating a starting position which he definitely deserves. Put them together as starters in the backfield and keep the defenses guessing.

Rock Cartwright- We need to keep Cartwright for his special teams performance and his leadership ability. This guy is a firecracker and someone that the team can rally around.

Johnnie Lee Higgins- I've never really been a big fan of Higgins due to the fact that the guys hands are completely unreliable. His speed was nice but if the Defense knows he can't catch what kind of real threat is he?

Zach Miller- This is a no brainer!

Mario Henderson- Everytime the Raiders made a long gain and were called back you can thank Mario Henderson. Get rid of him, this guy is a penalty magnet and is entirely to inconsistent.

Khalif Barnes- If the Raiders' draft an OT, I'm unsure about Barnes staying on. Then again, Veldheer could use a break on certain downs. It's not a bad idea to have a him as a back-up.

Samson Satele- Some fans' like him some fans don't. I say keep him, Draft a youngster and have the best one between the two start at Center.

Jon Condo- Definitely need a solid LS and I haven't heard or seen any bad play from him so I say hold onto the guy.

Daniel Loper- Re-sign.

Robert Gallery- It's doubtful he'll want to return to Oakland without Cable.

Langston Walker- Re-sign.

Richard Seymour- Absolutely Re-sign.

John Henderson- This one is very difficult for me but again depends on what the Raiders do in the draft. I love this guy and I think he's a savage but I'm unsure how many more seasons he'll want to play. Re-sign to see him disrupt the backfield in 2011.

Thomas Howard- Re-sign.

Sam Williams- The Raiders shouldn't but mostly likely will. Williams is a solid player but we have plenty of OLB's. Great for special teams though. Re-sign.

Ricky Brown- Release. From what I've seen from Brown I haven't been impressed. Sign someone from the FA that can drop into coverage.

Kamerion Wimbley- Re-sign! Re-sign! Re-sign! Guys is a BEAST!

Nnamdi Asomugha- Will we really just let our star player go to FA? Absolutely need to re-sign him. He's not only an amazing player but an amazing person for Oakland.

Stanford Routt- Needs to find another home. For all the times you were burned you should be ashamed of the amount of money you got for it. Yes, your interception in KC was nice... that's really all I can say.

Hiram Eugene- I like Eugene but I think we'll be drafting a Safety. Good keep on special teams. Re-sign.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hue Jackson shares Al Davis' "Commitment to Excellence."

So, with the majority of the media buzz sending Oakland fans in utter dismay over the recent ousting of Tom Cable. Raider fans the world over have to be asking themselves some serious questions about the future of their beloved franchise. As last Tuesdays declination to extend Cable's contract as Head Coach begins to settle, most true fans expect to hear the critics jump in line to take their shots at one of the most hated teams in the NFL but abandoning the fact that the Raiders will go into the off-season building on their 8-8 season after sweeping the entire AFC West is something that can not be ignored. 

This season the Raiders' proved to the nation that they were the AFC team to beat, regardless of a no show in the playoffs. With Cable handing the play calling over to Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson at the beginning of last season, the Raiders ended up doubling their point total in 2010, setting several franchise records along the way, most notably being the trampling of the Denver Broncos 59-14 in Denver.

Although Cable is absolutely deserving of appreciation for his 3 year tenure of bringing the team together and setting the team on it's road to glory,  the media and future hall of famer Shane Lechler have to understand that the Raiders have a "Commitment to Excellence." Ending the season at .500 IS a lot better than we have seen in a long time but it's nothing to be celebrated other than the fact that a new era has arrived for the Raiders. In this off-season the Raiders will return to the drawing board and although it hasn't been reported that Hue Jackson will be promoted to HC, you can most assuredly count on the fact that Jackson isn't stopping there. My bet is that he's drawing up creative schemes while looking at the new prospects coming in the Draft and asking himself what kind of plays he'll be able to execute. 

In this off-season,  it is detrimental that The Raiders continue to believe in themselves as players and as a team. For what they're capable of becoming is something I don't think the NFL has ever really seen, or is even ready for. With the explosive offense Jackson and the Raiders have brought back to Oakland only growing stronger, I believe you will see a more conscientious and disciplined team on both sides of the ball. Such things will be necessary for next years season, as we'll be facing an onslaught of teams that are currently in the 2010 playoffs, they include the Patriots, Bears, Jets, Chiefs and the Packers. It's no shock to us die hards' that our seasons aren't getting any easier and I believe there's no better time for the Raiders then right now to start making the mandatory changes where they'll matter the most.