Chester McGlockton dead at age 42

image

Former Raiders defensive tackle Chester McGlockton died due to unknown reasons in his sleep last night at the age of 42. McGlockton played for the Raiders from 1992-1997 as well as the Chiefs, Broncos, and the Jets before calling it quits in 2003.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Advertisements

Jack Del Rio: Yes or no?

In some news that sent waves across the NFL today the Jaguars simultaneously fired head coach Jack Del Rio and sold the franchise to some billionaire middle-eastern guy.  Del Rio was currently in his 9th season with the Jaguars and is one of the longest tenured coaches in the NFL currently (only Andy Reid is longer, I think. too lazy to look it up right now).  This guy who bought the franchise is swearing he won’t relocate the team but we’ll see about that.  If he’s got the dough to just buy an NFL team outright he probably won’t be concerned with the measly $50 million fine he’ll be hit with for breaching contract and clearing house.

Why the hell does this concern us?  Because Bresnahan sucks.  Word is the Raiders are one of many teams scouting the possibility of employing the former defensive coordinator.

Really?  Mid-season?  5 games away from post-season?  This is a very valid point and a genuine point of concern here.  The Raiders have had their boat rocked one too many times this season already and I’m certain that  if they were to change personnel at this point in the season they’d be suicidal.  If he would agree to riding out this season as a defensive assistant with a guaranteed season as coordinator the following year that would be ideal.  I don’t see that happening right now because there is already too much demand for him.  If Tom Coughlin had a brain he’d be in line too right now because they need it up there in New York.

I think we’re on the right track with our defense right now, honestly.  I like how they’ve had Branch lined up in the slot a lot lately.  It’s weird but it’s been very effective.  Now with Huff back and Chekwa and Van Dyke getting healthy our secondary is coming back to life.  Our linebackers are playing at a level that we have not seen from them previously this season.  Bresnahan does have a lot of miscues but is somewhat dependable.  I really think we need to ride him while he’s hot and not rock the boat anymore than we have to.

Does that change my opinion as to whether or not I think we need to pick him up?  Absolutely not.  I think the Raiders would be in for a large upgrade in a move from Bresnahan to Del Rio.  Bresnahan was in Oakland once before.  There’s a reason he went away the first time.  Del Rio comes with an impressive resume.  The man knows linebackers, he was the linebacker coach for the 1999 Baltimore Ravens, coaching Ray Lewis in his 3rd season.  He turned the Carolina Panthers around from 1-15 in 2000 to 7-9 in 2001 because he brought with him the #2 defense in the NFL.  The man has served under Mike Ditka, Brian Billick, and John Fox.  All three of those men run football teams with hard-nosed defenses.  Let’s not forget Del Rio also has an 11 year career as a linebacker in the NFL as well.

He is almost too perfect for the Raiders, which is why I don’t see it happening.  Just imagine what our defense could be without Fatty McGee slobbering all over it.  I say Del Rio, if brought in at the proper time, could give us what we need to go deep into the playoffs.  Maybe not this season, but next year.  If he’s still available.

I’m interested in opinions on this.  My answer is yes, just not right now.  What’s your thoughts?

Raiders vs Bears: Preview

The Raiders take on a tough opponent this Sunday in the Chicago Bears. Just a quick breakdown of some strengths and weaknesses on both sides as well as some predictions.

RAIDERS:
Darrius Heyward-Bey should be playing tomorrow. Denarius Moore has been upgraded to questionable. If we can even get just a couple series with these two in it would be a huge help.

The Raiders biggest strength coming into this game right now is the run. Bush has been pounding it down the throat of every defense he meets for the last 4 weeks. With McFadden likely sidelined for several more weeks Bush will continue his gore-fest on the gridiron.

Our biggest weakness has got to be the run right now. I know that with Caleb Hanie in for Cutler we are going to see near lethal doses of Matt Forte. That is worrisome.

Prediction:
I see a lot of Bush and play-action with an occasional screen. Carson will let a few fly deep just to keep the defense honest. No big passing going on for us this week. Charles Tillman is dangerous.

BEARS:
Chicago’s biggest strength is their terrific linebacker corps. Julius Peppers is a beast on the pass rush. Should be a good matchup for Veldheer. The defense feels like they have to carry this team right now with Cutler out. Expect top notch play from them tomorrow.

Biggest weakness has got to be the mediocre receiving corps led by an even more mediocre quarterback. I don’t see Caleb Hanie holding up to the pass rush the Raiders are bringing.

Prediction:
To win this game the Bears just need to be smart and patient. Run, run, run and let Forte control the game, effectively removing it from Hanie’s responsibility. Eventually we will shoot ourselves in the foot so all they need to to is hang in there.

OVERALL: Raiders win, narrowly: 20-17

Receiving Corps Woes

Heading into week 12 the Raiders’ receiving corps is looking pretty shaky as far as injuries go. Denarius Moore (foot), Jacoby Ford (foot), and Darius Heyward-Bey (concussion) are all likely to miss this Sundays showdown vs. the smoking hot Chicago Bears who are coming off a 5 win streak. That leaves a starting crew of Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, and Houshmandzadeh, with little to no depth behind them. Lucky for us Bush is a maniac and should have no problem carving (er.. plowing) through the Chicago D-Line. And don’t ever forget Reece. He’s capable of some fine rushing as well as possessing the ability to split out at wide receiver. The man is truly gifted. And we’ll also see a little bit of Cartwright too since Taiwan Jones is also out with a hamstring injury. Old Rock ain’t what he used to be but the man is crafty. I see a couple well designed trick plays coming on Sunday with him in the backfield. I really hope Hue decides to rest these guys to 100% so that we have them for Green Bay because we’ll need them.  Take a look at this awesome picture I found of Hue Jackson and Jacoby Ford before the Patriots game (I can’t post it here due to copyrights and NFL licensing): Ford/Jackson Next up:  Kyle Orton to the Chiefs.  Wtf?

Penalties Dangerous but QB Scrambles Kill

image

I normally get very animated when watching the Raiders play, whether at home or at the game, doesn’t really matter. I love my team. This last game vs. the Vikings seemed especially bad though. From the very first drive we gave up massive chunks of yards on VERY questionable personal fouls. Here’s a link to one of them: Tommy Kelly Sack The way the flags were flying in the first few minutes I knew that this was just a preview of how the day was going to go. It’s never good when I’m dropping f-bombs and throwing things only 5 minutes into the game. Penalties aside, the Raiders played some great ball yesterday. The only glaring hole I see left on this team is the inability to pick up the QB on a scramble. Tebow embarrassed us doing it and Ponder broke off huge chunks of more than 20 yards doing it yesterday too. We are facing some mobile passers in the remaining weeks in Matt Moore, Matt Stafford, and especially Aaron Rodgers. You know damn well they’ll be exploiting this after just one look at the film from those games. Our linebackers need to get a clue and Fat Chuck needs to dial up some contains and spies instead of this cover 2 zone scheme. Aaron Curry is HORRIBLE in cover 2 zone. Watch the Vikings game again and tell me I’m lying. He just looks clueless unless he’s in man or stuffing a run. I beg Bresnehan to start playing to the strengths of his players in the middle or else we’re gonna get blown up at least one more time by an opportunistic offense who has done their homework. Fix it and we make the playoffs. I can’t guarantee that otherwise. Check out Hue sticking up for the boys: Hue Jackson Calls Out Officials

Posted from WordPress for Android

Raiders vs. Vikings: Injuries

image

As the clock winds down to Sunday’s kickoff in Minnesota, let’s take a quick look at the matchup this week. Both teams are missing key players on both sides of the ball, but none more key that Minnesota’s veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield. Although he’s not on the team’s official injury report yet he is not expected to play. His backup, Chris Cook, is sidelined for disciplinary reasons (specifically choking his girlfriend and missing a game while incarcerated), leaving Asher Allen to start in his place. Drafted out of Georgia in 2009 after his junior year by the Vikings, Allen has yet to see extensive playing time in the NFL. In college he was used primarily as a strong side corner but where he excelled was kickoff returns. He is known for his aggressive, heads-up ball play but lacks in speed. If there’s one thing the Raiders receiving corps has it’s speed, and LOTS of it. I see this being a huge determining factor in this game. The Vikings are already one of the worst secondaries in the league and without Winfield they should be sucking hard. Other key Viking injuries include:

Christian Ponder: hand
Michael Jenkins: knee
Husain Abdullah: concussion

It should be noted that Ponder’s injury is to his non-throwing hand and he was a full participant in Wednesdays practice. Jenkins was limited and is likely to play as the Vikes don’t have much depth at WR.

image

The Raiders are going to be yet again without the services of DMac, who is still out with an ankle injury for the 4th straight week in a row, even with a bye in between giving him almost 5 weeks to recover.  Fortunately the Raiders have the best one-two running back duos in the league in McFadden and Bush.  Where the Raiders are hurting is in the secondary. With both rookie corners Chekwa and Van Dyke out with hamstring injuries for last week’s matchup vs. the Chargers, the team was forced to sign yet another cornerback before the game. Lito Sheppard came right in and started with just a few days practice with his new team. So far he has been a solid addition and is expected to start this Sunday again. Chekwa and Van Dyke’s injuries have both improved and it’s quite possible both will be ready to go if needed. Other key injuries include:

Richard Seymour: knee
Samson Satele: knee
Jacoby Ford: foot
Sebastian Janikowski: hamstring
Michael Huff: ankle

image

This isn’t even half the list, just the most important ones. Huff was limited in practice though, so that’s a positive note. If he’s able to play it will be a huge upgrade from Giordano, who has been filling in during his absence. It needs to be noted that the tenacious defensive end Matt Shaughnessy was placed on IR back on October 19. Ex-Bronco first-round pick Jarvis Moss has filled in nicely in his absence, recording several sacks of his own.

image

The Raiders will be facing some pass-heavy offenses in Detroit and Green Bay over the next few weeks so I hope the slew of injuries to the secondary have had time to heal by then. Also, without Seymour in the middle it’s going to be even more crucial the McClain step up and play to the caliber he is capable of in order to stop Adrian Peterson. I still say we blow this one out. Raiders win 35 – 20.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Long Road Ahead, But Smooth

 So we’re coming off of a red hot week 10 that was full of upsets, including our 3rd straight win over the Chargers, and barelling right into week 11. What have we learned so far? Lets have a small recap:
The season starts out rocky as we’re 2-2 after week 4, undoubtedly due to a lack of training camp & OTA’s in the off-season. Next we win back to back games vs. the Texans and, narrowly, the Browns. During the game vs. the Browns the worst possible thing that could happen happened. Jason Campbell incurs a season ending injury while trying to dive for a first down after a scramble. (Watch it here: http://youtu.be/0PoOvFCPVI8, followed by a good interview with him)
Let me first be clear how I view Jason Campbell. I believe Jason Campbell is a good quarterback. He’s not “great”, nor is he going to be showing up in any record books, but he’s smart (well, some may debate this), hard-working, resilient, and shows good leadership skills. That’s what you need at the core of any quarterback if he is worth his weight. Stuff like arm strength and accuracy are secondary to these traits.

Jason was on his way to having a career high season when this happened and it’s a shame. That’s when all hell seemed to break loose. Suddenly all eyes throughout the entire National Football League were upon the Silver & Black, wondering what the next move would be. Rumors were abound of acquiring many different QB’s such as Troy Davis, Bret Favre (could you imagine..), Kyle Orton via trade with Denver, sticking with Boller (yikes), David Garrard, and of course Palmer. When news of the trade came through we suddenly became the scrutiny of every football analyst and armchair quarterback, criticizing us for making such a hasty decision and pissing the organization’s future away on a washed up quarterback with no real value. Fortunately for Palmer and the gang the next 4 weeks feature defenses all ranked 25th or below. We have Minnesota, who at the time I wrote this is ranked 30th vs. the pass.  Then we have Chicago who is ranked 29th, followed by Miami at 25th, and Green Bay at 31st. Now that he’s gotten somewhat acclimated and found a security blanket in Moore it’s time for him to prove his critics wrong and vindicate Hue Jackson’s unorthodox yet necessary decision to make this trade. The road ahead is possibly as easy as it gets. Let’s hope it goes as smooth as it looks on paper.