The writing is on the wall and don't forget that the former wide out from Texas Tech was back to back "Fred Biletnikoff Award Winner", which is awarded for America's top college receiver. A side note to that writing is head coach Tom Cable has picked up four offensive linemen this offseason. (Barnes, Satele, Pears and Johnson)
Which leads me to the fact that the Raiders are finally taking care of something they should have done before they drafted JaMarcus Russell.
Prepare him for success and surround him with protection, but now we must add weapons; mainly receivers and what better weapon than Michael Crabtree?
Crabtree is coming off foot surgery due to an injury he sustained towards the end of last year. He still played and finished the season on a bad wheel, then attempted to work out at the NFL combine but shut it down right before he ran the 40. This showed you his toughness and he still managed to light up the scoreboard against KU, Texas and OSU.
1. He catches the football with his hands! What a great concept to have a receiver NOT catch with his body.
2. He has these tremendous long arms that can outreach any corner back or safety for a jump ball.
3. He can run routes at the pro level because he ran those same routes in the wild-wide open spread offense at Tech.
4. He has the right amount of speed to run those PRECISE routes and then to separate from the defender, like a Marvin Harrison or Hines Ward, maybe better?!?
We had so many problems last season at this position that our tight end led the team in receptions and our actual leading receiver was Johnnie Lee Higgins with 22.
The future is very bright with Schillens, JLH, Shields and hopefully Javon Walker can bring something of his former self to this year's team. If we can add the talent of a Michael Crabtree, the pick must be made! Even over Maclin.
Crabtree would be able to play in week one versus that team from SO-CAL and you combine that with the new O-line, our three-headed monster at running back and future pro-bowler Zach Miller, not to mention our other receivers, we should be able to get off to a really good start.
Now, I know I will have some "Nation" members hollering that we need defense and I could not agree more, but think about how much better the "D" will be when they are not on the field for the entire game? Our offense can sustain drives with no more three and outs? For once the offense can carry its fair share of the workload on game days.
The most important addition by subtraction was already made on defense when we said "adios" to Ryan and welcomed new defensive coordinator John Marshall along with new D-line coach Dwaine Board. A major improvement in my book the second it happened.
*keynote* - if Aaron Curry drops to seven then we must and need to take him! Although the chances are very slim he falls that low.
THIS JUST IN - our defense will no longer have to worry about covering Tony Gonzalez as he is now a Falcon.
Offensively our running game will only get better as Michael Bush will become more involved and he becomes that "Hammer" in our short yardage packages, along with a healthy RUN DMC and Lil' Hug.
Now it's time for the passing game to literally "step it's game up" and Crabtree is already used to being a "Raider", he just needs to get rid of the "Red" and enter "Oakland".
Keep that Raider faith...
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