Hi, im Grant Bartolo from Southern Cali n this is my first article on Bleacher Report.
Well, the Oakland Raiders...what a ride theyve been on in the past years. well, that ride will come to a halt, because i think Mr. Davis FINALLY has this team steered in the right direction. This offseason has been successful; even cable punching the dumb assistant was successful; it shows the raiders old school style of football. I just wish that Cable could give these guys more discipline; he prolly will.
Cable is the best coach the Raiders have had in years; he has the confidence of Mr. Davis (no new coach this year), and he finally preached the fundamentals in his "learning intensive" practices early in training camp. The way he does things makes sense; he has made the Raiders a more organized football team, and a less dysfunctional one that is more predictable than it used to be.
This offseason has been a success. Al hasn't overpayed on players with horrible attitudes (Deangelo Hall, Javon Walker), and he has made moves similar to the ones he made in 2002. he brought in veterans like Lorenzo Neal and jeff Garcia to give the Raiders more discipline and leadership. Even though they got cut, i still think the young Raiders learned alot from them (Jamarcus Russell, Oren O'neal). We also got quality veterans like Greg Ellis, who still has a pass rush (8 sacks last year), and is a better run stopper and leader than Burgess was. We also got quality compensation for Burgess ( 3rd and 4th round picks). We finally beat the Patriots in trade value. by the way, Al didn't trade Moss; Michael Lombardi did. DUMBASS he was. Bowie has to be cut. His pass coverage skills are AWFUL.
Well, Richard Seymour. What a great trade by Mr. Davis. He knows that the cream of the crop draft is in 2010, and the bad draft is in 2011, so he traded a 2011 1st round draft pick for a proven Pro Bowl DE/DT. He is only 29, and had 50 tackles for 8 sacks last season in 15 games. By the time the Patriots get any compensation, we will be a playoff team, and besides, Al Davis has a bad track record with #1 picks, but he gets steals in later rounds. Richard Seymour will help us stop the run, and give us a pass rusher off the edge, or inside. This was a steal by Mr. Davis, and he will improve our defense immensly.
Now, for the offense. We need to get rid of Fargas, aand trade him for a linebacker. Run DMC will rush for 1,000 yards this season, and Bush will get a lot of scores in the red zone. He'll be our goal line back. Fargas is expendable; we need to give the ball to Run DMC. Our recievers are getting more consistent. Chaz Schilens looked great in the preseason game he played; DHB is learning (he was a good pick, although i wished Oakland would have traded their picked for Denver's #12), Javon Walker took a huge paycut, and is now starting o become his former self. JLH is also a fast target who, likeschilens, emerged late last season. Zach Miller is a top 5 TE in the NFL, Robert Gallery is starting to become a good draft pick for Oakland (he'll be a Pro Bowler this year), and the huge Mario Henderson will be a good option at Left Tackle ( an Al Davis draft pick). Khalif Barnes was a good addition at Right Tackle. Our Offensive Line will be much better this season. And last but not least, the Quarterback, JaMarcus Russell. He'll be better this season; he has started to show leadership skills, and he has gotten better.He will throw for 15 TD passes this season DHB will catch 5 of them.
Now, for the defense. I will bet they will be in the top 10 to 20, and in the top 10 in pass defense, and now, with Seymour, top 20 in the run defense. The front four will be Seymour at RDE, Gerard Warren, who, at times, is one of the best DT's in the NFL, at RDT. I like him alot. Tommy Kelly will be at LDT. Seymour will free Kelly up, thus allowing him to get to the quarterback, and cause havoc; plus, he'll show hes worth the money. he's a top 10 DT i'd say, but he's gettin double teamed all the time. at LDE will be Greg Ellis, who will get some sacks and will generate more pressure on the quarterback. It was a good pickup on Al's part; he's a better run stopper than Burgess was, and he's a leader who has been places. Our front four is top 10 in the NFL. Our linebacker corps is fast and quick. Alston has bulked up, and he will be solid. Ricky Brown is ok, I guess; i just wish the Raiders would have gotten Derrick Brooks for a 1 year contract. Kirk Morrison will now be able to stuff runners at the line of scrimmage, and be a real leader at MLB. he's fast and he has good tackling skills. He's my favorite Raider, and a Pro Bowl caliber player. Same goes for Thomas Howard, who is one of the fastest linebackers in the entire NFL. He's solid, and a great linebacker. I like him a lot. Our corners have awful ball skills; they're fast, but have no football IQ. Nnamadi and Chris Johnson are the Raiders best corners. Nnamadi is the best in the NFL, and Johnson uses his lightning quick speed (4.18 40 yard dash) to make plays. He also has some football IQ, and he is way better than DeAngelo Hall. We need a 3rd corner (Ricky Manning Jr). Our safeties are young and talented. Mike Mitchell will be good one day, Tyvon Branch is a hard hitter, like Mitchell, has speed like Mitchell, and they both have instincts and tackling skills. Michael Huff is gonna bounce back this season, and Hiram Eugene is a leader, like Chris Johnson. Our special teams is one of thee best in the league. Our defense will be top 20 for sure.
In next years draft we need to get either that Suh guy from Nebraska in the first round, or Taylor Mays. We still need depth at DT, even though Desmond Bryant was an undrafted free agent steal, and is smart. Suh will help our run defense even more. He also has a pass rush, and remarkable speed for a man his size. Taylor Mays is a hard hitter and will help our safety corps immensly. I'd be happy to see him and Mike Mitchell in the backfield. Branch would offer good depth. We should have kept Terdell Sands for depth, but I can see why we cut him. We almost had Michael Johnson in the 3rd round last year. I was so pissed when Cincy picked him. Shaughnessy is ok though. We also need a corner back (a smart one with ball skills), an outside linebacker (a fast one), and a middle linebacker (Rolando McClainw would be an instant starter; has run stopping skills, and is an absolute beast.) We need Offensive Line depth also. Hopefully, Al makes a good decision.
Well, with this is predict the raiders record will be 8-8. We might even make the playoffs. Al Davis is doing a good job, and the Raiders are improving. We are on the right track, capped by a successful offseason, and hopefully, this success will translate into the regular season. GO RAIDERS!!!!!