Let's start with the soft stuff.
Last night I was listening to a couple of Nnamdi Asomugha interviews that he recently did with ESPN, when he apparently spent the whole day at their studios making several appearances on a small variety ESPN shows.
They asked him a lot of questions about Jets' starting corner back Darrell Revis. No doubt, Revis is an outstanding corner back, and Nnamdi gave him a lot of props.
I have long dreamed for Mr. Davis to pull off some blockbuster trade to acquire Revis and line him up next to Nnamdi on Sundays in Silver and Black.
I think Revis is the only other true shut down CB that still has years left in his future in the league. And alas, it is a pipe dream. No such trade will ever happen.
However, it did prompt me to begin a search for the next true shut-down corner back who will come out of college. It was a search that led me to the likes of the suspected first corner back taken in the 2010 NFL draft, Joe Haden.
I have to be honest, I tried not to judge too quickly, but I don't think Haden has that "IT" that it takes to be a shut down man-to-man cover cornerback.
However, while I was watching tape of Haden, I noticed a teammate of his at Florida who happens to be a junior also, and has also declared for the 2010 draft.
That guy is Major Wright. Wright would definitely not be a shut down corner back right away, if ever at all, but man can he ever hit.
I was watching plenty of his tape and he is very impressive. Odds are he will slide down the draft board a bit, to the second or third round. There is talk around that the Raiders will be enamored with USC safety Taylor Mays.
Well if that is the case, I hope they take a long hard look at Major Wright. Again, I don't think he is what I was looking for, but I'm glad I found some tape of him. He is fun to watch. If you haven't checked him out, I would suggest you do so.
The Raiders may be impressed enough with Wright to look for him to be that DB that they always seem to pick in the top few rounds of the draft.
I really think that Taylor Mays is not a good pick, and he leads with his helmet far too much.
So my search continued even though I was impressed with the Major.
I came across this fellow from, where...Ohio University. The same place that brought us last year's second round pick, Mike Mitchell.
Scouts are looking right past this kid, but I was impressed. The kid has put together several videos including one that was about six minutes of just him man-to-man against several different wide receivers explaining his technique and critiquing himself.
There were a few holding plays and some plays that would definitely be considered pass interference, but I just love how aggressive and physical he plays. He might be one of those hidden gems, a la Mike Mitchell.
Thad Turner is a senior from the Ohio Bobcats. He is 6'1" and 183 pounds and when he runs a 40 yard dash at his school's pro day he will likely be in the 4.3 range.
I think he would be a great man-to-man coverage corner back because he is very patient at the line. He also plays very tight to the receiver’s body and does not give them much cushion. He plays the sidelines to his advantage, forcing receivers who take an outside release towards the out of bounds marker.
He is also great at reading routes and getting his head on a swivel to look for the ball. In his video, he talks about reading the receivers' hips to determine their routes, and he is very good at it.
I really think that given the opportunity, Thad Turner could turn into a very strong man-to-man cover corner back in the NFL.
And I really believe when the Raiders turn in the draft card with his name on it, Mel Krapper Jr. will not know who he is either, and he will say, "I had him ranked the 41st corner back on my list." But don't be discouraged Raider Nation; it is a good pick...a good football player.
So now that I've found our hidden gem man-to-man coverage corner back to play the field opposite of Nnamdi Asomugha, I think it's fitting to respond to some of this coaching gossip that has surfaced recently.
After reading several articles from different sources, I came across one from ESPN's Bill Williamson posted on his blog. The following is a direct quote from Williamson's article:
"Senior executive John Herrera said Davis and Cable have talked extensively since the season ended, with many of those discussions coming by phone. Herrera added that talks with prospective head-coaching candidates are 'totally untrue.'
'Most of the characterizations of Al Davis' meetings with the head coach being short or brief are not true either,' Herrera said. 'Mr. Davis has had meetings of some depth with the head coach. There have been meetings and meetings of substance.'"
Based on what I've read in conjunction with John Herrera (Al's right hand man), I really think that Tom Cable will be the head coach of the Oakland Raiders going forward.
I also really think that Al Davis did reach out to Jim Harbaugh, who is the only reported head coaching candidate to not yet issue a statement, but when Harbaugh said he didn't wish to leave Stanford yet, Davis made his decision.
I think that decision was to keep Tom Cable and get him some more help. I really think that Tom Cable will be the head coach next year, John Marshall will be the defensive coordinator, and Baltimore Ravens' QB coach Hue Jackson will come in as the Raiders new offensive coordinator.
Jackson has been credited, in part, for the quickly developing maturity shown by Ravens QB Joe Flacco. In addition, he was partially deemed responsible for the development of Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh as top NFL receivers during his time as Cincinnati Bengals wide Receivers coach from 2004-2006.
Jackson also has experience working with the current staff. He was the offensive coordinator under Paul Hackett during his tenure as USC head coach from 1998-2000. He also worked with Tom Cable as a California Golden Bears offensive coordinator in 1996 when Cable was the offensive line coach there.
I really think that it should be noted that both Jim Fassel and Marc Trestman have issued denial statements in which both men claim to have had no contact with the Raiders organization and both men claim to be focused on their own upcoming seasons with their respective football teams.
That's about all I got for now Raider Nation, but what the heck, one more for the road.
Did you all hear of Rich Gannon's most recent Raiders radio diss? Well with regards to that, I really do think that Rich Gannon should go work for Buffalo Bills G.M. Buddy Nix.
Honestly, it's no wonder they don't let Buddy speak in public that often. Next time he decides to diss the Raiders, I hope he looks in the mirror and realizes that he is the next person in line to call the Oakland Raiders and ask if there are any job openings.