What Oakland really needs is an offensive line. Unfortunately, if the past is any indication, that wont happen anytime soon. Al Davis, in all his infinite wisdom is already doing the opposite by dropping veteran players. Take a wild guess as to how he's going to draft this year.
Just watch for the combine times. Fastest guy, whether he's any good at football or not will get Al's first round draft pick. But that's not going to help the Raiders this year.
Without an offensive line, no quarterback is going to have a chance at doing anything decent. Bruce Gradkowski did what he could last year and he did it fairly well. Why? Because he can scramble and read routes.
Which is the complete opposite of JaMarcus Russell who can neither scramble, nor read routs. Other teams safety's have got to love playing against Russell. He follows one guy from the snap to the throw. It's got to be simple for the other team. Read Russell's eyes and follow the route.
And if you do happen to get through the Raiders weak O-line, hitting Russell is another bonus since he will most likely fumble the ball when he gets hit or drop it while clumsily running around in the back field.
Gradkowski can at least scramble and get away from defenders and he has the poise to throw on the run and actually make contact with the receiver. He doesn't throw it as hard as he can to a guy 10 yards away only to bounce off the receivers chest. It's called ball control, which is something Russell doesn't have.
Regardless of the quarterback situation and the receiver situation (which could definitely improve) the Raiders need to get a decent offensive line before they can start working on receivers and quarterback.
Oh, and one more thing, running up the middle. The Raiders need to stop doing that every. Single. Run. Play. The other team knows its coming. It never works. Stop doing that.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!