So far this offseason, the Raiders have made some good moves. Let's recap.
First, we kept our head coach and regardless of what people think, TC is a good head coach and definitely has his players motivated. There is always an exception - J Russ, but that is a story for another article. Last year it has been documented to death, Cable was spread too thin, unlike J Russ, but again I digress. So to offload some responsibility, on to our second good move.
Enter new OC Hugh Jackson. Hugh has been successful in the NFL with every position and adding another football mind to mix can only help. Again, there is always an exception - Tom Walsh, but that horse was beaten to death too. Around league circles, many feel Hugh will be a successful head coach some day. Hopefully not in the next two years.
Rounding out the trifecta on good coaching moves, we kept Marshall as DC. He definitely threw in some wrinkles in 2009 and with another year with these guys, look for big improvements.
On to FA, where we signed our best players, Sea Bass and Seymour, both excellent moves to new contracts. Perhaps the best FA move was the signing of Cornell Green by Buffalo, guaranteeing we get better play from our right tackle position. One other move I like ALOT is the FA signing of Yeoman Figures, the speedy return specialist. Do we ever need one!
In our only trade, we acquired Kameron Wimbley, who we tried to pry away from Cleveland last year but to no avail. He will certainly help with our pass rush and run defense. Expect him to move around like Trevor Scott, mostly at LB but at times with his hand on the ground.
In the trade that didn’t happen, McNabb for whatever – I say, “whatever”!
Let’s turn our attention to the draft. At number eight, select Rolando McLain or trade down, (not likely) and get Witherspoon for the middle of our defense.
Announce the signing of Grady Jackson and give him 20 snaps a game to help stop the run.
Our D line of Shaughnessy, Grady, Kelly & Seymour and LB’s Scott, McClain and Wimbley on 1st & 2nd downs. On 3rd down, Grady gets carried off for oxygen, Seymour drops inside, Scott and Wimbley rotate at DE and the LB’s are Wimbley or Scott, McClain and Howard.
And for good measure, every now and then, we have the personnel to give offenses a 3-4 look.
That gives us 3 new starters (not including Shaughnessy for Ellis) in the front seven with our young secondary improving every game.
Our next pick, we look to get strong on the O Line. We trade up in to the middle to late first round to get Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida or Mike Iupati, G/T, Idaho. We give up our second this year, a player i.e. Morrison and maybe a fourth next year as an idea. Either one of these players turns one position from weak to potentially excellent.
I have been wondering why we have not jumped on RFA J Gaither, but maybe Hugh knows why. Perhaps with the McNabb ordeal behind us, our second will be traded for Gaither soon.
With our third round selection, take the best remaining lineman to solidify the offensive line. After that, take a developmental QB, CB and best available player.
Speaking of QB, is Gradkowski the answer? I don’t know, but he showed that he just may be the next Rich Gannon. Either way, I would sign Marc Bulger….he’s free and he ain’t J Russ. Let’s face it, the last few years the Rams nearly got him killed behind a horrific offensive line. With the draft strategy laid out above, who ever ends up under center, will be a major improvement over last year’s mess.
So do I get the title of the Raiders new GM?