This season started with a lot of optimism, with all the big-name players brought in. I for one, did not buy it though, and I'm glad I did not.
Let's travel back to the end of the season last year. It's mid-February and Raider fans are jabbering about what they'd like done in the offseason to make this team more successful again. "We need a big name WR, Fabian Washington sucks, we need O-Lineman..." etc etc, well, guess what? You all got what you wanted and everyone thought everything was set in Oakland. Looks like everyone was wrong.
Let's start w/DeAngelo Hall. Madden players everywhere think this guy has been great for many, many years because he's "been to some Pro Bowls and has 20,823 career INTs" (not literally obviously). And let's not forget he has a 96 rating on Madden also. He's got to be good.
If you watch football, you'd know he's been trash pretty much his entire career. The guy flaps his mouth and runs fast so he's got to be good. Nope, it just got his name out there. The guy is a marketing genius if you look at it.
First round draft pick, never did much except run his mouth, although it did not translate on the field, but the guy has received HUGE contracts in both places of employment...For running his mouth. I knew that wouldn't help this team while people attempted to tell me wrong.
Next, let's talk about Javon Walker. We got our big name WR right?? Why does everyone think Russell is ready to be a QB?? A big name WR was NOT needed, and that money could have gone elsewhere. And people, PLEASE remember this when the offseason comes around and everyone thinks we need to draft Michael Crabtree.
NO! we DO NOT need WRs, we need offensive linemen to block for Russell. If you give any QB time to throw, he will find someone. The Walker signing was worthless, and it looks like he's next on the chopping block and I will say good riddance. Enjoy your money that you did nothing to earn.
Kwame Harris. Where do I start? I'm not going to start. He is, BY FAR, the worst left tackle in the NFL right now. Period. Just watch a game, it's very evident. Opposing edge rushers love him though, seeing as I've heard Julius Peppers and John Abraham each bought him a new car the following Mondays after playing each other.
Now about our "dynamic, game changing RB" drafted in the first round. I have gone on record saying I did not want this guy AT ALL, and he was extremely overrated and not even close to being worth the fourth-overall pick. Looks like thus far, I have been right.
Don't give me this "he's injured" thing, it doesn't matter to me. Running backs are the easiest holes to fill in the NFL. If you're drafted fourth overall and are a running back, you should be getting 20 reps a game. He has had one good game against one of the worst teams in the NFL.
At least Al is consistent with his drafting. Wasted first-round pick after wasted first-round pick. Hopefully this stops soon, but I have a feeling that the aforementioned Crabtree will be wearing silver and black next year, which will turn out to be another terrible decision.
It isn't all bad though, there has been some good. Nnamdi. What can we say about the guy that's bad? Oh wait, I know, he'll be gone next season. Sorry, but can anyone see this guy wanting to stick around? He wants to win; he doesn't like the recent decisions made, especially regarding Hall.
He must play Madden a lot, too.
I'm hoping the releasing of Hall and soon, other big names, means he's going to get paid, because one thing is for sure, he deserves it. One can't brag too much about Raider personnel these days, but Nnamdi is the best CB in the NFL, and it's not even close.
Trevor Scott is another bright spot. The rookie DE from Buffalo has registered three sacks as of now in very limited playing time and has been a good addition to special teams. One thing I have no completely liked is that he has had a few penalties in his limited play, but that will come with experience. The future looks bright for this kid; let's see how he progresses.
Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison are still quite a duo in the linebacking corp and anyone who did not already know this, doesn't follow the Raiders. My biggest fear is losing these guys just like we lost Eric Barton and Napoleon Harris, both of which were some of my favorite Raiders. Al seems to be fond of them (especially Howard's speed...go figure), so hopefully he's going to keep these guys around.
Some bad and some good have been touched on thus far here, but here is my biggest beef with this season. The firing of Lane Kiffin. Anyone who has watched this team for the past couple years can tell this team played differently under Kiffin. They believed in him, they liked him, and they respected him.
Al just though that since he brought in all the overrated big names, he should be winning, and when it wasn't happening, it's automatically Kiffin's fault. It's a terrible thing, but it's completely true. Cable hasn't got the team back to that form yet, and I doubt he will seeing how I feel he will not be the coach next season.
What can we all hope for out of Cable? To get this team enough wins to be drafting later so Crabtree is off the board and we can pick up some different personnel. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
The team has lost some very close games, mostly under Kiffin, but the defense seemed to play with a swagger against the Panthers last week. They seemed in place, they seemed excited, they seemed to play...Like they WANTED to win. Amazing, considering how everyone seemingly did not like the decision to release Hall.
Go figure, a team gets rid of a cancer and they play better, even when they seemed like they didn't want it that way. It makes sense though, you get rid of one of the worst CBs in the league, of course you'll get better. Looks like that held true, as the Panthers were shut down for the most part.
Raider fans, don't get bent out of shape when a fellow fan rips the decisions made. The team needs depth and talent in the trenches and that is really about it. It will not be addressed in the offseason though, due to Al's way of thinking. "More DBs, more WRs, and more speed". It will not translate into wins.
Now for news: There is a rumor floating about that John Madden could be brought in as a GM next season. I'm all for it. He's a joke in the broadcast booth, but he's been a successful coach who has coached some of the best people to ever step on the field.
We still got half a season left, Raider fans, let's just hope Russell can progress from a bad QB to an OK, or even a good QB before the season's end.
The only bad thing is Kwame Harris will more than likely be blocking his backside and not even Tom Brady could succeed with that happening. Bring out Mario Henderson, why not?