10 Good and Bad Moves the Oakland Raiders Have (or Haven't) Made This Year
Well, for better or for worse, the Raiders' preseason is now officially over.
For the Raiders, the next game they take the field for, will be one for real, against the Denver Broncos on September 12.
Since the last game ended, against Kansas City on the Road, the Raiders have done some interesting things.
Some good, some...well, you be the judge.
10. Firing Tom Cable
Going back to last year, Tom Cable with Hue Jackson had managed to build a tough AFC West squad. This team, going 6-0 in the division was impressive, but going 2-8 helped lock the Raiders out of the playoffs. Even more surprising, was that Al Davis, after firing Tom Cable would mention that even if Tom Cable had reached the playoffs, he was done with him.
Of course, firing the only coach to get the team back to .500 for a season, since the 2002 squad was bound to have some side effects. Players felt loyal to Cable, which would in turn cause other problems, once the lockout ended. However one player, before the lockout even began, admitted he wouldn't return...
9. Robert Gallery Flies North for the Winter
Robert Gallery. For most of the league, this first-round draft pick was a bust, but with Tom Cable's help, managed to put together a good resume as a guard in the NFL.
Robert's loss could be painful for the Raiders, who usually would see his 76 block out two guys, or crank open a slot for McFadden or Bush to bust through.
Call it paranoia, but this one will hurt, until we find his replacement.
8. Zach Miller, Follows the Money Trail
Zach Miller, long considered the best offensive threat for the Raiders during our dark age, was originally slated to be just a restricted free agent, by the old Collective Bargaining Agreement.
However, when the new one was signed, Zach turned into a good free-agent option. Players around the league swapped jerseys, watching some make serious money while others apparently wanted to go and win a title.
For Zach, apparently the money came calling and an old friend apparently also came calling. Tom Cable would wine and dine Zach, and when Al Davis was unwilling to pay what he was worth...Zach Miller asked for his mail to be forwarded.
What strikes me as foolish, is Al's history with the Raiders. We've seen the likes of Dave Casper and Todd Christensen come along as tight ends....did he rob these guys too? Or was the "Cable factor" the final straw?
Oakland, in an effort to replace Zach, went out and picked up Kevin Boss, formerly from the Giants...but it'll be hard to fill those shoes.
7. Asomugha No More
Any ideas on what to do with about one million Raiders 21 jerseys?
You get the feeling, about the same way when the Raiders ditched Randy Moss...however the two players are miles apart.
Moss, who did OK his first year, quit on us his second season...and was shipped out. Asomugha, playing hard for the Raiders, apparently even left the door open for Al Davis...and apparently he forgot who was behind it.
Asomugha wound up getting a good contract with the Eagles, but given how bad DeMarcus Van Dyke has looked this preseason...could be a long offseason.
6. Terrelle Pryor Signs with the Oakland Raiders
When the Raiders made a third-round pick become Terrelle Pryor, it had to turn some heads. Being that it also cost us a third-round pick next year, due to supplemental draft rules, it will be interesting to see if we truly get our money's worth.
This selection, also can go in different directions. True, the Raiders recently just lost too much money to count on someone wearing a No. 2...but there is also an upside. Can you imagine Russell being a WR or TE option?
It was just released that Pryor is going to fight the suspension that he was dealt at Ohio State and transferred with him to the NFL...granted, there is a major difference between college football and the NFL...in the NFL, you get paid to play, legally. Plus, the Raiders probably don't want him any further behind the curve as he was drafted late in the preseason...the experience, if he can get several games lifted off his season can only help him adapt to the league.
5. Ocho Cinco, Moss No-Show
Call it a good thing when problems don't come to Oakland.
For the Raiders, early in the preseason free-agency circus, the team tried to lure both Randy Moss and Chad Ocho Cinco to the Raiders. Why? Who knows.
Thankfully, both players are not here. Chad is going to be playing with the Patriots to get under the hoodie of Belichick, while Moss, sensing no love in the money market, chose to retire, ending his career.
Some have said that Chad could still be a valuable weapon on our offense, while Moss...I'm not sure what Al Davis was thinking.
4. Oakland Hits the Ground Running
Considering our depth at Running Back, the Raiders have to love what is possible on the ground.
Since the days of Marcus Allen's early career, the Raiders have seen an interesting group of backs coming down the pipe. Some, like Bo Jackson lasted but shone brightly, while some, like Eric Dickerson were brought in as stopgap measures, then allowed to move on.
Starting with Darren McFadden and Michael Bush, the Raider Nation got a good look at what these players can bring to the league...and the Raiders added a third weapon in Taiwan Jones.
Considering the fact that each back could be flipped in at will, leaving opposing teams shaking their heads...Oakland could look like a cross-country team in the NFL.
And no, I didn't forget Marcel Reece's speed either.
3. Denarius Moore and David Ausberry, Rookie Flight Squad
For the Raiders, the future does have some bright spots, including David Ausberry, a seventh-round draft pick and Denarius Moore, a fifth-round pick in 2011.
Moore instantly caught on as a skilled WR, while Ausberry helped his own cause at TE, making a textbook end-zone touchdown catch.
True, the Raiders have had other fast players show up in the preseason, then fall apart during the regular season. But given the string of injuries that allow these rookies the chance to perform, both of these players could see starting jobs before the season ends.
2. Hue Jackson Stays in Camp
For the Raiders, they did do one thing right after canning Tom Cable.
They stayed in the house and didn't lose Hue Jackson to anyone else. If they did, who knows how ugly 2011 would turn out.
Hue, as it is, will be working with several new pieces to his coaching staff, as some coaches were replaced, Hue will help the team keep some semblance of order on the sidelines. With Al Saunders on the OC spot, the team should be able to find some creative uses for all the speed it can produce.
Either that, or the team will go to the Olympics and sweep the track and field competition.
1. Leaving Jason Campbell Alone
Granted, when Jason Campbell looked good, he looked good...but when he looked bad, you'd think a local high school QB could replace him.
But as it is, Jason Campbell has been dealing with doubters since the team that drafted him, the Redskins, kept playing revolving door on the coaches teaching him.
So for Jason, coming into this season, he will be mentoring a young quarterback in Pryor...does that mean Jason's done after this year?
Probably not, if Jason can play himself into another season. After all, Jim Plunkett wound up holding off Marc Wilson for a number of seasons...by the time Jim was forced into retirement, Marc Wilson was pretty much out of gas too.
Good luck Jason...keep your job, by earning it.
Sadly, the wild card goes to the injuries...Oakland will miss Hiram Eugene, after suffering a major injury early in the preseason.
Here's to a heck of a competitor...and may we not lose any more players for the remainder of the year.