Wednesday, 29 August 2007


The life and times of one Todd Marinovich took a turn for the much worse this week when he was arrested in posession of methamphetamine, hiding in a carport.I remember when the RAIDERS drafted Marinovich, he was touted as a wonderkid, whose father had groomed him for stardom, directing him totally toward life as an NFL quarterback, with little else in the way of a life.At the time it seemed like the RAIDERS were onto a winner, dad Marv had been a RAIDER so it was obvious that we were getting a guy who was destined to wear Silver and Black.Then he got the No.12 jersey and we had a new Snake.
One problem.Todd had developed a commitment to weed and surfing.We all know what happened to his career as a RAIDER, and his present predicament is quite sad .But what is saddest is that the next QB taken in his draft class was Brett Favre.Doh!

Monday, 27 August 2007


The Rams game was the first one available in its entirety in good old blighty, so our views on pre-season have remained in check until now.The game on Friday gave a glimpse of what may come this year, and so in no particular order, here are our thoughts as we watched.

Kiffin has to start wearing BLACK on the sideline.

The starting QB has still to be named, but I would be surprised if the depth chart was anything but Culpepper, McCown, Walter.C Pepp looked composed, and is looking healthy, and although McCown also had a good game, Culpepper has that arm.Walter didn't get too much of a chance to shine but I just don't see him starting.

Johnnie Lee Higgins is going to scare the shit out of opposing teams on special teams and as a contributor on Offense.A mention too for Chris Carr who returned well and a mix of Carr/Higgins will keep teams on their toes on every kick and punt return.

Great play from Josh McCown in the third quarter, backed up to our endzone, rolling out and throwing a great pass to Travis Taylor on the sideline, the fade on the pass meant that only Taylor could catch the ball.

LB Ricky Brown impressed with alot of hussle and good tackling and reading the game well.He seems to be making a real push for a backup spot at LB as well as special teams contributions, which Kiffin has maintained all along will be a consideration when handing out roster spots.

Jay Richardson looks like a steal, bouncing off blockers and making plays and getting pressure up front.Moses didn't get too much time in this game but both guys will make the D line better.Terdell Sands looked like the guy that Rob Ryan has been talking about in camp.This could well be the most disruptive line in the Conference.The Rams had to resort to quick hitch passes to avoid the pressure very early on.This bodes well for our secondary who may well have some hurried passes coming their way.

Jerry Porter.Catch the ball a bit more often.Maybe you should start playing for Al Davis after all.It doesn't seem to be doing Ron Curry any harm, that move he made on the TD catch was pure class.But then again that is the difference between Curry and Porter - CLASS.
Mike Williams started well and looks like a monster when he lines up across from those corners.But he too got a bad case of the dropsies.

The main receiving compliment to Ron Curry was from the tight end position.And not from the expected source.I was busy watching Zach Miller all night and he played well enough, but the guy who really caught my eye was John Madsen, he has great soft hands and runs well after the catch.Madsen showed some flashes last year and could well break through this year as a real threat.He and Miller have upgraded this position to a point where it could be one of our strenghts this season.

George Atkinson loved the hit by Eric Frampton in the second half, where the receiver and ball were separated from one another, and so did I.Hopefully he can make the squad and contribute on ST while developing.

The play of the Offense while not being particularly explosive, was night and day from last season.In the first half we had 16 first downs and 209 total yards.If that turns out to be a fair representation of our offensive output this year then I'll take it.Especially when you consider the way in which the Defense kept a truly horrible offense in games last year, if they keep games close again this time we may see those L's tuning into W's.And the Defense must be fired up to see that their efforts this season may actually be rewarded.

It was nice to see a Head Coach smile on the sideline, Lane Kiffin couldn't help himself following the TD throw to Ron Curry.Its a long time since we saw a HC a) Smile and b) Have a clue.

Kirk f@#*#ng Morrison.BOOOOOM.That hit on Leonard was a thing of beauty.

Lamont Jordan once again underwhelmed me.I know he has had a couple of decent-ish showings so far in the pre-season, but I still think that he hits the hole at less than full effort.Hopefully Fargas can step up and offer the change up needed in the backfield as at least he runs hard every play.The loss of Rhodes for those four games may hurt us more than I initially thought.Echemandu could be the surprise guy, again hr runs with heart and finishes off his runs.

The O-Line (except for a couple of collapsed pockets) gave the QB' s time to throw and opened up lanes for the backs.The decision on center seems to be un-resolved with Newberry and Grove sharing the load and coming in and out of the game.I believe that the QB starting position will dictate the center starting guy.Looking at Fridays game I would lean in the direction of a Culpepper/Newberry combination.

Seabass.He still remains an infuriating player.He boomed kicks through the endzone to negate the threat of Dante Hall.He nailed a fifty yard FG with some to spare.And he missed a thirty three yarder, which for him should be a chipshot.With Kiffin's perspective on accountability, this season could well be a defining one for Seabass.

All in all the future looks bright, we may not need shades just yet but the sun is definitely emerging from the stormclouds of last year.

Monday, 20 August 2007


John Lynch pictured during his post-game interview, following the Denver Broncos loss to the Dallas Cowboys this weekend.Waaaah, they blitzed, waaaah they played serious, waaaah.

Monday, 13 August 2007


During Saturday nights radio broadcast of the post-game show on KSFO, Greg Papa relayed a message from Al Davis regarding the ongoing negotiations with Billy Bigpockets, sorry, I mean JaMarcus Russell.Al made it clear that the RAIDERS have made a contract offer which is the highest ever made to a #1 pick.Still no response from Russell's side.If he ever gets his arse into work, hopefully he will made to get the lunches, play waterboy during training, and put a nice shine on Al and Amy's office furniture.

On NFL total access this week, Randy Moss gave an interview telling us all about what it's like to be a Patsie.I am well over Moss, but it was the reaction in the studio afterwards that was most interesting.First some thoughts from Mr Teamplayer himself......

"We are going to work hard everyday", "I want to go out and contribute to my team", "I want to do whatever I can to help my team", "The thing about losing is how you handle it".

That last one is a particular beauty, of course Randy handled it very well.

Back to the studio, where Jamie Dukes tells us he would have Moss on his team, because it wasn't his fault that the Raiders offense was so bad, so he had to say something about it as a vet player blah blah blah.Enter Jim Mora, looking at Gnarls Barkley like he'd lost his mind.Mora reminded him that you dont quit on your teamates, you dont give up on routes and games, and that as a senior player you go to work and do your best to make things better.Nice one coach, I always liked Jim Mora.

It was noted this week that Raiderette Cole is no longer on the squad.This is terrble news here at the Pond.Some things just don't seem fair, and its hard to get through the day after suffering a setback of this magnitude.I can't remember such bad news since Lamont Jordan signed a new contract.If anyone in the RAIDERS organisation can rectify this (on both points) it would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 10 August 2007


Just in case JaMarcus Russell isn't sure on the whereabouts of the Oakland Raiders training camp, above is a clue.
You may be a #1 draft pick, and a local celebrity in Mobile Alabama, but in Oaktown at the moment you are a fourth string QB, whose popularity within the Raider Nation is in decline.It was unlikely that you would begin this season as a starter, it is now unlikely that you will throw an NFL pass until next year at the earliest.The last No.1 picked QB Alex Smith signed a contract that guaranteed him $24,000,000, and he started 7 games in his rookie season.
It may be that your agent has filled your head with alot of nonsense, but Calvin Johnson has signed for somewhwere in the region of $26.2 guaranteed, and last year the top picks were all within a million of each other, so the market suggests that you are worth between $26.2 and $27.5 million guaranteed money.Not bad for a guy who wasn't on many radars until that bowl game.
JaMarcus, this is the Oakland Raiders, THE OAKLAND RAIDERS, and if you can't get your head around what an opportunity it is to be paid millions of pounds to be a Raider then you may as well sit at home in Alabama for the rest of the year.Get it sorted Mr Russell, and then get your backside to Napa to hold a Silver and Black clipboard, and a bit of P.R with the fans may be useful, the Nation never forgets.