Saturday, 8 March 2008


Looking at the RAIDERS prior to the FA market opening up, the main areas of need for the team were pretty clear.DT/DE, WR, OL, S.

So far with Wilson, Walker, Harris, Carter and the re-signing of Tommy Kelly and Cornell Green, it seems like the terminally dysfunctional Silver and Black have spent their time actually dealing with stuff.Maybe, and this is only a maybe, Lane Kiffin has been so quiet with the media since the season ended because he has been busy planning for next.Maybe, just maybe, that "senile old goat" Mr Davis hasn't lost it completely yet, they have even been able to come to a mutual compromise on Dominic Rhodes' contract, this is getting plain weird.

That's what got me thinking, and that isn't always a good thing.If indeed the RAIDERS have a plan, and it seems that they do have some sort of plan to get better, then what have they got up their sleeves?

I have no doubt in my mind that Al would love Chris Long to be a RAIDER, but it seems increasingly unlikely that he will still be there when pick number four comes around, and with the most glaring of team needs seemingly dealt with in free agency, it's becoming increasingly intriguing as to where we will go in the first round of the draft.

The D-line, specifically at DE seems to be an area that could be strengthened further, and with Long gone that would possibly open the way for a pick spent on Vernon Gholston, whose stock seems to be on the rise following impressive showings at the combine and the subsequent Buckeyes pro day.Dorsey and Ellis could still be there at four, but DT looks pretty solid if Sands, Kelly, and Warren are ready to step up.The drafting of Gholston would possibly hint at a switch to Rob Ryans favoured 3-4 scheme.The last time that he tried to implement it the personnel was wrong, but the present D has players that will fit this time around.

With the news that the RAIDERS may be bringing in DeAngelo Hall, giving up our second round draft pick in the process ( which I can't decide is a good thing or not ), the impact of our first round pick becomes almost the final piece in this off-season jigsaw, with us then having no pick until round four.I have two theories on this first round pick right now, I say right now because just when I think I am settled on what the RAIDERS strategy is going to be, they go and sign someone else.As of right now, I am firmly and resolutely, without a shadow of a doubt believe that two things may happen, which automatically means lump your money on exactly the opposite.Either A) Lane Kiffin has persuaded Al to trade down and acquire some picks to load up on more talent, which seems a possibility with Kiffin's college recruitment background, or B) The Raiders will give it one more check out the size of our Silver And Black nuts move, and take Darren McFadden at number four, regardless of need.After all RAIDER NATION it would be hard to begrudge Al his athlete/speed pick after such an aggressive free agency period.

The off season that the RAIDERS have put together so far has been a surprise to me in the level of its aggressiveness, and regardless of the critics, who we will have whatever we do, no-one can deny that we will be better equipped to compete in 2008.The team is improving with the draft to come, and we split games with Denver and KC as it was last year.The raising of the game by the RAIDERS should put us in a position to challenge for the division, and a division title would be a huge step after the last few years.

The OAKLAND RAIDERS of 2008 may just be as big a surprise during the regular season as they have been during the off.And wouldn't that be a smack in the bollocks to those who have been telling us that the sky has been falling for a few weeks now, whatever happens from here, against recent odds the season is something to look forward to with optimism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Al's Mandate is McFadden!

He can get 10-12 carries a game, split out in the slot, return punts and kicks, and play 3rd/Emergency QB, thus allowing Kiff and Al to keep another skill player on the roster as opposed to another QB.

Fills to many needs, has too much speed, Al's nutz are huge, McFadden it is!