I couldn't bring myself to write anything for the last month.Aside from the signing of a new center, the only other thing that was going on was the continual discussion of who the RAIDERS want/need/will get/should get in the draft.And to be quite frank I'm all draft decision ed-out.
I mean let's face it, there is only one man that can placate the whole of the Nation when it comes to our No.4 pick, and that is Chris Long.Ok, there may be some RAIDERS fans out there who don't want Chris Long (if available), but they can't be numerous, it's a win win.It's a position of need, he could conceivably play some OLB as well, and he has the blood of a TRUE RAIDER LEGEND in his veins.
I had got to the point where I had given up on the possibility of Long Jnr falling to us at #4, but in recent days the news of Miami talking contracts, however significant this actually is, with the other Long has got me hoping again, although the Rams and Falcons could both throw a spanner in the works too.See there I was saying I was all drafted-out and I'm going round more scenario's in my head again.Suffice to say, I want to see Chris Long in Silver and Black or the toys are going well and truly out of the pram. I like what I've seen of Dorsey, Ellis and McFadden but their dad's weren't RAIDERS where they?Look at how much Kirk Morrison brings to the team and his dad is a RAIDERS fan, never mind Hall Of Famer!
Seriously though, I have given up on the will they, won't they stuff for now, we only have eleven days to wait and then the talking will be over and someone will be the number four pick, unless we trade down, NO STOP IT.The main news of the week of course is the release of the 2008 schedule.
There are two angles to look at from this side of the pond when it comes to the release of a schedule.
1. Are there two home games together? and if so can you get those dates off work?
2. How does the schedule look for the team in general?
Sorry that's the way it is for those of us looking at the never ending grey skies of the north of England for the rest of the year , and once again this year the NFL schedulers have done us proud with two back to back home games in November, and whilst Atlanta and Carolina wouldn't be the opponents of choice ( two divisional games is possibly too much to ask ), it is two games at a good time of year regardless.
It is then that my thoughts turn to how the make-up of the schedule looks for the team.
Well it has to be said that three divisional games out of the first four looks immediately like a season defining run already.We have that tantalising MNF opener at home vs the Donkeys, and its straight off to KC and the Bills before returning to Oakland to face the rotating uniformed Chargers.Right there is a case for the RAIDERS to be up for it from the off.
If all is good in the world, and let's face it alot of that will fall onto the shoulders of JaMarcus Russell, we could conceivably lie 3-1 going into our bye week and jigs will be jigged all over the nation.On the other hand, divisional games are tough, and if it went badly during September then the wind would certainly be taken out of the sails of the RAIDERS season early.
Last year we split wins with the Chiefs and Donkeys, and at least competed in one of the two losses to the Chargers.IF, and yes it may be a big if, we show improvement on those records from last term then September could well hold the key to a much improved season for the Silver and Black.
The post bye schedule has a trip to never easy ( but winnable ) New Orleans, followed by games against the Jets, Ravens and Falcons, so without a doubt games 1 - 7 for the 2008 RAIDERS are an opportunity to finally turn this teams fortunes around.The need to hit the ground running is emphasised by the run-in towards the post season that the RAIDERS face, with trips to Denver, San Diego, and Tampa Bay and the Patriots at home.
From where I am sitting, which is a rather natty whicker number, the RAIDERS have an opportunity early this year to define their season, and did I mention that the addition of Chris Long might help that?
Oh yeah sorry of course I did.