Saturday, 21 June 2008


Good to see Monte Poole setting some more un-chartered journalistic standards with an insightful piece in the Trib.I think it was supposed to be about Javon Walker's recent incident in Las Vegas and how this related to his standing on the RAIDERS roster, I say I think because although titled NEW RAIDER WALKER FAILS AS A LEADER , there isn't actually any reference to Javon Walker in there.
"And, tying all that together, leadership. The Raiders have a hole there, and it might be big enough to deflate the hope floated by their extravagant offseason overhaul" explains Monte.
Of course leadership in a team game is extremely important, but I would question Mr Pool's apparent inclusion ( going off the title of his piece ) of Javon Walker in this as well as a general hole across the Raiders roster.
Since JaMarcus Russell's off season workout in Alameda, coming through into OTA's and Mini-Camps, the RAIDERS HC, and various teamates and reporters have remarked on the QB's leadership qualities starting to show themselves, and in fact players looking to him for some leadership, despite his in-experience out on the field.Having a second year franchise QB who is already being spoken of as a leader is quite a good thing, wouldn't you say Mr Poole?
Justin Fargas has already made a point of taking on some veteran leadership this year, and from a player who runs as though every play is his last, that can only be a plus for the RAIDERS.
On the defensive side of the ball we have Kirk Morrison who had already become a leader before Warren Sapp retired, now he is top dog .But add to that his sidekick Howard, the swagger of DeAngelo Hall and Nnamdi Asomugha, and the addition of vets like Spires and Edwards and it seems that there is plenty of opportunity for team leaders to assume that role, if they haven't already.
As far as Javon Walker goes in all this.I accept that he is a vet receiver and was expected to be No.1, but surely Ron Curry is as likely to be a leader in that receiving corps?Plus, if it turns out that Walker was in fact a victim of crime in Vegas, would this exclude him from becoming that type of player in Oakland?Mr Poole?
The leaders on the current RAIDERS team will do their job this season, and if I'm right with who I have suggested to be filling those roles, then that gives us a good three on Offense and three or four on Defense.I'm not sure how many leaders you would need on a team at any one time but that sounds like a start to me.Mr Poole?


Calico Jack said...

Well done, LeighRaider.

Although the Raider team is one of the youngest in the league, there won't be a leadership vacuum.

Typically on most teams, the QB and MLB are the leaders of their respective units. In our case, Russell & Morrison are very worthy candidates to lead.

There are many types of leaders on a 53 man roster. Some are the quiet, leadership by example. Burgess & Curry fit this mold.

There are the vocal, leadership by swagger/performance types as well. Certainly DeAngelo Hall & Nnamdi Asomugha, Jerrod Cooper on Special Teams, and even McFadden at some point can lead by their stellar play on the field.

Usually a team has a long time veteran who the younger players can lean on. Center John Wade has been through the wars. His position is geared towards leading the offensive unit since he calls the protection schemes and actively communicates with the OLine.

Finally, when you look at any NFL franchsie, the triangle of power/leaderhip comes from the owner, Head Coach, and QB. These are the alpha dog leaders who make or break a team's success. Al Davis is one of the most knowledgeable owners in all of football. He did his part by accumulating a ton of talent in the offseason. Lane Kiffin is coming into his own. His energy, moxie, accountability, and direct communication style relates well with the players. JaMarcus Russell is our franchise QB. His leadership is one based on his calm, poised personality and physical gifts. His leadership will develop throughout 2008. He already is the type of QB that his teammates genuinely care about and gravitate towards.

The future is bright no matter what the fish hacks like Poole say.

Anonymous said...

If you cant see that this Raider club is devoid of real leaders then you are either blind or incredibly stupid. Ill go ahead and assume your eyesight is just fine. Did you REALLY name Hall as a potential leader of this team??!!LOL!!!! God help us all!! Do you even watch the NFL?

Calico Jack said...


You are nothing more than just another internet "tough guy". Before you start tossing words around like "blind" or "stupid" I suggest you go back and re-read my entire post again.

My point was simply that the Raiders have different types of potential 'leaders' to include traditional leaders (QB/Russell, MLB/Morrison, Head Coach/Kiffin), leaders by example (Burgess, Curry), vet leaders (Wade) AND other candidates who "lead" by their play on the field. Certainly DeAngelo Hall has all of the tools as a 2 time Pro Bowler to be one of the leaders on D by his play on the field.

Anonymous said...

Deangelo Hall is the antithesis of a "leader". If you DO watch the league, you should know that. Sure the Raiders have "potential" leader, just as they have "potential" all pros and "potentially" a good team year after year. Under Al Davis lately, however, potential is rarely if ever realized. I have a simple question for you, Jack. Do you truly believe this team is on the right path?

kigleigh said...

Poole is in the same category as Tim Kawakami Martin,a barely disguised hater who loves to pour scorn on the RAIDERS organisation,but is slow to come forward when credit of some sort is due.
ADB,I'm sure we that most certainly DO watch the NFL realise that not every talented player is a nice guy,Javon Walker can be as much of a fool as he wants to be just as long as he PLAYS.
Michael Irvin is a Hall Of Famer at WR and i can't think of many less likeable,self promoting fools than him in the history of the league BUT he could sure as hell PLAY.
Don't get me wrong,I'm not comparing what JW or DeAngelo has achieved to Irvin's long and stellar career,just the fact that Irvin was a leader on the field and hence DeAngelo quite clearly can be too.

Calico Jack said...

ADB - yes.

Anonymous said...

Jack, First of all, what makes you say that(Raiders on right track) and how LONG have you been saying that? Ive read your posts over the years and have found you to be an unabashed Raider apologist who thinks EVERY move the old geezer makes is gold.

Calico Jack said...


I have been saying the Raiders are on the right track since last year when Kiffin was hired and Russell was drafted.

Why are the Raiders on the right track ... a core, nucleus of young talented players on both sides of the ball to build a solid foundation.

If you want to go over my last 145 posts on SBF that covers the last 2.5 years, you will notice that I'm far from an AD apologist. I will let you make your ingnorant, knee jerk reactions.

I view myself as a loyal, optimistic yet realistic fan.

Anonymous said...

I agree if Kiff sticks around and Russell keeps working hard this team WOULD be on the right track. But AD is chomping at the bit to get rid of Kiffin and if that happens the whole thing is funkd. As long as Davis is around this team will be stuck in nuetral if not reverse.

Leighraider said...

good to see you back from sunnier climes.I realise we shouldn't let writers like Poole wind us up, but that last piece was just lazy stuff and pointless.
ADB, I'm not sure whether your indignation was meant for me or jack initially, but either way you seem to have a hang up with Hall.But you failed to mention if you agree with Morrison, Russell, Cooper, Asomugha Curry etc.You are entitled to an opinion on Hall, I think he will be a leader, and of course am stupid, but I have been called worse.
How goes it Jack,I agree there are different types of leaders, and Hall/Aso as a combo will be just that I think. I wasn't aware that this would piss anyone off that much, apart from maybe Monte Poole!I don't think we will be seeing ADB at the McAfee anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I know what my problem is, its that I actually want this team to WIN!!!! Imagine that. I know its crazy, but I cant help it. The way I see it there are 2 different type of Raider fans. First you got the " I love Al Davis and the silver and black and they are going to the Superbowl every year and every player we draft is headed to Canton and every move Lord Al makes is pure gold and were the Raiders so get bent and we got 3 rings so suck me" type fans. Then you have guys like myself who can look at the team with open eyes and see how horribly its been ran lately and are so sick of the drama every year courtesy of Al Davis and his senile ego. The way he spent money this year borders on lunacy and he has turned this once proud franchise into the joke of the sports world. Deny ANY of what I said, dare you.

kigleigh said...

Cheers Martin,ADB,I believe that there are actually 3 types of RAIDER fans,the 2 you described and a 3rd type which i like to think i belong to.The regular guy who finds fault in some decisions/actions made by Al or the coaching staff or players like Javon Walker, but also takes great pride in being a RAIDER fan and can see a promising future for our team.You forget maybe,that this once proud franchise as you describe it was MADE proud by the talents of Al Davis as coach AND owner.I don't love Al Davis,i love the RAIDERS but,have some respect ADB,from the uniforms to Lamonica,Matuszak,Plunkett,Flores ,Gruden etc..Al chose them all.
We could have been another Lions/Cardinals type franchise,you know,been nowhere,going nowhere.If you can't take a few lean seasons and manage to be at least a bit positive about all the young talent we have at the RAIDERS right now ADB,you must have it bad..

Anonymous said...

Nah, I dont have it bad. Al has had good days in the past, but those days are over. Hes too old and too senile now. He MUST be stopped, before he absolutely buries this franchise.

Leighraider said...

ADB- Your'e not Pete Rozelle are you?
Anyone who has a love for the RAIDERS has felt the pain of the last few years, trust me its a long way to travel to keep seeing a loss.And the buck stops with Al, the buck also stopped with Al during the Gruden years too, or did he have no input then?
I presume you are putting me in the "I love Al Davis and the S&B and they are going to the SB every year" camp.Sorry matey, I'm English and we aren't nearly as exciteable as that, and we also don't stamp our feet like a big girl if we have a bit of adversity.Jesus my football team at home ( soccer to you ) has won the top league twice in 133 years so I tend to start a season with a little pessimism.Depending on your age you have had 5 SB appearances in 48 years, and another few "if only" moments.Or is that it you weren't around for a SB win so want one now (stamp feet again).Maybe Al's lunacy, as you put it, with his money this off season shows that he feels that he has less time than most to see that happen.I wouldn't begrudge him that.It may be desperate I suppose but I don't believe it makes him senile.I also don't believe that this once proud franchise, which Al built of course, are the biggest joke in world sports, you need to get out more, you haven't heard of Manchester City Football Club obviously.There you go I dared deny something

Calico Jack said...


You like to paint everyone with broad, ignorant brush strokes.
It is unfortunate that you suffer from the disease of "black or white" syndrome which doesn't account for the many shades of grey.

The reason I think you are ignorant is because you act like all Raider fans are alike or fall into 1 of 2 camps that you described. Do you know me personally? You are very entitled to your own opinions but don't make the grave mistake of speaking for others.

You make assumptions about Raider fans based on nothing more than convenience. It is far easier for you to draw a tidy line in the sand than understand the many differences, subtleties, and complexities to any human being.

Each Raider fan has his/her own unique history, personality, background, culture etc. which shapes their perspective about the Raiders and life in general.

In my view, the Raiders have a rich history & tradition that was largely built by Al Davis. For that, he deserves credit and respect. At the same token, he is accountable and largely responsible for the team's miserable failures the past 5 seasons. For that he deserves his fair share of blame and criticism.

If you take a hard look at the free agent splurge this off season and how the Raiders are using their cap space, I think you will realize that Al Davis signed many young, talented players in positions of need. Was it desperation to sign Hall to a lucrative contract considering he is in the prime of his career and a 2 time pro bowler? Was it smart to sign a young Gibril Wilson who has recorded more tackles than any other safety over the past 3 seasons? Was it risky to sign Walker who when healthy has the ability to be a true #1 WR?... Probably but than again we were bare thin at WR so Al rolled the dice. Look, I could go on and on about our off seasons acquisitions but the simple fact remains that the Raiders needed a major infusion of talent and we had an owner willing to sell a big share of his ownership to be able to sign the checks.

My bottom line: The players, coaches, and owner are all fair game for criticism. What you fail to realize is that a fan can be supportive of his team AND critical of any shortcomings simultaneously. A fan can be optimistic about the team's future but realistic at the same time. A fan can respect Al Davis for his contributions but disappointed in
some of his dubious actions.

Lastly, when was the last time you met a "casual" Raider fan? When was the last time you met a Raider fan who was indifferent to wins & losses? EVERY Raider fan wants the team to return to glory. Some of us are just more willing to withstand the downturns in fortune without pouting about it. You want to take your ball and go home until Davis departs this green earth ... go ahead. Last time I checked no one has a gun to any Raider fans head to continue to be a fan. It's called free will.

Anonymous said...

Leigh and CJ,
You BOTH make solid, well thought out points and I regret lumping you in with the first group of fans I described. I really do think there are a ton of fans out there that dont care how many games the team wins just as long as Al Davis is at the helm. I am just gettn so tired of Raider fans whining about the "media" bashing the Raiders and holding the belief that the "media" has some sort of vendetta against AD and the team. Even if it was true, who the hell cares? Get over it. Start winning and the stories will turn positive. Its that simple. As far as your take that the Raiders are NOT the joke of the sporting world, you couldnt be more wrong. Listen to any sports radio station in country and you will here joke after joke about AD and the stumbling franchise he runs. Read any magazine, paper, blog etc. etc. My bottom line.... This team DOES have good players and has some pieces of a winning puzzle. But without someone to put the pieces together, the puzzle will never be completed. Period. Al Davis's time is over, for Raider fans sakes EVERYWHERE he must one day realize this and hand the reigns over to someone else.

Calico Jack said...


I agree with you about a few points. Namely that the media bashing of the Raiders & Al goes with the turf. I also agree that ultimately winning is the cure all for all of the negative stories.

Where I differ with you is on the following points:

"there are a ton of fans out there that dont care how many games the team wins just as long as Al Davis is at the helm"

That is complete rubbish. I have yet to meet a Raider fan who doesn't care about wins & losses. I have been following the team for 37 years and I have yet to come across any Raider fan who is 'ok' with a loss. Period.

I disagree with your statement:

"This team DOES have good players and has some pieces of a winning puzzle. But without someone to put the pieces together, the puzzle will never be completed."

I agree we have some nice pieces in place (thanks to Al BTW) ... but I disagree about not having someone to put the puzzle together. That person is Lane Kiffin. Lane Kiffin (and his staff) are largely responsible for "putting the pieces togehter". I realize Lane is a young Head Coach but I firmly believe he has the right stuff to shape and influence this team into a successful unit. The 2008 season and hopefully beyond will be the final say on whether or not Lane is the right guy.

If I'm not mistaken, the owner is suppose to acquire the talent and the Head Coach is responsible for eeking every last drop of talent out of the unit. Let's see how 2008 goes before we make any final judgments. Capiche?