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Fire Me Boy!
07-08-2005, 04:09 PM
Sorry if it's a repost, but I didn't see it on the first two pages... could have overlooked it though.


GRETZ: Off-Season Look AFC West: Oakland
http://www.kcchiefs.com/news/2005/07/08/gretz_offseason_look_afc_west_oakland/


OK, so letís assume the additions of Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan to the Oakland offense means the Raders will score more points this season.

But will those extra points be enough? It may not be with the defense the Raders put on the field. After finishing among the three worst teams in stopping people last year, Al Davis has done little to improve his dreadful unit. In fact, the Raders got rid of one of their better linebackers, sending Napoleon Harris to Minnesota in the deal for Moss. They also dumped underachieving CB Philip Buchanon in a trade to Houston.

More on the defensive deficiencies later; itís more fun to look at the Raders offense and speculate how many TDs they may be able to score if everything comes together.

That however, remains a big if. Making a trade for Moss, signing Jordan as a free agent, keeping Jerry Porter happy with a new contract and establishing Kerry Collins as the unquestioned starter at quarterback is a plan. But Jordan has never been the featured back, Collins has thrown more interceptions over his career than touchdowns and it may be impossible to keep both Moss and Porter smiling at the same time.

Luckily for the Raders, they have head coach Norv Turner. When it comes to setting up an offense, Turner is as good as it gets in the NFL. If Davis keeps the meddling with Turner and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye to a minimum, the Raders will be a factor.

Hereís a look at the 2005 Raders as they get ready to start the season:

OFFENSE Ė Moss and Porter give the Raders possibly the most explosive wide receiving pair in the league, second only to Indyís duo of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Everybody knows Mossí story and history. Yes, he plays when he wants to play. Heís moody. He wonít always do the right thing. But in seven seasons with the Vikings, Moss averaged 82 catches for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns per year. Thereís no denying his talent and his ability to turn every game on every single play.

After years of promise, Porter broke through last season once Jerry Rice and Tim Brown were dispatched. His 64 catches for 998 yards and nine touchdowns led the team. If Ronald Curry comes back from the Achilles injury he suffered against the Chiefs last season, thatís a very athletic, tough and big group of receivers. But Oakland traded their best tight end in Doug Jolley (to NY Jets) and now focuses on Courtney Anderson and an underachieving Teyo Johnson at that position.

What the Raders didnít have last year was any type of consistent running game. Five different backs finished the season with more than 100 yards rushing for the season, but none had more than 425 yards. Overall, the Raders were last in rushing, averaging just 81 yards a game. That wasnít even half of the league leaderís average, as Atlanta put up 167 yards per game.

Jordan comes over from the Jets, where he served as Curtis Martinís understudy; in the last four seasons he averaged only 65.5 carries per season. His 479 rushing yards last season was his career high. Heís never started an NFL game. Can Jordan be the featured back? Heíll have his chance, because there isnít much on the depth chart behind him (Justin Fargas.)

Collins is never going to be the most efficient quarterback in the league. The best passer rating in his career was 85.4 with the Giants in 2002; last year, that would have him ranked 15th among all NFL quarterbacks. Heís always going to throw interceptions and his 20 last year tied for the league lead. His completion percentage is never going to be among the leagueís best. But, he has what Davis wants from his quarterback: a strong arm and a willingness to throw it long.

The Raders have rather quietly built a pretty good offensive line, although theyíve done some shuffling for this season. Langston Walker moves from right tackle to left guard. Jake Grove moves from right guard to center and Brad Badger goes from left guard to right guard. Theyíve got Barry Sims at left tackle and last yearís No. 1 Robert Gallery at right tackle.

Successful offensive production will come down to this: Jordanís ability to be the ďmanĒ in the running game and Collinsí decision making.

DEFENSE: After fooling around with the 3-4 last year, it appears the Raders will go back to a 4-3 this season, although Turner says theyíll probably use variations of both schemes at different times. What does that mean? It means we canít beat you with our talent, so we are going to scheme it up and hope we confuse the offense.

The problem is not scheme, but talent. Along the defensive line, the Raders have Ted Washington and Warren Sapp on the inside, with free agent signee Derrick Burgess and Tyler Brayton on the ends, although Turner is talking about Brayton staying at outside linebacker where he played last year. Washington is 37 years old and pushing 400 pounds. The 32-year old Sapp is at the end of a good career, but was a major disappointment last season.

Burgess comes over from the Eagles, where he had a big post-season with 10 tackles and three sacks. But heís never been able to stay healthy, missing four games last year, the entire 2003 season and he played in only one game during the 2002 year. He had only 2.5 sacks during the 2004 regular season. The backups are weak; rookie free agent DT Tommy Kelly led the team in sacks last year with four in 10 games.

Weaker is the best description of the Raders linebackers. The projected starting group of Sam Williams, Danny Clark and Travian Smith wonít scare anyone. Veteran Jay Foreman was added from Houston. The Raders are high on third-round draft choice Kirk Morrison.

The secondary has three former first-round picks and this yearís No. 1, CB Fabian Washington. Charles Woodson can be the best corner in the league on the days when he wants to be; there have not been many of those days in recent seasons. With Buchanon dispatched, Nnamdi Asomugha is penciled in as the starter at right corner, although Washington figures to give him a run for his money. Safeties Derrick Gibson and Stuart Schweigert are adequate.

There is nothing special among this defensive talent. They showed that last year, allowing 51 offensive touchdowns, 245 passing yards per game, while picking up just 25 sacks and forcing only 18 turnovers. Only Green Bay and St. Louis had fewer takeaways and only Houston had fewer sacks.

Whatís been done to improve that group? Next to nothing.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A strong point is the kicking game, with Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler. On field goals, Janikowski made 25 of 28 and hit a pair of 50-yard plus boots. Lechler led the NFL in punting last year with a 46.7-yard average. But despite all the speed Davis likes to collect, the Raders got nothing from their return game last year. They were 30th in punt returns and 25th in kick returns. They ended up 29th in both kick and punt coverage.

CONCLUSION: Itís hard to consider the Raders a threat for a spot in the playoffs with this defense and overall poor special teams play. Even with the offensive weapons at their disposal, that side of the ball remains an unknown and volatile mix. The Raders have put a lot of faith in Jordanís ability to become their version of Priest Holmes. Whether the Raders atmosphere will be any better for Moss remains to be seen, and Collins is probably the most hot and cold quarterback in the league.

At best, this looks like a .500 team. That would be an improvement over last yearís 5-11 record, but probably not enough to keep Moss quiet, satisfy Davis or keep Turner employed for another season.

HemiEd
07-08-2005, 04:46 PM
ROFL Damn that is funny, he does not even know how to spell the name of a division rival.
The Raiders have Jimmy Raye as an O coordinator, how did I miss that. ROFL

Reaper16
07-08-2005, 05:49 PM
ROFL Damn that is funny, he does not even know how to spell the name of a division rival.
The Raiders have Jimmy Raye as an O coordinator, how did I miss that. ROFL

obv. Fire Me took out the i in thier name so that steaming turd picture wouldn't show up. It's spelled correctly in the article.

Fire Me Boy!
07-08-2005, 08:03 PM
obv. Fire Me took out the i in thier name so that steaming turd picture wouldn't show up. It's spelled correctly in the article.
Yeah, when I posted the article the first time (name spelled correctly) the server refused it because it had too many images (turd piles) attached.

HemiEd
07-08-2005, 08:11 PM
Yeah, when I posted the article the first time (name spelled correctly) the server refused it because it had too many images (turd piles) attached.

I wondered after I posted if something like that was not the case. Nice job, I hate the Raiders.

Fire Me Boy!
07-08-2005, 09:55 PM
I wondered after I posted if something like that was not the case. Nice job, I hate the Raiders.
Me too.

Reaper16
07-08-2005, 10:10 PM
Me too.

Oh, yeah. count me in on the Raidah hatin'.

Over-Head
07-08-2005, 10:11 PM
Although most of the off season move's left me confused, I still have faith in my boy's :)
In reality I hope that:
Moss actually play's a full game before throwing a hissy fit
Woodson get's over himself for 30 seconds
and
Collins can actually complete a pass :banghead:

Other than that here we come :D

HemiEd
07-08-2005, 10:25 PM
Although most of the off season move's left me confused, I still have faith in my boy's :)
In reality I hope that:
Moss actually play's a full game before throwing a hissy fit
Woodson get's over himself for 30 seconds
and
Collins can actually complete a pass :banghead:

Other than that here we come :D


You are Cool Overhead, but I hope the radas never win another fugging game. Ever :p