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Old 08-10-2010, 07:55 PM  
Ugly Duck Ugly Duck is offline
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ESPN Clayton: Raiders primed to end losing streak

Al Davis heh-heh:

Defensive front seven gives Oakland plenty of reason to be optimistic

NAPA, Calif. -- This is the best I've felt about a Raiders team in years. Two years ago, I forecast a seven- or eight-win season based on an easy Raiders schedule. That prediction turned out wrong as Oakland finished 5-11. What I saw on the practice field Monday indicates that -- regardless of the schedule -- the Raiders are headed in the right direction. One of the problems in recent years is that the Raiders seemed like a baseball team swinging for the fences instead of just getting singles and moving forward. Davis would be mesmerized by incredible 40-yard times and athletic abilities instead of just getting good football players. In the offseason, the Raiders added good players in linebacker Rolando McClain, defensive end Lamarr Houston, quarterback Jason Campbell and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, just to name a few. Yes, it looks like the Raiders' seven-year streak of 10 or more losses per season might end in 2010. Here are three observations from Raiders camp:

• The defensive front seven is the best the Raiders have put together in years. Houston, a second-round pick, wouldn't back down against veterans in minicamp practices and immediately vaulted into the starting lineup at left end. That was important because it allowed Richard Seymour to move to defensive tackle. The Raiders have struggled against the run the past four seasons, giving up an average of 148.8 rushing yards a game. Seymour and Tommy Kelly should anchor the run defense and occupy enough blockers for McClain, the first-round choice, to get free to make a ton of tackles. McClain already has established himself as one of the leaders on the defense. He makes the calls and he should make the plays. The Raiders also signed former Jaguars defensive tackle John Henderson to help out for 20-25 plays a game as a run-stopper. The Raiders are deep at tackle with Seymour, Kelly, Henderson, and Desmond Bryant. Getting Wimbley from the Browns was a steal. He'll play the strong side, but he offers pass-rushing ability if needed. The veteran who feels the best about the changes is cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Losing frustrated him, but he now plays for a defense that could make a difference.

• Speaking of difference-makers, I love the Hue Jackson addition. Quarterback Jason Campbell might be the best player addition, but Jackson might be the most important offseason addition. The Raiders' new offensive coordinator is doing amazing things with the offense. Davis wants to stress getting the ball downfield. Jackson is satisfying Davis' desires in that regard, but he's mixing in plenty of other things to update the offense, including short, quick passes to build confidence for the receivers. Jackson has done his best work with Campbell. In Washington, Campbell wasn't considered much of a leader by upper management. Campbell explained that was because he was a young quarterback trying to work with an older, veteran team. In Oakland, Campbell works with loads of younger players who are looking to him for leadership. Jackson is giving his quarterback an offense that should help him gain confidence and allow the players to follow Campbell's lead. Even though head coach Tom Cable has a strong background in offensive line play, blocking is a concern. In run-blocking drills Monday, the defense blew up the offense on eight consecutive plays. Cable got involved and fixed some of those problems, but the offensive line must develop consistency. Cable plans to go with Mario Henderson and Langston Walker at tackle, Robert Gallery and Cooper Carlisle at guard, and Samson Satele as center.

• Most improved player: Darrius Heyward-Bey DHB -- who had just nine catches as a rookie last season -- has noticeably improved his pass-catching skills. Instead of letting the ball come to him, Heyward-Bey is attacking the ball and snatching it with his hands. Part of the success can be attributed to Jackson's schemes. The offensive coordinator has designed quick routes in which DHB can run to a spot and make a quick turn. He's also catching quicker, shorter passes that emphasize his running ability. But unlike last season, Heyward-Bey is playing with confidence. Let's face it, the Raiders' receiving corps is untapped because former starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell couldn't get the ball to wide receivers. No receiver on the roster has better than a 34-catch season. DHB, Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy and Todd Watkins have only 95 catches combined during their NFL careers.

John Clayton, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/traini...ohn&id=5451770
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:34 AM   #2
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I agree, we are back, better than ever, not SB contenders quite yet, BUT a solid team no less. I see a wild card in our very near future
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:37 AM   #3
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The Raiders will be picking in the top 10 next year. They are a dumb football team from the owner to the head coach down to the players.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by KnowMo2724 View Post
The Raiders will be picking in the top 10 next year. They are a dumb football team from the owner to the head coach down to the players.


Irony at it's best!
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:42 AM   #5
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I agree, we are back, better than ever, not SB contenders quite yet, BUT a solid team no less. I see a wild card in our very near future
As much as a hate you useless bastards (the general "you" referencing the Raiders), if any team in this division competes with the Chargers this season, it will be you useless bastards.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:42 AM   #6
TheGuardian TheGuardian is offline
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The Raiders will still be picking top 10 next year. That team is still atrocious.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:52 AM   #7
Hog Farmer Hog Farmer is offline
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Originally Posted by KnowMo2724 View Post
The Raiders and Broncos will be picking in the top 10 next year. They are dumb football teams from the owners to the head coaches down to the players.

Fixed it you dumb ass
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:48 AM   #8
Garcia Bronco Garcia Bronco is offline
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Raiders will win the division this year. Mark it down.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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Raiders will win the division this year. Mark it down.
That would suck worse than the Broncos winning it.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
TheGuardian TheGuardian is offline
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Raiders will win the division this year. Mark it down.
No they won't.

Every year it's the year the raiders turn it around. That's going on about what, 8 or 9 years now. And every year, there it is. "Raiders are on the rise!"
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:19 AM   #11
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Faiders always shoot themselves .. this year prolly wont differ ....
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:20 AM   #12
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As much as a hate you useless bastards (the general "you" referencing the Raiders), if any team in this division competes with the Chargers this season, it will be you useless bastards.
Unfortunately,I agree,Campbell may not be a great QB but he's 1000x better than JaMarcuss and as much as it pains me to say it the Raiders improved dramatically with the move.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:24 AM   #13
Ugly Duck Ugly Duck is offline
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Originally Posted by KnowMo2724 View Post
The Raiders will be picking in the top 10 next year. They are a dumb football team from the owner to the head coach down to the players.
Dude! You made my day! Conventional wisdom is to expect the opposite of what you say.... thanks!

P.S. Raider QB injuries prompt Al Davis to bring in his own "Tebow"



Tuesday, August 10, 2010 Raiders may have lucked out with a steal

NAPA, CA (KGO) -- The Oakland Raiders begin the pre-season this Thursday in Dallas. One of the quarterbacks who figures to get significant playing time is former University of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, who was cut by the Redskins just a few days ago, but has a golden arm. Brennan was one of the most prolific passers in NCAA history. He threw for over 14,000 yards, 131 touchdowns, and took Hawaii to the Sugar Bowl in 2007. He grew up a Raider fan in Southern California and can't believe he is now wearing the silver and black.

Brennan had four surgeries in his two years with the Washington Redskins, was released last week, and the Raiders scooped him up off the waiver wire. Coach Tom Cable likes what he sees in this young guy. "If you watch him, he does a pretty good job of putting it on receives, leading them, timing it up over the top and he has a knack for some of these things," says Cable. Brennan may turn out to be a great deal for the Raiders.

Heisman Trophy finalist (2007)
# Second all-time in most career touchdowns responsible for (146). Achieved November 23, 2007.
# NCAA record for most 400 yard games (20). Achieved in 2007.
# Tied NCAA record for most career touchdown passes by a quarterback-receiver combination (39 to Davone Bess). Achieved November 23, 2007.
# NCAA single-season record for most touchdown passes, achieved in 2006 (58)
# NCAA two-season record for most touchdown passes, (96, achieved 2006-2007)
# NCAA record for passing efficiency (season), posting a 186.0 mark in 2006
# NCAA record for most points responsible for (season) with 385. (2006)
# NCAA record for highest pass completion percentage (70.4%).
# Second all-time in career touchdown passes (131) behind Graham Harrell.
# Fourth all-time in total passing yards with 14,193
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:26 AM   #14
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I'm not sure he's the right guy, but at least Al Davis stuck with his coach. It brings some stability to them.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:33 AM   #15
Aries Walker Aries Walker is offline
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They feel good about their team, even though that's all based on sloppy seconds from the Redskins?
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