With one sentence, eight lousy words, our off-season, let alone, our season, was lost. "Stanford Routt was given the highest possible tender". WHAT? It was like I was re-living the past seven seasons of pain in each of those eight lousy words. Stanford Routt? Are you kidding? His performance alone last season made me want to jab a pencil in my neck just to end the pain. Maybe ESPN was right about us. Please no!
That's it. I'm done. For the first time since 1974, the day I signed on to our 50 gun flagship, "The Autumn Wind", I was thinking mutiny! It was a sign to me that we were sailing blind into the off-season yet again, enough to make me pour out half my morning coffee and top it off with rum. (OK, I do that anyhow).
Admiral Al, are the ESPN rumors true? Madness? Was Captain Gruden the last true pirate we would ever sail for? Is my beloved Autumn Wind sinking? Raider Nation has been baking in the sun without wind for many seasons now, but something’s different this year. It's cloudy, dark menacing clouds, black and silver clouds. Can you feel the wind?
Gone are JaBustus, his bloated belly, contract, and the barn door he couldn't hit. I do like his new nickname though, “Mr. Defendant”.
Gone are Randy, Javon and Huggie bears kid. (For the record I liked Justin Fargas, I just don't think a third string RB is worth 3 million a year).
Gone is Kirk Morrison, another team player I was bummed to see go, however IMO, the first pre-requisite for a middle linebacker is the ability to tackle. Good luck in Jacksonville Kirk.
Welcome Jason Campbell, finally a QB who shouldn't LOSE games for us. A hard working, team oriented, blue collar FOOTBALL player that has enough wrinkles in his noodle to read the whole field AND the entire playbook.
Welcome Rolando McClain. It's my personal belief that this kid will, in one season, transform the Oakland Raider defense into something Raider Nation hasn't seen in many years, A REAL DEFENSE! Not scoring points because of the QB, play calling, whatever, I don't care. Giving up 45 points or 300 yards rushing on defense makes me look for MY pencil again.
Welcome Big John Henderson. I say this with as much enthusiasm as when I said, "Don't let the door hit your big ass on the way out Mr. Warren Sapp". Yes I'd call him Mr. and Sir if I were to ever meet him, he still scares me. Big John scares me more!
Some players still need to live up to expectations and salary investments or risk walking the plank, (Paging Darren McFadden and Darius Heyward-Bey), both very hard workers, seemingly team players and high character individuals; however their performance to investment ratio is questionable. Michael Huff and Johnnie Lee Higgins, you’re on official notice. Stop sucking, or start walking.
A Seahawk fan asked me what's up with the Raiders this off-season. Did Al Davis die? My response was, "Admiral Al died January 19th 2002, mere seconds after the tuck rule play, that was a muppet running the overhead projector!" Al still commands his team from beyond the grave via blackberry, the difference now is it's a two way call between himself and Coach Cable, not the one way text message he'd send to Lame Kiffin. Did I say Coach Cable? I meant Captain Cable. Gaaarrrr!!
This has been, by far, the most boring off-season in Oakland for a long time, a total departure from off-seasons past. It's been businesslike, purposeful, and coherent. We'll see if boring equates to wins, exciting has only produced expensive losses, and lots of them.
It's my wish, not only to have a winning season in Oakland, but to have the ESPN analysts eat their Raider hating words. With the off-season the Raiders are having so far, Tom Jackson better start sharpening HIS pencil! I think he feels the wind as well.
Cris Carter, well I'll sharpen your pencil FOR you. You deserve one in the neck for every year DHB beats your stats.
Rookie- Darrius Heyward-Bey: 9 catches for 124 yards
Rookie- Cris Carter : 5 catches for 84 yards
My only question is......STANFORD ROUTT?