Archive for the ‘Oakland Raiders’ Category

matt mcgloin2

Matt McGloin wasn’t supposed to be starting last Sunday. He sure as hell wasn’t supposed to be throwing touchdowns. He was the fourth option for the Raiders this past summer, after Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson. But he beat out Wilson and then beat out Flynn for a roster spot. Then Pryor got injured. Now it’s McGloin’s time, and he didn’t disappoint.

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terrelle pryor pass2

There were four minutes left in the third quarter when Terrelle Pryor stood in shotgun against the New York Giants. He had two receivers flanked to each side of him and a running back set to his left. In the middle of the field, he saw a two-deep shell from the defense, one that looked like it would be Cover 2 based off of the deeper-than-usual depth of the middle linebacker. Pryor’s play-call was a double slants concept to his right. It was a known Cover 2 “beater” and it would let him get the ball out of his hands quickly. It was an ideal call on 3rd-and-8 if the receivers beat the jam and picked up yards after the catch.

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houston2

All you have to do is look at Lamarr Houston’s stance. It’s low, anchored by his left foot forward and his right bent and staggered back. His arms loosely hang and his butt is sunken low, creating little discernible difference between the outside linebacker and defensive end position. This is where Houston wins, where he’s able to beat left tackles with leverage and pad level before the play has even begun. This is why he’s one of the best players in the game.

Houston doesn’t always get enough credit for how good he is. That’s understandable, because he is, after all, playing in Oakland, a perennially bad team. Bad teams typically have a stigma attached, one that says they have no quality players of note, thus why they are bad. But that’s not the case (and never has been) with the Raiders and Houston, who is a difficult matchup for left tackles on a weekly basis.

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pryor-raiders-again2

When Al Davis died in 2011, his last draft selection, quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft, became his last hope of turning around a franchise he ruthlessly drove into the ground for years. Davis constantly struggled to find a quarterback he could rely on to lead his franchise back to glory, badly whiffing on LSU’s Jamarcus Russell in 2007, which was the biggest reason — besides Davis himself — why the franchise struggled to find the success early in the decade when it went to (and lost) a Super Bowl.

Three years since Davis’ death, uncertainty lingers over his final draft selection. Pryor has attempted a grand total of 30 passes in two years, and he recently revealed to the football world that he previously didn’t know how to throw a football, which explains why he hasn’t seen the field much. To his credit, he did see the field against the division rival San Diego Chargers in Week 17 of a lost 2012 season, but he didn’t play well and showed how far away he is from becoming the face of the franchise.

Against the Chargers, Pryor struggled with the fundamentals of the position and left a handful of throws out on the field, both of which were seen at the beginning of the second quarter.

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DJ-hayden2

A rundown of the Oakland Raiders recent history of first-round draft selections shows a list of high-risk and controversial picks. It includes JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Rolando McClain in successive years from 2007 to 2010. Each had significant question marks ranging from Russell’s work ethic to McFadden’s fragility to Heyward-Bey’s rawness and to McClain’s schematic fit. Only one (McFadden) has survived the roster purging done by general manager Reggie McKenzie, who is entering his second year of rebuilding.

McKenzie was hired in 2012 to replace the once great Al Davis and erase his first-round mistakes, among a plethora of others, as soon as possible. But in the process of reshaping the roster, McKenzie took a big risk of his own, one bigger than Davis ever took: he drafted Houston cornerback D. J. Hayden No. 12 overall.

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star-again2

The Raiders were ever-so briefly thought to be a quarterback needy team during this draft season. No, a quarterback desperate-team. But then came Matt Flynn, and a crisis has been at least temporarily averted.

Is Flynn the future? Maybe, probably, or maybe not. As it pertains to this draft as a whole, though, the move to acquire Flynn was much more meaningful than a single quarterback joining a single team. Like the Cardinals — Oakland’s trading partner in the Carson Palmer deal — the Raiders knew there was a very good chance they’d be in a position to select this draft’s best quarterback. Although there’s still a faint chance that could happen, they showed their lack of desire to pursue Smith by finding another solution.

That’s been the theme throughout the top 10. Along with the moves made by Oakland and Arizona at quarterback, the Chiefs traded for Alex Smith. There’s been a dominant effort to avoid Geno Smith, or any first-round quarterback, which is the ultimate commentary on this year’s draft class at the position.

Instead for the Raiders, the early focus will turn to the large men on the interior of the defensive line. After a defensive gutting this offseason which included exits for Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour, along with Matt Shaughnessy, Philip Wheeler, and Michael Huff, the priority for a defense that finished 31st in sacks this past season with 25 should be pressure up front.

But which brute bruiser provides the best value at third overall? I asked Levi Damien from Silver and Black Pride that question. And then I asked four more questions.

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Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns

UPDATE: The Raiders have not signing Wallace to a contract, according to multiple sources.

 

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The Raiders have added Seneca Wallace to their current group of quarterbacks, Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor, agreeing to terms on a one-year contract.

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