Menelik Watson Returns to Practise

Menelik Watson returned to training Wednesday, which makes a welcome relief to our injury ravaged OL, and could potentially make both Terrelle Pryor’s and DMC’s jobs a lot easier if they finally start to get some help from the trenches.

With a fit again Watson, I think the best strategy would be to drop the consistently beaten Lucas Nix from the LG position, role Khalif Barnes across from LT to LG, a position that with his strength he could really excel at. Then at LT I’d bring in the more mobile Menelik Watson, allowing us to get a real look at his potential beofre we commit to a contranct on Veldheer that breaks the bank too highly.

I’d keep Matt McCants at RT, at least until tony Pashos returns to full health, as McCants has really impressed in recent weeks and deserves a continued run in the team.

Then with Watson – Barnes – Wis – Briesel – McCants I’s starting to feel a lot more confident about this team going forward.

Other team related news, Watson’s return to health meant that we could bring back excellent run-stuffing DL-man Brian Sanford, with reserve OL-man Jack Cornell slipping back onto the practice squad. Sanford brings some necessary beef to an already much-improved run defence, while Cornell continues his development for next season on the practise squad.

Also Miles Burris is reportedly not far away from retruning, although I personally wouldn’t rush his return as the LB-corps are already looking well-stocked.

Should We consider TE Kevin Brock or DE/LB Montgomery?

I just saw the Kansas City Chiefts released TE Kevin Brock, the 6’5″ 250 lb TE could potnetially improve a very weak part of our team.

I’m not saying he’d definitely be the answer but surely he’d be an improvement over Mustrud.

Real news this week – we are reportedly looking at LB/DE Sam Montgomery, a talented player who lets just say let his Texans career go up in “smoke”. Montgomery was 3rd round draft pick this past year and he brings real potential to the table. Personally I don’t think the reason the Texans released him to be all that serious, but its up to the individual and of course a sportsman and a role model really needs to consider theri actions. But then look at the kid’s life – lost a brother to a shooting – and I have sympathy, and remember he’s still just a kid. Anyway if Reggie/Allen/Tarver recon they can work with the kid lets give him a chance, its great to hear our management are still looking to improve our already very impressive D.

On Montgomery, let it be noted that nfl.com (see below) listed his strengths as “competitive player who doesn¬ít back down from challenges, will bull his way into bigger tackles to collapse the pocket”, with similarities to Andre Carter.

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/profiles/sam-montgomery?id=2540149

Sio-Stimulation

Following Sio Moore’s excellent display against the Steelers I strongly believe the Raiders acquisition of pash-rushing LB Martez Wilson last week was designed to light a spark under Sio’s development. If this was the case, it sure worked.

Sio rocked the game, against the Steelers, providing constant pressure and sure handed tackling, plus excelling on special teams – always a great guage of “effort”.

Some/most young players (indeed players of any discription really) need competition to truely test themselves. To challenge themselves to be the best they can be. Sio seeing the acquisition of another potentially strong LB, like himself, upped his game.

This LB core is the best one I can remember these past 5 years, and it has lots of potential to improve. Its is also being helped out, and itself helping, by stronger DL and defensive backfields.

The D this year is so much better. Indeed if another team comes sniffing for Tarver as their head coach I’d go as far as to say we shoudl promote Tarver to head coach here. Ideally I’d wait a few more years to do it, but Tarver is really impressing myself and I’m sure all Raiders fans.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1827300-defense-showcases-improved-pass-rush-in-oakland-raiders-win-over-steelers

http://nflsfuture.com/2013/03/08/sio-moore-scouting-report/#

http://walterfootball.com/scoutingreport2011mwilson_greg.php

Raiders Hold On To Beat Steelers

The Oakland Raiders put up a sensational victory over the Steelers, 21-18, including a magnificant 93-yard TD run from Terrelle Pryor on the first play of the game (other than special teams):-

Pryor is leading the recuperation of this team sensationally. We are starting to develop a really good habit of putting big leads on teams. Unfortunately, however, too often we are letting teams claw their way back in to too many games.

I’m genuinely hopefully that this 2nd-half habit will ease as the season progresses, hence we get better in the latter stages of the season, as our young team gets experience and we increasingly get numbers back on the OL. Our OL has been hit hard by injuries, and to hold onto leads a team needs to pound the ball, but its hard to successfully pound the ball behind an OL made up of 2nd and 3rd stringers. From now on I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we get an OL-man back healthy each week, so hopefully the power running game accordingly improves.

We are now 3-4, so one win away from parity.

Other than this the D is really impressing me, Reggie has really brought in some hungry talented players. Everybody is stepping up on D, and here I’m looking forward to seeing how it will improve even more as Branch gets back on the field (week?, hopefully soon).

Raiders Bring in LB Martez Wilson, but cut DT Christo Bilukidi

The Oakland Raiders brought in some real talent in 6’4″ LB Martez Wilson. This former third round draft pick brings a sub-4.4 second 40-time and real potential to the LB pass rush position. Unfortunatley we had to cut somebody, and it was DT Christo Bilukidi, a player I honestly thought was improving and I liked in the DT-rotation.

Martez Wilson bring real pace and potential to the LB position, but he is far from a refined article and Tarver will have to put a lot of work into getting this kid up to geniune starter material. However, I am excited by this recruit and feel it will improve an already strong LB-corps.

Christo Bilukidi’s release surprised me, but I guess it has to be seen as a positive reflection on the progress of Stacy McGee, Crawford (who has increasingly been getting reps at DT, not DE) and new recruit Dan Muir (see below for interesting link on this kid, whose really a NT, so I can see the logic in keeping him over Bilukidi)

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/53036/on-spending-a-career-learning-from-the-best?ex_cid=espnapi_public

We Still Have Just 2 QB’s on the Roster

So as we go into the week of the Steelers game, with a nice week long rest on the players backs, we still only have two QB’s on the 53-man roster. Incumbent starter Terrelle Pryor and young pretender Matt McGloin are an excellent combo in my humble opinion, but I would really like a number three.

Should we bring in some experienced cover like David Carr, Vince Young or the recently released (by the Jets) Brady Quinn. I know Quinn, for example, has been little better than Jamarcus Russell since they were the top QB-picks of the 2007 draft – and that is saying very little – but surely he could be a half decent number 3. Actually thinking about it, we our OL, the number three has to be a pure scrambling-QB. So we are talkingabout Vince Young or Pat White…..or heaven help us Tebow – is he even still available?

Colts Beat Broncos

Interested to see the Colts – a team we clearly had the beating of – secure victory over the Broncos. Happy? Certainly. Unfortunately the Chiefs and Chargers won, but I still feel we have a long-shot chance to secure at least a wildcard spot. Plus the main thing to me is that we are nowhere near as bad as most media analysts had us written-off as.

Hopefully we can secure up another OL-man or so, either back from injury or from FA’cy. Terrelle Pryor needs some help, but undoutedly IMO, he is the long term answer to our QB’ing duties.

We march onwards and upwards, the futures bright – the future’s silver-and-black