Got a Strange Feeling we can Beat the Titans

I’ve got a quick feeling ahead of the weekend that the Oakland Raiders are going to beat the Titans this Sunday. If we win, I don’t imagine it will be by much, certainly less than 10 points, but there is a new confidence floating around the place, and that brings a better team spirit which ignites a winnins spirit.

The never-say-die attitude that Matt McGloin brings to this team should be enough to help us beat a very good Titans team. I know its early days for McGloin, but this kid has a huge chip on his shoulder and it generates hard work from the rest of the team, plus he delivers a nice crisp DB-splitting pass, the kind of which I can’t remember form a Raiders QB for some time.

At least it will be a good contest between two very good defences on Sunday, that is for sure. Our DB’s, LB’s and to a lesser-extent DL are looking much improved and I’m finally starting to get confidence in them winning us a few games.

I’m really looking forward to the game, and quietly confident of a result….mind you, I have thought that before and been proved wrong many times before, we can only hope!!

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DJ Hayden on IR

The Raiders put injured cornerback DJ Hayden on the injured reserved list today….I wont tell you who they put on the active 53-man roster but rather hint – its the DE who they play cut-activate tennis with seemingly every week.

Even if DJ’s injury is not really that bad I think this is a wise move. The kid certainly learnt a lot in his first half a season. Showing some occasional glimpses of talent, but recently he has really sucked and been deliberately targeted by opposing QB’s, who have to be fair taken him appart. Keeping playing DJ this late in the season was only starting to hurt his confidence. I’d rather he sits and learns, getting himself fully up to speed for next year.

There are plenty of other talented young CB’s on our roster, who we really should evaluate in more detail now. Adams, for exampe, has really impressed me recently, and I’d like to see more of Chimdi Chekwa who in glimpses looked quite good against the Texans. Also it would be nice to see how Taiwan Jones performs in the defensive backfield, as if his special teams play is any guide this kid truely rocks.

…the DE they signed to DJ’s roster spot was, yes you guessed it, Brian Sanford – can he finally nail down this roster spot or will we cut him again next week?

Looks Like Burris is Back

The Raiders cut promising LB Martez Wilson, to likely make room for last season’s rookie sensation Miles Burris. Now I’m not saying re-signing Miles Burris isn’t a good move, as I really rate Burris and feel he could be a corner-stone of our much improved defensive front for years to come, but that I’d liked the signing of Martez Wilson and thought he could have brought some much needed pash-rush.

As our LB-corps are so much improved this year, with Roach, Burnett and Sio Moore really impressing, the return of Burris will not (I imagine) be all that noted, but over the longer-term it will be great to have him back. I love his attitude, as a player he’s got “true Raider” written all over him. Obviously he wont be 100% ready for a few weeks, but he’ll certainly bring some additional back-up depth as the season unfolds….hopefully in the playoofs, but maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.

Matt McGloin Deserves an Extended Run in the Side

Following Matt McGloin’s winning performance in Sunday’s Texans game, and given the state of Terrelle Pryor’s knee, I think McGloin should be given an extended run in the side.

Lets see how McGloin does in a 3 or 4 game spell. If he swims then let him keep him in the starting job through to the end of the season, whereas if he fails then we can hand the keys back to a fit again Pryor, giving him another chance to show that his recent failures were not down to lack of QB-talent. Either way, we get to see if we have a QB on the roster worthy of the starting spot next season. I think we do – possibly two – but the next couple of weeks could be crucial in proving that one way or the other.

Raiders Defence Wins Close Game With Houston

I know all the headlines will be about Matt McGloin, and in patches I was impressed with him, but for me this game was won by the Raider’s D. We stopped Houston at key times, limiting them to FG’s at the end proving absolutely vital to the victory.

Initially when the Texans took Case Kennum out of the line up – after a good game – I thought it was a sign of them waiving their proverbial “white-flag”, but then Matt Schaub looked like a real danger, bringing first down after first down….or maybe our D was getting tired. Plus Matt McGloin seemed to loose his abaility to make first downs in the 4th quarter. All in all I was real worried – lets admit it, we all were, and there were times in the 4th quarter a fit Terrelle Pryor would have definitely not had so many three-and-outs, but we made it, we won the game, and Matt McGloin’s ability to keep hold of the ball (Note: no, yes ZERO, interceptions by a Raider QB!!!)

This game, however, was really won by the D, with the Raider’s pass defence in particular impressing me. All the DB’s looked good at points, I particularly like their strut. With Porter crossing his arms ever time he made a play, inspiring a DB-field that can really hold their own…..If only we had a pass rush to bring some pressure we’d look really good back there, hence my desire that we do NOT draft a QB early this year – I like McGloin and Pryor and would be happy for them both to be goven the chance to lead us forward – plus the OL, once the injuries clear up will be a lot better. I know a lot of fans, including myself, thing we are weak at WR, but the group is young and still has excellent potential, so I’d invest draft picks in DE’s and OLB’s this off-season.

Anyway, enough about off-seasons, lets focus on this year. We have a 4-6 record now and can’t be written off as a potential playyoff team now, particularly as McGloin builds a chemistry with his WR’s. Looking forward to seeing it develop.

Raiders Sign DE/LB Chris McCoy to their Practise Sqad

The Raiders have rolled the dice in theor practise squad, with the acquisition of DE/LB Chris McCoy (releasing OG Jason Foster in the process).

True not many practise squad guys make the team, but I like the fact that we are getting a closer look at McCoy.

His college numbers, in Tennessee, were excellent (recording 7 sacks in his senior year), plus he has the physical measurable to plat special teams and potential bring some pass-rush threat.

Check out 98 in the clips:

Time to Back Pryor

I’ve must admit I’ve found it hard to post this week, following the shock of the loss to the Eagles, but finally I’m back. What’s got me posting again, my desire to complain about how bad the DB’s were or just my general desire to whine? No, my disappointment concerning the amount of negativity that has surrounded Terrelle Pryor this past couple of days. Yes Terrelle had a bad game, and yes Matt McGloin looked quite useful (in junk-time) at the end of the Eagles game, but Terrelle this season has also shown enough flashes of brilliance for me to know that we have to back this kid 100%.

A lot of bloggers/media are back on the “we need to draft a QB-of-the-future” this offseason. I say, resolutely “NO” to this. Terrelle Pryor has shown me enough, so far this season, for me to know he CAN be the guy. We need to build an offense around Terrelle, not keep jumping from QB to QB.

What I have learnt this season is that we still have weaknesses at OL, WR and TE. Yes I have my concerns that Terrelle isn’t yet the QB that will lead us to the playoffs, but given the correct support he can be that guy.

Terrelle has the athleticism and pace to be a constant menace to the opposition defense, and he has shown the commitment to improve his arm. His passing is already so much better, compared to last year, but he needs to learn a more nuanced offence and improve on his passing range – definitely things that can and will happen, if we back him, which I feel we will.

In fact I’d say Reggie needs to seize this temporary moment of doubt as an opportunity to tie Terrelle Pryor up to a multi-year deal. At least that way he don’t cost us the house when all the improvements have already been made.

(Also of note, really impressed with Matt McGloin as the backup – very pleased with his development too http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1835803-matt-mcgloins-instant-fantasy-value-after-terrelle-pryors-injury )