Hungry Horace

When the Oakland Raiders saw the Carolina Panthers cut LB Horace Miller they pounced. Not only was this kid on the Seattle Seahawks books last year, hence our defensive co-ordinator Ken Norton Jr. personally knows his talents, but he also got playing time with the Panthers, boosting amazing speed and tremendous motor.

Coming out of Texas-El Paso college, Horace Miller looked the real deal, putting lots of pressure on opposing QB’s, wrapping up RB’s and showing decent coverage skills, his main problem being his size. At 6’0″ and 235 lbs most teams think he’s too small. Its really the height. At 6’2″ and, even the same weight, he’d have gone in the second-to-fifth round of the 2014 draft. But surely one or two inches hardly matter – no sexual innuendo intended – the kid put up a 4.4 second 40 time (amazing for a LB) and our defensive co-ordinator has inside knowledge of his talents and wants him. Remeber this kid, he could be a surprise for many people this year.

We also brought Milton Williams back, cutting Austin Hill and Travell Dixon.

https://raidalove.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/love-the-udfa-signing-of-milton-williams/

Pondering an alternative

With Derek Carr out nursing a finger injury, Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin have been sharing first team reps at Oakland Raider’s OTAs and the one clear take-away that I could gather was that former first round draft pick Christian Ponder looked really good.

Ponder has always has a nice rhythm to his passing, his down fall in his early nfl career with the Minnesota Vikings being his tendency to fluster under pressure, but maybe (and its a big maybe) the change of scenery, lack of pressure and time to develop will allow him to iron out this very important flaw. Christian Ponder has always had good feet and a nice west-coast short-passing game but he has often suffered from a lack of zip on his longer balls and somewhat panicked-style. At OTA’s however he has looked smooth and very impressive.

Yes the pressure is not there, at OTA’s, but maybe (just maybe) this young man just needed some time to mature. As long as we mainly want to run the ball, just playing west-coast offence at QB, Christian Ponder should/could be fine. Yes, I’d much rather see Derek Carr developing, but if he’s carrying an injury lets not push it, no need to risk Carr long term future, instead lets give the keys of the juggernaut to Christian Ponder and see where he can take us.

Fury Road

Starting with the haunting line “our world is fire and blood” the new Mad Max trailer perfectly encapsulates the excitement that I feel going into the 2015 season. Reggie is gradually pulling together a roster with not only talent but also a nice bit of Raiders’ swagger.

Any Raider fan can’t help but love the style and mystique of the Mad Max films, lets face it our former players and ongoing fans are pretty much the inspiration for the creatures that so hauntingly grace the backdrop of these brilliant films.

The bad-ass attitude that players like Khalil Mack, Sio Moore, Just Tuck and Charles Woodson bring to the defense a nasty, hungry personality, warriors looking to be set free on offenses by the excellence and dependability of new recruits, such as Curtis Lofton and Dan Williams. The additional pressure that our front 7 are going to bring this year should be awesome, and is likely to create a big increase in turnovers for our speedy DB-set. As Humungus the central baddy in Mad Max 2 said, “unleash my dogs of war”.

http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/67157122/khalil-mack-top-10-pick-in-the-nfl-draft

…. I can just see now, Derek Carr calmly striding onto the field, helmet in hand, to take the ball back after CW24 picks off another interception. Fakes a hand-off to Murray then pings a 50 yard bomb into the hands of Amari Cooper – the Oakland Raiders are back, its silver and black!!!

Revolving door…

…. one enters and another leaves, its a sad truth of much of life and Chimdi Chekwa’s arrival meant that another Oakland Raider had to leave. Remember 90 + 1 does not equal 90.

This week’s exit being the promising DB/LB Terrell Pinson. True we are short at safety, the most likely future playing position of Terrell Pinson, but not as short as we are/were of experience at CB. Bringing Chekwa in and deleting Pinson is a net gain for the Oakland Raiders, as Chimdi Chekwa probably makes the 53-man roster but Pinson was never really going to be more than a long-shot for the practice squad.

Profootball draft report had Pinson out of their top 75 safeties (note: they had our other young safety Tevin McDonald ranked higher)

http://profootball.scout.com/story/1502528-2015-nfl-draft-rankings-safeties

Looking at our roster right now I’d say Charles Woodson and Nate Allen are the likely starters, with Brandian Ross also a likely lock to make the final roster after a very good showing in the second half to 2014, then Tevin McDonald, Larry Asante, Jonathan Dowling (our last memory of Terrelle Pryor), Jimmy Hall and Ras-I Dowling are likely battling it out for one or two slots. Personally I think this could be a very promising group and I’d take 5 this year, as we need to prepare for when Charles Woodson finally hangs up the cleats.

Chimdi Chekwa returns

So just one day after being cut by the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders resigned CB Chimdi Chekwa, a move I like a lot. Why?

(1) He’s got some experience, having been drafted by us in 2011, and our most experienced CB on the roster prior to Chekwa signing was DJ Hayden

(2) he’s fast

(3) he’s a great gunner on special teams

(4) he’ll come cheap now he’s been through Patriot cuts

(5) he’s improved every year he’s been on the roster

Our top 3 CB’s right now are DJ Hayden, Keith McGill and TJ Carrie, then its a straight battle with Chimdi Chekwa, James Dockery, Neiko Thorpe (great height), Dexter McDonald, Rob Daniel, Travell Dixon and SaQwan Edwards for 2 spots, that’s going to be a really interest watch.

RB Michael Dyer is an interesting signing

Recent UDFA signing Michael Dyer is a very interesting acquisition, this steamroller of a running back has REAL talent but unfortunately foolishness earlier in his career has put a proverbial spanner in the works.

He even broke one of Bo Jacksons Auburn rushing records early in his career, before it all started to go wrong. Whatever issues he has had, from our point of view, they are in the past and lets start afresh. So what does this kid offer?

He’s powerful.

Quite fast (a 4.6 second 40 time I think, but 4.4 earlier in his career, so he can probably get this back with proper conditioning work).

Got good hands

Could be a steal as a UDFA….indeed if it wasn’t for his troubles earlier in his college career he’d have been a first or second rounder, all kids deserve a second chance so lets see if the Auburn Michael Dyer (as a player) can return:-

(or even the high-school genius:-

Tiny bit of clarity on UDFA, its Robertson Daniel (not Daniel Robertson)

A little bit of clarity on one of the Oakland Raiders UDFA signings, the BYU CB that we signed is called Robertson Daniels and not Daniel Robertson as I’ve seen it misquoted in a few places.

This kid is long and fast, and with a bit of coaching could be a really good player. What I really like about BYU CB Robertson Daniel is his man-coverage skills, couple these with his raw materials and we could have a real player on our hands. My ideal CB would be plus six foot tall and run a sub 4.5 40 time, he does both of these things, unfortunately he’s raw, but that is what training camp and coaching are all about. We don’t have huge depth at CB, hence any standout performer in camp will likely make a push for the roster, lets see what Daniel Robertson has to offer.