Talent Still Available in Free Agency

Despite the league now being well and truly into the latter-stages of free agency and supposed nfl-experts such as the Around-the-League-Debate club saying that there is very little talent left, I beg to disagree. Reggie McKenzie has brought some real quality into the Oakland Raiders roster – with three explosive starting defensive-linemen brought in, three starting-caliber offensive linemen, an upgrade at corner, a top-10 QB (more about this in a soon) and one of the best WR out there. Despite all the concerns about JV and LH leaving, in my humble opinion our roster is already much better than last year (which admittedly isn’t saying too much).

Having sat relatively tight on our cash bundles, but demonstrating a readiness to spend by apparently going hard for Jared Allen, Reggie McKenzie and the team are ready to pounce on the best talent left, while our rivals really have very left to spend.

So who is out there, that could improve our roster? Starting with the two key positions that I think we are still a bit short at (but don’t forget the draft, which is unusually deep this year):-

Terrence Cody – I know Raiders fans really want Pat Sims back, and I do too, but rumors have it him and Dennis Allen had a little falling out last year and unless they’ve kissed and made up, maybe we are going to look elsewhere at NT. Despite a lot being made of last year’s rookie Stacy McGee, as a real serious run-stuffer at NT this year – yes he’s a little light on his feet for a NT, but he has the right height and apparently is very disciplined in his gap management – I really feel we need another body to come in and compete at NT. Here again another caveat is the health of Buffalo Bills former second round draftee (in 2010) Torell Troup, a player that we picked up in January that has the potential to be a real force at NT, but to date has been hindered by serious health concerns (largely his back). Anyway back on track, another former second round draftee, Mount Cody, has been learning from one of the best, Haloti Ngata, which has limited his snaps, as has his long-established trend for being a little on the large-size. Cody, however, has real talent, it is just that he is yet to fully apply it, let’s be honest NT’s are like fine wines in this regard they tend to get better with age and I say let’s bring Cody in cheap and let him battle it out with McGee and Troup for snaps. I’ve got a feeling RB’s will be dreading coming up against them three for years to come.

Terrell Thomas – the coaching staff obviously like the young DB’s we have, but another CB, particularly a slot-CB, would make us a much stronger prospect in a conference that regularly has to face the likes of Rivers and Manning. Other options, of course, include a deep CB-draft, with real talent likely to be available there after the first two rounds, and a few other bodies, such as Dimitri Patterson, Josh Wilson or one of the old-heads like Jammer, Bailey or Rogers. Hate me for this but Michael Huff looked ok at CB for us a few years ago…sorry!!

Robert Ayers – a cheap DE option, this former first round pick has looked less of the bust he initially seemed and could provide useful rotation/competition at DE

Pat Angerer – always liked this former Colt, would strengthen the ILB depth nicely, allowing us to play more 3-4 defenses if and when we choose.

Mark Sanchez – we don’t really need him, but I wouldn’t mind him being brought in, if cheap, to compete with Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor (and Trend Edwards) as backups. The Eagles have a strong QB depth and they are still supposedly looking at Sanchez as an option.

Ronnie Brown – Tony Sparano worked wonders with him a few years ago, and despite his age (33) he could still be useful to bring into the rotation

Knowshon Moreno – looked really good last year and would be a nice change of pace back with DMC


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.


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.




Flynn drops to 3rd String QB

So there we have it, Matt Flynn has failed his potential “last-chance”, dropping to third-string QB after his disappointing performance against the Redskins. Terrelle Pryor is fit to go versus the San Diego Chargers, while Dennis Allen was quoted as saying Matt McGloine is our second-stringer.

What really surprised me was the look on Allen’s face when asked why McGloine was being promoted, and it painted 100 pictures. I learnt two things from this:-

(a) Allen does NOT have a poker face

(b) Flynn has really disappointed the management.

Personally, and you’ll probably all think I’m crazy but I’d have given Flynn another week – i.e. the chargers game – as otherwise I feel the investment is going to be completely written off, and surely this season our win-lose record don’t matter that much antyway. Pryor is the long-term option and I’d have liked to give him another week to recover. But Allen’s fighting for his job so he probably know’s Pryor is his best hope.

Its great to have Pryor back behind the wheel, but I fell a little sorry for Flynn – I guess the dream isn’t going to happen for you after all.