2015 Looking Much Much Better

Firstly, we are looking a whole lot better this year. Secondly, with a nice bit of cap space this offseason we can get really good in 2016 (more to come shortly). I’m talking about top 5, superbowl contenders. This team has REAL potential.

Derek Carr looks awesome, the WR’s have real talent, the TE’s have good potential, our RB’s show flashes and the O-line has made big strides.

On the other side of the ball, the D looks very stout. I like Mario Edwards Jr at DE, Aldon Smith on the other side, Dan Williams is a beast and Jelly if he’s fit is decent. I also saw some impressive play from Stacy McGee the other day, while Autry is improving and I like the potential of Shelby Harris. Back in the LB’s, as long as we don’t overplay Jar Jar were fine, I love the new additions and I’m really impressed with how Norton has got them developing. Finally our much maligned secondary has shown improvements, dramatic ones at that. David Amerson needed the fresh start, and now looks every bit the high-round draft pick, while our own heavily critiqued DJ Hayden has also shown signs of improving. Safety in a injury-hit revolving door at the moment, but with Nate Allen coming back soon, Charles Woodson rocking the field and TJ Carrie looking great anywhere in the backfield (bar returning punts) we look pretty set. I also like Neiko Thorpe.

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Reports of Amari Cooper in Return Game Suck

Espn reports that the Raiders are considering using Amari Cooper in the return game suck. Why risk our future star, not only to injuries but also to not focusing on where we need him best, catching passes.

I also don’t like vague rumors of Latavius Murruy returning kicks, or TJ Carrie for that matter, we signed Trindon Holliday for a reason, he’s a return star (who unfortunately developed a nasty habit of fumbling, but with good coaching this can be worked on).

We have to focus on Holliday, Taiwan Jones or one of the reserve WR’s/DB’s returning kick/punts, not a potential starter…..no way.

KR-Carousel

First of all I was happy when I heard the news the Oakland Raiders brought in the extremely talented KR Trindon Holliday, then I got sad as I discovered we’d waived late-round draft pick Andre Debose…..now I’m happy again though as Debose has cleared waivers and we’ve stashed him on our injured reserve list.

There is very little draft-junkies, like myself, hate than losing draft picks (look at David Bass recently, cut and now playing for the Chicago Bears, its not as if we’ve been super-deep at pass-rushing DE’s), so to at least still have Debose I am very happy. The poor kid hurt his ankle – KR’s don’t historically have a long shelf life – but he’s explosive and I want to see what he can do next year, we need a Harvin-style WR to complement the rest anyway.

Back to Holliday, this kid is probably even more explosive…..his problem, thus far, has been fumbles. If our coaching staff can fix this we have a gem back there – remember his two touchdowns (one PR, one KR) for the Broncos in the playoffs a few years ago now.

Holliday is smaller (5’5″) than Debose (6’….mmm, on tip-toes?), and minus-fumbles a better returner, but in the long-run I’m happier with Debose. His school film, as a receiver is excellent, he upset some people in Florida and didn’t get the chance as a receiver. Anyway, while on IR can grow-up a bit (mentally), learn the playbook and bulk up a bit. Lets just think of Debose as essentially a free draft pick in 2016.

Other KR/PR options this year include Taiwan Jones, TJ Carrie and George Atkinson III. Jones has/had similar fumbling issues to Holliday, but again hopefully with coaching this has/will improve….I’d be more than happy with Taiwan returning kicks, we missed him last year. TJ Carrie is now too important as a CB, so don’t let him return kicks. George Atkinson III didn’t impress me enough last year, and is very unlikely to make the roster.

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.