Wesley in, Buchanon out


The Raiders are confirming the signing of safety Greg Wesley, who was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Former Raiders exec Mike Lombardi, who writes for CNN-SI as well as on his own Web site, doesn’t think much of the acquisition.

Lombardi has dubbed the Raiders “The Hotel California,” after the Eagles song about that strange place where you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

“What can Wesley do for the Hotel? He can’t cover, play in the kicking game, or run anymore,” Lombardi writes. “All he will do is take “Someone’s” money (which he loves to spend now) and not play. Do you think they remember Donovan Darius at the Hotel? Another favorite of `someone.

“Things never change.”

“Someone,” of course, is Al Davis.

Wesley, who reportedly signed a one-year deal, is like Darius in that there is very little risk involved in the signing. If Lombardi is right and Wesley can’t run, the Raiders can cut him, just as they did with Darius.

It’s worth noting that although Darius may have been a Davis favorite, the Raiders didn’t make the mistake of keeping him on the roster when it became apparent he wouldn’t be able to hold up physically.

To make room for Wesley, Will Buchanon was waived.

The Raiders begin filtering in to the Napa Marriott Wednesday, although coach Lane Kiffin won’t address the media until Thursday, the day of the first practice.

The Raiders also announced the signing of Mauricio Lopez, who will be on the Raiders practice squad this year as part of the NFL’s International Practice Squad program.

Lopez is a defensive tackle.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Brown81

    I was around back then, too. Football players in general were different than they are now. They are much better athletes today. Back then they were good athletes, but they were mostly just tough as hell guys.

  • MR Says:
    July 23rd, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    “Since our players today are mostly she-males…”


    He claims to be a Raider fan, a team he describes as she-males? WHOA! No wonder people question your manhood…are you posting from the Castro MR?

  • Johnny Rebel

    Lol, MR siding with Mike Lombardi, I love it and the 19-61 record his players produced.

  • big chill

    on pft.com raiders telling lamont jordan to stay home.

  • lefty 12

    weren’t those games at Franf Euwell(?) field great.

  • I remember Villapiano get jacked just like Javon, maybe worse even.

  • Johnny Rebel

    They almost killed Villapiano.

  • MR

    It took like 20 Hells Angels to whip Villapiano. If that would have been Javon, he’d be dead. Don’t ever compare the great Raiders of old to these girls on the team today.

  • MR

    It was Sonny Barger’s chapter that gave Villapiano the business. Barger wasn’t there, but it was his crew. Barger said once that Villapiano put up a good fight with them. They had to crack him with a bottle to take him down. I think he said this in his book.

  • Johnny Rebel

    They beat him senseless and unconscious, you really are an idiot MR, go back to girls town. Villapiano could not have beaten up his mother, he was drunk.

  • McRaider

    Denial of what?

    Most of that $hi+ you just typed isn’t up for debate.

    However, to say that everyone but Al had something to do the great player that the raiders had, is just plain stupid.

    Oh, and most players don’t drink the night before a game.

  • 203 = spurious logic. Villapiano still got jacked, and showed even less sense in fighting Hell’s Angels than javon spraying champagne on clubbers. He couldn’t hold his liquor apparently.

    From raidersonline:

    “Q: Did you have any nickname as a player?

    Phil Villapiano: Foo.”


  • HayesDaze#37

    MR — I won’t call you a name, and I don’t think you’re really a troll — you seem to actually live in here. But, what I will do is point out how you continually argue with yourself, and then start a quick dust-up to (try to) cover your hypocritical ways.

    Pre-or-post-Wolf/Lombardi/Allen, Madden, Flores, Gruden, Callahan, and on and on…..Has Al Davis ever done anything worthy of a kudo from you? I’m thinking your opinion of Al changed as soon as the Raiders moved to L.A. Having read posts here for a few years, I would be willing to bet I’m right about that.

    I challenge you MR — if you’re man enough to accept — give us a real, almost-objective assessment of this team, its coaches, and its players…without reiterating how much you hate Al. And without calling-out other posters here for defending their loyalty to the team they love.

    We already know how you feel about Al, and how you react when people disagree with you on almost any subject. Yet, you never really give us an assessment of the team and its makeup.

    Is it possible the team could be better this year than the past few years? Is it possible that (no matter who is the ultimate decider) the team has a chance to improve before the end of the decade? Is it possible for you to give an opinion on here that is logic-based as opposed to being simply based on your personal dislike of somebody?

    The Raiders have had a ton of players over the past 10-years who I couldn’t stand personally (Romanowski, for example), but I never turned my back on the team. Al’s been wrong plenty of times…but who hasn’t?

    No matter who’s right or wrong about how the team ended up where it is right now (still one of the great franchises in sports history, by the way) — I challenge you, MR, to give us a position-by-position assessment of the team going into the season. Leave out the stuff we already know about (your feelings about Al), and just talk football. Can you do it?

  • McRaider


    I bet when this gets turned around, you will say that Kiffin, Mark Jackson, or Amy Trask were the one’s to do it. Al had nothing to do with it.

  • Football was a part-time job back then. Move on

  • Raider Dell


    As an old timer on this blog your post #208 will receive no subjective information from MR.

    The reason is to the core of his being.

    The less he spreads hope and passion about the Raiders, some other person will call him on his analysis of that player.

    Then he will have to debate his words, it’s easy to debate what he preceives the truth.

    He likes conjecture, half truths, spin and most of all just flat out lies.

    His only mission on this blog is to never agree,and direct every attack to Davis.

    There have been others who have tried to reason with him. His personality and mission is to destroy this blog and some won’t allow it.

    I appreciate your honest try, I know it becomes tiresome to have some person continually post Davis hatred.

    I will be attacked for saying this, and my name will be copied by him(MR) his typical response, but never fear we will get through his same old comments and football will be fun to comment on this blog in a few more days.

    I can never say never, like he does all the time.

    I’M IN

  • From the NY Times about the great Al Davis, the one and only person who deserves the credit for the team’s failures AND successes:

    “…Davis managed a number of historic firsts. He became the first owner to draft an African-American quarterback in the first round, Eldridge Dickey, way back in 1968. He made Art Shell the first African-American head coach in the modern era; he made Tom Flores the first Hispanic coach. Amy Trask is the first woman to serve as chief executive of an N.F.L. team. In the 1960s, Davis moved two games out of segregated cities in the deep South when he learned the stands and local hotels would be segregated.”

    Later in the article it desribes why Davis lost the ability to completely define his team and its personality:

    “What changed was not so much Davis losing his touch as the rest of the league catching up. Two events leveled the playing field. One was the N.F.L.’s belated adoption of more expansive free agency and a salary cap in 1993. As Ortmayer puts it, this was a problem “because it broke down the ability of Al to run the operation totally as a family.” Suddenly the Raiders’ camaraderie had less appeal than the big contract. The other change was that the N.F.L. became more like the Raiders. The N.F.L. now has African-American coaches like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith and African-American quarterbacks like Steve McNair and Vince Young. The remnants of faux-military culture have given way to a relaxed atmosphere that can accommodate even those players with “attitude” problems… When the Raiders traded Moss to New England this spring, it was a measure of how the N.F.L. has evolved that the wonkish and corporate Patriots, rather than the Raiders, were thought to provide a nurturing environment in which a provocateur like Moss could flourish. Davis’s cultural innovations had been integrated into the N.F.L.’s mother brain.”

  • vegas raider

    Bo: I just read that article and tried to post the link, but guess the moderator thought against it. A nice read, like the part about him and Jack Kemp

  • Johnny Rebel

    I think its fun showing how stupid MR is. He has his good buddy Art Shell on speed dial.

  • Well said Dell, in post #211.

  • Raider Dell



    And the NY times article is right on.

  • Dakota

    Well said Dell.

  • Not a single thing from Raiders.com regarding training camp. No check in photos, no packing up photos, no setting up photos nothing. WTF is going on, do they have a new web admin, if so he sucks…. I NEED MY DAMN FIX…………………….

  • Johnny Rebel

    The Raiders have always practiced away from prying eyes and video cameras, its nothing new.

  • Raider Dell



    How are you?

    It’s good to be back

    All 32 teams start the year with one mission, and so do we Raider fans.

    SB or bust.

  • HayesDaze#37

    Dell — My point exactly. I don’t have time to wait for the (negative) response I’m expecting, so I’ll check in later. Maybe he can do it, maybe he can’t.

    Bo — Thanks for the excerpts. That was a great article, one that should be read by every fan of every team.

    Raider On

  • Dakota


    I have an inside source with the Raiders (her name is Amy Trask) that provided me with a picture of Jamarcus Russell running the first sprints of camp…they day before camp even begins! He really is turning into a leader:


  • I’m damn near tired of reading about Gruden – reaching my limits. Its time to move on. We may actually have someone better than Gruden – focus on that will ya’?

    The most telling quote of the day: “Most of the change that’s already occurred came in the form of roster turnover. Left offensive tackle Barry Sims, center Jeremy Newberry, wide receiver Jerry Porter, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, cornerback Fabian Washington and free safety Stuart Schweigert are gone.

    In their place, the Raiders signed, drafted or traded for the likes of running back Darren McFadden, left offensive tackle Kwame Harris, safety Gibril Wilson, cornerback DeAngelo Hall and receivers Javon Walker and Drew Carter.”

    ALL upgrades!! The wind is starting to blow – a turnaround is in the works for sure.

  • Dakto you punk azz. You had me excited dude….. until I saw a picture of you….

  • MR

    Sign Farve. He’s manly. It’s our only hope. Gruden would do it. Don’t bother responding.

  • Dakto? I meant Dakota

  • lefty 12

    Dakota-isn’t that “Gravy” Jackson in for a try-out?

  • Dakota


    Delighted to have you back, though my hopes for the team are not quite SB or bust…more like 8-8 and a little respect or bust, lol.

  • Dakota

    Amy also sent me this picture of Rob Ryan walking around the hotel in Napa:


    The new haircut looks good on him!

  • 1989 Plan B Free Agency messed up Al M.O.

    Set in his ways he has not adjusted.

  • McRaider

    Dakota- That was funny as hell!!!

    I do think we are too hard on russell though. He’s a southern guy who will never be skinny, nor do I want him to be.

  • lefty 12

    you can tell it’s time for football-alot of old “faces” are returning.

  • Memo

    Training camp is here & we can finally start reading about the Raiders from the best sports writer ever. Thanks again Jerry!

    Question regarding the O-line; we know they can run block but how does cut-blocking scheme work for pass protection? Or is this technique suited mostly for the run?

  • Raider Dell


    The reality is you comment is probably closer to the truth.

    We can always set our sights higher, SB or bust and if it doesn’t fall that way you just hold out hope for next year.

    Why be a passionate fan for a record of wins and losses.

    Go out on a limb and think the positive, what do we really have to lose.

    A record of 8-8 or get better next year and the SB is the only hope again next year.

  • Jerry,

    You think you can get a photo of Javon Walker’s grill ?

  • Raider Dell

    Kool Kell, Memo, Lefty 12, Dakota,

    Glad your back, football is back, let’s have some fun.

  • Memo –
    Jerry the best sports writer ever? Actually that award belongs to Nancy Gay, and here indepth love of the Raiders and Al Davis…

  • Dakota


    I thought doubling our win total was thinking positive!

    Remember, I am a conservative…

  • MR

    WARREN SAPP addressed the subject, as did Jerry Porter, Stuart Schweigert and Chris Carr. Each was cryptic in describing his experience with the Raiders and an owner who hasn’t achieved his desired goal in a quarter-century.

    As the 2008 Raiders, with a dramatically altered roster, begin workouts Thursday in Napa, the veiled references of springtime are history. What lingers is the insinuation that the organization is its own worst enemy.

    It’s not that the Raiders can’t succeed but that any chance to do so demands that the talent overcome a culture that is whimsical, cannibalistic and, naturally, fraught with anxiety.

    In short, win despite unhealthy conditions.

    No doubt owner Al Davis has added talent. That he spent more than ever speaks to his desperation.

    For the first time since the 1980s, Oakland has the best cornerback tandem in football. Nnamdi Asomugha and DeAngelo Hall will need no more help in 2008 than Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes needed in 1983 — the last Super Bowl championship season. Indeed, the overall defensive secondary will be vastly improved.

    For the first time since the 1980s, the Raiders have a running back who rides into the NFL on a vessel of hype. Darren McFadden is their most touted young runner since the Marcus Allen/Bo Jackson years.

    Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly’s huge new contract was presented with the hope that he will be as versatile and outstanding
    as Howie Long was in 1983.

    JaMarcus Russell enters his second season, first as starter, as the most heralded young quarterback in Raiders history.

    Such tremendous promise.

    Such fragile chemistry.

    Sapp spent the final four years of his NFL career in Oakland. He’s one of the best defensive linemen ever. He’s observant, intelligent and outspoken — often theatrically so.

    He described his Raiders experience as “dark as a black hole.” Sapp, in a post-retirement interview with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, minced no words.

    “Stuff went on in that organization that shouldn’t go on in sports,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anyone who knows who or what is making the call. Let’s just say the Oakland experience is unique.”

    Carr, a return man and backup cornerback now in Tennessee, described his parting as “bittersweet” because he was fond of coaches and teammates.

    “But there’s just so much other stuff going on there that it makes it difficult,” he told the Nashville City Paper.

    Schweigert, a safety now in Washington, said being released left him feeling “like a thousand-pound bear” was lifted off his chest.

    Porter said in February that there are too many detrimental forces at work for the Raiders to flourish. Shortly after signing with Jacksonville in March, he said being a Raider had become a “burden.”

    None of the ex-Raiders seemed especially bitter, none dwelled on the topic.

    Because so many are curious about Oakland’s decline, the issue is bound to come up again.

    Unless the Raiders recover.

    Which, considering the many subplots, will be quite the challenge in 2008.

    Will there be any fallout from defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s return after even he figured he was gone? Can the Raiders thrive when it’s known that Davis had one desire and coach Lane Kiffin another? How many rounds will the Al vs. Lane bout last?

    And then there are the persistent rumblings about certain assistant coaches being displeased (to put it mildly) with Kiffin — not unlike what Mike Shanahan faced in 1989. Shanahan was fired a month into the season.

    Oakland’s two best players in recent years, defensive end Derrick Burgess and Asomugha, longing for big paydays, witnessed the lavish deals given Kelly and Hall. Burgess and Asomugha are pros, but even pros can feel unappreciated.

    Contract size was a factor when veteran wideout Ronald Curry, another pro, implied newly acquired Javon Walker is the team’s No. 1 receiver.

    It’s a lot to overcome. An awful lot.

    The Raiders, 19-61 since 2002, want to revive a franchise at the lowest point of its 47-year history. They have horses, so they have a chance.

    But the best of thoroughbreds need luck and, moreover, the strength to hurdle any obstacles before them.

  • Winning = Happy(ForMe)


  • lefty 12

    same to you Dell.i also wish SB but reality says around 8-8.about Zone pass blocking.i think with the way Kiffin likes to use the roll-out and move the QB around that pass blocking isn’t as important as with a pocket passer.don’t get me wrong,it’s still important but not as much.that’s why you can get by with lesser talented guys.

  • MR

    Mods, if people can post under my name, can’t they get the “awaiting moderation”, too? Fine. Guess I have to go undercover now, myself.

  • What it do, Nation!