Part of the Bay Area News Group

Imagine Lewis in silver and black

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 4:38 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Random observations following a long trip to Baltimore:

– The Raiders were far from alone in this, given that the dominant defensive player of his era lasted until the 26th pick of the first round, but how would history have been different if Al Davis had been smitten with Ray Lewis instead of Rickey Dudley?

A Raiders team that has had difficulty stopping the run for most of their return to Oakland would have had the services of the one common thread in a defense which has been among the NFL’s best in that area since 1996.

– “It’s personal. It really is,’’ Lewis told reporters earlier this season. “Me being around here for as long as I’ve been around, it’s just the bottom line whenever a new person comes in here. The first thing I say is there’s something we don’t do. We don’t let people run the ball on us.

“It’s kind of a thing we all buy into from Day 1.’’

– Three linebackers were drafted before Lewis _ Kevin Hardy to Jacksonville at No. 2, John Mobley to Denver at No. 15 and Reggie Brown to Detroit at No. 17. The No. 1 overall pick was Keyshawn Johnson.

(That’s the good news for Oakland _ Denver passed on Lewis as well, meaning the Raiders wouldn’t have had to play him twice a year for 13 years).

Baltimore, getting its move-year from Cleveland off to a great start, also got Jonathan Ogden at No. 4 overall.

– The Raiders traded the No. 17, No. 48 and No. 109 picks to Houston in order to take Dudley at No. 9. Dudley wasn’t a bust _ only Tim Brown caught more touchdown passes during his time with Oakland _ but poor hands made him an unreliable receiver who never achieved the greatness Davis expected.

– The Raiders managed to get Brett Favre of their back last week. Lewis has been equally difficult in his infrequent appearances against the Raiders. The Ravens are 3-1 in the Raiders not including a 16-3 smothering of the Raiders in the AFC championship game following the 2000 season.

The only Oakland win came in 2003 when Rick Mirer made fewer mistakes than Anthony Wright, with the Raiders prevailing 20-12.

(Thanks for correction _ it was Anthony Wright, not Alexander . . . )

– In the last meeting, the Raiders managed 162 yards of total offense and Aaron Brooks left during the first series in favor of Andrew Walter with the Ravens prevailing 28-6.

– As good as Lewis is, and coach Tom Cable believes he hasn’t lost a thing, the Ravens have a rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco who has been error-prone, only one real threat at wide receiver in Derrick Mason (tight end Todd Heap can also do some damage).

If the Raiders can defend the run as they had earlier this season, and put last week’s 242 yards by the Jets behind them, there’s no reason they can’t keep the game close provided they take care of the ball.

Throw in a touchdown on defense or special teams, win the field position battle and let Sebastian Janikowski kick a field goal or three and they’ve got themselves an upset.

– Cable last coached against the Ravens in 2006 as offensive line coach of the Falcons. It was a tightly fought game which Baltimore pulling away at home largely because of two big returns by B.J. Sams.

Maybe he’ll get to the M&T Stadium, break out multiple formations and try to pass the Ravens dizzy, but Cable is selling the notion of a slugfest. The Raiders used to get Junior Seau out of position on occasion, but Cable doesn’t believe Lewis will take the bait.

“He’s played too much, he’s seen too much,” Cable said. “You try to do some things, but he’s seen a lot of football. You’re not going to trick him.”

– What to make of the John Elway blast leveled at the Raiders? Lose 10-plus games five years running and you’re a punching bag. Only way to change it is to win.

It’s worth noting that Russell’s pass protection has actually been better than expected, and through six games he’s not taking the sort of physical beating Elway was alluding to regarding young quarterbacks on bad teams.

But if the Raiders do a grand sweep of their coaching staff following the season, junk their entire offense and start over, then it’s a setback.

But so far, so good.

– The Ravens are very good defensively, but they haven’t exactly been beating up on quarterbacks. They’ve got 12 sacks _ four fewer than the Raiders _ and only bounty-hunting Terrell Suggs (4.5) having more than two.

– More impressive than the site of Camden Yards when driving into Baltimore _ the gas stations. Regular unleaded gas is $2.49 per gallon.

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  • Andrews Mom

    4eva

    As long as he does not outgrow his body and he learns to read the D and become a leader, then he has the other tools in his bucket.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    I don’t even remember people claiming Russell to be a “sure fire” coming out in the draft. All the hype was over his arm and playmaking ability outside the pocket. In my mind, that hardly qualifies him.

    If there is a such thing as “sure-fire” right out of college (and Im sure there isn’t), the player should have all the accolades and some time under his belt. Russell was never metioned in the Heisman run nor did he play 2 years as a starting QB in college. Russell had a quality Sophomore season and a great Junior Season.

    For me to call someone sure fire, they need to have at least 3 (maybe 4) DOMINANT seasons in college and win the Heisman. But even this isn’t concrete…Matt Leinart anyone?

    There is no such thing as a sure-fire QB coming out of college. Once in a while you can guess right on Lineman or Linebackers but it’s almost impossible to do so with skill positions.

  • Andrews Mom

    Tatum

    I said we would have to take a little liberty with the def, and you are right that JR might not fit even with a loose def. I guess we would have to look back at how many QB’s were selected #1 or #2, maybe and then work from there.

    I would say Peyton Manning was one though.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    man this just keeps-on gettin harder-n-harder lol =)

  • Andrews Mom
  • Andrews Mom

    Lets go back to 77. Thirty years

  • Andrews Mom

    lol theres more then I thought.
    12 QBs chosen first overall in thirty years

  • Andrews Mom

    Bert Jones #3 in 73
    I always liked Bert.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Then Dave Casper ripped out Bert’s heart.

  • Andrews Mom

    6 qbs picked #1 since 2001

    9 qbs picked #1 from 1966 to 2001

    Hmmm seems like more value is being placed upon having a great QB to win?

  • Andrews Mom

    Didnt Casper do that to many a QB?

  • Andrews Mom

    So we have
    JM
    Alex Smith
    Eli Manning
    Carson Palmer
    David Carr
    Michael Vick
    Tim Couch
    Peyton Manning
    Drew Bledsoe
    Jeff George
    Troy Aikmen
    Vinnie Testiverde
    John Elway
    Steve Bartowski
    JIm Plunkett
    Terry Bradshaw

    There it is since 1967
    16 #1 in 40 years and 6 of those came in the past 8 years.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    # Andrews Mom Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 6:37 am

    6 qbs picked #1 since 2001

    9 qbs picked #1 from 1966 to 2001

    Hmmm seems like more value is being placed upon having a great QB to win?
    ________________________________________________

    Andrews Mom..

    Well I see it more as the college game is getting so much better, that the QB has higher quality and are more NFL ready than they were just 15 years ago..

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    Andrews Mom Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Dam, not even 100 posts the night before a big game.

    This place jumped the shark after the draft.
    Where did all the regs go?
    ______________________________________________________

    I went to London.. and in danger sounding too full of myself, I can see the blog really suffered =)

  • Andrews Mom

    Smith looks like a bust
    Same with Carr although he really looks like a bust.
    Vick was more of a stadium draw pick. Few thought he had the intangibles. He should not be included.
    Couch = bust
    Bledsoe = bust but still a god qb
    George = never lived up to the hype
    Vinnie = close but no cigar
    Bartowski = bust but in all fairness he was drafted by the bucs.

  • Andrews Mom

    LMN

    good point

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    as QBs go they gotta have a certain quality.Dont have to have strongest arm,like a Marino did or Jmac does hmmmm,anyway its called a field-general and no-body knows who the next great one will be.No body expected Bradshaw or Montana or Brady 2 become what they became,but on the other handyou would hope 2 expect it as in say a Stabler or a Plunkett who were drafted high

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    I was at a Pub with my GF last night, we were watching Newcastle vs Sunderland, Sunderland hadn’t won at home for 28 years against the big brother in the local derby, but they did yesterday..

    the game winning goal came on a free kick, and after it went in, he ran towards the corner with Newcastle fans and taunted them..

    Man it was great, thats what NFL needs, we need more intensity, not all this feel-good family sh1t..

  • Andrews Mom

    Speaking of HOF QB’s.
    How about two of them getting staph infections in the same year despite having the best medical care in the world.

    Scary stuff, sorta like scary mcdonald

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    I didnt realise Bradshaw went #1 =)

  • Andrews Mom

    Terry was drafted #1

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    “despite having the best medical care in the world.”

    I think I’ll beg to differ on that one..

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    best medical care money can buy is in Switzerland.. No country is even close..

  • No More infield

    this blog sucks now… Overrun with frat boys and lsers. Jerrys’ fault. He let the trolls ruin it …too bad… Sound the funeral drum.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    another thing about Bradshaw;I swear I hated him whenever we met him,man the games we had against the steelers just awesome.But thers one thing I had 4 Bradshaw:total RESPECT.He went to a 1-13 steelers team and didnt complain once.On the other hand you have an Elway{stomping his feet and crying like the sissy he still is}who wouldnt go 2 a 1-13??? colts team.So I may have hated Terry Bradshaw too this day I Respect him.Elway on the other hand I looth&despise.So I wont give any creedence 2 what he thinks or says that Punk

  • Andrews Mom

    Opps, I forgot about the superior swiss.
    Everyone knows that Brady & Peyton put their careers at risk by letting the American docs operate instead of the watchmakers and bankers who eagerly hide the money of the corrupt politicians throughout the global world.

  • Charlie

    Good morning nation!
    Perfect football weather in Baltimore.

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Bradshaw was beaten out in 1974 for the starting QB job by Joe Gilliam. Joe Gilliam though had a heroin habit and Bradshaw got his job back. If not for the drugs, Bradshaw would have been a backup.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    wow EXLA I remember Gilliam now,tho I didnt know the reason 4 his demise Thankx

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    wikipedia
    Gilliam was out of the National Football League at the end of 1975 He battled cocaine and alcohol addiction on and off over the next few years.
    Gilliam died of a heart attack on December 25, 2000 shortly after watching the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys at the Tennessee Titans. He had been sober for four years prior to his death and was able to attend the final Steelers game at Three Rivers Stadium.

  • Senile Kings’ Aricept

    Post #16….Sad , but true.Lewis is a great athlete, and ,…God help me…, I wish we had him, but I remember the incident very well and ,at that time, Lewis showed absolutely no remorse or class regarding his involvement in the two deaths.Sickening. This is a violent game played by violent people, whom ,by and large, show disrespect for the game as they are as self-indulgent and unaccountable for as they are fabulously and obscenely wealthy…(…apologies to the few classy athletes like Tim Brown, Nnamdi, and McFadden…) . I feel sorry for the fans of whatever team Michael Vick eventually plays for. Good luck justifying his presence on the field to your children………As much as I dispise Belacheat and the Patriots, they seem ,( unlike Al Davis),to understand that character matters…unless, of course, it’s in their best interests( Randy Moss ).Ray Lewis, might remember the fate of O.J….The mills of the Gods grind slow, but exceedingly fine…..

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    I want to rent out Elway for a tailgate party. He would make a great bottle opener! lol

  • NCRaider

    Ricky Dudley not a bust? What are you… drunk?

  • jason Rasmussen

    Welcome to Maryland Jerry. Hope we send you home with a win.

  • http://contracostatimes No More Fargas

    Come on Raiders never thought i would be so excited about the chance to win two in a row.Hope to see the rooks scott, D-Mac, chaz and branch come up big .

    GO RAIDERS!!!

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    post 132 lol =)

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    2hrs and 13 mins

  • raider phan in 405

    Gas is 2.09 where I live :)

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    2.63 4 me

  • GENE UPSHAW

    Andrews Mom Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 6:54 am
    Smith looks like a bust
    Same with Carr although he really looks like a bust.
    Vick was more of a stadium draw pick. Few thought he had the intangibles. He should not be included.
    Couch = bust
    Bledsoe = bust but still a god qb
    George = never lived up to the hype
    Vinnie = close but no cigar
    Bartowski = bust but in all fairness he was drafted by the bucs.

    BARTKOWSKI…DRAFTED…BY…FALCONS…DUMBASS!

  • Andrews Mom

    oooopppppssssss excuse me, however in all fairness I have never declared myself to know much about football especially the x’s and o’s.

    I was too mean to play pop warner and too cool for school.
    All I bring to the table is a cheerleader for the Raiders.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    I always thought Steve DeBerg was a great QB.Man he gave everyone fits with that boot-leg of his.Once again hate but respect =)

  • Andrews Mom

    I must have been thinking about one of the other QB’s they drafted in the first round like Steve Young, Doug Williams, Vinnie Testaverde, and Trent Dilfer.

    Three of those won a SB with another team.
    Vinnie came close. They need to learn how to develop young QB’s. Maybe Monte can convince them to hire his son, Lame Kitten.

    By the way Bucs have a great team site starting with the opening. http://www.buccaneers.com/matchup/2008/08_Cowboys_Away/index.html

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    and Andrews Mom you represent good commenting CARRY-ON BRO,youre much more than a cheer-dude,dude =)

  • Andrews Mom

    As a novice head coach, Mike Singletary said he knows he’s going to make mistakes in his new role with the 49ers. In fact, he admitted to mistakes he hasn’t even made yet. “What it comes down to is did you win the game or did you lose the game?” Singletary said Thursday. “I’m sure I’m going to make some bonehead decisions. There are guys been coaching 20, 30 years and they make bonehead decisions. Why should I be different?”

  • Andrews Mom

    Thanks 4eva

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    de nada

  • Andrews Mom

    Al is not the only owner who makes mistakes on WR,s
    Heres a 6 million dollar man,

    Earnest Wilford, the fifth-year NFL veteran, didn’t sign a big-time contract with the Dolphins this year just to sit on the bench. But he enters Sunday’s game against Buffalo with one catch, and he’s been on the inactive roster for two straight games. “Am I hurt? Yeah,” Wilford said Thursday. “But this is nothing new for me. Nothing in life came easy for me. This is just a little phase I’m going through. “I just have to continue to believe in myself and crawl my way out of this valley.

  • Andrews Mom

    Great article from Baltimore about todays game. Lots of positive things said about the Raiders.

    http://www.baltimoreravens.com/News/Articles/2008/10/Ravens_vs_Raiders_Game_Preview.aspx

  • Voldemort

    $2.49 a gallon?? I’m moving to Baltimore! It’s still over $3.00 in Reno.