By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, March 16th, 2009 at 9:35 pm in Oakland Raiders.
You can thank David White of the San Francisco Chronicle for smoking out the latest big news out of Alameda.
When team executive John Herrera said there was no media availability scheduled this week as some of the team gathered for preseason workout sessions, I thought the worst.
You know, the usual. A locked security gate, opening and closing only for players and employees in cars with the pass code, and anyone wishing to get a few words subjected to shouting through a chain-link fence.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Whether the usual security was in force, I don’t know. If someone else is going to get the kids off to school with the wife out of town, I’ll need some advance notice.
White, in the best tradition of the news organization that blew the lid off Balco, was responsible for forcing the following earth-shaking announcements via the transactions page on Raiders.com:
C Chris Morris re-signed
C/LS Jon Condo re-signed
CB Justin Miller re-signed
T Khalif Barnes signed
LB Ricky Brown re-signed
DE William Joseph re-signed
Other than Barnes, consummated over the weekend, these other transactions have been done for awhile now.
I’m fairly certain I read on a few occasions in the comments section underneath this blog about Miller. I even asked the Raiders about it and got their best Sgt. Schultz impression. “I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing.”
Miller’s agent wasn’t saying anything, either.
Would have been a nice announcement on the Raiders Web site, bringing back a guy who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. Instead, it’s a non-story, rating behind Raiderettes visiting some far away land.
(Note: The Raiders have still not confirmed the signing of cornerback Chris Johnson, whose signing, complete with contract numbers, was reported on Feb. 12).
Profootballtalk.com speculated perhaps the Raiders were too busy reminding the media about the many lies of Lane Kiffin to keep up with their “responsibility” of informing people of their day-to-day operations.
More likely, it’s just the another quirk unique to the Raiders.
When it came to the loss of linebacker Marquis Cooper at sea, the Raiders displayed sensitivity and perspective with a real-life issue far more important than most anything else they’ll do.
They get trashed consistently for their dealings with the media, but run a pretty good draft day and their training camp access is better than most.
Other times, mostly in the offseason, they fall asleep at the wheel. They pick and choose regarding transactions. They’ll go ahead with some signings that can’t help but become news (Nnamdi Asomugha, Shane Lechler).
Bringing back others, such as special teamer Isaiah Ekejiuba, guard Cooper Carlisle and return specialist Miller, are treated as if they’ve reluctantly renewed an unwanted lease.
It’s not the fault of Herrera and Mike Taylor, who are nearly carrying out the wishes of the organization. It’s really not that big a deal at all, unless you’re one of those people who wishes to be kept informed of the goings on with the team to whom you’ve devoted your soul as well as your fan dollars.
It all flows from the top. Somewhere, near files which contain all the paperwork on the slogans “Commitment to Excellence,” “Team of the Decades,” and “Pride and Poise,” is another near the desk of Al Davis which says, “None of Your Damn Business.”
For what it’s worth, the subject of making some players available in the next couple of weeks, as well as new coordinators John Marshall and Ted Tollner, has been broached with the media relations people.
Cable, who straddles the line between his own beliefs and the company line while not sounding as if he’s spreading propaganda, looks like he has real promise at the media game.
Maybe the Raiders will open up a little. Cable even went to the podium at the NFL scouting combine, the first Raiders coach in memory to do so.
More likely, they won’t.
If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, no problem.
If the Raiders don’t feel it’s in their interest to compete in the market place during tough economic times, so be it.
As part of the media, you learn to live with it.
As a fan, many of you don’t care until the games begin anyway. You’re fine with all in-house stuff on Raiders.com and believe any discouraging word is evidence of a Raiders conspiracy.
Long live lack of information.
As for the rest of you, tough luck.