By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 11:43 pm in Oakland Raiders.
After the on-line chat, I’ve been doing some freelance work today (not to mention helping coach in Little League _ another tough loss) including a preseason article which includes the categories “Key addition” and “key loss.”
The key addition was predetermined (Jeff Garcia). I’m supposed to come up with the “key loss,” and for the life of me, nothing is coming to mind.
Perhaps that’s further evidence of what has been a pretty smooth offseason.
Much of the nation seems to be up in arms about the Raiders draft, but as you’ve probably surmised, I think the draft is just about the most overanalyzed thing in football and that it’s worth waiting to see players actually on the field until forming a judgement.
Center Jake Grove left in free agency, but the Raiders replaced him with a younger, more durable player who is much cheaper in Samson Satele.
I liked Rashad Baker, who did some good things, and pointed him out as a prime example of a guy whose height-weight-speed combo didn’t make him a classic Raider. They’re planning on using a lot more of Tyvon Branch, and now Mike Mitchell, and I can see that.
(I don’t want to cheapen the loss at sea of Marquis Cooper by including him in a sports category when so much more was lost than a football player).
Not sure if the “key loss” has to be a player or not, because if a non-player is OK, the key loss is special teams coach Brian Schneider, who took the job of recruiting coordinator at USC.
That’s not to say John Fassel won’t do just fine, but Schneider presided over the best Raiders special teams since they came back to Oakland, with only a couple of down games.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Notes: The Raiders signed defensive lineman (correction _ guard) Jonathan Compas, according to the U.C. Davis Web site. Also due to arrive is Boise State tight end Chris O’Neil of Miramonte High School in Orinda.
The Raiders as a matter of policy do not announce undrafted free agent signees until they’re signed and have taken the field and then sometimes wait until the ink has dried for a week or three.
– Missed wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area, but the Chrons David White was a guest and has a transcription.
– These were my team-by-team grades for the NFL draft, where hopefully I conveyed the fact that I think the whole exercise of grading in advance is ridiculous even if every media outlet seems to think it’s necessary.