By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, January 10th, 2010 at 12:01 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The world revolves around the Raiders, even in the playoffs:
– The kind of power running, play-aciton, limited option passing attack utilized by Mark Sanchez in a 24-14 win over the Bengals would be ideal for JaMarcus Russell.
If Tom Cable gets the bad news this week, the Raiders ought to look seriously who is responsible for that.
Wait . . . it’s offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and assistant head coach/line coach Bill Callahan, with at least a minor assist from assistant quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.
Unless Schottenheimer is one of those rebellious sons who loves to stick it to the old man, never mind.
– Two problems if you’re hoping Al Davis makes a run at Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Garrett is making some $3 million-plus per year as an assistant coach and considers Norv Turner a close friend and mentor.
He’d undoubtedly ask Turner his honest opinion about working for the Raiders.
– Playoff football is an entirely different animal, but it sure looked from my couch that the Charlie Frye of a week ago looked a lot better than Tom Brady in the first half against the same Ravens defense. Let’s see if Brady put out an all points bulletin for Randy Moss at halftime and if he can spread out the Ravens and attack them with some success.
– With Seattle coming to Oakland next season with Pete Carroll as head coach, here’s hoping Davis brings in Jim Harbaugh just for the pleasure of watching the post-game handshake.
– For as long as the franchise has been back in Oakland, there have been a few letter-writers and e-mailers who flood local and national markets with a remarkably accurate view of the Raiders through a staunch pro-Al Davis point of view.
This week one took aim at Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen and Rich Gannon . . . and indicated that “whoever coaches the offensive line should be fired.’’
He wasn’t talking about Jim Michalczik.
– Donovan McNabb, anyone?
You’ve got to think Philadelphia believes it’s gone about as far as it is going to go in the McNabb era and will elevate Kevin Kolb next year.
That would mean McNabb would be looking for a starting job somewhere.
If it doesn’t happen, Kolb isn’t nearly as good as people seem to think he is.
– Big hit the Raiders took on the Hall of Fame ballot cutdown. Only Tim Brown survived, with Ray Guy, Cliff Branch, Lester Hayes, Jim Plunkett, Todd Christensen and coach Tom Flores failing to make the cut.
Davis pushes hardest for Plunkett and Flores. I’m partial to Branch, a dominant deep threat in both the regular and post-seasons who is at least a match and probably superior to Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.
As for Guy, the bottom line is that for the majority of selectors, any time they come down to a player they consider worth and pair him with a punter in an either/or situation, the punter’s going to lose every time.
I mean, the Hall of Fame has a place where sports writers and broadcasters get their name displayed, but not a punter?
– Here’s the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s profile of Charles Woodson, grown up and flourishing as a star and a leader in a way he never did in Oakland.
Easily one of the most interesting and charismatic guys to ever set foot in the locker room, he could also be one of the most infuriating, given his Monday-through-Saturday preparation as a Raider.
Whether he shuts down Larry Fitzgerald today or gets lit up by him, expect Woodson to do as he’s always done and tell the truth when it’s over.
– Gannon’s taking some deserved heat for using his radio show to volunteer his services, knowing full well going public removed any chance of it happening. Gannon should know this _ he’s reached out before to no avail.
But do the Raiders have to take the bait every time? They could have looked above the fray for once with a polite, “thanks, but no thanks.’’
– Thanks to those e-mailers who pointed out my monumentally stupid error in my weekly NFL notes column for print, calling Chris Johnson “Chris Henry.’’
It’s been since repaired on Internet versions, but remains there for all to on paper. Any abuse for that mistake is richly deserved.