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Raiders rejecting the renegades

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Ten years ago the Raiders made Sebastian Janikowski the No. 17 pick of the first round of the NFL draft, and you wonder if they’d do it again.

It wasn’t simply that Janikowski was a place-kicker. Janikowski was a place-kicker with a rap sheet. He had a well-deserved reputation as a party boy at Florida State, complete with run-ins with law enforcement that included involvement with the date rap drug GHB which were yet to be sorted out in court.

Al Davis was undeterred. He selected Janikowski, who held his conference call in a bar from a golf course. After a few incidents that included DUI and a mysterious fall on a dance floor, Janikowski has stayed out of police reports for a few years now. Everyone lived happily ever after.

You still read about the Raiders being the natural destination for any player who has issues with law enforcement or behavioral problems. But as their disinterest in Santonio Holmes illustrates, the Raiders aren’t looking for renegades anymore.

Holmes is the kind of player the old-style Raiders would have pursued in a heartbeat. A young, speedy receiver at his peak who was a standout in the Super Bowl. A difference-maker who gets in trouble from time to time and is considered of questionable character.

The word is Holmes was shopped all over the league, and all the Jets had to give up was a fifth-round draft pick.

The Raiders, or anyone else, could have had Holmes with a better offer.

The closest thing to high-maintenance in their current receiving corps is Louis Murphy, a fourth-round pick who is an earnest but moody talent who sometimes lets his emotions get the better of him on the field, with no hint of trouble off it.

Second-year receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, as is third-year receiver Chaz Schilens. Johnnie Lee Higgins is laid-back and easy-going, not one to utter a discouraging word if his performance slips or his playing time is down.

There has apparently been no thought given to bringing in Terrell Owens, one of the most productive problem players of this or any era.

It goes further than the position of wide receiver.

Setting aside JaMarcus Russell’s motivational issues, look at Raiders draft picks over the past few years and it’s apparent they not only want to look good coming off the bus, but they want to look like professionals as well.

Other than an incident with some teammates in a car involving Tyvon Branch and a pellet gun in college _ a transgression which would have made the 1970s Raiders laugh out loud _ the Raiders are more choirboy than bad boy.

Darren McFadden came with some baggage for a parking lot brawl at a bar (coming to the aid of his brother) but has been pleasant, friendly and trouble-free since he arrived. In no particular order, players such as Zach Miller, Mike Mitchell, Matt Shaughnessy, Trevor Scott, Mario Henderson, Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison measured up on only on the height-weight-speed criteria but as players who aren’t going to be a problem in the locker room or outside of it.

UPDATE: The Raiders announced they have brought back linebacker Sam Williams, another problem-free locker room influence . . .

When and how did the Raiders change?

The guess here is it was a gradual thing that started with Randy Moss.

In trading for Moss, Davis had himself the NFL’s most explosive offensive player. Even as some of his coaches and former players wondered if Moss’ skills were slipping, Davis held fast to the belief that he was as good as ever.

Davis even said it after Moss was dealt for a fourth-round draft pick, which be became the forgettable John Bowie. Davis said he made the deal at the behest of his coaches. Sure enough, Davis was right _ Moss was immediately a dominant player.

Yet Moss wouldn’t play for the Raiders, and there was nothing anyone could say to get him to change his mind.

To a lesser extent, Jerry Porter was a solid receiver who let his personality get in the way of production as well.

If Moss was the start of a Raider revelation, the trade for DeAngelo Hall and the signing of Javon Walker were two more costly acquisitions that cost the Raiders some $20 million for nothing in return.

Hall and Walker were distractions at their previous stops _ Hall in Atlanta, Walker in Green Bay and Denver _ and not much changed in Oakland. Their character issues were secondary to their poor play, but on some level Davis may have come to believe or been sold on the idea that the two things are connected.

Since then, the Raiders have concentrated on retaining the players they already know, such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Shane Lechler and Janikowski. They’ve bought in veterans with impeccable credentials in terms of work ethic and dedication, most notably defensive end Richard Seymour, but the same idea applied to the departed Greg Ellis, Lorenzo Neal and Jeff Garcia.

Their lone outside acquisition this year, linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, showed up immediately to the offseason program and began punching a clock.

As prospective draftees are picked apart in the coming days, expect anyone with a character question to be immediately associated with Oakland, although the reality is it’s more punch-line than fact.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Got to go work for a few hours

  • CJ Legend 34

    This is a very nice feel good type of article but the bottom line is our team is not winning with our formula of drafting chior boys in shoulder pads.

    We can’t pick up a bunch of looney tunes but we do need to get players who can ball and have sense enough to keep their “nose clean.”

  • Good morning all.

  • Choir boys are fine IF you’ve got someone to lead them.

  • jhill Says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 8:06 am
    Dakota,

    Are you trying to rile up certain contributors with your Big Ben take?

    buying under age girls drinks + following her into the women’s bathroom = hubbub?

    LMFAO!

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Maybe.

    But just a couple of points; first, when you are in a bar it is the establishment’s responsibility to make sure all of their patrons are over the age of 21, therefore Ben could rely on the mere fact that she was allowed into the bar as proof that she was of legal drinking age and he could therefore buy her drinks….second, he didn’t follow her into the bathroom, they went there together to fool around….you make it sound like he was stalking her.

  • Mistabr0wn

    LMN,
    I can see why a Euro socialist like yourself would want to defend a Marxist bonehead like 0bama but haven’t you got problems of your own?

    When you fix your mess come talk to me about ours, deal ?

  • Ha!

  • M Lonetree

    408,

    the Raiders’ ways are often convoluted and so it requires non-linear “sideways” thinking to get at what is actually going down at any moment with the team and the organization.

  • the_big_one_of_83

    i like spikes from florida in the 3rd rd

  • jhill

    second, he didn’t follow her into the bathroom, they went there together to fool around

    ——————————————————-

    LOL …

    Ok, man.

  • jhill Says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 8:43 am
    second, he didn’t follow her into the bathroom, they went there together to fool around

    ——————————————————-

    LOL …

    Ok, man.

    ________________

    Haven’t you seen “The Wrestler?” That is how big time athletes do it….in bathrooms with drunk or high skanks.

  • Mistabr0wn

    If Rothlisberger was a “brutha” all these bleeding heart tree hugging left wing crackpots would be calling that woman a ho and giving they’re boy props. Instead..

    We all know the drill.

  • Who is this Rene Gades anyway ? Sounds French.What position does he play ?

  • the_big_one_of_83

    jhill u said the smartest thing said all tues day

  • jhill

    Instead..

    We all know the drill.

    ——————————————————-

    Would LOVE to know who “WE” are, and what “the drill” is.

    We = Non-“Brutha”?

    the drill = persecution of “non-bruthas”

  • bcz24

    Maybe.

    But just a couple of points; first, when you are in a bar it is the establishment’s responsibility to make sure all of their patrons are over the age of 21, therefore Ben could rely on the mere fact that she was allowed into the bar as proof that she was of legal drinking age and he could therefore buy her drinks….
    ***************************************************

    This is NOT true. A buddy of mine was picked up for statutory rape for sleeping with a 16yo he met in a bar. She looked identicle to the 22yo girl on the ID she was using, and he WAS able to beat the charge on the strength of a good lawyer, and the discretion of the DA. However, picking her up in a bar does not relieve you of legal ramifications if she is in fact under age, and you can still be prosecuted.

  • @ least Ben isn’t married! All he’s guilty of is making bad choices. Who wouldn’t follow a drunk hot chick to the bathroom to fool around?

  • the_big_one_of_83

    how could b marshall b a bad thing

  • weaselbit

    So Mista what you’re saying is liberals like rapists of color?
    Oh.
    I get it.

  • Sorority skanks were stalking Ben around town that night. They trapped him in the club. They engaged is sexually charged conversation with him, then one of them lured him to the bathroom, teased him a bit and then cried rape.

    Sad story.

    Roethlisberger is the victim, and he needs to understand that he is now a target. We need to protect Big Ben and guys like him from these predators.

  • Mistabr0wn

    408
    The rub is that he “violated” her or “assaulted” her which we all know is horse sh!t. So him being single isn’t really the issue its the alleged horse sh!t that these holier than thou hypocrites are having a problem with…

  • Mistabr0wn

    No weasel I didn’t say it and I dont think that.

    Nice try..

  • bcz24 Says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 8:50 am
    Maybe.

    But just a couple of points; first, when you are in a bar it is the establishment’s responsibility to make sure all of their patrons are over the age of 21, therefore Ben could rely on the mere fact that she was allowed into the bar as proof that she was of legal drinking age and he could therefore buy her drinks….
    ***************************************************

    This is NOT true. A buddy of mine was picked up for statutory rape for sleeping with a 16yo he met in a bar. She looked identicle to the 22yo girl on the ID she was using, and he WAS able to beat the charge on the strength of a good lawyer, and the discretion of the DA. However, picking her up in a bar does not relieve you of legal ramifications if she is in fact under age, and you can still be prosecuted.

    +++++++++++++++

    LOL,

    You are confusing two issues. I was talking about supplying alcohol to minors. You are talking about statutory rape.

    You can see the difference can’t you?

  • dakota

    Do you type that stuff with a straight face? cuz I cant stop laughing..

  • weaselbit

    Mistabr0wn Says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    If Rothlisberger was a “brutha” all these bleeding heart tree hugging left wing crackpots would be calling that woman a ho and giving they’re boy props.
    ========================
    Okay then. Clarify.

  • Trade Dmac for a sorority skank!

  • Mistabr0wn

    Weasel what I said is clear, if you are struggling with it that’s your problem not mine.

  • Things to do.

    Have a great Tuesday everyone.

  • the_big_one_of_83

    lets get mean and nasty we could even get plex when he gets back we need winners at fights or whatever! just win baby!

  • LMAO Dakota.

    Good Morning Nation.

    Trade up for Suh!
    Draft a MLB!
    Draft OL!
    Draft a FB!

  • Anthony Sullivan here for the Anti-Rape Tape!

    Athletes are you tired of being accused of s3xual assault? The Anti-Rape Tape is a simple hand-held recording device that fits into the palm of your hand. Here is how it works; when you meet a money grubbing whore in a hotel or bar that is throwing herself at you, simply push the red button to start recording! Ask he the following set of questions, and the Anti-Rape Tape guarantees that you will never be convicted of a crime or found guilty in a civil suit regarding the incident:

    What is your name?

    How old are you?

    Are you giving your consent to engage in all legal forms of sexual intercourse with me at this time?

    It’s that easy! Only $19.99 plus shipping and handling! Order in the next twenty minutes and we will include the Velvet Covered Brick, perfect to use in domestic violence cases, does major damage, but leaves no scars, absolutely free!

    This is a must have item for any athlete in the family! Just ask Ben Roethlisberger!

    Roethlisberger Testimonial:

    If I had the Anti-rape Tape in 2010, things would have been much easier on me and my family. For example things would have went like this in Milledgeville, Georgia:

    Ben: (Tape recording begins): This is Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback of the Pittsburg Steelers, and I am here at the Capital City Club in Milledgeville Georgia on Saturday, March 6th, 2010. With me is Candy, a sorority girl here at Georgia College, say high!

    Candy: High everyone! Goooooo Bobcats!

    Ben: Candy, what is your full name?

    Candy: Candy Morehead.

    Ben: How old are you Candy?

    Candy: I am over 21, my licenses says so!

    Ben: Are you giving your consent to engage in all legal forms of sexual intercourse with me at this time?

    Candy: For sure….I wanna know why they call you “Big Ben”!

    Ben: Where should we go to engage in this sexual intercourse?

    Candy: At this club I usually take guys to this cute little bathroom down that hall!

    Ben: Thank you Candy, now just once more for the record, you are over the age of 18 correct?

    Candy: You bet! Lets go big guy!

    It’s that easy! Order now!

  • DMAC

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!
    Sam Williams is back!!!!!!!!!

  • jhill

    LMFAO at Morehead …

    How appropriate.

  • LMAO Dakota

    Send one to Kobe!

  • LT DAN

    Hello Raider Nation. Ben is prob guilty but just like everybody else they are innocent until proven guilty. Guess we have to live with it. A lot of big time athletes or super rich people get away with a lot of things the average American could not. Why havent we traded for Haynesworth, Campbell and Gaithers?

  • DMAC

    Go A’s!

  • # Mistabr0wn Says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 8:40 am

    LMN,
    I can see why a Euro socialist like yourself would want to defend a Marxist bonehead like 0bama but haven’t you got problems of your own?

    When you fix your mess come talk to me about ours, deal ?
    _________________________________________________________

    Im/we having a problem, I wasnt aware of that… enlighten me, you clearly are a fountain of knowledge…

  • LT DAN

    Where are you from LMN?

  • bcz24

    LOL,

    You are confusing two issues. I was talking about supplying alcohol to minors. You are talking about statutory rape.

    You can see the difference can’t you?
    ********************************************
    Then your point is totally useless because Roethlisberger was not accused of buying drinks for underage girls.

  • DKnight007

    # Dakota Says:
    April 13th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Sorority skanks were stalking Ben around town that night. They trapped him in the club. They engaged is sexually charged conversation with him, then one of them lured him to the bathroom, teased him a bit and then cried rape.

    Sad story.

    Roethlisberger is the victim, and he needs to understand that he is now a target. We need to protect Big Ben and guys like him from these predators.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Huh? Why do “we” need to protect sexual assault guys like Ben from predatory women?

    F**k Ben….what the heck has he done for you, me or any of us in here??

  • new post gents…

  • the_big_one_of_83

    we need a 10-6 season bad

  • LT DAN

    Cya Nation