Raiders bring `haters’ to their knees

A funny thing happened on the way to another weekend of national scorn and ridicule.

The Raiders dominated the NFL draft.

OK, “dominate” is probably too strong, because no one really knows how a draft class is going to be for a few years down the road. But considering the abuse they’ve taken over the past few years, much of it justified, most who watched as a fan or critic were of the opinion the Raiders had three good days.

Three very good days.

Tom Cable’s talk about “championships” remains a reach, but at least it’s not ludicrous any more.

The fact is, if Rolando McClain is a middle linebacker who even approaches the level of a rookie Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis, if Lemarr Houston can provide a stout end to turn runners inside, if Jared Veldheer or Bruce Campbell can add something to the offensive line, and most importantly, if Jason Campbell elevates the art of quarterback all the way to above average, the Raiders have the look of a .500 team.

And once you’re a .500 team, you’re only a break or two away from 10 wins.

People rolled their eyes at the Raiders on Wednesday. By Saturday, they were something to be taken seriously.

Seldom was heard a discourging word from the endless procession of talking heads on ESPN and the NFL Network, many of them prefacing their comments with a qualifier such as, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but . . . ”

Since he took over has head coach, Cable has wanted to get rid of negativity. He’s talked about in press conferences. He’s talked to reporters informally about it, wondering why doom and gloom is so prevalent. My response has been it’s a reflection of the won-loss record over the past seven years, and that it wasn’t going to go away until the Raiders changed things on the field.

Well, the Raiders, for the time being, did what I didn’t think was possible. They cast themselves in a positive light with what appears to be sound and decisive personnel moves.

In the cocoon of the Raiders draft room, Cable isn’t yet fully cognizant the negativity has ground to a halt.

“For awhile I’ve said at some point things will start to change,” Cable said. “If that’s the feeling out there it would be second to the feeling in that draft room.”

A skeptic can still find fault.

What if McClain isn’t any better than Derrick Johnson, the linebacker the Chiefs thought would change their defense in 2005?

Or that Houston is one of those Texas players who doesn’t take the next step in the NFL.

If Veldheer can’t make the gigantic leap from Hillsdale to the AFC West, and Bruce Campbell is one of those “looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane” types, then Jason Campbell will find himself taking a beating, the passing game will falter, and, well, you know the rest.

But the bad vibes are for another time.

Oakland has made a run at shoring up problem areas, and instead of reaching for “numbers” players like kick returner Jacoby Ford and Bruce Campbell too high, the Raiders took their shot in reasonable rounds. Veteran linebacker Kamerion Wimbley cost a third-round pick and Quintin Groves a fifth, both reasonable moves for talented players at not much cost.

Topping it all off, Jason Campbell, while not an elite NFL quarterback, was a 64.5 percent passer for a struggling Washington team and although he had 15 interceptions last year, has been pretty good at avoiding turnovers.

His arrival means Al Davis has taken a realistic view of JaMarcus Russell, which in turn will boost the spirits of the fan base. Campbell is scheduled to make $3.1 million this year on the tender he signed in Washington, and was extended for another $4.5 million next year. He’s not here to sit.

Campbell is far better idea than either an aging Donovan McNabb or the toxic Ben Roethlisberger, and it came at almost zero cost _ a fourth-round draft pick two years from now.

All the rumors about fire sales and the perception of a a franchise hopelessly adrift, and Davis did more good things in a short period than at any time in recent memory.

It wasn’t perfect, because it never is.

“You can always do better. I’m sure after we have some time reflect on it, we’ll look at it and say, `Man, I wish we could’ve done this or that,” Cable said. “But shoot, man. That’s a heck of a draft for the Raiders. It really is, and you can put some check marks to some very important issues on this football team.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • fat kidd

    ,2007 mccfadden going to have a break out year,2008 mcfadden going to have a break out year,2009 mcfadden going to have a break out year ,2010 mcfadden going to have a break out year,well i wish he would break out already

  • Guy

    walter McFadden may actually have an impact on defense. He is a physical tackler and a man coverage guy with good speed.

  • darkhorse

    Finally a draft where we picked for need not speed.

  • Guy

    Fat kidd McFadden was drafted in 08 not 07, he was good in 07.

  • Coach on Wheels

    Fat Kidd LOL

    Breakout man!

  • fat kidd

    Guy Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    Fat kidd McFadden was drafted in 08 not 07, he was good in 07.

    good for what?did i miss a year of football?

  • Guy

    he was in college in 07 lol

  • Coach on Wheels

    i’d say DMAC could follow B Campbell if BC is a pulling guard but DMAC couldn’t keep up with him.

  • fat kidd

    if fargas did not have a bad knee we would be better off with him than mcfadden

  • Thec07

    Coach do we still need a bit 340 lb NT?
    Would you run at Haynesworth?

  • fat kidd

    Guy Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 8:01 pm
    he was in college in 07 lol

    did he have a break out year

  • Thec07

    Yeah coach I watched T. willims at the combine wanted him, and the center Pouncey…

  • fat kidd

    Thec07 Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 8:02 pm
    Coach do we still need a bit 340 lb NT?
    Would you run at Haynesworth?

    i would use him as a rb he would be better tham dmac

  • raiderchristian53

    I love our picks i think mcclain is going to be great as for russell i still belive him i think we need to sign a nose tackle and a running back we only have 2 backs

  • Coach on Wheels

    I’m thinking we still need a “clogger”. He can be 320 but has to be a point of attack guy – not a penetrator.

    The only thing I can think is Dez Bryant (a 290 clogger) added 20bs or clogger J Richardson is going inside and bulked up.

  • Guy
  • fat kidd

    raiderchristian53 Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 8:06 pm
    I love our picks i think mcclain is going to be great as for russell i still belive him i think we need to sign a nose tackle and a running back we only have 2 backs

    get haynesworth use him like chicago used refrigerator perry ,he would be or leading rusher

  • Coach on Wheels

    Wafle had Grady Jackson last time he was here but in NYG his big guys were only 320ish. Need to be able to clog though.

  • I’m still in shock.

    What a day. Can’t believe Al pulled the trigger on the Campbell trade.

    I think the tone of Cable’s press conference was out of respect for Gradkowski. Before the muscle injury a few weeks ago he was “the guy.”

    Now, this will be Campbell’s team.

  • RaiderRetribution

    key Points already mentioned, therefore I must give credit to each of you:

    Mr. Jason Campbell will lead us TD’s in the Red Zone like we have not seen since Mr. Marcus Allen.

    Mr. Campbell will remind us of Mr. Gannon, he will be comeback player of the year and make the pro-bowl; remember he was drafted by coach Gibbs and he knows quarterbacks.

  • fat kidd

    Raider75 Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 8:13 pm
    I’m still in shock.

    What a day. Can’t believe Al pulled the trigger on the Campbell trade.

    I think the tone of Cable’s press conference was out of respect for Gradkowski. Before the muscle injury a few weeks ago he was “the guy.”

    Now, this will be Campbell’s team.

    yeah campbell will have a breakout year

  • darkhorse

    time will tell…

  • RaiderRetribution

    having Jason will also mean we will not have to rush Mr. Gradkowski back, therefore we will still have a solid #2 QB in Bruce, he’s earned it.

    Only QB question now is who will be our #3?

  • Nnamdi21

    327. Stop with the man crush on Spiller. So f’in what? He had big college accolades ran for 3,547 yds and scored 32 TD’s on the ground in FOUR years.

    Theres a guy already on the Raiders named Darren McFadden who had big college accolades ran for 4,590 and scored 41 TDs on the ground in THREE years.

    Spiller’s smaller and a fraction slower too.

    What makes you think he can do it if McFadden hasn’t?

    Wait till this year…

  • Coach on Wheels

    Guy – Not sure. He weighed 290 at the LSU pro day. if he is a point of attack guy he’d need to bulk up a bit. Kinda like Dez Bryant who looked good last year backing up Gerard Warren.
    If Bryant rolls into OTAs at about 310, the riddle may be solved and I’ll be a prophet lol.

  • I’m out Nation…it’s been a long day!
    Talk to you guys/gals tomorrow!

  • DKnight007

    After all the ridicule I and others have done to this Raider front office…..I congratulate them for stepping the hell up and executed a good solid draft and picking up J Campbell to compete as the starting QB.

    Now all that needs to be done is to COACH EM UP and COACH this players well!

  • Guy

    Read what they said, his ability to eat blockers will attract scouts Coach. Isn’t Dez a penetrator?

  • DKnight007

    Little worried with all this talk to Houston playing DE.

    I see him playing DE in a 3-4 alignment, but not as a pass rushing DE in 4-3 alignments.

    In a 4-3, his 3 tech should be allowed to give those guards hell in the inside with his excellent hand fighting skills!

    I also see Houston being Kellys replacement next year if Kelly doesn’t step it up this year….because Kelly has a fat contract and he needs to produce this year or he is gone next year IMO.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Run defense will be much better for two key reasons

    #1- Mr. Rolando McClain will direct the defense, he will tackle better than any LB we have had since the 80’s, and he is not afraid to take on pulling guards who out weigh him by 50 lbs.

    #2- w/ Jason Campbell leading our offense, we will be ahead early in many games therefore opponents will have to pass more against us to win. they will not be able to sit on a 7 pt lead and just run the clock out at the start of the second half. Our offense the last few years has had as much to do with our porous run defense as our front seven.

    #3- w/ Mr. Seymour & Mr. Houston as well as Mr. Shaunessey Mr. Kelley & Mr. Bryant our front line will be stout against the run and with a lead our sacks will also increase by at least twenty this season.

    #4 we will run a 4-3, a 3-4, a 5-2, even a 3-3 we will have so many defensive formations by the time the playoffs start, even Manning & Brady will fear Mr. Nnamdi Asomugha!

    and Finally,
    #5 C Johnson will not rush for a hundred yards against the Raiders on opening day, (nor will S. Jackson the following week)!

  • jraider

    Raiders4eve: Raiders run a 4-3, there is no NT.
    SATANFEARS ALDAVIS: Clausen is far behind Campbell at this point. Raiders do not need another project.

    Cable says there is an open competition, but common sense says otherwise: Jamarcus stays on the roster until the last possible day (before the last cut). After he turns down a contract re-negotiation, he gets cut, Campbell becomes the starter, and Russell sits at home for the season-probably forever.

    This was a very good draft – don’t know how you can say otherwise.

  • DKnight007

    The front office better hit those phones up hard to bring in a couple RB’s to compete for that 3rd RB spot and bring in a fat NT type of DT, and also bring in a few nasty Guards and maybe a Center from the rookie FA wire!

  • DKnight007

    For those who say this wasn’t a good solid draft for the Raiders, then I say to those…..

    What the heck did you want to make it a good draft??

    Would you have rather see what happened last year again??

    Wake up!

  • Raiders4eve


    Raiders have the talent to run a 3-4, they listed L houston as DE, Groves as a LB, Wimbley as LB, Scott as LB. Jay Richardson is a perfect DE in 3-4 as well as Matt, of course we got Seymour. Only thing missing is a big guy in the middle.

    Besides in 4-3, you have two DTs (Priesttj can explain it better then me), one DT plays the three technique, the other is a one gap penetrator. He usually dominates the guard and center. An NT would be a DT in the 4-3 but he would play the one gap and dominate opponents lines and at minimum allow his line backers to stop the run. Warren was good penetrator but he could never hold his blockers when it came to stop the run. Thats is why we need a big guy.

  • fat kidd

    al davis did make the all draft picks ,a report from a nurse in oakland ca. says mr davis was feeling poorly just before the draft but was given an .I.V. of pure kamodoo dragons blood and responded nicely to the treatment,just moments before the draft a flying monkey entered the office with 40 times ,and mr davis went right to work.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Raider’s Linebacker Corp consists of

    Mr. McClain in the middle (yippee-kiy-yay, chris johnson)

    the outside with Mr. Trevor Scott who was outstanding at the end of last season, Mr. Groves, Mr. Wimbley, and on passing downs- Mr. Howard, Special Teams specialist Mr. Isaiah Ekejiuba, with Mr. Norris, Mr. Nixon, Mr. Williams, and the other rookie Mr. Goethel competing for a back up and/or a starting spot on the roster.

    We are deep at the LB position, deepest since, Super Bowl MVP-Mr. Martin, Mr. Squirek, & Mr. Hendricks were on the squad.

  • Guy

    Charles alexander or Jay ross as that big guy please.

  • GG

    Here’s a good question…

    Which rookie/new jersey are you all gonna get?
    Too many to choose from.
    For me, choosing between…
    J.Campbell, Veldheer, McClain, Houston, Goethel, at the moment.

  • SilverAndBlackBleeder

    Can’t wait to head back home to Louisville for Derby next week and see our boy Bush cruising around the city. I’m sure he’s gonna be all smiles knowing a big payday is finally lurking around the corner after he puts together a monster season for the most improved team in the league. It’s a good day to bleed Silver&Black fellas. Ya’ll enjoy the weekend!

  • RaiderRetribution

    We need to keep Mr. Asomugha!

    We should trade our 2011 2nd round pick for Haynesworth.

    We have already lost our #1, therefore we might as well go for the Superbowl this season as there may not be a next season or a next draft.

    (yeah, i know smarter heads will prevail and everyone will realize they would be stupidiots for sacrificing billions & millions for 2-5 percentage points, both players and owners will have to sacrifice something, elimination of the franchise tag for the best player who has earned his unrestricted free agency more than anyone is what it will cost the owners to get back 50+ % of the profits).

  • fat kidd

    i will wait till they sign T.O.and get his jersey

  • RaiderRetribution

    Mr. McClain or Mr. Campbell for me.

    Does anyone know how much of a percentage the player or the team gets for each jersey sold?

    Is it negotiated in the individual contract or is there a standard incorporated by the labor agreement?

  • Chris in NY

    Have we signed any UFAs?

    Is Lonyae Miller, RB, Fresno State still available?

    Guy put up good numbers when Ryan Matthews was hurt. Don’t forget, Priest Holmes went undrafted after he was pushed aside in college at Texas for a guy named Ricky Williams. Barry Sanders rode the pine for awhile while Thurman Thomas did his thing at Ok State.

    Miller would be a gem of a UFA signing.

  • # r8eray Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    (213) 740-4190 is disconnected!


    That’s the number they gave at USC’s website. I left the link, too. So try the athletic department number and leave him a voice mail. Tell him that he was right all along. We should get as many people as we can to do it. Prove that the Raider Nation does have class. Or, we can prove what everyone’s been saying about us, and pretend that Kiffin wasn’t the first person to call it that Russell was no good.

  • GG

    good question raiderretribution. I wouldnt know. i think it’d have to be standard set rate league wide.

  • Chris in NY

    Bruce Campbell baby. So psyched that we got him in the 4th. I was on board with taking him at No. 8.

    We’ll see. It’s not where you’re drafted. Just last year Louis Murphy was picked in the 4th and easily outperformed our No. 1 in DHB. Anquan Boldin was considered a reach in Round 2 several years ago and was the second WR taken by the Cards in that draft. Went on to have one of the best rookie seasons ever.

    Campbell left school early thinking he’d be a Round 1 or Round 2 at worst pick. Mayock said he’d be the No. 1 o-line prospect next year if he stuck around for his senior season. He’s going to have a chip on his shoulder. He’s going to bring the athletic ability, strength, long arms and rock solid physique to Cable who I still consider a very good o-line coach. What a great pick.

  • # Norco Bob Says:
    April 24th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    brian, is MR really what you said he is?…Im watching that movie, the 40 year old virgin, thats what reminded me of what you said about MR.


    lol. Watching Less than Zero. Robert Downey Jr.’s character reminds me of you.

  • Chris in NY

    Trade for Haynesworth.

    Bring back Grady Jackson.

  • Chris in NY

    And sign Mawae.

  • fat kidd

    afc championship game raiders vs ravens