By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at 8:58 am in Oakland Raiders.
Jumping to some conclusions before enjoying a family Mother’s Day outing heading into a week where I’m prohibited from posting (it’s technically called a vacation, although I’m not going anywhere):
– It’s come to my attention that a lot of people have a difficult time comprehending the written word.
JaMarcus Russell may have been a bust anyway. Probably would have been one, in fact. I believe I duly noted his deficiencies. We may learn at some point his issues go far beyond simply being, as Gary Peterson put it, lethargy addicted. Or perhaps not.
But anyone who doesn’t understand Russell walked into the absolute worst situation possible with the Raiders ought to sit back and order another Kool-Aid.
And make it a double.
– Yes, putting Russell on waivers was a good thing (hard to believe no one picked him up at the bargain price of $9.45 million). The very definition of addition by subtraction, it followed a sensible offseason free agency plan and a widely acclaimed draft as perhaps the best Raiders offseason in years.
Fan groups were calling for the head of Al Davis and even putting it on billboards around the Coliseum. Read some of the national press of late, and if there was an award for comeback executive of the year, Davis would be the leading candidate.
Can’t say I disagree, but there are still some major areas of concern.
The two biggest issues are the most important in the sport _ blocking and tackling. Love what they attempted with the latter (Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston), but am wondering how much they did with the former in terms of immediate help (Jared Veldheer, Bruce Campbell).
– A third are of concern _ the corps of Raiders wide receivers were woefully thin with the absence of Chaz Schilens (recovering from foot surgery) and Louis Murphy (sprained ankle).
Terrell Owens, anyone?
Offer him an incentive-laden contract and cut him at the first sign of trouble and there’s considerably more reward potential than risk.
– Another break for the Raiders in an offseason that just keeps on giving. Houston linebacker Brian Cushing, the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year who was suspended for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs, will serve four-game suspension. The Texans’ fourth game is in Oakland.
– Baltimore tackle Jared Gaither has been officially moved aside in favor of Michael Oher and would seem to be available by trade. Gaither will likely start on the right side for the Ravens but could be available by trade. Since the Raiders blew the chance to have Oher as their left tackle, instead drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey, might they inquire about Gaither?
It depends on how much of a hard sell Hue Jackson gives to Davis. Jackson was on the Ravens’ coaching staff and knows Gaither well, and by all appearances at the mandatory minicamp, has taken control of the Raiders offense.
– Condolences to former Raiders linebacker Kirk Morrison, who has made repeated poignant references to the death of his grandmother on his Twitter account, traveling back to the Bay Area for funeral services.
– An e-mailer sent along statistical evidence to support the contention that Darren McFadden goes down too easily, while advancing the cause of Michael Bush.
According to profootallfocus.com statistics, Bush ranked second in the NFL behind Kansas City’s Jamal Charles with 3.4 yards per carry after first contact. McFadden was ranked 38th out of 61 qualifiers at 2.4 yards after contact, which was actually a slight improvement from his 2.1 figure as a rookie.
Situations change with down and distance and other variables, but it’s at least worth noting . . .
– More evidence that nothing is at it seems in the NFL _ in this Los Angeles Time article, Mike Lombardi supports the Raiders and Lane Kiffin supports JaMarcus Russell . . .
– Loved columnist Gary Peterson’s take on a rookie cap and the JaMarcus rule . . .
– Here’s Monte Poole writing in today’s paper about Al’s fixer-upper being more intriguing to potential minority partners.
– Be back in a week, with Steve Corkran chiming in from time to time in my absence . . .