Raiders say `I told you so’ on DHB

On the heels of a couple of highly impressive offseason workouts open to the media and ostensibly a number of others behind closed doors, Al Davis took the opportunity Sunday to turn up the pressure on second-year wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Oakland issued a highly unusual press release Sunday to tell everyone about Heyward-Bey’s progress, comparing him to the great receivers in club history.

The release was as follows:


Raiders Owner Al Davis has always said that the Raiders have had the greatest players, greatest coaches, played in the greatest games and participated in the greatest plays in the history of professional football. The Raiders have been dominant in terms of winning. The greatest wide receivers in professional football have passed through the portals of the Oakland Raiders or have been coached by Davis.

Lance Alworth Willie Gault
Art Powell Andre Rison
Warren Wells Bob Chandler
Fred Biletnikoff Jerry Rice
Cliff Branch Tim Brown
James Lofton Randy Moss

Now Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Raiders’ top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, is prepping to join that select group. Heyward-Bey has enjoyed a workmanlike offseason where he has put in time and energy to prepare for his second NFL campaign, when many of those whose names mentioned blossomed in professional football competition.

“I’m just working on my game, using this opportunity to get better, to work with my quarterbacks and my teammates,” said Heyward-Bey following a recent OTA session. “Just going out, just playing my game. That’s all I’m doing right now. And I’m using each practice to reach my goals.”

The list of wide receivers should make any pundit or so-called expert think twice before putting negativity on Heyward-Bey. No one has come close to the excellence at wide receivers that have worn the Silver and Black. These performers have been the greatest players who have ever played the game.


A few things:

— If the Raiders took a close look, they’d discover many of the so-called “pundits” who wrote about how poor Heyward-Bey was in his rookie season (he was) are the same ones (including me) who are writing how much better he looks this year (he does) in his two public practices.

Anyone who calls a rookie a bust following a single season is being foolish.

— DHB has looked terrific in the last two media sessions open to the public, no doubt.

That’s how he’s supposed to look. He was the No 7 overall pick of the draft. In no-contact offseason drills, Heyward-Bey being dominant should be a foregone conclusion. Especially in the last session, when Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson were not present and Stanford Routt didn’t participate at all because of muscle tightness. Seven-on-sevens and drills against corners hoping to make the roster ought to be a series of big plays.

— Lofton was simply dazzling as a Raider, wasn’t he? They dumped him and he went on to compile numbers in Buffalo that would complete a Hall of Fame career. Los Angeles was a bus stop. Davis was also right about the talent of Randy Moss. Just look at what he did in New England after the worst two years of his career as a Raider.

— Now that it’s been determined by that Heyward-Bey has arrived, here’s hoping Davis authorizes a press release soon which tells us Darren McFadden is ready for his breakout year.

— Someone seems a little overly sensitive about the public admission by virtue of the waiver wire that JaMarcus Russell wasn’t “great” after all.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • jhill

    the Raiders could have gotten 2x Pro Bowler


    You’re gonna ride they shyt outta that 2x pro bowler tag, eh?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Here you go BSJ (page 1)

    It’s a serious business being a rookie in the NFL. Your teammates expect a lot from you. Your coaches expect even more. And hopefully you expect the most from yourself.

    When I was a rookie in 2003, I was not only making the transition from college to the NFL, but also being asked to make the move from safety to cornerback. It took time for me to get comfortable, and realistically, it wasn’t until my third season that I began to feel at home.

    Players often get a bad rap during their first or second year if they struggle with this transition, especially if they are high draft picks. I think it’s important to look at a young player’s work ethic, his football intelligence, and his desire to become great. Even if a player gets off to a slow start, it is those traits that will allow him to eventually become successful in his career.

    So for all you rookies out there, here are a few tips of advice to help give you a smoother transition into the league:

    • Set your alarm for a reasonable time. If you’re five minutes early, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re fired.

    • Be confident in your ability to play the game. I learned from my position coach, Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown, that confidence is more than half of the battle. He told me before my very first game as a starter, “If you don’t believe you’re the best, you’ll never be the best.” No matter the situation, no matter the circumstance, when you believe in yourself and can fully understand that you made it to the NFL because you have an ability that is rare, you will conquer many of your fears before they even manifest.

    • Be smarter than you were the day before. This is where the mental part of the game comes into play. The tendency for young players is to rely solely on their athletic ability. Big … Huge … Enormous mistake. Understanding your role and the role of others around you will be extremely beneficial to your development as a player. Make it a point to learn something new with each day. The game will slow down for you, I promise. I didn’t immediately grasp this concept, but once I did, I felt like I was playing a completely different game. Like I had the cheat code that my opponents couldn’t figure out.

    • Don’t limit your exposure. I believe that success is like a roll of film. In order to develop, you need exposure. Try to be as versatile as possible. Let the coaches see you in different spots on the field. It may seem like a headache in the beginning, but not only will it give you a better shot at making the team, but also it will make you a much better player. Versatility increases value. Value gives you job security. Make Special Teams your best friend in the entire world. We have all gone through the gauntlet of Special Teams at one point in our careers and many of us have made a wonderful living off it. If you wait until the last week of training camp to ask your Special Teams coach where you can help, you may be on the next bus out.

    • Stay out of the training room as much as you can. Sometimes you can’t help it, and that’s fine. Basically, do all of your necessary stretching and stay hydrated because an injury can make things very tricky. If one comes, shift your focus to getting better as soon as you can. As they say, “You can’t make the club in the tub.”

    • Don’t count heads. By that I mean when teams are cutting players, don’t try to figure out if you are next on the chopping block. Heck, don’t even try to figure out where you will be on the depth chart. Try as hard as you can to keep from comparing yourself to others. You can only control your performance. If your teammate is doing well and you’re having a bad day, the common thing to do is start comparing. “Well, he did well today, that must mean they like him more now. People are going to think I shouldn’t be here. I wish I was doing better than he is doing.” Don’t let that be your thought. It will cloud your focus and your performance will suffer because you start to lose your confidence. Just go out there and be the best player you can possibly be and let the stuff you can’t control work itself out. It always does.

    Finally, I leave you with this piece of advice. Don’t be afraid of the moment, because it doesn’t last forever.

  • raidertay

    The biggest “I told you so” for Big Al should be Namndi. Nobody knew who he was when the Raiders drafted him in the first round. Now he looks like a steal at he bottom of the first rd. I remember ESPN didnt even have footage on him during the draft and ESPN usually has footage on everybody.

  • DMAC

    I like it….

    “The game will slow down for you, I promise. I didn’t immediately grasp this concept, but once I did, I felt like I was playing a completely different game. Like I had the cheat code that my opponents couldn’t figure out.”

  • jhill



  • jhill

    Sho Nasty and Scott are going to pose a big problem for that LT trying to protect the QB.

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    Rock star , now we have Seymour and Henderson who can play outside or inside and now have some sort of a rotation we haven’t had in a while.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Thanks Vegas (sic).

  • jhill

    Henderson playing outside?

    What kinda NT is that?

  • Just Fire Baby

    jhill Says:
    June 14th, 2010 at 10:16 am
    JFB …

    You need to address you Russellitis.

    I would have thought you’d gotten rid of that by now.


    Please, I am like a battered wife on this one, and just getting through the acceptance phase.

    I think it might take about the same amount of time he played in Silver & Black to move on completely, and be ready to date again.

  • RaiderRockstar

    So you have Kelly coming off the bench????


    Jhill: up to this point Kelly is a huge bust at DT. We’re looking at throwing a fat contract at Richard Seymour to keep him in town another 3-4 years. Can we afford to overpay both guys that virtually play the same position? 3-4 DE / 4-3 UT

    I don’t think so. The only guys who can play NT on the D-Line are Henderson, Joseph & Heard

    so with Seymour, Bryant & Houston all having the ability to play 4-3 UT Kelly really is almost expendable. I think he’ll be asked to take a serious paycut if he hasn’t already

    On February 28, 2008, the Oakland Raiders signed Kelly to the largest contract ever given to a defensive tackle on the ever of free agency. Kelly, a defensive end scheduled to move to defensive tackle in 2008, signed a seven-year, $50.5 million contract with $18.125 million in guarantees and$ 25.125 million in the first three years

    there is no way he’s even come close to earning Top 10 DT money imo. $25 mil in first 3 years? Really? We could get Albert Haynesworth for less than that!!!

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    Marshall should have enough talent to stop the poor defense play even if Al puts limits on blitzing. You know how Al hates the blitz.

  • RaiderRockstar



    if Lamarr Houston is the beast everybody thinks he is & will be, it’s not hard to imagine him knocking TK out of the starting D-Line (at DE or DT)

  • jhill

    TK is scheduled to make 4.5 million this year and 5.5 next year.

    That’s nothing in today’s market.

    JFB, break out the stats showing these cats how productive TK was last year.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    Nnamdi –

    “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”
    –Indelible words from my then-defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to me, as I was walking onto the field for the first practice of my second year in the NFL. He told me this just after another coach told me, “I would have never drafted you.” It was right on time.

    Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/nnamdi_asomugha/06/14/mmqb.nnamdi/1.html#ixzz0qql2Daa3

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill: the Raider awful run defense tells me all I need to know about Tommy Kelly, alright?

    I don’t need Fire Baby’s stats on how many tackles he had. How many tackles does Kirk get every year?

    If you’re gonna throw that stat out the window for 1 player, you gotta do it for both …

    TK had 5 tackles for a loss last year.

    Morrison, Howard, Branch and even Asomugha topped that!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    I wonder which coach said he would never have drafted Nnamdi…

    Head Coach – Norv Turner
    Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator – Jimmy Raye
    Quarterbacks – Steve Sarkisian
    Running Backs – Skip Peete
    Wide Receivers – Fred Biletnikoff
    Tight Ends – John Morton
    Offensive Line – Aaron Kromer
    Offensive Assistant – Chris Turner
    Defensive Line – Sam Clancy
    Inside Linebackers – Don Martindale
    Outside Linebackers – Pat Jones
    Defensive Backs – Clayton Lopez
    Quality Control/Defense – Chris Griswold
    Squad Development – Willie Brown
    Special Teams Coordinator – Joe Avezzano
    Specials Teams Assistant – Martin Bayless
    Strength and Conditioning – Jeff Fish

  • fat kidd

    Vince Young Cited for Assault After Strip Club Altercation116
    Say Something »

    6/13/2010 3:30 PM ET By Will Brinson

    Vince Young’s comeback story last season — while overshadowed by Tom Brady winning the actual comeback award — was nothing short of special. The former college national champ and standout Longhorn, having lost his starting gig with the Titans to the seemingly ageless Kerry Collins, won the spot back and led the Titans to a stunning near-berth in the playoffs and an amazing second half of the season.

    Young, who also reportedly dealt with some very serious mental health issues, seemed poised to reclaim a spot as a top NFL quarterback heading into the 2010 season.

    But now there’s news that he received a misdemeanor assault citation after getting into a fight at a Dallas strip club and leaving before authorities arrived early Sunday, according to police. No arrests have been made.

  • GhostToMost

    I cannot believe they actually issued this press release, what an absolute joke this team has become. Just pathetic. I mean really, at least wait until DHB actually performs in GAMES not PRACTICE before you start comparing him to the all time great Raider receivers. Its dumb sh*t like this that has me ready to quit this team. I mean seriously, this is unbelievable even for Al.

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