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Al takes a whack at a few softballs

First, let’s give Sirius Satellite Radio and host Gil Brandt credit for getting Al Davis to go on the record. Considering that Davis almost never speaks in public unless it has to do do with firing or hiring a coach, signing a significant player, honoring a player who is retiring or eulogizing someone in death, that counts for something.

That said, Davis’ interview with Gil Brandt on Sirius Satellite Radio Tuesday was essentially an infomercial.

If the first question is, “Why are the Raiders called the team of the decades?,” then the interviewer may as well be Mike Taylor. Even Greg Papa would give Davis a grilling by comparison, and he gets paid by the Raiders.

A few observations to be considered or discarded:

– I love listening to Davis talk about the days of the AFL and merger with the NFL, I admit it. I hang on every word. Davis is living history, and at 81, can be forgiven with calling the Baltimore Ravens the Baltimore Colts on two occasions. One of my colleagues told me I called Michael Huff “Sam” during an interview today.

Still, the questioning, which I’m only guessing was agreed to in advance, only served to glorify the Raiders past (a distant past with the exception of 2000-2002) at the expense of what has been a disaster since the club returned to Oakland from Los Angeles.

If you consider anything at .500 and above a good year, the Raiders are going into their 16th year since coming back to Oakland and have had three good years. That’s a little more than the “few years” Davis concedes to be bad years, let alone the last seven of 11 or more losses _ an NFL standard he must have a hard time believing.

– Davis is hoping the current Raiders rekindle the 1980 Raiders, comparing Jason Campbell to Jim Plunkett, saying he predicts “great things” for Campbell much as he insisted JaMarcus Russell would be great in the Lane Kiffin letter.

The emphatic endorsement of Campbell means there never was any competition at quarterback, even before Bruce Gradkowski tore a left pectoral when weight lifting. Just as Campbell said on the NFL Network in the aftermath of his acquisition.

Russell talk was either stictly forbidden or not pursued. Nor were stadium and attendance issues.

– During the course of an interview that lasted just over 11 minutes, Davis never said the words “Tom” or “Cable,” but said, “we have a bright new young offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson, and I just have great hopes for this young team. It’s a very young team, but I do have hopes for it.”

Have that much confidence in the guy, and maybe you’d consider giving your fans at least a taste of what he’s all about. It’s been almost 200 days since Jackson was hired, but Davis is keeping the Jackson charisma to himself.

– Davis sort of concedes his culpability in the bad years which included the DeAngelo Hall, Gibril Wilson and Javon Walker fiascos when he says “I think we have our stamp on this team. It’s our personnel, it’s our picks, its our want to be great once again, to join the ranks of the elite.”

Indeed, the Raiders have strayed from the free agent strike and have looked to develop their own players since they paid out huge money to Hall, Wilson and Walker and got nothing in return.

– You hope Davis still has the kind of influence when he helped Paul Tagliabue and Gene Upshaw avoid the last potential work stoppage, because his heart is in the right place with regard to former players still suffering from physical problems brought on by their years of service without the medical scrutiny that exists in the era of big money.

“One thing we can never forget _ those who came before us,” Davis said. “And we hope in the CBA, that we can make amends and help those people who need it most.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • J Wiggle

    raidertbone Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    J Wiggle:
    How about this: TK was eighth on the team in solo tackles last year – eighth! What’s even worse is that he was the highest rated of all defensive linemen in that category! What’s even WORSE is that he had even fewer tackles than Hiram Eugene! Do you want more?

    ——————————————————-

    TBone,

    I said someone ABOVE semi pro blogger status.

    I really wouldn’t expect my DT to be leading the team in tackles by the way. And seeing as how he was a top 10 DT in the league as far as tackles go, I don’t think too many other teams expect their DT to be up there in tackles either.

  • raidertbone

    When the Donkeys come to town, we need to kidnap Tebow, put him in the middle of a marijuana field with Kim Kardashian, Justin Beiber, the McDonald’s lady, Ja-Drank-us and the “Sizzurp Posse” and just see what happens … got religion?

  • http://atm Raider O

    RR,

    You will see bro. You will feel so blessed that you will not know how to act or what to do. The more blessed you feel, the more you will try to improve & do more.

    Look at Dakota. He is killing bats, taking out of trash, and freaking out over a Bat.
    It will make you do more. It will motivate you to be a better person for your son.

    God Bless you and your Family!

  • Lakota

    M Lonetree Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 11:07 am
    Rapid City Rabies treatment for Baby Long Worthy = $5K

    same treatment in Canada = $0

    Gringos are definitely insane.
    ++++++++++++

    10 month wait in Canada to get shots = death

  • http://www.nataliegulbis.com Richochet

    # raidertbone Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Al loves the Raiders and I hope that this year is going to be living proof of that … and that the majority of the dormant Raider Nation fans will come out from under their rocks and be proud once again!
    =====================
    Wonderful sentiment.
    Ranks right up there with “wants to win more than anyone”.

    In other words, Al is screwing things up, but ‘hey, he loves the team, so let’s all continue to give him a free pass…oh….forever…because I have no more excuses for the guy”?

    Newsflash: MOST, if not all owners “love” their team. Doesn’t mean they get to make stupid decision after stupid decision where someone runs that old worn out, make no sense “he loves the team, it’s his team, he can do what he wants, he wants to win”

    31 OTHER NFL OWNERS STATE THE EXACT SAME THING, AND 31 OUT OF 31 PAY SOMEONE VERY GOOD MONEY TO BE GM and make decisions that is best for the team…the 32nd owner on that list proudly feels he’s the GM, HC, and liaison to the players.

  • J Wiggle

    I think what J Wiggle is saying is

    ——————————————————

    Wassup Priest!

    All I’m saying is let’s see someone CAPABLE of replacing TK before we just toss him aside.

    Trade for Haynesworth? Nah, because you KNOW he’s going to demand a new contract. No way he plays here for 4 million. If we can somehow keep his contract, sure why not.

    Cut TK, in essence drop him to 5th on the depth chart? Behind William Joseph, Chris Cooper, or the undrafted Heard?!?!?

    Cmon!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Put me in that field too!!!
    Please!!!!!!

    Legalize it!!!

  • raidertbone

    Oh, so you’re saying that Daniel Snyder has been an elite NFL owner with excellent general managers who make decisions that are best for the team?! Shall I remind you of Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel?

  • J Wiggle

    In other words, Al is screwing things up,

    ——————————————————-

    You can’t be serious.

    I’d like to know which offseason moves you didn’t like?

    Even last years DHB “debacle” seems to be panning out.

  • J Wiggle

    You still searching RRS ????

  • SouthDakotaRaider

    J Wiggle Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 11:18 am
    In other words, Al is screwing things up,

    ——————————————————-

    You can’t be serious.

    I’d like to know which offseason moves you didn’t like?

    Even last years DHB “debacle” seems to be panning out.

    =========

    odd thing about Al, or at least as it seems to me, his drafts always seem high risk, high reward type…. when they pan out

  • raidertbone

    JWiggle:
    I think this year’s class of defensive line draft picks is pretty deep. I would even consider going to the last round of cuts and bringing in someone who doesn’t make a 53-man roster on another team and grooming that player as a fill-in on the D-Line. I really, truly believe that TK has gotten his big payday now and that his motivation has tanked.

  • Lakota

    Ariza traded to the Hornets in 4 team deal.

    Should have stayed in LA young man!

  • J Wiggle

    Tommy Kelly has taken a lot of heat from fans and pundits who don’t understand the roles of the players on the D-line in a 4-3. And most of them don’t understand that the two defensive tackle positions are completely different and unique.

    Tommy Kelly plays the three technique, which by definition is:

    Also known as an “under tackle,” a three-technique tackle lines up opposite the outside shoulder of a guard and shoots that gap between guard and tackle to put pressure on the quarterback, combining a tackle’s size and an end’s speed.

    His job is to control the strong-side guard and the B-gap, between the guard and tackle, penetrate and be a disruptive in the backfield, and he has done a very good job.

    Actually, Tommy Kelly has done such a good job that despite facing constant double teams, he was the NFL’s 14th most productive of all D-linemen, including defensive ends.

    Of all NFL defensive tackles, he was the fourth most productive.

    Based on production, Tommy Kelly is the best player on the Raiders D-line. Yes, even better than Richard Seymour and Trevor Scott.

    Kelly has been praised for his work ethic and devotion in the weight room by numerous players and coaches, including Raider defectors Lane Kiffin and Warren Sapp.

    ——————————————————-

    How about this from your boys at bleacher report RRS?

    You know, since I couldn’t find anything from someone ABOVE the semi pro level.

  • J Wiggle

    Actually, Tommy Kelly has done such a good job that despite facing constant double teams, he was the NFL’s 14th most productive of all D-linemen, including defensive ends.

    Of all NFL defensive tackles, he was the fourth most productive.

    Based on production, Tommy Kelly is the best player on the Raiders D-line. Yes, even better than Richard Seymour and Trevor Scott.

    ——————————————————-

    Just thought I would throw that out there again, lol!

  • J Wiggle

    he was the NFL’s 14th most productive of all D-linemen, including defensive ends.

    Of all NFL defensive tackles, he was the fourth most productive.

    Based on production, Tommy Kelly is the best player on the Raiders D-line.

    ——————————————————-

    One last time!

  • Lakota

    Jwiggle,

    How many times have you watched a Raiders game in the last two years and said to yourself, boy that Tommy Kelly sure is being disruptive!?!?!?!

  • bcz24

    My opinion of M11 has nothing to do with the Raiders. They were a worse team in M10 and I still kicked a$$ with them. I HATE that they changed all the damn buttons! Why reinvent the damn wheel… its the best selling video game franchise ever, it aint broke, dont fix it. The changed everything but the 32 teams playing in it! I am also disappointed that the graphics were better last year. I am gonna try that stupid gameFlow system tonight, probably gonna sell the game Friday though. I am that disappointed.

  • bcz24

    Also known as an “under tackle,” a three-technique tackle lines up opposite the outside shoulder of a guard and shoots that gap between guard and tackle to put pressure on the quarterback, combining a tackle’s size and an end’s speed.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Whens the last time you seen Kelly “shoot a gap” how many TFLs he have last year?

  • raidertbone

    I am hopeful to be able to say that I was dead wrong about TK. But if your main point about TK is that his main job is simply to “penetrate and be a disruptive”, we could bring in any fat tub o’ lard for that – even Terrence Cody. Productivity goes way beyond stats, quite often.

  • http://www.nataliegulbis.com Richochet

    # edward teach Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Ricochet,

    Explain to me, if you would, how paying Seymour what he is going to is an “ignorant” move.

    Davis holds Seymour in high regard, and is counting on him to be a leader on this team. Al has always taken care of the players that are loyal to him, money be damned, and it seems from reports that Seymour is taking that leadership role seriously.

    As I said to Rockstar, it’s his money. He can do what he wants with it. At least we know that Seymour is going to show up and do his job.
    ===============
    Little confused on the “Al holds Seymour in high regard”?
    Why do you feel that?

    As I recall Seymour not only went public on how he didn’t want to come to Oakland, but Al felt compelled to comment how “It’s not true, Seymour DOES want to come here” even though it was obvious he didn’t.
    Yeah, he showed up.
    And did the “I’ll show the Patriots they made a mistake”..and then proceeded to go out and kick ass….for ONE game.

    One..then basically disappeared.
    I fail to see the impact.
    Maybe it’s just me, and my lying eyes.

    The “ignorant” move is that Al throws stupid money after stupid money.
    Yeah, it’s HIS choice, but where do you think that money comes from?
    You don’t feel every season ticket holder, every ticket buyer feels they’re throwing bad money after bad money?..or at least many if not most?

  • J Wiggle

    Lakota,

    Disruptive? Not often.

    But despite facing constant double teams, he was the NFL’s 14th most productive of all D-linemen, including defensive ends.

    Of all NFL defensive tackles, he was the fourth most productive.

    Based on production, Tommy Kelly is the best player on the Raiders D-line.

  • http://atm Raider O

    They pay more taxes in Canada too!

    I refuse to pay more taxes because some of You People want to be lazy, eat MCD everyday ( and get angry when they don’t have your nuggets), drink everyday, and make stupid decisions!!

    I came to this country with nothing, so if I can do it, so can the rest of you! Stop being lazy and demanding. Get a job, and make yourself better. They have schools, other programs, so there is no excuse why people are not improving!!!

    Lazy Bastards!!!!!

  • aig-raiders

    saw this post by David White on the Niner camp….pretty darn funny.

    bydavidwhite

    49ers QB Alex Smith is having a bad air day. Almost took out camera guy on wheel route throw way over Frank Gore

  • http://www.nataliegulbis.com Richochet

    Before Kelly got injured?
    Raiders were giving up something like 5.3 ypc.
    When Kelly went out second half of year?
    Improved to 4.8 ypc.
    Since he got back?
    Yep, went back up.

    it’s not just that Kelly didn’t deserve that massive contract, some feel he didn’t deserve any contract..and he’s proving those nay-sayers right…of which I am one of them.

  • J Wiggle

    I am gonna try that stupid gameFlow system tonight, probably gonna sell the game Friday though. I am that disappointed.

    ——————————————————-

    Damn, really!

    Surprising.

    What buttons did they change? Maybe that is why I was so effective, lol. I pretty much just go with the basic stick moves. those seems to be the same. I didn’t even read the manual.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Tommy Kelly has taken a lot of heat from fans and pundits who don’t understand the roles of the players on the D-line in a 4-3. And most of them don’t understand that the two defensive tackle positions are completely different and unique.

    Tommy Kelly plays the three technique, which by definition is:

    Also known as an “under tackle,” a three-technique tackle lines up opposite the outside shoulder of a guard and shoots that gap between guard and tackle to put pressure on the quarterback, combining a tackle’s size and an end’s speed.

    His job is to control the strong-side guard and the B-gap, between the guard and tackle, penetrate and be a disruptive in the backfield, and he has done a very good job.

    Actually, Tommy Kelly has done such a good job that despite facing constant double teams, he was the NFL’s 14th most productive of all D-linemen, including defensive ends.

    Of all NFL defensive tackles, he was the fourth most productive.

    Based on production, Tommy Kelly is the best player on the Raiders D-line. Yes, even better than Richard Seymour and Trevor Scott.

    ***

    yeah. TK was so good that they moved him over to NT where he can take on double teams rather than get penetration (he was “productive” at that) and gave his job to Seymour. then signed John Henderson, just in case he didn’t pan out

    so far he’s been stonewalled by Loper and overpowered by Veldheer. plus the false starts

  • raidertbone

    Raider O accusing us all of being “lazy bastards”, while he sits in front of a computer, pounding out condescending messages to complete, total strangers. Ain’t life grand?!!

  • raidertbone

    Later, Raiders … I gotta go “quit being lazy”!

  • edward teach

    Ricochet,

    I believe that Al holds Seymour in high regard because he has said as much publicly. His words are there, you can find them if you want to.

    Your recollection about Seymour saying that he didn’t want to come to Oakland is suspect. I recall there being much speculation in the media about it, but I would challenge you to show me where Seymour himself actually said something like that. My ecollection is him saying that he was surprised by the trade, mostly because it hadn’t been discussed and because of the timing. There was much speculation that the reason he didn’t show up right away was because he didn’t want to be here, but he himself said that wasn’t the case and had mostly to do with making sure his family was situated before he left to go all the way across the country (on short notice) to play for the Raiders. Now, it may be “obvious” to you that he wasn’t telling the truth, but I’m just going with what he said.

    As far as his impact, well, we’ll leave that up to the coaches. Football is a team game, and while one player can certainly make a difference, others not doing their jobs can minimize the effect that even a great player can have. He’s back, and paid well, so somebody must have thought he contributed last year and could contribute this year with a full training camp under his belt.

    And finally, if you (or anyone else) has a problem with how Al spends his money, just don’t give him any of yours. Of course, if you’re not giving him any now, then you really don’t have a leg to stand on. But you know your situation better than I do.

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