By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 at 8:27 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Not a lot of Raiders’ presence for Super Bowl XLV when the Pittsburgh Steelers meet the Green Bay Packers in an appealing pre-lockout finale.
The only player for Raider Nation to have a vicarious attachment to is Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson, a very good player with the Raiders who became a great one with the Packers.
Other than that, zero. The argument that NFL teams happily snap up the leftovers because the Raiders’ eye for talent will be one to keep quiet about with regard to the Super Bowl.
The Steelers have no one on the roster who played for the Raiders, although cornerback Bryant McFadden is at least the older brother of rookie cornerback Walter McFadden.
Strength coach Garrett Giemont worked for the Raiders from 1995 through 2002 before joining Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers through 2006 and moving on to Pittsburgh in 2007.
Two Green Bay assistant coaches have Raiders connections _ assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss, who played for the L.A Raiders from 1991 through 1994, and Darren Perry, a defensive backs coach in 2007 and 2008.
Since Moss has interviewed with Al Davis before, and has gone on record as having great reverence for the Raiders’ owner, his name has naturally come up with regard to the defensive coordinator vacancy. Green Bay’s presence in the Super Bowl means the Raiders will be waiting until Feb. 6 before being able to hire Moss, although there is plenty of back-channel opportunities between now and then to size things up.
Championship weekend observations:
– The Raiders were already beginning the process of parting with Tom Cable by the time the Raiders played the Steelers on Nov. 21, as his every-other-week paychecks were being docked $20,000. But any chance Cable had of returning probably evaporated when the Raiders returned from their bye with a head of steam and a 5-4 record and got whacked 35-3 with two weeks to prepare for a game in Pittsburgh.
That led to Cable benching Jason Campbell in favor of Bruce Gradkowski the following week against Miami, and, well, you know the rest.
So the AFC champions had a role in shaping the 2011 Raiders.
– I’ve never been a big Jay Cutler fan. Struck me as being the life of the party in good times and a spoiled brat in bad ones. A guy you’d never look to in an important game or situation.
That said, judging the severity of an NFL injury from the safety of your computer screen or couch is beyond ridiculous. If you’ve ever stood along the sideline of an actual NFL game, and been that close to the violence that ensues with every snap, it would be hard to fault anyone who actually set foot that arena.
And for players to do it on their Twitter accounts, knowing what they know about injuries and the NFL, attests to the problem of instant media. They talk before they think.
– I got the Super Bowl half right, which is better than usual. I had New England vs. Green Bay in my column setting up the playoffs. Leaning toward Pittsburgh as the winner, but I’ve got awhile to make up my mind and put in print, as I’m still hearing about last year when I assured everyone Indianapolis would beat New Orleans.
– Have to give Ben Roethlisberger credit, along with head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, for the way the Steelers closed out the game with two key third-down conversions on pass plays. If those passes fall incomplete, Pittsburgh is getting crucified by every “game management” critic in the mainland United States and beyond.
Instead, it led to Rex Ryan throwing his headset to the ground in frustration.