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Raiders had two shots at Rodgers

At the very end of the post-press conference gaggle with Al Davis on Jan. 18, the Raiders’ owner was asked about Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and if he regretted not taking the Cal quarterback in the draft.

“Sure I would regret not drafting him. Fact, I made two calls to two people,” Davis said. “Yeah, he’s a good player.”

Davis said his normal course of action when he sees someone he likes on television is to “go back in the files upstairs and we got a report on the guy that’s, `ehh, he’s 50 percent.’ I might call (the scout) and say, what were you doing?’ ”

The exchange happened at the very end of the marathon press conference with no follow-ups. So it’s left to the imagination as to who Davis called, when he called them, and if he thinks scouts responsible for evaluating Rodgers were in error.

A couple of things:

— Davis didn’t need to call anyone from another team to take Rodgers in the draft. He was sitting there when the Raiders selected at No. 23, undergoing the draft day free fall which has been recounted daily as Rodgers prepares to lead the Green Bay Packers into the Super Bowl Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Oakland took Fabian Washington out of Nebraska who was _ surprise! _ the fastest cornerback at the NFL scouting combine. Green Bay followed with the selection of Rodgers at No. 24.

The Raiders quarterback in 2005 was Kerry Collins, with Rich Gannon out of the picture after suffering a broken vertebra in his neck and making his retirement official in August of 2005. Erstwhile backup Marques Tuiasosopo was named the starter for the rest of the season by coach Norv Turner with the Raiders at 4-8 heading into a Week 14 game against the New York Jets, only to play horribly in a 26-10 loss.

Turner then backtracked and went back to Collins, giving a tortured explanation that it was his call while his eyes and mannerisms said something entirely different.

Turner was gone following the season, and while Rodgers remained in Green Bay, immersing himself in a single system of football, the Raiders continued playing musical chairs, running through Aaron Brooks, Andrew Walter, Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper, JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell.

Campbell, by the way, was taken No. 25, one pick after Rodgers, by the Washington Redskins. Walter went to the Raiders in the third round at No. 69, two picks after Cleveland selected Akron’s Charlie Frye at No. 67.

— Oakland had a second chance at Rodgers entering the 2007 season as Packers quarterback Brett Favre was lobbying hard for wide receiver Randy Moss. Green Bay G.M. Ted Thompson, however, wanted a lot in return _ and not just Moss. He also wanted draft picks. Thompson could have been the “couple of calls” referred to by Davis.

The Raiders had the No. 1 overall pick that year and rather than put together a Moss-to-Green Bay package by getting additional picks, trading out of the top spot and dealing for Rodgers, Davis went with Russell.

Sounds ridiculous in hindsight. At the time, however, Rodgers had sat the bench for two years and while there were scouts who were worried about Russell, others thought the LSU quarterback worthy of the top pick.

So Russell became a Raider and perhaps the biggest flop in the history of the NFL draft. Rodgers stayed in Green Bay.

Could Rodgers have changed the course of Raiders history?

If the Raiders had drafted Rodgers instead of Washington, he would have had to survive the stone-age Art Shell-Tom Walsh offense in 2006. Had the Raiders decided to trade for Rodgers in 2007 and pass on Russell, Lane Kiffin would have had a quarterback much more suited to his style of offense.

As for how things would have transpired after that, feel free to write your own doomsday or happily-ever-after scenario.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Will Tim Brown have Al Davis introduce him into the HOF?

  • dickv

    YA…
    Enderle takes a sack with the best of them… I have seen Yates and Potts both loose ball on sacks.

  • dickv

    Ricardo Lockette caught a few passes with his hands: impressive for a track kid. It took DHB like 20 pro games to acquire that skill…

  • Q: What is the difference between a Packer fan and a baby?
    A: The baby will stop whining after awhile.
    Q: Did you here about the Packer fan that died at a pie eating contest?
    A: The cow kicked him in the head!
    Q: What do you call a 350 pound Pa…cker fan?
    A: An anorexic!
    Q: What do you call a beautiful girl in Green Bay?
    A: A tourist.
    Q: What do you call a blind date with a Packer Backer?
    A: Brown-bagging it.
    Q: What’s the real reason that women from Green Bay can always keep their figures?
    A: Hell, no one else wants them.
    Q: What do you call a good looking woman with a Packer fan?
    A: A hostage
    Q: Why do Packer fans smell so bad?
    A: So blind people can hate them as well.
    Q: What’s the difference between a porcupine and Lambeau Field?
    A: The pricks are on the outside of a porcupine.
    Q: Why can’t Ryan Grant get into his own driveway?
    A: Someone painted and endzone on it.
    Q: What does a hunter without a gun in the middle of a forest and Green Bay have in common?
    A: Neither of them can stop the Bears
    Q: What do cheeseheads and hemorrhoids have in common?
    A: They’re both a pain in the butt and never seem to go away completely.
    Q: How do you circumcise a Packer Fan?
    A: Kick his sister in the mouth
    Q: How does a Packer fan find a sheep in the vast rolling hills of Wisconsin?
    A: Satisfying!!!
    Q: What do you call a Packer fan with a sheep under his arm?
    A: A pimp.
    Q: Why does Lambeau Field have the new hybrid turf?
    A: To keep the fans from grazing during the game.
    Q: What do you call a sober Packer fan?
    A: A liar.
    Q: How do you save a drowning Packer fan?
    A: Take your foot off his head.
    Q: Why did Ryan Grant get so excited after he finished his jigsaw puzzle in only 6 months?
    A: Because on the box it said From 2-4 years.
    Q: Why did the Cheese head put a trash can at the alter during his wedding?
    A: To keep the flies off his bride.
    Q: What does a Wisconsin tornado have in common with a Cheese head going through a divorce?
    A: Either way… someone’s losing a trailer.
    Q: How did the Packer fan die at the Pie eating contest?
    A: HE GOT KICKED BY THE COW!!
    Q: Did you hear about the fire at the Packers’ library facilities?
    A: Both books were burned, and one of them had not even been colored in yet.
    Q: What’s the sad part of a bus full of Packer fans going off a cliff?
    A: There’s an empty seat!
    Q: Why is it a good idea to bring a Packer fan along to a Vikings game?
    A: You can park in the handicap zone.
    Q: How do we know the tooth brush was invented in Green Bay?
    A: Because if it were invented anywhere else it would be called a TEETH brush!
    Q: What do you say to a drunken alcoholic who is passed out on your car after a Packer game?
    A: “May I have your autograph Mr. Favre?”
    Q: What doe’s a Tampon and the packers have in common?
    A: Only good for one period and they don’t have a second string!!
    Q: What do you call a Wisconsin girl that can run faster than her brothers?
    A: A virgin.

  • buckeyeraider

    Kirk,
    That is easier said than done, my friend. You think Al isn’t trying?

    Hell, he spent the #1 overall pick in the draft on a QB. And gave him a ton of money. You can Monday morning QB if you want, and say that was a bad pick.

    Many analysts said Jamarcus had the best pro day they’d ever seen. He was supposed to be a franchise QB.

    Now he’s trying to resurect a former first rd pick in JC. Going so far to call him another Jim Plunkett. We’ll see.

    Hell, the friggin ARIZONA CARDINALS made it to the SB a couple of years ago with a supposedly washed up Kurt Warner. Probably shoulda won it.

    I think Al Davis knows the importance of having a QB. Like Priest has said many times….They don’t just grow on trees.

  • BuckeyeRaider, if you go to a comedy club, and the comedian sucks, do you go to the next show he headlines…because he’s trying?

  • Raccoon, Don’t let Richochet (aka SammyTheBull), or HayezDaze read that. They threw a fit yesterday trying to convince us that Green Bay’s night life rivals that of New York City.

  • There’s a lot of temptation in Green Bay for Woodson. Once his snowmobile careened into a ditch.

  • dickv

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 2:08 pm
    BuckeyeRaider, if you go to a comedy club, and the comedian sucks, do you go to the next show he headlines…because he’s trying?

    If the comedian is near and dear to my heart…. yes

    Just like why we all go to Raider games still… those of us that can afford it these days.

  • buckeyeraider

    AL has tried to bring in winning QB’s with varying degrees of success. More often he’s swung and missed.

    He’s tried the 1st rd route with RoboQB Marijaunavich and Jamarcus. Both had personal demons, unfortunately.

    He’s tried 2nd rd w/ Tui. Drafted Andrew Walter.

    He’s brought in veterans Hostetler and Jeff George. Made the ill fated Schroeder trade.

    And yes, he even signed off on Gannon. Remember MR, he rules with an iron fist. Has final say on all things Silver & Black. Both good and bad, you poser.

    If I bailed on the comedian when times get tough…well that would make me a fair weather fan. A band wagon jumper. like you. If you’re even a fan at all.

    Very debatable at this point. So get outta here with you’re weak azz analogy.

  • # dickv Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    If the comedian is near and dear to my heart…. yes

    Just like why we all go to Raider games still… those of us that can afford it these days.

    …………

    So you admit Al doesn’t know what he’s doing. Your support is entirely based on loyalty to Al. Right?

  • BuckeyeRaider, the comedian at the club I went to last night tried to tell jokes. Wasn’t funny. I’m not going to any other show he headlines. Why should I go to Raider games just because the owner is trying?

  • buckeyeraider

    RMR,
    I think if you jump ship now, you might really miss something in the next couple of years.

    As long as they aren’t gutted in FA, I think this team could be on the verge of going on a nice lil run here.

    Like they did under Shell in early nineties and your hero Gruden a decade ago.

    They play in a very winnable division. I expect them to be duking it out w/ the young KC Chiefs for the West for the forseeable future.

    Like I said earlier today …Gruden’s teams were a veteran laden bunch. They got close, but their window closed. The rebuilding is almost complete.

    This young team is about to be fun to watch again, IMO.

  • And, you know what? I don’t think Al’s trying, anyway.

    Who’s his General Manager?

    When is the last time he’s made a serious offer to a top notch, proven head coach?

    Why hasn’t he hired a top notch, proven defensive coordinator?

    Why isn’t his defense more versatile scheme wise, like the rest of the league?

    Al’s not trying at all. I think he just wants to see good offensive numbers because offense sells tickets, and that he wants to save money elsewhere.

    I think Al’s a cheap skate that just wants to get enough fans into the stadium to stay solvent.

    I think he refuses to retire because as soon as he’s not the owner of an NFL team anymore, he’s NOBODY! And he knows there will be almost no fare in tribute to him once he leaves. All of the fare that exists today in tribute of him is created by him. Basically, Al is only trying to exist and be seen, let the world know he’s here, and generate enough income to continue doing it. That’s all he’s trying to do, and his football team doesn’t need to win for him to accomplish it.

    Al isn’t trying at all.

  • buckeyeraider

    Cheapskate!!! WTF?

    Tou can question Al’s skills as a gm all you want. You can say he doesn’t spend wisely if you wish.

    But Cheapskate? The guy has the highest payroll in the league. By far.

    The guy is a players owner. He pays his players, and pays them well.

    Why he refuses to pay his coaches as well is up for debate. I don’t get it.

    But, AL Davis spends money on his football team. Probably more than he can afford.

  • League has a salary cap. It’s a fixed budget. He doesn’t spend jack on his coaches or management, because he’s CHEAP!

  • Al spends money where he absolutely has to. Yeah, what’s he going to do, have the lowest payroll in the league when he sucks this bad? They’d throw him in jail. The NFL would not tolerate a Donald Sterling, the league is too intertwined with television and every game is on every Sunday. They just would not tolerate an owner who loses year after year and has a ridiculously low payroll. That is why Al will go on spending sprees for players. Not because he’s a players owner. Please. Ask Marcus Allen, Ken Stabler, and Rich Gannon just how much of a players’ owner Al is. BTW…that’s our all time leading passer, our all time leading rusher, and our second all time leading passer. They make up part of this franchise’s winners’ circle of talent, yet Al screwed them. Players’ owner. Don’t make me laugh. Cheap skate! That’s what he is.

  • Hey buckeye.

    — “buckeyeraider Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    AL has tried to bring in winning QB’s with varying degrees of success….

    And yes, he even signed off on Gannon.

    Remember MR, he rules with an iron fist. Has final say on all things Silver & Black. Both good and bad, you poser.”—–

    Hold on, man.

    Davis didn’t just “signed off on Gannon”.

    As Jon Gruden himself wrote in his book, it was Al Davis who actually urged Gruden to take a look at Rich Gannon when we were looking for a QB back in 99.

    Jon Gruden: “Gannon was thirty-three years old and had kind of bounced around the league.

    But he had played well against the Raiders, and Al Davis and Bruce Allen wanted me to take a look at him.

    When I watched his game film, I saw a great athlete; he was always a threat to run the ball. I saw an accurate passer. The bottom line was that the guy was a winner.”

    Source: Jon Gruden´s Book, Do you Love Football? Winning with Heart, Passion and Not Much Sleep. September 2003.

  • Just to set things straight on that topic…

  • buckeyeraider

    Even better yet. Thanks, Bob.

  • Anytime Buckeye.

  • So how did Ricardo Lockette do Vegas?.

  • imaquaman

    # Kirk Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Until we get a top rated quarterback, we aren’t going to the Superbowl.

    When is Al Davis going to understand that this is a quarterback driven league, not a defensive back driven league?
    ########################################
    offense wins games and sells tickets
    defense wins championships

  • confucius400

    As all pro Champ Bailey heads into this off-season his future with the Denver Broncos is highly in doubt. Bailey will be 33 years old in June and I’m sure he would love to play in Oakland where he has a shot at winning a championship.

  • Kirk

    Al Davis picked defensive backs in the first round of 5 out of 8 drafts.

    How many quarterbacks did he pass on during those 5 drafts?

  • imaquaman

    Say this for Raiders owner Al Davis: His team’s losing isn’t due to a lack of effort on his part. Sure, he may not know how to win in today’s NFL, but he can sign blank checks with the best of them, as demonstrated by the salary data released by USA Today.

    According to the data, Oakland currently sits atop the NFL with a payroll of $152 million, $6 million more than the No. 2 team on the list, the Dallas Cowboys. Oakland and Dallas are the only teams spending over $140 million, while only the Saints, Vikings and Browns join them in the $130 million club. The Kansas City Chiefs currently have the lowest payroll at $83 million,

    just saying thats all

  • Chris in NY

    This hurts. There’s not a quarterback in the league I’d rather have right now over Rodgers. Watched the guy closely the last couple of seasons with him on every fantasy team I have. Phenomal player. I’d take him over Manning and Brady right now when you factor in age, but maybe even if you didn’t.

  • 58.The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
    Raccoon, Don’t let Richochet (aka SammyTheBull), or HayezDaze read that. They threw a fit yesterday trying to convince us that Green Bay’s night life rivals that of New York City.

    **********************

    The only thing GB and NYC have in common is the Fur!

  • buckeyeraider

    They’re getting ready to announce class of HOF inductees.
    Are Deion and M Faulk 1st Balloters?

    Don’t know if Timmy’s going to make it. If not this year, eventually.

    Would like to be pleasantly surprised. Good luck, Tim.

  • TerrapinRaider

    My votes goes for: Deon, Marshall, Timmy, Sharpe, then toss up between Carter/Hanburger (dont know him but 8 pro bowls speaks volumes)

  • TerrapinRaider

    Brown was better than Carter and Reed.

  • buckeyeraider

    Damn,
    Timmy didn’t even make the finalists.

    But, Cortez Kennedy did?

  • buckeyeraider

    Cris Carter didn’t make the list of finalists, either.

    He was a helluva WR, too. Impressive career numbers.

    But, he had some baggage. He’s a jerk and has some off the field issues/drug problems.

    Timmy was squeeky clean in that regard. As far as I know, at least.

  • M Lonetree

    yeah yeah yeah, every other team in the NFL could’ve drafted Rodgers as well. (or have you never heard of trading up?) 31 team effed up. Next. Go Cal! Go Pack Go!

    too bad the stadium roof in Dallas didn’t do a Metrodome. I know, different structures and different engineering but just as the Dallas practice facility was ill-designed and collapsed, too bad that the Big TV Screen didn’t fail under conditions it was not designed for.
    100,000 ticket holders…Rose Bowl, Big House, Aztega Stadium or Rio would’ve been the only venues. Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

  • M Lonetree

    Azteca.

  • M Lonetree

    along with local cops, Texas Rangers, county sheriffs and secret service, the NFL sent 3,000 of its own security personnel to the SB. an estimated 200,000 people will mill around the SB. One person of law enforcement for every six people. Josef freaking Stalin could not have imagined such a thing.

  • confucius400

    This hurts. There’s not a quarterback in the league I’d rather have right now over Campbell. Watched the guy closely the last couple of seasons with him on every fantasy team I have. Phenomal player. I’d take him over Manning and Brady right now when you factor in age, but maybe even if you didn’t.

  • M Lonetree

    Confucius400,

    sometime recently you chastised me for being selfish by travelling extensively. I thought about that. Your assertion is correct, but with caveats.
    Beyond my own desires, I wished to see the human race face to face. No tour groups, no packages, no military.
    Fascinating as it has been to see humans in their own realms in scores of countries and most every continent, in their own conditions and their various cultures it has led me to find them a species that does not deserve worship.
    Humans have declared themselves worthy and intelligent. Excuse me but that is the same as an armadillo saying it is the pinnacle of evolution.
    Raider on.

  • alex7

    Defense wins championships?? Haha, what is this 1930?

    Patriots, Rams, and Colts have shiny Lombardis because of offense. Don’t fight it.

  • UCLA Raiders

    what U got here is a horrific performance by the Raiders GM, AD. The guy isn’t awake before 3PM to watch CAL Berkeley football which plays less than 5 miles away from Oakland to see with his own failing eyes the local talent and instead has to call a “couple of people” to get their opinion. Well if he actually gave a damn he’d be all over local talent first and foremost. This man has failed on so many levels these past 8 years it’s not even funny. INstaed of admitting his own many failings AD keeps firing others and then throwing them under the bus.
    Can’t wait to see Raiders without this lunatic. One can only dream.

  • tuckrulefool

    dream on brother. im with u….

    ===
    “Can’t wait to see Raiders without this lunatic. One can only dream.”

  • imaquaman

    # alex7 Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Defense wins championships?? Haha, what is this 1930?

    Patriots, Rams, and Colts have shiny Lombardis because of offense. Don’t fight it.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@no no this is 2011 duh ,also the colts sb win .(q)who was their coach?
    (a)tony dungy
    rams sb win (q)what was the key play that saved the win on the very last play of the game?
    (a)not missing a game saving tackle on defense
    pats 2001 Tom Brady, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards with a touchdown
    Warner finished the game with 28 completions out of 44 passes for 365 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions, and rushed 3 times for 6 yards and a touchdown. Warner’s 365 passing yards were the second highest total in Super Bowl history and lost
    pats 20
    rams 17
    gee i guess your right 145 yards wins
    sb record 365 lose hmmm

  • imaquaman

    my mistake 414 yards for warner is sb record and a win

  • ohioraider

    # priesttj Says:
    February 5th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Hey Jerry I guess you and everyone else knew Rodgers would be this good. I would love have tyhe kid now but I had no idea he would be this good. No one did or he wouldn’t have dropped in the draft would he?
    ————————————————-
    Because that’s Davis’ job, priesttj. That’s why he gets big bucks to drive the franchise into the ground, with no accountability. Now which way do you want it, friend? Is he the genius renegade you think he is or his he fallible?

  • oldschoolraider

    What a waste of bandwidth! Usually a big fan of Jerry’s stuff, but this wasn’t even worth reading. So what if Davis passed on Rodgers? So did a lot of other teams!
    Whos to say how Rodger’s career would have turned out if the Raiders had drafted him?
    Must be a really slow news day.

  • RaiderSam

    You guys out there oughtta know alot more about this than me, but…wasn’t one of the knocks on Rodgers coming out was the Jeff Tedford/Cal thing.

    Seems like I remember something like that. I don’t know if it was the scouts thought it was a system thing like Klingler and Andre Ware spread offense at Houston or not. Whether it would translate to the pros.

    I think it had something to do with throwing mechanics they were taught. Something like that.
    =======================================
    No, because Alex Smith was the ultimate system QB and he took that an one of the highest wonderlic scores ever, got drafted and did nothing except one 7-9 season in 2006 behind an outstanding run game. It may have also had to do with Cal’s national status at the time. Oldschoolraider is right; Who’s to say how he wouldve developed given the turnover we had here.