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Schedule announcement . . . yawn

Anyone else less than overwhelmed by the announcement of the 2011 NFL schedule?

I’ll grant that the first quarter of the season has some interest because there is a remote idea of what a team may be like based on the previous year.

But far too often games which seemed to be something huge when the schedule came out are something less than that based on injuries and team performance.

When you throw this year’s work stoppage into the mix, the 2011 schedule has never been less relevant, despite the NFL’s best effort to keep the giant hamster wheel turning.

Conventional wisdom means little as one season turns to the next, even less when there’s the possibility of throwing everything together at the last minute in terms of free agency, signing draft, picks, etc.

That’s why it’s hard to get too worked up over the Raiders visiting Lambeau Field on Dec. 11. Even under normal circumstances, forecasting significance for a December game in April is pure folly. Throw in the lockout, and it’s a complete waste of time.

The Raiders seem to have learned their lesson about complaining about the schedule in recent years. It’s hard to forget the grousing that went on when they visited New England to open the 2005 season, a year when they signed free agents Randy Moss, Lamont Jordan and instead of taking the tact of surprising the Patriots, there was an undercurrent of whining about having to open against the champions on the road.

Prediictably, an opportunity became a loss.

As has been the case with the Raiders in recent years, it comes down to the start. Oakland never seems to be able to dig itself out of a poor start and has lost eight straight openers.

No complaints in 2011. Denver and Buffalo may be on the road, but if you’re an 8-8 team with hope of moving into the playoff realm, it’s a chance for a 2-0 statement against two teams coming off double-digit losses.

Then you host the Jets and Patriots, win at least one, and at 3-1 suddenly the Raiders are more than a curiosity.

But there’s forecasting a schedule and then there’s actually playing one.

Bad teams worry about the hand they were dealt. Good ones simply make the most of it.

And since it’s impossible to know at this point when the cards will actually be on the table, and who will be there to play them, folding a hand and waiting until the next round has never been a better idea.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • YoungAmerican

    And again, if the guy you like is gone in the 2nd, I don’t condone panicking to draft a QB just for the sake of doing so. Same with O-line, you don’t just do it to do it.

    If that’s the case, than I think you look at FA, again at least as an alternative to a backup.

    ————–

    Word.

    I think as a veteran backup, Seneca Wallace would be intriguing. But free agency would have to start for that to be an option.

    I definitely think it’s a good year to take a QB in the late rounds. Outside of the top five guys (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Ponder, Kaepernick – all of whom will likely be gone before #48), I don’t see a lot of difference between the other guys in this draft. And even most of the top five guys aren’t exactly locks to be NFL starters.

    I just think that the Raiders have to take the best player left on the board. That’s why I say Marcus Cannon, Ras-I Dowling, Greg Little, Mason Foster, and James Carpenter should be at the top of their big board.

    Wiz wouldn’t be a terrible pick, but I don’t see a clear role for him if the Raiders are going to retain Satele. Ben Ijalana or Marvin Austin would be great, but I don’t see him falling that far into the second round. Kaepernick and Locker are the only QBs I would consider with that 2nd round pick, but again, I don’t think either of them will fall that far.

    If everyone mentioned above is gone, Jah Reid, Clint Boling, and Curtis Brown could all make sense as solid contributors.

    Other names who could go anywhere between late first round and early third round, depending on how the top of the draft shakes out:

    Jon Baldwin
    Rahim Moore
    Quan Sturdivant
    Danny Watkins
    Will Rackley
    Brandon Harris
    Davon House

  • The Judge
  • YoungAmerican

    Bottom line is, the Raiders will have a lot of options in the second round at a variety of positions. But I don’t think QB would be a viable pick there unless something completely unforeseen happens.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Interesting when you look at O-line stats on NFL . com

    We were 6th worst in the league in sacks allowed, however tied for 14th in the league in QB hits (tied with the Texans and one spot below the Chiefs).

    You look at the Texans, who allowed the same amount of times the QB got hit as us, and they gave up 12 less sacks and 3 less fumbles than our QB.

    Matt Cassel was hit 3 less times than Soup and Bruce in total, but took over 10 less sacks and fumbled only 3 times to our 12.

    Our pass protection is not great, but when it breaks down, it results in a sack and/or a fumble and a greater rate than just about any other team/QB in the league.

    That is completely on the QB.

  • http://www.raiders.com/ r8eray

    Good Morning Raider Nation!

    Had a dream last night….Colin Kaeperinick was drafted in the 1st RD.

    Wiz…. it is!

  • Al Davis MachoMachoSupremo

    32.Gust372 Says:
    April 20th, 2011 at 12:15 am
    And I’ll tell you what else, there is actually one Raider in the hall who shouldn’t be there. Al Davis. He never built a winning team in his life. Ron Wolf and Jon Gruden built all of his winning teams. Yet Al’s in the hall, like he built those ’70s teams. Give me a break. Do you see any resemblance to this Raider team and the ’70s Raiders, aside from the field they play on? Bill Parcells hasn’t won a Super Bowl in a long time but when he was with Dallas you could see shades of his smash mouth teams of the ’80s. Same with Gibbs in Washington. There are no shades of the ’70s Raiders with the current Raiders. The league has changed and it’s harder to win a SB with an old system, but the system would still at least get you some playoff appearances. If Ron Wolf were still here, the Raiders would win at least 9 games a year, be in the playoffs almost every year. Because we’d have a team full of football players.

    So, considering the fact that Al’s in the hall when he clearly shouldn’t be, maybe it’s truer that the media favors the Raiders. Because Al Davis in the hall of fame is a flat out joke. He’s a fraud.

    ……….

    Coach Davis is in the HOF because of everything he has done for the NFL. Coach goes beyond the Oakland Raiders. Coachs’ accreditations are not limited to his football team. He is the founder of the NFL. Heck, he probably invented the HOF but we just don’t know it.

    http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=51

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

    Hey guys,

    It was pretty dull in the sports world this winter, but I did read a great book you should all check out:

    Disgrace of a Nation – The Jon Condo Story, by D. Southwick

    http://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Carter/e/B000APZBQ8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

    It’s a real pageturner!

  • dickv

    its no conpiracy, but we will know what they have after 4 games. Open on mnf; then on the road with a short week is hard regardless of opponent; then two big dogs back to back at home… 2-2 is a solid start. 3-1 : playoffs here we ome; 1-3: they aint ready same old…

  • YoungAmerican

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    April 20th, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Interesting when you look at O-line stats on NFL . com

    We were 6th worst in the league in sacks allowed, however tied for 14th in the league in QB hits (tied with the Texans and one spot below the Chiefs).

    You look at the Texans, who allowed the same amount of times the QB got hit as us, and they gave up 12 less sacks and 3 less fumbles than our QB.

    Matt Cassel was hit 3 less times than Soup and Bruce in total, but took over 10 less sacks and fumbled only 3 times to our 12.

    Our pass protection is not great, but when it breaks down, it results in a sack and/or a fumble and a greater rate than just about any other team/QB in the league.

    That is completely on the QB.

    ————–

    All the more reason for the Raiders to have a strong draft this season, build along the offensive line, and then look for “The Guy” next year if Campbell doesn’t improve his level of play.

    Ideally, they could find a way to get involved in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes next year. Personally I would love to see them package a bunch of draft picks together and go after the most pro-ready QB since Peyton Manning. But I’m sure they wouldn’t be the only team going hard after Luck.

  • irjonny

    morning nation.

    man i really want to re-sign Aso but the way woodson has been actively scouting CBs i can’t see it happening. not only does that let the best CB in the NFL walk out the door, you can say goodbye to one of our top picks in this draft…fooey. hopefully woodson was looking at CBs to shift to safety and not to replace Aso. as much as i try to see the bright side of the situation, truth is losing Aso is a huge blow to the defense and to rookie CB development.

    if the raiders take wiz i’m fine with that, although kaepernick is being touted as perhaps the steal of the draft. tape doesn’t lie. funny how the raiders scout him then everyone else takes a closer look and his draft stock skyrockets

  • irjonny

    then again like youngamerican says, i would much much rather build up other needs if we have any intention of targeting andrew luck next year.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ-a-N9Y5mc

    almost worth rooting for our opponents next year to get him.

  • raidertay

    I agree Jerry. The JEts never complain about who they are playing. Ryan says that his team is ready to play anyone, anywhere. The Raiders need to have the same mindset.

  • aig-raiders

    JFB,

    No it can’t be the QB’s fault for those sacks. (sarcasm)

  • raiderinpa

    I’m with J Lofty (#36)… NO WRs in this draft.. PERIOD!! As far as QB goes, maybe a late round pick like Pat Devlin ~ 5-6th round.. Need to go OL in 2nd, CB/Safety in the 3rd.. Need another TE too!!

  • raiderinpa

    and Bo Schembechler Jackson is still a dickhead…

  • bcz24

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    April 20th, 2011 at 5:25 am
    I think that the Broncos will be nowhere near as bad as they were last year. They clearly quit on that McDaniels guy.

    I believe they will be better than the Chiefs, and are going to end up with a stud defensive player (Peterson, Fairley or Dareus) in this draft.

    Hue Jackson will have his work cut out for him. Mile High will be rocking, that will not be an easy win at all, and I am pretty sure we will be underdogs in Vegas.
    *******************
    The good news for us is that the stud they draft will likely have little to no time with the team by the time the season starts. Denver is going to want revenge after getting rolled for 96 points in two games, and John Fox is a damn good coach. Buffalo will not roll over for us either… their offense can be pretty explosive at times. Their run defense wont be able to stop us though.

  • The Blackhole

    Gust372 Says:
    April 19th, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    The Blackhole Says:
    April 19th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    ——————
    3 years ago we had Russell enough said

    ……….

    you guys thought Russell was good. Goes further to prove my point.
    ————–
    lol nice but I never thought he was good maybe in a couple of games but that’s it still this team is better than the 08 team that faced the Broncos and the Broncos are a much worse team than the 08 version.

  • YoungAmerican

    By the way…

    Happy holidays, everyone.

  • R8RNAZ

    Give me wiz part 2 we started building inside jot last year let’s keep at it. Took dac 3 years to break out maybe heybe will continue to improve. He works hiss ass off. He will continue to improve. OL DL CB

  • R8RNAZ

    I hate auto fix

  • RoCksNmySOCKS

    Been playing some poker jerry?