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The school of football

Raiders writer Bill Soliday

Posted by Bill Soliday, Raiders beat writer for ANG Newspapers
Bill Walsh once said of Steve DeBerg that he was just good enough to get you beat. He’d probably say the same thing about the Oakland Raiders’ defense. And maybe about its offense.

The Raiders may be better, but the task ahead of them now is this: they still have yet to learn how to win.

Feel free to disagree. But against Philadelphia on Sunday, the Raiders simply looked like a team that knew that somehow, some way, when it was all said and done, the hammer would fall and they would lose in the end.

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Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 16 Comments »

The care and handling of T.O.

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
Philadelphia is the perfect place for Terrell Owens.

The organization he plays for lets Owens play the fool, his teammates seem unfazed by his behavior, and the Eagle fans don’t seem to care either way as long as he gets his receptions and touchdowns.

Been there, done that. With another petulant ex-49er.

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Posted on Saturday, September 24th, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 15 Comments »

Woodson can’t catch a break

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
No reason to feel sorry for Charles Woodson. The guy cashes a weekly paycheck of $619,825 — almost three times what guys like John Paul Foschi will make in an entire season. More power to him.

If the Raiders agreed to Woodson that much, he’d be a fool not to cash the checks. The Raiders either don’t feel he’s overrated or overpaid, or they were simply outmaneuvered by Carl Poston, Woodson’s agent.

But you wonder sometimes if Woodson is cursed. Seems like when he makes his most spectacular plays, the Raiders lose.

It happened again Sunday night against the Chiefs. Woodson’s strip of wide receiver Samie Parker, forcing a fumble recovered by Stuart Schweigert, was a spectacular individual play, a game-altering, game-winning play. Only the Raiders couldn’t cash it in for short-field points, and lost the game 23-17.

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Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 9 Comments »

Raiders hopes are flagging

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
Only losers complain about penalties. I mean that in the literal sense. Losers, as in the team that lost the game. That alone should be a lesson for teams which dwell too much on officiating.
Let the fans and media assess the skills of the officials. Good teams overcome them.

Other than Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception,” which was actually the Raiders complaining about a call they didn’t get, rather than one they did, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a scenario in which a team got hosed by an official and still couldn’t have come up winners.

(It should be noted that to this day, it is impossible to tell whether it was Jack Tatum or Frenchy Fuqua who was the first man to hit Terry Bradshaw’s pass)

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Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 15 Comments »

Defenses no longer offensive

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
No more excuses about the rules being tailor made for offense.

The Raiders looked to be improved on defense in their season-opening loss to New England, but based on the way much of the rest of league looked in Week 1, you wonder if they’ll be improved enough.

The last two nights of prime time football featured four excellent defenses in Indianapolis, Baltimore, Atlanta and Philadelphia. The Miami Dolphins took apart Denver. Even the San Francisco 49ers had seven sacks.

In an era supposedly devoid of good tackling, all four teams had both sure indivdual tacklers as well as the ability to get several men to the ball. All four defenses were extremely quick – something the Raiders promised to be but only partly delivered in their loss to the Patriots.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 26 Comments »

I See A Trend Here…

Raiders writer Bill Soliday

Posted by Bill Soliday, Raiders beat writer for ANG Newspapers
Another opener, another road game, another loss. Some things never change. The Raiders are so like that. It’s going to be argued for a solid week whether this game contained more good or more bad.

I say more bad. And it was not your garden variety bad. It was ominous bad.

Yes, you had to kind of like the Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan factors, but then you knew that was coming. Together, they accounted for 240 of Oakland’s 353 net yards.

Then again, Moss only caught five of 14 balls thrown to him – five of 15 if you count the failed two-point conversion in which he interfered and still didn’t catch the ball.

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Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 8 Comments »

Boston Pride

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
The sign just outside the toll booth at Boston’s Logan Airport says, “Welcome to Boston. Home of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox.”
No mention of the New England Patriots, who happen to be world champions two years running.

“That’s because the Patriots are in Foxborough, and that’s 45 minutes away,” explains my cab driver.

The bartender at the Cask N’ Flagon says that when the Patriots host the Oakland Raiders Thursday night, he’ll have at least a few televisions on the NFL opener so Red Sox fans can keep an eye on football as well.

The Cask N’ Flagon is located behind the Green Monster at Fenway Park. There are only a handful of patrons as the Red Sox are tied 2-2 in the ninth with the Los Angeles Angels.

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Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2005
Under: Regular Season (2005) | 22 Comments »