On the Raiders pirate ship, Captain Kiffen marrooned Mike "Non-Clutch" Williams on the deserted island of unemployment.
Honestly, I was a bit mixed when it came to Kiff hitting the gong on Williams on again, off again act. Playing devil's advocate, I look toward how Williams had all the tools to become a greater asset to the team than a liability, which he obviously was. I thought like many other Raider fans that the new change of location and hard knocks he picked up through the disappointments in his career would give him a new lease on the football field. Part of me wonders if the maturity bug will bite him on a new job where a coach is into the 3rd year of his system.
Mostly, I am impressed with the move Kiffen made. Not only because it holds true to the non-scholarship rule that Kiffen is supposed to be implementing, but it shows a proactive willingness to try new things which is hard to do for a young rookie coach.
Compound this with the fact that an ex-USC coach had little problem with ousting a former USC superstar receiver for underachieving on the pro-level, and you have a powerful message to your team and the fans.
Out goes Williams and in comes Tim Dwight. Unlike the big targets like Randy Moss and Williams, Dwight is considerably smaller, but with veteran experience. According to his profile on CBS NFL Sportsline, Dwight had 16 catches for 112 yards before his injury late November last year. Over half of those catches were on 3rd down. I'm hoping Dwight can become the under-the-radar weapon that can pick up the clutch yards late in downs which in the wake of our running back quagmire,is something we so desperately need.
The other interesting thing about Dwight is his punt/kick return capabilities. His spartan 9.8 yards per punt career average is better than Chris Carr and Johnnie Lee Higgins 4.5 yards per punt, which is 31st in the league. By now, anything is better than those two.
So is it better to have a rough-around-the-edges big, young wide receiver target or a seasoned multi-faceted undersized wide-out? In my humble opinion, with Porter and Curry still lining up for us, a small slot weapon like Dwight seems to be the right choice for right now.