I am going to type this next sentence as slow as possible so I may savor it. The Raiders had their last practice before their upcoming game. Ah football is here. With the trip to Dallas looming the Raiders had two practices on Tuesday. Neither of which featured pads and the second apparently was of the light walk-through variety.
So, on a day with not much happening on the field, Al Davis stole the show. Al graced Sirius Radio with the rare opportunity to interview him. Here is the transcript. While this is no Frost/Nixon interview, I always enjoy seeing what Al has to say.
Al Davis is a polarizing figure. This leads to many people missing the things he gets right. My favorite quote from the interview highlights another aspect of why he will always have my respect. He is often a champion for the underdog. Davis:
One thing we can never forget --those who came before us. And we hope in the CBA, that we can make amends and help those people who need it most.
The only thing that really stuck out as being revealing was his failure to mention Tom Cable, but sliding this comment in:
...and this year we come in and we have a bright new young offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson, and I just have great hopes for this young team.
I wonder what kind of thoughts this statement conjures in Cable's head. Tommy Boy better have a great year.
Mr. Davis brought to light a trend I hadn't noticed and I think it is safe to say we would all love to continue. Davis:
...beginning in 1970, 80, 90, 2000, we played in the championship game and it’s our hope that in the year 2010, which we’re getting ready to start, repeat the Raiders hope that they do again what they’ve done in the last four decades, play in the championship game.
He specifically compared this team to the 1980 squad and also mentioned several times that Jason Campbell reminded him of Jim Plunkett.
I see this young Jason Campbell as a football player like I saw Jim Plunkett. He has everything. He was 13-0 in college at Auburn. He can throw up the field, he can run, he’s big, he’s smart. I really predict great things for him. I hope he doesn’t let me down. I don’t think he will.
A touch menacing, but mostly hopeful. Just don't let the Godfather down, Jason.
Speaking of JC. There is an interesting take on him here. Christopher Harris of ESPN breaks down why people can expect better statistical output from JC due to him having an increased percentage of his throws go downfield. He also feels that Campbell has much better weapons to throw to.
Onto some practice notes:
- Colt Brennan threw some impressive passes and some of them were deep.
- Cable noticed, while realizing he will be limited:
He does a pretty good job of being able to put it on receivers and lead ‘em, and put it up over the top. He has a knack for some of those things. I think what he’s done is put himself in the game. He’s got it to a point where we feel like he can go in and hand it off and he’s got a handful of throws he can make and understand.
- Colt was not surprised. Brennan:
I’ve played football since the fourth grade. You put me on a football field, there’s nothing uncomfortable about it.
DHB had another strong day, but Tafur reminds us all that it is not all positive. Tafur:
Even though much improved, DHB is still going to drop some, some that will make you wince like I just did.
- One of my favorite reports of TC came from McDonald today when he said, "Walter McFadden tips underthrown deep ball Campbell to DHB . . . to untrained eye he looks worthy of being nickel bac(k) ahead or Routt."
- Who knows if he'll get a chance to be that nickel guy. Hopefully he blows us away in the preseason.
Alex Daniels is going to get time at FB on Thursday. Please let him play well. I love this guy. Daniels:
If I’ve got to push DeMarcus(Ware) down the field 20 yards, I’m going to keep pushing him, I’m going to keep pushing him, I’m going to keep pushing him, until the whistle blows, then I’ll stop, then I’ll come back to the huddle and I’ll do it again. Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do it.’
- Hell, I love all the Rooks. Let's let our new QB sum it up shall we. JC:
They quickly stick their head in there, they’re quick to get into a fight with someone. They can’t sing a lick but they can hit.
- Apparently Mario Henderson forgot to stay on his feet during a running play as the coaches had to remind him, "stay up Mario, stay up Mario." You would've thought he'd have known that by now.
Ugh, the offensive line. Looking at Son's poll below it appears the majority of us feel this unit will be the key to the season and judging by Tom Cable's comments the key to this units success just may be the health of Robert Gallery. Cable:
(He's) arguably (our) best player. I think that's a fair statement. Every position has someone that's the glue to it, especially in the offensive line where you have that many people who need to be on the same page every snap, down after down. When you take arguably your best player out of that mix I think it does affect the people around them. Robert is a really fine, fine player and he's proven that. Last year the injury didn't (give) him the opportunity for him to show it.
The rooks got "haircuts" today
Not appearing on Thursday will be: Ford, Hubbard, Schilens, Lawton, Darren McFadden, Frye, Gradkowski and Richardson.
- Couldn't have done it without you: McDonald and Tafur and AP