So...did anyone else spend their weekend being the perfect spouse, boy/girlfriend, parent and/or child? I banged out some pesky and procrastinated projects, went for walks, cooked meals, talked about things that weren't sports related...I even went window shopping and watched reality TV.
I did this for two reasons: My altruism is probably only matched by Mother Teresa and this was the weekend to build up some extra credit brownie points.
I saw this weekend for what it was. A chance for an advance apology to my wife, because I am about to OD on football for the next 22 weeks. And while I did miss some great college action and I wasn't able to stay on top of the flurry of roster activity, I understood that these sacrifices were for the greater good.
And what a flurry of roster activity it was. It would have been a little naive to expect it to go by in Raiderland without some controversy.
I was able to get quickly caught up during a few moments of down time, by checking out this fine site and I found the coverage on here was excellent. Stay with me whilst I recap and set my mind straight.
The battle over the 53rd player on the roster got a lot of attention and speculation. And it certainly was an odd course of events. What we know:
- Reports surfaced from Andy Slater that the coaches wanted to cut Mike Mitchell.
- The Raiders initially had 54 men on the roster. Mitchell was one of them.
- Andy Slater reported that Al Davis blocked the dismissal of Mitchell.
- Stevie Brown was told he made the squad.
- He answered questions from the press with a Raiders PR guy close by.
- Stevie Brown was then cut.
The course of events seemed to back up Slaters statements. Yet we all know that legit Raider leaks are essentially non-existant.
Maybe it was all a ploy to motivate Mitchell. Still, the coaches had publicly praised Mike Mitchell. What would be the cause for their turning on him? An unreported bad attitude or their loathing of his over aggressive play? It's all speculation.
Why this ever came down to Mitchell or Brown in the first place doesn't make sense. Brown seemed to have out-played Hiram Eugene. They play the same position. It seems like an easy and tidy solution to keep him instead of Eugene.
Who knows? Magic Bullet or multiple shooters? In the end we are left right where we started--the hopes that Mitchell is on the right track to lay some more lumber like he did on Justin Forsett and that someday we'll have the answer to the question: What can Brown do for you?
It was easy to get hung up on the controversial moves of cut-down day, but it's really not that big of deal. We are talking about the last players to make the roster. Back-ups that hopefully won't have to play and Stevie Brown is now safely on the practice squad.
It's time to move onto Tennessee. Tennessee? Tennessee. Tennessee? How appropriate.
Lord I've really been real stressed
Down and out, losin ground
Although I am (silver and) black and proud
Problems got me pessimistic
Take me to another place
Take me to another land
Make me forget all that hurts me
Let me understand your plan
He said what I am searchin for are
The answers to all which are in front of me
The ultimate truth started to get blurry
For some strange reason it had to be
It was all a dream about Tennessee
The ultimate truth got a little blurry through the controversy, but the plan remains and my dreams about Tennessee and beyond are a little sunnier than they were before. Let's move on to some of the sources of the growing positive vibrations.
- While the questions of Veld's inexperience loom, the hope and potential is thrilling. We knew what we'd get with Satele and Veld essentially matched that against a stout 9er front.
- Veld should get better each and every week and by the end of the season I expect the Raiders will be experiencing their best Center play since their last pro-bowl Center got lost on the Dark Side of the Moon.
- The ramifications of Jared Veldheer getting the starting nod at Center rippled through the roster. It made Chris Morris cut worthy. Caused Barnes to switch to LT, which caused Daniel Loper to make the team for the now needed Guard depth.
- I can't help but laugh about the change of circumstances of Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson. They did more than switch spots on the depth chart. They also did so in the court of public opinion and they did it quickly.
- In the end, I feel better about the DB spot now then I did before training camp. Routt has looked better in pre-season than Johnson did at any time last year and while CJ got torched, it was his first game back from a hammy and he was reported to have had a solid camp. I expect him to be a solid nickel corner and (I never thought I'd say this) I feel decent about Routt being #2.
- Trevor Scott is back a DE and thus becomes a statement that you can't believe a damn thing that comes out of the coaches mouth's. They had praised his progress at LB. While we'll chalk it up to a failed experiment, the move allows for Scott to rotate in as a fresh body DE to rush the QB on pass downs.
- While it's not official, it seems that Quenton Groves will take his spot as a starter. This move should increase the LB's pass coverage ability, while not weakening it against the run and only slightly limiting it on the pass rush.
- As the dust settled over the Brown incident, one thing should be mentioned: The fact that we were up in arms about 7th rounder Stevie Brown being cut and the fact that every other rookie made the squad is amazing. Initially, this draft was a giant success!
- TJ Housmandzedah: It is reported that he will likely sign with the Raiders or the Redskins. So, let me be the first to say that if this happens, I'll have to eat crow as I have been adamant that it wouldn't. Still, I'll believe it when I see it and for the following reasons:
- TJ is a proud person. He believes he is a number 1 WR. He speaks his mind and he publicly pouts when he isn't happy. This is largely why the Seahawks are willing to cut him and still pay the majority of his salary this year. The Raiders have shown time and again that they are committed to developing their young WR's. I can't see TJ coming in here knowing he would be playing second fiddle to a group of unproven youngsters and I don't see the Raiders telling him that he'd be the go-to-guy after all they have done to develop the young guys.
- If the Raiders don't sign him to a long term-deal and you take out the potential of TJ throwing temper tantrums during the course of the year (two big ifs) it could be a good move. He is a hard worker and he is committed to his craft. He has solid hands and he is an excellent route runner. The Raiders have the guys to stretch the field deep and TJ could be the reliable possession WR to take some of the attention away from Zach Miller.
- All this being said, I'll still be shocked if he ends up being a Raider.