In the movie Iron Man, the antagonist Obadiah Stane paralyzes the protagonist Tony Stark and rips out a piece of technology from Stark's chest that amount to being his heart. A prodigious inventor, Tony Stark was responsible for many creations in the Marvel universe (mostly weapons), but this was a special piece of technology and Obadiah Stane waxes poetic as he handles this invention, even as he believes he is watching his former friend die on the couch in front of him.
When I ordered the hit on you, I was worried that I was killing the golden goose. But, you see, it was just fate that you survived it, leaving one last golden egg to give. You really think that just because you have an idea, it belongs to you? Your father, he helped give us the atomic bomb. Now what kind of world would it be today if he was as selfish as you?Oh, it's beautiful. Tony, this is your Ninth Symphony. What a masterpiece. Look at that. This is your legacy. A new generation of weapons with this at its heart. Weapons that will help steer the worldback on course, put the balance of power in our hands. The right hands.
I am here today to tell you that Al Davis is Tony Stark--minus the sexy assistant and 12-for-12 with Maxim's cover models. Al Davis passed away nine days ago, but the golden goose who wore silver and black sweatsuits for the last 50 years did not leave Oakland fans without one last golden egg.This 2011 Oakland Raiders team, even with the injury to QB Jason Campbell, is Al Davis' last golden egg. This is a team with incredible speed, size, strength, guts and heart. This is a team with a gutsy head coach as a playcaller who is following through on his word to build a bully reminiscent of the Raiders of old. This is not a team that has arrived, but it is a team that has incredible skill and can make a run over the next half decade.
And the best part is that many of the players who will be integral parts of this franchise for the next five years were drafted in the last couple years by Davis. Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore, Stefen Wisniewski, Jared Veldheer and many more recent draft picks all look to be key cogs for the Raiders offense. On the defensive side, Lamarr Houston, Matt Shaughnessy, Rolondo McClain and Tyvon Branch have been important recent draft picks on the defensive side of the ball. But there is one player that makes me wax poetic more than all the others.
That player is Darrius Heyward-Bey. The 7th overall draft pick in 2009, "DHB" was considered a great reach, especially considering the only two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award (best WR in collegiate football) was still on the board. Then for two full seasons, Heyward-Bey was a constant source of evidence for the critics that Al Davis had lost his mind. Forever linked together, Crabtree was putting up better numbers in single games than Heyward-Bey put together in 8-game stretches. In DHB's 3rd season, he started off slow once again with only 5 catches and 49 yards in the Raiders' first three games, missing the Bills game in week two with a hamstring pull.
Then the unthinkable happened. Heyward-Bey broke the century mark, providing a great spark for the Oakland offense against the Patriots in week 4. The next two weeks, DHB became a consistent offensive threat for the Raiders, bringing in big catches and sparking the offense time and again.
But it's not just a big play here and there that provides Heyward-Bey with some solid stats. The wide receiver out of Maryland LOOKS great out there play after play. He is setting up opposing cornerbacks with double moves, running crisp routes and he is consistently open. It shouldn't be overlooked that DHB is actually making use of his open looks by catching the ball when it's thrown to him. He is becoming a number one wide receiver for the Silver and Black. I cannot tell you how excited I am about the last three games DHB has put in, but I have to stress that it is not just about the numbers here. If you have had the opportunity to watch the Raiders play the past three games, you would know that Heyward-Bey just looks like a very good football player out there and he is constantly getting better. I would say he looks like the best wide receiver the Raiders have had in nearly a decade. DHB, you are Al Davis' last golden egg. You are his 9th Sympony and the last three games you have put in are as exciting I've seen from a Raider receiver in a long time.