Pirate Booty: The Oakland Raider News Week That Was 5/30-6/5

If you missed the last week of Raider news, and football news in general, I don't blame you. The NFL is in lockout mode. But just because there is a lockout it doesn't mean there haven't been some interesting news and notes coming out in the past week. I've got all the Raiders news packaged right here for you. The dates are links to the full edition of that day's Pirate Booty, which contains all that days NFL news. Jump over....

5/30

Main Stream Media Love for the Raiders

Raiders fans have reason to smile | ProFootballTalk
In a weak division that includes an underachieving Chargers franchise, an overachieving Chiefs team, and a rebuilding Broncos roster, the Raiders have a great chance to succeed, especially with Hue Jackson, who kick-started the offense in 2010, now taking over as head coach. So take heart, Raiders fans. Whenever this labor mess ends, your team looks to be on track to be something other than a mess on the field.

Consider it heart taken Mr. Florio of Pro Football Talk. However, I think you are preaching to the choir on this one. Raider fans already know this squad has progressed past mess standards. Below Jamie Dukes talks up the Raiders chances in the AFC West. Normally, I consider an endorsement by Dukes as a kiss of death, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.

NFL Videos: AFC West surprise?
What will be the biggest surprise coming out of the AFC West in 2011? "NFL Total Access" debates

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

Jerry McDonald praises Richard Seymour while putting the onus on him to bring his dominance with more consistency.

Seymour’s play must equal ability to lead - Inside the Oakland RaiderS
Much of Kelly’s success can probably be attributed to the man he calls "Big Rich." Seymour helped prod Kelly into getting in better shape and by example demonstrated what it was like to be a pro. It would be hard to overstate his effect on young linemen such as Matt Shaughnessy and Lemarr Houston. But make no mistake, the Raiders didn’t extend Seymour two years and $28.5 million in guaranteed money to be a coach on the field. They need those last two years to be Seymour at his dominant best as often as possible as they attempt to eliminate the periods of defensive inconsistency which have plagued them since 2003.

Greater consistency is not the usual trend as players age. I think Seymour's consistency can be linked to an increasing susceptibility to injury, and that is not a trend I expect to change.

As key as Seymour's play will be to the success of the 2011 Raiders I don't think it will play as big a role as the unit functioning under the guidance of this next individual.

Oakland's Running Question: What About Bob? | Football News Now
With all of that inexperience and the departure of head coach Tom Cable and last year’s offensive line coach Jim Michalczik, will the Raiders be able to duplicate their running success? The answer to that question lies in another one…who is Bob Wylie?

5/31

It appears that the Plaxico Burress to the Raiders notion is picking up a few supporters:

Peter King - SI.com
I think when Plaxico Burress gets out of jail a week from today, and when the NFL resumes, he'll have two or three teams very interested. My guess is the Jets, Eagles and Raiders will be involved (the Jets if they don't sign Randy Moss)

The move makes too much sense for people not to speculate. Of course, that doesn't mean the Raiders are thinking about it. Jump over for more booty....

 

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

Onto a little Raider history provided by the Raiders themselves.

Top 10 Receiving Yard Performances
The vertical game has always been a staple of the Raiders offensive attack and many receivers have turned in impressive efforts over the years. Check out this Top 10 list of regular season receiving yardage performances.

This list is dominated by Art Powell. I never would have guessed, but he makes the top-ten three times and he holds the first and second single most games with most receiving yards of any Raider. Not bad for a guy that only played four seasons in the silver and black—the worst of which was an 800 yard 12 touchdown campaign. The Raiders would love to get out of any single receiver now.

6/1

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

As I am sure you are aware the new Raiders defensive coordinator has been here before. This creates a unique chance to compare any differences in tendencies that he may have now opposed to his first stint. We also have a pretty good idea in the differences we can expect from the last defensive coordinator. Jerry McDonald breaks down some of the blitz numbers:

How much will Bresnahan blitz? - Inside the Oakland Raiders
Then again, only one time in the last 29 years have the Raiders failed to record a single sack by the secondary. It was 2002, the Raiders had 43 sacks and won the AFC title, and Bresnahan was the defensive coordinator.

McDonald points out how the fact that Huff and Branch had four sacks apiece in 2010 was a near mind-blowing anomaly in Raider-land. Al Davis is just not a fan of the blitz. He also points out the Bresnahan was in-particularly reserved with secondary blitzed in his first stint.

It will be interesting to see if Bresnahan changes this philosophy. I have contended that the main reason that Huff and Branch blitzed so much in 2010 was because they suck in coverage. It was merely a case of the coaches putting them in the best position to make an impression in the passing game.

Raiders Free Agency News

The Raiders have been one of the rumored destinations for Chad Ochocinco (if he survives his lockout activities). It has been an almost foregone conclusion that he is leaving Cincinnati even though he has one year left on his contract. Well, there are some, like his teammate Reggie Kelly that don't think he is going anywhere:

Reggie Kelly Would Be Surprised if Chad Ochocinco Didn't Play for the Bengals in 2011 - Cincy Jungle
"I can't see how Chad wouldn't be a Bengal in 2011, I really can't," he said when we talked on the phone on Monday. "Unless something would just go extremely out of this world, i guess you can say left field, so to speak. But I can't see a way that he won't be a part of this team, because, to be honest with you, a lot of people don't really understand Chad. They don't know him the way that we know him within the locker room. He's a great player, very experienced, very talented. All that wisdom and all that knowledge that he has, he can definitely help a young guy like A.J. Green."

6/2

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

Hue Jackson Talks to NFL.com

Brhynno and I discussed yesterday how listening to Hue Jackson talk winds results in us tackling items in our house (not yet loved ones). I already have a hard time distinguishing Tom Cable from Joe Bugel.

NFL.com news: Jackson resurrecting old-school Raiders themes
I spent two days with Raiders players last week and they worked hard. It wasn't simply seven-on-seven drills. One thing that really stood out in watching them was how young the brunt of the guys on the team were. It was really apparent when Falcons players took the same high school practice field after the Raiders. Atlanta has a more veteran team and its players were all business. Sustained success breeds that swagger. They got on the field, did what they had to do -- efficiently -- and kept it moving.

I transcribe most of the interview in the article below:

Raiders Coach Hue Jackson "We are Going to Chase Perfection" - Silver And Black Pride
Hue Jackson speaks, and I want football. Highlights from the coach's recent interview.

Amy Trask Making the Headlines

Amy Trask is a female trail blazer in the NFL. Amy Trask has unprecedented say for a women in the NFL world. The late Georgia Frontiere owned the Rams, but she let others make most of the football and business decisions She has been regarded as the most powerful women in sports and certainly in football. And during the lockout she is making many of her male contemporaries look bad:

Faces of lockout: Raiders chief executive - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Thus, Trask is ensuring her employees are not standing by idly, waiting for the lockout to end. The Raiders are being aggressive as they can be during the lockout.

6/3

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

The NFL lockout apparently does not extend to the Madden-Mariucci Bocce Tournament. Well, as long as current players were there at the same time as coaches.

Raiders Play Bocce for Charity
Raiders coaches, staff, legends and Hall of Famers participated in the 13th Annual Madden-Mariucci Bocce Ball Tournament to help raise money for charity.

I was never a fan of Bocce...until I discovered drinking cross country Bocce. And that is it for Raider news. We now move to speculation.

Raider Roster Ramblings

John Clayton was asked if the presence of Ike Taylor at the Raiders player workouts in Georgia was an indication of the future destination for the free agent. Clayton shot it down as quickly as I would. 

NFL: Training camps may be next hits - ESPN
Things like this are happening a lot of places. Donovan McNabb isn't a member of the Arizona Cardinals -- and won't be -- but is working out in Phoenix with Cardinals players because he lives in Phoenix. A lot of players from other teams are getting together for workouts with Houston Texans players in Texas. Players who live in Miami are working out together because they are in Miami. The Oakland Raiders can't afford to add a high-priced cornerback after re-signing Stanford Routt. Walker's days are done in Oakland. They are just finding a place to work out with a bunch of other players. Don't read much into it.

6/4

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

Wauffle's history of success leaves little doubt that the success of his D-lines is about way more than talent.

No Waffling On Importance Of Raiders DLine Coach | Football News Now
After becoming the Raiders’ defensive line coach in 2010, Waufle oversaw a group that helped Oakland record the 2nd most sacks in the league (47). Some people may downplay the importance of a position coach saying it’s just a coincidence after all players are the ones who play.

Tell me the following doesn't sound awesome:

Biletnikoff Golf Classic set for Monday in Lincoln - El Dorado Hills Telegraph
Proceeds benefit the Biletnikoff Foundation, which was established in memory of Tracey Biletnikoff, the late daughter of the NFL Hall-of-Fame receiver.

Prize packages include an eight-day trip for two to Scotland, an eight-day trip for two to Hawaii and an eight-day trip for two to Augusta, Ga. Several former Raiders players are confirmed as guests, including Biletnikoff, Ted Hendricks, Willie Brown, Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Jim Plunkett and Tim Brown.

For tickets and information, contact the Biletnikoff Foundation at 7080 Donlon Way, Suite 126, Dublin, CA 94568; or (925) 556-2525. Tickets may be ordered online at www.biletnikoff.net.

Speaking of Raider legends:

Cliff Branch by the Numbers - Silver And Black Pride

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