Positive vibrations and good intentions fill the NFL air this Thursday morning. By all accounts we have some progress in the negotiations. And that's not all. We have some more media preseason love drifting the Raiders way. So, let's turn that progress into a deal and get this season rolling. Jump over for the booty....
Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty
Hue Jackson's Interview with the NFL Network
NFL Videos: Hue Jackson hopes to keep free agents
Raiders head coach Hue Jackson discusses his team's 2011 outlook and free agents he hopes to keep once the lockout ends.
Hue Jackson is forced into giving an answer on what life would be like without Nnamdi:
If Asomugha leaves Oakland Jackson Declares "Next Man Up" | Football News Now
asked what the Raiders would do if the shutdown corner wasn’t in the Silver and Black next year. "Well, I mean, it’s next man up," Jackson said with a smile. "You know, that’s the way it is in the National Football League. If he’s not there, we’re gonna have to play somebody there. We’ve gotta play with 11, we can’t play with ten. So we’ll stick the next player out there. We think we have some talented players in CJ Johnson and obviously Stanford Routt. We drafted two very good young corners (DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa) I’m very excited about. We have some other guys we drafted a year ago. We need to make sure we create an environment for those players to be all they can be."
With or without Nnamdi Gil Brandt is on the Raiders and Hue Jackson's bandwagon:
NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Brandt: Jackson was great hire for Raiders "
NFL.com personnel guru Gil Brandt calls Jackson a "great hire," and suggests the Raiders — whom he has at No. 16 in his offseason rankings– could be a team on the verge of something special. "This was a great hire for a number of reasons," Brandt said during his weekly live chat. "One, he’s got a special talent as far as relating to and motivating players. Two, he’ll call plays — he was very good at that with other teams. Jackson was a great hire, and if they can get some offensive line help, this team can do special things."
Biletnikoff's Charity Event is a Success
Golf tourney is another great catch for Biletnikoff - El Dorado Hills Telegraph
"By participating in events like this …we’re helping him help kids," Perry said. "It does a lot of things for at-risk children. It’s a good, worthy cause. You get to hang around with these professional athletes that are Hall of Famers, people that have excelled in their particular field of work but are also great, individual people."
That's all well and good, but our very own Saint gets the kind of quotes worth reading about:
Sports Bars Of The Past: Big Al's Cactus Room in Oakland California - Ben Davidson - Sports Bar Nation
Billy Cannon's Heisman: His first story was about a young running back and 1959 Heisman Trophy Winner named, Billy Cannon. Cannon had come over to the Raiders from the Houston Oilers and one night in Al's the boys were giving him a hard time about being a Heisman Trophy winner and they wondered where he kept it. Amazingly enough he said that it was probably in the trunk of ONE of his cars...In fact, it was in the trunk of the car he was driving that night and he went to look for it. In a couple of minutes, Billy walked back in with a dirty towel and unwrapped his 1959 Heisman Trophy. Incredible! But, not as incredible as the fact that it hung on the bar for two years after that!
Raider Roster Ramblings
Just Say No to Pryor
Terrelle Pryor: Is He a Good Option for the Raiders or the NFL at All? - Silver And Black Pride
Terrelle Pryor is not going to cost much, and he's still not worth it.
Here is an interesting quote on former Raiders MLB Kirk Morrison:
Jaguars.com - John Oehser
"Kirk is a true middle linebacker-type who brought 79 starts and vocal leadership to our linebacker group last year," Smith said. "Daryl and Kirk are two experienced and trusted veterans with passion for their profession." Smith said Morrison had a solid season in 2009 for the Raiders, and played well in spots for the Jaguars last season, particularly in games against Oakland and Cleveland. "Most of the year before he played as he did in those two games," Smith said. "He came here and there was a new system and a new adjustment, but he has started almost every game in his career. He has been very durable and is passionate about his profession." "We’ll add one or two guys," Smith said of the linebacker position. "We need to be more productive down the middle of our defense at the second and third levels."
The first thing that sticks out is the Jaguars were severely underwhelmed with Morrison's play. They didn't come right out and say it, but it is between the lines. I wouldn't expect him to be back with the Jaguars unless both parties have no other options.
Around the AFC West
San Diego Chargers
Rivers would take a lockout-shortened title - AFC West Blog - ESPN
We’ve been going for ten weeks now," Rivers said. " I’ve been super-impressed looking around the league and some of these teams have 50 guys, 40 guys, or 37 guys, but they’re doing these three-day crash sessions and then they are kinda scattering for a month and then they reconvene. We’ve gone 10 weeks, four days a week pretty solid with good attendance. We’re planning on doing a little more football here in the next few weeks, a little more organized trying to run some plays maybe
Kansas City Chiefs
Poll results: Chiefs expected to slide a tad - AFC West Blog - ESPN
As of 4:05 p.m. ET, 48 percent of the voters think the Chiefs will win 8-9 games. Twenty-seven percent think the Chiefs will win 10-11 games. Twenty-one percent think the Chiefs will finish under .500 and just four percent think they will win 12 or more games. More than 3,600 votes were tallied.
Tim Tebow has people in his corner in high places:
Mayor-Elect Hancock names his pick for Broncos QB | 9news.com
"I would go with Tebow. I like the young, I like the youthfulness, I like the energy and I think he ought to be on the field learning. I mean, if he's your future, then put him on the field, let him learn with John Elway," Hancock said.
Around the Lockout
Things are looking up, up, up in negotiation land:
Twitter / @AlbertBreer
Today's session, I'm told, wrapped up this round of formal & confidential talks between the NFL & players. They'll meet again soon.
It's silly that it has taken them this long to really start negotiating, but what the hell—beggars can't be choosers. And it sounds as if these are not just hollow negotiations. They are bearing some fruit:
League, players agree the time to do a deal is now | ProFootballTalk
The two sides are talking. The lawyers have been left out of the process. No one is running to the media to bicker or snipe. And, as Albert Breer (not Brooks, Rosey, Breer) of NFL Network reports, both sides realize that the time to do a deal has arrived. That said, getting there will take some time. An NFL source told Breer that four-to-six weeks will be needed to progress from "serious negotiations" to the drafting of a formal document. An NFLPA* source said that there’s a 30-day window to get a deal done.
With NFL season less than 100 days away, there is hope for a deal between owners and players by July
"I think it is serious that they are talking and both sides are working hard," a source told the Daily News. "There is lots of effort and building goodwill and maybe less suspicion. Full engagement by both sides." The source added that there is a lot of work to do but they are "trying to build a process" and establish momentum.
The Locked Out Lockout Dailies: Behind the Scenes at the Secret NFL Negotiations (Pt. 2) - Silver And Black Pride
An exclusive transcript from the secret NFL and NFLPA negotiations.