Pirate Booty: Jacoby Ford is a Star, Taiwan Jones is Fast, Gradkowski a Bengal? and More

Positive vibrations and good mojo line this Tuesday. Not only with the lockout, but with the Raiders. Nothing has changed on the Raiders front, I am just starting to get excited and more optimistic. I have finally snapped out of my doom and gloom on the Raiders cap situation. I am going to post on that in a bit.

But for now we must tackle the Booty! Jump over....

Taiwan Jones knows what punched his ticket to his hometown Raiders.

Raiders' 4th round draft pick rookie Taiwan Jones is ready to prove his speed | abc7news.com
When the lockout ends, Taiwan Jones is ready to run. The Oakland Raider's 4th round draft pick came out of Deer Valley High School in Antioch. Now, a lot of guys are fast, but Jones is a blur. "I always knew Al Davis loved speed but I didn't think it would actually happen for him to draft me. What are the odds of me getting drafted locally? The fact that he picked me up, I guess he stuck to his plan, he loves speed and I got speed," said Jones.

Here is a completely non-specific look at why the Raiders will be okay with the cap:

Over the cap? Raiders likely already have a plan - Oakland Oakland Raiders | Examiner.com
Therein lies the rub -- why would the Raiders strike those deals knowing they wouldn't be able to restructure enough somewhere else to field a team? The answer, as simple as it is, is that they wouldn't do that. With the lockout nearly a thing of the past, don't be surprised that Clayton was right about one thing -- Carlisle's days as a Raider are likely over. The veteran lineman is more valuable in the zone blocking scheme that will no longer be the focus of the Raiders' offensive line.

The days of two-a-day practices may be a thing of the past. At least when the second practice involves pads. This shouldn't really alter the Raiders practices all that much.

Players looking for less contact? - Inside the Oakland Raiders
I can’t remember the last time the Raiders had two practices in a day and actually put on the pads for both of them. It’s usually one padded practice, a couple of hours or 2:15 in length, followed by another in shorts, shells and helmets. In the padded practices, players are aren’t actually brought to the ground except in rare instances. Sometimes, the second practice is merely a walkthrough.

Jacoby Ford gets a little love:

Ranking the AFC West returners - AFC West Blog - ESPN
1. Jacoby Ford, Oakland: He’s becoming one of my favorite players. He is a star. Ford had three kickoff returns for touchdowns in the second half of last season. He has a chance to be special. He wants to return punts. Because he is expected to be a starting receiver, he will probably only return punts on occasion, if at all.

 

Raiders Roster Ramblings

As long as the Raiders can sign another veteran guard, I am all for them cutting Cooper loose. It would be interesting if the Seahawks brought in Carlisle and and Gallery.

If Cut By Raiders, Carlisle Could Become Seattle’s Best | Football News Now
However, Cable is first expected to target soon-to-be former Raider Robert Gallery once the lockout is lifted. Carlisle may be a second option if that proves to be the case.

Bruce Gradkowski makes sense for a few teams. I have had him pegged for the Cardinals, but the Bengals make even more sense.

FOX Sports on MSN
One guy who fits that description, and who might have generated a nice group of suitors in free agency, particularly with the Bengals, is five-year veteran Bruce Gradkowski, who played in Oakland the past two seasons and who is a pending unrestricted free agent.

There are certainly more high-profile passers who figure to be available, especially via trade, but Gradkowski is a steady player with an in-check ego, and will get surprisingly good play. Gradkowski, 28, has a resume that includes 20 regular-season starts.

Not a huge body of work, granted, but 11 of those starts came under Gruden's nose. Gradkowski might not know all the newer wrinkles of Gruden's playbook, but he has a basic familiarity with the design and desires of the team's first-year coordinator, having spent 2006-2007 in Tampa, when Gruden was an offensive assistant there.

More Nnamdi speculation:

Reading Asomugha tea leaves - AFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means to the Raiders? I know the general consensus is that Asomugha is leaving. I tend to believe it, but I also won’t truly believe the Raiders won’t keep Asomugha until he signs elsewhere even though there have been plenty of hints this offseason that Asomugha will leave. If the market for Asomugha is not overly hot, of course, that would increase the Raiders’ chances of keeping him.

The Raiders will have some salary-cap limitations, so they won’t be able to set any records in an attempt to keep Asomugha. But if the money isn’t big elsewhere, perhaps Asomugha would give the Raiders a hometown discount. So, the Raiders and their fans must hope these reports are accurate.

 

Around the AFC West

Once Josh McDaniels got busted for spying on teams, I think the following was a natural conclusion:

Is this why Haley was mad at McDaniels? - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Colquitt said this to Denver radio station KCUV: "I don’t know if I can answer that within the locker room, but I know that it has something to do with the Spygate, the videotaping. All the stuff like that. And I think Haley was like, ‘Listen, based on that game I can tell what you are doing, and you are cheating.’"

I am excited for the following:

Starting gig reportedly Tebow’s "job to lose" | ProFootballTalk
Even if that happens, Steve Wyche of NFL.com says Orton is likely the underdog to win the gig. "I have talked to enough people . . . to comfortably say that unless Tim Tebow gets hurt in training camp or is absolutely awful, the starting job is his to lose," Wyche said. "They want to find out if Tebow can play."

I don't think Tebow is going to cut it as a starter in the NFL.

Around the Lockout

NFL Lockout: All Signs Point Towards Lockout Ending on Friday - Silver And Black Pride

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