Pirate Booty: The Raider News Week that Was 7/17-7/23

When I was compiling the weekly recap of Raider news last week, I was very hopeful that that would be the last week I would do so while the NFL was still i a lockout. Wrong! We are still under a lockout, but this time I am even more confident this will be the last week I have to do this with the lockout raining crap all over everything.

There are still some solid Raider tidbits from the previous week. Check 'em out, and if you want the full edition of Pirate Booty just bang it here to open the Treasure Trove.

July 18th

Jerry McDonald thinks all my, and anyone else, worrying about the cap is nonsense. So add him to the list of people talking me off the ledge on this one.

Get ready for cap crisis nonsense - Inside the Oakland Raiders
If the Raiders aren’t active players in free agency, it won’t be because of the salary cap. It will be because after shelling out huge money to the likes of Gibril Wilson, Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall (by trade), they chose to go in another direction and develop younger players. It won’t stop the flood of "Raiders in trouble against the cap" stories, despite historical evidence to the contrary.

Once again the Raiders are among the least valuable teams in the NFL. This is no surprise. Even if the Raiders were coming off of a string of sellouts, and a Super Bowl victory, they'd be near the bottom of this list. That won't change until they get a new stadium.

Raiders Ranked Next To Last Among NFL’s Most Valuable Franchises | Football News Now
According to Forbes Magazine, the Raiders are worth an estimated $758 million (No. 43 world-wide) which ranks them just ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars who are valued at $725 million.

This article misses one big thing in comparing these two

Starkey: Steelers outlaws of the NFL - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
While the Steelers might not take on other people's lightning rods, they do an excellent job of manufacturing their own — James Harrison being the latest example with his incendiary comments in the August issue of Men's Journal. Truth is, this franchise has become the modern-day version of the 1970s Oakland Raiders. Outlaws of the NFL. Some might view that as an insult (especially if they grew up in these parts hating those Raiders), others as a compliment.

The 70's Raiders were a far more likeable group. I think a lot of that can probably be attributed to how out of touch today's athletes can become with the rights of entitlement bestowed upon them, but this Steelers squad lacks the charm of those Raiders.

July 19th

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.

July 20th

This following list is lacking...

Top five commercials featuring NFL stars - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Bo Jackson Two-sport wonder Bo Jackson played running back for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders for four years in the late 1980s until he got hurt. He made use of his fame by filming a hilarious commercial for Nike . In it, Jackson meets several of his "multiple personalities" including a soccer player, horse racer, Indy car driver and a surfer. The looks Jackson gives himself throughout the commercial are priceless.

but since Bo Jackson was his No. 1, I am giving this a pass on all criticisms.

HBO is going to find someone to do Hard Knocks. The more teams that turn them down, the more likely it is that they would agree to any stipulations the Raiders would have in order to agree to this.

HBO Hopeful For ‘Hard Knocks,’ Raiders Still In Running? | Football News Now
We are monitoring developments and remain hopeful of presenting a new season of ‘Hard Knocks,’" HBO spokesman Ray Stallone told Sporting News (via Media Bistro). "Beyond that we are not going to speculate." A number of teams have already declined the opportunity to be featured on the show including the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings. The New York Jets have also turned down an encore appearance. One has to wonder if the Oakland Raiders would be interested in the series. Secretive by nature, the series would shed a very rare light on the franchise.

Here is a cool look at something I never really think about:

Carl Steward 'In Our Backyard': Oakland Raiders' public address announcer Gary Williams helps advance profession with clinic - San Jose Mercury News
Even the best in the P.A. booth are prone to gaffes. Gary Williams, the fine veteran voice who does the stadium announcing for the Raiders, recalled a job he had doing a bowl game at AT&T Park in which his press box position was situated at a very poor viewing angle. "I can't see a thing!" said Williams as he peered out the window, not realizing the press box mic was on and his complaint was being heard by thousands of fans in the stands.

July 21st

One way or another, I just want a new stadium.

Raiders and 49ers Discussing a Joint Stadium-Silver and Black Pride

The Raiders need a new stadium. The 49ers need a new stadium. Neither team can afford to build one without help. Their respective cities and their home state isn't in the strongest financial position. It seems to me like the two teams would be best served to work together to get this done. And to that end, they have begun discussing the possibility of sharing.

Bruce Campbell's ambiguity in the following statement makes me nervous:

Bruce Campbell Anxious For Raiders To Open Camp, Ready For Job Competition | Football News Now
"I actually feel good. I’m anxious to get back on the field just to see if I’ve prepared myself right," Campbell told Richardson and I. "Everything has been so long to get to a new CBA or whatever . . . I don’t know with my training, if I equipped myself enough to prepare for such a long lockout, but I’m anxious to see."

If Campbell can come close to tapping into the potential his athleticism suggest than the future of the Raiders offensive line looks just fine.

July 22nd

Reactions to the Raiders withholding their vote

NFL owners approve CBA 31-0, Raiders abstain | National Football Post
The Oakland Raiders, as they have done many times in the past, abstained from voting. So, it wasn't technically unanimous.

NFL Fans: It's Happened | Who Dat Dish
Oakland Raiders being the only one to abstain. C’mon Raiders, just vote baby!

Gentlemen, Start Your Footballs? - Battle Red Blog
Vote was 31-0 by the owners with the Oakland Los Angeles Oakland Raiders and Crazy Al Davis abstaining.

Owners OK NFL labor deal; players still to vote - The Denver Post
Who knew that Oakland Raiders maverick Al Davis, the only owner to abstain from voting Thursday, would be management's only voice of reason?

Al Davis "A True Raider" In Players’ Eyes Following Non-Vote | Football News Now
"Man I love Mr. Davis trendsetter he never follows the crowd," safety Mike Mitchell tweeted. "That’s a true Raider."

Safety Michael Huff was also grateful for Davis’ actions, or lack thereof. "AL didn’t vote???? And that’s why he’s the man!!!!! He plays by his own rules," Huff posted on Twitter.

Raiders CEO: We have 'profound philosophical differences' with NFL - The Huddle - USATODAY.com
Trask said the team's misgivings stem from an organizational perspective, not directly from Raiders owner Al Davis. She did say the abstention had nothing to do with Oakland's stadium issues. Trask also underscored that the team is happy to see the lockout move toward resolution. "We've always looked forward to the resumption of football," she said.

Bruce Campbell Confirms Position Switch On O-Line | Football News Now
Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Bruce Campbell confirmed reports he would be switching back to tackle this season.

Click the above link to read more about Campbell or listen to the whole interview.

July 23rd

Free Agency 2011 - Two Views on the AFC West | ProFootballFocus.com
What area is the team’s biggest need to upgrade?

Sam: You could pretty much pick any part of the offense to take a swing at, but let’s assume any QB needs some protection in order to function, and they don’t have that at the moment behind the Raiders’ O-line. That line is bad enough that you don’t need to be position specific, there’s not a spot on it that couldn’t take an upgrade.

Khaled: That offensive line is brutal. Even with some of the young guys getting better, it won’t be good enough to help them. They need an injection of talent now. . How do they upgrade that area?

Sam: Jared Gaither is the kind of physical freak we all know the Raiders covet, but they might be scared off by his injuries. There are plenty of alternatives around though, with Willie Colon, Doug Free, Marshal Yanda and Damien Woody all providing massive upgrades if the Raiders want to go O-line. Khaled: I’d argue that they wouldn’t be scared off by Jared Gaither’s injuries, but rather they’ll keep faith in Veldheer. They could do with getting a bit nastier, which to me means bringing in guard Harvey Dahl.

The reaction to the Raiders abstaining has been varied. Most of it has just been, "it's the Raiders being the Raiders," but it has earned some kudos from unlikely places. Like Kansas City:

NFL Lockout Update: Why Raiders Al Davis Comes Out The Biggest Winner Among NFL Owners - SB Nation Kansas City
My guess is that Davis reaps something of a reward in all of this — that at the very least, the players are thankful for one owner who has an issue with the way today’s agreement went down. He’s easy to laugh at or poke fun of, but in this instance, Al Davis is the one owner who comes out looking good.

The above is a solid read from an outsider's perspective. But unlikely as that is, the following is 8,945 times more unlikely.

Maybe they are talking about a different Warren Sapp, but it appears whichever Sapp this is was a fan of the Raiders decision to abstain:

Gutierrez: Davis, Raiders take the high road?
Warren Sapp: "Maybe Al Dizzle got it right!!"

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