FanPost

Where’s the Toughness?


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I know, I know, what’s wrong with McFadden? We can’t win if Palmer is a turnover machine? Knapp’s play calling sucks, where’s HueJack? If this sounds like something you’ve said or thought this season, take off your Raiders apparel and go stand in the corner! I know it’s a knee-jerk reaction when you lose; we have to have someone to blame! It has to be someone’s fault, and those are easy target when thing don’t go right.

Let me throw out some more targets for your blame! What has your offensive line done for you lately? I am so tired of watching offensive lineman that average 6’5, 320lbs, being pushed around like small girls on the school playground.

I would rather have 2 un-necessary roughness penalties for throwing punches costing us 15 yards a shot, than 1 holding penalty. Okay, if I could really choose, I wouldn’t want another drive stopped by either penalty. But, my point is the aggressiveness that comes with playing NFL football seems to be just on the defensive side of the ball! There is a difference between making contact and absorbing contact; making contact makes you the aggressor and absorbing contact means, you’re just getting in the way.

Has the job description of an offensive lineman changed over the years? If the only goal now is to try to get in the way of an oncoming defensive player, isn’t that as passive as it gets? If being big, slow and getting in the way is the new requirement for offensive lineman, then wouldn’t JaMarcus be an ideal candidate for a comeback?

Do you remember how imposing of a figure Robert Gallery was, as he stood 6’5 310 lbs.? Do you remember the “can’t miss” tag that came with his 1st round draft status? I remember watching game after game; he being bull rushed by a linebacker half his size. Do you think Art Shell gave ground and took the beating? Do you think Gene Upshaw, or Steve Wisniewski took more than they gave? You can’t win Super Bowls if your offensive line is passive! Actually, it’s hard to win games when your offensive line is consistently being pushed around.

I’ve seen the “can’t miss” size not get it done, I’ve seen the “must be a tough guy” tattoos and long hair not get it done and I am oh, so tired of our lineman picking up Palmer as he is sprawled out on the field! Yeah, it seems like the least you can do, pick up the man that trusted you to protect him! Here a thought; block your man, batter your man, pancake your man, and then you don’t have to help Palmer off the ground! As a member of the Oakland Raiders offensive line, and you’ve played a full 60 minutes of hard nose football and you have blood on your uniforms … make sure it’s your opponent’s blood! It’s time for our line to man up!



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