Welcome Raider Nation, "You should not have come back!!!" But the Hall of Fame inducted, Lord of the Sith, Master of all evil, infamous, Darth Raider is glad that you did. (The others will be force choked..no, really.).
Forgive me, Empire. I failed to write blogs during the Pre-Season due to... Well, it's Pre-season. After witnessing only one game worth a damn, it seems like I've made the right and proper decision. "The Force is strong with this one".
Hell, where do I begin?!? I think I'll get to the current state and predictions of our current team in due time. If you really want that BS, then I suggest you look at lame Power Rankings or something by the so called "experts". Make sure to observe how wrong the were near the last quarter of the NFL season.
"..Even if they say they know what's going on, they probably don't." -John Madden
I honestly really want to tell a gem of story I've been holding on for quite a while. No Sports Writer has covered, no ESPN story has been seen and no current news report has even told you what I'm about to write right here on this tiny blog..
Jon Gruden was set to come back to the Oakland Raiders for the 2012 Season.
Now I know there were SOME rumors out there..tiny bits and pieces of information popping up here and there.. but I'll mention this quickly to get other Raider Sports junkies and Oakland Detectives off my back: I gather this fact from someone who actually still works in the Organization. When Al Davis passed (Rest in Peace, beloved Emperor) there were only a few people involved in the new future direction of the Raiders that included Mark Davis, John Madden, Ron Wolf and Ken Herock. During this time, it was decided by most that Reggie Mckenzie would be the most logical and most reasonable choice to run the organization. Reggie was a former working with one of the best teams in the NFL and had been known for making good decisions despite appearing to many as "a little slow". Plans were then set in motion and the Organization was ready to sign their new GM. What the News reports DIDN'T tell you all is that Jon Gruden's agent, Bob Lamonte had contacted Mark Davis during this time to inquire a new Coaching position with a possible GM title set next to it. Davis would eventually meet to discuss what had to happen before "Chucky" would even consider returning. The exact specifics of this conversation are hazy, but let it be known Jon Gruden did not like more than a few of the things that were currently in place for the Oakland Raiders. In a nutshell? Amy Trask was not in JG's plans (mentioned by others as a mini Al Davis in the front office and not respected by other NFL Officials and Executives) Carson Palmer was disliked (Coming off an injury that will never be truly healed despite what he says) and Finally? Reggie Mckenzie himself (As said by some and JG, not the MAIN reason Green Bay was great). He simply did not like them..any of them. When I first heard this, I really couldn't truly believe..but after doing some research? Yeah, it probably happened. Truth be told? Jon's always had an ego. Now, when you look and hear from Jon Gruden for years and years as I have, you know the guy has to see things his way or the highway. Case and point? Listen to him on the sidelines during ANY Coached game. Also look at the end of his Tampa Bay Career and tell me if you don't see an Ego still flexing his muscles after he barks and shouts at his players, despite their experience. Hell, you bring the Oakland Raiders to a decent status, win a Superbowl, then get your own QB Camp show and see if YOUR head doesn't get as big as the Death Star. I also heard that Mark was willing to change his mind about the Reggie McKenzie signing after inquiring about Gruden. After contemplating in his mind a bit, he decided to sign Reggie in the end. Would it have been a better choice? Who knows? I'll tell you one thing though..the Organizations sure would of looked a lot different. Eh, I'm sure his number is on Mark Davis's speed dial if the 2012-13 seasons are not favorable in the years to come.
Speaking of years to come...ugh. Our final 53 seems to be lacking something.. Mainly? ...CONSISTENCY . Carson Palmer? He does wield the consistency to be a pick machine. Sure, Carson recently mentioned that the only reason some balls were labeled as gifts to the Defense during Exhibition games was due to "getting Receivers more work in the Pre-Season" but honestly? He has HAD the interception bug ever since he left the Bengals. It's the one stat I could never get my Head around. Carson simply throws too many picks and probably will never change. Blast, just look at his stats and tell me I am wrong. http://www.nfl.com/player/carsonpalmer/2505245/profile
Darren McFadden? Hell , do I even have to write WHY he is not consistent? Yes, The Force tells me you drafted him on your Fantasy Football team and are worried about the same thing as the Master Sith is..so I will not mention it here. It might be bad luck.. Let's just hope Obi "Taiwan" Jones steps in nicely if our Captain goes down. (Fine, the Force tells me he will. Sometimes, all you have to read is the odds). Hopefully, I am envisioning the incorrect space and timed dimension. Yeah, that's it...
Oh yeah, back to inconsistency: Our Receivers may have the ability to out run Star Destroyers, Tie Fighters, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but their durability has to be in question, don't you think??!?!?! Jacoby Ford? He's probably out Monday..Moore? Finally running, but probably out. New Rookie sensation Juron Criner gimpy? Yeah, I've had enough!! Didn't we have this EXACT problem in week 1 that lingered thoughout the 2011 season? Murphy was traded WHY again??? All I'm saying is Rod Streater better be as good as he was in Pre-Season. Otherwise... yikes.
Defense? Ok, I will finally list a positive. We seem to be improving on the D line. Pre-Season didn't tell a whole lot, but it appears we can still get to the Quarterback, which is always a great thing to see. As for the LBS and DBs..we might be in trouble in the future... Yes, yet again. I forsee Rolando McClain getting penalized by the NFL after his sentence will be served, which will make him unavailable for the entire season. Aaron Curry being put on the PUP list recently does NOT help matters at all. Wheeler is good..but how good??? New Corners Shawntae Spencer and Ronald Bartell are average at best. Lord, do I hope I'm wrong about these two. Branch and Huff? We'll go 50/50 here...
Last but not least? Coaching.. You'll get your 2nd positive here. Both HC Denis Allen and DC Jason "Mad Chemist" Tarver SEEM to know what they are doing. I do like their attention to detail, their coaching schemes and additional SWAG...but dislike their youth and lack of experience. When I usually see Coaches that young? Lane Kiffen comes to mind...ugh. I pray I'm wrong yet again.... Hopefully, Greg Knapp will be the guiding light and deciding factor in getting our Raiders back to the next level.
I really hope we man up next Monday. I honestly think we can beat the Chargers if we get the run game going and the Defense plays just as good as last year in San Diego. It can happen..Hell, it WILL happen. I have foreseen it. All must simply be on the same page WITHOUT DAMN @$@% INJURY! Just win, baby...by any mean necessary. DR OUT
ps Season Prediction? Myeah.. Hard to see the Dark side is(: But at least you get to hear new ICE CUBE! http://www.pepsianthems.com/artists/ice-cube