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Weekly Raider Issue #3

Alright all, thank you for continuing your subscription of Raider goodness with The Weekly Raider. You know the drill our Weekly Raider, my thoughts, and of course the Featured Fan. Also, make sure you read on past the Featured Fan for some announcements on what's going to be changing with the Weekly Raider as time goes on. Hope you enjoy.

-Weekly Raider- #52 Kirk Morrison LB-



At the center of the Raiders D lies a humble linebacker. A linebacker with pass coverage skills that you won't find often in the NFL. A linebacker with speed that's unparalleled by any other linebacker in the middle of anyother NFL defense. Making up 1/2 of the formidable Law Firm, that linebacker is the one and only Kirk Morrison. And he is your Weekly Raider.

Drafted in 05, Morrison actually played his first year at the Sam linebacker spot, not the Mike. For people not as football inclined, that means he played strongside instead of middle. In that year, Morrison defended two passes and had 116 tackles, showing early on he was a sure tackler and good pass defender.

However, his rookie season was the only season he would play Sam. For in 2006, he would be moved to the middle linebacker spot. And it looked ike a good move from the get-go. Morrison would rack up 128 tackles, 5 passes defended, 2 interceptions, and a sack. It seemed the move to the middle of the defense was going to be a very good one. Morrison was beocming a young star in only two years.

The next year would be even better for Morrison. In 2007, Morrison would become a dominate middle linebacker with 120 tackles, an amazing 10 passes defended, a sack, and 4 interceptions. There was even a three week span during the season where Morrison would have an interception each week. If anything, Kirk was a QB's nightmare as a Mike linebacker. And with Morrison stats showing he improved each year, everyone was sure he was bound for Pro Bowl status.

However, the 08 season would be a relapse for Morrison. He would have career highs in tackles and forced fumbles with 135 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. However many of these tackles were after the back had gained 5 yards. His tackles weren't up at the line taking the running back head-on, but rather from taking down the back from behind. True his speed stopped the back from possibly getting much more, but he wasn't that run stuffer he had shown he could be in the past. He also would post a career low for passes defended with only 1, that one was also his lone interception of the year.

However this does not mean Morrison has peaked by any means. His tackle numbers have been over 100 every year of his career and he's never not played in a game. He just needs some improvement. Many have stated he should go back to the Sam spot where his speed he can have more impact, such as blitzing from the outside or taking down runs from the outside. I myself am in agreement with this. His speed would be much better utilized here, especially in coverage. Instead of having to go form sideline to sideline to help with the pass D, he would only have to use that speed to cover one side. Plus this would be on the QB's right side, their favored side. With more passes and more runs directed his way, Morrison would be in a better position to be more productive.

Others have said that a simple change in defensive scheme would help him. Allowing him to use his speed to shoot up into the backfield from the middle on run blitzes is something we've all been clamoring for, for years now. With marshall, we might see that. But it's unkown if he's even going to change that much with the defensive scheme.

Needless to say, Morrison is still a young gem at linebacker. He's incredibly fast and a outstanding in pass coverage. He's a sure tackler, even though a lot of those tackles come at the wrong time during a play. Plus he's very tough, never missing a game in his career and playing 4 full, 16 game seasons. Morrison is one of the shining stars on the Raiders defense, and is your Weekly Raider.

-Random Thoughts: Russell's passing camp-

We've all read stories on Russell's passing camp. Taking the receivers and tight ends (though no word on if QB's other than Russell are coming) and going to an undisclosed location to work on their passing game. Is Russell taking responsibility and showing his leadership and hard work? Or is Cable been urging him to? Either way, it's nice to see Russell's going to work to improve not only his game, but the game of his receiving targets.

And from what I've read from the OTA's, this is much-needed. Seems that the timing is pretty off between Russell and his teammates, so this can only do good. And with so much youth and inexperience in the receiving corps, this should help the young guys get more adapted to the NFL game. I only hope Heyward-Bey will be able to make it out there. Everyone knows, he could use it. But those are thoughts for another day.

-Featured Fan- Gorilla Rilla-



Easily Oakland's most legendary fan, and one of the most legendary fans in the sports world, Gorilla Rilla is one of the most die-hard Raider fans. He goes to every game, home or away, and has been for a long time. From the Gorilla Rilla T-Shirt, to the special Gorilla Rilla pass he wears round his neck, to the unforgettable gorilla suit, Gorilla Rilla is one of the best costumred Raiders fans I've seen. And from people I've talked to who've sat with him at games, he's one of the loudest fans as well. Going to charity events, and gladly hanging out with and playing with kids, he's also a very good person. He's also this week's Featured Fan.

Even though he most likely won't see it, here's his random pic.



In honor of my seeing Transformers 2 at midnight tonight, I decided to use Soundwave, who's alos my favorite Transformer.


A few announcments in regards to the Weekly Raider. As you've can see by my late release date, The Weekly Raider will now be posted on Tuesdays instead of Mondays to be more convenient for the start of the NFL season, with Monday being full of post-sunday NFL game discussions and Monday Night Football talk.

Also when the seaosn starts, Weekly Raider will go over the highlights and moments from that week's Raider game. And the Weekly Raider will be my MVP from the Raiders that week.

And also as you can see form this week's featured fan, the featured fan will no longer just be for this blog's members, but the entire Raiders community. I feel that the Featured Fan should be part of the entire Raider nation and not this one site's fans.

That's all for this week. read the poll and make sure to stop by next week for more Raiders reading.