I don't know if you know this or not, but the Oakland Raiders are in a NFL lockout right now. Yes, it is a major bummer, but some players have not let that stop them from attacking business as usual. And business as usual for this time of year is OTAs and mini-camps.
*Update: Michael Bush via his Twitter account: "I dont care about da saints workin out people please stop sending me that da raider players are taking care of business as well n other ways."
Yesterday it was reported by our friends at Blogging the Boys passed along the news that the Dallas Cowboys held a two-hour players only workout that was attended by 40-45 players. The workouts were organized by Tony Romo, Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware.
This number topped the 37 Saints players that the Canal Street Chronicles reported showing up for a player only workout organized by Drew Brees. Also, according to the CSC, the Falcons, Dolphins, Buccaneers and Giants have had similar workouts. The Sacremento Bee reported that Mark Sanchez organized workouts for Jets players, Brian Dawkins for Broncos players, and Colt McCoy hosted Browns players to workout with him in Texas.
I have seen Tim Tebow saying he was planning on working out with Broncos players and Larry Fitzgerald has been hosting workouts with a bunch of players from various teams. So, what's missing from all of this? Raiders, that's what. I haven't seen one mention of a Raider working out with anyone. Well, except for the tweet by ESPN radio host, Ben Rogers, that Michael Huff was working out with some Dallas Cowboys. Take the jump to join my frustration....
The Raiders lay in the majority of teams that don't have reports of player organized workouts, but that's not going to stop me from saying they need to. Besides preparing for the season it shows strong and devoted leadership. Here is the Cowboys Keith Brooking's thoughts:
"Your leaders can step up, it's a great time for them to be really strong examples for your team and come together. It's just players out there. We're going to be coaching each other, we're going to be out there practicing together, so it's going to be a good time for us. It can make us all better. It's a little unusual, it's a little different, but I think if you handle it the right way - and I think that we're doing that here - it can be a time where you grow the team and get better."
Where are the Raiders leaders? Richard Seymour, Rolando McClain Darren McFadden and Jason Campbell need to get on the horn and get their teammates together. If they can't get together in a large group how about smaller specified groups.
I want to hear that DHB, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and Chaz Schilens have moved in with Jason Campbell. Wait, on second thought, maybe Louis Murphy doesn't need to room with a bunch of dudes. That's just going to get awkward for someone with a Viagra addiction. And for that matter Chaz should probably just spend all off-season in a hyperbaric chamber. But DHB and Ford should definitely be there going long for footballs, BBQ sauce, remote controls, cell phones and whatever else they get their hands on.
Granted, it is easy for me to sit here and say this. An organized event like this would take a higher level of planning and cost than any of these guys are used to. Not too mention they are used to be getting paid for these things, and they are used to having their medical insurance paid for.
What if there is a freak accident and someone blows out their knee? The risk is there, but other players are taking it, and I want the guys I root for to be the one's itching to improve. I am certainly not going to blame a player not under contract for not going, but I want to see the rest of the guys out there working.
Hopefully guys are working out on their own, and behind the scenes (especially you Tommy Kelly). I'll never forget the last NBA lockout. I watched Shawn Kemp return to my beloved Sonics (RIP) from the lockout with about 10 extra pounds, 5 less inches of vert, a bigger drug habit and about 87 more illegitimate children. He was never the same.
The Raiders have made an effort to bring in higher-character and harder-working individuals. Let's hope that is paying off right now.