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Pirate Booty: The Raiders News Week That Was 7/3-7/9

Welcome to the Sunday edition of Pirate Booty. It may cost a little more, but inside are $100's of dollars worth of coupons! If you don't find the coupons useful, I will give you a full refund.

There are also plenty of fabulous Raider stories to be had. Check out the Raider highlights from the week, and if you want the full edition of Pirate Booty just bang it here to open the Treasure Trove.

July 9th

Hue Jackson is just getting plain reckless now. He needs to be careful with that weapon of a mouth during the lockout. He is getting Raider fans all fired up with no place to go.

Raiders coach optimistic about team, season - Sports -
Jackson showed he could make an impact last season, his first as a member of the Raiders' staff. Oakland scored twice as many points as it did in 2009, ranking sixth in the NFL. The Raiders finished 8-8 to snap an eight-year stretch of losing seasons.

Check out Dear Hue's weekly e-mail answer session:

Ask Coach Jackson

The following Hue Jackson quote comes from one of his e-mail answers:

Hue Jackson: "We will stop the run" " Just Blog Baby | An Oakland Raiders Blog
But Jackson’s words and Shaughnessy’s ability alone won’t be able to stop the run. Something fundamental has to change in Oakland. No matter the scheme, stopping the run is about two things. The first is responsibility. Each player must maintain their responsibilities at all times. The second is all about effort. Stopping the run is a mind state. It takes a determined attitude and an aggressive approach.

I agree that responsibility and effort are key factors in stopping the run, but talent and intelligence has a lot to do with it as well. Players have to be able to read the run and then avoid or fight of blockers to get to the running back.

July 8th

A while back there was an interview with Stanford Routt where, from memory, he went over every catch he allowed. Not every catch he was credited for giving up was his fault. In this interview he goes over two touchdowns he was mis-credited for allowing. It is a great article. Here's a snippet:

Higher Education: Stanford Routt, and the touchdowns that weren’t his fault - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
With that in mind, I went back and watched the touchdown "credited" to Routt when the Raiders played the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. It was a 56-yard boot-action bomb from Vince Young(notes) to Nate Washington(notes) in which safety Tyvon Branch(notes) bit on the run fake, and Routt was left to scramble downfield when Washington went unobstructed over the top. The look appeared to be Cover-2, which requires the safety taking coverage over the top and the cornerback handing off the coverage downfield. It's a common coverage error for which cornerbacks are frequently blamed, even when they're not at fault.

It's a bit premature for predictions, but what the hell. This guy calls 8-8 for the Raiders.

NFL Preview: Oakland Raiders — Sports Interaction Blog
The verdict Last year I told NFL betting fans to take the over of +5.5 wins for the Raiders. They more than managed that with an 8-8 record. This year I expect them to stay in and around that 8-8 mark. The loss of Asomugha will be big but Hue Jackson should be able to bring the offense forward to compensate. Treading water would effectively be a step forward for this organization, which tends to revert to madness whenever anything good happens. Two stable seasons in a row would represent significant progress after a decade of despair.


July 7th

More Love for Stanford Routt

Stanford Routt is really sliding into the media spotlight this offseason. I guess that is what happens when you play well, sign a huge contract, and like talking to the media. Routt definitely wants to be a star. He is certainly in a new position. It is going to be fun to see how he handles it. He actually seems like a pretty even keeled guy. I expect he will go about his football business like he always has.

I think this is a great quote on the transitions he had to make to be an effective corner, and not just an athlete. Thanks to Sporting for linking this in the comments.

Routt out to prove he's not a one-year wonder - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
When you get to the NFL – and this is what I mean when I say, ‘Learn to use the speed you have’ – if I opened up on the field, there’s no way I’d be able to start and stop and cut. Sink my hips and get in and out of breaks and things like that. That’s what I learned by the second or third year; that if I was going full speed all the time, I couldn’t plant and cut, and I’d probably wind up tearing something, because you gain so much momentum. When my receiver takes off, I’m hardly ever running full speed with him, because I’m already anticipating where he’s going to break his route off. Most of the time, the receiver’s not running a 9-route [a deep go route].

More on Routt's interview:

Routt Hoping Asomugha Stays With Raiders | Football News Now
The 27-year-old wants Nnamdi Asomugha to stay with the Raiders. In fact, he’s still holding out hope the Pro Bowl corner will remain his teammate. He refuses to believe Asomugha is not a Raider until he sees the proof.

Vince Young and the Raiders

It's funny how things spread on the internet. Pro Football Talk brought up Vince Young going to the Raiders, and now we get others opinions on it. I am not criticizing it. How could I? That is what this entire thing is about, and I offered up my thoughts on it yesterday.

What I think is funny about it is that the more people talk about the idea, the more that idea is perceived to be a legitimate possibility.

All that said, I think the next two articles attack the Vince Young question from the wrong angle.

Could Vince Young Be On Raiders Radar? | Football News Now
The team already has Campbell and Hue Jackson has said and done all the right things to assure the former Redskin he is the starter. Campbell is a consistent player who will get the job done — just not necessarily in the flashiest way. For what it’s worth the players I’ve spoken with all believe Campbell is capable of leading the team into the playoffs.


July 6th ranked the tight ends in the NFL. Zach Miller was in the second group, which means they have him as the 5th-10th best tight end in the game. Were it not for his pesky foot injury last year I expect he would have been in group A. news: Familiar faces top TE rankings, but young crop making noise
Group B: Zach Miller, Raiders (>): A potential free agent when the new CBA is resolved, Miller could be a hot item if he hits the market. He was the ninth-most targeted tight end in 2010 and managed 60 receptions and five touchdowns

Jay Richardson has his own radio show, and he is proving he has the mouth for it. This article highlights some of his better quotes. Below are his thoughts on Philip Rivers:

Former Raiders DE Takes Special Pleasure In Sacking Philip Rivers | Football News Now
"I’m not a big Philip Rivers fan, because I think he’s kind of a cocky dude and I’ve had a chance to sack him before and hit him as hard as I can. I’ll do so again if I get another opportunity," Richardson told Tafur and myself. "But, nothing personal against Philip Rivers. I think he’s still a heck of a quarterback." On the broadcast I then jokingly informed Richardson that we had a newspaper reporter on the line with us. But he pressed on.

Raiders Roster Ramblings

In case you missed the further good news on Michael Bush's free agent status:

More Information Pointing to the Raiders' Michael Bush Being Restricted - Silver And Black Pride

According to two NFL sources I spoke to Tuesday, the current expectation is, indeed, that Bush will be restricted


July 5th

Birthday Wishes for Al Davis From Around the Web

Eighty-two candles burn in Oakland - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Another year has passed and Davis remains the lifeblood of the Raiders. He and his team have some steam heading into 2011, as the Raiders were 8-8 last season. That snapped a seven-year streak of 11 losses or more, which was an NFL record. Davis works everyday to bring his Raiders back to greatness. Now, that he is at the tender age of age of 82, don’t expect him to slow down. Happy birthday, Al; enjoy the day. You deserve it.

Al Davis turns 82 - Inside the Oakland Raiders
From a purely selfish perspective, here’s hoping Davis gets his wish. As John Madden has said hundreds of times, the NFL is a better and more interesting league when the Raiders are good. Depending on how long the lockout continues, the NFL will need all the help it can get.

Raiders’ Safety Wishes Al Davis Happy B-Day, Updates Him On Lockout Life | Football News Now
Oh Al, happy birthday! Thank you for drafting me. I am forever grateful," Mitchell gushed on the show. "I am working hard, can’t wait to see you. Hope you still got your white linens on man, because we’re going to go all the way to the championship.

Tribute to Founding Fathers | National Football Post
Al Davis: A true football renaissance man, Al Davis held various roles: (1) player personnel director; (2) assistant coach; (3) head coach; (4) general manager; (5) commissioner; and (6) owner/CEO. Eight weeks into his tenure as AFL commissioner, it successfully merged with the NFL. Always a maverick, in 1980 he moved the team to Los Angeles, challenging NFL policies and subsequently winning an antitrust lawsuit. And today is Davis's 82nd birthday.

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

Marcel Reece is a bad man.

Raiders fullback has 'Better Dayz' in martial arts
It's helped with my flexibility, my hip movement and my conditioning," said Reece, who turned 26 on June 23. "It's a great workout, and I enjoy learning something new every day." During the lockout, Reece has been showing up five days a week at Crispim Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

He works with different trainers there on his wrestling, boxing, muay thai and abdominal work, sometimes sparring up to 12 three-minute rounds in a session. "He is such a huge guy," Crispim said of Reece. "But I can tell why he is a great football player. He is very quick, very competitive, and he is like a sponge. You see the results right away. It's been like a gift to me to work with such an elite athlete."

I like the quote about Reece being a sponge. That part is pretty clear. This guy picks up new positions and where's them like a pair of slippers that have form fitted after a decade of use. I fully expect Reece to be twice as good at being a lead blocker as he was in 2010.


July 4th Happy Birthday, Al Davis

Adam Caplan is so confident that Michael Bush is restricted that I am now confident Michael Bush will be restricted.

Adam Caplan: "@evansilva @2bBigE : Accor…" "
According to NFLPA records, Bush has 3 years of service after 2010 season. So he'll be a RFA barring the NFL saying something diff after the lockout.

And if Michael Bush is restricted that means—unless the Raiders sign him long term, which is unlikely—Michael Bush will be playing for a contract. And not just any contract; his one big contract. Running backs have a very small window to sign a big deal, and Bush is in that window.

BA's Banter: Bush vs. McFadden | July
I’m not suggesting that it’s all about money for Bush, although I’m sure he’ll welcome the $3 million raise this year. Nevertheless, it's going to be a contract year for Bush, and the Raiders won’t be able to restrict him in 2012. There is going to be an open market on Bush and you can bet that he is going to do everything in his power this year to prove himself worthy of another raise next year. On top of that, you can bet that Al Davis is going to want to get his money’s worth out of Bush this year, especially if there is a chance that he won’t be around next season.