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Pirate Booty: The Raider News Week that Was 7/10-7-16

Well did I totally slack on the Sunday morning edition of Pirate Booty. It is kinda like morning only there is a p where an a should be on the clock. Anyway, this is probably an alright day to slack on the Booty.

Last week was the week of impressive lockout progress, and hopefully this is the week of amazing lockout resolution. That means the Raider stories consist of speculation, opinion and the desperate attempt to try and think of something football related worth talking about.

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 16th

More people predicting Pryor to the Raiders....

AFC West links: Pryor fit in Oakland? - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Would Terrelle Pryor be a good fit as a developmental quarterback in Oakland? NFL Network's Jason La Canfora thinks so. La Canfora: "The Oakland Raiders have no commitment to Jason Campbell beyond this season and have hardly sent signals that he is definitely the guy there long-term. And we know how Al Davis can fall for athletes and there is enough talent to intrigue. Pryor is going to go late in the supplemental draft and will come cheap. The Raiders are in need of a developmental quarterback."

The latest and greatest good lockout news!

2011 NFL lockout: Talks recessed after owners give in on free agency - ESPN
After progress on a wide range of issues this week, the NFL and players took a break late Friday afternoon after talks came to a halt over a free-agency rule, a source with direct knowldge of the talks said.

July 15th

The Lamarr Houston Love Train Knows No End

AFC West's biggest future stars - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Lamarr Houston, Raiders defensive lineman: I’m taking Matt Williamson’s lead here. The Scouts Inc. brainiac is extremely high on the Raiders’ second-season defensive lineman. In fact, Williamson believes Houston could be one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen soon. He thinks Houston, a second-round pick from Texas, has no ceiling. Houston has the look of an impact player who plays with a mean streak. He was easy to notice in the preseason last year, and he made one big play after another as a rookie. He looks like he’ll be in the NFL for the next dozen years. He is versatile and can play in virtually every defensive situation. The Raiders have a host of young, intriguing players, including Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Matt Shaughnessy, Rolando McClain and Tyvon Branch. But Houston seems like he can be special.

Lamarr Houston Poised To Become NFL Elite | Football News Now
The second-year defensive lineman is thought to become one of the best at his position according to Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. Further, ESPN AFC West blogger Bill Williamson (no relation. . . I don’t think) pegged Houston as one of the biggest future stars in the division. The latter Williamson categorizes Houston as a versatile player who can play in virtually every defensive situation.

July 14th

This article was a fairly generic look on the Raiders as they currently stand. I did especially like the following section though:

Raiders outlook: Oakland won't be pushed around any longer - NFL - Sporting News
(An anonymous opponent breaks down the Raiders)

"The Raiders made great strides last season, and Hue Jackson’s influence in that resurgence can’t be overstated. They still do the same things defensively. It’s offensively where you see the difference. Jackson found a way to use McFadden where he could get the best possible results. In turn, he took the pressure off his offensive line and Jason Campbell. The Raiders are a wide receiver or two away from having a potent offense. The ones they have are complementary players, at best.

"It will be interesting to see how Jackson handles being the coach. He should do fine because he respects Al Davis and knows what Davis wants offensively and defensively. One thing’s for sure: The Raiders aren’t a pushover any longer. I’m not so sure that they’re talented enough to contend for a Super Bowl title, but they are headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time. It still seems as if the Raiders are at least another year away from being a serious contender, but now is the time to challenge for the division because none of those teams is without flaws.


Raiders' Darrius Heyward-Bey Among NFL's Elite - Silver And Black Pride
Whatever, I'm not going to argue over the ranking. He needs to get better. I like DHB. I'll really like him if he gets better, and if he doesn't I won't like him so much if he continues to play.

July 13th

Jerry McDonald runs down his list of most improved from last year, and then moves onto the guys that need to improve this year. He starts off with Jason Campbell, and you can't argue with that. After Campbell the guy whose improvement I think is going to be key is this guy:

Who will be this year’s `most improved?’
MLB Rolando McClain McClain asserted himself as a defensive leader and was lauded for his smarts and film study. He certainly doesn’t lack for confidence. The next step is going beyond simply being in the right place at the right time. It’s making the play and forcing turnovers once he gets there.

Thoughts from the Dark Side points out that the Raiders have yet to hire a QB coach.

Raiders still without a QB coach | July
The Raiders did nearly a complete coaching overhaul this offseason. Tom Cable is out and Hue Jackson is promoted to the head job. He hired a lot of new assistants to join him in his quest to bring the Raiders back to their winning ways. But among all of the new hires, quarterbacks coach was not one of them.

They mention they expect Hue Jackson to do it, but I am guessing these duties are going to fall much more on Al Saunders. Saunders certainly has the experience, savvy and system for it. We took a look at his system a while ago:

Al Saunders Helping 'SHAPE' Raiders and Jason Campbell - Silver And Black Pride
• Site: Did the QB recognize the pre-snap defense? • Hot: Did he direct the "hot" receiver where to go? • Alert: Did he correctly alter the play at the line of scrimmage? • Progression: Did he correctly read the defense and locate his options? • Execution: How were the mechanics on his drop and throw? What was the result?

July 12th

The Raiders kickers are awesome! ESPN rightly ranks Lechler the best punter in the West and Janikowski the best kicker. Just don't get Janikowski in Arizona. His blood is too thick to function in the heat there.

Ranking the AFC West kicking specialists - AFC West Blog - ESPN
1. Shane Lechler, Oakland: He is the premier punter in the game. His leg is registered-weapon material. 4. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland: Janikowski is the best placekicker in this division. He missed eight field-goal attempts last season, but he is a fine weapon for Oakland.

ProFootballWeekly has progressed the Plaxico Burress rumors from speculation to saying that they have "heard." I am skeptical of PFW's "inside" information. - RB Jones takes leadership role with Chiefs
Expect the Raiders to be one of the teams in the Plaxico Burress derby. The team needs a veteran wide receiver, especially one with size. There are questions about how much the club can offer the former Giants star who was in jail the past two years, but if they can fit him under the cap, Oakland could make Burress one of their top free-agent targets.

Anyway, this set off people on commenting on Burress and the Raiders:

Oakland Raiders Expected to Target Plaxico Burress " NFL Spin Zone | A General NFL Blog providing you all the NFL News, Rumors, Updates, and National Football League News.
The move does make a lot of sense. The Oakland Raiders are not afraid to take on a controversial player, so the fan base would be more than willing to welcome Burress — especially if he could contribute on the field. In his last full season, Burress put up 1,025 yards and 12 touchdown grabs on 70 receptions.

At least Chuck Carroll talks about this in reality terms.

Raiders Expected To Pursue Burress Money Permitting | Football News Now
Pro Football Weekly wonders if the team will have enough to offer the former Pro Bowl receiver. If, however, the team can make it work he may be among their top targeted free agents. Fitting anybody under the salary cap could prove difficult for the team after going on a re-signing spree prior to the start of the lockout. That same spree will make it exceptionally difficult to reach a new deal with Nnamdi Asomugha.

July 11th

How many games do the SWARCO Raiders play? For crying out loud. These guys must have a good laugh about the sissy NFLers bitching about a possible 18 games schedule. The Raiders have won three Super Bowls in their history. And that is good enough to make them one of the greatest franchises in the game.

These guys are going for their third championship in months.

SWARCO Raiders Aiming for More
The SWARCO Raiders has won the Eurobowl and the Austrian Bowl this season. Now 13 players from the Austrian sister team of The Oakland Raiders want to win another title: at the American Football World Championships in Austria.

Joe Theisman thinks Jason Campbell is poised to have a good year. This may be the worst news I've heard all offseason.

All about the Oakland Raiders : Raiders Silver and Black Blog
Former Redskins quarterback and NFL analysst Joe Theismann has seen a lot of Campbell and is close friends with Saunders, and we talked on the phone last week. "The offensive line he had in Washington was just horrible, so you can't put too much into those numbers he had with Al in Washington," Theismann said. "It's all set up for Jason this year -- they have a great running game, Hue is back and Al is there so Jason will be working with a system he knows."