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Pirate Booty: Raider News Week That Was 6/26-7/2

Happy bonus Sunday. Bonus Sunday's are the best because we get all the goodness of Sunday with a holiday on the following Monday. So hopefully that means more fun and less work for all of you.

Hopefully this Sunday will also be special in that it is the last locked out Sunday. And the NFL lockout is the only one that matters. The NBA needs to get their deal figured out, but its importance pales in comparison to the NFL. I have always been an NBA fan, but ever since David Stern aided the departure of the Sonics I almost hate myself for caring about the NBA. In some ways I am rooting for the NBA lockout to continue.

But who cares about that. We are here for football. 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.

June 27th

Nnamdi is Go(o)d

Nnamdi is by far the highest Raider on the NFL's top 100 list. Jerry McDonald does a good job of reducing his importance to the team.

Nnamdi checks in at No. 18 - Inside the Oakland Raiders
I’ve made this point before, but I’ll do it again now. For all of Asomugha’s excellence, how much did it really help the Raiders’ bottom line? Play man-to-man defense as much as the Raiders, and he’s essentially covering 20 percent of the eligible receivers, giving the quarterback 80 percent of the field to work with. So let’s have none of the "Nnamdi takes away half the field" nonsense that seems to arise regularly.

McDonald makes a good point. However, Nnam's value to this team will end up being directly related to the quality of his replacements. If the Raiders have two solid starting corners then they won't miss the Asomone horribly.

Truth be told, the level of the Raiders pass defense didn't noticeably drop off when Nnam has been off the field in the past two years.

Nnamdi Asomugha is Rated 18th Best Player By His Peers - Silver And Black Pride

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

It's funny how everyone can agree a certain player is a steal in a draft. How does that happen? If everyone knows the guy is a steal, how does he keep falling?

Raiders Got A Steal With Denarius Moore | Football News Now
The rookie wide receiver out of Tennessee was highly respected coming into the draft and his slide was somewhat puzzling. Not a mystery, however, was the Raiders decision to once again draft speed.

June 28th

Ode to Al Davis

Al Davis has earned his place on this list over time. It is natural for people to naturally gravitate towards the lawsuits, but Mr. Davis is an outspoken trendsetter in many ways. I want to see a countdown of owners who helped break down barriers. Al Davis' resume is unparallelled there. He hired the NFL's first Latino head coach, the first African-American head coach of the modern era, and the first female executive in the NFL.

Al Davis - Outspoken Owners in Sports History - Photos -
Al Davis has owned the Raiders since 1966. In that time, he has been involved in more than his fair share of controversies, especially involving Pete Rozelle, the former NFL commissioner. In 1982, he successfully filed an antitrust lawsuit to force the NFL to allow him to relocate the Raiders to Los Angeles. Davis moved the team back to Oakland in 1995 and fired off another lawsuit aimed at the NFL. That suit, which dealt with the NFL preventing the team from relocating to another LA stadium, failed.

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

In case you missed all the talk of the Raiders potential salary cap woes, here is another take:

Proposed Salary Cap Could Put the Oakland Raiders in a Very Bad Position - SB Nation Bay Area
The Raiders have $26 million in "dead money", which if the CBA counts towards the cap, will put the Raiders over the ceiling of $120 million. That would mean that instead of going out and signing players to fill key holes in their roster, the Raiders may be looking at having to cut players from their roster to get under the cap. Also, lets not forget that the Raiders still need to sign all of their rookies. If these numbers turn out to be true, the Raiders could be in a world of hurt when the new CBA is passed.

June 29th

Warren Sapp Likes to Talk

Warren Sapp had some interesting comments regarding his former teammate Michael Huff that went something like this:

I thought this was interesting, even-though it comes from Warren Fatt.. - Silver And Black Pride
I went so far with Michael Huff, and you can ask him this, that my last day in Oakland, I waited in the parking lot for Michael Huff," Sapp said. "I waited in the parking lot because I wanted to talk to the young man because he made me want to throw up watching him practice. I mean, the scout team would complete ball, after ball, after ball. I’m like, ‘You’re not going to make one play? I mean, you’re not even going to put your hand on it and knock it down?

These comments could be potentially damaging to a man entering free agency. Jerry McDonald brings up a says as much, but also adds a little perspective:

Sapp’s critique of Huff is three years old - Inside the Oakland Raiders
A damning criticism for a soon-to-be free agent, but keep in mind Sapp hasn’t watched Huff practice since 2007. At the time, Huff was struggling through his second year as a miscast strong safety. Things got even worse in 2008, when Huff moved to free safety _ a move which was supposed to liberate him _ and he lost his job to Hiram Eugene.

Okay, so sure, Huff has been better, but is that the player teams can expect if they sign him?

Watching Michael Huff in practice made Warren Sapp want to vomit | ProFootballTalk
Huff is probably going to strike it rich this offseason. Perhaps he’s matured. But Sapp’s words make you wonder if Huff only grew up because free agency was around the corner.

In the end, who cares what Sapp says. I have not hear of other people complain about Huff's work ethic. Plenty of people complain about his suckiness, but not his work ethic. That doesn't mean he is a hard worker or not, but I am certainly not going to be swayed by what Warren Sapp says.

The guy has zero credibility. He is more focused on giving a good quote than being factual. I agree with this:

Michael Huff Makes Warren Sapp Blow Chunks " Just Blog Baby | An Oakland Raiders Blog
Is it just me or is Warren Sapp abnormally bitter towards the Oakland Raiders? Dude comes across like the homecoming queen who got her heart broken the same night they placed that tiara on her head. Every chance he gets he’s bashing anything and everything about the franchise.

June 30th

Jared Veldheer is starting a business with his spare time. The great thing is that his business involves him showing off his workout techniques for others. I think he'll be ready to go when the season starts.

Raiders lineman Jared Veldheer waits on NFL lockout, opens local training facility |
The former Forest Hills Northern and Hillsdale football star, along with high school friend and former teammate Mark Ehnis, has opened PowerStrength Training Systems in a former auto glass store at 1680 Four Mile Road NE. "We are doing performance training for football players, wrestlers, any athlete in any sport who wants to get stronger, get better physically," Veldheer said.

Tim Brown is spending his time to help kids.

Former Raiders star comes out of retirement for kids -  Sacramento Bee
On Tuesday, Brown brought his arm out of retirement to throw passes to 60 mostly fatherless and disadvantaged youth, along with 50 volunteer dads at the 9-1-1 for Kids/CHP Tim Brown Mentor Mini Camp at the California Highway Patrol's Academy in West Sacramento.

This is an awesome thing Tim Brown is doing, but I can't help but picture this as Kingpin's Ernie McCracken helping fatherless kids.

Louis Murphy has found new ways to supplement his income and pass time during the lockout:


He is a mascot.


*Note: I do not know that this is Louis Murphy, but it hasn't been denied.

July 1st

ESPN continues their look at the best of the AFC West. In this look the Raiders take best training camp venue, best celebrity fan (Ice Cube) and the one below. 

Best of NFL: AFC West teams - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Best tradition: First off, this is a tradition-rich division. But I have to go with the Oakland Raiders. How can that be disputed? The Raiders are one of the most traditional teams in all of sports. Everyone equates the colors Silver and Black with the Raiders. There’s Al Davis, who has been with the franchise for 48 years. There are all the great Hall of Fame players, and there were great battles with Pittsburgh in the heyday of the 1970s. There’s the three Super Bowl titles. You think of the AFC West, and you think of the Raiders.

Joe Barksdale and Denarious Moore missed the rookie symposium. They also missed Camp Seymour. Thoughts from the Darkside thinks it is a problem.

Raider rookies Barksdale, Moore getting off on the wrong foot | June
Before anyone starts making excuses for these two, we all heard the same excuses for Russell. He was late to camp because he was "closing on a house," he missed the final team meeting because he "had a family emergency," while he was spotted drunk in Vegas.

These two don't need an excuse. These guys haven't been signed to a contract, and consequently haven't been paid any money. I am not going to put any expectations on these guys, other than staying in shape on their own.

July 2nd

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

I loved this article. Al Davis is the man.

Snapp: Al Davis keeps his Raider family close -
When the Oakland Tribune's longtime sports editor, Bob Valli, retired in 1993, a bunch of us who worked at the paper decided to throw him a retirement party. We asked him to tell us whom to invite, and the first name on his list was Al Davis. "Come on, Bob!" I said. "He'll never come! Everybody knows he's a recluse." "He'll come," Bob said. "You'll see." And, of course, Bob was right. Davis was the first person to arrive that night and the last to leave.

Jerry McDonald is on the Terrell Pryor bandwagon. I am even less on it than I was. Given the possible tight cap situations the Raiders don't need to spend money on a project draft pick. There is no doubt his physical skill set is mouth watering, but it is a luxury the Raiders can't afford.

After Gruden treatment, still like Pryor as Raider - Inside the Oakland Raiders
You don’t take an athlete like Pryor and pigeonhole him into a single role or position. This is a unique guy in terms of skill set, and coaching, as Hue Jackson has said several times in various interviews this offseason, is putting players in position to make plays.