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Pirate Booty: Stanford Routt Knows Nnamdi is Still a Raider, Vince Young and the Raiders, and More

So Brett Favre walks into a bar, sits down, whips out his...oh wait—you've heard this one before? Why am I talking about Brett Favre because Gil Brandt apparently couldn't take it any longer. He was going through Favre withdrawals and had to bring up—for no good reason—that he thinks Favre will try to come back. Now stupid people like me feel obligated to talk about it.

Moving on. It is a big day for the lockout. So everyone think happy fuzzy bunny positive thoughts about the lockout and gosh darn it, we just might get this thing worked out. Either that, or project threatening thoughts in their direction.

In the meantime, check out the booty....

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.

Vince Young is a Headache Raiders Don’t Need " Just Blog Baby | An Oakland Raiders Blog
If there is one thing the entire #2 debacle has taught me it’s that talent alone cannot create a franchise QB. Young has some serious game but how he handles the other pressures of playing quarterback in the NFL still makes him yet another short term solution. Now if Mr. Davis sees Young as a better backup then Kyle Boller – which he clearly is – and Young is willing to play second fiddle with no qualms then sign him up. Beyond that, banking on Young as a future of the franchise cornerstone is insulting at best.

They both spend the majority of their post saying how Young should not come in as the savior or starter. It is not until we get to the end of the second article where the real question comes into play. PFT brought it up as bringing in Young as a backup, and that is where the move makes sense.

I don't see anyone handing Young a starting job. That means Young is either going to have to settle for a small contract as a backup, or hang out in small apartment with JaMarcus Russell while they do unspeakable things for beverages.


Around the AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

The USA Today ponders big questions hovering around the Chiefs entering the 2011 season. The articles brings up one extremely insightful, valid, meaningful and ominous point regarding the Chiefs repeat hopes.

Chiefs in depth: Can Kansas City build on 2010 success? -
If so, they won't sneak up on anybody like last year, when they had a six-game improvement in the win column over the previous season in claiming the crown with a 10-6 record. They are poised for growth with efficient QB Matt Cassel, Pro Bowl starters in WR Dwayne Bowe and RB Jamaal Charles, and defensive playmakers in OLB Tamba Hali and S Eric Berry among the foundation blocks.

But they are also in one of the NFL's most competitive divisions, one where the Raiders swept the Chiefs and all other divisional opponents last year. And the high-scoring Chargers look to prove that they're still the team to beat after having a string of four consecutive division titles snapped. The Chiefs flirted with a late-season collapse last season, which included a particularly flat outing in a blowout loss at San Diego. Then a home playoff-opening defeat to the Ravens underscored the challenge that carries forward this season: The Chiefs need to mature and reach another level to become a true contender.

Around the Lockout

It is a big day in the lockout. The lawyers put in a long day yesterday preparing for today.

Lawyers put in nearly 11 hours on Wednesday | ProFootballTalk
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the lawyers met for 11 hours on Wednesday in Manhattan, working on the crafting of language that will appear in the new CBA, if/when a new CBA is finalized.

One of the reasons people think people are feeling the pressure to get things as far along as possible by Friday is:

NFL Lockout Update: Mediator Prepares For Vacation As Sides Try To Reach Deal -
There have been any number of unforeseen twists and turns in the soap opera that the NFL lockout has become. Now, we have a new one. It seems like the mediator in the case has something better to do starting Saturday. He's going on vacation. Putting more pressure on the negotiators, U.S. District Judge Arthur Boylan, the mediator in the talks, is scheduled to go on vacation Saturday, sources said. But both sides are committed to stay in New York this weekend to try to finish the deal. The sides did not get together on weekends during negotiations the past month.

The feeling is that the sides are close. The fact of the matter is we are all trying to read the tea leaves. The following article does a good job of putting everything in reality based terms.

NFL labor negotiations 'at the 5-yard line' in New York - Don Banks -
"I'd say that back in March, we weren't in the same stadium," said one league source of the players and owners. "But if you think of both sides as a team, now we're in the red zone, we're driving, we can see the goal line and we have momentum. But can we still screw it up? Absolutely. That's why tomorrow and Friday are big days, because it's back to the (negotiating) formula that's been most successful.''

Whenever the lockout does end, it is going to be crazy! The next article is in Redskins terms, but it is applicable to all teams.

Rick Snider: Free agent chaos awaits | Rick Snider | NFL | Washington Examiner
This free agent class will include nearly 500 players, and with training camp likely to start quickly after the end of the lockout, there will be little time to haggle. The top free agents will earn a little extra because the time element will result in an intense competition for their services. Washington probably will sign 20 rookie free agents, too. Maybe two will make the team, but they're needed to run camp.

Given the timelines of everything the reality is that the free agency is likely going to extend into training camp time. It almost already has for the HOF game teams.

Chris Harris says camp needs to start on time for HOF Game | National Football Post
Bears safety Chris Harris doesn’t believe the game should happen if the teams cannot report to training camp on time – on July 22. NFL rules mandate teams can open training camp to have 15 days of practice before their first preseason game. If camps start late, Harris told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune that he doesn’t want to be playing with less than 15 days of practice time.

And through it all, everyone just kind of forgets about the retired players. They have very little bargaining power in this deal.

Retired players’ complaint takes aim at Drew Brees | ProFootballTalk
In support of the argument that current players aren’t committed to taking care of the retired players, the lawsuit echoes this quote from Brees: "There’s some guys out there that have made bad business decisions. They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job. They’ve had a couple divorces and they’re making payments to this place and that place. And that’s why they don’t have money. And they’re coming to us to basically say, ‘Please make up for my bad judgment.’" The retired players claim that this quote constitutes "antipathy for NFL retirees" from Brees.

I can't believe Brees said that. My god. I am sure there are some retired players that are like that, but there are more that aren't. Just give the guys a fair pension, awesome medical coverage and shut the hell up. You'd be poor if it wasn't for them.