Raiders week in review
The biggest news to come out of the Raiders last week was finally announcing a couple of Offensive Coordinator interviews to be taking place. It had been quieter than ever in Raider Land and it was definitely starting to get on some people's nerves. They also announced that they had interviewed former Eagles OLine coach Juan Castillo for the same position with the Raiders.
The candidates so far interviewed are Mike Martz the Greatest Show on Turf architect back in St Louis, Mark Trestman the former Raiders OC that worked under Bill Callahan the last time they made the Super Bowl, and Jaguars Quarterback coach Greg Olson who is better known for his work with Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman than anything he did in Big Cat Country.
The next biggest news would have to be the announcement that Tim Brown once again has made it to the finalists of the Hall of Fame nominees. If he is to be elected to the Hall of Fame this year we will know on Feb 2nd, one day before the Super Bowl is to be played. I will also mention Warren Sapp who got paid by the Raiders for a couple of terrible years also is a finalist in this years voting, although I don't believe many Raiders fans are actually celebrating him at all.
Levi Damian brought out his yearly awards this past week as well. There was not much suspense about who was going to win each award but it was a lack of successful contributors to the Raiders season that caused it to be so obvious about who was going to win. You can click on each one to read the story!
Defensive MVP - Lamaar Houston
O-Rookie of the year - Rod Streater
D-Rookie of the year - Miles Burris
Special teams player of the year - Sebastian Janikowski
There was one more very interesting interview taking place for the Raiders organization and it is for a position that doesn't even exist for the Raiders as of yet. That interview took place between the Raiders and NFL Senior VP Ray Anderson and although it wasn't officially confirmed it is assumed to be for a soon-to-be-created position of team president.
The Raiders beloved sportscaster Greg Papa was named the California Sportscaster of the Year. This is a huge accomplishment considering how many other professional sports franchises are in California. Congrats to Papa, that would have been far better for him than any of the games that he announced this year!
Lastly is the not overly surprising but annoying announcement that no Raiders made this year's Associated Press All-Pro Team. There were really only two players that had a chance to make it in Marcel Reece and Sebastian Janikowski but neither were able to make the cut. Both probably deserved to be on the team but when they are part of a Raiders team that was so bad I am not shocked that they were rebutted.
Around the division
The biggest news around the division was absolutely the early exit of the top seeded Denver Broncos who lost a nail biter to the Baltimore Ravens. This loss was a surprise but John Fox brought it onto himself with his entirely too conservative play calling. They had 30 seconds and timeouts left with the great Peyton Manning who has made a career out of game winning drives and instead of trying to win in regulation they kneeled it and went to OT.
There was a very nice moment afterwards involving Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis though which I do want to make a note of. Manning waited for an hour and a half after the game to get a moment alone to chat with Lewis who is retiring whenever this season is over for the Ravens.
Peyton and Ray have had some classic battles over the years with both being incredibly cerebral players. It was practically like watching a chess match back and forth between these two when they played each other. It was a very classy gesture by Manning to wait til he could chat with Ray after their final game playing each other and it is a sportsmanship moment well worthy of mentioning.
The Chiefs and the Chargers they both have hired their new GM's. The Chiefs have taken yet another of the Packers front office people in their long time scout and eventually became the Director of College Scouting John Dorsey for their GM job. Dorsey was another huge asset to the Packers and is a good signing by the Chiefs.
As for the Chargers they went ahead and signed Tom Telesco who was the Indianapolis Colts' Vice President of Football Operations. This further strengthens their chances of hiring Bruce Arians who was the interim Head Coach in Indy while Chuck Pagano went through his Cancer treatments. The other candidate that appears to be making a strong case is Denver OC Mike McCoy.
Around the League
Mike Mularky the Jaguars head coach became a victim of a new GM and was fired after just one season in charge. He had been the coach of the Bills for a couple years as well but now it appears he will be an offensive coordinator for somebody next year. It might just be the Raiders, although they haven't announced if they have any interest in interviewing him yet.
The Packers got smoked by Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers. Man watching that game as a Packers fan was hard enough but as a Raiders fan to watch the player that the Raiders wanted to draft run like a mad man made it even harder. The Niners had traded ahead of the Raiders in order to draft Kaepernick who the Raiders were clearly interested in.
The Texans had plenty of bulletin board material after a scathing article in a Boston newspaper called them an easy win and a terrible team. That bulletin board material ended up not being much of a help for Houston who never really got close to beating the Patriots. With the Patriots winning it sets up a rematch of last year's AFC Conference Finals between the Ravens and the Patriots.