Ah, memories. Every offseason hope springs eternal. Every player who had a down season is going to bounce back and every player who had a great season is on the upswing for even greater greatness. Playoff windows never close, they just open wider and we never give up on someone until they are literally no longer employed by the team.
May is a great month for that. Most of the top free agent additions are in house along with all the rookies who are just starting out their brilliant future.
With those inarguable facts in mind, and May of 2018 in the rear view, let’s have some fun and look back at some news from May of 2017 to see how accurate some of the stuff that was coming out of Oakland was with a year to test it.
2017: Jamaal Charles signed with Broncos and a certain Broncos blog said he would “jolt the Broncos offense back to life.” This after they had previously begged Raiders to sign Marshawn Lynch because he’s old (He’s seven months older than Charles). I compared them at that time.
2018: Charles didn’t start a game, had a total of 296 yards and one touchdown and his career is over. Marshawn had 891 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards per carry over the second half of the season and is back for another season as Raiders feature back. Feels good being right.
2018: Raiders finished 6-10, third in AFC West, 10th in AFC.
2018: Both proved to be true in different ways last season, though I’d go with the fans on this one. Linebacker was an unmitigated disaster over the first few games until the team signed NaVorro Bowman. And somehow it still remains a problem. The interior defensive line was in trouble and continued to be throughout the season. Eddie Vanderdoes was not the answer, Mario Edwards Jr started out well in the first four games and then disappeared. And once again, there was little in the way of interior pass rush. Jon Gruden said was a top priority and the Raiders spent two draft picks on the position even after re-signing Justin Ellis.
2018: Bruce Irvin never got over it. And he let King know about it after King was cut by the Raiders and signed with the Broncos. The Raiders kept the good teammate and punted the other.
2018: More than a month later, well after all offseason practices were over, the Raiders would finally sign Carr to an extension. They made him the highest paid player in NFL history and the first $25 million man. Now Khalil Mack awaits the same as we sits out the Raiders offseason program until it gets done.
2018: Hester showed a lot of promise as a rookie. He certainly outplayed his draft counterpart, Eddie Vanderdoes. Hood, not as much. Though we’ll see if he can make the most of his shot with the Panthers who claimed him off waivers after the Raiders cut him last month.
2018: He was healthy. At least until an ankle injury caused him to miss the final two games of the season. He’s never played a full 16 games in three seasons. He was motivated too. And for the first four games he was dominant, putting up 3.0 sacks. He then had a total of a half sack the rest of the season.
2018: The 4th round pick appeared in just five games last season, starting the final two games at left tackle in place of the injured Donald Penn. Marshall Newhouse remained the starter at right tackle throughout the season. Now with the team drafting two tackles and signing Breno Giacomini to play right tackle, Sharpe has been seeing reserve reps at left tackle and left guard.
2018: That was short lived. After his worst season as a pro, Cooper didn’t make the list this year.
2018: Well, he didn’t have a late season decline. His decline was the early part of the season in which he had 10 drops. He actually had his second best game of the season in the finale. So, there’s that.
2018: That bad taste was giving up the sack that injured Derek Carr. And it wouldn’t keep him from holding out all of 2017 training camp for a new contract. Penn’s season started off pretty poorly along with much of the line as they struggled to acclimate to more zone concepts. They improved around midseason and then Penn’s season would once again end with an injury.
2018: Those possibilities would be mostly on special teams. His route running didn’t improve and he was shipped in a trade to the Patriots so the Raiders could move up from the sixth round into the fifth round.
2018: BAHA! This one is my favorite. The former second round pick is a bust until further notice. He did next to nothing as a rookie and even less in 2018. Not only did he not have a big jump in production, he appeared in just 5 games with a total of two combined tackles. His one career sack was a free shot at the quarterback created by a stunt on a double team on Khalil Mack.
2018: BAHAHAHA! I change my vote. This is my favorite. The Raiders were a disaster on offense last season. If that was letting them be themselves, they should pretend to be someone else from now on. The offensive line was a mess, Derek Carr was running around like a rookie, and the receivers couldn’t hold onto the damn ball. Downing’s failings and Del Rio’s for making the change from Bill Musgrave to him are the primary reason Mark Davis was asking Gruden for his advice in the first place. That’s when Gruden said ‘Hire me’. So, I guess we...should be thanking him?