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Preseason power rankings: No. 30

We initially didn’t plan to put the No. 30 team at No. 30.

But then the team that has landed at No. 30 proved why it continues to reside in the NFL’s nether regions.

The Oakland Raiders.

Recent reports of head coach Tom Cable cold-cocking defensive assistant Randy Hanson clinched it for us.  Despite any strides the team has made, jettisoning personnel mistakes of 2008 and locking up cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha for the next few years and building a potentially stellar three-headed tailback attack, the Raiders are still the Raiders.

Another discouraging development, apart from the training-camp smack-down, is the fact that newly-arrived quarterback Jeff Garcia has been injured (he started practicing on August 17) and thus unable either to push quarterback JaMarcus Russell or unseat him.

Between Russell and Bruce Gradkowski, five interceptions were thrown during a joint practice with the 49ers.

Concerns remain that the Raiders reached considerably for rookie receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.  Meanwhile, veteran wideout Javon Walker has essentially fallen off the face of the earth.

So while we want to think the Raiders will be much more competitive than they’ve been in the recent past, this once-proud franchise seems to be on track to continue to deliver frustration and embarrassment.

And here’s the part where we list stuff.

Key player:  Russell.  In his third NFL season, he must become a true leader, and he must commit himself to maximizing his talents.  If he can’t or won’t, the Raiders will have a hard time avoiding the basement of the AFC West.

Rookie
to watch:  DHB.  He already has climbed to the top of the depth chart.  Owner Al Davis needs him to be another Cliff Branch.  Most expect him to be another Troy Williamson.

Best veteran acquisition:  Garcia.  Defensive end Greg Ellis.  The aging former first-rounder made it much easier to trade Derrick Burgess, and Ellis adds to the defense a guy who is (sort of) used to winning into a defense without many guys who know how it feels to pin pelts to the wall.

Key game:  Week Three, vs. Denver.  Assuming a Week One loss to the Chargers and guessing that they’ll fall Week Two at Kansas City, beating the Broncos at home will be crucial to getting things on the right track before a stretch of five straight pre-bye games that could easily be lost. 

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24 Responses to “Preseason power rankings: No. 30”
  1. GPLmark says: Aug 20, 2009 11:40 PM

    What two teams are worse than the Raiders?

  2. alpod says: Aug 20, 2009 11:52 PM

    raiders are starting 3-1. suck it florio.

  3. mike cochran says: Aug 20, 2009 11:53 PM

    original… you’re basically basing this off of the first thing that you wrote: “Recent reports of head coach Tom Cable cold-cocking defensive assistant Randy Hanson clinched it for us.” that’s all you have, which is what’s in the media. SHOCKER! you haven’t touched on the maturity of our run game, and obviously we’re going to throw young receivers, that’s what we have and that’s what we’re developing. javon walker? really? yes we have too much invested in him, but when was the last time he was a difference maker? denver. focus on more then the obvious please besides jamarcus. i’m pretty sure matt cassel is playing with a completely different squad then last year.

  4. raideralex99 says: Aug 21, 2009 12:21 AM

    LOL … KC and Denver will be looking up at the Raiders.

  5. jhem4prez says: Aug 21, 2009 1:02 AM

    wait a minute… let me get this straight…
    The Broncos bring in a spread offense coach to fix arguably the worst defense in the league, trade away their franchise QB, sign every HB thats washed up and never was any good while spending their top draft pick on a HB as well, whos already hurt might I add. Their top receiver wants out, their best player on defense is pushing Brett Favre for oldest joker in the league and last I heard they couldnt trade their first round pick from 2 years ago for a 7th rounder yet the Raiders are worse then that all because Tom Cable punched out some guy that looks like a chili-mo!!!???
    What about the chiefs and their 63 million dollar man being outplayed by Brodie Croyle?
    How about the Browns with not only the worst coach in the league but less stability then a one legged chair at every position even kicker!
    You think the Raiders QB sitch is less then ideal, whos running the show in Tampa?
    the Seahawks? enough said…

  6. broncoguy1125 says: Aug 21, 2009 1:11 AM

    raideralex99 says:
    LOL … KC and Denver will be looking up at the Raiders.
    HA! In what sense? Death called in, apparently Al Davis has actually been dead for 15 years. Since Al won’t listen to anybody, death took his Raiders team instead.
    If Oakland wins 6 games I would be totally shocked.

  7. ja says: Aug 21, 2009 4:40 AM

    Florio is a raider hater who sits at home and plays on his computer all night, if you know what i mean. Im new to this site and i think Florio needs to get a life, he’s like a Rush Limbaugh and a Sean Hannity on Obama. Come on conservative get with it USA needs a change away with the drama queen “Tom Brady” and in with the new THE RAAAIDERS! FROM NOW ON I WILL CALL YOU SEAN HANNITY “FLORIO”

  8. dunkingonuts says: Aug 21, 2009 8:49 AM

    Typical Raider hating what a F@%*ing loser you are Florio….!

  9. Kevin from Philly says: Aug 21, 2009 9:09 AM

    I gotta admit, the Raiders looked pretty good beating up on Tampa Bay to end last season, and they looked REAL good against the stinkin’ Cowboys (or Cowgirls, just so Vox knows who I’m talking about) last week. Not that they’re world beaters, but you probably have them about 7-8 slots too low.

  10. Akron Rules says: Aug 21, 2009 9:27 AM

    Wow, ladies, I didn’t realize anyone still bothered to try and defend the Raiders publicly.

  11. Junior says: Aug 21, 2009 9:28 AM

    Based on recent history I wouldn’t be too upset with this ranking except your reasoning is seriously flawed. Maybe you should base your rankings on something other than the one liners your NBC monkeys throw out. (In case you don’t get it, I liken them to monkeys because all they do is throw S#!@)
    Flaw #1, you are basing a #30 ranking on unconfirmed sources. The unnamed source from yesterday’s crap is obviously Hanson or his lawyer. This makes it his version of the events. I’m betting the other 5 coaches in the room saw things very differently. So when the truth comes out, I hope Cable files a suit against you, Nancy Gay, Michelle Silver and the others for defamation of character.
    Flaw #2, 5 INT’s in practice… practice. Enough said.
    Flaw #3, Javon Walker has fallen off the earth? According to who? Try reading some of the great reports coming out of camp about him. You know read an article that is positive about the Raiders.
    Flaw #4, DHB is not the rookie to watch. Louis Murphy is the one to watch, try reading about what’s going on in camp. DHB won’t be expected to make an impact until next year anything else will be a bonus.
    Seriously, you have no clue about football do you? Not to worry, pretty soon NBC will phase you out and you’ll be back practicing law in that backwoods state you call home.

  12. finsbooyah says: Aug 21, 2009 9:40 AM

    jhem4prez… I totally agreed with everything you said until you mentioned the Seahawks… They may bounce back this year

  13. jb10 says: Aug 21, 2009 10:02 AM

    florio do you ever have any original thoughts? or is just regurgitated crap from the general media that you throw on the wall and hope it sticks?
    jhem4prez was right on the money!

  14. jhem4prez says: Aug 21, 2009 10:32 AM

    finsbooyah… I live in the seattle area so I have the true inside view of whats going on with this team and its less then ideal.
    Marcus Trufant and Levi Jones, their best two players, are hurt and likely not coming back. Their safeties are garbage. They spent a fourth overall pick on a 2 down linebacker but already have 100 mil tied up in the other two LBs they employ. their run D was so bad they decided to trade to get a Lions DT to fix the problem. They dont have a running back, their QB is ancient with back problems and Deion Branch still hasnt played a down in Seattle since arriving 4 years ago. TJ is not the answer, hes a number 2 receiver at best and Burleson is still just the guy they got for Hutch, oh and yeah, they have a Mora as a coach!
    Give me one good reason why they finish better then the Raiders when they finished worst last year and did nothing to improve?

  15. Slim says: Aug 21, 2009 10:52 AM

    I can’t believe some people are upset by this ranking. Who cares if Florio ranks Oakland 30th and Kansas City 29th or Denver 28th? They are all terrible teams and the only problem San Diego is going to have winning the division is not falling asleep while having to play 3 bad teams.

  16. Oakfan23 says: Aug 21, 2009 12:20 PM

    Hey guys, CALM DOWN!! As a diehard raider fan, i see optimism in the raiders offseason too. Florio even said that he didn’t originally plan to put Oakland here, but the fact is the raiders have been losers the last six years. They have to play their way out of it, if we start winning we’ll get respect and admiration. It’s that simple. And this whole jawgate thing is ridiculous, the team just cannot allow things like this to keep happening. I believe we’re on the way up, this is the best offseason i can remember as far as sound moves and structure. Cable is doing the right things, he just needs to get out of his own way and keep progressing. Reports are that AL sided with Cable by not letting Hanson have his job back, so Cables got NO excuses. As long as we start winning, we’ll get credit. RELAX silver and black. Love the site MIKE, keep up the good work.

  17. Plata y Negro says: Aug 21, 2009 12:25 PM

    You are basing J-Russ’s progression on what happened in a practice! Practice! We’re not talking bout a game. We not talkin bout a game! We talking Bout PRACTICE!!!!!! Lol. This team is better than the Broncos, Chiefs, and probably the Browns(especialy if Rob Ryan brings his type of defense to Cleveland). I agree with jhem4prez, how does a team trade the franchise QB, piss off the next best weapon they have to the point he won’t even read the playbook, import more washed up RB’s than they have roster spots, hire a coach that makes Lane Kiffen look like Bill Walsh? The Broncos are the most disfunctional team in the league. But Cable punches an assistant and all the sudden we can’t win a game in your eyes!

  18. Raiderfan9909 says: Aug 21, 2009 1:01 PM

    Broncoguy, how about cleaning up the mess in your own house first before coming over here and spewing your crap? Your owner, Mr. Bowlen, hired an intern as a head coach and traded away a franchise QB for some used footballs and a twelve pack of Coors Lite because he got his feelings hurt.
    I’ll take Mr. Davis and Tom Cable over your two clowns anytime!

  19. DocBG says: Aug 21, 2009 2:10 PM

    @ja GTFO, quit insulting guys like Limbaugh and Hannity.
    as far as the raiders go, why in the hell even rank them at all? Its not like its a legitimate football team.
    The ones i feel bad for are the younger fans. they don’t understand what a winning franchise is like, all they know is the gimmicks, and somehow they associate being a fool with being a fan. True, fans supports their teams throughout it all, but at some point you’ve got to realize that the cryptkeeper has lost it completely and wait for another owner to step in (hopefully one with a functioning brain and a pulse) to bring any hope of relevancy back to your franchise.
    The ONLY reason oakland wins more than 2 games a year is because of 2 reasons:
    1: they play in the weakest division in football against 2 other worthless teams (and lets face it, SD hasn’t lived up to what they should be able to do)
    and
    2: no other team takes them serious, and basically gets caught unprepared because they are looking at the oakland game as an extra bye week.
    honestly, you could put detroit in the AFC west and they would probably be favorites for the division champs.

  20. oh the usual says: Aug 21, 2009 2:34 PM

    It kinda rules that Cable hit a coach that A) was not a good coach and B) has butted heads with his higher ups (other than Al) the past two seasons.
    The five interceptions everyone is flipping out about, and the 49ers are acting like was a playoff game are pretty much of little to no significance. It was a practice, and the Raiders were working on things that they want to develop in their offense, rather than going to the bread and butter. When you are trying new things by doing, you are going to crash and burn sometimes–and thats why you do those things in a joint practice, rather than in an actual game.
    Will this team be good? No. But it will not be because the coach punched a guy or because of one bad practice.

  21. upyrs says: Aug 21, 2009 3:08 PM

    I agree, the Faiders are stuck in the 70’s. Weird Al ” Weekend at Bernie’s ” Davis no longer has a clue about running a team, that is unless running a team into the ground counts. The fans are just as inept in their following of such a losing franchise
    Fact, since 2001 only one team has lost more games than the Faiders, the Lions, they lead the Faiders by two games but had to go 0-16 to pass them, OUCH, thats a bad franchise

  22. radrntn says: Aug 21, 2009 7:25 PM

    I wish you were here setting the odds in NV……borttom line Raiders are 18 -1 to win it all…there are 9 teams w/longer shots then them, and two tied with them…..so since you are just taking shots in the dark, the pros have them somewhere between 21, and 23.

  23. masterblaster78 says: Sep 13, 2009 10:34 AM

    Florio, your just a Raider hater, admit it. I believe Ellis is a better player than Burgess, then now we have Seymour who will play Monday. We have plenty of running backs that would be starters for most other teams. Mike Bush will be awesome this year. The only weakness I see is stopping the run. Keep the defense off the field and you’ll see the Raiders most likely 2nd place in the AFC West. The donkeys and cheifs are below the Raiders for sure.

  24. Cerberus says: Sep 13, 2009 12:38 PM

    What a joke. The Raiders will likely finish 2nd in the AFCW, at worst 3rd, yet Florio has KC and Denver ranked ahead of Oakland. LOL! No bias there! ;)

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