Team checklist: Oakland Raiders

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We’ve completed to-do lists for the Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers from the AFC West. That leaves you know who as the remaining team in the division.

Are the Raiders a team on the upswing after their best record in eight years?  Or are they just another 8-8 team adrift without a real solution at quarterback?  

The Raiders took care of a lot of business by retaining a handful of players before the lockout started, but there is still plenty of work to do.

1. Re-sign Zach Miller.

Miller is a cornerstone to Oakland’s offense, not to mention one of the game’s most underrated players. Miller seems like a guy who should be a Raider for life.  He’s also one of the best tight end free agents in years, so Oakland will have to pay up big money.

2. Make a competitive offer to Nnamdi Asomugha.

He’s worth it. Will Asomugha get a monster deal elsewhere?  Probably, but we’re still not sure where it will come from.  It’s at least possible the best offer comes from Oakland.  Shane Lechler wound up staying when he thought he would leave.

3. Reconfigure offensive line.

Mario Henderson, Langston Walker, and Khalif Barnes are all not under contract. Robert Gallery is going to leave.  The team is mostly transitioning away from zone blocking, which played to the strengths of Samson Satele and Cooper Carlisle.

The Raiders drafted two linemen early, but they may be asking too much of the rookies and 2010 pick Bruce Campbell.  This is a huge rebuilding project for new line coach Bob Wylie, and perhaps the biggest reason to doubt Oakland as a playoff team.

4. Look for value at quarterback, especially Vince Young.

Jason Campbell hasn’t shown he’s the answer yet, and he’s not under contract in 2012.  The Raiders are in a good position because they aren’t desperate for a quarterback, but they should be looking for value.

There are too many interesting quarterback names available this offseason, and not enough jobs.  Al Davis loves to rehab talented quarterbacks, and Young has shown he can produce at a high level.  VY in Oakland: What could go wrong?

5. Retain Michael Bush.

There is some question about Bush’s status because he was on the NFI list as a rookie.  We believe he’ll be a restricted free agent, which should make him easy enough to retain.

6. Bolster cornerback depth.

This assumes list item No.2 doesn’t work.  The Raiders are better situated to handle the departure of free safety Michael Huff than if Asomugha leaves as expected.  Rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke looks like a project.  The Raiders don’t want to rely on Chris Johnson and Walter McFadden too much.

7. Find a linebacker.

It didn’t happen in the draft, but the Raiders could use an alternative to Quentin Groves on the weak side.

8. Stay hungry.

The world isn’t out to get you, Raiders Nation.  The NFL would love to see Oakland be relevant again after being one of the worst franchises in the league for nearly a decade.

Despite those struggles, we sense an odd overconfidence bubbling within the franchise after one .500 season. This team is talented enough to make a run at 10 wins, but not so talented they couldn’t collapse right back to five wins.

There is a lot of work to do and we hope Hue Jackson is the man to let this roster know 8-8 was just a start, not something to be overly excited about when a lot of talent could leave town.

55 responses to “Team checklist: Oakland Raiders

  1. 9. Put Al Davis in a nursing home. He’s the best thing that’s happened to the rest of the AFC West, since Hank Stram left.

  2. How about a veteran WR? Lois Murphy is a solid number three, Chaz Schilens can’t stay healthy, Jacoby Ford has a lot of potential, and DHB just flat out blows.

  3. 4. Look for value at quarterback, especially Vince Young.

    Are you high? I’ll take Jason Campbell over Vince Young anyday. I’ll take Gradkowski over them both. Hell, I’d rather have Andrew Walter over VY.

  4. As a Chiefs fan, I hate to admit it but I think the Raiders are going to be a solid team for years to come. Darren McFadden is an absolute beast who gets overlooked quite often. One of the best runningbacks in the league, in my opinion.

    I think firing Cable was a bad move though.

  5. Come on back Raiders. Always nice to see another team that hates the Steelers move on up.

  6. randysavage4ever, are you serious?!?!? Oakland is “always on the brink” and take your Darth Vader helmet off while posting!!

    Nnamdi is leaving and won’t even look back!!!

  7. I just hope that team can build confidence after going 7 years of being a laughing stock. The franchise needs consistency and I think Hue can take this team to 9 – 7, save his job, and continue to build the team. Al seems to really like this guy and Hue doesn’t seem like a control freak like Gruden was who overplayed his hand and was dealt with.

  8. Absolutely, we want the Raiders back as a serious competitor. That division needs the Raiders, cause San Diego is a paper doll once the regular season is over.

    My question would be, does the Raiders’ past reputation actually hurt them now? These guys are not the Stabler/Tatum/Alzado/Matuzak Bad Boys, but one is forced to wonder if Al Davis is still trying to remake those notorious teams from the 70s. Tom Cable could have been a poster boy for this thinking, and we all saw how well that went.

    Further, Oakland has been horrible in the last several drafts, squandering draft choice after draft choice on players which failed to meet expectations, many of them reaches which other teams had ranked far below where Oakland took them. You just have to wonder if Al Davis, as smart as he has been over the years, can really do it any more, at his advanced age.

    The current team as some talent, and the division remains weak, but filling the remaining holes will require exceptional personnel work and a willingness to spend money. At this point, the jury remains out.

  9. 9. Cut your losses with DHB or demote him to KR/PR coverage… he is absolutely useless.

  10. You people make me laugh, Cable was building up 8-8 like they were World Beaters not any one in the building.

    When Al Davis let Cable go at the Press Conference when asked what he thought of Cable saying. “8-8 we are not losers anymore”, Al Davis said he always thought 8-8 was the definition of Loser and laughed.

    Hue Jackson knows it was a start but has also stated it means little and they have a long way to go. So the Raiders dumped the only dude in the building that was slapping the players on the back like they had just won a Super Bowl, they dumped Cable and you people made it sound like they just dumped Vince Lombardi.

  11. Ahh the Raiders. During the 0-16 season Lions fans consistently said, “it could be worse, at least we’re not Raiders fans.”

  12. Things will chance once free agency begins…

    I dont know about what the Raiders do and dont have to do before the season starts.

    The only thing I know is they swept the AFC West last year, and they will win the division this year and make noise in the playoffs…

    dislike/thumbs down it, I dont care, I’ll be at that Raider playoff opener with some beer, some tree, some girls, my Stabler throwback , and ready to rock n roll – that is reality…

    not all the anti- Raider stuff.

    while the Raider haters are posting hate messages via PFT.

  13. blackheld says: Jul 5, 2011 5:33 PM

    Further, Oakland has been horrible in the last several drafts, squandering draft choice after draft choice on players which failed to meet expectations, many of them reaches which other teams had ranked far below where Oakland took them. You just have to wonder if Al Davis, as smart as he has been over the years, can really do it any more, at his advanced age.


    Rolando McClain, Lamar Houston, Jacoby Ford, and Jared Veldheer were all solid contributors in their first season. Al could have something in Bruce Campbell and Stephan Wisniewski. I really don’t know too much about the other guys in this year’s draft as I don’t follow college football. Other than DHB and Russell, many of his picks have panned out fairly well.

  14. Oakland’s biggest problem last year (in my opinion) was giving up deep plays. Offensively, the team found a good rhythym, depending heavily on a healthy Run-DMc. If they can cement the passing game a bit, they should be in respectable shape.

    I watched so many huge plays given up by our defense last year. Anyone remember Huff practically getting dragged into the end zone by Tim Tebow on a draw play? No excuse. How about the game at the Jags, in which the Raiders coverage watched bomb after bomb sail over their heads?

    I’m ready for the Return to Relevance Tour 2011! But to blindly say the Raiders are going to waltz to the top this year is ridiculous. It’s going to take hard work, which, love him or not, the Chairman will expect Hue Jackson to get from this team.

  15. @ randysavage

    “Things will chance once free agency begins.

    I dont(sic) know about what the Raiders do and dont(sic) have to do before the season starts.”

    Sounds like you took one too many DDTs there Macho man. Might be time to snap into a Slim Jim. Ooohh yeeaahh!

  16. nightman13,

    Yes, why would Lion fans want to have 3 Super Bowl trophies on display from 5 trips, more Hall of Famers than just about any organization, and those 12 AFC championship appearances instead of well, being the Lions with their 0-16 season and no playoff wins since Erik Kramer was around.

  17. You can find FA problems attached to every team with the liklyhood of 4yrs. for UFA in the next CBA. The Raiders will always pay the most for the players they want to keep. Miller will stay, as will Bush, but Nnamdi is gone I think. Al said awhile back that he could sign two or three players with what he would have to pay Nnamdi, so that pretty much tells you the page will be turned.

    As for the usual anti Raider rants, keep in mind that the pecking order stands as follows:

    Raiders – 3 SB Championships
    Rest of AFC West – 3 SB Championships
    San Diego Chargers – 0 SB Championships

    Sorry the truth hurts.

  18. @blackheld,

    Other than JaMarcus Russell – who was seen as the top pick by pretty much everybody and their brother that year – their drafting has been pretty solid. Say what you will about DHB being a bust, but he’s a hard worker and is only going into year 3. He may bust out this year or he may not, but the Raiders have been drafting just fine the past few years. Lots of young talent on this team and all have been added in the draft.

  19. Reality checklist for Raiders fans.

    Al Davis turned 182 yesterday. Check.

    Best head coach since Gruden fired. Check.

    New head coach an Al yes man. Check.

    John Herrera still Al’s go-to yes man. Check.

    Jason Hesitation Campbell still the starter. Check.

    Team’s best player probably gone. Check.

    Starting left guard gone. Check.

    Starting free safety gone. Check.

    23rd ranked passing game last year. Check.

    29th ranked rushing defense. Check.

    Ricky Williams Off Right Guard for 45 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. Check.

    Heyward-Bey still on the team. Check.

    Least productive WRs in the NFL. Check.

    2-8 outside the division last year. Check.

    1st-round draft pick spent on 32-year-old on downside of his career. Check.

    Al’s need for speed netted track stars rather than players in April. Check.

  20. Top 5 things Raider Fan will say this season.

    5. Were back…

    4. The refs screwed us.

    3. The refs screwed us..

    2. The refs screwed us..

    1. We are going to the Super Bowl.

  21. @thetooloftools:

    I am actually all in favor of Pryor. I agree that the Raiders could use a good “Project QB”, but I don’t agree at all costs. I would be terrified of him for a first or second round pick, wary of a third round pick, but if they got him 4th round or later, I think it would be an accepable, calculated risk.

  22. Oh, Humbot, always presenting the “facts”. Once again, you’re an embarassment, not for hating the Raiders, but for pretending to give all the details while omitting Raider positives.

    2-8 Outside the division? True. Once again, you conveniently left out the 6-0 INSIDE the division… Much more impressive than your stat. Oh, and two of those wins were against your team. But why would you bring that up? It doesn’t look good for you.

    23rd ranked passing game last year? Check. Oh, and look. The SECOND most rushing yards in the NFL. But again, why would you include that?

    The 32 year old who we got for that draft pick? Yeah, he organized one of the most publicized and respected offseason team workouts in the NFL. Got major coverage, and was seen as a true leadership move. No reason for you to bring that up.

    Now go ahead and reply that we’re all just whining, because I responded. You pray for Raiders fans to get all emotional and call you stupid, which I don’t believe you are. You hate when someone brings up a good counter to your arguement, and then you hide behind saying we’re “whining”. You aren’t stupid, but you are a hack.

  23. 1- Fire the GM…

    1A- Fire the owners box DC…

    1B- Fire the head of player personell….

    1C- Fire the head of scouting……

    1D- Give “Coach” Davis a gold stop watch for his retirement…..

    2- Get rid of the lobster-clawed hand’s of stone dnBUST…..

  24. 4 issues:

    1) Cable’s contract wasn’t renewed therefore he wasn’t fired.

    2) Campbell has been a Raider for a season and was mishandled by the guy who is no longer the coach. He was traded during the draft and shared snap with Jamarcus before he was released. Campbell has had time with his staff now (been throwing and working out with is receivers all offseason and lockout period). Give him time.

    3) The receivers in Oakland are young. They don’t need a new guy. They need experience.

    4) Gradkowski is a terrible QB. You can’t be a Raider fan and a fan of his.

    P.S. – Humbolt you know very little about the Raiders….

  25. Reality checklist for Raiders fans(updated).

    Al Davis turned 182 yesterday who for is lifetime vs SD is 5-44-2. Check.

    Best head coach since Gruden didn’t have his contract renewed. He was at his best was average (still an overall below .500 record in 3 years) because the person who is HC ran the offense. Check.

    New head coach, who is not Norv “AJ’s yes mans” Turner, an Al yes man. Check.

    John Herrera still Al’s go-to public speaker. Check.

    Jason “2-0 against SD” Campbell still the starter. Check.

    Team’s best player probably, but not gone. Check.

    Often injured and disappointing left guard gone. Check.

    Nontackling, bad angle taking, subpar, overrated free safety gone. Check.

    23rd ranked passing game, but 10th in scoring last year. Check.

    29th ranked rushing defense (cant argue that). Check.

    Ricky Williams Off Right Guard for 45 yards for a TOUCHDOWN (who cares?). Check.

    Heyward-Bey still on the team (3rd or 4th best wide receiver so don’t know why you keep bringing him up?). Check.

    Least productive WRs in the NFL, but doesn’t mater when you’re the 10th best scoring team. Check.

    2-8 outside the division last year (2-0 vs SD). Check.

    1st-round draft pick spent on 32-year-old on downside of his career, but still managed to become a probowler. Check.

    Al’s need for speed netted track stars who were starters for major CFB programs rather than players in April. Check.

  26. In the NFL when you don’t renew a coach’s contract, the coach is fired. Burying your head in the sand is your prerogative, tomfool21. But the reality is that Cable was fired after leading the Raiders to their first non-losing season in seven years.

  27. Humbolt. .. is really tough behind a computer but in person this punk ain’t nothing…just runs his mouth…thinks about what’s else to say about the Raiders… Humbolt your just a piece of s*** …. you and what ever football team you rep … I am a Raider fan, have been and always will be. .. the haters hate because deep down inside that’s the way they show their respect by their hatred towards an Organization with Rich History as The Oakland Raiders. ….

  28. What could go wrong with VY at the helm…a lot. We are talking about the Raiders….

    But, I think this team is on the up-swing, so a player like VY could potentially thrust this team into a .500-plus team very easily.

    They do need to work on the O-line to help any QB that is there. VY or Campbell need a strong O-line in order to succeed.

    The Raiders need to sign free agents, such as Bush and Seymour for sure! They need to be smart and not just throw money at anyone…

  29. One area that should still look pretty good is Special Teams. Raiders tied for the most kickoffs for TDs in the NFL last year. They had several blocked punts, Sea Bass had another strong season (if we can look past the Arizona flub, which isn’t easy to do) and automatic Shane booting the punts.

    The anchors of that, Jacoby Ford, Rock Cartwright, Janikowski, and Lechler are all due back. Should be some comfort that Special Teams are in good shape.

  30. I do agree that Cable was essentially fired. The Raiders, by not renewing his contract, chose not to retain him as head coach. Not exactly the same, but very similar to firing him. Was it the right move? We’ll see. Yes, Cable got them to 8-8, but largely because of Hue Jackson’s offense.

    The team played hard for Cable, but they didn’t being in an outside to replace him. Team should play just as hard for Hue. Other teams apparently didn’t think Cable was such a great coach… He returned to being an assistant. Still, with head coaching experience, the Seahawks got a hell of a deal for an Offensive Line coach.

  31. Raiders Myth number 455…..

    The Raiders have the greatest fans in Football.

    Raiders Myth number 456….

    Raider fans show up win or lose.

    The Raiders ranked 32 in attendance numbers in 2010…

    The Raiders went 8-8 in 2010…..

  32. @humbolt:

    Much as I nitpick, I do look forward to a season of arguing back and forth with you. As you’ve said before, and I agree, it makes the season more fun… Just be prepared for me to bring my facts, and you do the same!

  33. One can only hope that Oakland does pick up vince young, another nail in the coffin

  34. Where’s humbolt’s “Butthurt” comments. LOL I live for those. Keep’um coming!

    Raiders have a lot of work to do, no denying it. They need a legit WR1. They need to get some o-line help. And they need to resign their FAs. I think if they can address these issues via free agency/trades, they can improve on 8-8.

    Win, lose, or tie…Raiders ’til I die!

  35. HUMBOLT UR A HAM.. i know more about the NFL n the way the sport is played than everyone u kno combined.. i dont like to spell correctly or talk in good grammar but i know, live n breath football.. The Oakland Raiders are a decent 5man online n better Run D away from 10-6 (or better) and 1st playoff game since Superbowl loss to Grudens Bucs… stop hating on our website and go pray u see another LT in the next 30 yrs (only MVP ul ever see rivers isnt man enough to get one)..

    2nd ranked run D.. top 10 RB (DMAC aka Run Dmc aka Run over AFC West safties on a daily basis)

    tied for 2nd in sacks wit 07 Giants dline coach Mike Waffle.. Seymore is OG n Wimbley is a monster, definition of 4-3 ROLB

    offense was 10th in scoring wit 2 diff starting Qbs n many more used than that.. WAIT till Coach Jackson gets a whole yr with Cambell (first time Cambell has ever been in exact same system wit exact same playcaller in whole career

    n yea Hue is playcallin still, Sean Payton style (nxt Sean Payton u heard it hear first).. Saunders worked with him in Balitomore and will cooridinate practices and meeting to make offense better, Hue still calls all great runs (DMAC), screens, playaction, reverses n so on n so on..

    Rolando is a beast.. Knocked out queer lil Sproles like a grown man should, body slammed a man in his 1ST EVER GAME IN BLACKHOLE.. jus to sho hes got sum Jack Tatum in em (assasinnnnn)
    Wait till he gets used to 4-3 a lil more (played all 3-4 under Saban at Bamba).. been a champ his whole life n will never stop even with ppl shooting at em

    all this DHB talk.. i use Raiders 5 times a day online in madden n NEVER put DHB in lineup
    -Chaz81 n Murphy18 with Jahomie12 (our R.O.Y) in the slot n Zach80 soon to b probowler who Al will either overpay in contract or overpay thru Franchise tag, but will die a Raider garunteed, hes what Al holds onto from 07 draft

    LAST BUT NOT LEAST… DMAC.. in my eyes top5 complete back (big play, vision, moves, run-ya-ova-ness, hands n blockin for all days including 3rd.. or atleast top5 young backs, wayyyy more complete than Jamaal cant score a redzone td Charles who will b injured for yrs to come when he gets more touches.. DMAC is Als Gold.. His new Bo Jackson if you will..

    Dmac the truth, to prowbowls n hopefully Superbowls someday down the road

    Silvernblack till i die n il kill a hater in his sleep

  36. humb0lt says: Jul 5, 2011 9:05 PM

    In the NFL when you don’t renew a coach’s contract, the coach is fired. Burying your head in the sand is your prerogative, tomfool21. But the reality is that Cable was fired after leading the Raiders to their first non-losing season in seven years.
    Once gain, dumbolt put his ignorance on display.

    In ANY sport, including the NFL, a coach is NOT fired if his contract is not renewed. A firing can only occur when a coach has a valid contract and is let go.

  37. In the NFL when you don’t renew a coach’s contract, the coach is fired.
    Well in the legal world (not your fantasy world), you cannot fire a guy who is not under contract.

  38. @ Dumbolt:

    If you say you hate The Raiders so much, why do you (think you) know so much about them? Sounds like you’re a ‘wanna-be’ Raiders fan but probably dont have the balls to take the downs with the ups… If that is true, where are the ups in being a Chargers fan? You’re a joke!!

    You’ll be hating even more after getting pounded again this year by the Silver & Black!!

  39. CABLE WAS AN AWFUL, AWFUL COACH. the 8-8 record was Hue Jackson crafting one of the best offensieve turnarounds in recent years in the league. Cable was a players coach, well liked by the players, Hue is a motivator, a mastermind of x’s and o’s and hungry ….. not too mention rubs his nose in Al’s diapers. Hue had an awful o-line, mediocre QB and 1 WR and had a top 10 offense in league.

  40. Delusional Raiders fans are like leaky faucets – constantly dripping.

    Cable delivers the franchise from the buffoonery of Al and John Herrera, and Al banishes him, like he did with Gruden.

    Raider fans are entertaining – but a select few are clowns. Chairman Al is one of those exceptions. He knows a little about the NFL.

  41. Cable didn’t deliver anything. Cable might have been the reason we didn’t make the playoffs (continuing to start Gradkowski). Hue Jackson ran the offense and there was a reason we went from 31st in scoring to 10th. I think it’s hilarious that the same people who thought Cable was an idiot and a joke of a coach are the same people who think Cable should have been resigned. We could have Belichck, Turner running the offense and Dick LaBeau running the defense and haters will still find a reason to hate. Plus, maybe 8-8 is a deliverance in Charger-land, but is not good enough in Oakland. Especially when there were 2-3 games we should have won…

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