Warren Sapp showed his "knowledge" of the Raiders organization on NFL Network recently. The question posed to analysts Marshall Faulk and Sapp was "Can the Raiders be a surprise team in the AFC West?""They can be," said Faulk. "You look at this AFC West and you think about the teams that are there; the top two teams from last year, they both are in flux. (The Broncos) have injuries...and then you look at the Chargers, I mean, we don't know who the left tackle is going to be; Vincent Jackson, we don't know when he's going to come...Antonio Cromartie is gone, you lose Jamal Williams, your big nose tackle, there's a lot of changes that's going on, no L.T.. So we don't know what those two teams are going to be like right now.
"But the Raiders and the Chiefs, both young teams, healthy teams, both had really good drafts. I look for them to maybe move up and the Raiders could surprise some people. I like the way they played late in the season last year, when they got JaMarcus Russell out of the starting line-up," Faulk recalled.
It was nice to hear a vote of confidence from Faulk. It's nice to hear the positive talk of several analysts this year who have been skeptical over the past few years. Also, Faulk makes some good points; the Chargers are missing their left tackle and perhaps their best wide receiver. To extend on his point, there are a lot of issues with the AFC West currently.
The Broncos lost Elvis Dumervil for four months with the same injury Bruce Gradkowski incurred back In April, a torn pectoral muscle. Dumervil, who just signed a new deal, led the NFL with 17 sacks last season.
"Pass rushers don't grow on trees," Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson said. "Denver really has nothing without Dumervil."
San Diego linebacker Shaun Phillips is going to have to deal with a civil trial during the season. The Chargers also suffered a potential blow when third-round pick Donald Butler was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon. He was injured in practice a while ago and was carted off the field.
The Denver Broncos must feel they have long-term problems at running back with their recent injuries. They signed Justin Fargas and are reconsidering signing Brian Westbrook, an idea that went out their window back a while back. They also signed Seattle and Tennessee cast-off LenDale White. White is facing a four-game NFL suspension. He won't be able to help Denver until Week 5, at Baltimore, at the earliest.
But along comes Warren Sapp to ruin the moment for Raiders fans. Saying some stuff that could have some weight, or might just be the "QBkilla" over stepping his intellect like he has done from time to time in the past regarding the Raiders.
"Even more then getting JaMarcus Russell out of the position," Sapp bellowed, "They had Al Davis, the over-czar, who wasn't overlooking. I can tell you a story about when I was at the Oakland (ßnot a typo), unless they can change this about the Oakland Raider Program...when the defensive coordinator, Jim (ßnot a typo) Marshall comes in with his plan, they gonna practice Wednesday, they gonna practice Thursday...John Marshall (corrected himself mid-sentence)...then my man Al Davis is going to come in and look at the tape and say ‘There's no single deep safety there, you can't run that, you can't run this'
"And when you come back into the Raider organization on Friday, it's a whole new game-plan," continued Sapp. "Wash Wednesday and Thursday out of the way, you got a whole new game-plan with a single high safety."
First thing is first, Sapp obviously did not do his homework. What's next? Is he going to call Hue Jackson Humphrey? And if you are going to talk on TV, you should not say things like, "When I was at the Oakland." And lastly, if the Raiders always go back to the same game-plan on Friday, then they ought to be used to making that conversion, or at least I would think so. Calling out Al Davis by calling him "the over-czar", and then in the same dialect referring to him as "my man" seems kind of counterintuitive to me. But Sapp was not done just yet.
"Trust me, unless Al Davis takes his hands out of the cooking in the kitchen, the Raiders will be in for a long season," Sapp continued confidently. "Nothing goes on in ‘Raiderland' without Al putting his finger on it and saying ‘Ok, that's okay for you to do that.'"
What time was the over-czar not over-czaring last season?
"When they went to play the Tampa Bay Bucs" Sapp said like a moron. "You saw a whole different ball club out there. No single high safety, quads across, some two, some four, all the coverage's that you have to mix up to confuse NFL quarterbacks in this league."
I say he said that like a moron because the Raiders didn't play the Bucs last year. That was in 2008. Somewhere along the line, Sapp lost track of what year it was. Hey Warren, its 2010 buddy, get a clue.
"If you saw it, if you watch the tape, that's a different Raiders team than at the beginning of the year," he rambled on.
"If that's the case and that's how it is," replied Faulk, "You come to work on Friday and there's a different game-plan in place, it is hard to win. Those coaches have been working all week on that game-plan and on Friday, a lot of the stuff is out. But it's Al's team...it is Al Davis' team."
Correction: It's is Al "the Over-czar" Davis' team.
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