The Oakland Raiders have had some good things and some bad things happen to them this offseason. There is a common misperception, in my opinion, that the bad has outweighed the good. But I also understand the need to vent over losing two big-time free agents like the guys the Raiders lost. However, it is important to remember that football is a business and sometimes you aren't going to get the guy you want or that the fans think your team needs. At the same time, some guys are replaceable and some guys you may get compensated for.
Kevin Boss: Let me upgrade you
When the chinstraps get buckled and the passes start flying in September, the presence of Kevin Boss will soon make Zach Miller a distant memory. Boss may not have a recent Pro Bowl on his résumé (first alt. 2008), but he does have a Super Bowl ring, excellent hands, and an ability to block out the sun by stuffing defenders like an offensive tackle on running plays. Plus, on a team with far superior receivers – as far as production – Boss has still managed to get his share of balls in his direction. That’s because while he lacks high end speed, he is a really good route runner. Another thing he does well is getting into space in the end zone, which is something that the former tight end was not remarkable at. If Boss is not an upgrade from Miller, he is most certainly an equal to Miller and that means the Raiders have once again made Tom Cable the weakest link – goodbye no. 80, hello no. 89.
Don’t throw in the towel on Chris Johnson
Many people wrote off Chris Johnson after a poor performance in 2010, when it seemed he lost his starting job to Stanford Routt, who in turn got a huge contract after an above average season. But lest we forget, it was CJ who was the reason the Raiders were able to release DeAngelo Hall after he had proven he couldn’t hold up in the man-to-man pressure defense style of the Raiders. Also, it was Johnson who picked Kyle Orton’s first pass and took it to the house in the blowout record-setting win at Mile High last year. Johnson was injured last year in the preseason, which gave a certain cornerback the inside Routt to win the starting gig opposite Nnamdi. Johnson is a risk taker, reminiscent of an older Raiders’ CB that used to wear no. 37. Sometimes it pays off, evidenced by his eight interceptions since joining the Raiders – and other times it doesn’t work out, but overall, Johnson can play man-to-man and is very physical, just ask former San Diego Chargers running back Darren Sproles.
The Denarius Moore Show
Last night, I watched the following Tweets come across my Twitter feed:
@LeviDamien: "OOHH!! Denarius Moore just plucked a pass out of the air in the back of the end zone! Moore pluck was in double coverage by DVD and Stevie Brown. Sick."
@VitorrioTafur: "Moore just topped all of yesterdays catches with TD up top in back of end zone overran Dyke and Brown. wooooow"
@PaulGutierrez: "Wow...Denarius Moore SMOKES Stevie Brown and DVD for TD"
@HenryWoffordCSN: "Denarius Moore just caught another deep touchdown. This guy may be the steal of the draft. Man he is talented!"
And thus the Denarius Moore show has arrived in Raiderville. One person asked if he was that good or if the defensive backs were just too pathetic. The answer from Tafur was that no other wide receiver was dominating like this. Someone else asked if the Raiders had found themselves another Jacoby Ford. Levi responded by saying, “Yes, I believe they have.” I’ll give you guys, our readers, some credit because many of you predicted that Moore was a steal in the fifth and that the Raiders had found a gem. After the Bay Area reporters have made their first impression, it appears that you all may have been spot on.
The Michael Bush conundrum
There are some weird things going on with the whole Michael Bush situation. At first, it was thought he would be a restricted free agent, then he was unrestricted, then he was restricted, then nobody knew, then we found out that his first year on the non-football injury list didn’t count as an earned year towards free agency. So after all of this hubbub he was indeed restricted. The Raiders tendered him a first round draft pick which means if a team makes an offer that is better than the $2.6 million he would get from the Raiders this year, the Raiders would have seven days to match the offer or the team that made the qualifying offer would surrender a first round draft choice.
A few things that could be happening here:
- He is holding out of training camp
- He has been made a qualifying offer the Raiders must match
- He is working on a longer-term contract with the Raiders
More than likely, Bush will be a Raider in 2011. Head Coach Hue Jackson said he believes the Bush deal will get done: "I'm very comfortable that at some point in time Michael will be back here with us."
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