Sunday, April 27, 2008

Raiders Have Two of Big Three

By Rick Richardson

It is commonly referred to as “the big three”. Everyone with any football knowledge knows that football games are won in the trenches. If the big boys don’t do their job, then get ready for a long day. However, to be a truly dominate team in the NFL you generally need the big three. Very few so-called dynasties have come without the star quarterback, running back, and wideout.

It is premature to claim that Jamarcus Russell and Darren Mcfadden will match their hype or that the Raiders are anything near heading for a dynasty, but on paper the Raiders have landed two heavy hitters. Where the wideout will come will be a future consideration, but as of now, some exciting things are coming together.

Draft day observations ~

* I liked the new stream lined draft clock. Ten minutes was plenty of time in the first round, but it did seem as though much of the player breakdowns were cut to keep up with the pace. Here is some constructive criticism for both networks; put a clamp on the petty arguments and focus on entertaining. Debate is great, but arguing for the sake of being right while three picks pass without any kind of analysis is frustrating. Some of the arguments on both networks made little sense. It reminded you of two drunken uncles nearly going to blows over something as abstract as who was the greatest boxer of all-time.

* Is it me or does it seem as though the networks always go to break when the Raiders are on the clock?

* Most of the critics thought that Mcfadden was heading for disaster by being selected by the Raiders. Many parroted the same argument of a terrible line being Mcfadden's downfall. The facts are Tom Cable and his zone blocking scheme rejuvenated the running game with the Raiders finishing with the number six ranked rushing offense. I predict more than a few cut back runs to the house this fall.

* Most of the talking heads either don’t know much about the Raiders and regurgitate the same old clichés when discussing the team, or speak with such unprofessional sarcasm that it becomes repetitive and boring. Michael Smith of ESPN was the exception. He was able to be critical of some of the inner workings of the Raiders without coming off as immature and petty. I realize the format for some of the new sports roundtable talk shows are supposed to be facetious and fast paced, but some become chaotic and painful to watch with their juvenile jabs.

* Mel Kiper is this generation’s Howard Cosell. Annoying as they come, but you still can’t wait to hear what he has to say when it comes to your team.

* Any time Ron Jaworski discusses anything to do with the Raiders, he looks as if he has just had an episodic flashback to 1980, and looks like he is licking his chops with delight at the serving of scorn he is about to deliver. He may one day begin shouting obscenities uncontrollably on air when discussing the team that stole his Super bowl. I chuckle every time I watch.

* On a personal note, I rooted for the selection of wide receiver Marcus Monk from Arkansas. Not only does he have tremendous size and leaping ability, but also his younger cousin was one of my former athletes from my coaching days. When he was a freshman, Monk told his cousin that he liked the Raiders and would love to play for them someday. He is coming off a knee injury, and I am sure the Raiders probably have filled their quota when it comes to players with risky wheels.


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