Monday, June 2, 2008

No Odell Thurman for Raiders

By Rick Richardson

Make no mistake about it; the Raiders are all about giving good football players second chances regardless of their infantile decision-making capabilities, and many times with great success. There is nothing wrong with rolling the dice on someone with talent if they come cheap, while having at least a little inclination for self-change. However, now is not the time to roll out the red carpet for Odell Thurman as some have opined. This Raider’s team is not guided by a bunch of grizzled vets who can steer someone onto the path to redemption, but a very young team looking for a leader and an identity. Raiders please pass this one by.

Speaking of taking chances, there are some players worth a look now that the June 1st cuts are upon us. Before the draft, I spoke to Al Davis indirectly through this blog about going ahead and selecting Darren Mcfadden, while waiting on the June 1st cuts to pick up some depth on the defensive line. Apparently he listened to my sage advice but forgot to leave a comment under the post. All is forgiven Al, now just go out and pick a “Booger”. DT Anthony “Booger” Mcfarland. I remember his scouting report coming out of college stating that he was a “bowling ball of butcher knives”. Not a real technical description, but definitely sounds like someone that Keith Millard should get to know. Maybe even Grady Jackson or Rod Coleman could make an encore if the price is right. Although I have a hunch that Coleman might not call or be called for a second date after the ugly break up during him and the Raider’s first fling. However, time err…money heals all wounds in the world of professional sports. The trio might not end up making it out of Napa, but definitely could wind up being some insurance if not pure motivation for Terdell Sands.

In other news, it looks like Stuart Schweigert has found employment in Washington. Good luck to him. Sometimes a fresh start and a different scheme can rejuvenate a career. Stu took some heat while in Oakland, but he wasn’t nearly as talent deficient as some believed. The free safety in the Raider’s scheme is asked to do a lot, and it requires an exceptionally athletic player. Many times, it looked as though Stu was soft when I think he was just taking overly cautious angles to compensate for average athleticism by NFL standards. He is a smart player and could do well in a scheme that fits his skill set. I think the Raiders had visions of Vann McElroy when they drafted Schweigert. Now it is Michael Huff’s turn out in space. Huff is definitely athletic enough, now lets hope some good coaching can turn him into the dominate safety we know he can be. I think he might be this years Nnamdi Asomugha blasting his way out of obscurity.

Semi-amusing notes:

* The press is still beating a dead horse by reporting the weight of Jamarcus Russell. It is a non-issue. The real issue is his progress, which is being raved about in camp. I don’t know about the rest of Raider nation, but is it football season yet?

* has DT Anthony Bryant listed as 6-3 187. Now there is your real weighty issue…err story. His mug shot alone weighs 187.

* Michael Smith of ESPN is reporting Terrel Owens has signed a three year extension. Even with one year remaining on his current contract we were already getting the sprinkle before the storm of Owens to Raiders stories. For my thoughts on any Owens to Raiders deal I would like to quote Amy Winehouse in her song rehab ""!