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Old 01-05-2010, 02:48 AM    (permalink
Paranoidmoonduck
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Default Review of 2009

Now that this season is wrapped up for the Raiders, let's take a look back...


Pleasant Surprises

Bruce Gradkowski - The list of positives for Oakland this year has to start with Gradkowski, the guy who was fighting for the 3rd quarterback spot in the preseason. He only started 4 games and only posted a passer rating of 80.6, but we saw an entirely different offense with him under center. Whether Bruce gets a fair shake at the starting job next season is yet to be seen, but I believe he should.

Tyvon Branch - This kid absolutely exceeded my expectations. He came into the NFL as a cornerback weighing under 200 lbs and after only one year of special teams work transformed himself into quite the strong safety, leading all defensive backs in tackles for 2009. I had my doubts that he'd be able to be as physical as we needed him to be, but he proved to be a willing and aggressive tackler who was fairly strong in coverage.

Louis Murphy - Murphy was sort of an afterthought with all the attention (mostly negative) than surrounded the selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey in the first round. I knew he was a good receiver, but he came from a school with a spotty track record for wideouts and from an offense that was nothing like our own. Sure, Murphy had a few rough games with lapses in concentration and dropped balls, but he arguably came up even bigger at times than Zach Miller did for us.

Matt Shaughnessy - He only started two games, but outside of Richard Seymour, one could make the argument that Shaughnessy was our best defensive lineman. He wasn't a fantastic pass rusher, but he consistently played to the whistle and helped keep the edge against the run, something Oakland has needed for seasons.


Depressing Disappointments

Thomas Howard - While Kirk Morrison continues to receive the most flack from Raider fans, it's Howard who failed to take that step forward that we've been anticipating from him since his great sophomore campaign. He's a great athlete, but his disruptive moments were fewer and farther in between in 2009 and it's far from a sure thing that he gets brought back for the 2010 season.

Chris Johnson - Johnson finished 2008 so strongly, I was almost convinced we had corner capable of handling the attention that playing opposite Asomugha generates. Sadly, almost from the get-go, the Johnson we got this year was sloppy and despite his blazing speed was regularly beat deep. I'm not even sure he was better than Stanford Routt.

JaMarcus Russell - There's no much to say here that hasn't already been said. He's talented, he'll go through streaks of making great throws (throws only he can make), but he lackadaisical both on and off the field. He's not going to be the guy to lead this team and it appears that Al Davis finally gets that. He may be given a shot to win the job for 2010 but he'll have to show a work ethic he hasn't even come close to mustering so far in his career.

Awards

Most Valuable Player(s) - Sebastian Janikowski/Shane Lechler
While the team in general struggled, both Lecher and Janikowski had their best years ever. Janikowski missed one field goal inside of 50 yards all year and nailed a career long 61 yarder (the 4th longest FG in NFL history). On top of that he managed to score essentially half of all of Oakland's points this season and became the first player to score 1000 points as a Raiders. As for Lechler, he may have had the best season by a punter in modern NFL history. He fell just short (3/10 of a yard) of breaking Sammie Baugh's 70 year old punting average record. It was a pleasure to watch both of these guys work.
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:53 AM    (permalink
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Id also say Mario Henderson was a disappointment. Most of us thought he could be a franchise LT for us after we saw him shut down 3 good DE's last year. He played alright, but looks like we need an upgrade at LT if we ever want to get better. He would be our RT and draft/sign/trade for a legit LT
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:58 AM    (permalink
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Id also say Mario Henderson was a disappointment. Most of us thought he could be a franchise LT for us after we saw him shut down 3 good DE's last year. He played alright, but looks like we need an upgrade at LT if we ever want to get better. He would be our RT and draft/sign/trade for a legit LT
See, I never thought this would be the case. Everyone got all excited after he played well against Mario Williams last year, but I was pretty skeptical. Little doubt that he's not the future, but he played about how I expected.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:43 AM    (permalink
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We have a few positives to walk away with, after another disappointing season.

Shaughnessy, Branch and Scott... these guys are building blocks are defense.

I thought Shaughnessy was another wasted pick in the 3rd, but he was one of the best rookie D-linemen this season. I know 4 sacks isn't much but I'm not judging by sacks, he was very aggressive all season, made some nice plays behind the LOS.

Tyvon Branch at times was amazing, still has a few things to clean but with the play of Huff and Mitchell in the mix no way we draft Mays.

Scott looks like he could be a 10+ sack rush backer in a 3-4, I like the way we used him, caused a lot of misses matches, if he was standing up from week one, he would have easily got double digit sacks.



Schilens, Bush and Miller on offense.

Schilens is awesome, we missed him a lot in the first half of the season, I thought we were overrating him a bit last year but if he can stay health he could be special.

I think Michael Bush is the answer at RB, if he would just start and get his 15-25 carries a game is would smash 1,000 yards on the season.

Zach Miller is everything we have been looking for in a TE, Doug Jolly, Teyo Johnson, Anderson, all those TEs and we finally found him, Miller is a very special player. 800 yards, that's awesome.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:19 PM    (permalink
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Can't wait to see more of Mitchelle more dude is a monster blitzer who would needs to work on his cover skills so he can get more playing time.

Shaughnessy was a surprise but needs to develop a pass rush.if not then he will just turn into another J.Richardson.But I like what I saw.

Miller should be the number 1 number 1 guy we build this offense around,not McFadden not Chaz not Murphy.Miller needs to be option 1 on this offense.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:32 AM    (permalink
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The ideal situation going into next season would be to implement a constant spread attack in some ways similar to what the Patriots like to do (not necessarily through the hiring of a guy like Mike Leach). Our personnel fits this system exceptionally well. It’s especially appealing when you consider that the coaching staff continues to neglect Bush of his carries when he should be the focal point of Cable's offense.

We are stockpiled with receiving threats, some of which have been underutilized in our pro-style attack, and this could solve a few issues here including pass protection (to an extent). I do recall us going into a variety of three and four receiver looks in the second half of the season; I'm just looking for this to become more of a base offense. A big reason why we didn't go to this look earlier in the year was undeniably because of JaMarcus, and if we could somehow get Gradkowski running these offensive schemes full-time then we could really have something on our hands.

By some means I want to incorporate this into my post, but I'd love to add one more receiver for this particular system, and that'd be Jacoby Ford of Clemson. Ford has experience playing multiple receiver positions as well as possessing Al's desired world-class speed, and that'd be a welcomed addition to what we could potentially be doing on offense next year. You could say that his skills would overlap with what we already have in McFadden and Higgins; however, I’m not completely convinced Higgins will return after another subpar receiving season to compound his diminishing return skills, while McFadden wouldn’t likely interfere with Ford’s role because of his ability to line up in the backfield and anywhere else on the field.

One potential name we could see added to our list of “pleasant surprises” for next year is Nick Miller. The fact he was never placed on IR tells you all you need to know about the organization’s expectations and eagerness to get this kid into a Raider uniform. 2010 could conceivably make it all a worthwhile wait.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:31 PM    (permalink
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One potential name we could see added to our list of “pleasant surprises” for next year is Nick Miller. The fact he was never placed on IR tells you all you need to know about the organization’s expectations and eagerness to get this kid into a Raider uniform. 2010 could conceivably make it all a worthwhile wait.
According to the Raiders website, Nick Miller is on IR.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:49 PM    (permalink
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The spread offense worked a lot better when Frye was QB IMO.He was on his way to another 300 yard game before getting hurt and that pass to Miller wow!

the spread is nice but its hard to run it when your OT's are not the greatest or good pass blockers.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:05 PM    (permalink
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According to the Raiders website, Nick Miller is on IR.
I was too lazy to check. Must've been very late into the season, that much I know.

EDIT: Placed on IR on December 30th.

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Old 01-09-2010, 02:38 AM    (permalink
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He would be our RT and draft/sign/trade for a legit LT
He'd be an even worse RT. Dude run blocks about as well as DHB catches. He's a backup. That's it.
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