Monday, August 30, 2010

Official Fox Sports Sleeper Pick for 2010: Your Oakland Raiders?

Ginger Jesus turned me on to this one by posting it on another buddy's wall, and it's one of those things that's so weird it almost qualifies for a Hater of the Week post. Actually, Solomon Wilcots still might get one.

Anyway, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports picks the Raiders to go 10-6, make the playoffs, and shock just about everyone. It's well worth reading, even with the crack about being alone on the bandwagon with a bunch of "freaks with spikes and face-paint on."

Oh, and Wilcots, quoted in the column, compares the Raiders to a bimbo:
“The Raiders are like that pretty girl in the pretty dress," said Wilcots. "Everything looks great. But then she can’t read the darn cue cards.”
That's lame. But hey, the best the CLOAK has been able to muster is an upgrade from "Dumbest Team in America" to "I want to Believe."

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Last night's preseason win over the Bears has me feeling pretty good about the Raiders. Main observations:
  • The pass rush and defensive front looks incredible
  • O-line - not bad
  • Wide receivers - we still need help here
If Kamerion Wimbley plays anything like he did last night during the regular season, the Raiders are in excellent shape. Four sacks in the first half. The whole D-line looked great, with Tommy Kelly in on the action as well. The complete revamp of the LB corps looks outstanding right now, and moving up Trevor Scott and Wimbley to rush the passer in nickel situations is paying off. McClain can tackle. Sure, he overran the play that looked disturbingly similar to last year's run defense (Forte for 89 yards), but when he hits guys, they go down.

The O line is a big question mark, but looked pretty solid against some good players on the Bears. One of my favorite plays of the game came in the second quarter when Henderson stood up Julius Peppers in a 1-on-1 situation, then Gallery came over to help and put him on the ground, hard. Despite a couple of dumb penalties on the opening drive - which the Raiders overcame, a great sign in itself - Gallery looks terrific.

As for the wide receivers, it's a good thing we have Louis Murphy. No one else looked good. Even JLH, who had a nice catch, still looks a bit lost out there. Hopefully Schilens and DHB are not really hurt and we're just saving them for the regular season. Otherwise Zach Miller will be way overworked. It looked to me last night like Campbell was skipping an open Zach on several plays to try and get the ball to WRs. At least I hope that's the case...

So far this year my least favorite guy is #23, Jeremy Ware. He seems to have that rare blend of overconfidence and incompetence that leads to fourth down TD passes like the Bears' second score.

Of note, Bo Jackson was at the game last night and he told Greg Papa that his best ever 40 time was a 4.14. He looked even faster than that with pads on.

Overall, relatively dominant game by the Raiders. Jerry points out the success they had with the screen play on offense. That was another good thing to see.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

He Looks Good Getting Off the Bus

Old news, I know...but gotta get the CLOAK fired up a bit now that it's August. Hopefully our many readers did not miss this one about Richard Seymour. When camp kicked off, he was the first one off the rookie bus, making statements like this: "Camp is the foundation you build your success on."

This is the culture change that has been a frequent Cable topic of late. As in every season, there are many question marks but after a terrific "Raider season" this year, there are at least as many reasons for optimism. And thankfully, we don't have to wrestle with answers to questions like, "Are Art Shell and Tom Walsh the right guys?" or "Is JaMarcus ready to take the next step?" this year.