More questions mount as the Raider off-season advances


The careful and cautious approach that the Oakland Raider front office has taken this off-season has been a refreshing departure from the miscalculated cash catastrophe of 2008.

Still, there is something that feels amiss.

As if lost in the euphoria of late season success, the desire of the team to build and not destroy has become a mantra of not tampering with an unachieved perfection. A blind man need not sit through a single game. He needed only to listen carefully in order to hear the moans of agony that bellowed from the drunken gut of Raider Nation over the past six years.

Three wins in the final six games were a signal of hope, but by no means was it a rapid return to glory.

Day after day, rumor after rumor floods the internet. Beat writers report their leads and bloggers follow suit to spread said rumors amongst a thirsty public.

None of these rumored free agent acquisitions have come to fruition.

Contract talks with Khalif Barnes began. Then reports of a pending agreement quickly went the way of the arrival of Terrell Owens in Oakland. Speculation and nothing more.

Kyle Boller and Kevin Burnett were said to have visited the East Bay. Burnett signed with San Diego, Boller is still unemployed.

Each week, a new author pens a post on their website that describes a possible trade or contract negotiation which will never come to pass, leaving fans to wonder if there are that many bored Raider fans out there or if the front office is in need of someone to aid in closing deals.

I will refrain from taking shots at other outlets that have been quick to pull the trigger on publishing erroneous reports. My years of following Raider football tell me to remain patient while awaiting the higher purpose to be revealed.

Now there is but one question. When?

When will we begin to see the roster take shape for 2009?

It is clear that the youth movement has become the modus operandi for Tom Cable and his staff.

What is not clear, to faithful Raider fans, is what that entails. Are we to expect a team composed primarily of young players and draft picks to take the field in 2009? Is 2009 to be a year of building for the future? What happened to Tom Cable’s promise of a return to the playoffs?

Who will be playing safety now that Gibril Wilson is collecting checks in South Beach? Is Erik Pears going to be the new starting tackle? Are we to anticipate a rookie playing center? Is the staff gambling on Michael Crabtree to be available at #7?

Questions mount while few answers rise to the surface.

The blind hope is that all moves, or lack thereof, are being done in a precise manner.  There is still plenty of time between now and the first kick of the regular season. Due to the lack of free agency news, one cannot help but wonder if there is a plan in place or a simple change of ideals in response to a near decade of demise.

Only time will tell. For now, hungry Raider fans are becoming accustomed to going to bed on an empty stomach night after night.

 

Chris Shellcroft

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Tags: Erik Pears Gibril Wilson Kevin Burnett Khalif Barnes Kyle Boller Michael Crabtree Tom Cable

  • ozraiders

    OZRAIDERS,New kid on the blog![RAIDERS FAN SINCE67]The way I see thing is not Negative like all of you.Isee it Positive,First when AL took the BLACK AND SILVER RAIDERS in the 60s they were a buch of kids who PLAYED FOR RESPECT! Now AL and COACH CABLE,have the KICKING IN IS PLACE,QB IS STRONG AND YOUNG,1YR EXP,CONERS WITH A ,C JOHNSON ARE IN PLACE,RUNNING SCHEME[THREE HEADED MONSTER IS IN PLACE],TIDE ENDS 2YRS ARE IN PLACE,NEW COACHES ARE IN PLACE,MEATHEAD-ROB RYAN IS GONE!A NEW DEFENSIVE COOARDINATOR W/new defence IS IN PLACE.THE OLD MUMMIES[bones]left.A new 2009 DRAFT IS COMMING.AL AND COACH CABLE HAVE A NEW YEAR,WITH A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.We have enouh time to “BRING ALL THE COACHES,DEF,OFF,SPECIAL TEAM,RECEIVERS COACH,BACK FIELD,AND WHOLE RAIDERS ADMINISTRATION,OH YEA! TO HELP US PICK 2[good &tall wide receivers],[2 OT OR OFFENSIVE LINE 6'4 -6'10 300LBS LINE MAN TO PROTECT JR,plus last years boy [GALLERY AND FRIEDS]PLUG THE LINE! On Defence [SHOW THE DEFENSIVE COARDINATOR AND COACHES] HOW OAKLAND MADE ,SO MANY MISTACKLES.DEFENSIVE MISTAKES ON 3 DOWNS,HOW THEY THREW AT US ALL DAY DOWN THE MIDDLE AND HOW WE WERE EMBARACE BY “MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL AND SHANNAHAN”HOW LT AND OTHER RUNNING BACKS CAN RUN AT US AT WILL[lol]and ask him if he see the SAME THING WE ARE SEEING!!!and also ask if we have time to STOP GETTING BEAT ON THE NEXT MONDAY NIGHT GAME OR WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL 2yrs FROM NOW 2011.Then OPEN CAMP EARLY IN AND BRING NEW KIDS FROM EVERYWERE TO PLAY IN THE OPEN FIELD AND THEIR PARENTS 21 AND OVER OF COARSE to see if[MY BOY IS BETTER THAN YOURS]in every position, and that how we bring “THE NEW SHELLS, UPSHAWS,TATUMS,HAYES,OTTOS,LAMONICAS,STABLERS,BRANCHVAN EEGANS,VILLIPIANO,DAVIDSON,BLANDAS AND OTHER HEROS THAT ADDORN THE SILVER WALLS OF THE COLOSEUM.

  • COMPTONRAIDERTITE

    GOOD COMMENT LOST ME A LIL BUT AS A RAIDER FAN U R ENTITLED

  • COMPTON RAIDER TITE

    GOOD COMMENTARY C. SHELLCROFT, I ALSO AGREE THAT THE RAIDERS ARE APPROACHING THIS OFF-SEASON WITH GOOD FOOTBALL WISDOM NO NEED TO JUMP INTO SKEPTICAL DEALS &/OR FREE AGENCY. LIKE COACH CABLE SAID WE ALL PUT ON HELMETS & PADS & TRY TO KNOCC EACHOTHERS HEADS OFF TO WIN, BABY JUST WIN! I LIKE COACH CABLE AT THE HELM WHO ELSE WANTED TO BE THE HEAD COACH MORE THAN TOM. + HE WAS A FAN GROWING UP AND HE’S NOT JUST SAYING THAT FOR DAVIS’ POINTS. I’M ALSO GLAD THAT MR.(PANIC)AKA RYAN IS OUTTA HERE TIME AFTER TIME I ‘D WATCH THE RAIDERS PLAY DECENT MAN COVERAGE AND AFTER A 1 OR 2 SCORE LEAD START PLAYING PREVENT IT WOULD PISS ME OFF. BUT WHEN COACH CABLE WENT THROUGH THE FRONT OFFICE CUTTING CABLES WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE UNDERMINING THE TEAM ALL ALONG. THE PLAYERS WERE WILLING TO PLAY FOR A GUY WHO HAS BEEN IN THE TRENCHES, LITTERALLY, & IN THE TRENCHES ARE WHERE GAMES ARE WON BABY WON. SO HE KNOWS TALENTED LINEMEN O AND D SO IF HE CAN CONTINUE TO WIN THIS TEAM OVER THE RAIDERS CAN WIN THE DIVISION AS LONG AS THE DEFENSE BUYS WHAT DEFENSIVE COORD. IS SELLING.
    I’M SOLD ALREADY ON D COACH DUDE FROM SEATTLE FOR WE HAVE WAY MORE TALENT ON DEFENSE THAN THE SEAHAWKS HAD. WE RANKED 2ND IN POINTS ALLOWED IN THE AFC WEST. LONG LIVE THE RAIDERS & AS LONG AS THE RAIDERS WILL BE HATED ON BY THE MEDIA AND NFL WE WILL STILL ALWAYS BE RRRRRRRRRRRRAIDRS .TITE OUT
    1ST TIME BLOGGER HOPE I WENT AT IT RAIDER FOR LIFE BORN ’74

  • LechlerFan

    Here’s what I see as the very best case scenario for the Raiders. First off, pick up a free agent left tackle! It doesn’t have to be Barnes, just get someone decent to bring depth and competition at the position. Also pick up Angelo Crowell from the Bills. Good, inexpensive player. In the draft, trade down with the Lions (this is optimistic AND fairly realistic, I think). They get our #7 so they can get their quarterback AND left tackle of the future. We get their #20 and #65 pick. We take Ziggy Hood at #20, Unger in the second round, Chris Clemons (SS) with our #65, a left tackle of Cable and Michalczik’s choosing at #71 (Kropog maybe?), Zach Follette (OLB) in the fourth, Philip Hunt (DE) in the 6th, and then do what it takes to get wherever we need to get (as long as it’s no earlier than the 6th) to get Brandon Tate (WR) if he’s still around. Maybe trade a 2010 6th rounder and our 7th rounder this year. Tate was having an amazing senior year before hurting his knee and missing the rest of the season. Sounds similar to Mike Bush and sounds like Al Davis. What do you think?