An open apology to Michael Huff

I’m taking a break from my normal Raider ramblings to do something that Colin Cowherd is incapable of conceiving; admitting when you’re wrong.

In this case, I was wrong to have spent the last six months calling out Michael Huff for his inability to live up to the money given to him as the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft.

Ok, so Huff Daddy isn’t exactly Ed Reed but he’s slowly becoming the dynamic talent Al Davis envisioned when he first saw still images of the former Longhorn on his overhead projector. In the first two games of the 2009 season, Huff has quadrupled his career interception total and has been involved in 4 turnovers (3 interceptions and one fumble recovery).

Even though he’s primarily seeing the field as a situational substitute, he’s producing and playing with passion. 

When the Raiders drafted Huff, I was excited. He always caught my eye whenever I saw Texas play. Once he got to the NFL, it seemed more like he was just another one of Mack Brown’s spoiled and pampered recruits who never knew what it was like to have to compete for playing time. Combine Huff’s college pedigree with spending his rookie season under the stoic eye of Art Shell and it becomes clear why things have been so difficult for the gifted safety to find his rhythm.

Whenever he’s on the field now, you’ll mostly likely see #24 somewhere near the ball. As we speak, Matt Cassel and Todd Haley are probably locked away in a dark room in Missouri, scratching their heads as they review game tape, trying desperately to figure out how to avoid both Nnamdi Asomugh and Michael Huff for the November rematch in Oakland.

That same ability to read, react and close with the speed of a cheetah that Al Davis saw of Huff in Austin is what Cassel is seeing over and over again today. Yesterday in Arrowhead, Huff was everywhere. Aside from those two Favres that Cassel threw his way, Huff’s biggest play was the final hit of the game that sealed the 13-10 victory.

This is not to say that Huff has shed the bust label and is on his way to Canton. He’s simply doing all he can to prove haters like me wrong.

When the ’08 season ended, it seemed like Huff was going to take his place on the waiver wire, never to wear Silver and Black again. To his credit, Huff has shown the heart and determination Tom Cable so covets. Instead of simply accepting his lot, Huff has taken every opportunity John Marshall has given him.

Michael Mitchell was an unknown in college until the Raiders picked him in the second round in hopes of replacing Huff. Now it is Huff who is making Mitchell and his tender hamstring an unknown in the NFL as well.

My apologies to you, Mr. Huff.

I am truly sorry for listing the day you were drafted among the worst moments in recent Raider history. If things continue to improve around here, then there is no doubt we could look back at that draft and wonder how scrubs like Reggie Bush and Vince Young were selected ahead of you.


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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Art Shell Ed Reed John Marshall Mack Brown Matt Cassel Michael Huff Michael Mitchell Nnamdi Asomugha Reggie Bush Todd Haley Tom Cable Vince Young

  • Slam

    Huff would be an All Pro player by now if he was in a more stable environment. New coaches every year does not promote excellence. Same could be said for Jamarcus Russell.

    It seems Tom Cable is building a nice little team, I hope his boss stays out of his way.

  • “Dave”

    Yeah, another one of those “soft” players from Mack Brown’s program, like (pro-bowlers) Tony Brackens, Leonard Davis, Michael Griffin, Casey Hampton, Priest Holmes, Shaun Rogers, Winfred Tubbs, Nathan Vasher and Roy Williams… How do these little girls from UT manage to get by in the big, tough NFL?

  • Torpedo

    I’m not one of those doubters. I’ve heard everyone trashing him for a long time. One thing I’ve always pointed out: We had Gonzales and Gates in our division and every since we’ve had him,you haven’t seen them getting the games they generally got before he was here. Mostly because they we’re thrown at. Thank you Huff !! He maybe wasn’t playing center field as well,as we’ld al hoped. But he did always shut those tight ends down !! I’ve been defending JR since we drafted him. He’s been having some tough times,but I haven’t abanded him yet. I still think he’ll be a prennial probowler. I just hope I’m right.
    When we drafted Zack Miller,I saw everyone writting what to we need him for,we don’t need a tight end. Yes,we did need a tight end and I told everybody that and I said I see him going to the probowl. Haven’t got that quite right,but I still see it coming and I think most raider fans can agree with that.

  • Torpedo

    I meant to say in my previous post. Gonzales and Gates we’ren’t thrown at,when Huff was on the field. He just didn’t get the recognition for a job well done,that he should have. You go Huff !! and don’t stop until you get to Canton !!!

  • Leo

    im glad u put this up, I have been pulling for him when many as urself wanted him gone or atleast trashed him…. i was like damm, its still early in his career, he’ll get better! i do like branch as well, but i also wanna see mitchell hit someone… maybe huff can also be our 3rd corner cause routt couldn’t cover a baby with a blanket…

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  • Gabe

    I wonder what would happen if we just showed some patience as fans and let players develop.

    7 years ago Raiders fans were bitching about Sebastian Janikowski and look at him now.

    Huff is another example.

    Can’t we just give Jamarcus/Mcfadden/Bush/Hayward-Bey a few years to figure it out?

    Just a thought….

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