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

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