In this continuing segment, “Ask an Oakland Raiders Fan,” Just Blog Baby had the pleasure of being contacted by Alex Martinez. Alex is from Sunnyvale, California, and he has been a Raiders fan since he was 5. He is 19 years of age and a full-time college student. He is a die-hard and passionate Raiders fan. He loves attending home games, and he is inspired when Raider Nation unites. When hears the unmistakable Raiders Cry, “RAAAAAAIIDERS,” it gets him fired up. That’s when you know you are in the Raiders home, the coliseum.
Alex answered the following questions for me, and these were his responses:
1. How well do you think the Oakland Raiders will perform in 2013? Discuss.
“I’m sensing we are going to have a very surprising season. We will surprise many “experts” and analysts. I predict that Darren McFadden will have a great season, if he can manage to stay healthy. I strongly believe our new Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano will ignite our O-line, especially since we are returning to our best fit scheme, power running. I don’t see Matt Flynn becoming an elite or terrific quarterback, but I see him becoming a great game managing QB. I would rather have Flynn throwing short to intermediate safe throws than high risk long interception throws that Carson Palmer would throw.”
“Our Linebacker group, as well as our Defensive Back group, will compensate for our “weak” Defensive Line. The additions of Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava, Sio Moore, and getting rid of that cancer Rolando McClain, means that we have surely improved at LB. I’m truly excited to see our DB’s. D.J. Hayden, Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins, the great Charles Woodson, along with Tyvon Branch, are going to do great things and play extremely solid. I see 7-9, or an 8-8 season this year. A promising 2014 season is ahead of us, and we should all be excited.”
2. What is your favorite off-season move that was made by the Oakland Raiders? Explain.
“One of my favorite offseason moves made this year was the switch back to power running scheme and the hiring of Tony Sparano. These two things come hand in hand. If you do your research on Tony Sparano as an Offensive Line Coach, you’ll notice that most of his running groups that he’s had in the past, if not all, average about 4.3 yards per carry. This is something I found astonishing. Great move by Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie.”
3. Can Denarius Moore become an elite receiver? If so, what must he do to become one?
“D-Moore has all the tools and assets to become one. What he must do to become elite is to make sure to do his homework, and he has to understand the offensive system and play book. Basically, he needs to become a team student, student in the film room, etc… I remember when he was benched last year for not running the correct routes, etc… Of course I don’t blame him entirely (Greg Knapp was the Offensive Coordinator of course). Also, he must step up and be a team leader. Through his play and dedication to learn the play book, he will help his younger receivers, especially this coming season.”
4. Who is your favorite Oakland Raider of all time, and why?
“My favorite Raider of all time is James William Plunkett (Jim Plunkett). He comes from the same Hispanic background that I do. He is the first Hispanic quarterback to win a Super Bowl (2x). He was born in San Jose, CA, which is only a 20 minute drive from where I’m from. He went to Stanford. He truly is one of the prime examples of what a raider was back in the 70’s/80′s. He’s gone from having been a cast off and a “bust” to revitalizing his career and expectations in Oakland, and the Raiders are a team that gave many no-name players a name to remember. It’s a shame he isn’t in the Hall of Fame.”
5. What is your favorite Oakland Raiders memory and what is a typical tailgate party like for you at home games?
“I have two favorite memories. First was when Tyvon Branch signed and gave me his glove back during his second season, which was at the Raider Nation Celebration Open House practice at the coliseum a week before kick off to the 2009 season. Second would be my first ever home game. It was against the Cincinnati Bengals during the 2009 season. The Bengals were considered a deep playoff favorite, and Chad Johnson was in town with Carson Palmer. I still remember Andre Caldwell muffing his punt and Brandon Myers recovering it late in the 4th with us tied 20-20. From there, the rest was history with seabass (Sebastian Janikowski) kicking a game winner. It was awesome.”
“A typical tailgate party consist of my family and friends kicking back, barbecuing, and listening to Oakland Raiders music blasting while getting hyped up with the rest of the Nation.”
That’s totally a “Just Win Baby” moment in Raiders history Alex. Another one of my favorite Raiders memories is when they beat the Denver Broncos 59-14, at Mile High Stadium, during the 2010 season. I hope we do it again this year!
I would like to extend my thanks to Alex Martinez for taking the time to conduct this interview and for sharing some of his personal moments with us. Again, if any of Raider Nation would like a chance to answer a few questions themselves, please contact me via email. I will be continuing this segment through July 25th (The start of training camp).
Topics: Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, Charles Woodson, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, DJ Hayden, Greg Knapp, Jim Plunkett, Kaluka Maiava, Kevin Burnett, Mike Jenkins, Nick Roach, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Rolando McClain, Sebastian Janikowski, Sio Moore, Tony Sparano, Tracy Porter, Tyvon Branch