Tag:Oakland Raiders
Posted on: August 29, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: August 31, 2011 10:28 am
 

Podcast: Madden ratings, Arian Foster & Best WRs

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Tuesday is "Madden Day" around the world and to celebrate, Donny Moore, the ratings guru for EA Sports joins the podcast to talk about how EA will handle Peyton Manning's neck injury and Chris Johnson's holdout, whether Terrelle Pryor is worthy of a decent ranking, why Tim Tebow stinks so badly and how awesome Cam Newton will be in the new game. He also fills us in on who the sneakiest best teams to play with are.

Plus, the guys talk about Arian Foster's recent decision to tweet about fantasy football players harassing him over his injury, who has the best wide receiver corps in the NFL, Pryor playing quarterback for the Raiders in the final preseason game, and what the worst positions on each contender are.

Conversatin' starts … now (and while we have you, remember to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.



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Posted on: August 28, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Terrelle Pryor to play QB in final preseason game

Posted by Will Brinson

It feels like we've written about Terrelle Pryor a million times since he decided to bolt Ohio State and head to the NFL. (The actual answer is 62. So there's that.)

Perhaps that's because of his up-and-down status for the NFL's supplemental draft. Or perhaps that's because he's such a talented player who presents tons of upside but remains an enigma, particularly with respect to what position he'll play as a professional.

Whatever, for those that want to see Pryor as a quarterback, you're in luck -- Raiders head coach Hue Jackson told Michelle Tafoya of NBC on Sunday night that Pryor, who didn't play in the third preseason game against New Orleans, will begin his career with Oakland as a quarterback.

"We're gonna start there first and see where we go," Jackson said.

Pryor, who recently signed a four-year deal with Oakland, did some warm-ups under center and was briefly in the silver-and-black uniform and on the sidelines during Sunday's game, but eventually left.

Tafoya also reported that Pryor would be available for the Raiders final preseason game against the Seahawks.

This makes a lot of sense, actually, because you don't see starters get a ton of time during the final exhibition affair, and Pryor will be missing the first five games of the regular season; getting him out there and giving him some run under center won't put anything at risk and it'll at least the Raiders see what Pryor can do in live NFL action.

And since this is the Raiders we're talking about, it wouldn't be shocking to see them give Pryor plenty of run as a quarterback if he looks even remotely competent during the final week of the preseason.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2011 12:17 pm
 

JaMarcus Russell pays off $200K in property taxes

Posted by Will Brinson

JaMarcus Russell is still currently out of football, having successfully submarined his career with enough purple drank that he's behind guys like Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper on the desperation tryout list.

But here's some happy news about the former Raiders quarterback: he's paying off his debts!

So says TMZ, who reports that Russell recently paid back a $223,180.05 property tax lien from the State of California.

Unfortunately, he still owes debt and penalties on a $2.4 million mansion in Oakland that's scheduled to be auctioned off in foreclosure next month.

So he's not paying off all his debts, per se, but he is working through the stack of papers that's sitting on his desk enough to kick back more than two hundred grand in property taxes.

Although considering that he made $60 million guaranteed from the Raiders, you'd think he might have enough hanging around/left over in order to keep himself from completely falling into debt and losing all the nice things he's got.

But you'd also think he'd still be in the league less than five years after being the No. 1 overall pick. And you'd be wrong.

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Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Comparing and contrasting Pryor and Mallett

PryorPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Rookie quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Terrelle Pryor are not so dissimilar. Both were third round draft picks -- Mallett last April and Pryor in the supplemental draft -- and both come to the NFL with character marks that have been branded on them by a lack of discipline.

Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole compares the two and tries to explain why they will or will not succeed with the team that drafted them.

And while we’ve already discussed how these two players will affect their teams as rookies, Cole presents some interesting theories.

Yeah, it doesn’t take a soothsayer to predict that Pryor might be in trouble now that the Raiders have their paws on him, but Cole writes that Pryor’s biggest career problem is that nobody has had the audacity to tell him no. Not in high school and not former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

While Raiders coach Hue Jackson will try to make his mark on Pryor, it’s also documented that Oakland owner Al Davis doesn’t exactly back up his coaches when it comes to disciplining his players. Writes Cole: “Davis picked [JaMarcus] Russell, seeing him as the second-coming of [Jim] Plunkett from an athletic perspective. Davis then let Russell run wild over coaches Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable. Those coaches tried to discipline Russell from time to time, but Davis either waived the fines or didn’t do anything until it was way too late.”

And we all know where Russell is these days (well, actually we don’t, which is kind of the point).

R. Mallett is adjusting to his new surroundings in New England (Getty).Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn’t have a problem letting his players know the way he wants things done, which means Mallett will have to adjust. And Cole has another interesting tidbit about all the partying Mallett is alleged to have done before training camp began. Writes Cole: “Aside from the sordid tales of him from college, the latest story about him was the all-night partying he did at the NFL Players Association rookie symposium in Sarasota, Fla., in July, according to two sources.”

Which probably isn’t a good idea, especially if the biggest predraft concern by teams -- and probably the reason he slipped to the third round -- was because of his off-the-field behaviors.

You can’t be stupid and play quarterback in the NFL, and right now, the jury is still out on how much sense Mallett has in his brain.

So, aside from what round they were drafted and the concerns about their character, you have to wonder how we’ll be discussing Pryor and Mallett five years from now. Obviously, there’s now way to tell, but if we’re discussing which of the quarterbacks has a better chance to succeed on where he was drafted, you’d have to give the nod to Mallett at this point.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Kiffin says 'almost impossible' to win with Davis

Lane Kiffin took shots at his former boss, Oakland owner Al Davis (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Raiders owner Al Davis is an easy figure to mock.

His organization’s obsession with drafting speed -- Exhibit No. 1,240: Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft -- can be laughable. His press conferences, though very infrequent at this point in his life, are fascinating as much for his physical appearance as what he’s actually saying. And his decisions on the coaches who will lead his team are … well … questionable at best (Art Shell again? Tom Cable? Lane Kiffin?).

People forget that he was a well-respected Raiders coach in the 1960s, and many of the ideas he brought to the game (or, you know, took from others) were influential into making the NFL what it’s become today.

But could anybody make an argument that Davis’ time hasn’t passed him by?

Kiffin certainly wouldn’t, as he makes perfectly clear in this ESPN interview when asked whether it was impossible to win in Oakland.

“It is almost impossible,” Kiffin said. “I don't know why I didn't listen, [because] so many people told me that. That's why, if you ask [Steve Sarkisian], he didn't go. He had a chance to go. You're just so far behind other clubs. You're waiting for [Davis] to wake up and come to work at 2 o'clock in the afternoon to make decisions that the rest of the league is making at 6 o'clock in the morning. You're still running videotapes over to the hotel so he can watch practice at night.”

Kiffin was also asked about Davis’ use of an overhead projector at the presser to announce Kiffin’s firing and if that was a metaphor for the way Davis runs his team.

“It was sad, really, to see somebody who's accomplished so much in his career and been such a powerful figure in the NFL ... to see that was actually pretty sad to watch,” Kiffin said. “But you're exactly right, an overhead projector -- that describes the pace that you're dealing with of the way an organization is being run.”

Of course, you have to consider the source, considering Kiffin flaked out at the University of Tennessee before taking the head coaching job at Southern California and then tried to hire a Titans coach behind Jeff Fisher's back. And though some of what he says comes off as cruel, he’s not necessarily wrong.

But remember, when Davis fired Kiffin, he held a news conference in which he basically ripped the hell out of Kiffin and pointed out all his deficiencies, saying, “I think he conned me like he conned all you people.”

Kiffin, I’m sure, hasn’t forgotten that. And, like I said, Davis is not a hard figure to find if you want to take your shots at him. It's actually pretty sad that Kiffin has decided he wanted to pick on his 82-year-old former boss.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 2:42 pm
 

Raiders sign Lito Sheppard

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Raiders signed veteran cornerback Lito Sheppard Friday, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore. Sheppard, the Eagles' 2002 first-round pick and a 10-year NFL veteran, adds depth to Oakland's secondary. Starting cornerback Chris Johnson recently had an undisclosed surgery, and rookie third-rounder DeMarcus Van Dyke missed the last two practices with an undisclosed injury, according to the Oakland Tribune's Jerry McDonald.

Sheppard spent the first seven years of his career in Philadelphia where he was a two-time Pro Bowler. During that time he teamed with Sheldon Brown, Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis to form one of the league's best secondaries. But as often happens, age and wear and tear have caught up to Sheppard, now 30. He started nine games for the Jets in 2009 but saw that number fall to two last year in Minnesota.

Sheppard has 19 career interceptions, 10 of which came in 2005 and 2006, his two Pro Bowl seasons.

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Posted on: August 25, 2011 9:29 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 6:17 am
 

Raiders sign Terrelle Pryor to four-year deal

Posted by Will Brinson

Terrelle Pryor's been one of the most talked-about players in the NFL this offseason, thanks to his awkward status with the NFL for the supplemental draft and the inevitable eventual decision by the Raiders to snare him in the third round.

Now it appears he's finally a member of an NFL franchise, as he's in California with the team and set to sign a four-year deal with Oakland.

"We expect him to sign tonight," Raiders exec John Herrera said, via the Associated Press.

Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the contract includes a $586,000 signing bonus and base salaries of $375,000, $485,000, $595,000 and $645,000 in each of the respective years. The 2011 number does not include the amount (more than $100,000) that Pryor will lose because of the five-game suspension he has to serve to start the year.

Pryor will be eligible to begin practicing with the team Friday, pending his signature on Thursday of course, and could conceivably play with the team in its final preseason on September 2 against the Seahawks.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Casserly: OAK draft strategy for Pryor was sound



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's easy to make fun of the Raiders. Since losing to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl following the 2002 season, Oakland has averaged 4.6 wins a year, and it's only that high because they went 8-8 in 2010. (Between '02 and '10, the Raiders hadn't won more than five games in a season.)

Then there's the suspect draft strategy (2007 first-overall pick JaMarcus Russell is the lowlight), and the organization's fascination with speed. Since 2005, the team has taken Stanford Routt, Fabian Washington, Michael Huff, Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey in either the first or second round, and they can all fly.

So it wasn't much of a shock when the Raiders landed Terrelle Pryor in Monday's NFL Supplemental Draft. Pryor ran a 4.36 40 at his pro day and blew onlookers away with his freakish athleticism.

What was surprising, however, was that Oakland gave up a third-round pick for Pryor. Between the time Pryor left school in June and Monday's draft, most draft experts and personnel types considered him worth no more than a fourth-rounder. But Charley Casserly, a former NFL General Manager now working for CBS Sports, says the Raiders did the right thing.

"When you're drafting, and especially in the supplemental draft, you're trying to figure out where guys are going to go and what round to pick them in," Casserly told CBSSports.com on Tuesday. "But with so few players in the supplemental draft, this is a guessing game. You can put a value on a player … but there's a little bit an element of guessing. The consensus that I was getting is that most people thought this [Pryor] was a fourth-round pick. Well, when you do that, you pick a round ahead."

Unlike the regular draft held in April, the supplemental draft is an auction. Teams submit bids. Should multiple bids come in, they're ranked by round and then by record. The team with the worst record and highest-round bid lands the player.

"That's how you strategize in the supplemental draft," Casserly said.

So the price of doing business in the supplemental draft is a one-round mark-up. A player worth a fourth-rounder in April will cost you a third-rounder in August (note: the supplemental draft is usually in July; because of the lockout it was pushed back a month).

Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Pryor for the first five games of the season, which means he's basically redshirting his rookie NFL season. Casserly seemed unconcerned.

"Pryor's going into a good situation where he's not going to have to play right away," he said. "The Raiders are always committed to long-term development of players … and that's what he needs because this year is going to be a total wash for him. Without OTAs and training camp, where's he going to learn to play quarterback?"

The Raiders have every intention of letting Pryor play quarterback until he proves otherwise. We asked Casserly if Pryor would be okay with a position change.

"I think [the Raiders] will have a way of making it okay," he said, adding: "You know, they're paying him. But they're going to look at him at quarterback. … He's a project -- a big project -- and next year's almost going to be a quasi-rookie year for him in training camp. … Al Davis has done a great job of taking athletes and finding places for him to play. So you can bet they'll look at him at other positions in the next 12 months."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com