Tag:Al Davis
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 24, 2011 12:37 am
 

Rosenhaus says Pryor won't appeal suspension

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Depending on who you’re talking to at the time, Terrelle Pryor is either going to appeal his five-game suspension handed down by Roger Goodell or … he’s not going to appeal his five-game suspension handed down by Roger Goodell.

Pryor's Journey to Oakland
During his Pro Day, Pryor’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he wouldn’t appeal the decision, but during an interview on the Monday Night Football telecast, Pryor said he would proceed however Raiders owner Al Davis wanted him to proceed (meaning if Davis said to appeal it, he would).

But now Rosenhaus wants to set the record straight, telling ESPN that Pryor will NOT appeal the suspension. Of course, that’s easy for Rosenhaus to say considering Pryor hasn’t signed a contract yet -- or even been out to Oakland to meet with his new bosses.

Yet, you could envision this leading to a sticky situation.

If Davis -- or CEO Amy Trask -- wants Pryor to appeal, what does he do? Blow off his boss or upset his mega-agent? And where does the NFLPA stand on the issue? What happens if Davis wants him to appeal and Pryor refuses, based on what Rosenhaus has said? Could Pryor go to the NFLPA for help in not appealing a suspension, and could the union protect him from Davis in that way?

I don’t know, but it’d one hell of a (hypothetical and, yes, far-fetched) conundrum that could get mighty interesting to watch.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 22, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 7:29 pm
 

The NFL Supplemental Draft: A brief history



Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Oakland Raiders are who we thought they were: a team madly in love with size and speed. They reaffirmed that love again Monday when they used a third-round pick in the NFL Supplemental Draft to take former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, a prospect most draft analysts and personnel types had pegged as a late-round selection.

Pre-draft analysis matters little now; the Raiders are neither conventional nor particularly interested in what the rest of the football world thinks. Owner Al Davis wants guys who can run faster, throw farther and hit harder than than everybody else. But we already knew that because that's always been the case. Now the question is if Pryor can harness that raw athleticism into something that will make him more than a supplemental draft footnote.

Which brings us to this: Who are some of the best NFL players to come out of the supplemental draft?

Glad you asked -- let's get to this…

Bernie Kosar, QB, University of Miami, 1st round, 1985. According to NFL.com's Elliot Harrison, Kosar finagled his way into the supplemental draft -- and deftly avoided the regular draft -- when his agent failed to file the paperwork by the deadline, and it left Kosar available for the supplemental process later that summer. "Controversy erupted, as Minnesota desperately wanted to draft Kosar, but ultimately Commissioner Pete Rozelle left the decision up to the kid. The rest is history. Kosar led Cleveland to the playoffs five straight seasons from 1985 to 1989, including three AFC Championship Game appearances."

Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma, 1st round, 1987. Bosworth was brash but he was also one of the best linebackers in college history. He opted for the supplemental draft to avoid landing with the Bills or Colts, and ultimately ended up with the Seahawks. Other than a brief acting career that made for unintentionally hilarious moments, Boz is probably best remembered for getting trucked by Bo Jackson.


Cris Carter, WR, Ohio State, 4th round, 1987. Carter played 16 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins, and finished his career with 1,101 catches, 13,899 yards receiving and 130 touchdowns. He was part of the 1998 Vikings team that went 15-1 under head coach Dennis Green (and offensive coordinator Brian Billick), and featured Randall Cunningham at quarterback. Some guy named Randy Moss was a rookie for Minnesota that year, too.

Pryor's Journey to Oakland

Steve Walsh, QB, University of Miami, 1st round, 1989. The Cowboys used a first-round pick on Walsh months after they had taken Troy Aikman in the first round of the regular draft. Then-head coach Jimmy Johnson had coached Walsh at the University of Miami, and presumably he thought Walsh gave the Cowboys the best chance to win. Instead, he started just five games during that first season and never was able to unseat Aikman. The rest (in Dallas, anyway) was history. Walsh had an 11-year NFL career, playing for six NFL teams, even making several playoff appearances.

Bobby Humphrey, RB, Alabama, 1st round, 1989. As a rookie with the Broncos, he rushed for 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns, and played in Super Bowl XXIV, a 55-10 drubbing at the hands of the 49ers. Two years later, Humphrey held out in the hopes of a new contract, the team stood firm, and he finally returned to the field in Week 14. By then, Gaston Green was the Broncos' new back, proving yet again that running backs are fungible.

Rob Moore, WR, Syracuse, 1st round, 1990. He played for 10 NFL seasons with the Jets and Cardinals, his best effort coming in 1997 when he hauled in 97 passes for 1,584 yards, and eight touchdowns. He averaged 99 yards receiving per game that season.

Jamal Williams, DT, Oklahoma State, 2nd round, 1998. It wasn't long ago that Williams was considered one of the most dominating nose tackles in football. Now 35, his game isn't where it once was, but he's still formidable enough to regularly require double-teams. Williams opted for the supplemental draft after he was declared academically ineligible at Oklahoma State.

Ahmad Brooks, LB, Virginia, 3rd round, 2006. Brooks was occasionally described as "the next Ray Lewis" while at UVA, but he was dismissed from the team which explains how he ended up in the supplemental draft. It's hardly surprising that the Bengals took a flier on a player with off-field concerns and amazing physical skills. Also not surprising: a player drafted by the Bengals has yet to live up to expectations. Cincinnati cut Brooks before the 2008 season, and he has spent the last three years with the 49ers, where he has started just once in that time.

Jared Gaither, OT, Maryland, 5th round, 2007. Gaither is another high-upside guy who the Ravens never could properly motivate. He played well enough to earn the starting left tackle job, even after the team drafted Michael Oher. But injuries and a questionable work ethic was enough for Baltimore to let him walk in free agency this summer. Gaither's now with the Chiefs.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State, 3rd round, 2011. To be continued…

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:12 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 9:38 am
 

Who we want to see on Hard Knocks '11

Hard Knocks (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Throughout the lockout that seems neverending -- now at 114 days and counting!!! -- we’ve seen players get arrested, we’ve seen the NFL and the NFLPA come together and then bicker and then come together and then bicker, and we’ve seen players sue their girlfriends for their engagement rings.

Most disturbing, we’ve seen the signs that Brett Favre might want to return for another season.

We’ve also heard plenty about how a lost preseason would cost the NFL $800 million if the lockout continues through August and into September.

But when it comes to the preseason and how much is on the line, you know what we haven’t heard about? We haven’t heard which squad will be the subject of the annual highlight of August –- HBO’s "Hard Knocks."  

Oh, we know which teams have already declined the invitation (or supposedly, declined the invitation). Among them are the Buccaneers, the Broncos, the Lions and the Falcons (who might be open to doing it in the future), and at this point, it seems as if nobody wants to be on the show. Making matters tougher are those who say cooperating with Hard Knocks is a mistake.

Assuming we’ll see a preseason this year that would provide a platform for the Hard Knocks crew to start filming -- and CBSSports.coms’ Mike Freeman writes that it’s getting close --here are five teams we’d like to see featured on Hard Knocks. Many of them might not be interested for one reason or another, but if we have a fantasy roster, this is it.

Panthers


NewtonThe big storyline: Simply put: the entertainer and the icon, Cam Newton. We want to see how he learns the offense; we want to see if his teammates rally around him; we want to get an early idea of whether Carolina made a bad decision last April. Or maybe he’s the next superstar in the game. Either way, he’s one of the biggest storylines of the preseason, and we want to be inside the locker room to see what happens.

The foil: Jimmy Clausen. How is he going to react to Newton? What happens when Newton badly fakes out some defender destined for the practice squad and gains 30 yards on a broken play? Will the director then cut to Clausen as he raises a fist to the sky in anger? And what happens if Clausen, um, actually outplays Newton?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) NFL.com’s Gil Brandt has mentioned in the past couple of days that Favre has offered to help mentor Newton. Can you imagine the video that could come from this, especially if the camera caught Favre alone in the locker room sending a text message? 2) WR Steve Smith: is he going to play for the Panthers or not?

Patriots


The big storyline: The same guy who makes sure this show would never feature his team on his watch. That would be coach Bill Belichick. How fascinating would it be to see how Belichick builds a team and how he relates to his players? Would we get to see Belichick’s team meeting in which he implicitly tells his team how to answer questions from the media (in the most uninteresting way possible)? Kidding aside, we want to see a future Hall of Fame coach behind the scenes and uncensored.

The foil: Rex Ryan. Is there any way to get a split screen of the Jets coach talking trash about Belichick -- hey, he’s not here to kiss anybody’s ring! – while Belichick coldly goes about finding a way to make Ryan pay for his words?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Danny Woodhead: he was on Hard Knocks with the Jets last season, and though he’s not in danger of being cut with New England, I still want to know why Woodhead, all of a sudden, is so freaking good. 2) G Logan Mankins (and his agent) has said some not very complimentary things about the Patriots management, all in the name of landing a large contract. Will he be kinder and gentler this preseason?

Packers


The big storyline: Obviously, the Lombardi Trophy. Hard Knocks has never followed a team the preseason after it won the Super Bowl, so it’d be cool to see the ring ceremony the public wasn’t allowed to witness a few weeks back (I’m assuming Hard Knocks wasn’t actually there, but it’d be cool nonetheless) while watching the Packers attempt a repeat.

The foil: Charles Woodson vs. Tramon Williams. Woodson is the bigger name, but he’s older than Williams and there’s a pretty good chance Williams is the better CB these days. Maybe we’d really get to see if Woodson is close to the end, and if Williams can replace Woodson’s outrageous production.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Would Aaron Rodgers sign autographs for the fans at training camp? Because, as we all know, he doesn’t like signing for cancer patients (I kid, I kid). 2) Last year, little-used cornerback Brandon Underwood had a sexual assault charge hanging over his head all season (he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge). Now, he’s been charged with disorderly conduct after an alleged physical altercation with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Underwood isn’t a great quote, but his story might make for an interesting change of pace on the show.

PhillipsTexans


The big storyline: The will-they-or-won’t-they-fire-him as it relates to coach Gary Kubiak. I’m kind of surprised he’s still coaching in Houston actually, and the last time Hard Knocks featured this kind of storyline, it was Wade Phillips with the Cowboys. Now, Phillips is Kubiak’s defensive coordinator. How hot can that boiler room get anyway?

The foil: The secondary. This is what I wrote in the Texans offseason checkup: “The secondary (Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson) were just tremendously bad. If the Texans can’t get this fixed, it doesn’t matter who’s coordinating the defense, because Houston simply won’t win.” I don’t disagree with that.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Though he came off a bit bumbling in Season 4 with the Cowboys, Phillips is a sympathetic figure. And the man has proved he can coordinate a defense. I want to see how he transforms a 4-3 sieve-like defense into a 3-4 defense that potentially could save Kubiak’s job. 2) Will QB Matt Schaub ever get into the playoffs? He’s the best quarterback in the league who hasn’t gotten there.

Raiders


The big storyline: Obviously, Al Davis, and the one question I want to know. How hands-on is he these days?

The foil: Nnamdi Asomugha: Just like Darrelle Revis last season with the Jets, we’re not going to see too much of the talented free agent cornerback on the TV. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see any of Antonio Cromartie either (psst, see video below).

Two other compelling reasons: 1) New coach Hue Jackson finally gets his chance at running a team. Forget that Tom Cable went 6-0 in the AFC West last year without making the playoffs -- still a pretty damn impressive feat. Davis got rid of him, just like he gets rid of everybody after a couple years. Will Jackson be an exception? 2) Al Davis: Seriously, I want as much Al Davis as possible.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: June 27, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 6:09 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.27.11: Dominique Foxworth does MMQB

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Dominique Foxworth of the Ravens guest-penned Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column on, um, Monday and I gotta tell you, it was awesome. The general premise of the piece is about the lockout, and it's important to remember that even though we think there's a deal getting done, no one knows. Foxworth, in particular, has a great point-of-view, because he missed all of last season with an injury, and is really itching to get out on the field. Also, he dropped the funniest line of the year with "I think cell phones have ruined pushing people into pools." Preach on, brother.
Posted on: June 16, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Possible NFL landing spots for Terrelle Pryor

Posted by Ryan Wilson

If you're of the opinion that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed would be good locker room influences on any player with off-field issues, then you may have no problem with John Clayton's suggestion that the Ravens might be one of five teams willing to take a flyer on Terrelle Pryor. If you don't buy the initial premise (and some folks are understandably skeptical), then the whole argument falls apart.

Writing for ESPN, Clayton admits that "This might be a bit of a reach, but as a lower-round selection Pryor could interest the Ravens as a receiver. Having him learn under Anquan Boldin would be the key. Boldin was a quarterback in college and uses the knowledge gained there to put himself in position to help his quarterback."

We agree. It's a reach. Not because the Ravens aren't willing to gamble with talented but troubled players (they are), but because if we're to take agent Drew Rosenhaus at his word (we'll wait while you quit laughing), he thinks Pryor is not only an NFL quarterback but a "first-round pick."

Perhaps that stance will soften as teams explain to Rosenhaus that his client probably isn't worth more than a fourth-rounder. Although, as Mike Mayock pointed out Wednesday night, "Nobody is better than Rosenhaus in driving perceived value. … Sometimes perceived value is almost as good as real value if he can get enough people talking about [Pryor] as a first-round pick."

Other possible destinations, according to Clayton: Oakland, Miami, Pittsburgh and Washington.
Terrelle Pryor's NFL future

The Raiders makes sense because, well, it's the Raiders. Once Al Davis sees Pryor's 40 time, he very well could be a first-rounder. Still, that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Clayton says the Dolphins "want to add someone to compete against Chad Henne," and we agree. It's just not going to be Pryor. Remember: Miami wasted a second-rounder on Pat White two years ago. Pat White is now out of the NFL.

As for Pittsburgh, Clayton notes that, "Many scouts believe Pryor potentially has Dennis Dixon-like ability as quarterback." Dennis Dixon also never had off-field issues (just the opposite, in fact). He's also been an adequate NFL backup and nothing more. Probably not worth the potential headaches that will accompany Pryor, even if Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is impartial to Ohio State players.

Finally, there are the Redskins. Like the Raiders -- and given their blindfold-and-a-dartboard personnel philosophy -- it makes too much sense not to happen. To Clayton's credit, he calls Pryor-to-Washington a long shot, even given the fact that Mike Shanahan doesn't have an starting-caliber QB currently on the roster.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 9:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 11:06 am
 

Terrelle Pryor to the Raiders is not a good idea

PryorPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor evidently headed to the NFL supplemental draft after deciding to leave the Buckeyes program, there’s been plenty of talk recently about which squads would take a chance on Pryor and what they would be willing to give up to do so.

The Raiders, I suppose, could be one of those teams, and the Oakland Tribune’s Jerry McDonald pens a piece that endorses that idea.

In fact, McDonald’s story reads, “It's a debate that really isn't a debate at all. More of a slam dunk, really. Similar to the dunks Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw down with regularity as a high school basketball star at Jeannette High in southwestern Pennsylvania. If you are Al Davis and have a chance to put a once-in-a-generation athlete on the Raiders for the cost of a third-round pick or later, you do it.”

That theory certainly isn’t widely-held. NFL Film’s Greg Cosell watched film of Pryor last week, and he came away unimpressed. In fact, if there is a supplemental draft, there’s a legitimate question about whether Pryor would be selected at all.

It’s because it seems highly unlikely that Pryor could make it as an NFL quarterback – possibly, a third-stringer at best – and though he’s outstanding athletically, you have to wonder if a team would be willing to drop as little as a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft in order to take Pryor in this year’s supplemental.

Hell, even one UFL team says it wouldn’t be interested in him.

Yet, McDonald argues that the Raiders should be the ones to take Pryor, even if they can’t make him a quarterback.

"What a weapon he would be. You stand next to him and you can't believe what a physical specimen he is," former OSU assistant Doug Plank told McDonald. "He's got great hands, and he's deceptive fast. He just glides away from people – even people in the secondary."

McDonald also writes that Pryor is exactly the kind of athletes that Davis, in the past, has loved. Guys like Bo Jackson and Raghib Ismael come to mind.

For the record, Jackson won the Heisman Trophy and is one of the best college RBs of all time. Ismael finished second in the Heisman race in 1990. Meanwhile, Pryor’s collegiate career is largely considered a disappointment.

And one thing we can’t forget. Jackson and Ismael didn’t have any off-the-field issues coming out of college. Pryor was involved in a tiny matter that ended with his long-time, ridiculously-successful college coach out of a job.

That’s not to say that teams will freeze out Pryor because of those issues, because, in reality, if a guy can play in the NFL, somebody will put him on a roster. But when you have major questions about whether you can play in the first place, that’s a pretty big problem. A problem the Raiders probably don’t need to hoist upon themselves.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 8:39 am
 

Raiders say Davis is not in failing health

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Supposedly, rumors have been bandied about that Raiders owner Al Davis had been hospitalized recently and was in failing health. On Tuesday, the Raiders denied it.

According to Comcast Sports Net, those whispers (which must have been really quiet, considering many of us had never heard them) are simply rumors.

"No, he's not in the hospital," Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said. "He's preparing for the draft and he's working, as always. The rumors are untrue."

The 81-year-old Davis hasn’t spoken publicly since the Jan. 18 news conference to announce Hue Jackson as the new head coach. But these days, long Davis absences are not unusual.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


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