Tag:Al Davis
Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:20 am
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Raiders issue gag order for Campbell to press

Posted by Will Brinson

Jason Campbell was officially benched by the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday. Naturally, people in the press were curious what he thought about being benched for Bruce Gradkowski after playing like JaMarcus Russell.

Campbell, however, wasn't talking. But not because he was just being a jerk about things -- according to Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle , Campbell was "asked by the team not to talk to reporters."

That is, naturally, absolutely ridiculous.

And totally unsurprising -- this is the Raiders we're talking about after all. The problem for Campbell given the circumstances is that if Gradkowski falters against the Cardinals (and how embarrassing would that be?), then the quarterback controversy gets ramped back up and Campbell gets put in a position to win his starting job back.

So, if he decides to go against team rules and talk to the press, it's highly unlikely that he'll get to take starting snaps again. Plus, Campbell's not that type of guy; look no further than his team-first behavior in Washington while he was being treated like the unwanted step-child whenever another quarterback (Jay Cutler, Donovan McNabb) became available for trade.

It's just sad that he finally got out of a nightmarish situation in Washington ... only to end up in a worse one in Oakland. But the fact that the Raiders are presenting him with a shiny, happy opportunity to enjoy himself isn't that shocking either.

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 2:50 pm
 

Report: Gradkowski named starter in Oakland

Posted by Will Brinson

Well, the Jason Campbell Era wasn't exactly a big success in Oakland -- just two games into the season, coach Tom Cable (with a lil' help from Al Davis, one would imagine) has pulled the plug on Campbell and inserted Bruce Gradkowski into the starting lineup for the Raiders.

That's according to a report from Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network , who cites a source with knowledge of the situation.

The news isn't that shocking: Campbell's been awful this year, inspiring comparisons to JaMarcus Russell. He's been so bad -- think about this -- that he got pulled in the middle of the game against the Rams and replaced by Gradkowski. That's really bad.

People will point to the fact that Campbell's had nearly a different offensive coordinator per year during his time in the NFL and the fact that the Raiders actually inspire anyone who gets near their complex to be more mediocre, but there's little excuse for being as ineffective as he's been.

If Gradkowski can lead the Raiders to a victory over Arizona Sunday (and, wow, can you imagine being forced to watch that stinker?) you have to imagine that Cable will keep using him until Davis wakes up and demands that he "puts Plunkett back in there ... NOW!"

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 12:25 am
 

Ranking the NFL owners

Posted by Andy Benoit

Everybody everywhere is always ranking quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. And, earlier this week, the Sporting News ranked all 32 head coaches. So why not rank owners?A. Davis (US Presswire)

Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver – one of the best football writers in America – published Part 1 of his annual NFL owners rankings. Silver offers extensive analysis on each owner. It’s absolutely worth reading the entire article. Here are some of the highlights:

--Silver ranks Al Davis No. 32 and absolutely rips the Raiders organization. You may recall that Silver was the one who first reported the Tom Cable-Randy Hanson incident, and that the Raiders denied Silver a press pass to a game later that year. (We’re not implying that Silver has an axe to grind – we’re pointing out that the Raiders will hate him even more after this.)

--An anonymous NFC owner gave Silver a golden quote on Bengals owner Mike Brown (whom Silver ranks 31st): “He doesn’t have a conscience. He’s all about revenue-sharing – he comes right out and says, ‘I just want some of your money.’ He’s worn out his welcome with 99 percent of that room. He came out and said that new stadiums are the worst thing to happen to the NFL because they raised the bar for other clubs. Unbelievable.”

--On Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (ranked 25th), Silver writes, “After I broke the news in April that Miami general manager Jeff Ireland had asked Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview if the receiver’s mother was a prostitute – a great day for the Dolphins’ brand – I thought Ross might finally overcome his fear of executive vice president Bill Parcells’ shadow and assert his authority. But Ross, from what I can tell, did little more than throw out hollow rhetoric, which is one of his specialties.”

--On Falcons owner Arthur Blank (ranked 20th): “In owner circles Blank is regarded as a man with a huge sense of self – and in a room full of rich folks, that’s saying something.”

Silver only published the first part of his rankings (teams 32-18). We’ll provide the final rundown here, but it’s highly recommended that you read the entire article (Silver’s blunt analysis is fantastic).

32. Oakland Raiders – Al Davis
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Brown
30. Detroit Lions – William Clay Ford (Bill Ford Jr.)
29. Cleveland Browns – Randy Lerner
28. Chicago Bears – Virginia McCaskey (George McCaskey/Michael McCaskey)
27. Arizona Cardinals – Bill Bidwill (Michael Bidwill)
26. Buffalo Bills – Ralph Wilson
25. Miami Dolphins – Stephen Ross
24. Tennessee Titans – Bud Adams
23. Jacksonville Jaguars – Wayne Weaver
22. New Orleans Saints – Tom Benson (Rita LeBlanc Benson)
21. Seattle Seahawks – Paul Allen
20. Atlanta Falcons – Arthur Blank
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bryan, Joel and Ed Glazer
18. St. Louis Rams – Stan Kroenke
17. Denver Broncos – Pat Bowlen


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Posted on: August 11, 2010 3:39 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 3:39 pm
 

Al Davis likens Jason Campbell to Plunkett

Posted by Will Brinson

Al Davis making outrageous comparisons is nothing new. But it seemed like we'd reached a period in Raiders history where anytime you saw Al in public it was really just a remake of Weekend at Bernie's things had calmed down a little.

However, as Lauren Shehadi and I discussed on "Around the NFL" today , that isn't the case -- Davis hopped on Sirius NFL Radio and compared Campbell to a fairly famous Raiders signal caller, one Jim Plunkett.

"I see this young Jason Campbell as a football player like I saw Jim Plunkett," Davis said. "He has everything. He was 13-0 in college at Auburn. He can throw up the field. He can run. He's big. He's smart."

Jason Campbell IS talented. He CAN launch the ball. He CAN run. He IS big. And he IS smart.

But he is NOT going to lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl this year. Which is what Plunkett did. Personally, I think the Raiders will be good -- second in the AFC West is my prediction -- and certainly, they will be improved over last year.

But it's one thing to sing someone's praises. It's an entirely different thing to heap unrealistic expectations on the new quarterback in town.

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 2:43 pm
 

People Want Terrell Owens on the Raiders? Really?

Terrell Owens and the Oakland Raiders would, on the surface, seem to go together like lamb and tunafish (or perhaps you prefer spaghetti and meatball?): a rambunctious, potentially over-the-hill, often self-absorbed wide receiver with a team known for its dysfunction and willingness to bring on disruptive personnel.

But this is supposed to be the "new Raiders," the team that dumped JaMarcus Russell and finally managed to put together an impressive draft class.

Surely, signing Owens is a complete non-sequitur to Oakland's offseason thus far, right?

Maybe not -- while there haven't been any actual rumors that the Raiders are interested, per se, there are a few folks out there tossing the idea around as if it wouldn't be all that horrible.

Adam Rank of NFL.com first proposed it yesterday, pointing out that both recently humbled parties deserve a second chance (although wisely admitting the notion that it could be a "hacky premise and an easy punch line").

And today, Monte Poole of the Oakland Tribune busted out a similar trope : the Raiders need TO.

So, um, do they?

Talent-wise, absolutely. Owens isn't an elite receiving option anymore, but judging him on his performance in Buffalo (based on their miserable quarterbacking situation and even more miserable offensive line) is a bit unfair -- he's clearly better than he was last year and definitely better than any other wideout on Oakland's roster.

There are other good arguments out there too: He'd immediately give new starter Jason Campbell a legit, proven weapon. He'd provide (potentially) a mentor for Darrius Heyward-Bey. He would be relatively cheap to bring in. His attitude would improve immediately just by being removed from the tropical paradise that is Buffalo.

The only question (and it's a really, really obvious one) is how will Owens mesh with the team's chemistry? Poole points out that having his own VH1 show is a nice outlet for Owens' self-indulgence, but I'd probably argue that still having his own show probably means that TO hasn't maxed out on humility quite yet.

That being said, though, if the Raiders went down this road, it would likely be with a cheap, incentive-laden contract that minimizes their risk. Worst case (or best case, if you write about the NFL for a living) is TO poisoning the locker room, causing a full-on silver and black meltdown that embarrasses the Raiders.

Either way, if it happens, it's worth bringing some popcorn.
-- Will Brinson
Posted on: July 2, 2010 4:09 pm
 

Everybody's fault but JaMarcus Russell's

J. Russell getting crushed in a KC sandwich (Getty) I found this New York Times Fifth Down blog post today slightly humorous and slightly bizarre. Asking about the rumors that imply former Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell – largely considered one of the biggest No. 1 draft pick busts in NFL history – might work out a deal with the Jets, reporter Kristian R. Dyer spoke with well-regarded quarterback instructor Tom Martinez, who trained Russell before he was taken No. 1 in 2007.

What’s funny – and sort of head-scratchingly weird – Martinez blames a variety of reasons why Russell was terrible in Oakland. Very little of which, Martinez seems to say, was Russell’s fault.

Among the issues that were not Russell’s fault.

1)Russell should have been starting from day one and not relegated to backing up Josh McCown and Daunte Culpepper. That start-from-day-one decision might have worked for Colts QB Peyton Manning – who led his team to a 3-13 record in his rookie year, mind you – but the other option, allowing your top-picked QB to have a redshirt year, also works. Ask Bengals QB Carson Palmer, who’s had a pretty good career after sitting behind Jon Kitna for a season.

2)Bad offensive line and receivers who didn’t know – or simply couldn’t – separate from DBs.

3)The Raiders signed him for too much money as a rookie.

4)The coaches didn’t like him; only owner Al Davis did.

Yes, the fact that Russell didn’t work hard and played at a heavy weight didn’t have much to do with the reason he failed out of Oakland. Nothing at all.

OK, ok. Martinez isn’t being that ridiculous. He makes some valid points, but surely, Russell wasn’t so clearly not at fault.

From the article:

Of course, many in the league have questioned Russell’s work ethic, including his teammates, who liked him and wanted him to succeed, but grew tired of what they perceived as his indifference. Russell’s actions suggested he wanted out of the organization.

Martinez said bringing in Russell to back up Mark Sanchez would be a “brilliant move from a talent standpoint,” but even he concedes that if Russell doesn’t work hard, it will be the last we hear of him. All he needs is a fresh start, Martinez said, but the rest is up to him.

“If he repeats the same mistakes, then it’s his last chance,” Martinez said.


If he, in fact, gets another chance.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: June 21, 2010 6:28 pm
 

Two stories that make the NFL sad

Some bad PR news for the NFL today.

Story No. 1:
Forbes.com released its list of most-disliked athletes, and those with NFL affiliations sat in four of the top-five places. No. 1 was Eagles QB Michael Vick (for obvious reasons, a 69 percent disapproval rating). No. 2 was Raiders owner Al Davis (66 percent), No. 3 was Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (a 59 percent disapproval rating, but with the photo the web site ran, that should be closer to 100 percent), and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (53 percent) roped himself into the No. 5 spot. Golfer Tiger Woods, for those who are interested, was No. 4.

I was a little surprised there continues to be such vitriol for Davis. Forbes.com writes he’s “A football owner who's always walked to the beat of his own drum. Davis has signed renegade players and yanked his team back and forth between Oakland and Los Angeles, spurring lawsuits and run-ins with the league. And his ‘Just win, baby’ mantra hasn't been working in recent years.” Yet, this seems like old news to me.

With some smart draft picks this year, Davis has won back a little respect. If the Raiders can improve on their five-win season from a year ago, he might not reside in the top-five for much longer.

The Facts & Rumors blog congratulates all winners.

Story No. 2:
ESPN.com has a story that might make some NFL players awfully nervous. According to investigative reporter Mike Fish , more evidence has been found that link league players with Dr. Anthony Galea, a former team doctor with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts who has been accused of supplying players with the banned substance HGH.

Fish writes:

According to court documents ESPN obtained Monday, the lengthy list of items authorities seized (from Galea during a search of his office in October) includes an "NFL file folder," "Professional Players Journal" and "daytimer with football dates.”

The seven-page document filed with the Canadian court after the execution of the October search warrant does not identify any patients by name.


But the Buffalo News reported last month that WR Santana Moss has been treated by Galea. Are there others who are waiting with bated breath to see if their names are released? The odds say: yes.


--Josh Katzowitz

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