If you're not into senseless ramblings and a random flow of my thoughts than this one might not be for you. But if you are however looking to read about
- My opinion on Matt Cassel's MNF performance
- Why I respect Mike Shannahan
- The reason for love amongst the loads of hate I have for Raiders fans.
- and my Browns V. Chiefs thoughts
Then you're in the right place buddy!
I feel like we're blowing Cassel's MNF performance way out of proportion
Let's get one thing out of the way.. As it stands right now I don't believe Cassel has a higher ceiling than Chad Pennington or Kyle Orton. That being said I don't see all how all the heat Cassel is getting about his Monday Night Football performance is warranted.
Charlie Weis knows what he has in Matt Cassel, a short, accurate thrower. With Cassel we're going to be relying more on YAC more than big bombs and hail marys, Al Davis style. At the NFL's level of competition a short route requires precise quick cuts to be effective. You have to sell the deep route within two to four steps for it to work, especially against a team like the Chargers that play man-to-man with a pretty good secondary and a pretty scary pass rush. It's hard to expect our receivers to do this in all of that rain. The rain not only creates a nasty field of play it makes quarterbacks lob balls on occasion because their release is interrupted by a lack of grip. As we all know a lobbed short pass almost always results in a pick, with a high chance of going back for six. It's a lot easier for a corner to just keep up with the WR and make a jump at the end of the play than it is for the receiver to get separation in these conditions.
People will make the argument that Philip Rivers threw for 298 yards in the same conditions. To that I'll say most of those yards came in situations where Rivers had to throw and a lot of those passes were near picks for Brandon Carr and Javier Arenas. After the Charles touchdown there was never a time in the entire game where the Chargers were leading. All the Chiefs had to do was manage the rest of the game and kill the clock while the Chargers played catch up. Yeah, the run, run, pass game plan wasn't thrilling, nor did it net us much first downs but that's how you kill the clock without risking turnovers.
But I guess all of that is for naught because it's obvious Weis doesn't trust Cassel. To that I say; look at our only drive in the redzone. We passed more on that drive than any other. When we needed a TD to put us ahead Weis went unconventional and put the the ball in Cassel's hands, and Cassel responded with a scramble to get us in range and a well executed play action pass.
Albert Haynesworth is a worthless sack of crap
I cannot believe he's getting paid 100 million dollars and he can't be okay with a plan to win. So he won't get the sacks he wants, so he won't get the tackles he wants, so what!? When you have a proven coach like Mike Shannahan you don't worry about getting attention. Mike Shannahans return to the NFL will get you attention, playing on a roster full of big name players will get you attention, being on one of the best defenses in the league will get you attention.. Why is he afraid that a lacking stat line is going to bruise his legacy? Vince Wilfork will probably be in the Hall of Fame one day and his stat line isn't very impressive if you compare it to a 4-3 DT's. But he will go down in history because he was the best at what he did as a 3-4 NT.
At some point in the summer coach Shannahan agreed to release Haynesworth if he returned his guaranteed money. He quickly declined. This was a brilliant move by Shannahan and it showed that Haynesworth is all about Haynesworth. He would have probably got a significant (not all of) amount of that money given to him if he went to the free agent market.
To make things better Ma'ake Kemoeatu, looked pretty good as NT #1 against a very good Cowboys team. He's not good enough that every 3-4 team should be kicking themselves in the butt for not signing him, but he was good enough to be a starting NT against a good team.
I think the second most satisfying crying I saw this week, obviously next to Philip Rivers' crying, is Albert Haynesworth on the Skins' sideline. It's almost as if in that moment he had realized what a fool he has made of himself, that there is no way in hell that Shannahan is going to let Albert be bigger than the team, and that this team does not need him to succeed. I love it when the coach wins in the classic player-coach standoff and Coach Shannahan not only won this, he beat big Al so bad this will be a tale fans will tell for a very long time.
Of Course it is only week one.
Raider Fans never fail to be entertaining.
I made a fanshot on this earlier but it generally went unnoticed (here I am foolishly assuming this post won't) but I want to comment a bit more on this.
As I was reading the AFC West blog on ESPN I noticed an article where Bill Williamson simply asked for the Raiders' fans insight on their huge loss to Tennessee and basically copied and pasted responses and called it an article. Here's some golden nuggets from that.
Oakland really has problems, the game was just awefully they didn't show up to play kind of looked like the Giants game of last year. The problem that I picked up early and often was the O-line more like Mario Henderson, this guy can't block anybody and then placing a Valdheer at Center was just bad coaching decision. If Oakland is going to be AFC Champions like thier shirt read then its time to step up to the plate and fix the O-line! If they do that everything else will fall in place. If they dont fix anything we will have another 11+ losing season.
I wouldn't be excited about my team either if their performance was awefully and my entire O line resembled Mario Henderson. But hey at least they're realistic, they didn't want to go too far and set their sights on the Super Bowl, they just want to be AFC Champions!
It's simple: One game does not a season make. There are problems that can be fixed. Try not to forget that the Titans are a good team. The REAL test will be this week. What doe we do against the rams? If they hang an "L" on on us then let play for a really good draft pick.
If our real test is against the worst team in the league then maybe one game a season does make cos your just giving up now. Also I hope you realize that if the Rams "doe" "hang an 'L'" on you your first pick is with the Pats not the Raiders. So your playing for a really good draft pick for them
The Raiders have to regain their confidence. I believe one of the most overlooked qualities that is necessary for a player to be successful is his confidence. Darius Hayward-Bey lacks confidence because the team has not allowed him to gain any. There was nothing done on Sunday to help him forget about the dismal season that he had last season. It was amazing to see how well McFadden played after a few good runs. His confidence was high. The same needs to be said for the O-line. If I were coach Cable I would come out Sunday and try and establish the run early to improve the confidence of an O-line that is currently shell-shocked. Thanks Bill.
No dismal grammar here. Just that somehow I believe there is more wrong with the Raiders than confidence.. They should be able to identify what is happening with Heyward-Bey by now, they went through it with Jamarcus Russel. All of the fans are making all these excuses and none of them seem to excuse a simple fact. While the said player is an athlete he simply is not a football player.
As entertained as I was by the responses something became almost disgustingly clear.. Bill Williamson is getting paid all this cash to copy and paste this little rants. While Bill chose some good ones he didn't even have the work ethic to eliminate responses with bad grammar, baseless topics, and just no sense to them. Unless he was trying to make a joke of Raider fans Bill really needs to be replaced, because as it stands, the other ESPN bloggers are a lot more involved with their jobs than he is and he's (presumably) getting paid just as much.
I know you've been waiting for it! My Preview for the Browns Game This Sunday!
I think Adam Schefter put it best on an episode of the Mike and Mike show.
Why even play the season? If we're going to sit here and predict whose going to win every game why evn play the season? Why don't we cut straight to the Super Bowl?
That's paraphrased but it expressed the same idea. Predicting games is lame and useless because in the NFL there isn't a single game where any team steps on to the field and has no chance to win. NFL athletes are just too talented for it to be that easy! So disclaimer aside here's my two (NaNz) cents on our upcoming bout with the AFC North powerhouse.
As bad as our QB is, at least we're not Cleveland
I couldn't imagine how fond I'd be of Mike Holmgren if I'm a Browns fan right now. He comes into town, jettisons Derek Anderson (Quinn I wouldn't lose sleep over) and replaces him by spending a fifth round pick on Seneca Wallace and signing Jake Delhomme, who was mulling over what team he wanted to be a backup for before the Browns offered him a starting job. Matt Cassel notorious for not being able to hit the deep route, at least he doesn't carry the dubious pick at the wrong time, always injured persona that Delhomme does. I know we're not playing Delhomme, but I just thought you should know who Seneca Wallace was backing up before you give him too much credit.
As messed up as our RB controversy is, at least we're not Cleveland
With Jerome "greatest single game performance ever" Harrison on their roster you would think that Cleveland is set at RB.. Well you'd think wrong. Since his "breakout" season last year the Browns have effectively bottled him up by drafting in the second round and injuring Montarrio Hardesty, then taking the ball out of Harrisons hands despite what seemed to be inescapable conditions to give him the ball in each week of the pre season and the first week of the regular season. Instead they put the ball in the hands of all world QB Jake Delhomme.
Clevelands D will be a good matchup for our O.
If Romeo Crennel did one thing right in Cleveland he left a solid, but unknown, D line behind in Cleveland. Clevelands D line is good at getting penetration on and has actually functioned better with Ahtyba Rubin at NT. While Shaun Rogers is more of a penetrating force, Rubin offers a more well rounded style of play at NT. While their secondary isn't great it's seen a lot of tweaking this year, seeing CB Sheldon Brown come in through free agency and rookies CB Joe Haden, S T.J Ward, and S Larry Asante arrive during the draft.. I'm not a huge fan of Sheldon Brown but I think he's a lot better than the nothing that was there.
D'Qwell Jackson is injured so if the Chiefs O line can play against the Browns the same way they played the Chargers our running backs have a good chance at tearing it up on sunday. To put it plainly the Browns Safety play does not scare me if I'm putting Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles against it. I'm going to expect a lot of short three to four yard plays but eventually a huge play from Charles.
Sheldon Brown versus Chris Chambers is a matchup I'm willing to bet on.. While Brown has been a good player in the NFL at this point in his career he's better suited as a nickel. I don't think he'll be able to hang with Chambers. On the other side Bowe will be going up against a promising rookie.. Haden's a very physical corner and that's just the kind of corner that will take Bowe out of the game. If Bowe is going to have a respectable game he's going to have to simply outmuscle the rookie from the point of attack not so farfetched for Bowe.
This (trap) Game Really Scares Me
Somehow this is looking eerily similar to last years game. Just removed from a big unexpected win, lost an important D line man, hopes in the sky, and we absolutely got rolled over. I'm hoping Todd Haley is controlling the momentum in the locker room because this is a game that the Browns could very well walk away with. With Tyson Jackson, who was looking like Ty Warren on MNF, likely out for this game the Browns and Eric Mangini could be looking to execute a familiar wrinkle that allowed them to beat us last year, by running almost exclusively to the side with the second string lineman starting. A reason for solace is that it's our LDE that's out, and Cleveland is among the worst in the NFL on the right side of the offensive line.
My prediction? The Chiefs Take it in an ugly defensive battle 14-6.
Still, there's no reason to take them for granted, the Browns could easily win this. I mean, they are favored to win the game.