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Topics - The Prole

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Raider Gridiron / Running Back situation
« on: March 18, 2019, 07:35:55 AM »
So, what are we all thinking regarding the RB situation?

If Lynch comes back for one final year I'd be ok with that. Martin I wasn't so bothered about, but looking at his stats for last year, they are actually a lot better than I realised. He ended up with 723 yards, which considering he only became the main starter after Lynch got injured. Either way, I hope they give Chris Warren III fair consideration this off-season too. As for Richard and Washington, are we still going to continue carrying both of them? If Lynch and Martin don't return, I think Jay Ajayi might be worth a look, presuming he's back to full strength.


I wonder how much Weddle has left in the tank. Could provide some leadership for a couple of seasons without breaking the bank. A few other options out there too. One thing we know for sure, we need to replace Reggie Nelson.

OAKLAND, Calif. — This is a new year.

The Raiders are not looking for a repeat of 2018 when their free-agency signings of 30-somethings turned their roster into the oldest in the NFL. This tactic achieved its desired aim, as veterans such as defensive end Frostee Rucker and wide receiver Jordy Nelson helped coach Jon Gruden instill a culture off which to build.

In 2019, he looks to go younger.

But there are exceptions to be made.

Eric Weddle, 34, became available Tuesday when the Baltimore Ravens notified the veteran of his release. The Raiders could be among the teams that pursue the six-time Pro Bowler. They plan to sign a starting safety opposite Karl Joseph and are sifting through what is considered arguably the deepest position group in free agency.

Landon Collins, 25, also joined the pool Tuesday when the New York Giants elected not to place the franchise tag on him.

It would be a surprise if the Raiders are serious contenders for Collins, presuming he commands the sort of money he is projected to attract on the open market. An option in the tier of Washington Redskins safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is more likely. The team is expected to show interest in Clinton-Dix, 26, when the legal tampering period opens March 11.

Clubs can negotiate with other teams’ impending free agents then.

Free agency officially starts March 13 at 1 p.m. PT.

Although Weddle may choose to play for an immediate Super Bowl contender, the Raiders might consider him an exception to their youth pursuit for the work ethic and leadership he provides.

Last weekend, at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, one of his former coaches raved about how Weddle can change a team’s building. He cited how Weddle mentored Adrian Phillips, a safety who joined the then-San Diego Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2014 when Weddle was there.

Weddle took in Phillips, teaching him how to study game film during private sessions and how to prepare his body. Last year, Phillips passed on those same lessons to Los Angeles Chargers rookie safety Derwin James. James, Phillips and Weddle finished the season as Pro Bowl teammates in Orlando, Florida.

It was Phillips’ first such appearance.

He is an impending free agent, too.

Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, LaMarcus Joyner, Adrian Amos and Kenny Vaccaro highlight some of the others. Raiders safeties Marcus Gilchrist, a versatile veteran who started all 16 games last season, and Reggie Nelson are scheduled to join the class. It is unclear if Nelson, 36 in September, will continue his career.

Whomever the Raiders sign at safety will join Joseph and cornerback Gareon Conley in the secondary.

Last week, Gruden spoke highly of both.

“They are really important guys,” Gruden said at the combine. “Conley is very important. He was injured as a rookie. I thought he played pretty good last year. When he was healthy he played very well, had a streak of four or five games where he showcased some really good stuff. Karl Joseph has asserted himself as a leader on our football team, and those are two young guys that we are going to count on.”]

Raider Gridiron / SI article on Todd Marinovich
« on: January 11, 2019, 06:22:32 PM »
A pretty heavy read, but definitely of interest to this forum.

Raider Gridiron / Bears expected to acquire Khalil Mack from Raiders
« on: September 01, 2018, 08:36:25 AM »
Khalil Mack is heading east.

The Oakland Raiders are expected to trade the All-Pro pass rusher to the Chicago Bears, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday morning.

Sources told Rapoport that Chicago will send Oakland at least two first-round picks for Mack's services.

Chicago is expected to negotiate a long-term deal with Mack that should eclipse that of Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who signed a six-year extension Friday. Mack's rookie deal was set to expire after the 2018 season.

I really hope this is bullshit, but I'm starting to think this might actually happen.
SMDH. :'( :'( :'(

Raider Gridiron / Thinking of creating a ‘Life-raft’ for this group
« on: August 12, 2018, 12:43:49 AM »
OK, so I really didn’t want to do this, but I’m thinking about setting up a (hopefully temporary) Facebook group for this page but I want to gauge interest.

It would be a closed group under this site name. What do you guys think?

I understand there are some here who either aren’t on FB or don’t want to join. I totally get that, but I would say you don’t have to fully immerse yourself in the FB bullshit. You don't even need to use your current FB account if you do have one. If you want to keep all the friends and family stuff separate, just create a new profile with an account name which (closely) matches your profile and request to join the closed group.

(Example: I've created Bob Prole as FB don't let you use 'The' as a first name.)

I know it’s not ideal, trust me, I’d much rather see this site up and running properly. But the technical difficulties we are currently experiencing is seriously limiting participation and the regular season is just round the corner. Until we get a solution, I don’t see this group surviving. And that would be a damn shame after all these years.

If and when someone manages to update or re-boot the site, I’d happily move the discussion back to the new board.

I understand there are some here who won’t even be able to post a reply, but for those who can, what do you think?

I know it sucks, but it’s the only current solution I can think of.

If you want to proceed, create an account and 'Friend Request' this guy:

He currently has zero friends ;D
From there I'll be able to create the group. (You can't create a group with only one profile)

If you already have an account but want to use a separate one, you will need to use a different Email.
If you are happy to use your current FB account, make sure you tell us who you are on the Forum.

Cheers guys. And sorry it's come to this. Think of it as a life-raft to keep us afloat till we get an alternative sorted.

Matt Millen, health failing, takes unflinching stock of his life and times

News of Matt Millen’s illness — he suffers from amyloidosis — broke last month. He was being treated with chemotherapy. He knew he needed a heart transplant.

In the past few weeks things have gotten worse.

“We’re in the fourth quarter of a big football game,” he told Peter King of Sports Illustrated, who visited Millen recently at his Durham, Pennsylvania, farm. “We’re down 13. Playing defense. It’s getting late. We need a stop. We need a big stop.”

Don’t confuse that with the corny scene in “The Pride of the Yankees,” in which Gary Cooper, as Lou Gehrig, asks his doctor, “Is it three strikes, Doc?”

King reported that after his “big stop” line, Millen, who won Super Bowls with the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins, laughed.

“He is not impressed with his own mortality,” King wrote, “nor does he have the slightest problem discussing it.”

That wouldn’t surprise anyone who was in Millen’s orbit during his playing career. He was a hale fellow well met — friendly, glib, honest, expressive.

After the 49ers victory in the Super Bowl after the 1989 season, he told reporters, “I told Joe Montana I was proud of him. I don’t say that very often, but I was proud of him.”

If a positive attitude has anything to do with it, Millen has a fighting chance against this awful disease. But his chemo treatments are, in King’s words, “debilitating. Millen, 60, has that pale-faced look you sometimes see in people deep into chemotherapy.”

The new heart? He has yet to be placed on a transplant list.

Millen is realistic. He understands he suffered from amyloidosis that raged undiagnosed for years because the disease mimics other diseases. By the time it was discovered the damage was done.

If you parse his comments to King, you sense a reckoning, a man taking unflinching stock of his life and times.

His disastrous years as president/GM of the Detroit Lions, for example.

“Really, when I take my steps back, I was not ready at all,” he said. “Not even close. I was in over my head. And by the time I figured it out, it wasn’t necessarily too late, but we were in pretty deep.”

In a five-year period he had five draft picks in the top 10. Four times he drafted wide receivers.

“The one that killed me was Mike Williams,” he said. “That was just so stupid. It’s like my brain fell off my head. Why would I do that? My son was in the draft room with us, and that’s when my son punched me. What a dope I was.”

“Had any ‘Why me?’ moments,” King said he asked Millen.

“Never,” Millen told him. “I don’t think like that. This doesn’t bother me too much. I believe that in life you’re supposed to take the bad with the good. It was the same thing when I was playing. We were fortunate to win Super Bowls. There are guys who go through their whole career, great players, who don’t win one. You just can’t figure those things sometimes. So you get what you get. I’m OK with that.

“I’m also OK if I don’t wake up one day. Yeah, I’d like to kick around a little longer, but if doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. Some of it is just being pragmatic. I’ve always been that way.”

Raider Gridiron / Live Stadium Cam
« on: January 11, 2018, 04:59:24 PM »
Just in case anybody wants to stare at a building site.

Currently a large piece of dirt, but obviously we can watch it grow over time.

Maybe this could be a sticky.


Jon Gruden will be the center of attention Tuesday when he is introduced as the Raiders head coach.

Yet the day is as much about owner Mark Davis as it is about Gruden.

Like it or not, Davis has changed the NFL landscape twice within the last nine months.

It’s a tossup as to which Davis move is more bold — getting approval to move his franchise to Las Vegas in late March or luring Gruden back into the organization 16 years after he was traded, with the last nine in the broadcast booth.

Either way, it might be time to stop underestimating Mark Davis.

You may believe the concepts of Vegas and Gruden will lead to the Raiders doom. Yet there’s no denying Davis has dramatically altered any expectations of him as a mover (Vegas) and a shaker (Gruden).

It’s been more than six years since Al Davis died at age 82, with Mark ascending to managing general partner. Not much was known about Mark Davis. To this day, the Raiders media guide has only a photo of the owner with no biography.

We know he’s either 62 or 63 years old, even the Raiders media relations department doesn’t know for sure. We know he’d been around the franchise for years, without specific duties ever being spelled out. You could find him courtside at Warriors games with close friend and Raiders legend Cliff Branch.

Al Davis rarely talked about Mark publicly, although he did openly wonder about his son’s relationships with players. Mark, Al reasoned, would have difficulty parting with players with to whom he had become close.

Being the son of the Raiders icon and patriarch had its challenges. Warm and fuzzy have never been adjectives of the Al Davis experience.

As Mark became more involved with the franchise, he would occasionally be subjected to withering looks and sharp criticism from his father in the presence of others. If there was any solace, it’s that Al Davis treated a lot of people that way, particularly in his later years.

Once Mark was in charge, seldom has any owner looked more out of place or overmatched. He dined for lunch most days at PF Chang’s, wearing a white no-collar long-sleeved shirt and reading from his stack of newspapers. He said with pride his mother read several newspapers per day. He’d go to Hooter’s for wings and fly on Southwest Airlines.

The public fixated on his bowl haircut, which Davis accepted in good humor.

How was this guy going to rub elbows with NFL power brokers such as Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones?

Two years ago, fellow owners put Davis in his place when they voted for Stan Kroenke’s plan for a Los Angeles stadium over a Chargers-Raiders proposal for Carson. The Raiders were relegated to third string, with the Chargers getting first option at joining the Rams in Los Angeles.

Davis’ first extended press conference was the announcement of his first big decision — hiring Reggie McKenzie as general manager in 2012. Davis said he had no intention of trying to be his father and conceded “I know what I don’t know.”

Since then, and especially since the Los Angeles market was lost and a deal with Oakland never materialized, Davis now conducts business as if believes he knows a lot.

Once Las Vegas delivered on the promise of $750 million in public money, Davis and the Raiders managed to close the deal after Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson dropped out.

The immediate storyline was that Adelson’s exit meant the end of the project. Instead, Bank of America stepped in, and in the end it looked as if Davis had played Adelson instead of the other way around.

Rather than go rogue, as his father had during the Raiders’ initial move to Los Angeles, Davis played by ownership’s rules. He took home games outside the country when asked, and presented a Vegas deal that  would make money for his fellow owners.

All but one owner voted for it.

With that as a backdrop, the Raiders went from 12-4 to 6-10 under Jack Del Rio — the man Davis hand-picked to be his head coach.

So Davis seized upon the opportunity to bring back Gruden, for whom he had long hoped would return to the organization after being traded by Al Davis to Tampa Bay in February of 2003.

Del Rio, with three years remaining on his contract worth $15 million, never saw it coming. The firing was messy and difficult, with Davis doing the deed as the Raiders left the field after losing 30-10 to the Chargers in the season finale.

Del Rio, a man Davis likes and admires, ended up announcing his own firing and then everyone had to endure a tension-filled charter flight home. Davis stayed out of sight. If all goes as planned, he won’t fire another coach for a decade.

It was no accident that Gruden never publicly confirmed he was the Raiders coach during his final telecast ESPN Saturday, or even after the Raiders made it official that evening in the form of a press release.

Gruden, as he explained in a text message late Saturday night, was going to let his “boss” make that announcement in his own words.

The boss will be front and center Tuesday, welcoming back Gruden with a contract reported to be for 10 years and $100 million. Initial reports are often inflated, both in terms of years and actual dollars, but it’s clear Gruden hit the lottery.

It’s a deal Al Davis, with a long history of valuing players over coaches, would have never considered.

And just like Vegas, it’s a deal Mark Davis got done.

Raider Gridiron / Banner update...
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:37:29 PM » I could be jumping the gun a little bit, but I've taken the liberty of updating our banner. We don't have to run with this design, if any other Photoshoppers are out there, feel free to put your own designs up.

I've done a colour version:

And a black and white version:

Obi was set up to fail. The Cook TD pretty much summed up the mess that is our secondary.

Jack Del Rio admits starting Obi Melifonwu at corner was desperation move; one Raiders could have avoided.

The Raiders had two weeks to prepare for the Patriots top ranked offense and showed up ill-prepared at corner.

When the Raiders headed to Miami prior to the bye, I would have put money down that they were going to make a move to add a corner to the roster. My money was on activating a cornerback from the practice squad.

My reasoning was they were down to three cornerbacks. Gareon Conley, David Amerson, and Demetrius McCray were all injured, and they had sent Antonio Hamilton to injured reserve after week five. That left just TJ Carrie, Dexter McDonald, and Sean Smith as the only corners on the roster.

They did make a move. They activated rookie safety Obi Melifonwu from injured reserve. That was expected. Head coach Jack Del Rio said they would be making that move. But he’s a safety, not a cornerback. And yet the Raiders were done.

They managed to survive the game in Miami without any of their cornerbacks getting injured, but it wasn’t pretty. Sean Smith has played sparingly for a while now for his lapses in coverage and McDonald was brutally bad against the Dolphins. It left the Raiders to do some soul searching during the bye week.

A week in, they finally gave up on Conley’s chances of getting healthy and put him on injured reserve. He had been occupying a roster spot this whole time that could have had a healthy corner in it. But, get this...

Instead of replacing Conley’s spot on the roster with a practice squad call up like intriguing undrafted rookie Breon Borders or signing a free agent, they activated Darius Latham from suspension. But that’s not all...

Come game time, Latham was inactive. So, Conley was gone and the team did nothing with his open roster spot.

Their answer was not only to play Melifonwu at cornerback, but to START him. Tom Brady went after him early and often and after 8 plays, Melifonwu was literally sucking thin air and needed to be taken out. Later in the game, he was assigned speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks and gave up a 64-yard touchdown.

After the game Del Rio was asked if starting Melfionwu was a move made out of desperation.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Del Rio responded. “We need more production. We’re willing to try just about anything, and we talked about being lean there and needing more production from that spot. He’s a talented kid, and it was probably asking a little too much. But we are going to roll those guys. We rolled our guys in the secondary tonight, and we’re going to do that. We have got to do that until somebody starts playing well enough to stay in there full-time.”

Melifonwu rotated with Sean Smith in the game, and as it happens, Tom Brady’s first incompletion — after starting the game 12 for 12 — was a deep ball in which Smith stayed with Cooks downfield. Granted a better throw would have probably still yielded a completion, but with the way Cooks roasted Smith in the season opener in 2016, that was a step up for certain.

If Del Rio is honestly looking to go with whomever is the lesser of the evils, the starters next week when the Broncos come to Oakland would be Sean Smith and TJ Carrie. In the meantime, either they will hope David Amerson is able to return from his foot injury, or actually consider adding an actual cornerback instead of plugging a rookie safety in at cornerback.

Raider Gridiron / Amy Trask advised Al to hire Bellichick
« on: November 11, 2017, 12:52:54 PM »
Watched The Timeline: Tuck Rule on NFL Network yesterday. Not gonna lie, it was very painful to watch, but at the same time quite interesting.

Couple of things stood out. One was that when Al was looking for a head coach in '98 he asked Amy to help in the search. She strongly advised Al to get Bill Bellichick, but in the end Al opted for Gruden.

Makes you wonder.

It's easy to fantasise what could've been, but I'm not sure they would even be compatible. Bellichick drafts who he wants, and runs a very tight ship HIS way. Would he always be in agreement with Al, I doubt it. Though I imagine Al loved the way Bellichick deals with the media.

Another point that was made was Gruden's departure. I always had in my mind that Al shipped Chucky off to Tampa because of a clash of egos. Gruden was almost becoming the face of the franchise (though that sounds ridiculous in hindsight). But there is a general feeling in the program that Al got rid of Gruden almost as a punishment for losing the Tuck game. Even Tim Brown believes if we had won that game, but still lost to Pittsburgh the following week, Gruden wouldn't have been traded away. If Gruden doesn't go to Tampa we very probably win at least one, maybe even two Super Bowls within the following few years.

The ramifications of the Tuck game were huge and vastly contrasting for both sides. Gives us something to ponder on Patriot week (nearly), though.

If you can stomach it, give it a watch.

The entire offensive line of the Oakland Raiders plans to protest during the national anthem prior to Sunday night's game against the Washington Redskins in response to President Trump's statements about the NFL, a player with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

The Raiders' offensive line, the only all African-American unit in the NFL, plans to sit or kneel together in protest of unity during the anthem, according to Rapoport.

"As far as some of the players I've spoken with, even a lot of them who have strong views and have kept it private, they feel that President Trump has given them no choice but to speak out," Rapoport reported on NFL GameDay Morning on Sunday.

The anticipated protest comes a day after the NFL, the NFL Players Association and team owners and CEOs responded to President Trump stating Friday that team owners should fire players who fail to stand for the national anthem prior to games.

Raider Gridiron / Raiders management wants family-friendly Las Vegas stadium
« on: September 23, 2017, 12:08:23 PM »
Raiders management wants family-friendly Las Vegas stadium

A kinder and gentler Black Hole? Say it ain’t so!

When the Raiders relocate to the new Las Vegas stadium in 2020, the team’s management hopes to foster a family-friendly atmosphere at games.

That could come as a shock to fans from The Black Hole, a section in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum populated by fans dressed in scary costumes.

“We like the deeply passionate fans,” LV Stadium Company chief operating officer Don Webb said in a Thursday breakfast meeting panel on the planned 65,000-seat stadium.

“But we want the stadium to be not only a safe environment, but we want it to be perceived as a family-friendly environment,” Webb said. “So I think there will be some changes, frankly, to the fan base when the team moves to Las Vegas and the method of operating the stadium. I think I’ll leave it there, but the team ownership and team management is very keen on projecting the right image when this team comes to Las Vegas.”

Denizens of The Black Hole dress in intimidating silver and black costumes adorned with skulls, spikes and armor to accentuate their outlaw image.

Webb and three other panelists associated with the stadium project addressed around 200 people attending the Southern Nevada chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties meeting at The Orleans.
Raiders fans in Oakland had mixed reactions to the family-friendly strategy.

“Instead of trying to push some Raiders fans away, maybe the focus should be on uniting Raider Nation, which is completely fractured from this move to Vegas,” Raiders fan Omar Frias said in an email to the Review-Journal.

“And to insinuate that the Raiders fans right now or in Oakland are not family friendly is inaccurate and disrespectful.”

But another fan who has attended games in Oakland doesn’t like The Black Hole atmosphere.

“I’ve been a season ticket holder for years and I have to tell you I am not fond of the experience that Oakland brings for family,” Raiders fan Ed Marshall tweeted to a Review-Journal reporter.

“And now that my 4-year-old son has to frequent the restrooms, there is simply no way I will take him to a game in Oakland. What I have seen in those bathrooms is beyond disturbing and disgusting. The NFL would be ashamed if video evidence of such things ever got out.”

Raider Gridiron / Raiders on NFL Network
« on: September 09, 2017, 03:05:12 AM »
Every year we have something Raider related to watch on NFL Network. Al Davis, Marcus Allen, Matt Millen, Jerry Rice, Lyle Alzado, Kenny Stabler and Charles Woodson have all featured previously on A Football Life and this year will be no different.

John Madden will be featured in a new episode of A Football life on Sept 29th.

Loved all the previous Raider episodes (except for the Immaculate Reception episode), so looking forward to this one.

Then, on Oct 5th The Timeline will cover The Tuck Rule game. That will be a bitter pill to swallow, but we'll probably all still watch it.

Raider Gridiron / The NFL’s Apex Predator
« on: July 23, 2017, 01:11:38 AM »
Great little vid about Khalil Mack.

Can't get YouTube vids to embed on this site at the moment, so I'll just post the link to the article's page.

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