Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

October 25, 2006

Question: How come the Raiders did not draft Matt Leinart? At least it would have given the fans hope that they are rebuilding. How come the Raiders are this bad? They were not even this bad looking when Norv Turner was there. Is it time for Al Davis to step down and let somebody else run the team? I think so.
-- G. Morgan, Valley Stream, N.Y.

Answer: Matt Leinart wasn’t drafted because the Raiders already had Andrew Walter, who they believe is their quarterback of the future. The Raiders also didn’t believe they could afford to draft a quarterback because they needed help on defense. And ideally, they wouldn’t have played Leinart this season, so they wanted a player who could help immediately. One of the reasons the Raiders are winless is because as the old saying goes, you can’t put new wine in an old bottle. The roster is basically the same as last year, so it’s hard to get a quick turnaround without changes. The Raiders are also essentially using a rookie quarterback because Walter didn’t play at all last season. As for Al Davis, he’s not stepping down and he’s not selling the team. It will be done his way, for better or worse.
-- Jason Jones

Question: Hey, Jason. What are the chances of Weiss and Brady being with the Raiders in '07?
-- Raj, Yuba City

Answer: None.
-- Jason Jones

Question: Is it just me or does Art Shell look comatose during all five of the Raiders' losses? Where's his FIRE or INTENSITY? I mean what's his deal? Al Davis looks more alive them this guy. What's your opinion on the whole Jerry Porter mess? Reminds me of the Marcus Allen freeze out. Does Art Shell not remember that when he did that to Marcus Allen he lost all respect from the other players? Offensive coordinator Tom Wlash should go back to serving breakfast at the B&B. At least the B&B would be more creative than the Raiders offense!
-- San Diego

Answer: If you’re looking for Art Shell to start yelling, screaming or throwing something on the sidelines, you can forget about it. It’s just not his personality. As for the Porter situation, I believe the Raiders allowed this to become a distraction. Having one of your better players on the sidelines for four games while losing only creates questions about how committed the team really is to winning. One difference between Porter and Marcus Allen is during Allen’s feud, his public image never suffered. Many around the league, on the other hand, view Porter as a malcontent. And Tom Walsh isn’t going back to the bed and breakfast. But look on the bright side, the Raiders are up to 31st in yards per game.
-- Jason Jones

Question: What is the status of Al Davis' physical health? What would happen to the Raiders'management if Davis were not able to play such an active role? Is there a line of succession?
-- Robert B. Gunnison, Sacramento

Answer: Al Davis is dealing with a problem with the quadriceps muscle in his left leg, one he said he didn’t want surgery for during training camp. The 77-year old owner gets around using a walker these days. He doesn’t make as many appearances at practices as he did in the past but watches plenty of film. During training camp, Davis said if he were unable to run the Raiders, he would depend on the likes of John Madden to assist his wife Carol and son Mark in running the team. Art Shell would likely be one of those in place to help, too. On the business side, CEO Amy Trask would continue to handle those duties.
-- Jason Jones

Question: Why do you think the Raiders failed to bring in a big DT during the offseason. Even teams like Cleveland and the lowly 49ers are running right up the middle on them.
-- Brian Wong, Sacramento

Answer: The Raiders liked Tommy Kelly as the other starting defensive tackle, so they passed on adding someone like former Raider Grady Jackson to plug the middle. But the surprise has been Terdell Sands’ emergence as a run stuffer and even making an impact in the passing game. The more Sands plays, the better the run defense will be.
-- Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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