Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 21, 2008
The blame game

There's a play that sticks out from Stuart Schweigert's last season in Oakland.

It was the game against Houston in which the run defense was again making Ron Dayne look like he was back at Wisconsin on is way to the Heisman Trophy.

At one point Schweigert was being blocked by the Texans' center on a running play.

Not a receiver. The center.

Of course the run netted big yards. Those things happen when a 300-pound man is able make it 15 yards down field to make a block.

So you know who gets the blame, right?

Schweigert.

I was able to catch up with Schweigert late last night to chat about his time in Oakland that ended with him on the bench without much of an explanation.

Schweigert, once billed as a leader for the top-rated pass defense in 2006 morphed into the offensive version of Robert Gallery by the end of the 2007 season.

Every mistake was magnified and everything from the run defense to the lack of fans on Mount Davis was his entire fault.

Schweigert's tackling was the reason he was benched. But he stayed on the bench even though his replacement, Hiram Eugene, faired no better.

"I know I sound like a broken record with this," Schweigert said. "The problem is the one (tackle) that I miss is the one that scores, the one everyone sees."

Missing tackles on the Raider defense last year was akin to being an opposing running back with 100 rushing yards (didn't everyone do it at least once) and Schweigert felt the heat when he missed.

"I missed a couple of those tackles and they came down on me really hard," he said. "...It's the nature of the business. It's really week to week. One week Lane Kiffin is saying how well I played, the next week I'm done. You feel like trash."

Schweigert's release wasn't unexpected. His 2008 base salary (about $2.6 million) is starter money and the Raiders have already made Gibril Wilson one of the highest paid safeties in football to go along with Michael Huff.

Now he has a chance to see what other teams might be interested in him. The Raiders might have liked to trade him and receive compensation, but no team is going to trade for a player it knows has to be released.

"It's been about a two-month process which was draining physically and mentally," Schweigert said. "It was one of those deals I was waiting for it to happen."

His waiting is over. And it ended without him having to get cut at the end of training camp and limiting his chance of making a team.

Now can the Raiders do something with LaMont Jordan?

--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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