Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 7, 2008
Question time

Week 1 observations:

*Everyone is wondering when the New England Patriots will call Daunte Culpepper.

*The importance of a quality backup QB is evident already with Tom Brady, Vince Young and Brodie Croyle already down.

*Rookie running backs (Chicago's Matt Forte, Tennessee's Chris Johnson) can make an impact immediately.

*Not exactly the way Norv Turner wanted to start the season ... again.

*Philadelphia's defense looks a lot like the group that went to the Super Bowl against New England. They bring pressure from all over the field.

*By the way, Donovan McNabb looked great, too. The Eagles will give Dallas a fight for the NFC East title.

*The Raiders haven't won a season-opener since 2002. If they beat Denver tomorrow night, they'll be in first place in the AFC West (go ahead and laugh).

The Raiders were in sole possession of first place last year with a 2-2 record while the rest of the division was 2-3.

The Raiders went on to lose six straight.

*My fantasy team (Long Beach Eastsidaz) is looking pretty good right now.

Now on to some reader questions ...

Question: Jason, Since the Raiders cut Josh Shaw and later William Joseph; Do you think that the team has any interest in bringing back DT Rod Coleman or DT Ethan Kelley? In regards to OLB Do you think the team will revisit expressing interest in Keith Adams?
Jeff, Los Angeles

Answer: Always nice to hear from the City of Angels. The Raiders appear content with a three-man rotation of Tommy Kelly, Gerard Warren and Terdell Sands. Fred Wakefield would be the fourth defensive tackle and the team could slide Jay Richardson down to DT in certain situations.

I'm in favor of teams having four quality defensive tackles because on long drives those are the players most likely to fatigue. A run stuffer like Grady Jackson might have been an option had he not re-signed with Atlanta.

I'm almost certain the Raiders will add another outside linebacker. The team has already worked out Abdul Hodge and Brandon Moore. Expect more OLBs to get looks in the coming days because contracts signed after Week 1 aren't guaranteed for the rest of the season.

Question: With Joseph cut, that leaves two DTs, five DEs, and seven LBs on the roster. Does that not sound like the makings of a base 3-4 package? Thomas Howard's blog avoids all questions on the subject and some mediots (no offense) have reported seeing the 3-4 in goal line situations. What do you think, Jay?
Mark, Colorado Springs

Answer: With your math I'm assuming you're counting Wakefield as a DE and forgot Sands as a DT. The Raiders did work on some 3-4 looks during training camp. I expect to see some of those looks during the season.

And Howard is smart not to discuss the 3-4. His coaches would probably try to shut his site down if he were giving out secrets of what the team might do.

But I don't see the team going to a base 3-4. That would require possibly making Derrick Burgess a fulltime LB. And could Tommy Kelly and Gerard Warren be effective as fulltime DEs in a 3-4?

It would be more likely to see some 3-down linemen looks in passing situations.

Question: Why are they keeping Mario Henderson on the roster? He hasn't been able to block anyone this preseason.
Jim, Crestview, Fla.

Answer: Because Henderson is a third-round pick from 2007. He didn't impress in the preseason, but he will be given every chance to win a starting job - again - next season. The Raiders don't want to put him on the field this year.

Question: Do you see talent in Arman Shields and do you see him making an impact next year like Bush has this year?
Casey, Sacramento

Answer: Shields definitely has talent. When he practiced, he looked explosive when running routes. He has good size and showed promise. The Raiders said his knee injury isn't related to his knee injury in college, even though it's the same knee he injured at Richmond.

This season will be spent strengthening that knee in hopes that Shields can become an impact player next season.

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



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.

Raiders stories on sacbee.com

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31