Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 25, 2009
Raiders sign a DT, Flores and Plunkett leftovers, Raiders in space

The Raiders have made two roster moves today, per Raiders.com. They waived injured cornerback Jason Horton, who had been signed by the team in March, and claimed 6-feet-2, 310-pound defensive tackle Joe Cohen off waivers from Miami

Cohen, 25, was originally a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in 2007 out of Florida. While he has no NFL stats, the Raiders most likely brought him in camp to see if he can help shore up the team's porous run defense.

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In reporting my two stories that ran Sunday and Monday - recapping the Silver and Black's Last Six Years of Futility and opining that coach Tom Cable's alleged physical altercation with assistant Randy Hanson would actually galvanize the team - I spoke with two of the most revered Raiders in the organization's history - Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett. Aside from being the two biggest snubs from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, they also had interesting takes on their team. Both are currently broadcasters.

Flores spoke about how much promise this wet-behind-the-ears Raiders squad has shown him.

"It's exciting to watch a young team grow up because I've been there before," said Flores, the first quarterback in Raiders history. "I've seen this team grow up in the early '60s and finally, unfortunately, I was gone when they did reach the pinnacle and go to Super Bowl II. But still, you could see it coming."

Flores went to Buffalo for two-plus seasons and was a backup with the Kansas City Chiefs when they beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

So I asked Flores, who coached a pair of grizzled Super Bowl winners in 1980 and 1983, if fallout from the "Wrangle in Wine Country" would retard or hasten this Raiders team's growth.

"I don't know," Flores said. "I think once it's all cleared up, once all the facts are brought out into the open, then we can put it to rest and go on. If this was a veteran team like I had at some points, it would be different - it would bounce right off them. But it's a young team, so you never know how a young team's going to handle it."

Plunkett, meanwhile, regaled with an Al Davis story.

"One of the things that's always stuck with me when I took over in '80, Mr. Davis told me, 'It doesn't matter if you played well; it's only important if we win the game. We can play well next time,'" Plunkett recalled.

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NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez grew up in Northern California a fan of the Raiders. So it's only natural that he's taking a piece of his favorite team with him on his next mission, right?

Hernandez, who is on the space shuttle Discovery, is taking a Raiders flag with him to the international space station on the mission, scheduled to blast off tonight.

The Raiders and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers will honor Hernandez at the Coliseum prior to the Raiders-Broncos game on Sept. 27 as part of the team's Fiesta Latina celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month.

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The Raiders had the day off today but resume practice Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in Napa.

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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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