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Instant Raiders

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Fields of dreams

Remember those old slugfests in the Kingdome? The Raiders had some great games with the Seahawks before the dome was imploded, but the venue – while offering the Hawks a huge home-field advantage – was an aesthetic dud. In contrast, Qwest Field, pet project of Seahawks owner Paul Allen, is a space-age beauty, capped by huge arcing spans of steel that look like suspension bridges. At the north end of the stadium is a small, freestanding pyramid of seats that… Read More »

Tattoo correction

OK, Raider Nation. I apologize. I told you the deadline for the Jarrod Cooper First Annual Raiders Tattoo Contest was Oct. 31, and that Cooper was throwing in a pair of tickets to the Raiders-Steelers game. Several of you then pointed out that the game is Oct. 29, which didn’t make much sense. I had forgotten that when Coop sweetened the pot, he amended the deadline to Oct. 26. So there you have it, inksters. Oh, and where you place… Read More »

Show us your tats

OK, you ink-stained Raiders fans, here’s your chance to win a cool $1,000, courtesy of safety Jarrod Cooper. Cooper, in addition to his hellacious special-teams play, saucy tales and collection of giant snakes, is known for his tattoos – especially the vaguely tribal swooshes that fill most of his left arm. And he wants to see yours. He announced to writers Tuesday that he’s got a thousand bucks waiting for the person who can show him the best Raiders tattoo,… Read More »

The Grim Reaper, pt. 1

The Raiders are where they need to be, at 75 players. They got there by cutting six guys Tuesday – wide receivers Burl Toler and Rick Gatewood, quarterback Kent Smith, tight end Derek Miller and cornerback Dennis Davis – and placing four players on injured reserve – fullback Joe Hall, linebacker Timi Wusu, running back DeJuan Green and defensive tackle Michael Quarshie. Those 10 joined six players cut the previous day: tight end Marcellus Rivers, quarterback Reggie Robertson, guard Rod… Read More »

Paging Vince Evans

The best thing about the Raiders’ signing Jeff George on Monday? It was so patently unbelievable, it gave you carte blanche to mess with people’s heads. Raiders PR director Mike Taylor broke the news after the open locker room session at midday, gathering the present writers in a circle. The reaction: several seconds of dumbfounded silence. Then came the opportunity to inform each new person who walked in the door, eliciting the expected “yeah, right” responses. I called one writer… Read More »

Random observations on the Lions game

OK, Art Shell and Ted Daisher, can we call off the Doug Gabriel experiment yet? Throughout training camp and the preseason, Gabriel and Chris Carr have shared duties on punt and kickoff returns. Carr takes a few too many risks, but he’s an electric open-field runner. That was in evidence Friday night, when he was one toe tackle away from a possible touchdown on the opening kickoff, and later when he made about five guys miss on a punt return.… Read More »

Top of the charts

Well, training camp is over, and with it goes our chance to witness live practices. Once the team moves down to Alameda, the writers’ information comes secondhand, from coach Art Shell and his players. That information includes the configuration of the depth chart, which can be a little hazy when you’re not seeing it with your own eyes. To mark the occasion, here’s a look at the Raiders’ first-team offense and defense, and – perhaps more interesting to the hard-core… Read More »

A painful practice

It was great to see Ronald Curry working at practice Tuesday, but several other Raiders wound up sore. Wide receiver Alvis Whitted was the first to go. He strained his groin and left the field, though he said afterward it was no big deal. Then defensive tackle Michael Quarshie, the Footballin’ Finn, had someone fall on the back of his legs. Quarshie hurt his left knee and followed Whitted to the locker room. Finally, we noticed that backup quarterback Andrew… Read More »

A tragedy waiting to happen?

One of the more shocking pieces of news to emerge this week was the decision by a Dade County (Fla.) Circuit judge to sentence former Raiders center Barret Robbins to five years’ probation for attempted murder, battery and three other charges. The charges stem from a wild brawl in Miami Beach on Jan. 15, 2005, when Robbins injured three police officers – he rammed one cop’s head into a wall – after they responded to a burglary call. Releasing Robbins… Read More »

Why Tom Walsh must approximate Bill Walsh

It’s hard to explain how the Raiders’ offense could improve in every facet after stinking up the field twice this preseason – even factoring in the home crowd and the level of competition. Did Aaron Brooks and LaMont Jordan and Robert Gallery and Langston Walker all get better at the same time? Doubtful. If there was one main underlying factor, I think it was Tom Walsh’s play calling against the 49ers. San Francisco seemed surprised to see the Raiders pass… Read More »