A Press Democrat Blog

Instant Raiders

Just another Press Democrat Blogs weblog

DHB and Crabtree, forever linked

They are separated by three picks and about 40 miles of freeway. Like it or not, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Crabtree will be closely compared to one another as rookies, and perhaps throughout their careers. This was only the seventh time in history the Raiders and 49ers drafted the same position in the first round, and it was the first time both of those picks came in the top 10. The other head-to-head duels are listed below. Only one of… Read More »

Live Raiders draft blog all day Sunday

7:33 p.m. Here are some choice bits from Tom Cable’s Day 2 media appearance. I have to say he looked very upbeat about his team’s picked. Or was it just relief that this marathon was over? Anyway, here’s Tom. And I’m out. Hope you enjoyed today’s draft coverage. E-mail any questions about what went on. “Just to talk a little bit about Day 2, it started with Matt Shaughnessy, a defensive end from Wisconsin, we needed a guy that gives… Read More »

Safety Mike Mitchell talks to the media

8:45 p.m. Here is a transcript of our first talk with Ohio safety Mike Mitchell, whom the Raiders took in the second round, with the 47th overall selection. He sounded like a great guy. We’ll see him in a couple weeks. Some draft analysts were surprised you went so high. Were you? “To be honest about it, my agent said there was a really good chance I could go early. I visited a lot of teams, I visited eight teams… Read More »

Russ Lande breaks down the offensive tackles

Yesterday, I ran you through scout Russ Lande’s analysis of three wide receivers – Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin and Kenny Britt – who could be potential targets of the Raiders with the seventh pick of Saturday’s draft. Today we turn to Oakland’s other great position of need: offensive tackle. Lande, who publishes the well-regarded GM jr. draft guide and serves as the Sporting News’ draft expert, believes there is no chance Baylor’s Jason Smith will be available at No. 7.… Read More »

Scout Russ Lande breaks down the receivers

The opinions come so rapidly, so loudly and from so many different directions this time of year that you sometimes can’t hear yourself think amidst the din. On every NFL-themed TV show, every talk-radio program, someone is telling you who can play, who is overrated, and which team should take which player at every conceivable spot in the draft. Where can you turn for solid information? Often, I turn to Russ Lande. He has experience as an NFL scout, first… Read More »

Hey Al, surprise us

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone talk about how unpredictable the Raiders are on draft day, I could settle out of court with Lane Kiffin. The latest was CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, a veteran NFL writer whose recent Raiders draft preview was titled: “With Al Davis in charge, all bets are off.” I don’t mean to single out Pete here. It’s a common refrain in the run-up to each year’s draft. Hell, I probably wrote… Read More »

Cruising with Madden

In late October, 1998, the NFL sent me to Chicago to catch up with John Madden for a story in the upcoming Super Bowl program. He was between NFL games, the MaddenCruiser parked at a nearby garage. Madden asked that we meet at the upscale hotel where he was staying, directing me to a third-floor atrium. Madden was seated at a metal table when I arrived for the interview, as inconspicuous as possible in a baseball cap and sweat suit.… Read More »

Cable unplugged

Raiders coach Tom Cable addressed the media today for the first time since the owners’ meetings, and the local media for the first time since Al Davis gave him the permanent (well, that’s not quite the right word) job on Feb. 4. Cable’s primary task was to talk about the upcoming draft, but as you might imagine, the interview drifted across many boundaries. Here is a transcript of most of it. I left out some boilerplate, we’ll-do-whatever-works-best-for-this-team stuff. TOM CABLE… Read More »

Here come the O-tackles

A stream of offensive tackles has begun to meandering into Alameda. South Carolina’s Jamon Meredith visited the Raiders last Thursday, according to several news reports, and the agency representing Oklahoma’s Phil Loadholt e-mailed to say their client is visiting today. [Update: Loadholt experienced travel delays, is scheduled to arrive in Oakland this afternoon, and will meet with Raiders officials tomorrow.] These two prospects could scarcely present more of a contrast. Meredith (6-4, 304) is known for his agility and athleticism,… Read More »

Before you get too excited about John Marshall…

As far as I know, no one in the media has gotten to interview John Marshall since he was made defensive coordinator. There is talk of making him available at the Raiders’ first mini-camp, which is slated for the weekend after the draft. Until then, we can only speculate on exactly what sort of system Marshall will run in Oakland, and how he might utilize specific players. And we can look at his track record. Fortunately, Marshall has built a… Read More »