Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lakers Travel to Denver

Happy Veterans Day! Despite the fact that mere words can’t really express the gratitude we all should have towards members of the Armed Forces both past and present for placing their lives on the line daily; thank them for their service & commitment to this great nation.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in Denver the mile high city to do battle with the Nuggets. Both teams have a bit of a bad taste in their mouths after their previous games for different reasons.

The Nuggets are angry about taking a massive 31-point beat down on Tuesday by the Pacers in Indiana. The Lakers aren’t happy with their performance, despite winning, against the Timberwolves. The Nuggets witnessed the Pacers have one of those once in a lifetime quarters of basketball. The Pacers stunned the Nuggets by knocking down 20 of 21 shots in the third quarter.

The Lakers won the game; their eighth of the young season, but left the game with several head scratching questions. The purple and gold appeared to be playing down to their competition or simply having a lackadaisical performance. Derek Fisher was right to call out the team for said performance. The Lakers were out-rebounded, out-scored in the painted area and in this writers opinion shot way too many three point shots.

A couple of things need to be said the Lakers performance raises questions maybe even concerns, but it is early an NBA season is a marathon you’ll lose games you should win & win some you rightfully should’ve lost and every coach and player would agree with everything Fisher said.

This isn’t the best time for the Nuggets to face the Lakers. The Nuggets should put on an inspired performance for the home crowd and in the process bring out the Lakers ‘A’ game. However, the Nuggets are thin on the front line without Kenyon Martin & Chris Anderson and they’ve struggled mightily.

Carmelo Anthony is the best player on the Nuggets, but the team has gotten solid play from Arron Afalalo. The Lakers need to play solid defensively and shut down the pick and roll play, stop the dribble penetration, control the boards and rotate out to three point shooters.

The Nuggets will be more perimeter tonight which means that the Lakers need to start their offense inside. The Lakers need to run their offense through Pau Gasol.
The purple and gold front line needs to be aggressive on both ends of the floor and dominate.

The Lakers need to use both excellent ball movement and excellent player movement to find high percentage shots as oppose to shooting three point shots. I realize that the Lakers lead the league in three-point shooting and it is nice to see those shots go down, but the strength of this team isn’t shooting behind the arc it is dominating the paint.

The Nuggets finally have a power forward that can shoot from distance in Al Harrington and he will look to have a big game, but the Lakers have to limit both his and J. R. Smith’s impact on this game. The Lakers will raise their streak to 9-0 with solid defense, ball movement and executing down the stretch.

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
Television -
• Los Angeles: TNT
• Denver: TNT
Radio -
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
• Denver: KKFN AM 950 (Jerry Schemel & Mark Bertagnolli)
Injuries -
• Andrew Bynum (Knee) Out
• Theo Ratliff (Sore Left Knee) Probable
• Luke Walton (Strained Right Hamstring) Probable
• Kenyon Martin (Left Patella Tendon) Out
• Chris Anderson (Right Patella Tendon) Out

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lakers vs. Suns Preview

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the desert to face the Phoenix Suns in the first road game and second of the season. The Lakers used a second half comeback to knock off the pesky Houston Rockets on ring night. The Suns were pounded on the boards and lost the rebounding battle and game to the Blazers at the Rose Garden in their season opener.

The Phoenix Suns bounced back with a 16-point win over the Jazz in Utah. Tonight’s game is the home opener for the Suns. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but five months and 12 days ago the Suns extended the Western Conference Finals to six games before the Lakers made them understand that 2010 wasn’t going to be their year.

The Suns and the Phoenix faithful will ‘get up’ for this game against the two-time defending champions; the Lakers always receive an opponent’s best effort. This game will be a hard fought and entertaining grudge match.

The Suns put up a good fight in the playoffs, but a turning point in the series had to be the theatrics of talented Suns guard / thespian Goran Dragic. Proving that Sasha Vujcic either has the strongest bicep in the Western Conference or that Dragic put on an act and the officials bought it.

The Suns are a different team without All-Star Amare Stoudamire attacking the basket upon receiving a perfectly placed pass. Amare took his talents to New York. Phoenix will replace his production by committee. The Suns will use free agent addition Hedo Turkoglu at power forward. However his role will change, again.

He was a point forward for the Orlando Magic and one of the main reasons that team made it to the 2009 Finals. He seemed out of position and simply didn’t work out in Toronto. Normally a shooter in the screen and roll game; he will be asked to roll to the basket more. Hakim Warrick was brought in to produce at the four spot.

The Suns still have perennial All-Star Steve Nash making them one of the best teams in the West. The Suns are an uptempo team that wants to run. In the half-court offense the Suns run several high and low screen and roll plays to attack the basket or free spot up shooters. L.A. needs to own the boards, slow the game down and play at their pace, get back in transition, play solid screen and roll defense.

The Lakers bench will be huge for them and provides the necessary match the Suns. Steve Blake is an excellent fit for the Lakers as a penetrating guard, floor leader and outside shooting.

The Suns like to spread the floor with their three point shooters. The Phoenix Suns have seven players that can knock down three point shots. Last season the Suns were the number one scoring and number one shooting team.

The Suns were the second best three-point shooting team in NBA history at 41.2 percent. The Suns were 25-8 when making 10 or more three-point shots. Solid numbers, but unfortunately for them they had to face the Lakers the team that lead the league in defending the three and limited opponents to .328 percent.

The Suns are a small team that doesn’t match up well with the Lakers. The purple and gold will pound the Suns in the middle using their size advantage.Los Angeles will be running their offense through Pau Gasol and asking him to be more aggressive. There is a chance that we’ll see both Ron Artest & Matt Barnes logging minutes at Power Forward.

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
Television -
• Los Angeles: KCAL 9 & ESPN (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
• Phoenix: My45 KUTP(Gary Bender & Eddie Johnson)
Radio -
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
• Phoenix: KTAR 620 AM (Al McCoy & Tim Kempton)
Injuries -
• Andrew Bynum (Knee) Out
• Luke Walton (Hamstring)
• PG Goran Dragic (Sprained Ankle) Listed as Day-to-Day

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lakers vs. Rockets (Opening Night) 2010-2011 Season

It’s the season opener for the 2010-2011 Los Angeles Lakers; but before the journey to repeat commences the squad will receive their championship rings for last seasons exploits. This past off-season was the quietest off season ever for a two-time defending champion in any sport.

The Lakers have no problem with being under the radar with all the pressure being on a certain team that plays in the east. While the majority of the NBA was enamored with a super team being assembled with the three biggest names in free agency landing on the east coast.

The spotlight, scrutiny and high expectations will hover over the Heat all-season and like it or not the move ushered in a new era in the NBA. The super team that Miami is chasing is already assembled and in place on the west coast. However, the purple reign is far from over, but it has improved. The purple and gold didn’t rest on their laurels and stand pat. The two-time defending champion Lakers retooled and are now two deep at every position.

The Additions of veterans Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Theo Ratliff and impressive rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter provide a needed mixture of versatility, experience and youth. The Lakers bench was a weakness last year and now should add better outside shooting as well as produce 35+ points per game.

The additions have also extended the careers of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher as well as provide the Lakers with the ability to match up with anyone. Facing the Rockets; the Lakers have to prepare to play two different teams; one with Yao Ming and one without.

It has been widely publicized that Yao will be limited to 24 minutes per game. Yao is a huge presence in the post and will get the majority of his touches in the half-court offense the Lakers have to minimize his impact on this game.

Los Angeles needs to control the tempo and not allow the Rockets to get out and run. It is a must that all five Lakers get back on defense to eliminate transition baskets. Los Angeles will have to do a good job defending the screen and roll as well as rotating out to their three point shooters. Los Angeles needs to control the boards and play defense without fouling.

It is imperative that the Lakers take care of the ball, limit their turnovers. The Lakers can out-work the Rockets with a combination of excellent ball and player movement. When the Lakers do a good job of sharing the ball; effectively moving it from the strong to the weak side and moving the defense in the process, they’re tough to beat.

The Lakers need to trust their offense and get into a rhythm early. Los Angeles will run their offense through Pau Gasol in the post and he needs to accept the challenge and be much more aggressive.

Prediction: Lakers 102 – Rockets 94

Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST

Television -
• Los Angeles: TNT
• Houston: TNT
Radio -
• Los Angeles: 710 ESPN (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
• Houston: 1140 AM KHTK (Gary Gerould)

Injuries -
• Andrew Bynum (Knee) Out
• Luke Walton (Hamstring) Out
• Theo Ratliff (Knee) Listed as Day-to-Day
• C Yao Ming (Foot) Listed as Day-to-Day
• PG Kyle Lowry (Back Spasms) Listed as Day-to-Day

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Offensive Success starts upfront in Oakland

Offensive Success starts upfront in Oakland

A two-part series on the Raider Offense

Training camp has begun for the Oakland Raiders. The silver and black are working hard preparing for a successful 2010 season. The Raiders had one of the best off-seasons in recent memory. The off-season has provided the team with much needed momentum. Two of the bigger acquisitions for Oakland were Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson and QB Jason Campbell.

These are just two of the many additions brought in to upgrade their offense that ranked 31st in the league and scored 17 touchdowns. The NFL is a passing league and the Raiders ranked 29th out of 32 teams; only the Jets & Browns had less completed passes.

The Raiders ranked 21st in the league rushing in 2009 ; posting seven rushing touchdowns and allowing 49 sacks.

A significant amount of the blame for the above-mentioned rankings needs to be placed on JR's doorstep. A man that never got it. He seemed to be more taken with 'purple drank' than he was at improving as a football player. The Raider offense will improve with a renewed commitment to the running game and an improved passing game with Jason Campbell at the helm. Offensive improvement always starts upfront with the offensive line.

A successful offensive line needs to be based upon having talented athletes and providing them with solid coaching. Tom Cable is a solid offensive line coach. There are coaches that teach the scheme and coaches that teach technique Cable learned from Alex Gibbs who taught both.

For those who do not know Alex Gibbs is seen as the godfather of the zone blocking scheme who coached the Raiders offensive line 1988-1989. Wherever he goes, that team is successful offensively. Oakland's road to redemption starts behind the five guys entrusted to move the crowd.

The Raiders have completed the walk-through version of training camp that Head Coach Tom Cable calls "learning intensive" sessions. The Raiders are focusing on fundamentals. The Zone Blocking Scheme is widely used and highly successful. The zone blocking scheme eliminated a called 'hole' to run in.

Zone blocking in the running game usually relies on technique, as well as smaller more athletic lineman sacrificing size for mobility and runners committed to the one cut and go system. The majority of the running plays due to the movement of the linemen always have the appearance of a stretch play to the weak or strong side of the formation.

The center, guard, tackle, tight end and fullback work in unison to combination block an area with an emphasis on double-teaming a few defensive linemen, 1st or 2nd level threats at the point of attack. The double-team block will provide movement at the line of scrimmage as well as cut back lane for the runner. Getting movement is the key.

Typically people think of the levels as 1st level defensive line, 2nd level linebackers and 3rd level as the secondary as you will see in your game day program. The reality is that things are a little different on the field.

Facing a 3-4 defensive front, for example, causes a lot of confusion for offensive linemen. A blitz or pressure can come from several different players. It is all about treat level the linemen need to be able to read the defense and never leave a 1st level threat unblocked. A defensive lineman, linebacker or defensive back could be a 1st level threat.

The Raiders will face ten opponents that utilize a 3-4 defensive front as their base defense. Oakland will put the pads on August 2nd. The competition to be one of the starting five or depth begins. The guys who will receive snaps on the first-team are as follows:

LT Mario Henderson, LG Robert Gallery, C Samson Satele, RG Cooper Carlisle, RT Langston Walker.

Depth: (T-G) Khalif Barnes, (T) Erik Pears, (C) Chris Morris, (G) Brandon Rodd

New Additions: (G-T) Bruce Campbell, (T) Jared Veldheer, (G) Daniel Loper, (G) Allen Smith, (T) Elliot Vallejo, (G) Alex Parsons

The Raiders best lineman Robert Gallery returns healthy after only playing in six games last year due to a series of injuries. In Gallery's absence, Henderson who had a decent start faded down the stretch. Cooper Carlisle's performance has dropped off over the last two years and competition at Right Guard is required. Langston Walker returns as the surprise starter at right tackle. Cornell Green has left the building. He will be 'false-starting' in Buffalo in 2010. Samson Satele was slow to adjust to the zone blocking scheme, but came on late.

The smartest thing is that there will be competition at every position. The battle for playing time on the offensive line will provide some of the best positional battles of training camp. The best possible scenario for this group in five parts:

1) No serious injuries or games missed, with substantial success and growth as a unit.

2) Robert Gallery not missing a game.

3) Rookies Jared Veldheer & Bruce Campbell rapidly getting up to speed, making an immediate impact and challenging for playing time at left tackle & right guard.

4) Langston Walker showing improvement as a run blocker while continuing to be solid as a pass blocker.

5) A few unexpected lineman playing well and challenging for playing time such as Daniel Loper, Allen Smith or Elliott Vallejo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oakland Raiders: The Definitive 2010 Mock Draft

We're well into the off-season; the Oakland Raiders were surprisingly on the sidelines for the majority of the un-restricted free agency signing period, which is abstruse. The team could simply be working through salary cap constraints; the restricted free agent market hasn't begun yet.

The Raiders did test the waters and recently traded one of their two third round picks (#85 overall acquired from New England in the Derrick Burgess trade) to the Cleveland Browns for Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley. This is a good move by the Raiders one that is a low risk high reward choice.

He is also the only linebacker on the roster penciled in as a starter right now. It appears that some changes will be made and that the linebacker group is quietly being blamed for the team ranking near the bottom of the league in the run stopping category.

The Raiders linebacker group is filled with un-certainty. Starting linebackers Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison are restricted free agents that could be had by any team for a second and third round draft choice, respectively. The Raiders may or may not bring back starting MLB Kirk Morrison.

However, Oakland hasn’t had a leader at the MLB position since Greg Biekert. Trevor Scott made a nice transition to linebacker from Defensive End and even replaced Thomas Howard at one point last season. Jon Alston has signed with the Buccaneers. Ricky Brown, Slade Norris, David Nixon and Isaiah Ekejiuba will return and battle for roster spots.

Oakland has several holes to fill and only 8 draft choices to accomplish the task. The one thing that has to change in Oakland is that this team needs to re-build through the draft and develop their own players. The most glaring needs are Quarterback, Defensive Tackle, Offensive Tackle, Middle Linebacker, Cornerback and Defensive End.

JaMarcus Russell is a bust and the QB position is the biggest need however, Oakland can’t afford to draft a QB in round one with the money owed to Russell. The Raiders will look at veteran options such as trading for Sage Rosenfels as an example.

Although the team is in the process of putting a full-court press on Donovan McNabb.
I would love to see him in silver and black; just concerned about what it will take to land him, I don’t want to see Al give the Eagles a 1st round pick for McNabb.
Another thought has to be will he sign a contract extension to remain in Oakland longer than 2010? It should not come as a surprise that the Raiders are seeking quarterback help.

All true Raiders fans know that Al Davis wants athletes (that have an impressive size & speed, physically imposing players and enjoys acquiring 1st round picks that have washed out with other teams.

This has been a Raiders practice for years with mixed results. The Raiders need to start drafting productive players. A team is really saying this is what we’re all about with a first round pick that has a high level of physical & mental toughness.
The Raiders are in need of playmaker's on both sides of the ball.

This mock draft is my plan to address the teams needs now and building toward a better future. I will also include potential un-drafted free agents that would provide competition and depth on the defensive and offensive lines.

Round 1: MLB Rolando McClain – Alabama 6’4” 255 lbs.

McClain has a unique combination of traits that a team wants in a MLB, size, athletic ability, playmaking ability, physicality; McClain would be an excellent replacement for Morrison and would make an immediate impact. The Raider linebackers make several tackles but far too many are made on the second level of the defense McClain would change that.

The Dick Butkus Award winner is the best inside linebacker in the draft, a productive three-down linebacker that has outstanding football intelligence, instinctive with great diagnostic skills. He is the type of run stopper that the Oakland has been lacking.

He is a hard hitter, one that hits running backs and wide receivers like he wants his money back. He is a big film room guy that is well versed on the history of the game, has spent the last two years as the defensive captain on one of the nation’s top defenses and on the field doesn’t take any false steps. He projects to be a Pro Bowl level player.

The choice should be between ILB Rolando McClain or OT Trent Williams. There are four elite Left Tackles in this draft, more than likely two will be off the board prior to the eighth pick in the draft. A tackle can be selected more than likely moving Mario Henderson to right tackle.

The Raiders have options including moving Gallery back to Left Tackle as well as drafting a tackle after the first round. My reasoning for selecting McClain is based on his immediate impact on the defense that has to stop the run in 2010. I gave you my choice, but I honestly feel that Al Davis wants WR Dez Bryant or FS Taylor Mays.

Round 2: NT Cam Thomas – North Carolina 6” 4” 331 lbs.

The defensive tackle position is the deepest position in the draft. DT is a position that the Raiders haven’t addressed in the draft since Chris Cooper in 2001 & Antaaj Hawthorne in 2005. The optimum size a team wants a DT in the (4-3 front) 6’ 4” 305 lbs.; in a (3-4 front) 6’ 4” 345 lbs.

Cam Thomas fills a need that the Raiders have had for years. A prototypical DT will possess toughness, core strength and quickness. Thomas doesn’t get knocked off the ball and is an incredibly strong bull rusher. He can handle and split double teams.
He is more athletic than N.E. 2009 2nd round pick Ron Brace. Thomas does an excellent job of plugging the middle and freeing the linebackers to make plays. He has played in both front’s giving the team scheme flexibility. The choice should be between Thomas, DT Jared Odrick – Penn State, OT Charles Brown – USC and Jerry Hughes - TCU.

Round 3: OT Jared Veldheer – Hillsdale (Mich) 6’ 7” 321 lbs.

Jared Veldheer has the main four traits that a team looks for in an offensive tackle balance, awareness, recovery speed and pride. The optimum size you want in a tackle is 6’6” 315 lbs. He has excellent size, huge frame, extremely strong and carries his weight well. He is an excellent competitor who works hard and plays past the whistle.

He has excellent strength and is a solid positional blocker. He is very smart and doesn’t miss assignments he also has a habit of finishing his blocks. He as able to dominate and out-muscle competition in Division II however, he started 46 games and didn’t allow a sack.

He was very solid and didn’t shy away from contact in the Texas vs. the Nation all-star game week showing the he can hang with the big boys. He is rising on several teams draft boards. The choice should be between Veldheer, OG Mike Johnson – Alabama, OT Jason Fox - Miami.

Round 4: QB Dan LeFevour – Central Michigan 6’ 3” 229 lbs.

The team is seeking QB help and it has to be done and we all know why. Perhaps Hue Jackson can create a miracle who knows Hue is a solid QB coach, but Jackson can’t be tied to Russell’s failure. Even if the Raiders land Donovan McNabb the team still has to acquire and develop a QB of the future and Dan LeFevour would be a solid prospect to develop as the QB of the future. Oakland has also had a private workout for Sean Canfield.

The spread offense has made finding an NFL QB difficult, but not impossible. LeFevour is an experienced four-year starter that has the “it” factor that a leader at the QB position has to have. He is competitive, has excellent size, mobility and the ability to make plays with his legs.

He has a high completion percentage and threw for over 3,000 yards three of his four years in college. He started 51 of 53 college games throwing for 12, 905 yards and 102 TD’s against 36 Int’s. The choice should be between LeFevour, DT Arthur Jones or WR Taylor Price – Ohio.

Round 5: NT/DE Nate Collins – Virginia 6’ 2” 279 lbs.

Nate Collins is a productive NT in college and solid football player, an undersized NT, but would be an excellent DE. He has a thick build, above –average initial quickness and good lateral range to slip through gaps and create havoc. He uses his hands well and has active feet to counter a blocker’s attempts. He has the strength to slide off blocks and make the tackle. The choice needs to be between Collins, Torrell Troup – UCF, OLB Rennie Curran.

Round 5: OG Marshall Newhouse – TCU 6’ 3” 326 lbs.
Newhouse started at left tackle for three years in Fort Worth; he is the nephew of former Dallas Cowboy fullback Robert. Despite having a lot of sheer mass he has surprising foot quickness to shuffle and slide, projects to be a strong, athletic starter at guard and an excellent drive blocker. The choice should be between Newhouse, DT Linval Joseph.

Round 7: FB John Connor – Kentucky 5’ 11” 240 lbs.

John Connor has a solid, compact, muscular build. He consistently plays with a low pad level, sinks his hips and drives for yards after contact when running the ball. He can be effective in short yardage situations as a runner as well as a blocker. He is a literally a man-moving lead blocker. He is excellent in pass protection and does a good job of sealing running lanes. The choice should be between Connor, OLB Larry Hart – Central Arkansas.

Round 7: OLB Arthur Moats – James Madison 6’ 0” 246 lbs.

Arthur Moats is a Short, Speedy and very productive Buchanan Award Winner as the Division I-AA defensive player of the year. He led the I-AA in tackles for loss and captured the award by the largest margin of votes in the award’s 15-year history. He is seeking to follow in the footsteps of previous winners such as DE Jared Allen, Rashean Mathis and Dexter Coakley.

The following are players that the Raiders could bring in as un-drafted free agents to provide depth and competition on both lines: OT Nick Richmond-TCU, OT Mike Tepper-Cal, C Sean Allen-East Carolina, G Shelly Smith-Colorado State, G Alex Parsons-USC, G Reggie Stephens-Iowa State, DT Abe Koroma-Western Illinois,FB Jack Corcoran-Rutgers and OT Chris Scott-Tenn.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oakland Raiders – It’s time for a Bold Move

It's playoff time in the NFL, which means that the conversation about the Raiders moves on to the next year; will the Head Coach be fired or retained, which prized free agent will the team pursue in search of a quick fix, what will be the latest Al Davis draft mistake, etc. etc. etc.

The fact of the matter is that another year has passed and the organization remains in the same position irrelevant, down and out. The players and several card-carrying members of the Raider Nation have spoken of consistency in regard to Tom Cable remaining the Head Coach.

So-called inside sources/sources close to the team/un-named sources/ people who feel like they know - have stated that Cable went rogue benching JaMarcus Russell. Has it come down to Al choosing between Tom Cable & JaMarcus Russell? Does that make any sense?

Oakland needs stability in the front office, head coach, a coach that can teach the game of football, recognize weaknesses to exploit, devise solid game plans, motivate and lead the team to victory. Regardless of what you or I think those questions and that issue will be decided by Al Davis in a meeting on 1/10/10.

However, the reaction of the players and especially the fan base should provide a stubborn owner more signs that Raider fans have had it. I think that Al Davis needs to break out the Overhead projector and fire himself as the team's General Manager.
Drastic times call for drastic measures and for this team now is the time.

Beyond the obvious of someone else handling the draft for the team, Al Davis needs to make a bold move such as offering a package deal to the Rams for the number one pick in the draft.

He should offer RB Darren McFadden, QB JaMarcus Russell and SS Michael Huff in an attempt to land DT Ndamukong Suh. He should also be on the alert just in case the Rams decide to use that pick on QB Sam Bradford who will more than likely be the highest rated QB in the draft if he checks out medically and proves to be healthy.

If the Rams aren't buying it he could then offer a similar package to the Lions, minus Russell who are in search on offensive help. Here is some of the reasoning behind such a bold move:

1. These are overpriced non-productive players who have either exceeded their 3-5 year window to make an impact or have missed games due to injury but still have trade value.
2. Al Davis can’t be in anyway ready to scratch a series of checks to these players in excess of $28 million for 2010.
3. The team hasn’t gotten any significant return on investment with either player considering where each player was drafted.
4. Freeing up the team from the investment in each player to allow the team to restock more productive talent.
5. The Raiders need to develop their own drafted players, but the guys mentioned were guys the team missed on that a change in scenery could still be beneficial for both parties.
6. The Raiders need to make their money spent work for them on a more tangible level and produce some kind of value.

The goal would be to secure the 1st overall pick in the draft or the second as well as retain the original first choice so the team possess' two first round picks. If successful the team could land DT Ndamukong Suh & MLB Rolando McClain. The bold moves would fill two huge needs on this team replacing 10-year veteran Gerard Warren & Kirk Morrison currently a free agent.

The move would vastly improve the defense at two key positions, provide the Raiders with two solid young impact players that understand that losing is unacceptable, are instinctive, familiar with stopping the run and getting after a quarterback. We are all aware of the fat that the economy is bad, but for those who aren't seeing the entire picture the value of money is decreasing.

This statement is relevant on several levels. The Raiders have literally thrown away way too much money on guys that should have been drafted later than selected.

When you consider that Oakland in the last 23 seasons has had single digit wins in 18 of them, has lost 11 games a year for the last seven years, had top ten first round draft picks for seven years and missed on all of them, had two first round picks in 2002 & 2003 and only have Nnamdi Asomugha to show for those four picks, have thrown too much money at several veteran free agents, the team has also hired and fired several coaches without giving them the latitude to do their job without influence.

I hate to say it, but something has to be done at this high level of perpetual sucktitude! The league is currently re-working the Collective Bargaining Agreement and I want to propose a few changes myself. The Raiders are one of several franchises in the league that have been horrible for a while and are in need of an overhaul. It has resulted in several blowouts, non-competitive games and several local blackouts. These teams are causing the league to lose money.

Isn't it time that a clause is written into the CBA that states a team has five years to make the necessary moves to become competitive or the league office will take over to put that franchise on the right track? That's a total of 85 games, more than enough time to make progressive moves.

Call it punishment or legislation for not being competitive. If the players can be fined, suspended or released for not performing is it right that there is no way to show a team owner that this is unacceptable? Some may have to be forced into a position to be competitive.

The goal has to be a competitive brand of football by all 32 teams. The way it is constructed every team earns revenue, but with more competitive teams the league would make more money and us fans would be able to watch a better product on the field.