Raiders vs Vikings Official thread (MNF, Baby)...

Crossbones

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I'm kinda pumped up for tomorrow's game against Minnesota.

I'm really looking to see the starters play at least the whole first quarter and if it was me they'd play the entire first half. We need a lot of work.

I want to see Randy Moss get into the game. I'd like to see Brooks hook up with the Great One early and often and put the fear of God into the Viks and maybe the rest of the AFC West.

I want to see this offensive line get their shit together. I want to see Gallery show me he's gonna raise his level of intensity. To me these games are improtant. I know the rest of you bums think it doesn't matter . Whatever I think that's bullshit.

Thoughts?


PS- Chiefs looked like dog shit yesterday. Now that's a good thing! :)
 
I am very happy that we have an extra preseason game this year. Some discount the need for so many games but I think it is very important...case in fact.

I am with you bones on Gallery but I am kind of more worried about Grove. He needs to show me he isn't a pushover in the middle. It will be interesting to see how much one game under their belts help out the rookies.

Get into some kind of rhythm even if it is only one drive. Have the passes more accurate so we can evaluate our offensive weapons.

And lastly, show me you can stop the run....please.
 
I wish Brooks and entire starting offensive line would play the first two quarters. Let Walter/Tui and the back-ups take the 2nd half.
 
RaiderIVlife said:
I wish Brooks and entire starting offensive line would play the first two quarters. Let Walter/Tui and the back-ups take the 2nd half.
...and maybe show us they can do something -- anything! :rolleyes:
 
CrossBones said:
...and maybe show us they can do something -- anything! :rolleyes:

The only guys that I would really rest would be Moss & Jordan. All others starters need the work IMHO.
 
I wanna see Randy Moss and Brooks hook us so the Nation can see something in our immediate future --- like early this season.
 
Updated: Aug. 13, 2006, 6:20 PM ET
Moss brings act back to Minnesota to mixed reviewsAssociated Press


MANKATO, Minn. -- Football season at the Metrodome seemed to be missing something last year.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2548646&campaign=rss&source=NFLHeadlines


Moss
For the first time in eight years, Randy Moss wasn't there hauling in long touchdown passes.

That could change Monday night when Moss returns to the place where he became a star for a preseason game against his former team. The Minnesota Vikings traded the supremely talented, but maddeningly enigmatic, Moss to the Oakland Raiders before last season.

"It is going to be something special," Moss said. "Hopefully, the Metrodome will sell out because I'm coming back, but I'm a Raider now."

Moss certainly is familiar with playing in front of a sellout crowd at the raucous Dome. When the Vikings drafted him in 1998, it was like one big adrenaline shot to a franchise that was stuck in a rut.

Before he came to town, the Vikings often had trouble filling seats. But every home game Moss played for the Vikings -- from his preseason debut in 1998 to his final appearance in the Dome in 2004 -- sold out.

He racked up more yards and scored more touchdowns in his first six seasons than any other receiver in NFL history, but he too often found himself in the middle of dustups on the field and off.




"What I did in Minnesota, what I accomplished in Minnesota, is way, way behind me. But this being my first trip back to the Metrodome, it will be special."


Randy Moss



He was fined $10,000 for pretending to pull down his pants and moon the Green Bay crowd during Minnesota's playoff win two years ago, the same year he angered teammates by leaving the field with 2 seconds left in a regular-season loss against Washington.

Off the field, he got in a minor scrape with a traffic enforcement officer in 2002 and verbally abused corporate sponsors on a team bus in 2001.

Nevertheless, his No. 84 jerseys were wildly popular with fans, and still are spotted in the Twin Cities and at training camp in Mankato to this day.

"What I did in Minnesota, what I accomplished in Minnesota, is way, way behind me," Moss said. "But this being my first trip back to the Metrodome, it will be special, but I'm focusing on trying to get our offense moving in the right direction."

Moss was a polarizing force in Minnesota. Some teammates looked up to him, marveled at his unmatched talent and respected his ability to play through pain. Others grew weary of having to answer questions about his erratic behavior and questioned his effort in some games.

Center Matt Birk, who confronted Moss after he left the field early against Washington, was never a big fan.

"I don't know," Birk said when asked what he thought about Moss' return. "I guess I really don't care. He's on a different team now. He's got his own deal. I'm more worried about us."

The game also marks the head coaching debut for the Vikings' Brad Childress. The former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator was hired in January to replace Mike Tice.

While the Raiders opened the preseason with a win over Philadelphia last week, the Vikings will be hitting the field for the first time. Childress will unveil his version of the West Coast offense, which features shorter passes than the vertical game that Moss mastered with the Vikings.

"Hopefully he won't go too deep on us," Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "But it will be good to see him."

Raiders coach Art Shell said he wouldn't let the homecoming dictate how much playing time Moss will get. Shell is more interested in seeing the Raiders' new offense, which emphasizes the run and is a work in progress with new quarterback Aaron Brooks, develop.

"To say that we're going to give him much more playing time because he's going back to Minnesota, that's not the way it's going to work because we're in this thing for the long haul," Shell said. "So, Randy Moss will work with the progression of training camp, just like all the rest of our players. We're not going to do anything special."

_________________
 
I wish this was a regular season game.

It would be nice to see Randy do his thing the full game.

He should get a standing ovation from the fans. The fans loved him. He never had problems with them. His problems was with the Twin Cities media more than anything.

I really am curious to see what Tavaris Jackson, who the Vikings drafted in the late round. He is the QB of the future and reports are that he is accelerating well with the offense. We will see.
 
TMG...you a little worried about the Viks QB situation this year?
 
No. Even if Brad Johnson goes down, it's a great thing because this gives the Vikings an opportunity to see what Tavaris can do. I wouldn't mind seeing Tavaris Jackson play some games this year. The sooner he learns, the better he and the team for it. I don't see Brad being the QB next year.
 
Raiders vs. Vikings

• TIME: 5 p.m.

• TV/RADIO: Chs. 5, 44, ESPN; 560-AM

• REMAINING GAMES: vs. 49ers, Sunday, 5 p.m., Ch. 2; vs. Detroit Lions, Aug. 25, 7 p.m., Ch. 36; at Seattle Seahawks, Aug. 31, 7 p.m., Ch. 2.

• STORY LINE: Raiders -- On the surface, much is being made of wide receiver Randy Moss' first game against his former team, at the stadium where he once was adored by everyone. However, Raiders coach Art Shell has made it known to his players and everyone else that Moss' return is a sidelight in terms of what he came here to see. That is, he wants his offense and defense to be more physical and more efficient than they were in Oakland's exhibition opener Aug. 6, when the Philadelphia Eagles starters dominated their counterparts. Look for the Raiders to continue their quest to get running back LaMont Jordan more comfortable in an offense geared toward getting him a sizable workload during the regular season. Also, quarterback Aaron Brooks is expected to see at least one quarter of action for the second straight game and be called upon to attempt more passes than he did in the first game. Defensively, the Raiders figure to assert themselves more as their younger players get more comfortable in the scheme and playing with new teammates. Look for rookie Michael Huff to get more playing time, both at strong safety and cornerback.

DON'T BE SURPRISED IF: The Raiders starters play into the second quarter and fare much better than they did in their first game.
 
Angry Pope said:
DON'T BE SURPRISED IF: The Raiders starters play into the second quarter and fare much better than they did in their first game.
I hope this is exactly what happens.
 
To me, this is the first game, cuz I couldn't see last week's game.

Honestly, this stuff doesn't mean much. Like Shell has said, he wasn't to see certain things, and I look for them myself.

But here's the thing. I saw Houston play with passion. They were getting after it, even when they were screwing up. I forget the other team with a new coach I saw that was doing the same thing. Those were their 1st games. I'm excited to see what we do in our second.

Additionally, Denver's and KC's 1st units both looked like dog shit. Every coach has a different criteria for what they want to accomplish in the pre-season. That's why you can't measure one team against another. That's why the pre-season is almost meaningless. Gruden's teams always looked like shit in pre-season. He should have taken us to the Bowl one year, and Callahan's similarly dog-shit team did take us to the Bowl one season.

It's all relative. Still, we've got players that have to show us what they can do on both sides of the ball. And I'll be looking closely at it tonight. Look for a report by Thursday, since I'll want to watch the tape.
 
Yo're right about the Chiefs and Denver. San Diego on the other hand looked good.

I've said it until I'm blue in the face. With the mess our team is in it's high time we play our starters and see just what we have. If the other team wants to run their 2's fine -- we should completely dominate them. I know we won't but we should (play the starters the entire first half).
 
I definitely like the idea of using our starters the entire half as Bones said.

For me, the tempo thing kind of effects a young team trying to concentrate too much in front of a nationwide audience versus a veteran team. Some of the players haven't played in a year with us...rookies and injured players. I would definitely be concerned if that happens today now that the nerves have settled down and they are used to hitting and tackling...so we shall see I guess.
 
Childress, Shell have work to do

Gary Horton


After watching a lot of film on both the Raiders and Vikings, talking to coaches and scouts, and following preseason practices, here are some key things to watch in their Monday night game.


Oakland Raiders

• Art Shell hired former assistant Tom Walsh to run his offense, but Walsh has been out of football since 1999 and was running a bed and breakfast in Idaho. Shell has not been a head coach since 1994. Can they get it done?
• The Raiders have chosen a defensive back with their first pick in five of the last six drafts, yet their secondary still stinks. The feeling is they draft athletes instead of football players and are too hung up on speed and measurables.

• The Raiders led the NFL in penalties again in 2005. Can Art Shell get them to play intelligently without sacrificing toughness? This team isn't good enough to lose field position with penalties.

• Rookie first-round pick Michael Huff has looked great early and can be a difference-maker. Huff, who will line up at deep safety, will play in the box versus the run, blitz off the edge and play some man-to-man coverage against inside receivers in passing situations. Huff is the key to a young but talented secondary.

• While Aaron Brooks is the favorite to start at quarterback on opening day, there is a lot of sentiment within the organization for youngster Andrew Walter to get the nod. He can make all the throws and has a good feel for the game. Many believe he will make fewer mistakes than Brooks. Don't be surprised if this is a closer quarterback battle than initially anticipated. At the very least, if Walter finishes strong in the preseason, Shell will have a quick hook with the mistake-prone Brooks.

• Place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski is under a lot of pressure to rebound in 2006. He was terribly inconsistent in 2005, converting only 7 of 15 field goals from beyond 40 yards. In addition, his kickoffs are no longer deep. He needs a big preseason to regain his confidence and the trust of the coaching staff.


• Shell will look to install a more powerful running game in 2006. Running back LaMont Jordan averaged only 19.4 rushes per game a year ago, but did have 70 receptions out of the backfield in Norv Turner's offense. This season, a lot of those receptions will now be runs. The Raiders better hope Jordan stays healthy because they lack a quality backup to share carries. Oakland's running game could be a disaster if Jordan were to miss any significant time.

• For a struggling team, you would expect the Raiders to have a lot of room under the salary cap. However, they are under the cap by less than $2 million and had to cut four players before training camp to gain some breathing room. It will be difficult for the Raiders make any significant personnel acquisitions before opening day even if they see a player they like.

• One challenge for Walsh is to get wide receiver Randy Moss involved early in games. Moss is a totally different player when he gets early touches. When he doesn't get involved early, he can disappear from games and completely lose his concentration.

• Right defensive end Derrick Burgess recorded a league-high 16 sacks in 2005 and could be even better in 2006. With the free-agent acquisition of left defensive end Lance Johnstone, who is a situational pass-rushing specialist, Burgess will see fewer double-teams on third downs because offenses will be forced to respect Johnstone on the other side.

• The Raiders will run a variety of defensive alignments, using both 4-3 and 3-4 fronts. They also may utilize a very aggressive blitz package. The big question is whether they are presenting different looks on defense to confuse opponents or to cover up personnel weaknesses?

• Don't be surprised if Shell coaches this team for only a couple of seasons, then kicks himself upstairs to run the team as the general manager. This is likely Al Davis' last hire and Shell will probably be the face of this organization in whatever capacity he chooses -- which will eventually be the front office.

• Kickoff return specialist Chris Carr did a nice job a year ago of giving the Raiders good field position, but he was not nearly as good on punt returns. He fumbled too much and did not make quick decisions. He has a lot of talent but must be better on punt returns in the preseason.

• Although the Raiders have experimented extensively with trying to turn Tyler Brayton into an OLB (especially in the 3-4 defense), the coaches now are leaving him at DE and he is playing well. He will usually be on the field on first and second downs, but may come out in pass-rushing situations.

• The Raiders really like Walter and he is closer to the field than people might think. He is the solid No. 2 right now and starter Aaron Brooks has only a two-year contract. The Raiders also didn't address the QB position in the draft. If Brooks falters, a lot of players (including Randy Moss) would be comfortable with Walter at the helm, although he still can be inconsistent.

• Although the Raiders are saying that disgruntled WR Jerry Porter is on the trading block, don't expect a deal soon. Davis wants a high draft pick or a good veteran player, along with $4 million from Porter. That is a steep price to pay to get out of Oakland, and other teams are not that interested in Porter.

• A guy to watch in the preseason is rookie third-round pick Thomas Howard. He has a good chance to start at weakside LB. He is showing speed and range, and could develop into an excellent blitzer. He will get a lot of snaps in the next four weeks to see if he is ready.

• Cornerback Fabian Washington is having an excellent camp and is making plays around the ball, something he didn't do in 2005. Nobody questions his athletic skills, but he just hasn't shown playmaking ability up to this point. The Raiders desperately need a shutdown corner and hope Washington can be that guy.

• The coaches are working on getting the ball more to their tight ends. They know if they throw the ball more often to the tight ends, it will open up the outside for the wideouts.

• The offensive line had a lot of false start penalties a year ago and it is working hard to cut down on those penalties. However, it is difficult to come off the ball in a physical style without making those mistakes. Controlled aggressiveness is what the coaches want.


cont'd...
 
cont'd...

Minnesota Vikings

• Will Brad Childress regret getting rid of Daunte Culpepper -- especially if he plays well in Miami? There is some bad blood between Childress and Culpepper and this will be an ongoing story. Culpepper is obsessed with showing the Vikings they made a mistake, and his rehab is ahead of schedule.
• Is the left side of the Minnesota offensive line -- LT Bryant McKinnie, LG Steve Hutchinson, and OC Matt Birk -- the best in the NFL?

• Minnesota will run the Cover 2 defense. Ironically, this scheme originated in Minnesota years ago with defensive coordinator Floyd Peters, who taught it to Monte Kiffin (Tampa Bay). Three of the four teams in the NFC North (Detroit, Chicago, and Minnesota) will run the Cover 2.

• Owner Zygi Wilf spent $31.5 million in free agency to bring in 10 unrestricted free agents and $2 million to renovate the Vikings' locker room. He also let Brad Childress hire a large 21-man coaching staff. This organization is not holding back and expects to win. Even though the Vikings have a new coaching staff and new faces on the field, they do not consider 2006 a transition year.

• Childress is used to running the West Coast offense, but he believes you win games in the trenches. The Vikings are big and deep along both the offensive and defensive line. They will dominate and wear down a lot of teams physically because of their size.


• Cornerback Antoine Winfield should be a perfect fit in the Cover 2 defense. He is the most physical corner in the league and is great in run support. In the Cover 2, he can play close to the line of scrimmage and most of his movement will be going forward, facing the ball and not turning and running with receivers in man-to-man situations. He can squat on the short routes and attack versus the run. He will have a Pro Bowl year in this defense.

• The Vikings are reportedly ecstatic about rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. He has a great arm and can make all the throws. Childress loves to develop young quarterbacks. Although Jackson will start the season No. 3 on the depth chart, don't be surprised if they bring him along quickly. Jackson could be Minnesota's future starting quarterback and one of the biggest gems of the 2006 draft.

• Free safety Darren Sharper and defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin shouldn't have any problem communicating as they were teammates in college. Sharper can be helpful to Tomlin because he is a great defensive leader and a coach on the field.

• Although Childress hired two coordinators -- Darrell Bevell (offense) and Mike Tomlin (defense) -- who have never held the position before, it should not be a big problem. Childress will be involved in offensive game plans and will call the plays on Sunday. Defensively, Tomlin knows the Cover 2 and the players are responding very well to him so far. Childress is a strong believer in surrounding yourself with loyal assistant coaches. He may have sacrificed experience with this staff, but he will have a staff that believes in and supports him.

• The linebacking corps is the biggest question mark on this team, especially at middle linebacker. All three starters will be new in 2006, with rookie Chad Greenway on the weak side, free-agent acquisition Ben Leber on the strong side and E.J. Henderson in the middle (he played SLB in 2005). There are three candidates at middle linebacker -- Henderson, Dontarrious Thomas and Napoleon Harris, but all three have holes and none is very good in coverage (which is critical in the Cover 2). If this position falls apart, Leber could move to middle linebacker and Henderson could move to SLB. The key to improving this defense in 2006 is the development of the linebackers.

• Signing PK Ryan Longwell away from Green Bay in the offseason not only gave the Vikings a legitimate veteran kicker, but also weakened a division rival. Although Longwell will benefit from kicking indoors, he is also accustomed to kicking in poor weather conditions and the Vikings have two big road division games in December (at Green Bay and at Chicago).

• The Vikings took a hit in terms of their depth at safety last week with the injury to Tank Williams. Recently acquired Dwight Smith will now work with Darren Sharper on the first unit. The good news for the Vikings is that Smith knows this Cover 2 defense, making it easier to make the necessary adjustments. The only really dependable backup is Willie Offord, and he is coming off knee surgery.

• Wide receiver Koren Robinson made it to the Pro Bowl a year ago as a kickoff return specialist, but now that he is the No. 1 receiver in this offense, he will have to give up his return duties. Don't be surprised if backup RB Mewelde Moore winds up as the kickoff and punt return specialist, although several other players may get a look in the preseason.

• Punter Chris Kluwe, a big question mark in the offseason because of surgery on his right knee, looks great so far in training camp. His distance and hang time are excellent and he has been very consistent. If Kluwe is healthy, he also will hold for field goals and extra points.

• Jackson still looks good in terms of arm strength and athleticism, but he's struggling a little bit with his reads in the complicated West Coast offense. As a result, he holds on to the ball longer than he should at times.

• Minnesota is experimenting a little bit with a 3-4 defense because of its defensive line depth and good group of pass rushers. Although the Vikings are still a 4-3 front defense with a Cover 2 coverage scheme, several players have played in the 3-4 scheme and it could be an interesting defensive option.

• Hutchinson and McKinnie are watching a lot of film together and are really working to understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. They are looking for the same kind of communication Hutchinson had with Seattle LOT Walter Jones. When that happens, this duo will be almost unbeatable.

• WR Troy Williamson is having an excellent camp and should start opposite Robinson. He is adjusting to being more than just a vertical receiver and is running better routes. He is also going across the middle in the West Coast offense.
 
CrossBones said:
Yo're right about the Chiefs and Denver. San Diego on the other hand looked good.

I've said it until I'm blue in the face. With the mess our team is in it's high time we play our starters and see just what we have. If the other team wants to run their 2's fine -- we should completely dominate them. I know we won't but we should (play the starters the entire first half).
I don't disagree, and my approach would be similar. That said, I'm just pointing out that many coaches do not use that approach, so I can't expect to judge things on my terms when my terms aren't being considered.
 
You guys ready to roll?

Let's hope for some domination by the 1's and no injuries.
 
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