Raiders will begin looking for answers today

Angel

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Raiders will begin looking for answers today
By Jason Jones -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Friday, May 5, 2006

ALAMEDA - Raiders first-year coach Art Shell was coy about who was the team's starting quarterback during Oakland's first minicamp last month.
"It doesn't matter who starts, it's who finishes," Shell said during last weekend's NFL draft. ".... We'll get to that. We got a long ways to go."

That journey continues today when the Raiders begin their second minicamp of the offseason. Here are five questions facing the Raiders heading into the weekend:

1. Will likely move improve Gallery? - Robert Gallery, the No. 2 overall draft pick of 2004 "probably" will play left tackle, where he was an All-American at Iowa, Shell said. Barry Sims has been the regular left tackle since 2001 but could move to guard, where he started four games as a rookie in 1999. Langston Walker might move from guard to right tackle, and Jake Grove will play center. The line was hit hard with injuries and disappointment last season.

2. Who is the No. 2 QB? - One of the reasons the Raiders didn't draft USC's Matt Leinart is they like second-year pro Andrew Walter, despite the fact he didn't play in one regular-season game in 2005. He had surgery on his left groin in the offseason but is expected to take snaps this weekend. A strong showing could relegate career backup Marques Tuiasosopo to third string and make Aaron Brooks a stopgap before the Walter era begins.

3. Will a defensive tackle make an impact? - Warren Sapp, still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, will see limited action this weekend . That gives Terdell Sands, Tommy Kelly and Anttaj Hawthorne a chance to make an early impression before training camp.

4. Who will sit while Michael Huff plays? - That would be safety Derrick Gibson. He played in six games last season before dislocating his left wrist. He missed the 2004 season with a dislocated shoulder. In the three seasons before that injury, he wasn't exactly praised by most observers.

5. Will Randy step forward? - Randy Moss played hurt for most of his first season in Oakland. Now healthy, he has a chance to become a team leader. And if Brooks develops an early rapport with Moss, it could make for a big season in Oakland with Moss leading the way.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports/story/14251963p-15068169c.html
 
Hawthorne? NFL-Europe ain't over yet. He's getting game reps and improving as a NT (despite what Crow would like to believe).
 
Hawthore? He isn't even starting in NFLE. I don't see this guy makling any sort of impact in the NFL.
 
Bones: He's been getting more and more minutes while there. Remember he was a late allocation. I think he has a future in the NFL. I really think 6th round was about right for him considering the time it will take to get him on the field.

Consider it like this, Terdell Sands has been in the NFL for 5 seasons (2 on the P-Squad in KC) and he just started to make an impact last season. For some guys it's instant success, for others it's an uphill battle. I think Hawthorne will make an impact sooner than Sands did, maybe this season, but most likely next season.
 
I think if the guy was capable of playing (starting) in the NFL he'd have picked up the NFLE thing very quickly and would be dominate. He's done neither. I think that's a problem. JMO.
 
Have you seen him play in NFL-Euro?
 
CrossBones said:
I've heard numerous reports and options.
Yeah, but what are they looking at? Who's making these reports?
 
People who are watching that league play.

It seems reasonable to me. The guy should be playing a lot and dominating at that level and he's not. Pick the reason.
 
Yeah, I've been watching it too. I've also been watching the rather rigid assignments that DL is getting, strict rush lane assignments and gap control.

So when you say someone should be dominating, you need to keep it in the context of whether anyone on that line is dominating. When the answer is no-one is, then the issue is the assignments not the players.

That line has strict assignments. When they coincide with where the play is going, someone makes a play. When they don't, no-one does. For example, I remember a play that struck me as ugly last week. Hawthorne was lined up in the A-gap and some schlep was head up on the opposite guard. They both charge into the gap on their right. Hawthorne takes the center and guard with him and gets about 3-yards into the backfield. The other schlep gets stoned at the line for no penetration. The QB could have taken off down the middle of the field because absolutely no-one was there.

So, I don't blame the players on that one, I blame the call. Hawthorne got penetration against 2 guys but the call took him out of the play. I'll grant they let him go into the B-gap and walled him off from the QB. The other guy only had to beat 1 guy and couldn't go anywhere. Still, Hawthorne beat his guy to the outside when he was aligned inside. The other DT couldn't beat his guy inside when he was aligned head up.

On other plays Hawthorne was anchoring against double teams and not getting driven off the line.

Three things on Hawthorne: 1) he has great initial quickness, 2) he has very good strength, 3) he will give up on the play if taken out of it.

Three might seem critical, and it's something I'd like to see him work on, but he will pursue plays if he isn't totally screwed, so there is hope for him.

So, I don't see why a guy has to dominate against 2 guys. Washington rarely did, and he's one of the best pure nose tackles in recent history. That's all I'm saying. Will Hawthorne find 2 guys in the NFL tougher than 2 guys in the NFL-Euro? Without question. But I like what I see from him. He's getting better, and beyond that, there's not much we should expect from his stint in NFL-Euro.
 
Rupert said:
Hawthorne? NFL-Europe ain't over yet. He's getting game reps and improving as a NT (despite what Crow would like to believe).
Crow just has his own way ......even if it's wrong....and it is most of the time :p
 
Plunkett16 said:
I am starting to believe angel is a closet raider fan lol:p :p
Either that or I've hypnotized her with my eyes. :D
 
She wants so badly to come over to the Dark Side.

You know it's true, Angel. Besides, admit it -- Raider Fan is much cooler than Chief Fan (in generaly terms) --- :cool:
 
CrossBones said:
She wants so badly to come over to the Dark Side.

You know it's true, Angel. Besides, admit it -- Raider Fan is much cooler than Chief Fan (in generaly terms) --- :cool:
Aw......no......not really ;)
 
Plunkett16 said:
:D
you look sooo much better in silver and black then red and yellow:p
not really....I have dark hair, therefore, look much better in red than black!! :p
 
Angel said:
not really....I have dark hair, therefore, look much better in red than black!! :p
Waitaminute! Lemme see if I get this straight. Your hair color determines the team you root for? I better go gray at some point, cuz I ain't changing teams.
 
Rupert said:
Waitaminute! Lemme see if I get this straight. Your hair color determines the team you root for? I better go gray at some point, cuz I ain't changing teams.
No.....you must've missed it...Plunkett said I look so much better in silver and black.....was just telling him why that's not true!! ;)
 
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