Schweigert Says Feasible Goal 13-14 Win Season...

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Schweigert expecting the best in Oakland

By Anthony Carroll on August 30, 2006 12:28 AM


Since joining the Oakland Raiders two years ago, free safety Stuart Schweigert has won just nine games.

This season, Schweigert wants to win nearly 90 percent of his games.

"I think we're looking for 13, 14 wins this season as a feasible goal, and I think we can meet that goal," said the 25-year-old.

Over the past two seasons, the former Purdue standout has started in 16 games with the Raiders, 13 of which came in 2005. In all, Schweigert has tallied 139 tackles, 10 pass deflections and two interceptions. Last season, despite just a pair of interceptions, the 6-foot-1 safety led Oakland in the category, accounting for two-fifths of the entire team's production. As a result, at year's end, Oakland sat atop the NFL history book, shattering the record-low interception mark for a full 16-game season.

Just weeks before the team's season opener, Schweigert is confident that won't happen again.

"One of the biggest things we've done from the last couple of years is we're creating turnovers. We've had two or three or four turnovers every game so far, and that's also been a reason why we've been winning these preseason games. So we got to continue doing that," he said.

Four preseason games into the '06 campaign, the Raiders have forced 12 turnovers - a year after forcing just 19 all of last season. The team has come out on top in each of its first four contests, holding opponents to a total of just 33 points along the way.

For No. 30, that's enough to use the "S" word.

"I honestly believe that we have a shot this year," Schweigert said. "A lot of teams are scared to talk about 'Super Bowl'...but Art Shell, as soon as he walked in the front door, said 'We want to go and win the Super Bowl this season.' That's kind of our mindset this whole offseason, with all the OTAs and minicamps and workouts and running programs and everything that we've done."

"We go into every game wanting to win, even in the preseason," he added. "We wanted to go out and win and play as if it were a regular-season game, and, so far, its showing and we're 4-0 and looking forward to this game against Seattle."

For Schweigert, it was in February when everything began to click.

Under the guidance of Art Shell, this was a new team, and he quickly came to realize that.

"He's a no-nonsense guy," the young safety said on Monday. "When he says something, everyone listens. That's different from what we've had the past couple of years. There's no more coming into meetings late, [there's no more] guys not doing what they don't want to do."

If Art Shell says the Super Bowl is within reach, Stuart Schweigert certainly won't argue.
 
This will draw much derision, but hey, I'm glad these guys think this way. Confidence may not be the sole determinate of sucess, but it's certainly a factor.

Good for Stu.
 
It's possible. Not very likely, but possible. If they get some luck starting the season, I don't see a team in the first 6 we can't beat. We could face Pissburgh 6-0. About that time the team should be gelling, and could get better.

Realistically 4-2 is more like it, and it gets a little tougher in the final 10, where 5-5 is a realistic possibility. So I think 9-7 is about the best this team should expect. A little luck, they could win 11. 13 or 14? A serious dream. But I'd certainly take it.

Get to it Stu!
 
[Talent + (Hardwork)(Consistency)]Confidence divided by (17 Games) is greater than or equal to 14 Wins :)
 
I think Stu needs to pass the pipe.

6-0 Rup?...let's pass the pipe to the left since Rup is sitting to Stu's left! ;)
 
The Oakland Raiders Will Be Better Than Anticipated

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006 12:00 AM

During the summer months, I wrote a couple of NFL blog entries that were very critical of the Oakland Raiders. You can access the most recent of those entries HERE by scrolling down to the entry from Monday, June 5. Those blog entries received as much attention as anything I have ever written. They got posted on several Raider Nation websites, and those fans were not in agreement with my opinion, to say the least.

I am ready to revisit the Raiders one last time as they prepare for their preseason finale at Seattle this evening. My handicapping philosophy has always been fairly simple in one regard – I believe what I see on the field. There have been some very positive signs out of the Oakland Raiders this August. I’m not ready to call this team a playoff contender, but I’m certainly no longer considering a bet on the Raiders UNDER their season win total, currently sitting at O/U 6.5 victories in most locations. This is a team that appears capable of winning seven or eight games.

There have been several major positive signs from the Raiders this month. The attitude adjustment under new head coach Art Shell has been tremendous. Shell clearly commands respect as a Hall of Fame player and a winning head coach in his previous tenure in Oakland. The Raiders have had attitude problems galore in recent seasons. Norv Turner was absolutely the wrong fit for this team. At this early stage of Shell’s second go-round with the ballclub, the team has responded very well to his strong leadership at the top.

I still have questions and concerns about the hire of Tom Walsh as offensive coordinator, but we have seen some positives from the offense during the past few games. The Raiders offensive line looked like a potential disaster area on paper heading into the preseason, and the first-string offensive line got dominated in each of their first two preseason games versus Philadelphia and Minnesota. But there have been signs of improvement during the past two weeks. Robert Gallery has finally started to live up to his No. 1 draft choice billing at left tackle. Langston Walker has looked solid on the right. There are still questions. Jake Grove is injured once again, after missing 13 games with injuries during the past two years. Rookie Paul McQuistan out of Weber State is expected to be the starting right guard. Left guard Barry Sims is batting injury problems of his own. Despite the improvement in the last two games, Oakland heads into the regular season with an offensive line that has more question marks than sure things.

LaMont Jordan has looked great as a power back, grinding out yardage between the tackles. Aaron Brooks has found his rhythm with Oakland’s stellar receiving corps during the last two weeks after a miserable start to the preseason. But the success of Jordan and Brooks depends heavily on the play of the offensive line. If the offensive line can’t open holes for Jordan and protect Brooks, this offense is going to sputter.

The single biggest improvement that I’ve seen out of Oakland on the field has been on the defensive side of the football, particularly in the secondary. The Raiders secondary has been a sieve for the better part of the past decade. Oakland has taken a defensive back in the first round five times in the last six years in an effort to shore up that secondary. Finally, this preseason, we’ve seen the young talent begin to live up to expectations.

The starting secondary of Nnaamdi Asomugha, Fabian Washington, Stuart Schweigert and Derrick Gibson has looked rock solid. In their four preseason games, Oakland’s opponents have completed 70 of their 133 pass attempts, 52.6 percent, significantly better than the 60.9 percent completion rate allowed last year. The Raiders have stopped their opposition on third down 37 times in 57 tries, a solid 35 percent conversion rate. Oakland has enjoyed solid play from their defensive line, a key factor in the success of the secondary, sparked by Warren Sapp’s sudden resurgence.

Are the Raiders a playoff team? No, not in this division with three other teams that are capable of reaching the playoffs. Put the Raiders in the AFC South with four games against the Titans and Texans, and I would give them a fighting chance to be playing in January. But, with a 1-11 mark against their divisional rivals during the last two years, it’s hard to picture the Raiders earning enough victories against their divisional foes to make a push for the postseason. However, this team does not look like the disaster area that I projected them to be back in June. I believe what I have seen on the field. This is a ballclub that should improve from the 4-12, 5-11 and 4-12 marks of the past three years.
 
AFC West Odds « »


By Dan the Man

Host of the Sports Edge Radio Show

Kansas City Chiefs (WagerWeb.com odds to win division/regular-season wins): +$165/9 wins: This could finally be the year for the Chiefs. New coach, new offense, new attitude. The Herm Edwards era is ushered in at the perfect time as QB Trent Green is in his prime, RB Larry Johnson is all-world, and the Chiefs might actually have a defense that will allow less than 30 points a game. If the Chiefs believe in themselves, they could win 14 games; if they question themselves, they could win 8.

DTM PREDICTED WINS: 11

Denver Broncos +$110/10 wins: The Broncos are in a weird position in QB Jake Plummer being the clear leader of this team, but rookie QB Jay Cutler clearly being the future. If Plummer struggles early, look for a quick switch to be made. Letting Ashley Lelie go may have been a mistake, but the Broncos can find RBs on Pluto, so maybe that will rub off on the WR department. The defense has its holes, but is a solid unit. Denver should challenge for the AFC West title as well as the Super Bowl title.

DTM PREDICTED WINS: 11

San Diego Chargers +$200/9.5 wins: The Philip Rivers era begins with a ... whimper? Many questions will be answered early on about the Bolts' future at QB, but what doesn?t need to be answered is L.T. running the ball all over the place. TE Antonio Gates is a bona-fide superstar, and Coach Marty Schottenheimer will need all the pieces to fall in the right place or this will be the end of the road for one of the better coaches of this era not to win a Super Bowl. Bill Cowher finally did it last year; is this the year of Marty?

DTM PREDICTED WINS: 9

Oakland Raiders +$1100/6 wins: The Raiders will be better than last year, but that?s not saying much. New QB Aaron Brooks already has more of a rhythm with Randy Moss than Kerry Collins could have dreamed of, and big man Art Shell is back on the sideline after a lengthy absence. It will take a couple of years to right the ship, but with Shell manning it, the future finally is bright for the Silver and Black ... just not this season.

DTM PREDICTED WINS: 7
 
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