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What has happened to the "Commitment to Excellence?"

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Doggcow View Post
    And yuou need to google "reading comprehension"
    Where the hell was that coming from???


    • #17
      Camp tour: Raiders-Russell mess typifies one sick franchise

      NAPA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin was recently hospitalized with a viral infection. So it's official: The current state of the Raiders makes even their head coach ill.

      Please, save your hate mail and death threats, oh ye Raiders faithful. You're reading one of the few people in the media who actually respects this franchise for its history and historic hires such as coaches Tom Flores and Art Shell as well as team executive Amy Trask.

      It is also inspiring to see Oakland on occasion risk its good eye by raising the middle finger to an occasionally arrogant NFL hierarchy.

      The problem is this team has become so frustratingly dysfunctional even the most diehard of followers must be shaking their heads. Oakland is making the Arizona Cardinals look like the New England Patriots.

      Some of what is afflicting the Raiders is simple bad luck. Some of their problems are self-inflicted. Everything is combining into a gigantic silver and black mess.

      Earlier this week the embryonic Kiffin, the youngest coach in the league at just 32 years old, was taken to the hospital after several days of feeling ill. He returned to practice Wednesday, but offensive coordinator Greg Knapp described Kiffin earlier as a "day-to-day situation." Normally, players are described as day-to-day, not coaches.

      Before Russell, all nine of the past nine top draft selections were signed by their various teams before the start of training camp, with five coming to terms before the draft. As of this week, the Raiders and Russell remained miles apart, squabbling over guaranteed money. One NFL source familiar with the negotiations speculated the dispute could keep Russell away from the team until September.

      The Russell-Raiders hookup had so much immediate potential payoff. A bright talent with a gigantic arm and crowd-pleasing smile, Russell was absolutely the right selection for the Raiders. He could still emerge as a brilliant star, and while it's silly to state that Russell won't play this season -- there is still plenty of time for him to do so, even if the holdout continues for several more weeks -- the dispute has been a public-relations disaster for a team that just did not need one.

      "You always want to have your players on the field, but you want to make sure you're doing the best thing for our future, not our best thing for today," Kiffin told reporters before his recent hospital stay. "We want to make sure we're able to go out and get other players in the future when we need them."

      That's true, and Russell deserves his fair share of criticism for this disaster. But isn't it mainly the team's responsibility to get arguably one of the most important draft selections the Raiders have ever had signed into camp on time? Why is it that other teams in the past decade were able to get their top overall picks into camp in a reasonable amount of time and the Raiders can't?

      Interestingly, this is a team, Russell or no Russell, bristling with potential. Warren Sapp has lost in weight the equivalent of an Olsen twin. The roster -- especially on defense -- is riddled with good young talent.

      It's just that for every positive thing that happens to the Raiders, two negative ones also occur.

      At a recent Raiders practice, you could hear the mouth that roared, Sapp, laughing and joking with teammates during a break in early drills. His waist might no longer be larger than life but his personality still is.

      Oakland will need players like Sapp and other leaders to keep the mood light, because this could be one sick season for the Raiders. And not the good kind of sick, either.
      Patriotic dissent is a luxury of those protected by better men than they.


      • #18
        If Calvin Johnson can get 64 million for 6 years, Russell should be able to get whatever he wants. What he's really going to get, is the crap knocked out of him and picked off. But hey, he throws the ball like 60 yds from his knee. That's pretty cool.


        • #19
          I think the Raiders should keep lowereing their offer every week. Russell then has a choice. He either accepts a lot of money now, or he goes back in the draft next year, where he probably drops out of the top 10.

          Russell isn't going to get what he wants. But he will get a lot more this year than he will in next year's draft.