Oakland Raiders

Silver- Black…and Young?

Please bear with me all you baseball fans in full time spring training mode. Take your eyes off of those brackets for just a second you college hoop nuts. NBA and NHL fans that can’t wait for some springtime playoff action give me your undivided attention. I’m a member of all the above groups, except for the baseball thing, but one sport always supersedes the others in my humble opinion. I live in an NFL world and there is always something to get excited about, even this deep into the off-season. What’s got my football heart pumping a bit faster this year you might ask…or might not? From this little spiel’s title you don’t need a six on the Wonderlic test to figure it out; Vince Young starring as an Oakland Raider is what consumes my slightly insane mind.Sure a few a weeks ago all I could think about was Daunte Culpepper and the long ball act he could once again play with Randy Moss, but the very new possibility exists of having Aaron Brooks as the veteran starter with Young learning the game for a year or two on the bench. I’d roll with Daunte any day of the week, but just having the exciting possibilities of Vince running and slinging the football (as you watch that delivery, “sling” is the only way to describe it) for Oakland is what NFL wet dreams are made of. Sorry for the horrible imagery, but I needed to emphasis how giddy this prospect makes me feel.

Now people will bust on poor Mr. Brooks for what he couldn’t make happen in New Orleans, but all I have to imagine is Kerry Collins breaking out of the pocket to avoid the pass rush…wait a second here I’m still trying to imagine this, KC’s acceleration is a tad less than the average NFL QB. Ouch…your right that was a pitiful smack on the way out the door. I didn’t mean to pull a Brad Childress on poor Kerry.

Getting back to my point on Aaron Brooks, he is a QB who has played eighty plus games in this league and does have some skills. Whether he can be a consistent winner is still up for debate. Not by New Orleans Saint’s management, but by me which because of my large ego is a debatable comparison. The point is Brooks came in pretty cheap at $8 million total over two years, not a very long commitment, and this could be a perfect opportunity for a “Young” QB to sit for a year or two and absorb everything around him. If he is too good to keep off the field right away, well then the Raider organization will just have to live with that.

After watching last January’s Rose Bowl I never thought it would be possible for the Raiders to even have a chance at Young with the 6th or 7th pick. Back then Oakland and San Francisco still had not flipped for the pick; the Raiders now indeed have the 7th pick after losing a coin toss, which the league probably rigged somehow (obligatory Raider conspiracy remark). Either way Vince seemed like the hot chick in your senior class; untouchable and unattainable in a “slapped in the face, get outta the girl’s locker room” kind of way. Now mock drafts around the country have the Texas Longhorn dropping out of the top five and quite possibly to lucky number seven.

The reasons for the two time Rose Bowl MVP’s drop are somewhat distressing, but the overall talent in that body trumps those issues in my mind. Sure he didn’t master the Wonderlic test, but he sure as hell mastered that USC defense on college football’s biggest stage. Football intelligence is what counts, not what you scored on some fifty-question test taken in the classroom. If you are the Tennessee Titans with the 3rd pick and you have to make a choice between Matt Leinhart and Vince Young, yes the test score is a factor in that comparison. If you have the 7th pick in the draft and Young incredibly slides your way, test scores be damned! Did I mention the Raiders have the 7th pick?

Besides I put much more stock in character and attitude when in comes to my QB and not in some biased, paper test. By all accounts Mr. Young is strong in both areas and was the top dog in the Longhorn’s locker room. Leadership at the QB position is one of those intangibles that cannot be measured in a draft pick, but in the NFL a trait like that can be the difference between a Super Bowl QB and lets say Ryan Leaf. One of the striking moments I remember about that instant-classic Rose Bowl game this year was one of the Texas lineman pacing down the sideline after the victory and singing the praises of Vince Young, not after being asked by some sideline reporter, but just rambling in incoherent joy about how they just jumped on the man’s back and he carried them to the title. That is a leader my friends.

Yes I believe in the greatness of Vince Young at the NFL level and so should the Oakland Raiders. If he is available they should be handing their draft card in to Commissioner Tagliabue faster than Terrell Owens can say me. I just hope that Al Davis is thinking the same way I am and no one on the planet thinks quite like Al does. The Raider way has never been about developing young quarterbacks; it has usually been about acquiring the savvy vet and getting more out of him than the previous team. Brooks fills that role all right, but I so hope Mr. Davis takes one more step and wrangles that talented cowpoke from Austin.

With one simple move and the Oakland Raiders can make a somewhat dreary off-season as bright as the bling in Chad Johnson’s ever moving mouth. In my dreams, I’ll refrain from the wet part for now, the draft unfolds like so; Houston – Reggie Bush, New Orleans – Mario Williams, Tennessee – Matt Leinhart, N.Y. Jets – Jay Cutler, Green Bay – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, San Francisco – A.J. Hawk and with the seventh selection in the 2006 NFL draft the Oakland Raiders select Vince Young, quarterback, Texas. My dreams are answered and a new era begins in Oaktown.

2 replies on “Silver- Black…and Young?”

editorial I heard you were looking for comments. so here they are. first post will be nit-picky editorial, 2nd will be on style and substance. i’ll use code like 3-2 to mean 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence.

2-1: “a few a weeks ago” cut 2nd “a.”
2-2: “I needed to emphasis” should be “emphasize.”
3-1: commas are always tricky and subjective. I would place a comma after “here” and a period after “this” starting with “KC’s” as a new sentence.
3-2: “your” should be “you’re” or “you are”. again I would place a comma after “right.”
7-1: 2nd “in” should be “it.”
8-1: I would put a comma after “Yes.”
8-2: put quotes around “me” because you’re placing the words in Owens’ mouth.
9-1: cut “and”
9-2: I think a colon instead of a semi-colon after “so.” That may be subjective, too.

many of these are probably just lack of editing effort/time on your part, but I can only comment on the work turned in, right?

style/substance I’ll try to leave your “slightly insane mind” out of this.

1-4: I think a better word choice, than “thing” is called for after baseball. “cult” is going too far, but thing is so undescriptive. Overall the tone of the first paragraph is very good. (I was surprised at how good of a writer you were in all of your columns.)
2-2: The parenthetical is good, but it might be placed directly after “slinging” to keep the thought more fluid. Maybe somewhere else is better, but the flow is a bit jumpy there.
5-2: another good use of the parenthetical.
5-3: very good analogy with enough detail to carry it off.
7-2: (editorial) should be “Longhorns’.” There are more than one of them and the locker room is all of theirs.
7-4: good anecdote from your actual viewing experience that shows his leadership skills and backs up your argument.
9-2: whether wet dreams should ever be mentioned or not in a sports article is a debate that I probably fall on the “of course not” side of. Nonetheless, the reference back to something you wrote earlier in the article works well here. (What kind of name is d’brickashaw?)

I think the article is written well enough to keep those who are not just Raiders or Vince Young fans reading, but it is definitely for NFL nuts. I would have to think more people are worried about their own fantasy football draft than the nfl draft itself. they just want to see Reggie and Vince put on any uniform so they can pile up some points in the virtual competition. And to discuss the draft from the view of the 7th pick? all sportswriters have their favorite players and teams, so i can’t knock you too much there. but the Bonds article, for instance,touches on issues larger than just being a fan: justice and fairness, the lines between performance and character, and between illegality, immorality, and bad judgment, and the responsibility of the individual vs. society (Bonds vs. MLB). These issues make the Bonds article transcend just sports and make it a social commentary as well. Its not that this article isn’t good; it is well-written and argued. But there isn’t anything for me to latch onto except your “fan”aticism. The Titans choice has the drama built into it because they are locking out their former star now, and have to choose between 2 great college qb’s. It seems the Raiders have no choice but to pick Young if he’s available (by your argument), but the point may be moot because he may not be there. it’s possible the Titans won’t have a choice either, though maybe not as likely.
I hope i was constructive enough while still being critical.

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