Is Las Vegas really in the picture for the Raiders?

Caesar's Palace pool

The Raiders to Vegas rumors seem to still be in play, and frankly it makes sense.

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Jets, Bills and Raiders stumbling into NFL season

Rex Ryan is frustrated, and you can hardly blame him. He watched rookie Geno Smith toss three interceptions in the last preseason game, and then he watched Mark Sanchez hurt his shoulder in preseason garbage time.

The Buffalo Bills have their own issues, with Kevin Kolb suffering another concussion that could keep him out for the season or possibly threaten his career. Meanwhile top draft pick EJ Manuel may not be ready for the opener against the Patriots as he heels from a knee injury. If he can’t play, then the Bills will have to start Washington State undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.

The Raiders look like a complete mess, and they’re so desperate that they’re considering having Terrelle Pryor start week one. Pryor hasn’t looked terrible but he still a very raw passer. Matt Flynn has a sore elbow, which doesn’t help a guy who has had another mediocre preseason.

The NFL is very hard to predict, and often you’ll see teams suddenly turn things on in week one. But you have to be skeptical with these three teams, and when we look at the odds for week one, you have to consider picking their opponents, even considering the larger spreads.

Buffalo is currently a ten-point underdog at home against the Patriots. Considering the problems at the quarterback position and that cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been lost with a broken left wrist, things look pretty bad for the Bills. The question is whether you want to lay ten points with the Bills playing at home.

The Raiders are on the road against Andrew Luck and the Colts as a 9-point underdog, and this one seems like a gift. I suspect the line might move even more in Indy’s favor, as Andrew Luck looks like he’s getting even better as he enters his second year. I love the Colts here.

The Jets are a home underdog as Tampa Bay is giving them three points. I would wait to see what happens at quarterback here. If Sanchez is healthy I would avoid it, but if Geno Smith has to start, then Tampa might be an interesting bet.

JaMarcus Russell will never succeed in the NFL

Growing up, many of us were told: “Never say never.”

But F-that – JaMarcus Russell will never succeed in the NFL, period.

During the Raiders’ putrid effort in a 16-10 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, Oakland head coach Tom Cable benched Russell after the quarterback completed just nine of his 24 pass attempts for 67 yards. It was a typical Sunday outing for Russell, filled with accuracy issues, a complete disregard for pocket awareness and zero signs of being prepared.

After the game, Cable refused to commit to Russell as his starting quarterback moving forward and who could blame him? The former first overall pick’s 47.1 completion percentage and 5.5 YPA both rank him 30th in the NFL and he also has a 2:9 touchdown to interception ratio this season. He’s horrible, horrendous – awful.

But numbers aside, Russell will never succeed in this league because he doesn’t care. He misses open receivers and then he stands on the sidelines acting like he’s rotating in and out of a touch football game at a family barbecue. He has zero passion, zero emotion and I wonder if the guy truly even wants to play football or if he just has the occupation because he can throw a ball 70-plus yards.

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Are the Raiders getting ready to fire Cable?

Yahoo’s Jason Cole reports that Raiders owner Al Davis wants to fire head coach Tom Cable by the end of the season, but is working with the NFL to make sure that Cable can be fired for cause.

If Davis had any wherewithal, he’d fire himself as GM and allow real football-minded people to run the team. But Davis won’t do that and now it appears that the Raiders will be making a head coaching change for the second time in two years.

Davis is going to have one hell of a time filling the position, because no respectable coach wants that job. He won’t be able to hire a Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher because there’s no way either men would want to assume that mess. Davis can cross Mike Holmgren’s name off the list too.

What the Raiders need most is a head coach that can somehow get through to quarterback JaMarcus Russell because if he can’t develop, then the franchise will continue to sputter. Or maybe it’s time for Davis to cut his losses and move forward without Cable and Russell, because it appears that the latter is destined to be a massive bust.

No matter how he handles the situation, it’s almost a guarantee that Davis will muck things up. He has a knack for making horrible decisions and he thinks it’s more important to have a head coach under his thumb than one that will run his football team the right way. After all, Cable was hired after Kiffin was let go because he served as a “yes man” to Davis.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

JaMarcus Russell is clueless

Following his 109-yard passing day in a 21-16 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell thought that he did a “pretty good job.”

From the Contra Costa Times:

“I did a pretty good job,” Russell told reporters. “When it all boils down to it, you had a chance at the end to try and win. Didn’t do too much damage with the interception. No matter what happened, I think we came out and fought despite the score and just kept pushing and just came out short in the end.”

Just the mere fact that he thinks a 109-yard passing day is good shows how far Russell has to go in order to become a leader. And if you think I’m being too hard on him, remember that he also threw an interception that led to a touchdown for the Chargers, fumbled once, averaged just five yards per pass attempt and took five sacks.

Compared to some other games this year, Russell’s performance wasn’t that bad. But for him to say that he was “good” would be disconcerting to me if I were in the Raider organization because he clearly isn’t striving to make himself better if he’s willing to settle for a performance like that.

He’s long overdue to put on the big boy pants and start working on his craft. He continues to take his situation for granted (i.e. he knows the Raiders won’t replace him) and refuses to put in the work to become better. I realize he doesn’t have the best supporting cast around him, but the Raiders still deserve more from their former first overall pick.

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