Saturday, September 02, 2006

Curious George Released, Dougie G Traded

The Raiders announced their final 53 man roster today. Here are some of the more notable moves:

QB Curious George was released. As stated in my previous post, the media commotion caused by George being signed earlier in the week was much ado about nothing for a couple reasons. Number 1. George hadn’t made the final roster yet. Number 2. If he made the roster he was only going to fill the role of a #3 emergency back-up QB. Any team that has the misfortune of needing to utilize their #3 QB in the regular season isn’t going to be a factor anyways.

DE Bobby Hamilton was traded to the Jets for an undisclosed draft choice. Hamilton was a savvy veteran and solid locker room leader. This trade signals the Raiders intentions to give 2nd year player DE Kevin Huntley an opportunity to get some situational snaps. Huntley has the ability to be a disruptive pass rushing force with his speed and size.

WR Doug Gabriel was traded to the Patriots for an undisclosed draft choice. This trade came out of left field and caught me by total surprise. Gabriel had been playing with the 1st unit the entire pre-season. Does this mean Jerry Porter is back in his regular spot as a starter or will either Ronald Curry or Johnnie Morant be used as the slot receiver in the 2 WR sets? More importantly, has Porter bought into the Shell regime’s program and become a good soldier? From all media accounts, Porter has worked hard in practice and kept his mouth shut.

LB Danny Clark was released. Next to the Gabriel trade, this is the most noteworthy move in my opinion. Clark was the Raiders leading tackler last year. If new MLB Morrison gets hurt during the season, the Raiders will have a gaping hole to fill.

CB Duane Starks was released. The Raiders decide to keep CB Tyrone Poole as the nickel/dime corner. CB Poole and CB Routt will compete for the nickel back role.

RB He Hate Me Rod Smart was released. The Raiders choose RB RaShard Lee over Smart as the 3rd RB.

OG Kelvin Garmon was released. Hulsey and Badger will provide depth at the OG position behind both McQuistan and Sims.

LB Ryan Riddle was released. Riddle seemed to have a good chance to make the club as a back-up OLB and special teams performer.

LB Darnell Bing was placed on injured reserve. Bing, taken in the 4th round and converted from safety to LB was unable to get on the field enough during pre-season due to injury.

Here is the Raiders’ depth chart:

A few points worth noting about the currently assembled depth chart:
The starting units on both offense and defense are loaded primarily with young players. On the defensive side of the ball, the only veterans with more than 4 years of experience are Sapp and Burgess. On the offensive side of the ball, the only veterans with more than 4 years of experience are Brooks, Crockett, Jordan, Moss, Sims, and Porter (if he starts).

The starting 2nd WR section is blank as of tonight and Ronald Curry is not listed on the depth chart. Is this because Porter, Curry, and Morant are still in an active competition that is undecided? Is the Raiders webmaster asleep at his desk or is this an intentional error to keep the mediots guessing? Another puzzling "clerical" error is that Derrick Gibson is listed as the starting SS over Michael Huff. I am 99.9% certain that Huff will line up with the 1st unit starters come September 11th.

The DT depth chart is paper thin. With the release of DT Rashad Moore and DT Donnell Washington , the Raiders have only 4 DTs on the final roster (1st unit: Sapp and Kelly; 2nd unit: Sands and Hawthorne).

Up Next: Divisional rival San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders on MNF 9/11.


Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Reviewing the depth chart, it looks like the only changes made to it are the removal of the names of players cut or traded. This means to me that Shell has not yet issued the new depth chart to the front office. This could mean that Shell hasn't yet made his final decisions, or it could just mean that he simply hasn't given it to the webmaster yet.

Part of what the Raiders do is maintain the public interest in the team by creating a little mystery from time to time. But this has helped to create a thinking man's fan base. It's part of why Raider fans seem to be more knowlegable than most.

My feeling is that the Raiders will pick up an additional MLB from the pool of NFL cuts, and maybe a DT and/or an offensive lineman.

The draft pick they got for Gabriel was likely conditional on how much he gets used this year. In other words, hope that Branch does not return to the Pats, because that could devalue the trade. At its worst, its likely that its a number 5 round pick. At its best, it might be a number 3.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

One thing to consider: if we find a trading partner for Tui (we all know he's not coming back next year anyway), we can bring Jeff George back at the #3 QB spot before opening day.

Think about it. Tui wants to leave since he knows he'll never be the starter.

The coaches know he doesn't fit the "O" and want to get value for 'em...

As much as the Jeff George signing surprised me, I would not at all be surprised to see him back and Tui gone, perhaps by a sign-and-trade deal.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous horsecollarjack said...

Great breakdown of the moves, CJ...Thanks.

I'd say give this a day or two. I'd be surprised if Clark wasn't back in the fold after Week 1.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Blandarocked: Good points. The way the Raider organization operates behind a cloud of mystery and misinformation does create a level of intrigue & interest.

I am hopeful that the draft picks from Hamilton & Gabriel will be used to build upon a youthful, taleneted foundation. RB, DT, LB, and the O-line should be areas of focus in the 07 draft and this year's waiver wire.

Stick'em & HCJ: Trades, the resigning of Curious George & Danny Clark, plus scouring the waiver wire are all distinct possibilities for finalizing our 53 man roster.

6:45 PM  

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