Thursday, May 01, 2008

Youth Will Be Served

When reviewing the 2008 roster which is still a work in progress, one aspect about the Raider football team really jumped out to me ... how our core squad is comprised of youth. Take a look at our projected starters (always up for debate) and key players for both the offensive and defensive units:

Offense Unit

QB1: JaMarcus Russell (22, 2nd year)
RB1: Darren McFadden (20, Rookie) > new addition
RB2: Justin Fargas (28, 6th year)
RB3: Michael Bush (23, 2nd year)
FB1: Oren O'Neil (24, 2nd year)
FB2: Justin Griffith (27, 6th year)
WR1: Javon Walker (29, 7th year) > new addition
WR2: Drew Carter (26, 5th year) > new addition
WR3: Ronald Curry (28, 7th year)
TE1: Zach Miller (22, 2nd year)
TE2: John Madsen (24, 3rd year)
LT1: Kwame Harris (26, 6th year) > new addition
LT2: Mario Henderson (23, 2nd year)
LG1: Robert Gallery (27, 5th year)
LG2: Paul McQuistan (25, 3rd year)
C1: John Wade (33, 11th year) > new addition
C2: Jake Grove (28, 5th year)
RG1: Cooper Carlisle (30, 9th year)
RT1: Cornell Green (31, 9th year)
RT2: Paul McQuistan (25, 3rd year)

Defensive Unit

LCB: Nnamdi Asomugha (26, 6th year)
RCB: DeAngelo Hall (24, 5th year) > new addition
NCB: Stanford Routt (24, 4th year)
SS: Gibril Wilson (26, 5th year) > new addition
FS: Michael Huff (25, 3rd year)
WLB: Thomas Howard (24, 3rd year)
MLB: Kirk Morrison (26, 4th year)
SLB: Robert Thomas (27, 7th year)
LDE: Jay Richardson (24, 2nd year)
NT: Terdell Sands (28, 8th year)
UT: Tommy Kelly (27, 5th year)
RDE: Derrick Burgess (29, 8th year)

When the 53 man roster is finalized in late August, the Raiders will more than likely have only 6 players in their thirties. 3 of the 6 play special teams; Jarrod Cooper (30), Seabastian Janikowski (30), and Shane Lechler (31). The other 3 grey beards are OL Cooper Carlisle (30), Cornell Green (31) and John Wade (33).

The success and foundation of the Raiders in 2008 and beyond will be built on the shoulders of young, talented performers. The identity of the offense will be shaped in large part by Russell and McFadden. The defensive core consists of players hitting (or in) their prime such as Asomugha, Hall, Wilson, Huff, Howard, Morrison, and Kelly.

It will be exciting to watch the individual player's career development and at the same time, the team as a whole mesh into a cohesive group. With 7 potential new starters and many critical players who are 25 or younger, the Raiders coaching staff has their hands' full especially during the upcoming June training camp. One way or another, youth will be served.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

don't forget cooper carlisle. 6 out of 53 that are 30+. amazing.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does the age of a player have to do with the success of the team? Because the team is young does not mean that they will be good. In fact, most young teams are not very good. Veteran teams win not young teams. This was pointless. Your getting all happy and amazed because the team is young? What about talent, know-how, and experience. Historically, the Raiders have never cared about age, but rather how well a player can play. What was the point of this crap?

6:25 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Thanks Raider Nate. I made the edit.

Anon 6:25 am - Why the hositility? What is the point of this post, you ask? I was simply pointing out how the core team is very young. This isn't suuppose to be hard, hitting journalism. I'm a fan with a blog ... nothing more, nothing less.

In regards to your comment "I'm getting happy and amazed because the team is young" ... I'm happy because the Raiders signed a number of talented FAs who are in their prime. I'm happy because we have a franchise QB & RB who are supremely talented. Is that such a big deal? I'm not quite sure why you are so irate and serious over this post but frankly, I don't give a $hit.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

Looks like you have yourself a fan there Chris.LOL.
Anon.Talent, Know how, and experience are great.But if we had a team with those characteristics that was also old it would have to be broken up even if it became successful.If we can start to win again with a young roster, doesn't that bode well?
Oh and lighten up a bit mate.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

anon, veteran teams do not win. if that's the case, then explain the dunderdolts in san diego, or why indy has only one once, or why the packers can't seem to get it done.
again, it's about having a balance of good defense, good offense, and a balance of young players and vets.
thanks for the pointless post that added nothing but hot air and a waste of space to a good point of cj.

11:23 AM  
Blogger kigleigh said...

I like it!!!Our already young team got even younger AND more talented too.i've said before that i'm loving Big Al's free agent acquisitions and now that i've got my head around the drafting of D.Mac i just can't wait to see what we can do this year.Guys,I think we're going to scare the shit out of some Superstar teams this season with our weapons upgrade and the good thing is that we're young enough to KEEP getting better for a few years to come as our guys hit their stride or reach their peak years.
The future isn't bright...the future is BLACK !!!!!Long live Al.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Fargas, Bush, McFadden = 3 headed monster in the running attack

Russell pulling the trigger to Walker, Carter, Curry, and Miller in the passing attack

Kiffin dialing up different sets and playcalls to maximize this young & talented core group.

Yup ... we have the skill players to not only scare the shit out of opponents but more importantly, to do some real damage.

An opponent's D will need to pick their poison ...

You stack 8 men in the box to stop Fargas/Bush/McFadden then we play action pass to Carter/Walker in single coverage down the field for a big strike.

You play a straight 7 man front and our run offense will chew up yards, clock, and move the chains.

An exciting new era in Raider football is just around the corner and I'm pumped!

7:36 PM  
Blogger Old Skool Raider Fan said...

McFadden is going to be the ballz!

RAIDERS 2008 AFC West champs.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter what, we just never seem to get a break from the so called experts, ala anonymous. Back in the early 2000's when Gruden was coach, we were criticized for being too old,now we're too young. What should it be my NFL experts?

4:55 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon 4:55 >
It's called "goldilocks syndrome" ... this bed is too big, this bed is too small. The naysayers are always looking for the negatives.

To me the glass is more than half FULL. It is an exciting time to be a Raider fan since our core group is young and talented. With any luck, this core group will develop together and become the foundation for sustained excellence.

It's all good in the Silver and Black hood!

6:15 PM  

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