Monday, March 23, 2009

Building A Foundation

With the acquisition of Samson Satele today, the Raiders made another prudent move to upgrade the offensive line. Satele was acquired from the Fins by swapping 4th round selections (8th pick for 26th pick) and the Raiders giving up their 6th round pick. In this offseason, the Raiders have added Satele (C), Khalif Barnes (OT), and Erik Pears (OT). All 3 men are young lineman who upgrade the talent and competition level, fit the Zone Blocking Scheme, and provide much needed depth. Here is the scouting reports and additional comments for these new Raiders:

Samson Satele
Birth Date: November 29, 1984
Birth Place: Kailua, HI
Height: 6-3
Weight: 300 lbs.
Age: 24
Position: Center
Experience: 2 years
College: University of Hawaii

Grade: 79
Scouting Report:
Satele is coming off a very solid rookie season where he was one of the bright spots in a dismal Dolphins season. He has adequate size with good strength and athleticism. He was a versatile player coming out of college, who played center, guard and tackle. He can snap and step well to gain leverage in a confined area. He works with great body balance and positioning. He uses his hands well and runs his feet to stay connected. Samson is a hard-nosed intense blocker who finishes often. He has good pop and punch with his hands to engage defenders as well as solid foot agility and lateral quickness at the point of attack. Satele can pull and get on the perimeter when uncovered and is able to hit a target down field. He has power on combination blocks to get movement on interior zone-running plays. He can scoop block on the backside or chip to the second level on combination blocks. Satele is a solid gun snapper with consistent quickness and accuracy. He is a smart player who shows great awareness and reactions to changing fronts as well as blitz packages.

CJ's Comments:
Satele was a 2nd round choice who has started every game in his 2 years in the league. With the departure of Grove to Miami, the center position was one of the most critical need areas that had to be addressed. Satele holds his ground at the point of attack, has good lateral quickness which is ideal for the ZBS the Raiders run. This acquisition should pay immediate dividends and be looked upon as a key acquisition going into the 2009 season. In essence, we replaced a player (Grove) who had an injury history, trouble with the bull rush, and priced himself out of Oakland for a younger, more durable and talented player who will be motivated to secure his next big contract in 2 years.

Khalif Barnes
Birth Date: April 21, 1982
Birth Place: San Diego, CA
Height: 6-5
Weight: 325 lbs.
Age: 26
Position: OT
Experience: 4 years
College: University of Washington

Grade: 70
Scouting Report:
Barners is a fourth-year player who starts at LT. He has very good size, strength and athletic ability. In the run game he comes off the ball with adequate initial quickness. He can arrive with good pad level as an in-line blocker, but doesn't roll his hips to create a lot of movement. He will establish hand position quickly and then try to work his feet to seal or wall off. He has the size and strength to sustain effectively. He does an adequate job on reach blocks using strength rather than quickness. He has enough upper-body strength to recover, if his footwork is late. He has some problems adjusting versus quickness. He will get his weight forward and shows inconsistent adjustment skills at the linebacker level on a straight climb. He will overrun the angle in space and struggles to adjust. In pass pro, he has adequate overall foot quickness. Barnes has good balance and strength in his set and slide. He does a good job working his defender up field and pushing him past the QB. He will flash some nastiness to finish defenders that get off balance. He opens his hips quick at times. He has a good short set and punch in reaction to counters. He has good arm length to extend and strike. He has good strength to anchor a quick power rush. He's not a powerful run blocker, but he seals and sustains his angles effectively.

CJ's Comments:
It is amazing to me that the Raiders were able to secure a starting left tackle for a 1 year, $1.2M contract. Give Davis and Cable credit for playing their cards well in the meetings and negotiations with Barnes. Davis and Cable sold Barnes on this opportunity to secure a long term contract based on his 2009 performance. Barnes knows he is competing for the LT position with Mario Henderson who performed admirably the last 3 games of the season. Barnes has all of the tools to be an above average LT.

Erik Pears
Birth Date: June 25, 1982
Birth Place: Price, UT
Height: 6-8
Weight: 305 lbs.
Age: 26
Position: OT
Experience: 3 years
College: Colorado State

Grade: 62
Scouting Report:
He is a very tall tackle who shows above-average lateral range and initial quickness. His size gives him a lot of room for physical development as well as additional bulk, but it also becomes a liability at times because he is not a natural knee-bender and struggles getting his pad level down to where it should be. He has very long arms and does a good job of using that length to get a good fit with his hands to control and steer opponents on by the pocket. He has a tendency to play the game a little tall and he struggles out on an island in pass protection when he has to react and adjust to counter moves. He can kick-step out to pick up the speed rusher, but struggles to recover and redirect when the rusher comes back inside off the hard upfield burst. He is not real quick or explosive out of his stance when he fires out on cut blocks, which is a big part of Denver's zone-blocking scheme. While he is an adequate starter at right tackle, he needs to add more bulk and strength if he wants to get into the upper-echelon.

CJ's Comments:
Pear's familiarity and experience with the ZBS in Denver makes him a good system fit. He also provides competition and depth at OT. To be more effective at RT, Pear will need to add 15 to 20 lbs. of muscle to his large frame. Under the watchful eye of OL Coach Michlczik and HC Cable, I would expect Pears to develop into a solid, serviceable backup.

Projected starting OLine:
RT: Mario Henderson
RG: Cooper Carlisle
C: Samson Satele
LG: Robert Gallery
LT: Khalif Barnes

OT: Erik Pears, James Marten
OG: Paul McQuistan, Chris Morris
C: Chris Morris

OT: Kwame Harris

C: Jake Grove (Miami)

Soon to Be Released:
OT: Cornell Green
C: John Wade

Practice Squad:
OT: Brandon Torrey


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samson is an athlete and could be a big fit. Barnes is crap no one wanted him hence his 1.5 million salary. JaMarcus still needs life insurance with Barnes or Henderson watching his back side

6:53 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I don't pretend to think Barnes is an elite LT but 'crap'? He is young, athletic, big, strong and has 4 years of starting experience. Barnes was signed for 1 year. There is no downside to this acquisition.

As far as Henderson, were you even watching the last 3 games of the season? By all accounts, he played extremely well and can only get better.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LT is the premier position in football after QB when all a guy can get is one year and 1.5 it shows the league wide consensus is that he is crap. Name one other starter at LT in the NFL who is being paid less than that.

You should consider giving Davis as much benefit of the doubt as you do Barnes especially in light of what a jerk Kiffin has shown himself to be in his new job

7:04 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon: Guess you didn't really read my post.

"Give Davis and Cable credit for playing their cards well in the meetings and negotiations with Barnes. Davis and Cable sold Barnes on this opportunity to secure a long term contract based on his 2009 performance."

It is a win-win acquisition. Barnes get the opportunity to compete for LT. If Barnes plays well, he will get a new, long term deal prior to 2010. If he plays poorly, the Raiders risked very little and got a cheap player for depth for 1 year.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you that Barnes is a no risk signing, my comment was related to what I felt was your optimism that Barnes was somehow going to be a solution to the tackle problems the Raiders have been having.

Yes you gave Davis his due on this one but I was reffereing more globally to many of your comments disparaging Al during the Kiffin fiasco. Check out this article it is a fantastic read:,-Davis-remains-an-icon?MSNHPHMA

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Is Barnes a possible "solution" to the Raiders OT problems? Maybe, maybe not.

The bottom line is that he is an upgrade over Kwame Harris. He is still a young, strong, athletic, experience OT.

Will Barnes be motivated to bust his tail this year? Absolutely. Will Barnes' prescence create additional competition for Henderson? Yup.

As far as any disparaging remarks of Davis, individual players, etc. I call em how I see it. Don't forget, this is my blog which is nothing more than 1 fan's opinions.

I will ALWAYS give Davis credit where credit is due and hold his toes to the fire when the team is failing. The last 6 years have been a nightmare.

I like the way things have been coming together this offseason and I'm optimistic about the Raiders future. In particular, I'm really excited about our core group of young players.

Calico Jack

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah i now agree with you Calico
I am just a sad poor lonely charger fan and have nothing better to do then to be a Raider Hater. I will go cry now

6:35 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Whatever Anon. We can go around and around on this all you like but what it really boils down to is a matter of opinions and speculation.

You might be right about Barnes being a bust. Who knows?

As far as Davis, I want him to succeed because I support the Raiders. My allegiance is towards the team not an individual player, owner, or coach. You can put away the kleenex and cut the dramatics.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Raider Karma said...

Nice work CJ!

I love all these moves on the O-line. As you said, Barnes is not a stud, but if put in a situation where he has to perform or his payday is over, he just might step up.

Satele was a nice pick up. He is perfect for the ZBS, is durable and young. Pears could still develop and he, along with Barnes, will surely push Henderson to hold down his spot at LT.

Overall, I love what Cable has done as far as getting with Al Davis and selling him on a long term plan. Things are looking up and I really feel like something special is going on here.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico it me again Anon:
Thank you Calico for having some compassion towards what we had talked about, I only like the Chargers when they are winning and when they start loosing i through a major hissy fit. I rip my baby blues off and throw them at the wall!! I hate Phillip rivers but have a poster of him in my closet, I am a band wagoner and hate hard on the Raiders. Only because they have # rings and we dont!!!! I am going to loose my mind!!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon Charger Fan:

You said it all "You are a bandwagoner" and "hate hard on the Raiders".

#1: I have no respect for bandwagon fans. It is the lowest form of fandom. If you can't be loyal and supportive of your team in good times and bad, you really are not a true fan. Sad ... very sad. Ask yourself this ... when was the last time you met a "casual" Raider fan?

#2: You are busy trolling Raider blogs. Are you a closet Raider fan? Get a life.

I don't personally wish you any ill will but you are pathetic.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Calico for seeing my pathetic state of mind. I live In southern California down in San Diego and all I hear is YEAH WE ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!!! When it comes to the chargers. BUt then we always end up CHOKING NO MATTER WHAT!! ANd every where i look down here, there are Raiders fans and i dont know how this happened. I am just like the rest of the sad PAthetic Chargers fans and i now realize this by talking to you. I REALLY WANT MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER BACK!!!!

10:58 AM  

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