It would be a huge disservice if I didn’t immediately address the elephant in the room: Relocation. It became even more real when NFL and Oakland Raiders brass convened in Las Vegas Monday for the stadium’s groundbreaking ceremony.
I’ll be honest, being a military brat (my father was a career U.S. Navy man) I’ve got ambivalent feelings regarding the Raiders’ impending move.
Yes, I dislike the team leaving California.
Yes, I understand the NFL is a business, one that prefers to make as much money while spending the least amount of it.
Yes, I see why Oakland stood its ground and did not broker a deal with the Raiders.
And no, I’m not upset owner Mark Davis took a $750 million carrot from Las Vegas.
Davis did what’s best for business. He’s getting a state-of-the-art stadium in a town willing to fork over the greenbacks to make it happen. Even if it muddles and stirs up feels and makes him a vilified man to some in Raider Nation.
“We’re the Oakland Raiders right now and we’re going to try to bring a championship up there,” Davis said. “But in 2020, we’re going to be the Las Vegas Raiders, and we’re proud of that.”
Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long was in attendance, along with several other legends. And surely, many will take offense to what he said at the groundbreaking. Yet, this comes from someone who gave his blood, sweat and tears to the Silver & Black.
“Priorities 1, 2 and 3 were to keep it in Oakland,” Long said. “I think every player that’s ever played in Oakland would have hoped that it could have gotten done there. If you’re going to be upset with someone, be upset with the right people.”
And I’m sure there are other former Raider greats who feel the opposite. The emotions range far and wide on this topic.
Let’s get to more with the Quick Slants:
The Raiders are QB Whisperers for all the wrong reasons. The team makes opposing quarterbacks look great. Oakland is allowing a 71.2 percent of passes to be completed and opposing quarterbacks hold a 110.5 passer rating. And they have Tom Brady incoming …
The last time Oakland intercepted a Brady pass? Back in the infamous Tuck Rule playoff game. In four regular-season games, Tom Terrific is 3-1 against Oakland with five touchdown passes, zero interceptions and seven sacks on 135 dropbacks.
Promising rookie Gareon Conley lands on IR. Why did the Raiders hold out so long with hope? The first-round rookie was Oakland’s best cover man, that’s why. This means …
The Raiders are permanently a man short at cornerback. Will this result in a Breon Borders promotion from the practice squad? Makes sense, he’s been in the system and is already a Raider.
Darius Latham is back on the active roster. The defensive lineman had served a suspension for PED’s, but I have to wonder how long he’ll be on the 53. He could get waxed if the team makes a move at cornerback.
Free agent Antonio Cromartie pined hard for a job. The corner took to Twitter to say he’s “available” and professed his admiration for the Raiders storied tradition at cornerback.
Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia praised Derek Carr’s abilities. The defensive coordinator noted the Raiders QB’s strong arm and team’s vertical pass game as a threat.
The Raiders are tied for least amount of sacks in the league with the Giants at 13. Patriots are tied for sixth with a total of 16.
Oakland is all alone with zero interceptions. Plenty of that is due to the Raiders unable to disrupt quarterbacks. Interestingly enough, the Bills have 11 picks and only 14 sacks.