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Raiders' woes can be traced to poor drafting


The NFL had its first firing of the season on Tuesday as Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was the victim after two dismal seasons.

Many Oakland supporters, including local fans Gerard MacDonald, Frank Gaudet and Jeff Leard, blame Allen for his play calling or lack of play calling. But, at the end of the day, the problems lie not with the coach, but upstairs with player personnel decisions.

The reason the Raiders are so bad year after year is they have drafted terribly.

If you review all their draft picks back to 2000, the Raiders’ best draft might be that particular year, when they took kicker Sebastian Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler. If your best picks in the last 13 years are a kicker and punter, it will leave any team in bad shape.

Here are the Oakland picks: Sebastien Janikowski, 2000; Derrick Gibson, 2001; Phillip Buchanon, 2002; Nnamdi Asomugha, 2003; Robert Gallery, 2004; Fabian Washington, 2005; Mike Huff, 2006; JaMarcus Russell, 2007; Darren McFadden, 2008; Darius Heyward-Bey, 2009; Rolando McClain, 2010; Stefen Wisniewski, 2011; Tony Bergstrom, 2012, and D.J. Hayden, 2013.

In examining these picks, you can see why Oakland is one of the worst teams in football since 2000. The only player The Freak might be interested in would have been Asomugha, and perhaps Wisniewsk. The rest were busts, or had mediocre careers at best.

Finally, if you look at any of the good teams over the past 13 years, they all draft well and fill a couple of holes via free agency. The bulk of these winning team rosters are built through solid drafting.

Speaking of drafting, watch the program “Finding Giants” on the NFL Network. This shows behind the scenes how the New York Giants draft players, and all the legwork that goes into making a draft pick. It’s really interesting.

Are You Kidding Me?

There is definitely something in Detroit’s water as another player suffered a bizarre injury this week.

In the last year, the Lions lost wide receiver Nate Burleson to a broken forearm trying to save a sliding pizza box from the front seat of his car, and Stephen Tulloch blew his knee out doing a sack celebration two weeks ago. Now tight end Joseph Fauria sprained his ankle trying to house-train his three-month-old puppy.  

Apparently, Fauria was trying to rush the puppy down the stairs so the dog wouldn’t use the washroom in the house. The 265-pound Fauria missed a couple of steps in his rush to get the dog out of the house and rolled his ankle, which will put him out of action for the next couple of weeks.

Stat of the week

Pats’ fans are learning that when you have a bad offensive line Tom Brady isn’t Tom Brady. After Week 4, all the other quarterbacks in the AFC East – EJ Manual, Ryan Tannehill and even Geno Smith – have more passing yards than Brady.

The sure thing

Again, take anyone playing the Jags, whether it’s in Jacksonville or on the road. They will win a game someday, but not this week, especially after the Steelers are coming off a bad loss at home against the Bucs and are desperate for a win. Can’t see them losing two in a row to bad teams. Take the Steelers.

If the Saints want to save their season it has to start with a win at home this week against the Bucs. New Orleans is struggling, but Tampa Bay might be just what the doctor ordered to turn their season around. Saints beat the Bucs.

Jets’ fans were calling for Michael Vick last week as Smith continued to struggle. The Jets now have to go out to the West Coast to take on the hot Chargers. New York can shut down the run with its front seven, but the problem is the Bolts can’t run the ball anyway. That means MVP candidate Phillip Rivers will light up the Jets’ secondary like the Manhattan sky. Chargers win.

Don’t mortgage the house picks

The Eagles didn’t score an offensive touchdown last week, but some home cooking and having the Rams on the menu will fix that. Philly beats up the Rams.

If the Giants’ defence can shut down Washington’s offence, what might you think happens when the champs play them on Monday night? The Seahawks love the limelight, and they will show everyone why they have the championship belt. Take Seattle on the road.

Texas loves its beef and football, and this is what’s cooking in Big D on Sunday as Houston visits Dallas. The Cowboys are a bit of a surprise, and local fans Kenny Johnson, Shannon Ellis and Tony Gallant are crossing their fingers the wins will keep coming. Houston can bring some heat with the pass rush with JJ Watt and crew. But guess what, the Cowboys are running the ball well with DeMarco Murray and don’t need Tony Romo to be the hero. Dallas beats the Texans like an over-cooked piece of beef!

Upset special

Chicago is a hard team to figure out as they look like world beaters for brief periods in games, and then other times they look like they don’t even want to play.

So, which team will show up in Carolina? 

The Bears are unbeaten away from Solider Field while the Panthers still don’t have any running game with all their injuries, which benefits any defence. Take the Bears in a game that comes down to a last-second field goal.

Last week: 4-for-6.

Season: 20-for-27.

John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to ssidespartansfootball@yahoo.ca.

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