Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tommy bucks up and speaks

For as long as he's been an Oakland Raider, Tommy Kelly has shunned the media. He has refused to make any comments, even when sharing an elevator with a reporter by chance. He has been polite but stand-offish at all times.

Not that Tommy Kelly is important. He's not. He's just another defensive tackle. Though, occasionally a quote would be appropriate. For instance, after making a block on a field goal to win the game (which he has done). Tommy is silent on the matter.

Does he have a stuttering problem? Is he really shy? Maybe he had a bad experience in the past being quoted out of context. Maybe he doesn't really care.

A mature man would say something. A mature man would acknowledge the Raider Nation. Ok, you don't like speaking through the media, that's fine. How about hiring a public relations person - of which there are many, especially in the bay area, who would be happy to take on the task of issuing a press release with a simple statement. Maybe "I know I haven't said much during my time as an Oakland Raider and that has created some misunderstandings with the press. The truth is I wanted to thank Raider fans for their support and welcoming me as a Raider for the years I have been here. It means a lot to me."

Or say anything simple and a little informative to show fans and the media that the guy actually cares.

How about stepping up and being a pro - regardless of his wallet, the circumference of his legs or neck - he was clearly showing he was not.

That was of course until he received his massive new contract and reported to training camp. Apparently someone in the building (sorry, I had to borrow that one ;-) advised him he needed to say something to the media. His big contract demanded it. With money comes responsibility. Mr. Kelly is now a team leader, for lack of better qualified candidates.

People wanted to know the man who hasn't really earned the sort of all-pro status Al had assigned him prematurely. Finally, we catch a glimpse.

Surprisingly, Tommy was cordial, open and informative in his one and only chat with Raider reporters thus far. See, that wasn't so bad was it Tommy? Isn't that better than giving the impression you have no regard for anyone but yourself. Is it too much to ask players to show a little courtesy to the fans? With a stand-offish attitude you sure don't seem like a team guy. It looks like you are your own guy - an Al guy.

One question he was not asked but would be interesting to hear his reaction to is, do you think Derrick Burgess is pissed?

Burgess is the guy who earned the salary package awarded to Kelly and that has to create friction or at least underlying resentment.

We'll see in the regular how tight this defensive line is and how well they play as a team.

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