Wednesday, January 4, 2012

DHB earns his keep with help from a man named Sanjay

A few years ago I openly questioned Undead Al's selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey in the first round of the 2009 draft in addition to giving him so many reps in games when he clearly was not ready for the pro level.  The guy looked horrible as we all know and we all labeled him DHBust.

Now of course, we all look foolish because not only is DHB producing, the guy was 20th overall in receiving yards in the entire NFL in 2011, outranking guys like Percy Harvin, DeSean Jackson, Dez Bryant, etc.  See for yourself.

I'm not saying DHB is great by any stretch. He has a long way to go as far as consistency and polishing his game but it answers a fundamental question I had in 2009.  Undead Al demoted Fred Biletnikoff from WR coach (maybe Freddy was just not cut out for the job any more), then for some odd reason Al decided James Lofton was not the answer either.  But to replace these hall of famers with some guy named Sanjay Lal did not make any sense.  Lal had very little in the way of an impressive resume.  He was however, a quality control assistant on the Raiders staff already.  Apparently he impressed Al who bumped him up the ladder.

Lal has survived three coaching changes and clearly has gotten Heyward-Bey on the right track.  Who would've thunk it?  Not me.  I was in favor of the Raiders taking a much needed left tackle in that year's draft.  As it turns out, the highly regarded Eugene Monroe taken by the Jaguars in the first round that year has been a resounding disappointment.

Hey, at least I can admit when I am wrong. 

Now all the Raiders need is a few more decent receivers.  I have just about had it with Chaz Schilens.  Some guys are just snakebit with injuries.  It's time to cut our losses with Chaz.  I also don't think Louis Murphy has progressed and it seems pretty obvious T.J. Houshmandzadeh is out of fuel.

I really don't think Kevin Boss was worth all that money to play TE.  He's ok but now he's damaged goods and he really didn't do too much this past season.  Neither did Brandon Meyers who seems less and less important after a decent pre-season as a rookie backup TE.

Some more depth at WR and TE and another breakout season from DHB will have me believing in our offense for a change.  I'm still not sold on Jared Veldheer at LT but the OL as a whole has played a lot better than it has in years past and who can argue with having a QB as experienced as Carson Palmer.

So to sum up my impressions, nice job, er, uh, Sanjay and congrats to DHB for earning the respect of the Raider Nation.


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