Loud N' Proud by Blitzchick
Friday, August 07 2009 @ 06:33 AM CDT
Contributed by: Ore
Contributed by: Ore
It's Turned Into a Zoo...
Yes, folks, thatís right, the Zebras are in Napa, watching the Raiders practice, with their yellow hankies in tow.
This isnít the first time I have seen officials here, but sometimes they arenít the NFL officials, but rather from college , or maybe Arena League. At least 4 of the guys running around were from the NFL. And yes, they were throwing flags. Theyíll be here for the next few days, too, hopefully to help clean up some of the issues we had last season with penalties.
So practice was in pads and Iíd really , and I mean , would REALLY love to tell yaí what happened during the 11 on 11 drills, but unfortunately, there is little to tell.
It comes down to a matter of access.
In past camps, the media has been permitted to roam up and down the sidelines, take photos, at will kind of thing, except during certain time frames. This year, the media is in a 40 yard box, from the 30 yard line to the end zone line on both fields. The 30 yard line to the opposite end zone, 80 yards, has been set aside for guests, suite holders, etc.
In between the media and the team during the 11 on 11? For starters, some of the coaches. Then there was a matter of the 50 something players that werenít actually in on the play. The refs were hanging around also, so from my perspective I saw, well, the backsides of a lot of men.
Sadly, I wasnít able to ask any of the guests who it was that snagged the ball on the I donít what route, for the I donít know what gain for what may have been a score. I saw a line of offensive players signal touch down and someone saw Louis Murphy run back with the ball. So I will definitively state that there is a very real possibility that Louis Murphy may have caught a ball that may have been a touchdown.
I will follow up with what happened at the meeting the media had with the NFL officials.
Now as this was the first time I have had the opportunity to sit in the NFL media meeting, I asked how it went.
The official doing the presentation introduces himself, a video is watched, then the official says a few things and fun time - the media gets to asks questions. The question I said I wanted to ask: ďwhatís the over/under line on the number of letters of apology the NFL sends out to teams this year? ď The question I actually did ask? Much different and Iíll get to that in a bit. (I was advised my question wouldnít go over well by others that have been there before.)
The members of the media were handed these little pamphlets so we could follow along with everything as things were explained to us, either via video or official explanation.
Now one thing I didnít know, anyone can present an idea to the NFL regarding a rule change. It can be ignored, but the prospective rule changes can come from just about anywhere. At least thatís what they say.
The video which featured speaking roles by Merton Hanks and Roger Goodell. They showed plays demonstrating what would be allowed under the rules changes, as well as plays that demonstrated what would draw a flag and possible discipline.
What remains confusing to me was the word ďdiscretionĒ. The official speaking used that word an awful lot when talking about how the officials will use their discretion to determine the intent of a player.
For example, special emphasis will be made on low hits on the passer. This means the knee and below. A flag can be thrown even if the defender is blocked into the passer, is what was said. It is the defenderís responsibility to not hit the quarterback. Yet when asked specifically what would happen if an offensive lineman pushed a defensive player in to the quarterback, the official stated that it be wrong if the defender used his body in continuous motion deliberately.
So here it is, the official meeting to explain things, and things were convoluted.
It was about this time I asked about the word ďdiscretionĒ. I asked how if the rules are applied using the discretion of the officials, and there are so many different officials, how can they remain consistent from squad to squad with the calls?
The answer was as clear as mud. The official will draw on their years of experience kind of thing. They will use their training. They are professionals, after all. They will use their knowledge and take what the league has asked of them and apply it.
Basically, some of the rules arenít black and white, and those will be applied at the whim, uh make that the discretion of the official.
It was kind of interesting listening to him, but I am not expecting any changes.
Other news on the day: Derrick Burgess was traded to the Patriots for undisclosed draft picks. Rumors are flying everywhere, including what other teams allegedly offered.
For me personally, I donít care. He didnít want to be in Oakland. He wasnít going to play in Oakland. He could be fined, not paid, or maybe eventually he would have shown up and done enough to not get fined and get his 2 million dollars.
Jay Richardson talked to some of the media about how one doesnít necessarily replace a guy like Burgess. If he were playing like he did the first 2 years we had him? Iíd agree. However thereís a far cry between double digit sacks and 3.5 sacks. I know about the injury, but he still started ten games. The numbers just arenít there.
Coach Cable had decided early on to focus on who was in camp rather than who wasnít. As such, in response to a question about missing Burgess, he replied that we have other players that have been working including Shaughnessy.
This would be Matt Shaughnessy, a third round draft pick for us.
I had an opportunity to speak to Matt.
This sociology major, though he has meetings and a play book to study, loves being at camp. Like every other player I spoke to at Napa, he found the first four days of camp invaluable.
He hasnít had a chance to go up against everyone on the one on one drills, but would like to go up against Mario Henderson to really test what he has learned. I have seen go against a lot of players on the o-line and he has done well, especially for a rookie.
He thinks he can help spell the starters during games without missing anything performance wise. He has also been sitting in the special team meetings and has started to work on the squads on the field.
I just get a very good feeling about this young man.
But for now, he needs to impress the coaches, not me.
I wish him luck.
Thatís it for now.
Win, lose or tie, RAIDERS til I DIE!
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