Something good out of the Raiders win over St.Louis

Something really good came out of Sunday’s win for the Raiders. Bruce Gradkowski? Not really. Darren McFadden? Sure, yes. Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston? Both looked good at times, no doubt.

But the single best thing to come out of the Raiders win? Oakland has wide receivers again. True-blue silver and black wide receivers. Louis Murphy and Derrius Heyward-Bey combined for 12 catches and 171 yards. Are you kidding me?

Most Raider players want to celebrate in the “Black Hole.” Last season, Heyward-Bey was the Black Hole. He would run a route, and then disappear. Greg Papa could be heard, on more than one occasion, saying, “Russell back to pass. Throws to Heyward-Bey who… a) Drops it. b) Drops it. or c) Drops it.” The odds of Russell and Bey hooking up were about the same as me hooking up. Come to think of it, 9 times for me and the wife would be a good year, but that’s not the point.

The 2009 first-round pick had 9 receptions last year. Nine! In 11 games he caught 9 balls. I want that to sink in. Betty White had more catches in a Snickers commercial. It’s virtually impossible to catch only 9 balls in 11 games and play as much as he did, but yesterday, we saw signs.

Six catches for Bey (enough with the hyphenated names, okay, Mom and Dad? Pick a name, any name, and go with it. Do you know what a pain it is to write Heyward-Bey when I could just write Bay?), and some of them in traffic. The Raiders actually looked like they knew how to throw the forward pass. Now don’t get them confused with Stabler to Branch, but still.

Murphy showed signs last year that he could be a viable receiver in the NFL if someone can get him the damn ball—thank you, Keyshawn—and that someone was Bruuuuce Gradkowski on Sunday. After a rookie season in which the former Gator had 34 receptions, he has 10 thru 2 games, and looks like the kind of guy a QB could look for on 3rd downs in particular. When the Raiders finally sewed up the win over the Rams, it was on a 3rd and 7, when Bruuuuce hit Murphy for the game sealer.

Prior to Sunday, neither Murphy nor Bey seemed ready to taking that next step to relevance. Who cares if they hyphenate their names or not? The more important question was: Are “dropped-passes” hyphenated?

But by the looks of Sunday, writing Heyward-Bey just became a little more relevant.

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4 Responses to “Something good out of the Raiders win over St.Louis”

  1. TReed says:

    WOW! A well written, positive Raider piece. I just hope Al Davis will let Cable make the call who starts against Arizona. Gradkowski might be feeling comfortable with Heyward-Bay. I wouldn’t mess with a QB with confidence and in rhythm. 9 times in one year? Wife? I thought all you bloggers still lived in your mom’s basement. You Stud!!!

  2. Dale Rosemeyer says:

    The rcievers came to life as soon as Gradkowski came in. Same thing occured last year. The reason Heyward-Bey never improved last year was partially due to the fact he was not on the field due to an undisclosed injury (caugh, caugh) when Grad was brought in to take over. There is a learning curve for these young recievers no doubt, however it is undeniable how much better they play and how much better the o line appears to play when Grad is in. Everyone sees this and has made the same observations. Al ?

  3. Browne says:

    I’ve been a life long Raider fan through good and bad always will be. That said while I’m excited about our young receivers developement I think it has to be be paired with the “BIG GRADKOWSKI” AKA ‘THE DUDE’ as I’ve come to call him. THE DUDE has an intangible about him that gets it done and inspires those around him. He fires me up. The difference between he and Campbell other than pocket awareness can be seen in two plays. The first with Cambell sliding a yard short against Tenn. The second with “THE DUDE” slamming head first in attempt to fire his team up at the start of the second half last week.
    One man is resigned in defeat the other will do anything to win. You heard it hear it’s all about the “BIG GRADKOWSKI” AKA ‘THE DUDE’ RAIDER FANS.

    • bigstock says:

      I have been a Raider Fan for 36 years and “The Dude” is exactly what the Raiders need right now. Another blogger called him “The Mechanic” because when he gets in the game he seems to get under the hood and tinkers with the motor and the Raiders start to run and rumble, the line starts playing better, the recievers start running there routes harder, then the defense got fired up and started body slamming people. Here is the difference between the two QB’S Jason Cambell slides a yard short of a first down and the ” The Dude” Slams his helmet first into the pile to try and get an extra yard and fire up the team. The Dude has more heart and right now that is what the Raiders have not had at QB in a long time. I don’t know how long he will last unless the line starts playing better but I know I get excited knowing that The Dude is going to start this week because I know he will leave it all out on the field like all the Raiders used to play back in the day.