Back in April, everyone agreed that the Raiders selecting former Terp wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey seventh overall was the swiftest move in the 2009 NFL draft. For owner Al Davis, it was a legacy builder. A masterstroke, even. Dan Snyder chartered Big Boy I to fly out there and pick Al Davis’s brain. And I don’t mean figuratively.
The world was excited. We watched and we waited. With DHB, quarterback JaMarcus Russell, and pugnacious new head coach Tom Cable, Oakland had visions of glory. Maybe .500? Don’t jinx it, they cried! It’s too sweet to even mention.
But now, oh, how the mighty have fallen. Heyward-Bey is currently tied for 118th among NFL receivers with two receptions. Just a few days ago, Chris Berman and Peter King — the Mount Rushmore of football journalism intelligentsia — both observed that DHB has fewer catches than he has names. Oh, oh! My goodness! One teensy little problem, though. His last name is hyphenated, making it one word. That means his reception total is TIED with his name total. So there. Hey, guys, I’ve booked a third-grade-level grammar class for you. My treat.
People might be quick to blame DHB because he was picked higher than people thought he should’ve been. I guess he should have refused the money and the big-time spotlight, huh? It’s not helping that DHB is saddled with another Al Davis masterstroke, JaMarcus Russell, who is just about the worst quarterback in the NFL (thank Gosh for Derek Anderson!). He has thrown four interceptions and precisely one touchdown. His completion percentage is 42 — good for worst in the league. In technical terms, he couldn’t throw it into the ocean from a rowboat. He couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. And let’s not even bring up the narrow side.
This is also not to mention the general suckitude of the entire Raiders organization. Oh, and the pesky little fact that Cable may soon be facing felony assault charges. But as always, time will tell where the blame lies for DHB’s stumble out of the gate. After Al Davis ships him to Indy in two years for a seventh-round draft pick and two units of plasma, we’ll see who is right and who is wrong.