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Portis 26

RETURNING THE RAIDERS TO GLORY

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The season following their Super Bowl defeat against the Buccaneers was a disaster for the Oakland Raiders. Bill Callahan lost control of the team and ended up branding it the "dumbest team in America". Rich Gannon looked awful and got hurt. Tim Brown looked awful and got cut. Bill Romanowski looked awful and retired. Jerry Rice just looked awful. All in all, it was a season to forget.But what if history could be re-written? What if the Raiders could be taken over in the franchise mode in Madden and last season could be started afresh? What if Rich Gannon, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Bill Romanowski, Trace Armstrong, Rod Woodson were given another chance to RETURN TO GLORY?This is their story. And the story of the Oakland Raiders franchise for last season and beyond. They're a most intriguing franchise to take over in the Madden game because most of their star players (ie all the players named above, plus some others) abruptly retire after the first season, leaving the roster bereft of talent, so they represent a big challenge.The Cardinals "awesome dynasty" franchise rules remain. No trading (makes it too easy). The games are not played, only simulated, or watched. All player acquisitions are made in the draft and in free agency. It's all about building a franchise, and then watching it in action.

Edited by Portis 26

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INITIAL ROSTER:QB: RICH GANNON is a superstar (97 overall). The only other QB of note behind him is MARQUES TUIASOSOPO (a promising 74 overall).HB: CHARLIE GARNER is excellent (90 overall) but elderly. JUSTIN FARGAS is too green.FB: ZACK CROCKETT (79 overall) is solid but also elderly.WR: JERRY RICE and TIM BROWN (90 and 86 overall) are both very solid, although rather slow. They will both retire after the season. After that, there's only JERRY PORTER (85 overall).TE: DOUG JOLLEY is already a great young starter (76 overall) and TEYO JOHNSON has enormous talent (68 overall).LT: BARRY SIMS is superb (88 overall).LG: FRANK MIDDLETON is very solid (85 overall).C: BARRET ROBBINS is also solid (85 overall - clearly his Super Bowl mishaps have been forgotten).RG: MO COLLINS completes the excellent interior of the black and silver line (85 overall).RT: LINCOLN KENNEDY (96 overall) is a bookend tackle.LE: TRACE ARMSTRONG (73 overall) plus various young projects.RE: TONY BRYANT (74 overall) plus various young projects.DT: Three solid starters in JOHN PARRELLA (87 overall), RODERICK COLEMAN (86 overall) and DANA STUBBLEFIELD (84 overall).LOLB: BILL ROMANOWSKI is fine (85 overall) but there's no-one else there.MLB: NAPOLEON HARRIS (83 overall) a great young talent.ROLB: ERIC BARTON (87 overall) a fine backer.CB: CHARLES WOODSON (94 overall) and PHILLIP BUCHANON (82 overall) a great duo, TERRANCE SHAW (76 overall) an OK nickleback.FS: ROD WOODSON (96 overall) is superb, but there's no-one else.SS: DERRICK GIBSON (78 overall) has some promise.K: SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI (90) is great.P: SHANE LECHLER (94) also excellent.

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INITIAL ROSTER MOVES:CUT HB TYRONE WHEATLEY (74 overall - $10.16m/7 year contract, no signing bonus). Tyrone was too slow and too overpaid. If Garner goes down we might as well let Fargas get some experience.CUT FB CECIL MARTIN (77 overall - 550K/1 year, no SB)CUT WR MARCUS KNIGHT (66 overall - 400K/1 year, no SB)CUT CB CLARENCE LOVE (63 overall, 900K/1 year, no SB)CUT FS KEYON NASH (57 overall, 300K/1 year, no SB)CUT DE DeLAWRENCE GRANT (71 overall, $2.38/3 year contract, 600K SB)CUE DE LE#98 (70 overall, $5.5m/5 years, 750K) - this rookie end is TYLER BRAYTON, but he's too slow for our style (speed 61)CUT DT JUNIOR IOANE (63 overall, $1.35/2 years, no SB)

Edited by Portis 26

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You must be tense making these initial moves. They have such a tremendous impact on the direction this franchise takes!

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SIGNED FS RONNIE BRADFORD (79 overall, $8m/7 years)SIGNED CB TERRY FAIR (74 overall, $10m/7 years)SIGNED MLB RANDALL GODFREY (88 overall, $22m/7 years)SIGNED WR MICHAEL WESTBROOK (79 overall, $20m/7 years)SIGNED CB DEION SANDERS (78 overall, $13.5m/7 years)SIGNED CB TODD LYGHT (83 overall, $18.5m/7 years)

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Some of the players just signed are one-year "role players" who like DEION SANDERS but most are players I expect to play a long-term role in the franchise. RONNIE BRADFORD, for example, is a pretty decent free safety, and I need a future at that position with the imminent retirement of ROD WOODSON.

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Portis are the 7 year contracts going to hurt you more cap-wise than in the older version of Madden? I always thought that was a tremendous flaw - They should make you have signing bonuses and make you take the hit if you cut a guy or he retires.

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RE-NEGOTIATED:A couple of players have huge contracts but won't be needed beyond the first season. I am going to re-negotiate their contracts while I have the cap room to basically buy them out of their deals by resigning them to very expensive 1 year deals.TE ROLAND WILLIAMS (74 overall - $2.6m/1 year - he won't be needed with DOUG JOLLEY and TEYO JOHNSON around)DT JOHN PARRELLA (87 overall - $5m/1 year - has no mobility and we already have two solid DTs)

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PRE-SEASON:Pre-season advances made by our young players.QB MARQUES TUIASOSOPO +1 to 75WR JERRY PORTER +1 to 86TE DOUG JOLLEY +1 to 79TE TEYO JOHNSON +4 to 72DE KENYON COLEMAN +1 to 68DE SAM WILLIAMS +2 to 70MLB NAPOLEON HARRIS +1 to 84CB PHILLIP BUCHANON +1 to 83SS DERRICK GIBSON +1 to 79

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These Madden threads lost all credibility (imo) when I found out about the 7 year deals to guys who are going to retire in a couple years. I mean I know it happens in real life, but it doesn't get abused as bad in the NFL as it does by Portis in Madden (does it?).

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ROSTER (offensive players):QBRich Gannon (16) 97M. Tuiasosopo (2) 75Rick Mirer (10) 63HBCharlie Garner (9) 90Justin Fargas ® 68Ronney Jenkins (3) 62FBZack Crockett (8) 79WRJerry Rice (18) 90Tim Brown (15) 86Jerry Porter (3) 86M. Westbrook (8) 79Doug Gabriel ® 64Alvis Whitted (5) 61TEDoug Jolley (1) 79Roland Williams (5) 74Teyo Johnson ® 72LTBarry Sims (4) 88Langston Walker (1) 76LGFrank Middleton (6) 85Matt Stinchcomb (4) 80CBarret Robbins (8) 85Adam Treu (6) 78RGMo Collins (5) 85Brad Badger (6) 68RTLincoln Kennedy (10) 96Chad Slaughter (2) 53

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You must be tense making these initial moves. They have such a tremendous impact on the direction this franchise takes! [/sarcasm]

Forgetting to close the sarcasm tag may be interpreted as a sign of disrespect around these parts. I fixed it for you this time.

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These Madden threads lost all credibility (imo) when I found out about the 7 year deals to guys who are going to retire in a couple years. I mean I know it happens in real life, but it doesn't get abused as bad in the NFL as it does by Portis in Madden (does it?).

The Raiders are actually a great example of a team that do this in real life, so I don't see why I can't do it in Madden. ;) The point is this: the way I play Madden I put myself at quite a disadvantage compared to the computer teams. I don't use the training camp feature which allows them to improve specific players. I don't do any trades. All I do is draft players and sign FAs. A little creativity on contracts (perfectly legally) only redresses the balance slightly. Edited by Portis 26

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SIGNED FS RONNIE BRADFORD (79 overall, $8m/7 years)SIGNED CB TERRY FAIR (74 overall, $10m/7 years)SIGNED MLB RANDALL GODFREY (88 overall, $22m/7 years)SIGNED WR MICHAEL WESTBROOK (79 overall, $20m/7 years)SIGNED CB DEION SANDERS (78 overall, $13.5m/7 years)SIGNED CB TODD LYGHT (83 overall, $18.5m/7 years)

Hmm ... this sounds familiar ...

SIGNED MLB Randall Godfrey, 88 (23.2/7 years) SIGNED WR Michael Westbrook, 79 (3/1 year) SIGNED CB Todd Lyght, 83 (2.8/1 year) SIGNED CB Deion Sanders, 78 (2/1 year) SIGNED CB Terry Fair, 74 (10/7 years)

I see a lot of your first-year Arizona Cardinals are back now. So, if you draft a QB in the first round after this year, will you rename him Brad Smith?

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ROSTER (defenders)LETrace Armstrong (14) 73Kenyon Coleman (1) 68RETony Bryant (3) 74Sam Williams ® 70DTJohn Parrella (10) 87Roderick Coleman (4) 86Dana Stubblefield (10) 84LOLBBill Romanowski (15) 85Tim Johnson (1) 66MLBRandall Godfrey (7) 88Napoleon Harris (1) 84Travian Smith (5) 70ROLBEric Barton (4) 87Eric Johnson (3) 61CBCharles Woodson (5) 94Phillip Buchanon (1) 83Todd Lyght (12) 83Deion Sanders (12) 78Terrance Shaw (8) 75Terry Fair (5) 74Nnamdi Asomugha ® 70FSRod Woodson (16) 96Ronnie Bradford (10) 79SSDerrick Gibson (2) 79Siddeeq Shabazz ® 55KS. Janikowski (3) 90PShane Lechler (3) 94

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I see a lot of your first-year Arizona Cardinals are back now. So, if you draft a QB in the first round after this year, will you rename him Brad Smith?

I'll rename him whichever member of the 2004 draft class he most resembles. But this'll be Tui's team after Year 1!

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Strategy for Year 1:I'm going to give a lot of my younger players playing time. For example at WR I'm starting Jerry Porter rather than the elderly Jerry Rice. The idea is to have a core of young players to build the team around after all the veterans retire at the end of year 1.

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The Raiders are actually a great example of a team that do this in real life, so I don't see why I can't do it in Madden. ;)

Yea but.. it's shady, and it's something the other teams in Madden don't do, so I would feel like I'm getting an unfair advantage by doing so, even if it is within the rules.Kinda like how everybody hates the Yankees for abusing an out of date no-salary cap rule. Even if it is within the rules, they are still gaining an unfair advantage.

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Strategy for Year 1:I'm going to give a lot of my younger players playing time. For example at WR I'm starting Jerry Porter rather than the elderly Jerry Rice. The idea is to have a core of young players to build the team around after all the veterans retire at the end of year 1.

You gonna play Tui and Fargas as well?

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Yea but.. it's shady, and it's something the other teams in Madden don't do, so I would feel like I'm getting an unfair advantage by doing so, even if it is within the rules.

It actually very rarely makes any difference. For example, this year I'm $5.67m under the cap despite buying out various costly older players (John Parella and Roland Williams). I'm going to have a HUGE amount of cap space next season when Gannon, Brown, Rice, Romanowski etc retire.

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You gonna play Tui and Fargas as well?

Fargas no - Garner still has several good years left in him - but Tui, yes, quite a lot. I'll also play Randall Godfrey instead of Bill Romanowski, Ronnie Bradford over Rod Woodson, and Kenyon Coleman over Trace Armstrong.

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OK, Year One is in the books and the RAIDERS have gone a solid but not spectacular 10-6.We have a single home playoff game but after that we'll have to go on the road if we progress.COMING UP! The MIAMI DOLPHINS vs the OAKLAND RAIDERS as RICKY WILLIAMS and the FINS come to town!

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STARTERS for the playoffs:QB RICH GANNON (97)HB CHARLIE GARNER (90)FB ZACK CROCKETT (79)WR JERRY RICE (90)WR TIM BROWN (86)(#3WR JERRY PORTER, 86)TE DOUG JOLLEY (79)LT BARRY SIMS (88)LG FRANK MIDDLETON (85)C BARRET ROBBINS (85)RG MO COLLINS (85)RT LINCOLN KENNEDY (96)DE TRACE ARMSTRONG (73)DT JOHN PARRELLA (87)DT DANA STUBBLEFIELD (84)DE ROD COLEMAN (86)OLB BILL ROMANOWSKI (85)MLB NAPOLEON HARRIS (84)OLB ERIC BARTON (87)CB CHARLES WOODSON (94)CB PHILLIP BUCHANON (83)FS ROD WOODSON (96)SS DERRICK GIBSON (79)

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On the face of it, this is a superb lineup. But in the televised games, GANNON doesn't play up to his rating. He has a wierd sidearm action that often results in batted-down passes, loves scrambling but is always getting hammered for losses on his attempted runs, and doesn't have a great arm. RICE and BROWN are solid receivers but they're pretty slow, so the team may have to depend more on #3 WR PORTER, TE JOLLEY and HB GARNER out of the backfield.

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Coming up shortly - a LAST CHANCE FOR GLORY for the Raiders' ANCIENT SUPERSTARS as they strap on their helmets for ONE LAST SHOT AT THE BIG GAME!

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RICE and BROWN are solid receivers but they're pretty slow, so the team may have to depend more on #3 WR PORTER, TE JOLLEY and HB GARNER out of the backfield.

So, why don't you start Porter and move Brown to WR3?

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So, why don't you start Porter and move Brown to WR3?

I actually think Porter will be more effective over the middle. He can use his huge size and strength better there. The Raiders run a heck of a lot of 3WR/4WR formations anyway so he'll be out on the field most of the time.

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End of the first quarter with the Dolphins driving again, WILLIAMS is really pounding our D, and CHRIS CHAMBERS is catching a lot of balls from FIEDLER.

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But the RAIDERS put together a nice drive in reply that concludes with CHARLIE GARNER zooming in from 11 yards out, it's all tied again at 10!

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GANNON can't get the Raiders going on their next possession, so with time running out in the 1st half, the FINS will have another chance to increase their lead!

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MARE 42 yard FG as time expires in the half!RAIDERS facing a very tough 2nd half, trailing 20-10!LAST CHANCE for glory for GANNON AND THE GANG!

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CHARLIE GARNER 52 yard TD RECEPTION!He just took a swing pass from GANNON and was GONE!DOLPHINS lead cut to 20-17 and the RAIDERS are back in business!

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