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"Raider Speed": Is it a curse or a blessing?

Time and again, it has been said that any player picked up by the team either has to be a "Superstar", like Darren McFadden, or possess "Raider Speed", like Joe Porter who recently signed with the club.

Going into the past, other players have had this "Raider Speed", as claimed, ranging from Willie Gault to flameouts like Johnnie Morant, Teyo Johnson and Carlos Francis. Speed? Yes. Catching ability? Ehh not so much.

But it also begs the question....has any players really had this ability?

Most of the theory dates back to the Raiders' drafting of one WR from Colorado, a fourth-round pick who also could run, but started out having problems catching the ball.

In time, Cliff Branch would become a speed demon, tormenting teams from San Diego to Kansas City, as a man who could simply accelerate faster than anyone could imagine.

His teammate, Fred Biletnikoff didn't have nearly the speed, but made up for it with the ability to catch...and stick to the ball.

Dave Casper, the HOF Tight End, likewise found a way to get open at the most important times....helping the team time and time again.

If you took speed, and locked power around it, you had Bo Jackson....a guy who would probably run through a wall, if given the chance.

Sure, the Raiders do love the fast players. Make no doubt about it....speed is a weapon the Raiders relish when they can use it.

It's a blessing when they can find it....but it hurts like crazy when a pick busts from anticipation.


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