Raiders "Bust" Huff Leads AFC in Interceptions

By Joe Kukura
|  Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Raiders "Bust" Huff Leads AFC in Interceptions

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Don't look now, but Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions.

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Ask any toupee-wearing NFL draft expert who the biggest bust was in 2006 draft, and he'll probably tell you it was the Raiders' seventh-overall selection of safety Michael Huff.

"Huff has only one interception, one safety, and one sack over three seasons as a pro," he will tell you.  "Jay Cutler, Antonio Cromartie, and Haloti Ngata were all still there and ranked higher on my board!"

But Huff has come out of the gate in his fourth season looking like a pro bowler. Huff has three interceptions in just the first two games, and leads the AFC in that category. And as Raiders.com is happy to tell you, that's puts Huff in a tie for the league lead in interceptions.

Huff also leads the league in passes defensed, and that includes a batted pass on a fourth down against the Chiefs that sealed the win for the Raiders.

The best you could have said for Michael Huff in his first three seasons was that he was at least in place to make tackles after long gains. His impact was minimal. Huff was benched last season one game into the interim Tom Cable administration, but this year he's breaking out of the doghouse with authority.

"Don't get too excited! It's only into two games into the season!," the toupee-wearing analyst will tell you. He has a point. But Huff's two monster games have come against Philip Rivers and Matt Cassel, widely considered to be two of the AFC's better quarterbacks.

And it's not just Raider devotees like me that are noticing. Deion Sanders said of Huff on the NFL Network, "It takes some players a little time to mature in this game and understand what the NFL is all about. (Huff) has now hit that point of maturity."

Huff's emergence may be why you're not hearing anything developing with this whole Chris McAlister situation. Last week, Raiders defensive coordinator John  Marshall was asked about the McAlister rumors and quipped, "Who's Chris McAlister?"

The way Michael Huff is playing, the Raiders don't need to know who Chris McAlister is.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who prefers to believe CBS announcer Kevin Harlan's statistically inaccurate Sunday game call that Michael Huff "Now has four interceptions on the season, two for a second consecutive game!"

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