Monday, January 23, 2006

News Flash

Al Davis today did not call the media, hold their hands and tell them what he is thinking—a clear sign that the Oakland Raiders are in increasingly dire trouble as they conduct an unnecessarily thorough and exacting search for a head coach.

The Raiders have already lost bidding wars for the coordinator who presided over the NFL’s worst offense (envy the Packers), a retread who racked up an impressive 35-46 record before being fired by the Bears (lost to the Bills), and any number of unproven coordinators (here come the Saints and Texans). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders were even rejected by their favorite candidate, Al Saunders, who joined the Redskins as offensive coordinator. The Chronicle also reports that Saunders was never remotely offered the Raiders job, but that’s just a minor quibble.

If the Raiders do not act soon, they may even lose the Wayne Fontes bidding war. At that point, the available talent pool will be limited to such losers as Mike Martz (53-32 record over five seasons), Ken Whisenhunt (architect of the steamrolling AFC Champion Steelers offense), Cam Cameron (leader of one of the AFC's top offenses), Mike Tice (Moss’s old boss) and Art Shell (a proven Raiders coach).

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the Oakland Raiders haven’t done anything since three long years ago, when they went to the Super Bowl after winning the AFC West title for three straight campaigns. In fact, during that brief run as AFC West champions (spanning only 1,095 straight days), the team was actually renamed the Grudens (editor’s note: see Harvey’s comments under News You Can’t Use below for more on this subject). This occurred when the notoriously meddlesome Al Davis went on an extended yoga vacation to Sedona, leaving full control of the team to Jon Gruden, who didn’t draft Tim Brown and who didn’t take the Raiders to the Super Bowl.

(The media can be forgiven for implying that Jon Gruden took the Raiders to the Super Bowl, because he was seen on the sidelines during that game wearing pirate-themed logo gear—it was later determined, however, that this gear was a cheap imitation of Raiders imagery, and that Gruden was in fact coaching Tampa Bay)

The clock is ticking in Oakland, and a time bomb is about to go off, leaving the once-proud franchise to ponder what could have been if they’d only been a little quicker on the draw in sweet-talking Mike McCarthy or Dick Jauron. Al Davis is urged to contact ESPN immediately to seek professional guidance before it’s too late.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Stick'em said...

The latest leak from the organization states the coaching search is down to the only candidate neurotic enough to show his buggy eyes on the Oakland sideline as the new head coach...

Drum roll please...and his name is...raucous applause...

Marty Feldman!!!

In his previous gig, Feldman lead the '61-'62 Oakland Raiders to a rather dismal 2-15 record, but Marty says he has gradually gotten a handle on coaching football by working hard with the El Segundo Raiders of the 10 to 12-year-old division of the Pee Wee Football League.

His official greetings to the Raider Nation can be found at:

http://www.worth1000.com/entries/165500/
165724SxBW_w.gif

and

http://www.planet-wissen.de/pics/IEPics/
intro_ksprache_feldman.jpg

Please welcome Coach Feldman!

But be quiet about it...shhhh...it's still a secret...

7:52 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

That's EYE-gor Feldman to you.

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WeisenCunt, you dumb asses!

6:15 AM  
Blogger GIBBERISH said...

Al has single handedly destroyed the franchise he lead to greatness. Yes, he's done some great things, albeit many years ago. His quirky, arrogant, and stubborn act has finally worn thin. Nobody in their right mind would want to coach this team. Very sad state of affairs, and I feel horrible about it...

6:22 AM  
Anonymous HS said...

Good satire. The point is, don't believe half you read in the papers and be suspicious of the other half.

The last laugh is coming, will it be Raider Fans and Al Davis or will the newspaters and Davis haters have the egg on their faces. I feel it will be the latter. Time will tell (too many clichés?)

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Bobby Davis said...

Thank you for pointing out, with clever satire, what should be obvious to the many reporters who feel that taking more than one week after the season to hire a new coach is a sign of desperation and incompetence. With the possible exception of Brad Childress and Gary Kubiak (who as Mike Shanahan's Mini-Me would coach high school football before joining the Raiders), not one of the guys hired by other teams would I want to coach the Raiders. McCarthy? Can you spell Mohrninweg? Jauron? Good guy, good DC, ultimate retread. Peyton? His Cowboys didn't exactly light up the scoreboards, and he drove my brother, a big Cowboys fan, crazy with his play-calling. Saunders? Would have loved him as OC, but he doesn't say passionate HC to me. I was very intribued by Hill and Petrino, but they were those rarities among college football coaches: men with integrity who cared about their schools and their players. I'm not as enamored with Mike Martz as you are; I think he's a fine OC, albeit one who forgets running backs are actually allowed to run the ball, and he seems to be an arrogant prick as a human being. But hey, maybe John Shaw and Georgia Frontiere can bring that out in a guy.

Yes, waiting for Ken Whisenhunt, if that's in fact what we are doing (I automatically discount any sentence about the Raiders that includes the phrase "are said to be," since they're clearly making it up or spreading rumors), seems a sound decision. Mike Sherman might be a good coach even without Brett Favre; he did a pretty good job as coach in GB. But I like W's creativity and commitment to power football.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

What I like about Whisenhunt is not all the schoolyard stuff the Steelers run, I can take it or leave it and I think it's mostly left over from Mularkey's offense--I like that he knew to beat Indy and Denver he had to throw, and he wasn't afraid to take a "running team" and give them a pass-oriented game plan. I also like that he throws in running situations and runs in throwing situations. He changes his style from week to week and whether he's targeting his opponent's weaknesses or just putting new stuff on film, it's effective.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I love your dry, cutting satire RT. It is funny but right on point.

My short list has been pared down to Whisenhunt (#1) and Cameron (#2).

Whisenhunt should get the lion's share of credit for the Steelers 28.6 scoring average in the playoffs. I like his aggressive, go for the juglar, play calling especially in the 1st quarter. He realizes that the Steelers like 99.9% of the teams in the NFL play much better with the lead. I also like that Whisenhunt is a former player (TE/8yrs) known for being a tough guy. He would be ideal for the Raiders return to a power running game coupled with a creative passing attack.

Cameron has a solid track record the last 4 years as the Bolts coordinator. He is young but has 5 years HC experience at his alma mater IU. I like that Cameron was a 2 sport athlete (football/QB, basketball) at IU. His knowledge about the AFC West is an added bonus.

Both Whisenhunt and Cameron have leadership qualities and aren't considered "football professors" who doodle x's and o's in the press box. Both seem to fit the ideal profile; young, ambitious, from the offensive side of the ball, no NFL HC experience

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great, I love it. I can't stand hearing these media types contort the Raider Head coaching search like they do. Oh no "Al Saunders scorns the Raiders and accepts lesser job as Redskins OC." In reality the best canidates are still available.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gibberish,

Are you a Jealous KC fan? When was the last time the Chiefs were in the Superbowl? Raiders were there in 2002 I guess thats "many years ago" Sad state of affairs when you don't know any team history. The Raiders are One of 7 teams to make the Superbowl in the past 4 years including this year. The Chiefs haven't made the Superbowl since 1970! and people think the Raiders have fallen on hard times? The Chargers not since 1995! Denver 1999! why are there no articles ripping Broncos or Chargers for not being in the Big Game as of late. When have the Colts gone? and they are talked about as a great. Screw all you morons for hating on the Raiders they have been there recently what have you other teams done lately? Nothing so shut it!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One more quick point on Wisenhunt. The Steelers offense has produced TDs on 10 of 13 trips to the red zone in the playoffs. This is especially impressive considering that it was done on the road against the top 3 seeds.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I was so bummed we didn't get Norv Saunders, eh...I mean Al Turner...eh...what's his name again? It's really tough to be turned down by some retread you never offered the job to in the first place. Lets go get Ken Whisenhunt. A young, fiery, no-nonsense coach is what this team needs.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Wisenhunt sounds good to me. When you watch the Steelers offense, the thing that jumps out at you is how hard they are playing. The Steelers wide receivers do not compare with Oaklands when it comes to skill, but they are not jogging around out there. They are going all out, every play, over the middle, & everything else. The offensive line are pitbulls, not a bunch of doughboys like we have now. Good hard nosed running attack as well. That will be Wisenhunts', or whoever the next caoches, biggest challenge. Getting these prima donnas in Oakland to play hard for 60 minutes, 16 weeks, & beyond.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry Raider Fans, AL Davis has a back up plan. If at the end
no one is available, he's going with Jimmy Raye...
Seriously No One outside the Raiders knows what AL Davis is planning, especially from the likes of espn. He took his time hiring Gruden, and Turner so why would he rush to hire now.
ubm

11:23 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Good points Raider00. The other thing that the Steelers WRs are known for is their downfield blocking abilities.

A hard nosed, no-nonsense, tough guy seems to describe Whisenhunt best. I love this quote in 2/2004 from the post gazzette (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04053/276075.stm)

"Two virtues come to Dowhower when he talks about Whisenhunt: His smarts and his toughness. He still recalls his former tight end continuously throwing a favorite block. "When I went to the Falcons I watched him on film wham those noses on the lead nose play over and over again. They did it over and over and over. I'm surprised he has normal shoulders. He's one of the toughest guys I've seen play."

11:24 AM  
Blogger GIBBERISH said...

Yo Anon from 9:13AM... I'm a Raiders fan. Chill. I have more Raider history in my pinky finger, than you have in your whole family. Don't assume just because I'm from KC that I'm a Chiefs fan. There are plenty members of The Nation in KC.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous LK said...

Calico--I agree. I thought the bootleg vs. Denver was a great call.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Hey, I forgot something. Whisenhunt will even throw the ball to the tight end !! Remember when the Raiders used to do that ? How many Todd Christensen's ago was it ??

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Stick'em said...

Dear Anon. 6:15AM:

While your take on things is beautiful in its elegant simplicity, your razor-sharp wit also threatens to bludgeon us all to death with its obtuseness.

May I make a kind-hearted suggestion? Read A Modest Proposal and get back to me...

4:04 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - One HC name that you didn't mention and the media seems to neglect is Mike Sherman. As a back-up plan to Whiz, what are your thoughts on Mike Sherman? The reason I ask is because apparently one mainstream media source has indicated that Cam Cameron isn't interested in the Raiders gig. Sherman might not fit Al's hiring profile to a "T" but his W/L record (56-39; .590%) and playoff appearances (4 of 6 seasons) shouldn't be discounted. I would hate for us to put all our eggs in 1 basket without other worthy candidates at least being interviewed.

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Stick'em said...

We all remember the rumor that Eric Mangini (newly appointed as HC of the NY Jests) wanted Rob Ryan as his DC. This one made sense, since Mangini and Ryan worked together with the *Patriots as DB coach and LB coach, respectively.

The response from the Raider organization was to lock up Ryan for three years... an interesting move to hire a DC before a HC on their part.

Well, there's another rumor goin' 'round. Apparently Whisenhunt says he wants Ryan as his DC too. It sounds like these two might be beer drinkin' buddies, though I am not exactly clear on the nature of their connection.

This idea makes a lot of sense when you look at the big picture. Al Davis is waiting for someone, otherwise he'd be interviewing someone besides the usual suspects from the AFC West. The most likely candidate is Whisenhunt.

If the Raiders are going to go over a month without a HC in the building, it would definitely be to their advantage to have a plan in place about the assistants, so the HC doesn't have to scramble to hire a new staff and prepare for the draft at the same time.

I'm not usually the type to spread gossip, but this scenario makes too much sense to just dismiss as he said, she said, we said. It may not work out, but it also may be just the hidden pirate loot we've all been scouring the beach for post-Norv.

But then, unless Al Davis is being properly medicated these days, there is noooo way he could do something that makes so much sense.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great read!

4:29 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Check out today's ChicagoSports.com article "Silver and Black Shoop Attack?"
(http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/printedition/cs-0601250212jan25,1,1969574.story?coll=cs-sports-print)

Before we start congratulating ourselves on Whiz being the potential new HC, it looks like Al has a serious internal candidate, QB coach John Stoops.
Here are a few quotes from the article . . .

"Shoop interviewed with Oakland owner Al Davis late last week for the head-coaching vacancy created by the firing of Norv Turner. But it was telling Shoop's contract was not terminated after Turner's dismissal, and he has an excellent relationship with Davis, the key to becoming a member of the Raiders' family.

"It's a great organization and I really enjoy working for Mr. Davis and the Raiders," Shoop said Tuesday, in Mobile for workouts leading up to Saturday's Senior Bowl. "I feel great about [the interview] and about working for the Raiders in whatever role."

It is interesting that none of the other media sources knew that Shoop interviewing for the HC vacancy. Shoop seems to fit the classic Davis hiring profile; young (35 yrs. old, 10 years NFL coaching experience) & from the offensive side of the ball (3 yrs. OC at Chicago). More food for thought.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Execuse me for all the typos and grammatical errors. I need some coffee . . . I meant John Shoop not Stoops.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Raider Greg said...

Calico............Your "DEAD" Wrong on Shoop. Hate to call ya on this one but let me tell you about Shoop. The three seasons with the Bears was so bad that the fans have a website named "justfirejohnshoop.com" If you read it you will find that Shoop has not had one winning team or moment and can be directly blamed for the three "Losing" season for the Bears. Now lets look at the job he did last season in Oakland............Collins....Did Collins improve under the eye of Shoop..........Hell no. We do not want to even think of Shoop as coach. Go Raiders.......

8:52 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Greg - You might read my 8:32 am post again more carefully. How am I "DEAD" wrong about Shoop when I'm not saying Shoop should be our HC choice nor discussing his merits as a candidate.

Don't shoot the messenger buddy. I was merely pointing out an article on Shoop, the fact that Al interviewed him, and that Shoop fits a basic profile. Nothing more, nothing less.

Doesn't everyone find it odd that none of the other media sources including the Bay Area newspapers reported that Shoop interviewed with Al last week?

11:01 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Greg: You mention that Shoop hasn't had one winning team or moment. This is straight from Raiders.com "In his first season directing the Bears offense in 2001, Shoop helped Chicago win the NFC Central Division title with a 13-3 record."

You point about KFC not improving under Shoop is debatable. Regardless, I really don't think KFC's poor performance should be dumped on Shoop's feet. I will be the 1st person to say that KFC has got to go.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, Calico Jack, I find it very interesting that the local media was scooped on this by a Chicago outlet. Our locals were apparently too busy working on articles about Al Saunders!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Mero said...

The Raiders should take Shell back. Fans will remember that Shell took the Raiders to the playoffs three times in six years and his starting QBs were Jay Schroeder, Todd Marinovich, and Jeff Hostetler. I don't care if Don Shula had been the coach of the Raiders back then, he would have been hard pressed to lead those three duds to the postseason. More importantly though, Shell was one of the greatest offensive lineman in NFL history and might be able shape up the league's most underachieving line (hello, has anyone seen Robert Gallery). Enough of that though, what does everyone think of the Culpepper to Oakland rumors?

1:22 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

2 yrs ago, Al Davis was looking for a coach to replace Bill Callahan. The game was in the late innings, as most teams had already hired their head coach, and the Raiders were among the last teams still searching. Sound familiar ? At the time there were alot of rumors that Davis was waiting one more week, until after the Super Bowl, to interview Romeo Crennel, and Charlie Weis. Then, suddenly, without warning, Davis pulled a coach out of the hat. Welcome Norv Turner, hello 2 yrs of losing, losing, & more losing. My point is lets hold off on the John Shoop talk. We need AD to wait and take a real serious run at Ken Whisenhunt. We've waited this long, lets not panic now.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Where have you gone, good ol' Tom Flores
Raider Nation turns it's lonely eyes to you
(woo woo woo)

6:47 PM  

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