Friday, January 27, 2006

No News Is Good News

Can you blame me for having writer’s block this week? The big stories haven’t been very big these past several days. We had the local media chasing the Al Saunders red herring, then getting scooped by the Chicago Tribune on the John Shoop audition. All of which has been followed by embarrassed silence with a smattering of rumors attributed to unnamed sources.

The monotony was broken on Thursday night by reports that Mike Martz interviewed for the job. Do you recall a certain blogger making the Mike Martz connection eight days ago while the media were still hot on the Al Saunders trail?

The bottom line is that nobody really knows what’s going on unless their paycheck is postmarked in Alameda. Personally, I’m fine with that (except for it causing me writer’s block). Secrecy is a great Raiders tradition.

Of course, this hasn’t stopped a lot of folks from declaring the 2006 Oakland Raiders dead on arrival. They pretend to wring their hands while mocking the Raiders methodical approach toward hiring their next coach. How can the Raiders wait so long after every other team rushed to fill their positions? How can they rehire their defensive coordinator before hiring a head coach? Who would want to work with Al Davis? Why won’t the Raiders just make us happy and join our lemming party? Well, for starters, because the Raiders never made you happy, because they’ve built a winning tradition on their terms, not yours.

Among the mockers are numerous hosts on NFL Radio on Sirius, including Randy Cross (surprise). I wish I had the audio clips. Talk about crocodile tears. You also have
this guy and this gal locally, among others. Let’s just say that Mr. Pulitzer won’t be calling anytime soon. I’ve seen a lot of similar pieces, but I don’t want to spend the time tracking them down. If you’ve got some at hand, please post the links in the comments section. We need them for the record.

Indeed, let’s get the record stated, right now. You know that if things don’t work out for the Raiders, the mockers be reminding us of where they stood. So let’s make sure that when, in fact, things do work out, we can remind them of where they stood.
Hiring the architect of the Super Bowl Steelers steamrolling offense would be a nice first step in that direction, wouldn’t it? It would be fun to hear them try to spin that development in a negative direction. For that reason alone, I hope we get Whisenhunt. As stated before, I think Martz might be a nice match, too.

Sorry if this all sounds a bit cranky, must be the writer's block. I promise, my next post will be all peaches and cream, like George Atkinson on KSFO after a blowout loss.

P.S. I encourage you to visit the
Raider Raza Blog, which answers the aforementioned question: Who would want to work for Al Davis? Roberto of Raider Raza has posted a few dozen answers to that question.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Stick'em said...

Again, I really do not believe any of the coaches who have been brought in for interviews (Marinelli, Saunders, Lofton, Shoop) are real viable HC options. Martz is no different in this respect.

Here is one that echos Davis' doubts about Martz (subterfuge? perhaps...)

http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/
cctimes/sports/football/nfl/
oakland_raiders/13725357.htm

It is dicey business trying to ascribe motives to Al Davis' moves. That said, keep in mind Uncle Al has ALWAYS interviewed candidates for a myriad of reasons besides actually offering the job (not just during the current search).

Sometimes he gives courtesy interviews (Lofton was a former Raider). Sometimes he likes to pick the brains of football minds (Martz the so-called "genius"). Sometimes he likes to agitate other teams in the AFC West (Saunders was a Chief). Sometimes he is getting leverage for discussions with others (Marinelli to have an option at DC with Rob Ryan).

Anyway, I stand by belief that Martz will not be the next Raider HC, but he might have been brought in to gauge his health as an OC option.

My choice still would be Mike Singletary (but I am not in charge, nor do I claim to be). His coaching skills were on display at the Senior Bowl this week as part of the ‘9ers staff there.

No question the man has the calm intensity and focus that keeps players on the primary goal of winning. Believe it, Singletary will be a great HC one day for some team, if not for the Raiders and not next season!

Uncle Al choose a defensive-minded HC? Maybe not this time, but here's hoping we all live to see that day!

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

Great read as usual. Here are my preferences:

1) Whisenhunt
2)Petrino (I'm not ready to write him off yet)
3)Shell as HC, Martz as OC

That last one isn't as crazy as it sounds. Shell setting a no BS tone for the whole team with Martz and Ryan handling the X's and O's? I'm not sure Shell ever had that kind of support in his first go around with the Raiders!

Having said that, I agree with you. I still would like to get Whisenhunt...

5:58 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - I really enjoy your dry, sarcastic wit. Keep sharpening that blade for all the bay area hacks (ie. Ratto, Killion).

My best guess is that Shoop is being considered for a promotion to OC. The meeting between Mad Mike and Al sounds more like a brain picking session. In the article from ESPN that you reference, it is important to point out 1 minor but important detail; Martz requested the session with Al instead of Al requesting the session with Martz. It seems more logical to speculate about Mad Mike as a potential OC.

Whisenhunt would be at the top of my list. I agree with Stick'Em about Singeltary's potential as a great HC. Singletary has the passion, energy, and most importantly, the STRONG leadership skills. I would love to see Al fly to Mobile Alabama today to meet with Singletary.

I would hate to see Jim Fassel land the HC spot as a fall-back candidate. The one fall back candidate that would seem to make the most logical sense would be HOF Art Shell.

Here are some potential staff combinations to chew on;

Staff 1: Whiz (HC), Caveman Ryan (DC), Shoop (OC)

Staff 1a: Singletary (HC), Caveman Ryan (DC), Mad Mike (OC)

Staff 1b: Shell (HC), Caveman Ryan (DC), Mad Mike (OC)

7:48 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

On a Moss-Culpepper note, Randy Moss stated yesterday on ESPN Radio that there was no aniomosity between him and Culpepper.

"I just want to let people know that there's nothing between us but love," Moss said. "But by him and me reuniting would be like a Cinderella story."

Granted, with KFC as QB, I'm sure absence of Culpepper has made Moss's heart grow fonder...

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Stick'em said...

Randy Moss stated, "Look, I've been a country boy from the back woods. I was not exposed to a lot of things."

Given that, it is easy to see how he let the situation with Culpepper develop into a drama. We all remember Moss said KFC read defenses better than Culpepper...and how did that work out?

But Moss has been willing to work it out with Culpepper since the day he became a Raider. This is hardly new news:

"I still love Daunte Culpepper. I love his wife and his family."

http://www.sportsbusinesssims.com/
randy.moss.joins.oakland.raiders-
randy.moss.jersey.number.18.htm

The questions now are:

Will Culpepper be the same player after his injury?

Does Daunte want to leave the Vikings?

More importantly, is the new coaching staff/ ownership in Minnesota happy with Culpepper at QB after Brad Johnson's performance and all the scandals?

Most importantly, does Al Davis think Culpepper is worth trading for?

Though Uncle Al is definitely a players' owner, he sometimes gets into trouble when he listens to the playas...

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Take, I must say that I check your blog often for your insightful opinions and refreshingly pro-raider bias. I get annoyed by all of the mediots as you call them constantly disrespecting the team, the organization, and our HOF owner as if we were the Cardinals.

Unfortunatly, many of the fans have taken their cues from these morons and have joined them in their constant critisism of everything having to do with the team and Mr. Davis. They seem to think that unless the Raiders abandon everything that distinguishes them from the other teams we will lose indefinately. They want our team to operate like all of the others. I think they secretly wish that we were more like the Chiefs. In the early days of the Raider/Chief rivalry our 2 teams couldn't have been more opposite. We had our castoffs and misfits with Madden in blue jeans and a t-shirt. They had a well-disciplined group who traveled in ties and logo-embroidered blazers. Their fans would were ties to the games as if they were at a freakin republican convention. All I have to say is this: if you don't like the personality of our team which was confered upon it by the one and only Al Davis; if you want a team that behaves and acts like all of the others, then maybe the Chiefs might be more to your liking. Personally I like the image that this team has. It has it for a reason. Those reasons rub some the wrong way. But rebels aren't supposed to be treated like poster-children, right? So as long as the media and pundits continue to put us down for reasons other than our on-the-field play, I'll know that we are on the right track.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Hey Anon. I guess you can put me in the catagory of a "Moron", Raiders fan who has critisised Al Davis over the yrs. But let me tell you something, I don't take any cues from the media types. I take my cues from our won/loss record, and our inept penalty total, and some of the horrible Qb's, & head coaches, Davis has found over the yrs. I look at the terrible draft picks, and the benching of Marcus Allen, and the forcing of Gruden to Tampa. Anon, you sound like you are in a dream state, so let me wake you up. It is not 1970 anymore. John Madden is making video games, not coaching the Raiders, and the Chiefs players are not wearing blazers, & ties on the plane. Some of us "Moron" Raiders fans are tired of winning only 4, or, 5 games a yr. We want things to change, because we want to WIN. Maybe you should open your eyes, & use your head before you slam us.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Anonymous, Mad Stork and Calico Jack, I appreciate your kind feedback!

Doobie and Stick 'Em, thanks for fleshing out the Culpepper rumors.

Raider00, I still love you, because you hang around this pro-Al site and make sure we hear the other side of the Raiders fan coin.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Thank you Raider Take. Let me just state for the record, that I am not anti Al Davis. I love the Raiders, and have since 1974. I want the man to win. I wish he would win the Super Bowl every yr. I just think he has to change his ways a bit to make this happen. I thought when he hired Gruden, it was a big step toward change, and it was working brilliantly. Unfortunately, since grudens departure, we have taken a giant step back.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider00, maybe I went a little overboard in my comments. I should not have compared any Raider fans to the Chiefs, a grievous sin on my part and for that I apologize.

The point that I am trying to make is that the Raiders are different from other teams. There is a distinct personality to our team. Other teams don't have anything like that. Along with our past success this aspect of the Raiders created the Raider Mystique, which I admit is today but an echo of what it was 20 years ago.
The personification of anti-conformity within the nfl that this team has because of the way in which Al Davis stirs this ship has something to do with the success of generating a wide fan base that reaches not only across the nation, but overseas as well. People relate to this team more than any other. All of the rest are just football teams.
This should not be erased. It should be reinforced. Our next coach needs to be a guy that we can all look at and say, "Yes, he is definately a Raider." Why should the whole organization change to make room for a coach? Rather, we need to find a coach who would fit right in. This is not the same as a yes-man. Quite the opposite really.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Raider00, point taken, nice clarification...Conversely, I believe that there is always room to grow and adapt...I am hopeful that Mr. Davis has some new tricks up his sleeve for 2006 and beyond.

One thing is for sure: At the end of the day, we're all in the same boat, trying to reach the same destination: Just win, baby!

5:15 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I think it is more than safe to say that ALL Raider fans want the team reach the ultimate goal, to win another Lombardi Trophy. However not all Raiders fans are exactly alike or think exactly alike because of each individuals' unique life experiences and values. Our opinions on the best means to an end (winning) vary. I hate to sound cliche but it is ok to agree to disagree.

One of the main reasons that the press, bloggers, and fans of all stripes are criticizing the Raiders is the simple fact that we are 13-35 the past 3 seasons.

I have been bleeding silver and black since 1970 and my initial draw to the team was because my uncle was a die-hard Raider fan. Although I was a young tyke, I could sense my uncle's passion for the Raiders. As I got older I began to notice that the Raiders organization were different than the other teams in the league. I gravitated towards the rebel image, maverick qualities, and unconventional methods.

Without question, the Raiders have one of the most loyal, rabid fan base in the world. When was the last time you met a "casual" Raider fan?

Platforms like Raider Take's blog provides an excellent outlet to discuss our opinions & share our passion for the Raiders. It also confirms that being a Raider fan is not for the faint of heart.

Al Davis is a lightning rod for journalists like Ray Ratto to take pot shots whether fair or unfair. Regardless, I have the utmost faith that Al's mind is as sharp as a tack and his heart is 100% committed to winning.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Hey, Anonymous, we need to get you a better handle than Anonymous. You do a nice job of articulating your points and expressing the Raider spirit. Let us know what you come up with...

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Stick'em said...

Martz es no mas:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/
article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/
2006/01/29/SPGO9GVBA31.DTL

6:50 AM  

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