Friday, March 24, 2006

News You Can't Use

In a column that is as bankrupt in its analysis as it was laughable in its timing, a columnist from Sports Illustrated advised the Oakland Raiders to re-sign Kerry Collins—at the very moment that Aaron Brooks was getting handshakes from Mr. Davis and Mike Lombardi. Thanks to The Freaking Pope for pointing this piece out to us.

Okay, prepare yourself by washing your eyes out with battery acid, because here comes a direct quote from this column: “It's been nearly two weeks since the Oakland Raiders put themselves in a position where they have no viable starting quarterback, so here's my advice to them: Bring back Kerry Collins. Do it quickly, before the Baltimore Ravens start thinking that he might fit nicely as competition for Kyle Boller. Do it before there are no options left, as the most promising of those—Daunte Culpepper—now plays in Miami. Do it because it's the only logical move for a team that rarely makes sensible decisions.”

How can a team that rarely makes sensible decisions play in five Super Bowls in four separate decades, including this decade? How? Hello? I’m really getting sick of having to ask this question.

Anyhow, so just when I thought we'd seen the end of articles praising Kerry Collins as the answer for the Raiders, this guy pops up to elicit one final but tired chuckle from the Raider Nation. Hurry, Mr. Davis! The Collins market is really heating up! The Baltimore Ravens might someday eventually decide that he might be as good as Kyle Boller. Then what will you do?

Answer: sign Aaron Brooks and let the next Collins buyer beware. That was easy.

So much for our columnist’s take: “The Raiders need him (Collins) more than he needs them.”

Do you notice that these folks are always so anxious to praise Kerry Collins…as long as it involves him wearing silver and black? Why aren’t (or weren’t) they out there campaigning to get Collins on the Bills, Lions, Vikings, Buccaneers, 49ers, Cardinals, Chargers or Bears, to name a few teams with (or which recently had) QB depth shortages?

I think we all know the reason…

And that, Raiders fans, is news you can’t use.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arizona Cardinals personnel executive Rod Graves said "the team has spoken with Collins' agent and will weigh its interest in him against its options in the draft."

The Cardinals "may" want KFC? It is certainly a sign of accomplishment when the Cards are not even sure if you can come in and be the back up.

No, it was not our collective imagination. Collins does suck.

What's up with Duane Starks and Tyrone Poole? WTF Chuck really got in Al Davis' head and has been renting space there for years. I figured drafting CBs in the first two rounds last year was enough to get the message through to Woodson that Al Davis has made other plans for the prom...

5 INTs in one season did set a record for team futility last season, and needs to be addressed. But playing 5 DBs is what put the team in no-play-land to start with; the nickel is a prevent defense and shouldn't be expected to be anything more than vanilla.

Are they planning to play 6 DBs at a time next season? Al Davis definitely has a CB fetish, in case you haven't noticed.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stick'em, don't confuse the nickel with the Dime formation (which is what the Raiders used). The nickel uses 3-4 CB's, and 1-2 LB's. The Dime uses 1 MLB, and the rest are Safeties and CB's. The thing about the Dime I don't get, is it is supposed to take away pass options, (but no pressure). What killed me last year (which is a reason Ryan should go), was watching the opposing TE up the inside seam, WIDE OPEN ALL DAY! From the first game with the Pats, through the rest of the season.
Why? How could this happen? The lack of blitzing the last 2 seasons! You know why we have had the worst defenses? That's why, no pressure. You have to blitz! You have to create pressure! Even in the Dime, you can blitz, of course, it's all coming from the outside, and CB's against OG and OT, should work out well in the offenses favor! Which is what we saw happen to our defense the last 2 years!
The best defensive scheme right now is the blitzing 4-3! I'm hoping Art Shell takes all the "Safe" "Preventive" Defenses, and throws them in the trash; never to be used again! We can keep some forms of the Nickel, but toss the other forms, and all of the Dime!
Davis talks about going back to the "Good ol' days!" Then let's toss this pussyfoot defense, and start punching the opponents in the mouth. That comes with blitzes, and hard hitting; and you lose both running the Dime, and some forms of the Nickel.

5:54 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

We needed some veteran DBs. Going into camp with Asomugha, Washington, and Routt at CB would be like starting the season with Tui, Walter, and a rookie at QB. These guys have got to stay healthy, but I don't see anyone else out there who would be significantly better.

Hopefully they start getting some offensive line help. Resigning Slaughter was a start, but they need to make a couple of more moves. Looks like Allen decided he likes the $$$ better on the other side of the bay.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stick'em and Calico--we are loading up on DBs [Radio, Poole, Starks] for the eventual trade up to #2 or possibly #4. A move from seven will take our pick plus a defensive starter and likely another later pick. Asomugha or Washington are the likely tradees but I'm sure Al/Mike would rather trade Starks or Gibson.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

lk, good call if you're right. I didn't think about that possibility.

Stickum25, you're right about needing the depth. Even if the Raiders don't use one of the DBs as trade bait, this unit has recently been decimated by injuries (although most of that problem just left via free agency) and having additional depth certainly won't hurt.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just as excited about KFC as I was Jay F Schroeder.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Nate 75:

Check out the NFL gamebooks from the '05 season. Every player who lined up to start each game is documented there.

For example, here's the one from the last game v. NYG:

DE 98 B.Hamilton
NT 92 T.Washington
DT 93 T.Kelly
DE 56 D.Burgess
LB 52 K.Morrison
LB 55 D.Clark
SS 40 J.Cooper
FS 30 S.Schweigert
CB 21 N.Asomugha
CB 27 F.Washington
CB 22 R.Hill

3CBs, 2Ss, and 2LBs sure looks like the nickel to me...

The coaches were calling it the "Wolverine," 'cause Charles Woodson was the cornerstone at a rover CB/S hybrid position.

Renaldo Hill assumed the hybrid DB position after WTF Chuck went down. I have no idea what the "D" will be called with Woodson now gone, or if the scheme will change, yet again...

The only week in which the dime (1LB) was the base "D" was week 12 v. Mia, and occured when they were fooling around with Reggie Tongue to see if he could play for some reason (he can't, BTW).

Every other week at least 2 LBs were in the starting lineup. For a couple of weeks, including opening day v. NE, there were 3 LBs in the documented starting lineup, though we're still not sure Tyler Brayton can be considered a real LB, he definitely ain't no DB, LOL!

You don't have to take my word for it, check it yourself. Do the same thing with everything I write if you'd like to. I make mistakes, but this ain't one of 'em.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have been critical of raider take's support of al davis and his critism of the media being biased against the raiders. but when i 1st saw this article in earlier this week even i had to step back.

KFC back in a raider uniform? dude - are you out of your mind? to start, don't you know that KFC has NO, ZERO, NADA on-field leadership whatsoever?

although i truly despise al davis, i am amazed sometimes when some writers claim to know what he is thinking; how they know exactly what he'll do in the draft or what move he'll make as if they have the inside scoop or know the man personally. there are those few writers out there who are really like that but i feel for the most part that they are trying to be fair.

take for example this anthony carroll dude on this guy always has something to say about what al davis might do or not do. he or someone else might write that al davis loves speed so he'll draft a cornerback or a receiver with blazing speed. while this has been true of davis in the past, i say if you are going to write something, write what YOU think they SHOULD do in the draft, NOT what you THINK al davis will do.

it's hard enough and frustrating enough to put up with al davis' antics but to have writers say they know all about what davis is thinking or doing is too much.

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Verily, no one knows what Al Davis will do next, and he likes it that way. There are many sources saying Vince Young is the target of Al's latest infatuation:

" A league source tells us that the Oakland Raiders "were all over" quarterback Vince Young at his March 22 pro day workout in Austin, and that there's a strong belief in league circles the Raiders will select him with the seventh overall pick in the draft, if he's still available.

We're also told that the Raiders are worried that Young won't be available in the seven hole."

If there is one thing we've learned over the years, it is that Al values secrecy. After years of stashing draft picks in hotels and such, the idea that he would openly broadcast his next draft move is prima facie ridiculous.

Ask Paul Tagliabue if it is possible to predict Al's next move, then sit back and laugh watching him try to pronounce "Asomugha, Nnamdi."

If Al really does want Young, it would be unlike him to tip his hand to the QB starved teams in the league, including the Titans who pick before the Raiders, and the teams who would consider moving up to draft Young.

It makes absolutely no sense to play draft poker with your hand on face up on the table.

It is possible to pick up trends in Davis' drafting, though. For instance, Al has drafted the fastest player in the draft for the last couple of years:

WR Carlos Francis, RB Justin Fargas, and CBs Fabian Washington and Stanford Routt all threw down the fastest times in the 40 (4.3 and below) the years they were drafted.

Using that trend, one could project Al drafting Vernon Davis, a TE who lit up the Combine with a 4.3 forty, unheard of for a man who weighs 250 lbs. But we all know Al likes to be contrarian to what people think he will do.

So the projected guesses are Al will draft offensive players, either Young or Davis.

I believe Al should draft defense. The choice is AJ Hawk or Mario Williams, if they are available.

If those two are not, then I say OK Al, draft Young or Davis. But consider Huff and Ngata as well...

6:24 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Scorpio, cool take. Thanks.

Analyzing WHAT happened (last week's game, a new signing, etc.) is only half the fun of following a team, as you know. Speculating what WILL happen next (how will the team adjust, who will they draft or sign, etc.) is the other half.

When speculating, I think we have to consider the context and culture of the Raiders, as well as the reality of the NFL marketplace (salary cap, player availability, draft rankings, etc.). That's where analysis of "What Mr. Davis should do" and "What I think Mr. Davis will do" need to meet halfway, in my opinion. For example, if I think that the Raiders should start emulating the Patriots model from top to bottom, then I'm not really analyzing, I'm dreaming (and no, I don't want them to, that's just an example).

Another example: that Sports Illustrated writer thought Mr. Davis SHOULD re-sign Kerry Collins. He didn't consider the reality or context of the situation, the fact that Aaron Brooks was in town for a second straight day, the fact that the Collins market is dead cold, and all the ugly baggage that Collins has in Oakland. The result was not true insight or analysis, but simply one columnist's twisted and ill-timed dream. Bad, boring journalism.

I want to clarify that I don't think "the media" are biased agaist the Raiders. For every article I select as "News You Can't Use," I read 20 or 30 Raiders-related articles (many of which are unfavorable to the Raiders) that do not merit selection. When I do select a piece, I do my best to back it up by citing and analyzing specific examples from the offending piece.

I do believe that "some media" are biased against the Raiders. There's no other explanation for some of these articles and columns. Bias equals bad journalism.

In some instances, I have praised Raiders media coverage. However, I don't want to litter the blog with takes that amount to "journalist did his job today."

I'm currently working on a take that relates to this topic.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Most of the "News You Can't Use" journalism falls into 2 camps;

1. Writers who are too lazy to check their facts or back up their claims with good old fashioned research, analysis and cross referencing (ie. Ratto's claim that the Raiders would need to move up to #2 to take Cutler!)

2. Writers who roll out tired, outdated, "compay line" propoganda that isn't accurate for the current times, has a bias, or is out of touch with reality. (ie. the SI piece)

As far as speculating on future FAs or draft choices, or Al's next moves in general, I find it to be an interesting aspect of being a fan.

In regards to the heavy usage of the "Big Nickel/Wolverine D", one of the reasons Ryan used it so much was because of our poor LB play. Both Brayton & Irons are DEs disguied as LBs but are inadequate in pass coverage. We need a quality, playmaking OLB so we can go to a base 4-3-4 D that is able to create QB pressure and handle coverage responsibilities. The Big Nickel for all practical purposes was a gimmick D to mask our deficient LB corps.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

going away from the writers, while what stickem and calico jack said about defense makes sense, only al davis holds the key to the future.

it's very unsettling to think that he will possibly pick up yet another qb who can't possibly help win right NOW. tickets need to be sold and the team has no identity either offensively or defensively. i say continue to build around the defense. establish your power, punch you in the mouth style that way first.

i have a baaaadd feeling about young. he timed slower than expected in his pro day. the scouts and nfl execs were 50/50 in their evaluation of him.

as for trading up to #2, i just don't see anyone wanting 2 old db's to trade up or taking anything we currently have for that matter ~ unless it's randy moss! i think the other teams are wary of dealing with the raiders for swindling the teams we traded with last year. ie: jets (jolley trade) and titans (buchanon trade). let's face it folks.... we ripped them off!

for the past several days, i have been constantly scouring the headlines to see if the raiders made any significant signings. but it's been strangely quiet. is this a sign that we are building from the ground up? again, rebuilding is out of the question as tickets desperately need to be sold.

we should know the direction of the team come april 29 sometime around 10:45 - 11:00am when the raiders pick.

9:47 PM  

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