Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Five Postgame Takes

My silence in the wake of Monday’s debacle was not intentional. I was on the road with limited internet access, barely able to eke out a haiku. Thanks to all of you who hijacked this place in my absence with your robust commentary. I’m now back at Raider Take HQ, and here are my five (belated) postgame takes. I'm not going to say much about the offensive line, because that would be too easy...

1. Early in the game, we run LaMont Jordan up the middle on second down and 19. In the next possession, we run Jordan up the middle on second down and 18. Two possessions later, we run Jordan up the middle on second down and 17. Do you see a pattern here? I’m sure the Chargers did. Are you sure Norv Turner wasn’t in the building?

2. We found our commitment to the running game on the final drive, with five carries by Justin Fargas, all of which concluded in bounds. Can you please tell me the point of staging a five-minute drive at the end of the game when you are down by 27 points? Is it simply to give Walter, Fargas and gang some practice? If so, why not give them some practice doing something relevant to the game in progress, such as a no-huddle offense for a two-minute drill? Are you sure Norv Turner wasn’t in the building?

3. You see, the last thing I expected this year was…more of the same from last year. More lack of urgency. More unimaginative playcalling. More inability to protect our quarterback. More inability to hit Moss for a big play. More stupid penalties. We had, and still have, every reason to expect this year to be different than last year. If not significantly better, then at least different. Personally, I’m going to maintain that expectation. One game does not make a season.

4. According to Jerry Porter, he wasn’t rooting for Aaron Brooks to be sacked, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. You see, he couldn’t have done that, because he wasn’t even paying attention to the game. In other words he’s not a traitor, just a moron, as if we needed more evidence. However, he’s a talented, highly paid moron who could help this team. When we traded Doug Gabriel, I logically suspected that Porter's feud with Shell was thawing. After all, why else would you trade his presumed replacement for a fifth round draft pick at the eleventh hour? Yet Porter remains stuck in the proverbial ice chest. Art Shell has said several times that he has nothing to say to Porter. Objection! Art Shell has a lot to say to Porter. It is his responsibility to put our best talent to work, especially in the wake of Monday’s offensive meltdown. Right now, it’s the worst of both worlds. We get all of Porter’s disruption without an ounce of his potential contribution. Put Porter in the game or ship him out. Now.

5. After yet another failed drive in the third quarter, Aaron Brooks stood on the sideline, completely alone and, to my eyes, alienated from his teammates. Shouldn’t he be on the phone with Tom Walsh at that point? Shouldn’t he be conferencing with his receivers? Do we have a social problem on our hands? If we do, don’t assume that I’m blaming Brooks. All I’m saying is that something doesn’t look right, socially speaking.

Bonus take: The Patriots barely beat the Bills. The Seahawks barely beat the Lions. The Panthers, the media’s Super Bowl favorites, were dominated by the Falcons. The Buccaneers were shut out by the Ravens. In other words, the Raiders weren’t the only team to get a wake-up call last weekend. Now it’s time to answer the call.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is apparent that morale is absent. The dissent of the entire team is leaking out. The toughest thing has been to swallow the collective smack that we've been dishing out to Charger fans.

Another game is on the horizon, the taste will fade. Hold your heads high, Raider Nation. I was certainly proud to be a fan, IN THE COLISEUM, on Monday night.

And when that "zero" gets stuck in my throat, I remember the roar of the crowd. No loss can take that away.....we did our job!

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me, it just seems like the lack of desire. The desire to play, to compete, to be physical, to become a team. I have seen some things that just make me wonder. How many of my Raider Nation Fans see what I see? I'm not talking about have the best players, the best coaches, or even all the money to have those luxuries. I am talking about just one principle. Desire or Motivation.

motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior (Geen, 1995). Motivation is a temporal and dynamic state that should not be confused with personality or emotion. Motivation is having the encouragement to do something. A motivated person can be reaching for a long-term goal such as becoming a professional writer or a more short-term goal like learning how to spell a particular word. Personality invariably refers to more or less permanent characteristics of an individual's state of being (e.g., shy, extrovert, conscientious).

Now I am not slamming my Raiders or even upset with how they played. What is done, cannot be undone. You have to move forward. Why do we fall? So we can learn to get up again. It seems to me that there has been a period of patching the issue. Not really resolving the issue. Is it Al Davis? I cannot say one way or another. I have so many opinions about how Mr. Davis runs this organization. But somehow, some way there must be an end to all things. As we all know things get worse, way before the ever get better. So many times we have second guess ourselves(The Raiders themselves). I don't know how to really feel about the whole thing. I love the Raiders and will never root for anyother team in my life time. But it just makes you wonder, where this is all really going?

Mr. Duva

11:14 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I will say this. Although their performance was putrid, it *was* only game one. The media has been all over the team & coaching staff but, aren't coaches usually given *some* leeway when beginning? It seems that the media has been waiting months for this opportunity to pounce on this team and say, "aha! we told you so!". Art Shell deserves more than that. When Joe Gibbs returned to coaching in 2004, he lost four of his first five games and eight of his first eleven. Sure, Shell doesn't have the coaching SB rings that Gibbs does, but he did have a decent level of success in his last go-around.

Although the o-line failed miserably, this *was* their first true test playing a full game together in a non-exhibition environment. Each one is out of their normal position and is learning. Some leeway needs to be granted here. As much as I'd like to see them reboud with a decent performance against the Ravens D, I'm not optimistic, simply because it's the Ravens D. The week three bye might help them but, conversely, the disruption of play may delay their progress. It may be week six, or even week eight, before there's any progress.

If it lingers into the last half of the season with little improvement, then you have to wonder if this *is* the right coaching staff for the offensive line. Great players don't always make great coaches. "Those who can't do, teach" is very applicable in the world of sports where the people who had to grind for every ounce of playing time tend to be better coaches than those with tons of natural talent whose success came much easier. Often, good coaches have little to no NFL or college playing experience at all.

5:35 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

We lost to the Chargers! Time to have Al Davis burned at the stake, and have the team sold to John York! Fire Art Shell! Put Robert Gallery in the stocks so we can throw rotten eggs at him! Better yet, let's all become Donkey fans!

I have never, in my life, seen such a melt-down from Raider fans after one game. There was one other time when the fans came close. It was 1980, after the Raiders anounced that they would be moving the following year, and they started that season 1-3.

The team played bad, but the fans are playing worse. The first thing you do after watching your team be humiliated is to wait a week to see how they respond to that humiliation. If they don't improve, then we have something to complain about.

There are no trends here, there is only ONE game. Suck it up, show a little pride... Just like you want the players to do.

Guess what. It's not Walsh's game plan. You can't run a game plan unless your QB has enough time to drop back two steps. Brooks only went down on 7 step drops twice. All the others were 3 or 5. Jordan can't run through holes that don't exist. Moss won't get any balls unless Brooks at least has time to cock his arm.

The #1 problem the Raiders had last Monday was an identifiable one, which marks a difference from last year when you couldn't quite put your finger on what it was - they were just bad.

The problem could be that there is just no leadership on this OL. Ideally, you'd want that anchor to be your center, but Grove is too green. The dean of the line is Sims, but he's trying to learn a new position. One or two of these guys is going to have to step up to lead this line. Let's let a few games go by to see if that happens.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we are in for a long season. I truly say that with optimism because we are a new team trying to find a new identity. The Chargers spanked our ass, but even though we hoped for more progress we were playing aginst a divisional foe with a head coach who bleeds nothing but hatred for us. Im not making any excuses, but the bottom line is under the coaching staff we have, we'll get better. I wont lie, I did expect immediate improvment. We had a great preseason, but in reality it is what it is...preseason. I look into the future and see a strong, fast, physical defense that starting to gel. If you cant run the ball to control clock, then your defense will stay on the field. The offense will gel, but they need time. The o-line looked awful, but they have to get used to playing as a core and trust each other. I know everything will fall into place. The intensity sucked, but sometimes I wonder just because they are professionals, how often do they not overhype and burn themselves out before primetime games? Its different in the College level for these rookies. When I watched the game over on my vcr, I saw the intensity in the defense. Marty ran alot of reverses and we overpursued. I did see intensity on special teams too. We will get better offensively but we're in for a long season.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's something for you Raider Take.

I use respect King's analysis, even though his bias twords Davis and the Raiders. But now, this just seems spiteful, without any real outcome in reality. I can see the Raider offense struggling, but to lose 50-3. Heck, why even give Sea-Bass a FG? And now the Raiders are the worst team in history? What Raider took a dump in his Cheerios?


11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey here's some more spitefullness here:
From Boomer Esaiason, who could never beat us and rejoices everytime the Raiders struggle. He says, "Again, I know it's only Week 1, but anytime you get intimidated at home by a division rival, especially under a new coaching staff, it is a nasty wakeup call that no one wants to live through. Welcome to the NFL's version of an insane asylum. With a tough game on the road at Baltimore this week, the Raiders are perilously close to an implosion. With Randy Moss taking verbal shots at his coach and his organization on the radio, along with the healthy deactivation of Jerry Porter, plus the complete destruction of their offensive line against the Chargers on Monday night, the Raiders' confidence has got to be at a low point. Art Shell is a good man and he deserves better effort."
We may have been embarrassed, but I'm still pissed, and I'm still hopefull that these idiots will eat crow when the season is done. I agree with Blandarocks, we need to see how they respond this Sunday and against the Browns and Donkeys in Weeks 4 and 5. If we go out of the box 1-3, or 0-4; then I will start casting stones.
If you look at it even more, we didn't do well against the Seahawks. This past Monday was ugly. Let's hope we can get out of the funk, before it's too late to salvage our season.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion that was more than just 1 of 16 games.

1) It was our first opening week at home in 4 years (previous 3 seasons we opened on the road at Tenn, at Pitt, at NE).

2) Against a division rival (knowing Denver and KC had already lost)

3) New coaching staff, supposed new identity, and renewed hope in the Raider Nation.

4) I haven't seen a pre-game (parking lot and entering into the stadium) crowd so pumped up since the AFC Championship game.

And what does the team do?

Lay down to San Diego in one of the most humiliating performances I've ever seen in any sport.

The Raiders of post SB XXXVII have had no resolve and little to no heart. As soon as they get down they rollover, and as soon as they lose they carry it over to the next week.

I don't want to put that stake in the ground on Art Shell, but he has some serious identity and culture issues that ne needs to break in Oakland.

I'm seriously not trying to be such a half-glass-empty guy, but we as fan base deserve better than this.

We support this team full of millionaire athletes and coaches to no end, and they come out on the most critical game in years without any heart, desire, or pride.

We can X and O this game to pieces, but it's trivial because the Raiders' had no passion on Monday.

When the Raiders do decide to play hard this season and they are facing a severe pass rush, Walsh better start moving the pocket with Brooks on rollouts or bootlegs, and don't be afraid to throw a screen one time Walsh.

Keep going to the tight end to get the freaking safety off the top of Moss, Walsh!!!

We are wondering why Moss isn't getting the ball it's because the defenses are taking him away be scheme and our chalk board guys don't have a freaking clue on how to get Moss one on one.

Ok, I'm done. Go Raiders.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so the O-line was worse than bad, but...

Is it me, or does Lamont Jordan take forever to hit a hole ? Maybe there were no hole, but Fargas, even though it was garbage time, sure seemed to get to the line, and through it much faster.

Plus, to pick up on RT's take, is Jordan running straight up the middle each time because that is the play called, or, is this the only move he has ? He seems to have very limited moves.

Now, no one ever said that Jordan would remind anyone of Marcus, or, Bo, but, sometimes a running back has to use his skills to make something out of nothing. Jordan, just seems to have very limited skills to use.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some fresh thoughts:

No other coach would have done what Shell did at the end of the game with a "0" on the board, but he continued to push his team for an offence without any regard for the score and I can respect that, respect it alot! He could have kicked the 3-pts and so what? 27-3 looks better than 27-0? NO, he went for toughness, push it, continue it, demand it! And I like that! And I think it will sink in to the players and the fans eventually!!!

I agree with the take that this is the worst showing by RaiderFans in the history of this team but I question if some of this melt-down is by Phony-fans trying to pose as RaiderFans, under the name "Anno" and write crap to us!!! As for the rest, it is time to learn a little toughness, what does it mean to be "DieHard" "Comitted" "HardCore" "ToTheBone" "RaiderFans" ????

Lets eat some "CROW"
"Black-Buzzard-Of-The-North" for lunch Sunday!!!!


4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, thanks for the takes... better late than never. I've been watching for your posting, because it's become one of the few that I can relate. You see the Porter thing clearly. Nobody else would say it. He's either a traitor or a moron... maybe both!

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm a poser Raider fan who dropped coin for the PSL and renewed season tickets this year and have only missed a handful of games when my son was born and when I was away on business travel.

Is this the former Soviet Union or are we allowed to be objective when critizing poor performances by our team without be called out as posers?

In times like this I would rather read and write about the reality of this team and the nuances of the game, not about sticking a "win-lose-or tie, raider fan til' i die" sticker on my car window.

4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JAMES JETT ALERT !!!!!!!!!!!!

The Raiders have signed Leo Bookman to the eight man practice squad.

Bookman was a three time NCAA champion in the 200 meter race at Kansas.

Can he catch a football, or run a route ? OF COURSE NOT.

When will this type of thinking end ?

4:49 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - Your proposition about Pouter is dead-on. As an inactive player we are getting the worst of all the possibilities. It is really quite simple:

Pouter should be playing either because he gives the Raiders a better chance to compete or it at least showcases his talents to the rest of the league in order to increase our leverage for swinging a better trade or

Pouter should be cut pronto to excise a cancer and eliminate the distractions he causes. The longer the Raiders organization allows this problem to fester the worst off the team will be.

The goal of the Pouter dilemma should be either use him productively or get rid of him to eliminate the black clouding hangin' over his head.

Right now, as an inactive player, we get zero productivity but lots of distractions. Not a good combination.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Porter problems will become a worse canser if he gets away with this crap! The Raiders have to pay him and he counts against the cap! It may be a no-win deal but I like the way Shell atands tough, he signed a contract and now he needs to honor what he promissed and was paid for. If he is in-active for the game he does not get a game check Right? He just wants to be another TO but he has not even proved himself and nobody is going to give us a good deal for him.

Anno: If I am on your ass it is because you sound like the people in SD when I lived there for 4 years and they would be pretenders for a day to bash the Raiders and their fans. If you are real I will drink a beer with you, I buy, but if you are a fake, screw your shit man, we are not BagBoys, we do not turn on the hall of famers who made the history for us in the past, we speak the truth OK We Suck be this is not new, we have been there before, right? Monday night was nothing compared to the SB in SD, that was the greatist pain of my RaiderLife! Art Shell took over a loosing team and he will make them tough and winners some day, have faith Bro, look around the NFL. "68" GB was on top of the world and beat the Raiders in SB#2 just to go into the Abyss for 30 years but the fans stood tough, are we less than that? Steelers CowGirls ForeSkins Midgets Vikes and the Lambs were all on top and fell into the Abyss for decades but their fans stood tough! Are we any less? We have been down for only 3 years and now starts #4, but we will be back tomorrow or the next day but we will be back!


8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PantyRaider, I named my son Marcus Allen.

First name Marcus. Middle name Allen.

The wife thought it sounded great and went for it, but had no idea it was my favorite player of all time.

Am I for real now?

My allegiance doesn't waiver, and never will.

But I'm not going to sit here and give praise to a pile of steaming crap.

As for the beer, make that about 15 of em'.

South parking lot C on 10/1 vs. Cleveland.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're incapable of sustaining a drive because our O-Line is not working. I personally believe Jordan is incapable of being the back that this scheme demands.

So the question is: what can be done about this?

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I will try to make it but I have to be up in Seattle for federal court at the end of the month so I am not sure when I am free.


8:52 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Hey, PantyRaider, maybe the feds can change that court date to November 6, then you can catch the Raiders v. Seahawks in Seattle. I think the feds would buy it.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is funny because the date for trial is 11-6 but I never looked at the date for the Seattle game! I knew it was a Monday but not the same day! If we go to trial it will be 2-3 days but we are in arbitration 9-20 and may settle it than so I am not sure now what will be the timming. There is no way I could get tickets for a game in Seattle because it will be sold out, I think, but that is where I am from, Tacoma.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

In regards to Pouter, especially at this point in time (week 2 of the regular season) it should be strictly a football decision.

In other words ... Can Pouter help us win or do we need to get rid of him for the overall welfare of the team. If getting rid of him means biting the bullet and taking the cap hit, so be it.

Having Pouter inactive, lingering in purgatory is the equivalent of a married couple getting a divorce but still living under the same roof. Eihter you make things work or you cut bait.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

calico jack:
I agree but hate to loose the $cap for this crap and worry it will spred to other players any time someone becomes unhappy??? Or wants more money!!!

I guess things are differant than in the "60's" when I payed, if a player was a problem the teem took him out back and corected the problem! I just can't imagine that if Porter is doing all this shit that he is still in one piece, Sapp should spike his doumb ass or let the fans have him for lunch!


9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What seems to be the problem is that there are two nations Raider Nation and Anti Raider Nation. When we go through these long periods of losing we have to hear it from every other fan. Yesterday at work this Bears fan was tearing into me, in jest but still kept piling it on. We can only defend for so long before we run out of ammo.

Man it's really hard to watch that offesive line, which leads me to believe was KFC really as bad as we thought. I know he played and was pulled on Sunday but he wasnt throwing to Moss and Porter(the un-crybaby version)

Robert Gallery is a B-U-S-T, he must think a pancake is something served in Tom Walsh's offense, instead of laying opposing rushers on their back. Where is that guys MOJO. The crazy part about this whole thing is I'm the most optomistic Raiders fan I know but lately our play has done little to motive my enthusiasm.

To those that say this is just one game, have you been paying attention these last three years? You cannot average 3.3 wins a year playing the same exact way and say well getcha next. I say that with much love.

Dude I love this team and I would be happy if we could have some of those 8-8 seasons with Gruden where we lost by 3 points. At least I went home saying man we could have won that one, not "wow who's coming out of college?"

Cheers to the faithful, we need to help each other through these times, not tear each other apart.


9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Bro: I am like you, a little bad mouthing goes a long way, my blood starts to boil and it is hard to maintain, anger is easy. I am backing off, when I heard the downers I started thinking about the SD fans when I was living there and got too intense, wrong move, we just handle the adversity in differant ways. Try to find the positive and we will stick together as the family that we are. Sibling rivalries are pointless! I still have hope as this is very early in the season and I have seen alot of adversity in recent years so I can keep the faith now.


11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll learn alot about this season this week. It's on Art and Walsh to make adjustments-- I have to argue they were taken by surprise last week--it's the only explanation I can come up with for us not using any screens, roll-outs, waggles or check downs to slow down the rush. If plays like that aren't in the game plan for this week, it could be a long year. If there are, there's hope.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read on IBA that Gallery is out for Sunday, and Chad Slaughter is taking his place. What a name to be and O-Lineman "Slaughter." Let's hope that is what he can do to the opposing Crows, slaughter them.
The note that I did like about reading this was Shell thought about starting Sims here, and quickly changed his mind and put Slaughter in. I've never like Sims, he has made more mistakes on that O-Line than Gallery did this past Monday. I'm not happy Gallery is hurt, but I hope he takes this time to get his head together, or he'll end up like Sims; a lot of potential, but can't put it to use.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Porter=marcus allen

Talent level is different, but the approach is pure raider.

9:16 AM  
Blogger sirrastusbear said...

I was there Monday night, as I have been for all but 2 of the home games since they returned to Oaktown. What I saw on the field was horrific, and although the players didn't perform to their level of ability, I fully blame Tom Walsh more than Brooks or the O-line.

There simply were no offensive adjustments. Period. Quentin Jammer was playing Moss 12 yards off the ball, and after hitting him 3 times in a row, stopped going to that well. They constantly took 5 and 7 step drops, looking for the homerun, when we should have been calling quick slants (or screen plays, for chrissake!) to take advantage of the furious pass rush.

I only hope they analyze the film of this game in depth, and make the necessary adjustments on offense. Use this game as a learning tool. Because we'll be facing more of the same with Baltimore's D.

On a different note, trading Porter would put a serious hit on our salary cap (since the signing bonus would accelerate to this year), but I'm starting to think it's worth it if we're not going to play him. Just do something.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey RT, I'm finally back in NJ. The wife and I returned last night. You're right, it was a serious tailgate, we enjoyed it with another couple from NJ at Rotisserie Ron's RV, it was unbelievable.

Unfortunately, everything is magnified when you come that far for a game, including the feeling you get from 27-0. Sitting there in the Coliseum it dawned on me that this team has not been 13-35 by accident. Shell is confronting a serious culture of losing. I'd like to think they can adjust, but it has bothered me through training camp to hear them talk about how the offensive line will hold their blocks as long as they need to and the QB will hold the ball until the receiver breaks open. I know Parcells, for example, stands behind his QBs in training camp yelling "Get the ball out!" as soon as they drop and set. I felt like yelling that at Brooks last Monday night. The line can only get better (I hope), but I'm atarting to have some reservations about that scheme.

7:27 AM  

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