Sunday, September 17, 2006

Five Postgame Takes

1. Just seven days ago, most of us thought that the Raiders had a fighting chance to beat the Chargers. Tonight, we find progress in a turnover-riddled drubbing in which we again failed to score a touchdown. How far, and how fast, our expectations have fallen.

2. Last week I said: “Put Porter in the game or ship him out.” Here’s what Jarrod Cooper said after today’s game: "Put Jerry Porter on the field and, whether he's acting like a chump or not, you know he's going to make plays.” Plays like the one that Alvis Whitted dropped downfield under pressure, perhaps? We’re not the Patriots. We can’t afford manly showdowns with our top talents right now. Not without killing ourselves in the process. If he’s on the team, put him on the field. If you want to punish the guy, run him across the middle.

3. Two games into the season and I’ve already had my fill of Courtney Anderson's drops and miscues. He’s running open on a short route and he doesn’t see the ball hit him in the knee? Will we ever get this position right?

4. Absent Kerry Collins, all of our key offensive starters from last year have returned, along with some supposedly helpful additions through the draft. And yet our offense looks even more dismal than last year. What gives? Is it simply the coaching? After watching Walter go into a seven-step drop and get crushed for a safety, to name just one play call, I really have to wonder. But let’s face some facts…We’ve obsessed over speedy defensive backs in the draft, at the expense of our offensive line (and when we did pick high for our offensive line, we selected the underwhelming Robert Gallery). We’ve failed to bolster our offensive line through free agency. We’ve neglected to build depth and versatility at running back. We’ve misfired on developing sure-handed tight ends. And we put our faith in Aaron Brooks instead of Andrew Walter, when it now looks like Walter might be our only hope. Tom Walsh might be overmatched in today’s NFL, but there’s more to this sad story than game planning. Still, we have enough talent to do better. There is no way we should look this anemic. And that, I’m sad to say, has to fall on the coaching.

5. Bright spots…Chris Carr is an absolute animal…Janikowski’s resurgence is confirmed…Just imagine how good our defense might be if they got a breather once in a while.

Bonus take:
I don't know the answer. I will say that if Walter is going to be the man, he should have been the man in July and August. Now it's trial by fire. We played a wicked defense last week (the Chargers held the Titans to seven points this week) and another one on the road this week. If the o-line can just settle down a bit, and if Walter can begin to get comfortable, and as we face less fearsome defensive opponents, we may see things begin to click. I don't see a lot of upside in sticking with Brooks at this point.


Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I'm still on the fence about Porter. In my youth I played varsity sports at a small private school. We struggled with this same problem. When a kid had talent, for the most part, we had to put up with his attitude, for better or worse. Years later, I went back and coached Soccer for a couple years. On one occasion, I had to bench two guys for this sort of nonsense. My team captain told me they would rather win with them than lose without them. I let them lose. I was the bad guy for a couple of weeks, but the team came around. They began to police these two guys because they knew what I would do if they let it bubble to the top. It worked with kids, but it may not work with spoiled adults.

This offensive line issue is becoming epidemic. After 8 hrs of the Red Zone Channel, let me assure you, this is a growing problem. My buddies and I watched it happen in Miami, Oakland, Tennessee, Dallas, and elsewhere. Look at the sack numbers across the league! Faster defensive players are literally running circles around these morbidly slow offensive linemen.

Before I completely right these guys off I will offer this. Ever single player out there is in a new slot. That’s tough on anyone. Let’s hope the bye week provides us with time to adjust.

Walter showed poise. I’m not one for the knee jerk, “Go to the number two guy”, we see in the league. That said, I hope they let him get the practice with the starters that he needs. It is obvious that Moss and the team prefer this kid. Let’s see if chemistry can buy us something that experience hasn’t delivered.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

I think your post-game takes are right on RT.

I really expected our line to improve. We drafted Gallery and Grove in the first & second round just a few years ago, added McQuistan this year, but the line is the worst it has looked in years.

While there is tons of blame to go around, our coaching must shoulder the majority of blame for this team. Hopefully Shell will make some adjustments to this offense. Thank god for bye weeks. When I first saw our schedule I thought such an early bye was a curse, but oh how we need an extra week of practice before our next game. On the bright side, I am extremely glad that we kept Ryan. I am really impressed with this defense. If we can turn this offense around we would be a good team. Our special teams is the best it has looked in years as well.

It might be late but I want to see Walter in there for the rest of the season win or lose. Lets see what we got after all we did pass on two QB's this year.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont think courtney deserves any flack this game he had a few great catches, and he wasnt even done running the route yet so the knee catch i dont place on him, that goes to Art and Tom with a 5 step drop in the endzone. Walter had to throw before the play developed.

Of all the things i thought could go wrong this year the O line wasnt one of them. We cant pass we can run, we cant even snap i am really feeling sorry for the defense.


8:49 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

As for Porter, the Raiders want to trade him, but they can't if he gets injured. On top of that, nobody wants him. It's not an easy call to make, but the Raiders are going to wind up losing a lot of money on his ass. My guess is they will wait until just before the deadline, and move him for what they can get for him.

The difference between Brooks and Walter: Brooks knows how much time he needs to get the ball off, and Walter knows how much time he has to get the ball off. There's a big difference, and Walter has a much quicker release. With experience, I think Walter will make an excellent QB, and I'd like to see Shell pull that trigger.

There was a point when Walter reminded me of Marc Wilson. But he's settled down and has poise. Wilson had absolutely no sixth sense of the pass rush around him. He'd be standing there like the Statue of Liberty, when he'd get creamed from his blind side, and fumble. Walter is starting to look closer to Plunkett, where he can feel the pressure and then step out of it with an economy of movement. Add to that his quick release, and he's a better fit for this OL than Brooks, in spite of Brooks' running ability.

Change at WR: I'd move Whitted to #3 or #4, and elevate Curry to #2. Since Anderson is showing an inability to catch in the middle, we need a posession WR oposite Moss. On three WR sets, Curry should move to the slot, and send Whitted or Morant to the wide spot.

On the Defensive side of the ball, I'd replace Kelly with Sands.

But after watching this game, I am more convinced than ever that the Raiders problem is the OL. Nobody is going to convince me that three of the best O-linemen to ever play the game can't teach. I am more prepared to believe that we have five starters who can't play. However, I don't think they are bad, I just think they are very slow learners and they will improve by the time we get to the half way point.

Normally, I'd agree with Raider Take that a seven step drop into the endzone is a stupid call, but when the ball is inside the one yard line, it doesn't really matter. Any play sets up a potential safety with a bad OL. In a similar situation, I once saw Plunkett take a seven step drop and hit Cliff Branch for a 99 yard touchdown. As Shell said, there were only two seven step drops in the entire game, and I'm not prepared to tell Shell that he has to ban all seven step drops.

As for Jordan: Jordan is turning quick hitting, up the middle runs into slow developing running plays by pausing and looking for a hole. I have a piece of advice for Jordan. Hit the place where the hole is suppose to be and get what you can. With the current state of the OL, it's the difference between picking up two or three yards, and getting dropped at or before the line of scrimage.

We've got two weeks before the next game, and I believe we'll win both of the next two.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

ekgRaider (I needed an EKG after that game!), I admit that some of my ire toward Anderson dates back to last week, when he made crucial drops on easy grabs that could have helped change the tempo of the game (at least a litte). We need guys like him to step up and deliver in desperate times; he may not have finished running his route yesterday, but he was running open perpendicular to the sideline while our QB was backed into the endzone. It was time to expect a quick release and pay attention, and he didn't.

I just see it as emblematic of guys stepping down, instead of up, right now.

9:05 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

One more thought re Porter. It could be, also, that the Raiders are simply waiting to see if reasonable offers for Porter come in before the deadline. If they don't get anything worth biting on by then, they'll put Porter back in the line-up, because at that point it won't matter anyway. Just remember, you can't deal an injured player.

9:16 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I agree with you to a point about Walter. The difference is that this team seems to respond to Walter. Even the OL played better while he was in the game. This suggests to me that he has some leadership ability, not posessed by Brooks.

Don't forget, his only NFL regular season playing time came a third of the way through the fourth quarter last week. Then he was thrown into the heat of battle, with the team behind. I'd like to see him work with the fist unit in preparation for the game, and start it.

The other thing about Walter. Every time he left the field, you'd see him consult with WRs, OL, and coaches. Brooks is an island, and sits by himself on the bench, unless somebody approaches him to talk. Walter is a sponge, eager to learn, and I think he will learn. But he needs the playing time to do that.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Offensive line aside I think Jordan is not the guy..not enough speed and does not pick his holes well

9:57 AM  
Blogger Joaquin said...

When you see guys like Sapp and Moss huddling with AWAL and chatting with him as he comes off the field, it's a no-brainer that AWAL should be the caller against the Brownies. We have nothing to lose by getting him in there against 2 teams (Clev & SF)that are average at best to get him comfortable.
Let's remember that we just played 2 teams that have monster Ds and have crushed their opponets and not just us.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Walter is poised in the pocket, didn't rattle and talked to his offense all game long. You can ignore his stat line, all he needs now is experience and some intelligent schemes/audibles to work with. To go back to AB now would be a mistake although that's what Art is saying he's going to do if Brooks is healthy
2. I agree with all the "play Porter" takes. When he's on the field defenses have to account for him, and it changes how they attack the passer. He's a pro, Art's a pro, get over it. Porter, Moss and Curry lining up together will do wonders for the o-line.
3. Whitted can't play. Baltimore covered him with the locker room attendant all game and he dropped three balls [Porter has taken many bad hits and held on]
4. It's not all the o-line. The scheme is bad [although Art denies this] but we tried one screen, rolled the pocket three times, threw nothing in the flat to a WR or RB. you have to have a short and intermediate passing game to win today and the RBs have to catch balls. Sorry, I like Art, but this is on page 1 of "Offense for Dummies". Make a change.
5. The team played hard all game--loved Walter and Jordan running downfield pursuing the play after the last fumble recovery
6. The Baltimore crowd was definitely nervous and were highly complementary of the D and special teams [lotta post game bar takes]

11:08 AM  
Blogger Gray Flannel Suit said...

The ONLY thing that will prevent this season from turning into a nightmare a la '76 Bucs is that the team cannot give up. The only way I see the Raiders continuing to fight is with AW under center.

11:19 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A couple of things:

For those who insist that the Raiders are the worst team in the NFL (yes, I'm looking at you ESPN), please note Jon Gruden's Bucks. This is a team without an excuse. They have the same coaching staff as last year, and mostly the same players. Other than the fact that Gruden was handed a Super Bowl calibur team when he went to the Bucks, I'll take Shell's W-L record over Gruden's any day.

Point two: Take a look at how the two teams which the Raiders played so far have faired. Between them, they've given up one touchdown - a total of 13 points between the two. The Ravens shut out the Bucks, but they didn't shut out the Raiders. Between the two, I'll give the Bolts credit for the best D in the NFL. The Ravens are #2. The Raider defense is gaining ground, and if the OL can straighten out enough to give the D a chance to rest - look out.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

walter needs to play and play NOW. better he gets his growing pains in now rather than to wait on him next year. he plays now, gets his experience now and he'll be that much more prepared for next year. after all, we are playing for next year.....

pouter should play now too. cooper is crying for shell and pouter to end their differences but would pouter in the game made a huge difference? no. then again, to quote someone - i don't remember whether it was a writer or someone here - he doesn't pass or run block. so the bottom line is o-line is responsible for our 2 losses.

i have a question..... why is courtney anderson starting? how many more passes must he drop before he gets benched for someone who can actually catch?

the defense is not quite there yet. there being chargers and ravens level but are getting better and better. true the other team scored 28 points but our d did their part to hold the fort down while the offense gets their act together.

like i said, tom walsh and his b&b offense WILL be fired by mid-season. the jury is still out for art shell.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cochise, I agree with your takes regarding the o-line and play calling, however I must say that the pressure our QB's are getting are not just from the edges. From what I have seen, alot of the pressure has come right up the gut, over Grove and the guards. It's true the speed rushers are coming off the ends, but when it comes from everywhere, which I have seen for two weeks, i'm sure its hard to game plan against that. Having said that, I'm not saying Walsh is doing a great job, but I am willing to give him a break until we can actuall resemble an NFL caliber offensive line. Great takes RT and Blandarocks. Go Raiders

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. I say play Walter now and see what he can do. We all know that Brooks was brought in to hold down the fort until Walter was ready. I know he's not 100% ready now, but as stated in the other takes, the players respond to him better. Lets not wait another year to see what he can do. With the bye week, Browns and 40 Whiners coming up, he should settle in better than the last two weeks. Thanks.

3:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I agree with you that you can't fairly judge Walsh's game plans until they are executed. And the OL breakdowns have come from every point on the OL. When the OL settles down and digs in, if they are still losing, then it's time for the GP analysis.

Part of the problem is that we have O-linemen who were drafted and signed to fit into a Westcoast offense. The Westcoast offense was invented as a means to utilize a suspect OL, too light to stand up against 325 lb. defensive linemen. The WC offense ustilizes lighter, faster OL personnel to misdirect the DL and LBs rather than to confront them directly and sustain a block until the whistle. To prepare our OL for direct, sustained confrontation, Shell has worked them hard. Their legs may be tired, still, from camp. The bye week may be coming at just the right time.

3:21 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Brooks is down through the Cleveland game at least. That gives Walter an audition to see where we are with him. It also gives the OL something more to work toward - protecting the kid to keep him out of trouble.

Adversity always comes along with a little opportunity mixed in. Let's see if the Raiders respond to the adverisity or the opportunity.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Late getting out of the huddle, continually snapping the ball with 1 second left on the play clock, and burning through timeouts is a real sign of lack of preparation and confusion. That is on Shell and Walsh.

I'm sure Walter has enough going on in his head as it is, and getting the team up to the line of scrimmage with only a few seconds to survey the defense (and having to rush the snap count) is making things that much more difficult for this offense to succeed.

As for Randy Moss, is this guy giving us everything he has? Is he doing everything in his power to win football games? Definitely not. He doesn't block for one. So basically we've got 10 guys on the field when it comes to running plays. Call me crazy, but when you try to run off tackle you've got to account for the cornerback.

Also, I've never seen a guy get such a free pass on getting short arms when contact is coming.

And then there's the classic stand and watch as Ray Lewis returns the interception.

Basically I'm getting tired of all these great athletes who aren't good football players.

Do you think Pittsburg would trade Hines Ward for Randy Moss? Nope.

That being said, I love the direction of this young defense. Fast and hard hitting. Defense wins games....even though it's not Al's priority.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone needs to bite the bullet when firing questions on the coaching staff...this is there first two weeks together of regular season football. Bill Gibbs over in DC was too old and not innovative enough to lead a modern era team. They had some lousy first season record however I believe they made the playoffs a year or two later. So sure, have your criticisms, but don't go so far to start hangin the staff out to dry as a whole or as individuals.

As for who should be playing QB, I agree with scorpio2562, it has to be Andrew Walter. If he's our QB of the future, why wait for Aaron Brooks to prove that he's not the man and waste time? Get him in, let him get his knocks, and learn.


5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reading some people are slamming Andrew Walter already. This is crazy. This guy is just a mere pup in the NFL. Let's give him some time to learn, & grow. Remember how bad Troy Aikman was his first yr ? Same goes for the Manning boys, and Steve Mcnair too. I recall Steve Young stinkin up the joint when he first started. Many Qb's struggle their first yr, or two. The question is, do the Raiders have the patience to finally, finally, stick with a young Qb, and build around him.

I hope one of the changes Art Shell makes during the bye week, is to replace Lamont Jordan with Fargas. This is tough to say because I like Jordans attitude. He wants to win, and takes losing badly. This is rare on the Raiders these days.

But Jordan is sloooooooooow, has zero cut back ability, does not catch the ball very well, and is a poor blocker.

It's time the Raiders start swallowing some of these bad Al Davis signings/draft picks, instead of waiting forever for them to "Learn to play Football".

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finkel and Einhorn....Einhorn and Finkel.

Jordan and Wheatley.....Wheatley and Jordan.

"But Jordan is sloooooooooow, has zero cut back ability, does not catch the ball very well, and is a poor blocker."

Jordan is Wheatley.

5:15 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

the Oakland Raiders came into this season with a variety of question marks around the team. the defense was pourus last year. only help on the scene...a couple of rookies. the special teams was a joke last year....again. the offense had a flipflopped line with a rookie thrown in the mix. BIG question mark. as they too were piss poor a year ago. the offense has a new qb. big ?. seeing as how he was not asked back to the team he came from. (i'd take him or a fire hydrant over KFC still) the only strong, solid position on offense is wr. when you throw turmiol into that position too....well all hell's gonna break loose. as it has.

now for what we've learned the first couple weeks of drubbings.
our defense is....well...pretty tight!!! i love it. they're young but very very fast. the 2 rooks look solid. a few "young" mistakes here and there but i'll take that over being out-talented anyday. looks like Sands will make a fine run stopper for us, kelly on passing downs. very nice little rotation. defensive backfeild has looked good, aside from a couple "Radio" specials. this is a growing group and they are obviously headed in the right direction. this is something we didn't know at the start.

special teams has looked great. carr is something to behold and i hold my breath every time he touches the ball!! coverage has been decent. again, a couple of blunders. alltogether tho a major upgrade for last season.

so really we're down to getting offense in gear. we can't start anywhere but o-line. the other positions are irrelavent until this is solved. and we can't even begin to judge any other position on the two games put out by this 0-line. for there were a ton of "lookout blocks" out there. we get this line fixed, semi fixed, looking lke a semi-coheisive unit, then we'll see what we've got on that side of the ball.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Another insigtful post RT. My 2 cents:

- I usually agree with BlandaRocked on most of his points but disagree that our O-Line is a "west coast" small sized unit.
LT Gallery 6-7, 325
LG Sims 6-5, 300
C Grove 6-4, 300
RG McQuistan 6-6, 315
RT Walker 6-8, 345

Avg Ht/Wt: 6-5, 317 lbs.

- All the talk about 7 step drops is extremely exaggerated. In the Ravens game there were only a handful of 7 steps drops.

- All the talk about whether or not to start A-Dub is a moot point. Per ESPN today, Brooks will be out 2-4 weeks with a pectorial strain.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to let this go by without a mention, because I don't think anyone has brought this topic up yet. We should not let it escape our attention that Sam "I Am So Brittle", Williams, could not even make it through one game before getting hurt again.

Just give me 11 Matt Millen/Football players, over 11 Sam Williams/Atheletes anyday.

There was a time when the Raiders used to think this way as well.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know all the sports writes and all the ESPN commentors hate the Raiders. They said all kinds of sh**. Look at the following teams

1) Washington

2) Detroit

3) Green Bay

4) Tampa Bay

5) Carolina- who was supposed to be a superbowl contender.

6) Miami

7) Cleveland

9) Tennessee

10) Houston

11) Kansas City

All these teams are 0-2. Where are all their comments about how they struggle and can't protect their QB, no running game and bad defenses. The Raiders are struggling too, but these teams are just in bad shape as well. But you know just like I do, everyone hates the Raiders. There is no respect for us and there never will be. Look at the Pittsburg Steelers tonight. They couldn't even move the ball and they are the defending Superbowl Champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8:43 PM  
Blogger x said...

What? "Can't fairly judge Walsh's game plans until they are properly executed"?

The point is, he should SEE that they can't execute his gameplan and ADJUST it. He isn't doing that. If he doesn't start, he should be fired....though I don't ever recall an O-Coordinator being fired, without the coach, during the season.

And you've got to be kidding about the Raider O-line being undersized.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One more thing on the playcalling,
how is it possible that the Raiders run 61 plays and there isn't one single pass to a RB? Unbelievable. Jordan might not be the best receiver but he did have 70 receptions last year. Enough said.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Norv Turner did know how to call plays? What do you think? I
can't see us doing much this year.
It will be defense all year long.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing to say other than what's already been said, except man I love the fact that we have such an awesome place to vent and cheer the Best Team in football


11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nation stands tall, win, lose or draw raider till i die... Its tough seeing a proud organization riding through turbulent waters, but one must remain committed.It means that we all should not despair and walk off the plank just because our ship has been hit hard early. Two battles will not take our dignity and honor.We will soar high from the smoke and fires...regroup and plan our next encounter and bring them hell. Without leaving anyone behind, instead making us all stronger for those who underestimate a nation, one nation, committed to excellence! We deliver mayhem and conquest as we chant in content... RRRRAAAAIDDDERRRRSSSS!!!!!! RRRAAAAIDDDERRRSSSSSS!!!!!!

Plata y Negro Por Vida,

J.P. #16

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rumor going around in SoCal is Al Davis has sold 15 percent of the team to an L.A. businessman, and the Raiders will return there.

Can anyone confirm that rumor?

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now the job is Aaron's," Shell said. "Andrew will come in and fill in and do the best that he can to help us win. That's where we are. I don't want to start, 'If he does this, will we do that?' I don't want to do that right now. If there's a decision to be made down the road then we'll do that. But right now Aaron Brooks is our starting quarterback."

Is Art Shell really that stupid, Aaron Brooks is our starting QB. If AW does well and Shell pulls him out to favor Brooks. Shell will have a hell day coming. Fans will want him to burn at the stake.

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep hearing that we've played the 2 best teams in the AFC right off the bat, and that it's ok to be 0-2. BULL$H(*$*T!
The Dunderdolts may have a good defense, but if we should have had some better play calling than what was given to take the pressure off. That game was ours.
The same with this last week. Jordan has to do better than 19 carries for 35 yards. There has to be play calling that does something different than "GO LONG" on every down. The play calling the past 2 games has been horrible! This kind of play calling only works on Super Tecmo Bowl for Nintendo 64!
If we are not going to use Porter, trade him for a RB and a O-lineman. If we are not going to use Tuiasosopo, trade him for another back-up, or a DT.
I am not happy that we are 0-2, when we should be 2-0. But our lack of play, and our play calling on offense has really killed us the first 2 games!
Shell said on IBA, that Brooks will not lose the starting QB spot unless something whack happens. HEY ART! I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU CALL THE LAST 2 GAMES, BUT IT WAS PRETTY WHACK TO ME! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF DAVIS' @$$, AND START PLAYING FOOTBALL. I WANT TO SEE BLOOD AND W's!

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another thing, we cannot be completely stuck on the moves (or lack thereof) that should have been made in the offseason. I was disgruntled we didn't pursue Edgerrin James and Drew Brees. I think they would have done more to help our team.
But I even forget what was happening across the league in the offseason. The expiration of the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement, for those who can't figure it out, like Donkey, Cheat, and Dunderdolt fans). We were about to lose Sapp, Langston Walker, Curry, and a few others if the CBA hadn't been reached! We were not in a position to sign a whole lot in the offseason.
But NOW we can make moves to fix our problem areas, with exception of the offensive play calling. We can trade for a RB, DT to compliment Sapp, and a QB. We gained 2 extra draft picks from the Pats and Jets (for Bobby Hamilton). We can bargain with either one in a trade involving Porter and Tui.
The time is NOW to make changes, before we sink any further. Right the ship NOW!

7:03 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I got people putting words in my mouth. I never said that the Raider OL was undersized. I said that the West Coast offense was designed with lighter, faster linemen. I'm also saying that we've put together O-linemen more suited to the West Coast style over the past 8 years of running WC offenses. That doesn't necessarily translate to "the Raiders OL is small." That only makes sense. You don't run an offense for 8 years without linemen that fit that mold.

My point was that there is a style of blocking in the WC that doesn't suit the current offense. It's like trying to plug a square peg into a round hole.

Shell said himself that this OL wasn't going to take shape until about midway through the season. That seemed to be fine with everybody when he said it, but now, after two games, it's time to burn Shell at the stake and behead Walsh. What? Did you think Shell was just blowing smoke when he said that?

Raider policy from the beginning of time: Nobody loses their job because of an injury! Unless, of course, that injury is career threatening. Shell is going to address Brooks in just that fashion. We are all expecting Walter to improve with playing time. Just like we expected Marc Wilson to improve with playing time. Sometimes it doesn't happen. If Walter comes out and plays terrible against the Browns, will you be demanding that Shell keep him in there, even if Shell believes that Brooks has gotten his act together?

Right now, Walter is getting an audition to see what his current value is. If that audition doesn't work out, Shell is free to go back to Brooks - because Brooks never officially lost his job. However, if Walter does well, then Walter is also free to win the starting job over Brooks when Brooks returns. He'll get snaps in practice with the first unit, and Brooks will be put on a short leash. This has been the way that the Raiders have always approached this situation since Al Davis first involved himself with the team.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that the breakdowns on the offensive line have come from all over, takle thru talkle. But a majority of the sacks presures and hits have come from the edges, and other times the presure from the edges has pushed the qb into the interior rush.
That being said, I dont think it is too early to get on the coaches. I know art shell said that it would take the o-line time to gell and get its shit together but I know not even he expected 14 sacks in two games.
As far as game planing it sucks because its not working. Why it is not working doesnt really matter. Walsh needs to adjust to what his players can do. We obviously cant block 7 step drops. So why continue to run them. I know we dont run 7 step drops all day, but how much of a difference is a five step drop with recievers running seven step drop patterns. And if you are only runnign two recievers out there (and one of them is a 3rd or 4th reciever on any other team) then how hard is it to cover them. I myself am not upset with the chosen offensive philosophy. If they want to say "we run-em hard and throw them deep" then fine. I am upset that nothing has been adjusted. and I am not talking about a slight adjustment here or there. Im talking about "damn that didnt work for the 4th time lets try something completly different. I dont care how long you can hold a block. If there are only two wide outs and 5 defenders playing coverage your not going to have receptions.

9:24 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Good take, Cochise. Although my solution is a little different. I think it's time to drop the Whitted experiment. He would be fine if Anderson had shown better ability to make catches over the middle, and we know that that is certainly not Whitted's specialty. Whitted is good at sideline patterns and deep patterns, but the Raiders need a short to intermediate option on every play. It's not going to be Jordan either. It's time, I think, to replace Whitted with Cury in 2 WR sets. In 3 WR sets, Cury should play the slot.

The trick play I'd like to see that would shake things up: Have the QB pass quickly to Cury, backing up to create a latteral, playing the slot in a 3 WR set. The nicle back will wait at the LOS for Cury, and won't pursue him into the backfield. When Cury receives the ball, he should throw deep to Moss or Whitted. Don't forget that Cury was drafted as a QB.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan may be slow, but he was 39% of our total offensive production last year. Just a fun fact.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is I'm glad you guys are in it with me...I'm drowning in a sea of gloating 49ers fans and RaiderTake is my life-buoy.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Cochise. Football is a game of adjustments, and setting up other plays. The Raiders haven't done either since Gruden left. That is what made Gruden good. He gave Gannon the go ahead to call audibles, make offensive adjustments, which set up the play they originally wanted to run.
Callahan took that away, and we were burned in the Super Bowl for it. Again, it's Football 101; and we've tossed it out the door.
I've said it before, we have the talent to be better because we should be 2-0. But what good is all this talent if we don't use it properly?

11:33 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I don't want to be accused of putting words in anyone's mouth and we can agree to disagree BlandaRocked on your following point; "Part of the problem is that we have O-linemen who were drafted and signed to fit into a Westcoast offense.

Sorry but you really can't make a case that any of our current linemen were drafted to fit the WC offense.

McQ - drafted by Shell

Gallery & Grove - drafted in 2004
(Norv Turner didn't run WC offense)

Walker - drafted in 2002 but would anyone draft a 6'8", 345 to specifically fit the WC offense? Yeah right.

Sims - wasn't drafted; signed in 1999 as a free agent in training camp.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tbTechnique (leverage, footwork, and hands) beats size everytime. The difference between 6'7" and 6'5", or 320 lbs. vs. 305 lbs. is negligible.

What we should be talking about is the quality of football player these guys are.

It doesn't matter what offensive system you are running, there are fundamentals to pass blocking and run blocking, and right now the o-line is fundamentally unsound in almost every aspect.

It's our weakness now. Walsh needs to adjust (as many of you have said). If we are getting beat continually off the edge then run screens and draws at that opportunity on "predictable" passing situations.

It's a chess game, and Walsh is playing like it's his first time.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so we throw a few screens, and dump offs. That's still not any kind of an offense.

Sooner, or later, the O-line is going to have to protect the Qb enough so that he can set in the pocket, and find open receivers downfield.

Right now, everything on offense is broken. We try a short pass to the TE, he drops it. We try to run it, but there are little to no holes, and Jordan lacks the ability to make something out of nothing. We try a deep pass, and the Qb gets creamed. Hell, at this point, it would be nice just to snap the ball without it landing on the ground.

Fundamentals ?? Who knows them better then Shell/Slater/Eatman ? Skill players ?? We just don't have much, aside from Moss, whose head is in the clouds.

It's appearant now that this offense needed a major overhaul in the off season, but didn't get one. The Raiders offense reminds me of Joan Rivers face. After a while, plastic surgury can hide only so much.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not any kind of offense if that's all you can do, but right now I'd take some success in moving the sticks considering we've scored 6 points in 26 offensive possessions this year.

That's right. 26 possessions...291 yards total (or something close to that)in two games.

This offense has no tempo. Having some success by taking advantage of what these defenses are doing to us can help set that tempo.

Who knows, maybe it will get the o-line into a better rythem. I'm no psychologist.

Getting the play called in earlier (last week was ridiculous), getting out of the huddle, executing.

Once we have the tempo, then our offense takes on more of the dictation of the game and we've got the playbook wide open (except for the pages that have been stuck together from the banana pancake batter).

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you Anon, but I guess what I'm saying is, I can see no circumstance in which this offense can succeed.

Putting Moonbeam Moss, and the unknown Andrew Walter aside...

If they threw a screen pass, it would probably bounce off Jordans helmet, into the hands of some linebacker, who would then proceed to take it the other way for 6.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blandarocked said it exactly, the Whitted experiment has failed. The guy is not a #2 reciever, has never been and wont be. He doesnt have the guts and hands to run interior routes. Look I know J-Porter really f-d up. Maybe he called what we are all saying back in feburary. Either way he needs to play. The tight ends cant catch both our recievers Moss & Whitted dont have over the middle heart. Did you see the pass that Whitted was already out of his hands when he got hit. If your gonna get nailed anyway you might as well hold on to the rock. I dont understand why they havnt tried the trick play with Curry, its not like he is a reciever who can throw a little...the guy was a freaking qb in college. That just shows you there is no inginuity or imagination in the offensive coaching. I know your not going to win games with nothing but 5 yard passes to TE's and RB's, but those types of plays can be used to set up other stuff. In the charger game Shittenhiemer (sorry had to do it) didnt run the reverse because he thought he was going to score with it. He ran it so that the DE and the Outside linbacker couldnt crash the line. And it worked. It worked so good they ran the reverse a 2nd time and fumbled and the qb still had time to pick up the ball and try to do something. Running different plays arent going to make your o-line turn into probowlers but it will take some of the heat off of them. Defensive linemen get tired a lot faster when they go balls out and dont get to touch the qb. Whats more frustrating & tireing running 40 yards and not getting a pass thrown to you or running 40 yards and getting a pass thrown to you. Its the same for d-line men. They get tired faster if they push and push and dont get to hit the qb. Two things make a offense system good.
1 Do what you can do with your personel and do it well.
2 Hide and stay away from what your offense & personell cant do well.

and as true black and silver fan that HURTS

3:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Regarding Porter: If the Raiders put him on the field this year at all, it won't be until after the trading deadline. The business decision is this - the Raiders want to at least avoid the cap hit for 2007. If Porter plays, he might get injured. If he gets injured, it's a rule that you can't trade him until he recovers and passes a physical - and he wouldn't recover until the trade deadline has passed.

If the Raiders don't get a decent offer for Porter by the deadline, then they'll play him, because then it won't matter. I don't think they are deactivating Porter just because he's in the doghouse. He's deactivated because they want to trade him. And if he does get traded, I don't think that it will be anything that will help us this year (unless it's for a good O-lineman).

So the bottom line is this: Porter does not exist until after the deadline. Playing him before the deadline is like dangling cash over a paper shredder. I understant that folks want to win right now, but Porter isn't going to be around after this year anyway. By risking his health, we risk money that could and should be used to shore up this team next season.

The mystery to me at this point is why we traded Gabriel. I believe there must have been some plan in mind here, but the Raiders won't reveal what that is. Still and all, I suspect that we might see Curry take over that spot after the bye.

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama 7
Many good points up and down the board here. I agree with so much here and particualrly despise that Tom Walsh is our OC. The key point for me is that the one thing we don't have that most teams have is a THREAT of a run game. Teams know we can't run it, know we aren't committed to running, know we won't stick with running etc etc, so they line up 7 and come all out with ears pinned back each and every play. That coupled with our deep routes makes for a disaster.
I don't care if we lose the next game, I say we commit to running it 50 times... spread it out amongst Jordan, Crokett and whomever... and just keep sticking it in there. 50 freakin times. I don't care if we end up with 50 yards. If we end up punting on 4th and 9 each time so be it. At least we'd start LEARNING the run game. At least we'd get physical. At least the sacks and INT's would stop. Defensive would lull out of the all out blitz mode. And then you know what? Every 10 or 11th run we could pop a play action pass in. A little rope a dope and then bam. I'd like to see us line up against the chargers and run it at least thirty times right at Merriman. Take him out of his comfort zone and just see it to it that he doesn't enjoy the game. We should try to out-conservative Marty. It can't do worse than the way we've been getting beat. Until teams start thinking we're committed to the run, they're not going to quit the blitzing. Question is, can Jordan bash heads for 4 qtrs or will he limp off timidly. Unfortunately, I guess the latter. I bet Crockett could handle 20 touches a game and get even better as the contact rises.
Maybe we could trade some of our late picks for a Deuce Staley... is he healthy?

7:45 PM  
Blogger The Sarccastik Variable Why said...

I'll say this...Art or Al needs to make a move in either playing Porter or trading him. That's too much money and/or playmaking ability to sit on the sidelines. If you know somebody's unhappy and you decide you'll try and change him by sitting him. This is the NFL, he's getting a paycheck regardless. This is not high-school or your local rec league 125lb football team. Do Something!!!!!

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon. Duece is healthy, I don't think it would take Porter to get him though. If we trade Porter to the Steelers, we should get a few other players in return.
Here's what I think in trade scenario:
Tuiasosopo to Washington for TJ Duckett; who is not even 3rd on the depth chart. He and Jordan would pound pretty good, and Duckett has some good cut-back skills. He was overshadowed in Atlanta because of Dunn. That would give us a bruising running game off tackle, and up middle; with Fargas going wide.
Call up Buchanon from the practice squad, and trade Porter and Whitted and maybe a pick that we got from the Jets/Pats for trading Gabriel/Hamilton to Green Bay straight up for Favre (he is unhappy in GB, and has publicly said he would consider being traded). If that won't happen then approach Jacksonville for David Garrard (QB), and Vince Manuwai (LG).

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



When your coach says the problem isnt 7 step drops and that we only ran two or three when the actual number was thirteen, you know he shouldnt be here. Art just doesnt know the game, he doesnt see it. He stands there will his 'phones on and really doesnt do anything.

Why? becuase he does not know what is happening.

Like Walsh he is out of his depth, and 20 years out of date.


6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was reading an article that was basicly bashing Walsh and Art shell for picking him. Now we all know that it will take a hell of a lot for Walsh to be fired before the season is over. But the article was going over who would replace who. One name that came up for OQ was Rich Gannon. I know the guy doesnt have any coaching experience, but I remember the work ethic, commitment, desire, and fire that this guy displayed when he played for us. He was respected as the leader of the team. I remember how Gruden had to give Rich a key to the facility because he got there so early no one was there to let him in. We need that kind of desire and inteligence working for us. I know its not really relevent to what is going on and may never happen but hey I guess I'm tired of talking about the same shit.
Anyones thoughts???

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in my last post I put that Rich Gannon name came up as a possible OQ I meant offensive cordinator. sorry for the misspell. wanted to clarify so everyone knew what the hell I was talking about

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you to a point. Jerry Porter is no Jerry Rice. So JP, stop crying and go play some football. Until you can show the Raider Nation that you can play that type of football, shut up. Pick an number and move on. Marcus Allen was by far the most complete back to ever the play the game of football. (Just my opinion. I take nothing away from the HALL OF FAMERS) Allen proved he was one of the top runningbacks in the league. He was truely something special.If we can only find another RB with that kind of solid football play making. You have to be a professional 150% of the time. Your on/off the field antics go hand and hand. What is JP really worth if we traded him? Porter hasn't shown he is even one of the top 10 WR'S in the league.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rich Gannon. I know the guy doesnt have any coaching experience, but I remember the work ethic, commitment, desire, and fire that this guy displayed when he played for us. He was respected as the leader of the team. I remember how Gruden had to give Rich a key to the facility because he got there so early no one was there to let him in. We
need that kind of desire and inteligence working for us."

cochise I couldn't agree with you more. You nailed it right on the head. "Desire and intelligence," is the very key that would make us the best football team out there. That type of attitude and play would propel us to the playoffs every year.

12:58 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A little in defense of Davis, Shell, and Walsh - since nobody else is going to do it.

Davis' draft choices: If you read the books from people who have worked with Davis (such as Madden, Gruden, et al) it is true that Davis has people in mind who he wants to draft. If the coach has a different idea, he is expected to come prepared with an argument in favor of his preference. If a coach can't do that, maybe he doesn't want that player as much as he thinks he does. According to Gruden, Davis is the most knowlegable owner he's ever worked for. And Davis didn't run Gruden out of town. Gruden was presented with his dream job (an NFL Head Coaching job in the same neighborhood as his family). It wasn't Davis who caused Gruden to leave, it was Oakland. That Davis drove Gruden out of town is the Raider Hater's preferred history 101.

I believe that the owner's duty is to put a team on the field that has a chance of going to the playoffs through the last home game of the year. Nobody can expect people to pay high ticket prices for a team that is only playing for pride. I think, except for the last three years, nobody has ever done a better job of that than Al Davis. You can argue that other teams have won more championships, but nobody has fielded a team in contention more than the Raiders.

That Shell and Walsh did a terrible job in 1994: Like it or not, the Raiders during the original Shell era weren't good players. After Hostettler and a few others convinced Davis that White should be the Head Coach and not Shell, Davis pulled the trigger. Shell and Walsh went 9-7 in 1994. White, with the same team, went 8-8 in 1995 and 7-9 in 1996. At that time, Davis wanted to bring in Gruden, but Tim Brown convinced him that Bugel was the man the players would respond to. Bugel went 4-12. When Gruden left town, Tim Brown convinced Davis that Callahan was the man the players would respond to. After taking Gruden's team to the Super Bowl, Callahan exposed himself as a complete head case. Turner was Davis' choice, but it appears as if some of Turner's problems just might have been the team itself.

I think that the idea that the football played 10, 20, or 30 years ago is archaic is a notion invented by sports writers to explain why it is that they know so much (even though they likely never played) and others know so little. The fundamentals haven't changed very much. Also, the speed and size change of players has ocurred on both sides of the ball - not just the defense. I also tend to avoid Vegas analysis, because a Vegas analyst only analyzes as far as your next bet. They have absolutely no ability to project how a team might do over time.

That Walsh is calling a bad game: One of the very accurate statements I've seen made here is that you have to use some plays to set up other plays. But in order for that to happen, the set-up-play itself has to work, or at least show that it would have worked had the proper defense not been called. So far, nothing has been working on offense. I'm not sure why that is, but what is clear is that the OL has played really bad. It could be that Walsh has designed an offense that is impossible for the OL to function in. But the only way to know that, without seeing the playbook, is to see more than these two games. I refuse to believe that three of the best O-Linemen to ever play the game lack the ability to teach.

I guess my appeal here is, have a little more patience. Shell said that he didn't think this team would come around until about the midway point. While we were all hoping that this team would surprise people right out of the gate, and the press did a good job of building up those expectations during the pre-season, Shell predicted a rough road. Now that we're all on that rough road, folks want Shell's head. Chucky ain't fairing any better so far this season, but in Tampa Bay it's Chris Simms' fault. Well, it's never one person's fault. It takes time to build a cohesive team, and the Raiders are no different. We all want that team that turns it around in the course of one season (going last to first), but usually those teams, after getting to first place, fall right back to last the next year. I'd like to see the Raiders build a team that will be in contention for the next decade. And that, my friends, takes time.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blandarocked: I agree that no one should give up on the Raiders system of playing football.

It brings me back to a point I've made before. The talent level on this offense is just terrible.

Let's suppose the following would have happened to the last Raider squad to win the SB.

Hand off to Marcus, he runs straight into the line, and is tackled.

Plunkett back to pass, he see's Branch streaking down the sideline, but wait, he's sacked.

It's 3rd down, & six, Plunkett spots TE Christensen over the middle, he guns it, oh no, Christensen drops the ball.

Get the point ? If those guys would have played like this current group, they would have stunk as well.

Thankfully, they were great, clutch, players who came up big time, after time. The Raiders just need some better players on offense, instead of the crap they have now.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blandarocked said, " According to Gruden, Davis is the most knowlegable owner he's ever worked for. And Davis didn't run Gruden out of town. Gruden was presented with his dream job (an NFL Head Coaching job in the same neighborhood as his family). It wasn't Davis who caused Gruden to leave, it was Oakland."
The reason Gruden left Oakland was not that he was presented with his "Dream Job." The Raiders traded him after the 2000-2001 season. The reason they traded him is because he had 1 year left on his contract, and told Al that he was not going to resign, or negotiate a new contract with the Raiders. Gruden wanted out. Why? That's left to speculation.
Now the reason why I cast a lot of blame on Walsh right now is this. You said, "So far, nothing has been working on offense. I'm not sure why that is, but what is clear is that the OL has played really bad. It could be that Walsh has designed an offense that is impossible for the OL to function in." That's where adjustments come in. The same thing happened to Callahan when the players called for his mutiny. If nothing offensively has worked, I question the system Walsh is running. Why? Because the players have been playing. Rookies or not, they are fresh, they have the skill and talent to play. I think Walsh has to find his groove, and get back into a football mind frame. The lack of adjustments is a coaching issue, not a player's issue. If he can't make adjustments during a game, he doesn't need to be coaching.
This is why we lost the Super Bowl, for example. Despite the knowledge that nobody knew Callahan's system better than Gruden, Callahan went out with his typical scheme that he had been running all year. John Lynch said it best at Halftime, "We know what they are going to run, by how they line up. It's just like we've ran in practice all week." Instead of taking notes from the Bucs-Steelers game toward the end of the season (where the Bucs were shutout 33-0), Callahan thought he could beat Gruden with a system Gruden designed. What he should have done was adjusted his game plan similar to what Pittsburgh used. Which was to line up with a spread field. His system was for 3 WR's to one side, and bunched in close in the line. The way you beat the cover 2 is spread the field from sideline to sideline. Callahan didn't, and played right into the Buc's defensive scheme.
Adjustments are a coaching problem, not a player's. If your players cannot execute, then you need to adjust to what they can execute.
Now, I agree, the season is not a loss; yet. But the time to make adjustments is NOW! The time to add things to take pressure off the rush, and help our Offensive Line is NOW! The time to make adjustments to set up the "Long Ball" is NOW! The time to make adjustments to our running game is NOW! I'm willing to give Walsh the chance to do this, but if he doesn't, he shouldn't be coaching.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raidernate I could not have said it better. Gruden left the raiders because of Al Davis. He may have said that Al was one of the most knowledgeable people he knew in the nfl. I dont anyone really questions Al's knowledge of the game. I question more his application of that knowledge. That being said, I myself was not that upset with us loosing Gruden. He is a really good coach, I just think that he is too conservative. His conservatism allowed him to be successful with the bucs when they had the defense to back him up. But look at them now...without that defense to give them short fields and keep points off the boards he is really having troubles.
Now we may not be fielding a team of pro-bowlers every week, but these are all guys that belong in the nfl. We may have some deficiences in our talent base but were not talentless in our skill positions. Like raidernate said, and a lot of us have been saying.... it is the coaches who are supposed to make the adjustments to the talent level and talent capabilities that we have. And they have not done that so far.
We know its only been two games, but I dont need to see 8 games before I can tell a guy he is f-cking up.
If you really want to know why I am so upset read this article and I suggest that every true raider fan read it.

I know the link is long so you will have to copy and paste it. But it takes you directly to the article.
For those of you that dont agree or understand my or other peoples recent posts on the lack of inteligence and gameplaning this article will help you understand them

10:14 AM  

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