Monday, December 04, 2006

Five Postgame Takes

1. The playcalling on the first offensive drive was certainly refreshing. John Shoop was clearly making a statement, calling slants and other fast-developing plays to declare the return of sanity to the coordinator position. The Texans were on their heels. Then ReShard Lee takes off on yet another good call, a draw, and turns upfield for a big chunk of yards, only to lose the ball and have it returned for a touchdown. The momentum was destroyed, and the turnovers became contagious, and the execution (and at times the effort) began to deteriorate. For those who say this proves that Tom Walsh’s playcalling was not the problem, I agree—it was not the problem. But it was definitely a problem. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and two problems sure don’t make a solution. I’d rather have bad players trying to execute a reasonable game plan than bad players trying to execute an irrational game plan.

2. I just love our defense. Seven points by the Texans came on the fumble return, and another seven came after a kick was returned to the three yard line. In other words, our defense wasn’t responsible for any touchdowns, and actually even scored one on their own. They held the Texans to -5 yards passing. The Texans aren’t pushovers with the pass. Even after yesterday, Andre Johnson still leads the NFL in receptions and ranks fifth in receiving yards. Our defense is remarkable, even more so considering the fact that the offense has become their mirror image.

3. Do you think it’s a coincidence that during the same week that Art Shell railed on Mike Lombardi as an alleged traitor in the national media, we did not make the decision to sign a backup kicker for an ailing Sebastian Janikowski? After all, in order to sign a kicker, and to make corresponding room on the roster, the coach and senior personnel executive would have to talk, would they not? Did their frosty relationship, and any related avoidance issues, get in the way of making a smart decision? I think it’s fair to ask that question. Am I wrong?

4. Aaron Brooks was really pissed off about something late in the second quarter. He gestured repeatedly toward the sideline after plays, raising his arms in apparent bewilderment or anger. What was up with that? Was he angry with the playcalling, or upset with his teammates? When the drive failed, he roamed the sideline alone. I am convinced that we have serious relationship issues on our offense. I see very little communication or togetherness on the sideline. I see a unit divided. It explains what we’re seeing on the field, which is an absence of timing and chemistry, along with inexcusable confusion and lack of execution unrelated to talent. Aaron Brooks was never great, but he threw for more than 3,500 yards for four straight years with the Saints. He didn’t suddenly turn incompetent. Randy Moss is supremely talented. Our offensive line was never great, but the same guys are playing much worse than last year. This has little to do with ability, in my opinion. It’s more spiritual than physical.

5. The bottom line is that something is weird and seriously wrong with our offense. Whatever it is, it needs to be exorcised. The worms need to be removed from the apple, whoever or whatever they are. Easier said than done, perhaps, especially since I’m not sure how deep this mystery problem runs. The good news is that, once this problem is fixed, I think that we might see a swift turnaround.


Bonus take: Can anyone explain to me the wisdom of running a full two-minute drive beginning with 2:11 on the clock while two scores down at the end of the game? What, we're going to recover an onside kick with 10 seconds left with no timeouts and an ailing kicker and win the game with a 70-yard field goal? When we're on the 28-yard line with 58 seconds left in that situation, shouldn't we be throwing little Hail Marys to Moss in the endzone, at least giving ourselves a chance to pull off a miracle?

64 Comments:

Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Don't forget the poor clock management which lead to us being stuck with no timeouts in the 4th quarter.

I just don't see how a team can hold a passing team like Houston to -5 yards passing and still manage to lose.

I think we need to get a run stopper in the draft. The Texans only gained 25 rushing yds TOTAL against the Jets, yet they ran for 133 against us. We've got a good D but we are still susceptible to the run.

As for Janikowski, I heard on the radio broadcast that Lechler has practiced as the emergency kicker before, so why they didn't have him try after Janikowski missed the chip shot is a mystery to me.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

RT, I agree with you across the board. I was very encouraged by what I saw out of Shoop. The play calls made sense. The plays themselves made sense. It would have been unreasonable to expect Shoop to undo in three days what Walsh did in 10 months.

Point #3 is key. Someone with sense and clout on Harbor Bay Parkway (are you reading this Amy Trask?) needs to sit Art and Lombardi in a room and straighten this out. I'm willing to give Art a chance, but I don't want to see him run Lombardi off the team out of ego. If Art learned anything from Madden, it should have been how to get different personalities to work together. It seems Art has replaced that attitude with "you're with me or you're with the terrorists".

Also, great point about the "spiritual" issues on offense. Ryan has done a remarkable job with the defense in that regard. It seems that all of the offensive players are buying into what Shoop is selling, maybe that's the beginning of an offensive "exorcism" for the Silver and Black. I sure hope so...

6:05 AM  
Blogger dax said...

What really pains me is the fact that the game was winnable and a win would have "healed" a lot of issues.
I'm not saying a W would cure all ills, but it certainly would have helped. Especially at home.

6:17 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Great takes RT. The play-calling was refreshing, but at the same time somewhat obvious given our recent struggles.

My concern is... did we see a flash of Shoop's ultra conservative play-calling at the end of the game, dinking and dunking in the middle of the field when we clearly should have been throwing down field or at least sideline routes? Somebody had quoted Dan Hampton (former Bears DE star) as saying about Shoop's offense, "why don't they just go on the field and take a knee..." That's kinda' how I felt watching Sunday’s two-minute drill.... painful!

Our defense deserves much better! At some point, we as fans should take an "ad" out in a local paper (or get one of our home-boy writers to print an article) thanking the Raiders Defense for its outstanding play this year. Let them know that we appreciate them and recognize this is one of the best defenses the Raiders have fielded in many years.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah the D needs to be appreciated as much as possible. We need to keep that group together and happy. This is a rare thing to have such a young group of guys play so well together. I hope they can keep their sanity and hang in there until we can score a few points. As bad as our offense is we're still just one or two good plays away from a win usually, and they still can't get it done. - Psycho

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly do believe that some players on the offense have jumped ship a long time ago. Jerry Porter sat behind Tim Brown and Jerry Rice and got his big contract for one solid season during the SB run, We got Randy Moss, Lamont Jordan and were supposed to be smashmouth football and deep threat and just cant get it done! Porter never liked Shell or Walsh from the get go and screwed up alot of chemistry this offense could've had. Randy quit last year on us but just admitted it to us this year and our O-line SUCKS! I see improvement, but we NEED to get Patsy Moss and Jerry Pouter off this team, draft O-line deep and sign FA RB. This Defense is a MONSTER and its growing better for next year! Art knew it wasnt gonna be easy. I still think we go 4-12 this year!

6:55 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Great takes RT.

It was eerie on the 2 minute drive how all of the seagulls were circling above Brooks as the stadium was dark and quiet. It felt like a B horror movie.

One of the more pleasant suprises on Sunday was DE Kevin Huntley. He was an active, disruptive force (1/2 a sack, caused a fumble, and recovered a fumble) in a limited number of snaps that would normally go to Lance Johnstone.

With 4 games left, it is time to give some of the younger players some more experience (Walter, McQuistan, Morant, Morris, Huntley, Routt).

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

I wouldn't overreact to the play calling at the end of the game, nyraider, there's a reason teams play prevent defense late in the 4th quarter with a lead...

7:01 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

RT-
you are correct on the chemistry issue--the D has great chemistry and leadership and plays well, the O has neither and plays bad. Brooks does not lead, in fact each week he acts more and more like he's hating life in silver and black. Name me a successful team w/o a QB that leads...At least AW tried to lead and talked to lineman and receivers while on the sideline. Moss is captain and that's a joke, and there is no equivalent of Rob Ryan on the sidelines as leader either. STs have Carr and Cooper to provide leadership and they play well more often than not. Agree with you also that if the chemistry is fixed the performance will change pretty quickly.

7:37 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, I agree some, and disagree some. Great, so Shoop called some quick hitting plays and draws on the first drive. That's not the answer. Every play called was in Walsh's play book. The problem is still execution. And it will continue to be until the Raiders can do what they did for the Defense in the off season. One of the unwritten rules for rebuilding a team is, you begin with Defense. At most, now on defense, the team needs one DT and one DE. Either/or could be easily obtained through the draft.

For me, I don't think Brooks or Walter is the answer. Walter hasn't shown that he brings anything to the table that Brooks doesn't other than the label of QB of the future. I want a better QB than Brooks to be the Raiders QB of the future. I had a thought. Consider this. Jake Plummer might get released. Jake's a good QB, but Shanahan sucks at working with any QB who isn't named John Elway. He's got a good arm, mobility, knows the Donkey D, has experience playing in the division, a great winning percentage over the last several years, and he might love the idea of playing where he's not getting head games from the coach.

You're right, it's personalities. That is being compounded right now between the players who have given up and the players who are still trying. We here can only guess between who is who, or see what is obvious in some cases, but the coaches know.

Personally, I hope Shoop is different than advertised. The Raiders have had OCs in the past who refuse to throw deep at the end of the game. That's just so unRaiderlike. The reason we go for tall, fast receivers is for exactly that reason. This was the major problem I had with Gruden, and I liked Gruden.

Re Jano. RT, Shell had kickers come in, and I have no doubt one of them would have been signed if they thought Jano would seize up during the game. According to Shell, Jano was much better on Thursday, and he had no trouble kicking on either Friday or Saturday. But backs are tricky. They can do that. It wasn't that Jano couldn't get the power behind it, the pain was screwing with his fundamentals. We have to hope that he isn't screwed up for the rest of the season. Also, the unmentioned when you sign a new player is that someone has to get released, or moved to IR. Jordan should probably go on IR to make room for an emergency kicker until Jano's back problems are fully resolved, but I think that Shell doesn't want to lose Jordan from the sidelines.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Raider Greg said...

As I agree with All you have said.............Offense is the "Worst" I have "EVER" seen......

Brooks was "Fliped out! " at the time it took to get a Freekin play in. You wonder why we wasted All of our timeouts in the second half...........
Shoop.....There he is!

Why bother with working him over.....Talk about a dead horse beating.......... Lets look forward to a new GM and Gut the Bulding in Alameda..........Sorry Im going through Post Raider LOSS Syndrome.......Known as "PRLS" I am starting a Foundation for it........All moneys will go to a huge party at the end of the season where we will be able to paintball all player personal that failed to get it done.

9:07 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Mad Stork 83: I’m not trying to be facetious, but I don’t understand your point. You said, "...there's a reason teams play prevent defense late in the 4th quarter with a lead..." Does that mean we should let them dictate our plays?

As RT expressed, I believe the game was still winable 'til about a minute left.

Of course they were giving us the middle of the field on short passes. That plays right into the prevent. With no time-outs, our only chance was to throw the ball down field and hope for a reception or pass interference call. If that resulted in an incompletion or even a sack, so be it. At least we could say we tried.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

BlandaRocked, I mentioned the need to make room on the roster (ie: IR, release) in order to accommodate the signing of a kicker. That's part of my point, it would have required serious discussion.

I hear what you're saying, but I'm just wondering if Shell's errant optimism about Jano's health was partly a function of his severely strained relationship with the senior personnel executive.

It's quite a coincidence that, the very week these two go public with a huge spat, we fail to ascertain Jano's true condition and fail to sign a stand-in.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The evidence from this season so far clearly suggests that AD was a wise sage to resgin Rob Ryan, new HC be dammed, and that he was as WRONG in his assessment of Shell's ability to return the offense to glory as he was RIGHT in assessing Ryan's growth in building the defense.

Unfortunately that 50% wrong/right equation has us at a woeful 2 and 10.

This offense has gone backwards from the Turner/Collins unit, and that didn't even seem possible. Oline and receiver are our weakest links. As much as it pains to say or think, I don't see that Shell has earned another season. Furthermore, as RT points out, his ego flame war with management now has compounded the problem of his woeful coaching, preperation and game day management. All have been truly pathetic this year. And I don't say any of this with glee or joy.

The Art experiement has failed. If you fail to see that you truly need to work on your blinders.

I'd like to see Ryan placed as interim HC for the remainder of the season. He's earned it and his reaction at the end of the game yesterday -- his clear disgust -- was such a contrast to Coach Stoneface -- that THIS alone, makes me want to see it happen. I know it won't and that's unfortnate.

9:51 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

At this point I might suspect that Shell has as much authority to sign players as Lombardi. Since they brought two kickers into the facility, I would think it's just a matter of handing one of them a contract and saying, "sign here." I don't think this was a problem in Jano's case, and I don't want to go looking for new problems. Besides, I'm reading today that Shell says that Jano was fine and he just missed because he missed. He certainly got power into his FGs (although not on his kick offs). He continually missed wide left which is his same old problem from last year.

The media is doubting Shell's word in that, apparently to them, Jano looked like he was obviously in pain. Wasn't there, and it wasn't televised, so your take on that is more valuable than mine. However, Jano did not say that pain was the cause of the misses. Lechler felt the problem was insufficient reps for the new long snapper.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

nyraider, I'm not sure we understand each other. Are you saying you wanted us to just take a shot because we were down two scores? I'd rather march down the field, score, and save the desperation heave for the end. But I know what you're getting at...

10:57 AM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

Regarding Brooks on your #4 Take:

I too notice the dysfuntion on the sidelines. Brooks teads to wander by himself. And he doesn't seem to like Moss.

Before the second half Brooks refused to play catch with Moss-drops, so Moss-drops played catch with Curry. Brooks tends to walk away from Moss-drops too, when he initiates conversation.

I don't know what the problem is with Moss-drops and Brooks, but neither is handling it like a professionals.

Gannon wasn't the friendliest person, but he had a competent and working relationship with his receivers and teamates.

Anyways the Raiders are who we thought they were: Stellar playoff calliber defense and incompetent offense..
After the game Burgess mentioned playing for pride and getting it done..

11:34 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Regarding Brooks. Last week he unloaded on the OL during the game, just before they went into a hudle after the previous play. He was really barking at them.

Actually, I like to see stuff like that from the QB. It shows he's invested. It's one of the few things, right now, that makes me think that Brooks would be effective if we had better people around him.

12:19 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

What's the feeling in these parts about Patrick Ramsey? I'm looking at QBs who've had success, but not much of professional look. Ramsey is currently warming the bench with the NY Jets. He's started some games for the Redskins, and has put up some decent numbers on bad teams. I'm thinking maybe Moss and a draft pick (hopefully a #1), for Ramsey.

If you think Ramsey would be good for us, why?

If you don't think Ramsey would be good for us, why not?

12:57 PM  
Blogger x said...

Take #3 is interesting. I never thought of that, but it certainly fits Art Shell's MO - avoid confrontation. He did or has done that with Porter, Moss, and Walter. Not a sign of a leader. I love Art for his loyalty, but he makes too many mistakes with game management (red flags, timeouts) and lacks player communication. What's up with his "the clock was running a bit fast" comment on the delay of game on 4th and 1? Really hope he was joking.

By the way, on the final drive, why not kick a field goal first, then try an onside kick? We're two scores down after all. Oh yeah, Janikowski is our placekicker.

1:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Final word on Jano. He just wiffed - all three times. No problems kicking before the game, and no problems yesterday. Lechler didn't see any sign of back pain.

"'I thought his kickoffs were excellent,' Lechler said, 'probably some of the best hang time I've ever seen on his kickoffs, which is hard to do if you've got a stiff back.'"

I'd still let Jano off the hook. I've had severe back pain and I have no doubt that even if the pain was gone, Jano was protecting against it coming back.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

Did anybody find it ironic that after Walsh and Shoop, switch jobs: TE Coach & Offensive Coordinator

The Tight End Position immediately gets fumbilities and loses the game for us..

Hopefully Walsh takes it as a "sign" and resigns..

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Holy Roller said...

It looks like Byron Leftwich will be looking for a new job. He could be someone to build an offense around. He's mobile and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. AB is mobile but has bad judgement. I'd like to get behind AW but he just stands there like a statue. Too much like Bledsoe for me.

1:38 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Ramsey, eh?

Well, living in N.O. and attending classes at Tulane, he gets my vote. The Harvard of the South, baby!

All joking aside, he was in the running for the starting position before Chad's triumphant return, yes?

There doesn't seem to be a ton of data and as a Dallas resident, I don't have a lot of Washington footage to review.

He seems to throw a INT per TD. Not my favorite trend.

BR, are there particular qualities that have peaked your interest?

1:54 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Pope:

Yeah... I noticed that in his second year with DC he had really good numbers for the 11 games he played - his most extensive season. I remember seeing him play, and I thought he was pretty decent. I don't know if he's never had a full season because he's been injured a lot, or because he's been pulled for someone better. He's got a good arm, and he can move. He's still young, but has five seasons under his belt. The one season I'm talking about, he had about twice as many TDs as INTs. And he had a completion percentage that year in the 60s.

2:01 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Raza:

The TEs have fumbled all season. First it was Anderson, who could only seem to catch a football if he was about to fumble it. That's the reason Williams is in there now.

I think that Madsen is the real deal, and I think he'll be starting next year.

2:08 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

MS 83: what I'm saying is... with no time outs and down two scores, our two-minute drill seemed futile at best. Even if we scored once, which we could have given the actual progression of plays and allotment of time, we would have no time left or chance to score again by recovering an onside kick, moving 15 or 20 yards down field and kicking the game-winning field goal.

However, if we'd taken a shot or two down field early in the sequence, somehow got lucky with a reception of pass interference and scored quickly. Then an on-side kick and another score becomes possible.

On the other hand, if Jano makes just one field goal in the game, we would just be talking about Brooks throwing another interception at the end of the game when we had a chance to win.

Doh! We need help!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Whether you opt to try to kick a field goal or TD first, one thing is certain: time is short, you have no timeouts, and you need two scores.

There have been plenty of instances when teams have pulled this off within a couple of minutes (field goal, onside kick and touchdown or touchdown, onside kick and field goal). It's rare, just like completed Hail Marys are rare, but it's always worth the effort. What's the alternative? Quitting.

In my opinion, to methodically burn ALL of your available time on ONE score in such an instance is crazy people behavior.

2:34 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

BR-

I remember when Ramsey was starting in D.C, he had a lot of come from behind wins. Then Spurrier fell out of favor(not using then letting Stephen Davis go was a HUGE mistake) and Gibbs ruined his confidence saying he's the starter then yanked him for Mark Brunell. He's someone to keep an eye on but right now he has a question mark as to whether or not he could re-take the reigns of being a starting QB.

2:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Art Shell:

One thing I know about Art Shell is that he's not an "offensive minded" coach. He wasn't in his first time around. Shell's units require strong coordinators, and I think, in regard to Walsh, he simply didn't have the personality for it. From what I've seen of Shoop, he does. Shell doesn't have the personality to be an OC either. What Shell is normally good at is managing, and getting people on the same page.

My belief that what we've seen so far demonstrates how splintered this organization has become. Shell should get at least one more season to shape up this ship. I don't think Shell has caused the splintering. I think he has just exposed it.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ramsey?? Plummer?? I'll take Troy Smith.

Roy

3:46 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Is it too late to get Drew Brees or Matt Leinart? Oh.

3:50 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Roy, one thing that is not going to happen is the Raiders drafting a QB in the first round. Al Davis has never believed in that, and Shell won't do anything to reverse it. I tend to agree with their reasons, but like it or not, that's the way the Raiders do things.

The philosophy is that the absolute most you can expect is that the top QB pick might, just might, be able to start in the first year. But by and large, it's going to take three years to develope a QB no matter what round he was drafted in. I think that the only exception the Raiders ever made to that was Marinovich, and you know how that worked out.

4:21 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Yep, the more I read about Ramsey, the more I think he is the prototype Raider QB pick-up. Not that I believe they will do that, but I'd be an advocate for it.

He's never been given a sufficient opportunity. He is the right size. He has a strong arm. He's mobile. He's very intelligent. He's still early in his career, so he could start for the Raiders for the next 7 or 8 years.

Not gonna happen, but just sayin'...

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

Nyraider, I get what you're saying now...

As for QB I'm getting a feeling we will go the veteran free agent route, especially if we wind up drafting a guy like Peterson. They're not giving Walter a look, and when he did play the whole offense was totally dysfunctional. If they get a guy like Peterson, he'll make the jobs of the offensive line and QB easier. Also, although I'm a Walter fan (and I was a Tui fan) I haven't seen this team develop a young QB in almost 40 years. Leopards don't change their spots...

4:57 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blandarocked,

The Raiders NEVER draft QB's in the first round, and you tend to agree with this.

Bad, sad news for Raider fans. This means the Raiders would never have picked a Payton Manning, Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, & many, many, other great Qb's.
This sounds deeply retarded to me.

When your as bad as the Raiders offense is, nothing should ever be ruled out 100% of the time.

Who has more upside, Brady Quinn, or Plummer, & Ramsey ??????

Think about it

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Al's just lost it. What a dysfunctional mess. We have no idea how good any of our players are because no one really takes us seriously. And that includes our much ballyhooed defense. Opponents know we can't score, so do you really think we get opposing offense's best games? Gameplans? Attention? Full playbooks? I got the feeling this year, for the first time ever, that Shotty, Shanny and the Squaws simply no longer take us seriously. It's killing me. And now salt on the wound... Shotty's gonna win the whole thing. Before, when he'd beat our ass repeatedly we could always come back with "Yeah, but you've still never won a superbowl" Well, accept it guys, San Diego has it. Hands down you can take that bet to Vegas. They are the best team.
AND IT'S KILLING ME!
I hate to throw our defense in the mix of question marks cuz they've looked better than they have looked in years, but bottom line is, when opposing AFC West teams have needed to score to win, they have. Every time. Period. I'm not sure how good our defense is. I feel good about the D but who knows until we're competitive?Not being a hater here, what I'm saying is that, for the most part, I think in this "mother of all lost seasons" the biggest loss is that there are very few clear answers as to our talent. The coaching is so abysmal that we can't judge our talent. Not one of us (save a few I suppose) were really excited when Art Shell was named our coach. Be honest. what was there to be excited about? Art Shell? C'mon. Was any team beating his agent's door down trying to sign this guy as a top banana circa '95 after Al made "the biggest mistake of his career"? No. Art Shell brings nothing to the table. He's no offensive genius. He's no defensive genius. He's no judge of talent. He's not firey. He's not an emotional leader. He doesn't even breed harmony. He's no disciplinarian (Disciplinarians are consistent... someone tell me the difference in Porter's crap and Moss's crap? Nothing, yet they're treated differently). Lastly, Art cannot even surround himself with talented coaches. far from it, he brings in a guy THAT NO OTHER NFL COACH WOULD HIRE to run his offense.
But what's AL to do? Fire Art and say "The second greatest mistake I ever made was hiring Art Shell again, second only to my having fired Art Shell over a decade ago."????? Sheezz! What a mess. And Shoop ain't the answer. Ask Bears fans.
The only hope I see (short of a miracle where Al steps down and someone comes in and-- to paraphrase Gannon --- torches the place) is for Al to fire Art and name Rob Ryan head coach. Ryan runs the defense and finds some hot-shot college OC to run his offense. I can dream right?
Gannon publicly said that our offense is the worst he has ever seen in the NFL. Wow. That's an indictment on Art Shell and Al. After three straight losing seasons following SB 37 Art and Al's grand plan to bring glory back was an antiquated step back to 1969 football led by Tom Walsh. Has there ever been a sports situation more pathetic?
I like Mike Price as an OC or head coach. Dudes a winner and can score points, and, more importantly is in a lowly position where he might jump at our job.
As for the talent, I reserve judgement on the entire OL. I see no stud O-lineman on the donks, bolts or sqaws yet they do fine... cuz of scheme and RB's. The only guys I'd get rid of are:
1. Brayton- no sacks playing opposite Burgess???? Quite possibly the biggest 1st Rd defensive bust of all time... Buczkowski almost did as much and I don't think he ever played. Play Huntly are get someone in free agency.
Sam Williams- we'd be absolutely terrifying at LB with one more stud to compliment Morrison and Howard.
Schweigert- I like him but he's nothing special and he's playing in Huff's natural spot. Huff's not an NFL SS. Too small. I like Bing at SS with Huff at FS. Take those two and our LB's and you wanna talk about NFL defensive speed??? Man, they'd be great.
Porter- ditch him for crying out loud. He's never really done anything besides the one game in denver. I say trade him to Atlanta with a 3rd and 4th for Vick.
Sebass- still stinging that he was chosen in the draft over Shawn Alexander. You want to exorcise demons? get rid of this colossal clown. What was wrong with Nedney kicking the game winner that knocked the Chiefs out of the play offs in the early Gruden days? We should have retired his jersey (and Wheatley's) fro getting that gargantuan KC Monkey off our backs in one fell swoop.
Jordan- Just do not like his soft running style.
finis.

6:37 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Here is my plan for next year. Trying to be realistic....

Offense: Given our unprecedented decline, let's do something unprecedented and draft Brady Quinn. Hopefully another year with Shell and Shoop (maybe next rising star OC?) brings some CONTINUITY, which improves all offenses.

For example, ALL the great olines have played together for years and we have essentially 5 guys playing together for the first time, in all relatively, if not totally, new positions. How many oline coaches has Gallery had? With time, he could be a solid starter for 10 years. Also, perhaps these guys realize they need to get stronger, tougher and harder given the b'slapping they've received lately. Maybe work Halsey, Slaughter or McQuistan in full time if they improve.

We start Jordan or Lee with Crockett. I'm a minority I guess, but I think Jordan can still contribute and we have too many other holes. Fargas spells them. Madsen is our pass catching tight end, courtney our blocker. Starting wideouts are Curry, Morant with Whitted as #3. We trade Moss and Porter for whatever we can get (3rd and 4th rounder likely given their attitudes). We sign any free agent willing to come to us (unlikely given how f'ed up team is). We draft best players available on offense after Quinn and use them to upgrade above Roster, along with FAs.

End result? We're better (still below average)due to (1)continuity, (2) ridding ourselves of any cancers, none of whom will be missed (3) we have upgraded as much as possible via draft, FAs (limited) and player development.

Defense - Somehow find a run stuffer... No easy task, particularly since we will need to draft offense. Good news is, that should be all we need.

Special teams - Somehow improve our HORRIBLE!!! coverage units. These guys escape way too much blame, but arguably cost us last two games as much as anything else... Rest of ST seems solid.

Coaching - Art stays one more year. Rob Ryan is left alone. Shoop hopefully turns in to the next star. Jury still out on him, but I like what people are saying.
Shoop adds in more slants to Curry, draws, screens, quick hitches, passes to Jordan. Takes advantage of our strenghts, while hiding our weaknesses (7 step drop protection) as much as possible.

Trying to be realistic. Let me know what you guys think. As LJ says, 9-7 is still out there for next year.

6:46 PM  
Blogger dan said...

Anonymous - I agree with your assessment of our defense. Seems like whenever any team needs to score, they do it. Only two anomolies this year, AZ and Pitt.

Good point on Schweigert and particularly Brayton. Although Brayton is almost as good as Gibson, Buchanon and P. Bates.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

It's total mismanagment is what it is.

We need a run stuffer ??????
Well, we had Ted Washington, but could not find money to resign him.

That money went to all stars like Gibson, Brayton, Randal(lost the handle)Williams, Whitted, Courney Nohandserson, Albert Brooks, & some others.

Why wasn't Big Ted brought back, and some of these other loser's cut loose ??????

7:32 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

TedWashington:::
15 yrs and slowed down....now plays for Cleveland....is he doing very much??....they have given up 1600 yds @ 4.4yds/rush.....

The Raiders have give up 1600yds @ 4.1yds/rush....How much better would we be with him????....Just food for thought.....But I thing we needed to get younger and faster on the "D"

PantyRaider....JustGuessing!!!!

9:59 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

BR-

Mike Mayock of NFL Network is projecting Troy Smith as a second-rounder. Would that be enough to get by the Raider philosophy of not taking a QB in the first round?

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Hey RT,
maybe we can trade Brooks to Tennessee for Vince Young?
Patrick Ramsey is Jay Schroeder reincarnated. Just say NO! Just say NO to Jake the Fake too! Here's my list of QB's that I would like to see in Oakland.
1. Byron Leftwich would be a better option, even if he's injured. The thing that concerns me here, is he has never played 16 games.
2. Charlie Batch. I think he's like Rich Gannon. He's been on his share of bad teams, and never really given a shot on the good teams he's played with. But when he has played, he's shined.
3. Everyone is big on Matt Schaub again too, but he hasn't played enough to see if he's worth it, but he could be a possibility.
4. Kelly Holcomb. He has a strong arm, and is fairly accurate with it. But like Ramsey, he seems to have a pick with every TD. But look who he's played for. The Browns when they had Couch at QB, is now playing with the Bills. At both places, he hasn't had a consistent chance to play because they kept switching him between Couch and Losman. The most games he's played in a season is 10, and both times he had a 67% completion ratio. He also had 10 TD, and 12 INT's in 2003 (the first year he really played), and in '05 he had 10 TD's, and 8 INT's. He hasn't taken a snap this year.

6:15 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

raiderrealist: wouldn't that be amazing? No question we will have a high draft pick, maybe the top pick. If Troy Smith falls to us in the second round and we take Adrian Peterson (or comparable RB) with our first pick, we'd be half way to solving our offense.

I know many think we need to keep our line in tact another year to gain solidarity, but I really question that. I think we need to bring in as many O-linemen from the draft and FA as we can and just field the best of the bunch, whoever that is. Art should seriously consider moving Gallery to guard if he continues to struggle.

bama7: I agree with much of your player assessment, however, in defense of Brayton, he has shown good discipline at DE, making another great play containing Carr on a roll-out last Sunday. Since he is replaced on passing downs, I don't think sacks is a fair measure of his contribution. That's not to say Huntley shouldn't get more reps, but perhaps more at the expense of Jonestone (who has what, only about two or three sacks on passing down substitutions).

I like Stewart S., but I'm inclined to agree that Huff should play FS. Bing may be a great addition to this D next year and may add speed, as you said.

Whitted is not a slot receiver, so you'd probably move one of your big guys to the slot on three receiver sets.

We have a LB on the roster that might be better suited than Sam Williams. His name is Robert Thomas. Seems like things happen when he's in there. I can't believe I'm saying this, but we actually have depth at LB. How did that happen?

Trading Porter and a 3rd round pick for Vick is stuff fantasies are made of. Some will disagree with bringing in Vick, but I'm a Vick fan. He's a major talent and about to eclipse 1,000 rushing this season. Nice to have that trait in your QB when your o-line is full of holes. Vick might actually make Moss a Player.

Santa: that's why wish-list.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

Leftwich, Ramsey, Plummer--these guys are all stiffs. The league decides who plays and if they were good enough to play they would be playing. Job #1 is find a QB who will play for ten years [we passed on at least one, if not two, last year]I don't think we make that mistake again with the guys who are coming out

6:53 AM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

Has anybody noticed how eerie similar the Bucks and the Raiders record, points and everything is.
My point being that Gruden saving the boat from sinking in Oakland really is out of the question, I personally detest Gruden, I haven't herd anybody for the last six months talk about him as the savior anymore and to me that is just fine, but if anybody was about to bring him up, just look at his record at the other end of the pond and one thing to keep in mind is that the team he is coaching he picked the players himself, Art inherited this offense and this defense of course.

One more point when some of you guys say that our defense hasn't really been tested I am sorry to disagree, they have been tested, the stupid Zebra's gave the game to the donkos, the chef's and the fireflies, and believe me it wasn't that they didn't try to score at least a field goal, they couldn't and the referees made sure on all of those 3 games to call a forward pass, a noninterception by Washington and what ever they could "invent" to let the oposing team keep the ball, so don't come here saying that our defense hasn't been tested, you might be blind to see but wether you want to admit it or not, they are so good that you think that the opposing offenses best effort is not there, believe me it is there.

8:40 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

BR,

I think you are right on Ramsey. The word out of NY was that everyone expected him to get the starting job. Who knew that Chad would come back swing'n.

It would just be nice to get someone who needs a shot, instead of someone who has had one and was released.

J

9:13 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

coach: I don't think anyone is going to argue we have a solid D. You can't be #3 in fewest total yards after 12 weeks and not be good (dare I say, elite).

Fact is, much of the scoring against our D has come on short-field possessions that have been generously provided to other teams by our offense and special teams.

I said in an earlier post, we need to take out an ad in a local bay area paper and thank our D for playing so hard. It's been a pleasure to watch that side of the ball. Unfortunately, we have a Yin Yang thing happening with our offense that's caused us all a few more gray hairs.

9:19 AM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

nyraider, I guess that I should have been more specific about the people that I was addressing this comment to, I was responding to "anonymous-bama7" and to "dan", I don't believe that they are watching the same games I am watching, the defense is as fast if not faster and smarter than any other defense in the NFL, you can go daydreaming thinking that (shotethejaneheimer and sissyhan) didn't try to run up the score on us, news flash dude they did, but they couldn't, we are going to Cinci and they won't burn us and you can fool yourself and think that they took a day off because they knew they didn't need to compete, they will try to beat us but they won't, they will probably win the game but they won't beat us, our defense is great and if you see the other two parts of our team, I am forced to say that our defense is by far #1 in the whole NFL

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I don't see our off-season needs on the field, I see them on the sidelines and in the booth. Fact is, Art needs help. Not only help in the coaching, schemes etc. but also in managing the games and the players.

His issue with Porter hurt the team. Yes, it's great to put your foot down and demand respect but keeping him in the dog house all season long and not using the same treatment with Moss is a serious double standard.

His inability to challenge calls or have a staff that understands the rules is inexcusable and managing the game clock is a serious weakness.

Lastly, this Lombardi thing was a joke. All these guys are professionals, whining to the media about someone in the front office is just weak. Deal with it in house and don't air your dirty laundry because now it's obvious there's a lack of chemistry not only on the field but now in the front office.

I like Shell as a person and player, and respect his loyalty and history with the Raiders. But if we're going to keep him he needs a top notch offensive staff under him to balance out what he's missed the past 10 or so years out of the league.

But the fact is, while the defense is great, the offense shows no chemistry, cohesion, confidence or ability to execute. This is not players, this is coaching.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RaiderCoachella:

I am very proud of our defense. I love our defense! However let's hold off on saying .. . "our defense is by far #1 in the whole NFL".

This simply is not true. I would be comfortable calling us one of the top 10 D's in the league but by no means #1.

In only 3 of the 7 major Defensive Statistical categories are we in the top 10.

Yds/Game: #3 (275.8)
3rd Down %: #5 (33.3%)
Pass D: #1 (143.0)
Run D: #25 (132.8)
Scoring: #14 (20.2)
Takeaways: #28 (18)
Sacks: #14 (27)

10:55 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nice graphic CJ. That really paints a picture. Maybe put an asterisk next to scoring due to the reason I mentioned earlier. Our D has too often been placed in short-field situtations by turnovers and poor ST coverages. Conversely, we must rank near or at the bottom for offensive turnovers... and that speaks volumes how our D has covered our offensive mistakes all year long.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Raider Rick said...

For the talk that the Raiders have never drafted a QB in the first round. Two examples (although you know the results) 1. Marc Wilson 2. Todd Mariguanavich.

The last time the Raiders had a good white guy playing safety was in the 80's and his name was Van McElroy not Sweiggert.


My x-mas wish list: Pete Carroll

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you believe that Adrian Peterson can become the same caliber player as an LT, LJ, or Shawn Alexander then I don't know how you can pass on him with the first pick.

A dominant player you can build your offense around.

The Raiders haven't had such a player, or drafted such a player (sorry Tim Brown, that includes you) since Marcus Allen.

What a coincidence....and that was the last team to win a Lombardi.

Peterson's logged 29 games and just shy of 4,000 yards rushing in those 29 games. It's hard to translate college stats to the NFL, but thos stats playing in the Big 10 mean something.

6'2, 218 lbs. Great speed, great feet, great vision, deceptiveness, toughness, agility, able to break tackles, inside / outside, good in space.....only question mark is durability.

The collarbone is a fluke injury as far as I'm concerned. Anyone can land awkwardly and break their collarbone.

Continual bad knees, feet, shoulders, hamstrings (see Donte' Stallworth)....those worry me.

Brady Quinn is not a clear, stone cold, can't miss, coming out of college like a Peyton Manning.

Have you watched enough Notre Dame games? He's got accuracy problems.

Sec 137

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to say Big 12.

I'm a Pac 10 apologist, so I get 10 stuck in my head).

1:31 PM  
Anonymous LK said...

I like peterson alot also but you can only draft a RB first if the QB and line are handled thru trades and/or FA

1:38 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think we're done drafting o-linemen early in the first round. A lesson we should have well learned by now. QB's are high risk, but the upside may be worth the risk.

Drafting a solid RB cannot be overstated. Given the right player, this is a position very worthy of early first round. Depth at RB is something we desperately need, and something that runs synonymous with all AFC West teams except the Raiders.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Indulge me in further elaborating on Bama 7's point about Brayton.

I believe that Brayton is a spot player at best that could be rotated in to keep the line fresh. He is not a starter or primary DE. In 12 games (or approx. 600 snaps) he has recorded only 32 tackles and ZERO sacks.

Brayton isn't strong against the run and has no pass rushing abilities. Why exactly is he playing so much?

I saw more playmaking ability in Kevin Huntley's 1st game against the Texans than I've seen in Brayton all year long. Huntley is a natural pass rusher and disrupter who showed a knack for blocking/tipping balls at the line of scrimmage during the exhibition season.

There are guys on the roster who need to get more significant playing time because

(a) the guy in front of them on the depth chart isn't producing

(b) we need to see what some of the younger players are capable of doing

(c) the season is lost...but the playing experience in 06 could pay off for 07

(d) it is the prudent thing to do in preparation of the 07 draft.

On the defensive side of the ball, I would like to see Huntley, Hawthorne, Thomas, and Routt get more snaps.

On the offensive side of the ball, I would like to see Morant, Madsen, McQuistan, Morris, and Lee get more snaps.

Further, I would like to see Walter rotated in for at least 1-2 series per half. Normally I don't favor using a 2 QB system but in this case, under these circumstances, it would make sense to give Walter some additional experience. Who knows? He could very well flourish under Shoop's playcalling and tutelage.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico, i agree with you.

if Brooks is starting on sunday, it means the Raiders are playing for meaningless late season wins, and nothing more.

Walter should play with an eye on the future.

9:40 PM  
Blogger R-8-er Mike said...

I think that Shell realizes there is no point in playing Walters until the O-line can defend him, he can't move around like Brooks. Until the O-line is improved (non-porous), it is impossible to determine whether Walters has what it takes.
They should be playing Tui. He deserves one more chance, and he is mobile. I think he will be gone next year unless he plays and is exceptional; maybe they are protecting his 'marketability'.

1:16 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I agree with Calico Jack, it's audition time. This is like having an extra 4 games of pre-pre-season. Art should take advantage.

R-8-er Mike: I don't think Tui will ever take another snap as a Raider. It might not be fair, but he's a free agent next year, and I look for him to reunite with Gruden. At the end of the day, he's still a backup.

6:15 AM  
Blogger raiderdecoachella said...

Calico Jack, first I want to say that I am not a football expert or guru but what I was trying to say is that given the cituation and knowing that the offense and special teams have not done anything to try and save this ship it is more than honorable in my eyes to think that if this defense was playing for other teams like the nfl's favorite teams (new england or denver) they would be #1, and my point came only because bama7 and dan where implying that our defense hadn't been tested by a good offense and that everytime that an offense wanted or needed to they always score on us.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raider Rick said, "For the talk that the Raiders have never drafted a QB in the first round. Two examples (although you know the results) 1. Marc Wilson 2. Todd Mariguanavich."
Actually, there were 4 QB's the Raiders drafted in the first round. 1. Roman Gabriel (1962) 2. Eldridge Dickey (1968) 3. Marc Wilson (1980) 4. Todd Marijuanavich (1991).
All of which had done what for the Raiders? You might consider that with these QB drafts that they've never really drafted a "real QB" in the first round. In 1991, Brett Favre was drafted after Marijuanavich (the only significant QB that year). Mark Malone was the only other QB drafted in the first round in 1980. Roman Gabriel went on to play for the Lambs, and who knows what happened with Dickey.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

Agree w/ Calico. Playing AB makes no sense. Let's get four more games of experience for him, especially with more slants and checks in the game plan. Need to know if he can be the guy or not going into 2007. AB is a nice backup, that's it.

7:27 AM  

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