Tuesday, January 02, 2007

End of Season Haiku 2006

Path to glory turns
gory, sixteen TDs and
just two wins, baby.


Blogger BlandaRocked said...


You should know by now I'm completely incapable of an Haiku.

A couple of thoughts.

It's kind of amazing to me that among the things that Shell said he was going to turn around this year was the lack of take aways by the defense. The defense did that, but most here believe that Shell had nothing to do with it.

It seems that most of the grumbling from players was that "Mommy! Coach Shell makes me work too hard!" The rest of the players seem to be on board. And I'll tell you that Shell certainly doesn't have his players work as hard as some of the coaches in the league.

The culture of laziness on the Raiders was begun in Gruden's last year in order to keep the aging veterans from wearing down. Calihan took it to the next step by allowing ALL veterans to sit around and get fat while the rookies worked. My understanding of Turner is that he was afraid of Al Davis. He had heard that Davis sides with players over coaches, so he never attempted to change this culture.

It's the first thing that Shell attacked when he came in. This was the basis for problems with both Moss and Porter. The rest is 2-14 history.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Truly offensive
Was the offense this season
Trade down for some help

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You can't tell me that laziness, was the reason for the offensive collapse.

Was the entire 0-line simply lazy ?

It looked to me like they just couldn't block.

I do not consider Lamont Jordan lazy, just overrated.

It sure seemed to me like Brooks, & Walter were trying hard.
They just couldn't cut it.

Curry worked hard, so did Whitted, although without results.

I think Courtney Anderson, & Randal Williams, tried their best, which is sad.

Fargas ran tough, I thought, for what is was worth.

Sure Porter had a bad tude from the start, & Moss quit at about week three, but the writing was already on the wall by then.

I don't think laziness, or lack of work doomed the Raiders offense as much as it was terrible lack of talent, combined with really stupid/bland coaching.

4:24 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Don't misunderstand me. I don't mean to imply the whole offense was lazy. But it only takes a few. Sometimes only one.

Moss is at the top of my list. He openly complained about having to work hard in practice, and complained about not being able to eat in team meetings. Moss, if you remember, was the team's "Captain."

It stikes me that San Francisco, leading up to their first Super Bowl, was completely turned around by the addition of one player. It wasn't Montana (as Walsh had gotten the offense going the previous year under Deberg, but not the defense). That player was Jack Reynolds. The Rams let him get away because they thought his career was over. The 49ers picked him up and went from 6-10 to 13-3 in spite of the fact that the 49ers still had no running game.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....now we can add a replacement for Pagano to our needs list. He's off to UNC Chapel Hill. Great.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR - Why do you continually insist on giving Shell credit for the D? I'm a firm believer in giving credit where it is due. In the case of the D, the majority of credit goes to:

(a) Al Davis for drafting the D's talent the past 4 years and acquiring Sapp & Burgess in free agency.

(b) DC Ryan for being an excellent coach, leader, motivator, and game planner.

(c) the players; talent, execution, and character plus the passion to play well for Ryan.

In my humble opinion, Shell has had no direct involvement in the D whatsoever. He doesn't get involved in the game planning, coaching, and for the most part, is completely hands off when it comes to this unit. Further, it was Ryan (and his staff) that developed these young players.

How exactly did Shell impact the defensive unit's upswing in creating turnovers? That is really stretching things and giving credit where clearly it isn't due.

I do agree that Moss is lazy. As far as the other players (including Porter), it just isn't true. I find it odd and amusing that you make the point that Shell came in to change the culture of laziness yet he continued to play the biggest offender (Moss). Is this how you rid a lazy culture by rewarding this detrimental conduct? Of course not. This is hypocrital. If Shell wanted to send a message about laziness not being tolerated then Moss would have found himself parked on the bench by week 3.

If you take it one step further, what on earth was Shell thinking when he allowed Moss to remain Captain? Wouldn't you agree that this also sends the wrong message to the rest of the team?

When Shell was brought on board he was largely responsible for improving the running attack and O-line. On both counts he failed miserably. I never thought it would be possible to take such large steps back under his watch.

Think about it. Last year we had KFC who is a frozen statue. This year our pass protection is by far worse even with a "mobile" QB playing 8 games ... 72 f'n sacks later, no running attack, no committment to the run, no identity on O. Basically an entire unit that doesn't believe in the offensive system, playbook, or leadership.

Name one thing that has improved this year under Shell. Anyone who thinks that Shell is a great motivator or leader is delusional. As I watched this season unfold, I saw an offensive unit that looked completely lost. Part of this crisis was set in motion with Shell hiring Walsh. The 1st 11 games under Walsh's playcalling and direction were completely rudderless.

One aspect of being an effective HC is to be a good salesman. The HC needs to be able to sell his vision, beliefs, and systems to the players. Shell attempted to sell the players (and fans) about a return to a power rushing attack but he continually abandoned the run for no good reasons at all. He attempted to sell the O-line on man on man power blocking schemes but there was no improvements from week 1 to week 16. He attempted to sell the offense on the ability to strike deep but the Raiders had less passes attempted or completed over 25 yards than any time in the team's history.

When your team has the worst offensive performance in the history of the organization, what credibility does Shell have to turn this offense around? A new HC who is a better salesman, tactician, motivator, game planner is desperately needed to break through this malaise.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone of us should be watching the Sugar Bowl Wednesday. Quinn vs. Jemarcus Russell. Not saying we should take a QB, but here are two to watch. The cerebral ball control guy (Quinn) vs. the 6'6 260 pound freak (Russell). Sit back and see what you think. If we're forced into anotheryear of Shell and Lamonica ball, I like Russell. He's a rare athlete.
If we get a new scheme, OC, HC etc:
I like Peterson if he comes out early.
I also still say that Mike Price would be a great HC. A great offensive mind and probably would jump at the chance to get out of exile in Texas.
Get Price, Draft Peterson and trade Porter and a second rounder to Atlanta for Schaub.
That'd be a start.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless of what becomes of Shell and the HC position, the Raiders have 2 roads to take.

Road #1. Purge the offensive unit, bring in many new faces, and start pretty much from square one.
This is the path that I favor.

Road #2. Convince themselves that they still have good talent on the unit, tweak a little here, & there, and roll out many of the same losers again next year.
This is the path to denial.

If you want to know what road we'll be taking, here are 2 players to keep a close eye on.

Player #1, Randal Williams. Signed to a contract extention by some chucklehead, Williams exposed himself as a smallish TE, who could not block, and with 2 stone hands to boot.
In the past, the Raiders would keep a loser like this around forever, waiting for a miracle.

Well, when you're 2-14, winless on the road, and in the division, it's time to get rid of all the bad players a fast as possible. In other words, the Raiders will have to admit to mistake, and cut this bum loose.

Player #2, LB Sam Williams. The Raiders traded up to get this guy, and waited through 2 seasons of injuries for Sam to finally get on the field.
What a disappointment. Here is another one we usually keep around giving free paychecks, waiting for him to have a Hendricks moment.
It's not going to happen, so let's move on now.

If the Raiders are serious about turning things aroung fast, these 2 will be out the door quickly.
If we see them, and other zombies(Anderson, Grove, Walker, Brooks, Jordan, Porter, & Moss), hanging on with a death grip on a roster spot, we will know it's business as usual in Raiderland.

I'll be watching.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

PR - I stand by my comments 100% so I guess we can cordially agree to disagree.

The only significant draftees "under Shell's watch" were Huff & Howard BUT Al Davis was the one responsible for selecting, drafting, and signing these players not Shell. Look, if you can find one source that claims it was Shell (or Shell's input) that determined these guys being selected, I will stand corrected. Otherwise, I prefer to give credit where it is due which in this case is Al Davis.

Further, if a reporter asked Shell how involved he was in the defense, I firmly believe that he would be the first to admit that he has had a very limited role in the D if any.

Other counter-points:

Sapp was moved back to DT last year not this year.

Tyler Brayton was moved back to his natural position of DE this year ... great BUT he has been a total bust. (Just like Gallery was moved by Shell to his natural position of LT ... once again, a total bust)

Do you honestly want to give Shell credit for moving these guys? Brayton is horrible against the run and has ZERO pass rushing moves (0 sacks in his last 20+ some games).

As HC, Shell has the final say on who starts. Why did Shell insist on starting Brayton, Whitted, and Sam Williams (to name just a few) when none of these guys deserved to start based on performance?

The attitude, coaching, inspiration, motivation, etc. came from Ryan not Shell. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been paying attention to all of the interviews of the defensive players.

Bottom Line:
Show me 1 defensive player who credits Shell for any of the success of 06.

Don't you find it interesting that the players who openly support Shell coming back (Brooks, Curry, Williams) are from the offensive side of the ball and not the defense? I suspect that the offensive players feel guilty for letting down Shell in the area he was mostly involved in while the defensive players know that it was Ryan who brought them success not Shell.

Do you want to know why the D made noticeable strides from 05 to 06? It has been because Ryan has been developing his young players with coaching, technique, and his leadership.

Just look at young starters/players like Washington, Asomugha, Morrison, Kelly, Sands, Schweigert. All of these guys were on the roster LAST year and ALL of them have less than 3 years of NFL experience. Does anyone seriously doubt that the Defensive coaching staff has their act together when considering how this young Defensive unit has steadily improved from 04 to 05 to 06?

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You want to sit back, take time, and develop players.
That's fine, except that with 2 wins overall, and no road, or division wins, how much time are you willing to wait on these guys ??

Aren't we still waiting to see something positive from Gibson, Brayton, Langston Walker, Gallery, Anderson, etc.

At some point, you have to cut the cord and move foward.

The Raiders won only 2 games this season.
This is a time for bold action, not stand still waiting.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At last the sun sets
Breathing a collective sigh
Fans dream of the draft

5:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree. Thing to watch tonite for JaMarcus Russell is how long it takes him to deliver the ball. Does he have a long windup like Leftwich [bad] or the shorter delivery that is characteristic of most successful NFL QBs?

7:22 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I find it amazing that everyone seems to know exactly what goes on in every team meeting, every practice, and every staff meeting. I'm missing this information somewhere.

Glen Dickey always seems to know too. I guess that makes sense since he's such a great friend of Al Davis, and Davis is constantly updating the press with transcripts from meetings and practices.

Not one Raider coach has ever said that Davis has all the ideas of who to draft and which free agents to sign. Turner has specifically said that he asked for KFC and got him. Just as Gruden asked for Gannon and got him. Calico, you don't know who's idea it was to bring in very many. And neither do I. But I do know what I've heard Madden say, what I've heard Flores say, and what I've heard Gruden say, and none of them seem to agree with you. But I guess folks like Glen Dickey know best.

As for Moss, the players pick the team Captain, not Shell or Davis. This is true on every team, and the Raiders are no different. What is going to happen to the team moral if Shell benches the person the team has selected as Captain? Shell was between a rock and a hard place with Moss, and Moss knew it and took advantage of it. If you think that Moss sat out the last four weeks with a sprained ankle, you're smoking something.

Shell had every bit as much involvement in this defense as he did during his last time through. No, he didn't call the plays for the offense or the defense. But do you really think that's all that goes into Defensive planning? You may not have noticed, but this Defense was far more agressive than in Ryan's previous two years. That's Shell's influence, and there are no if, ands, or buts about it.

I'd suggest you read the books by people who have played and/or coached the Raiders. You might formulate some different opinions.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

As painful as it was to read, I'm glad the haikus are back.

1:19 PM  

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