News You Can't Use
My take? I agree that it looks bad, and we might never know the true story, but I'm going to take Sarkisian for his official word, because that's all I've got. Let me say that I won't lose any sleep over the fact that a 32-year-old college quarterbacks coach decided that he wasn't ready for the job. I'd rather we found that out now, not later. So who's more ready to lead a team in the NFL, Steve Sarkisian or Rob Ryan? We now know the answer. Personally, I don't want to see Denny Green or Jim Fassel in Alameda. You know how I feel about Mike Martz, like him or not, his winning percentage as an NFL head coach is superb, and his ability to run an offense is unquestioned. Let's not despair just yet. I'll take Rob Ryan. If we want to pursue this McDaniels guy, fine. But one thing's for sure, if we pursue McDaniels, he's not going to let Mr. Davis hide the keys to the kingdom. There's no longer any leverage on that front. Freedom and control will be major bargaining chips.
Notice that the media are suddenly backing off after gorging on speculation and inaccuracies for two weeks about the Raiders coaching search? Even Raider Take's favorite columnist, who told us last year that Al Saunders was as good as hired, has published a piece today reminding us that nobody truly knows what's going on except Al Davis. How precious.
To make his point, our favorite columnist wags his finger at Tuesday’s infamous San Diego Union-Tribune report about James Lofton (allegedly) finalizing a contract for the position of head coach. Of course, he conveniently omits the headline story in his own paper titled “Raiders Might Talk to Martz.” Might? This story stated that “a Raiders official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Martz is believed to be on Davis' short list of candidates.”
My take: When you’re using unnamed sources to confirm beliefs, you might have a problem. How, exactly, does one confirm a belief?
So now our favorite columnist rides into the picture astride the white horse of caution: Don’t jump to conclusions, ye unwashed masses, I’m here to tell you that Al Davis works in mysterious ways. Gee, thanks for the news flash.
Oddly, our favorite columnist then briefly dismounts his white horse of caution to claim: "The Raiders are also known to be hyper-intrigued by New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels." How he knows this, we don't know, because he doesn't say. Apparently, Al Davis isn't the only one to work in mysterious ways.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Jerry McDonald at the Oakland Tribune, who has done a great job of separating speculation from fact, even while going on the record to state that he thinks the job will go to Sarkisian. He's out on his own limb, but at least he recognizes that it's a limb, and it's carefully constructed. He also broke the news about Lane Kiffin coming to Alameda yesterday.
So yes, our favorite columnist is right that “we’ll know when we know,” except if Sarkisian gets the job, in which case we might say that he was the last to know.
And that, Raiders fans, is news you can’t use.