Saturday, September 15, 2007

The View from Thin Air

A few days ago, our friend—enemy?—at invited Raider Take to answer five questions regarding the Oakland Raiders. Click here to read the Q&A.

Now it’s our turn. Below are questions posed by Raider Take commentators, followed by answers from Kyle at Consider it a partisan scouting report for today’s game.

As they say, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Despite our mutual antipathy, this exchange reveals that rivals can still talk Xs and Os.

However, I still think that Mike Shanahan is Charles Manson’s lost sibling, that the Broncos’ uniforms are utterly shameful and that the Raiders are the only team to win the AFC West three times in this decade, the only team in the AFC West to reach the AFC Championships twice in this decade, and the only team in the AFC West to advance to the Super Bowl in this decade.

From H: Even though the Broncos won last week’s game and outplayed the Bills, they appeared to struggle getting the ball into the end zone. What do you feel is the main reason for this, and do you see it as a long-term problem?

I'll start this response by giving this quick nugget/stat - the Broncos made it to the AFC Championship Game in 2005. Now it's less than two years later, and we only have six of those 22 starters. All of these new components over the last few seasons, as well as the release of some of our veteran leaders (especially Al Wilson) has to have some impact on the team. Give it time, and I believe this team will "gel" in the red zone.

And also, we had this problem last year as well, and have yet to fix it. Hopefully a little more time will.

From BlandaRocked: The Broncos seemed to suffer a deterioration of both their offensive and defensive lines in the preseason. There seemed to be a lot of concern about that in the media. Do you feel that the lines are now set, or do you feel they are going through a rebuilding process?

I think the defensive line gave us more cause for concern than the O-line. I'm a huge Montrae Holland fan, our right guard, one of the less talked about moves in free agency but whom I believe could be a Pro Bowler from the footage I've seen so far. I think our offensive line is the best it has been in years, and remarkably Tom Nalen still isn't showing his age.

I'm less sold on our defensive line, particularly in run support, although I think the addition of Simeon Rice (combined with Elvis Dumervil and our two draft picks) could pay us huge dividends in the pass rush, something we've lacked over the past several seasons.

From Anonymous and JanFran: How do the fans view Jay Cutler and do they believe he is the one to get them back to the Super Bowl? Is there concern that he started too soon?

I am one of the few Jake Plummer fans out there. I loved the guy and hated to see him go to Tampa. That being said, I was still calling for his neck after we lost the San Diego game last year (many non-Broncos fans forget both the Broncos and Chargers were tied 7-2 at that point, and that the Broncos had a 17 point lead late in the third quarter). He just wasn't playing at his level last year, and the move needed to be made.

Jay Cutler has definitely shown me enough to believe we'll win at least a few rings during his career. You hear the other players after the game talk in their pressers, guys like Travis Henry and Javon Walker, who talked about Cutler's poise in the huddle and showing real leadership when the team was down in the final minutes. That kind of confidence, and sheer talent that he has, definitely has all Broncos fans (including myself) thinking Super Bowl.

From Bama7: Do you think Shanahan remains the coach, in spite of his playoff futility since Elway, primarily because of how well he has done against Oakland? Do you think Shanahan's job would be in jeopardy if he ever missed the playoffs AND lost both games in a season to Oakland (tall order these days, I know)?

Shanahan has the best record of any coach in the last 10 or so years. And he hasn't had the franchise quarterback to build around until now. His record against Oakland has little to do with him remaining our coach, and if he were to lose to Oakland 10 times in a row I doubt his job would be in jeopardy solely based on that.

From RaiderGreg: Do Broncos fans think the Raiders will be a factor in the AFC West this season? Why or why not?

I can't speak for all fans, but I do. I think they'll finish above the Chiefs this year, and if they can put up a better defensive effort than they did last week I believe they will finish with between 6 and 8 wins. I think they could surprise a few good teams and steal a win or two from a playoff caliber team (like the Chargers!). Starting Week 3, of course.

Thanks, Kyle at, see you in Oakland in a few months.


Blogger PantyRaider said...

Obvious Homers:

See there might be a little problem but still pump up the play-offs for this year....when last year they never made it....


11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One item about Cutler. I watch a lot of SEC football. Cutler played at Vanderbilt and is used to playing from behind.

Problem was at Vandy he didn't have a lot of weapons to use. He is talented.

That being said, he's somewhat in the same position with Denver. Talented but short on weapons for now. I like our chances with Culpper and our three receivers vs. their defense which is suspect for now.

However, if we have trouble running the ball it will be a long day. We have to get that straightened out.

All in All, a good take. He seems like a reasonable guy for a mule fan.


6:37 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Valiant effort on both sides. Almost too civilized. However, recent trends end TODAY!

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for recent trends. Two quick items if Take will indulge me.

A recent article linked on indicated Kiffin wasn’t all caught up in the Rivalry thing. Well, the rivalry here is based primarily on the Shanahan thing. For me KC – Oakland is “the” rivalry. Just wait until Kiffin gets a taste of “Raider Hater Week”.

When discussing the Raider – Mule rivalry with a Denver fan recently he quoted a player or reporter (can’t remember which) and said “It hasn’t been much of a rivalry lately.” The answer I gave him was “We can say that about the 60’s 70’s 80’s and practically all of the pre Shanahan years.

Now, from the good omen category. On Friday, the high school team I follow won. Saturday my college team won on a last possession drive. Now, lets go for the weekend trifecta.

GO RAAAAAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smegma "nancyboytake" you already cut my insightful faida can your faida fanatics know what to expect if you block the only GOOD info they can get for free re: faida LOSER "fooseball" You LOSE 31 - 9... "seabiscuit" hits 3 big field goals today!!!! Frank Caliendo RULES !!!! Did you see big al (MR.) davis on the future of the faidas with "j-rust" ha ha ha ha ha ha 0-16 go smeglers....

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no downplaying it, this is a huge game for us. It's a huge OPPORTUNITY. This is a game where we can spark a team to start believing they are winners. We're not supposed to win and quite frankly I just can't see us winning. But I hope I'm wrong.
There is one big thing we have to do if we are ever going to turn back into a contender: RUN THE BALL AND STOP THE RUN. We must control the clock through physically running the football. It's our biggest handicap. No one believes we can run the football. To me this season, Lane's first, is the year we separate the real players from the pretenders... and it starts today:
Simms: Is he a left tackle? If he gives up sacks today and if the line as a whole doesn't produce over 100 yards of rushing offense, then we need to start looking to the future. Mario Williams or MQuistan at LT. Why not? Go ahead and see if they are an answer before next season. Simms should be auditioning for his future today. Either he keeps he QB's blindside protected or we give up on this guy. Enough is emough.
Porter: Last time he did anything, and practically the only time he ever did anything meaningful, was right here in Denver. Porter: either produce today or please find a new home. No more excuses, noi more talk of potential, no more strutting around with your rock hard, six pack stomach, no more talking about how dagersou you MIGHT be... dammit just show us.
Jordan: Either show us something big today or I say start planning the future without him. Even if it means echimandu. Jordan has had enough chances... and 70 some odd yard days against the Lions simply won't cut it. We need him to do what Ty Wheatley did the Chiefs on the road many moons ago.
The D Line & Sam Williams: Tommy Kelly has never really proven to me he's DE. Do something today Tommy or move your big ass back inside. Sam Williams: the rest of my buddies at Raider Take have been covering your back, telling me that your low productivity is because your not in on passing downs. Well, today the cut back scheme will be coming right in your direction, Sam. Let's see you have a big day, lead the team in in tackles.... strip a ball... take someone's head off... anything, Sam, please.
This is it guys. We haven't won in the AFC west in a long time. We are everyone's bitches. Today we need people that will step up and play football. We need to be the most agressive team out there today. There is no room for timidity. If we can run the football we have a shot.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"miss kiffy" don't gets WORSE!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

All right, cyber sleuths, you asked for it:

Our resident imbecile is located in San Leandro, using PacBell/SBC at the following IP address:


1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooh you gays are so lucky that you get a break from the storm....The boltz will strike yor faidas....Go "nancy boy" 0-2 going on 90-16......Just remember when babies.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else getting tired of the McCown experiment?

1:56 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yeah, if we're going to play hide the QB, maybe we should hide McCown on the next series.

While we're at it, can we try Joe out at RB in place of Fargas?

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abso-fu&*kin-lutely. Jeez I'm sick of Fargas being in our rotation.
I'm listening to the broadcast and the interceptions were described as:
#1 "He just threw it up along the sidelines."
#2 "He should have never thrown that ball in that spot"
I'm sure he's a bright guy that follows instructions and seems to grasp the offense, but when you get right down to it I don't think he's an NFL starter.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

We need help at safety, too.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

No sooner do I say that....Schweigart gets manhandled by a little running back along the sideline.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so pissed. Man, can't anyone tackle on this time. Stew has been burned all day long.

McCown experiment is done. I can't stand how he plays the game.

I respect Kiffin, but what does it matter how many reps he has taken in training camp? Or how well he knows Kiff's play book. We need someone to make plays.

I don't want to go 0-2. Play Culpepper.

Mr. Duva

2:46 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

That one hurt my fellow fans. Shamahan called that timeout at the most inopportune moment. Here are some points to take away from this game:

1. Don't even think about trusting Janikowski to a field goal over 30 yds. The announcers could have saved that crap about him hitting a 65 yd field goal in warm-ups, THEY DON'T COUNT! I doubt we'll find anybody this season to replace him, but there had better be a SERIOUS competition for kicker next year.

2. For at least one week, lay off of LaMont Jordan. You wanted 100 yds rushing, he delivered 159 yds. Give credit where credit is due. I know he's not our favorite Raider, but he's making an effort, and a good one at that.

3. As much as it hurts right now, hold your head up HIGH. We didn't win, but we didn't quit and you can be for damned sure we earned some respect today, even if the haters won't admit it. I'M STILL IN!

5:25 PM  

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