Sunday, November 11, 2007

Five Postgame Takes

1. If I try to teach my cat French, and my cat just can’t handle it, is it really fair to blame my cat? For that same reason, I’m just not going to get angry anymore about our passing offense. We’ve just got the wrong species of player, top to bottom. A 15-yard completion has achieved the status of a miracle, akin to my cat saying c’est la vie.

2. The stats don’t tell the full story in all of its sordid detail. About 40 of McCown’s meager 108 passing yards came in the final minute, when the Bears were just standing back and thinking about what’s for dinner. We went up against a five-foot-nine, seventh-round rookie cornerback and somehow couldn’t find the competence to test him, let alone beat him.

3. Can’t ask more of our defense or special teams. Long bombs happen. Except to our opponents.

4. The saddest thing of all is that if we’d beaten the Texans and Bears at home these past two weeks, we’d be in second place in our division, just one game back of the Chargers. Both games were very winnable. Except for that little problem of the biblically impotent passing game.

5. I had a really great time at the game today. That counts for something. In fact, it counts for a lot.

Bonus take: Dominic Rhodes was a vital complement to Joseph Addai for the Super Bowl champion Colts last year. He carried the ball 14 times for the Colts during last year’s AFC Championship game, followed by 21 carries in the Super Bowl. Yet as a complement to Justin Fargas (!) these past two games, he’s carried the ball a grand total of one time. Weird, eh? I'll let you solve this mystery.

136 Comments:

Anonymous H said...

A few quick comments. Fargas had another nice game. Only 83 rushing, but with this line that's a lot of effort.

I'm not necessarily touting Culpepper, but if McCowan gives us our best chance to win, how come our only victories this season came with him out of the game.

H

The TV announcer said Kiffin stated the team was not where he wanted them to be with fundamentals. He's only been coaching them on the field since April. Shouldn't we be past fundamentals? Al the false starts at home, I put at least half that on coaching.

Special teams played very good, so did the defense. We even blitzed for crying out loud. That is except for when we got a three point lead with under five minutes to play.

4:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What we have here is a failure to communicate!

What will it take for Kiffin to realize that Josh McCown is not an NFL QB? McCown was rejected by the Cardinals and Lions as a backup, yet he’s our starter.

Is it possible that Curry false-started twice on his own stupidity? It’s much more likely that McCown has no clue what he’s doing.

And what happened to McCown knowing the whole playbook? You could count the number of different formations Kiffin sent out there on one hand. We played right into their strength, the middle of their D. We barely tested the perimeter coming out of the backfield.

Was the QB keeper early in the game the only designed rollout? Apparently, Kiffin forgot which QB he was playing.

At this point, I suspect Kiffin and Knapp are making their holiday plans to stay with Tom Walsh (and get some playcalling advice for next season).

In McCown’s defense, his high-school quality play is not all his fault. After all, our starting WR’s are two former QBs. It’s not like we have Tim Brown and Jerry Rice fighting to get open when their QB is in trouble.

Meanwhile, I suspect our O-line is intentionally trying to get rid of McCown. There were so many breakdowns along the line it was impossible to count. C.Green is a waste of space. At least once I saw him move out of the way and allow the defender through to the QB.

D.Rhodes must be very disappointed to find out he actually had a 9-game suspension... and still counting.

Not that it matters, but the horse collar hold on Warren Sapp is what allowed the 59-yard TD pass. What a shame!

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

give me walter or jamarcus at qb at this point.
jerry mcdonald (ibasports) reported asomugha was heard, during a stu schweigert interview, saying, "you tell them stu, somebody has to score points for us to win." then jerry wrote that a friend said, "it seems that everytime a team needs to score against our defense, they do."
pick your poison. i think our team is quitting on each other again.
i agree with rt, offensively we are sad. we need some solid tackles and a center to call "captain" on our o-line. we need to see what we have with j-russ at qb. we need to get receivers that can separate from the db's. we need to utilize rhodes at rb more.
again, kiffin calls a vanilla game; but how can he call anything else, if we can't execute the vanilla plays?
i feel like this is a bad dream, and i'm ready to wake up, but can't. for the first time as a raider fan, i'm lost and losing faith in my team.

5:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Allow me to add: NO TEAM in the NFL does less to disguise its formations, on both sides of the ball. Kudos to the defense for being athletic enough to partly outcome this huge shortcoming.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another tough loss
The finger pointing begins
Their days are numbered

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our future is today!

we have a 6'8" beast ready to play and we don't play him because we are affraid that he might get hurt, I am sorry but if he gets hurt, he gets hurt!
we are not good in a lot of parts of the game but if we don't get this guy in this year he will be that much behind for next year, we need to asses him from now 'til the end of the year and get a supporting cast in the preaseason to compliment him for next year.

Defense looked darn good when they were blitzing! the cubs burned us in the one touchdown play but our defense had us in the game for over 50 minutes, I can not believe that Huff couldn't intercept that pass that was thrown to him.

I am going 1000 miles south to Baja next week so for the first time in over 20 years I am going to miss a Raider game, I can not believe it, it breaks my heart to not watch a game, I don't care about baseball or basketball, my only passtime is football and has been for over 35 years, so like I have said before, I hate it when we loose but I much rather see them loose than not watch them at all.

raiderdecoachella

8:13 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

This is very hard to understand....in the begaining it appeared the "O" was on tract and the "D" was asleep....now we have a compleat role reversal and the "O" is compleatly dead...#26 in the NFL...#4 Rushing..."D"=16...#4 against the pass....

Why is McClown in the game...I have no idea...he had 3 "TO"s last week and 2 more this week...He gives us zero chance to win a freakin game...at least Culpepper makes the game interesting...there is glimmer of hope that he can get it done...

Give me "JRus" now....let's do something for the future and get the kid ready for next year when McClown is out of the freakin NFL...Culpepper is a Back-Up somewhere....Walter is an insurance policy here or Trade-Bait....

PantyRaider....SadFran Sucks Worse!!!!!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

one point of issue:

the defense played very well yesterday...until they had to.

again, as i stated before, this offense has virtually zero talent.
fargas plays hard, and miller is a rook, but after that, the whole unit must be replaced.

bama7,

we now know why jano was picked # 1. he is our offense.
it only makes sense. we picked him # 1, and we have built our offense around him. wow.

8:31 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Raider00:

Funny about Jano....without him we would be scoreless....and going back a few weeks if we had kicked a field goal from the 17 yard line early in the game instead of going for a 4th and forever we would have won another game...so now I remember all the talk early this season about what a terible selection he was....but how maney long field goals does he have this season already...+50's.....

PantyRaider...PolishCannon!!!

8:41 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

My couple of takes.

I'm trusting Kiffin more and more. His words stand up. McCown over Culpepper - we saw why, even though I'm starting to get the Culpepper urge again. Somehow Culpepper just looks more dignified when he's throwing an interception or fumbling.

Last week when he said, "We're going to kick to Hester," everyone in the media was, like, "Poor, stupid, rookie Head Coach; well, he'll learn." Then the Special Teams units made it stand up. Kiffin said the Special Teams were ready to take on Hester, and they were. I'll be waiting for the moment when Kiffin says, "this pass offense is ready to take on Lincoln High School."

On the TD bomb that put the Bears in front - Sapp got held, big time.

I forgive Fargas that fumble. I think he just released the ball thinking he was down. But he didn't realize he was lying on top of people and never actually touched the ground.

We're at that point where every weird little thing hurts us. I hate to say it, but that actually may be a positive sign. Eventually we'll run out of weird little things.

Start looking for limit playing time for Russell. However, don't neglect to consider the danger. How much better can any QB do here with no pass protection and receivers who can't get deep?

We have some serious tackle shopping to do this Christmas.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

When McCown threw the ball, it looked like a pigeon shot in mid air, fluttering to the ground, alone in the wilderness.

The lone positive is that he's mobile. I'm tempted to give Andrew Walter a shot, but I'm afraid that his lack of mobility would expose the fact that our offense has become a literal carbon copy of last year's offense.

It's a question of McCown's dead birds v. risking an epidemic of sacks v. playing the rookie when everyone told me that his holdout didn't matter because he wasn't going to play this year anyway, and playing him in an offense that has the potential to destroy anyone's confidence.

Not my favorite question.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Panty-
Nice to have you back. Prior to the game, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the man behind the curtain Raider Take himself,(and his cousin) during my annual pilgramage to Oaktown.
That was the highlight of my day.........
More questions than answers. Start with Rhodes and why no time? I am hoarse form screaming blitz. The two times they did blitz you saw what happened. My wife even pointed it out, "They should do that more."
Run blitz with the bears on the 2 yd line? Unthinkable. The long play is inevitable. It is just the law of averages, except for us.

But this is on the O for sure. How many times did the Raiders have the ball at midfield?... and nothing. It seemed like they were on the shield the whole day. Kiffin got lucky on the hold on the long return. I thought he would mix it up a bit more on kicks, i.e., pooches, corners, etc. Playing with fire or confidence in your special teams?
How about hester running out of bounds. What hurts is the bears are truly putrid. What really hurts is I live in Chicago. WTF.

8:57 AM  
Blogger dax said...

Simple questions:

Is this team any better than it was week 1?

What new/future players aside from QB and Z.Miller has Kiffin injected into the system??

Rhodes is healthy and sitting on the bench while Fargas is breaking his a$$. WHY?

Is this the WR corp for next year?

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answers:

1. Our D & Sp. Teams are better. The O is 4 times as bad so it about evens out. But I suck at math.

2. Jay Richardson

3. Rhodes must've rubbed someone the wrong way. He only goes in when Fargas limps off.

4. I hope not.

Psycho

9:34 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

This whole thing started with culpepper taunting the fans in miami running around like an amateur I thought. jeff george did the same think, did he not? I forgot who the raiders beat, atlanta? He ran around the same way and the Raiders lost the rest of the year.
Someone help me here?

RT-
Maybe the next shirt should have Marie Laveau on it!

9:41 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blandarocked,

I've got your back again. I was screaming holding at the TV. On the replay Sapp was looking for a ref after the pass was off. The blocker had him around the waist and looked like he had a handful of jersey.

Be that as it may, two fieldgoals is pretty pathetic.

Jano kicked deep and Hester decided to run it from five or six deep in the endzone. He made it to the 12.

On one punt the coverage ran him backwards and out of bounds after a four yard loss. Overall the best special teams play in years has occurred in the last two games.

On defense we blitzed, had sacks, came close to two interceptions and only gave up 78 yards rushing.

But, for the offense, I must reiterate, if McCowan gives us our best chance to win, how come our only victories came with him out of the games. Fargas was almost 50% or the offense and he only had 104 total yards.

H

9:45 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

As far blitzing, Ryan seems to have discovered it. By the third quarter the Raiders had blitzed 12 times, with great success. I'm hoping that he didn't just do it because his starting CBs were out. Probably a false hope.

Rhodes must have pissed Kiffin off.

Answer to dax's second question: Oren O'Neil. And we have yet to see what Bush has.

Culpepper has tiny hands, and McCown doesn't know how to protect the football when he's on the move. We know we have one benefit with Russell that we don't have with these other two. Russell has massive hands and holds the football like most of us hold a tennis ball.

9:46 AM  
Blogger dax said...

BLAND ROCKER-
"Rhodes must have pissed Kiffin off"

Oh, if Rhodes isn't playing because Kiff is upset or mad at him, then folks we have a serious problem at the HEAD COACH position!

"Answer to dax's second question: Oren O'Neil. And we have yet to see what Bush has"

Yeah, you're right I forgot that 'impact' player, O'Neil!

Allow me to repeat my question: Going into Week 11, is this team better than it was Week 1??
ANSWER: NO! IT'S NOT!

10:07 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Last year, we had millions of dollars sitting on the bench in the form of Jerry Porter. Now we have millions of dollars sitting on the bench in the forms of Jordan and Rhodes.

We're not talking Paul McQuistan money. Jordan's making something like $5 million this year. Rhodes' minimum this year is $2.5 million inclusive of his signing bonus.

$7.5 million in running backs...on the bench. Mind boggling.

LaDainian Tomlinson's salary last year was $4.25 million. Just to put it in perspective.

10:16 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Same problem as last year... there are simply too many holes to believe we can realistically bring in enough players to correct this mess.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
My rant:
I walked away from my computer after Jano's 52-yarder and I said to myself, "the bears will score on the next drive." I wasn't gone two minutes and the bears had scored. So I'll say it again, don't brag on this defense. It plays good when the offense sucks & they have nothing to lose, but you can bet your ass, when the chips are on the table, our very un-physcial defense will buckle.
And let's stop the Fargas hoorays. To me one of the five biggest plays of the game was the 3rd & 2 on the drive that ended with Jano's FG. We had two plays to get a mere 3 yards and we couldn't do it. Fargas had a 3rd and 2 and lost a yard. We needed a TD, not a freakin FG. Elite backs get the 1st down in that situation: playing at home, 3rd & 2... game on the line. Fargas: lost a yard. Great motor, great attitude, not a great back.
I see where Pat McQuistan is the back up LT at Dallas. Pat's brother Paul was a 4 year starter in college. Why can't we give this guy a shot at LT, his natural position, just to see what he has? Hint: another trait of Al's that has cost us dearly the last twenty years: Al's love for trying to "discover" a new position for someone. Al's done it his entire career. Look at our team: McQuistan playing guard, Huff a natural FS & CB playing mostly SS. Sapp tried at DE, Brayton all over the place etc etc. sam Williams forced into an LB spot. Wr's tried at TE. Centers at Guard.
Our problems start and end with Al.
One free agent we should take a big interest in, if he becomes available, is karlos Dansby, LB for the cardinals. A perfect slobber-knocking compliment to Morrison & Howard's athleticism. But I'm sure Al knows some unknown DE in college that he is sure he can convert to LB for us.
And Albert haynesworth... what tough SOB. If the titans are foolish enough to let him go he is a damn must for us.
we should draft like the cowboys... tough SOB's: D. Ware, R Williams, Spears, Spencer... football players first.

10:31 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I tend to agree with Kiffin in that it doesn't matter how much you signed the player for, if they've gotten their shot at showing what they can do, and they are not productive (or don't work hard enough to be better), then they can sit on the bench. Moss should have been benched last year.

I don't know what issue is keeping Rhodes on the bench. I know that Jordan was falling into his old habits. I don't attend practices or meetings, and I don't know the things that are said on the sidelines. You kind of have to either give Kiffin your trust, or you don't, be he's the only one with sufficient information to make the decisions. If we can't make it into at least the second year with any HC, expect to go through exactly the same thing next year. I grant you, it's not easy to be patient right now, but until the off season all we can do is be patient. We're not going to the playoffs this year, and with that reality we have to find a way to be as productive as we can until well informed (on Kiffin's part) personnel changes can be made.

Personally, I prefer dealing with it in that light rather than turning to insane ranting for the next few months. Kiffin wasn't here during the four years prior, so all he knows is what he's seen in camp, on film, and this season. He never knew the learning capabilities of each player until he worked with them directly. For instance, he got to see Jordan's improvement during camp but couldn't know that Jordan would just fall back into his old habits half way through the season until he watched him do it.

As for the minimal use of Jordan and Rhodes during the last couple of games - my feeling is that Kiffin knows what Jordan and Rhodes will do, but he's still learning how far Fargas might take us. Does Fargas have the durability to carry the load? I really would like to see Kiffin spend the time, now, learning all he can about every player on the 53 man roster.

I anticipate that the first game of 2008 will show six, maybe as many as eight, different starters on the offensive side of the ball from 2007. My interest right now is finding which of the people currently on the team might figure into those positions. I already know that Jordan and Rhodes won't likely be here. I want to see Fargas and Bush.

10:52 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, and re Fargas. Fargas hurt his cause. Not because he failed to gain a first down on 3rd and two, but because he started falling into his habit of upright running again. He's much harder to bring down when he lowers his running stance.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I agree that if someone needs to be benched, bench them.

But these continued high-dollar signings of skill position players who end up getting benched (Porter last year, Jordan and Rhodes this year) or effectively bench themselves (Moss) is mind boggling and wasteful and indicative of a rudderless ship.

If it happens once in a while, that's an incident. If it happens over and over, that's a pattern, one that reveals a lack of evaluative ability and an inability to sense character and/or toughness.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If I had a time machine, I'd pass on Rhodes and apply that $2.5 million toward 500 more Porta-Potties in the Coliseum parking lot. Now that would be money well spent.

It's bad enough having our eyes suffer the offense, must our bladders suffer as well?

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama:

I am with you 100% on everything you are saying about the team and if you remember I have said that Fargass is a great addition for us but he is no starting caliber RB, he should come in after the second quarter and start to pound the ball to the outside with Rhodes as the featured back.

With the defense you are right but if we don't score any points on offense we'll never know if or how good we really are, yesterday we did not have Washington or Asomougha in the corners and we were competitive, even Stu gave us a c+ grade yesterday.

About Mr. Davis, I guess this is the same as saying what was first the chicken or the egg or if a tree falls kinda thing, you can hate him as much as you want but there is a higher posibility that you might stop being a Raider's fan than Mr. Davis selling or getting rid of this team, you and everybody in the world can complaint all you want, the only constant in this team is Mr. Davis, love it or hate it, it is what it is, last time I spoke with him he wasn't loosing any sleep over the comments people make about him.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last post by raiderdecoachella

12:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

My feeling about Davis is that he appreciates everything that is reported about him. Good and bad, truth or fiction. It neither breaks his leg, nor picks his pocket. The uncertainty people have regarding who he really is gives him an advantage of sorts. This is part of my reasoning when I say that the Raiders don't do things as well as they used to because Davis delegates far more of it than he did in the early years.

Off the topic somewhat - Someone here, in comments last week, said that van Eagan wasn't a good RB. Huh? Seems to me that everyone around the league at the time considered him to be rather elite. Also, don't forget that he was a FB and not a HB. Not only did he gain almost 1,000 yards a season running from the FB position, he was virtually an unstoppable force on a FB screen (you did not want anything to do with that man running at you with a full head of steam), and he was part of the blocking structure which allowed Raider QBs time for tea and crumpets while waiting for receivers to come open.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Mr. Davis might not be losing any sleep about comments, but you can bet he's losing sleep over the performance of his beloved team, and the fact that he's witnessed a grand total of four victories since November of 2005.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I agree with you I would like to see Rhodes carry the ball more. I like Fargas but I think Rhodes can carry us because he is a good fit for this offense. Lets use him Coach Kiffin, get him ont he field.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Also, lets give Walter a shot before we waste Russell. I don't think that #2 should be forced into a 2-7 record with no line protection and no wide recievers to make the passing game work. I think Kiffin has admitted that to himself. Look for the Raiders to go after a vet wide recieve after this year.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

we may go after a vet wr this offseason, but will they come?
we need veteran o-line help. start at center, and then left and right tackles.
i can't say it enough, we lost our o-line, when we lost barrett robbins. a knowledgeable o-lineman comes in handy when you have young qb's, or qb's that don't know how to read defenses (kfc, brooks, mccown, culpepper).
then go after a receiver. i think we could make a couple steals in this area in the draft. we don't need another old decrepid receiver who can't break away from the db's.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Holy Roller said...

Adrian Peterson is not going to play on Sunday. That eliminates the obvious way of losing. Sorry, but feeling a bit pessimistic lately.

1:44 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, I agree. There is no insult that Al feels greater than the one from this offense.

I'm not sure why everyone suddenly seems so hot for Rhodes. From what I've seen of Rhodes this season (and I'm not talking about prior years, just this season), I haven't seen him offer anything extra. It seems like folks want most what they've seen the least.

Rhodes is on essentially a one year contract. He'll be gone next year, and that's likely why he is getting such limited time, because Kiffin obviously wants the Fargas test to be completed, and then I bet he goes with Bush.

Kiffin explains that the only reason Walter is still here is because McCown and Culpepper will both be gone at the end of the season, and we need someone besides Russell who knows the system. Walter, then, is bringing along Russell in his own way.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Russell play this weekend. When he does, it will be for only a series or two, and limited to the plays that Russell is best at. I'll be curious to see what those plays are. I would expect that one of them would have to be a play action roll out, with a 50 yard strike.

Russell keeps saying, "I can handle adversity, that's my thing, put me in there." If it turns out Russell is right, we might see him finish out the last quarter of the season.

Kiffin promised the players when he came in, "what happened in the past doesn't count. From here forward, everything counts." Kiffin had to make that promise to find out if what had happened in the past was coaching or players. That they have not improved under four coaches is pretty definitive that it's the players.

I don't think that it is particularly important, at this stage, to know who brought each particular loser in is not necessarily productive. It isn't all Al, and three coaching regimes have come and gone with essentially this core of players. What is important is that Kiffin learns who is worth keeping and who is not, and to do everything possible to get them replaced with reliable substitutes. But there is little doubt in my mind that Kiffin expected more players already with the team would step up to the plate. It's going to be a very interesting off season.

It was asked earlier if the team is better now than they were at the beginning of the season. The answer to that question is a resounding "NO!" They are, in fact, worse. At the beginning of the season, when they had all bought in to the Kiffin way, they shook bad habits and started to excel at various components of the game. It didn't produce a winning streak, so many, if not most, of the players have gone back to their bad habits.

2:08 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Interesting watching the coverage units of Special Teams begin to excel as they have. Two things of note: 1) They seem to have definately learned to value of staying in their lanes; 2) Coop is back.

Coop says he wants to retire a Raider. He may well be able to do so. But this is the best I've seen kick and punt coverage on this team since they were in LA. Brian Schneider is a find. I hope we keep him for awhile.

2:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H:

NFL.com has the replays. You look at that 59 yard strike, Sapp is just about to put serious wood on Grossman, then gets grabbed by the jersey and spun before he gets there - then Grossman fires. No way an official (who is supposedly watching the backfield for infractions) fails to see that. It's obvious! Sapp wasn't blocked, he was grabbed and spun!

Carr blew his coverage, but played well the whole game. There should have been a flag and a 10 yard penalty on that play. Raiders' D got hosed.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Raidercoachella, I hear you... but you can bet your ass Al cares that our team is no longer feared in the nfl. He worked hard to cultivate an image of the baddest of the bad in the nfl, and as each day passes we became a bigger joke. If he doesn't care what people are saying, maybe that's the problem.
I want to see McQuistan given a shot at LT. We know Simms is a lost cause, get him out of there. It's not like we're going to the playoffs. And pick-up S. Rice now... one less hole to fill next year.

3:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, McQ got almost an entire game at RT last week and had two false starts. He looked like a good back up for Miss Amy's saloon doors.

Just a guess... Kiffin's 1st pick in 2008...

(drum roll, please)

LT Sam Baker, USC. WAIT A MINUTE! Don't shoot me! That's just a guess. I know you'll tell me he should go WR, but we need a speed WR and speed isn't a big commodity for the '08 draft class.

3:53 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Add to previous...

Currently I'm thinking that Kiff goes free agent for WR in the off season. It's okay if he's (or they're) old so long as he's fast. Kiffin will want veteran help at WR to help Russell.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take...too funny about the porta potties....but seriously..has anyone asked Kiff why Rhodes ain't playin'? I know, I know..he probably doesn't put us in the best position to win....right? but for real, what is wrong with him? I don't really mind that he's not playing if he can't help any...but there needs to be some justification as to why we picked him up...why he get's 2.5 mil...and why he ain't playin'

raiderhip

4:23 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The Rhodes mystery speaks to a larger one: what's with this "one back" mentality that plagues us now, as well as last year, regardless of who's starting? I swear, everyone saw it yesterday: Fargas up the middle. Fargas up the middle. Fargas up the middle. Why not throw Jordan or Rhodes out there at times to mix it up?

Even when Adrian Peterson was smashing the single game rushing record for the Vikings last week, the Vikings also handed the ball off to Chester Taylor nine times. Look at Rhodes complementing Addai with double-digit carries last year during the playoffs and Super Bowl.

Just because Jordan isn't the starter, why does that mean he suddenly can't even get on the field to mix it up and give the opponent something to think about?

It would be one thing if we had some spectacular feature back, but Fargas or Bust is just plain weird.

I continued to be mystified by these peculiar Raider phenomena.

4:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, I think I can answer the Jordan mystery, but not the Rhodes.

Through reading all the articles last week, Jordan gave voice to his disappointment in himself for how he carried the ball (and his attitude about being benched) last week. He said he was disgusted in himself for ever letting it get that far. Jordan's problem is that when he gets - inside himself (for lack of a better phrase) - he pays no attention to blocking schemes or the alignment of the defense. No point in playing him when he's like that because he's useless. It's accidental if he gains five yards.

My only guess with Rhodes is that they don't expect him here next season and that playing him is merely an exercise. If any running back increases his carries, I think it will be Bush.

I've been reading some interesting things regarding play 1st Round picks. A good theory as to why some low first rounders start their first season and do well, while high first rounders turn into busts has to do with their surrounding cast. The low 1st Rounders go to teams with a pretty good supporting cast, and the high 1st rounders go to junk teams (like the Raiders currently).

On teams with a good supporting cast, the coaches can impress upon the rookie to play within himself and let everyone else do their jobs. On teams like the Raiders, high round picks attempt to be responsible for everything, they leave their positions or try to make foolish plays. Apparently Kiffin is a follower of this theory. He wants Russell to play with confidence and within himself.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that Rhodes was whinning about not getting the ball or he was around practice claiming himself the "Michael Jordan" of football.

He definitely pissed in someone's cereal, that's for sure.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Could be, but then that's just more philosophical inconsistency that will undermine the locker room and mystify the fans. If we're playing for tomorrow at the expense of today (ie: Rhodes) or trying to prove a point to underperforming malcontents (ie: Jordan), how do we explain Barry Sims and Jerry Porter?

5:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Sims and Porter, who, exactly, do you replace them with until the off season. You can only call treating players differently inconsistent when they play the same position, but the situation at each position has a different level of talent. Also, there is no problem this year with either Porter or Sims regarding attitude - only ability.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT and Blanda, I agree with you both. But that Rhodes news is just something I read on the net. Who knows if its even credible?

Mr.Duva

5:32 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, but are Porter and Sims any bigger part of our future than Rhodes? So how about Higgins at WR? Or McQuistan at LT? Get them some reps, see what they can do and learn over an extended period?

Also, I'm not asking Rhodes and Jordan to be named starter, just to be used to help mix things up. There are lots of guys who wont be on this team next year who are on the field. So why not give Rhodes or Jorda a meager six or eight carries, mix things up and give poor Fargas a break?

5:35 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

With McCown under center, the offensive playcalling is serverly limited. McCown is not comfortable passsing from within the pocket. McCown doesn't possess the arm strength for the intermediate to deep passes. The defensive opponent only needs to concern itself with 2 things:

(1) Stop the run
(2) Flood the zone coverage within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Rollouts, bootlegs, and moving pockets are fine as a complement to a traditional passing attack. However, when you rely on it soley and use a dink & dunk passing attack it is extremely difficult to be successful. There simply is not enough space for clear throwing lanes & open targets. The only logical way to create more space is by stretching the field with an intermediate & deep passing attack which is not in McCown's tool kit.

In order for the remaining 7 games to not become completely meaningless a few things need to happen.

#1 An aggressive evaluation of players with an eye towards 2008. If the player is not performing well or isn't going to be in our plans for 2008, what business does he have taking valuable snaps?

#2 An aggressive plan to coach up, accelerate the learning curve, and get our young guns on the field as much as possible.

Off the top of my head, these are the guys I want to see on the field more/sooner;

Josh Shaw (DT), John Bowie (CB), JLH (WR), Michael Bush (RB), Orlen O'Neil (FB), Paul McQuistan (LT), Mario Henderson (RT), and last but not least, JaMarcus Russell (QB).

The despair hanging over the Raiders head right now is largely due to the futility of the offense.

I undertand the conservatism of Kiffin's playcalling (especially with McCown under center) and the desire to protect Russell.

However, ultimately it is Kiffin's job to find a way to manage his offensive personnel and the game plan in such a way that there is a sense of building a brighter future.

With our non existent passing attack, Kiffin is in jeopardy of losing the minds of the rest of the team. The D & ST needs to know that when they do their part that the offense can generate 17+ points.

No matter how bumpy the road might be with Russell initially as our starter, I would feel like we are finally getting started with our future. Not only would a spark be created but guess what ... the entire field would open up with new possibilities like a complete pass of more than 10 yards.

It is time for Kiffin to chuck Russell's training wheels to the curb. It is time for Kiffin to trust himself to creatively playcall to fit Russell's strengths and minimize Russell's physical & mental anguish. It is time to trust the reasons you drafted Russell #1 ... namely that he is a highly skilled, athletic, strong, mobile QB who is mature enough to handle the stress & adversity that faces him.

"Russell, Russell, Russell!"

7:33 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

bama7, don't know if you heard but rice signed with the colts today.

something off the beaten path but cool.... remember many years ago when mike tyson was doing a comeback fight wearing all black, meaning he was all business? for next year, the raiders should change their home uni's to ALL BLACK baby! yepper, that logo would look AWESOME on an all black helmet and facemask! black pants/jersey, black everything. it'll show we mean business. then for the road uni's, go back to the old school whites with the silver numbers/black trim.

just something random to fend off all the negative vibes.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

seriously now, even if kiffin decides to throw walter out there, do we think he'd do better that the other 2 guys? no. it's because our receivers can't get open and our line can't block. kiffin says that mccown is the better QB for his system. that's not true. he's mobile but not accurate. we all clamored for culpepper. turns out he IS washed up. but we didn't find that out until we threw him out there. but hey, putting walter out there is better than traumatizing russell now and for the future isn't it? we tried the other 2 options and they didn't work. put walter kiff!

11:08 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Putting Walter out there would serve many useful purposes right now.

1). It gets McClown and Culpepper off the field. With the exception of the miracle in Miami, neither of these guys has shown what it takes to scratch out a victory... and they've each had their chances.

2). It allows Russell some valuable time to continue his maturation... at least as Kiffin would argue. I'm more inclined to agree to Calico Jack in that Russell is mature enough to handle whatever he faces.

3). It allows more time to "solidify" our offensive line before handing the ball over to a rookie. This is arguably a waste of time.

4). Of our three veteran QBs, Walter is the only QB under contract next year. If this is the only reason we've kept him on the team as a 4th QB, shouldn't we get him some valuable time on the field, particularly if we're too afraid to play Russell.

5). If Kiffin starts McCown again he needs his head examined.

I'll be on the road for the next few days... probably the best thing right now.

One last thought. T.Jackson, the Vikings backup QB (starter this Sunday). He picked us apart last time we played the Vikes. He's mobile, and has a strong and accurate arm. So, don't get too comfortable about Peterson not playing.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Scorpio, no I didn't see where the Colts signed Rice. Damn. The rich get richer (next year they'll have Rice and Freeney!)... meanwhile we have guys like... Brayton and Richardson.... feel the rest of the league shudder with fear.
And Blanda, McQuistan is a LT, not a RT. Footwork is different... he might be more comfortable playing the spot he played in college for 4 years. Like RT suggested, let's take a look at him (and others) in his natural spot, before the season ends. What are we gaining having Simms at LT at this point (Calico's point#1)? Simms is not our future.
And the McCown verdict is in... not a viable nfl qb. I was never a Walter fan, but I'd rather Walter be getting the snaps than McCown. McCown is simply not an nfl qb.
And agree with RT and others that the Rhodes situation is simply crazy. Do we get cap relief if he doesn't play a certain amount? It makes no sense. But it does make sense if you think in terms of the coach and GM playing cat and mouse with each other's FA & draft selections. I have to think Rhodes is Al's pick. Superbowl star...has Al's fingerprints all over him. Kiffen's proably pissed at all the BS he's had to deal with personnel-wise that he just won't play Al's pick.
Dysfunction. Just like Moss said, something smells fishy around our team.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
See what Kiffen says about the Bears deciding to keep 7 in the box even though a 3 WR set should have called for a nickle pkg from the bears.
http://www.raiders.com/Common/Article.aspx?id=35352

You can't take advantage of that situation when you have a QB that can't make reads nor WR's that are worth a shit.
Porter is awful. Curry is decent, but he's Al's pick so he'll be here for an eternity. We have no QB's and no WR's... and no RB's. Basically we have nothing at the skill poistions, and a very mediocre offensive line.

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

i wouldn't mind seeing walter out there. i mean, he can throw. he may not be the best at moving around in the pocket, but he can at least get the ball to the receivers.
we really need a qb who can throw, move around the pocket, big enough to run over linebackers, is not afraid to stay in the pocket, and has zip on his passes.....oh wait, that's jamarcus. nevermind.

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to Kiffin:

"It's a different world for me than what I'm used to," Kiffin said. "Because, you're the head coach and you have to take it all in. If you're just calling the plays on offense, you don't necessarily take in all that.

"It does make you play less aggressive a lot of times."
***************************

Hey Kiffin, just go for it man. We're basically out of the playoffs and it's time to tweak around with different things and evaluate the outcome. You might as well try to 'spark' your team with a little more aggression.

Right now you understandably do not have confidence in them to score. So show a little confidence, raise the bar a little bit and expect them to make a play. They probably feel like you're holding their hands and it's not helping the situation. With all of our problems I still feel we can turn into a fairly solid team with just an attitude adjustment alone. One win can do that. If you go balls out and get lucky just once, it could go a long way in regaining confidence.

Psycho

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take:

I am with you on the running back cituation, I like Fargas a lot but I know that he is not a back that can carry our team for a season by himself and basically that's what we've been asking him to do the last couple of games, the kid's got a lot of heart and he has proven it, the problem is that in the nfl heart is not everything.

Rhodes has to come in and "if anything" compliment Fargas with at least 5 to 10 carries a game, specially since we are primarly a running team, as soon as Bush is available get him as many carries as he is able to handle but no more, don't force him to carry the whole load right off the bat.

Russell is making a ton of money(pennies for Bill Gates) and he is not being utilized, my problem with this deal is that if we wait until next year to get him any playing time, he will be this much farther behind, we need to get him in there and even if for a couple of reps a game or a quarter or whatever we need to give him some playing time.

raiderdecoachella

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama:

I want you to know that your posts in my eyes are dead on most of the times as I see it, the only disagreement that I have with you is the constant trashing of Mr. Davis.

Keep up your posting, I think that you and Scorpio speak with your heart and are truly devoted fans.

raiderdecoachell

8:03 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

coachella, we are ALL devoted fans. we may dislike al and his shenanigans and you guys fail to understand why we are at the bottom of the heap but we have that one thing in common - we love the raiders.

dumb as it may be to spend thousands of $$$$$ renewing our season tickets or going to the games and buying gear, i don't think we'll be down too much longer. then again, i've been saying that for years!

al is the central figure in all of this mess. soon as you guys put the kool aid down you'll understand.

8:50 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The nation seems to be rather divided. More or less, I agree with Calico and think that the youth should see considerably more playing time. Before continuing, however, you can find the "official" explanation for the offense here:

http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2007/11/12/sportsextra/doc473936a6bcf15506352987.txt

First off, we had a good look at McQ against Tennessee. Two false starts, and I think two sacks given up. I guess that might be on a par with Sims. But Calico's right in that, since we're not going anywhere, why waste snaps on people who aren't going to be here after this year. Take, I don't think "poor Fargas" is too upset that he's getting 20-25 carries a game. Personally, I agree with Kiff, I want to see if he can handle a 20-25 carry load. How many years have we had Fargas? Isn't it about time, before his contract expires, that we find out what he's capable of doing? Even if Fargas isn't showing me that he's a starter, he sure as hell is showing me that he's an excellent back up and change of pace. Fargas stays.

As for QB changes, every time you change a QB you make a statement regarding the team's prospects. If Kiffin brings in either Walter or Russell, that says to the team that the season is over, and the remainder of the season will be exhibition football for the benefit of examining the roster for next year. At that point the team completely melts down.

The players immediately stop being any semblance of a team, and everybody is freelancing to either showcase for the rest of the league, to just write the season off and go through the motions, or attempting to build their season stats. Consider that situation, and then consider whether that's a healthy situation to bring Russell. Kiffin has to be very careful here.

As to Walter, Kiffin has conceded that Walter is no part of what the Raiders are currently doing. His habit of holding the ball too long, coupled with his lack of mobility, would be disastrous. The only reason he's still here is because when McCown and Culpepper are gone, without Walter Russell is the only QB who knows the system.

Walter will, I think, gain his freedom. Both McCown and Culpepper have played so poorly this year that I'd expect at least one of them would stay on as back up. Most likely McCown.

8:59 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Psycho:

Very nice post you made at 6:29. Spoken from the heart of the Raider Nation.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Blanda. I know Kiff has it in him. I've seen him go for it on 4th when maybe no other coach would've. Coincidentally those were the days when we still had 'fire'. Even if we didn't win them all, we had something early in this season that we must regain.

Kiff no longer has the confidence in his offense to convert that ballsy 4th down play, but this is the same group of guys out there playing who did just that.

Psycho

9:32 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H:

Jerry McDonald backs us both up...

"– Best case scenario is the Raiders get a nice letter of apology after Warren Sapp appeared to have been held on Rex Grossman's 59-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian which put the Bears ahead for good."

There's no way an official missed that. The official just ignored it. For those who haven't seen it, find the replays on NFL.com.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Al's desk drawing must be over-flowing with letters of apologies. The front office must have a standard "Raider Apology" form by now which they simply print, check off the "holding no-call" box and sign it.

Psycho

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

desk drawer...

9:45 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, from my vantage, Fargas needed a break. The Bears were stacking the box, and Cousin of Take and I were calling the play before it happened: Fargas up the middle! It was sad, and he was literally running into a brick wall. Take out his 15 yarder (the one he got blown up on, if I recall) and he averaged 3.0 yards per carry.

Fargas is a gamer, and I'm sure he doesn't mind the carries, but I'm also sure he'd like to win some games, too.

I'll bet Tony Dungy knew that Dominic Rhodes wasn't going to be a Colt this year and that Edgerrin James was on his way out after 2005, but did he use that as some weird excuse to not use them in their contract years?

I'm concerned about all these convoluted scenarios and explanations that we come up with to convince ourselves that there's method to the madness, because when there's this much madness, it can't all be method.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous H said...

I'm not able to check in very often and won't be the next few weeks. So, here are a couple of quick hits.

I find it interesting that people are now negetive on Fargas. For what. Two plays. Even Jim Brown fumbled on occasion. And, he didn't get thar first down on third and two. Last time I checked, what a minute I don't have to check, the percentage of backs making that play wasn't 100% before the ball was handed to Fargas.

My point about Fargas is this. Kiffin as head coach is supposed to put the people on the field who are performing the best and give the team the best chance to win. Right now that IS Fargas. He is busting his ass for this team. And, as a fan I appreciate that. He's throwing his body around with abandon. He hurdled and attempted tackle that would have easily brought down Jordan.

He got 81 yards rushing and over 20 more receiving against a very good Bears defense with our current line. He has taken a lot of flak over the years remained silent and kept working.

If no one else on the offense is producing, he sure as hell is. He has had over 100 total yards in every game he has been the feature back.

From what I'm hearing some folks think there is no one on the offense worth keeping. Ok, how do we replace the entire starting offense plus their backups.

We all seem to be hindsight geniuses. And, we are absolutely great finger pointers. I, personally, am not enthralled with Kiffins playcalling at the moment. We can't go deep, but I don't see any quick slants to try and get some yards after the catch. Everytime I see a team do that against us, I say "Why can't we do that?"

At this point it time we have problems with the personnel on the field. But, I don't see the coach trying to win with what he's got. Most of the time Kiffin is just as placid as Shell was. This team has no fire, no enthusiasm. I'm not seeing any leadership on the field, even on the sideline.

H

10:17 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blandarocked,

I saw the hold again when I reviewed the recording looking for that play.

H

10:20 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

PANTY - RE: JANO as you call him. you still don't know which jano is gonna show up! it's an adventure every time he steps up man! come on, don't tell me you guys are sitting there in your comfy chairs expecting this guy to be automatic 'cause he's NOT! i cross my fingers on every kick.

and blanda - as for schneider, "Brian Schneider is a find. I hope we keep him for awhile." special teams hasn't been special ALL YEAR and all of a sudden after this ONE game and he's a keeper?

10:23 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, just to clarify, I'm not down on Fargas. Let him start, turn him loose. But we've got $7.5 million worth of running backs on the sideline, they must have some skills that could help us mix it up and give us a better chance to win.

Adrian Peterson is clearly the man in Minnesota, but they still give the ball to Chester Taylor (who, like Rhodes, might not return to his team next year) at times to mix it up and give Peterson a break.

Perhaps if we mixed it up and gave Fargas some time to catch his breath, he'd be even more productive.

10:26 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I agree regarding Fargas. Take, if I saw Jordan or Rhodes making plays on their few attempts, I'd agree with you. It's not going to make me feel better sending Jordan in to lose a yard so Fargas can have a rest he doesn't want.

H, I'm not quite sure how I feel about your second part. Kiffin explains he's running a conservative, ball control offense to create a positional game, believing that's the only kind of game we have a chance to win. And, you're right, Shell did the same thing.

While I'm fully on board with the idea that Shell was the wrong choice as HC, Shell isn't an idiot. There is, after all, a good reason why he chose that approach. That Kiffin believes he has to go down that same road is a reflection on the players now, not of the coach. Kiffin says this offense is not his style, but he believes it gives the team its best chance to win.

Which brings us to the next phase. When we are effectively eliminated from contention, Kiffin may decide to take off the training wheels just to see if the team can stay upright.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Take, it wasn't just you. Several were down on him, not just saying he needed a breather. That I can appreciate.

By the way, a quote from Kiffin:

"We got into a conservative mode," Kiffin said, explaining his cautious game plan in the second half, while the Raiders had the better field position. "We didn't want to screw it up."

This is what I mean by playing to not loose. Players want to win games, not "not loose" them.

H

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Raiders Offense is that indeed...OFFENSIVE!!! There is not a defensive coordinator in the NFL that doesnt doze off watching our game films. We are the most predictable team in the NFL. They were playing a safety to cover our third wideout and had a rookie cornerback covering another. Its unfavomable to understand the philosophy of our offense. Lets do what they expect us to do so they know how to stop us. This team is an embarrassment to the NFL. I would love to hear one of Kiffin's Halftime speeches, how he motivates the team by telling them that we dont have an offense so lets play the "field position game"

10:37 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Good grief, Rhodes has 10 carries total this year and, based on that, we write him off completely? Jordan is averaging 4.0 yards per carry this year, but in your argument, of course, he would lose a yard each time he took a carry away from Fargas.

The NFL is filled with players who want the ball every snap. That's an admirable quality. Thankfully, this admirable quality is usually tempered by coaches who know better.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

RT-
I am with you on the running back change-up. Just for fresh legs vs. a tired D. There actually is a lot of depth to do this.

I have not gotten to today's reading but if the bears were daring the Raiders to pass with 7 in the box on a 3 wr set, that is bad.

I know Kiffin has essentially eliminated Walter from the mix and, as Blanda points out, a start by Walter or Russell signals the season as over. But what are the options especially if McCown is too banged up to play - Culpepper?

You refer to an audition for next year but as far as McCown and Culpepper I think the auditions are over. Would McCown be a servicable back-up with a better surrounding cast? I don't even know about that.

I agree with Blanda and CJ as I have posted before, regardless of who is qb, time to let these young kids play.

11:00 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The benefit of a positional game, when an offense is basically incompetent, is that it keeps the score low and managable. If you attempt to open up the offense, and take extra risk, you can quickly find yourself at the wrong end of a lopsided score.

We're griping because we lost a game where we were on top by 3 points in the 4th quarter. Would it make people feel better if we went into that 4th quarter behind by 20 points? People have remarked that we could be 8-1 because we've had the lead in the 4th quarter of 8 games. I think we don't come that close unless Kiffin plays it the way he's playing it.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Raidercoachella, appeciate your kind wordss and admit I tend to blame everything on Al... in my heart I feel he's the root problem.
And I've been bashing Fargas, unfairly. He's been bustin' butt, no doubt. I just view him as one of the scholarships... and the scholarships are killing us. Fargas is one of the few scholarships that seems to have at least earned a place on the team (back-up). I don't think Fargas is an NFL starter. Would love for him to prove me wrong.
And again, Blanda, I don't call the chances Mcq has gotten as good opportunites. Again, he is a LT. Not a RT. We need to finish out the season deciding if there are any keepers on the roster. It'd be nice to discover we had a LT on the roster (Henderson or MqQ), instead of spending money or a pick on one next year and then have Henderson and Mcq play away from their natural positions next year... continue the dysfunction.
As for the scholarships, I have seen enough of Porter, S. Williams, Simms, Jano & Brayton. These guys should be gone... now. Enough is enough.

11:11 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, Jordan compiled that YPC average in the first 3 games, and he's been absolute crap since, which is why he lost his job. As for Rhodes, I don't know what he's doing or showing in practice, and neither do you. Rhodes presents an interesting question which deserves an answer from Kiffin. If someone asked the question, I expect he'd probably say something politically correct, like, "Rhodes is just not the best option right now."

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H:

I think just like RT, Bama and Scorpio in regards to Fargas, he has proven that he is deserving of playing for the Raiders (may be the only offensive player worth keeping for next year) but he is not a Charlie Garner "I'm sorry" he has a heart that is second to none but he is not a 25 to 30 carries a game back for 16 games, I am sorry but he is not that durable.

I would love for Rhodes to prove to us that he is not worthy of keeping him, I don't mind us cutting him but at least let us see why we are doing it, also please have Bush dressed and ready to go as soon as possible, let's give him at least four games to evaluate him for next year.

raiderdecoachella

12:00 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Maybe Fargas isn't a 25-30 carries per game guy. My point is, we don't know.

As for the positional game. When you are deep in your own territory, you try to push it out and gain position so if you have to punt you can put the opponent deep in his end.

H

My feeling is once you are at or around the fifty you can take more chances. They don't have to be all deep throws. Quick sants. Over the middle. Run a few sweeps. In other words, don't be so damned predictible.

I could see it if it was working, but it's not. So, next week we will start McCowan and he will have at least two turnovers, most likely three. Same old stuff. Same boring offense.

How about when Washington comes back he runs some deep routes on offense.

I know the fans aren't supposed to influence the coach, but come on. Show me you are trying. Try a few multiple shifts, on short yardage use McQuistan as a blocking back. It may not work, but it ain't working now.

And, if you are committed to the run, as Kiffin says, we sure use a lot of single back sets. Where's the lead blocker for some sweeps and such.

Just tire of loosing and being bored at the same time.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

looking at game replays, i don't think it's as much as the receivers not being able to separate, as much as it is mccown being gun shy because he can't thread the needle. i can't tell you how many times i saw him double clutch and hesitate. he looked worse than brooks.
at least with walter, he can zip it in, and is not afraid to throw it in tight coverage. yes, he'll make mistakes, but at least at this point he is trying. which is a far cry than that of culpepper and mccown can say.
i like the spark that fargas is bringing, but i've been yelling it for 3 weeks now, balance that with rhodes.
as far as kiffin saying it is more difficult to call plays and coach at the same time, well buddy, it's time to pass the play calling off to greg knapp. again i can see why kiffin is calling a vanilla game, and is frustrated by not being able to do more. because our offense can't even execute the vanilla to grow to where we need to be.
it's time to change it up, and see what we have. if we don't win this week, then it's time to pack it up and go home.

1:40 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

This is relevant...

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20071111-9999-1s11chside.html

Perhaps the Raiders are simply the most undisciplined team in football. We know that the Raiders had discipline problems in Callahan's last year. Then we got Turner and things were always very quiet. We didn't win, but things were very quiet. But in the year after 14-2, the Dolts suddenly have discipline problems with the very quiet Norv Turner in charge.

Shell tried to restore some respect for discipline, but he quickly wasn't taken seriously as a head coach and things spiraled down hill. Now the mess is Kiffin's. The team looked as though they might show some discipline, but then started returning to bad habits (a clear sign of a lack of discipline).

Discipline is one of those things professional coaches expect has already been ingrained in an NFL player (i.e., very few undisciplined athletes can even make it to the pros).

I definitely think that's part of our problem. In four years time, this team went from being one of the most disciplined (because of the aging veterans who are now gone) to one of the least.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

this IS a young team. but in order for this thing to work, al needs to let kiffin bring in HIS guys. meaning, a good house cleaning is in order. i said before the season started that this rebuilding will take a while. perhaps 2-3 years. kiffin inherited turner and shell's broken parts. he wanted to take the car for a test drive to see how far it'd take him. unfortunately the car didn't get very far before kiffin found out what's needed is a complete overhaul.

al - let kiffin rebuild your car's engine HIS way. you may not be around for the fruits of his labor but at least give him that benefit for our long term enjoyment in the coming years.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

McCown's pop gun arm and poor pocket prescence plays right into the hands of the D and here's why:

The opponent's D is already jamming 8 men in the box on the vast majority of the snaps to negate our run. The secondary doesn't respect or fear McCown's arm strength & our OLine's ability to pass protect. The secondary (and LBs) completely flood the short zone area. On top of that, TE Miller is being held back to pass protect. So now you've got 2 WRs running short routes in an area that is flooded with defensive bodies. The opponent game plans to do 2 things: Take away our run and short passing game. With the schemes the D is running, there is no clear separation for the WRs, McCown can't fire the ball into tight windows, there are very few throwing lanes, and our OL is struggling mightily. It is the perfect storm for offensive futility. Whenever McCown rolls out, it in effect shrinks the field even more ... another 50% of the field is taken away. From an offensive design & playcalling standpoint, this offense is serverly limited. Until the intermediate & deep routes are a regular staple in this offense, we are going nowhere fast.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

5H-

You make a great point on Fargas and his production in relative terms. As for playcalling, it seems like Kiffin is at his wits end and they really can't run anything successfully, however, try me with a slant or two, whatever.

Kiffin said "we are not built for that", running plays from deep in the playbook. I thought that was telling with the operative being "built."

McCown has a thigh bruise "the worst he has ever had." Kiffin says no word 'till Wednesday. But from the story he could not move at all after the game.

The Raiders also have until Wednesday to make a move on Bush. That's tomorrow. Should be interesting.....

5:22 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

CJ-

Amazing take. This explains Kiffins limited play calling. Would the presence of a strong armed, quick release qb change things? Or do we need the run to work first?

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

memdf,

Any team can run a quick slant. Either to a WR or TE. In fact, in the preseason Curry read blitz, ran a quick slant pattern over the middle and Culpepper hit him for a touchdown of over 25 yards.

We can do it. A few completions there and it would surely slow down the rush a bit.

The team may be built to run, and it is admirable to committ to the run. We've heard it before, but at least Kiffin is staying true to his word. However, you have to be able to do some other things.

Put Masden in place of Porter and run him across the middle. Shorter throws to a tall big target, keep the chains moving. You have to have something to complement the running game. I don't see him even trying something else.

Maybe it's part of his master plan, and maybe I'm all wet. But I feel he should be showing the fans he is trying to win. Go no huddle for a whole game, do something different.

H

8:28 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Mendf:
For the most part, the Raiders have established a fairly consistent rushing attack. The rushing attack has not been a factor in our futile passing attack. The inability to pass the ball effectively (80 net yards passing vs. Chicago) is a combination of a number of factors. IMHO, the biggest factor is the QB. Take a look at the other 31 teams' passing attacks and you will find 1 thing in common... the majority of pass plays come from the pocket. Now fast forward to the Raiders. McCown is uncomfortable in the pocket. Pass plays are designed for him to be on the move. Even Joe Montana who was the maestro of a short passing attack did most of his damage from within the pocket. I know this sounds very basic and at the same token, bizarre but that is our current reality. Despite subpar pass protection, there is no logical explanation for being unable to complete 15+ yard pass plays with 3 to 5 step drops. With McCown under center I can count on 1 hand the number of actual attempts to complete a 15+ yard pass play. Despite subpar pass protection, a QB with a strong arm, mobility, and quick release will open up the playbook considerably and allow for a more dynamic offense. Last time I checked, Russell fits this bill to a T. With tight coverage on the WRs you need a QB who can fit the ball into tight (and quickly closing) spaces.

"Russell, Russell, Russell!"

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read your posts and see that some of the faida fanatics have a pretty good understanding of what has put the massive hole in the pirate ship "minow". There can be improvement when "elaine kiffy" is dumped, when "lamont sanford", "culpumper", "maclown", "huggycub", "roberta galleria", etc., etc., are all forced to walk the plank. Then and only then will you "believers" see improvement! OK>>> now the answer to yiour question...Minnisota Vikings 30- choketown faidas 6....Just pat "seabiscuit" on his back babies, and forget about the fake "nation" 2-14..

12:23 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

calico, in thinking about this more, i would have to disagree. i was all for putting russell in now but the thing is, do we want another akili smith on our hands? or do we wait and get a carson palmer?

who's gonna block for him? what receiver will get open for him? never mind about the deep threat, these guys can't get open period.

this guy's gonna be beat up mentally and physically and then what? kiffin is right. he needs to have the right tools around him to work with. i'm getting off the start russell bandawagon and getting on the walter one.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about no life. If I were up past midnight on my computer, stuffing my face with cheetos, and resorted to talking crap on a Patriots website to fill the giant hole in my life, I'd probably just shoot myself.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scorpio - I'm one of the people voting against playing Russell for those reasons. This is an extremely delicate situation and so far Kiffin is handling it perfectly IMO.

However, I had another brain fart. If we MUST go with Russell anytime soon I would like to see an extremely run-happy, conservative offense (I know, I called-out Kiff to be LESS conservative). Get Russell's feet wet without putting a game on his shoulders. You do this by activating Bush and hopefully provide the "thunder" to compliment Fargas. Kiff seems intent on using a featured back, which is fine, but in such a case we need a double-headed RB threat.

Our problem right now, well one of them, is nobody respects McCown's arm. As they shouldn't! The guy is about as accurate as me, blindfolded! We've tried striking deep with play-actions and they almost never work. Russell however should be able to hit these much better. And I doubt he would fumble every other snap like Culpepper.

Until Russell either shows that he's good, or that he's not quite there yet, teams won't know what to expect. If we play Russell and just keep running then we may see only 7 in the box with teams scratching their heads over Russell's role, helping our run game. If they stack the box we test the arm against one-on-ones at some point. Less chance of confidence killing INTs.

Last year the Saints did it with R.Bush playing him as a diversion and not really using him much. I know it's a much different situation with QB and it takes away a whole phase of the Offense but look at it this way: We currently do not have a passing game anyway. The only thing we do well is run-block and let Fargas do the rest and as far as I can tell that isn't going to change anytime soon.

The Vikings are the perfect team remaining on our schedule to do this against. To me it's not worth it, you continue sitting Russell because he's not ready and we can't provide a very good situation for him without completely ignoring the passing game. But just some thoughts.

Psycho

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Anon H at 8:28 had a good idea: Bench Porter for someone like Masden. Kiffen said that the way teams are keeping 7 in the box on us even with 3 receiver sets, they are not respecting what we are trying to do. I have to listen to games on the internet. When we have a 3 receiver set, who is our 3rd receiver? he sure isn't showing up in the stats.
McCown can't find a reciever and/or the receivers aren't getting open.
It's time to call the Porter try-out a failure. He has done nothing to make me think he is an nfl starter. Nothing. He is not a good, physical posession receiver. Try someone else. Use the rest of the season to try someone else in his spot. Porter's certainly not gathering any trade value with his play either.

8:33 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico:

Good post, and you describe pretty much what Kiffin has been saying. The problem with McCown is that he can't play in the pocket, and the problem with Culpepper is that he can't play from under center (which kills our running game when he's in there).

Walter is not the answer, because I think that makes a worse statement to the team then putting in Russell because Walter has no future here. If you put in Russell, you're arguably working toward the future. If you put in Walter, you're just hoping you might steal a win before the end of the season, but not working toward anything.

And that brings us to Russell. Absolutely no experience, and a crappy supporting cast, but probably the only complete QB on the roster.

I think we'll see Culpepper start this week, but we might see a series or two with Russell (more likely this will happen the next time the Raiders play at home - to fill the seats and provide Russell with emotional support). I think Kiffin's hope was that he would go back and forth between McCown and Culpepper. As teams game planned to beat McCown, he'd switch to Culpepper - back and forth.

I fully understand Kiffin's concerns about putting Russell on the field too soon. I think the best approach is incremental. Use him more and more if he's holding up. Give him the start if he's improving the team's performance.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama, the Masden post was mine. My primary point is on third and three or four, we don't need to go 15. Five to seven will suffice. What easier way to get that than with a big target with good hands.

As to starting/not starting Russell. Everyone points to Carson Palmer. What about Peyton Manniing. Started as a rookie. Went 3-13 with more interceptions than touchdowns. I think he is the current Super Bowl MVP.

On the other hand, Carson Palmer sat his first year. He went 11-5 then 8-8 and is currently 3-6 and challenging us for draft position. He has some pretty good receivers. I realize the rest of the team needs some work as he has a pretty good rating.

The point is I don't see the correlation between sitting/starting in the rookie year and future success.

Futher, if we are limited in what can be called with McCowan and Culpepper, then the argument we are limited in what can be called with Russell as a reason to not play him is specious. Under that argument ALL the quarterbacks are not ready.

At the very least, the fans who pay the freight, consume the product or what ever cliche you want to use deserve a glimps of the future. Even if all he does is hand off to Fargas then throw one into the Black Hole from beyond the 50.

The argument to protect him from injury is also a false one. Say he doesn't take a single snap this year. First snap of next year is a pass. He gets hit and tears an ACL. Bingo gone for the season. Hell, I've seen players tear their ACL with no one touching them.

H

9:55 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Every QB is different. I don't think it's always wise to compare a Palmer or a Manning to a Russell. Each player deals with circustances in his own way.

The bottom line on Russell is that it has to be Kiffin's call. Every HC is also different. Some would throw Russell on the field as soon as he had maybe 10 plays he was capable of running. Others would make him sit his first year no matter what. The Kiffin/Russell combination is the one that we have, and that combination of personalities is going to be the one to work it out.

We will all have our own view, and one view may become the dominant sentiment of the fans. But I also don't want an HC who will make decisions he feels are unwise because he feels the pressure from the fan base. I trust Kiffin will make the right decision at the time of his own chosing.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous H said...

I agree every QB is different. That was my point. I also agree it's the head coaches call. And, if he doesn't take a single snap I'll still be there for them next year.

I just don't agree with some of the arguments/reasons I'm hearing.

But, Blanda, as a fan wouldn't you like to get a glimps of the future albeit a small one. I'm not saying start the guy. I'm just saying tease us a little. Maybe run a few plays with Russell and Bush in the same backfield. It may be only five plays, but the defense doesn't know what those five plays are. Start getting them used to the speed of the game at this level.

H

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H:

My point all along, I can not immagined this healthy, athletic person getting injured, if injuries are going to happen they are going to happen no matter what! remember Gannon, he was healthy for the longest time, he took hit after hit, after hit and the pig fell on top of him and separated his shoulder and the next season a concission and the rest as we now know is history.

I am encouraging Kiffin to be a little more daring and play him and Bush for a few plays, let's see what we have as a team, let's see how the rest of the players respond to them and start the evaluation process for next year, please let's not talk about playoffs anymore, I don't want to be in the playoffs, we don't that! not this year!

raiderdecoachella

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
You know what's troubling me right now? The fact that the Patriots might actually land McFadden with the 49er pick. Anyone that's watched McFadden knows, he'll be the best RB in the nfl by 2009. He's THAT good. He'd be worth another 30 mil guranateed from us.
The phins need a QB... Woodson perhaps. The rams have Steven Jackson. We'd better find out now what Bush has.
And yes, H, great idea on Masden.
As for Russell, I'm sort of against getting him in there now while there is absolutely no supporting cast to help him grow. If we put Bush in and Bush turns out to be a player that defenses have to gameplan, and then IF someone steps up at WR, then maybe put Russell in, shitty Oline be damned.
Russell has to have some kind of bread and butter to work with. He can't go out there with what's happening now because we risk ruining him long term (sort of like we did Walter). Right now the offense is so dreadful, we just have to get some other skill people in to see if we can find a spark, something. I really like the Masden at WR idea. Porter's had 5 years to show us something and all we've gotten in return is a snow game in Denver where Champ was handicapped, A meaningless game at Tennessee a few years ago and a late, worthless TD in the superbowl. That's it. Porter's scholarship simply has to go.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's cross our fingers Russell turns out to be like Favre or Manning in the injury dept. if anything.

Psycho

11:14 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I agree 100%. I think Kiff will, in fact, use Russell on a series or two, perhaps even this Sunday. Kiff said is was a very strong possibility when asked by Papa after the game last Sunday.

I'd anticipate a series of handoffs leading to a deep play action pass.

As for Bush (don't forget about him Bama7), go to YouTube and do a search on Michael Bush to see just what he might be capable of.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Raidrfan32 said...

For those that would like to understand the state of RaiderNation a bit clearer:

We are a team that has no identity.
We are a team that plays to not lose instead of a team that plays to win.
We are a team that will be rebuilding for the next few years to come
We are a team that should start Russell because next year will not provide a whole new offense that is needed.
We are a team that Coach Kiff said would have an "explosive offense" I think he forgot to say "self explosive"

12:18 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If you just step back for a second, you kind of have to laugh at the state of our offense. Like I said, a 15-yard completion has achieved the status of a miracle. It's incredible. And, sadly, funny in a morbid sort of way.

Now, in the midst of our fifth-straight losing season, we're pinning our team's immediate hopes on two rookies, one who's barely removed from IR, and another who didn't sign until after the preseason, and neither of whom have yet to take a real snap.

The law of NFL averages says that at least one of these two guys probably won't meet our lofty expectations, so we'd better keep our fingers continually crossed.

As for who's going to protect these two guys and open holes, and as to whom Russell is going to throw to, we still have absolutely no answers. Five years later.

People get outraged when I say that the answer is to get smarter and make better decisions. But that's just a fact. As the losing seasons mount, the margin for error narrows. That's life in any job, in any company or organization.

Our free agency activities need to be aggressive and razor sharp in 2008. We need to find a way to sign coveted free agents, not lose them to other teams. If that means overpaying them, fine. Better that than wasting millions on signing, then benching, the likes of Porter, Jordan and Rhodes. Our draft needs to be A+++, too. The house needs to be fully cleaned. Just do it. Quit making excuses, find a way, change the culture of losing.

The excuse-makers clamor: Well, what were we supposed to do!? What could we have done? We tried, but all the good QBs signed elsewhere!

As if this five-year situation is literally some pre-ordained destiny, rather than simply a series of poor decisions and failed excuses coming to roost.

I don't have all the answers as to how we turn it around sooner rather than later, but it needs to be done, and it's up to those in charge to figure it out. Hiring an experienced, savvy GM would be a good start.

In the meantime, I will just try to appreciate the unique beauty of a McCown pass fluttering to the ground like a wounded bird as one of our receivers makes little effort to come back to the ball.

When the Raiders return to glory, whenever that comes to pass, and it will, I will remember these days with pride, knowing that me and all the rest of you maintained our loyalty, passion and intensity even in the darkest of times, at a level unprecedented by any other team in sports.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell you that I am dreading the fact that I won't be able to watch the game this week, I have not missed a single game in the last 15 to 20 years, rain, shine or heil I watch my beloved Raiders, Friday I head out to Baja all the way down to a little town called "La Paz" I am hoping to drive down and back in 10 days stoping and staying by the beach, I am not going to stay in hotels or such, I want to be able to live off what ever mother nature has to offer, so next week when I come back I know we'll be talking about how great the special teams and the defense played, I know we'll also say that the offense played one of the better games we have seen in a while! If we can only repeat the same all around play the week after, and of course the playoff issue and we are only a couple of games away from the playoff contention stuff, for now let's just savor this next weeks win.

We'll win by at least 14 pionts.

raiderdecoachella

1:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Two WRs who will be available in '08:

Bernard Berrian, UFA, Chicago Bears
Berrian was able to put together a decent season in ’06. His 51 receptions and six touchdowns aren’t overly impressive, but they do suggest that he is an improving talent and may be a strong number two option or a decent number one option down the road. His size isn’t ideal, but his speed and athleticism has countered that enough to allow him to be a solid contributor. At just 26 years of age, Berrian will garner interest from teams looking to capitalize on his growth at the position.

Bryant Johnson, UFA, Arizona Cardinals
Johnson could fly under the radar this season, but those in the know consider him quite talented. He’s overshadowed by star receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, but Johnson runs great routes, has good hands, and at 6’3” his size makes him an appealing option. He’s caught at least 35 passes in each of his four seasons, including 49 receptions in 2004, and has a touchdown scored in each season, with four coming in ’06. Johnson will likely find a bigger role in another offense in ’08.

1:34 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And at Tackle:

Max Starks, UFA, Pittsburgh Steelers
Starks is young and massive, and another Pittsburgh player that may leave the Steel City. He’s 25 and is listed at 6’7” while weighing 337 pounds. His size and age will make him a desired player on many team’s list. A top tier tackle will always garner interest and Starks may lead the free agent class at the spot because of the high level of play he has shown on the field.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernard Berrian, Bryant Johnson...wow now thats what we are talking about Blanda...they would be great pick ups this off season...now will raiders make those kind of moves?? ah doubt it...maybe just interview them and see them go else where is what they do best...Al likes to give bums second chances (McClown, C Pete) and pick up All Star Players (Super Bowl MVP, Heisman Trophy winners) that came from already winning teams in which they were(although given key roles) supporting cast , not the whole freaking reason they won...

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey how about Ricky Williams??? he could be damaged goods for cheap? just food for thought...ahhh such a typical and typical raider move

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey... don't dis Ricky... He is and always will be a stud rb... just got caught smokin the sticky icky. that's not a crime, is it?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama,

The patsies having the whinners pick has always infuriated me in that the league left them with that pick. Some punishment Huh!

The fish are starting their rookie QB this weekend. If he shows promise, they will go for McFadden. Brown's recovery from surgery will influence that. If not McFadden probably Glenn Dorsey.

Where ever we draft, it would be nice if Dorsey is there. Some folks say he's a better choice than McFadden. I'm not sure about that one.

Take, the good decisions you talk about have to be on the field also. Get rid of the ball quicker. Stop false starting, especially at home

Blanda,

I like the idea of Max Starks. Good name for a lineman also. He has proven skills and pro bowl potential.

It appears Russell's contract is fairly cap friendly the next two years, so they should have some room to work with.

If we are drafting top five again and a talent like Dorsey is gone, I say trade for more picks and use them wisely. One reason Kiffin was brought in was his knowledge of College talent. Remember, he tried to recruit Russell to USC, and saw Miller on a fairly regular basis.

H

4:59 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Good point about the players, H.

All the more reason they should be run out of town, or not hired in the first place.

If I'm in charge of a department, and the employees I hire prove to be incapable of performing their job description, they are certainly at fault, but I am ultimately responsible for the situation. It's just a fact of business life.

In this same way, the Raiders management earned kudos over the years for assembling tough, fundamentally sound and often overlooked players who knew how to win. Tatum, Hendricks, Plunkett, Branch, Hayes, etc. certainly earned their own praise, but the Raiders management was rightfully lauded for assembling and fielding teams that devastated the opposition.

Winning and losing teams don't exist in a vacuum of responsibility, and credit cuts both ways.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Like RT, I'm outraged & dumbfounded by the futility of our passing attack.

There are a lot of excuses and reasons being given for why our passing attack is struggling. Although some of the points are valid, once you cut through all the crap, it is totally unacceptable.

Some of the "reasons" our passing attack is unable to complete a 15+ yard pass and move the ball down the field:

"Our WRs are too slow, quit on the play, don't get separation, aren't any good ..."

Nonsense. Porter, Curry, and Dwight are athletic, experienced & fast enough to get open & make plays.

"Our OL is in a shambles and doesn't give the QB adequate pass protection ..."

BS. Use max protection schemes when necessary. Use play action pass on 1st down to allow the WRs to get behind the LBs. Using a 3 or 5 step drop, a QB only needs 3 seconds to make a play down the field.

"McCown isn't comfortable from the pocket, has a weak arm, is hesitant ..."

Well then there is no reason for him to be on the field. Period. If a QB is incapable of efficiently using the intermediate passing routes (10 to 20 yards) to move the ball down the field then he has no business in the NFL.

"Kiffin wants to call a conservative, vanilla game plan because the offense is struggling"

Sorry but if your offense has scored 4 TDs in 5 games then it is time to take a few more chances and play to win instead of playing not to lose. If your QB can't facilitate explosive, winning plays then it time to make a change.

Finally, the most disappointing aspect to the offensive funk is that it seems the bar & expectations of the offense have been lowered & dumb down.

Where is the creativity and diversification of the offense? Risk taking should not be frowned upon. Use an ocassional trick play. Go deep a few times. Use creative ways to include the backs and tightends as pass catching weapons. Install a few exotic formations to catch the D by surprise. Just the mere attempt of an intermediate passing attack, trick plays, deep passes, exotic formations, etc. is a step in the right direction. The motto of "If you are going to go down, go down swinging" seems appropos.

It is at the point where if we had the following 3 and out series, I would stand up and applaud:

1st Down: Play action pass. Incomplete

2nd Down: Reverse/option to Curry. 2 yards.

3rd Down: Trips Right WR. Incomplete.

The run, run, short pass series is getting mighty old and stale in my books.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Amen!!!

8:28 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Russell is the key to everything.
the raiders need hope, they need a spark of life, and they need direction.

russell can provide all these things for the raiders.

if he steps in and plays well, suddenly, there is a spark of life.

if he manages to even win a game or two, suddenly there is hope.

and if we as a raider nation can at least say, "we have a Qb to build around", suddenly, we will have a direction.

Russell, a lot of $$ = a lot of pressure. if he fails, we're in more trouble then we realize.
he has to come through.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Calico,

Ditto Amens.

I've been saying that for almost three weeks now. Die with our boots on but don't bore us to death.

I see Culpepper is starting. This is a combination we saw for only one half of football. The second half of the fish game.

The horned helmets are a decent team but they are having QB problems of their own. Peterson is out torn LCL, but won't require surgery.

One thing I've always pondered - Why isn't the Viking's song Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song?

Just a thought from left field, or perhaps the porta potty in the parking lot.

H

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I would love to have Ricky. But with our hopes on Bush, it's hard to say (don't we have to make a decision on him today?, bush that is?).

If the Pat's somehow end up with Ricky, they could be the best team in history if they gell, or if we're lucky, Rick and Moss will party hard and bring down the shiny castle. (not likely, Ricky has more character that moss has fro).

The point? DJ HAll from Alabama, there's your receiver. We need to stock up on some SEC this offseason. If we're lucky we could steal Darren McFadden in the first round.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Culpepper is starting. And Adam Schefter is reporting that Kiffin would like to use Russell for a scripted series.

My guess is Russell will be the #2 guy, giving him a possibility to play if things work out that way. I thinks he plays if all of these conditions are met:

1) The game is out of reach - Which is not likely because we always keep it just close enough to lose at the end.
2) Our run game is doing OK - Which is not terribly likely given the Vikings very good run D.
3) Our O-line is protecting Daunte reasonably well - When has that happened the last 5 weeks?

So don't hold your breath. It will probably happen in Oakland later on. I'll be happy as hell to finally see him but I still feel the time is not right. But, we'll "see how it goes". Maybe one or two of the above conditions above can be ignored if 4) Daunte is really screwing up.

Psycho

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Calico, good points, but I beg differ about the players. It's time the raiders realize that we don't have good Wr's on this team. Porter is nothing. The sooner we jettison this guy the better. And I admire Curry, but perhaps it's time to admit he can't be the #1 guy, maybe the #3 receiver. Al's been waiting years for Curry, his late round gem, to turn into Moss or Owens. Ain't gonna happen.
We're just a conglomeration of weak parts... all coming together at the same time to showcase some really sh*&ty football.
Al got double 1 & 2 round picks for running Gruden off and the results are in... we went from a solid playoff contender to one of the worst teams in football.
Al: please fire yourself before we get humiliated further.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama, you nailed the WR issue. Keep Curry as a #2 or #3 and get a real play-maker. Drop Porter and his high $$. Russell will need it to reach his potential. What's Manning withour Harrison?

Psycho

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looking at these michael bush highlights brought one thing to my attention. he will challenge and move a defender head on, but if they nip at his legs, he goes down fairly easily. maybe im poking holes in what is meant to be the #2 back from the last draft when healthy, but maybe it's necessary.

8:39 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I guess it's my job to provide contrary views...

I expect that once we have "officially" been eliminated from the playoffs, Kiffin will open up the risk factor.

Calico is right to the degree that to succeed in the NFL you must take risk. But with a very bad team, taking risks will likely only serve to embarrass you. A good argument can be made that this team deserves to be embarrassed, but Kiffin is trying to give the team some chance to win. He feels the best way to do that is to keep the games close and never let them get out of reach.

Read that last sentence carefully. He has been successful at doing that all season with the exception of one game. Even with this "vanilla" offense, the Raiders are averaging giving up about 3 interceptions a game. Take a lot of risks, and it climbs to about 7. If you think it's bad now, it could get a whole lot worse. As much as I hate to see my team struggle, I'd hate it worse to watch its face get shoved in the dirt.

You can afford to take risks when your team has the ability to overcome the mistakes caused by the risks. Do you really think the Raiders have that ability?

9:34 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

http://www.contracostatimes.com/sports/ci_7469098

WOW!!!!!

i've (actually we've ALL) been screamin for russell. but take a look across the bay at what can happen if we throw him in there now. trouble in paradise in whiner land baby!

9:41 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blanda,

On this we may be on different sides of the fence.

While Kiffin is trying to keep it close to give us a chance to win, it isn't working.

I'm not talking about abandoning the run and going spread with five receivers, I'm just saying why develop this three inch thick playbook if you are only going to use a half inch of it.

Many of the plays I'm talking about, quick outs, slants, 10 yarders over the middle aren't exactly stretching the field.

However, they are an integral part of any two minute offense when attempting to get into a position to win.

What would be the harm in going no huddle for and entire half or quarter? That would help in the two minute offense also.

My final point is Kiffin has a plan for an offensive system. How's he going to evaluate who works best in it if he isn't willing to put the entire thing on the field?

I'm willing to be patient, but show me a little about the direction we are headed in.

H

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Showing confidence in the players is key. Right now Kiff seems to have zero confidence in our ability to score with these guys.

You can still call a conservative game while throwing in stuff here & there which demands guys to make plays. We just need to ballance it out a bit and give our guys more chances to regain that confidence, rather than just running on 1st & 2nd down every time.

Psycho

11:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Fargas up the middle!

11:04 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H:

Primarily I was addressing the subject of risky plays. As to sweeps, screens, and slants, it seems to me that we've been attempting those. Our sweeps usually result in losing a few yards (including end/arounds because of the OTs' inability to contain the DE and screen off the back side). Our outside screens don't seem to work because of the lines' lack of quickness and inability to create the "screen." Our slants don't work because either McCown holds the ball too long, McCown and/or Culpepper decide to practice bowling, or just throw the ball too low to get over the box.

It's exactly the same problem we had last year when Shell/Walsh wouldn't run plays that weren't working anyway. Last year we blamed it on Walsh, and this year we'll blame it on Kiffin. Kiffin will get fired, then we'll go through the same thing next year.

It's the old saying, "Victory has a thousand authors, failure has but one."

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Back during the Gannon days, would we have been scared of a team we were facing if their QB was Josh McCown... their tailback was Justin Fargas... and their big $$ receiver was Jerry Porter?.
Romo and Rod Woodson would have shut down that crappy "star" lineup... pretty easily. Face it Walsh and Shell were not good coaches, but this team has very little in the way of skill player talent (not to meantion we have very, very mediocre lineman on both sides of the ball).
Maybe there was a reason Jordan couldn't win the starting job from C Martin. Maybe Jerry Porter showed some potential when he had Rice & Brown on the field with him, but as the "go-to" guy he is sorely lacking.
And McCown... wow. We've been starting a guy that couldn't make it on the Cardinals or Lions.
We can question the coaches all day long and argue who picks the talent in Oakland all day, but there is only one face that's been a part of ALL of the doo-doo picks... from Schroeder to Hobert to Whitted to Brayton to McCown. Only one person that was at the scene of every talent selection made from 1987 'til now. Shell, White, Norvell... they're merely accomplices to a few of the crimes.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Blandarocked,

I'm not necessarily trying to point fingers. However, Kiffin is the one calling the plays. But I will see a pass to Miller for 12 yards over the middle. It worked. Then I might not see it again until the next game or possibly the one after that.

I've also seen Fargas run outside the tackle with success, then the next 10 runs are between the guard and tackle. And, why so many single back sets on running plays. More lead blocking.

I will admit our screens are terrible. Not sure what I'd want them to do there.

H

12:39 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7:

Schroeder & Hobert (Hostedtler and Gannon, now Russell)
Whitted (Jerry Rice and Tim Brown) Brayton (Warren Sapp & Romo)

While I don't believe that the man who's name you won't mention was responsible for either everyone you name nor everyone I name, you can do that with anyone. Tie the names of failures with the name of any owner in the NFL (even the ones with GMs), and everyone else looks just as bad, and usually worse. But everything comes to a head when you're losing.

Let's just pop this pimple and get better.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda - The good news is Kiffin is at least finding out who the "pimples" really are. It may take more than just this coming off-season, but I still feel like we're in good hands. We won't get them all popped, but I have a feeling Kiff will clean the house like no other.

Hey, does everyone think it would be retarded to pick DT Glenn Dorsey from Florida? I know it makes sense to go offense. But the way things look we'd pick right about where he would land, and it's tempting. We need to replace Sapp soon and who better than "The Next Sapp"?

I'll shut up. We need a LT, RT, or WR with the #1, I know. I guess I just like to hit people.

Psycho

4:58 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Psycho,

If there's a Glenn Dorsey that plays for Florida I don't want him. I want the one that plays for LSU.

I think in the long run he will be better than Sapp. He plays the run and the pass with equal abandon.

H

5:17 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

I would find it hard to believe a more intelligent discussion exists about any team as is here. Truly amazing.

I can rarely add more to said discussion but Kiffin used the word "built" in the context of running certain plays successfully. I thought this word was cryptic. As if he were saying, "the team is not built for that but once I am done it will be."

The special team situation is better, they have been in just about every game and the Russell era is on the horizon.

I trust this kid and am now actually looking forward to the rest of the season to see how things go.

I also read Jerry McDonald's blog and that someone asked Kiffin if he talked to AD much lately. He replied something like during the off season yeah but not much lately. He seems to be his own man up to now and I have no reason to doubt that statement. Psycho I am with you.
What was it - 67% full?

I cannot find anything to confirm but I am guessing Bush is on the
roster?

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading closely to what blanda and H have had to say about Kiffin and starting J. Russ.

I agree with both of your perspectives.

I watched Kiffin's press conference and his mid week practice interviews. And Kiffin had these things to say.

" You obvious cannot throw JaMarcus in a situation where he will fail. That's not a good confidence builder and it will ruin him, and then you have to work out the bad habits and instill new ones. He needs to have the correct supporting cast around him to win. His a winner, He came from a winning a lot of games. He's not use to losing and you don't want to do that to him."

In some ways I agree with Kiffin. But he also did not rule out not playing JaMarcus some of the time. "There will be scripted plays in which JaMarcus can do things well and that's what we'll use."

JaMarcus does not have the supporting cast he needs to be successful yet. And we all know this and are waiting to see how things unfold during the off season.

Kiffin's play calling has been simplfied cause McCown and Culpepper aren't even excuting the simple plays. How then can we expect them to handle or experiment with more advance plays. The offensive line can't hold its ground, so we can't pass or run. And our defense is letting big plays kill us during most of the games.

I believe what Blanda had wrote some posts back about that Kiffin was instructed by Al that just play this year out no matter what happens. Hence Kiffin knew after listening to Al during his interview that the team lacks talent and we need new blood. He probably saw it watching last years film of the whole team. Look at some of the pick we got and the players we picked up in the off season.

Know this, we are all hurting by what we have been allowed to see this season. Some of us what Kiffin's head, other's want Ryan's and most of us want the majority of all the player gone.

But to what end shall this team go? What will Al do with the books this year and all the dead money? Who will we draft? Al has always believed that we were 1 or 2 players from making the playoffs or the Superbowl. While I do believe that, but then we don't we sign those players, Al?

Im just hoping Russell does get a chance to play a little this year and give Kiffin the confidence his needs and Al's confidence a boost and start finding some solid ball players and play some good football.

That's my take

Mr. Duva

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not think that Glenn Dorsey makes it past the Dolphins. They badly need a run stopper (hell they even gave up 300 rushing yards to you guys!) and Dorsey would fit in nicely there. I see the top 4 draft picks being Miami, the Jets, the Raiders, and of course my Patriots!!! Thank you to San Francisco for tanking the season! Maybe we will somehow end up drafting before the Raiders and we can dangle Jake Long in front of you guys ;)

7:21 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Dangle this.
No one here gives a f*#k about YOUR cheatriots.

At some point in time, and hopefully soon, the horeshoe will fall out of YOUR, cheatriots asses, particularly that of your illegitamate child producing qb.
And I personally hope its ugly like thighsman on MNF.

Because of the kinship with YOUR cheaters my guess is that when the horseshoe falls, then out of your ass, so will the gerbils.

Get a real life kid.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

anyone hear any word on michael bush?????

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I meant Dorsey from LSU, not Florida. I must've been really drunk last night.

Psycho

7:02 AM  

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