Sunday, November 04, 2007

One Postgame Take

When I flipped out after the Chargers game four weeks ago, a lot of people thought I was overreacting. Scroll down and check for yourself.

My outrage wasn’t over the fact that we lost to the Chargers, however, but rather how we lost. I saw smoke and, in retrospect, my outrage was justified.

The next week, I saw flames against Kansas City. But some folks still thought I was being too harsh.

Then, last week against the Titans, the flames turned into a five-alarm grease fire.

Now we’re beyond that. We’re talking about one of those toxic landfill infernos that burn for months, smelling of rubber and chemicals. We just lost to Sage Rosenfels and the hapless Houston Texans at home. Again.

I am so sick of the excuses and rationalizations. My favorite is: what did you expect after last year? You know what, I expected a hell of a lot better than this, and if you say you didn’t, I think you’re lying.

It’s not just our record. It’s how we got here, so pathetically. We’re verging on a total mirror image of last year at the halfway point. Is that what you expected? Really?

Worse yet, with the AFC West being weaker than expected this year, we should be exceeding our own expectations, not underperforming them.

Coming into training camp, I don't recall our rallying cry being, "Wait 'til next year!" Do you?

I’m not going to analyze this game, because it doesn’t deserve analysis and, in fact, there’s nothing to analyze beyond what’s been said a million times. Awful protection, turnovers, weak run defense, inopportune mistakes, lack of heart, no will to win, zero home field pride, questionable everything, blah, blah, blah.

Order up a box of TNT and detonate it. Yesterday.

People are going to say that I’m whining, that I’m not “in,” and all that jazz. No, sorry, I’m totally “in,” otherwise I wouldn’t be spending my precious leisure time writing this after yet another miserable performance. I’m not whining, either. I’m guarding our stated Commitment to Excellence, that’s what I’m doing. What are you doing? Making excuses?

It sickens me to hear all of these rationalizations, as if we don’t have a legacy or standard to uphold, as if our miserable personnel situation is, and has been, beyond anyone’s control, and that just because we’ve always done something one way, that’s the way we’ll always do it, circumstances be damned, and that failure exists in a vacuum of responsibility, and that we should simply accept our fate and expect nothing of the Raiders organization, except several more years to get it right, even though we have no evidence that structural or philosophical changes are being made beyond changing coaches, which we’ve now done four times since the 2003 season.

My record for emphasizing the positive is unimpeachable, as evidenced by my sunny takes over the past 26 months. My dedication to the Raider is unwavering, as evidenced by the same. But now is a time for honesty, not excuses.

So, be honest, and help me out. Where do we go from here?

225 Comments:

Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Its down to one thing for me now. At what point do we start Russell? McCown had to run for his life on nearly every passing play, so when does the gain of experience outweigh the risk of life and limb for Russell? Because right now whoever we put out there at QB behind that O line is risking their life.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Well take, the obvious answer to your question, "where to go from here", is, up, of course.

the problem is, we keep saying it.
season, after season, week, after week, game, after game.

the disheartening thing to me is, that we keep putting the same failed players out on the field, only to see them make the same mistakes, play the same bad football, and do it all without a care in the world.

ho hum, another loss, where's the paycheck.
we desperately need players that care. you remember, a little pride & poise. it would take us a long way about now.

yet the team that coined all the famous phrases, doesn't seem to want anything to do with great football players.
either that, or they haven't a clue as to how to find'em.

and that really is the problem, isn't it?
we just cannot find enough quality football players.
each draft is worse then the last.
each free agent signing makes us cringe a little more.

i can picture them in the "disorganization" now. another off season, "we just can't find any good defensive linemen, let's bring back good ol' brayton again".
...sigh, shrug of shoulders, weep, weep....another stinker.

my theory is that al davis died several years ago.
that person we see pushing that walker is nothing but a decoy.

he is in charge, but at the same time, he is not in charge.
therefore, no one is in charge.

the players remain, because we can't find any good ones.
the coaches are replaced, because they are easy scapegoats...
...and each season bleeds into the next, all looking strangely the same.

9:34 PM  
Blogger moonshine1966 said...

I am as big of optimist when it comes to Raider football as anyone. That being said, It is time to declare this a lost season and let the kid play at QB. McNown and Culpepper are not the answer and even if we don't win another game this season, at least the kid will be better prepared for next year. We need to get rid of the Polock at kicker and use the money to upgrade the OL. We need to get rid of Jordan at RB and hope Michael Bush is the back that everyone had projected as a top 10 pick in last years draft before he got hurt. We need to let Lane Kiffen coach the team for 4 or 5 years before the rug gets pulled out from under him. The most important thing is to believe that we are going in the right direction. The last few weeks have been painful to say the least, but things are lookin a lot better then the last couple of years.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

well...... @ least the whiners lost too!

:o)

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT-
Just put on a paperbag baby! And watch the remaining games in the season, as a funny episodes of Benny Hill (i can just hear the music now and see the crazy antics on the field) and a sea of protest signs going up in the stands.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

If Kiffin gets yanked I am selling all my stuff. Make this the year we get ready, and the way the rest of the west panned out this week, we got off easy. We can still win some ballgames and end on a high note. Split the 1st half with Dr. Pepper and Joshy Josh, then get Jamarkus, the billion dolar baby, under center... with his running shoes on. My A-didas!

Jamarcus, we're ready fro you get in there and play ball kid. Just win baby.

Editor in chief, www.living-the-word-today.blogspot.com

PS, I'll never ditch my swag, just Josh-McKonwnin' yallz. ;)

12:59 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

OK, if Kiffin gets yanked, I am selling my stuff.

Jamarcus baby, you read this, so git in there! And wear your running shoes too.

With the West's pathetic performence this week, we got off easy. Let's turn the black pearl around yalls.

Editor in chief, www.living-the-word-today.blogspot.com

ps I'd never ditch my swag, just Josh McNownin' yallz!... ;)

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
RT, you have a right to be pissed. The team and the organization suck beyond belief. Blanda, please don't put a positive spin on this one.
I had hope for Kiffen and I still have some hope, but what if he really is too young and inexperienced? what if he is just a slightly better Art Shell? I just can't believe that. I Have to think we simply have too many bad, unproductive football players. The perfect storm of garbage personnel. Thanks, Al.
I watched the Colts & Pats and was amazed at how much better than us they are. Physical, tough, sound defense. A lot of big time hitting. Great audibles by the QB's. In short, everything we're not. And Moss. Damn, he had a good game. Remember what Shell The Dunce said, "The patriots are going to find out Randy has lost his legs and is not he same player" Blah Blah Blah. Shell should never work again in the nfl.
Moss was killing a tough, physical Colts defense. And everyone was mad because he left us? The dude was headed to Canton when he got to Oakland and by the time he was done wearing S&B he was thought of as finished and possibly not Canton bound. Come on, he saved his career by getting the hell out of Oakland. And think about other marquee FA's this coming offseason. How much will we have to pay a guy to come and die here? Players are taking less to play elsewhere.
And can someone tell me why the hell we even signed Rhodes? Why?
He wasn't that good, but yet we don't even play the guy (?)
We have established a culture of losing. It will be a tough hole to ever get out of.
The only way I know to get out of it is to start getting (requiring!) mean, tough, physical football players. That's it. Guys that will win on agression alone. They physically take the game from the other team by making the other team not want anymore of the fight. But, man we need SOOO much... OL, OLB, DE, SS... even WR.
And don't tell me the defense is fine. We suck year in and year out on run defense becuase we don't have enough physical players on our front seven and SS.
Someone on the last blog asked me who I thought we could pick up... I'm no scout. All I know to do is get guys that HAVE SHOWN TOUGH, PHYSICAL PRODUCTION either on the pro level or, if in the draft, TOUGH PRODUCTION while in college. Limit severly the "potential player" selections.
Get guys that have shown it, not those that might one day show it.
We may end up with the 1st pick in th draft again and while it may be expensive, Darren McFadden will be the best runner in the NFL in a few years... no doubt about that. If we had a guy like that I bet we'd be at least 8-8 every year with him alone... he's a hell of a running back. An unbelievable talent.

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only "head" I'm calling for right now is Rob Ryan's. He stinks. I can't take the over-pursuit on the run plays, the fact we hardly ever blitz on 3rd down (see that 3rd an 18 yesterday?) and the fact he never adjusts his defense to play against a team's strength.The mirage that last years defense was so good is all commig to a head now. Teams do whatever they want against us (especially on 3rd down and in the 4th qtr----where games are decided). Ryan should be toast.

RaiderMike

4:37 AM  
Anonymous Holy Roller said...

Since the Raiders are playing like last year then I'm going to watch like last year; total numbness. It's better than snapping at my family for the rest of the evening like I did after the Chefs game. I agree with anon, turn the volume down and cue the Benny Hill music!

5:27 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Any single game aside, there are subtle improvements from last year, so I’m not ready to sink into that cavern of despair again.

This year, we’ve seen the shootgun, the screen pass, the 3-step drop, the no huddle offense (barely), the occasional trick play (including a sweet onside kick). We’ve heard talk about the coaches coaching the coaches as well as the players. We heard “fit the system to match the players,” instead of forcing the players into a system they are guaranteed to fail.

Conversely, in some ways Kiffin is no different than Shell. He is trying to get his players to execute the most basic of plays which lead to more complex schemes, albeit, basic plays to Shell are by far more archaic. O-linemen have to have enough discipline to NOT false start. Something even Bill Callahan tried to convey.

Kiffin seems to work hard, and learn week to week. Yet, implementing any kind of plan will require talent, something we clearly lack. Whether it’s Al Davis’ senility, the lack of a GM, or just years of neglect, we are in a hole that Lane Kiffin or any other coach can’t fix in one year.

We need to stay the course and make changes on the fly... basically, because that’s all we can do. Last week Kiffin waived Mike Williams and signed Tim Dwight, who caught a TD in his first game as a Raider and without a full week of practice.

This week, waive LaMont Jordan and activate Michael Bush. I don’t know about you guys, but that would impress the hell out of me.

Russell should not start, but should be given serious consideration to enter any game (winning or losing) in which the right protection is being provided. To do that, he’ll need to be elevated to the #2 QB. Meanwhile, I could care less who is #1, they both suck. Hell, put Walter in there. If he can stay on his feet, we’ll know Russell can clean up.

We have 8 games left. We need to use those 8 games to find the direction we will need to start next year on the right track. Case and point: The Lions started slow, but finished last year with a little bang at the end. They are 6-2, and put a hurting on Denver we can only dream about.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous H said...

I'm with you on this one. I said for three games prior to Sunday I wasn't happy with Kiffin's performance. Sunday was no exception. Yes, McCowan can run, so make him a receiver, we could use the help there. That's where Detroit felt he was better served.

We ran for 153 yards. I'll take that any week. Hell, even Schweigert had an interception.

We do not crowd the line on defense. We don't even fake it. We seem to rely solely on the front four to stop the run and pressure the quarterback. There were so few blitzes yesterday I don't recall even one. Please let me know if I missed one.

What we need is 11 guys on offense with Fargas' attitude and determination. He runs and fights for every yard. He gets the most from his talent. He's not the best running back in the NFL by a long shot. But, he gives you everything he's got on every play.

I keep saying the tight ends. Well Miller only had one catch. He was thrown to on another occasion, but McCowan did a good job of trying to complete it to his feet.

On a day when we had a chance to pick up a game on every team in the division, we blow it.

I mentioned the curse might be over. Well Nebraska didn't let Callahan go yet. I figure as long as he is a head coach at at Division 1 school he was sending bad karma to the Raiders.

Sacks are down, running is up. Come on Kiffin, start playing to win instead of playing to not loose.

Blanda, you and I think a lot alike, but even you have to be let down tremendously about this one.

H

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, I think we all owe Art Shell and Tom Walsh an apology for all the bashing we did against them. Obviously the problem goes much deeper than those two.

I'm not an NFL exec, but this is what I think: Kiffen, to suceed, needs to be surrounded by top-quality staff. Money needs to be spent on coordinators and talent evaluators. Bring in talented players, and then pay good coaches to develop that talent.

A few weeks ago I thought we should start Russel. Now I'm not so sure. Why set him up for failure? He'd have no support. I hope Kiffen and Cable now see that there is no hope for the current Raider O-line and a major overhall is in order. Change the O-line, find some decent WRs, and start Russel next year.

As for the defense, I'm not convince Ryan is the man. I think RT nailed it last week when he asked why the Raiders have not focused on stopping the run when we are in a division of such great runners. There is just no excuse.

Bottom line: Davis needs to open his wallet a little wider and spend more money on coaching and support staff.

JF

5:52 AM  
Blogger howieandlyle said...

I live in the UK so i have to listen to KSFO as Sky TV rarely shows the Raiders (which is understandable at the moment).

I've followed the silver & black (from afar) since the early 80's and the last 4 years have been depressing. I have a large proportion of optimism every August that has quickly gone by early October.

This season I was 'in' from the appointment. Young head coach, aggressive, ballsy, good coaching appointments & seemed to be given his head by Al.

The problem with being young & inexperienced is being young & inexperienced and the mistakes Kiffin is making could make him a good coach in the future as long as he learns from them.

However there comes a time when he must realise that unless the teams shows signs of turning the corner & quickly then he may not be hear next year. I don't think Al Davis will want another 2-14 year & a top three draft pick (at lest the 'fins are worse).

Kiffin has got to start Russell soon & at least give him some experience. Yeah he may fumble the ball, he may throw interceptions, he may get sacked, but we get that already!! He may complete some third downs, he may force some defensive coordinators to think about his arm strength, he may score a touchdown in the first quarter. Lane Kiffins learning the job & Russell may allow him to keep it.

Try Bush in tandem with Fargas & utilise Rhodes or why did we sign him?

Give Ryan a kick & tell him its not a federal crime to blitz every once in a while.

Then in January utilise the free agent market for some
o-linemen & a defensive tackle who can stop the run, or if the quality is not available then TRADE for some. In the draft we need a couple of wide receivers & a SAM backer & possible another d/end. Why draft one then cut him & keep Brayton?

After camp, more free agency its August 2008 & i'm feeling optimistic again & I'm actually planning a trip to see the Raiders next year. I just hope my annual optimism is justified.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

offensively, we need to play rhodes more at running back. we need to tnt the o-line, and see what j-russ has at qb.
defensively, we need to stack 8, and play a read-n-react defense, with the corners playing man; and zone blitzing on passing plays.
the whole line that is buggin me rt, is "at least we're playing competitive." really? we are? wow! and this whole time i thought we were shooting ourselves in the foot, and losing.
i was hoping we could have turned it around this year big time. i was excited to see what we had, but man, i'm pulling for just another win.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You called it RT. I tried to stick with my cautious optimism as long as I could, without ignoring the problems. But you were totally justified.

Where do we go from here? We cut every single player who 'gives up' through the course of the next 8 games. It's evaluation time, this year is done, stick a fork in it. The only silver lining now is our guys will show their true colors, making it somewhat easier to fix. And whoever does not stay on the Kiff bandwagon, gone. This team has lacked a vital sense of team unity and togetherness for far too long. Lots of good guys here who I feel for, but not enough of them to go around. Some of them wander off into their own little dark corner and just 'give up'. You can't win with only 20 or 30 guys, you need 53.

"When I approached Jordan after the game, he threw a bag over his shoulder and while briskly walking past, said tersely, "Any question you got for me Kiff has to answer."

No doubt, Jordan is bitter over not getting the start. True colors shown. No team-first mentality. All of that BS was wool over our eyes if this is how he feels. This is a locker room distraction which takes the focus off of beating the Bears next week. Jordan, if I'm the coach, you take those 2.0 ypc and shove them up your ass. Gone!

Big props to Fargas, Curry, Kirk, Jay Richardson, Nnamdi (get well), Sapp, and whoever else is still with us to the last whistle.

Psycho

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Freak

"Where do we go from here"

It is time to clean house. I am tired of seeing Stu missing tackles at the line, then making tackles 30 yards downfield. I am tired of seeing Sims false start issues for the last 5 years. I am tired of seeing Jano make field goal he should make inside of 40 yards and just barely miss everything outside of that. All kickers in the NFL can do that. I am tired of seeing a QB with no expression on his face after he throws another pick. I am tired of trying to make high picks look like they have a future when obviously they don't. (Gallery falls into this category.) I am tired of seeing receivers that go for the ball only when they want. (Porter is in this class and can this guy outrun anyone) I am tired of seeing us get gutted like a fish on the run game. We need to save the money and cut Sands and get back what we can. We need to clean house. Get rid of the players who play just to get paid. It is simple. We have a few guys with heart. Football players. Not just athletes or projects but actual players. It is a short list but we have to clean house and get rid of the stupid, heartless, weak players and start from scratch. We keep trying a half ass rebuilding project. It is time to demolish the building and start from the ground up. This is the list I would want to keep. All others can clear out their lockers after a trade or just cut them to make room for salary for real players.

Sapp, Tommy Kelly, Burgess, Richardson, Warren. We have to go get a run stuffer. I don't care what it costs. High draft pick, 40 mil in free agency, fix this 4 year problem. Everyone else, clear out. Brayton should have been gone years ago, good motor not enought talent. Sands gone.

Howard and Morrison are the biggest keepers on the team but we also need a hitter. Someone who loves to crush people to go with them. No more 2nd string guys starting beside them. Danny Clark looked alright yesterday. Glad we got rid of him huh? Stu gone. Washington gone. Huff gets 1 more year and that is it. Routt looks like he can be very very good. The other corner better be signed and set for the next 5-10 years. If we let him get away......All other backups that play like 3rd stringers are gone and replaced with guys that want to compete for starting spots.

On Offense the line is done. Sims is gone. Gallery, had it. Newberry stays but we have to get someone set to step in after next year, he can't last more than another year. On the right side maybe 1 of the 2 still have their job next year but someone better be signed or drafted to beat them out. Russell will start obviously. Receivers, Curry that is it. He is the possesion receiver next year. We go get a number 1 that can actually take it to the house.....not half way there and get run down. Higgins may get better but we can't count on him being more than a 3 or 4. Miller is the tight end but we stop putting him 1 on 1 with D ends. Who does that. We always have him blocking a pure pass rusher by himself. That is a disaster for anyone. Fullback is set. Fargas deserves to play, he works for every hard and loves to hit people. The Jordan project is done. Rhoades goes with him, he can't even make the field. We see what Henderson can do on the line and the rest of the under performing lineman......Grove is included are gone. Get rid of the guys who are willing to accept losing and lets get something started. Either you play to win with heart or you are gone. The whole smile and laugh while you shake their hands after the game crap is done. Accepting it is done. Either leave everything out there and live this game or move onto a team that needs a good scout team player.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When [not if] Kiffin finally gets the ax from Coach Al Davis, where does he go from here? Become a DC or OC or scout for another NFL team? What a long downhill future for a foolish young man willing to accept the responsibility of shepherding Al Davis' gang of underachievers, misfits and track stars!!

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Raidermike, were you among those who were in favor of ROB RYAN as the Head Coach!? Be careful of what you wish for; you may realize your wish and regret it!

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the lack of blitzing by the Raiders' defense, I've read of rumors that Head Coach Al Davis does not believe in blitzing. And Owner Al Davis so decreed to his underlings!!

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most glaring thing is our OTs. Sims is a walking piece of sh*t, and if you read his comments he actually admits it! If our OTs can block, Miller is free to catch the ball and give our QB a much higher level of confidence. When in doubt, look to Miller or a RB, it's simple. Right now we have max protect just to maintain. Our O would be so much better if we could rely on our Tackles.

Kiff has addressed this and basically said we don't have an alternative yet. This will be #1 on the list, at ALL costs. Sims is done, and hopefully we can get a RT too. I'm just repeating what has been said time & time again, but it's worth mentioning again, and again, and again. If blanda were in here he'd say it by now. I hope he didn't hang himself.

Psycho

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dedicated? ...maybe
"in"? ...maybe not with the current incarnation
bored? ...too boring to even care anymore

8:10 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I haven't read the posts yet. I'll look at them later in the day. RT, I don't see anybody making excuses, because there simply are none. I didn't see the game, and I only caught part of it on the radio, but my reaction is this:

There is no excuse or reason for Barry Sims to be an Oakland Raider. Nine false starts in eight games! Sims is costing this offense about 25 yards a game all on his very own. We need a left tackle who is on OUR SIDE!

Every time the Raiders show any possibility of coming back in a game by scoring a TD, the defense will immediately drop into bad habits, abandon their zones, and give up a TD within five plays, to keep the opponent's foot on our necks. If this happens one more time this season, Rob Ryan should be fired.

Welcome aboard Tim Dwight. It's nice to have a member of the NFL on the team. Keep some distance from the rest of the team though, because we don't want them teaching you bad habits. They won't learn from you.

Next, I don't know that I'm on the cusp of calling for Russell. "Mr. Protect the Football" McCown seems to love to get himself off the field by handing the ball to the other team. Culpepper is stiff and uninspired. But if we put Russell in, who will protect him from Barry Sims?

8:52 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

i taped the patriot and colt game. first of all, randy moss is a thief and a f-ing punk for those 2 years he spent with us. these are 2 teams everyone in the league models themselves after.

jordan - we know what he's about. basically a dancing machine. did anyone see joseph addai????? this is one guy who gets it. he has vision, power, speed. all the tools that make a successful running back (also helps to have an o-line that can block though) but still, these are teams that when they lose a player or 2, they plug in players like addai, like gonzalez or even the patriots picking up welker (and moss) that just keep on keepin' on baby.

this is our problem folks. we are LOSERS. and until kiffin gets rid of the LOSERS on this team and gets in HIS guys, we will CONTINUE to be LOSERS. errr, correction.... make that REBUILDING LOSERS.

so we can stay positive all we want. it'll all be the same result until we clean house.

8:59 AM  
Blogger PD said...

It's sad that it's come to this, but I think I'm cursing the Raiders. I moved here in 2003 and 2 months later, Gannon goes down. Prior to moving here, the Raiders were one of the best teams in the league.

Well, I'm moving back to Ireland on Feb 1st 2008. I can only pray that once my accursed flesh is off american soil that my Raiders will finally start performing again.

:-)

9:12 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

if kiffin doesn't want to start russell, if he feels he's not ready, hey i have an idea!!!!!

why not deactivate mcclown or culpepper and start walter? he'd be a "fresh face" and is more mobile than culpepper and is a hell of a lot more accurate than mmclown. i know you walter haters do ya have a better idea?

what else do we have to lose? more games? because of walter? we've lost 6 already because of the 2 options we used so far. and since those 2 aren't gonna be here next year, why not let walter play now so he'd be a valuable backup to russell if/when he is ready? why even think about releasing walter when bush is activated? for this very reason boys and girls! walter studied and practiced hard during the mini-camps and pre-season. at this point, it wouldn't hurt us one iota.

makes too much sense to me!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "fire" started a long time ago, when Al Davis struck a match to the house that Gruden built.

Not only did we lose one of the best coaches in the league, but also one of the greatest talent evaluators in Bruce Allen. Allen knew Davis was making a life-altering mistake when he showed Gruden the door, and therefore followed him to Tampa Bay.

From the top to the bottom the Raiders have been directionless ever since, handing the keys to the castle to inept coaches who fell for Davis' "re-loading" rather than re-building theory.

I'm not here to bash Al Davis, but if a company performs poorly year in and year out, who do you point the finger at? I think if Kiffin is given enough time, and allowed to rebuild this team around young players like Russell, we'll get better.

9:29 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Most of what folks perceive as over optimism on my part is just my recognition that this organization, over the long haul, has operated as well as any franchise and better than most. It has delivered championships and dynasties, and until now it usually had no problem restructuring the team under the right coach.

Added to that is that fan demands for organizational restructuring will go unheard just as they do with every other NFL team.

That said, I'll go back to what I identified as the number one problem last year. Four coaches have been unable to find ANY success with this team. The culture of losing is so ingrained that selected personnel changes will have little or no effect.

I would only protect two players from our entire roster of starters, and those are Fargas and Nnamdi Asomugah. Fargas because he's will to make the effort, and Nnamdi because you cannot overlook is great talent. Every other starter should be put on the blocks and replaced with somebody who plays hard and hasn't been poisoned by the culture on this team.

There were rumors that Kiffin was doing this prior to the start of the season. If so, he should continue to do it, only work harder at it. I have no faith in Walter because Walter was, and is, a part of that culture of excuses.

Four coaches have been unable to inspire this team. Do we now go through several organizational restructures with these incompetent losers drawing NFL salaries?

My stand, at this point, is this: Wholesale changes MUST be made to this roster well before training camp in 2008. If the organization, as a body, and I'm talking ownership and coaches, can not replace this joke with something far improved heading into 2008, fans should simply refuse to go to the games.

This, in itself, creates problems, because if the stands are empty, the team doesn't make enough bonus money to sign quality free agents. But as things stand right now, I'd rather have a bunch of kids fresh out of college who are inspired by their opportunity than this band of self-involved bush leaguers we have right now.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'm with you on that, BlandaRocked, although I think there are a few more keepers on defense.

I also believe we need serious help in evaluating the talent necessary to replace the current roster. It's too much to ask of Kiffin to keep the locker room together, manage practices and camps, and develop game plans--and also closely monitor the college ranks and NFL. This is why nearly every NFL team employs this radical concept known as a GM.

We always think we're outsmarting the NFL with guys like Jordan, Culpepper, Mike Williams, etc., only to find out there's a good reason why no one else would make them starters. Aaron Brooks was our big pickup last year, a castoff from the Saints who now can't even find a job in a QB-starved NFL.

We used to find diamonds in the rough like Gannon. Now all we seem to find is dog crap in our Christmas stockings.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should start a petition, get as many fans as we can to sign it. Vowing to not attend any 2008 games unless our demands are met.

1) GM?
2) Lock up Nnamdi?
3) Release so & so? Too long a list, I know.

Or maybe just the GM thing or an upgrade to the personnel dept. Didn't we lose a key guy last year in scouting? Sean something (Jones)?

Psycho

10:39 AM  
Anonymous H said...

I agree with pretty much everything so far. But, I would add this.

If Mario Henderson is remotely ready, he starts in place of Simms. Maybe with his young legs he would be quick enough to not need the "false start" step Simms seems to need. He has false started more than any lineman in the league, by a large margin.

Further, Kiffin will finally win me over when he starts playing to win and not playing to not loose.

H

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H - That would be nice. But Kiff thinks Mario is not ready, and believe it or not, is still a step down from Sims. He hasn't even activated Mario for a game yet. We're simply 'stuck' at this point.

Psycho

11:10 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I'd agree with you with the exception that the personell on this team cannont handle anything but trying not to get beat too badly. It is becoming more apparent by the day that their problems last year weren't caused by a lack of coaching, but the team's complete inability to handle even the most rudimentary of assignments. If you can't even keep yourself from false starting, you can't handle a complex play assignment. If you can't even manage to protect your zone on defense, you can't discipline yourself to play agreesive defenses (i.e., I'm afraid that if we actually got a sack, we'd also wind up with a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty).

You see I believe Kiffin is the type of coach that will put his players in the best position to win. That being done, we're 2 - 6.

I'll openly say this to every starter for the Raiders with exception of Fargas and Nnamdi, as stated before: Get your ass of my team. You don't belong here.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT:

In regards to finding diamonds in the rough, well Garcia would have been a great addition to this list of diamonds, now people are saying that grudden is this and that, I am sorry but thanks to Garcia his job is going to be spared another year!

What can we say about Garcia not signing for us, I don't know I wished he would have, I am sure that we would be in a better cituation right now and Kiffin would look like a super coach.

raiderdecoachella

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're generally not a smart team. Maybe Callahan was right.

How many plays per game do you think our D diagnoses pre-snap? You almost never see a guy fly to where the ball is going. We always react and over-shoot once we finally figure it out.

How many times have we audibled out of a bad offensive play?

Absolutely no on-the-fly thinking outside of the box. The coaching & play-calling seems to be dumbed-down to their level of comprehension as a group. We have smart guys who are being help back by the rest.

Psycho

11:28 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Garcia - We tried to sign Garcia, but he liked his chances of being a long term starter with Bucks over the Raiders. The only way we'd have Garcia is if we didn't sign Russell. In that case, Garcia would be a rapidly aging starter who we'd have to replace again after a year or two with no prospects.

At this point it no longer benefits us to look back. We can only look at what we have, identify it as next to nothing, and build from there. It profits us far more to do that than to revisit one to five year old choices that didn't work and complain about them now.

Where are we now? Kiffin has been handed a bunch of armature athletes and asked to build an NFL powerhouse. How will he do it? What will be his next step?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blandarocked,

If you play to win, you find out who can handle the pressure. Who's not afraid to make a mistake. You find out who's willing to put it all on the line every play.

McCowan reminds me of a guy who's afraid to make a mistake. Several times he waited until the receiver was looking at him before he threw. He needs to trust his receivers and let it go.

I stated before, my biggest worry about him is interceptions. He tries so hard to not do it he winds up tight and making bad throws.

Plus, I'd rather see my team go down in a blaze of glory than play like a bunch of pansies.

H

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key to all of this will be to stick with Kiffin through the tough times. Let him develop the stability we need. Hell, it may take 5 years to completely turn it around, who knows.

Al must remain committed to him. And whoever on the roster doesn't like it can take a walk. I'm through with starting over and confusing what few guys we do have.

Where would the 9ers be if they'd given up on Walsh after 2 or 3 bad years? Zero Super Bowls. Just jack ass after jack ass trying to 'fix' it. No, we need to do things ONE way for a long time, until we get it right.

Psycho

12:49 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blandarocked- why leave Morrison and Howard off your short list of keepers? These guys are young and very coachable... not to mention the heart of the D. And, I think you have to keep Lechler. Dude is the all-time NFL leader, and still going strong. I know there are SO MANY holes, but I see more than two players as untouchable, albeit it's a short list.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda - you are repeating what i've been saying all along. every player on this team is a LOSER (except those guys) and until kiffin gets HIS type of player in here to run HIS offense and be team players, we will continue to be LOSERS!

GARCIA? why worry about that guy if he's not on this team? who IS on this team is freakin WALTER!

play walter and let's see what happens!

come on guys! you know i'm right. russell's not ready as kiff stated many times so let's start a petition to start walter. let's get the chant going - walter, walter, walter.....walter haters get in here, heartland where are you? walter, walter, walter....

oh this is fun!

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda!

I agree with you in regards to Garcia but mine was more of a statement, we don't have a "franchise qb", the only one that was available last year was him and in order for us to had gotten him it would have been to much money for us, the comment was made in regards to Gannon and the problem is that the Gannon's and the Garcia's don't come around that often.

I know that we need a whole new OL but to me a bigger need is a consistant qb, one that can lead and be in sync with his players, I am sorry but without the qb as your leader the options are limited, look at sd, den and kc the real reason they are struggling is their qb's poor leadership.

raiderdecoachell

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think McCown and Culpepper will be gone at the end of the year. Walter may stick around with JRuss. We will look at bringing in another vet for sure this off season.

I predict Russell will be in there with 3 or 4 games left at the end of the season.

My reasoning is simple.

1. Al says so.

2. Kiffin, though does not want to push him or destory any confidence the kid has(watch Kiffin's press conference on Raiders.com and he addresses Russell not being use to losing, timing, etc.) But Kiffin and his staff need to see where they stand in the coming season.

3. If we lose the next two, our season is done. Im happy with 5-11 or 6-10 for our first year under Kiffin.

4. And if JRuss is put in and he wins only one game, Kiffin & Knapp have something to work with.

5. Al will have the final say. You know he watches tapes of Russell even if he's not able to make practices like he use to. He will determine when it's time. Kiffin will make his point as well. And look for Al to find new blood with Kiff's advise this off season.

Watching Kiff at the post game conference, I can tell he is just as pissed as we are.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of these players on this team are scrubs. How can they hold their head up after these last few down falls. If the same players making the same mistakes game after game try using somone else. I BET YOU THE NEXT GUY IN LINE IS MORE THAN WILLING TO TRY AND GIVE HIS ALL! The Defense still played well enough to win the game. Lets face it the offensive line sucks. The Quarterback sucks. Lets start there. Kiffen! Try mixing thing up a little...... FIRE SIMS NOW. MAKE AN EXAMPLE......like you did with Williams........

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other thing too, we need play makers real bad on this team.

Look for the following-

Warren Sapp, McCown, C-pepper, B.Sims, Gallery, Stu, Washingtion, Porter, Jordan, just to name a few will be gone by next season.

Huff will be moved to corner.

Rob Ryan, its going anywhere. That's all Al there. You can't touch him.

New GM wouldn't hurt either.

Al and Kiffin will look at DT, OT, WR's, Secondary. this next year. Bank on it.

Kiffin's job is secure too. His not going anywhere. Al will make sure of that. He signed a 3 year contract with 2/1 year options.

But I maybe wrong here men. What do you guys think. Will Davis give him enough time.

I can't stand losing right now just like all of you.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These players get a "pass" in my book:

Russell, Fargas, Bush, Miller, Curry, Lechler, Nnamdi, Sapp (if he wants), Kelly, Richardson, Howard, Morrison, Sims.

Just kidding on that last one, haha. 12 out of 53 is horrible, and some of them only get a pass based on potential. If anyone disagrees on Richardson, look at the tape from Sunday.

Psycho

1:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Re QBs:

Reading the articles today, Kiffin says that when they were down 14 - 0 he thought about bringing in Russell. While he says Russell isn't ready, we have to understand what he means by that. What he means is that Russell isn't ready, at this point in his career, to be able to handle being humiliated by a supporting cast of losers. He essentially says what I said earlier. If he brings Russell in, who will protect him from Sims and Green? One time getting scissored by charging DEs and there goes the franchise QB.

I wonder what Sims and Green think when they realize that McCown and Culpepper are essentially there to take the beating for JaMarcus because we currently have no other option. Are they ashamed of themselves, or do they think, "Man, talk about job security!"

As for Walter... What would it hurt? Probably nothing. Would things improve? Probably not. But Walter will likely get his time in anyway, as soon as McCown and Culpepper are too bloodied to stand upright.

So, Sims, Green, meet Josh and Daunte. Shake their hands. You two are destroying their careers as well as your own.

And, yes, I was wrong to leave Lechler off my list of keepers. Possibly Jano as well, because it appears to me he's fine as long he's just allowed to kick the damn thing instead of doing tricks with it.

I was not wrong in leaving off Howard and Morrison. Both of these guys are freely leaving their zones to "freelance" making plays. They're gone too.

1:47 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

I think I'm going to try and catch more of College Football Now on NFL Network. They look at college players that could make the next step to the NFL. Mike Mayock is on it, and I've found him to be a darn good evaluator of talent.

As for things the Raiders could do, cleaning house on the front office side would seem to be as good a place to start as any. They're the ones who selected those players to wear the Silver & Black, so its about time they were held accountable. I would try to pry some of the scouts from the Ravens staff. They managed to nab Jonathan Ogden, Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Ed Reed, Todd Heap, Jamal Lewis, Adalius Thomas, Haloti Ngota, Brandon Stokley, Chester Taylor, Terrell Suggs, etc. They even found Derek Anderson who is lighting things up(and keeping Brady Quinn on the bench) in the 6th round of the 2005 draft.

As for DC, that will take a lot more doing, but it seems more obvious each week that last year was more mirage than reality. But hey, Mike Tomlin was DC in Minnesota before he became HC of the Steelers, and look what the Vikings D did to LT yesterday. We just have to keep our eyes open and be willing to do things differently.

As for speedy receivers I'd look at the Florida schools, they seem to produce some good ones every year. I wished last draft we could have somehow drafted Dwayne Bowe because he played with Russell at LSU, and look at him now. And he's doing it with Damon Huard throwing him the ball.

I think we'd all be better served if we take a step back from our love of this team, because right now I'll bet several of us have elevated blood pressure from watching them play. I'm going to try watching with more of a clinical eye rather than a rabid fan. We need to see just who brings their best to the game each week, and who is going through the motions. From there we start the process of cutting the deadwood and nurturing the saplings.

Look for who we could trade(I know, the talent pool is rather shallow) but we need a lot and we can't get it all through the draft. Depending on where we end up this season(I don't see us getting the number one next year, at least I hope.) unless there is somebody that just lights it up talent wise, that would be the time to trade down and load up on picks. Get as many as we can, but MAKE THOSE PICKS COUNT. NO MORE 3RD ROUNDERS THAT GET CUT BEFORE THE SEASON EVEN STARTS. I think that is our best bet to change this culture of losing. Get a bunch of young guys that are hungry to play and mold them into a team. IF DETROIT WITH MATT MILLEN CAN BE 6-2 HALFWAY THROUGH THE SEASON THEN THERE IS HOPE FOR US.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous LK said...

We need a GM--others have made this point but we just have too many holes at key positions:
QB--here we have an answer but he's not yet on the field
OL--sims and gallery need to go but obviously their backups aren't better or they'd be playing so we're stuck with what we have for 2007
RB--we have some hope here but have to make some off season moves [to jettison some guys]
WR/TE--not horrible wih a good QB and OL in place
DL--is killing us--we need six, we have two [sapp,burgess] I'm not sold on sands
LB--need one [Sam]
DB--Nnamdi,Routt, Washington, Huff can stay.

Rob's on the hot seat if Warren comes back and we still get run on

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, Burgess gets a pass.
Psycho

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are the keepers in our team

#21 Asomugha
#56 Burgess
#89 Curry
#17 Dwight(need to see how he does)
#25 Fargas for his heart
#36 Griffith
#53 Howard
#24 Huff
#9 Lechler
#85 Madsen
#80 Miller (R)
#52 Morrison
#98 Richardson
#26 Routt
#2 Russell (R)
#61 Warren
#29 Bush (R)
#93 Kelly

The rest and that includes my favorite player Sapp, Washington, all 3 qb's including Walter, all OL, Schawert, have to go.

raiderdecoachella

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I forgot Griffith, I'm up to 14 players. Plus maybe Jano passes but he's so streaky -Psycho

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I didn't think the o-line looked that bad yesterday, McCown had plenty of time on many plays and then stared at his primary receiver so long they might have just as well hung a neon flashing light on him that reads "McCown is going to try and pass to me". Our o-line blocked well enough to give us 150 yards rushing (which led to the play actions working) which led to McCown throwing interceptions. The problem on offense is QUARTERBACK.

This can be fixed to some degree by putting our $35 million dollar man under snap, and let him start lighting it up (or at least try).

The defense can be fixed quite simply really. FIRE SOB. Problem solved. There is no defense in the NFL that can succeed by not blitzing nor EVEN BOTHERING TO DISGUISE THE COVERAGE. Most DC's would try and beat a crappy inexperienced QB by applying as much pressure as possible from the very first snap so he doesn't get into a rhythm... and he sees a different coverage every down. Not SOB.

This team isn't really that far from being decent. A decent QB and a different DC.

[shrug] This team isn't really that bad. Bad would be losing by 30 some points to Detroit or something. I dunno. We're still in every game, we just don't have the right generals to win any battles yet. Just drink a beer folks. This is some of the worst posts I have seen on this blog... sorry. Especially RT. You sound like Bama7 now. Wonderful.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
We need to give McQuistan and Henderson shots at LT because that's their natural positions. McQuistan was a 4 yr starter there in college. I doubt they are the answer at LT, but we need use the remaining games as tryouts for them just in case weget lucky and then wouldn't have the need in offseason. What do we have to lose at this point? We know McQuistan isn't good at guard or RT. And who really cares if McQuistan or henderson are worse than Simms... it's not like we're going to the playoffs. For once let's see a player in their natural position.
Our losing is 99% Al. Trust me as to that. He simply has to step aside and let someone else find our talent or we will continue to be the worst team in the league. Al is out and out awful and no longer able to evaluate quality nfl talent. Can they take someone's HOF award away if he ends up sucking for longer than he was good?

3:27 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Speak of the devil!

Bama7, you and I are never going to agree on Al Davis. I'm way over here on the opposite pole. I think the problem is that Al has considerably decreased his involvement with the team on the field, and has since all the litigation began back in the early 1980s. He picked up his involvement a bit at Gruden's beginning, and we got better. But once Gruden got the team back in the playoffs, Al backed off again.

He left Calahan alone - disaster! He left Turner alone - disaster!
He left Shell alone - disaster!
Then he started getting re involved again as Kiffin came in, but once showing Kiff where all the restrooms were, and the key, he went hibernating again.

And this is where I think RT and others might have a point regarding an established GM. Too much has to be funnelled through Al, who has less and less energy to stay ahead of it. I still don't question Al's competence, but I'm beginning to question whether his age and time constraints are keeping him from doing the things he refuses to hire others to do.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary- You right on the money as usual.



RaiderMike

4:10 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My short-term wish is to see Kiffin dump Jordan and activate Bush. Before, I felt we needed to IR Bush and bring him in next year, but I don't know how many more times I can stomach watching Jordan run for negative yards.

The fact that Fargas (a backup) gains positive yards 99% of the time, leads me to this easy conclusion.

McCown is way over his head as a starter in the NFL. Culpepper is streaky, but by far the better choice.

Russell has to be on the sideline thinking he can do better. I don't think his ego is easily bruised. We need a spark, so maybe sooner is better than later in terms of bringing him in. I have mixed feelings about this.

Play Walter. I'm ok with that. The guy played eight games last year under worse circumstances. Let's see if he can be a quality backup for Russell.

Blanda- as for Morrison and Howard, these guys are young and coachable. They get a little aggressive sometimes, but that's probably because the D feels they need to make a play because our offense can't.

There was one notable play where Rosenfel bootlegged and was running for a first down... Morrison stayed in his zone and popped Rosenfel before the 1st down marker (leaving him with blood on his nose). Of course, we gave up a big gain the next play.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

What to do? Not blame Kiffin I think.
He saw enough of Culpepper went with McCown in the hopes of a better performance than his first two starts. With that I would think that Russell has got to play soon. Short term-
I like the fact that he played Fargas, O'Neal and some other new guys. Went out and got Dwight....
Blanda says clean house but you can't go out and get a new team. I hope they can win a few games down the stretch get Russell in and hope he is the real deal and try to attract some free agents etc. (Remember Edgerrin James signed with AZ so anything is possible.)

Ryan has a one year deal if I rememebr correctly. Hopefully Kiffin dumps him and brings his own guy in.
What I don't know is the relationship between SOB and Kiffin. I know that Kiffin talks to his dad weekly. Monte must tell him hey you guys need to blitz more or whatever. What happens then? Does Kiffin tell Ryan this or does he let him do his own thing on that side of the ball. The results are ultimately on Kiffin so you would think he says something. There is no press indication that there is bad blood between the two. Maybe Calico's guy knows something.
Long term-
What bothers me is this years draft and how many guys did not pan out. Is that on Kiffin or Al. We all take a guess but again who knows?
I do agree with RT that the GM situation needs addressing. Kiffin needs a right hand man that thinks like him, i.e., Allen/Gruden. Things just seemed to go much smoother then. Gary-nice post!

5:35 PM  
Anonymous ZXQ said...

I think there are a number of problems with this team, but I don't believe that a total overhaul is necessary to be competitive. Kiffin is a good organizational coach, but a poor game-day coach. McCown is quite simply a bad passer, who makes bad decisions too frequently. He is not a pro caliber player. Maybe he's a third stringer at best. To continue to play McCown is insane. He has never shown any talent throughout the entirety of a game. He has made some plays here and there, but he can't lead a team from start to finish with quality play.
We need a solid left tackle, a solid defensive tackle, and a safety who will hit. Oh, of course we need a new quarterback as well. Personally, I think Walter should be given a chance since the worst he could do is play poorly and lose, and we're already doing that with our "A" list. Then start to ease Jam Russ into the lineup.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

All this talk about blowing up the entire team besides a few players is comical.

I agree with the majority of you that there are many, many holes to fill. However to think that you can just whack off 40 some players is ridiculous. Where are 40 upgrades going to come from?

If you are busy in free agency, you might pick up 4 to 5 players. If you have an awesome draft, you might snag 8 or so players that make the roster. That is 12 some odd players. Where are you going to find the other 30?

To rebuild the team from the ground up will require multiple seasons. It simply cannot be done overnight. A 40% turnover of the roster is a major turnover and that would be 20 players.

When rebuilding a team, the smart move is to build from the inside, out. Take care of the trenches first (OL,DL). That is the foundation of any successful team.

If you are wondering why the Raiders are struggling so bad, just look at the OL & DL. The OL is a comedy of errors...penalties, poor pass protection. The DL can't stop the run. We have given up 100+ yards to the feature back of our last 5 opponents. We are giving up 152.5 yards per game on the ground at a 5.1 ypc clip.

The Texans were the #30 ranked team in the NFL going into the game in terms of rushing the ball and they racked up 178 yards on us with Dayne getting nearly six yards a pop (21 carries, 122 yards).

Whether you like the job Kiffin has done or not, it is very important to have some stability and allow him the time to clean up this mess. He deserves at least 3 years to show whether or not he get this ship off the rocks.

On a lighter note, I stumbled across a very humorous blog that will put a smile on your face. Go to www.thecoachiskillingme.com/ :}

8:23 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I certainly wouldn't advocate releasing 40 players on the spot.

However, I would advocate replacing Barry Sims with someone else now, not later. Honestly, can it get worse? I called the guy a "pillar of salt" back in 2005. What are we waiting for?

The NFL is full of stories of guys who just barely got their shot, their talent undetected. Did you see that beast named James Harrison with Pittsburgh tonight? Something like three forced fumbles, one recovered fumble, 2.5 sacks and an interception, all before I turned the game off in the third quarter.

Apparently, this guy was undrafted and cut by the Steelers twice before getting his shot because of an injury to someone else. That's one example of many, many examples in the NFL.

We've got 52 guys on our roster who are allegedly NFL-quality players. Let's trot some out. Yesterday. How do we know McQuistan would be worse at LT. Can it get worse?

I sure wish I had the job security of Barry Sims, Robert Gallery and Jerry Porter. These guys could wipe their arses with Al Davis toilet paper and still negotiate a raise.

What's it going to take to give some hungry kids their shot? As noted, free agency and the draft can only take us so far, so fast. So why don't we start the process of moving on now, not later, and start pruning the deadwood and lighting some roster dynamite?

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Al tried to firm up the o-line by taking some non-Al-like safe picks of Gallery and Grove. They both are underachieving at best. But it's STILL Al's fault our o-line sucks ass? Give me a fucking break. They were two of the safest bets on the board that year according to all the experts. Many of us thought they would help us firm the o-line for a decade. It didn't happen... but it was STILL THE BEST STRATEGY by Al at the time.

Are there problems in FA player acquisition (since the SB year)? SURE! But what were we supposed to do? As other people mentioned, there were no quality free agents available this year. Moss was a calculated gamble... it put us a few years back with the salary cap.

20/20 hindsite huh?

This years draft had some busts, but we still haven't even seen Bush or Russell PLAY YET... how can anyone even judge this frigging draft?

I know it is difficult for people to ask for patience when we seem to do whatever it takes to lose for 4 straight years... but this is NOT a horrible team. Cmon.

We are what, 20-30 some points from being undefeated? In case you haven't noticed, there are teams that get blown out by that many pretty regularly in the NFL.

Losing sucks I know... but it doesn't mean you have to lose all reasonableness. Raider fans get stereotyped as being knee-jerk morons. I hate to see it come to fruition here. There's lotsa very intelligent reasonable poster here.

Lets keep it that way!

9:24 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Gary, 2-6 pro-rates to 4-12.

That's "horrible" by any definition.

Calico Jack is one of the most reasonable posters around. Go check out his latest entry at SilverandBlackForever.blogspot.com, where he gives the stats on opposing runners over the past five games. It's mind boggling. And horrible. And there's no end in sight.

I appreciate your viewpoint and passion, but we don't see eye to eye at this time.

You admit we've made bad free agent choices, but ask what were we supposed to do? How about make better choices? How about Jon Kitna over Aaron Brooks? Jeff Garcia over Daunte Culpepper? To name just a few obvious ones.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'm also mystified by this aversion to "hindsight."

Hindsight is what makes the world go around. If you get in trouble in your job, it's because of hindsight, right?

You screw up, other people notice and point it out. That's not just hindsight, that's life.

With jobs come responsibility. Including those who evaluate and sign NFL personnel for a living.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

calico,

i agree with you to a point. we may not be able to replace all the failures/losers at once, but nevertheless, they must be replaced.
the sooner the better.

also, it's not just about changing the players. the culture must change as well.
the culture of losing must be wiped away.

did you check out Cwood on sunday. big punt return, and huge pick/td to seal win.

it's like he left the raiders and decided, "ok, time to get serious now. time to play hard, and smart".

when with the raiders, Cwood was swallowed by the whole culture of losing, and ended up drunk in a limo.
it's just seems no one cares once they put on the silver, & black uniform.

play soft, lose, and cash check.
that should be our new motto.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Holy Roller said...

I watched the first half of the Steelers/Ravens game last night. Defensively the Steelers do one thing and they do it well. Blitz. Blitz. Blitz. And you know what Rob Ryan? It works! McNair had no time to do anything. I don't know how many times I said, "The Raiders would never do that". The Steelers were forcing turnovers, the D was pumped and the offense seemed to do no wrong. What I wouldn't give to see our team do that. But sitting here thinking about the Silver and Black I can't help but think we are a long way from that sort of performance. The sad thing is that we used to be that way. I still believe that Kiffin can cure the culture of losing but he has a long, uphill battle.

5:22 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

If you listen to Kiffin's Monday press conference on Raiders.com, you will hear much of the same things we are saying.

He's on board about bringing in the "right" players, with a "team-first" attitude. He is trying to change the culture.

He'd like to bring in players that will be team leaders, and help provide the right atmosphere for young players coming in (i.e., get away from the culture of losing and me-first sh*t). He has said that losing streaks make it easier to identify the players you don't want on your team, because that's when they surface (through effort and attitude).

As far as playing players for the sake of playing them, he stands by playing the players that "give us the best chance to win." Yeah, that's arguable, and may not expedite long-term solutions.

Kiffin's involvement with the D is a very touchy thing I'm sure. The players really respect SOB, so Kiffin probably has provided limited input to avoid a power struggle.

Maybe Lane can lure Monte away from TB. Can dad work for his son?

More realistically, elevate Martindale to DC and simply tell him how to roll.

H-Roller- Exactly. Blitzing causes mistakes. And Kiffin and the Raiders wonder why we don't have any fumble recoveries... Duh! Because we don't force teams into mistakes. We allow QBs the time they need to find seams in our coverage, then let it rip. How many times will we allow teams to convert 3rd and long before we apply more pressure in those situations?

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
But guys... Al doesn't like to blitz, remember? The great Al doesn't need to blitz. The qb must go down and he must go down hard... but not from blitzing.
Sheeezzz.
Further evidence that "caveman" is just yet another guy that will come in and play puppet, running what Al likes. I mean, damn, I thought caveman was a 3-4 guy when he got here? He got here and struck a deal with Al... "Okay," Al said, "run your 3-4" but do it with my secret weapons Al says, rubbing his lizard-like 300-year old ghoul mits together. "Take Brayton and Irons... put them in at LB and you'll see... the nfl will be copying my genius for years to come... big 280pound LB's that roam around and kill the opposing team... and a lightening quick all-pro DT moved to DE... they'll all see again my utter genius."
FLOP!!!!
Reality" brayton's unathletic, slow ass is made to appear even more uselss for 1 year while he chases guys like LT & LJ around in a cloud a dust. Sapp is confused and useless at DE.
You showed 'em again Al. Showed 'em that your a laughingstock in the nfl now.
And Psycho: You give props to Richardson? After that awful run defense showing against Houston? No DE on our team should get any props after that. Ron Dayne? You gotta be kidding me.
Did Richardson even make up for it by getting a sack or two... No. All he did was run behind Terdel Sands roadgrade job and get a block. Useless. That's what we've come to? Our DE's get made to look ridiculous in the run game and get no sacks, but hey, block a kick and you're a keeper?
And Burgess... kind of see why the Eagles really didn't like him as a full time DE. Burgess can't play the run. He's a great sack artist to have when you have a well rounded defense.
We have no DE's.
Help Wanted: A real GM and talent evaluators.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

holy roller, & nyraider,

great points about the need for much more aggressive defense.

the most amazing thing is that rob ryan only needs to call his dad buddy to learn how it's done.

buddy loved to blitz and crowd the line with nearly every defender.

i guess sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree...very far.
as i've said before, perhaps, rob was adopted.

our defense is so kind, polite, and passive, they should be wearing silver & black skirts during games.

9:11 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, what kind of amazes me about your posts these days is that you seem to have forgotten, or are currently ignoring certain facts.

This wasn't one of yours, but I want to throw it in anyway - we didn't have a bad draft this year. We have Russell and Bush, we don't know for sure about them yet but reports are positive. Beyond that, we have a pretty decent back up DE and starting TE. We have a rookie FB who takes his share of snaps and plays well. I don't think too many teams can claim they just drafted five players who are either slated to be starters or are starters.

RT, you say we should have Kitna over Brooks, and Garcia over Culpepper. However, you know full well that Kitna was invited by the Raiders, but signed by someone else before he got out here to talk to us, and we could have only gotten Garcia if we didn't draft Russell. So is your argument that we should have gotten Garcia over drafting Russell? Because that was our actual choice. Your hindsight doesn't seem to be very 20/20 right now.

Calico, while there is no way that you can release 40 players, then find 40 replacements, it is possible to change over most personnel fairly rapidly. All I meant to do was to encourage Kiffin on his rumored "fire sale" just prior to the season.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama,

Al has no qualms about blitzing. Hendircks used to blitz all the time. Raider defenses would blitz from anywhere. LB, safety, corner. Until last year our recent man coverage was weak. Now we have pretty good man coverage. The fumble on the "Snow Job" was caused by Charles Woodson on a corner blitz.

What I think is happening is Ryan is looking for coverage sacks. If the front four aren't getting pressure you're not going to get them that way. Hence, why not blitz more. In fact, we have 11 sacks, four of which came on blitzes. So, it works. Use it. Right now we are on pace for 22 sacks. Can you say pathetic?

Now, I listened to Kiffin's press conference. For the third or fourth time this year in a game started by McCowan I heard, "The way we played in the second half is the way we want to play the entire game."

All four of those games were losses. The defense only gave up 7 in the second half and we scored 17.

He also said if Jordan wanted to start then he had to take advantage of his opportunities in the game like Fargas had. He praised Fargas for making the reads and getting to the hole quickly. Something we've been saying for weeks in our wonderment as to why he wasn't starting.

H

9:47 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, my point was simple.

Winning teams find a way to sign good free agents. Bad teams make bad decisions on guys like Mike Williams, Aaron Brooks and, now, Daunte Culpepper and Josh McCown. Bad teams make excuses and throw up their hands.

Why wasn't it the Raiders who got the jump on Kitna over the Lions and not vice versa? You're saying that it was impossible? Really? Do the Lions have special superpowers that we don't?

Garcia spent a lot of time in our building, and you're saying you know for sure there was no way we could have signed him? It was all about who we were drafting? If it was that simple, it would have been settled over a quick phone call.

What amazes me about your posts lately is all of the excuse making for what has obviously been an absolute train wreck in personnel management. There weren't enough good fee agents! What were we supposed to do! Wah, wah.

How about this: Make better decisions. Hire a GM. Get smarter. Make some deals. Outsmart, don't get outsmarted. That's what good teams do.

Funny how the Browns, Lions, Bucs and other teams have found a way to turn their personnel fortunes around. They must have special superpowers.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Audi 5000 Haiku

5th season of this
godforsaken football play
I'm "in" no longer

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Definite cuts before or at the end of the season that need to happen:
1. Barry Sims
2. LaMont Jordan
3. Jerry Porter
4. Terd Sands
5. Stu Schweigert
6. Sam Williams
7. Robert Gallery
8. Josh McCown or Culpepper

Pick ups needing to happen in Offseason:
1. A Left Tackle
2. A Left Guard
3. A Center our o-line can call "Captain."
4. Defensive Tackle (maybe 2 if Sapp goes elsewhere)
5. Receivers
6. Backup QB
7. Safety

Start there, and grow. For all this talk of firing Kiffin, I sure do hope not, because that is not going to fix anything. I would argue that it is time to get a new DC, but I like Rob Ryan. I just wish he would play man with the corners, stack 8, and let the LB's and Safeties play a zone; and blitz a little more often. Not being able to stop the run defensively is a huge problem that really shouldn't be a problem if the proper defensive scheme was being played.
The offense was horrible last year, and with some of the changes made in the offseason, I expected them to move the ball a little more consistently (especially with Rhodes). But we are not utilizing Rhodes (yet), our receivers are not getting separation from the opposing DB's, and our 2 starting QB's have been a little gun shy, and hesitant to pull the trigger.
The team problem is the attitude to be better just isn't there, and hasn't been there since Gruden. Look at Tennessee, they were pissed that they finished last in run defense last season, and came into this season with a chip on their shoulder, and are proving to the NFL that the stat was a fluke. We came into this season with a chip on our shoulders too, but we aren't doing anything different to rid of the chip we have. There is no motivation to get out there and play. The same cancers as last year (exception of Moss), are starting to quit on the team again this year. I thought Kiff would be different and bench these idiots or at least get rid of them.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
H- I can't remember whether or not we blitzed much in the Hendricks days... all I know is we won back then so maybe we did. But I don't think you can sit there and say Al Likes to blitz. I haven't seen much blitzing at all from oakland in the last twenty or so years. Has anyone else seen us do it much? Yes, I am aware that the snow job play was a blitz... and what'd you know...it freakin worked. i also remember romo blitzing and absolutely obliterating Griese. But other than those, I just don't remember many blitzes. Maybe the KC loss last year... a blitz that failed. Caveman probaly got a driective from Al after that, "limit those blitzes, son... I used to coach with Sid Gillam and I knew George Allen... and I was at Poppa Hala's' 74th birthday party, blah blah blah... and I showed Bill Walsh everything he ever knew."
It's pretty much a well known fact that Al doesn't like to blitz. People talk about it all the time. Al thinks your front four should be so dominating that they provide all the rush you need.
Bottom line is this is just a misearble time to be a raider fan... it seems an eternity.
So much disfunction... name me one other team that has cut their 3rd and 5th rd draft picks only months after drafting them? Such dysfunction.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gametime Haiku

Praying for blackout
otherwise I drink too much
blackout anyway

11:02 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Loving the haiku!

11:03 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Nate,

Who has said anything about firing Kiffin? I haven't read anything suggesting that.

My complaint is for him, as play caller, to stop being timid. If you are going to go down, go down fighting. The one thing I did like was going for the field goal. Yes, Houston did get the ball on our 46, but at least he was saying, "Jano, this is what you were drafted for, now get your ass out there and do it." It damn near worked.

Actually, the last two games special teams has been a plus. Could do better in the return game, but coverage has been better than normal, Jano leads the league by a wide margin in touchbacks.

H

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantasy Football Haiku

Which RB to play?
Who's playing 'gainst my Raiders?
Benson's career day?

11:10 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

I love the haiku. I can relate. I came up from the basement late Sunday night after watching the game on tape.

Wife - "Well?"
Me - "They lost"
Wife - "Yeah I know"
Me - "How do know? Did you see the score somewhere?"
Wife - "No, you're DRUNK!"

Check out:
http://www.realfootball365.com/
nfl/articles/20123.html
for more fuel to the Al player input / no GM or identifiable personnel-scouting unit arguement

11:21 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama,

The 49's probably wish they could cut their first round pick from 2006. Sometimes you are just stuck with them.

At least we arent't stuck with them. Two major things. The o-line and stop the run. It's actually fairly simple. Finding the players to fix it is the tricky part.

There are some stud DL's in this years draft. Maybe we can pick up one.

For the o-line I would look first at free agents. More of a known quantity.

But, I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet on this year. I'm looking for improvement each week. As dissapointed as I was on Sunday, there was some in the running game compared to the last three weeks.

H

H

11:40 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, hummm...

You said: "How about this: Make better decisions. Hire a GM. Get smarter. Make some deals. Outsmart, don't get outsmarted. That's what good teams do."

That's kind of like the strategy my dad gave me for how to have an undefeated season. He said all you have to do is be sure that you score at least one more point than every team you play. I'll hook you and my dad up, because I know you'll have great conversations.

And you said: "Funny how the Browns, Lions, Bucs and other teams have found a way to turn their personnel fortunes around. They must have special superpowers."

Why, if memory serves, that's what you said last year 'bout the Saints and the Jets. No, they don't have special superpowers. But they will likely go back to being cellar dwellers next year. A one year resurgence is not the kind of improvement I'm looking for.

12:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And I might add, RT...

Gee, how long has it been that the Browns and the Lions have been working on turning their personnel fortunes around?

Boy they sure showed up those Raiders. Let's see, the Raider have been trying to figure out how to get back to the Super Bowl since 2003. The Browns and the Lions have been working on it since only....1967.

12:25 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

RT, Blanda-

Do I have to break you two up again? Maybe I should change my name to RefRaider. It seems to me that the Raider Nation has a big enough tent for opposing ideas(and what looks to be budding factions). We all want the Raiders to succeed, we just differ on how to get there. Can you two agree to disagree agreeably?

I see it this way. Calico alluded to it earlier. We have two glaring problems: OL & DL. If your O line sucks you can't protect the passer or block for the run. We've got the run blocking down, at least when Fargas is in there. The pass blocking is atrocious.

Our D line can't stop the run to save our lives, and we get to meet the new NFL single game rushing record holder on 11-18, less than two weeks from today. If that doesn't bring home the need to improve, I don't know what does.

Now riddle me this Raider fans: do we fix the D line first(if you can't stop the run in this league you're toast) or do we fix the O line(points on the board are a defense unto themselves)?

It sucks to be a Raider fan right now, but I'm trying to focus on problem solving and being productive from my fan's perspective since I'm not in the front office. What say you?

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's Ron Wolf up to these days? Why can't we just get him back here as a GM? Al, just ask Ron what his current sallery is and DOUBLE it! Pull a Howard Hughes and make him work 4 times as hard and you'll effectively get him for half-price!

Psycho

12:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sounds like the Raiders are responsible for a considerable increase in beer sales and consumption throughout the Nation. I, myself have thrown down a couple extra to ease the pain this season.

12:44 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

NYRaider:

Scotch is the only answer. Single malt, no ice. And to play the Raider drinking game, you have to toss one back every time the OL false starts.

Nurse the amazing hangover on Monday morning.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT-
Just put on a paperbag baby! And watch the remaining games in the season, as a funny episodes of Benny Hill (i can just hear the music now and see the crazy antics on the field) and a sea of protest signs going up in the stands.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm "In" with Raider drinking games at home and I'm "Cordiality Invited" to the Bloopers in the Coliseum

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, Blanda. I switched to Vicodin as of Sunday night. -Psycho

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dammit Anon. I'm trying to design stuff for the B-52 at work, and I have the Benny Hill song stuck in my head! The safety of the country is at risk!

Psycho

1:32 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That's funny. At least we still have our sense of humor.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do it the easy way, just keep the water boy. The rest need to be replaced!

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Damn Blanda. Why don't you and Al get a room?
You continually use the 2003 SB as Al's defense for twenty one years of piss poor front office mgt. But don't you realize that the Gruden team was built by Gruden & Allen and they left because it was too hard to battle the old man? The straw that broke the Gruden ship's back had to be Jano in the first round. At that point Gruden knew he was dealing with someone that was quite incompetent. The long field goal attempt by Jano Sunday summed his whole career up... close but no freakin cigar, pal.
Quit throwing the gannon/Gruden team into Al's success pkg. The gruden team was but a brief respite from Al's litany of crappy talent and outdated schemes i.e, the Lamonica play book and such notable poopsters as travian Smith, James Jett, Bob Buczowski, jesse hester, Rocket Ishmael, desmon Howard, Larry Brown, Bricky-hands dudley, Bobby joe Hoberterrible, Vince "is he 51 years old" Evans, Jay Schroeder, James Folston, Joe Aska, Tyler "great motor, no production" Brayton, Sam "Claude Raines" Williams, and about 43 more worthless DB's that picked up far too many pay checks in the nfl than they deserved... I could go on and on for days.
Al is the reason we suck.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, my point about the Lions, Browns, etc. wasn't to suggest that we share the same sordid history (although we seem hell bent on making up for lost time).

It was to illustrate that, at the VERY SAME TIME you are making excuses for our awful personnel management over the past several years--there were no good free agents, the good free agents only want to go to good teams, there was nothing we could do, the Lions have special superpowers which is why they, not we, got Kitna while we ended up with McCown and Mike Williams--these teams have proven these excuses FALSE, as they were operating amid the very same conditions (free agent market, draft market, etc.) over the past three years.

What the Browns, Lions, Raiders, etc. were doing in 2000 is irrelevant to this discussion and has no bearing on our recent failures. It might make you feel better, but it doesn't prove the excuses true.

I think it's very telling that, at the same time you seem so mystifyingly content with our situation, you continue to mock the Saints, who advanced to the NFC Championship last year, and who now own a four-game winning streak after putting up 41 points on the Jaguars on Sunday.

The Saints ship us Aaron Brooks while snagging Drew Brees, and overnight turn themselves into a force to be reckoned with, and you scoff at them while your team has taken THIRTY games (as of 11/27/05) racking up as many wins (four) as the Saints have totaled over the past four WEEKS. Incredible.

I can't have this discussion anymore. It's just too Alice in Wonderland for me.

3:49 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RT, let me get this straight.

So, the Saints ship us Brooks, and suddenly they catch fire with FA D.Brees and we hit rock bottom with Brooks.

Then, to fix that mess, the Lions ship us McCown and keep Kitna, who was a FA the year before. So now they're on fire with Kitna and we hit rock bottom, again, this time with McCown. And Culpepper falling into our lap is not only incidental, but ineffective.

And that's just the QB position.

Beer and liquor sales just hit peak levels.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Bama-

You forgot Nick Bell.

Anyone read that Real Football 360 article?

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Nick Bell. Wow, Forgot about him. Has there ever been a more fragile nfl running back? Breathe on that guy he'd break a bone.
Al's out of excuses... he can't blame it on Mike White, or Shell or Walsh, or Calahan or Bugel or Norvell... I think through the process of elimantion we've identified the problem with our team. The one constant through all the years of crappy football.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

Great Post!!!
Same shit different year.

I don't have anything else to say, but i'm here and i'm still in...

5:05 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Bama-

You just brought back a bunch of horrible memories with that list of busts and deadwood. Too many.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breaking News!!! The Raiders are trying out again Jeff George!!!!

5:24 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, you're creating your own looking glass. Every team's circumstances are not the same. No matter how often you sit there and tell me what the Saints did, the Saints have traveled down an entirely different path, with different considerations.

The difference between you and I is that I'm looking for some sense here. I'd always considered you a pretty damn good analyst, but all I'm hearing from you now is tantrums and negative BS. "Just Win, Baby" is slogan. It's not a plan. "Get smarter" is an insult, not analysis.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, I don't think you're giving me enough credit.

Saying that there's nothing we can do or that the Saints are a mirage isn't exactly breaking analytical ground. I think that I've made very good analytical points about our team's decisions compared to the competition, with direct correlation to the results.

In the past, the Raiders and all of us were quick to take credit for being smarter than our competitors. We were innovative, we made great personnel decisions and we won games. Now that we've been acting dumber than other teams, we need to look in the mirror and admit that we've been, and are being, outsmarted, and that we can learn from the recent past.

I don't think that saying we need to get smarter is flip or unreasonable. Hire a GM. Implement tangible change, and not just in the coaching staffs. Find a way to get the next Kitna, Brees or Garcia, because that's what other teams are doing. Seriously address your offensive and defensive lines when they have been weaknesses for years. Acting like we're at some supernatural disadvantage doesn't help.

In closing, I must say that what I like about BlandaRocked is that you walk your talk. You've said that people can't be thin skinned in these discussions, and no matter how much we tangle about certain things, you stick around and contribute your viewpoint, and for that I am appreciative.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwwww RT & BlandaRocked Forever n ever xoxoxo whens the honeymoon?

6:38 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

You're right. I (heart) Blanda. Best frienemies. Cue the violins and call Dr. Phil.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blandarocked is the resident expert on Raider football. After all, he does have an office right next to Davis so he knows all. I don't know how anyone can even argue against him or defy his opinion, because after Al Davis, Blandarocked IS the Raiders. I am so glad we have an actual intern (Al Davis coffee fetcher) here at Raidertake that can fill us in on everything that is going on. I mean, come on, how else would Blandarocked know so much about the Raiders?

Oy Vey

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Blandarocked is Al Davis!!

JF

7:52 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Analysis by paralysis. All of us dumb, arm chair Raider fans have figured out a few basic solutions and points of emphasis.

#1 >>> Hire a competent GM. Kiffin has enough on his plate and Al isn't able to give personnel management the attention it deserves.

#2 >>> Beef up the scouting department. It not only will give us a boost in evaluating talent but it is a financially prudent move. Hiring 3 scouts at $100k each is pennies next to the huge $$$ spent (or wasted) on bad picks.

#3 >>> Build from the inside, out. The OL and DL need to be a point of emphasis. Find a way to trade for additional picks in the 1st 3 rounds.

#4 >>> For this season, be willing to give backups, off the street free agents, practice players a shot to compete and replace the duds. General rule of thumb: If the player is not in our plans for 2008 he shouldn't necessarily be playing with the exception of the QB position.

#5 >>> Start getting answers to questions now as opposed to delaying it to next year ...

Is Huff better suited at FS? Let's find out. Cooper or Eugene can be stop gaps at SS.

Is McQuistan capable of playing LT or LG? Let's find out if Sims is on the way out.

Can Henderson gets some snaps in 2007?

Will Bush be our feature back for 2008? Let's slowly but surely give this guy progressively more snaps as the season goes on.

What is the story with Rhodes? Is he not in our plans for 2008?

How about a plan for our golden child? I have been giving this considerable thought and here is what I've come up with:

Game 10: Have Russell play 1 series

Game 11: Have Russell play 2 series (1 per half)

Game 12: Have Russell play an entire half

Game 13 til the rest of the season:
Have Russell the starter

With Russell it shouldn't be an all or nothing proposition. We need to protect him but not handle him with kid gloves.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Five excellent and very reasonable points of emphasis, and some great questions, too.

Can we start with #4 this week? Is it that hard, and can it get any worse?

Same with #5.

Then deal with #1-3, which are long overdue, and which are the crux of the larger problem of positional neglect, poor talent evaluation and overall lack of competitive vision.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

oh Bama, you forgot a lot of great draft picks.

my fave is big, fat, ot, john clay.
clay was a first round draft pick who was pretty much a bust right from the start, but...

al davis managed to find a sucker, (there were still some teams dumber then us in the late 80's, raider take), and dumped his fat ass off on the charmers for great lt jim lachey, but...

al then turned around and traded lachey for big arm, small brain, jay schroeder.

yes, bama7, we could go on for days.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

RT... perhaps the reason Detroit ended up with Kitna and we ended up with Brooks is because they had more cap space?

You seem to be just another "we shoulda just waved a magic wand" fan here.

Sorry. Not good.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Calico... I agree with all of your post except for the RT schedule.

He should start next game, no ifs ands and buts.

We are accomplishing NOTHING with starting QB's that have no future with the Raiders.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gary

what kind of fan should we be then?
good gosh darnit... oh well? or
Mr. Davis (the mad genius) was a little off this year but im sure he has something up his sleeve.... or
wow! i can see everything clear now (blandarocked) its all coming together but falling apart at the same time but it all makes sense to believe that we are on the road to victory just give it time... after all we are the team of decades and time is on are side (*cough* cough* the city of Oakland should declare the field Al Davis Field) looking good today Mr. Davis!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Gary, what do you call team that hasn't exceeded five wins in three seasons yet doesn't have enough cap space to sign a Jon Kitna?

Woefully mismanaged.

It has nothing to do with magic wands.

The Patriots had tons of cap space last offseason. I'm sure it's just a coincidence. Or magic?

You guys ask for examples, I give you specific examples, and then you rag on me for being specific, and come up with all sorts of rationalizations and excuses for why we haven't had rock-solid free agent signing on offense for years.

We have only the wreckage of Moss, Collins, Brooks, McCown, Culpepper, Jordan, Williams, etc. Just another case of bad luck and black magic, I guess. Nothing we can do. Oh well. Wait 'til next year, when Sims and Porter are still starting.

Calico Jack sums up pretty much everything I've been saying. Hire a serious GM, boost the scouting ranks, beef up the lines and yank the chronic underperformers.

All of these things should have been done yesterday. Yet you're still waiting for tomorrow.

The real problem here is expecting to wave a magic wand to deal with our current problems, instead of truly facing the failure of the recent past in order to take decisive countermeasures.

Yesterday.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

a magic wand...

i like that.

let's hire cris angel as our new gm...

we may need to.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary:

Your comment "perhaps the reason Detroit ended up with Kitna and we ended up with Brooks is because they had more cap space?"
is comical! Doesn't every NFL organization have a well paid 'capologist'? And if so, should ours be fired?

The frustration that many of us feel comes down to 1 thing ... accountability.

It is not an accident when a team like the Patriots has sustained success. It comes from stability from 4 key diffence makers:

(1) Owner: Provides all the resources, tools, and support for the organization. Makes the key decisions on hiring of GM and HC.

(2) GM: Works closely with the HC to ensure the players fit the HC's needs/system.

(3) HC: Dynamic leader of 53 men roster & coaching staff. Holds players accountable for performance standards.

(4) QB: On the field alpha leader. Key position in the NFL, bar none.

The way I look at it, until we hire a competent, battle tested GM, we are fighting a battle with 1 key hand behind our back.

Building a successful team is like building a puzzle. Right now we have some pieces to the puzzle. We also have some pieces that don't fit. We are also missing some key pieces. A traditional GM or Personnel Director's sole purpose is to add the right pieces to make the complete puzzle.

The MILLION DOLLAR question: With our obvious needs (OT, DT, DE, SLB, S, WR) who is building our puzzle? Is it Kiffin? Is it Davis? Is it both?

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Packers are currently the only non-profit, community owned major league professional sports team in the United States. Imagine if the Raider Nation had this kind of weight...

11:16 PM  
Anonymous H said...

I think many of the items addressed in the post here are being looked at and addressed.

I also feel Kiffin is trying to address the problems on the field currentlly. That is why Fargas is now the starter. But, I still would like to see better play calling directed toward winning instead of "not loosing".

In terms of organizational personnel, even if these changes had taken place we wouldn't know. The Raiders don't have a title GM. Ron Wolf was a GM, but didn't have the title.

I point to history again. The same things were being said and written about the Raiders prior to Gruden. The only difference is we hadn't had a 2 win season back then, and especially a run of four years like the last four.

It was fixed then, and it will be fixed this time. I say we replace Rob Ryan with Will Muschamp the defensive coordinator at Auburn and get him two solid defensive tackles. He shut down Flordia and LSU this year. He also is a former NFL assistant and understands the game from that perspective.

On offense replace both tackles. Keep the currentl guards. They aren't great but they are serviceable. Gallery is playing better at guard than he ever did at tackle.

Center, even with Newberry, is still shaky but Grove actually played reasonably well in this start. At least he didn't snap the ball to a phantom quarterback.

That's how I see it. Two DT's two OT's. Those are primary. Then we go from there. We have talent in other areas but they are not being utilized properly because we can't stop the run and can't protect the quarterback.

H

4:43 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Some great posts last night.

I only hope that Kiffin's slogan "put the best players on the field that give us a chance to win" is not too short-sighted, and that he can modify that slogan to "put the players on the field that give us the best chance to evaluate talent for the long-term success of the team."

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>
Calico...

Your comment "perhaps the reason Detroit ended up with Kitna and we ended up with Brooks is because they had more cap space?"
is comical!
>>>>

How so? We were already with cap problems when Al spun the dice with the Moss gamble. I think Bruce Allen jumped ship because he knew he left the cupboard bare. Remember the year when we were supposedly 35 million over the cap? It suddenly disappeared, how do you think it happened? With a magic wand?

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Further... I wouldn't be surprised if we still have players from the SB year counting against the cap. We signed a lot of 7 yr deals to keep the team together the next year... Something I remember as a HUGE gamble at the time. Al would have been better off blowing up the entire team and starting over. We'd be about where we want to by now.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Nonsense.

On March 10, 2006 Oakland parted ways with Kerry Collins in a move that “saved them $9.2 million against the salary cap once bonuses are factored into the figures.”

On March 14, Jon Kitna signed with the Lions.

On March 22, the Raiders signed Aaron Brooks.

It had little to do with money. It was just another case of being slow on the draw, not doing what it takes, misjudging talent at the quarterback position, and ending up with a guy who now can’t even earn a roster spot in the NFL.

It’s not that it happened once. It’s that it keeps happening. Collins, Brooks, McCown, Culpepper...Face it, we’ve been woefully mismanaging the position for years.

Take responsibility, face the facts and avoid Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

That would include our approach to talent evaluation and the general manager’s position, as well as our continued neglect of the offensive and defensive lines, which flies in the face of the most common of football sense.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gruden/Bruce loaded up on great players over the age of 30 or 35 and jumped ship before disaster struck. It was a huge bandaid that worked for a while.

Since saleries are not pro-rated over a number of years we should finally be pretty clean from this disaster. The only thing is we dumped all that extra money into guys like Gallery, Sims, Sands, Jordan, Porter. Instead of guys like Rice, Brown, Gannon, Woodson, Romo, Kennedy.

Psycho

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have another disaster looming which Kiff must overcome. Some of our highest paid guys need to GO. Which means lots of dead money against our cap in the next few years. Jordan, Porter(?), Sands, SIMS!, Gallery(?). Plus Sapp might want a trade/release, who knows.

Psycho

8:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

One irony with Brooks is that his time in Oakland didn't actually bolster his resume. The guy was given zero protection and made to pass with 5 and 7 step drops. He was running for his life.

Perhaps equally as ironic, he could probably do just as well as McCown and Culpepper in Kiffin's offense, although keeping him would have been too much for any of us to stomach. He went 0-8 as a Raiders' starting QB. A gut-check NFL QB would have won at least one of those games by himself...ala Rich Gannon.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, we've spoted the problem and we have a sollution, who wants to go to Davis and tell him that we have all the solutions to fix our problems?

Bama!

You keep bringing grudden as the sole god of the superbowl run back in 2002 and you keep implying that he is god! I am sorry but you couldn't be more wrong! that bitch is nothing, he sucks! if he is going to be spared to be fired this year is only because of Garcia, nothing else, he is no genious! what has he done after the superbowl? and by the way that superbowl team was put together by a real coach, coach Dundy.

We are in deep shit! from the front office to the waterboy, our problems are not going to get fixed overnight, I do agree with RT on the fact that we need a GM to be accountable for hiring, firing and overall decisions of the team.

raiderdecoachella

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure Al is with us on the whole GM thing. It's just a matter of finding a good, trustworthy guy. We just got burned by Lombardi remember.

Our best years have been under Ron Wolf, and Bruce "Skip Town Before It Backfires" Allen.

Psycho

10:06 AM  
Anonymous H said...

One comment on Gruden.

We are getting to the point in the college season where there will be talk about replacing coaches.

Watch for Gruden's name to pop up for Texas A&M, Nebraska or fill in the blank with open college head coach positions.

It's what his agent did when he coached the Raiders, and what his agent did last year and the year before that. It's the reason Al Davis took the contract extension off the table.

Gruden had a lot of say in that team. He's repeating some of those things in Tampa. Veterans with two maybe three years left in the tank. Think Garcia.

Some of those guys extened their careers with pharmacological assistance. Then it all fell apart at once and we are paying the price now by not having young talent in the pipeline.

The younger talent is being addressed with Asomugha, Morrison, Howard, Miller, Huff, Russell, Bush, Miller.

Fargas and Curry are a bonus in that they show what one can do if they listen and apply what the coaches are trying to accomplish, and work at it.

A couple of DT's to stop the run, and two above average OT's would go a long way toward improving this team. That's four players, maybe only two depending on Henderson and Warren.

Sounds too simple, but it's where I feel we need to concentrate at the moment.

H

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Raidercoachella, I'm not a huge Gruden fan. I just appreciated that he came in with an extremely strong personality and tried to do things his way. It was unique for a raider coach, and very apparent what was going on with Gruden. Al doesn't like weak armed 2nd string QB's from Delaware. Gruden did.
Al doesn't like the west coast opffense. Gruden did. So, Gruden was fighting for his way and winning battles with the old man.
Gruden liked Todd Heap, Al Liked jano. Who won that one? The west coast offense can really thrive with a swing back type runner. Gruden and Allen liked Charlie Garner... they also gave him a shot out at Tampa. Who won the Jet playoff game for us? Garner. Gruden won that one.
And then Norv comes in and we bring in Collins. Kerry freakin Collins. "Okay", the fans said, "we're on board", but those that knew football knew it was no answer. It was Al cutting the chord on the west coast offense and inserting his next jay Shroeder. Why would Norv want Kerry Collins? Norv just didn't have the yarbles to argue Al out of it.
I give Shell credit for only one thing. Telling Al 'no' to jeff George part 2.
So the HC vs Al personnel battles are what is killing this team.
It's just getting too easy to spot when we have a coach that Al is winning the arguments with. Like caveman. Thought he was a 3-4 guy? Why's he not running it? Because he doesn't have the personnel for it. Why? Al doesn't want to run it... Al stopped valuing LB's & the 3-4 about twenty-five years ago. (Morrison was a RAider fan that's proabbaly the only reason he's here. And with Howard Al appears to have gotten somewhat lucky... a potential, athlete proespect that has actually panned out somewhat.)
After the draft Kiffen described the process as an "interesting exrecise" read: Kiff made suggestions and Al acted on some of them. The result was amixed bag of disjointed shit. I'm still waiting on someone to show me another NFL team in the last twenty years that cut both their 3rd and 5th rd picks only 4 months after selecting them.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moss is working at an MVP level with the patsies!

Is that supposed to be Al Davis' fault that the little bitch didn't want to play for us?

When Collins came to us, we had Gannon and we all knew that Collins sucked but we all figured that he was here as a back up, it just happened that Gannon was a marked man and the league was going to find a way to get rid of him (remember ratarousa) in the playoffs?

If you want to pass blame, I will take some blame for it, for I thought that Gannon was going to play for us for 3 maybe 4 more years and that we had plenty of time to develop a solid future qb, it did not happen, I don't blame the OL because I think that if we had a qb in the same style as Gannon or Garcia the line wouldn't be as bad, their job would be easier.

I personally beleive that it's time for Russell to come in and start playing, he is very movable so I don't think that our horrendous line would be a problem with him, how many sacks did McCown had this past week?

It's also time for Rhodes to show us what he has, also with Bush bring him in and get ready for next years draft, do we draft a receiver as our top skilled player or do we draft a running back!

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last post was done by

raiderdecoachella

12:08 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Ok, Al Davis doesn't like the 3-4, he doesn't like the west coast, he caused global warming, he is the Anti Christ, blah, blah, blah......

None of the good picks and decisions in the entire history of the NFL were his and all of the bad decisions ever made in the NFL were his. The Raiders won all those playoff games from 1961 - 2003 in spite of all his interference.

Whinning and crying about Al Davis is getting old. Older than me in fact. Not to mention boring.

We won Super Bowls using the 3-4 for crying out loud. Ted Hendricks was brought in and moved to LB so we could run the 3-4.

Everyone whines about Gallery and Grove. I repeat, ALL the "Experts" said they were the top prospects at their respective positions that year. The Raiders were praised for taking Gallery. When he didn't work out they now say, "There goes dumb old Al again".

Now, for all the dumb Al picks, I want to know who the source is. Who was there when the pick was made who is saying this. Same goes for the good picks that weren't his.

I personally don't give a rat's ass who picked whom. I find it truly amazing what can be accomplished when it doesn't matter who gets the credit.

Playing takes teamwork, coaching takes teamwork and building the franchise back to respecitbility will take team work. But, at some point after all the team has had their inupt one person has to make that final decision.

There are a finite number of draft picks and free agents you can get in any given year. No team, I repeat, no team ever gets them all right.

By the way Asomugha was considered a stretch, so I guess Al Davis had nothing to do with it.

H

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Raidercoachella, it's Al's fault that Moss had no system to utilize his talents within. It's Al's fault we wasted a year on Art Shell and Tom Walsh and some awful dream of bringing 1968 or 1976 back. It's Al's fault that good football minds no longer want to work here. We have to resort to someone barely out of their twenties... and hope he is the real deal. And even still, Kiffen has to battle against a guy throwing outdated ideas at him.
Right now, with so much disarray and dysfunction within our team you can only point a finger at the top. That's it. You can trace this entire mess back to Al Davis. The rest of the league knows it, and loves that Al is calling the shots for us because it keeps us in the cellar. The only people that don't know it are a few remaining Al diehards that want to hide our "little" problem in a closet like some demented stepchild.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, I don't consider the term "interesting exercise" to mean Al made all the picks and I was told to be quiet.

I would assume it would be an interesting exercise considering how different it was from recruiting, and he was the head coach.

H

12:48 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Hey Bama-

Didn't you mean Shaun Alexander? I'd heard that story before, but has Gruden ever confirmed it?

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
No H, I think one would say 'it was different from recruiting, and interesting being in the head coach position during the draft' as just that, "It was different from recruiting, and interesting being in the head coach position during the draft." You call it "an interesting exercise" when you're trying to be diplomatic.
Who bragged on Moses, an extremely productive college player, in preseason: Kiffen. Who played against Frampton, an extremely productive college player, while coaching at USC: Kiffen.
Whether or not they are good is irrelevant at this point... why bring them in only to cut them? What successful team cuts their 3rd and 5th round picks four mos after drafting them?
Now I ask, who is enamored with weight room/track guys? Combine guys that can throw the ball a mile, guys that "might" one day be unbelievable if only their athletic skills can be translated to the football field? Who is it that loves the guys holding trophys for the 220 hurdles, or former Olympic relay team alternates, etc etc? Al, that's who.
doesn't take a genius to see that RT is hitting on the source of our problems... RT's just being diplomatic in mentioning Al's name directly.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

H,

i find your unyielding defense of al davis to be very interesting.

just one question though.

how did the raiders get this bad, and what role, if any, in your opinion, did al davis play in the downfall ?

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Raider realist: yes, sorry jano over Alexander. Gruden wanted heap the next year and we took someone sorry, but I can't remember who it was. Brayton or Buchanon?

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bama7
Sorry I can't remember. Brayton & Buchanon were part of the Gruden deal weren't they? Scuse me while I go throw up.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Gibson! holy ape sh%$ batman... we took Gibson in 2001... over Heap.
And no H, we don't know for sure who's picking these people. You are right. But if the last twenty years of garbage talent selection were a criminal investigation you'd have to think the police would be fairly interested in one, Al Davis, since he was at the scene of each and every crime.
Gibson for crying out loud!
Raider00, we forgot to add Gibson to the list! Put him a notch or two above the useless John Clay.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

hey, blandarocked was very quiet today.

either reality is setting in, or...

they actually gave him something to do at work.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

bama7,

gibson, clay, toss a coin.

either way it's tails, we lose.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This years pick Jamarcus Russell or Adrian Peterson? One is well on his way to not only rookie of the year but perhaps MVP...the other way on his way to ride the bench and collect big checks even after he becomes a bust with us.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Diplomatic, perhaps.

I'm not going to say it's all Mr. Davis's fault, nor am I going to deny him the credit for all of the good years (including the Gruden-Callahan years). Conversely, I'm not going to absolve him of responsibility when we go in the toilet for five years across four separate coaching staffs.

I've often said that it's not fair for Mr. Davis to get all of the blame but none of the credit. But that sentiment naturally cuts both ways.

In football, as in life, failure has consequences. You can't win four out of thirty games dating back to November 2005 and spanning three different coaching regimes, and then act like it's not the result of colossal organizational failure (well, maybe you can, judging by some of the comments here).

It's not just the failure that's got me down, but what I perceive as a lack of a decisive, effective response in dealing with it. We thought we could get away with just blaming the coaches every year. Turns out we were wrong. That has turned out to be a major miscalculation, and major miscalculations have consequences, and those who make them must take responsibility.

I've been waiting for Mr. Davis and the organization to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, as they always seem to do, but I'm coming to the conclusion that they are out of magic tricks, and that radical change should already be well underway, and if it was, it would much more evident, which means we are already behind schedule.

I have tremendous sympathy and affection for Mr. Davis and the organization.

Rather than be viewed as a blamer and complainer, I would suggest to you that my current viewpoint stems from this sympathy and affection.

You can love and forgive your family for their mistakes, but at some point tough love can become necessary, and I think that collective tough love from the Raider Nation right now can, in fact, contribute to positive change. I truly believe that. You don't think sports organizations respond to heat from their fans? Of course they do, if the heat's hot enough, or if the stadium is empty enough.

Bullheadedness has been one of Mr. Davis's great blessings, but it may now be his curse. Bullheaded people aren't good listeners. Which is why I think it's our responsibility to speak up instead of making convoluted excuses.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
Bama7
Raider realist: yes, sorry jano over Alexander.
>>>>

Hey hindsite genius... explain to us all why Al should have drafted a RB the YEAR WE LED THE LEAGUE IN RUSHING and were third the year before???

JFC. THINK every once in awhile.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT-
Lead the way my brotha I have my paperbag ready...signs made out with the intent in explaining my frustrations and disbeliefs and now two empty seats that my sons wish not to come along with because they no longer want to support games in which have been compared to even lower than pee wee football...

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
RT
Conversely, I'm not going to absolve him of responsibility when we go in the toilet for five years across four separate coaching staffs.
>>>>


I have a question for you, and I hope you answer honestly. Were you in favor of ALL the coaching changes and why... in particular Bill Callahan's.

I'd guess every Raider fan that is bitching and moaning about how the Raiders aren't winning enough games right now were cheerleading the firing Callahan the year after the SB. Admit it.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
Didn't you mean Shaun Alexander? I'd heard that story before, but has Gruden ever confirmed it?
>>>

Of course not. Why would Gruden say he wanted a different RB the year we led the league in rushing? We needed a kicker and a WR that year.

This is an example of the kneejerk Raider fans here. Embarrassing.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
RT:

On March 14, Jon Kitna signed with the Lions.

On March 22, the Raiders signed Aaron Brooks.
>>>>

More 20/20 hindsite. Kitna was desperate for one last chance to prove he was a starter... same as Brooks.

Now tell me AT THE TIME OF THAT SIGNING that you just KNEW Kitna would emerge as a good player two years later. I dare you. Cmon.

And you also are ignoring that Al has not continued to ignore this problem like you are suggesting in that post. DID YOU FORGET WE JUST SPENT 35 MILLION TRYING TO FIX OUR OBVIOUS QB PROBLEM? Jeesh.

See ya all for awhile. Losing reduces the IQ and increases the whininess of Raider fans... I'll be back after we win a few more games.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yeah, I was in favor of the coaching changes, mainly because the organization chose lousy coaches each time. Whose fault is that? Mine, I suppose?

If I hired Tom Walsh to lead a fictional team and you cheered me on and had faith that I knew what I was doing because you were a fan of that team, why on earth should folks blame you instead of me when Tom Walsh turned out to be a huge error in judgment?

Since when am I collecting a GM's paycheck or season ticket revenues? My job as a fan is much different than Mr. Davis's job as the owner of a football team.

I'm totally perplexed by your logic.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Regarding Kitna, no, I didn't know that, because I'm not paid to watch game tape all day and understand the nuances that separate great NFL talent evaluators from bad ones.

If you want to pay me $200,000 a year to make these types of decisions, then we can talk about why I should start sharing responsibility for the organization's failures.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

H, & Gary,

after reading your blogs, i almost forget how bad the raiders are.
but i am always reminded on sunday.

but please tell me,
how did the raiders get so bad, and who is to blame ??

two very simple questions.
please answer.

4:23 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Gary-

The question stated "did Gruden EVER confirm it." That also includes the years SINCE he was no longer Raiders head coach, meaning his job would not be threatened if he stated a negative opinion of Al Davis. The word "ever" is not limited by one specific point in time now, is it? Or are we going to now debate the meaning of the word "is"?

Another thing...NFL contracts are not guaranteed. Seven year contracts don't last seven years. Teams are on the hook for the signing bonuses, not the entire stated contract. If a guy isn't cutting it, you can cut him. Even if he is only in the third year of a seven year contract.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I'll be here when the Raiders start winning again, too, and I'll take satisfaction in knowing that I joined Lane Kiffin, the Raiders players and hopefully the organization in saying enough is enough, no more excuses, we're all raising our game as of yesterday.

Hopefully yesterday is this coming Sunday.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Raider00,

Number one, I have never said Al Davis didn't make mistakes. My point is some people seem to think Al Davis can't do anything right. They seem to be saying it's all his falut for what happened the last four years and he had nothing to do with 2000-2003. I guess he was in a coma then.

He deserves his share of the blame AND his share of the credit. For over thirty years this franchise had the best winning percentage in professional sports. Only three NFL franchises have been to more Super Bowls. The Raiders have won three division titles this decade alone. And played in two AFC Championship games and played in the Super Bowl.

There are more top ten bust than successes. Last summer people on this blog were singing the praises of Matt Leinart. He couldn't keep a washed up Kurt Warner off the field this year. I guess Al was a idiot for not taking him. And, yes I know Leinart is out for the season, but he was sharing time with Warner and his rating was below McCowan's.

Justin Fargas was considered and Al pick. I guess if he winds up with a thousand yards rushing he'll be switched to someone else. Heaven forbid Al Davis get any credit.

My point is, has he made bad decisions, yes. Moving to LA chief amongst them. But he did give LA it's only NFL Championship. Apologies to the folks from LA, I just grew up with them in Oakland and couldn't get used to the name change.

But, he has made some very good to brilliant decisions. He has given many players their last chance at a football career. Some of whom have gone on to near Hall of Fame careers.

If you are going to blame him for all the current problems, then give him credit for all the successes which have been many.

But, if you are going to give credit to others for the successes, give them their share of the blame also.

H

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary,

If you can't tough out the bad times, that's called Bandwaggoning.

H

6:06 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

H,

no one is trying to deny al davis credit for past greatness.
3 sb's and a hall of fame career is nothing to sneeze at.

but i'm talking about the raiders of right now, today, this very moment.
i believe that's what rt, bama7, nyraider, and others are talking about as well.

our last sb win in 1984 doesn't really help us today.
al davis finding a gem like howie long in the draft in 1983 doesn't help us right now.
marcus allen, jim plunkett, bob chandler, todd christensen, all great moves by al.
but it was a long, long time ago.

the raiders of today are a badly broken organization.
no matter who the coach is, the raiders always seem to play the same, dumb, confussed, uninspired, strange brand of football.

i really believe that lane kiffen has more of a chance of getting fired after this season, then tyler brayton has of getting released.
don't you think there's something wrong with that picture ??

anyway, al davis WAS great, but WAS, is a word of the past.

Gary,

saying that these are simply "tough times", is quite an understatement.

a couple of 7-9 seasons are tough times.
what we're living through, no division wins, no 4th quarter heart, no blocking, no tackleing, one road win in how long ?, high draft pick waived before season even starts, bad players with roster spots for life, a passive DC, a free agent Rb who can't crack the lineup, should i go on ?
i really can.

no, these are not just tough times, this is something very apocolyptic happening here.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

No matter how bad things get (or have been the past 5 years) I will always love the Raiders, warts and all.

As stated by RT & H, Al Davis deserves his fair share of both credit & blame.

Let me focus on 2 areas that any owner (including Al) are clearly responsible for in relation to our 5 year slide.

#1 GM:

We desperately need to hire a proven GM. Since the departure of Bruce Allen in 2002, we have not had a true GM. Lombardi was more of a contracts/salary guy similar to Tom Jackson now. That is 4+ years where one of THE MOST IMPORTANT executives positions has been virtually vacant. That is BEYOND reasonable & acceptable when the name of the game is acquiring & evaluating talent.

#2 Hiring of Head Coaches:

2002 Callahan is promoted to HC. In hindsight, it was a good short term move that led to a SB appearance.

2003 Callahan fired after 4 & 12 season where he completely lost the respect of the locker room.

2004 to 2005 Norv Turner is hired although he was a failure at Washington. 2 horrible seasons later he is fired for poor results and lack of leadership

2006 Art Shell is rehired. A complete disaster and a bad choice considering Art had been out of football as a HC for 17 years.

2007 Kiffin is hired. So far I like Kiffin and I think he has a bright future in the coaching profession. Nevertheless, the fact that we hired him smacks of desperation when you consider his qualifications (no HC experience, young, 1 yr of NFL experience etc).

What was disturbing to me with each HC selection was the limited # of quality HC candidates that were (a) interviewed (b) legitmate candidates to begin with.

Back to my central point. Al Davis is responsible for the hiring of the HC and should have a proven GM on board. The team has been rudderless and performing poorly these past 4+ seasons primarily because we haven't had a GM and because our past HC selections were unispired, poor choices.

7:13 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

All good points CJ.

Hindsight aside, Norv Turner, maybe. But, Art Shell was a sideline zombie in his first stint with the Raiders. What made Al Davis believe that would change. And to allow him to bring in Tom Walsh was absolutely mind boggling.

This team needs better direction if we are to succeed, and Lane Kiffin can’t do it by himself.

About Jon Kitna, I thought he was a good QB in Cinn. and would have selected him over Brooks everyday of the week. In 2003, Kitna’s last full year before Carson Palmer took over, he had 62.2% completions, 3,591 yards, 26 TDs, 15 INTs, and an 87.4 QB rating. He helped resurrect the Bengals.

In 2005, Brooks had 55.7% completions for 2,882 yards, 13 TDs, 17 INTs, and 70.0 QB rating. His career stats demonstrate a similar pattern.

However, I don’t think Brooks is a bad QB. I just never understood why we waited until guys like D. Brees were signed before we even considered trying to bring in a QB. Much the same as this year. The only difference is we drafted a high-profile QB to sit on the bench, but we still don’t have anyone playing the position who is worth a sh*t.

Anyway, Brooks was placed in a bad situation last year, with no offensive line to protect him and archaic coaching philosophies. Davis was quick to blame Shell in the end, but Shell didn't hire himself.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous CresceNet said...

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10:29 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Raider00,

We played in the Super Bowl just over four and a half years ago. I'm just not ready to throw the guy under the bus yet.

Call it stubborn pig headedness if you like or just plain stupid if you want. I prefer the term loyalty.

Even though I've dumped my share of criticism on the team for it's on the field performance this year I feel they are improving. They could very easily have four wins and that is dissappointing. I've mostly been critical of Kiffin's play selection, but I think he is improving there also.

Two of the primary draft picks from this year have yet to see the field and the third is being underutilized in my opinion. Until those three things change we don't have a grade on Al's performance in the draft.

I personally think Al Davis went back to his roots. A young innovative head coach with an eye for talent. Only time will tell and I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt for now.

H

5:01 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I don’t read much from the SF Chronicle, but this article kind of says it all. It’s more of a matter-of-fact kind of piece that has some very telling stats.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/08/SPC0T8181.DTL

5:29 AM  
Blogger Psycho said...

I just had a brain fart. Mike Nolan is on the hot seat in San Fagcisco. That means Mike Singletary might be a casualty if Nolan gets the axe.

Singletary would probably be a condidate for HC jobs but for some reason he hasn't gotten one yet. It's reasonable to think he'd be an option for D coordinator.

If Rob doesn't finish strong and show us something we should jump all over Singletary as our D coordinator. He would do wonders with our LBs, who never seem to be in position for the run. He's more aggressive than Ryan and we wouldn't lose anything in the motivation dept.

Psycho

7:20 AM  
Blogger Psycho said...

Holy crap I got my username working!

7:21 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Psycho,

I think the spelling is San Fransissy.

I wouldn't mind Singletary as the DC. But with all the coaching changes that will be taking place he will be interviewed for head coach for several teams. That would delay him being available.

H

8:16 AM  
Anonymous H said...

With regards to my last post, I just took a quick peak and the Whinners are only slightly better than us on run defense. Although, they only give up 3.9 per.

H

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
HEY JFC... because Ty Wheatley was getting old and banged up. And when someone like Shawn Aleaxander falls into yor lap you take him.
Also smart ass, your're question answers itsself.. if we were so damn good and confodent with what we had rushing and our status as goodrushers, why'd we go out and pick up Garner so soon after that.
Huh? Maybe you should think once in awhile.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more note on Singletary. This is Al's chance to show just how "committed" we really are to excellence. There is no cap on coaching $$ and we would need to put up top dollar for a guy like Singletary.

If this is the direction we go I'd like to see us make a significant offer in line with the highest paid coordinators. Put your money where your mouth is.

Hopefully Singletary is a possibility. Furthermore, hopefully Rob turns the corner and we don't even have a need for this conversation.

Yeah....this password thing is a piece of crap. Never works right 4 me.

Psycho

9:28 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Hey, folks, out of pocket yesterday. I had to work hard, imagine that.

A brief statement as to why I think we are where we are.

People talk about how well we acquired talent during the Gruden/Allen era. It's true, we did. However, if you really examine what we got, there are some serious issues. And understand, while they haven't been quite as bad as us, the Bucks under Gruden/Allen have suffered since their Super Bowl as well. They didn't actually ride off and show the world how great they were.

Gruden/Allen stocked the Raiders with Hall of Fame caliber players at the very end of their careers. To pay for that high priced, aging talent, the team settled for projects and life-time journeymen as back-ups and in supporting roles. Instead of lining up promising players to take over from the veterans, the Raiders padded their team with life-time 2nd stringers.

At the time of Gruden's departure I had read a few articles from Gruden watchers that provided a 3rd alternative for the departure. The two leading theories were that Gruden couldn't work with Davis (the theory of the local media), or that Gruden jumped at the opportunity to be the HC in his own home town (offered by Gruden and Davis).

I had always bought into the second of these, never giving much consideration to the 3rd. The 3rd is that nobody better understood the precarious position of the Raiders than Gruden. When all of the HofFers began to retire, the Raiders would be left with a talentless team. He wanted to get out of here before it destroyed his career.

I didn't give much credence to that theory at the time because as much had been said about the Raiders before. At the end of the 70s the media warned that the Raiders were on the verge of becoming talentless because the veterans who had led them through the 70s were ready to retire. It turned out they underestimated that talent, and the Raiders went to the SB after the 1980 season.

But upon review, the 3rd theory seems to be spot on. Draft choices are always a risk. That the Raiders acquired four players who get, or will definitely get, a regular amount of playing time, is very gook in any year. But our recent drafts look bad because our need for them to be superior is so high. Gruden's weren't any better, but he wasn't looking for starters, he was looking for depth. On a losing team that has talent, the signing of an outstanding veteran can turn that team into a winner, and make it soar. Signing such a veteran to the Raiders, at this point, he gets swallowed up in the mud.

What can be done about it? I'm confident that Kiffin and the Raiders are doing what needs to be done. Kiffin is using this season to evaluate every position on the team in order establish priorities for building a future. He is examining attitude, work ethic, and talent (not necessarily in that order).

But also understand that Kiffin is required by his office to sound optimistic and positive. To a certain degree, if he could, Kiffin's battle cry would be, "Wait Until Next Year!" But if he says that, the stands go empty this year. Knowing that, seeing him fall to the negative from time to time is rather jarring.

What we are going through this year, we MUST go through. We should have gone through it last year but, instead, through Shell's clumsy interpersonal relations, last year was devoted to politics. The politics have been resolved, Shell is gone, Kiffin is in, the team is being evaluated and analysed, and then a plan will be put in place to restore this team.

That's the way I see it.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Raider00,

You asked how the Raiders got so bad. It’s really a myriad of things. Primarily I think it was too much reliance on older veterans from free agency. On the Super Bowl team I think there were many players over the age of 32. Most were starting. Gannon, Brown, Armstrong, Parrella, Romanowske, Rod Woodson, etc. Most were starters. It worked really well for two years.

But, when these players hit the wall, they all hit at once. There was a lot less attention paid to the draft. By that I mean there were fewer holes to fill for two or three years, an eternity in NFL years. And, it led to some picks based on potential.

In the past there were players brought in who would eventually take over for the current crop of veterans. With the current version of free agency that doesn’t work as well. Players don’t stay with a team long enough to help develop their eventual replacements, e. g. Otto/Dalby/Mosebar, Hubbard/van Egan and others. There are also seems to be fewer and fewer diamonds in the rough that used to be found in rounds eight – twelve. That was where you found your developmental talent and special teams help. The draft used to be 75-80% of it. Now it’s down to about 50%.

Now, when they went as heavy with the free agents as they did, it seemed to me they thought they would just go out and plug in another free agent. Since then the talent on the free agent market has basically dried up. It just hasn’t been there the past few years. Rookies had to start right away and the coaching carousel began. Call it the perfect storm if you will.

I think Al Davis has realized this and is taking the steps to calm the waters. But, we as fans are now growing impatient, with good reason, we’re paying the freight. Like I said, I’m not ready to throw the man under the bus just yet. I want to see how he adjust to the current run of adversity and how Kiffin handles the pressure that goes along with it.

It’s my analysis/opinion.

H

10:09 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blandarocked,

It looks like we are pretty close again. I wrote mine before I saw yours.

H

10:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, isn't that what I said? Decaying minds think alike.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good summary Blanda, I'm with you on theory #3.

This is a good time to re-itterate my fear that Kiff will soon have to deal with another cap crisis. The following players are the biggest culprits among the most likely to account for lots of "dead" money once we figure out their true worth and release them:

Sims, Gallery, Jordan, Sands, Porter.

Psycho

10:24 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Thanks for the backup Psycho. User name busted again?

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Well, aaalllrriiighhtty then, Blanda.
There you go folks. Our demise was simply inevitable, due to Gruden's over-reliance on aged veterans.
I'm sorry, Blanda, but theory #3 still doesn't explain taking a kicker in the first round, hiring the comedy team of Shell & Walsh for a second run, giving Brayton, Whitted, Porter, S. Williams et al 5 year try-outs, never addressing our DE's inabilty to play run defense, etc etc.
It seems we've reached an impasse between those that want new GM MGT and those that think Al is still a good NFL GM. I, being in the former group, not only think we need new front office help & a new GM, I don't even think Al is remotely up for the job anymore. he doesn't even earn a D- in my book.
And as for someone's comment earlier defiending Al's talent evaluations by hodling up the example of Fargas... I'm sorry, but I still don't consider Fargas a good NFL RB, much less an elite RB. When we play San diego later this year, if Fargas is instrumental in us getting a win, against that defense, then maybe I'll admit I'm wrong. But, right now, no defensive coordinator in the NFL is drawing up a game plan to stop Fargas. It hasn't even crossed their minds. We are simply not a game that anyone circles on their schedule and prepares mightily for... except other AFC west teams... maybe. If we were a force, a top ten team, Fargas would not be our RB.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Peterson can get 300yds on the Dolts and the other guy can add 80 more, I'm sure Fargas can manage 120 or so. Although the Vikings O-line was more of a factor than the RBs were. At least we run-block decent. -Psycho

10:59 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

So, Bama7, you want Bruce Allen back, based on his last 4.5 years of achievement.

I'll grant you that the Bucks have won more games during that time, but their situation was entirely different. When we faced them in the Super Bowl (and Gruden had taken over a team on the cusp of a Super Bowl, just as he left one) the Bucks had a far better mixture of veteran leadership and youth. It should have been far easier for them to get back to the playoffs than for us to do so, but they've been playoff absent since, just like us.

Bama, face facts. You'll blame Davis for everything bad that happens as long as he's alive. My feeling is that he excercises less control now than he ever has, and he has been deminishing his involvement, year by year, since the team started thinking of moving back to Oakland.

I explain Jano easily. How many games did we lose the year before we drafted him by 3 points, because we didn't have a kicker who could even find the uprights? Personally I didn't agree with the choice, but the choice was reasonably made at the time. We had acquired Nedney a few weeks before the end of the season the year before we drafted Jano. Because of Nedney's clutch kicks in KC, I thought, at the time we should stick with him. But I'm not prepared to call Al Davis a piece of crap because I disagreed with one of his choices that didn't work out as hoped.

11:20 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, and just to make my position clear...

I do think that Al should hire a GM. Not because I think Al has lost his senses, but because I think his advancing age is preventing him from being as mobile, and less capable of coming up with information on his own or vetting the information provided to him. I think he needs to find somebody he trusts. However, at this point we don't know exactly what the situation is. Mark Jackson came aboard late in the off season. We don't know for sure what his function is, or how they envision using him in the future.

I know I'll disagree with RT here, who feels that the Raiders should be required to tell us exactly what they are doing, or plan to do. I fall into the group who says that a business is responsible to the customer for the end product, but not the plan to get it to the shelf.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Sorry, you are putting words into my mouth. I don't expect an official memo. Let's not play games here.

What I do expect is tangible evidence that decisive countermeasures are being taken, as a signal to the fans that the same old sh**t it stops here.

Hiring a big-time GM would fall into that category. Letting it be known that Kiffin has authority over the draft would fall into that category. Giving lots of hungry young players a real tryout in the middle of a lost season would fall into that category.

Extending Barry Sims' five-year tryout does not fit into that category. Building your receiving corps around a guy who was benched for insubordination for most of last year does not fall into that category. Neglecting the offensive and defensive lines in the offseason at the cost of common football sense does not fall into that category. Having one of your big signings be a guy who's suspended for the first four games does not fall into that category, when our needs at the position are urgent.

If you think that the Raiders are above the laws of common economic sense, go right ahead, but the empty seats last week tell a much different story.

The less and less the Raiders seem capable of winning games, the more they should be concerned with winning over their long-suffering customers, which may include sending firmer signals that the concept of change is being taking very seriously on their behalf.

That's not some radical, unreasonable concept. It's Business 101.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama,

That was me who made the statement about Fargas. I never said he was an elite running back. I just said if he gained a thousand yards, which could happen, the pick would be moved to someone eles.

That would especially be true if he became a good to very good back. I don't think he will ever be elite. If Bush becomes an elite back he will become a Kiffin pick, if he bombs the experts will say, "why did Al waste that pick on a guy with a broken leg."

Blandarocked, as back up, most companies keep their business plan confidential. But, as consumers of the product we have certain expectations for improvement, even with the current line up. That's why I expected more from Kiffin.

There has been a massive shakeup this year with more to come. I was hoping for more immediate results, but I didn't get it. This Sunday is another chance, we shall see.

H

12:14 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

What did the Raiders do when the gained control of their ticketing operations? They said that they were going to make it much better, and they were very explicit about what they were going to do, and they delivered on that promise.

What did the Raiders do when the brought Art Shell back last year? They starting talking about how they were going to return to smashmouth, downhill Raiders football, how they were going to go back to their roots, etc. It blew up in their faces, and it turned out to be a colossal error in judgment, but that was certainly their plan, and they were very explicit about what they planned to do, philosophically, to turn the tide. As fans, we were emboldened and hopeful when that signal was sent.

Our personnel management crisis is now in proportion with, if not exceeding, our previous ticketing and coaching crises, and yet you act as if sending firm signals of change is tantamount to Coca Cola revealing its secret recipe.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush pick yes Kiffin regardeless...
Jamarcus Russell pick Al Davis pick regardless...future bust on #1 over hyped, over payed rookie pick big defference....should of traded down for Adrian Peterson...signed Jeff Garica instead of McClown and C Pete ...develop Walter, still has a chance to start...

12:32 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Ya, see, this is what's amazing to me Take. In two succeeding posts, you contradict yourself directly. In the first you tell us that the Raiders need to tell us what they are going to do that is going to make them better, then, in the next, you tell us how the Raiders have been doing that.

And since, as you say, the Raiders had been so explicit about their plans for last year - well, it certainly made us excited, but it produced a 2-14 season.

Nobody in the Raiders organization is ever going to ask for my input on how to rebuild this team. But I expect them to get it done.

Over a 5 year span of losing, all I can do is ask them to stop losing as soon as possible. Nobody in the organization is going to give me an explanation as to how we got to this point. Frankly, I don't think they care. All they can do is evaluate what is here and what is available now, and endeavour to make improvements.

But on the other hand, watching a football organization do business is a lot like watching a game. Nobody is going to give you the strategic details. For that you have to watch, and come up with the answers on your own.

There are some easy answers. Like, "Al Davis sucks!" But I'm a little bit more fond of analysis than that.

Seems to me the Raiders have said a lot of things this season that you don't think you've heard. They told us clearly that Kiffin was going to be given more power than coaches in the past. Davis said that he wanted a coach with an offensive background, who could call his own plays. He addressed scouting (one of their big problems) in the selection of Kiffin was partly because of his vast knowledge of college personnel. We were told that Mark Jackson's role was developing, but he was being bought on in more or less the capacity of signing players. That didn't mean to me that he's picking the players to sign, that means he's negotiating their contracts. My understanding is that Kiffin is making his own choices.

Sure, we'd all love to get rid of Sims, but you have to have somebody to replace him with. Do you have to see a backup get flagged for 5 false starts and allow 4 sacks before you believe that Kiffin might have a reason to start Sims? Remember how much we all wanted to see Culpepper start. Why couldn't Kiffin see it? Well, it looks like Kiffin did see it and he was right and we were wrong.

I obviously have my own opinions as to why we are where we are. But ultimately it doesn't matter. You can't do anything about what has already happened. The only question I'm concerned with is "are the Raiders doing all they can to right this ship right now?" The only answer that will ever be provided is improvement or lack thereof. But Kiffin is the man who has been charged with this task. Other than some growing pains (from not just a rookie HC, but a rookie NFL coach) I like what I've seen (in terms of approach, not in terms of player performance), and I think it will have positive results.

If you don't think I'm sufficiently pissed off at the organization, my answer to that is I have more important things in my life to where I should direct strong emotions. Football is entertainment. If it stops being entertaining, I'll stop watching it. As some may have noticed, I get enjoyment out of figuring out what makes things tick. Even when the Raiders lose, as an organization and as team drama I find them entertaining. I have a lot more fun when they win, but on the other hand, I have less to write about.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

No, I didn't contradict myself.

I contradicted your well-documented assertion that the team never sends firm signals about its plans, and that the fans shouldn't expect it, and that it goes against normal business practices.

Remember, you were the one who was saying such an expectation was outrageous, not me.

I also said that it's high time they address the current crisis in a similar manner, because the need to do so is greater than ever before.

Those are very consistent positions.

What's inconsistent is to say that the Raiders have never done it and will never do it, then using the fact that they've done it before to pretend that I'm contradicting myself.

1:46 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Well, Take, then you better correct me. It seems to me that what you've said needs to happen is that the team needs to present a coheasive plan to you, "the shareholder." I've said that no team broadcasts its organizational strategy (as all competitive strategies are, by their nature, secret - trade secrets actually). Talking about a new direction is something else, and all teams announce that while changing it.

Don't tell me I'm talking about something different when you know damn well what I'm talking about. We have all been informed about the Raiders' "new direction" this year. I'm still on board with that new direction, but I can see that it's going to be a long hard road (harder than I thought), and I've tried to point out some of the factors that make that road so hard.

Is it your position, then, that since the Raiders have not shown as much improvement as you expected, that the Raiders should dump the "new direction" begun last January and come up with a new one? At what point do we stick with something after more than one year (or six months as in the current case)? Is your position, "Instant gratification or nothing!"? What is it exactly. You've been talking quite a bit, but you haven't been saying much.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Blanda, you can't even understand my argument against Jano. The problem with taking Jano is that he was taken in the 1st round. That's the reason it was a dumba%$ move. Maybe we did need a kicker... I'm like you, I thought Nedney gets the nod on the KC dagger to the heart that kept them out of the playoffs... but even if we needed a kicker, you get one in FA, or maybe 6th or 7th round, NOT THE 1st ROUND. That move was sheer stupidity and has also made us look like complete idiots around the league. I wish we knew for sure who was responsible for Jano, but I guess since jano still plays for the Raiders and Gruden is long gone, it's safe to assume that pick was Al's. Agree?

1:58 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I don't think expecting decisive, visible change (and not just in coaches) when you've won four out of the past 30 games, and haven't exceeded five wins in what is verging on five straight seasons, qualifies as "instant gratification." It's terminal patience turning into reasonable impatience.

Time to stick with something for more than a year or six months? You mean like Porter and Sims? The lack of a qualified GM? Neglecting our offensive and defensive lines? Losing 75 percent or more of our games? Making consistently awful choices on offensive free agents? Besides changing coaches, it seems to me like we've stuck with a lot of things over the past four straight years.

If simply changing coaches is enough of a "new" direction for you, so be it, but it's getting old in my house.

2:09 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, I can't agree that just because a player is still around after the tenyear of the coach he was selected under that he was the pick of the owner or anybody else who still happens to be there. If a coach makes a bad pick, it's the owner who is stuck with the pick and how to deal with it.

I will say that it is reasonable that Gruden wanted Jano, but in a later round. That's highly possible. But don't neglect to remember that Jano was extremely highly touted and almost every prognositcator expected him to be gone by the end of the first round. The mood of the entire Raider organization, at the time, was our #1 priority is a kicker, and our #2 is a punter.

That's the context in which the choice was made. You can't just say, "No bozo is so stupid as to use a 1st round pick on a kicker," when you know full well that Davis once made a highly regarded 1st round pick of a punter. Our only argument about Ray Guy is, "Why isn't he in the Hall of Fame?"

Almost every pick you'll now want to criticize can be characterized as a "stupid move" because it didn't work out and caused even greater problems. But at the time the decissions were made they were highly supported by most people.

It's kind of ironic, though, when you think about it. Maybe I have the answer. When everyone agrees with an Al Davis pick that is the time for us to protest, because, when you think about it, it is those decisions which people labeled stupid at the time they were made that turned out to be brilliant. When Davis drafted Guy, everyone called him stupid. When he drafted Jano in the 1st, folks were reluctant to criticize because of Guy. I remember that Asamaguha was considered a dumb pick at the time (at least in the position he was drafted because people thought he'd be a project at best and the Raiders didn't need another CB).

2:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

So then, it is safe to say that your position, Take, is that we've made no significant changes this year other than HC? It would be your position that there has been little or no attempt to address the personnel problems with this team? You see this year as simply and extension of the past four? Then we have nothing to discuss.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, at 2-6, with awful offensive and defensive lines that were not addressed properly, a new flight of bad free agent QB signings, more Jordan and Porter as our main weapons to open the season, and whiffing on Mike Williams and, apparently, Dominic Rhodes, I would have to say that we've done a pretty good job of fielding an extension of the past four years, wouldn't you? As far as extensions go, they've done a pretty bang-up job of it.

Attempting to address problems and actually addressing them are two different things.

That's what separates good decisions from bad decisions. We've made tons of bad decisions, right up and through this season, when it comes to our personnel.

You keep wanting me to prove the future wrong, and that's your trump card, because I can't.

Hopefully, the Raiders will find a way to start making better decisions sooner rather than later. Until they do, I can only analyze what has become an epidemic of bad decisions. Absent better decisions that have yet to be made, your "new" direction is merely a theory, not a reality.

2:45 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The primary thing I've hear this year that I haven't heard in years past is there are no scholarships. Practice and games both count, attitide counts, consistency counts. Kiffin needs a year to fully evaluate. You don't think so? Why not?

QB - we drafted a franchise QB. We brought in two free agents only to start this one year. That's not going to inspire Payton Manning to come to this team.

HB - Rhodes was never guaranteed anything when he came here. He was only slated to be a backup to Jordan. We acquired Bush, not for this year but as potentially the RB of the future. Fargas has been a plus this year because for the first time he's been allowed to actually earn the job.

FB - Griffith... No change here?

WR - we've gotten rid of scholarships for Whitted, and a few others. Higgins hasn't yet developed and Porter and Curry are possesion recievers. We looked at a ton of WRs in the off season, and this is the best of the bunch. I guess we should have kept Whitted. We need a speed burner next year.

TE - Miller, Madsen!

OL - no decent picks in the draft and very little in free agency. We got the only decent one and the best available - Carlisle. We also got Newberry who has also served to help bring Grove along. Gallery, inside, is doing significantly better. We still have Sims. Who would you have replaced Sims with?

Your answer seems to be, "That's not my job! Replace him right now?"

3:06 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

It's sort of like Porter and Sims were delivered by space aliens, and there has been nothing (nothing!) the organization could have done to rid itself of these obvious chronic underperformers who have now survived five (!) separate coaching regimes, and now it's up to Raider Take to quit his day job and pore over the past four years' worth of free agents and draft picks to prove that, in fact, something could have been done, and then the alien spell will be broken, and we'll all rejoice and you'll throw me a parade. Hooray!

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Please, Blanda. No one in the NFL, save Al, was going to draft Jano in the 1st round. Stop it. And as for Ray Guy, he wasn't worthy of a 1st round pick either. Sorry to piss the diehards off. What year was he drafted? If we'd have had a good RB in the seventies besides Clearance Davis or Banazak or Van Eeghan, we might have one more than 1 ring in the seventies. We should have had more than one ring in the seventies. Can you imagine Stabler, Branch, Caper, Biletnekoff and that O-line with a REAL RB? I love all of those RB's from the Raider seventies, but elite nfl runners they were not. So pass on Guy and take a great RB in rd 1 and perhaps Al would have as many rings in the seventies as the Rooney family had.
And I don't have to be Mr Hindsight all the time either. here's some fearless forecasting on a few Al picks:
Richardson will not light up the NFL. he couldn't light up the Big Ten during a period when the Big Ten absolutely sucks, and OSU had the best atheltes in that conference! How will he dominate in the NFL?
Bowie- a very strong chance that this guy will not be special. A track guy first, football second.
Simms- a late round Al pick. Lived off of gannon and gruden. has hung in there since there departure because he's "Al's pick", Prediction: Simms finally departs in the offseason, and he does NOT go on to another team and dominate.
Sam Williams: will finally be cut next year. will NOT go on to great things in the NFL elsehwhere. Will have trouble even making another roster. You see, LB's are supposed to have highlights... slobber knocker hits, sacks, INT's, stripped fumbles... Sam has virtually no highlights during his endless Raider tenure.
Porter: Porter will be traded or let go at season's end. The prima donna will actually be picked up somewhere, but will fade away without doing anything special in the nfl, ever. Will not start for another nfl team, unless a bottom feeder picks him up... and even then his starting status won't go past 2 or 3 unproductive games.
Whitted: where is he now? Will never start for another NFL team. Guaranteed. Any bets?
James Jett: did he go on to rip it up elsewhere?

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT
Randy was right when he said theres some weird stuff going around this organization before he left....never thought they were aliens... hahaha funny stuff RT...but still the aliens have no control and dont have the final say because Al the top Alien chief says so

3:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Let's review:

From a prior post, RT, you said:

"My question was: in the absence of such communication, what makes you sure that organizational and philosophical changes are being implemented? And if changes aren't being implemented, how are we going to change?"

Just as you describe the team announcing changes in 2006, they did it again in 2007. In fact, every team that goes through HC changes makes their "new direction" announcements.

While nobody got specific as to what exactly was expected of the office personnel and coaching staff, Davis made a big deal of talking about his scouting and recruiting ability. New scouting procedures seemed to be indicated in the order the day.

Now, I spend a lot of time griping about Sims myself, but lets not forget that he played LT on a SB team. It seems to me that he was out for most of the season once between Callahan and Shell. And last season he played LG.

Knowing that we needed OL help, I looked at every free agent OL that signed in free agency. For the money they got, I wouldn't have signed one of them. Instead, I would have taken the chance that Kiffin and Knapp did.

And you said:

"Also, back to my other question, what makes you think that Kiffin has such immense control over these things? I have no evidence that he has control over these things."

Well, I think I do. Kiffin released players in the off season that folks deemed as Davis scholarships. Whitted. Moss. Kiffin has benched Rhodes, Jordan, Williams, Sands, Kelly, Washington... I haven't seen anything like that with any coach since Madden.

Kiffin is also freer with what he says than coaches before him. There is little question in my mind that Kiffin has far more autonomy than any prior Raider HC. But there will be no announcement, such have never been the Raider way. When it happens, you either recognize it or ignore it.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I can't wait for all the arrows I'll take when the Raiders improve.

I'm in a no-win situation, the Raiders literally can't get any worse than they've been, yet because I'm being honest about how bad they are at the moment and what got us into this mess and why it's not acceptable, I'll get hung when they start making positive strides, which will of course happen at some point, and you'll forever be convinced that Raider Take was to blame, and that this EPIC drought of competitive football couldn't have been shortened, and that no one was responsible for it, and that the fans had no right to question it because, well, it's 2008 and now we're 8-8 again and Barry Sims and Jerry Porter are finally, finally gone. Hooray!

Of course positive strides are being made under Kiffin. There is literally nowhere to go but up. We just have different ideas about what "Commitment to Excellence" actually means.

4:33 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, I think you might find what you're looking for here:

http://www.raiders.com/Newsroom/Default.aspx?id=142&date=1/1/2007#

On this page you will find the video of the Kiffin press conference where he was introduced as the new HC.

At that time Davis said that 2006 was a "year of infamy" and that the entire Raider organization was responsible. He said, "we cannot run away from the disappointment of our offense."

He went on to say that the team was in bad shape, but that we would get better. He also said it would take a good deal of time. He didn't know how fast, but it would come. He said that we need to turn to youth, not just the HC but the players as well. And he went on to say that Kiffin was the ideal choice in search of that youth.

Davis promised no bed of roses for this season. Perhaps not even next season. Only that the organization realized the need for some changes and were implementing those changes.

Is that the kind of statement you were talking about? What I get from this, and from Kiffin's statements since then, is that the Raiders are in need of a youth movement, but in order for that movement to take place you have to find the right players, and Kiffin is the man for that job.

So, since I'm unable to see that you haven't gotten exactly what you think you deserve as a "shareholder," perhaps what you are looking for is a specific time table on when moves will be made and the impact expected. Obviously you expect that Kiffin should have replaced Sims four years ago. I humbly submit that Kiffin didn't have the opportunity four years ago, nor did he in the last off season.

4:40 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And, RT, last year was the bottom. Not this year. This year we actually have a decent ground game some of the time. Last year we didn't even have that. We also have some pretty decent prospects in the wings. We didn't have that last year.

Nobody is going to blame you for anything, RT. None of it's your fault. The only thing anybody can hang on you is a moment of profound frustration. Which is... certainly... understandable.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Interesting article on Scott Pioli and Bill Polian, GMs of the Patriots and Colts, in the current SI.

"Polian has the FINAL say in all Colts personnel matters as well as a strong partnership with Dungy...Belichick makes the final call on Pats player acquisitions, but in drafting and free agency, he entrusts the table setting to Pioli."

As for the Raiders, well, that's a "trade secret." Wait...that's right, we don't have a GM. Hooray!

9:09 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

RT,

you are right on.
who is responsible for all this crap ?

who drafts the gibsons, gallery's, groves, brayton's williams' and all the other failures ?

who is it that decides to sign free agents jordan, rhodes, brooks, and other zombie talent ?

who is it that decides these losers should be brought back year, after year ?

why is it the coach always gets fired because he couldn't turn chicken sh*t into chicken salad ?

who could do anythig with this mess of a roster ?

there is no one in the raiders organization to stand before us and say, "i am responsible for this mess. i built this team, and i am to blame".

there is no one.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm i dont know but maybe,just maybe, im going out on a lim with this one umm just perhaps the owner who wants these conditions to continue umm AL DAVIS!! VIVA FIDEL DAVIS!

10:52 PM  

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