Sunday, December 23, 2007

First Three Minutes Take

Wow, how 'bout that run defense! Not.

Apparently, our secondary was briefly abducted by aliens. There was only one white shirt in view during the last 40 yards of that romp.

Not a good start.

UPDATE: Hiram Eugene, PLEASE TRY TO TACKLE LIKE AN NFL PLAYER! Just because you replaced Stu doesn't mean you should try to tackle like him. Jeez! This isn't soccer. You can use your arms! What's it going to take? WWTD?

UPDATE: I want to be sympathetic to Sapp and company, given all the junk food the zebras have fed us over the past few weeks, but they should know better. We need to focus on tackling and stuff like that. Getting tossed sure doesn't help. Losing one's composure to that degree just isn't defensible, and it makes Kiffin look foolish.


Blogger Toni said...

can somebody answer a question? Why does Carr try to run back a kick starting at the 5? He's done it twice already. Why not just let it bounce into the endzone...?

(that was a pretty reverse, unfortunately the defense got too much penetration)

10:15 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

inretrospect maybe they should have not accepted the penalty.


watch a Raiders game, and you'll see something you've never seen before. man oh man. what was that, 3 unsportsmanlike penalties?

11:42 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Actually that was Higgins with that gaffe of catching the kick at the five. I wonder what could have ticked off the defense to the point that Sapp got tossed?

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are no words right now. When is it OK to throw for a TD when you are up by 39 w/4 minutes left and the team you are playing cannot tackle? F#*@ Del Rio.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Maybe Del Rio was trying to do us a favor by passing, considering the state of our run defense.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

Someday we'll compete. Someday.

But hey, JaMarcus Russell's first ever professional touchdown!!! Thank God for that, with 6 seconds left. Not that his line improved too much, but without that touchdown, we might be looking at the worst line for a first game by a rookie ever, INCLUDING Ryan Leaf.

Is Russell the future? Let's hope so, but perhaps he can play slightly better someday. Someday.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11-49. Wow. Seems an eternity ago we were one of the 2 or 3 best teams in the NFL. Nice job Al... just win baby.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Jruss was overthrowing everything the first half and then corrected this by underthrowing everything in the second half.

I guess this explains to me why he couldn't knock McCown or Culp out of the starting job... Kiffin isn't crazy. Jruss is just not ready.

The defense set the tone of the game by overpursuing... gee first time we have seen that. This team is not built to come from behind by any stretch of the imagination.

Fire SOB please. Thats the first step of many baby steps.

Jax looked like the most complete team we have seen this season... props to them. If I were NE I wouldn't be ordering the SB rings just yet. There are four very good teams in the AFC... all that match up well with them.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama... Al was playing today with his walker?

lol... I missed it. damn.

2:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This is exactly why Russell needs to get snaps this year. Let him suffer some growing pains now, and he'll be more prepared next year. IMO, he should start against SD. Then, take the game films from today and next week into the off-season. It's our best chance to begin 2008.

On the other side of the ball, I'm pretty convinced that SOB has had ample opportunity. It may be time for someone else to try. Where's Mike Singletary going to be next year?

In a twisted way, maybe it's good that we're imploding on D, so that Al will let Kiffin hire his own D staff for next year. Kiffin needs to be given carte blanche.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the most disturbing thing to me is not how poorly Jruss played but how we still need to replace almost the entire defensive backfield with the exception of Asum.

Between Huff, Stuey, Wash, Rout, and Eugene, I think we have the makings of a coupla good nickel backs.

I think the front 7 can be coached into a good cohesive unit... I see no hope at all in 3 of the back 4.

Oh, and to make the Al-haters happy... yes it is prolly Al's fault for drafting poorly and/or not bringing in quality FA's.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a twisted way, maybe it's good that we're imploding on D, so that Al will let Kiffin hire his own D staff for next year.

Lol... I said the same thing while watching the game... if the defense played as well as last week every game to close out the season SOB might have a reason to keep his job.

This was a grease fire, and much of it is still the same ol' problem that never gets fixed. No discipline and no tackling.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, the front seven is the problem on D. You shouldn't have to count on your secondary to be the backbone of your run D. I agree that the secondary is not showing much, but there's not much toughness in front of them. And SOB has clearly done nothing to distinguish himself. Al took credit for the D end of season last year, well, okay Al, still taking credit for it now?
And I agree with NY Raider, let Russell play. He's got to get used to the speed of the game. It's tough that he's finally going to get extended time against two of the most physical defenses in the league (Jax & the Dolts)... that's baptism by fire, so we have to accept the mistakes. I mean, really the last time the guy played football for a whole game was aginst sorry a%^ Notre Dame's defense. Today must have been really tough for him, but he'll get better.
As for Al if he'd have kept his old a^& out of things back in 2000 when Gruden was turning things around, we'd be an obstacle for the Patriots in this year's playoffs instead of a team losing by scores of 38-7 and 49-11. Makes me sick.
Kiffen has all of the power in the world right now, because Al knows he can't be searching for a new coach again.... not again. It's killed us. Kiffen should pick up the pieces at year's end, make decisions about current players, and bring in his own DC. And Al gives him any crap or resistance, Kiff should take it public.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama... most defenses don't give up 70 yard TD's because they have safeties that are not on the opposite side of the play. I've said it 100 times... the reason the big plays happen is our entire team bites on misdirection plays. That is a COACHING problem... not a player problem.

And do you have any new hate-Al material? I feel like this place is a recycle depot for you or something. Gets kinda old. Have you heard this before?

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A blowout, wow. I've been just as hesitant to throw in Russell as Kiffin has been. And I still think he has done 100% all the correct things to bring Russell along so far.

Today we saw why he hasn't been starting every game......He's simply is not ready.

Up until Russell's 1st INT I thought he'd done an outstanding job of keeping his cool and protecting the ball every time he played. Then the INT happened, and it kind of snow-balled into a true rookie experience.

He'll just have to settle down, suck it up, and not panic so much in the future. He tried to do way too much today, coming it at 14-0 already with not much of a run game, and seemingly a desperate franchise on his shoulders. Yeah, Rhodes put up some numbers but it didn't feel like the security blanket that Fargas provides.

And most importantly Russell needs to realize how good a team JAX is and not let it get to him.

Russell seemed demoralized today. His throws didn't go where they normally go and he was getting hit. I saw in Russell today what Kiffin has been so careful to protect; a very young, extremely talented QB who needs to be baby-stepped into NFL playing shape. All while having an entire Nation screaming for him to come in and save the day.

Do we start him against SD and squeeze out whatever experience we can get for him, good or bad? Or do we just play him a little and try to put him in diecent situations for a positive finish?

Some will scream for one thing, and others will scream for the opposite. Well, actually most of you I'm sure would rather see him start and finish, and some might possibly call me an idiot for even asking. But this really is a delicate situation we're in whether you ackowledge it or not.

Whatever happens, I just hope we all stay firmly in Russell's corner for the duration and understand that this process may take a while. The last thing he'll need this time next year is a group of fans turning on him. You can see in the "good" plays, this guy is for real.


7:07 PM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

You better hope Rhodes' running was an aberration this week, because if he can crank out 100+ against teams like the Jags on a consistent basis, then why IN THE WORLD was he on the bench every week?

Michael Bush for President!

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First prediction for the San Diego Charger win in choketown next week, Chargers 31.....choketown faidas 6. The Chargers will want to end the season with a convincing win, and if they can't manhandle the faidas it will display their weaknesses./ Expect an eye gouging, ear biting, air pulling free for all! Just wait baby. Stop defending something that doesn't exist. (nation) When the faidas move out of choketown again will you DUPES still be a proud "nation"? Ha h ah ah ah

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This isn't soccer. You can use your arms!

Too Funny!!!
I needed something to make me laugh and feel better about how amazingly poor our tackling is.


7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is kinda like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube... once it's out, it's out. We can't bench Russell now... just as well continue the baptism by fire. I actually wish Kiffin had either started him from the beginning or not brought him in at all. Behind by 14 without an established running game is not a great place for a highly-touted rookie. Oh well.. he'll be fine in a few years. I hope he starts next week and Kiffin designs a game plan specifically for him with more roll outs and safety valves.

The fumble was disturbingly similar to Culpepper... gulp.

Kinda goes to show the "moral victories" are so hollow. We supposedly were bringing lotsa good things out of last week, only to be back a square one. I don't think there was a bright spot today... well except Rhodes didn't suck when the scrubs were playing prevent.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting research I just did for the Grudenites that think he would have been the shit if he would still be with the Raiders...

He always seems to have great defenses but never seems to win any games vs good teams... why would that be?

07: 2 wins vs above .500 teams with the number 2 ranked defense
06: 1 win vs above .500 teams with the number 17 ranked defense
05: 4 wins vs above .500 teams with the number ONE ranked defense
04: 1 win vs above .500 teams with the number 5 ranked defense
03: 2 wins vs above .500 teams with the number 5 ranked defense

10 wins vs over-.500 teams since hitting the lottery, with those defenses?

They have had an average of the SIXTH rated defense the last five years and he averaged two wins a year against good teams??? I'd say he's the PROBLEM at TB... what on earth does Gruden have to do with defense again?

Gruden = overrated.

8:55 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Garry- IMO, the Gruden thing is more of a continuity issue. We certainly would have won more games with him.

But I believe Kiffin can be better than Gruden, with the right staff and players. Remember, Gruden had Gannon... a supreme leader on the field. Those guys fed off each other.

Kiffin is a coaching protege from birth, with good lineage. Even at 32, he is well respected around the league. He has shown an ability to make adjustments in-game and from game to game (ala wins against KC and Denver). And he’s done more this year to turn around the team culture than I believed possible.... particularly, regarding competition and eliminating scholarships (coaches and players).

There are many positives that can be taken from the final game (not so many negatives that haven’t already been exposed), however, the game probably won’t mean much to either team.

Wrt to Russell, he’s no China doll. This guy had a big enough ego to demand $60 million, so he needs to play and learn on the fly. Hopefully, Raider Nation will be patient and allow Russell the time he needs.... maybe another full season.

Wrt Rhodes, 115 yards does not make a superstar. Fargas is no Walter Peyton, yet he has been more than adequate behind our line. Get used to having a good running game behind the Kiffin/Cable blocking scheme. The Broncos have done it for years, with marginal RBs.

Does anyone else think that Jordan finalized his walking papers with the whiffed block that allowed a sack? Guy comes in for one play (and one purpose) and f’s it up. Gone!

Eugene is not better than Stu, just different. They both need to be replaced... which comes full circle back to our serial-drafting of DBs. Hold on to your seats and remove all loose objects from the room prior to draft day.


6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the yardage Rhodes got was garbage time with Jax doubling the wr's knowing Russell would wing it...

Which actually is a good thing if you think about it... if he reels in his recklessness and hopefully his accuracy improves, we can look forward to an even better running game in coming years. After watching Minn struggle against 8 in the box (which much better RB's and line)because their QB can't complete any long passes against single coverage, I certainly don't want to see that in the future.

And the continuity point with Gruden is excellent... although the bigger mistake was not giving Callahan a few more years before looking for a more long term solution... thus avoiding the Turner/Shell fiasco altogether (and not looking like "crazy Al" by firing three head coaches in 5 years).

Oh well... thats all in the past. This team looks headed in the right direction yet... there will be many more stumbling blocks like Sunday before returning to the elite class of the NFL.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous memdf said...

RT got the best of me. The scrapbooks are out of storage and so are the 1970 Season Comments.

I went to my Warren Wells section. Just one thing after another. Attempt rape conviction, stabbed by a woman, drunk and battery arrests. Spent the 1971 season in custody. Prior to that caught 42 tds in four seasons.

I reloaded my scanner software and am ready to go.

9:08 AM

Good deal! I can't wait to see it, bro.


12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamarcus Russell ... let the future bust begin... 4 turnovers committed (3 INT 1 FUMBLE) ... I dont care that he is a rookie, we payed him like a top rated QB veteran, and thats the kind of poor performance we get out of him? We all can make excuses for him but hmmm really we payed him to make few to none. His just a bigger Culpepper. So MEGA PEP JR will have the same kind of carer... get hurt like C Pete because his just a bigger slower version , fumble snaps, throws into tight coverages that he cant read, throwing accuracy not their, can sling the ball fast and long, so it can find the hands of defense faster, scramble into big hits, and will loose focus and get frustrated much quicker.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was all that goin on before the half?!?!I agree it does make the coach look stupid and not only the coach but the organization. I am guessing somebody told carr that his job was on the line for next year because he kept trying to return it from way deep. How come the ref that actually talks on a mike seemed like he was a 5th string ref taking orders??? well this was one bad game by the raiders but I think we are headed in the right direction thanks to kiff but the team really needs to get rid of me first players like jordan and sapp. I really like sapp for his attitude but he really is holding this d b back. I think by next season we should be playoff contenders givin that the west is fallling and we are headed in the right direction with kiff at the wheel. hey im drunk but i think at the same time and i say we are almost there raider nation... give us another season or 2 and we will be the top of the afc west again qand regular playoff teams

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiffin on the said,

"JarMarcus will take all the snaps at practice this week and start next week's and play the whole game."

So, the era starts with S.D.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sea at Atl
Stl at Ari

Both the Jets and Atl are at home with KC packing the season in 6 weeks ago, and Sea possibly resting starters... and I'm not sure we could beat SD's scrubs with a rookie QB.

I think we could move into the top three or four in the draft again.. esp. with the AFCW having three teams with horrible records bringing down our final SOS.

How about Al trading up to get McFadden and putting Micheal Bush out as trade bait?

Or do we stand pat for Son of Howie?

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gaaa... I just figured it out... KC is a few pct points below us in suckatude and will draft in front of us unless the NYJ and Cinci win this weekend... esp if Clev beats SF at home.

I think we are slightly above Balt, and for sure Atl (if Atl wins.) If Stl wins, they are still almost in a dead heat with the Raiders, so that isn't very important.

So to recap... we need to REALLY root for the NYJ's for two reasons (helps us go above the Jets for sure, and possibly above KC) and also root for Atl.

Go Jets, Atl, and Cinci!

If they all three win that gives us the number THREE pick (if I did my math right)... #4 if Balt ends up a few pct points above us.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary: Regardless if we end up as high as #3 or as low as #7, I'm completely sold on taking SOH. SOH is a rare DE who has the ability to be a fierce pass rusher AND stout run defender. IMO, it is destiny for SOH to don the Silver and Black uniform and be a perennial All pro with a solid 10 year career. Our projected DLine:

DE Burgess
DT Warren
DT Kelly

DT situational pass rusher > Sapp
DT situational run D > Sands
DE situational pass rusher>Clemons

Everything I have read about SOH indicates he is a VERY special player in terms of character, football intelligence, strength, quickness, speed, agility, and versatility. He is a pure football player by every definition.

SOH improves our pass rush and run D. As we all know, the Raiders D relies predominately on the front 4 supplying the pass rush. We desperately need to have another DE who plays the run and pass equally as well. Clemons is 1 dimensional. Brayton is a bust.

SOH in Oakland would be a beautiful thing. :) CJ

10:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Calico- I'm sold! SOH! It's his destiny to be a Raider. Al's pick, or Kiff's pick? Hmmmm.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, I like the idea of going after McFadden simply because he is such a rare talent. Put McFadden in the cut-blocking run scheme we have and you'd have the NFL's best RB in 2008. Hands down. Rhodes proved against a tough NFL defense that Fargas's success this year was was more in-line with what Mike Anderson and Droughans did at Donkeyland with Shanny's attack... mediocre backs that thrive in the best run scheme in football. Put McFadden in that scheme and defenses would have to approach our offense MUCH differently. What an unbelievable gift that would be to JRuss... paying big dollars to mCfadden would be protecting our Jruss investment. Also when considering McFadden as a Raider think about the unbelievable impact Adrien Peterson has had for the Vikings. And seeing how the Razorbacks had virtually no threat of a passing offense, it makes Mcfadden's career look, to me, remenisent of Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker. I think he's the best RB to hit the draft since LT.
As for Howie's son, I am scared that he played in the ACC when the league was down. I asked before and no one knew... how did he do against Pitt's tackle? I know they killed Pitt, but how did Howie's son do? That OT for Pitt is supposed to be a 1st rounder. Also, how'd did he do against Va Tech?
For some reason Howie's son reminds me of Gallery. Gallery may have fooled the scouts due to playing against mediocre competition.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico... you better be rooting for the Jets then because some of the mock drafts have him going as high as #2 with Stl... and lots of them have the Jets picking him to help out with their 3-4.

I do think Al would do ANYTHING to get him... if we don't move up now, we might do it next year at the cost of draft picks.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama... I'd be happy with either McFadden or SOH.

Both would help our team out tremendously from what I have read.

I can see having a McFadden/Bush backfield for years to come... especially if SOH is gone.

9:30 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Haven't read all of the posts yet, but here goes...

I hope everyone here had a great holiday (although we weren't treated to any kind of Christmas present by the Raiders).

Have to say that I agree with Bama7 over Gary on one point (only a little more specifically). The problem is our front 4 and DC coaching in general, but specifically the coaching of the middle 3. Nobody in the front 4 has the ability to muscel up and hold the line, and the middle three always fail to play their gaps. I thought that Martindale might be a good replacement for SOB, but the LBs have coaching problems and Martindale is the LB coach.

They've been teaching Howard to free lance all year, so he never stays with the designed play, and Morrison is too busy looking for his 4th interception. This makes Howard and Morrison good at pass d, but crappy at run d. Thomas is the most effective all around LB these days. I agree that none of the DBs are making tackles on running plays, but the runner should never be getting to them.

And speaking of tackles, this goes back to my argument with Bama about the difference between tackling and hitting. I saw a lot of hits. Then I saw ball carriers stay on their feet and gain another 20 yards. SOB has failed to teach this team that the game is not European Football (socker). The defenders are all allowed to USE THEIR ARMS & HANDS!!! I would rather watch a defender pull a player down by the facemask than to watch the defender pop the ball carrier with his shoulder, fall down, and then watch the runner continue. At times I watched Taylor and Jones-Drew bounce off of as many as five players without ever being touched by an arm or hand. That is SOB's fault AND HE SHOULD BE FIRED!! "Paging Mike Singletary. Go to the white courtesy telephone please."

Jacksonville is the best all around team I've seen this year. They play like the Raiders used to. As long as the NFL hasn't decided to award the SB to NE this year, I'd be one worried patsy.

I agree with Jason Jones. With their outburst of personal fouls, the team showed Kiffin what they had showed Callihan, Turner and Shell. They are a pack of posers with no fight.

I think many of them can be saved, as long as Kiffin can correctly identify the klinkers and remove them in the off season. Getting SOB out of there will also help because I believe he has a part in creating/perpetuating the attitude.

As for Russell, I watched him play very poorly, even for a rookie, but I also saw him do some things which should be impossible. That interception, where he rolled right to the sideline and then threw the ball 30 yards up the field and to the opposite side of the field, defied physics. He will either be the best in the NFL, or he'll be this decade's Jeff George. Currently it's advantage "best QB" because Russell seems to be capable of far better leadership than George.

9:36 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Here's something... There's a rumor that John Fox will be let go by Carolina. Fox was the last really good DC we had. He bolted without explanation with about a week to go before the season started in 1997. It's always been a mystery why he quit so suddenly. I have no idea if he gets along with Al Davis. Since Davis spends the majority of his time on the defensive side of the ball, it could be that he felt Al was interfering. I have no evidence of that however. I don't know how much time Al would have had to interfere because he was heavily involved in litigation at the time, so my feeling has always been that Fox couldn't get along with Bugel after expecting an HC offer from Al. As almost always, Davis went with an offensive minded coach.

Many HCs, after getting fired, go back to coordinator's job to re-establish themselves. I wonder if John would be interested in just focusing on defense for a season or two.

10:16 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Something I've been seeing more and more. It keeps being said that Davis has been pressuring Kiffin to get Russell on the field much sooner than he has. It's one of those things being said over and over by the mediots until it becomes true, although no one has ever cited a source or context for the rumor.

Sorry, I don't buy it. I know Davis' history. There was never any push to get Stabler on the field, nor Mark Wilson who was legitimately called a Davis pick. In only three instances was there any push to get the newly drafted QB on the field. Two under Shell (Beuerlein and Marinovich) and one under White (Hobart), and in all three instances it was because of the lack of anyone better to try in their place. As for Walter, if you remember, we acquired Brooks in an effort to get him more time to develop.

I could see Davis pressuring Kiffin to get Culpepper on the field, but not Russell. At least not this year.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its an interesting argument... is it the front four, the middle three, or the back fours fault that the defense stinks out loud?

I guess my main point is that besides the occasional big plays that break our back game after game, the front seven play pretty well. There could be easily 50-70 yards a game chopped off our average against the rush alone if the big plays would go away. Granted the front seven have to break down before the safeties and CB's have to make a tackle on the break-away plays... BUT THE TACKLES ARE NEVER MADE by the back four. NEVER EVER EVER... thats what is killing us.

You never see a good team with crappy safeties. They just don't exist very often. This NEEDS to be addressed again before we make any serious push towards greatness again. Sad but true.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree Gary, but I think the DE (and DT) position is as lacking as our safety position. Both need upgrading.
Blanda, I'd like to see us do what Miami did (Parcells) and bring someone in upstairs to run things.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look. You guys can dog on SOB all you want, but the reality is, he can't make the tackle for the players. He can't stop the guy with the ball from running over the defender. And he sure as help can't do anything about the Zebra's (WTF guys? I mean Indy and NE get every call in the F-ing world. I know we shouldn't be in that situation, but that doesn't justify the constant snow-jobs. Atleast they won't be able to take it out on Sapp next week).

I digress. Is he (SOB) overly agressive some times? Yea. D
Can you blame the fact that they can't tackle on the coaching? Sure you can. But what the F have they been doing all they're lives!?! TACKELING! (some better than others obviously).

Bama7's right, we need football players not models.

As far as QB play goes, it's just going to take time to get the timing down. Most of those INT's you could tell things weren't gellin'. I still have hope that he can do some serious damage eventually.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

memdf, quit whining. Point differential is the tie-breaker after head-to head.

Plus, if you ever have the oportunity to give someone thier worst loss ever, you gotta take it!

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On grudes, who's his QB? Nuff said.
He lost his D aftet the SB. Then he lost Alstot?sp?.

You people look at the W/L column and thing it's like a poker game. I built this time and it's highter than yours so I should win every time. That's why they play the game people.

For instance. alabama beat tennesee but lost to houston community college (or some such).
Maybe Sabens thumb was sore and he couldn't pull off the combo moves on offense or something, but obviously.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"hand", not "time"

4:18 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, I just don't think Al is our trouble. I think our trouble is Gruden building a team full of old farts, then having them all retire at the same time, then suffering with three very different coaching philosophies in a row.

Now, I'll grant you that the fault remains with the guy at the top for not seeing that coming. But I remain confident that Kiffin will get the players he wants until his system becomes fully realized. If we're in this same position this time next year, I might come over to your side (sans the anger). But right now, I'm still confident this is getting turned around.

As for Miami, they're in far worse shape than we are. They haven't won since before Marino retired.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama... I'm with you on the DL.. thats why I am so interested in SOH... I'd rather address safety through FA. Still wish we could see how Huff does at FS this last game, but I suspect he would be worse there. Doesn't seem to have a clue.

Blanda... ruh roh... you just blamed "St. Gruden" for some of our problems. The gloves will be off soon here... lol. I think I have said this before here... in 20/20 hindsite, Al shoulda completely blew up the entire team right after the SB loss and we would prolly be a playoff team by now. Can't blame him for gambling at another chance at a ring though. Gambling during the salary cap era takes years and years to correct. It's why the top teams rarely do it.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

As far as the D goes ...

I think we have a weak link in each positional group.

DLine: I believe the DE is our weak link when it comes to run D. Both DBurg & Clemons are undersized DEs whose forte is rushing the passer. The combination of Warren/Kelly (starters) and Sapp/Sands (subs) is a good, versatile group. Missing Kelly this season has really stung BIG time.

Solution: SOH

LBs: I think our SLB (Thomas) is average at best. We need a bigger, more aggressive SLB who is a tackling machine and able to shed blockers (OG, TE) and make 8 to 12 tackles per game.

Solution: Draft or FA

Secondary: Safeties. Huff is too small at the point of attack to be an impact in the box. Stu lacks the instinct and tackling fundamentals to be our last line of defense.

Solution: Draft a SS and move Huff to FS.

Add SOH, upgrade the SLB, and find the best available SS in FA and we could see a nice turnaround in stopping the run, pass coverage, and our pass rush.

P.S. I will be beating the drum for SOH until draft day so get used to it! :) CJ

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add SOH, upgrade the SLB, and find the best available SS in FA and we could see a nice turnaround in stopping the run, pass coverage, and our pass rush.

P.S. I will be beating the drum for SOH until draft day so get used to it! :)

Awesome! I'm with you!

9:26 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Obviously, we don't have the kind of control we had in last year's draft. Here's the worst of the worst heading into the 2008 draft.

Miami 1-14
Jets 3-12
Atlanta 3-12
Rams 3-12
Ravens 4-11
Raiders 4-11
Chefs 4-11
San Fran 5-10

I imagine at least 4-5 teams will draft ahead of the Raiders. Almost no question, McFadden will be gone, however, Atlanta must take a QB.

All these teams could use help on their DL. Will SOH be available? After next week's results, it will be time to start looking closer.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we need to get Danny Ainge in the War Room, with Al.

Problem is we don't have 8 tallented youngsters to trade, and there is no KG out there for us to get.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:03
Thanks for identifying yourself.


It appears to me that being a class act as a coach is as rare as being a class act as a player.
If you saw the game that I saw, it would be immediately apparent, even to you, that the Raider defense could not stop anyone.

There was no need to pass at that point. The jags could have played marty ball and called 20 straight running plays and gotten the same result.

Am I pissed that my team got "whipped" as my wife so eloquently pointed out? Yes I am.
Am I whining about it? I think not.

Because you have posted as anon I take it that you are just passing through and have no real interest in circling the wagons after a loss like this last one.

BTW the jags only needed to win to make the playoffs. Point differential had nothing to do with that.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico, agree whole-heartedly about the glaring problmes at DE. I mean, what DE's do we have? Clemons? Should be playing LB. Burgess? Strictly a pass rushing end. Richardson? A plodder... 11 games played 1 sack (Even Q Moses, playing in only 3 games for Miami, has 1.5 sacks).
Howie's son might just be the answer because we have no well-rounded DE's. I would feel more comfortable about Howie's son had he played against better competition though. Opponents played are a combined 71-74. Some real ugly competition on that Virginia schedule and his senior year is by far his best year. Va Tech was, I suppose, their toughest opponent. LSU beat those guys 48-7. I plan on watching him in his bowl game against Texas Tech.
McFadden is a future NFL MVP. I'd do anything to land him. Miami is probably content with Ronnie Brown and one last hurrah from Ricky Williams. If McFadden makes it past the 1st pick... I say give up whatever is necessary and get him.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In an unscientific sampling of mock drafts here are the possible projected first rounders for the Raiders:

Vernon Gholston DE Ohio State

Kenny Phillips S Miami

Ryan Clady OT Boise State

DeSean Jackson WR Cal

Jake Long OT Michigan

Sedrick Ellis DT USC

Chris Long DE Virginia

8:27 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Very interesting point made by Ano 4:09. After the SB, Gruden lost his defense and never had a QB. As a result, Gru's record since the SB isn't much better than the Raiders.

But wait a minute. The evil Al Davis chased Gruden and Bruce Allen out of town because he was jealous of their genius. But with all of that genius, why is it that the Bucks have just now returned to playoff form? Shouldn't Gru and Allen have been able to immediately restock the team with the talent it needed? And the Bucks had the advantage of having the same coaching philosophy in each successive year.

So, maybe the way Gruden and Allen built the Raiders, followed by our rapid turnover of coaches had something to do with our troubles.

I say, next year we're challenging for the playoffs. And I consider that a faster rebuild than the Bucks because we've been jerkin' off for the past four years.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda... our problem after Gruden was Al giddily running away from the Gannon/short game that Gruden favored, back to what makes Al most exicted.. a big armed, slow, Lamonica statue, dropping back 7 yards deep in the pocket and waiting and eternity for guys to be 25 yards+ downfield...enter: KERRY COLLINS who was simply Jeff George, Schroeder redux.
And, sadly, we all know too well the saga that has followed.

MEMDF.... you leave off one big name on your list... Quentin Groves... Auburn. Should play LB in the pros and is extremely nasty/physical. The perfect compliment to Morrison & Howard's athleticism.
As for Safety... Kelin Johnson of Georgia can probably be had in a later round. He likes to hit.

9:05 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, Kelin Johnson can hit? Can he tackle? I'm really not in the mood for another season of pin-ball.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with the DE/DT analysis. Our DT rotation is fine, need run support at DE...SOH looks like a man who needs to be in S & B.

At safety, I would make a run at Bob Sanders who will be an FA this year. Any college safety will need time to learn the ropes, as will SOH...Sanders is more of a 'win now' move.

Right now, we will pick no lower than seventh

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda: I like to assume that once a defensive guy makes it through pee wee ball, junior high ball, high school ball, gets a college scholarship to play football and then ultimately gets selected in the NFL draft, that is is safe to assume he knows how to tackle. I feel sure of that. Again, our problem is people enjoying physical contact. You either like it or you don't. And if you don't, your strangely never in good position to make tackles or you miss tackles.

9:33 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

How do you figure that all these people who don't enjoy playing football manage to make it into the NFL?

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are recommending an auburn player? The irony is not lost on me.

I just sampled a bunch of mock drafts and there was no mention of Groves and the Raiders. It is interesting that there is nothing close to a consensus by these "draftniks" on a pick or position.

Regardless, draft day is always interesting as a Raider fan.

10:25 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

What do folks know of Josh Barrett. He's a SS at ASU. Over 80 tackles in his Jr year, and played some OLB. He's 6'2" and 231 lbs. He was on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award which goes to the top college DB in the country.

It looks like he's not playing in the post season because of a knee injury, which should lower his draft status. It looks like he might easily be picked up by the Raiders in the 2nd round.

As for Chris Long, it looks to me like we might even be able to trade down for him. I see him picked to go around the 23rd pick. He's not favored because of his school. But, like Kiffin, we know his lineage. We could get both Long and Barrett in the draft and move Huff over to FS.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

I've been completely away from my computer for six days. Upon my return I must disagree with one of my Raider Brothers. I don't think our DT rotation is fine.

Specifically we don't have that lunch pail anchor at tackle who will tie up blockers. Whether it's bad technique or just lack of talent or will, we don't have a tackle that will occupy blockers.

Too many times on run plays our DT's are single blocked. This leaves blockers free to take on our linebackers and get outside. Also, our DT's are mostly gap players. If they guess wrong and take the wrong gap they are easily pushed out of the way.

We need a guy who requires at least two blockers and can collapse the pocket.

Having said that, we also need a defensive scheme that allows our linebackers to cheat up to the line on first and second down. Give them too many people to block. If our DB's are as good as claimed we don't need all three linebackers in coverage.


12:41 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Welcome back, H! It's been lonely around here.

I agree on the DTs. As for the LBs, with two of the fastest in the NFL they should be able to get back into shallow coverage once they identify a pass even when playing seven in the box.

I was thinking about JRuss' play against the Jags. Many chalked it up to the jitters. I don't. Rather I think it was touch of over confidence. In the first two appearances JaMarcus was very restrained because he didn't want to screw it up for McCown, knowing that McCown would be coming back in the game.

Against the Jags, once he was in he didn't have to give it back, and I think he said to himself, "Let's show these people what this arm can do!" And that explains the cross field interception. In college and high school his rocket arm could always be used to bail him out of trouble. In the NFL, especially now days, you have to play a more patient and cerebral game. I think JRuss can easily adjust to that game, but he's going to have to rein himself in a bit.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MEMDF- sorry, I undertsand your original take now... names associated with the Raiders in mock drafts. No, I don't imagine anyone has us taking Groves. He'll probably end up in denver the way our luck's been going.
I'm not too alarmed about JRuss's bad outing. Heck, can you pick two more physical defenses for a rookie QB to have to face than the Jags and Dolts? This is a really tough assignment for him. Gameplan Sunday should call for a very heavy dose of running the ball... a conservative game plan.
And whoever plays the Patties in the playoffs should stick to the run throughout the game. I have watched the Patties this year and Vrabel & Bruschi are looking old. I don't think they enjoy playing a heavy run dose for 4 qtrs. If someone beats them, I'll bet you that team will have had a huge day running the football. Ball control is the only way to beat them.

1:33 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've compiled a belated Christmas present for my Raider brethren.

But before I give it to you, it caused me to think of something I'd forgotten during discussions of whether or not Davis needs a GM.

It doesn't matter what the position is called, but up until the Gruden era, Davis did have a football mind who served as a confidant and someone to bounce ideas off of. His health took a turn for the worse just before they moved back from LA, and he died during the early part of the Gruden era. That man was Al LoCossal. I think that's essentially the function that Bruce Allen served during his time here. After Allen left, the position was never re-occupied. I think THAT is part of what has been lacking. Just someone who causes Al to think a little deeper than he would on his own.

Open your presents.

May 2008 be as glorious as our past.

2:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks Blanda. I needed that pick-me-up. It took about 20 minutes to watch all of them.

We need Villapiano back at LB.

I had forgotten Hendricks was always a high tackler. Don’t try that today. And he had 4 career safeties.

I had also forgotten that Lester Hayes was a converted safety. What a phenomenal talent.

Hayes and Haynes... best CB tandem in football, EVER!

4:38 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

That's what Davis has been looking for again. Haynes and Hayes. Two shut down corners, eliminating both WRs. In 1983, because of that, there was nothing the Raider D couldn't do.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll check out the present from Blanda over the weekend.

I got to listen to Snake again today over the internet. They do audio clips of his time with the Raiders on occasion. Today they did Frank Gifford's call of the winning touchdown on Monday Night Football December 3rd, 1979.

Down 35-14 Kenny led them back, with the help of the defense, throwing the winning touchdown pass to Cliff Branch to win 42-35.

I still remember that game, the Saints defense put Snake on his butt right before halftime the camera did a close up of him.

Oh well, more memories...


5:40 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR: SOH is a consensus TOP 10 pick in this year's draft. The Jets, Pats, and Raiders are all viable landing spots for SOH.

Beat the drum ...

* SOH is a 1st team All American.

* SOH is the only college player that I can think of who had his jersey retired while still active

* SOH was the 2007 Ted Hendricks DE of the year

* SOH rang up 14 sacks in 12 games

* SOH had 75 tackles, 19 for loss.

"And with the 5th pick in the 2008 draft, the Oakland Raiders select ... Chris Long, Defensive End, University of Virginia"

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx for the links Blanda! Best present of the season!

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the presents. I still have about four to go. One of the best parts of the videos is John Madden's three inch vertical leap. He wouldn't test out very well at the combine.

You made a comment earlier about the game being more cerebral today. I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint. I believe the game is more complicated today. That’s why you have committees in the press box analyzing each play and making suggestions to the coordinators. I wouldn’t necessarily call that cerebral.

I think the game was much more cerebral starting in the mid fifties up through the middle eighties. Quarterbacks called their own plays and made on field adjustments without instruction from the committee. The defensive signal caller, normally the middle linebacker, would pick out tendencies and make adjustments on the fly.

It was a match up of brawn and brain on the field. Stabler, Unitus, Starr, pick your poison. They would outplay and out think you.

Now a days you see the quarterback holding his hands over the ear holes of his helmet so daddy can tell him what play to call next.

Or, maybe the game has just passed me by. But, there is a relic throwback who calls his own plays who is the reigning Super Bowl MVP. I don’t care a wit for dome teams, but I do tip my hat to Manning.


5:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Here’s a thorough breakdown of SOH’s career. Very impressive for any conference.

I know where we can find a spare #91 jersey. It’s one of our last scholarships and the individual currently wearing it should be gone by next year. Of course, we could always shake #75 off Mario Henderson.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think our choice will be SOH or Jake Long; unless we trade up. I'd draft a couple Receivers, Tackles (both offense and defense), Safety, and Linebacker in the other rounds.
I think we do have 2 pretty good shut down corners in Namdi and Routt. We could solidify the corner by signing Namdi long term, and picking up Asante Samuel from NE this offseason. Then we need a safety to play the man-zone defense we did in 1980 and 1983 years we won the Super Bowl.
I think one good DE is good, but we do need a DT; and Albert Haynesworth is a good start. If not him, then Terrell Suggs.
Sam Williams (free agent after this season) needs to go bye-bye, and we need to get a good Middle LB. Lance Briggs would be a nice pick up as well.
The O-Line needs work, Center, 1 Guard, and Tackles. Faneca fills the void at the one guard position. Flozell Adams or Max Starks would be a nice pick up at Tackle.
Just my opinion.

7:53 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I chose the wrong word with cerebral. In fact, it's the opposite in the sense that cerebral implies using an individual's brain. In the past, I've used the term computerized, but that's not quite accurate either. I think you nailed it with "committee."

And by now you've seen the clip about Stabler where they go over that Monday night game you're talking about. Was it Villapiano who said that Stabler was knocked unconscious on that last sack, but when he got up he said (with the score at 35-14), "I dug this hole, now I'm going to dig us out." Stabler believe it didn't matter how you started a game. It only mattered how you finished it.

I remember watching that game live. I remember that last sack, waiting for Stabler to get up. When he got up, shortly before halftime, Don Meredith said something along the lines of, "I've seen that look on Snake's face before. The Raiders are not finished in this game, you can count on it."

8:39 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Another thing I wanted to comment on is SOB. I'm siding with JMac on this. I've seen it before. With the Raiders. Can't remember the year. But JMac has identified part of the problem.

A coordinator has a popular personality and always backs up his players, refusing to call anybody on the carpet for anything. "If we don't get it done, it's my fault."

The players develop unquestioning loyalty, and become very comfortable. When wagons are circled, they are no longer circled around the team, but around the coordinator's unit. The defense has become a separate entity within the team. They are no longer part of the Raiders, but Rob Ryan's defensive unit.

The players will back Ryan to the hilt, and Ryan will never bad mouth a player under him. The players will constantly defend Ryan to the ownership or new HC coming in, arguing that their bad season was just "bad luck." This is how Ryan keeps his job year after year without putting up an effective unit.

I also agree that Ryan might be out of a job by Wednesday.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As Bob Hope would say, thanks for the memories.

People talk about Hendricks tackling high. The guy was 6' 8". Didn't have a lot choice back then. He might have been the tallest guy in the league at the time.

People also forget he won a ring with the Colts.

By the way, for college awards three are named after Raiders. Ted Hendricks, Ray Guy and Fred Biletnikoff.


9:58 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Interesting, isn't it? The guy who sets the standard for the nation, so that even name a college award after him, is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yes on Hendricks and Freddie, but no on Ray. Because he's a punter - and likely the best athlete on the Raiders at the time he played.

At the NFL site where I picked up those vids, there's another. Here it is...

Take a look at that. Ray Guy also played safety in practice, and he was the emergency QB. In a Pro Bowl, in New Orleans, he bounced a ball off the ceiling scoreboard on a bet. I don't mean that he kicked the ball up, and managed to have the ball bounce off - I mean he ricocheted the ball of the scoreboard, sending it out of bounds, allowing him to re-kick.

Let me be clear. Ray Guy IS A HALL OF FAMER. Canton is smaller because they refuse to recognize it.

10:26 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Rumors are circling that Atlanta wants Shanahan. If it's true, I'd be disappointed. Why? Because I think that Kiffin will dominate Shanahan. However, I wouldn't be surprised, if it happens, if that would put Schottenheimer in Denver.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

b-rocked, he also consistently punted the ball that ricocheted off the astrodome too, after astrodome officials declared nobody would be able to hit the roof. every game against houston, he'd punt the ball off the roof, and grin. best punter ever!

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories, Blanda. Unbelievable how many TD picks Hayes had... and I loved watching Lester pull Earl Campbell down. Show that to our D. Earl was a damn bull and lester still managed to yank his big a%^ down.
I suppose SOH is exactly what we need. A big, tough, well-rounded DE. Hope we land him, but I also think McFadden is the best back to come out in years.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray Guy had almost an gymnast ability to follow through with his punts... the only person I have ever seen anywhere close to it was Reggie Roby.

HOF fer sure... crying shame.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was expectiing more info/reasoning from Ryan as to why the defense sucked so bad in '07. He basically said nothing at all informative. Juts a bunch of coachspeak about having goo dplayers that worked har, and sometimes you don't play well. Fu*& that, Ryan. When we are 31st in the league against the run, and that is the most basic element of a good defense, then the DC needs to convince me that he DOES have a plan for fixing things. I was just reading JMac's column and agree that when it comes to keeping or firing Ryan it should soley be Kiffen's decision. If Kiffen wants a new DC and doesn't get it then no one can blame Kiff for looking for a way out of oaktown. JMac said it, and it makes perfect sense. Either Kiff is allowed to rebuild this thing HIS way or we have no chance of getting back to being like all those old videos Blanda sent us.
I was pretty vocal last year when everyone was so proud of our D that I suspected it wasn't very good, stats high due to the opposing team not having to do much at all against us other than run the ball and throw safe passes.
Our D was never legitimately the #3 D in the NFL. Shotty said it best after our first game last year when he commented that they (SD) didn't even get half way into their offensive game plan in that 27-0 route.
We need D players more than we need O-lineman right now. We need DE's, one LB, a SS and possibly a good DT. Warren has proved to be a good pick-up. If he can stay healthy he could be the best DT we've had in awhile.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about some bullshit.
I'm watching this turds vs G-men game, and they just called a defensive holding call that was totally the oposite interpretation of the non-call on PI on porter against the colts. Zebra's excuse on that one was "His hand was on you, but he didn't turn you". Well duh, he was keeping him from turning.

On a brighter note, Moss just almost knocked himself out running into a stationary player :-)

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You bring out a good point that if this thing gets fixed it should be Kiffin that fixes it.

After reading the Ryan interview, I am more confused than ever. What did he say?
We have great players?
Great? Where? Who?
There are some good players, few, actually. But there has been many a no name defense that has played great with good coaching.

I think he should go. Not only that, it sounded like he was whistling past the graveyard with his , "I'll be out of a job in two minutes" comment.

RT'ers I'll take your word for it on SOH. Please keep me posted on any post season all star games he may be involved in.

I guess the D tackles may be adequate but do you really think Sapp will be back? That would thin us out.
So many spots to fill - so little cap room, FA's and draft picks!

God Speed the G Men!
I refuse to watch...

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How dumb does Shell look now... "The Patriots are going to find out that Randy has lost his legs."
We managed to ruin Moss's stock so badly that all we got for him was McCown, Bowie and Mike Williams. It will go down and was of the biggest trade laughers in history.
The Patriots did to Al what he used to do back in the seventies... somehow fleece teams for guys like Haynes, PLunkett and Hendricks. Somehow the best ended up on our team for next to nothing. Now we were the victim.
At this point I'm just pulling for the Patriots to lose. Anyone else can have the title... even Norv and the Chargers. I can't believe I actually hate a team in the NFL worse than our AFC west opponents.

6:23 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Russell Haiku

The Autumn Wind waits
as we contemplate the game
this is our future

6:55 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

"JRus" is finally at the "OK" Coral and the practice is can he gun them down or will he get murdered out there...

Will be watching the up-dates on-line...

Love to all the Raiders from the Far East....


GOOOOoooooo rrrrrrrRAIDerrrrrrrsss!!

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good thing he was buried on the bench all year.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rivers TD pass before the half looked like a wounded duck... Fabian where were you?

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There you hear it straight from "miss kiffy's" mouth, the faidas will not go 4-12 again!, They will go 0-16!!!!! You fanatics got your wish and saw "j-rust" lose.....get used to it, he will be behind many more losses in the year to come until big al (MR.) davis dumps him for another loser faida qb....Just imagine baby...Defend the "nation"....4-12 great season faidas... Happy New Year! TThe Patriots WILL win another super bowl!

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said to root for Jets, Alt, and Cinci!!!

Sweeet! Number three pick (I think).

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT - Where are you?

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we are drafting 5th (sigh) unless I did my math right... [fingers crossed]

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How bout Dom Capers as the new defensive coordinator? He might be on his way out, from Miami.

9:04 PM  
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