Monday, December 10, 2007

One Postgame Take

As Lane Kiffin said, we got beat in every phase of the game on Sunday. I sure didn’t expect it. While the Packers were obviously going to be a formidable foe on the frozen tundra, I figured we could hang with them, and possibly even beat them. Boy, was I was wrong.

The close score at the end of the first half was an illusion. Our lone touchdown was one of many questionable jump balls thrown by McCown, who was as awful on this Sunday as he was uplifting the Sunday before. He’s the new Rex Grossman: Good Josh, Bad Josh.

The most surprising thing for me was just how un-physical our defense played. As we've observed on prior occasions, they were like Cirque du Soleil, a bunch of silly acrobats flying around, hitting nothing. Stuart Schweigert seemed to be playing patty cake with the receiver on that one touchdown. If I stepped out my front door and saw Michael Huff bull rushing me, I just might lower my shoulder and like my chances. Did you see Stanford Routt totally whiff on that airball by Favre?

It’s almost like we need to switch our receivers with our secondary. That way, we could gain some physicality in the backfield while implementing some much-needed speed in our receiving corps. I’d bet Porter could pop some people, and Curry’s no shrimp, either.

Think about it: Jennings crosses the middle, he catches the ball…No! Jerry Porter blows him up and the ball comes out!

Culpepper stands in the pocket, he throws deep, he’s got Fabian Washington wide open for a touchdown! No, wait, it's Philip Buchanon!

It’s depressing that our defense seems to be degenerating, especially after a strong showing in 2006, and certainly after serial drafting defensive backs for so many years. Ryan Grant put up 156 yards on the ground on Sunday. I don’t have the energy to look up the stats, but I’ve got to figure we’re about to set a record for most 150+ yard games by individual backs in a single season. The frequency of such performances against our defense is truly absurd.

The refereeing was awful, as has been well documented by Raider Take commentators in the previous take. It becomes a question of bias versus incompetence. I’d buy the bias theory more if there’d been a chance of us winning the game, but there was no chance of that. The only thing bias could have ensured in this game is a bigger loss. Regardless, there’s no excuse for either bias or incompetence at this level, and the perpetrators should be held accountable.

The mindless fawning over Brett Favre is starting to turn my stomach, and I’m actually inclined to like the guy, but there’s only so much I can take. Our defense is really adept at making Favre's lack of aim look like lethal precision on long bombs, a trend that was most evident in that Monday night game some years ago. Anyhow, the talking heads always have their pets, and Favre is the ultimate media pet these days. Thurman Thomas, Wayne Chrebet, Jerome Bettis, Peyton Manning, yada, yada, yada.

It’s not that I expected us to dominate the Packers. But after stout victories against the Chiefs and Broncos, I thought we’d turned a corner and would put up a good fight. Instead, we got manhandled on both sides of the ball and looked uniformly sloppy in the process. Errant kicks, untimely penalties, stupid fumble, missed tackles, coaching blunders, the whole nine yards.

Anyhow, I’m just rambling. I’m running around the keybord, missing assignments, unclear on my destination, unsure of my fundamentals. I think I’ll just throw in a word here, a word there. What happens if I press this key? Uh-oh. Wide right. Yellow flag but no red flag. Arm tackle. Patty cake, patty cake. Throw into triple coverage. Take over. Sound familiar?

112 Comments:

Anonymous raider00 said...

yeah, but raidertake, you're forgetting one thing. it was cold out there.
you can't expect our modern raiders to play well in the cold.

besides, we won 2 games in a row. time to relax. why stress out ?

i think kiffin has done a very good job this year, but if he made one mistake, it was during the bye week. kiff said he felt the raiders should have been 4-0.

now i know what he was trying to do, but instead, i think he made the players feel that they were better then they really were.

once these guys relax, it can get ugly out there.
especially if the sun aint shining that day.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The only thing bias could have ensured in this game is a bigger loss."- R.T.
-If you got 50k on a game and are giving 10 1/2 and you have control you're gonna damn well make sure the spread is locked in. If you think this is off-the-wall absurd see Tim Donaghy former NBA official.
It's not about the league or the officials not liking the Raiders- it's about money. Wake-up all.

RaiderMike

4:53 AM  
Anonymous H said...

I too was disapointed in our defensive effort. Especially after the way we handled the running game of the mules.

I do hope the injury to Fargas is not serious. He was averaging a respectible 3.8 on 15 carries before having to exit the game. Compare that to Jordan’s 1.9 on 11 carries. Had he gotten the full compliment of carries we might have held onto the ball a little more.

That being said, McCowan fell back into some old habits when under pressure. A couple of his attempted throw aways fell in bounds and could have been intercepted had the Packer DB's been paying attention.

We also had good coverage on our kicks for the last four games, until Sunday.

The ship is sailing in the right direction and the journey is just beginning with this captain. We were blown slightly off course on Sunday. Kiffin must now get out his sextant, check his position and turn the ship back to its proper course.

However, the rumors are back about the Arkansas job and all the great memories he ad as a three year old in Fayetteville, Arkansas. So, he may be contemplating jumping ship.

H

5:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RT- another fine take, and very poetic.

I particularly liked the comments about serial drafting of DBs, and that you'd lower your shoulder and take your chances against Huff. ... oh yeah, let’s not leave out patty caking with Stu (very similar to the so popular "Blogging with Stu").

There is something inherently wrong with a SS that won’t play hard and aggressive and a FS that plays patty cake with receivers.

As DB, Porter wouldn't need to pop a WR, he'd just go over top and steal the ball away. After all, he was acting DB in the end-zone when he caught the TD. You can't tell me that ball was thrown to him.

Kiffin also said, “one game does not define us...” I hope he’s right.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H said "sextant", uh huh huh heh huh.

Beavis

6:25 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

RT-
Agree. No doubt we have defensive problems which have been commented on since forever. Hindsight but I don't understand if McCown was vomiting before the game why he was even in there, especially after he didn't show much in first couple drives.

RaiderMike--you REALLY think NFL refs are betting on games? Don't you think after the Donagy thing broke that every pro sports league immediately checked out all their officials and would be hyper-sensitive to any suspicious activity?

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

lk, "Don't you think after the Donagy thing broke that every pro sports league immediately checked out all their officials and would be hyper-sensitive to any suspicious activity?" i think they looked at them, but i don't think anything was truly enforced. you didn't hear about the nfl doing any type of check on the refs, or make any changes.

i agree with raidermike. i think ed hockaloogi is a dirty nfl ref that bets on games, and then controls them his way. he made a killing on the "tuck rule". not too mention he hates the raiders, and al davis.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous raiderdecoachella said...

Calico!

I like to think that you are one of the better more respected writers in this site but in regards to your previous posts I am sorry but you are full of droid crap!

How can you say that we were manhandled by the other team, again you are full of droid crap, get it in your head, the punt return for td was not a td the bitch stepped out of bounds at the 7 yard line, I will pass blame at our coaching staff for not challenging but why should we have to challenge every single play? specially if there was a sebra at the endzone watching the play.

Personal experience tells me that a single call can make a world of difference, giving up is no excuse but when you are playing against ghosts it's impossible to win and basically we were playing against ghosts on Sunday, the nfl wanted that little bitch to win his 250th game plain and simple.

Tell me something has the league and or the officiating crew apologized for the miscall on the interception return,(oh wait you also said that it was a td) do you honestly think that if that would have been ne they would have let it go just like nothing.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 comments:
1. who are the fools in the box reviewing challengable calls? Perhaps we should hire the TV commentators to do their job instead. They certainly seem more adept at it than whoever the Raiders are giving a paycheck to.

2. Did anyone see Huff try to tackle the dust BEHIND the ball carrier (Grant I think but not sure)? How is that a bad angle? Looked more like someone who doesn't want to get hurt.... And I've tried really hard to like Huff.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous raoderdecoachella said...

punt return! sorry!!

7:45 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

Tuck rule ref was Walt Coleman

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lk

Yes I do think officials bet on games.

Raidermike

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

The four phantom calls that I watched were all BEFORE the game was out of hand... while also ignoring the punt returner clearly stepping out of bounds for a TD.

Meanwhile GB had ONE 5 yard penalty called (for ineligible downfield) in the first half... but started to get flagged for damn near everything after they got up by three TDs "Hey we better call some on GB now so it doesn't look so fixed."

Thats my story and Ima sticking to it dammitall! Hey, more fun than blaming Jani!

9:14 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I was out of pocket yesterday, and probably will be for most of today.

I've found myself agreeing with Calico a lot, but we don't see eye to eye on the officiating issue. An earlier poster was right, this shit has been coming down since the Tatum/Stingley game. He was also right in that through the early part of the 80s, the team was well aware of it, but determined to win anyway. If you look back on some of those games, the Raiders actually controlled the clock differently at the end of halves to allow themselves extra time for bad calls in close games.

Calico, nobody here is claiming that without the bias the Raiders would have won. Everybody agrees that we stunk the place up. But the refs, and the NFL, didn't know we were going to stink it up before the game was played.

I have another observation. First let me say that LK is wrong. Yes, they review every TD after the 2 minute warning IN THE BOOTH. They don't stop play unless they see something IN THE BOOTH. Any cursory look at the play revealed that Porter was no where near stepping out of bounds. By having the on the field review, the booth had convinced themselves that they could get the play overruled (think NE snow job here), but then they ultimately determined that overruling it would raise too many questions for a game the Raiders would likely lose anyway.

The networks completely buy into this. Did you notice that once we'd established the pattern of bad calls, and the announcers started pointing out the bad calls, they never showed a questionable call again on replay unless they first determined that the tape was "clean." In the second half, after a questionable call (and I can't remember which one), they didn't show a replay until sometime in the middle of the next series.

Ir a player or a coach complains, they get severely fined. If the officials blow a play so badly there is no excusing it, the team gets a worthless letter of apology.

I have an idea. Let's have a rule that says if a player or coach complains, they get fined, but if there is proof that the officials blew the call, the refs get fined and the money goes back to the players and coaches.

Either way, the NFL can't fine me. And the evidence tells me that the NFL likes to determine the outcome of many games to increase the value of their hyped stories.

9:17 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

If I may, there is a Silver and Black lining to be found on Sunday. It didn't come in the frozen tundra. It also didn't come at the hands of our once fierce rivals from the City of Steel. It came in a little town called Denver. While we may have been manhandled by the 2nd best team in the NFC, our dear friends from Kansas City were handed a more severe beating by a team we kicked around the week before.

9:18 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And, by the way, let's just agree with Scorpio. If Jano hadn't missed that FG, it would have been a whole different ball game. It would have been 38-10!

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Huff needs to try free safety... he isn't physical enough to be strong safety... and at 205, is prolly one of the lighter SS's in the league anyway. he's even lighter than Stuey.

The difference in safeties on Sunday couldn't be any more glaring... the dude that FLEW to Fargas on 4th and one on a perfect misdirection might have changed the entire game. How often have we seen our safeties make huge plays like that in the last four years?

All of the top teams have top safeties (which makes the Huff gamble more acceptable). We need to figure SOMETHING out.. preferably in FA.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Blanda... did you notice on the kickoff (or was it a punt) play for TD where every ref was looking around to see if anybody blew the whistle... and finally Hookaloogi said sheepishly (as if he were making something up) "He was down by contact" the networks never even showed a replay?

There's something fishy going on here... I tell ya.

9:32 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Gary:

I believe that's the one I was referring to above. They did finally show a replay, at the end of the next series of downs - after it had pretty much been forgotten. But it showed the call as being accurate - and I'm sure that's the only reason we saw it at all.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Blanda... we dropped the jano coversation last blog. Let it go... those of us that think he sux don't want to hear anymore about how great you think he is either. Apparently we're stuck with him and his bloated salary.
Gary: I agree on Huff. I've been saying it since he got there... Huff is built like a FS and should play FS (or CB). Stu should simply be shown the door.
As much as I like Howie's son we are within striking distance of what will probably be the best running back in the NFL for many years to come. Can you imagine McFadden in a cut blocking scheme? If Fargas can pull a Rueben Droughans/Mike Anderson and suddenly look good in this scheme, then McFadden would be next to unstoppable hitting those cut back lanes. And what a LOAD of pressure off Russell. I think, barring injury, McFadden will end up being one of the best NFL RB's ever. Look, what he's done Arkansas was minues a passing game (some of the passing game McFadden himself provided)
This article says we have good salary cap room going into season's end:

http://cgi.cnnsi.com/2007/writers/peter_king/12/09/week14/4.html

11:17 AM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

It was strange how many calls on the Raiders were not followed up by replays,I thought I was being paranoid.The P.I. penalties on Porter and Asomugah show that officials aren't afraid to call the most obvious crap on us without fear of it being questioned, and the review of the Porter TD was laughable.In fact I did laugh then threw stuff.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous H said...

I don’t necessarily buy into conspiracies. Too many people to kill to keep it quiet. I do, however, believe in bias. Especially when it comes to Hochuli. There are others, but he is the worst.

If I was incorrect about him, how come before the first Dolts game I was practically begging not to have him for a game, then the first one he shows up in the fecal matter hit the fan.

Here are some other statements on officiating I don’t like. These statements come from the announcers:

The good teams get the calls (also the benefit of the doubt).
- No all teams should be looked at equally

When you get to the playoffs the officials let them play the game.
- No, if it’s a penalty in the regular season it’s a penalty in the playoffs. If it’s not a penalty in the playoffs it’s not a penalty in the regular season.

If you have six turnovers in a game and the officials blow a call on what would be the winning touchdown, the refs didn’t cost you the game.
- Wrong, the refs cost you the game, you fought back, overcame adversity and the refs stole it from you

Just a sample of my pet peeves on officiating.

H

11:39 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

Sorry, Blanda, LK is not wrong [this time]. Take more than a 'cursory look' at the tape--on Porter's route he comes very close to the sideline, before he reaches the EZ. The booth buzzed the field so they could stop play on the field to allow time to review the play. That's how they do it, no ulterior motives

12:14 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I agree with you 1000%. There are no conspiracies, but there is plenty of bias. And much of that bias has to do with the officiating structure of the NFL because they feel they have power over the game. As to specific bias against the Raider in general? The league hates Davis (because of the law suits, and because they've never liked him since the Davis/Rozell disputes going back to the NFL/AFL merger) and the officials know which side the bread gets buttered on. The officials are also well aware of the leagues preferences toward various outcomes.

And the examples you show are 100% accurate, which explains the statement made to Amy Trask in the off season. "We'll make our own impression of how your team is doing, and we'll call games based on our impression, not on what we see." Ultimately the officiating turns out to be about as accurate as a Kowakami or Gay article.

12:22 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

No, I'm sorry LK, I did look at the replay, and you're still wrong. Throughout the replay I never failed to see "playing field" between JP's feet and the sideline. If the booth needed to stop play in order to figure out that play they're completely blind.

If I can clearly see it in a two inch viewing screen on my computer, they can see it on a 19 inch screen in the booth.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Blandarocked,

I seem to remember trying to figure out why they were reviewing that touchdown. I knew you couldn't review for a penalty, so what was the deal.

In the replay I don't recall Porter getting close to the sideline, the they come out an announce "The ruling on the field stands the receiver did not go out of bounds." I remember being puzzled.

I will check again and see.

H

12:56 PM  
Anonymous LK said...

Blanda-
if you have sound on your tape, listen to Rich Gannon--he says "they are looking to see if Porter stepped out of bounds before the catch"

Gary-
agree about Huff and I'd wager he's closer to 185 than 205...

1:22 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

LK, that may well be the stated intent. I'd also believe that, for the most part, the network knows what's going on in the officiating booth because they use the replays off the network feed. One thing about the replays on the network feed - with the modern technology replays are instantaneous. The officiating booth should be well aware if there is a reason to stop play before play needs to be stopped. That's why challenges in the final two minutes must come from the booth, in order to prevent the team throwing the red flag from stopping the clock.

The actual call must come from the official on the field in charge of reviewing the play (otherwise they'd all be reviewed in the booth). That's what made the "snow job" so heinous. That call actually came from the booth, overruling the officials on the field who refused to call an incomplete pass.

While I have no doubt that the booth announced to Gannon that they were checking to see if he was out of bounds, I have no doubt that somebody was feverishly checking the rule book to see what rule could be twisted to overturn it.

2:05 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Added...

Twice, plays advantageous to the other side, playing the Raiders, have come from twisting the meaning of the rulebook to bring out the desired result. The first time was the snow job. The second was last year in San Diego (illegal forward pass). I believe that this was the third attempt to do that.

In the snow job, after the "official" explanation, the rest of the world said, collectively, "Huh?" What the league succeeded in doing was showing how you could possibly interpret the rule their way, even though it made no sense because the purpose of the rule was for something else. In the SD game (also overturned by personnel in the booth) they determined that the ball went slightly forward instead of going straight down where the player threw it. I think this was the third attempt, but they couldn't find any excuse to change it.

The SD play was very rare. I don't think I've ever seen that before, even though the call from the booth was insane. But in the snow job, the play repeats itself often, but I've never seen it called the way it was called in that game, before or since.

2:18 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

As for Schweigert and Huff...

I actually think it would make a dramatic difference just to have Huff and Schweitert swap positions.

Huff is better in coverage, and I think Schweigert is better at the line. When Schweigert gets into trouble is usually in the open field.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I'd love to see Huff and Stuey switch positions for the rest of the year, just to see what we have. If BOTH of them suck at FS, we either have to draft one or pick one up in FA. Perhaps Stuey would excel at SS? He was actually a pretty good tackler last season (100+ tackles.) If he sucks at both, then we need a new SS. WE NEED BETTER SAFETY PLAY!!

I really don't understand anything SOB is trying to accomplish, like EVER. He calls the game like a 13 year old mindlessly pushing the same base defense button on Madden play after play after play... and he is unwilling to make changes in personnel as if he thinks we have one of the top ranked defenses in the NFL and we don't NEED to. Seriously... I think the guy is partially retarded.

3:12 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Rumors...

Jason Taylor (DE) wants out of Miami. Some have suggested that he's told the team to either trade him, or he'll retire. Anybody think that Taylor might be interested in going to a team on the upswing? We could put Kelly back in the middle.

Who would we put up in a trade? I'm thinking maybe Rhodes and a 4th round pick.

3:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Gary, I'm often curious about SOB. It seems like his defenses would be impenitrable if he blitzed every so often, but he refuses. It has been said that Al doesn't care for blitzing, but that's usually misstated. Al doesn't like defenses that are based on blitzing. He likes match-up football, and you have to blitz to change the match-ups.

But I've been thinking, based on the whiner troubles from the other side of the bay. It wouldn't surprise me to see SOB as HC of the 49ers next season. There have been rumors (denied by both Kiffins senior and junior) that Monte will be the Raiders DC next year. I think more likely it would be somebody like Singleton.

3:25 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Also, before we start a fire storm around here with people saying, "Get rid of SOB and bring on Monte Kiffin." I don't think it's likely. If for no other reason than this...

Can you think of any reason that you might not want your father, whom you out rank, to be looking over your shoulder at your job every day at work? As for me, as much as I love the old guy, it would never happen.

3:30 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I like Kiffin's approach, saying that a team is defined by how they played the last game. If you sucked eggs last week, you'd better fix it this week, "so that that's who we are and we don't all of a sudden become how we played last week."

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you guys agree that SOB has got to go. I believe we have good personnel on D (except safeties ofcourse). We're lightning fast on D-ends and lightning fast at linebacker. No way we should be getting lit up on run the way we are. The problem is I don't think he ever has d in attack mode. We're always sitting back in react mode. Usually doesn't work--especially against teams who know how to exploit it. The Raiders always had an attack defense--it was there M.O.. I am disgusted by this passive ineffective approach.

RaiderMike

4:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I don't think SOB has figured out, quite yet, how to attack on every play without blitzing on every play. You're right, Mike.

He doesn't constantly need to blitz, but he needs to do it with some regularity to keep offenses honest. What Al always wanted in an attacking defense was to canstantly be playing for possession of the ball.

Basically, if you blitz a 5th man with some regularity, and always change who that 5th man is, you can keep a defense guessing as opposed to making you guess. Whenever SOB uses blitz packages during games, the defense is outstanding - and yet he goes back to read and react the very next game.

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I think I have touched on this before.. SOB demands that they attack without blitzing and that is why our defense is constantly over-pursuing.

Defense can't simply be in the attack mode every second... you have to FIRST let the play come to you, AND THEN attack. Our entire defense is in attack mode from the snap, and that is why so many of them always end up on the same spot on the field, and all it takes is one cut back for elbows and assholes to the goalline (with our crappy safeties flailing around at air, as RT points out).

Something has to give... either we need a new DC, or two of the best safeties in the NFL. Everyone else is out of the play.

4:47 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I agree, Gary. I was trying to explain that the way Al views attacking on every play is by appropriate players at the appropriate time. When it's your play, always do the hitting (don't let yourself be hit), and always go for the ball. In other words, an attacking defense is a defense with the ability to score on any given play. If you're a DB, that means hit the receiver at the point of contact and make him drop the ball.

5:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Well, an NFL coach did go to Arkansas! Son of gun. Yeppers, Patrino couldn't handle the riggors of the NFL and went back to school in less than one season.

What a fool Al Davis was for not pulling out all of the stops to get him!

5:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And what a fool Al was for letting Cameron slip through his fingers! Look what Cameron has done for Miami! Rumor has it that he also is headed back to school.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best example of an attacking defense that doesn't constantly blitz is the Ravens (atleast the Ravens before this year anyway). They take the play to you without overcommitting. John Fox's defenses were also similar to this. SOB sits back way too much. He is paranoid of giving up the big play. Problem is that his defense is just as succeptible to the big play, maybe more so. He doesn't seem to have a clue.

RaiderMike

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

it looks like kiffin isn't going to arkansas after all. petrino just resigned the falcons gig, and is leaving for arkansas.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda you just don't &*^%$$$&*(() get it do you?

putanginamo cabron!

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Blanda... I see what you are saying, but maybe the problem is that SOB is a horrible teacher? If you think about it, besides Asumugha, the only defensive players that are making big plays came from different systems... Burgess and Sapp. The rest of our defense is very young and all run around like they have no clue what they are supposed to be doing.

I think a player like Morrison should be a perennial all-pro by now, and all he does is have spatterings of greatness.

I dunno... the fact that SOB has been in the bottom ten in run defense every year he has been coach should be reason alone to try someone else next year. Unless Al and Kiffin don't think stopping the run is important or something?

I like the direction we are headed on offense, but the defense I have no clue what is trying to be accomplished. The same mistakes just keep being made over and over... maybe if we show some improvement against Indy, there would be two out of three good games by the defense? I am not holding my breath. Manning is the LAST guy you want with time... with the exception of maybe Brady.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon boys-
IMHO-On D we have one 1/2 corners and two good LBs. Pass rush ends get better with better tackle play. Our DEs are asked to do too much. Should it all be on SOB? Maybe not, but if he goes I would not miss him.

Have any of the Kiffin to Ark. hawkers admitted their idiocy? -
I didn't think so.

As RT has a "News You Can't Use" segment, I will continue my -"Protected Teams Can Do Anything" diatribe. McCarthy complains that Burgess came in low on fartve during one of the only tmes the Raiders even got near him. Yet there is no mention that up 4 tds, instead of running out the clock the fudge packers are passing?
I hope we remember that when it is our turn.

An aside...
my wife tries to reach me several times from the car unsuccessfully. Wondering out loud why I am not picking up, my 7 year old daughter in the back seat says,
"He's on Raider Take again mommy."

8:18 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I love it. I'm "full of droid crap!" whatever the hell that means. Thanks Raidercochella!

Let me try to make my points concerning the officiating a bit more clear. Any slings and arrows that come my way I'm more than willing to take.

(1) IMO, the officiating had ZERO impact on the final outcome whatsoever. Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't all of the "dubious" calls made in the 1st half? The Pack skunked us 24 to 0 in the 2nd half.

(2) Assuming the officiating calls in question were different, some of you seem to think that the Raiders fortune would have turned out differently (Hello Mr. RaiderCoachella!).

However, when you really analyze the game situations, down & distance, etc. it really doesn't add up to a hill of beans.

Call #1: Phantom PI on Porter
Call #2: Hold on Sims
Call #3: PI on Asomugha
Call #4: Punt Return TD
NonCall #5: Review of Porter TD

Call #1 seemed VERY questionable. Assuming it isn't called, we get a much needed 1st down but still have 50+ yards to paydirt. Take it 1 step further, let's say we do score a TD ... that ties the score at 7 to 7. Does this affect how poorly our offense, defense, and special teams played throughout the remaing portion of game? No. Our 3 units played their worst games of the season.

Call #2: Moot point. It is the same drive as call #1.

Call #3: PI Asomugha. On the very next play, Stu gets an interception. So how did this call impact the bottom line?

Call #4: Assuming the ref marks the Punt Return at the 7 instead of a TD ... 1st and goal from the 7. Would the Raiders have prevented the Pack from getting in the end zone? Debatable. So we hold them to a FG. So what?

NonCall #5: Moot point. The play stood as called.

In the big scheme of things, you are talking about a possible net of 11 points (7 more for the Raiders, 4 less for the Pack).

Last time I checked the Pack rung up 38 points. These calls in question IMO were not worth moaning about. Would a score of 33 to 14 justify belly aching about perhaps 2 or 3 bad calls?

If the game was remotely close then it would be more valid to split hairs about the officiating.

I have no problem with folks venting about poor officiating. I'm also aware of the Raiders history when it comes to "bias" officiating. However, from my perspective, whining about the officiating in this game is a complete waste of time.

Plain & simple, the Pack beat us in every phase of the game.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indiannapolis Colts 48 choketown faidas 3....I was the one who said to be fair to the faidas the NFL should allow big al (MR.) davis hand pick the refs for ALL faida games! I said it last year to appease you faida fanatics who go with the "faida conspiricy" theory. If big al the genius is given free reign to pick the officials then you willm end up with "fair" game for the faidas! Just dream baby. defend the "notion" 1-15 ....the reality!

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's the problem Calico. It just goes on and on and on and on. After the Tuck game for example people like you would say the Raiders still had opportunities to stop NE or they still had opportunities to score. In a more obscure game like GB people say they got their ass kicked anyway. Nobody is arguing that Raiders would have won this game. That point is moot. But this sh@#t has got to stop and we all need to be pretty much on the same page. This is not coincidental. It's like when Roger Clemmons throws at somebody's head. You know it was no accident- he's been pitching too long and his control is too good. But I agree we need to clean our own crap up also- which we are doing solwly but surely.

RaiderMike

4:51 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Calico,

Your points are well taken. And, in my criticism of the officiating I said we were beaten by a better team.

My major criticism is certain officials, Ed Hochuli chief among them, tend to have a bias against certain teams. The Raiders are not the only one I’ve seen him screw.

I also think there have been many complaints to the league about this guy. Early in the game the play by play guy was reading Hochuli’s list of credits listing how many playoff games and Super Bowls he had officiated. It sounded like a press release when a team hires a new head coach. Why? That is a very rare occurrence.

As to the defense. I personally like Ryan. Would like to sit down and have a couple of beers with the guy. I don’t understand the inconsistency on blitzing. I’m somewhat ambivalent on whether he stays or not. I do know we need, at a minimum, a solid “run stuffer” in the middle. Run stuffers, contrary to the term, actually don’t make a lot of tackles. They would if they were single blocked, but they are disruptive on the line and require double and sometimes triple teaming. This occupies blockers allowing your athletic linebackers to do their thing against the run and the ends to pass rush with less interference.

Those types of tackles are getting harder to find, which is why rushing seems to be up this year. At least it appears so, I will have to research.

A solid strong safety wouldn’t hurt either. I think Huff is worth keeping.

Anyway, just my opinion for what it’s worth.

H

4:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bobby Petrino (3-10 with the Falcons) bolts to Arkansas. Is there no integrity in the NFL, players, coaches, refs, owners....?

I can only hope that Kiffin stays the course and fulfills his contract with the Raiders. One of our biggest problems through the last several years has been the lack of stability at the coaching level, particularly head coach.

WRT SOB, like some, I'm on the fence. He has his moments, and I'm still hoping he can put it all together... but lean toward bringing in a more aggressive DC. How 'bout Monte Kiffin.... and Sapp stays on as a player/coach.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Calico... I don't think anyone is saying we would have won the game if not for the refs... the point is that why put up with the refs making phantom calls to negate nearly everything positive a team does until the game is out of hand.

How would you feel about playing a second half in miserable weather knowing their is a good chance that anything good you do will be called back? I'd prolly pack it in too... it's human nature. Anyone that has ever played organized sports just wants an even playing field. I don't think thats too much to ask.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
I don't like SOB because he appears to be the latest in a long list of Al stoolies. So many of his moves smack of Al. Al doesn't blitz... Rob doesn't blitz. Al's never a met a blazing fast, unphysical DB he didn't like. So does SOB bring in hitters? No, his D is loaded down with a bunch of speedy, non-hitting, unphyiscal DB's. Ryan seems to cater to Al's likes... he's not his own man. Said it before, I'll say it again... go out and get some Donnie Edwards, Al Wilson types... guys that like to stick their noeses into contact... and we'd suddenly be a whole lot better on D. Right now we just have a bunch of speedy, athletic guys on our D, no hitters.
And put Huff at FS or corner, I still have the ProFootball draft mag from his year and it calls Huff the best CB, FS & SS in that draft... but throws in a warning that he might be too small to play SS in the NFL and would probably be best suited at CB.
As for Jason Taylor, he's intriguing but do we really need another D-ineman that's forte is rushing the passer and not stopping the run?
I wish someone would go back and do some research on the draft where we took Washington and Routt back to back... go back and see who we passed up on that year in favor of yet, two more really fast DB's. Before Amante Samuel came along, the PAtties proved that a good front 7 allows for even weak DB's to be successful... I think they actually had a WR in the seconday during one of their superbowl runs. But for us, Al is still trying to re-live the Haynes/Hayes days of old.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"miss kiffy aka elaine kiffy" crybaby h-coach of the choketown faidas will be gone by Jan. "08" Even he isn't so stupid that he would imagine he could exist and opperate autonomously in the shadow of the "great one" the GENIUS" the "omnipotent" ................big al (MR.) davis! You have to give him credit for opting out on a job to nowhere. Just live with it baby, defend the "notion". 1-15 is the "conspiricy" reality.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's "smellypantaloons" we need him now! I hope he's being treated fairly in the slam.....

8:35 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RaiderMike:
Please don't make the mistake of assuming you know how I felt about the Tuck game. Comparing the Tuck game with this recent Pack game is silly on so many levels. I was completely outraged by the Tuck call. The Tuck call did in fact cost us a VERY important playoff game.

Gary:
You are right. It should be an even playing field. I just think that many of the posters are exaggerating the significance of a few questionable calls.

Gary said...
"the point is that why put up with the refs making phantom calls to negate nearly everything positive a team does until the game is out of hand."

There was only 1 phantom call that negated a positve play by the Raiders. (The bogus PI call on Porter).

* Don't tell me the holding call was a phantom call.
* The PI on Asomugha didn't negate a positive play by the Raiders & had no bearing on the game. Stu got an INT the following play.
* The PR TD not being marked at the 7 didn't negate a positve play by the Raiders
* The Porter TD was not overturned

So boil it all down and you have 1 phantom call that negated a positive Raider play.

You mention that these calls wiped out the positive plays of the Raiders "until it got out of hand". Please. A few questionable calls in the 1st half ending at 14 to 7 puts the game out of hand? Where is the sense of perspective?

9:31 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bama- I agree with many of your points. Wasn't it WR Troy Brown that played DB for the Pats? They were depleted with injuries. Then, we picked up their "injured" DBs the following year in FA.

As RT stated and/or implied, we need to stop "serial drafting" speed-first DBs.

And I remember the draft discussion about Huff. The analysts were right. Either he's not a good SS, or his coaching sucks. Either way, he needs a switch.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous raiderdecoachella said...

Calico:

droid is the nickname I gave the girls from ne, I played sports in high school and in my senior year we were in the CIF quarterfinals, we lost the game because of a couple of bad calls from the stupibras, I know that we could have done better and won that game but the pressure was too much and we couldn't over come the fact of those two calls.

I know that this guys are pros but at the end of the game it's all the same, there is nothing worst in my personal opinion than you working hard and having somebody tell you that your efforts are negated by my sheer arrogance of saying that I am the law and I will arrange this game to my need.

I guess that I am the only one in this forum that thinks that we could have won this game if those calls wouldn't have come, the way I see it, we lost the second half but we could have been ahead in the first half so at the end it should have been a lot closer.

I can't wait for Sunday's game, the environment will be different, we are playing a very solid team, a great coach and a very classy qb, there is nothing bad that I can say about the Colts, this game will tell me exactly were we stand as a team for this season, it will tell me personally if this year was a complete waste of time or if we made any progress in trading, scouting, coaching and everything else! Russell will play Sunday, I just wish that Bush was available for play so we could start looking at our future needs.

9:59 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico:

I think most here said the Raiders got beat. There's never been a question of that. They started the game in slow motion. But just because the Raiders were bad, that doesn't mean there wasn't bias. "Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean everybody isn't out to get you."

There is (as was in this game) bias. Did it effect the outcome? You bet your sweet bippy it did. Making a great play, immediately after being scored on and put in a hole, raises energy and confidence. A team naturally plays better with momentum on their side. Confidence and momentum were denied to the Raiders the entire first half. By the end of the 3rd quarter they quit. Would we have lost? Yes. Would we have felt better about their performance? Definitely. That review of Porter's TD definitely made a statement to the team. "Even if you make a great play, we're going to look for a way to void it."

Ryan: I've had problems with Ryan since he's been here. Trying to convert D linemen to LBs is insane. Changing to a 3-4 when you have a lot of linemen and no LBs is also insane. It has taken SOB all of this time to simply become sane. Becoming good is going to take considerably longer.

Interesting you bring up Fox, our former DC. Remember that Fox had become our DC, and under Bugel he quit in the middle of training camp. I've never liked him for that reason. But he was the last good DC we had, and the last one who taught Raider football.

Bama7, you absolutely don't have a clue as to what Davis likes in a defense. Remember those great Ds in the 70s and early 80s that you wish the Raiders would return to? Well, those were the last ones (with the exception of Fox, discussed above) that were built on the Al Davis model.

As for our safety problem, Jason Jones is right on:

"Routt played the route well and was in position to make a play. He just didn’t so Jennings jogged the last 43 yards of his 80-yard touchdown after Routt fell down.

"Another problem was the lack of deep safety help.

"It appeared Stuart Schweigert bit on Brett Favre’s run fake on the play, which would explain why he was chasing at the end.

"That’s another overlooked effect of the poor run defense. At the first sign of a run, Raiders safeties immediately have to respect it."

It all comes down to stopping the run, folks, and SOB can't seem to get the job done. His weakness at coaching an effective Dline can't seem to be overcome.

10:01 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

raiderdecoachella:

Actually, the NFL is the only professional sports organization that doesn't employ "professional" referees! They are all strictly part timers, and the NFL will only pay them as part time contractors. They absolutely refuse to do otherwise. This leaves officials far more open to game fixing, and self importance.

The umpires in MLB used to have that "self importance" problem that they have in the NFL. Umpires would call the game according to what they thought would be a more exciting game, not what was actually happening in front of them. However, in MLB, umpires are paid year round, and during the off season they work on their craft. They are very proud people. When it was threatened that baseball would institute an instant replay review, umpires changed the way they called games overnight and the plan was dropped.

10:15 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

Check out ProFootballTalk.com. If the source is valid it's bad news for the future . . .

10:28 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The source is a fruit loop, and so is PFT for printing it.

#1 - Nobody at Arkansas ever said anything about Kiffin. The rumor was initially spread by a beat writer that was clearly guessing.

#2 - Kiffin said very plainly that nobody ever mentioned the job to him, nor was he interested. He's been honest with us up to now.

#3 - Al Davis has personally said that he likes Kiffin, even though he wishes they had a better record.

#4 - Kiffin has always, ALWAYS said that he wants to be an NFL head coach. Why, in a sane world, would anyone give up an NFL HC gig (as a life long dream) to go back to coaching a 2nd tier college team? If he doesn't like Al, or the Raiders, all he'd have to do is wait out his contract and, as a new member of the "inner circle" would quickly get a job as HC with another NFL team - greatly seasoned by have the experience of working inside a "difficult" organization (think Gruden here).

#4 - If Kiffin left after one year, without being shown the door, it would be a very long time before another NFL team would hire him.

#5 - Petrino has always been a college coach at heart, and that's why he left the Falcons. Are you going to tell me he took a 40% cut in salary to go to a 2nd tier college team because he thought it was a better job? Then excuse me while I spit coffee all over my computer screen.

It sounds like the "source" was either Nancy Gay or Timmy Kawakami.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I don't even have to read the rumor to know what it is... someone looking for easy meat to feed to the throng of Al-haters that eat it whole without even smelling it first (while pretending not to choke on it after its in their mouth).

10:58 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A note about "sources." There are two reasons a source remains anonymous (like mentally deficient blog posters [think Ano 8:33 here]). Either they are lying (for whatever motivation - and usually it isn't very much) or they are telling tails out of school, and know their reputation would be shot to hell, or they'd be fired if someone found out that they said it. What this proves about the source (assuming that the source isn't a "whistle blower" which is way different because the issue is then of grave public importance) is that the source is a dishonest person.

So what PFT is saying is "a liar told us that Kiffin is pissed that he didn't get the Arkansas job."

Enough said.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Blanda: The Al Davis model? What exactly is that? And who made you his official spokesperson. All heil the great Blanda... "giver of Al's word & actions".
According to you, Blanda, Al Davis never makes a mistake. When something good happens, Al did it. When things go bad (and my have things gone bad) then Al had pulled away and wasn't managing that part. You can't have it both ways. Our record over the last five years is abysmal and the GM of the team (that would be Al, no matter what you think, Blanda) has to stand up and say, "I have done a piss poor job."
But what does Al say last year at season's end? he basically distances himself from the "deep-drop get the Qb killed offense", that everyone in America, save you Blanda, knows is Al's prized "verticle game", and instead Al takes credit for a defense that showed good in stats simply because no one had to worry about doing crap agsinst us offensively.
Now the D has been exposed... someone should ask Al if he's still taking credit for our D! Someone should ask him about those comments last year!
Thanks, Al for our D, thanks for making every RB we face look like Jim Brown on cocaine. Love those speedy track guys... man they look swift chasing and missing the opposing team up and down the field. And man, isn't is cool that we could feild an awesome 220 relay squad!
Look Blanda, enough people in the NFL (players, coaches, mnedia) have pretty much laid it out that Al makes nearly EVERY decision for the S&B. To argue that is to be like a child, playing dumb.

Let me ask you one question, Blanda... did you like the Washington & Routt draft picks? I'm not saying they are good, bad or ugly... I just remember that draft and thought, "He did it again. It's a freakin obsession with DB's with no end in sight."

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't it also PFT that reported that when the Raiders cut the rookie-DE-that-was-so-great-I can't-even-remember-his-name, Kiffen was heard "cursing and slamming doors." They really need to find some new writers to mix it up a bit.

JF

11:11 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, you're getting to be pathetic. Making stuff up, doesn't make it true. You obviously don't remember that Al Davis was the first effective HC of the Raiders. He ran a great offense and a great defense. That great offense and defense was the model for the team, groomed through the Raider organization [both Madden and Flores were inside hires] for more than two decades. If you want to talk about the defensive style of the team in the 70s and 80s (and I've heard you compliment them) then you better damn well give credit to Davis.

I'm tired as hell of you putting words in Davis' mouth, and telling me how stupid I am for not heeding those words. About the defense last year, I specifically remember Al saying - in fact it's on the Raiders web page, "the defense was good last season, not great." And then he extended SOB's contract. Is that the way you brag on yourself, Bama7. "I'm good but not great." Well, maybe so. But you're still not as good as you think you are.

As for all of the former Raiders players and coaches who have proclaimed to the world what a sorry idiot Al Davis is, show me just one! Show me the quote and where I can find it, and don't just make something up as is your practice.

I don't deny there are writers who agree with you - and a few players who didn't get along with Al. Show me someone with a 45 year career without enemies or critics! But folks like Nancy Gay and Timmy Kawakami are not people who I even consider accepting information from.

They seem to be your idols. Stop boring me with this crap. If you can't analyse a team's problems without just saying, "It's the owner's fault," then we've got nothing to discuss.

12:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

JF, yes, PFT has had Kiffin cursing and slamming doors a few times. To me, he doesn't seem like the cursing and slamming doors type. One would have to consider that the same MO comes from the same liar.

Since PFT seems to be very up on Lombardi's troubles with Davis, I'm thinking that maybe it comes from him, claiming that he still has friends in the organization (even though nobody would talk to him last year).

12:17 PM  
Anonymous LK said...

I like Routt--I think he's an above average DB and he reminds me of Asomugha in his second year.

I like Washington, too. Not a big dropoff from the starters. Benched by Lane to learn how to work harder. Appears to get it now.

Huff is a good cover guy, not a good safety. We have to keep him though because he can control Gonzalez and Gates.

Eugene-would like to see more

bottom line is we need a run supporting safety. Sanders is an FA in 2008 and we are 26M under the cap...

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiffin & Arkansas (Psycho) - I'm with Jason Jones on this one:

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/raiders/

Nobody knows, simple as that. The slamming doors article is just retarded speculation, but there may be some truth to Kiffin's involvement/interest.

I don't think Kiffin is completely happy with his situation and I just hope he can hang in there with us. Even Sapp hinted that it's a struggle to get things working how Lane would like. This coming from a close friend of Kiffin's who works in the same building, with nothing to gain from lying. So is it far-fetched to think Kiffin has "entertained" the idea of taking the Arkansas job? IMO no, I think he might've. Would he go as far as interviewing? Idunno, maybe. We don't know how committed he truely is. Any assumptions or speculation on our part are just that, and they're not any more accurate than the numb nutts who claims Kiffin was slamming doors.

Of coarse Kiffin is going to deny any interest no matter what. So did Petrino. And so has every other coach who's ever thought of going elsewhere.

To me the scarriest part was Adam Schefter saying on NFL Access "There are people in Arkansas who thought Lane Kiffin would get the job, and there are people in Oakland who thought Lane Kiffin would get the job."

I know, I know, he's a Donko and can't be trusted, yada yada. But he's usually pretty reliable and has been right more often than not. People in Oakland thought Kiffin might leave? Scary stuff if accurate, and depending on how in-the-know these "people" really are. Somehow I don't take Schefter for a guy who would pick a random bum off the streets of Oakland, pick another random bum from a phone booth in Arkansas, and use them as a "sources". This one hit close to home and really got me thinking.

Psycho

1:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Yes, Adam Schefter, Mr. Donkey! Adds more evidence to my suspicion that this comes from Lombardi (claiming to have friends still on the inside in Oakland). Lombardi, who is working in Denver for free just so he can claim he's owed money by Davis - no other reason), who was also spreading crap last season, should not be considered the most reliable of sources - unless, and of course, he's filtering through Adam Schefter.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

of course kiffin slammed the doors and was cussing. why do you think he took this nfl head coaching spot with the raiders? so he could win the head coaching spot for the ncaa arkansas razorbacks! it makes perfect sense!
i do believe there should be a little "discernment" used when it comes to stories like this. psycho hit it on the head. i do believe that it is hard for him (reading between the lines of what sapp said, i had the same feeling psycho), and that he didn't think working for al would be this difficult. like al, or hate al, he is not the easiest owner to work for. you won't hear madden and flores complain about al, because they are still "in the family". but you heard tones of it with gruden (who left on good terms with al), bugel (who left on good terms with al), and shannarat (who is still bitter with al). i don't dislike al, i think he's innovative, even late in his age; but i think (and he knows it too) that his time is passing by. i don't think kiffin wants to leave, but at the moment, i don't think it's as easy for him working with al as he initially thought it would be. otherwise, i don't think he would have signed up to be our coach.
i think "teaching" is not sob's problem. from the vets on down to the rooks, they love sob. i don't know if sob is doing as well as he could because he is running an unfamiliar defensive scheme. remember buddy, other sob, and our sob learned the 3-4 scheme; which is why sob tried to implement it in his first year. that's all he knew.
i think we are getting close to moving to a 3-4. we just need a few more speedy lb's like morrison, howard, and thomas; which we can get in the draft because it seems that brown fits in this mold too. then if we can get ourselves a decent dt, we would be in great shape to run a 3-4 scheme. another possibility would be to run a 4-4 defensive scheme, with a bigger dt to compliment sapp.
the 3-4 and 4-4 defense is also what usc normally runs. they mix in a 4-3 as well, but they have the ability to run all 3. i think that is where kiffin wants to be defensively; with the ability to run all 3, and do it effectively. sob wouldn't mind that either. i don't think he's a bad coach, but i don't think he's a great coach. i think he'd make a better head coach, than a coordinator. i still wouldn't mind if at some point he becomes our head coach. i think martindale could be a better dc than sob because he has more experience in different defensive settings. again, this is nothing bad against sob at all, i just think the 4-3 scheme we are trying to run is unfamiliar to him, because it is the weakest defensive scheme.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate, agreed.

Blanda,
Lombardi very well could be part of it, good point. But Adam is a smart enough guy to see such an obvious agenda by Lombardi and I doubt would put his own reputation on the line based on something he wasn't sure was true. Or maybe Lombardi is a very convincing liar.

I still get the feeling there is 'something' to it besides the usual media speculations. And Lombardi's involvement wouldn't explain the Arkansas "people", unless we further speculate on the Lombardi/Petrino/Arkansas Job connection.

Then again, maybe Lombardi actually does know something from being close to Patrino and therefore close to the Arkansas interviewing process. And he would obviously be more willing to share hurtful information about the Raiders than most if he happened to have an opportunity.

Now I have a headache.

Psycho

1:54 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I disagree a little bit, Nate, on this basis. Don't forget that Kiffin is the son of Monte Kiffin, the DC for John Gruden. Gruden is a good friend of the Kiffin family. I'm am absolutely certain that Kiffin found out everything he needed to know about working with Al Davis through Gruden.

I think it very likely that Kiffin is very frustrated, and some of that frustration comes with working with Davis on handling personnel, but the majority of the frustration is probably based on the slow progress of the team. The frustration with the front office likely comes from the failure to put Coop on injured reserve (stuff like that), and to provide Kiffin with another player. But Kiffin has said, himself, that there ain't much available on the market. Also, there are sometimes financial considerations that the front office feels it has to make, and I think Kiffin understands that very well. The benefit of college ball is that financial considerations are never part of the worry in dealing with player movement.

1:56 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Psycho, the initial source of the Kiffin/Razorback rumor came from the speculation (and he said he was speculating) of a beat writer in Arkansas covering the Razorbacks. The story never, NEVER had an official source. The school never mentioned Kiffin, and Kiffin himself said very specifically that he wasn't interested.

While it is true that any football coach, regarding his future, will avoid talking about future jobs he may or may not be interested in, This is rarely accomplished by the straight up LIE. The usual routine is to say, "I intend to finish the job I came here to do." That's not a lie, it's an obfuscation. It's redirecting the conversation away from something you don't want to discuss.

2:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

BTW, Psycho, you also remind me that the Raider HC job offered to Petrino came from (drumroll please) LOMBARDI!!!

Curiouser and curiouser.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you're right blanda. Because if Kiffin leaves in the next few years based on how he feels about his support from management then our future goes from very bright to a very black hole (not the good kind with skulls and drunken darth vaders).

I'm still optimistic that he'll suck it up (if there is really that much to suck up) and fight for us. But more and more I begin to view things as less than a perfect S&B utopia of pillaging other ships for their gold and women without a care in the world. Things are obviously not perfect, they never are. I just hope they are not bad enough to make a good coach walk the plank.

Psycho

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Blanda: Here are a few former players and coaches that surely have a bad opinion of the modern era Davis:
Stabler (read his book, Snake), Marcus Allen (pretty obvious, that one), Shanahan (obvious), Fox (run off in Oakland to a superbowl appearance a few years later in Carolina), Bresnehan, Bugel, White, Turner, Shell. Not saying they shouldn't have all been run off, just saying I'm sure they don't think Al too football swift anymore.
And Blanda, I think Belichek calling Davis "Coach Davis" was more tongue in cheek than a compliment. See, you'd take the "coach davis" comment and run with it as proclamation of Al... I see it more as Belechik dropping a hint as to why he probably wouldn't work for the old man. The same reason we have had trouble filling our HC spot.
Let's all just hope Russell is so good he can help Kiffen save the franchise.

2:45 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Here's my reasoning, Psycho. It makes sense, but I don't know that it's necessarily true.

1. Lombardi feuded with Davis last year over the choice of HCs. Davis wanted Shell, and Lombardi wanted Petrino.

2. Lombardi was given permission to offer the job to Petrino - it wasn't offered by Davis which is unusual in itself.

3. Shell gained the reputation of telling tails out of school, and was identified by Shell because of the repetive language and Shell remembering things that Lombardi himself had said.

4. In this last off season, after Shell was fired Lombardi remained on board until Kiffin got here. Kiffin and Lombardi were kept apart, and Kiffin took over most of Lombardi's duties.

5. Lombardi was asked to leave, and Lombardi went to Denver where the HC is a long time Davis hater.

6. Lombardi is doing his job in Denver for free, because he wants to press a claim that Davis owes him money. If Lombardi gets paid by Denver, then the court would say that Lombardi has covered some of his losses and Al Davis owes him less. He's refusing pay from Denver just so Al, if it comes to that, will owe him more! That's what one calls "vindictive."

7. Lombardi used to work in the NFL offices, and I'm sure he has people who will do him the favor of being anonymous "sources."

8. The one thing Lombardi had to hang his hat on was the failure of Shell and that his choice (Lombardi's) was Patrino. Patrino, while getting one more win in Atlanta than Shell got in Oakland, quit suddenly with three games left on the schedule. At least Shell stuck it out to the end.

9. From these facts, we can logically assertain that Lombardi hates Kiffin, hates Davis, hates the Raiders, and is a vindictive SOB (which is likely why nobody likes him).

10. There has never been any public, official connection between Arkansas and Kiffin. While it is true that coaches don't like to discuss outside offers during the season, Arkansas is under no obligation or constraints, and were very public in naming a few people they were considering, Patrino included.

3:03 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, you are singularly ignorant of Raider history.

Snake didn't write his book, it was written for him, and he's currently an insider in the Raider organization. For someone who hates Davis, don't you think that's odd.

Allen - yeah, the two never liked each other and nobody is sure why. But didn't Allen consider Davis for introducing him to the Hall?

Shanarat - yeah, there's a guy I'd side with every time. You a Donkey fan? We're talking about the guy who told Elvis Gerbac to throw a football at Al Davis' head when Davis wasn't looking. I like your friends, Bama7.

Fox's disagreement was with Bugel.

White, Bugal, Shell - all still members of the "Raider Family." All have said positive things about Davis. I asked you to show me something they said about Davis recently that will prove your point. So I guess you're answering that you can't do that. So what's the point of your pointless post.

As for Bilicheat, I imagine that the reason he refers to Davis as Coach Davis is because EVERYBODY refers to him as "Coach Davis." I think it started when he was a COACH!!!

Shit.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
Nate: remember buddy, other sob, and our sob learned the 3-4 scheme; which is why sob tried to implement it in his first year. that's all he knew.
>>>>


Thats a GREAT POINT! Kinda fits in what I have been saying all along this season, it doesn't appear that he KNOWS WHAT THE HELL HE IS DOING.

Sapp hated the 3-4, and is clearly the defensive team leader, so it seems obvious... we need to either get rid of Sapp so SOB can run a defense he actually knows something about, or get rid of SOB.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>
Blanda:
Snake didn't write his book, it was written for him, and he's currently an insider in the Raider organization. For someone who hates Davis, don't you think that's odd.
>>>>


IIRC, both Snake and Al said it was a HUGE mistake for him to leave the Raiders.

3:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Gary, you're right. I even remember what the actual dispute was. The Raiders had gone through two consecutive 9-7 season, missing the playoffs both times. Davis blamed it on Stabler's life style, and said Stabler wasn't keeping himself in sufficient shape. It was also a year before Stabler's contract was up for renewal, and in side negotiations Davis told Stabler to shape up, or he'd get less than he thought he deserved. Stabler took it personally and demanded a trade (not expecting Davis to comply). Davis immediately complied by trading Stabler straight up for Pastorini in Houston (Davis also knew he had Plunk in the wings). Stabler was furious. Asked if he could ever bury the hatchet, he replied, "Yeah, I'll bury it! Right between the shoulder blades!" It was all hyperbole on Stabler's part because they made up in a couple of years, but the local press put the whole bay area on a "murder watch." Fact is, if Stabler had led the team to a Super Bowl victory in 1980, he'd likely be in the Hall.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

I think Blanda is right and this is lombardi/shifter bs. The pft article seems a joke.

AD is both the best thing and worst thing to happen to the Raiders.
We can only speculate as to what is going on, and how much of it is AD's doing. Kiffin seems wise beyond his years. I wishfully hope that AD let's the kid do it his way but we are talking about AD.
I just could not imagine who would come to Oaktown if it got so intractable that Kiffin left.

I always wondered what went on with Fox. He never talked about it as far as I remember. He quit on Friday two days before the first regular season game that year.

3:55 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The Fox thing was never really clear. My personal belief was that two things were involved. Fox felt that he should have been named HC, because that was his asperation and he felt that he and Davis were of a mind that he'd be the "next HC" after White if White left or was fired.

The other part was Bugel's offense. It was designed purely on a quick score basis, and it was not capable of sustaining drives. This meant that Fox's defense would be on the field for unballanced periods of time, causing them to get tired and look awful. That part turned out to be right.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should be alright, it's just scary hearing the words "Kiffin" and "leaving".

Al is smart enough to give a good coach room enough to grow while still keeping his foot in the decision-making door. Kiffin may be somewhat young and eager to take on more control, but he's smart enough to realize that the big man has more personnel & NFL decision making experience than he's had breathing air.

Putting things in perspective, he's a 32 year old rookie coach with little NFL experience. Al has not taken off the training wheels yet. If there is a control problem, patience will be required. Al is showing great patience in allowing a (likely) 4-12 season to slide, while using a system that he was never too fond of. And I suspect Kiffin will appreciate that patience.

BTW, as I typed this I watched Adam Schefter go at it again. He said "watch out, there are 8 or 10 more college jobs out there", and re-itterated his claim that people in Oakland are "talking". Man, I really hope he's just a douche.

Psycho

4:23 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Another telling thing about the PFT report is this:

"It's the same deal there as it was in Atlanta," the source said. "No one is real happy."

So it comes from someone who has inside knowledge of the Raiders and Atlanta (or Petrino). Doesn't smell minty fresh. It smells like Lombardi.

4:23 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Both MacDonald and Jones have Kiffin blowing up the rumors real good. Kiff doesn't know where this is coming from, and he's apparently very tired of it. He just wants to go about the business of preparing his team to play.

I think I know where it's coming from. It's the only thing that makes sense.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

To play the 3-4 is an intriguing possibility for 2008 especially if we draft Chris Long.

3 lineman:
LE Kelly (good fit)
NT Free Agent
RE Chris Long (awesome fit)

4 LBs:
OLB Howard (good fit)
ILB Morrison (good fit)
ILB Thomas (good fit)
OLB Burgess/Clemons (??)

The reason I put ?? next to Burgess/Clemons is because if we go to a 3-4, Burgess would either need to be cut or move to OLB.

If we move to a 3-4, Sapp would also be another obvious cut since he is a fish out of water in the
3-4. I think we would keep Sands as a backup/rotational DT.

The big questions would be who to add in FA at NT, would the 3-4 improve our run D, would it be the best use of our personnel's strengths, and finally, and most importantly, would Al sign off on it. If Al is stuck on the 4-3, all this discussion is irrelvant.

4:53 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico:

The Raiders employed the 3-4 on occasion under Madden. As a matter of fact, I think they used a 3-4 in their 76 Super Bowl year. They also did in SOBs first year here. Davis blew it up because he didn't feel we had the personnel for it, which we didn't/don't.

So Davis isn't opposed to it, but doesn't like it unless you have the right horses.

Remember in the 3-4, the DEs are more like DTs, and the OLBs are basically your DEs who also have to cover on the pass from time to time. The actual DT, who actually becomes a Middle Guard, is there simply as an immovable object. That's the guy that's really hard to find.

5:14 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Added...

While Sam Williams hasn't been that remarkable, he might be the perfect fit for a 3-4 OLB. He was, after all, a DE in college who successfully made the transition to LB.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>
Calico: The big questions would be who to add in FA at NT, would the 3-4 improve our run D, would it be the best use of our personnel's strengths, and finally, and most importantly, would Al sign off on it. If Al is stuck on the 4-3, all this discussion is irrelvant.
>>>>


Al already let SOB do it when he was a rookie, why not now?

And the perfect fit at Nose tackle? Haynesworth from Tenn. After stomping on a players head... maybe its time for a return of the good ol' dirty Raider players?

6-6 320 age 26... with the Raiders 26 mill under the cap, we could be major players!

5:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

So, as it turns out, PFT is content to impune Kiffin's integrity... just 'cause. They say that Kiffin can't deny it, because "what else is he going to say." So they've decided that he should be condemned whether it's true or not.

5:21 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I just e-mailed PFT with this...

So, let me get this straight. The story is stupid on its face because what idiot is going to attempt to leave USC to become HC of ARKANSAS via becoming the Raiders NFL Head Coach. And Kiffin has specifically denied, in fact been offended by the rumor. But you've determined that the story must be believed because, "of course he's going to deny it."

Just a guess… I bet he'd deny assassinating JFK as well. Your headline for tomorrow!

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

It's all coming together here... I see Sapp and Burgess both gone... SOH (Son of Howie) in with Haynesworth to anchor the 3-4 with prolly Sands or Kelly (Kelly is an UFA, but I doubt he gets much interest.)

Bring in UFA Bruschi to yell at everyone (grew up next to Oakland) Morrison would prolly excel at the 3-4 especially with Bruschi telling him what to do (similar to Romo helping Nap Harris to his one and only good year) and Thomas and Howard. Move Huff to free safety. ... pick up a middle tier FA SS.

Voila!!! A playoff defense!!!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Psycho-
Nice 4:25 take. (and it's getting close to 100 takes)
Blanda
The 3-4 was used on the 80 SB team. Remember Reggie Kinlaw at NT?
I'll be curious to hear bsft's response
Calico-Gary
I like the '08 D line up!
Did I leave anyone out......

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Dang, Blanda. Do we agree on anything? Sam Williams? You have got to be sh(*&^% me. Dude's been a huge bust.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Blanda, and as for Snake not "writing" his book... I read it and it is clearly in the first person. Clearly, throughout the entire book, Stabler is speaking. So your point about Stabler not writing it, is as usual, misleading.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The obvious key to a successful
3-4 is to have a superb NT who is a space eater deluxe. It is also imperative in the 3-4 that the OLBs are good pass rushers.

Could DBurg fit the mold of a Willie McGintest type OLB? What about Chris Clemons? Both are good pass rushers and fit the profile of an athletic OLB (6'4, 250/255). All things being equal, if we go to the 3-4, I would cut Burgess (to save cap room) and give Clemons a shot to earn the spot.

LE Kelly
NT Free Agent (Haynesworth)
RE Chris Long

OLB Howard
ILB Morrison
ILB Thomas
OLB Clemons

CB Asomugha
CB Routt
FS Huff
SS Free Agent

Draft Long, sign a FA NT & SS and this D would have me very excited & optimistic. SOB would be coaching the scheme that he is most comfortable with.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PatriotsDynasty


Do you guys actually think that Haynesworth would really sign with your team? Why the hell would he leave a team on the rise like the Titans, for a dysfunctional team that can't win more than 5 games in a season, with a meddling owner and a coach that is about to bolt for the job at Michigan or UCLA? Your chances of landing Haynesworth is about the same as the Patriots not going 19-0 this season. Maybe my Pats can pick him up in free agency and pair him with Wilfork. Then when we draft Jake Long or Darren McFadden with our 2nd overall pick in the draft, we can head into 2008 even better than we were in 2007!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
Then when we draft Jake Long or Darren McFadden with our 2nd overall pick in the draft, we can head into 2008 even better than we were in 2007!
>>>>>


...and you will still be a moronic childish asshole that doesn't know how to act like you have been there before.

9:16 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I'm not inclined to believe that the PFT source was another mediot or Lombardi. If it is a mediot we should be seeing something in the Chronicle, the Mercury News, etc, and we aren't seeing anything major there. I can't see Shefter or PFT hanging their hat on Lombardi as a sole credible source. I think the initial speculation was fairly well discredited, so there is no reason to expand upon it today without some sort of info.

The bigger problem as I see it is that someone internal is spreading (hopefully) misinformation that is harmful to Kiffin and the Raiders. PFT doesn't bill itself as anything other than a rumor site, but they are fair in their reporting and I haven't noted any anti-Raider bias on their site. I agree that the denial by Kiffin is a pretty lame folllow up, but there is no value in PFT sticking with that angle unless they feel they have something legit.

Stories like this can have an impact on the players as they finish out the year, as well as during the offseason as free agents are recruited. If the Raiders finish strong they might attract a couple of decent free agents who might otherwise not consider a team on the verge of losing a head coach with some potential, a team whose owner is considering letting the coach go, etc.

I do think it bears watching in terms of whether or not we have another Lombardi-type in the organization.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Too much to comment on, but I'll do it anyway.

As to Stabler. I listen to him fairly regularly over the internet.

As he has gotten older he has mellowed quite a bit. Fatherhood and Grandfartherhood will do that to a person.

He and Al Davis will never be the best of friends. However, they have both come to terms with their differences and burried the hatchet amicably. They both admit mistakes were made on both sides.

Snake makes trips to the Oakland area every year. Normally to do something with Freddy or some other former player in charity events. Ted Hendricks was on his show back in early November or late October. He keeps up with them and the current Raiders.

The feud with Marcus Allen began when Allen wanted to renegotiate the multi year contract he demanded a year after signing it.

Absolutely no organization, business or otherwise, is going to please all the people who are associated with it over a 40-50 year timeframe.

As for Coach Davis, he was a coach before being an owner. George Halas was refered to as Coach up until he died.

If Davis has a fatal flaw in his relationship with players it is that he is sometimes too loyal to them. Now, tell me that's a bad thing in today's world where coaches bail on the team with three games left in the season. A coach many people wanted coaching the Raiders.

His loyalty is one of the things I admire about him. He also has zero tolerance for those who go against the organization.

H

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Psycho) I'd be OK with using a 3-4 at some point, but if we're going to run it next year it should strictly be part-time only to see how it goes and mix it up.

1) Sapp is completely useless in a 3-4 (as pointed out). We're talking about cutting the heart & soul out of our D. The guy who just had a monster game and knew every play before the Packers ran it. The guy who is a devoted follower of Kiffin's way and spreads it throughout the team along with good old fashioned veteran work-ethic. Cut Sapp? No way!

2) Although Clemmons, and MAYBE Burgess would make good OLB's, our LB's may not work as well as they have in a big scheme transition. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. You can just as easilly say Ray Lewis would be a "good fit" in a 3-4 (the Ravens did just that) and look how that turned out. Pure frustration by Lewis not having those two DT's to "block" for him. And again, now we're talking about likely cutting another one of our best players in Burgess.

3) I really want to get Chris Long. But would he really be that good in a 3-4? Aren't DE's in the 3-4 there to basically fill gaps more than anything, much like a DT? Seems like a waste of talent if he's always getting double-teams and doing grunt work that a diecent FA could do. When I think Chris, I think Howie, and I think HOF career in a 4-3.

IMHO we're still not a 3-4 team and we haven't made a single move yet to change that. To do it would mean scrapping some of our greatest strengths and starting from scratch, rather than focusing on real personnel issues (think offense). It's a lot more than just getting a FA NT and switching guys around.

Who is the backup NT when (TBD) goes down, Sands? How about when Chris Long or Kelly struggles? Do you switch Clemmons back? Too small. Richardson? Maybe he fits....maybe.

How about when we get a little thin at LB and suddenly we find ourselves in a 4LB scheme and nobody with any exp to step in for Morrison or Clemmons?

Teams like the Steelers & Patsies have backups who have either been there a while or can learn quickly from the "best". We would end up with guys coming in and trying to learn form a bunch of LB's who just started learning it themselves. It's a team concept change, and everyone on your roster has to fit it, not just the key guys.

Intriguing as the 3-4 is, it's a long road. We'd have to try it out first. We'd have to assume that not all of our big front-7investments will work out in it and would have to be replaced. We'd also struggle quite a bit with it until we got it right, and it only takes one weak link in the NFL to get exploited. Seems a lot easier to just mind our gaps and "Do our jobs" like Sapp says.

Psycho

7:29 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Psycho... you raise some great valid points... but I counter with this... the 3-4 might not be a great fit next year, but wouldn't that be better than WHAT WE HAVE NOW?? If the caveat is to keep SOB, why not run the defense he actually knows something about and then go from there instead of us mindlessly trying to keep pounding a square peg into a round hole?

This team is one of the worst against the run in the entire NFL... somehow I don't think you can go down from the worst.

8:09 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, have never heard the term "ghost writer." It doesn't refer to a skeletal guy who flames up when he rides a motorcycle. It refers to someone who writes a book for someone in the first person. It is a very common practice in celebrity autobiographies.

Regarding Sam Williams... Personally, I don't know how he'd do, but he was converted to LB from being a DE to be an OLB in the 3-4 defense. He's out of place as an OLB in the 4-3.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which is worse? Offense or Defense...im struggling with that question this year. They say we have a good pass defense..only because we have the worst run defense..it makes sense. Misleading...but makes sense. They say we have a good run offense...only because we have the worst pass offense...makes sense...Misleading but makes sense. I definetly dont see our running backs breaking huge gains. In order for them to run 100 yards they need at least 30 rushes to do so. We run the ball to use up clock so we can stay in games late. Which doesnt work when the other team finds out how easy it is to throw deep on us. Im tired and hope things are brighter in a few years of recruiting badly.

9:01 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Damn, Psycho! Great analysis! You've won me over. I admit that every time I hear "cut Burgess" it sounds like fingernails across a blackboard.

Sapp I don't worry about too much because he could just as easily retire at the end of the year, by his own choice. If he does, I want to bring him back in as a defensive line coach, and groom him as a DC.

memdf was right about the year of the 3-4. We did it because we had Kinlaw (a rock) in the middle, and an over abundance of quality LBs. There was no long term planning in it. It was done almost by accident, Flores just realized we were better suited for it.

However, since there was no long term commitment to the 3-4, the following year we had a very average defense and went 7-9.

I think the style and type of defense you play has to be based on the notion that "that's who we are." What we're talking about here is experimentation to see if SOB works better in the 3-4 because that's the way he started.

This takes us to another problem. I believe that one of the major problems with the Raiders over the last several years has been that the Raiders have lost their identity. How often have you heard owners, coaches, players and prognosticators talk about identity? It is extremely important. That is why Davis wanted to bring back Shell, not because he was the only person who would coach here.

If SOB can't coach a 4-3, I'd say we need to get a new DC. Either that or make him HC and have him define who we are. He's already got the look for it. But I think I pretty much prefer Kiffin.

If there is any merit to the Kiffin rumors, I'd say turn it over to Rob, but I don't think there is any there there.

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