Sunday, December 30, 2007

One Postseason Take

After the Raiders refused to show up in Jacksonville last Sunday, I decided to honor them by not showing up at Raider Take for the ensuing week. I considered it an extended Christmas vacation from gnashing my teeth over our so-called defense, which handed us our worst regular-season beating since 1961.

Being on the road, visiting family and friends for the holidays, made it particularly easy for me to play hooky. I appreciate all of you who kept the home fires burning during my irresponsible absence.

I finally emerged from my monastic zen state today to watch the Raiders lose to Norv Turner and the Chargers, and I'm not going to say much about it, at least for the time being, because I want to choose my words carefully, and I am at a loss for such careful words at the moment.

I look around the NFL and see the Falcons notch their fourth win today, putting up 44 points on the playoff-bound Seahawks. The Falcons endured the most cursed season in the history of the NFL, yet still managed to match our record. I see woeful Baltimore beat the playoff-bound Steelers. I see marginal Houston put up 42 points in routing the playoff-bound Jaguars, who routed us last week. I see awful Carolina rack up 31 points to beat the playoff-bound Buccaneers. You might say that these playoff-bound teams were taking the day off, but the other teams still had to really show up to notch those point totals.

Meanwhile, I see the Raiders fail to beat playoff-bound teams for the past four straight weeks, racking up a total of 49 points over that span (the same number Jacksonville put up on us last Sunday). Excluding the Browns, whom we beat with a last-second field goal, the three other teams we beat finished the season with a combined total of 12 victories. Thankfully, two of those teams were AFC West opponents, so at least that little monkey is off our back.

We have plenty of excuses for everything, including the last four weeks. But the fact is that only two teams won fewer games than the Raiders this year. If that's how we measure major improvement, then that only reveals how far we've fallen.

I don't mean to be a downer or drag. I just don't want this season to end amid a hail of excuses and "wait till next years!" I don't want us to get used to this. Ever.

A telling comment by Lane Kiffin was revealed by the CBS crew today. They said they asked Kiffin about what surprised him most about moving from the college ranks to the NFL, and he said that he'd assumed everyone would be a professional in the NFL, and he was surprised at how many players are, in fact, unprofessional (I'm paraphrasing here, but that's how I heard it). And we know he wasn't talking about the Patriots or the Packers.

Think about Kiffin's comment for a second. Then order up some TNT.

I believe that things are pointed in the right direction. I believe that this was a season of progress. I believe that our progress was limited, however, by questionable actions and inactions regarding our personnel, dating back to last year and through the offseason and regular season. I believe that our offense was quantum leap over last year's offense. I believe that our defense took an alarming step backward. I believe that our biggest problem is re-learning how to win. I believe that Kiffin is the man for the job, and hope that he remains on the job. I believe that he needs a few sticks of dynamite.

Best of all, one way or the other, I still believe. I don't need or want excuses. I want solutions. I can handle the truth. My loyalty and dedication will remain unshaken no matter what happens, and I think I speak for the Raider Nation on that point, so let's get down to business and build a winning team for 2008.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


New England visits Oakland in 2008, maybe I will head out to Oakland and take in the game, it will be nice to see the defending Super Bowl Champions tear it up in Oakland ;)

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it hurts haiku:

Next season is here.
Finally let us move on.
In Kiffin we trust?

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant believe Pats fan beat me to the post. oh well. mutherfuker deservs it. obviously mafia controls this league anyway. f* the NFL.... I'm out biatches!

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least I won my FFL league ($500). Not as much as those refs make in Oaktown week after week, but still not bad for a simple engineer....

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BooYaaa!! for life biatch.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haiku man is here
don't fret my bitch. Raider's rule
AFC West soon!

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In a season mired my countless inconsistencies, yours was the one voice of reason that put this year in the proper perspective. If LK is given the tools and autonomy, we will contend for the division crown next year. We have another opportunity to draft a player with immediate impact, and I look forward to seeing how we progress in the off-season. Whether we put a package together to get McFadden or SOH, I've seen enough from this past season to believe that a promising future is only a few executive decisions away.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiffen stated that he will be on the job tomorrow morining, evaluating potential draft picks and free agents. After seventeen weeks of film analysis, Kiffin knows just who and what the Raiders need to reach the top.
He recognizes our weak safety play, our inability to stay in gaps along the defensive line, the failure to seperate or stretch the field by our receivers, and the offensive lines trouble remembering the correct snap count. These short comings will be addressed.
"This won't happen again." were his exact words, "this" being our 4-12 record. Perhaps Kiffin's greatest trait is that he will not stand for, nor let those around him stand for, losing.
We will be back in a big way next season. A Raider team you can hang your hat on and not a moment too soon.
Take heed Raider Nation, playtime is over.
In 2008 trust that;
1) JaMarcus will be starting from game,in camp on time, and prepared to make "it" happen.
2) He will be surounded by players that know what it takes to win.
3)Players that canot or will not be able to help the Raiders do so will be dismissed.
4)We will select at least two players in this draft that impact the team immediately.
5) We will win the AFC West

The Captain of this ship is no longer asleep at the wheel and the Raider Nation is no longer adrift! THE AUTUMN WIND IS BACK!

p.s. Bring on the Pat's in 08', we will have them for lunch!

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can someone please slap barry sims, and tell him to fall on the fumble in the endzone that he caused; instead of slapping it away from himself. he should be the first one cut.
next on the list, lamont jordan. then here is the rest of my list of people i'm shanking, if i were kiffin:
stu schwiegert
sam williams
johnnie lee higgins
jake grove
johnathan holland
reshard lee
dante culpepper
josh shaw
tyler brayton
tony stewart
mark wilson
cornell green
fred wakefield
chris carr
terdell sands

free agent pick ups:
albert haynesworth (dt, titans)
lance briggs (lb, bears)
alan faneca (rg, steelers)
flozell adams (lt, cowboys)
max starks (t, steelers)
jake scott (g, colts)
jared allen (de, chiefs)
more to come.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you RT, how did we end up with the same record as the Falcons or Chiefs? We are a better team that those chumps. However, I do take some satisfaction at having beaten the Chiefs and Donks this year. Those two victories did me a lot of good. I was hoping to finish .500 in the West but we couldn't hang with the Chargers (is it me or is Rivers starting to resemble Ryan Leaf?). Russel didn't play great yesterday but he didn't play terrible either. Most of the mistakes he made can be ironed out in coaching. Personally I felt he held the ball too long in most cases. Kiffin has got a lot of work to do but I am very optimistic about our future. More than I have in years. Kiffin is the man. I look forward to seeing what he does in the off season. If we doubled our wins from last year then I expect to go 8-8 next year. Are the playoffs possible? We have to learn how to beat the Chargers first. I think by '09 we'll dominate the division. Happy New Year to everyone in the Raider Nation! Have fun and be safe.

6:41 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

As we look forward to another high draft pick, here's some food for thought from the 2004 draft:

9 draft picks

3 players remain from that draft:

Gallery 1(2)

Grove 2(45)

Schweigert 3(67)

Out of these remaining players, which of them have lived up to their draft position? We can't afford any more drafts like that. Looks like we'll have either the #3 or #4 pick in the draft, depending on the coin flip.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Confusion has painted a masterpiece"
Banquo from Macbeth

I made numerous attempts to post last night but could not. Where would I begin?

As always RT, you make sense.

I too will let the dust settle and see what transpires.
I hope my fellow RT'ers continue contributing during the off season. As things might be slow for awhile and this will keep the home fires burning.

As for the other "posters", "Just collapse, baby"

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we absolutely have the right guy in Kiffin...and the right QB in #2. I'm with you in trusting LK [interesting handle] to blow up what needs to be blown up.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I might add Warren Sapp to Raider Nate's list. His meltdown in Jacksonville was disgraceful. You can bet that when Kiffin is talking about unprofessionalism, he would include that little episode. When your team "leaders" are making the coach look foolish, that's a red flag, and I'm sure that Kiffin's had his fill of red flags this year.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post, RT.
My final '07 thoughts:
1. Kiffen to shoot for as much control as possible in '08.
2. I think DE is the biggest need on this team.
3. I agree with most of Raider Nate 75's list above... would love to see Briggs alongside Morrison & Howard. I Think Briggs and a couple of well rounded DE's (SOH) would shore up our run D more than any new DT pick-up. We've been trying, and failing, to solve our never-ending run woes with DT's for about 15 years... McGlockton, D Russell, Maryland, S Adams, T Washington, Parella, Grady Jackson, Sapp, Sands... at some point let's try stud DE's and physical LB's, instead.
4. The offensive run game, on the other hand, is close to being scary. I think SOH makes the most sense for us, but McFadden in our cut block scheme would probably have us in the playoffs every year. The one-two punch of McFadden and Bush would be devastating.
5. I was much more impressed with Rhodes two 100 yd games against stout defenses in the Jags & Dolts than any of Fargas's 100 yd games against lesser comp. It's the system and we can look even better with an elite back.
6. Here's hoping the Patriots get knocked out.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Raider Nate's' list too, only most if not all of those guys will get franchised...possible exception is Faneca [but guard is not as high a priority for us as T, DL, S] and Briggs [ditto for LB].

Hope we get Nnamdi and Fargas done early. Rhodes earned a long look and if we cut him probably will not be until LK sees what Bush brings to the table.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 takes by Psycho
1) That was a strong effort yesterday. That was a game we could at least hang our hat on.

2) Russell looked amazing for that being his first start. That never happens in the NFL. Exciting film for me to salivate over for a few months. You too Miller, good stuff.

3) It's too bad the only way Ryan can get his D to play solid run D is for it to be his last game as a Raider. Sure they played tough for him, but too little too late. I hate to see him go but I trust Kiffin to bring in some solid D coaches like he did with the O. Good luck, sorry it didn't work out, and it's been fun SOB.

4) With a new D system likely to happen, will Nnamdi's man coverage skills be a priority to retain? I sure hope so. I think you sign a blank check, hand it to him, and build your system around man coverage and speedy (blitzing) LB's.

5) I look forward to a great off-season with you guys. Kiffin is obviously pumped up and ready to "attack" it, as he puts it. I have little doubt we will be a playoff contender very soon. This is why we stick with them through the tough times, eventually we get back to what we do best; Dominating all those bastards who've been taking turns briefly keeping our spot warm at the top. And reading above that we'll get to play the Patsies in Oak next year, I felt like I'd just won the Super Bowl. I look forward to playing a tough game that week and bloodying some noses, win or lose. I will be at that game for sure to witness the upset, and the official turning of the tides.


10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to get to the point of consistency by having long term plans with the same coaching staff. We nned players and that will not happen all in one year. We must start spending money onplayers that practice and play. Lamont and culpepper-dead money.
unprofessional is noted in the practice patterns of the raiders. lamont - to busy planning his birthday party that washington had to much fun at to show up for practice. To much champagne in vegas by culpepper when he could have been taking this team over. Kiffin must get the players focus.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Tim Mo said...

Yeah, good point. This is not the time for "Rah! rah! Yeah go team next year! We will be awesome!" Where's the proof? We cannot be satisfied with four years of this crap, hopefully we will never return to this futility.

P.S. How about another 100+ game for Rhodes? Of course, it didn't mean anything, right? Wrong. Put this guy in the dang game.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whether ryan comes back, or martindale or someone else becomes d-coord. i hope they realize the talent we have to play "man-zone" defense, regardless the scheme (4-3, nickle, 3-4, etc), and aer creative in putting pressure on the qb. let the line, linebackers, and safety play zone, and corners play man. it's the defense we used in 1983. i think namdi and routt have the capability to play man, it will be even better if we can sign asante samuels from the pats in the fa market as well. that would solidify our cb, and give us the ability to cut fabian washington.
i think sapp will retire, especially if ryan goes. look for kiffin to give the offensive play calling reigns to knapp next season.
not sure if we will sign fargas, even though i love the guy. i hope we pick up who we need in free agency, and let the scrubs go.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dare to dream, Raider Nate 75. We are operating under a salary cap in today's NFL. We will not be able to get back to winning football games by bringing in all of those free agents that you mentioned. Haynesworth, Faneca, Briggs, Adams, Jared Allen, Assante Samuel! It would be an accomplish to get just 1 of those guys. It would destroy our salary cap to get half of them. Probowl free agents don't go to losing teams unless it is for major jack. The Patriots can bring in alot of free agent talent because they take them from bad teams and bad situations and they are willing to take paycuts to do it.

Bad teams are turned around via the draft. That is how you build a foundation. The players are much less expensive. Unless he's a 1st rounder, rookie contracts usually are not too hindering on the salary cap. Teams learn first hand if they are good players on their team and in their system before they have to give them a big payday with their first veteran contract.

Do you really want to bring in guys that we will have to pay franchise dollars to, guys who are willing to go to a bad team that doesn't have any hope at getting a championship title, but are willing to do it because they are gonna get a dumptruck full of cash dumped on them for it? Players that care mnore about the money than winning? Think about it from a free-agents perspective? Dispite what we think and hope for, we are the laughing stock of the NFL. When people think of bad teams the Raiders are now the first team to come to mind, not the Lions, not the Saints, not the Cardinals, not any of the teams that have held that dinstinction in the past. Do you really want players that would rather get paid more to be on a bad team than get paid less to play with a contender?

Check it out: We picked up Burgess for a smallish veteran contract because he didn't do much for the Eagles, but we saw something in him and he has made a great positive impact on OUR team. Now is when we pay out a big free-agent contract to our own veteran free-agent who has prooven himself to us. Randy Moss, on the other hand, got a ton of cash from us because he was a great player in Minnisota. Didn't work out with US though did he? All he did for us was take Al Davis' money.

The way to build a team is through the draft and by signing lesser known free-agents who are not going to break the bank. At this stage of our building process we should avoid paying huge contracts to anyone unless they have proven their worth to us The Raiders, not the Patriots, not the Cowboys, not, the Chiefs. Once we have a solid mostly homegrown roster with a good salary cap situation where guys are getting paid according to their real value to our team, that is when you start looking to sign superstar free agents to put us over the top.
-Ryan C.

1:42 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

You're on the money Ryan C. As much as I'd like to see some of those free agents, that would help us in the short term, similar to our Super Bowl team from the '02 season. The way the NFL is set up today you have to make the most of the draft and get maybe a couple of key free agents. Speaking of the draft, if McFadden is gone I'd go for Jake Long and then try and snag Jonathan Stewart from Oregon.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan's right but you could get one maybe two good FA's. I mean we do have the luxury of cutting about 90% of the team, saving money all over the board. And I think we have 28 million in cap room right now. Briggs would be tremendous for us because he is physical and stout against the run and we desperately need that on our defense.
This draft has several good DE's in it.
Not sure about Jake Long. Michigan has struggled mightily this year when a team with their talent should at least be able to run over most of their schedule. Maybe I'm stilled scarred by Gallery. Let's see how Jake does against Florida's speedy DE's. That game alone should tell the entire NFL all they need to know about where Jake Long will be drafted.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiffin: "First of all, we haven’t made any decisions yet. Those will come pretty soon. Just like I said, with players and stuff, we’re still going to get all the information in and get it all together before we make any changes. Like I said before, we’re going to do everything we can to put us in the best position to win. Whatever that is, whatever we have to look at, no different that what we did with players, putting players on the bench that had been starters, or whatever it is. We’re not worried about people’s feelings or any of that. We’re worried about winning. And we need to start winning. We need to do everything we can to put us in that position. So, we’ll look at everything."

Reports also indicate that we will choosing 3rd or 4th pick depending on the coin toss. Can we afford this pick at this position? We did JaMarcus.

Is McFadden the answer? And if he is what will we do about the Defensive side of the ball?

There are going to be some big changes in the next few weeks. And Kiffin and Al will make big changes I think.

First was that Kiffin mentioned during his post game conference that JaMarcus will be the start for 2008.

Next will be Ryan going bye, bye.

5:32 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

One thing that no one has mentioned is how Kiffin took a page out of Art Shell's book in dealing with Rhodes. I'm all for discipline, but just what purpose was served by sitting Rhodes all those games when he was our top(in terms of contract) FA signing of the offseason? In the salary cap era of the NFL that was money down the drain. It reminded me too much of the Porter situation from last year. If we're going by the mantra of "playing the players that give us the best chance to win," then we didn't do that. In today's NFL you have to make the most out of the 53 man roster. That and the handling of Bush are my only beefs with Kiffin in his inaugural season.

6:11 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

I meant to say Chris Long. I have Gallery flashbacks too, Bama.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiffin: "I have talked to Warren (about retiring). I am not going to comment on that until Warren talks to you guys. Warren has already made it known what he’s doing but I’m not going to take that from him. He’ll tell you guys whenever he’s ready.

Warren: "I will announce my decision soon"

Well, there you have it Raider Nation, Warren Sapp is retiring. At least that's how I read between those lines. All this suspense for nothing? I think not.

I herebye agree with DT being a key need position, and it's too bad this TBD person was not here to learn from the best.


7:20 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Rob's brother Rex got fired along with the whole staff in Baltimore today. Nah, we couldn't fire his brother and then hire him, could we?

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if we didn't have some of the personell issues on D, people wouldn't be all up SOB's @ss.

Rhodes sat because the backs in front of him weren't giving him a chance. Lamont was pushing for the rushing title early, and we all know what Justin did when he got his chance. Kiff said contract is not a factor in playing time.

Speaking of RB's, Can anyone say last one standing!

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi guys, if we lose that coin flip to atlanta, it really won't kill us i don't think. they need a QB anyway and many of the mock drafts are slating them to pick BC's ryan.

there are so many things we need ie: D line is #1 priority BUT - if macfadden is there we gotta take him! saw some hilites on you tube and O-M-G! he and bush would make an awesome 1/2 punch OR he could be trade bait for us to get an impact player or 2 to shore up our real needs.

glad kiff's got his cleaning gear out 'cause there's gonna be some major changes next year. the future looks bright in the raider nation as long as al leaves him alone to do his thing. not bashing here but that is a fact.

you all have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

9:43 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

A big money contract sitting on the bench is a big factor in not being able to sign players who could actually contribute to our team winning more games.

If anyone believes all we could give Rhodes before the last two games was 2 carries and kick return duty, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. It looks mighty strange that Rhodes put up 115 on JAX and 122 on SD and we couldn't fit him into the lineup?
Ooops, I forgot, we couldn't fit Bush into the lineup either to see what he's got. My bad.

Hopefully that kind of stuff will go the way of the dinosaurs next season. We can't afford mistakes like that in the salary cap era.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rex Ryan would be nice. Everything we like about Rob, but with blitzing. Would it happen though? No. I think Kiffin has other plans. That would just be too....wierd.....for the players.


10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems to me that all of the RB's looked equally well in the SYSTEM... Jordan, then Fargas, then Rhodes. Maybe Kiffin didn't like Rhodes attitude or work ethic? And we don't have enough information about Bush to compare either to the Shell/Porter situation.

Right now I've seen enough about Kiffin to trust his judgment on all of this rather than simply relying on wild speculation.

And I'm also not sure I agree with the person saying you build teams mostly through the draft... you have to remember the two teams that are doing this hit the lottery with Brady and Manning so they can afford to take safer picks, and resist the FA temptations. We came a stones throw away from winning a few rings mostly through free agency, and I am not convinced it can't be done again. The problem is you have to know when to cut your losses and that is Al's worst trait. If Al would have simply blown up the team the year after our SB loss.. we'd prolly already be a playoff team again.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...oops, hit send too early... to finish my thought... I think it's a mistake to try and build completely through the draft... it's filled with too many landmines. Draft well and provide good veteran FA LEADERSHIP. NE and Indy don't have to worry about the second part of the equation because they already have the leadership spots filled.

Watch how NE resigns Bruschi next season... they don't let their leaders go.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read Carl Stewart's article. He says Ryan is gone and Kiffin is looking at hiring dad. Interesting?


8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to get back to Raider News but if Ryan is gone does that not portend Kiffin running the ship?

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do yourself a favor and read the Cael Stewart article.

9:15 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Happy New Year to my fellow Raiders fans! The day is coming when we won't be in the top 10 of the draft and oh what a sweet day that will be.

There are landmines in drafting, no doubt(Gallery & Grove immediately come to mind) but free agency has landmines too:

Kerry Collins
Aaron Brooks
LaMont Jordan
Dominic Rhodes

That's just in recent history. The bottom line is that whether drafting or free agency, you've got to make good choices.

Also, the comparison to Shell/Porter was made regarding the situation between Rhodes/Kiffin. I said it would have better prepared us for the draft in April if we had gotten Bush some playing time so we would have a better idea of where we stand with regard to our RB corps.

Which begs the question for us now, is it our system or is it the running backs we have? If its the system then we'd be less inclined to snag McFadden if he's available at our draft position. Instead we could look to address other needs such as DE & LB. If its the RB, then it would behoove us to do as Minnesota did and get a RB that could make an immediate impact(and take pressure off of Russell by keeping the defense honest).

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raiderrealist, I disagree.

I think that because it is the system that is making our RBs this year, we take the game-breaker whose production will be accentuated by our ZBS system.

If Justin Fargas can go for 179 yards in half a game against Miami, what do you think McFadden can do?

I think if McFadden is available when our time comes, we take him. To me, it's a no-brainer.

I think you raise some valid points about maybe strengthening some other areas of need, but I also think that the RB area is one that we can raise to a world-beating level in one fell swoop. You don't get a chance to do that every year.



10:38 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Haven't read the posts, but I have a couple of comments.

I like Kiffin better every day. I've been saying for over a month that the answer to Take's question as to whether "Wait 'til next year!" was this year's battle cry is yes. I believe that Kiffin wanted to see for himself what was on this team, and what the source of its problems were. Now he knows, and he's willing to stay and fix it.

Gallery has earned himself a job, but Sims will be gone. Our running back trio next season will be Fargas, Rhodes, Bush (in that order to start the season). Walter is still under contract, but I suspect we'll trade him for a draft pick and get a very old free agent for number three QB. We will resign McCown.

I think Porter may very well be gone. He wasn't any trouble, but he didn't add anything either. Curry's lack of production concerns me. Higgins will have to work very hard in the off season.

Sapp will retire, Brayton will be gone, as well as Williams and Schweigert. Eugene will also be gone. Rout, I think will remain as a starting CB. Huff will be moved to FS. I think Washington will play nickle, as well as back up the starting CBs and FS. Kelly will move inside to DT. Kelly and Warren will occupy the middle of a 4-3.

Say hello to SOH. With no lower than the No. 4 pick, it might be a no brainer - with one exception. Wide Receiver! If we can get a 1st year starter at WR, we may pass on SOH. If we go for a WR, I'd like to see us put a package together (say a 2 & 4 round pick added with Walter) to move up far enough to get SOH with the second pick.

In JMac's blog he mentioned that some of the players said, "It looks like Kiffin is coming back." He thought they were the same players who used to ask if he thought Kiffin was staying. I think it likely that these are also the players who believe they will be gone if Kiffin stays. I think the players who are confident that they will be back, have never doubted that Kiffin will be back.

Say goodbye to SOB. In his four years here he has delivered one decent defense in questionable circumstances (last year). Reportedly he already has a job lined up.

Replacing him will not be Monte Kiffin. That would create a questionable chain of authority (at least in Monte's mind - as he has already stated). Likely it will be someone in the college ranks (most likely from USC).

A personnel guy (a defacto GM as it relates to player personnel) will be hired - by Kiffin (not Davis). Look for it to be a college recruiter who Kiffin knows and trusts.

These are my early predictions for off season movement.

10:44 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It is amazing to me that some people can get on the "no more scholarships!" bandwagon, and then, at the end of the season, criticize Kiffin for following it.

In the "no more scholarships," philosophy, Kiffin said "everything counts" (including practice and attitude), and "playing time is not determined by the size of one's contract." If Rhodes wasn't getting playing time, one can only presume that he wasn't meeting Kiffin's standards [and how can you argue otherwise?]. In no way can that be compared to Shell and Porter. Sands got a big contract during the off season as well, and he wound up on the bench. Rhodes is no different.

Another amazing comment here - "Rhodes' 100 yard games were more impressive than Fargas' 100 yard games." Sheesh.

11:05 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Happy New Year Jeff! I have no problem with drafting McFadden if he's there. A McFadden/Fargas or McFadden/Bush tandem could be our version of Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew.

What I'm saying is that if we consider ourselves a system team, we would fill other needs because the running game would be good enough to move the chains and take time off the clock. It goes towards the school of thought of putting big money on positions and players that would last longer since RBs have very short careers and get injured more often than other positions. I see the merits of both schools of thought. Its just that when you have a team with so many needs you have to be very careful about the choices you make.

11:16 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Happy New Year Blanda!

As I said before(see my earlier posts) I'm all for discipline. But at what point does it get carried too far? Last year Porter was a pariah. Yet this season he's our leadingLet me ask you this. In the salary cap era of the NFL where you can only bring in a few high impact players through free agency, does it make sense to sit a guy all season that could be helping you win games, which is why they play the games in the first place, isn't it?

If Rhodes was such a disruption, why not cut him and then we could have let Bush get playing time to see what he had and thus help us prepare for the draft? Wouldn't cutting him have sent a much stronger message to the rest of the team than just sitting him game after game where he can poison the locker room? They did it with Mike Williams, why not Rhodes? Or do I detect a contradiction in the "no scholarships philosophy?" There's more than one way to skin a cat, you know.

Did you know that the last time a Raider RB ran for over 100yds against the Chargers was way back in 1997? If Rhodes could do that against the Chargers and Jaguars, would it have not been better to suspend him for two games and then run him in committee with Fargas as a 1-2 punch a la Taylor/Drew?

11:41 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If "wait till next year" was the plan all along, then why is Kiffin so pissed and clearly disappointed by year's end? Why is he saying he was surprised at how unprofessional NFL players can be?

Nobody expected the Raiders to make the playoffs, Kiffin included, but most of us expected to win more than four games, Kiffin included. I expected more, most of you expected more, and Kiffin expected more.

Progress and disappointment are not mutually exclusive.

In no way should we be happy with four wins, three of them over awful teams.

This season was a serious wake-up call for whoever is and/or has been responsible for our personnel situation (and, apparently, our DC situation).

Let's not pretend it all went according to plan. It didn't. Not by a longshot.

Rob Ryan looks at an awful performance and bottom-of-the-league defensive stats and remains convinced that he he's doing a great job with great players.

Lane Kiffin looks at the roster and says "We'll get it fixed."

Therein lies the difference between the Kiffin era and the pre-Kiffin era.

Here's what Kiffin said Sunday night: "We'll go back to work and get this thing fixed. This isn't going to happen again. We're not going to be 4-12. We'reg oing to play better. We're going to play our style of ball. We're going to attack free agency, we're going to attack the draft, and we're going to do whatever it takes. We're going to look at every single thing to get better. This won't happen again, and our locker room will understand that, too, as well as our WHOLE BUILDING."

Funny, that sounds a lot like what I wrote Sunday night before seeing his postgame quotes on Monday morning.

Notice that he didn't just say locker room. He added "whole building." Good for him.

12:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, don't misunderstand me (my fault if you are). My point is that Kiffin could have made a lot more moves this last off season than he did. He had certainly enough information to replace Sims, Gallery, Jordan, Porter, etc., but he waited to see for himself what he had, and took the risk for the consequences. What I'm saying is that Kiffin was prepared to lose a few extra games for the sake of far more inside knowledge. That paid off for players like Fargas and Gallery. As for Porter he learned that Porter doesn't have to be a distraction, but he's not a game breaker either.

realist, I guess what I'm saying is that we didn't lose anything by sitting down Rhodes, where we did lose something sitting down Porter last year. We actually gained something by sitting down Rhodes, and that is the knowledge that Fargas has been thus far underrated. I think we can be very comfortable with a RB trio of Rhodes, Fargas, and Bush for next season. We wouldn't have known that if Kiffin had kept inserting Rhodes instead of Fargas. And don't forget, Rhodes removed himself from the first four games of the season for substance abuse. So Rhodes came to camp putting himself in a position to fail. Fargas came to camp putting himself in a position to succeed.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Those are fair points BlandaRocked. Thanks and happy new year to all!

12:54 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Kiffin is a man on a mission. He’s not happy, nor should he be, but he’s committed to excellence.

My hat is off to Lane Kiffin and what he accomplished this year, and with so little to work with. He picked the best available O coaching staff and pointed them in the right direction.

With a porous O-line, they managed to gain over 130 ypg as well as improve pass protection. They made an NFL RB out of Huggy Bear Jr. They found a position on the line to keep Gallery out of trouble (well, almost). They made a team player out of Jerry Porter. Ok. Pass O was marginal, but we played 4 different QB s, and both Culpepper and Russell missed camp, and Russell missed pre-season.

He provided a sound play book (genius compared to B & B playcalling), and game-planned his way to late-season victories over both KC and ShanaRat; thereby, ending a 17-game losing streak against the AFC West with a 2-game winning streak.

He had every reason to believe the D would be solid. Hell, even Sean “Raider Hater” Salisbury conceded we had a “playoff caliber” D last season. Consequently, I think kiffin gave SOB more room than he wanted to. That won’t happen again, nor do I believe SOB will be a Raider next week.

Rex Ryan just got fired after leading his D to #1 in the AFC against the run. Don’t tell me SOB’s job is safe after leading the Raiders to #31 against the run. Kiffin said himself, running the ball and stopping the run are top priority. Kiffin did his part, and SOB dropped the ball.

Anyone watching the Gator Bowl? I saw the beginning of the 1st qtr, and Chris Long knocked down a pass. He looks good. My instinct says pick Long, but I have to trust Kiffin to make the best pick for the Raiders.


1:08 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Yes, Blanda, we realize what a commodity we have in Rhodes now. But if we had platooned him with Rhodes couldn't we have saved some wear and tear on Fargas as well as had a very good rushing attack? It just seems a contradiction to me if we sit a guy all season for having a bad attitude that we would bring him back next year.

Also, I'm not advocating getting rid of Kiffin, I was approaching this from the goal of winning as many games as possible this year.

I can understand that Kiffin would want to see just what kind of hand he'd been dealt, but after 4 years of double digit losses the thought of another year like that so Kiffin could gain more inside knowledge is rather hard to swallow. Its better for the team's success in the long run, but not very palatable in the short term.

1:19 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Happy New Year NY Raider!

Check out these articles:

According to Carl Steward Ryan is already gone.

According to this one our personnel evaluator George Streeter has gotten the hook.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

warren sapp is most likely gone. it appears from kiffin's comments that sob may be out as well. his comments yesterday to the media said the plan was to build on the defense, and developing a running game, and a defensive plan to stop the run. since the defense fell apart in their area this year, kiffin hinted that the film evaluation will decide sob's fate.

ryan c. teams are not built through the draft. more money is spent signing in-coming college players than free agents. the possibility of getting haynesworth (who was injured some of the season) and faneca is a real possibility. asante samuels will cost us, true. but "cap friendly" teams are not built on the draft. and when was the last time the raiders built their team on a draft, with exception of a few key players (i.e. marcus allen, tim brown, chaz woodson)? i expect a few key players to be drafted (younger o-line guys, receivers, safety, and chris long). but the o-line needs a captain at center, and some vet help; which doesn't come in the draft; unless you're lucky. but that type of caliber player is going to cost you more than a vet. just look at j-russ, and go search the type of monies the vets we signed received vs. the monies everyone we drafted last year received. it's pretty telling.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its better for the team's success in the long run, but not very palatable in the short term.

That is why you are a fan instead of a coach. An 8-8 team that needs to be blown up to improve is no better than a 4-12 team that also needs to be blown up. Just means the draft pick is worse.

3:12 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Happy New Year to you too, Gary.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my wish list for next season:

i'll take two impact players on offense and defense.

a D-coordinator that is aggressive, not passive, and some mean mfer's along the defense, and offense trenches.

also, Rb, julius jones is a free agent. i believe he'd fit in well with our system.

most of all, continue making kiffin happy, and keep his ass on the sideline in oaktown.

happy new year to all.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today we had a chance to see 3 guys that may be options for us in the 1st round. I can't figure out why college football makes you wait so long see decent bowl games and then puts 4 of them on at the same time today. Sux. My takes from what I watched, thinking of the draft:
1. SOH: I watched pieces of this game and SOH was neutralized on every play I watched. I only saw about 15 of his plays though (4 games on at the same times!) He was not a factor on any play I watched.
2. Jake Long LT Michigan: He looked pretty dang good to me. Florida was really just sending the house on D all day and Long did a really good job. He might be what we need. I think he's the real deal at LT.
3. McFadden: I still think he's the best and if he's available we have to take him. It's hard for him to look too good when Arkansas runs a backyard/high school offense and he shares times with Felix JOnes... and the Arkanasas pass game is dreadful. Mizzou was clearly a more dominate team, so the AR run game is kind of behind the 8 ball from the get-go.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My only problem with McFadden is the price tag. How are we going to pay another 60million dollar rookie?

SOH, I have a feeling he's not going to be to cheap either, and he comes with very high expectations (is he even a Raider fan? Does he sit sleepless at night hoping he WON'T be picked by the raiders? anyone???)

I say trade down. I would really like to see us grab that SS from Miami. Supposedly has a head for the game also (studies hard).

Of course this stuff is all irrelevent at this point. Who knows what will happen in FA before then.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can speculate all we want, which is part of the fun, but the first week of free agency will tell what direction the draft will take.

Bama, SOH may have been nutralized on the four plays you saw, but he was picked as the player of the game for Virginia. Having said that I'm not sure he is the right choice for us even though I would really like seeing him in Silver and Black. If the Earth starts rotating backwards and we land Haynesworth we immediately upgrade provided he stays healthy. It gives us more options with the pick.

As for the other Long (Jake), he did look good. Watched him closely. But, Gallery looked pretty damn good in college also.

Rhodes more impressive than Fargas??? Fargas should be the Raiders' MVP this season.

If we land a solid LT and someone like Haynesworth, then I say trade down.

If we fire Rob, why would Rex want to come to the Raiders?

I don't think Monte Kiffin would come to the organization as a coach, but possibly in a some sort of consultant capacity to evaluate the defense. He's 68.

My favorite part of Kiffin's statement was that not only the everyone in the locker room would know, but "everyone in our building will know" Sounds like a man on a mission to me.

Just a few thoughts.


7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Long was player of the game for VA? You gotta be kidding me. Half the team finished with more tackles... three guys had sacks, he didn't. Scroll down to see complete stats...

6:18 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bama- I only watched part of the 1st and most of the 4th of the Gator Bowl (btw, tough loss for Virginia). I saw SOH getting double-teamed on most plays. Still, he managed to get to the QB and knocked down 3 passes in the short time I watched. He’s a smart player and has a great mentor.

If money is going to be an issue, trading down for other college talent at safety, LB or other position may be an option.

It will be a balancing act to see if we get better value (and talent) from the draft or free agency. With the exception of our #1 and #2 picks, I’m still scratching my head over last year’s draft.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the UVA game all the way thru, and while SOH got off to a slow start, he was relentless. He played both sides, rushed the passer 68 times and still had plenty in the tank at the end of the game. He was tough against the run and made plays from sideline to sideline.

McFadden is a great back but I can't see an RB in Rd 1--not when we need d-line and OT help and there are top caliber players there at those positions

6:42 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sirius NFL Radio reported this morning that Rob Ryan has been let go by the Raiders.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of taking SOH, I just feel a lot of pressure to hit a homerun with this pick. We cannot have any more 1st round busts... and no more top 5 picks that don't absolutely dominate. I'm not thinking SOH would be a bust, as he's surely a 1st round talent, but would he be worth taking #3 if we pick there? I was probably looking at him in yesterday's game with the thought that he would look like Reggie White at DE. I can remember watching Reggie White's games when he was at Tennessee and he would get doubled teamed every game, but still absolutely dominated, putting up huge stats every game. All I see from SOH's stat lines yesterday... in a loss where they gave up huge points... was 2 knocked down passes and a handful of tackles. A decent performance, but not one that tells me we HAVE to have this guy with the 3rd or 4th pick in the draft.
Agian, sentimentally i want him, but sentimentally I liked Art Shell too. Just don't want our love for him to be based mostly on who his father was. David Pollack won the hendricks award too, and was an awesome college talent and high draft pick. So far (had an injury) but he hasn't dominated.
Again, I'm just trying to discuss... not saying SOH shouldn't be our 1st pick.

8:58 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

First things first in the off season, and that's coaching staff. If SOB is out, who's coming in? Jason Jones had some pretty good thoughts.

USC likely displays the type of defense that Kiffin prefers, and they attack constantly and employ a fair amount of blitzing. The Raiders, with their LBs, are essentially built for this type of defense. With constant pressure on the QB, we have some pretty good ball hawks in our secondary and could wind up with a hell of a lot of interceptions.

Jones also suggests that USC's departing DC, going to UCLA, is Ken Norton (and I'm assuming this is former NFL LB Ken Norton, Jr.). He can be intercepted from UCLA by the pros, and Kiffin may beckon him.

A lot of folks are talking about McFadden, but with Fargas, Rhodes and Bush I don't think RB is a priority. The biggest priority on offense is WR. I think Porter is gone, and that leaves us with, essentially, Curry and Higgins. I don't think any of the also-rans on the practice squad or the IR should fit in our long term plans.

So that, to me is the biggest concern. We need a legitimate deep threat to start next season. Who will that be? Randy Moss is a free agent... Just kidding.

It's a weak draft for WR and it's a week free agency for WR. This is going to be a problem, folks. No free agency and no draft means trade. Trade who, and for what?

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone made an interesting point... the Raiders might be better off losing the flip again because the number four pick is slotted salary-wise much less than the number three pick because last years number four signed a marginal contract... hmmmm.

And if SOH commands as many double teams as he did yesterday, its a no-brainer... one of the reasons our defense got shoved around was because they didn't have to double team anyone, especially on running plays (where Burgess isn't very good).

Oh, and raiderealist... sorry if you took offense... just saying the obvious. As FANS all of us have different expectations than coaches do. If you left it to the fans to call the shots, there would be very little long-term strategies. We are in it for FUN... Kiffin knows he might be out of a job if he doesn't get this team to the playoffs in the next few years. This year was pretty meaningless to him... nobody expected much. It's the next two that might command him the respect (and the huge contracts) that could set him for life. We don't have anything at all at stake...

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama, yep SOH was player of the game for Virginia. I happen to be watching when the announcment was made. Don't recall if it was a FOX broadcast. That could have had an influence.

Blanda, the only standout WR I know of in free agency is Bernard Berrian. He may be tired enough of Rex Grossman to see what Russell has to offer.

Also, maybe they could get Will Muschamp from Auburn. Hell of a coordinator. Extremely agressive. But, I think he is looking to be a head coach somewhere at the end of next season.

My wish list:

Left Tackle
Defensive Tackle (run stuffer)
Wide Receiver
Depth and more depth.

In that order.

One article I read is reporting Kiffin strongly considering making Huff the free safety and bringing in someone to play strong safety.

As for losing the coin flip, that would be OK. Unless Atlanta makes somesort of blockbuster trade they will be looking at a quarterback or McFadden if he is still there.


10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should make a move for McFadden if Miami doesn't take him. No other position can change the fortunes of a team as quick as a stud/elite RB. What were the Chargers before LT? How about Minnesota before A. Peterson. Remmeber Bo getting the Kingdome monkey off our backs on prime time back in the late '80's? In college Georgi adidn't trun into the hottest team in college football until Knowshon Moreno started seeing the field... and I haven't seen anyone, but his coach, stop him yet. Not even a 10 man front could stop him last night.
I am thankful that Shanahan never got an elite back after Elway left. Had Shanny acquired an elite back after Elway was gone Denver would probably have one more superbowl ring. If Fargas, whom prior to this year looked like crap as an NFL RB, and Rhodes, who is a mere mediocre NFL RB, can get routine 100 yd games in our new cut block scheme, then an LT or an A Peterson could get 200. Can you imagine how that would change the dynamics of our games.
Mcfadden is that kind of back. The type than can take pressure off Russell, take pressure off our defense... and help our passing game all the way around.
Again, I'm not taking anything from SOH. I thought Russell was on eof those rare talents that you couldn't ignore in the draft, and with one pass against the Dolts you kind of see what he is capable of doing that other aren't. This year McFadden is another one of those game changing talents that only pop in the draft every ten years or so.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damnit bama. I thought I had myself talked out of McFAdden.
Trade down a few spots and and grab that safety from Miami.

But you're right, and it's the reason I've lobbied for him for a long time. Diamond in the rough. Man amoung boys. The only thing that worries me is the $$$s.

And to the guy who said we might be better getting 4 instead of 3, you can always trade it, so you DEFINATELTY want to win the coin toss, regardless :-)

11:26 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

From what I hear, Kiffin knew what he had in Fargas by the time the season started. The only reason he didn't start him sooner is because he didn't want the headache of being accused of favoring USC guys after informing the team they were all on equal footing. In Fargas' first year here he showed great potential, and an ability to fumble. He got hurt early and was out for the season, then Turner almost refused to use him. He started to show his potential under Shell, then Kiffin got him to fully realize it. So don't underestimate Fargas.

I say this because I see a strong possibility, in fact I fully expect, that Kiffin will trade down. Why? To get more picks. What's the benefit? There is no coach in the NFL more familiar with the talent in this draft than Lane Kiffin. He recruited the best ones in an attempt to get them to USC. Kiffin will lose that knowledge in the next couple of years as he's in the NFL now, and the players he recruited will have matriculated.

I expect that in this draft Kiffin will go bargain hunting. He knows of whatever winners there are in the lesser rounds. Expect some surprises. I suspect that immediately after the draft, a lot of people will be saying WTF! Then they will be surprised by how many of the selections see playing time 2008.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like McFadden but how much better can he make us--we were 6th in the league in rushing with Jordan/Fargas/Rhodes...and we were 22nd in defense...much more room for improvement with a top pick

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McFadden is one hell of a talent, no doubt. He also opens up the halfback pass.

I just don't want to break the bank. There are too many holes, specifically at LT and DT, for me to say go for it. It would take one hell of a capologist to pull it off and still get the other help needed.

Kiffin already has his gameplan in mind. He stated he was going to "attack free agency".

Since we are throwing out different scenarios, he could trade the pick for a proven player, not necessarily a pro bowler, and still have a first round pick.


12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All good points, H. Are there any quality LT's hitting free agency this year? The Michigan game left me wondering about the potential of Jake Long.
I really like Briggs a lot in FA. We can't get around the fact that we lack an enforcer on our D. We lack a run stuffing hitter on our D. We have lots of athletic talent over there, but no enforcer. We need a Romonowski/Ray lewes type to lead the D.
I'm a Georgia guy, and I know he's a thug, but Odell Thurman will or has been reinstated to the league and the Bengals will surely let him go as part of a roster make-over. Thurman is one hell of a physical LB. A hitter. I wonder if he fianlly realizes that he is out of "get out of jail free cards" and is ready to fly straight? I wonder if his past troubles would make him affordable dollar-wise? Thurman is a very nasty, physical football player.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IRA'S RIGHT (with regards to the raiders and davis that is!

mcfadden/bush would be awesome for us. don't let huggy bear jr. fool you. it was a contract year. he knows how the game is played. he runs hard and keeps his mouth shut but he ain't no mcfadden.

i know we need DL and OL help but that can be fixed through trade or FA assuming the right fitting FA are there.

OR if we don't get mac and go the trade the pick route, dallas' julius jones is an UFA. that would mean that they need a RB. they got what we need - multiple picks (and possibly a starter) and we got what they need - a good position to pick their new RB.

my defensive question to you guys is this - SOB is a 3-4 guy. he tried to implement that here but we didn't have the right personnel to run that scheme. he wasn't successful running a man/man scheme here and if he leaves and uses the 3-4 on the jets, then why not just leave him alone to put in his own scheme? after all, isn't that the scheme the rumored next DC kiffin sr. runs? my question is - what's the point of firing one 3-4 guy and bringing in another especially if we don't have the personnel?

whatever move kiffin makes would depend on davis.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodbye SOB! Is Monte on his way?

1:34 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There won't be a Monte in Oakland.

Ira is never right in regards to Al Davis.

Switching to a 3-4 would be a really bad idea. We've got some good talent on Defense, and we're far better off building to what we have than blowing it all up and finding 11 new guys.

Scorpio, write Kiffin a letter and tell him that you weren't fooled by Fargas' performance because this was a contract year. Tell Kiffin that he shouldn't be fooled by him either. He's very likely waiting for your call.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scorpio... Monte runs the "Tampa 2" which isn't much different than what we are running now... and relies on SPEED on defense... which is what Al drafts. I think it would be a perfect fit. A local Div two college hired a guy as his first head coaching gig, and the first thing he did was hire his father (a former head coach) as his offensive coordinator, so things like this do happen. Granted the NFL and Div 2 are light years apart, but it HAS been done. Monte has had some of the best defenses in the NFL and Gruden is basically keeping his frigging job because of it (his offenses are worse than the Raiders the last four years) time for the Raiders to reap his skills.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blanda there you go crying about the media again. cry, cry, cry! whahhhhh! you are one of those that think ALL media types are unfair to the raiders and most especially to al davis. there ARE good ones you know. i also recognize the fact that there are bad ones too. ira miller and glenn dickey are good ones. they don't write to sugarcoat us fans with what we want to hear. they write what they see, and that's the truth. sometimes the truth hurts baby! if we suck they'll tell us why we suck and why. if why we suck is because of the front office well then accept it. you think ira's article today pissed off whiner fans? probably because its true!

all i'm simply saying is that fargas is no mcfadden as far as talent is concerned. i would let fargas and jordan walk. i for one was screaming for DL help but we can address those and other needs through FA or trade. a mcfadden type doesn't come along very often. this guy's gonna take a heck of a load of pressure off YOUR BOY russell's back. with fargas' history of injuries do you wanna risk a huge larry johnson type payday on him for less than a couple of months success?

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gary, i could go for bringing monte in. perhaps they can run some kind of a hybrid of the 2. but remember, he's one of the top paid coordinators in the league. and al doesn't like to pay his coaches. speaking of which.... i hope lane gets his payday of he proves himself.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always liked Fargas, even back in college when he single handedly clobbered my Hawkeyes in a bowl... but he's ALWAYS been injured. I don't see him as the answer as a featured back for this reason alone.

If they do draft McFadden I'd guess it means Kiffin thinks Bush is damaged goods. I don't see any other reason to draft him unless he is a for sure HOFer. And I don't like to read excuses why he isn't more dominant in college... great backs don't need them to excel in college simply because they are so much better than the players they are playing against. Bo Jackson could have had an ACTUAL highschool line/system and been untackleable in college.

2:27 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Scorpio, I didn't say a word about the media, I called Ira a Raider/Al Davis hater because he is - just like Glenn Dickey. Scorpio, the reason you sound to a lot of people here like a hater is because you parrot Miller and Dickey.

Jerry McDonald and Jason Jones are writers who are fair and don't sugarcoat. Miller and Dickey are writers who preach Al hatred. There's a big difference. I know that you feel that Miller and Dickey give legitimacy to your Al fixation, but neither is a very good prognosticator for anything Raider.

And, again, Monte Kiffin (while fun for the media to write about) is a really bad idea. There is absolutely no better way than to confuse Kiffin's authority than for him to bring his dad into the picture. And Monte has already said as much.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blanda, their "preaching" is not al hatred. its al facts.

look, you know where i stand on that issue. this is a new year and i'm not gonna get into that al stuff right now.

there are bad media types i give you that much ie: anyone on espn. but ira miller and glenn dickey are 2 of the best writers in the country. they just don't write what you want them to write blanda. why don't you give them a call or send them a message through their blog sites? i'm sure they're waiting for your call.....

5:02 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

You're right Gary, we are fans. Just really passionate about this team.

I'm torn on what to do with that pick. If we keep that first round pick we've got to hit a home run with it. Just imagine us having an elite back like McFadden in a division with LT and Larry Johnson.

The downside is that we'd be putting a lot of money on a position that gets hurt more often and has a shorter career span than any other in football. Just look at KC and Larry Johnson. He signed the big money deal, then was out for the season. Same thing with Priest Holmes before LJ.

Can we get the same impact if we take Chris Long with that pick? I've seen one draft board that has him going second to the Rams. Or we could take Jake Long at OT, but I think just about every one on this board is still leery of O linemen that early after Gallery and Grove.

We're set at QB, but we've still got a bunch of needs. On top of that, who do replace Sapp with if he retires as it looks more and more that he's going to call it a career? Not to mention that Porter might be gone and Higgins has a way to go to becoming a starter.

It all boils down to whether or not McFadden is the real deal. Is he one of those special players that can change a game with one touch?

If not, and there's no one else in this draft that can be the kind of impact player we need with that valuable a pick, then we can see just how good Kiffin is at talent evaluation. Trade down for more picks. Save that 1st round pick money for an FA like Lance Briggs or Asante Samuel, someone who could be that impact player for us.

5:03 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Scorpio, actually I have had some e-mail communications with both. Dickey admitted that he hated Al for personal reasons. Miller has made no such admission, but he writes negative stuff even when the team is doing very well.

realist, I think we're going to find that our biggest needs on the Dline are for DE (with the exception of one bad ass DT). I think Kelly will likely occupy Sapp's old position at DT. What we desperately need is a speed rusher at DE. Chris Long likely fills that bill. But we both know that quite a bit of juggling goes on before the draft ever gets here.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somethings to note that Monte won't be coming to Oakland.

1) We all know how Al runs HIS defense. Four man rush, and man to man coverage with LB's causing pain on those running across.

2) Blanda is youre reading this. If memory serves me right didn't Chuck Bresnahan and Gunther Cunningham try zone coverage that didn't work? They both relied on zone schemes that just killed us at times. However, they did blitz more than Ryan did.

3) I think Kiffin will hire someone with Al's blessing of course out of the college ranks or in the NFL. Someone who can take charge and provide better schemes. You can have all the fire in the world and be a great coach, but you have to know how to plan correctly. ie. Kiffin's choice of offensive plays. Most of us know he was too conservative on his play calling and decision making. But Kiffin said himself that you just can't call certain plays until you can handle the simple schemes first. And we know our offensive line are not the smartest in the world. ie Sims and Gallery.( Which by the way Gallery, will be back next year according to Kiffin)

4) Major talent is needed on the Defensive side of the ball. Morrison, Thomas are solid, but you need big time players. Not necessarily big time names. Just look at Burgess.

5:31 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I don’t see Monte Kiffin coming to Oakland, i.e., unless he’s ready to retire and just wants one last hurrah with his son. He would look great in silver and black, and I love the idea of only allowing 11 ppg at home.

As far as SOB, he should be shot for trying to implement a 3-4 in Oakland, with Tyler Brayton at LB and Warren Sapp at DE. Even if he runs a 3-4 in NY, he still won’t blitz.

McFadden is a no-brainer if he’s available. RBs have very short self-lives. If a top RB is available, take him and ask questions later.

Fargas had a great year running the ball, but he’s not an all-around back. Ideally, you want a Marcus Allen type... can run, catch, block, line up as WR, threat down field (even deep), and can find the end-zone in any goal line situation, bar none.

Fargas has maybe two of these qualities, Rhodes same, and Bush is unknown (at least to the fans). (Btw, Jordan has none.) McFadden is a better choice than anyone on our roster. If he’s available at 3 or 4, it will be hard not to take him.

It’s hard for me to get excited about the draft beyond our first and maybe second pick. Here’s how we did last year.

Round 1 - Russell ($60 mil work in progress)
Rd 2 - Miller (best pick for 2007 results - and best Raider TE in years)
Rd 3a. Quentin Moses (1st pick in 3rd Rd = late 2nd rd pick - gone)
Rd 3b. Mario Henderson (could be another year or two before we know)
Rd 3c. Johnnie Lee Higgins (looks like a bust to me - did you see him flinch away from a hit on the punt that he muffed against SD?)
Rd 4a. Michael Bush (hasn’t played in 2 full years-unknown)
Rd 4b. John Bowie (who? Has anyone seen this guy)
Rd 5a. Jay Richardson (not bad for the 5th round, but ehh)
Rd 5b. Eric Frampton (looked like a gamer - gone)
Rd 6. Oren O'Neal (probably the best value in our draft)
Rd 7. Jonathan Holland (IR-unknown, but probably not even draft-worthy)

We were fine until the 3rd round, then we had a 3-pick brain fart. Moses was gone before the season started, Henderson was probably a 5th-rounder, and Higgins was just ridiculous. Michael Bush made sense in the 4th, but then we picked John “David” Bowie 4b, then Eric “Peter” Frampton in the 5th. Anyone see a pattern here? We’re more interested in classic rock music than football.

I just hope we make a splash in FA, because the draft has been a problem for us.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One point on McFAdden vs/ our current stable. How may times did RB's score a long touchdown. Yea, none. None of our back shave breakaway speed. Bush maybe, but thats an unknown commodity at this point.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if ryan is gone, and he's still listed on the coaching staff page at; then i think kiffin will bring in ken norton, jr, linebacker coach at usc.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"don't mean to be a downer or a drag"? If there's been one thing to count on visiting your site this year is your always critical, pessmistic, unappreciative whining...all the while being disguised as "loyalty". Right.

The 2007 season is over, no use cryin' over spilled milk.

Good things don't come easy.

Here's to 2008...I'm in.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoa - ole chuck bresnahan's available!

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Spilled milk? The 2007 season was more like the dairy exploded (and not an udder in sight).

"critical, pessmistic, unappreciative whining..."

I'm covering RT on this one.

How about insightful, thought provoking, analyitcal and always truthful. Not to mention unique with News You Can't Use and Haiku contests. Don't forget daring.
Sending men behind enemy lines to donko talk for god's sake.

The team was bad and Kiffin would be the first to tell you. Happy days aren't here again in case you haven't noticed.

I am so relieved that you are in.
My guess is that we are all in or else we would not be spending hours in discussion about the 4-12team we love.

Funny how you question Raider Takes "loyalty." I've met the man and there is no question. Maybe you should start Anonymous Take.

Is that you Lombardi?

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

geez anon - @ least when i bash davis i put my moniker on with my poison.....

8:39 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon 7:35 > I took the liberty of rewriting your dribble to reflect an accurate depiction of RT ...

"If there's been one thing to count on visiting your site this year is your insightful, thought provoking, intelligent, realistic analysis of the Raiders experience all the while being a regular fan. The 2007 season is over. The time is now to hold the organization accountable for unrealized expectations."

If you have read RT's posts over the past 2+ years, you would know that your throwaway line
"Good things don't come easy." is exactly what he has been preaching consistently.

For a fan who declares "I'm In" it seems rather odd, hypocritcal, and ridiculous for you to post anonymously. You are in but who the hell are you?

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nown have your excuse for why the faidas will be a LOSER again in "08", yeah breaking in a new "d" coordinator will be your collective excuse! faidas will not win more than 3 games this year! The Amazing Karnak has demd your "autumn wind" a big stank from the chokeland bay when the sun beats down on that smelly mud! 1-15 was the truth, can you fanatics stand more of the same crap? Just throw in the towel baby, defend what?

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fargas didn't perform because this was a contract year. He performed because this was the first year he was actually given a chance.

Having a two back attack with Fargas and Bush might keep both of them healthy for an entire season. That's one of his problems, staying healthy. Tough to do with as much punishment as he takes

Not sure who said it, but as for Al Davis running his defense with a four man rush. If memory serves, we won a couple of Super Bowls running a 3-4. That would mean multiple seasons utilizing that defense with good effectiveness.

Al Davis wants a defense that wins and attacks the quarterback. All this talk about Davis only wanting to do it one way has taken on a mythological aspect to it that is perpetuated by some members of the media for their own aggrandizement.

We have won with the west coast, standard pro style, power running, short passing game, vertical passing game, 4-3 defense, 3-4 defense and combinations of all.

Al Davis may have his preferences, as we all do. But, make no mistake, he realizes there is more than one way do do it. No matter which direction you go, it is dependent on two things, personnel and coaching.

Hell, everytime I watch a west coast passing attack, I see the passing game run under Madden with Stabler.


5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Playoff Haiku:

Jacksonville beats Pats
Indy goes to Super Bowl
Losing to Packers.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

Kiffin has made the point himself that transition from year 1 to 2 will be the real test.That is where he feels that the new staff can make a real impact.I believe that he knows what he's doing, so heres to Kiffin year 2.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks for having my back, guys!

Kiffin said "we'll get it fixed" and that "this won't happen again" and he wasn't just implying that "this" is merely a won-loss record, but rather that "this" is larger problem that needs fixing.

"This" is an awful personnel situation and culture of losing that was allowed to fester for years, one that took even Kiffin by surprise in its overall unprofessionalism. Oh well, gee whiz, good things take time.

On that note, I have decided change the name of Raider Take to I'm In. A unique feature of this new blog is that it will remain blank in between victories. Additionally, I will expunge all post-loss entries dating back three seasons, which means that 38 weeks of commentary will be erased from the record, so that you will all know that I'm In, and that I can't handle the truth.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

And a belated Happy New Year too RT.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a big choice ahead of us in the draft. Screw it, trade Rd2-4 for St Louis's pick. With our two top 5 picks take McFadden and one of the Long kids. I'm leaning toward Jake Long. I watched most all of outback bowl game and not only did Jake Long do a great job against constant blitzing and speedy DE rushers, but he also had two or three dirty, late hits that reminded me an awful lot of Wiz. And unlike the OSU championship game the year before, Derrick Harvey & company couldn't totally disrupt the Michigan passing game. I think that speaks volumes about the Long kid. Jake Long just may be the man to protect Jruss's blind side for the next ten years.
As for Fargas, H, c'mon... he's a gamer and it's nice to see the effort, but lets hope like keck that Al doesn't dump a ton a money on a guy like fargas who you can find plenty of in the nfl. It's the system... Rhodes proved that against two stouter defenses.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like what the Dolphins are doing. They are ATTACKING their bad season starting from the top. Raiders needed to do that along time ago. Still not from what I can tell.
I liked Kiffin's resolve at the end of the season, but I really want more than just talk.

9:06 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RT- That's pretty harsh, but if we have to be positive, or nothing at all, then let's get Art Shell back here. I've always been a huge fan of his, so who better to run the ship, again. It will be great. Kind of like Rocky XIII.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JF- best point made. We need our own AJ Smith, Parcells etc. We do not have that. We have Al.

9:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Ano, yes, Bresnahan was all about zones and it was completely about letting the offense come to the defense. His defenses never attacked. One almost envisioned Bresnahan's strategy to be, "Once they get tired from moving the ball up and down the field, we'll have them right where we want them."

My continuing objection to Ryan, which I've had since he began, is his absolute refusal to design something around what he has rather than what he decides he wants. It could be Ryan should have been fired when he first said, "Let's convert Tyler Brayton to an outside linebacker."

When Ryan first got here, he tried to convert to a 3-4 because that's what he knew. That almost got him fired before Shell came in, so he converted to what Al Davis likes to save his job. We may have the personnel for what Al Davis likes, but Ryan doesn't know how to get his players to stay in their gaps. Ryan likes his players to "fly around" the field (hearkening RT's Cirque du Soleil analogy). Al Davis and Rob Ryan are not compatible.

I think Lane Kiffin likes the same kind of defense that Al does (which, in college, is resembled most by USC). Both Davis and Kiffin will search for a DC who can run, effectively, the base 4-3, then focus on acquiring anchors against the run.

In spite of Al's preferences, he always prefers to go with what works.

H, I have your back with Fargas. The only weakness I've seen in Fargas' game is the he's prone to injury. He catches out of the back field, he's patient, and his motor never shuts down. Fargas gain 1,000 yards even though he didn't get a start until the seventh game of the season (the season was almost half over, folks!) and then he missed the last two games.

And the only reason we never knew this about Fargas before is that (H is right) he was never given the chance - with the exception of last year where he was the leading ball carrier for the season - even though he only started the last few games.

And if it's just the system, then the RB doesn't matter and we'd waste our money picking up the most expensive player in the draft. I'd be just as content getting 150 yards a game from Fargas as from MacFadden. With Fargas' proneness to injury he'll come at a fair price, and he wants to return. We should retain Rhodes because of Fargas' injury history.

As for Bush, he hasn't played in two years, that's true. However, it's a little different for a RB than it is for a QB. Bush should be able to get up to speed fairly quickly once back playing games. According to the scouting reports from his college career, he had all of the tools. Running back is not a priority!

I think our priorities lie in this order:


That doesn't mean that we have to acquire them in that order. A WR from the draft will have to come from a higher round than a DE.

As for a SS, I think we should look to free agency. I'd like to see some leadership come from this position.

9:30 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Because of how I see the priorities, and because I think a SS should come from free agency, I think Chris Long is the way to go with our top pick. But in Kiffin I trust.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RB's and Systems.
Thing is, the 'System' gets you past the box. After that' it's on the RB.
If you want to be able to score from anywhere on the field, you have to have a back that can take it the rest of the way (which we don't)

Just getting us into the red zone isn't enough. If you go 60 yards, I want to see it go all the way!!
I'm tired of seeing our backs get caught from behind all the time.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the backup. On your list, I would put DT and LT first probably with equal priority. Richardson showed some capabilities and Clemons had some success in situational pass rushing. I’m actually more worried about Russell’s blind side more than a DE at the moment as exhibited by one Barry Sims all season long. If we get a DT and an LT then go for SOH, otherwise I have no suggestions.


With respect to those two stouter defenses. Late in both games they were operating with fairly good leads. Kiffin was calling the game as if it was closer, he as much as said so. More running than would be normal. The opposing defenses were playing pass first and run second. Running kept the clock moving so they were happy with that.

I’m not saying Rhodes isn’t as good as Fargas because, quite frankly, I don’t know at this point. I am saying, though, you can’t say Rhodes is the better fit based on the two games. Just like you can’t say Russell is a bust because of the turnovers in the last two games. Besides, Fargas earned his paycheck this year and deserves another look. And, if you listen to the players, they seem to love blocking for the guy. He makes his mine up and goes and they don’t have to hold their blocks as long while someone dances around waiting for a bigger hole (can you say Jordan).


10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a good prediction for a later round draft pick, if he comes out, usc linebacker brian cushings (a junior). he may stay for his senior year, but if kiffin brings in ken norton, jr as d-coord, i think cushings leaves. he would give us a solid strong-side linebacker.

10:36 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, the reason why I don't feel that DT is as dire as DE is that Kelly is a better DT than DE. Sapp said as much, but from what I can see is that Kelly is fine at DE on run defense, but lacking as a pass rusher. He's better designed to move the pocket, not circumnavigate it. In addition to Kelly, we have Warren who's been solid - especially toward the end of the season. I think they can adequately be backed up by the likes of Sands (at least in short term).

A speed rusher, my friend. That's what we need.

11:05 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

A brief word about the OL. Granted, I think that Sims needs to be replaced, but as a whole the OL has been major league upgraded.

McQuistan is the most improved football player on the team with the exception of Fargas. At one point our O-Line went three consecutive games without giving up a single sack. We are 5th in rushing in the NFL. Our O-Line grew up while we were worried about other issues.

Aside from the LT position, we need to focus on WR on offense. On offense, we have an effective O-Line, a dynamic TE combination, good runners, and Russell shows all kinds of promise. We have no depth at WR.

11:19 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think some of you guys are missing the point about McFadden.

No doubt Fargas has proven to be a good RB and had a terrific season, with only limited action. He's ok out of the back field, and he's an ok blocker.

However, with over 1,000 yards, he only had 4 TDs. His crash dummy, kamikaze style of running will get hard fought yards, but he’ll never be the threat of a quality RB, like LJ, LT, Adrian Peterson, etc.

McFadden is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent news release.

Although in a losing effort... “McFadden's day (in the Cotton Bowl) was enough to move him to second on the Southeastern Conference career rushing list with 4,590 yards, passing LSU's Kevin Faulk. His season total of 1,830 rushing yards ranks No. 2 in SEC history, ahead of Bo Jackson. Herschel Walker leads both lists.” And he’s only a junior in college.

McFadden’s season stats include 16 TD s and a 5.6 avg on 325 carries (over 100 more than Fargas). He’s a dynamic back with durability. Yes, Joel, Princeton can use a guy like Darren McFadden.

11:48 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

While there is no question that McFadden is a huge talent, at 4-12 we need to avoid putting all of our eggs in one basket. Drafting McFadden would create a log jam at RB and fail to address our bigger needs.

For that reason I'm throwing my weight in with Calico and others who have landed on the Chris Long band wagon. My alternative would be to trade down a couple of spots and take DeSean Jackson.

While I'm not, by any means, sold on Jackson, I believe that Kiffin may have some surprises for us in later draft rounds because of his knowledge of college athletes. Some say that Jackson has 4.2 speed which would certainly make him a deep threat so long as he doesn't turn out to be James Jett's younger brother. He has the added benefit of being a quality return specialist who scored 4 touchdowns this season. We need a return specialist.

The other factor is that Gruden had a good deal of success signing players with ties to the bay area. It had the effect of making the player happy to be here, and willing to work hard to stay here. Jackson, coming out of Cal, would fit that bill.

Ultimately, however, I view Jackson as a bit of a risk, and would recommend Chris Long.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this lastest article. Monte has no intentions of leaving the Bucs.

"I love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," he said. "I love Tampa. I love my son, but that doesn't mean I don't like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers." From Monte's own mouth.

Mr. Duva

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My only problem with McFadden is the cost. Resigning Fargas and teaming him with Bush/Rhodes would leave more money to address more pressing needs. With his numbers and his standing in the Heisman the last two years - naw, we don't need to be breaking the bank. This should be a need pick and I don't see RB as a need.

Besides, Kiffin said he wants Fargas back and he needs to upgrade Russell's supporting cast. To me that means OL and WR more than RB.


12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only certainty will be poor personell decisions, such as: Randy Moss vomited up for virtualy nothing in return; taking a late second round draft pick as your first,(Asm); on and on. What a joke this franchise has become. Maybe a court appointed conservator is necessary at managment level.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as much as i am excited about mcfadden (who was robbed of the heismann), i think our priority should be either jake long or chris long with our first pick.
i think we can pick up jamaal charles from ut we could trade up our 2nd round pick for a low 1st rounder, and slot charles out; then in the third get the likes of brian cushing if he comes out. if not then we can pick up a lt or a dt, depending on who we choose in the first round.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blanda re: your 11:19 post, i will agree with you that mcquistan had a decent year at RT. i repeat "decent". he did have a couple of games he blew but with that said, why not move him to his natural position at LT? the mcquistan project didn't work out with him as a gaurd and now that he has had some OJT, why not try him out at both tackle spots during the preseason? if the move works, that lessens the need for a LT. i would imagine it being a lot easier to find a RT than a LT. the LT we pick (assuming its from the draft) would still be a rookie. that's one up mcquistan has on him in the experience dept. at the very least, he'd be someone to plug in for an injury replacement if needed.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well spoken, Take.

Let's not forget that this was also a rookie season for Kiffin as a head coach, so that's out of the way too. Time for a changing of the guard.

2:54 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

As much as it sounds like I'm lobbying for McFadden, I'm wide open this year, and put all my trust in Kiffin.

McFadden, however, is a weapon. Guys like LT didn't just break long TD runs against us. He does that to everyone. It would nice to have someone that can score from anywhere on the field. McFadden had an 80-yard TD run this season.

As far as cost, we have multi-million dollar salaries to dump in both Jordan and Rhodes (who says Rhodes has to be a Raider?).

We could have a dangerous offense with McFadden and one more quality WR. The line should be addressed in FA, and possibly middle to late rounds.

That said, I also agree with others that Chris Long, or Jake Long, or trading down could help us tremendously.

Once again, like it or not, and no matter how you look at it, we stand to improve our team with a high draft pick. Let's hope this is the last time we draft this high without trading.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too like McFadden if we can swing it because he is an elite back.
I like both Long's as well, now leaning toward Jake Long, however, after watching him play in Outback bowl. This guy is huge and nasty.
Watch us all be wrong... Al is probably looking at 40 times for DB's as we speak..

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol - or a field goal kicker.....

4:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Scoprio, I think McQuistan's poor games were when he took over from Green, and he hadn't played RT at all to that point. But in view of how rapidly he improved while there, you may have a point.

I'd point out that there will be plenty of time spent at Raider HQ evaluating the progression of various O-linemen, so we'll have a better idea of what we need before draft day.

There is no doubt in my mind that Al is looking for a DB. And that's why he's the owner and we're not. I guess you couple of folks have pretty much forgotten that one of our priorities is a SAFETY! Last I checked, safety was considered a DB.

If you all want to go back and check (I already have), every time we picked a DB we needed one or more. At the time we drafted Jano, we needed a kicker. One time we drafted a DB when we didn't have a need - when we drafted Buchanan, because we needed a return man.

4:36 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I think it important to put aside the "fantasy football" draft mentality when dealing with the real thing. When selecting your fantasy team, your primary concern is who will rack up the most points or stats. There are a great number of additional considerations when approaching the real thing.

4:41 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Sapp made it official today.

Obviously he hates Al as much as anybody.

"He [Sapp's agent] said, 'Al Davis is on the line, and he's not getting off until you're a Raider,'" Sapp said. "I said, 'Well, do the deal.' I didn't take a visit here. I didn't see who the defensive coordinator was. I didn't see who the head coach was. Al Davis said, 'Warren Sapp, I want you to play for the Oakland Raiders.' I said, 'I'll take that.' I came here, I put in four years."

It also shows that players avoid this place like the plague as long as Al is around.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are reading that quote wrong.
I think he means he didn't hesitate at the opportunity to be a Raider, and even though the 4 years he was the worst stretch in our history, he busted his ass for 4 years to try to turn it around.

He didn't quit on us like that piece of shit moss.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really starting to back away from MacFadden, and if you think about it... do franchise RB's REALLY help that much? Bettis won a ring but contributed a 43 yards in his SB win... before that we have to go all the way back to Faulk, and he contributed a whopping 17 yards running getting his ring. T.Davis was the last instrumental RB that led a team to a ring... Shawn Alexander came up short with his MVP season (IIRC) and look how SD is struggling in the playoffs with one of the best RB's in NFL history!!!

I think the playoff defenses are all built to stop the run... thus negating the value of them in the modern era. We should be fine without spending any more resources on RB... there are MUCH greater needs.

Hell, a franchise WR might more sense in todays game (which BTW isn't a slam dunk in the draft either... look at CJ for Detroit last year).

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still think that anyone that asserts that the Raiders have problems picking up FA players because of Al is simply making shit up. If anything he is TOO MUCH of a "players owner"... it's what hurts us picking up quality coaches.

If Al has the money, he can prolly pick up nearly any FA player he wants, IMO. Money comes first... winning second. Sorry, thats the facts with 95% of all players.

6:33 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Ahhhh, that old axiom, offense wins games, defense wins championships.

Pick Chris Long. Give him Tyler Brayton's #91 jersey (he shouldn't be needing it anymore), then pick Al's DBs in rounds 2 through 7.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda, hypothetical question and try to be honest. Let's pretend we're looking at another franchise. We'll pick the Jets. Let's say the Jets had a GM that ran the team for the last 4 years and the Jets during those years were something like 15-49. Before that 15-49 span let's say they used a first round pick on a kicker and in subsequent years, during the losing, the Jets pretty much bombed out on all of their 1st round picks... plus they had signed Kerry Freakin' Collins as to be their marquis FA QB, then went out and hired Art Shell and Tom Walsh for a second time to lead the Jets... and then traded the best receiver in football for a QB that couldn't start for the Cardinals or Lions, a WR that couldn't start for Detroit and a CB that no one wanted in the draft... then to top all of that off the GM drafted and cut his team's latest 3rd and 5th round picks...
Would you say that GM had done a good job? Try to answer the question without thinking of the GM as being Al Davis. If you can do that, can you honestly say that GM had done a good job? Could you even say he had done an adequate job? Or would you say the GM had created a mess?
It's not Al... pretend it's someone else... think of someone else and then answer.

7:41 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Kiffin is a recruiting machine. Look how he turned our own sorry roster into believers. Hell, he still has our attention after a 4-12 season. The man has a gift.

And, there is no residual stigma from the B&B era. This is Kiffin's team. In the end, free agency is all about the money.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

My 2 cents on our 1st round pick:

I'm opposed to taking Run DMc and Jake Long for the following reasons:

Our run offense proved with 3 different backs and an avg. OL that it can be highly effective (#6; 130.4 ypg). This is due in large part to a committment to run; better coaching and playcalling; good (not great) RBs: and the ZBS itself. The combo of Fargas/Rhodes/Bush is more than capable of piling up 2000 yards.

I believe we can take a 2nd tier FA OT who fits the ZBS and plug him in from day 1 (scratch J.Long).

I believe we can be a top 5 run O without Run DMc. Yes, I understand that Run DMc gives the Raiders big play capability BUT we can be a top 5 run O without him.

SOH is a rare DE prospect in that he is a throwback player ... he is not a situational, 1 trick pony who will need to come out of the game. He plays the run and rushes the passer equally as well. Opponents will have to pick their poison ... do they double DBurg or SOH? Against the run, SOH is strong at the point of attack and outside containment which funnells the ball carrier to where the LB has free rein to make plays.

BOTH our run D and pass rush were bad this season. SOH kills 2 birds with 1 S&B stone.

My dream scenario is that we lose the coin toss and pick #4 to save Al a few bucks!

#1 Miami: Dorsey
#2 St.Louis: Jake Long
#3 Atlanta: Run DMc
#4 Oakland: SOH

"Mr. Brayton ... Please turn in jersey #91. We need to restitch it with the letters L O N G"

7:48 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

CJ-sound reasoning, except Falcons are desperate for QB help and will need to look at both the draft (probably Matt Ryan) and FA (stop gap QB), much like the Raiders did last year. Under your scenario, that would leave both SOH and Run DMc available at the #4 slot. It should be interesting.

8:07 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nile Legania, CB, Wayne State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 185.
40 Time: 4.24.
Projected Round: 5-6.

Who wants to bet this guy ends up a Raider? We'll probably get him in the 3rd round.

Sorry, I'm just gearing up for the worst.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no way if SOH is available Al doesn't take him. NO FRIGGING WAY!!! lol

Kinda ironic to see many of the Al-haters hoping for him to fix the ONLY thing that wasn't broke this year... our running game.

It would seem like something to BASH him for... there are so many other needs. [shrug] Poor guy can't win for losing.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NYRaider... I'll bet lotsa money he doesn't draft a CB in the 3rd round. We don't have a 3rd round pick.

heh heh

9:43 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

For you fans of classic games, set your recorders. NFL Network is showing Super Bowl III NY Jets vs Baltimore at 10AM PT, and the Oilers/Bills playoff game from '93 at 6:30PM PT, when Buffalo came back from 35-3 in the second half.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who say Al Davis won't run a 3-4, here's a quote about the 1976 season and Super Bowl XI:

"The Raiders started off with victories over Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Houston before suffering a 48-17 wipeout at New England.
Injuries to key personnel forced the Raiders to adopt a 3-4 defense for the Patriots game and inexperience took a heavy toll."

They switched to the 3-4 after the third game of the season and the team went 10-0 after that game.

I'm sure after every game Al said, "Well John, we won, but when are you going to stop that 3-4 defense." It remained the Raider standard defense for years.


5:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks for keeping me honest, but you're overlooking the fact that we may trade up with a couple of late picks for that 3rd round gem. It just fits the mold of our serial drafting of speedy DBs. Will you give me odds?

5:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Hiring a Bucs assistant D coach is much more realistic than landing Monte Kiffin to work for his son.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree completely with your logic. DEs who can rush the passer and play the run are rare. We still need an SS who can tackle--free agent pickings are slim with Bob Sanders off the market...hate to look to the draft again for that position but who knows...may have to take a small college LB and convert him [worked with a LB from Ohio State about 28 years ago]. There may be some LT help in free agency, fat Flozell will be available, maybe, and he is an upgrade over Sims if only because it takes longer for DEs to run around him because he's "your mama's so fat she has to iron her pants in the driveway" big...

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the falcons do not need help at qb. joey harrington blew up this year, and looked like the qb the lions drafted him for.
not only that, but leftwich has set out the majority of the year to get healthy, and will give harrington competition. they can afford to pick a qb in the 2nd or
3rd round. losing vick did not make them hurt for a qb, it made them hurt for a running game.
their top offensive needs are at running back #1, they need a breakout running back. #2 is a receiver that will compliment roddy white, other than alge crumpler and warrick dunn.
i bet they feel stupid for not hiring knapp and cable to run the show in atlanta, and took petrino instead.
i just hope that we win the toss for the #3 pick, and trade it down, and pick off some good vets, and then pick soh.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico, I wouldn't be so quick to scratch off Jake Long... 6'7 315 lbs. I doubt we'll put our 60 million qb on the field next year with Barry Simms watching his blind side. That's like putting Barney Fife in charge of the Brinks car.
Left Tackle will get addressed, and what team in today's NFL will let a good LT leave via FA? Who could we get in FA?
I like McFadden, and both Longs a lot, but think Jake will be our pick if he's still there when we pick.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Flozel will be 33 at the beginning of next season. We need someone who will give the team a good five or six years. I don't think he fits the bill.


The Falcons QB situation is as follows:

Harrington, Leftwich and Redmon. All three castoffs from other teams. You can't always get a Gannon or Plunkett from someone else.

My bet for Atlanta is McFadden if he's there. However, I have a feeling Miami will take him. Parcells would love to pair him with Ronnie Brown provided Brown recovers properly.

This is one of those years where I believe there is no clear cut number one pick. McFadden will be the most hyped like Calvin Johnson was last year.

As for McFadden, if you look at the playoff teams, only one has a top five pick at RB, that would be the Dolts.

A good running team is a must, but it is rare that the team with the leading rusher wins the Super Bowl.


8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H, when I think of Mcfadden I think of Bo. Bo singlhandly beat the Bengels in the playoffs. Then he got hurt and we were helpless agianst Buffalo in the worst a$$beatin I can remember as a raider fan (51-3). An elite RB changesthe dynamics of a team.
And with Mcfadden we're not talking about an ordinary running back. We're talking about a guy that is being compared with other SEC backs of the past... Emmitt Smith, Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker & Jamal Lewis. Think about those names for a moment.
Mcfadden is not a RB that you dismmiss as uneeded. He is rare.

8:20 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I look for Zach Miller to be a big target for Russell next year, but we still need a WR (one that will stretch the field).

btw, Porter is a free agent. How many think we re-sign him?

I've been in this guy's corner for years, and still think he can be valuable to the Raiders. Porter had a solid stretch to end the season, as he showed his strength and durability. I still think he'll find one solid pro season in his career. still waiting...

8:33 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, I guess you still have no understanding of where we differ. In order for me to buy your premise, I have to believe that Al Davis makes every single decision in regards to the team and accepts no decent. Otherwise you scenario is pointless.

I know that both Ira Miller and Glenn Dickey (and Nancy Gay and Timmy Kawakami) say that Al walks around the HQ with his middle finger extended to everyone else in the building (while drooling senility), but I can point to 3 or 4 former HCs and several former players (and a few people outside of the organization, but who know Al) who disagree with them.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No to Porter. Guy portends to be an elite WR and has shown flashes, but has been invisible for most of his loud-mouthed career. The exact type of player we need to get rid of. Give me a Keenan McCardell over Porter any day.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'd put the odds at Al drafting a CB before the 5th round as 100-1.

His drafting a SAFETY (or picking up one in FA) before then is even odds.

Al never drafts outside of NEEDS lately, and CB is rock solid on one side and MANAGEABLE on the other. The only reason we kept drafting CB's is that Al decided to gamble with the draft instead of keeping C.Wood and Tory James. He almost pulled it off... Asumugwha is a borderline pro-bowler (and this is the first year he will hurt against the cap).

Please people... these are business decisions... not a fantasy draft.

8:55 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

NYRaider, re Nile Legania...

We have no need of a CB, so we won't draft one. The only way we'd draft a CB is with the idea of converting him to Safety. The reason we haven't converted Washington to Safety is because he's only 5-10 and 185 pounds.

I'll tell you what - If we draft Legania, I'll eat Bama7's virtual shorts.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least he said it in silver and black..... and YES, blanda & gary - he probably WILL ask al to induct him into the hall. assuming al's still around that is.....

9:06 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Regarding getting McFadden so we "can strike from anywhere on the field." That's why we drafted Russell last year. And with a developed Russell, we will be able to strike from anywhere on the field so long as we have a deep strike threat at WR (which is what we need more than McFadden). In fact, there are a few things we need more than McFadden. Our running game, in case some folks haven't noticed, is fully functional.

One thing I don't understand is why some people always want to tinker with what's working while ignoring what isn't. Could it be that the folks who are pushing for Run DMc really understand that he won't be picked by us, but then if we have a losing season, they can say, "If someone had listened to me, and selected McFadden..."

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could it be that the folks who are pushing for Run DMc really understand that he won't be picked by us, but then if we have a losing season, they can say, "If someone had listened to me, and selected McFadden..."

Perhaps after seeing Adrian Peterson last year bring those quick (and meaningless) wins to Minn it is what is wanted here? I bought into it for awhile... esp. with seeing the comparisons to Bo, but I doubt Al will be dumb enough to do it even if he is available.

I still think it's a slam-dunk with SOH.. with Al possibly even TRADING UP to do it. This is the only scenario where I see Al overruling Kiffins wishes... the reconnection with the past will be toooooo strong.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohh, btw, for those that might think I don't know what I am talking about here... I have nailed the position that Al has drafted first the last seven years running, and nailed the player he drafted first going back to Gallery.

SOH is our first pick of the draft... I'll take any bets to the contrary (friendly cyber bets of course).

9:34 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Re Porter. I don't think he wants to stay here. In the locker room after the Charger game he was singing, "I'm Free!"

That kind of reminded me of Chester McGlockton (First 'n' Five). I remember Chester, roaming the KC sideline during the last game of the season in 1996 (at the end of the year he became a free agent), telling the KC coaches and players "Don't hurt me because I want to play for you guys next year!"

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree McFadeen is one hell of a talent. But, at what cost. Remember we stole Bo in the seventh round. That was a no brainer.

Before his injury, Bush was given serious pre season consideration for the Heisman. Admittedly it was against the Big East, but look what West Virginia did against Oklahoma. We have yet to get him on the field and find out what he's got.

We started three different running backs this season. All three had multiple 100 yard rushing games.

If you're saying take the best player available regardless of team need, then he's probably your guy. However, running back doesn't appear to be a need at the moment.

An elite defensive end changes the dynamic of the game also. As does an elite defensive tackle. They have to be accounted for on every play and double or triple teamed.

Further, if we pay those kinds of dollars for McFadden and still have a left tackle that leads the league in false starts and sacks surrendered, what have we accomplished?


9:41 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Draft more DBs! Long live Jerry Porter! I'm in!

9:51 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, you bring up an excellent point. The Raiders have changed the way they draft over the years (which is a pretty good indication that all draft picks don't come from on source). Back in the day it was team policy that draft picks would always be made according to who the Raiders thought was the best athlete on the board. That's why we bit on Marcus Allen when other teams wouldn't (they thought he was too slow and not powerful enough).

We had, I think, changed that by sometime in the middle of Shell I. I think the reason we changed was because we were having trouble "reloading" in free agency, and player development was taking too long. As a result we started drafting specialists.

Any further thoughts on that, H?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we were not screwed after bo went down. yes, it was a tremendous loss, i was at that game, and it was silent after that, but we still had marcus allen.
what screwed us that game was shell did not bring the proper football equipment to play in the snow, on turf. he brought cleats, no warm underneath clothing, and used a game plan like it was a sunny day. i remember after reading that in the paper the day before the game, i told my dad i wasn't going to watch it because we were going to get beat. my dad watched it without me, and told me i was right. that's what screwed us, and that is what got him fired.
look at these sentences from wikipedia about the game and the offensive game plan:
"The Bills shredded the Raiders, limiting quarterback Jay Schroeder to 13 of 31 completions for 150 yards and intercepting him 5 times, while also holding running back Marcus Allen to just 26 yards on 10 carries." deplorable

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, why pay mcfadden huge $$ when we can draft someone as effective for less?
there is speculation that mike hart may fall into the 2nd round because of the "too small" label; but he has tremendous knowledge of his position, and a tremendous work ethic. even if he doesn't fall into the 2nd round, jamaal charles will. ray rice (rutgers) and jonathan stewart (oregon) are both juniors that may be entering the draft as well; that would be pretty comparable to mcfadden. chauncey washington and matt forte are both seniors that can be picked up in later rounds as well.
but we already have 2 backs with good speed and finesse in rhodes and bush; 3 if we resign fargas. so why not go for some thunder, and draft jorvorski lane (junior, A&M) if he enters?
i think we should use the draft to focus on young players that will strengthen weak positional needs. our weak positional needs are currently, dt, run-stopping de, lt, rt, center, safety, and wide receiver.

10:26 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Nate! You were at the game where Jackson went down?! So was I, my brother! I always sat on the west side, up in about row 72.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are correct. The first two rounds would generally be "best available" while later rounds would be allocated to other areas for development. A recent example of "best available" is Jerry Porter. His "athleticism" was touted heavily as part of his second round status.

There were some exceptions as in Mark Wilson, drafted to be the quarterback of the future.

McFadden fits the bill of best available athlete, but in the current climate of escalated contracts and free agency, someone with his credentials would leave little maneuver room for other areas.


10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


first pick, I would be happy with either:
Jake Long
Safety from Miami (might be to high to pick him. Wait, I can get as high as I want, Kiff and Al are picking him ;-)

Kind of depends on how free agency turns out. Long way to go.

Second round option (if we don't get the safety first) would be Josh Barrett from Arizona state. Big guys don't shrink :-)

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah blanda, i was on the 40 yard line, raiders bench side; about 35 rows up.
my cousin was sitting at the player's tunnel, and said when bo left the field, you could tell he was in pain, but visibly pissed about being injured.
i remember the crowd yelling at boomer esaison. it had leaked before the game, that boomer's real name was norman, and how he hated being called norman. so what does the raider nation yell at him? NOOOOOOORRRRRRMMMMMAAAAAAN! it was classic.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt we'll put our 60 million qb on the field next year with Barry Simms watching his blind side. That's like putting Barney Fife in charge of the Brinks car.

Okay, that's some funny crap, right thar...

As soon as I wipe the snot off of the keyboard, I'll try to come up with a reply.


11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think a player in the draft that will do well in the nfl, and be drafted in the lower rounds; is going to be rudy carpenter (qb, az state). i think whoever drafts this guy is going to get one h3!! of a player. i can't help but think of troy aikman (before the concussions), bernie kosar, and dan fouts type of qb's. tough, competitors who don't have the strongest arms, but had the will, knowledge, and heart to play lights out every game. i wouldn't mind drafting him just to give j-russ some competition.
another qb to watch in the near future is washington's jake locker. i'm telling you, in the next 2-3 years, the pac-10 is going to be just as competitive as the sec in college football; and it will be one of the toughest college divisions to win. the exception is ucla, until they rid of neuheisel and get a real coach.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its bad enough the Raiders are the worst team in all the NFL the past 5 seasons but to have the worst Team Website now that is unforgiveable. The Raiders Website is full of absolutley zero useful up to date information. If I wanted to know how the Raiders have won there 3 Super Bowls or how many hall of famers we have I certaintly can find it. So I thought to myself, maybe just maybe all Team Websites were like this. Ummm no, everyone elses websites have up to date team analysis, blogs, and even costructive comments from area writers. I know Big Al has a tight lid on keeping Raiders Camp a big huge secret, I just think the fans deserve more.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gary said "I still think it's a slam-dunk with SOH.. with Al possibly even TRADING UP to do it. This is the only scenario where I see Al overruling Kiffins wishes... the reconnection with the past will be toooooo strong."

just like that reconnection to the past with shell eh gar? this is just our problem. too many reconnects with the past.

thing is, al cannot just slap a #75 on SOH and expect the very same results he got in the past. just like he did putting a #12 on marijuanavich expecting him to be the next stabler.

just to revisit the mcfadden argument, lets say we do get him, we can't really compare the chargers/tomlinson situation not winning championships to the raiders/mcfadden situation.

rivers has much more experience than russell. he doesn't have to rely on tomlinson to take pressure off him or be effective. mcfadden's mere presence will take a whole lot of pressure off of russell's back. he won't have to throw as much. that part of his game can be brought along slowly. there won't be a need to rely on his arm too much right away. once fargas, jordan are gone there won't be so much $ tied into that position anyway.

if we don't get mcfadden, then lets trade DOWN and get more picks.

but whatever kiffin does is fine with me. as long as al leave him alone.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like for once we all kind of agree on something... we all think SOH, McFadden or Jake Long would be good picks for us, we're just not in agreement as to the pecking order of each.
Man, I'm going to be pissed if we take a CB in Rd 1. We should all be pissed if we take a CB in Rd 1 RaiderNate- yeah, I'm not sure having Shroeder throw the ball 31 times on even a dry, warm day was a good idea, much less Buffalo in January. Schroeder.. dear Lord, Blanda, more fodder for why Al is terrible. Gave up Lachay for this back-up clown. Skins went on to win a superbowl or two, we went on to pulling our hair out with each of his starts.
I still think Bo would have made a HUGE difference up there. Shell was probably not running Marcus due to the old man's orders (he was in the doghouse with Al)

1:55 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

But.. but...

Al never leaves a coach alone. Al makes every decision and pulls every string.

He won't draft SOH, because the pull to draft a Kicker with the #4 pick will be too strong. He might weaken and draft a CB, but that will only come if somebody misunderstands him through his senile old drool.

This, of course, will piss Kiffin off so much that he'll start entertaining offers from San Jose State before camp even starts. The Raiders will be lucky to win one game next year because of that senile old bastard!

Unless, of course, they win. Then we will hear all about how Kiffin never listens to the old fart and he'll likely be fired for it.

When are we going to get a petition going to have Al Davis killed?

1:57 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Eh, Bama7, just a point of fact...

Shanahan ASKED for Schroeder. But don't be too down on Shanahan. The year before Shanahan came on board, Schroeder supplanted Doug Williams as Washington's starter, and took them to a 12-4 record.

The year of that 51-3 defeat by Buffalo he had a QB rating above 90. Now, I'm not saying I liked Schroeder, I'm just saying that it wasn't Al's idea to bring him here, and there was a good argument for bringing him.

And NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY objected more loudly to trading him for Lachey than I did. It was at that point, very early on, that I lost all faith in Shanahan.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wells,it official looks like Al is keeping SOB around:;_ylt=AqaU9ahb8gPSnPu3I2uVzNNDubYF?slug=ap-raiders-ryan&prov=ap&type=lgns

Here's to another year of porous defense.

3:02 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Maybe next season Ryan will surprise us all and start blitzing in addition to figuring out how to stop teams from running all over us.

3:15 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Two things - it kind of shows how far the press will report things simply based on Kiffin's statement that he was disappointed with the defense this season, and that he would evaluate the coaching staff. Was it ESPN or SI that had Ryan already fired and hired again by the Jets?

I also suspect that Kiffin (definately Davis) believe that the problem with the D was player oriented. I can accept that because at times Ryan's defense was very effective as long as the players stayed in their gaps (did their jobs). My difference with that is that Ryan's job is to get the players on board and playing according to his system (as Kiffin has done with the offense).

Before being pissed off about Ryan staying, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until I can see what new players are coming in.

3:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Then there's another possibility...

Rob Ryan actually was fired by the Raiders and hired by the Jets, and Rex Ryan, fired by the Ravens, has been hired by the Raiders, and... now everyone is just confused.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's just all hope that Kiffen didn't want to go in a new direction with DC, but Ryan simply ran behind Al and stuck his tongue out at Kiffen.
I hope Ryan convinced Kiffen to stay. If so Brayton, Schweigert will be gone and more physical players will be brought in at OLB & DE (and Huff will move to FS or CB). If we see these things then Kiffen is changing things and working with Ryan. If not, then absolutely nothing will have changed in Oakland.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bama - its called scholarships baby!

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just like the one ryan's on!

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to reserve a final judgement until we know more about why we still have SOB.

I do, however, have this sinking feeling in my gut as if I was hit in the stomach with a walker.

4:23 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

This is part of the problem we have with the media. This is from David White talking about Ryan still having his job.

"Fine. Now it's time to speculate what all this means."

Wrong, David. Reporters do not speculate. They report the facts. Otherwise, you're not giving me news, you're giving me your opinion. And worse, you're not telling me on what, if anything, your opinion is based.

According to White, "multiple team sources" said that Kiffin was unhappy with Ryan and wanted him gone. Really? Are those the same team sources who said that Kiffin wanted out and was unhappy to be passed over by the Razorbacks?

Kiffin said that during the last team meeting, many of the players came up to him and asked, "Does this mean you're staying?" He said that he never thought there was any question, and it had never occurred to him to address it. Why did all of these players think Kiffin was leaving when, according to Kiffin, he'd never even thought of leaving?

Maybe David White can do a better job of answering that.

4:26 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

SOB is in the house, and Al has informed him that he will have SOH to plug holes.

Maybe this is just a smoke screen announcement (sorry Blanda for speculating) and we are waiting another week or two to speak with playoff-bound assistants (which is otherwise against league rules to do now) and secure a new DC.

My initial reaction is disappointment. A good defense disguises itself and keeps the opposing team guessing. By comparison, SOB is an open book. Name one top D in NFL history that lines up the same on every play.

Honestly, our only hope is that Kiffin takes the lead with Ryan and explains how he wants things done. Otherwise, SOB and the status quo is not good.

4:40 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Part of my point would be that Kiffin seems to be as mystified as I am by the sports media. He keeps asking, "Where is this stuff coming from?"

Answer: Nowhere but out of the hind quarters of various "journalists." They have spent many years establishing their "truthiness," there memes and stereotypes as to what Al Davis and the Raiders are all about. They then proceed to simply not report whatever facts conflict with their "truthiness" and go whole hog on slogging out the preferred storyline.

The only reporters (at least locally) who don't buy in are Jones and McDonald. They are rapidly becoming the only sports reporters I read.

4:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

No problem, NYRaider. You're not a reporter and you leave me to fully understand the basis of your opinion. I read you for free, and you don't get paid to post here.

And yet, I can get far more reliable information from you than I can David White.

4:45 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I would add that we were fed some information that should have led us to believe there was no substance to the rumors (which were essentially reported as facts). That "information" was that Ryan had already agreed to a deal with the NY Jets. We were told very specifically that Ryan was told on Friday before the Charger game that he would not be back. That part is very reasonable. Then the part about the Jets which raises a boatload of TAMPERING questions - never mentioned by the Raiders or the Jets. Well, I guess Al never mentioned it because he's always so slow to litigate.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumors, unsubstantiated set up or whatever, at this time, this makes no sense to me. Again, I will wait for a good explaination or a bad excuse.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I think everyone knows where I stand on our 1st round pick. These are some players who I believe should be considered for our 2nd round pick (in no particlar order and of course, if available):

Kentwan Balmer/DT/UNC
DJ Hall/WR/Alabama
Limas Sweed/WR/Texas
Tom Zbikowski/SS/Notre Dame
James Hardy/WR/Indiana U

"Z" intrigues me the most. He is a true, hard nosed, STRONG Safety. In his spare time, he is a professional heavyweight fighter. The guy is tough as nails and a terrific athlete with a high football IQ. Switch Huff over to FS, add SOH & Z, plus a FA SLB, and BOOM, you've got yourself a much improved D.

DE Burgess
DT Warren
DT Kelly
WLB Howard
MLB Morrison
CB Asomugha
CB Routt
FS Huff
SS Zbikowski

Ideally, I would love to see the Raiders sign 2 Tier 1 FAs and a 2 or 3 Tier 2 FAs.

Tier 1: Briggs, Berrian
Tier 2: OT/DT

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SOB is IN!!!
I had already accepted that he was outta hear. I figured that was a big reason behind Sapp leaving.

Anyway, I don't quite understand you guys some times.
I mean, one year the guy is Jesus Christ, the next year he's a piece of crap?

I think we have all determined that he can't physically stay in the players gap for him. Dude, most of the big plays against us our D looked like a bunch of 8 year olds playing soccer! QUIT BUNCHING UP!!!! There's no way that those plays were executed correctly.

Oh sure. "But it's the coaches job...". It's the coaches job to get the players on board with the system and psyched to play. Nobody better than Marty during Raider Week so it seems.

Can you tell I have a soft spot in my heart for SOB? Just hope he never takes a swing at the OC like his 'ole man. Then again his 'ole man hated Ditka and they never spoke unless they had to.

I think most of the players making those errors are on thier way out of town.

Oh, and for the record, I think we should move Huff to FS and move Brayton to SS. ;-)

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon... not everyone thought Ryan was great in 2006. I didn't. While others saw a high ranked pass defense, I saw a 2-14 team that no opponent ever had to do anything offensively against... simply play conservative and don't turn it over and by half time the game was yours (Pittsburgh didn't understand that simple game plan).
Okay, Ryan, you're back in. Now show us something. Get yourself some players and mix it up a bit. Show us something dammit. Earn your freaking scholarship. Brayton should be cut before camp even opens, Huff is not a SS and you need DE's and an OLB that are physical. SHOW US YOU UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEMS. DON'T TELL US YOUR SQUAD IS REALLY GREAT AND JUST HAD A BAD YEAR. Makes me want to puke.
Calico: Not sure about the "Z" kid.. I mean anyone that watched LSU's receivers run circles around the ND secondary knows that that secondary of ND's was grossly outmatched from a speed standpoint. Not a good NFL sign.
Georgia has several good players, quietly, entering the draft. Georgia has been in the top 5 in recruiting for quite awhile now, so many of these guys get buried in the depth chart. Some late round steals:
Marcus Howard: Did you see him in the sugar bowl? Unblockable. Very fast DE and too light to play DE in pro, but fast enough to play LB. Very physical. Was buried in the depth chart during his career.
Other LB's:Danny Verdun& Brandon Miller. Fast & Physical. FOOTBALL PLAYERS.
C/G: Fernando Velasco 6'4 318. Solid.
Safety: Kelin Johnson a hitter, physical and hasn't gotten the attention he deserves.
Watched all of these guys and appreciate that they are physical.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here's the quote...

"The recent conjecture regarding the removal of Rob Ryan is incorrect and the constant barrage of rumors is irresponsible," Taylor said. "The Raiders organization stated that the speculation that Rob Ryan will be relieved of his duties should stop."

As I read this.. he said there hasn't been any decisions made AND THAT IS IT.

The speculation that a decision has been made should stop until a decision is made. I don't see a direct quote stating he is for sure STAYING, am I missing something here?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Wasn't Ryan just telling us a few weeks ago how great his players are? Can someone find those quotes? This was a few weeks before all the talk about him being dismissed.

My main concern with Ryan is one that concerns me about the entire organization (excepting Kiffin, of course), and that is the inability to identify, accept and ultimately drop the hammer on poor performance.

Everyone's great! Better luck next time! Year after year.

You'll notice that Kiffin doesn't suffer from such hallucinations.

There are two ways to look at it:

(1) Either last year was, in fact, an illusion, and the Raiders defense wasn't truly tested.

Most of us fans, however, were convinced that the defense was truly strong and talented, and that Ryan deserved credit. So then it's my fault and the fans' fault that we didn't recognize it as an illusion? Huh? What about the guy (and organization) who's job is to coach the unit, see through the stats, and properly evaluate the talent? They're the ones, not the fans, who get paid to do this stuff.

When the coaches, organization and the fans all get the same thing wrong, why do some of you want to focus on blaming the fans first? We're the last rung on the responsibility ladder.

(2) The defensive talent is, in fact, strong and last year wasn't an illusion, and therefore the blame must lie with the coordinator for failing to rally this talent and generate strong performances in 2007.

What am I missing?

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what this guy reported:

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan staying on with Raiders

By JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer
January 4, 2008

Coach Lane Kiffin said Monday he would evaluate Ryan's status quickly. There were reports that Ryan would be fired, but team spokesman Mike Taylor said Friday that Ryan would return for a fifth season with the team.

"The recent conjecture regarding the removal of Rob Ryan is incorrect and the constant barrage of rumors is irresponsible," Taylor said. "The Raiders organization stated that the speculation that Rob Ryan will be relieved of his duties should stop."

...end quote...

Is this guy a complete moron or something? Where did he say that he was staying??? Why would Kiffin be "evaluating his status quickly" if the decision has already been made????

JFC... where do these journalists get their degree's? From a website?

9:06 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What I see is a D that was ranked at the bottom of the league through Ryan's tenure with the Raiders, save one year that a B&B-style offense posed no threat whatsoever to opposing teams, thereby creating an illusion of defensive greatness. Meanwhile, running yards racked up against us during the B&B era was not an illusion, but as real as our 31st ranking run D this year. Ultimately, Ryan has been unable to counter the most obvious of problems, and our entire D was a failure pretty much start to finish in 2007.

I believe Ryan should be let go, if only to prove to the world that Kiffin is truly at the helm. Otherwise, we and the media will just continue to speculate that Ryan is Al’s boy and, thus, that a power struggle still exists which has plague us for too long.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey... as long as reporters are making up facts based on assumptions... let me also do so.

The reason that SOB hasn't been let go yet is that they decided to draft SOH and bring back the 3-4... thus getting rid of a coach that specializes in the 3-4 makes no sense.

Those are my "facts"... can I get a job with AP???

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's about time you showed some "loyalty" a finally posted!

Here's the link on the Ryan interview.

Complete drivel. Thank god he did not get the HC job.
The tone of SOB's comments make it sound like even he thought he was out.

nyraiders most recent post says it perfectly.

It would be difficult for me to believe that Kiffin wanted SOB back. This is AD's doing. At a time when we need to change things more than ever, things stay the same. I am disgusted.

While on a rant; there is no GM in sight, you bet we draft SOH (which may not be bad despite AD's involvement again) and we'll be looking for a new HC in two years.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks for the link, memdf, that's the one.

Folks, copy and paste the link, then scroll down to the "Interview with Rob Ryan."

It's utterly mindblowing in its contrast to the way Kiffin handles failure.

Kiffin: "This won't happen again...We'll get it fixed."

Ryan: "I thought we'd be in better shape, but that's life in the big city...We've got great players...We've given up a lot of big plays, whether it be tackling or whatever...It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is."

Golly, gee whiz. Better luck next time, fellas.

I don't know if he should be fired or not, but his unit's performance, combined with quotes like this, lead me to conclude that he definitely belongs on the hot seat.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree, RT and others. Ryan has done nothing... nothing at all to make anyone think we're in good hands with him at the helm. All we can hope for is that Kiffen is giving him one last chance and BIG changes are ahead. If not, man it's depressing.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say this right now... if, and I mean IF SOB is retained and we don't see a full commitment to the 3-4, I will join in all the Al-haters and say this is never going to work, and Kiffin is better off somewhere else.

SOB is one of the worst 4-3 coaches in the history of DC's.

I'm not sure I can watch next year (but prolly will). All I ever want to do is take SOB's neck and strangle him with everything I am worth.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a serious problem here. I intentionaly watched part of the steelers - jaks game. I normally do not watch any other "games" outside the Raiders as I am not an nfl fan but a Raiders fan. (Some may be able to relate to my madness.)

In any case, I watched both teams on defense and saw constant movement, attack of the offense from every angle, blitzes that were disquised and blitzes that we so obvious I could not wait to see the inevitable destructive results.

I can only hope that there is more to this, (keeping SOB) than meets the eye.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumors are, well rumors!!!!

We have no idea about how Kiffin really felt about Ryan? All we heard was rumors, true to some and false to others. Kiffin is very intelligent, he does know how to do his job. He will keep most matters to himself and will answer certain questions accordingly. As we have seen over the course of the last two weeks. I do think Kiffin was not pointing fingers to any particular person on defense. I think he meant as a whole unit, the D needs to be evaluated.

I agree with Blanda's takes on this subject. And much has been misconstrued by the media. We all have our opinions as to what will happen or what's going to happen.

Oakland has been known to blow smoke up media's a**, more than Nancy Gay's skirt. But Al believes in never giving anyone an inch on how HE runs' his business.

With that said, we know Al calls all the shots, or he relay's them to Amy and she sends everyone the commandment from AL. But Al does run his defense the way he feels best. We can argue with Al until we are blue in the face. He won't move an inch. Now on off. he just hires a bright mind and lets them do what he deems fit for his team.

If in so, that is happening. Kiffin will bite his tongue and continue to do what he feels best. A la Gruden. Al will conjure his own story if Kiffin bails on us at the end of 08. Which Kiffin knows if he does, Kiffin will find a viable job in the NFL or College.

But one way or another, it will haunt our team in some form or fashion. God, I hope Amy Trask doesn't do business like this. Cause we know she'll be the first ever Mangeral Partner for the Raiders.

Mr. Duva

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe "miss kiffy" will bail before the season begins, now that big al (MR.) davis has told the "crybaby" girl/boy hc that HE is just working for the faidas, that the only real head coach in chokeville is ALWAYS big al!!!!!, just cry babies, your faidas are doomed to 6-repeat, yes, another year of garbage, sell your tickets now before you won't be able to give em away! 0-16....defend what?

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, change would be nice, even the 3-4. But don't we have a problem with the 3-4 in that we don't have the NG to run it, nor the DE's (Burgess would be history in a 3-4... he cannot play it)... plus we'd need two more good LB's? We'd need 4, maybe 5 new players to run the 3-4, depending on whether Tommy Kelly could play it. I'm all for trying it, but we'd need a boat-load of new players to run a 3-4 and we'd also not render Burgess irrelevant.

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

meant to finish with "render Burgess irrelevant"

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottom line for me. Kiffin stated he was going to attack free agency and upgrade the supporting cast. To me that means the DL and Safety on defense. LT and WR on offense.

The above is priority over coaching at the moment. And, the proper personnel have to be brought in to execute this defense. I do have some other thoughts on defenseive changes that I will share later.

Having said all that, it would not surprise me if a change came after Tampa is eliminated from the playoffs.

The evaluation process is going on and we well have to see where it takes us. As for all the rumors and speculation it's becoming a Monty Python sketch.


6:28 AM  

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