Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Out of The Wilderness

Immediately upon the conclusion of the 2007 season, Lane Kiffin said: “This won't happen again...We'll get it fixed.”

A few weeks earlier, Rob Ryan had this to say about his defense: “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.”

Do you detect a difference in philosophies? One a fixer, the other an enabler, perhaps?

I don’t mean to hang a guy based on a few quotes, but you have to admit that Ryan’s words were ill conceived, if not completely delusional. At some point, you have to address the facts instead of just saying that’s “life in the big city.”

I’ve had enough of “life in the big city” over the past five years, haven’t you?

But before we go on, I would like to apologize for leaving all of you in the lurch these past few weeks by going AWOL from Raider Take. And I would like to thank the Mighty Memdf for a kick in the pants that motivated my return to the keyboard.

The truth is that I went on vacation, a vacation from everything—job, bills, life and even Raider Take. I went to the desert and played golf amid the cacti and wild javelinas, drank red wine with Mrs. Take and watched the sun descend over the Sonoran wilderness. It was a long time coming. I highly recommend the desert.

Upon my return, I was astonished to discover 500+ comments appended to my previous take. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your willingness to keep the home fires burning during my irresponsible and unannounced absence. Such is the greatness of the Raider Nation.

I was also surprised to discover the controversy about Rob Ryan’s alleged un-firing, or whatever you want to call it. Additionally, I was flummoxed by the reality that we need to fill serious holes at left and right tackle, center, wide receiver, defensive line, strong safety and cornerback, and possibly running back. After just 19 wins over five seasons, I’d like to think we’d be further ahead in the rebuilding business, wouldn’t you?

So I just went into avoidance mode. I glanced at your takes, I glanced at the stories, but generally remained disengaged over the past several days. Maybe it’s just a vacation hangover. Maybe it’s writer’s block. Or maybe I’m just waiting for a strong signal from Mars or Alameda that the team is ready to face the music and embrace radical, evident change. Of course, the organization is not obliged to send such a signal, just as I’m not obliged to be happy about it.

After winning one less game this year than we won last year, the Dolphins have already hired a new VP of football operations and a new general manager. The Raiders haven’t filled those positions because they still don’t exist in Alameda. So we’ll just wring our hands about the DC position, waiting for the Championships to end, for the Super Bowl to end…tick, tock…waiting…for…the Pro Bowl, the Senior Bowl…tick, tock…

In a recent Q&A with Jerry McDonald, Kiffin said what I’d been saying for weeks: “It’s not okay because we played some teams well and we won a couple divisional games. That’s not okay. This season was not a success…We’re going to work on that right now and we’re going to look at every single way we can to fix that.”

When asked directly if he was going to retain Rob Ryan (assuming he had a choice), Kiffin stated: “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….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.”

As far as I can tell, there are only three ways to look at the Ryan question: (1) Kiffin really wants to keep him; (2) Kiffin will get rid of him, but despite saying that decisions will come “pretty soon” and the fact that positions are already being filled across the NFL, has decided to wait to get rid of him for reasons we can only speculate; or (3) Kiffin wanted to get rid of him, but was overruled by Al Davis.

Now, let’s consider the first scenario. Are we to believe that Lane Kiffin really wants to retain a guy whom he inherited, whose unit ranked among the worst in the league, and who says things like “that’s life in the big city?” If you believe that, then put a tooth under your pillow tonight, because there’s a fairy on the way.

As for scenario number two, you can reverse engineer all sorts of explanations to prove the logic behind the Raiders, once again, dragging their feet on a critical decision while other teams act swiftly and decisively.

As for the third scenario, we really don’t want to go there, do we?

In other words, none of the scenarios is very palatable at this point. Or maybe I just spent too much time in the desert? What am I missing?

I’m not advocating that we rush to Ryan’s door with pitchforks and torches in hand. He has no doubt done his best, but doing your best isn’t always enough in the brutal competitive reality of the NFL. Ryan belongs on the hot seat. This is the NFL, not an after-school special.

Perhaps these reports of organizational dissention, however, are just fabrication? We’ve certainly witnessed enough media fabrication over the past six months.

Nevertheless, consider my three aforementioned scenarios, and tell me what I’m missing?

Perhaps I’m just late to the discussion and beating a dead horse with this Ryan business. But I would submit that this Ryan business is a window into the future of our team, as viewed through the lenses of control and decision making, which in turn have bearing on a lot of things, including the upcoming draft.

Or perhaps I’m jumping the gun. Perhaps it will all come clear and make sense soon. But don’t be too hard on me. After 19 wins over five seasons, I’m just anxious for more method and less madness. You can create justifications for every decision (or non decision) made over the past five years, but you can’t justify the results, and the results put the decisions in question, which makes the justifications questionable.

Anyhow, that’s my take, and I’m sticking to it, at least until you beat it out of me with your retorts. I have returned from the wilderness. But the real question is: Have the Raiders?

502 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
RT, you seem to be containing some anger. The same anger I feel about my team. It seems painfully clear that Kiffen wants his own guy there, but has, like so many before him, run into Al. Al's interference.
RT, you have a way of taking on this topic gingerly, trying not to inflame our board, but I sense you are as frustrated with Al as I am.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Well I guess the mission has been scrubbed. Welcome back Take.

Unless I've missed something in your three scenarios the piece missing is "no decision has been made". Or, a decision has been made but not implemented. Either of those cases would explain the lack of public pronouncements.

However, if you want to read anything into their statements. "We'll get this fixed." and "That's life in the big city." To me the latter would appear to come from the person least happy with his situation. Someone who knows his job is possibly in jeopardy. But, that's just speculation on my part.

We all share your frustration. The last five seasons are totally new territory for long term Raider fans. You have given us a forum for us to discuss and argue our differing points of view as to the source of the problems and their potential solutions. And, for that we all here (except for that one moron) owe you our thanks.

Arkansas Raider, I couldn't get a TOW, just a couple of old 70mm rocket pods.

I suggest we continue with the mission with a change of objective. I suggest the name Operation Rolling Moss.

H

5:09 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

RT- Welcome back! We all awaited your return with eager anticipation. The 600+ posts represent our version of Motel 6... “we’ll keep the light on for ya.”

Once again, I am in full agreement with your point of view (specifically, we “can’t justify the results, and the results put the decisions in question...!”)

The sheer refusal to fill key executive positions at Raiders HQ is mind-boggling. Al Davis, once heavyweight champion of the world, doesn’t know when to quit and just sit back and enjoy the sport that he has helped shaped (ala Larry Holmes, George Foreman, and others).

After waiting five years for the smallest of sparks, we finally have a small fire in Lane Kiffin; but not without controversy and possible dissension, and now with widespread concern the small fire is being doused by the man himself.

Out of respect for the man, I must reserve ultimate judgement, and can only hope and pray that the right buttons are being pushed (placing Kiffin in total control).

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Sorry, NY Raider... I misspelled kiffin again (1st post). I actually have a similar name that people have misspelled my entire life... getting the last vowel wrong. I should know better.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT,
That was scary man, we thought you were going to get whacked or something. These guys were planning a mission to come save you! It was almost as strange as the disappearance Pantyraider somewhere in the jungles of Asia (I think that's what he said).

Finally, it doesn't take 3 min. to load and scroll the page. :)

Psycho

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

Welcome back, RT!

Ryan came aboard as a guy who believed in multiple looks, use of the 3-4, smart blitzing. It was all there on his resume, from his college coaching days to his Buddy Ryan pedigree to his work in New England under Belichick.

Fast forward a few years and all of a sudden he's a 4-3, man-to-man guy who rarely blitzes. Just like all of our other defensive coordintators. What a coincidence. It's to his credit that he made it work pretty well at times.

My point? Kiffin deserves to choose his defensive coordinator, be it Ryan or somebody else. But if that person is forced to abandon his own philosophy and adapt Al's philosophy, it will just be more of the same.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out #4.

Kiffin told Al he wanted to get rid of SOB, and they talked about it, and Al talked him out of it.
Not necessarrily overruled, but lets just assume that Kiff trusts Al just a little bit (I think that's one of the reasons he jumped on the job, becuase he is so green and has Al to lean on).

That said, mad stork makes a good point.

Man, I need too get me a handle :-(


Welcome back RT.

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with mad stork. we may as well not have a dc if als calling the shots. i remember sob using the 3-4 in his 1st year and it was a disaster because al gave him 260-275 lb lb"s to work with. if were to ever have a good defense which we can NEVER be a winner without then al MUST take his hands off. every playoff team worth its salt doesnt play a straight 4-3 with no blitzing and man coverage.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, it's possible that no decision has been made, but if so, this would follow in the slothful vein of no decision having been made regarding Barry Sims...after seven years.

It's hard to believe that Kiffin would still be on the fence about something so pivotal as the DC position. If a decision has been made but not yet implemented, I think it would still have to fall under one of my three scenarios, even if it remains under wraps.

I can't tell you guys what it means to have you concerned about my mental health and well being. Memdf even called to make sure I hadn't croaked.

I still can't fully explain my absence. It wasn't like I was just sitting here keeping tabs on everything, reading all the articles, polishing my next take. I literally stopped following the Raiders for abut 10 days. Cold turkey. No explanation. But I have some ideas for making sure it doesn't happen again, and it involves your help. Stay tuned.

And what did I miss during my absence? Inaction in Alameda. Is it even possible to miss inaction? If action doesn't happen, then you technically can't miss it, right?

7:16 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Take,

I was just throwing that out as a possible scenario. The same with dedisions made but not implemented.

Just a different angle. By the way, how'd you shoot?

Mad Stork 83, I find some irony in your post "Fast forward a few years and all of a sudden he's a 4-3, man-to-man guy who rarely blitzes. Just like all of our other defensive coordintators."

I believe there are many here who will back me up on this. Virtually the entire time Hendricks was with the team we ran a 3-4 with a lot of blitzing. In fact, Hendricks was one of the primary blitzers.

They did try the 3-4 when Ryan was brought on board. In fact, I believe that was the primary reason he was hired. But, for several reasons, it was a failure. There was much public ourcry to go back to the 4-3. Which they did. Oh, what a fickled nation we can be.

So, your statement is inaccurate. If you dissagree, please show me where I am wrong.

H

7:51 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Take,

One more thing. As for Barry Sims, I think that is a fete accompli. But, for cap reasons nothing will be done before March 1st. So, there's no reason for the media to be all over that one.

H

7:55 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Hah! My point is that the fact that we're even still talking about Barry Sims in 2008 is remarkable, is it not?

You know, I shot well. I feared that I would blow a bunch of money and get all excited about playing this fancy course, then proceed to bang balls off houses. But it actually went great. I missed a short putt for par on the first hole (those greens are wicked fast in bone dry Arizona), then parred the next one. It went downhill from there, but not too far downhill, which for me is like Tiger Woods shooting 64.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
3-4, 4-3...whatever... the Nation just wants the S&B to utilize either of these schemes with the proper personnel, in the proper positions, and with a DC that's his own man. It's not fickle, it's called running the ship right.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous clubb said...

I think that the many are getting tired of the same. We have given organization the benefit of doubt for so long that pattern of getting rid of coaches, not supporting coaches, having Plan B always available in coaching staff is troublesome.
Mike Taylor Raider PR man came out VERY quickly with the we support Ryan memo but nothing on Kiffin. I find it interesting that Kiffin called out the Whole Building after the last game when saying this unacceptable. I think many people in the Raider building are way to comfortable, much like state workers. Loyal to a fault we buy it every year but something must change in the organization because season tickets bills are coming in three weeks.

9:12 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Barry Sims is still here because he's managed to beat out every person brought in to challenge him for the position. As disgusting as that sounds, it happens to be true. Free Agents, top draft picks, Sims has beaten them out. He may be the #32 LT in the league, but so far we've been unable to bring in anyone as high as #31.

RT, you've been very proud to mention the three division titles and the Super Bowl appearance in this decade, but I haven't heard you give Sims credit for playing well during those years.

And, as usual, I understand this will lead to complaints that I'm defending one of the worst players in the history of the sport. I too think Sims should be replaced, but I also believe in a certain amount of perspective.

I have no idea what Kiffin thinks of Ryan or Davis. And neither does anybody else. I have no idea what is said behind closed doors, and neither does anybody else. In order to even believe half of what the media says, you have to believe that Kiffin is an immature, tantrum throwing, control freak with a 4-12 NFL record. That's not the impression I get from him.

As for Ryan's lack of skill at hostile press conferences, I'll give him a pass due to his inexperience. Raider assistants don't give very many.

As for Kiffin's recent silence, all I'll say is that Kiffin said that he needed to REVIEW EVERYTHING before making decisions, and immediately after that statement he was handed the Senior Bowl. I'll speculate that Kiffin is a wee bit busy, although nobody else seems to think there is any evidence of that. Far more people seem to feel that Kiffin's first priority is to answer the articles of Timmy Kawakami.

The only thing we'd be hearing about right now, under any circumstances (and even with a team that conducts its business with complete transparency), is the search for a new coach. But that is only true if we are actually LOOKING for a new coach. And if we're not looking for a new coach, it doesn't mean that a coach won't be replaced, because we may already have FOUND that coach. It just might be that the team has not yet been able to come up with a settlement agreement with Ryan (or somebody else).

Five years of losing is very new territory for me. But even after five years of losing, it doesn't seem logical to panic over the lack of team communications in January. Maybe after five years the nation has become accustomed to intense coaching searches in January and they miss that kind of activity. I've grown up with the Raiders, and during all of their winning years you never heard anything from the Raiders between the final game of the season and the Pro Bowl. Very often you didn't hear anything until about March 1st.

Would it destroy you all if we retained Ryan, but wound up completely rebuilding our front seven?

I guess my point to all of this is that usually the team doesn't say very much, and our experience with the media is that they seek to entertain, not to inform. The only really reliable information we get is from what the team actually does. They wouldn't be showing much right now unless they were ACTIVELY seeking a coach. Even if they wind up hiring a GM, you wouldn't likely hear about it until the contract was to be signed within 24 hours.

I don't expect to hear anything substantive until after the Super Bowl. When Kiffin interviews at the Senior Bowl, I expect he will focus on the Senior Bowl because that's the senior player's show and not the Raiders.

By the way, welcome back, RT. It was a perfect time for you to take a vacation.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

http://www.sacbee.com/100/story/
638616.html

hey blanda, i guess we cross jason off your list of favs forever with this one eh pal?

but this article isn't an "assumption" of what davis would do, it's the truth - he blames everyone but himself!

9:21 AM  
Blogger David said...

Things in Raiderland continuously repeat a terribly irritating cycle. Offseason begins with claims that there will be revolutionary changes that will finaly bring us back to a competitive level and this cycle always ends with disappointment followed by brainwashing. Then the nightmare repeats. We are currently in the phase where we all learn (but how could we ever forget?) that Al Davis has a stranglehold on all activity in Oakland. I recently learned that Al invented stubbornness and he continues to refuse to submit to the overwhelmingly obvious need for change.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an Al hater. I respect what he has done, and what he is still capable of doing. But didn't his mom ever tell him that two heads (or three, four, etc.) are better than one. He needs to bring in more help (i.e. VP of football operations, a fully functional GM) so that his butter isn't spread so thin.

For my last point, I would like to discuss the Ryan saga. I love this guy too. But he's like the son that everyone loves but doesn't live up to his potential. But can we blame him? He is running a defense that Al forced upon him. We must remember that he is a 3-4 guy by nature. Will we be any better off with a different DC that will be forced to run the same defense without the love and dedication of the players that Ryan is famous for having?

My overall point is that coaches must be allowed to coach. Change cannot happen if the same old cycle continues. Al Davis needs to pass the torch and let go of the pride that wont let him trust anyone enough to make his/our team great.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

On thing I noticed about Norv during the wild card game, and the subsequent divisional playoff game, was that we was showing emotion and command, barking at the officials, getting in people's faces...And I don't think it's a coincidence that his team has shown simultaneous fire.

When Norv was in Oakland, all we saw was the criminy-sakes grimace.

Remember Art Shell just vacantly standing there as the refs dropped our pants on that ridiculous "forward pass" call?

On that note, when Warren Sapp was embarrassing the team in Jacksonville, I would have liked to see Kiffin step a few yards onto the field and holler at Sapp to get his butt off the field instead of just standing there with his arms folded.

Say what you will about Gruden, but at least you knew where the sh*** stopped.

I hope that Kiffin can grow into that role of visible, vocal leader.

Everyone raves about Tony Dungy, but his mild-mannered approach has been largely a failure come playoff time. Same with Wade Phillips.

As the saying goes, when you treat the players like men, that's an invitation for them to act like boys.

9:42 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Scorpio, why is it you never actually bother to follow up with things? In Jones' subsequent article he practically appoligizes, says he likes Al Davis, but just took the time to have a little fun at Davis' expense.

My question for you is, do you really want Turner and Moss back? The only difference you see in their current situations is Al Davis?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Take, glad to hear it. My last time out it was cold and wet but I shot one of my best rounds.

Bama, it is fickled when folks scream for change, then scream to change back.

However, your point about proper personnel in proper position is well taken. It's something Blanda and I have mentioned on several occasions. He more eloquent than I.

Scorpio, for the article to be "truth" Jason Jones would have to be clairvoyant. It's just his supposition based on his belief. It might be well grounded, but in the end it's still mind reading.

Now as far as a GM type. Though there is no such title within the organization, we have had such types in the past. Bruce Allen being one.

So, what am I about to say. Well, I actually have a nominee for such a position. There is a former Raider toiling away in the Green Bay personnel department. One Reggie McKenzie. He had a twin that played for Washington.

He is Director of Pro Player Personnel. He was totured by Ron Wolfe who cut his teeth under Al Davis. McKenzie is credited with being influential in many of the FA acquisitions on this years team.

Just the right type to "attack free agency" as Kiffin put it. Kiffin working the college side, McKenzie working the FA side.

McKenzie probably won't leave GB (family considerations), but it would be my fantasy personnel team.

Al would still be in charge. After all he is the owner. But he needs some assistance. This might be a team he would trust. We all know how he feels about former Raiders.

H

9:50 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

someone has to help me out with this.

i've been watching the playoff's and it seems to my untrained eye that all the teams are using a cover 2 scheme.

also, i have seen a lot of linebackers in qb's faces during these playoff games.
can this be what other teams in the nfl call, "blitzing" ??

if this is true, it really won't matter who the DC is for the raiders unless, and until, they step into modern times.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blanda,

Could you provide the link to that subsequent article. I'm having trouble finding it?

H

10:09 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, as usual you bring up the best points. All this talk about how Al Davis needs a GM (or at least someone just to help him out), and everyone seems to have forgotten that Al Davis mentor some of the best GMs in the business while they were giving Al a little help.

Let me run three names by you: Al LoCasale; Bruce Allen; Ron Wolfe. The most recent name doesn't spark a pleasant memory, and that is Mike Lombardi. I'd point out that of the recent seasonal losing streak, Lombardi held the position for the first 4 years. The latest in that position is Mark Jackson. And it seems to me, at least until Timmy started trying to entertain us, folks around here thought we were on the rise this year in spite of a 4-12 record.

The Raiders have never had an official GM other than Al Davis; but they have always had a defacto GM called Director of Pro Player Personnel. I guess it's the OFFICIAL TITLE that changes everything. Shakespeare was, apparently, dead wrong. "That which we call a rose, by any other name..." would smell like a turd.

10:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It's here, H.

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

10:15 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

RT-
Great to have you back and what a return! Excellent take.

"Drinks all around!"

10:23 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Mike Lombardi, added...

I find it interesting that in a year when the donkeys were expected to rise like cream, Mike Lombardi started working for them for free. That's right. He's doing everything for them for free that we paid him to do. However, it has been widely reported that the reason he's working for free is that he feels it strengthens his case to pry some money from Al Davis. Birds of feather (Shanahan)... you know how it goes.

I've also stated before (accusations of "conspiracy theory" aside) that I think that Lombardi is the source of much of what we've been hearing from people in the media (who haven't talked to Kiffin directly). Lombardi had many friends in the media (Peter King included), and he's recent enough with the Raiders to be able to claim that he has inside sources. Think about it. It just makes sense.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blanda,

Thanks for the link. I think Jason is reading my post.

"One area the Raiders defensive tackles were especially bad at were occupying blockers. Too often opposing offensive linemen ran freely and blocked linebackers and even safeties."

I believe I've said nearly the exact same thing on several occasions. He and I are in agreement DT's are primary on defense.

Thanks again. And thanks for the compliment.

H

10:38 AM  
Blogger RaiderCat said...

"As for Barry Sims, I think that is a fete accompli." -h

A fait accompli, is generally considered irreversible. I think that we've seen far too many feints and end-arounds to consider any Raider decision "irreversible", lol!

As Take stated, it's rather amazing that Sims remains a topic in 2008. I wonder if he's been slippin' some "Slo-" into other tackles' "MoJo" before practice... hmmm... Slo-Mo-Jo....

11:01 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Mark Jackson, added...

It's also worthy of pointing out that "defacto GM" Mark Jackson was hired by Kiffin, not Al Davis.

I'd also point out that there was considerable change, this season, on the offensive side of the ball. When Kiffin says that the thinking was that the defense was solid and that figuring out how to run the ball on offense would bring about a great deal of change, one has to believe that Kiffin had no problem with retaining Ryan and the rest of the defensive staff.

It could be that Kiffin still has no problem with Ryan, but he's developed a problem with many of the defensive players.

This is something we're not going to know until March (unless there is a staff change before that).

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

RT, good to have ya back, firing away on all cylinders.
I agree with Blanda's earlier take that any decision is awaiting from watching film in the filmroom, making evaluations, and implementing changes. If Ryan goes, I think we look to Jacksonville (Mark Duffner or Ray Hamilton), USC (Ken Norton Jr), or Tampa (Raheem Morris) for his replacement. You know if they let Ryan go (who I think should stay), my choice would be Ken Norton Jr.
We do need a different defensive scheme. It's called a man zone, read-n-react. It allows the corners to man up to the WRs, and the rest of the defense to make in play adjustments to how the play unfolds, including zone blitzing.
raider00, not every playoff team is running the cover-2. Indy does, and so did Tampa. New England, San Diego, Jacksonville, New York, and Green Bay run a similar defense I described above.
If there is one thing for sure, the Special Teams coach Brian Schneider should go. I called around and checked my sources on that, and they all agree. Ed Hokuli's on his way to Austin, so I can feel his muscles for that "reported story."

11:40 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Interesting what you say, Nate. My recollection is a man/zone, read & react is what Bresnahan used to run. He ran it all the way through Callahan's 4-12 disaster. We had the personnel to make Bresnahan's theories work up until that year, then we had a complete fall-off of personnel, and Ryan attempted the 3-4 the following year.

Funny thing is, I now think we have the personnel for Bresnahan's defense. So you might be right.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

Hey H, you're absolutely right about the 3-4 being the base defense in the early 80's (over 20 years ago, mind you)!

Having said that, Davis has stated very clearly on a number of occasions that he is directly involved in the defense. He even joked at one of the (many) "introducing the new coach" press conferences about a comment Bill Belichick made to him. When Davis interviewed Belichick for the head coaching position in 1998 Belichick asked "what do you need me for"? It's no secret in the NFL that the Raiders defensive coordinator does things Al's way, period.

As for Ryan's installation of the 3-4 in 2004, I'm sure that was done with Al's approval. But he failed to recognize that we didn't have the personnel for it, and switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 would have required patience. As Al has none, he pulled the plug and it's back to his way.

I don't want this argument to be about the merits of the 3-4 vs. the 4-3. It's really about Al not giving coaches the latitude to do their jobs. Giving a guy one year to install his system then pulling the plug when you don't immediately go from the outhouse to the penthouse is counterproductive. That's how you become the worst team in football for five years running.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The elephant in the room is Al Davis, let's not pretend otherwise.

To suggest that the Raiders don't have weird ways of doing things is just wishful thinking.

In fact, we all love the weirdness...when it works. That's what's always separated the Raiders from the rest of the NFL.

But after 19 wins over five seasons, you've got to take a hard look at the weirdness, do we not?

Weird is great when you're Angelina Jolie. Not so great when you're Courtney Love.

I've always said you can't blame Al Davis for the bad years and deny him credit for the good ones. I've given him as much credit as anybody. But it cuts both ways.

Let's not act like 19 wins in five seasons is remotely acceptable. It's not. It's an EPIC confluence of bad decisions. Period. In any organization, it all starts at the top. If I hire awful people who make bad decisions, or re-sign awful players who can't hack it, that's on me.

That's why Robert Kraft gets credit for building a winner and Bill Bidwill doesn't, regardless of how personally involved they are in the day-to-day operations. Sometimes not being involved is is the best decision of all.

What do the four teams playing this weekend have in common? Strong, visible GMs. Not guys with mysterious titles, undocumented responsibilities and unconfirmed authority.

Either Al Davis has an active hand in the staffing, signing, draft and operations or he doesn't. If he doesn't, then we must conclude that Mark Jackson and Lane Kiffin are the ones really steering the ship these days. Do you believe it's the latter or the former?

12:01 PM  
Anonymous H said...

As I've stated I'm no longer arguing about Al Davis. Everyone here knows my feelings.

Nate, you beat me to it. I was going to say GB doesn't run a prue Tampa-2. They do a lot of man on both sides of the field. That's why they wanted Woodson.

If the Patsies make it to the Super Bowl and the Packers make it, remember Woodson has shut Moss down in the past. I remember one of Moss' very few successes was on a push off where Woodson was flagged.

As far as any changes goes with staff, personnel or players, nothing will happen for at least a week or two.

Senior Bowl practice starts Monday and Kiffin and Ryan are both in Mobile getting ready.

This gives us plenty of time to beat our heads against the wall while the media makes up more crap and rumors about what is going on during Senior Bowl week.

I still have a few friends down there, maybe I should call around and see what I can dig up.

H

12:37 PM  
Anonymous 0utlaw said...

Welcome back RT, I don't post often, however I still check the site daily for updates. Though the season turned out the way I expected it was still a rather bleak one at that anyway glad to have you return now I have your blogs here to share in my frustrations and provide insight.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow.
I bet nobody ever thought we might end up rooting for C-Wood again after he drained the coffers during his injury plagued season then bolted town.

And you KNOW he's got feelings for the patsies. I used to have that picture and the page from the rule book with the tuck rule circled hanging on my office wall.

The rule clearly states "while trying to tuck the ball". The video clearly shows he had it 'tucked' as much as you can 'tuck' a ball that you are holding at shoulder level.

Sorry to bring THAT part of the past up guys. I get pretty wound up when I think about it.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda, david explains my thoughts on your reply.

take, its obviously the former.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Take,
You're right on again with your assessments of Al. Either he gets both good/bad credit, or none at all.
But here is something that we may be missing as well. Al has had his "appearances" in the media the past few years, as he says, "to show you guys I'm still alive and in good health." What is also relevent is the fact that he is the figure missing from day-to-day at the Alameda facilities.
Maybe, just maybe, he is letting his son run things for awhile with his hand loosely on the leash; and that is why things have been array the past few years. Just a theory.
I also loved the blast of "Weird is great when you're Angelina Jolie. Not so great when you're Courtney Love." That was EPIC!
Scrambled eggs anyone?

1:56 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I, like H, have previously stated that I'm done arguing about Al Davis. I haven't been very good at that promise, but I intend to do better. There is one point RT is trying to make that I'd like to answer first.

I think the difference between me and most others is that I never gave Al credit for EVERYTHING, even in their best years. I disagreed that John Madden was just Al's puppet. Ditto Tom Flores and every other Raider HC. I acknowledged the contributions of people like Al LoCasale, Bruce Allen, Ron Wolfe, and now Mark Jackson.

So you'd be right, Take, if your straw-man had ever actually met the Wizard of Oz. For me, he hasn't. I don't have to put all of the blame on Al because I never gave him all of the credit.

I view my position here as one who never gave Al all of the credit, arguing with those who think he deserves all of the blame. While there may be those who thinks Al only deserves all of the credit, I've never met any of them.

As far as those teams remaining in the playoffs, it is obvious that they are doing thing right - at the moment - or is it your belief that those teams will be in the playoffs through perpetuity? Is it your belief that we will only get to the playoffs when we significantly mimic the teams that are currently there? Is it your position, Take, that no team currently in the playoffs has had a bad stretch of years?

Yes, it is true that when a team fall on some hard times, everyone in the organization during that bad stretch can take some of the blame. But I keep only hearing one name called out.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

RT-

Angelina Jolie...
Courtney Love...
That was classic.

Aren't you glad you are back?
This is a great discussion. Reminds you of your golf game abit?

;-)

2:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, and trust me on this... I got every bit as argumentative back in the day when people refused to give Madden credit, Flores credit, and even Gruden credit.

Would you say that every Raider team, through the years, has had the same personality under each HC?

2:15 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

The biggest free agent will be a certain receiver from New England with ties to Oakland.

But don’t look for Randy Moss to be back.

--Jason Jones

OH MY GOSH!

i'll bet in al's little world, he'll probably make a move for moss! after all, he didn't want to let go of moss anyway. but who's gonna coach him? kiffin got rid of him and if al brings him back, kiffin'll prol say enough is enough and move on!

2:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Thanks, Scorpio, for making my point.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

it was a JOKE blanda! hellllo?

2:27 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

With big titles (such as owner or CEO) come big responsibilities and big rewards.

When an organization or company sucks for an extended period, it's not entirely the CEO's fault, but the CEO still gets axed, because it happened under his or her watch.

Similarly, when an organization or company excels, there are all sorts of managers and employees who helped make it happen, but it's the CEO who walks home with the $20 million in stock options and bonuses.

There's much more to Apple Computer than Steve Jobs. But who is most responsible for Apple's recent success? And if Apple suddenly starts putting out crappy products, who will deserve the most heat?

It's not a matter of taking all of the credit or all of the blame for good or bad years. It's just accepting the responsibility and accountability, and the glory or infamy, that comes with the executive territory.

This is just a fact of business life. Sustained success and sustained failure don't exist in a vacuum.

2:34 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

So it is your prediction then, that Apple will win the Super Bowl this year?

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
RT great points all day long (madstork 83, kudos as well). But you'll never convince H or Blanda that anything is wrong with having a "GM for life".
And we probably have a new problem now as the playoffs are winding down: With C-wood doing reasonably well in GB and Moss lighting it up in New England and Norv making it as far as he has... Al is likley to get even more stubborn and controlling, believing that all those successes could have been in Oakland had people just listened to him better and/or been able to successfully implement those pieces in Oakland... pieces he so cleverly provided. Once again it'll be everyone else's fault and Al will retreat deeper into his own thoughts that his ideas are best, and less influence from others is the way to go.
We can only hope not.
If Kiffin is allowed to bring in a new DC and you can clearly tell is his own choice, then I'll gve Al credit for bending. Or if we start making some moves for some blue-collar, tough front seven players on D (and not track star DB's), then I'll think Al is bending.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

And no, I don't think that just because the four teams playing this week have defined GMs means that these teams will excel in perpetuity.

I do believe it means, however, that they'll never win a mere 19 games total over the course of five consecutive seasons.

Every team eventually encounters bad times and off years, but a half decade without reaching the six-win mark? That's a remarkable accomplishment in this age of parity.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, I think that the iPods will crush the Zunes to become Super Bowl Champions!

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Moss was due to be a FA already.

So that might be a silver lining in his great success this year. One of two things will happen:

1) He will demand a lot of money from the Pats and try to squeeze out as much as he can get from his last big contract before retirement. Eventually the Pats have to lose a game or two and end their eternal locker room contemptness, which is keeping Moss happy & motivated (except when he's beating up girlfriends). Eventually they'll see adversity, which Moss will multiply by a factor of 81, lose a step or two, and basically be a waste of space with a huge contract.

2) The exact same thing as scenerio #1, except Moss will be on a different team. This would leave Brady less effective. Not to mention their aging D will decline. They'll fall about as hard as we did when we lost our many great veterans after the Super Bowl. Yeah, they'll have Brady for a while but so what. The Bengals have Palmer too.

Psycho

4:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

You see, this is the problem I'm having. Several times today I've mentioned Al LoCasale, Ron Wolfe, Bruce Allen, Mike Lombardi, and Mark Jackson. All have been referred to as the "defacto GM." Al has had one of these guys in most years he's operated.

Is it your problem that none of these guys ever got the official title of GM? Do you think that the Raiders would be better if those guys were given the official title?

As I see it, as long as Al Davis is alive and he still has an office at Raider HQ, it doesn't matter what title these guys hold because Al controls everything! Most don't seem to want to acknowledge that these guys even exist.

LoCosale was brought in when Davis became managing partner; Wolfe came in when Flores took over as HC. Allen came to the Raiders when Gruden became HC, then Lombardi took over for Allen when Gruden went to TB and took Allen with him. Kiffin, himself, brought in Mark Jackson. My feeling as to why each of these guys was brought in was to assist the HC with finding the kind of personnel the HC felt he needed.

I know such suggestions are considered sacrilege to all who want to blame Al for whatever they think he's guilty of. It just doesn't seem to occur to anybody that there were a few years between Wolfe and Allen (around the time the Raiders moved back to Oakland and they weren't very good); and that of the last five year stretch, in four of those years we had Lombardi (and neither Turner, Shell, nor Kiffin cared much for him). Lombardi left for Denver and Denver slipped below expectations, while we brought in Kiffin and Jackson and have showed signs of coming back.

I'm not trying to bother anybody with EVIDENCE here. But it does seem to me that there are several here who will only be happy when Al Davis dies.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Raider Nate.. are you trying to give the IAAFers heart attacks?

If SOA (Son of Al) is actually the one calling all of the shots the past few years, not only does it suck for them to no longer blame it all on Al, it would mean that they would have to pine for him after he croaks because his son is someone they consider an IMBECILE!!!

HILARIOUS!!!

PS Welcome back RT!

5:55 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

raidernate 75,

thanks for the info on the playoff teams D. it all looked like cover 2to me, but hey, whatever it is, it's working, it's aggressive, it's very unraider like.

if ryan is coming back, and it looks at this point, like he is, the raiders D must change.

we can't have light weight DT's. we can't have DE's that rush up the field, even on running plays, and are fooled by every misdirection play known to man.

we can't have LB's that wait for the play to come to them. they must attack.
i ask every one to go back and look at old raider highlights. you will see hendricks, martin, nelson, millen, and others, practically living in the opponents backfield.
it's called blitzing, attacking, and winning.
why have the raiders forgotten how it's done ??

finally we must mixed our coverages in the secondary. use man, some zone, cover 2, whatever else to confuse the opponent.
anything is better then doing the same thing all the time...and failing.

but change is change. there's no substitute for change. if ryan returns, it'll probably be more of the same, sorry, crap, and that's too bad.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama, this is not an argument, this is a request. There are enough post from Blanda and I over the last year. Please go and find the ones where we have said nothing is his fault and he deserves all the credit.

Because that is what you are insinuating in your post concerning Blanda and I. Now for a question. If we say you are saying everything a Al's fault, would that be correct?

If you can't find the former and the answer to the latter is yes the only remaining question is who is looking at the situation with blinders on?

H

6:24 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Speaking of evidence, is anyone actually responsible for the chain of events and decisions that has resulted in 19 wins over five seasons, which ranks among the worst five-season streaks in the modern era of of the NFL, or did this just happen in a vacuum?

Let me put this in perspective. The expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, considered one of the sorriest teams in the modern era, won 22 games in their first five years, inclusive of a 0-14 record in their first year.

Go look at the records of the Cardinals and Lions over the past 30 years. Neither have had less than 20 wins over a five year period.

It's not about the draft, the GM position, the quarterback position or any one thing. It's about all of these things.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

As far as the 19 wins in 5 years... I don't try and dwell on it much. Why?

For one thing... a lot of those losses are due to our MVP QB BREAKING HIS NECK and there wasn't anyone to replace him worth a shit. If we coulda got a few more years out of Gannon, I think we would have been pretty good 4-5 years ago. Secondly, I am only interested in recent history... there's lotsa teams that suck ass in the NFL (especially when they don't have a QB). I am only concerned in FIXING what is broken, not why or how it got broken.

Right now, we look on the right track. We signed a QB to fix our QB problem, and brought in a HC to fix our main coaching problem.

These are the two biggest keys in the NFL IMO. Now if Kiffin gets pissed off and leaves soon, and Russell turns out to be a bust, then I will be right there with everyone that is ready to jump off a bridge because we don't win enough games.

Until then, I remain optimistic.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

In order to fix something, it's helpful to figure out who broke it in the first place, and what they are doing DIFFERENTLY to fix it.

I just can't shrug my shoulders about a five-year performance that ranks among the worst in the modern era of the NFL. This is the RAIDERS we're talking about!!!

Our slogan isn't Blind Commitment to Optimism. It's Commitment to Excellence.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

As far a SOB, I don't think Kiffin/Al are complete morons... I'm pretty sure they see what needs to be fixed the same way we do.

I don't think it would take too much for SOB to call a few more blitzes and be more aggressive, especially if we load up the defense with some more players... maybe there simply wasn't enough communication between SOB and Kiffin, and Al simply stepped in and said that the easiest fix is still in house???

Once again... nobody knows... my guesses are just as good as the IAAFers, or most of the mediots, for that matter.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

RT... HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS ISN'T BEING DONE EXACTLY????

How do you know things are not being fixed from the top down?

Pulease. The vacation hangover has killed all your levity.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I think I need a vacation again... RT needs to change the name of this site to "Raider fans crying over spilled milk."

See ya folks!!!!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Gary, that's like asking the SFPD in 1976 if they're sure the Zodiac had stopped killing people.

Look, all I've got is the crime scene. That's the best evidence I've got about the state of the Raiders. It's up to you and Blanda to convince me that true reform is afoot.

I sure hope that things are being fixed from the top down, since it's long overdue. You don't get to this point by accident.

P.S. Don't worry, I'm levitating just fine.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The 2 biggest things that have been done to fix this mess is to hire Kiffin and draft Russell.

The leadership of the HC and the play of the QB are the central building blocks to any successful team.

Kiffin & Russell are in the position to make the biggest positive impact toward the franchise.

Of course this is contingent upon Kiffin having the necessary authority to hire/fire his staff and Russell having the necessary weapons to shine.

However this beginning phase of rebuilding will be a house of cards if Kiffin bolts after 2008.

The absolute key to making this all work is the relationship between Al and Kiffin. If the relationship is built on trust and respect the Raiders will continue to improve each season. If the relationship is based on power plays, poor communication, and an unshared vision, it is doomed to fail.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PatriotsDynasty


Welcome back RaiderTake. Glad you have come out of the woodwork in time to watch the Patriots destroy the surfer boy Chargers this Sunday at the Razor. We are going to beat them so badly, that they will limp into 2008 so beaten, bruised and demoralized that maybe the Raiders will be able to squeak out a win over them. I have already had Raider fans in my area tell me they are cheering for the Patriots this Sunday because they hate the Chargers so badly. So consider this a favor from your favorite team in the red white and blue. We are going to stomp a mudhole in those surfer boys and walk it dry. And we are going to make Norv cringe so badly that a few extra pock marks may form in that crater face of his. And if Al was smart, he would be taking notes on how a real team operates, and maybe, just maybe, he can use the blueprint to sneak out a win against the Chargers next season. But knowing Al he is too busy poring over the 40 times of the Division II CB's that just played in the East West Shrine Game!

7:28 PM  
Anonymous R2G said...

Welcome back RT!!
I think your extended silence spoke volumes. One thing I appreciate about your blog is that you consistently look for answers and accountability. The whole point about a GM/director of player personnel is that at the very least we have someone accountable for the direction of the team. Without such an authority, we're left at the end of the season with a myriad of questions and lots of speculation. Hiring Kiffin was the first step in the right direction, but do we really need to wait til March to make more moves because it's the Raider way? There's a significant difference between panic and the sense of urgency that 4-12 teams develop seeking improvement.

7:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Take- You’re obviously back, and well rested.

Blanda, IMO, the closest thing to a GM on your list was probably Bruce Allen; however, Allen was primarily a capologist for the Raiders. Al LoCasale was Davis’ confidant, and Mike Lombardi (a/k/a “The Mole”) simply inherited the position vacated by Allen when he left for Tampa. Mark Jackson has been given no significant authority (that you can be sure). At the end of the day, there has been only one GM, and his name ain’t Reggie Hammond.

Gary- I agree, Gannon breaking his neck was the start of a world of problems for us, including poor decisions regarding his replacement. KFC is the anti-Gannon, and we plucked Aaron “winless as a Raider” Brooks out of N.O.’s trash dumpster after they signed Brees, who was available for the taking. Brooks is still working on the "Randy Ratio." Confirmed sources tell me Brooks emails Tuck Brady twice a day with suggestions.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

is anyone here an espn insider? i was wondering what todd mcshay said in his article today re: the draft....

8:54 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Take,

"It's not about the draft, the GM position, the quarterback position or any one thing. It's about all of these things."

That's my point exactly. It's all of those things. It's not a single individual or a single entity. Someone must make the ultimate decision and give approval and therefore must bear the brunt of the responsibility, but in the end it's a group effort.

I've been on some teams that had great leadership. Even with that there were ups and downs and not every decision was the correct one. But, in the end we prevailed. The difference being we could correct the bad decisions quickly, whereas in the NFL you are stuck with those decisions for at least a year and many times more.

H

4:03 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Good points. I just think that there's a philosophical divide here in the perception of the magnitude of the issue to date. In my mind, this isn't just a little downturn or drought or run of bad luck, it's a scandal.

You don't get here by accident. It's never any one thing, but there's no good reason it should be so many things.

Look at what I said earlier about the first five expansion years of the Buccaneers, and the last 30 years of the Lions and Cardinals, widely considered the lowliest teams in the league.

The Houston Texans had an awful start as a franchise, but managed to put up 24 wins in their first five seasons.

We have managed to turn in a five-year period (19 wins) that is worse than anything those teams have managed. This is scandalous.

It would be bad enough for a franchise like the Seahawks or Panthers, but we're talking about THE RAIDERS. Commitment to Excellence. Legacy. Pride. Toughness.

It's more than an eight-hour round trip for me to attend a game. I make a lot of effort to attend as many games as I can, and I am a season ticket holder. For the past FIVE YEARS, competitive football has been mostly absent from my Coliseum experience. This is scandalous.

Even the Niners got their fans seven wins last year, and they are run by the most incompetent owners in the league. The Falcons had the most cursed season in the NFL and managed to match our win total this year. As Kiffin said, it's not okay. It's really not okay.

I will start having more positive things to say when the evidence suggests that things are, in Gary's words, being fixed "from the top down." Right now, we only have conjecture that this is happening.

When you have a scandal, people freak out. That's just human nature. When Britney Spears shaved her head, that was like a 5-11 season, and you figured, well, she'll get back on a treadmill and put out an album. Now she's running around with split-personality disorder and being wheeled out of her house on a flatboard to talk to Dr. Phil, which is like 19 wins over five seasons. And people are freaking out. That's the difference between a bad run and a scandal.

But I understand that there are many folks here who can stare down 19 wins in five seasons and conclude that it's just not that big of a deal, and that all of the right steps are being taken to undo it, and that the fans' job is not to investigate the crime scene to identify and discuss the issues behind it, but rather to just hope that it will all get better soon.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.realfootball365
.com/nfl/articles/21005.html

I sense a pang of regret by Anthony Carroll for bashing Al over the whole SOB thing. Some of you might remember how he went nutts the other day and basically recycled all of the rumors into one big blog and assumed it was all true.

Now AC's showing some love for Al. He's giving Al credit for dropping Moss and getting SOMETHING for him. And he's right. Not that Al is perfect, so don't go putting words in my mouth over it. Go Chargers.

Psycho

7:00 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, it's not up to me to convince you of anything. You're a big boy, make up your own mind.

It's also not up to me to knock down your straw man arguments. Calico does a nice job of coming in on a nightly basis and laying down some clear thinking. Generally, with some slight variations, I echo his views.

If 19 wins over the last five seasons is all of you've got, it ain't much. Now your down to nitpicking on a couple of more wins here and there by other teams with bad stretches.

Have you really decided that since we only got 4 wins this season nothing has changed? In Dick Noland's final year with the 9ers he had a 2-14 record. He was replaced by Bill Walsh who proceeded to earn a... 2-14 record. By your current standards, that means that the 9ers, that year, did nothing to correct their problems. Don't accuse me of using past history, because that's the standard you're using for the Raiders right now.

How about the Cowboys. Landry gets fired after a 3-13 season, and Jimmy Johnson is hired, taking the Cowboys to a... 1-15 season. Obviously the Cowboys just made things worse. Right? That's your standard, not mine.

I've been asked what is the consistency over losing periods for the Raiders. I've been told that my answer must be "Al Davis." I've shown where the consistency has been for our losing periods, but that's been ignored because my answer wasn't "Al Davis."

I've been told how important it is that the Raiders have a GM or at least somebody that fills that function. I've pointed out that they have, but that gets ignored.

I've pointed out that if you are going to say that Al is literally responsible for EVERYTHING then all of your Raider heroes have accomplished NOTHING. Many folks seem to at least understand that much, so they've decided that Al is only completely responsible for the bad things.

H, do you ever get the feeling that people only read the first paragraph you write, and then argue with things you never said?

8:54 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

So 19 wins over five seasons "ain't much?"

Wow. Folks, that's the philosophical divide I'm talking about. We're just two ships passing in the night.

And now that we're on the verge of a huge turnaround after Kiffin's first season, in the vein of Walsh and Johnson, who do you suppose is going to snap the ball, catch the ball downfield, block Russell's blind side, stop the run and cover deep opposite Nnamdi?

And show me where I've said that Al Davis is responsible for everything, and I'll acknowledge that you're not using false arguments.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Scorpio-

I hope no one answers yes to your question.

Check Worldwide Fans in Black. Someone usually posts insider stuff...

9:12 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, you can repeat the number 19 for the next twenty years and it won't make it more significant. Check out my last paragraph on me previous post, to H.

Around April thru September last season you were leading the pack, talking about all of the changes the Raiders seemed to be making. Since the Raiders had 4 wins this season, apparently you've decided that the Raiders actually made no changes last off season. And even though Kiffin has said there will be significant changes this off season, since they haven't announced any yet you've decided that everything will be the same again this season. If I call that negativity, you'll tell me I have blinders on.

You'll tell me how much Steve Jobs does for Apple, then tell me that's why NE will go to the Super Bowl. If your problem is with BUSINESS OPPERATIONS, you need to be complaining about Amy Trask. The last I heard, Al runs FOOTBALL OPERATIONS, and Amy runs BUSINESS OPERATIONS.

Forgive my confusion, Take (if you actually happen to read down this far), but are you arguing that no changes are being made; no changes going to be made; all changes must be promptly reported to Raider fans; the Raiders have never had a GM; maybe my arguments could be more succinct if you actually said something besides that you're feeling doomy and gloomy because we only have NINETEEN wins over the past five seasons.

News flash!!! If we have TEN wins next season, that means we will only have TWENTY-NINE wins over six season (which is also pretty pathetic). Would we then hear you complain, over and over, about our pathetic 29 wins over 6 seasons. If not, how would you get of minimizing that?

If you're saying that the Raiders have made no changes since this time last year, we simply have nothing to discuss, because you are now denying something you acknowledged 8 months ago.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel another arm wrestling match coming on!

Personally I'm real optimistic these days that we'll get it done. We just need to find those guys to "Snap the ball, catch the ball downfield, block Russell's blind side, stop the run and cover deep opposite Nnamdi". Hell, that's only 5 guys.

The only monkey wrench in my gears is that I hope Kiffin sticks around for a long time, to Calico's point. I can't wait for the annual "State of the Nation" press conference to see what Al is thinking about all this. We're all in the dark, but don't be scared.

Psycho

9:56 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Blanda,

My whole world if filled with folks who only read the first paragraph. I will do a two page analysis of something, as requested, then the person reading it will ask a question that is answered in the third bullet point second paragraph.

However, I do believe RT reads everything in detail. Further, I don't think he is a charter member of the IAAF crowd.

I agree with his position that 19 wins in five years is an abomination. But, I also agree we have to see what Kiffin does from here as you pointed out with Walsh and Johnson.

My problem is the hand wringing and finger pointing by many in the media and on this site.

While you and I are more closely alignged, I feel RT brings much more to the table than IAAF. Plus his high level of frustration is based on his committment to us and the team and his investment in the process with this blog.

Much like Diogenes looking for an honest man, he is searching for that one morsel, that one pronouncment from Alameda that shows the ship has been righted.

I believe it will come, but sometime after the Senior Bowl. When you get an assignment like that the last thing you need to be doing is completly revamping you staff.

Take, if I incorrect on anything, feel free.

Put me with Psycho on the optimism level, but then again we both drink heavily.

H

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this conversation is getting boring...

Kiffin, Russell, Miller, Griffith/O'neal, Cable (dare I say Gallery move to guard...)

All major improvements made last year that we can all agree on - despite the record. Undoubtedly, there are more moves that need to be made to continue to improve this football team. No one really thought it would be a one year fix, did they.

Patience, my Raider siblings. If we don't see more improvements by the time we get to training camp, I think we can start to complain about the keel of our righted ship. But for now it seems that much of the complaining is based on a lack of new information....

10:08 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Correct, H, thank you.

By the way, I'm not the one using classic straw man terms such as "everything" and "no changes."

I end a lot of my comments with questions. These questions, I notice, are rarely directly answered.

Talk about not reading until the last paragraph.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Take, you are quite welcome.

Blanda, I still got your back. By the way, for a California Burgundy what would you recommend. I'm more of a beer guy, but I've experimented with some red wines lately.

Sorry, that had nothing to do with the Raiders, but I'm trying to expand my horizons (I can't believe I said that).

I have a friend who is fairly well known in the Mobile area. I'll see if he can call around and find out what's happening at the North Squad practice facility.

H

10:59 AM  
Anonymous H said...

The latest mock drafts have us taking Darren McFadden, Glen Dorsey, Chris Long and Shaun Ellis.

If they're all right we will be in great shape next season.

H

11:09 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

You usually can't go wrong with Pinot Noirs from the Russian River Valley or Santa Barbara County.

11:10 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, if I've been unfairly picking on you, my apologies. With all the bitching about Al, I'm developing a "slowly I turned" syndrome.

As for the needed players you mention, during your "vacation" we covered a lot of that ground. However, thinking personnel changes are going to be made in January is a little premature, don't you think? This is, after all, that time of year where we are only looking around to see what is available to us.

My picks for priorities, as stated many times, are DL, WR, and LOT. I would, in fact, much rather discuss these things than whether Al is the anti-Christ or what went wrong 2004.

H, go on line and look for a website for Prager Vineyard. They don't sell anything in stores, you can only buy from the vineyard or order on line. The folks at Prager make a Cabernet which, after a couple of sips, will make all your stress drift away. They make a Chardonnay that is as rich as sipping brandy. They also make one of the finest Ports in the world, but that's more of an acquired taste (plus the best ones tend to be really expensive).

11:25 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Pino Noirs can be a bit dicey to choose. The problem is that every one is almost completely different. It is the grape that is the most responsive to the environment, so one from the southern wine country will be completely different from the ones in northern wine country. It also might be a touch delicate in taste for a beer connoisseur. I'd start with the Cabernet and the Chardonnay.

11:30 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Crap, now we sound like a bunch of 49er fans.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Got it. It's good to be back, knocking heads.

It's not that I expect that personnel changes will be made in January, it's the fact that we're still facing so many personnel issues in January of 2008. That's what has me concerned about this team's ability to turn things around in a timely manner.

Four to five to four to two to four to...say, six wins in 2008 is not a timely manner in today's NFL. This organization has had plenty of time to figure out how to field an 8-8 team.

We need eight wins, and I want to see what we're going to do about getting to eight wins, and I'm concerned that Rob Ryan might not be the man to lead an eight-win defensive performance in 2008. Call me crazy.

As for things not happening "overnight" and having "patience," I would submit that there's nothing "overnight" about a half decade, and that patience, unlike competitive, has hardly been in short supply in the Raider Nation over the past five years.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Thanks, I'll check into them.

H

11:37 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I was just going off of H's stated interest in "Burgundy," which is what the French call Pinot Noir. I, too, prefer Cabernet, or a big mountain-grown Zinfandel. Don't worry, Niner fans talk about Pinot Grigio and Riesling, not mountain Zins and Cabernets.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous H said...

The biggest recent turn around that STAYED is the Colts. Mannings first year was 3-13. The next year is 13-3, and they've been at a high level since. So it is possible.

The others, e.g. Saints, have basically been one year wonders.

As for the off season, we are currentyl projected to be 26 million under the cap. I don't know if that includeds jettisoning Jordon and Sims. But if it doesn't we are looking at an excess of 30 million. It will be one of the best figures we have had in a while going into the free agency period.

Thinking back,that could have been one of the reasons for our relavively low activity the last few years. I wonder how much of that amount was tied up in dead money that had to be cleared. Anyone have any knowledge about that?

I do know there has bee a lot of criticism about our FA acquisitions or lack thereof.

Who's the resident capologist here?

Now, lets put that red wine interest in real man perspective that whiner fans wouldn't understand. Gotta keep that prostate happy so I can keep the little woman happy.

H

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
H, you said: "However, I do believe RT reads everything in detail. Further, I don't think he is a charter member of the IAAF crowd."
You're surley correct there... as I haven't seen RT at our meetings and we're pretty strict about attendance and dues over at the IAAF. Perhaps RT's a member of our sister organization: PIAAF? 'Perhaps it's...' or maybe he's a member of another aligned group: PSOIIAF.. 'perhaps some of it is...'
One thing's for sure, he's not a member of the one you and Blanda belong to, the dreadfully blind, TRAAAWWHEIHLCIPREF:

"the raiders are Al, and we worship him even if he loses continually in post Reagan era football".

12:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Pinot Grigio, Rieslings.... Blehh!

Stay away from such things, H. While the Grigio tends to be dry (just tasteless), the Rieslings are sickeningly sweet. Sweet wines are for people who don't like wine, like lattes are for people who don't like coffee.

Take, I'm pretty certain that Lombardi had a lot to do with four years prior to Kiffin. Why do I say this.

Well, for those who think Al chooses everyone for the organization, don't forget that it has been confirmed that Al Davis, wanting to rehire Shell, allowed Lombardi to extend an offer to Patrino, because that's who Lombardi felt Al should hire. If Lombardi was given authority to hire a coach, he was certainly given the authority to get players.

Also, if you track the personnel acquisitions during LoCosale, Wolfe, Allen, Lombardi and Jackson, you can very clearly see the changes of philosophy in acquisitions. I would never argue that Al doesn't make certain picks, but I think Al primarily involves himself with the high profile acquisitions. This is part of Al's goal to insure that the vast majority of legends have at some point worn the S&B.

There is no question in my mind that Al brought in Moss (which I've criticised). There's also no doubt in my mind that Lombardi and/or Turner acquired KFC.

12:13 PM  
Blogger RaiderCat said...

H~
If you're ever in the Napa Valley, I suggest a check into the Neiman-Coppola winery. It's Francis Ford Coppola's co-venture which took over the Inglenook vineyards.

Their Director's Reserve Cabernet has the "buttery" flavor that you may have only heard about - as a Heineken cat, it's the one that I would always choose were it available everywhere, FWIW. It used to cost $25-30.

BTW - pardon my ignorance, but WTF is IAAF? If mentioned b4, it must have missed my eye.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous H said...

I liked Regan. Great guy. Played college football I believe.

H

12:15 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm not quite certain why people say that coaches don't want to be the HC for the Raiders. It seems to me like the perfect gig.

If you win, you are a man among men, and Al Davis is your bitch. If you lose, it's all Al's fault.

12:21 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, problem with Reagan is that he had trouble remembering if he did something in real life or in a movie. He wasn't a college football player. He played one in the "Knute Rockney Story."

12:26 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Blanda,

Pinot Grigio, Rieslings.... Blehh!

I'm with you there. It's like drinking a fruit beer or a beer you can see through. Real men don't do that kind of stuff. Gotta have taste and substance to it.

I agree with you on Lombardi. Which is probably why he was unceremoniously kicked to the curb last year. I don't think he understood the cap as much as he thought he did, which goes to my previous post.

Preemptive strike. Yes, he was an Al hire. He was also an Al fire. Not arguing, just stating.

H

12:26 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Raidercat,

If things go right I will be coming to Valhalla sometime in the next year or two for a home game. So I may get a chance to check that out.

H

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

no no blanda,
reagan was a football player, the iran-contra hearing was a movie. right?
just kidding.

the only kind of wine i've ever tried was an inglenook and silver oak cabernet sauvignon, and a silver oak trophy red. needless to say, i don't care too much for wine.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recommend a bottle of Thunderbird mixed with Cool Aid. Or maybe a 40oz of O.E. It's exquisite!

No but seriously. I just made a deal with my wife to start drinking wine instead of beer, for "supplemental value". So that's good stuff, thanks for the info.

Psycho

12:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Psycho, I think it's Ripple or Night Train for you.

Of course, if we're talking about what to order at Amy Trask's Saloon (the one with the swinging doors named Sims and Gallery), it's always either "whiskey," "Red Eye," or "Rye."

12:53 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And, of course, when the Raideretts are dancing, Amy will break out the "bubbly" to enhance the festive experience.

We're told that the "bubbly" is Champaigne imported all the way from France, but no one seems to be sure of that.

12:56 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Anyway, Psycho, buy several different brands of "Box-O-Wine," you'll find one you like. Smell the twist-off cap before pouring to make sure it hasn't "turned."

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, I must've got one that "turned" because I can barely choke it down. Tastes like horse piss to me and I usually like wine. It's something from the desert which might explain it.

Psycho

1:10 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Yeah. In the States it's always better to stick with the wineries from Napa Valley rather than from Death Valley. Less buzzard crap in the soil, I guess.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I think it's pretty safe to say the "I'm still in" chants from earlier have mostly become "what have you done for me lately".

A reminder:

Since the agreed-to AFL-NFL merger in 1966, The Oakland Raiders have
played in the most Championship games of any AFC team, and second-most of
any team in the NFL, with 14 appearances over five decades.

The Raiders are the only American Football Conference team and one of just
three NFL teams - along with Minnesota and St. Louis - to play in
Championship games in each of the last five decades.

The Raiders are the only NFL team to have played in Super Bowls in four
different decades - the 1960s (Super Bowl II), the 1970s (Super Bowl XI),
the 1980s (Super Bowls XV and XVIII) and the 2000s (Super Bowl XXXVII).

In their five Super Bowls, the Raiders have had four different head
coaches and four different starting quarterbacks.

The Raiders are one of only eight NFL teams and one of five in the AFC to
make at least five Super Bowl appearances.

The Raiders are one of only seven NFL teams to capture at least three
World Championships of Professional Football with victories in Super Bowls
XI, XV and XVIII.

The Raiders are the only AFC West team to qualify for the playoffs in each
of the past five decades.

The Raiders are the last AFC West team to capture the division three years
in a row (2000,2001, 2002).

http://www.raiders.com/Common/
Article.aspx?id=38050

...end quote.....


And THAT my friends, is why Al Davis still garners my respect and loyalty.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Good post Gary, another historian we can count on.

Hey guys, your're forgetting about MD 20-20. Headache guaranteed within five minutes of the first swallow. But, the price is right.

H

3:05 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Gary, apparently 19 wins over the last five years has wiped all of that away so it doesn't count anymore. And don't tell me they are coming back - they only had 4 wins this year.

It's just like since NE has been successful for the past five years, their previous 40 years of futility don't mean anything either. NE is now the greatest football organization in NFL history.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Having a great history and legacy and slogans like Commitment to Excellence doesn't make it okay to post the worst five-year run in the modern era of the NFL. In fact, it makes it less okay.

You guys are acting like you're from Detroit or something. Where are your standards? Where is your outrage? Do you really think that Kiffin's "whole building" comment was just a slip of the tongue?

I've told you what my limit is: 19 wins in five years. That's the point where I'm totally outraged.

So I'll put a question to you (those that have read this far): how many more consecutive years of sub .500 football from this point forward would it take for you to summon some outrage? Seriously. I want to know.

If you're going to preach patience to me, then you should be ready to commit to an expiration date on your own patience.

3:47 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, I think what surprises us is that from all your talk of how things have been changing in the "whole building," in Kiffin's post 4-12 season you're talking like absolutely no changes have been made. I don't think that perspective is quite accurate.

Nobody around here is saying that 19 wins over five years is hunky-dorie. The difference seems to be that a 4-12 season, for us, hasn't wiped last year's off season away. It has merely alerted us to the fact that the previous 4 years were probably worse than we thought. And with all the changes since January 2007, we are more confident than you that the team is heading back on track.

We don't object to complaining about 19 wins over the last five seasons, we object to the pessimism that since we've only had 19 wins in the past five years that we're doomed to another five years of futility all because Al Davis hasn't announced that he's selling the team.

In short, we've put 2003-2006 behind us. We are disappointed that we didn't do better this year, but we feel we've put the right foot forward to improve on that mightily. I haven't seen all of the mistakes (and looking back they are easy to recognize) we made from 2003-2006 repeated this year. Instead, I've seen a legitimate effort to rectify them.

No, not all of them have yet to be addressed, but I'm also confident that they will.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

True, but we could have, and should have, put up more wins in 2007 than we did. Kiffin will tell you that.

Will the organization underperform for a sixth straight year? It depends on the state of "the whole building." You are convinced that we are finally prepared to maximize our potential. I am waiting for further notice.

I've always said that the worse things get and the longer they go on, the slimmer the margin for error. The Patriots can afford to make a few mistakes (not that they're prone to mistakes), but we can't. No more ditching the first pick in the third round. No more extended holdouts by saviors. No more whiffing on DBs. No more not getting enough from your top pick in the 2006 draft. No more "life in the big city." No more $5 million worth of running backs on the bench. It's game on. We need to be damn near perfect with our drafts, signings, coaching hires (or fires), etc. Sort of like the Packers have done over the past few years.

None of what I just mentioned has anything to do with 2003 or Rich Gannon or Kerry Collins.

So back to my question, which I'm surprised you didn't answer: how many more consecutive years of sub .500 football from this point forward would it take for you to summon some outrage? Seriously. I want to know.

4:39 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Take- I think what is being asked by some is that you give the Raiders a free pass on four of the last five years, and accept that we are NOW pointed in the right direction. Can you do that with a clear conscience?

Personally, I’m very optimistic and I truly feel we are pointed in the right direction, as long as Kiffin is on board and in charge. I am confident that Kiffin can field a winning team, if not next year, by the year after.

I just can’t get over the stalled notion that we could have retooled a 4-12 team. Perennial 4-12 teams don’t “retool,” they rebuild. That way, the can avoid being perennial 4-12 teams.

NY Finger Lakes have some nice wines, too. I won’t become a Bills fan for saying that will I?

5:01 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Granted, we should have put up more wins. I don't need to hear it from Kiffin, I've said it myself. What do you identify as the reason we didn't? I believe that Kiffin said it right when he said that we all expected the defense to be better (as they were pretty damn good in 2006).

I also to think the team (as constructed) under performed the previous four years. I think the personnel was that bad. I'm not sure we have enough potential right now to maximize.

You haven't answered my central question as to why you no longer recognize that changes are being made. NOBODY is arguing everything has been fixed. I think, at least as far as H, Gary, and myself are concerned we feel there is a long, long way to go, but we are getting off on the right foot. What is it specifically that you're waiting to hear that will make everything better. Will only an 8-8 or better season do that?

I didn't answer your question because it simply has no meaning to me. It has no meaning because the answer is that there is no specific number of wins I'm concerned about. I'm not going to get excited when we're 8-8. I'm not going to get excited at 9-7 unless that puts us in the playoffs.

When I'm convinced the Raiders are going nowhere, and not attempting to extricate themselves from non-playoff seasons, I'll be mightily pissed. I'm certainly not going get all huffy when I don't see changes being made in a month where nothing happens anyway but the playoffs.

This is the period where Kiffin "evaluates." I say, "let him evaluate." Isn't that why he got hired? This isn't really the time to panic, is it? Or are you just practicing "preemptive panic."

"I thought they were going to screw it up, so I got hysterical!!"
Let's wait until they actually do something before we get outraged.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take,

Personally I try not to dwell on the overall lack of success over the last 5 years. And seeing things finally improve this year makes it a hell of a lot easier for me to do that. Just for the simple fact that we have a solid man commanding the field makes me sleep easier. Not to mention the growing number of talented young players who are slowly but surely filling those holes left by past greats.

At this particular time I do not feel any need for "outrage". I think I used up all I had during the Shell year. As far as I can tell we are as "committed" as ever to winning, and we finally have some ingredients in place to really build on.

I realize you can't change or ignore the past. But if you single out the 2007 season for what it is, the Kiffin area, you'll see a very bright future regardless of whatever political BS comes from upstairs during this time. Things won't go perfectly smooth, and lord knows they haven't in the past. Put I still have full faith in the direction of the team, assuming Kiffin is in the long-term plans.

If that didn't make sense. Sorry, I took Blanda up on one of his wine suggestions beginning a few hours ago. :)

PS: The Rams owner died, Gloria something. Nice lady.

Psycho

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take,
Good points, especially "life in the big city". But the truth is we don't know what's behind the SOB thing and we don't know that he'll be here the the Raiders land another guy on their radar.

I second your frustration for the "performance" over the years, but at the same time I still feel a sense of rejouvination and direction. Let's just hope Kiffin keeps chipping away at it.

Psycho

5:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Georgia Frontiere. I saw that. Now, she could never be accused of being a meddlesome owner. Doh! Sorry, I don't know where that came from.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take,

Sorry, I must be one of those 1st paragraph readers. :)

I will answer your question. I will tolerate one more sub .500 season. A new coach inheriting a horrible team deserves THAT much. If I had patience I'd give him 3, but I've run out.

Psycho

5:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Holly crap! Is that it? All this time I've felt like I'm being accused of setting the bar too low for the Raiders. It appears that I've simply been setting it higher than others.

Here's a clue as to how I feel about it. Win totals over a season don't mean a damn thing unless you make the playoffs. Winning isn't the only thing. Winning is nothing. Championships are the only thing. My goal is to have more Lombardis (and not the Mike kind) than everyone else.

To me there is little difference between a 1-15 season and a 10-6 season if the 10-6 season didn't earn you a playoff spot. To that end, I thought Turner was a bad hire, and I said so at the time (although not at RaiderTake because I wasn't coming here yet). I almost didn't watch the Raiders at all for those two seasons because they looked about the way I thought they'd look with Turner in charge. In those years, Take, I probably easily outdid your pessimism. I was very excited about Shell coming back, and boy was I wrong about that one. But I'm not wrong about Kiffin. I still have faith. I'm still in.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that you're back, I'll let you know who will win their 4th. Lombardi Trophy....incidentally that's one more than the faidas! YES the Patriots win over green bay! The "missy kiffy" era is almost at an end half way into this season with no W's ought to put the point to big al (MR.) davis that "elaine kiffy" will not be told what to do.....just like any self respecting women "miss kiffy" will not be ordered around!!!!!! So there mr. Genius! Just grin and bear it again. your faidas are looking for another yes-woman to bring the faidas "back" to dignity! 0-16 is the goal, keep defunking the "naTION"

5:31 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

nyraider:

Georgia Frontiere not a meddlesome owner? You forget that I spent some time down in LA.

Georgia was a Vegas show girl with mafia ties who happened to marry the owner of the Rams, Carol Rosenbloom. Carol always talked about how when he died, his son would inherit the team and continue in his footsteps. Well, Carol died. He was a former Olympic swimmer who seems to have drowned next to his own lakeside dock in 2.5 feet of water.

The rumors were that ol' Georgia wanted her cut of the wealth. There was some litigation over the will and Georgia wound up with the team instead of Rosenbloom jr.

Then I watched Georgia's phase where she only wanted tall Italian stallion QBs. When questioned as to why she kept bringing in all of these washed up Italians, she proceeded to tell the world what an "expert" she was regarding football. Asked for a credential for her expertise, she simply pointed to the fact that she owned the Rams.

Well, I guess if she'd married Al she very well could be the Raider owner right now, making Scorpio and Bama7 very happy indeed.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Win totals don't mean a thing unless you make the playoffs? Huh? You don't think that Vikings and Browns fans are overjoyed to finally have a competitive product? You don't think there's a difference between shuffling out of the Coliseum after yet another loss to the Texans and flying out on cloud nine after beating the Broncos, playoff bound or not?

Holy cow! Now I'm really going to freak out.

The difference between four wins and eight wins is huge to me. That's an opportunity to see, on average, two more home victories per year.

You could have made the investment and effort to see a couple of games for each of the past five seasons and easily managed not to see a single victory, or even competitive football. That is shameful.

Thank you, Psycho, for answering my question. That must be some good wine.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good wine as in you disagree?

Psycho

5:51 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

No, you just seem chipper, it's Friday night, and you're calling Georgia by the name of Gloria, which I've been known to do after a few glasses of mountain Zinfandel. By the way, I just finished by first glass.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. Yeah looking back I seemed to have spelled some other things kinda' weird too. Good times.

But RT, don't you think this year should be a "pass" in some respects? Given our HC is a rookie who's been given a horrible situation and extremely high expectations to work with? Outside of two or three more wins, I'd call the Kiffin ERA (note area this time) a complete success to this point. Oh, and as some of you will no doubt point out, minus a couple of strange moves upsrtairs.

Psycho

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

note....lol -psycho

6:20 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Did I just stumble into 49er Take? All this talk about wine is simply unbearable.

To answer your question RT.

2007 was a disappointment in terms of wins and losses. In particular the number of 4th quarter leads blown by our D was unacceptable. A min. of 6 wins should have been mustered.

I will be disappointed if we don't win at least 8 games next year. I will be outraged with another sub .500 year.

By Year 3 of Kiffin/Russell I expect us to be a playoff caliber team.

I love the fact that Kiffin openly acknowledged the fact that the "whole building" fell short in 2007. No one will be getting a free pass in 2008 as long as Kiffin is firmly in charge.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Now that's what I'm talking about!

By next year, do you mean the 2008 season or 2009 season? I assume 2008, because you said "another sub .500 year."

I've already reached the boiling point, and I agree that six wins was not too much to ask in 2007, and I fully agree that eight wins is not too much to ask or expect in 2008.

With that as a baseline, we can all talk like adults about just exactly what needs to happen to double our win total from 2007 to 2008, starting with substantial improvements on defense.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8-8 or better is definately a target for next year. And I'd be disappointed if we did any worse. But we're talking about "outrage" here.

Are you willing to call it quits on Kiffin and the direction of this team if we go 7-9? Is that what I'm hearing?

Psycho

8:54 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Blanda - you think there is little difference between a
1-15 team and a 10-6 team that does not make the playoffs? I would take 10-6 and no playoffs anyday. Unfortunately we are not close to either. We have to back up here.

I am still looking for a plan.
For whatever reason Kiffin's first year does not seem like, (and I have to go back to the last time there was any success), chucky's first year.
Actually quite the contrary.

I think this team is farther rather than closer to getting it right. Although I think Kiffin is the right choice things like the sapp 3 penalty episode shows me we are not close.
This SOB think also seems a dark cloud.

Certainly after that second 8-8 year there was something there. How else would we have gotten Eric Turner, Eric Allen and Zack Crockett among others.

I rememeber (I was there) the first chucky game vs the chefs. They played their asses off. I told everyone to look out something good is happening. There was a change that I could not put my finger on but it was there.
I can not say the same thing now.

I am with RT. We should be incensed. The glory years are gone. The team of the decades has not shown up for HALF a decade. The hiring of art shell and the circumstances leading up to that were insulting and embarrasing as was norvells.

It happened here in Chicago. Die hard Blackhawk fans got fed up with the org., and Wirtz in particluar, and stopped showing up - for years.

When the bulls fired scott skiles, two days later a letter was sent from paxson the GM to their corporate suite holders. The letter indicated why skiles was fired and what the org. planned to do about hiring a new coach. Right or wrong they engaged their stakeholders.

IMHO the "Raider Way" is no longer effective. AD may soon find out that this situation is close to the tipping point if guys like me are fed up.

Psycho-
I would take 7-9 from Kiffin if I knew it was Kiffin calling the shots. That's all I ask.

BTW you can thank georgia frontiere for your PSLs. She was the first to implement them with $$$$$$ in her eyes, the gold digger.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If six straight years of sub .500 seasons (assuming Psycho's scenario of 7-9 in 2008) in today's parity-generous NFL doesn't inspire some sort of outrage, then I don't know what will.

This notion that the mighty Oakland Raiders are some sort of expansion franchise under Kiffin starting in 2007 is ludicrous. There's an entire organization (or disorganization) that's behind the past five years of infamy, including the underperformance under Kiffin in 2007 due to lingering and ongoing personnel decisions and non-decisions.

Kiffin's authority over the draft, free agent signings and coaching staff hirings (or firings) is unclear and unconfirmed. Why is that? The Patriots and Colts, to name two, don't have any problem telling you who's responsible for what between coach and GM. Yet we're still trying to hide the secret formula that has yielded 19 wins in five years?

Why are we so afraid of holding the organization's feet to the fire and demanding a .500 performance, as if that's some sort of remarkable achievement? And why are we so sure that Kiffin alone is responsible for our future, when no one can even tell me where his authority begins and ends?

Gruden inherited a 4-12 team, promptly doubled that win total, and never presided over a sub .500 team in Oakland.

Come on, folks. Have some standards! Commitment to Excellence. Game on. Three-point stance. What's wrong with you people!? We're giving our new coach a three-year plan to reach .500? What planet am I on?

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I think we have a variance of "give me it all now" thinking and "where will we be in two years" thinking.

I don't give a shit about short term goals and fuckups in the past. I am interested in long term goals and fixing the problems from the past.

Raider fans are ready to jump off a bridge because we only won 4 games this year, but would be happy as a lark if we won 8 games??? WTF???? Minn has the 17th? draft pick this year??? How does that help them in the future compared to the Raiders?

Spoiled brat selfish fans.... sorry... no other explanation.

The Raider stereotypes are true from reading this website... kinda makes me sick sometimes.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, we've really been "spoiled" lately with such a great product, and it's just "selfish" for us to keep renewing our season tickets and supporting the team, considering that the "long term plan" just keeps getting longer. I suppose our dreadful performance in December of 2007 is already considered "history," too. And who needs eight wins when you can get four? Jeez...Come on, folks, have some standards!

11:20 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I find it odd that those who have a problem with me rarely address any of my comments that end in a question mark.

Let's try this again:

Kiffin's authority over the draft, free agent signings and coaching staff hirings (or firings) is unclear and unconfirmed. Why is that?

On that note, why are we so sure that Kiffin alone is responsible for our future, when no one can even tell me where his authority begins and ends?

Come draft time, who makes the final call? In releasing a player, who makes the final call? In signing a player, who makes the final call?

If you don't think these questions have bearing on our near future as well as our recent past, then you need to sober up.

This isn't trigonometry. Get in your three-point stance and answer some questions. Or would you just rather bleat about me being too harsh and unreasonable?

Take me to your leader! I, too, want to live in this space alien world where win totals are insignificant and patience is terminal and faith is eternal. It sounds like a nice place. I'll bet it's all white and glowing, and that champagne flows like honey, and the women all look like Scarlett Johanssen. I'm going to board the next flying saucer. Then we will live in peace.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Sorry, a little late to the party. Since I have to leave and drive 2 hours to a meeting in about 30 minutes I only read the first paragraphs.

However, here's my standard. Super Bowl. During Gruden's term he didn't make the playoffs until the third season. He was building toward and end. That's what I see.

I wrote a piece once that got published where I was somewhat critical of everyone touting Gannon's Pro Bowl MVPs. I stated I prefered Super Bowl MVPs since that award normally went to a player on the winning team.

Our history is what makes us. How many times have you had a conversation with, say an obnoxious Eagles fan, and they talked about how great the franchise was doing. Then you counter with the words "Super Bowl XV".

We have been here before, just not at 2-14 except the very first years. Each time we have climbed out of it. The problem now is it is taking longer than usual.

Though I'm not happy with last season, I see improvment. So, I now take a wait and see position for the next move and ignore the media unitl I see definitive movement from the team.

With current activities going on like the Senior Bowl, it was the wrong time to be makeing wholesale changes in anything. Whether that be DC or any assistants. They have until March 1st to make any roster moves, so why should we be demanding them to show us their plans now.

H

5:43 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

You know, I'm not really as dire or negative as I might sound here. I'm just reacting and responding to a stream of what I consider preposterous comments. I don't just wake up in the morning and think, "I'll write a dozen comments today talking about how far the Raiders have sunk."

Look at it this way. Who sounds more like Lane "It's Not Okay" Kiffin here and who sounds more like Rob "Life in The Big City" Ryan?

I'm just sick of the excuses, enabling and mental gymnastics required to justify the situation we're in. I'm sure Kiffin is, too. Hence him calling out the "whole building."

We often wonder how professional athletes and team executives making millions of dollars can fall prey to a losing culture. Well, it's the same way we all can: it's really okay, that's life in the big city, that's the way the Raiders have always done it, we're out of the playoff hunt so why bust my ass for the home crowd now, nothing gets fixed overnight, it's a long term thing, the fans are selfish and need to lighten up, our players are great though it's really hard to tell, accountability is just negativity in disguise, blah, blah, blah.

Okey-dokey? No, not okey-dokey.

Now I hear all of these excuses about why we need to wait until 2009 to field a competitive product that can climb the Mt. Everest of a .500 record. Jeez.

We all seem to agree that the organization underperformed in 2007 under Kiffin, but how dare I try to identify the lingering reasons for this continued underperformance or mention games that happened so long ago, like December. Because, despite the team not tipping its hand or revealing anything new, we should all be convinced that the whole building has undergone reform, even though we'd hate to hold the team to expectations of a .500 record or anything wild and crazy like that.

I need to stop drinking coffee.

7:12 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I need to get me some of that mountain zin.

To me, the difference between a 4-12 team and an 8-8 or 9-7 team is HUGE! With a 4-12 team, you can pretty much pack it in after 6 or 7 games, which btw, I am very sick of doing. With an 8-8 or 9-7 team, you can at least ride the successes (and failures) of your team to the end of the season. (Ahhhh, how I long for those days).

7:57 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

BlandaRocked said...

Crap, now we sound like a bunch of 49er fans.

11:31 AM

oh but don't forget the cheese.....

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

RT, what do you think we all are, soothsayers? You are demanding we answer questions that nobody knows the answers to. Will "I don't know, nor does anyone else" do?

Part of being a Raider fan is not knowing what is going on behind the scenes. All any of us can do is hope for the best. If that isn't good enough for you, I guess you are going to be a miserable fan.

Maybe you should start writing letters to the Raider front office demanding answers?

[shrug?]

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

NYRaider... 8-8 or 9-7 makes you feel good, but in the LONG RUN is worse than 4-12. How many times did SD draft in the top 5 before they finally put a championship team together? (HINT: They were 4-12 in 2003, 1-15 in 2000, 5-11 in 1998 etc etc. and they STILL don't have a great QB!!) These things take TIME sometimes.

11:25 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Simple logic (math) tells me that 8-8 is never worse than 4-12. I certainly wouldn't want to stagnate at 8-8 or 9-7, but there was a time when those results represented our low-water mark. Apparently, times have changed, because we've sunk much lower, and for much too long.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT: You are correct about my comment "I will be disappointed if we don't win at least 8 games next year" meaning 2008.

Pyscho: Here's my reasoning why 7 and 9 in 2008 will be disappointing. I think everyone would agree that we should have won at least 2 more games last year. With 6 wins as a baseline, to win only 1 more game in 2008 wouldn't cut it. Another sub .500 season doesn't cut it.

Here is my 5 year Kiffin Plan:
Year 1: 4 and 12
Year 2: 8 and 8
Year 3: 10 and 6 (playoffs)
Year 4: 11 and 5 (AFC Champ berth)
Year 5: 13 and 3 (SB Berth)

Some might look at this plan and say "put down the crack pipe, Calico!". Fair enough but these are the standards, expectations, and hopes I have as a fan.

I personally believe that the combo of Kiffin/Russell will be the bridge to our future glory.

I also feel that 2008 is a "make or break" year for our franchise. With a successful 2008 campaign, Kiffin would be more likely to come back in 2009. He will have earned more authority and clout to make even bigger impactful changes conerning player personnel, drafts, free agents, etc.

Conversely, if 2008 is another poor season (less than .500) than all bets are off on whether Kiffin returns in 2009 which would be disasterous.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

It's gotten so bad here that people are arguing for 4-12 over 8-8. How do you correct a CULTURE OF LOSING by...losing?

Gary, please don't misunderstand me here, I would never take anything pertaining to the Raiders so seriously that it would make me miserable.

In fact, I'm quite happy now that we finally have a coach who wants to end the scholarships, and who will hold the "whole building's" feet to the fire. Unlike you.

If it were me, I'd give Kiffin the full authority to call the draft, cut players, conduct all coaching hirings and firings, the whole enchilada.

Of course, he doesn't have such full authority, so I will continue to hedge my hope until further notice. I don't like to fly blind. I've tried that for five straight seasons and it hasn't worked out too well.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
RT, I feel like you relieved me for awhile in the bunker, where I've been firing back against insanity for days/weeks(firing back against Raider fans that are quite content being, yet again, the most dysfunctional team in the league)
Let's face it, the division on this board is not about how long a team has to lose before it's time to get serious. The real division amongst us Raider fans falls along one line: Al Davis.
I think RT called him the elephant in the room. It's true. If you peel back all the clutter of failed coaches, failed player acquisitions, bizarre schemes and bizarre roster moves, etc etc, what we're all really arguing about on a daily basis is Al Davis.
You either think Al is: (1) the greatest figure in NFL history and therefore, even if he does a piss poor job for years, you give him a pass and accept the crap, or (2)you feel that Al was once great but the game has now moved past his autocratic style.
To me, our team has been a giant train wreck. You cannot, in today's football, have one guy be the owner, and the financial guy, and the personnel expert, and a scout, and the DC, and have a hand in the OC's business, have influence over the cuts, etc etc. Al is the absolute definition of micromanagement. A control freak.
Successful NFL organizations in today's NFL have owners that hire bright football minds to do all of the stuff I listed above. The owner sits back, happy that he picked talented people.
Al has, thankfully, given Kiffin a measure of control over the offense. Short of us ever getting a real GM to go along with that, we can only hope that Kiffin will be allowed to pick his own DC... and that DC will be a strong personality that ignores Al's meddling. At least then we'd have a chance.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought of scenario #5.

Kiff, SOB and Al are all on the same page. We addressed the major offensive issues this year. Sure were're not done on O, but we've made major strides. Did the JRuss holdout hurt us? Probably, but it's over.
All three agree this year we need to address the major D personell issues first (targeting personell to fit SOB's scheme) and keep working the O in the later rounds (although Long at takle is possibility if he's there).

All three agree to ignore the media and concentrate on task at hand.

First order of business: Convincing Howie to get his boy high at the combine so we can trade up and get him late in the second round.

Big Wish: Dorsey slips to the 3 or 4 pick.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary:
Sorry but your comment "NYRaider... 8-8 or 9-7 makes you feel good, but in the LONG RUN is worse than 4-12" defies all logic. It is totally counterintuitive to the whole spirit of competition and improvement. To say that a 4-12 is better off than a 8-8 or 9-7 team is asinine.

If Team A won 4 games in 2007 and Team B won 8 games in 2007, who do you think was the better team? Obvsiously Team B. Which team has fewer deficiencies to correct? Team B. Further, who do you think has a more likely chance to reach the playoffs in 2008? Team B. (A 2 game improvement for Team B puts them at 10 wins. It would take a 6 game improvement for Team A)

The goal is quite simple... to win a SB. In order to win a SB, 31 of 32 teams need to improve upon the previous year. The most sucessful rebuilding teams do it in steady stages of improvement from 1 year to the next (ie. 4-12 to 8-8 to 10-6).

11:24 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama,

I placed a previous post with a request to search the archives on Blanda and I where we have stated Al Davis was faultless or perfect. Thus far those request have gone unaddressed.

Is there a particular reason?

From Jason Jones:

"When it comes to media bashing, I can tell you some of that has to do with some just not liking him as a person. Is that fair? No. But it happens with the media."

While he was talking about Jerry Porter, imagine that, someone being bashed in the media simply because the "objective" media doesn't like them.

H

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
H, it all comes down to whether you think Al is doing a good job or not. That's it. It's his show top to bottom. ALways has been. Some of us are just ready to see others run the show, that's all. For some of us, 4-12, 2-14, 5-11... just doesn't cut it. Yet for the Al apologists, as we enter championship day, y'all are left making inane statements like, being 4-12 is better than being 8-8 or 9-7. A lot has gone wrong with Al's direction, and H your challenge for me to show you where you or Blanda have said Al is faultless is not necessary, cuz your blogs speak volumes as to how you feel.
Tell me now what part you think Al has played in our abysmal record over the last several years? Tell me the degree of responsibility you think belongs to Al. Blanda, share with us your thoughts as well on Al's responsibility in this mess.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Now that losing is better than winning: Barry Sims for Hall of Fame!

8:58 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

Geez, this is all silly. Do we need to assign blame for the last 5 years? Let's do this - assign blame to Al for Callahan's last year, for trying to retool after a Super Bowl year with aging players. Let's blame Al for hiring Turner, and struggling for 2 years. Let's blame Al for trying to recapture the past and hiring Shell. I can deal with that.

Let's also give him credit for drafting with Asomugha, Kelly, Howard, Morrison, Carr, Russel, Miller, and Fargas during that time frame. Let's give him credit for bringing in Griffith, Newberry, Carlisle, Sapp, Burgess, and Cooper as free agents.

He's missed more than he's hit over the last 5 years - no doubt. However, at this time last year Kiffin was not even signed yet. We did not have Cable, Knapp, and had not made any of the changes to the offensive coaching staff that we see today. Brooks and others were still on the roster. So while I would like to see more wins as much as the next guy, I can only go by the evidence of change, not speculation.

If Ryan sticks, we make no significant free agent signings, make no cuts, draft a guy slated to go in the back half of the first round, and roll out the same scheme as last year with the same players then I will be just as outraged before the first game even starts. However, with no free agents to sign yet, no draft to review yet, and no information on any potential scheme changes, what, exactly, is there to be outraged about?!??!

9:34 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Bama,

I am not arguing, I stated, and have always stated and believed that Al Davis helped create the current situation with the Raiders. And have stated so. I do not appologize, nor have I ever appologized for any move, signing, hiring, firing or anything else he has done.

I, and Blanda, have simply stated an opposing view. What we take umbrage in is the total ignoring of anything the man has done, even in this decade, that was positive.

I feel the fact that I can state that the man helped create what we have seen the past several years, and still have respect and admiration for what he has provided to all of us over the decades is much more objective than blaming everthing on him.

Further, I do not, have not and never will be with the crowd that thinks loosing is the new winning. My stated standard is the Lombardi Trophy. But, there will be steps taken to get there. We have just taken the following steps:

1 - Hiring Kiffin
2 - Drafting Russell and Miller
3 - Stopping our road loosing streak
4 - Stopping our division loosing streak

There are many more steps to take. Possibly, for the first time, Al Davis has seen that the Raiders cannot "reload", but must rebuild. If so, he deserves credit for that. But, we will not know that as there will be no such public pronouncement. And therein lies the rub. We as fans want to know everything the organization is doing. That will not happen.

With Sapp now gone this is a very young team with a very young Head Coach. This could turn out to be 1969 all over again. We shall see. But nothing official will be said or done for at least a week or possibly two.

Those are my thoughts and opinions.

H

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico,
I think your expectations from your 1:07 post is dead on. And it's fair considering our current state. And I already said I'd be disappointed with 7-9, so I agree with what you said while addressing me specifically. The whole thing I was stuck on was the outrage. Yes, I'm disappointed with where this organization has fallen. I'm just being as realistic as I can as to how to dig ourselves out of it.

And RT that's not to say I'm not pisseed about our current state and that I'm voting Barry Sims into the HOF. And that's not to say I'm falling victim to being a "loser" settling for average. I just feel no outrage at this time (thanks to Kiffin) and I can't see it happening if we go 7-9 next year either unless Kiffin is gone afterwards or if the product on the field is not a significant improvement. Disappointed with 7-9? Yes.

Psycho

9:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

How quickly we forget:

2003: 4-12
2004: 5-11
2005: 4-12
2006: 2-14
2007: 4-12

See a pattern? There’s no 8-8's; there’s no 6-10's. Like I said before, some people just want to clean the slate and forget that we've been in purgatory since 2002.

I'm not pointing fingers because, ultimately, I know we ALL want the same thing. I just think some of us are running out of patience, and excuses.

The paying fan needs to know Al stands behind his coach (because we do), and that he will afford him the autonomy to have the ultimate say regarding his staff and player personnel. Perhaps, even hire a contemporary-thinking GM to help out.

Honestly, The Man is a football legend, but he’s asking too much of himself (at his advanced age) to handle so many functions of his football team that he should be delegating to others.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

If outrage is too strong of a word, how about outrageous? The state of the Raiders is outrageous, but as I stated earlier, I'm happy to have Kiffin on board and I am hopeful he will have a major impact.

Giving Kiffin full control over the draft, free agent signings, player releases and coaching hirings/firings would make me even more hopeful. But such is not the case.

I find it odd that the best defense for the current state of the Raiders is the fact that we can't expect much activity in January, and therefore what's there to be concerned or agitated about?

I'm concerned about the lingering problems that Kiffin himself said have to be fixed. I'm concerned about the organizational dysfunction that prompted Kiffin to call out the "whole building." These quotes are three weeks old, but some of you act like they're ancient history.

Kiffin perfectly articulated the struggle at hand. He defined the problem.

But I am attacked for suggesting that we discuss solutions? On a Raiders blog? What do you want me to write about, the Senior Bowl? What more pressing issue is there in the Raider Nation than fixing the organizational culture that gave us the gift of "scholarships?"

That was another masterful line by Kiffin, was it not? Scholarships! We had a professional sports organization mired in four-year losing stretch and it took a 32-year-old rookie head coach to sound the alarm about "scholarships."

What are we doing this JANUARY to correct the organizational issues that resulted in us pitching the first pick in the third round; fighting with our first-round draft pick over money throughout the entire preseason; relying on questionable reclamation projects like Mike Williams, which forces us to grab Tim Dwight off the couch instead of developing a young receiving corps; having $5 million in running backs riding the pine, including a new acquisition who was suspended until week five, fielding a defense that can't stop the run or blitz effectively, etc.

The margin for such carelessness shrinks with each losing season, does it not?

The degree to which Kiffin has full control over the draft, free agent signings, player releases and coaching hirings/firings is the degree to which I am concerned about what's being done to fix the situation.

If you told me it's all in his court, I would agree that we're working with a clean slate.

Absent a clean slate, these subjects are fair game. Hope is not a subject. It's an emotion. I can't write a blog about emotions. I can express hope and optimism and trust in my team, but I can't ignore facts and reality in the process.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The margin for such carelessness shrinks with each losing season, does it not?" -RT

I agree, it must stop. And I'm only answering that question so you don't go on a rampage about people not answering your questions and it seemed to be directed at me. I assume the rest were rhetorical.

I regret ever getting involved in this conversation. I thought we were having a good time Friday night. I go to watch a movie with the family and didn't get a chance to stop by again until this morning. Scanning back I take it you'd rather get all up tight about it and throw a "temper tantrum" of sorts. You seemed to have calmed down a little today but I didn't really appreciate some of the previous posts. I come here for a good time and good-hearted Raider conversation. This part of it is getting too serious for me at this time, since I feel no outrage even after some fair points made.

Between you and I lets just agree to disagree on certain parts, as I think your real beef is probably with people who have stronger opinions on the subject. I only posted once this morning on it to show you my views haven't changed since sobering up, as you made your point about already.

Psycho

12:16 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Honestly, Psycho, I wasn't really addressing you, I think you've been quite reasonable here, and I certainly didn't intend to antagonize you.

When people (not you, by the way) come in here put forth preposterous positions such as losing is better than winning, and that things that continued up through December having no bearing in January, and that Kiffin is all powerful to change things despite there being no evidence of the extent of his authority, and that it's okay for Kiffin to say things are broke but not okay for the fans to say the same thing, and they use these positions to paint me as a selfish pessimist, then, yeah, I get a little tweaked.

But really, no one should be concerned that I'm sitting here turning blue about it. I'll try to leaven my language a bit.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I know it defies all logic, but remove all emotion from the equation... are you guys seriously saying that the brass at Minn (fer instance) would rather come out of last season at 8-8 and picking 17th, or at 4-12 picking number THREE? Unless you guys are trying to convince me that momentum is more important than TALENT or something, you are losing me.

They need a QB desperately... do you guys REALLY think that a blue chip QB will still be around this year at 17?

Winning regular season games without making the playoffs is for masturbatory purposes only. Sorry, I'd rather boink a real chick rather than my hand.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

There you go, Psycho, Exhibit A: losing is still better than winning.

Gary, I invite you to test your position outside the Coliseum as the fans shuffle out after another awful performance of uncompetitive football. I've got a megaphone you can borrow. I'd suggest you line up an escape route in advance!

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that Gary dude crazy? Call me stupid, but I would much rather go 8-8 consistently than 4-12 consistently. I guess the constant losing has taken a toll on some Raider fans.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT,
I gotcha, it kind of looked like things were directed squarely at me scanning through afterwards, since there weren't specific targets. My bad. And I'm with you on winning being #1, as always.

Psycho

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

I guess everyone here thinks that teams suddenly wave a magic wand and they start winning without drafting high draft picks or something.

OOPsss...

-Indy had two 3-13 (one leading to Manning) and a 6-10 season in five years before they got on a roll.

-Pitts had two 6-10 years (one leading to Rothy) before winning the SB.

-TB before winning a ring:

3-13, 5-11, 5-11, 6-10, 7-9,6-10 (the year they picked up Dungy)

-Balt before their ring:

4-12, 6-9-1, 6-10

-StL before their ring:

7-9, 6-10, 5-11, 4-12

-Even the mighty Patriots went 5-11 before hitting the lottery with Brady.

These are the FACTS... now let me watch the replies with pure EMOTIONS!!! Let me do it for you... "Winning is obviously better than losing... geeesh, what a stupid statement".

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

LOL!!! Seee!!! Pure emotion from RT (as usual)... am I rooting for the team to lose? HELL NO!

But in the NFL, teams have traditionally had to hit rock bottom before starting to win. I've just pointed out how nearly every team that has won the SB lately had to be horrible before going on a roll.

Now lets all pass the magic wands to the Raider fans and we can all wave them and hope we can magically start winning without high draft picks instead!!! WAVE THE MAGIC WANDS RTers!!!

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this Gary dude is losing his mind. I know it sucks to lose Gary, but geez, take some meds. Give me 8-8 any day of the week.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Gee, Ima watching the Chargers in the championship game... did they get there with the use of the mythical magic wands that RTers think exist???

Nope:

4-12, 5-11, 1-15, 5-11, 5-11, 4-12

All these were before they went 8-8 one season, and then 12-4, 9-7, 14-2, and now 11-5

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Wave your magic "8-8 every year will win the the SB" wand "anonymous".

It rarely happens. I prefer to remain in the reality based community.

Name a team that has been 8-8 every year that has done it, "Magic wanders"... the last one was Denver, and they did it because they already hit rock bottom and had Elway on their roster ((the year after being 2-7)and then hit the lottery with a late pick in Davis). Or keep calling me crazy instead.

It's your guys choice.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

It's a new adjunct to the losing beats winning theory: a losing trend is the best indicator of immediate future success.

Gary, the Chargers had two 8-8 seasons in that stretch, not one. And since when do the Raiders look to the Chargers for inspiration?

1:35 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

You're right, Psycho, this is silly. I'm going to check out now.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a straight jacket for Gary. This dude is off his rocker. He actually prefers to go 4-12. Definitely the words of a crazy man.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

So let me get this straight RT... one week I read you bellyache that we have FIVE spots to fill before we look like a decent team... correct? So now you are telling me that come draft day you would be happier that if we were picking 17th instead of THIRD???? WTF???

Make up your mind... either we have all the pieces in place for a SB run right now, or we don't... if we DON'T then a higher pick is better than a lower one.

This isn't rocket science here.

I don't think the Raiders are anywhere CLOSE to being a SB team to afford to draft in the middle of the pack... we have way too many holes to fill.

RAISE YOUR HANDS RAIDER FANS IF YOU THINK WE HAVE ALL THE PLAYERS TO WIN THE SB!!!!

If not... yes, losing is better than winning. Look at the Chiefs if you want to see a team that overachieved itself to being horrible. They weren't much better than the Raiders but kept winning just enough games to never have a premier pick. If you don't want to look at SD, RT... how about the Chiefs? Is that the NFL model YOU want to follow? An overachieving team that never accomplishes anything???

Please.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

"Anonymous"... pick an identity or STFU.

Thanx.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Let me know when you want to borrow my megaphone.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

RT... answer my question... do you think we'd be better off drafting third or 17th on draft day?

I think its a simple question.

Do I need to type slower?

Do you think we are anywhere CLOSE to having the players NOW to win a SB?

Two simple questions... it's your choice if you want to answer them or ignore them.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please check Gary into the mental ward? He enjoys having top 7 draft picks for 5 straight years now. He actually prefers the Raiders to lose, just so they can have a better position in the draft. I guess in his mind, the Super Bowl is played the last weekend in April. It is too bad we did not go 1-15 like Miami, that would have really made his day.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

No, we're not close to having Super Bowl talent, and that's the crux of the problem with the Raiders, and four years of having high draft picks hasn't helped, just as having low draft picks hasn't hurt New England and Indy over that same period, so that should answer both of your questions.

A big part of the reason we don't have a talented roster is poor draft day decisions. Miami had a high first round pick last year and selected Tedd Ginn, Jr. That's what bad organizations do.

So you think that the best thing Miami could do to rectify those mistakes is go 1-15, to ensure that they have the top pick. That's genius! I can't believe they fired Cam Cameron and cleaned executive house. Gary's plan worked perfectly. The fans should be rejoicing.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Actually anonymous moron, 1-15 would be better... it would be great to have someone like Dorsey anchoring the Raiders line for the next ten years... although you would rather be drafting 17th!!

Let me guess... you are someone that thinks the SA Spurs would have been better off going .500 the year before they picked Tim Duncan or something?

Am I arguing with third graders here or something?

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Ahhh... NE and Indy! Kinda nice to pick two teams with the best two HOF QB's in the NFL!

I am arguing with third graders... out again... See ya children!!

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather draft 17th, because that would mean we actually won more games the year before and NOT embarrased ourselves!! I am all about winning winning winning! I don't want to lose, I am embarassed when we consistently draft in the top 10!! You are probably going to cheer for 1-15 in 2009 so we can draft Tim Tebow or James Laurinatis! You sir are a crazy man!!!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Cam Cameron for Coach of The Year!

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine someone actually wishing we had gone 1-15 so we could draft Glenn Dorsey.....God those are the words of a looney tune. Thank God you don't work for the organization!

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man its too bad we had to go and beat Kansas City and Denver in late November and early December! Just imagine if we would have lost to those guys!! We could have potentially drafted #1 overall and got Glenn Dorsey!!! Well there is always next year!!!

4:29 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary: Once again your whole line of reasoning is totally flawed.

A team that went 8 and 8 in 2007 has LESS holes to fill than a team that went 1 and 15. But by your twisted logic, it is better for a team to have played poorly with more holes to fill and deficiencies to correct but a higher draft choice than to have played better with less holes to fill and a lower draft choice. Yeah right.

You mentioned some previous SB Champs and the poor records they had prior to winning it all. Take another look because it just isn't true:

TB SB Champ 2002 (12 and 4)
2001 9 and 7
2000 10 and 6
1999 11 and 5
1998 8 and 8

Indy SB Champ 2006 (12-4)
2005 14-2
2004 12-4
2003 12-4
2002 10-6

Pitt SB Champ 2005 (11-5)
2004 15-1
2003 6-10
2002 10-5-1
2001 13-3

NE SB Champ 2001 (11-5)
2000 5-11
1999 8-8
1998 9-7
1997 10-6

What you might not understand is that no one on this board is saying that a record of 8-8 is the "end all destination or goal. 8-8 would be merely 1 season of improvement that can built on for the following season.

It is far more logical for a team to go from 8-8 to the playoffs the next year than to go from 4-12 to the playoffs.

Building a winning team has nothing to do with waving an FN Magic wand. It is buiding a complicated, always changing 53 piece puzzle ... finding the right pieces, better pieces, pieces that fit through wise drafting, acquring key free agents, developing your existing talent.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

It does not matter where you draft, it is how you draft.
Good teams draft well because they have a plan.
They have a system in place on the field.
They have good talent assessment. They also have good General Managers.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drafting higher doesn't make your team more better, drafting smart does. That and making the right FA decisions.
Using that logic the team with the most No. 1 Picks over time, would be the most successful organization. I'm willing to bet that team doesn't have a history of success, obviously.
The point trying to be made, I believe, is that all things being equal, you'd like to have a higher draft pick. In any single year, yes. Continually, no, it means you suck.
At some point you have to start winning, if the team doesn't know how win it won't matter who they draft, they'll still be losers.
As pointed out above, we've drafted high the last five years and well.... we're still win challenged.
What is in our favor is:
A) Kiffin will be getting to know and coaching up some of this years best college talent at the senior bowl
B) This years draft is deep in O line talent, especially at tackle, an acknowledged weak spot.
C) A high quality impact player is going to be available to the Raiders in each or the first two rounds
D) We have a considerable amount of cap room
E) A. Haynesworth and/or Jared Allen will be free agents in another area which we are noticeably thin, D line
F) This years WR class is looking deep as well
G) J Russ will be in camp from the jump.

That being said, Kiffin will know who in this draft class can help this team to move forward almost to a certainty. With a few quality free agent signings we should be in the playoff hunt. Where are much needed safety help will come from is anyones guess.
On an added note some say the Cowboys are looking to move up and snatch Mcfadden in exchange for they're two late first round picks and the Raiders might be well be a natural trading partner. Food for thought Raider Nation.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I had a hell of a weekend. I was going for the Chargers and Packers. Yeah, great. Can't wait for this Super Bowl.

Psycho

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on what I saw this year, we could have easily had 3 to 5 more wins if not for excessive offensive penalties, and defensive overpersuit. I believe we will address much of that in the offseason through roster moves.
That killed the 8-8 season this year.

One thing is for certain, Al isn't going to tell anyone what his plans are, so conjecture on Kiff and SOB is useless.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought C-Wood would get a shot at redemption on Brady.

See that tackle made where he got run over early in the game. He did make the tackle though.

This superbowl sux. It's between the Patsies (no need to explain the sentiment) and the greedy little bastard that wouldn't play where her was selected.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama 7
Anyone else see the blatant leg whip/trip the Patriots lineman did on Rivers that resulted in the INT? Set-up a Pattie score in the first half. The pattie lineman was going down and reached out and kicked/tripped Rivers. No call. A really bad no call. Those guys have never been on the wrong end of a call. I don't think it's a conspiracy, I think it's just unbelievable luck.
As for us, everytime I watch these playoff teams I realize how far away from being contenders we are. Where's our Merriman, or Sanders or Harrison? We have an athletic FS playing in the SS/hitter's spot and we have no hitters in our front seven. Says it all about us.
The biigest positive I see right now is that JRuss needs stability, and Kiffin is that stability. the Raiders cannot afford to waste their 60 million dollar man by putting him through mutiple coaching staffs and schemes. Davis HAS to stick with Kiffin. he has no choice and he knows it. Only a fool would not give Kiffin at least 4 years. And if Kiffin has 4 years, then he is in the driver's seat with Al. Kiffin CAN PLAY HIS HAND OVER AL RIGHT NOW. Kiffin should act like a baby everytime Al pulls his shit... Kiffin should just threaten to quit if he doesn't get the personnel he wants and the the DC he wants. He should let it get ugly in the press if need be. Normally that would not be a good plan for an NFL team, but our dysfunction is so well known around the league that everyone, save Al, will understand what Kiffin is doing. And If Al calls his bluff and lets Kiffin run, Al can kiss any shot of seeing another superbowl in his lifetime goodbye. Even Al should be able to see that right now his team is so far from being a playoff contender that to start over would be insane.
The next step in our reversal of fortunes starts when Kiffin names his own DC. And who cares what the players say about Ryan? Most of them know that they might not be able to start for another team so of course they lobby for the status quo.
Flippant "life in the big city" comment by Ryan makes me sick.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

i think one of the things we are overlooking on talent evaluation, is not just a gm, but a good scouting team. who is our scouting team?
Angelo Coia, Calvin Branch, Bruce Kebric, Jon Kingdon, Mickey Marvin, and Kent McCloughan. Calvin Branch is the only one I've heard of, and that's because he played. But that is typical, you usually don't hear about how great the scouts are.
But the job the scouts do, reflect the decisions made by the GM. So a good GM, has a good scouting team. A great GM, has a great scouting team. That is how you measure a GM.
The Raiders have a poor reflection on the scouting team. This poor reflection is based on the question of, "Who have they reported to the last 5 years?" They initially reported to Bruce Allen, and when he left, Mike Lombardi. Mike Lombardi took all of their scouting reports and made personell decisions based on what he thought were the best. The poor play of the last 4 years, reflect on Lombardi, which is why he is gone. This is a HUGE reason why Shell and Lombardi did not get along. It was played out by both people in the media. Shell accused Lombardi of not getting the players he needed, and Lombardi accused Shell of rejecting the players he wanted. If you read between the lines, you'll see how it played out. Lombardi presented potential FA/Draft choices to Davis, Shell disagreed with those choices, and presented his own (which is where Davis gets, "I wanted Leinart, Shell wanted Huff" statement). Davis makes the decision to split it in half. Lombardi gets these guys, Shell gets these guys. Then it's all out war when it fails. I think Shell would have served as a better GM than a coach, Lombardi knew it, and reacted as if his job was in danger (which was the same with Bruce Allen when Lombardi was brought on). The scouting team was divided on who they reported to. All the scouts reported to both the GM (Lombardi) and the HC (Shell), as it should be. That is why it is vital for the GM and HC to have a good relationship. The scouting team and the Raiders as a whole, suffered for that.
So now the question is, "Who do they report to now?" We know they report to Kiffin, but who else? Kiffin has to have knowledge of the players, then he presents it to the GM and owner, and they hash out who is the most valuable. If the GM is Davis, he and Kiffin have a workable/respectable relationship. But Kiffin needs to have a relationship with his coaching staff as well, so they can discuss improvements/cuts from the roster. Kiffin becomes the middle man with the coaching staff, players, and front office. If he doesn't have a good relationship with the coaching staff, it's time to get rid of the coach he has a problem with. It becomes a struggle when the HC and GM don't get along; that's when the owner needs to step in and decide which needs to go which is what happened last year, and eventually both needed to go. My opinion is Lombardi needed to go before Shell, based on the 4 years he served as GM. Shell needed to be fired from HC duties, but easily could have been hired as GM, which is a better position for him. That is my opinion.
So I ask, how was any of this Davis' fault? How is this his fault now? It is quite clear that he is acting as GM for the moment, but it is also quite clear that he and Kiffin trust each other, and have a good working relationship. The same can be said of Kiffin and Ryan. It is quite clear they both respect each other, and have a tremendous working relationship with one another. Kiffin sees the value of Ryan's knowledge, and Ryan sees great value in Kiffin's knowledge. They all have complimented each other in that respect.
I do agree that eventually we will need a GM, which is really a mediator between the coach and owner. But I think right now, Davis, Kiffin, Ryan, and Jackson can work together and vastly improve this team. I think you are going to see some awesome cuts this offseason, and some valuable pick ups in free agency and draft. The problem is, we have to clean out the garbage that Lombardi brought in, and replace it with hard workers, hard hitters, and the toughness that is the Raiders. Not an easy task on any side, especially now that this current staff becomes the "fall guy" from Lombardi's incompetance.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the leg whip, Bama. Doesn't get any more obvious than that. The QB is falling down with nothing around him but two manicured, Patsy feet. Hmmmmm.

Norv blew it though. You don't beat the Patsies with FG's. Now they'll just destroy the Giants and make me throw up. Stupid Packers and their stupid losing, Favre would've made a game of it (or throw the losing INT in OT).

Psycho

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Norv F-ed up BECAUSE he got to agressive. I think he should have been pounding it in the redzone instead of all that passing.

Gotta love the PI calls, I thought JP was playing for the cheese at one point.

Then the blatant PF where the defender knocked rivers down after the wistle and all he got was 'talking to'. WTF is that all aboout?!

7:51 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Gary,

I, for one, see no extra value, or valor for that matter, in being 4-12 over 8-8. Yes the Vikings need a quarterback, but we have ours. 8-8 would have been a huge step forward.

While my standard is the Super Bowl, intermideate steps must be taken to get there.

Unless I'm misunderstanding, under your standard if you are 4-6 and you have little chance of the playoffs, you just tank the rest of the season to get a higher draft choice. All that does is breed loosing.

If my team is tanking, I want those who buy into that strategy off the team.

Take,

I want to hear what is going on as much as anyone. But, realistically, nothing will be said or done until after the Senior Bowl. A lot of business is conducted there. And, if there are any coaching or administrative changes are in the works, much of the work will be done this week.

I believe it's where we picked up Knapp, who helped bring in Cable last year.

H

8:21 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Nate,

Quick note:

Mickey Marvin played right guard for the Silver and Black and was a starter in both SB XV and XVIII.

H

8:41 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, I'm more tweaked about the illogic being presented here than I am about the Raiders not making player personnel moves in January, which I never expected, and which is simply a repeated implication by those wielding the illogic.

I hold the Raiders and their fans to a high standard. So do most of you. Hence the quality of thought, logic and passion on display here daily by most of you in the comments section at Raider Take, on both sides of any given issue.

For that reason, if someone comes in here calling me names (selfish, etc.) for not buying the preposterous notion that 8-8 is as bad or worse than 4-12, they're going to get run. This is an "A Game" environment. You've got to bring it. Most of you do.

On that note, the position that the Raiders never tip their hand about anything and that's how they've always done it IS NOT the best predictor or indicator of serious change, as some have essentially suggested here. If anything, it's the opposite.

I'm getting this stuff from both sides, too. You've got the folks who call me out by saying that, despite the lack of information they hold so dear, Kiffin has been given authority to effect wholesale change.

On the other hand, you have Anon above stating: "One thing is for certain, Al isn't going to tell anyone what his plans are, so conjecture on Kiff and SOB is useless."

So much for Kiffin's authority, and so much for people allowing a Raiders blog to discuss the elephant in the room.

What often may sound like me being negative and pessimistic about the Raiders is, in fact, just me using specific examples to address what I see as illogical positions favoring blind hope over constructive dialogue.

In doing so, however, I seem to be losing the faith of some of you, so I will try to watch myself and turn down the volume a bit. I can be a little too exuberant, and I type fast, and that can cause some perception problems, and that's nobody's fault but mine.

So who do you think Al, I mean, Kiffin, is going to select in the first round?

9:32 AM  
Anonymous H said...

Take,

One thing I will never do is call a fellow Raider Fan names. I'm not saying you are refering to me with that statement, I don't think you are. I feel that type of rhetoric is counter productive to the discussions. So I'm with you on that one.

I will use the IAAF term, but only to refer to a mindset or an attitude.

By the way, I don't see you loosing anyone as your forum is the most open and active of all the Raider sites out there.

As far as the elephant in the room, discussion is fine. I just felt it was turning into an argument for arguments sake. Much like the Monty Python skit. So I decided to pull back for a bit.

I believe Kiffin will receive the full three years. Provided there are no major setbacks next season and progress continues. However, should we make the playoffs next season, don't look for Kiffin to automatically receive a raise and an extension. That's just not the way the Raiders work.

As far as who will be drafted in the first round. Well, my opinion is it depends. It depends who is picked up in free agency. If we get a solid left tackle, it won't be Jake Long. If we get Haynesworth, I don't think it will be Dorsey. In that scenario I would love to see Chris Long line up next to Haynesworth.

We will have in excess of 30 million in cap space when all is said and done, so I expect a fairly dramatic upgrade in talent.

Unfortunately, the Dolts have the most cap space in the league.

H

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT,
I can't wait for the combine. You could make a strong case for a lot of guys at this point. I've seen mock drafts having us pick like 5 or 6 different guys, they're just all over the place.

I saw one guy today stating that "It makes too much sense for the Raiders not to draft C.Long". Which I wouldn't really argue with, but his reasons were way off IMO. He expected Long to be drafted as an OLB to replace R.Thomas & Williams. WTF? Seems to me like sticking a great pass rusher into coverage (since the Raiders have refused to blitz lately, not less) is not the best way to go. Might as well just draft C.Long & give him T.Brayton's number for good measure if that's the case.

Anyway, right now I'd say you take Dorsey if available. If not then SOHowie even though we're probably OK at DE if we re-sign our current guys. Other than that, I'd trade down. Jake Long is great but there are tons of solid OT's this year who will slip. McFadden is great but we could get solid RB production with Joe Blow it seems. But like H says, "it depends".

Psycho

10:10 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Based on last season, if I were going to triage the situation, I would say that stopping the run would be my top priority. I realize that, with the draft, you need to consider the best player available, which may not always square with your most pressing positional needs.

Certainly, a strong pass rusher will help, but we are in dire need of run stuffers, and I think that the safety position falls into that category, because it's bad enough to have a leaky line, but even worse to have guys like Stu playing patty cake when they break into the open field. That's when a 130-yard rushing performance becomes a 200-yard rushing performance.

So I guess it becomes a bit of a chess match, whereby we attack free agency based on certain presumptions about who (and what position) we can snag in the draft.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, good observation on the Monty Python bit, and I need to make sure I don't fall into that trap and take all of you with me in the process.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
H: Unless I'm misunderstanding, under your standard if you are 4-6 and you have little chance of the playoffs, you just tank the rest of the season to get a higher draft choice. All that does is breed loosing.
>>>>

I am apparently not making myself clear... I am in no way rooting for the team tanking or losing ANY games. All I am saying is that after the season is over, IF we didn't make the playoffs and are far from being a playoff team, what good does the extra 4 wins do? This is when losing in the NFL is better than winning... looking backwards in a vacuum. My point is all the hand-wring about only winning four games this year after the fact makes no sense... would you RATHER we draft 17th this year, or 3rd? Like I said, this isn't rocket science... the 3rd pick will turn out better than the 17th pick 8 times out of 10.

Now if I thought the team is close to being an elite team, and we keep shooting ourselves in the foot year after year... sure... eight wins is much better to make a step forward.

I don't think we are that close to being an elite team YET. Next year would be a GREAT time for 8-8. This year it would have accomplished NOTHING but a poorer draft pick. We were still two to three years from being an elite team, and many of the players that would benefit from more of a winning climate will not be an important part of the team in two years... does my logic make more sense now?

I think it's CLEAR that Kiffin is on the right track, thus allowing us to keep the players we want and pick up FA's... we didn't need 4 extra wins to accomplish that. Thats the ONLY thing 4 extra wins might have impacted this past year.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

from the footballexpert.com:
4. Oakland Raiders - Chris Long, DE, Virginia
If he is still there, this makes too much sense to not happen. The son of former Raider great Howie Long is the final piece to the linebacking puzzle in Oakland. Having him “a-Long-side” MLB Kirk Morrison and OLB Thomas Howard provides an instant upgrade over Robert Thomas and takes pressure off of the Raiders secondary. Long also helps shore up the Raiders 23rd ranked run defense because of his overall athleticism.

HUH? they're talking SOH up like he was a LB. I thought he's a DE?????

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 extra wins, would have been 4 more wins for our players to taste, 4 more opportunities for our players to understand what it is like to win and finish a football game. The entire organization is draped in a stagnant losing culture, and as we head into our 6th season since the Super Bowl debacle, we have a great majority of players on the roster who have never won before. 4 more wins would have done wonders for them. I would have loved for them to at least reach 8-8 this past year, so that we could have confidence heading into 2009. I don't care about draft picks, I want to win. It seems this organization has forgotten how to win since that fateful day in January of 2003. Just Win Baby should be changed to Just Win 5 games baby with the way this team has operated lately.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

bama said:
Flippant "life in the big city" comment by Ryan makes me sick.

bama, people on al scholarships can say whatever they want to say.....he knows he's protected by that skirt he's hiding behind.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Oh, btw, in a perfect world, and we won every single close game and we ended up 9-7 (there WERE 5 more winnable games out there) would we be more apt to keep all the garbage that needs to be cleared out this year? Do we really need to see Stuey on the wrong side of the field from the play all next year because he helped us to 8 or 9 wins this year? Would we be making many changes at all with Al thinking we are CLOSE to a SB team?

There's lotsa crud that needs to be dumped from the system before this machine is moving forward, IMO.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Nate-

Kent McCloughan also played for the Raiders as a D back. Legend has it he invented the bump and run. I think his son is part of the 49ers mgmt. team.

"it is also quite clear that he and Kiffin trust each other, and have a good working relationship. The same can be said of Kiffin and Ryan. It is quite clear they both respect each other, and have a tremendous working relationship with one another. Kiffin sees the value of Ryan's knowledge, and Ryan sees great value in Kiffin's knowledge"

How do you know this? Nothing seems clear to me except without great change there will be no change.

Normally the player personnel director runs the scouts. He is the direct report to the GM because the GM has too many other things to worry about.

You can make the changes on the director of player pesonnel level rather than fire the whole scouting squad but what does it matter?

The Raider have neither a player personnel director or a GM.

I still think this team is closer to 4-12 than 8-8.
Gannon said when he got to Alameda the place needed to be blown up.

I will try to be pateint but I would like to know if Kiffin has the lighter...

Psycho - almost 200!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

>>>>
I don't care about draft picks, I want to win.
>>>>

[rolling eyes]

I'm sure that is what NY said the year before they drafted Eli, or Indy, the year before they drafted Peyton, or SD, the year before they drafted Rivers.... on and on and on...

Our future relies on Russell... and he only played in a few games... I don't really care if the bums we need to jettison from our system got more of the feeling of winning.

11:03 AM  

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