Thursday, September 11, 2008

Putting The D in Dysfunctional

Honestly, Monday night’s game was the most horrific defensive performance I’ve ever seen in Oakland. The Raiders put no pressure at all on Jay Cutler. I doubt they even had to wash Cutler’s jersey after the game. Sure, our secondary got burned, but you can only run around in circles for so long before someone gets open.

So, how can you get picked apart like a Thanksgiving turkey for two quarters, only to make no apparent adjustments to stem the tide? How can you not blitz to try to mix things up? Only one man can answer that question—the head coach, right? Not so fast.

Here’s how Jerry McDonald summarized Lane Kiffin’s comments to the media on Wednesday: “Lane Kiffin has his own ideas about defense. He is simply powerless to implement them. He leaves that up to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and owner Al Davis, who meet weekly to formulate the defensive game plan.”

McDonald quoted Kiffin as saying: “We talk about it early in the week. Rob and the owner are in communication. For the most part, I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that.”

Hey, Rob—is that a new tattoo, or actual bus tire marks your chest? And how about Kiffin calling Mr. Davis “the owner.” Isn’t that sort of like Bill Parcells calling T.O. “the player?”

Well, here’s how Rob Ryan responded today, as quoted by McDonald: “When I deal with Al Davis, guys, it’s in the offseason. And here’s the thing: Al Davis knows football. And I’ll have four-hour conversations with him in the offseason about everything in this league. About offenses, about players, about scheme, about everything, but during the week, guys, (bleep), I don’t have time to talk to my wife, okay. If I’m going to make one phone call, it’s going to be her, all right? That’s the truth. I’m just telling you the truth. I literally had one conversation with Mr. Davis last week, and it was about Fred Wakefield.”

If what Kiffin says is true (and thus, by default, what Ryan says is not true), I can sort of understand his urge to distance himself from Monday night’s debacle. He wanted Ryan gone after last season, but was overruled by “the owner.” So the last thing he wants is to be indicted in a continuation of last year’s defensive catastrophe.

Yet even if what Kiffin says is true, that Rob Ryan and Mr. Davis run the defense and that he doesn’t really have a say in it, he had to know that his comments would undermine team unity at a very crucial and sensitive time.

Right now, the focus should be on doing everything to recover from Monday night, and to put the pieces back together to ensure victory on Sunday. How do Kiffin’s comments serve that goal? Clearly, they don’t. Such comments are immature at best, considering their timing.

Personally, I think it’s clear that Kiffin doesn’t have much say in the defense. After all, he is given no say in who occupies the defensive coordinator’s position, so it stands to reason that there are a lot of things beyond his control on the defensive side of the ball. I sure don’t see his fingerprints on Monday night’s defensive performance.

Still, instead of putting the D in Defense, his comments just put another D in Dysfunctional.

83 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cutler passed for 299 yards and two touchdowns and, most significantly, did not get sacked once. In a statistical rarity, the Raiders also failed to register a single quarterback hurry or knock down a pass from Cutler.

That led to a flurry of questions for Kiffin, who was asked why the team didn’t blitz more in an effort to knock Cutler out of his comfort zone.

“Rob and the owner (Davis) are always in communication,” Kiffin said Wednesday. “For the most part, I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that. So, that wasn’t the way the game plan ended up the other night.”

HMMMM Rob lays in the bed of his ruler.... what a shocker huh guys...blanda is the pillow in between davis legs

5:43 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Kiffin may or may not be telling the truth about Davis & Ryan. However, he is showing his inexperience and even immaturity by constantly airing dirty laundry in the press.

Most of the media already subscribe to the "Puppetmaster" view of Al Davis so there is no need to keep running to the press and saying "it's not my fault." If anything Kiffin is hurting his chances of getting another HC job. Not to mention that he could lose the players in a battle of wills with Al.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
RT, what choice does Kiffin have? If he played the loyal soldier and took the lumps and kept his mouth shut then he's acting no different than White, Bugel, Turner or Shell. There'd be no change with our team. None. We'd all be wondering what is really going on. Now, for once, we all know.
And Ryan's rambling press conference was absurd. What did he say? Not much of anything other than when we kick ass I'll be up here, when we lose I'll be up here, I ran cover 2 a few times and got burned... I had Hall playing a scheme trying to bate Cutler's big arm deep... blah blah blah. He rambled so much he never let on to what he thought was wrong or how he thought he could fix it. To hear him tell it, Denver's the best team in the league. BS!
Lane may go down in flames and look like the disloyal soldier, or dysfunctional as you say, RT, but our franchise is a very unique and needs as Rich Gannon said a "torch to the place." Light 'em up Kiff. Dude's a legend.
Here's hoping SOB goes out Sunday and trys to run a modern style defense. He makes any player look bad. And here's hoping Kiffin can find a WR from the scrap heap of NFL cuts. I've always liked Curry but damn we have waited an eternity for this guy to become an elite, every down NFL receiver. He's basically living off the catch in the snow in Denver. His dropped pass would have been HUGE fro Russell and the raiders. Huge.
We have no WR's to help Russell. Sad.

6:10 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

You are essentially right, RT, but I find one disputable point, and one overlooked.

First off, the ultimate story about Kiffin wanting Ryan gone has been more or less discredited. At least enough to make it apparent that the press, including McDonald and Jones, are just assuming it's true. But the final story as I have it is that it was Ryan who suggested he leave at the end of the season because he had other offers. Davis refused to let him out of his contract, and wanted him to stay for at least his final year. If that's a bad decision, that's on Davis. But I don't see it as a matter of what Kiffin wanted being thrown back in his face. That's the press' story which has never been confirmed by anything other than speculation.

The overlooked point is that Kiffin wanted the Raiders to play the Tampa 2 defense all of last year. Instead they went with a hybrid of a base 4-3 with some elements of the Tampa 2 thrown in. This year, Kiffin got what he wanted and the Raiders are playing a Tampa 2 - and they got eaten alive with it.

Now the funny thing about that is my memory from after the Raiders lost the Super Bowl against the Bucs. The Bucs used a Tampa 2 which stifled the Raider offense. At that time it was argued that the Raiders should employ the Tampa 2, but we didn't. Why? Because, supposedly, Al Davis doesn't like the Tampa 2.

It's kind of like even though the Raiders have blitzed throughout their history, they don't blitz right now because Al Davis doesn't like it.

In other words, identify a problem and its because of something that Al Davis does or does not like.

As pissed as I am at Ryan, I respect him, and he held nothing back. I wish he'd do this more often. As for Kiffin, if he means to imply something, I wish he'd just say it. I also find it a little difficult to believe that he has no input on defense when it was he who advocated the Tampa 2, and that's what we're playing this season.

6:12 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

You are essentially right, RT, but I find one disputable point, and one overlooked.

First off, the ultimate story about Kiffin wanting Ryan gone has been more or less discredited. At least enough to make it apparent that the press, including McDonald and Jones, are just assuming it's true. But the final story as I have it is that it was Ryan who suggested he leave at the end of the season because he had other offers. Davis refused to let him out of his contract, and wanted him to stay for at least his final year. If that's a bad decision, that's on Davis. But I don't see it as a matter of what Kiffin wanted being thrown back in his face. That's the press' story which has never been confirmed by anything other than speculation.

The overlooked point is that Kiffin wanted the Raiders to play the Tampa 2 defense all of last year. Instead they went with a hybrid of a base 4-3 with some elements of the Tampa 2 thrown in. This year, Kiffin got what he wanted and the Raiders are playing a Tampa 2 - and they got eaten alive with it.

Now the funny thing about that is my memory from after the Raiders lost the Super Bowl against the Bucs. The Bucs used a Tampa 2 which stifled the Raider offense. At that time it was argued that the Raiders should employ the Tampa 2, but we didn't. Why? Because, supposedly, Al Davis doesn't like the Tampa 2.

It's kind of like even though the Raiders have blitzed throughout their history, they don't blitz right now because Al Davis doesn't like it.

In other words, identify a problem and its because of something that Al Davis does or does not like.

As pissed as I am at Ryan, I respect him, and he held nothing back. I wish he'd do this more often. As for Kiffin, if he means to imply something, I wish he'd just say it. I also find it a little difficult to believe that he has no input on defense when it was he who advocated the Tampa 2, and that's what we're playing this season.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

ryan says that he only deals with al davis in the off season.

but in his next breathe, he says he talked with davis last week.

try to keep your fishy story straight sob.

ryan also says, "he will blitz".
but when rob, when ?? and why has it taken five brutal years for you to get the notion ?

also, the idea that cutler had all night to throw, and hall was constantly burned, because our offense didn't score, i cannot understand.
what does one have to do with the other ??

6:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

It took the dismantling of our D on MNF to crystalize what many on this board have been saying for quite some time.

What most of us have been saying is that the Raiders vanilla D is outdated and passive.

If the front 4 can not apply adequate pressure on the QB we MUST utilize various blitz packages in order to have a fighting chance to win.

Last night I posted my views about how the Raiders need to blitz on my blog. I wake up today and there are nearly a dozen articles from mainstream bay area writers espousing these same views.

A couple other related points:

BR: We only used the Tampa 2 on a handful of plays ... I disagree with your point of "This year, Kiffin got what he wanted and the Raiders are playing a Tampa 2 - and they got eaten alive with it."

We ran man to man thru the entire camp. Besides a few plays where Hall was backed off the WR, we played man to man for 95% or more of the offensive plays. How exactly did Kiffin get what he wanted? Makes no sense whatsoever.

Regardless of what our scheme might be, defensive football relies on constant adjustments to improve the results.

I'm getting fed up with all the excuses being made on behalf of Ryan. He is being paid to run the D. This includes gameplanning, adjustments, personnel groupings, motivation, etc.

As the game progressed and it was obvious to even the blind that our base 4 wasn't pressuring Cutler, why wouldn't he call for some blitz packages?

The way Ryan called the game vs. Denver it was like sending the D out to a gun fight with a knife. Ridiculous.

I was disappointed with Kiffin's comments about how he isn't involved with the D even if they were true. What I would have done if I was Kiffin was have a heart to heart talk with Ryan insisting that he use the blitz as a vital tool instead of throwing him under the bus. I would tell Ryan in effect that starting against KC the D better start getting to the QB and start playing an aggressive brand of football or else all bets are off on what he will say in the press conference immediately following the KC game.

The questions I have are quite simple:

Is Ryan being told by Davis to not blitz? OR

Is Ryan just too stupid to use the blitz when it is an obvious rememdy for QB pressure?

Both scenarios are sad reflections on the current state we are in.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

RT I am with you. Ryan is a jackass.

Please see link below. I think Kiffin is gone. If Ryan becomes HC I am in the corner drooling.

I think AD leans towards Lofton who has all the credentials AD can fawn over.
Lofton is black, an ex- Raider and HOFer.
With no autonomy or a real GM nothing will change.

I can't believe I am talking about possibilities for a new HC and the second game of the season has not yet been played, WTF?

AD should have let Kiffin run things for three stinking years. Better than this mess.....

http://www.sbreport.net/raider_news/008/314.html

6:49 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico,

but can a team that does not believe in the blitz, that doesn't practice the blitz, all of sudden start blitzing with success ?

same with the cover 2. they don't really believe in it, they just "use" it a couple of times, once in a while.

this team just doesn't seem to have any clue about modern NfL defenses.
and that is sadly reflected on the field time and again.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One last point on Ryan:

Zero sacks. Zero QB hurries. Zero knock downs.

Wouldn't a light bulb go off at some point in the game, preferrably sooner than later, telling you to get to the QB. Wouldn't this lead to using the blitz? Where is the accountability to your defensive players who you love so much?

Not using the blitz on D is nearly the equivalent of not using the forwad pass on offense. Uggh.

If Al Davis is opposed to using the blitz, we have no hope.

If Al Davis isn't opposed to using the blitz and Ryan doesn't like to use it, we have no hope.

I don't think anyone, including BR, would dispute the notion that Davis is involved/has input with the D. If this is the case, Davis needs to wake up and realize that:

(a) he needs to fire Ryan immediately or

(b) allow Kiffin more authority over the D or

(c) give Ryan a very short rope to get his D in gear, pronto.

Other than that the dysfunction and poor performance will continue.

6:58 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

If that loss is ALL on Ryan, as he professes, than he should be fired, immediately.

He clearly contradicts himself with, we only talk in the off-season... oh yeah, we talked last week (before the game).

This whole thing is dysfunctional with a capital D. While it seems Kiffin’s motivation is to protect himself, Ryan’s motivation seems to protect “the owner.” (Note to Davis: please put Rob Ryan in your Will.)

Kiffin should probably dispense with the innuendo, and Ryan should avoid the microphone altogether. It’s way too early in the season for this kind of crap. Let’s play some @#$% football!

7:03 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00: In regards to your question, the Raiders practiced the blitz during training camp quite a bit to get Russell accustomed and ready for an opponents modern D. The Raiders blitzed during a handful of exhibition games, with great success mind you.

Our back 7 players are more than capable of executing the blitz.
Please tell me that Ryan doesn't realize what a great edge rusher Howard could be with his speed.
The blitz is one of the most elementary "plays" in all of football. It isn't rocket science.

To "blitz" just means you have 5 pass rushers instead of 4. It just means you've got 6 defenders covering 4 receivers (2 WR, TE, RB). Pop Warner coaches know the importance of the blitz. You would think a professional defensive coordinator would know the value of the blitz.

It is truly bizarre and annoying that us diehard fans are even having this discussion about our beloved team. It makes me violently ill to fathom the mess we are in. In my judgment, what Ryan is doing strangles the entire spirit of competition. Put your players in a position to win dammit... and yes, this includes getting after the QB.

Even the most conservative teams in terms of blitzing still blitz at least 10% (or more) of the time. In an avg. game there are 60 offensive snaps. If you blitz 10% of the time, that is 6 blitz attempts. Further, there are OBVIOUS downs where a blitz should be dialed up. Sitting back and letting the QB count the house has got to be extremely discouraging to the D as they get picked apart.

7:15 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Calico- how do we know that Kiffin hasn't had conversations with Ryan, and Ryan hasn’t already ignored those overtures?

It was funny to read that Ryan cited in his resume the one year of success he had with the Raiders. Should we remind him that was the same year the Raiders fielded the worst offense known to man. So what if he knows how to coach against teams that intentionally become one-dimensional.

And to say we didn’t blitz because the Broncos had “max protection” is complete BS. That’s to say, there’s nothing we can do to confuse them in their protection package. Are you kidding me? Didn’t they play one or two rookies on their line Monday? By all means, let’s not attempt to confuse the rookies.

Ryan allowed the Broncos to take the game to us, instead of us taking the game to the Broncos.

7:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Hopefully, we won't play any other teams this year that are starting rookies on their O-line and call "max protection packages" to help them out. If we do, we'll get picked apart for sure.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

NY Raider: Kiffin probably has had numerous conversations with Ryan about the D. However unless Kiffin has some authority over the D or his input on defensive playcalling is utilized, it looks like Ryan will continue to play a passive brand of D.

Forget the Donkey game ... just look at the past 4 seasons with Ryan at the helm. Our D rarely has blitzed, disguised its coverages, or stopped the run. It is the same vanilla, antiquated, non imaginative, non aggressive D that we have seen over and over again. Yup, keep on doing the same thing and guess what, you get the same shitty results. Ay caramba!

7:28 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

calico,

i don't think the blitz is difficult.

it just seems that the raiders, as an organization, really do not have their hearts in this type of defense.

i would bet that even amy trask doesn't believe in blitzing,(prolly why she's been around so long).

the whole damn organization just seems so lifeless all the time.
no energy, no juice. just sitting back and waiting to get beat.

the whole team look like B actors from "night of the living dead".

7:39 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

hey, i think i've come up with a nickname for our D,

the "night of the living dead" defense.

or, we can simply call it,

the NOLD DEFENSE

anybody like it ?

7:53 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

raider00 - how about just ND, as in NO DEFENSE!

8:38 PM  
Blogger x said...

calico and nyr are spot on.

br - sorry, but don't know where you're getting your info that the Raiders are playing the Tampa 2 full time. Ryan even said they played Tampa 3 times and got burned each time.

I applaud Ryan for taking the blame in public, but I sure hope he's blaming the players some in the film room.

Regardless, the guy has proven in the last five years that he's just a terrible defensive coordinator. He has no imagination (blitz packages, dammit!) and cannot adjust to the opponent during a game. He's just terrible and I wish he were in NY right now.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Blandarock and pantyinabunch still can't admit what is FINALLY plain as day. Ryan is Al's boy and Kiffin isn't, Kiffin decides that Al has screwed him so he'll screw him back. He is going to leak what is wrong, he see's the disease that infesters the organization. HE IS CALLING IT OUT AND GOOD FOR HIM. The abusive father ( Al Davis) needs to be brought down from his thrown. Maybe, the young man will finally bring some sanity and light to the NATION to what truly ails this organization.He will lose his job but it's almost like Kiffin is daring Al to fire him.
Finally, the fans who just can't let go of losing Al, like that blankie most babies cling to, will say it's time to let go. It's way past time, the old man has to give it a rest and LET SOMEONE ELSE,ANYONE BUT HIM, run the team. Anyone who STILL denies this is FACT is completely out of their mind. JONES

10:14 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Rob Ryan's tirade does nothing but confirm he is AD's stooge. Thanks for confirming what the free world already knew Rob. And as for Kiff throwing RR under the bus, I've got no problem with it and fully encourage it. The guy has been a joke for 5 years but he likes being a puppet so he stays. Kiff has done nothing but be open and honest about the nonsense that goes on with this team and I find that to be refreshing. Feel free to call me a hater or whatever nonsensical term you want but as a fan of this team for 31 out of my 35 years on this planet, whatever.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

X said, "br - sorry, but don't know where you're getting your info that the Raiders are playing the Tampa 2 full time. Ryan even said they played Tampa 3 times and got burned each time.

I applaud Ryan for taking the blame in public, but I sure hope he's blaming the players some in the film room."

X, I applaud Ryan for taking the blame in public, and he even said he's blowing players up in the film room. I think by doing so, he shows that he is a better coach than Lane, who continually throws people under the bus, instead of dealing with it in house.
What Ryan is doing is rallying the troops to play better. He knows he needs to call a better game, he knows he can call a better game (which is why I think he has quit on Kiffin).
Look, bottom line, the defense was horrendous; but Kiffin's play calling on Offense was not better. If you told me that we had 307 Total Offensive Yards, giving up 441 Total Offensive Yards; and then asked me to guess the score; I would guess that the final score would be 38-27; not 41-14. The only reason why Kiffin isn't under the gun from the media this week, is due to the Defense's play.
Monday Night was deplorable. Kiffin is not a good NFL Head Coach, and the way he's going will probably never be a good NFL Head Coach. He doesn't rally the troops, he doesn't take the blame when things are bad, he throws others under the bus, and when the game isn't going well, he does nothing to boost the confidence of the players.
This is where Rob Ryan is different than Lane Kiffin. Ryan even said, "As Head Coach, you wear different hats, and you don't focus on one thing. As Coordinator, I only wear one hat; and I failed on Monday." This is why Rob Ryan will be Head Coach; whether at the end of this next game; or the Bye Week (and because he and Al have a special "relationship").

6:48 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Talk doesn't get it done. Action does. Five years of non-action is enough for me.

I had a chance to listen to the "tame" excerpt of Ryan's press conf on Raiders.com and became even more pissed off.

Ryan says it isn't our D's style to give up big plays. Hello! Giving up big plays has been our M.O. since he got here.

Certainly, none of this excuses Kiffin for airing his laundry in public. He should be more cautious because he might be only one step away from becoming Bill Callahan... the "dumbest team" mentor.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys should join the press corps with this "How can he say he only talks to him in the offseason then says he talked to him lst week".

Just like Kanye said, Pres Bush hates black people.

The fact that the Donks had our entire defensive playbook this time didn't help, I'm sure.

To bad Brodie is not playing this weekend. I had hoped he would work out for KC. Nice to have 3/4 of the QB's in afcwest from the SEC (and the other one came out of Alabama to, state not the university).

7:28 AM  
Blogger Hammer Of Justice said...

"The fact that the Donks had our entire defensive playbook this time didn't help, I'm sure."

The defensive playbook from Tecmo Bowl is more in depth than the one RR uses.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Don you were a rabid Raider fan at 4 years old?? Quick who was the Raider center in 1977?

8:32 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Bama7, you ask what choice does Kiffin have? That's a good question. Like I wrote, I sympathize with his predicament. I just question the timing and judgment of his comments.

If it's as bad as he says in terms of his lack of input on the defense, and I really have no reason to doubt him, then he just should have resigned prior to the season and thrown the appropriate bombs to clear his good name.

But to accept the job for another season, only to start lobbing bombs after week one, doesn't demonstrate the type of leadership that the team needs at this stage of the season. A leader, by nature, must know when to take unfair arrows without protest.

It's true that his revelations might ultimately initiate healthy change, but I see his primary job as head coach, not whistle blower.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Wasn't whistle blower Mike Lombardi's job?

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree, RT.
If things were good, then bitching and moaning would be inappropriate. But we have all known for a long time that there is major dysfunction in Alameda. We (fans) hope the Raiders can win dispite the dysfunction. Like all good co-dependents we ignore the elephant in the room. I actually wish Kiffen was more direct and pointed in his criticism. This is his last year as the Raider HC (if he makes it that long), so why not bring it on....

JF

10:43 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, JF, I certainly understand your sentiment. After five straight years of this nonsense, maybe it's time somebody kicked the door down.

Regardless, I'd rather he did it before the season started, or later this season. As a paying fan (I spent a lot of money on tickets and travel last Monday), I feel a little duped and ripped off if his commitment to the team was simply a charade to be exposed after just one game.

10:50 AM  
Blogger H said...

I know you guys have a handle on things. I'm wrapped up with some other projects that are consuming most of my free time.

H

11:52 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, that's no excuse, we need your TAKE!

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I've already made my travel plans to Oakland in December and am wondering if it was a mistake. If I was a season ticket owner, I'd really be pissed off.

We could all be over-reacting. May be the Raiders with kick KC butt and next week we will all be talking about how great Kiff/Ryan/ Davis are. But most likely this will be another disappointing season. Personally, I am learning the real meaning of being a fan. There were occasional losing seasons, but nothing like this. For the most part we have enjoyed a winning team. The Raiders will win again, but when?

That being said, if any of this is intentional (intentionally throwing games out of spite or in hopes of getting fired, then Raider fans deserve a refund... that will never happen and doubtful anyone would admit to such a thing.

JF

12:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've never seen such a meltdown from fans after one game. I've seen folks plant words in everyone mouth from Kiffin to other posters. This is ONE game, folks. ONE game.

Calico, you're flat out wrong. The Tampa 2 is not a defense you go with on every down. No defense is, unless you're talking about high school football. The Tampa 2 is one weapon in your quiver that needs to be pulled out in appropriate situations. Ryan didn't say he only went with Tampa 2 three times and got burned, he said three of the times he got burned they were in Tampa 2.

Also (and if someone can show me the quote, I'll admit that I'm wrong), Kiffin didn't say that Al Davis controls the defense. He said that he, himself, doesn't have that much control over the defensive system, because he leaves that to Ryan. And he also mentioned that Ryan consults with Davis (and he did say weekly) about the defense. Ryan says when he does talk to Davis during the season it's about specifics (a player, a team, etc.) and not about the game plan. He said that's all on Rob Ryan.

As Americans, we generally say we respect someone who is accountable. It does seem that Kiffin has been making excuses. Ryan stepped up and was accountable, and most everyone here can't jump up and down on him hard enough. So, I guess, in fact, we prefer those who finger point and blame others.

Now, while I'll lead the pack (and have) in saying that the defensive coaching performance last Monday was inexcusable, I respect Rob Ryan much more than I did before he spoke out. Some here seem to hate Ryan even more because he didn't perpetuate the notion that Davis calls all of the plays. Some here have accused Ryan of not getting on his players for mistakes. Well, I don't see that after watching Ryan crawl all over about three of his defensive backs on the sideline.

Ryan just doesn't do what Kiffin does. He doesn't throw his players under the buss when things aren't going well.

In terms of Kiffin's lack of involvement in the defense, show me one NFL head coach who is equally involved on both sides of the ball - just one. Every coach has their expertise on one side of the ball or the other. Gruden didn't involve himself that much with Bresnahan, nor does he with Monte Kiffin.

Now, if you've read down this far, congratulations. Most here will read the first couple of sentences, ignore the rest, and then start putting words in my mouth or arguing with me about issues I never raised. Others will start to tell me this is all my fault for not saying it's all Al's fault, or threaten to have me beaten by the Black Hole. (How grown up!)

12:37 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, if by now you still can't see that a dysfunctional culture has been allowed to fester for years, and that it continues to have a direct impact on the field, then we're just two ships passing in the night. I did read your entire post, by the way.

Ryan's own line of defense seems to be: I know what I'm doing, and that's why I have this job, and it's not as easy as looks.

Well, I imagine that everyone hired to coach in the NFL imagines he knows what he's doing, but that doesn't make it true. I'm sure our head coach, offensive coordinator and offensive line coaches in 2006 thought they knew what they were doing. The NFL landscape is littered with folks who weren't up to the task handed to them.

Screaming, cursing and shouting doesn't change results. Football is a game of results, and based on that simple fact, Ryan shouldn't be employed by the Raiders today or yesterday.

Ryan can scream at his players all he wants on national TV. To me, that's a form of throwing his players under the bus. He wants to scream at the DBs while hanging them out to dry by refusing to even try to put pressure on the QB. Wow, what a stand-up guy.

Ryan's maniacal ranting to the press is an utter embarrassment. No prospective employer would read the transcript of that tantrum and consider him head coaching material. He's starting to seem unhinged and imbalanced to me. His performance and his words speak for themselves.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

BR said, "In terms of Kiffin's lack of involvement in the defense, show me one NFL head coach who is equally involved on both sides of the ball - just one."

Okay, Jeff Fisher, Tennessee Titans. Yes, his expertise is in defense, but he was involved in the offensive game plan as well, which is why Norm Chow is no longer there.
We just faced another coach who has equal share on both sides of the ball when it comes to game planning in Mike Shanahan. That is the reason he was let go in Oakland, and why he didn't get along with Al; he wanted a say on both sides.
John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens is yet another Head Coach in this League that spends equal time on both sides of the ball as well as Mike McCarthy of the Packers, Mike Holmgren of the Seahawks, Scott Linehan of the Rams, and Herm Edwards of the Chiefs.
Remember, you asked for it....

1:01 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Another way to look at it: show me one head coach who has NO say in how the defense is run, and who has NO say in who his defensive coordinator is?

1:15 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Why should I be satisfied that Ryan got up to the microphone and lied? He didn’t need to throw anyone specific under the bus, but don’t insult us either. Just be truthful and say players missed assignments. Why lie to us and say the players have no fault in that disaster?

Is he that bad a coach that the players executed his game plan without flaw and they still got torched?

Besides, it’s not one game that has everyone stirred up about Ryan. It’s five years of ineptitude. Think about it. He had the entire off-season, camp and pre-season to prepare for the most important game this year, i.e., season-home-opener against the Broncos. Add to that, the contracts provided to the likes of Sands (last year), Kelly, Wilson and Hall to bolster his D.

Personally, I don’t need to see any more. I can no longer convince myself that he’ll fix it. If I try, I’ll only end up in therapy after a couple more games.

1:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

"Screaming, cursing and shouting doesn't change results."

Well, you couldn't convince me of that after reading this site over the last few days.

"Ryan's maniacal ranting to the press is an utter embarrassment. No prospective employer would read the transcript of that tantrum and consider him head coaching material. He's starting to seem unhinged and imbalanced to me. His performance and his words speak for themselves."

Well, I admit, the only two I've read since all of this started has been the sane McDonald and Jones, both of whom seem to have an entirely different perspective on this. They both said their respect for Ryan increased.

And Nate, you said: "That is the reason he was let go in Oakland, and why he didn't get along with Al; he wanted a say on both sides."

Not quite true. Shanahan was fired because he wanted everyone who Davis ever hired, fired and replaced with his own people. Shanahan, at the time, said nothing about defense. The specific issue that got him fired was that he went to Art Shell and said, "Why are here. Nobody, including the owner, wants you here. You are just taking up space that I need for an effective OL coach." As a result, Shell went to Davis to ask if it was true and to offer his resignation. That very day, Davis fired Shanahan and promoted Art Shell.

As for both Fischer and Shanahan, both have been with their same team for years. Both have taken their teams to Super Bowls. Of course they are going to get more say in hirings and firings than Kiffin who has been here for one season, never coached in the NFL before, and who's one season was 4-12. Madden, Flores, and Shell all got a similar amount of input in their years. But they earned and showed they were capable of it first, just like Fischer and Shanahan.

I guess my question should have been, show me a second year coach with a losing record with complete control over both offense and defense.

Kiffin is rapidly convincing me that he's decided he doesn't like coaching at the NFL level. He complains about bringing in enough players for competition. Well, welcome to the NFL where you are limited by talent, salary cap, and the bottom line of the team's financial report. You don't get about 5,000 applicants where you can pick and chose the 200 or so that you bring to spring camp.

Kiffin doesn't like the attitude of the players. Well, welcome to the NFL where players are millionaires and don't have to suck up to you for enough playing time to get noticed and the opportunity to be drafted into the NFL. In the NFL you have to lead by example, earn the players' respect, and make them earn yours.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda-- How can you say that it has only been one game? IT HAS BEEN 5 SEASONS! This year is starting off exactly how last year ended. That is what we are all reacting to.

(I did not read the entire post. I read the first and last paragraph, as usual.)

JF

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

BR said, "As for both Fischer and Shanahan, both have been with their same team for years. Both have taken their teams to Super Bowls. Of course they are going to get more say in hirings and firings than Kiffin who has been here for one season, never coached in the NFL before, and who's one season was 4-12. Madden, Flores, and Shell all got a similar amount of input in their years. But they earned and showed they were capable of it first, just like Fischer and Shanahan.

I guess my question should have been, show me a second year coach with a losing record with complete control over both offense and defense."

Spin it anyway you like Blanda. I just answered your question with people, and even answered your second question, and one up'd ya. John Harbaugh is in his first year with the Ravens, and he came in, cleaned house on both sides of the ball, and has equal say on both sides of the ball; and that was before he had any type of record. You can even make the same argument for Zorn in Washington. Spin that anyway you like, but the facts are the facts that coaches do get a good amount of authority. Even across the bay.
Another question, how is wanting to bring in his own people, not wanting equal say on both sides of the ball, Blanda? Isn't that why coaches want their own staff brought in, so they can have an equal say?

1:57 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

My biggest hope is that SOB will pull a "Kiffin" and show everyone this weekend how badly blitzing works in the NFL by blitzing the living shit out of KC.

And it's not just that he doesn't blitz that is the problem, it's that he doesn't disguise anything... doesn't change stuff up.

It's like lazily playing Madden by hitting the same defense button every down.

Everyone else's defense is getting more complex, while ours looks the same every down. [shrug]

3:10 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Really, Nate. You want to use Washington as an example of how to run an NFL team.

As for Harbaugh, he may not have been a HC before, but he's been coaching at the NFL level for several years, showing success at each level. Go ahead, tell me about how Kiffin's record matches Harbaugh's.

And as for Kiffin, neither Ryan nor Davis called his idiotic plays that cost field position or left points on the field. Those choices (which looked very high school) were all Kiffin's.

If you will kindly review, nobody blasted the coaching any more than I did after Monday's game. But I refuse to go through a complete meltdown and start howling about the last five years after game one of this year. And I haven't changed that view. BOTH Kiffin AND Ryan looked like ameteurs. But just because BOTH Kiffin AND Ryan looked like ameteurs, doesn't mean that everything Nancy Gay has been writing is now Nobel worthy.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

always had his way with the defense of the Raiders. He told Jim Fox how to use the linebackers years ago and he quit just before the season started remember? Mr. Ryan used to blitz much more when he ran the defense for the Pats. And he used to run a 3-4 defense which presents even more blitz opportunities.But he doesn't now. He's trying to save his own skin by taking the heat for Al Davis. When this season is over both Ryan and Kiffen will be history. And again we will look for that young guy looking to get his feet wet coaching the Raiders. Poor guy. Nothing will change till Al turns the key over to a real GM.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, has there every been a defensive coordinator who survived three head coaching changes over five seasons with these kind of results? Of course not. It's completely dysfunctional.

What on earth is going on here? Why this madness? Why such infinite tolerance of it?

You should be much more outraged by Ryan's performance on Monday night than Kiffin's, and not just because our defense was woefully worse than our offense (which wasn't great, but at least wasn't biblically awful), but because Ryan is five seasons into his mystifying tenure.

Kiffin will get fired in less than two seasons if this keeps up. Meanwhile, Ryan is somehow impervious to organizational accountability, free to perpetrate the worst defensive performance I've ever seen in Oakland despite having had four previous seasons to get it right, and despite being handed a load of new talent.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blandarocked......do you work in the Raiders PR office and is a mouthpiece for Al Davis?

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, didn't you know? BlandaRocked is Al Davis's personal assistant. He launders his adult diaper and changes his drool rag. All the while telling him how great he is and reminding him that the greatness of the Raiders is in its future. Does the job pay well Blanda? How are the benefits?

4:36 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Well, Take, you can win any argument if you can re-write history. Our politicians attempt to prove that to us every day.

But let's review. Ryan's first year was an absolute piece of crap when he came in here and attempted to convert to a 3-4 (must have been behind Al's back) by turning DTs and DEs into LBs. Nobody griped about that more than I did.

The next year, Turner's second, Ryan's defense improved throughout the season, even though the team was overloaded with major injuries.

In Ryan's 3rd year, under Shell, the defense was consider one of the league's best. Remember?

Last year the defense sucked again. I called for firing Ryan at the time, especially if the team wasn't willing to re-build, because it was obvious to almost everyone here that Ryan didn't have the horses. But then the team showed the willingness to re-build, bringing Ryan more tools.

Ryan offered to resign, Kiffin didn't ask that he be fired. That is confirmed by KIFFIN. Kiffin and Ryan work well together - that is confirmed by both Ryan and Kiffin during the off season.

In view of all of that, I was willing to give Ryan another shot. Monday was a really bad start. But the fact remains, that is one game and not FIVE SEASONS.

If the Raiders look as bad on defense this coming Sunday, I will call for Ryan's head just like everyone else. But in my view, the team, as a whole, was not prepared to play last Monday, and Kiffin ran a stupid offense. They both sucked.

4:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I think I've identified Anonymous as Nancy Gay.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blandarocked,

you say kiffins play calling is at a high school level.

but didn't al davis interview kiffin numerous times ?

didn't al make kiffin go to the blackboard, and draw up every play under the sun ?

didn't al try to cross up the young man with a blizzard of trick questions ?

and, after all that, when kiffin was stll standing, wasn't it al who decided kiff was NfL ready ?

or are you saying after all of al davis' years of hiring all types of coaches, he hired a high school level mind to be head coach of his beloved raiders ?

this alone would convince me that al has lost it.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it amazing that Blanda wonders why alot of Raider fans are up in arms after this past Monday night's debacle. Gee Blanda, do you think it has anything to do with the fact that we just lost our 62nd game since getting our asses handed to us in the Super Bowl? You know, I think that might have something to do with it.

5:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Okay, 00, I guess we have to review history one more time. Kiffin pulled this same crap with his play calling last year, repeatedly leaving points on the field and relinquishing good field position.

As I recall, Davis was ready to fire Kiffin at the end of last season. It was over two issues, not Ryan. It was that Davis felt that Kiffin was job hunting before he even completed his first season (loyalty), and the play calling (job performance). But Davis was willing to give Kiffin another shot, I believe, for two reasons. He'd never coached on the NFL level before, but was showing a good learning curve - especially by beating Shanahan in their second meeting, and it was important for the proper development of JRuss where Kiffin took special focus.

Was Davis stupid to give Kiffin and Ryan another shot? Ask me either at the end of the season or when they both get fired. We'll see. I'm not going to make that call after ONE game this season.

Excuse me for being consistant, and not letting my childish emotions run away with me like others here (I'm looking at you Ano).

5:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I guess the question might be asked, in the same circumstances would I have made the same decisions Davis did. Probably. I see a rapid learning curve and he's been great with JRuss. If Ryan offered me his resignation after last season, I probably would have taken it. So I'm fifty-fifty on those decisions.

However, Kiffin has shown us some new problems which would have made me question my decision to keep him. The biggest is his tendency to continually make the claim that nothing is his fault. THAT is very high school.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blandarocked,

kiffin can call all the pretty plays he wants, but without good football players, it all means nothing.

case in point. on monday night, kiff called a swing pass to mcfadden with the raiders in the red zone.
nice call, woulda worked, except for piss poor blocking that allowed a donk to get right in jruss' grill, and cause him to flub the play.

later on, kiff called for a play action roll out pass to curry.

great call. woulda been a td, except choker curry drops the ball.

in between all this, the defense is letting the donks march up and down the field like their on parade or something.
a defense mind you, that kiffin is allowed zero input.

after watching that game, i just cannot put the load of blame on kiffin.

5:42 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

00, that swing pass in the red zone wasn't a good call. It was 4th down. Kiffin chose to leave 3 points on the field, before the first half was half way finished.

In that situation you take the points. You make the statement to your team, "good job, we'll get down here again and get into the end zone." Instead Kiffin made the statement, "I think it's a fluke that we're down here, better go for all seven."

As for Curry dropping ONE pass (the second was over thrown), I can't think of a WR in this league who hasn't dropped a pass. Most drop at least one in a game. And it was a tough catch (granted one Curry should have made), it's not like Curry had it in his breadbasket and just dropped it. He made a good effort, but it wasn't enough.

The loss isn't on Curry. The loss isn't on Davis. The loss isn't on Hall. The loss is on Ryan AND Kiffin.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda,
why are you so quick to blame the fans for melting down on ONE GAME yet you turn around and blame kiffin and are practically escorting him out the door after this ONE GAME?

btw, i just don't have time to read your entire post. i gotta run.....

6:12 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blandarocked,

you are using 20/20 hindsight to say that swing pass call was bad.

great coaches like bill parcells and jimmy johnson, go for it on 4th down all the time.

the FACT is that if the players execute their blocks, the swing pass would have worked.

mcfadden was wide open, and would have scored.
THAT'S what makes it a good call.

losing teams kick fg's, winners score td's. kiffin is smart enough to realize this, you should be too.

curry dropped one pass, but it was a big one. it was CURRY'S fault he dropped the pass.

when kiffin calls plays, is he suppose to see the future ?

is he suppose to KNOW the o-linemen will whiff their blocks ?

is he suppose to KNOW curry will drop the ball ?

should he never call a running play because the back MIGHT fumble the ball ?

kiffin calls the plays and expects the players to perform at a high level.
it is not his fault they suck in every clutch situation they face.

and if al davis is not to blame for anything that went on monday night, he might as well go home right now, and get ready for his beloved wnba to start.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

too funny, blanda is getting rocked and pantyinabunch won't even show up. You dug your hole blanda, everyone see's the light accept those who resist in opening their eyes. OPEN YOUR EYES BLANDA. You may as well be Jim Otto up there saying " yes Mr Davis, you are always right". You don't care for what is best for the Raiders, you care for what is best for Al Davis, you are so far up his ass, maybe that's why you can't see. IT'S OVER,GET OVER IT, MANY ALREADY KNEW THIS A WHILE BACK but you would continue to spread your propaganda and lies. Yes, it is people like you who resist change to this organization, you help in enabling Al to continue. This dysfunction runs through you as much as the team. You are what is wrong with the Raiders, just one molecule, but you are part of the problem, hope you are proud of yourself. JONES

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan and the D laid an egg on Monday Night and were humiliated by Shanahan. In life when shi- goes bad it generally goes bad. But I am not worried about the D as they will come around. They tried some things on Monday I have never seen them do much of in the past and it was a disaster. What worries me is Kiffin, comes across as an immature kid and is not the kind of leader I would want. He seems more interested in stirring the pot then winning games. He has had 2 years now to come up with some kind of passing attack and has done nothing. And his play calling is to conservative. As Mike Ditka stated eventually you have to lace them up and play football. Kiffin is the head coach and he clearly did not have HIS team ready to play on Monday night. It is just one game and we will get a little better line on things this week.

6:50 PM  
Blogger x said...

Blanda-I must apologize. You may be right about the Tampa 2 comment that Ryan made, but the big picture is this:

Ryan's defense has sucked for five years. Don't give me that "top ranked defense in Ryan's third year" crap. Wasn't that the year the Raiders had the absolute worst offense known to man.
Ryan just does nothing with a gameplan or during a game that gives his players a better chance to win. You hear it in all the post game comments from the opposition. The Raiders never out strategize anyone and they certainly have to since they don't seem to have the personnel to beat people with vanilla defenses. A DC is supposed to recognize these things and A-D-J-U-S-T....or at least try to.

Burned in my memory is Jay Cutler bouncing out to the offensive huddle to open the second half. He was joking with the sideline and absolutely giddy about getting back in there to face the anemic Raider defense. So much for the feared Silver and Black. He probably didn't even need to shower after the game.

Meltdown after one game? Yes, it's just one game, but this defensive performance was pathetic. The Raiders are being laughed at - the media we love to hate are having a field day. And there was much optimism going into the home opener against a division rival without their top offensive weapon. And did I mention Ryan should have been sacked at least a year ago and he's still here running this sad show. That certainly contributes to the fan outrage.

You're right, the loss is on both coaches, but Ryan has been bad for his whole Raider career. He has a supposedly very talented defense. He has some real speed at linebacker that he can take advantage of and doesn't. In contrast, Lane Kiffin has essentially a rookie QB to work with, an offensive line with issues, and a real problem at WR.

I'm just like you. A loyal Raider fan that wants his team to win. I hope they turn it around in KC (watch out JaMarcus - Super Mario looks like he's starting at LT), but the disgraceful effort and game planning, mostly on defense, they showed on national TV can't be ignored.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

To me, the fan rage in the wake of Monday night is entirely reasonable, healthy and expected.

As I've said before, the more errors an organization makes, the less margin for error it has. Which makes the Raiders' margin for error razor thin. In the parity-driven NFL, any team can be excused for a few bad years. But there is simply no excuse for five straight years of 5 wins or less. No excuse at all. Anyone who makes an excuse for it is an enabler.

So, after watching the team dole out tens of millions of dollars to free agents, in the wake of five awful seasons representing perhaps the worst run of any team in the modern era of the NFL, and personally investing in season tickets and related travel costs, to be treated to MINOR LEAGUE football on defense (at home, against a division rival, no less) is an affront to the fans. The fans packed the house and did their job to the fullest. The organization did not.

The fans have nothing to explain. The organization has a lot to explain.

If we beat the Chiefs 55 to 0 on Sunday, that doesn't change the fact that the fans are fully justified in their rage this week. 62,000 people paid for major league football last week and were nothing less than cheated.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I hate to pile on BR but ...

Let's not confuse the issue (Ryan's record of performance over the past 5 years including the MNF debaccle) with side tangents that are completely meaningless.

For example, who cares if the Raiders used the Tampa 2 on a few ocassions?

The fact that we used the Tampa 2 on a few plays had no bearing on the big picture which is a DC who doesn't understand the value of QB pressure.

Who cares that Ryan blamed himself for the poor showing on MNF?

I want a DC who has his shit together, makes in game adjustments, and plays an aggressive, attacking D.

I want a DC who takes great pleasure in putting his players in a position to win.

I want a DC who enjoys being a mad scientist creating exotic blitz schemes.

I want a DC who understands the importance of keeping the offense guessing by using blitz and disguising schemes.

Sure, being accountable after the game was the right thing to do. However, after 5 straight years of subpar Ds, I want and expect solutions not hollow accountability.

To be truly accountable means that Ryan should do everything in his power including gameplanning to give his troops the best chance to win.

Zero sacks, zero QB hurries, zero QB knockdowns is a complete abomination of the game.

As far as you blasting Kiffin for his "H.S." coaching and poor playcalling:

The 4th down call and coming away with no points is a debatable call. Besides this call, Kiffin did what Ryan failed to do ... he put the offensive players in positions to make plays.

The Russell fumble was a GREAT play call. Give Russell this same play 10 times and I would bet my last dollar he is successful making the screen pass to Run DMc a TD.

Kiffin's intended gameplan went out the window or was dramatically altered by the fact that our D couldn't stop Denver. It also is severely altered by a rookie QB, a suspect pass blocking OLine, and a WR corps that has no #1 WR, depth, or experience. Leslie Lelie had been with the Raiders for 5 days before getting major playing time.

If you were to ask the offensive personnel what they thought of the gameplan, playcalls of Kiffin vs. Denver, I'm quite certain they would say he dialed up the right plays but they failed to execute on a few KEY plays.

The Run DMc screen pass and Curry drop alone could have been the difference in a 17 to 0 halftime lead and a 17 to 14 halftime deficit.

Like many on this board, I want this MNF massacre to be an awakening leading up to KC. Regardless of whether or not Kiffin and/or Ryan are fired in season or at the end of the season, this game vs. KC is the time to make a statement. The statement should be in effect that both units will face this challenge with both Kiffin and Ryan being sharp as tacks, putting their respective units in the position to win the battle. No stone should be left unturned. Every possible impact weapon will be used. It might sound corny and like a cliche' but if the players and coaches committ to leaving everything on the table on Sunday, no matter the outcome, atleast their pride will be intact. If Ryan refuses to blitz when the circumstances dictate he should then there is no excuse. Any DC who doesn't understand the value of blitzing should find another line of work.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

If the Raiders beat the Chiefs by playing aggressive, spirited yet sound football, this wake up call and Kiffin's candor will be looked upon as a much needed "cleansing".

If the Raiders get beat whipped by the Chiefs by playing passive, unmotivated and undisciplined football, both Kiffin and Ryan are dead men walking.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One game? Only one game? No BR it has been 5 excruciatingly long seasons. After all the progress of last season, we backslid and did not even compete. This has become a pattern, even a codependent can see that.

I disagree with you RT. Kiff must confront this publicly in order to maintain some semblance of respect from the players who know that Al is running shit. His public fight with Davis and his boy SOB had to happed if Kiff has any chance to turn this around. But I don't think he will.

Roy

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Sactown Raider said...

RaiderTake,

Your comments are right on. However, you don't go nearly far enough. The "D" in dysfunctional starts with D-D-Davis, as in Al. Kiffin is obviously in a bad situation, trying to make the best of it but he is in over his young head in terms of dealing with a totally dysfunctional organization. Kiffin is saddled with poor talent, no organizational support, a poor defensive coach and no control to make things better.

I have been a fan for 35 years and these last 5 years have been ludicrous, humiliating, obscene, absurd, dysfunctional, infuriating, demoralizing and
pathetic. I have been a season ticket holder since the Raiders' return to Oakland and the only bright spot was the Jon Gruden era. The last 5 years make the Mike White/Joe Bugel regimes seem like 'the good old days'. Even Jon Gruden was able to take the crappy talent he inherited and fashion 2 back-to-back 8-8 seasons. The dysfunction is so institutionalized that no respected, established head coach will consider taking the position.

I have two seats in the club sectiion. Cost: $3,000+ per year. Am I getting my money's worth? No way!!!! I wasted 9 hours of my life this last Monday going to the game in Oakland, actually thinking we had a chance to win, or at least make a respectable showing. Instead I was presented with an insulting excuse of a team and then figuratively kicked in the groin. I can tell you that my tickets are going in the trash and I will not support this team or Al Davis in any fashion until he announces he is stepping down/away or selling his share.

The problem is now in the hands of the fans. Until the rest of you fans indicate that you are fed
up with this nonsense and that you will not settle for this low level of performance, then you are saying "Yes Mr. Davis, go ahead and put a ridiculously poor product on the field and we will support whatever you do, no matter what". If no fans show up to the game or buy the gear or if you announce a boycott of the sponsors' products, then Mr. Davis, and perhaps more importantly the NFL brain trust, will start to get the message. Until that happens, be prepared for continued 'excellence' like you experienced Monday night, year after year until Mark Davis takes over. And then you won't know what to expect.

You have a forum, you are aware of other forums: it is time to say No! to the dysfunction, and demand something and someone better. It's up to the fans now. As a united force we can bring about change. If you and the rest of the Raider Nation do nothing and thereby continue to embrace the putrid product issuing forth from Alameda every year, then you get what you deserve. The days of John Madden, Ken Stabler, Gene Upshaw, Ray Guy, George Blanda, Freddy B., Phil Villapiano, et al., are long gone. So are the days of Jon Gruden, Rich Gannon, Napoleon Kaufman, Lincoln Kennedy and Tim Brown. It's really up to the fans now. There is no one else.

Henry McNeely

8:22 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

"If the Raiders beat the Chiefs by playing aggressive, spirited yet sound football, this wake up call and Kiffin's candor will be looked upon as a much needed 'cleansing'."

Now THAT is really funny. Guess what, CJ, if Ryan is incompetent this week, he won't become suddenly competent because Kiffin says "I leave the defense up to Rob, and he talked to Al last week." He won't become suddenly competent because folks here had a melt down.

If they play well and beat the Chiefs it will because that is what they are capable of doing. And it will be an example of how they should have played on Monday, but came to the game unprepared.

Incidentally, I saw Kiffin's interview transcribed from a radio interview. Funny thing about that. He says he works well with Rob Ryan, and that while they have two different philosophies, he says that's not uncommon for people from different backgrounds. He also hinted around a little bit that he felt that his team showed up unprepared.

So it seems we've heard from both Kiffin and Ryan, and they both seem to agree with my take. But you all seem to know that Ryan is Al Davis' boy, and a liar, and that St. Kiffin is just trying to change the culture by dropping subtle hints that the media blow up into scathing exposes.

I'd also have to say that I'm getting a little tired of the personal attacks from those who are too brain dead to come up with a coherent argument about anything. I'm not directing this at the regulars here, just the gutless wonders who hide behind the word "Anonymous."

Telling me that I'm an Al Davis plant, or that I live inside Davis' hindquarters, or that the Black Hole is going to beat me up, is not an argument. Are you capable of pulling up your knuckles from dragging on the ground and formulating reasons why I must be incorrect? I guess not. I'm just surprised your mommy is willing to type these diatribes into the box for you.

8:40 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Wow! Henry, that's worth a second read. I hear ya, man. It's not an easy pill to swallow for any of us.

This is exactly where we were at the end of the Shell regime, and again this past off-season when we thought Kiffin was asked to resign.

Meanwhile, I have about $500 invested in a road trip to Buffalo next week, and remain very concerned whether it’s worth my effort. A similar showing this week against the Chiefs and I will eat the $500 and find something more pleasant to do, like pulling all my teeth.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I wonder if part of the problem is that our coaches are spending so much effort in simply trying to have a good product, that they are completely forgetting about ANY game planning our specific opponents? Perhaps this wasn't a big thing at USC, because they had such a superior product, that it was irrelevant which team they were playing? Perhaps instead of studying our opponents looking for weaknesses to exploit... we are studying our OWN game film trying to fix our weaknesses?

The reason I mention this is that it baffles me every time we play Denver, the defense seems so completely surprised by the bootleg. To me, that should be the ONLY play they should practice against all week. Last week we just seemed unprepared to play the game of football... but one thing I have noticed during the St. Kiffin era is that we seem to be unprepared to play any specific opponent.

Thoughts?

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gutless wonders who won't go by a name? My name is stated just as yours is, it's JONES mky man. I haven't posted for a while but I told you this LO)NG time ago , BOO. JONES

12:19 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I may hold the minority opinion here, but I'm happy with the development.

Kiffin's play may just work out. Ryan felt he needed to take the blame publically. Good. Within hours the defense is putting it on themselves. "Ryan can't cross that white line. It's on us." Good.

Accountability is a b*tch sometimes, but this team has gone on TOO long without it. Previous top offenders: Callahan, Moss, Porter, Jordan, Stu...

Need I go on?

12:33 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR: The point I was trying to make with the following comment is quite simple:

"If the Raiders beat the Chiefs by playing aggressive, spirited yet sound football, this wake up call and Kiffin's candor will be looked upon as a much needed 'cleansing'."

Let me break it down for you so you won't spin it or go off on one of your tangents.

After Ryan's D got humiliated, massacred, outcoahed, and outschemed by the Broncos, there was an outpouring of articles and fan feedback.

Some of the articles talked about the lack of QB pressure. Some of the articles talked about Davis input into the D. On Wednesday, Kiffin made comments about his lack of involvement in the D. On Thursday, Ryan had his 20 minute PC putting the blame on himself.

The point being that Ryan's D is under the microscope. I'm quite certain that when Ryan reviewed the game film this week, it became very obvious that he needs to gameplan in such a way as to create consistent QB pressure.

The challenge facing Ryan is to make the necessary adjustments in the game plan and scheme to get better results.

Getting back to my original comment of "If the Raiders beat the Chiefs by playing aggressive, spirited yet sound football, this wake up call and Kiffin's candor will be looked upon as a much needed 'cleansing'."

Playing Aggressive football:
Ryan using the blitz as a valuable tool to create QB pressure, dictate tempo, and be in attack mode.

Playing Spirited football:
Ryan using his leadership abilities and motivational ploys to get the absolute best possible effort from all of his defensive personnel.

Playing Sound football:
Ryan clearly instructing his personnel of each individual's assigment to avoid confusion, uncertainty, and bad penalties.

Was the MNF game and the avalanche of bad press a wake up call? You bet. Ryan would have to be comatose to not hear the call. Did some of Kiffin's comments stir Ryan up and put the focus on Ryan's D? Yup.

In my view, the MNF massacre was and should be an awakening. Ryan will either dig down deeper and get better results or he will stubbornly refuse to make the necessary adjustments to get this D back on the right track.

Lastly, you write:
"If they play well and beat the Chiefs it will because that is what they are capable of doing."

add the following line at the end of your sentence and I would agree;

"as long as Ryan uses the modern principles of defensive football"

Further, you write:
"And it will be an example of how they should have played on Monday, but came to the game unprepared."

Ifa, woulda, coulda, shoulda. Well why didn't they play that way on MNF? Quite simply because Ryan was schooled by ShanaRat and played a VERY passive brand of defensive football. They came to the MNF game unprepared because, you guessed it, Ryan let them down.

1:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I just can't imagine Ryan making adjustments that are needed for QB pressure after one game... even as bad as this game was. He's shown the same ineptitude before without making adjustments.

Noteworthy, Kiffin more or less stated Kelly's injury (and/or his lack of conditioning due to injury) is still lingering, thus, effected the middle of our line. You would think that Ryan would have known that and provided some help getting to the QB on critical 3rd downs. Our 4-man front was invisible on Monday.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding Ryan being passive: go back to the final minute of the 2007 Browns game.

Raiders up by 1 point, Browns drive in about a minute to around the 35 yard line. No Timeouts left. They need 5-7 yards to be in their kicker's range. SOB's defense put all 11 Raiders into coverage - not O N E single Raider rushed QB Anderson. Result was a completion on the sidelines, step out of bounds to set up the winning field goal.

Only a blocked field goal gave Raiders their first win since Steelers in Oct of 2006.

Near as I could tell v Broncos Monday night - nothings changed.

We're skunked!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just ordered a CD called "Circus Music".

I hope it comes in time for me to play to play it during the game tomorow.

I couldn't afford any dancing bears and I don't know any juggling midgets to complete the theme.

Psycho

3:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Anon: don't think for a second that any of us forgot the Cleveland game.

Ryan's scheme is all about coverage. The more critical the situation, the more coverage (and less pressure) he applies.

This is completely opposite of the teachings of the long lineage he boasted in his resume the other day.

I could almost give him a pass if he would confess Al Davis was pulling the strings on a puppet show defense (after all, it's a paycheck, right?). But to say Davis has no involvement in the defensive game plan (nor does Kiffin) makes him a complete failure as a DC.

His successes with other teams only proves that he can be a solid coach under someone else’s direction. Five years of failure as a DC and he still doesn’t get it. The man refuses to learn from his own mistakes.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

BR I really respect your tendacity. I don't agree, but I give you major props for not getting frustrated and leaving.

Personally I think the problem starts at the top, with Mr. Davis. IMO the Raiders will never return to where I want them to be (playoffs) until there is a fundamental shift within the organization. I honestly don't see that happening until Mr. Davis steps down. But that's based on nothing more than the results since the SB appearance.

Anyway, I do have a question that I honestly don't understand, you said:

00, that swing pass in the red zone wasn't a good call. It was 4th down. Kiffin chose to leave 3 points on the field, before the first half was half way finished.

In that situation you take the points. You make the statement to your team, "good job, we'll get down here again and get into the end zone." Instead Kiffin made the statement, "I think it's a fluke that we're down here, better go for all seven."


My question is are you talking about the first drive of the game? Because I don't remember them going for it anytime else and I've scanned the play by play and don't see anyother time other than the first drive.

The problem I have is that they made the first down on the quarterback sneak, then on the next series it was on 3rd down that Russell was sacked and lost the ball.

So you think they never should have gone for it in the first place, eventhough they made the first down? Maybe it's another series of plays that I've forgotten.

As for the fluke part, it's funny how two people can look at the exact same series of plays and come away with a totally different feeling.

I thought it showed great confidence in the the team the 1. he believed they would make a 4th and inches, 2. even if they didn't the defense would hold and 3. he wanted to make a statement early and tie the game.

:)

6:42 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Friends, I want to share a part of an email I received today from a reader named Michael:

"One thing that really sets you apart is how respectful and responsible your comment contributors are.

Most sites are loaded with foul mouthed, disrespectful and obnoxious writers that have no common courtesy (or sense for that matter).

Your Raider Take site seems to pull in those writers that reasonably put out their opinions and will at least tolerate other input."

Thanks to all of you for inspiring such feedback. It says a lot about the community of this place.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Surely Michael's writing about someone else, Take? ;^)

---Jeff

8:15 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Oh btw RT, I forgot to say I thought this was a well written Take... thanx.

Well.. off to the KC game in 4 hours... have to try and get some sleep with adrenaline going.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, PFT.com says Kiffin will be fired come Monday or Tuesday.

Jerry Mac says if Kiffin goes 0-4 then he will be replaced?

Any thougths?

Mr. Duva

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KEEP KIFFIN FIRE AL Help spread the word! www.myspace.com/keepkiffinfireal

9:32 PM  
Blogger x said...

Toni - Yeah, you're right. The Russell fumble was on 3rd down, not fourth. Blandarocked was mistaken. I don't think he was referring to the successful fourth down conversion just before that. Perhaps he'll clarify.

I also agree that the comment contributors on this blog are a cut above....not only in Raider blog/forum circles, but really across all sports.

I can't tell you how many times I read comments from Raider fans on newspaper blogs, yahoo blogs, etc that just make me wince. I never feel that way with RaiderTake, with the exception of the occasional hater rant.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR: I looked up the play by play breakdown of the game; go to

http://tinyurl.com/5jy73u

Your statement:

"00, that swing pass in the red zone wasn't a good call. It was 4th down. Kiffin chose to leave 3 points on the field, before the first half was half way finished."

This isn't true. Kiffin went for it on 4th down and inches and had Russell successfully execute the QB draw. It was on 3rd down that the botched swing pass to McFadden happened not 4th down.

I don't know anyone who would say going for it on 4th and inches on the 8 yard line is a bad call. The 3rd down swing pass was a beautiful call that was poorly executed.

Bottom Line: You blasted Kiffin for "taking 3 points off the board" when in actuality this simply isn't true.

Talk about "rewriting history". :)

11:03 PM  

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