Saturday, October 04, 2008

Able Cable Takes The Reins

By The FreakingPope

As the dust settles, with occasional flurries from former players like Warren Sapp, we find ourselves a little over a week away from our first game under a new head coach. The team is back on the practice field. The drama may go on, but the team is somewhat isolated from it.

I admit that the night before Cable's first press conference, I was a little nervous about how our team would handle the transition. It literally kept me up. I felt like we had lost the face of our "Return to Excellence".

Over the last few days, Cable has offered up some insights into his plan for our immediate future.  He could be a regular here at Raider Take, based on what I've heard, or maybe common sense is truly common in this instance.

Judge for yourself.

"The work will be tempo, tempo, tempo, as fast as we can go.  And keep pushing that, because I just believe that if you play faster than the other guy he's going to give up somewhere in that game."

We can hear part of Kiffin's philosophy here, but the charisma is far different.  Maybe it's because he outweighs Lane by 100+ pounds, or because he's used to dealing with formidable pupils, but when Tom says it, it doesn't sound like a suggestion.  It sounds like an order.

"We're not looking back.  We're a good team.  We're going to run for the playoffs, and that's our deal. We're not gonna back down.  We're not afraid say that, because you have to if you believe in yourself."

Could this be the end of playing not to lose?

"In order to succeed you have to fail. And so I've said that from day one.  Never be afraid to make mistakes, but around me make mistakes at 100 mph, cause you'll grow from that quicker, you'll learn from that quicker."

If this is the teaching method that pulled Gallery's career out of the toilet, sign me up.

"If I don't like the effort, I can't stand that.  You might as well give someone else your check, because you're cheating.  We're not going to do that.  We're going to work hard, and work fast."

Now I know one, if not all of us, have written this here.

"What you're going to see is balanced offense. That's the key. Whether that means more passing or not I don't know. You might see a series or two where it's all pass or all run. I think we have to be more balanced. We do run the football, so there's a lot of people in the box so you've got to take your shots."

Ditto.

I leave you with the following.  It speaks to the next step in our evolution as a team.  May Tom find fortune, where Lane, Shell, Turner, and Callahan could not.

Do you see this team as being close to being a contender?

"Yeah I do. I don't have any question in my mind. First thing we have to do is learn how to win, then we have to learn how to handle winning. We compete hard, I think that's obvious. That's step one. Step two is learn how to win. We need to win in the fourth quarter. Once that happens we need to learn how to handle winning because it hasn't happened for a while. You don't just go out and win a few games and think everything's all rosy because it can blow up on you. There's still a process that you have to get through. Right now it's about learning how to win games and finish games in the fourth quarter."

Note: Thanks to FreakingPope for contributing this take! This is one of an ongoing series of guest takes here at Raider Take. If you would like to contribute a guest take, please email me at raidertake@yahoo.com for guidelines.

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135 Comments:

Anonymous gary said...

Well done Pope... I'm impressed so far on the things Cable is saying... lets hope it translates as well to the field.

13-3 baby!! lol

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Outstanding take, TFP!

The proof is in the pudding, as it were.

We'll see.

---Jeff

10:28 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Nice guest take Senor Pope.

I have no doubts whatsoever that the team will play their guts out for Cable. Execution by the players will largely decide our fortune for the remaining 12 games.

Different topic:

One aspect that has been overlooked in the recent 4th Q collapses has been the abscence of Huggy Bear Jr.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Stuporburg said...

It is pretty bad to see Fargas banged-up. I would say he has been the the most consistent, minus history of injuries.

I think Cable and the team better open up the playbook. With Fargas out, McFadden with turf-toe, we are no longer stacked in the running department. (It would be a major ouch, if Bush gets hurt.) We need to see more passing game, although we are not much better off in the receiving department. (I do not expect much from Walker and Lelie. Miller has been the most consistent, while Higgins and Schilen has been showing a bit of flash.)

At this point in time, I am not too concerned about W/L%, especially considering that this season is functionally Russel's rookie season. Steady improvement is the key. One cannot expect a toddler to run like a sprinter in one-go. A toddler cannot expect to run like a sprinter in one-go.

11:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nice take, Pope. Cable says all the right things. Now let's hope they carry over onto the field. I think the players believe in him, therefore, believe in themselves.

A large part of winning is attitude. Cable seems to bring that attitude to the table.

I have to believe, however, that a lot of the pieces have been put in place by Kiffin, and that's no small task.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, Shell, Turner, Calahan did not Change the locker room. Lane brought a new attitude to this team and to put him with this bunch is just WRONG! Lets not pretend that this change just "happened" because it didn't! Kiffin made it so lets hope Tom the Cable guy can keep it up.

2:52 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Anon,

Agreed. It was not my intent to imply that Cable will have success in spite of Kiffin. Every coach must deal with the decisions of his predecessor, good and bad. Al may not understand what Kiffin has set in motion, but we all clearly do.

Thank you to everyone for you kind praise.

Calico,

I believe Fargas' injury has been a big part of our 4th quarter struggles. The other defense just isn't as worn out as it would be if Huggy Bear Jr. was back there with Russell. Has anyone seen an update on the injury?

And yes, Jeff. The proof is truly in the pudding.

Looking forward..

Personally I believe that New Orleans' offense is no match for our defense. We'll be in this one through the end. Let's see if Cable can make good on his promise to close out the fourth quarter.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cables attitude seems very 'Raider'. Great Take.

Of the many things Al said about Kiffin, I wonder if it's true that Kiffin came to him with "We can't win with this guy (Ryan)".

If that's really how Kiffin felt then we were doomed from the start going into every game. He was so critical of so many guys that I wouldn't put it past him to really believe the other teams were better. Hell, he talked shit about the depth every week, justified or not.

I just really like how Cable puts his total faith into his players and aims high. So far so good. His linemen run through brick walls for him, so hopefully it spreads.

Psycho

10:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Pope:

I wouldn't sell the NO offense short. It is one of the most prolific and potent offenses in the NFL.

Total Offense: 414 yards (#3)
Scoring Offense: 27.8 ppg (#5)

For the Raiders to win vs. NO, the Raiders offense will need to capitalize on turnovers, short fields created by the Raiders D.

The other obvious component for a Raider victory will be red zone efficiency. FGs won't cut it vs. the high powered NO offense.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous raiderhip said...

great take pope!

i'm just a little bit slow to even begin to get exited about the new head coach.

when Kiffin came out he also always said the right thing...and i got exited about him...Shell too (at first)

with all my heart i hope that Tom IS THE MAN!

but I just can't blindly get exited about any of these coaches like i have been for the last several years.

Cable knows the team, LOVES the Raiders, and seems optimistic (which is good) and i hope like hell that this can work out.

the one thing that i really do agree with him is that we actually do have a pretty good team! and damn it that's what makes me happy....good coaching could really put us up there.

again great take....thank Q

12:08 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

From Jerry Mac: “...the public execution of Lane Kiffin to go along with firing him for “cause” and not paying his contract is bound to make any coach think twice.”

Being HC of the Raiders is like being second in command behind Darth Vader, i.e., one bad call away from execution.

Davis can say coaches don’t have a problem working for the Raiders, but if Cable doesn’t work out, I don’t expect to see candidates jumping at the prospect.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I wonder if the biggest problem we have now isn't so much that Al keeps hiring bad coaches, just that they aren't Flores or Madden? The people that keep pointing out how quickly Al fires coaches for no reasons forget that Madden and Flores lasted 20 years between the two of them. The difference? They always won and brought Al his rings.

Gruden was close but didn't close the deal and then started looking for another job. I just got done listening to Howie Long talk about how if Kiffin thought he could get away with pursuing another job while still a Raider, he was sadly mistaken.

That isn't an Al mistake... that is the mistake of Kiffin not knowing what Al is all about... something Howie mentioned too... and it;s not like he didn't have people to talk to about it... Gruden could have told him that.

Oh well... hopefully Cable will dazzle Al by winning, keeping his trap shut (not airing your dirty laundry in public) and being loyal to the Raiders.

Those are the only things Al really cares about. If a coach doesn't understand that going in, they shouldn't take the job in the first place.

(also posted at CJ's blog)

9:55 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Great take Pope,

Gary,

it not so much we do not have madden, & flores.
it's more about putting both feet in the present, instead of always keeping one foot in the past.

that to me is what Hc's like gruden and kiffin represented.
moving forward.

besides, madden and flores won SB's, but both had great players, great teams.
i only wish al davis would provide some of his more recent Hc's with half the talent.

and more to the point, if john madden were to coach the raiders today, the first thing he probably would want to do ?.....fire rob ryan.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I'm pretty sure that Madden has the people skills to work with Ryan on a defense they both can be happy with.

Thats the thing I don't get about Kiffin, either he was in agreement or worse yet, an instigator in a passive fourth quarter defense, or he is an imbecile for not getting together with Ryan and CHANGING it while it was happening. Instead nothing was done.

And nobody has great players up and down the line like it used to be before expansion, free agency, and the salary cap... same as nobody is very deep (another thing that Kiffin complained about, but doesn't understand about the NFL). I do blame Al for not trying to bring in a franchise QB earlier, but I excuse him some because he thought he already had one with Walter.

At any rate.. lets hope the Raiders can finally start winning so this endless backwards looking and finger pointing can end.

Al isn't the greatest owner nor the best... but one thing he has always been is someone that tries to win... and often swung for the fences and struck out because of it. I can always appreciate something like that. It always makes for an interesting product.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Gary,

on that note, i can agree.
let's start winning. i'n tired of all the losing.

even miami is starting to win.
kerry collins is winning.
daniel snyder is winning.

LET'S GO !!!!!!!!

1:07 PM  
Blogger H said...

Good one pope. Glad I checked in. I normally don't on a weekend.

I think one of the major differences is Cable isn't afraid to make mistakes. That was one of Kiffin's problems, in my somewhat humble opinion. That leads to trying to sit on 9 point leads in the third quarter.

Just as proof is in the pudding, the devil is in the details, and there are probably a few dozen other cliches we could come up with.

H

4:59 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Calico,

I should have been more detailed. Something I will remedy, time allowing, tomorrow. I actually meant it as praise of our D, rather than to dimish what N.O. can do on offense. I believe that what makes them effective may prove difficult against what is arguably one of the top ten defenses in the league (Phil Simms' words, not mine).

Again, thank you to everyone for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the take. That said, I stood on the shoulders of greatness. One of the reasons I check this blog daily is that your opinions, even when they differ mine, improve my understanding of the game and my love for this team.

Go Raiders!

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I don't think Fargas' injury has contributed to our 4th Quarter meltdowns. It hurts that he's not there, but overall, the play-calling made on both sides of the ball didn't help our chances at winning.
Fargas' injury (and McFadden's for that matter) hurts us because for 3 Quarters it should be speed fom those two (Fargas/McFadden); and then starting the 4th Quarter, we should be sending in a fresh Michael Bush as the POWER back that is going to pound the ball and eat time. With both Fargas and McFadden hurt, Bush hasn't been fresh in the 4th.
But what does that matter if the play-calling has been crap in the 4th Quarter? I've said it here plenty of times that football is a balanced sport. You have to run the ball effectively, but in order to do so, you have to pass. Defensively, you have to be aggressive in attacking the offense. Pressure-pressure-pressure! Pressure stops the run, pressure forces the QB to throw when he doesn't want to, which helps create turn-overs; pressure stops the opposing offense in their tracks!
We've attacked for 3 Quarters, and come time in the 4th Quarter, we ease up. That is the coaching mentality that has plagued us the last 5 1/4 seasons. With Cable's words, "We are not going to let up, we are going to choke them out" (paraphrased), is encouraging to hear. Something we haven't heard since Gruden. Now we will see how it translates. We need to attack-attack-attack-attack; steal the plunder; take what we want; and punch those who stand in our way in the face.
If we don't do this the rest of the season; EVERYONE will know that Kiffin wasn't the problem.
Win, lose, or draw; I'm a Raider fan for life! Let's get our swagger and plunder back.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

To pick a nit here... I'm not sure St. Gruden was THAT aggressive of a coach himself... I distinctly remember many a Raider fan pissed off about his offensive play calling during the Tuck game... and his teams to this day always play every game very close. To his credit, he has a knack of pulling games out in the end... but I don't think of "aggressive" as an adjective I'd use with Gruden.

I stumbled upon a comment in the Bleacher Report that really reminded me of myself, and how some of us take this much too seriously (and I know many would rather have a hot poker in their eye than read something like this) but here goes:

...quote...

Football is entertainment.
Al is entertainment. I know he does what he thinks is best for the team. He is always keeping it interesting. When moving his team, drafting Heisman trophy winners or kickers in first round, bringing in players like Bo, Moss, Rice, Sapp, Plunkett, Gannon, Lott ( could go on forever) or booting coaches out like ..(see last five years).
Whatever he does is plain entertainment to me. He hinted (during the press conference) that some sports analyst has talked about coaching for him (Hmm who could that be?), and something about a stadium contract (moving again?) Would I like to see the team win more games? Sure, But, until we do, I just order another brew, smile and think, I'm glad I'm of such a fan of such an interesting, ENTERTAINING team.

....end quote....

7:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Entertaining for whom? Yeah, it's entertaining, but they're laughing at us, not with us.

Maybe the problem is that every Raiders' coach in this modern era HAS TO BE picture perfect. There's no room for error, even on the smallest scale.

As thrilled as I am that the Fins beat SD this week, it also makes me sick to think how quickly they turned things around. They just beat last year's AFC championship teams in back-to-back weeks... and Parcels started his campaign by trading away their best player.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

hance to read the posts in take's new take but check this out folks - from this morning's sj merc:

"On the NFL Network, Adam Schefter reported that the NFL would consider disciplining Al Davis for saying the Patriots tampered with Randy Moss. The criticism might be seen as a violation of Commissioner Roger Goodell's memo against publicly denigrating other teams. Yes, because YOU DON'T TALK BAD ABOUT THE PATRIOTS, and Goodell made that clear when destroying all of the Spygate-related evidence."

ok, even I'VE gotta admit - this kind of bias is RIDICULOUS!

8:25 AM  
Blogger H said...

Not trying to beat up on Kiffin, I actually liked the guy. But, just playing the "IF" game and looking at things realistically.

IF Cable goes 7-5 and the team winds up 8-8.

IF we begin to pass more and have success.

IF Javon Walker catches on and gets over 800 yards for the season.

IF the Defense quits playing soft with a 9 point lead and starts stopping other teams in the 4th quarter.

Take that number 1 IF and any two of the others and what will happen?

Kiffin will need to sue the Raiders because his stock as a head coach or even an offensive coordinator will drop like the proverbial rock.

I wish the man no ill will, but my preference is for all the aforementioned IF's to come to fruition.

See, Cable is in a no lose situation. Worse case scenario for him is his reputation as a top shelf position coach will remain intact.

For Kiffin the story is quite different though. If the Raiders improve under Cable he looks bad. If we tank again then he didn't do such a hot job improving the team.

H

8:56 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico, you took my comment about Bugel being the only clinker a little out of context. The immediate question, I believe, was whether all of the former OL coaches who became Raider Head Coaches were clinkers. There were three. Art Shell, Callahan and Bugel (before Cable). My point was that Art Shell was a winning HC in his first stint (when he was a former OL Coach rather than a former NFL executive), Callahan got us to a Super Bowl, so the only pure clinker (among former OL coaches) was Bugel.

9:13 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Nice take, Pope!

9:25 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H- I respectfully disagree. It's no secret Kiffin made strides improving the Raiders while under the scrutiny and limitations placed on him by Al Davis.

Essentially, Kiffin left with the team on the rise. If we improve under Cable, it could be argued that Kiffin set the foundation.

If we fail, again, there is only one person to blame, and it ain't Lane Kiffin.

10:17 AM  
Blogger H said...

NYRaider,

I wasn't saying he didn't improve the team. I'm talking about public perception.

Most pundits in the media will say "Al". But those looking to hire Kiffin, how will they look at it.

That's my point.

H

10:52 AM  
Blogger H said...

NYRaider,

I wasn't saying he didn't improve the team. I'm talking about public perception.

Most pundits in the media will say "Al". But those looking to hire Kiffin, how will they look at it.

That's my point.

H

10:52 AM  
Blogger H said...

Haven't a clue as to why the previous published twice.

H

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H,
Can you repeat that?

Psycho

11:44 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Kiffin is done in the NFL for at least a couple of years. It's not whether he was good or not, it's a matter of him undermining ownership. If he did it to Davis, with Davis' known ability for retaliation, he'd do it with anyone. Owners, by and large, will avoid Kiffin until the last couple of weeks are a distant memory.

College, however, is a different issue. He will be hired at no lower level than OC for some college team by the end of the year. His experience in the NFL, no matter the result, will be viewed as a positive for a college level coach.

Kiffin does some things very well. He has an excellent eye for talent, and he does a great job at development. His concept of offense is sound, but he is not yet a good NFL play caller nor game manager.

Cable is also great at development. Having been a pretty good OC, he is also likely going to do far better in game management. Knapp will be the full time play caller on offense, and he has years of experience.

I think, frankly, we're better off no matter how anyone feels about Kiffin getting fired.

12:17 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Blanda,

That's what we call a "Hot Sports Opinion" down here in the Big D.

You make an interesting point though. Tom mentioned his confidence in Knapp's play calling based on the big game pressure he's worked under.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Kiffin has already said he will be looking to coach in the college ranks again, and not the NFL.

BR, I disagree with this comment:
"Kiffin is done in the NFL for at least a couple of years. It's not whether he was good or not, it's a matter of him undermining ownership." Based on the premise of "Who hasn't undermined Al Davis" (in his opinion)? I think Kiffin won't get a job in the NFL based on his performance (or lack thereof) as a Head Coach. I don't think even KC will hire him.

I read an article this morning (can't remember where) that said Cable won't fair well because he will still coach the o-line which will take away his ability to game plan. What??? How? Isn't the task of the Head Coach to manage a game plan? Yes he sets the game plan, but during the week. His coordinators help with that by implementing the game plan during the game. Davis or Cable will have final say at what play though (depending on your perception of who coaches the Raiders).
Cable will just act as a manager of the team on Sundays. Being an O-line coach will not restrain his capability to manage a game, or game plan during the week. Bogus.

1:51 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Nate, good point. I know two teams where Kiffin won't go. He will never be hired by Dallas as long as Jerry Jones owns the team, and he will never be hired by Miami as long as Parcells is running that team. Davis is fast friends with both Parcells and Jones, and both demand power reserved for themselves.

And you're also right about game planning. The game plan is developed by the coaches practically the night after the prior game, in meetings while watching films. Cable would be attending these meetings anyway, providing his input. There is no conflict with his continuing to coach the OL regarding game planning or game management. The only possible conflict is during practice sessions where Cable will be required to make the rounds to the various units. But Cable has other assistants working with linemen during these excursions around the practice field, so we won't lose much there.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda, you won't have kiffin work anywhere because you threw him under the bus and ran him over a few times early on. and when it comes to anything that comes out of your mouth, or fingers as the case may be, is always pro davis.

who are you to say where he'll be hired and where he won't be? OH THATS RIGHT - you're in davis inner circle of confidants. ahh, i see....

and because jones and parcels are supposedly friends with this old *&^$%, they'll avoid kiffin like the plague. shucks, they'll probably do just the opposite knowing what a joke davis and his press conference was.

sounds like you've got tommy already placed up on your high and almighty pedestal there pal. btw.... just who recruited tommy to come over to this madness? yep. your boy kiff!

wouldn't it be a riot if KIFFIN and NOT davis gets the credit for finding the next great raider coach?

3:09 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

From Howie Long:

“I played there 13 years and 95% of the time Al Davis was a great owner,” Long said on Fox NFL Sunday. “It’s been 15 years since I’ve been part of the organization so I can’t speak to the day-to-day operations. But if you’re Lane Kiffin, you should know what you are getting into. He has access to a guy like Jon Gruden who coached there. Don’t be surprised when the owner who coached in the league and built three world championships gives input on a day-in-day-out basis on the goings on of the football team. Don’t be shocked by that.”

3:09 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Eh, Scorpio... You're not making a lot sense there.

Yes, Kiffin recruited Cable to come to Oakland. It is also true that Cable's lifetime dream is to be the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders. He said that at his news conference. Sounds to me that it didn't take much recruiting to get Cable to come here.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe you have a "best friend." If you fired an employee of yours "for cause," and something that caused you considerable headaches, do you expect your best friend would then hire that person. Or would they say, "Ah, Scorpio's a freakin' idiot. I'm gonna hire that guy!"

And that's right, I do spend a lot of time defending Al Davis from IAADFers, but I've also criticized him when I've felt it appropriate. And it's usually genuine criticism, not "F'ing Davis is an idiot, man." If you weren't an IAADFer, you'd be aware of that.

3:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

If my memory serves me, wasn't Cable recruited by Kiffin at the Combine two years ago, and wasn't there some hesitation or delay in his hiring? Not sure what that means, but there may be something to it.

Just 'cause Cable says all the right things now doesn't mean he jumped at the notion of coming here to begin with.

I just had an interesting thought that one of you guys could possibly answer... what is Cable getting paid to be HC?

3:40 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda. it might help to get your nose out of his ass! you might actually be able to smell that coffee!

3:47 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

ny - he's not getting any bump in pay. he's making the same pay he is currently making as an asst. coach. remember davis doesn't give a fat rats ass who is coaching this team. loving players matters. coaches don't.

3:49 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Just as soon as you get your head out of yours.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

blanda,
my head is on right. your's isn't. you've got your al davis colored glasses on. i along with most of the nation sees al davis as he is - a senile old man who is way WAYYYY past his NFL prime. you continue to deny the fact that he has done NOTHING but run this team into the ground and will continue to do so until he dies.

he wants to win 2 more superbowls? what an absolute joke man! he can't even hold on to a coach!

you can't give someone the truth if they don't admit what the actual problem is.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blandarocked,

wasn't there an incident a few years ago, where al davis wanted to interview jason garrett for HC job, but jones, and parcells talked garrett into staying in dallas ?

i remember al was a little upset about it at the time.

so maybe those friendships do not run so deep.

5:07 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Examine your question, 00. They wanted him to STAY IN DALLAS. It seems to me that the response is a validation from those two that it would have been a good hire by Davis. It wasn't that they didn't want Davis to have him, it's that they weren't finished with him yet and wanted to keep him around.

So the situation is a bit different, don't you think?

5:44 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Scorpio, you seem to be of the belief that whatever comes out of Raiders HQ (or elsewhere for that matter), if doen't agree with your world view, it's either a lie or the messenger has his nose up you know where.

I'll tell you what, Scorpio. Let's see how the season unfolds. I already know where you'll put the blame if it goes badly, but I'll be interested in seeing where you'll put the credit if it goes well. I know it won't be Al or anything he's touched.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

For the record, I'm headed to NO this weekend...

I am watching the mnf game and DeAngelo Hall better not be 10 yards off the line with brees at qb.
SOB better bring it....

Below is the link to Cable's interview with Papa...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZg0vzU0Wj0

7:01 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

CORRECTION,

i believe it was sean payton al had his eye on, not jason garrett.

in any case, al was not happy to lose out at the time.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Regarding H's checklist of "ifs":

* If Cable goes 7 and 5 ...

(1) The team played & executed well under Cable's leadership. It would be the 1st step toward respectability.

(2) The playcalling improved under Knapp.

Along those lines, it will be vital for Davis to retain the entire staff so we are on firm ground for 2009. I'm concerned about losing Knapp to Seattle when Mora becomes HC.

* IF we begin to pass more and have success ...

You can expect to see a more balanced run/pass ratio under Cable/Knapp.

With Knapp doing 50% of the playcalling vs. SD the run/pass ratio was 17/27.

The success of the passing unit is a relative term though. 200+ yards per game passing, better 3rd down conversion rates, spreading the ball to multiple receivers, a higher comp. rate by #2, minimizing the sacks, etc.

I think it is fair to say that our passing game is a 'work in progress'.

* IF Javon Walker catches on and gets over 800 yards for the season ...

Really not a big deal for JW assuming he stays healthy and starts earning the mega $$ that goes along with being a "#1 WR".

If he averages a mere 60+ YPG he will be around 800. Shoot, 50 YPG over a 16 game season is 800 yards. Not exactly the type of production you would expect from a guy who got $16M guaranteed.

My hope is that with the change from Kiffin to Cable as HC, and Kiffin to Knapp as play callers, that JW will get more touches and be used for 60:00.

* IF the Defense quits playing soft with a 9 point lead and starts stopping other teams in the 4th quarter ...

Learning to win and close out games will be the 1st sign that Cable has the proverbial "right stuff".

This is probably THE MOST SIGNIFICANT barometer for Cable's long term future.

Finally, the conclusion I would draw from the Raiders going 7 and 5 is that Kiffin played a key role in getting this team over the hump and laying the foundation for Cable.

From listening to Kiffin's post PC commments, I get the feeling that (a) he wants this team to succeed because of the relationships he established with the players (b) he would be proud of the team and happy for Cable.

In regards to Kiffin's coaching future ... Make no mistake, Kiffin at 33 has a VERY bright future ahead of him. He will take his Raiders experience (the good, bad, and ugly) and turn it into pure gold.

My guess is he will be hired by a PAC 10 Team as a head coach. It might not happen right away (2009) but it won't be long. For every AD Director or owner who views his time as the Raiders HC as a negative there is another AD Director/owner who will view it as a positive. It only takes 1 hiring executive to make it happen. The guy has been through hell and back and has his whole coaching career in front of him.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to get this off my chest. This is going to be way more relavent than CJ's previous Take which probably took an hour. I think you'll all agree with me on this new subject.

Al Davis' sweater that he wore during the press conference was F'ing AWESOME! It was exactly what a person in the 50's would think 2008 would look like!

Psycho

9:30 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>
NY Raider: Entertaining for whom? Yeah, it's entertaining, but they're laughing at us, not with us.
>>>

Who the fuck cares? This is something I notice about all of the IAAFers... they seem completely embarrassed because other people make fun of the Raiders, and the only way that embarrassment can possibly go away if if the Raiders win a SB every other year or something.

The reality of the situation is the embarrassment can easily go away by simply being so embarrassed by the Raiders. [shurg] It's only a game, I don't get it.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Pyscho: I agree. The sweater with the collar turned up was 50's gangsta style. Who knows, maybe there was a breeze Al was fighting off. BTW, my post took all of 10 minutes.

Gary: Yes, it is entertainment. As I've said a billion times, the entertainment is MUCH more enjoyable when it is a top notch product. Winning 24% of the games the past 5+ years is NOT a top notch product no matter how you want to spin it. Anyone who denies that the entertainment isn't more fulfilling with a "W" is only fooling themself.

Your comment "that embarrassment can possibly go away if if the Raiders win a SB every other year or something." is ridiculous nonsense. How about just earning a respectable winning season first. SB? Who is talking SB besides Al? To reach a SB we need take MANY steps ... like winning more than 5 games, then winning more than 8 games, then earning a playoff spot, then winning a playoff game, then advancing in the playoffs ... these are steps in the process that can't be overlooked.

I love the Raider fans who act like it is a badge of honor to be "proud" of the team in spite of the ineptitude. What are you proud of? Are you proud of getting smoked by Denver? Of 2 4th quarter collapes? Of Al's PC? Of our 5th HC in six years? Of going into the bye week at 1 and 3? Make no mistake ... I'm a proud Raider fan but I'm not proud of our team's performance over the last 68 games.

11:19 PM  
Blogger H said...

Psycho,

You a fashion critic now?

Man, thank God there is a game this Sunday.

I'll have to record it. Me and the lovely Mrs. H are making our fall sojourn to the mountains.

H

4:42 AM  
Blogger H said...

One more thing.

In Cable's news conference he said what has happened in the past doesn't matter to him. He said the important thing is that on Monday morning you wake up and you are 1-0 for the previous day.

While I am a history buff and love the history of the Raiders he makes a great point. History is for us fans. It's only relevant for coaches when they retire.

Finish the play, finish the game and the rest will take care of itself.

H

4:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This is exactly what undermines every coach that has or will coach for the Raiders.

A quote from DeAngelo Hall:

“We answer to Al. Al knows us personally.”

“It’s nice when you have that personal relationship with the owner as opposed to trying to kiss up to every head coach who comes in. That’s when you probably have a problem. When you can sit down and talk to the owner about any problem, it makes it a little easier.”

Yeah, don't talk to your boss, talk to his boss. That will solve all our problems. Not! ...Shut up and play!

P.S. Gary, can we add your comments above to your list of gems? Like, we should intentionally lose games to get a better draft pick or, it's ok to lose as long as it's a good game.

Has anyone coined a name for those who think Al Davis can do NO wrong?

The first step to curing yourself is admitting you have a problem.

Al Davis almost made that leap when he took the blame for all the bad coaching hires. Now, he should act on his revelation and hire a GM.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

CJ-those are a lot of "IF's". I think we've been saying that the last 5 years.
I am like you, I'm not proud of how we've played the last 68 games, and I want this team to turn it around, but I want them to go through the process of doing so. Yes, Kiffin changed the mentality of the team; but not the culture of losing games. I agree that he will take this experience and become a better coach in the college ranks, and be like Bobby Bowden. Here's a list of teams I think he would fair well at as Head Coach in the college ranks: Arizona, Colorado, Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Houston, Rice, Memphis, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, or Wake Forest.
Just a thought

6:26 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RN75:

Those weren't my "ifs" ... I was responding to H's "ifs".

Part of the joy of being a fan is watching a team improve, watching a player develop, seeing the steps being taken to build something with a solid foundation.

7:59 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've said plainly that I think that Kiffin brought some very good things, even though I think he brought his firing on himself. And while the players and coaching staff like Kiffin, JMac has also indicated that they also feel that Kiffin bought his own ticket out.

That said, I think we're tending to under value the contributions to player development and attitude that the rest of the coaching staff brings. Cable simply must be given the credit for turning the offensive line around. Knapp has clearly also worked with the RBs and JaMarcus. Credit the defensive coaching staff for the development of Nnamdi, Morrison and Howard.

Also, I really like Cable's attitude. "Yes, you're going to see some mistakes, but we're going to throw the damn ball." In fact, I'd be willing to bet that J. Walker will actually be thrown the ball in some quarter beside the first one.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

from nyraider:

"Has anyone coined a name for those who think Al Davis can do NO wrong?"

yes - its blandarocked!

just kidding bud. but we all know your allegiance to him is out of this world. still smiling! :o)

9:30 AM  
Blogger H said...

Hey Scorpio, you forgot about me.

That should be Blandarocked-H

H

10:14 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

h - you got it!

nyraider, please note the change.....

10:38 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've seen a couple of articles now blame Raider physical conditioning on late game collapses. I'm not buying it.

The reason the defense physically collapses late in the game is because of the constant 3 and out from the offense. This is the same problem we had during the Bugel season, Gruden's first season and, to a lesser degree, under Shell II. Most of the points given up by the defense during that season were late 3rd quarter through 4th quarter points.

A more balanced offense should help immediately. Also, a more balanced offense will help deplete the opposing defense faster. Passing plays take a larger physical toll on the defense (as a whole) than running plays.

10:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blanda - 3 and out offense certainly doesn't help, but I attribute our late game collapses more to the defense.

Our D allowed 17 and 25 points in the 4th qtr of the last two games. You want to tell me that's all on the offense? Nonsense!

Playing with a 2-score lead late in those games, with a rookie QB, patchwork O-line, limited WRs and your starting RB out, the D needed to step up.

Yeah, the offense didn't contribute much late, but the points were on the board. That's when your D should be more aggressive, not less aggressive.

A 3-man pass rush and Hall playing 10 to 15 yards off the LOS is never going to get it done.

I watched the Giants stick with their 4-man front up by about 40 points this weekend. Unlike the Raiders, they don't need to blitz to get pressure, but they were still bringing it nonetheless.

It's good enough to win a SB, but we can't employ it.

11:31 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

nyraider, I'm not trying to put all of the blame on the offense, but it cannot be denied that a defense can't remain on the field with no rest and be effective late in the game. A 7 to 10 play drive takes a tremendous toll on the defense. Then, if they have only a 3 and out to catch a breather, they'll be gassed on the next drive.

There are other factors as well. Against SD we were also missing the necessary D-linemen to spell the starters, and we were also seriously depleted in the backfield. The temporary lack of depth contributed almost as much as anything else. Under those conditions, the offense needed to step up and get some late game 1st downs, but they didn't.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>>
... I'm a proud Raider fan but I'm not proud of our team's performance over the last 68 games.
>>>>

Neither am I, but my point is that it IS still just entertainment... and all any of us can do is decide if we want to watch it or not. Obviously after five years... ALL of us have decided it is still entertaining enough to keep watching or we would have jumped on the bandwagon of some other team long ago. The difference with me is I understand that in the NFL it's not uncommon for teams to suck ass once in awhile. Sure it's WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY more fun to root for a team that does everything to win instead of doing everything to lose(which is what we have been subjected to for the last 5 years) but every Monday morning the sun still rises and I proudly put on my Raider cap and go about my life. I don't really care what anyone else thinks about my team, or care if the media enjoys banging on my team every day. It's all part of being a Raider fan.

Perhaps the problem is this... I have developed an unspoken agreement with all my friends that as long as I don't bang on them when their team is down, they don't bang on me when mine is... a few I pretty much had to tell them if they kept it up they were no longer my friend to accomplish this (a Packer buddy of mine was particularly obnoxious.. even banging on me after a loss when GB got humiliated by Detroit one day... I finally told him if he calls me one more time after a loss he can go fuck himself.. and we haven't had a problem since.)

That is how I made my life as a Raider fan much more enjoyable.

Maybe thats the problem here... the people that act like they cannot handle the Raiders losing are prolly the same ones that bang on all their friends and co-workers endlessly when their team sucks? If that is the case... that's a "you" problem. It IS a lot harder to ignore your friends banging on you than if the media does it. I've been though it myself... and like I said, I put an end to it.

Just my thoughts is all...

12:54 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Gary,

i don't know what you mean when you say, there are raider fans that cannot "handle the raiders losing" ?????

i still go about my life. i'm not out on the ledge.

i just want the team i love to start winning again.

we can't be so flip about it. afterall the raiders have not merely caught a cold, they seem to be on the 3rd stage of cancer.

so when the owner comes out every year or two and fires yet another HC, and tells us the HC was either bad or a liar. houston, we got a problem.

again, not time to grab the razor, but let's all ask, why can't we win ?

miami is winning.
kerry collins is winning.
daniel snyder is winning.

why not the raiders ?
aren't you the least bit curious gary ?

1:31 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It's too early in the season to say who's winning. Last year it was talk of how great the Jets were doing, so why can't the Raiders. The Jets started well, then took a dive. Miami has started well, and so have the Bills, but it might not last. The same is true on the other side of the ledger. I remember one year when SD started 0-4. They finished by winning 12 straight, winning the home field advantage throughout the playoffs, then lost to the 49ers in the Super Bowl. I believe the Raiders started 1-3 in their 1980 Super Bowl season.

2:07 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Two things.

1) That comment on Al's jacket nearly made me piss myself. The saddest part about it...not the first time he's worn it in public.

2) You are correct, it was Sean, not Jason. Jason came into the Big D after Parcells left, but before Wade was hired.

In unrelated news, the NFL Network just ran the Sea of Hands game the other night. Phil Villapiano makes me laugh every time I see him interviewed. I love that guy!

2:15 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Also, regarding Miami's wins...

Their fans should be ashamed of themselves. The stands were empty for that game.

2:19 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

In my mind the Sea of Hand game is the greatest game in history. It is certainly one of the top 3 or 4.

I was with my dad over the weekend and he brought up the Holly Roller play. I think, if you look at the elements of it, that has to be one of the most remarkable plays in football history. For these reasons:

1. There was nothing the Raiders did on that play which was (ruled) illegal at the time it occurred - that's why they were awarded the TD.

2. Consider what had to go through the Snake's mind when he decided to fumble. The time had run out, a sack or an incomplete pass ends the game. He made the split second decision to do the only thing that could keep the play alive - fumble. He had to make it a fumble under the judgment of the ref standing right over him. If it looked like it was intentionally released it would have been ruled a forward pass.

3. The rest of the team had to be thinking as well. If any player simply recovered the fumble, the game ends. Each player involved had to find a way not to grab it, to keep it out of the hands of the Dolts, and to advance the ball toward the goal line at the same time. They accomplished this by always appearing to bat the ball away from Dolts attempting to recover it.

It may be the finest example of a whole team collectively thinking on their feet.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
In all of our new-found optimisim with the cable regime I think we've forgotten that the biggest and final argument between Al and Kiff had to do with a difference of opinion on playing defense. I don't see how we can expect to be any better as a team if we're still going to run Al's antiquated defense. we haven't had a sufficating defense in a long, long, long time. I wonder if we ever had one? '83 maybe? Early seventies?

3:29 PM  
Blogger H said...

Gary, I couldn't disagree with you more, for a change.

Ragging on a friends team is part of being a fan. I live in Georgia, but my college team is Alabama. You think I didn't say anything at work the Monday after the Georgia game. Or that my Auburn friend isn't really bummed at the moment.

I have no friends who are Tennessee fans. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

I'm first and foremost a Raider fan, but I have to have something to do on Saturdays. And, Mrs. H is a major league Alabama fan.

Bama,

Their argument was about the way the defense was playing on the field. That being the case, wouldn't it be logical that Al didn't like what was being played.

Hell, optimism isn't new for me. I go into every Sunday looking to win, no matter who the coach is.

There's a new sheriff in town, well an interim shriff, but let's see what the guy can do before we give up on him.

H

3:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And a word from H's wing man. In the letter Al wrote to Kiffin, he said that if he wanted Ryan to blitz more, he should walk down the sideline and ask him.

When Cable was interviewed, asked how he'd change the defense, he said attack more. That suggests that Cable believes he can walk over to Ryan and tell him that and the Ryan will be on board.

When Ryan spoke, he said that he respects authority and he viewed both Kiffin and Davis as his boss.

All of this suggests to me that the "play not to lose" defense is an extension of Kiffin's "play not to lose" offense.

But let's not argue about it right now. Sunday will tell the tale.

3:53 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Added regarding rubbing it in to non-Raider fans.

I come down a little between Gary and H. Raider fans have never really been known for rubbing it in when others lose, unless it's teams that lose to us after a big game. I think the reason for this is because Raider fans have been historically on the defensive (because they are under attack), even when they are winning.

I have one exception to this. The adulation that is heaped currently on the Pasties used to be heaped on the 40 Whiners. 9er fans, for a little more than a decade, became completely insufferable. You couldn't convince any of them that the 9ers would eventually find a multi year losing streak.

I take a good deal of pleasure reminding my 9er fan friends of when I used to tell them this. On the other hand, they don't spend much time talking about the Raiders over the last five years because I've explained that as "our turn."

However, I think our turn is going to be over before theirs is.

4:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gary said: “ALL of us have decided it is still entertaining enough to keep watching or we would have jumped on the bandwagon of some other team long ago.”

It’s not that simple. Do you get to choose your family too?

“The difference with me is I understand that in the NFL it's not uncommon for teams to suck ass once in awhile.”

“Once in awhile” is a gross understatement. The Raiders (our family) are embarking on a new low in NFL history, and you suggest we cling to the idea that it’s still entertaining.

At what point do the Raiders and Al Davis admit that the status quo is not working? How much failure will be enough? We can’t keep firing coaches, then not provide the new coach with an adequate balance of management and autonomy to perform his job.

The Raiders have had high draft picks in each of the last five drafts, and they are notoriously one of the biggest spenders in free agency. So what gives? Where are the results?

This is not about friends or co-workers ribbing us for a loss, or a season that’s ended in failure. It’s about not seeing the obvious. It’s about setting a new low watermark in an era of free agency and parity that seems to be working for every other team except the Raiders.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary: We agree on a number of things.

* Yes, being a Raider fan is only entertainment.

* Yes, it is more entertaining when the team is winning.

* Yes, the sun still comes up on Monday regardless of Sunday's outcome.

* Yes, we both throw on our Raider caps regardless of the team's performance the previous Sunday.

However we have a big difference of opinion about your statement:

"The difference with me is I understand that in the NFL it's not uncommon for teams to suck ass once in awhile" ...

Let's be clear. Every team has its ups and downs. It is a cyclical business.

However, to act like the current malaise is "normal" is categorically false. It is VERY uncommon.

We are on the verge of setting the record for most consecutive years with double digit losses. This is beyond the pale of "every team sucks ass once in awhile". Keep burying your head in the sand and act like this is a small blip on the radar.

As far as my friends go ... all of my friends know I'm a die hard Raider fan. I don't mind some good ribbing back and forth for fun. The reason they are my friends is simply because they don't cross the line or go too far due to mutual respect.

It is a sad state of affairs when you start getting pity or sympathy from assoiates, co workers, friends, or family due to your allegiance to the Raiders.

When this team returns to being hated, respected, and feared is when we know we've turned the corner.

The last thing any true Raider fan wants is pity or sympathy due to our piss poor performance, HC carousel, and circus like atmosphere.

Ultimately, each individual chooses how to spend their time & money on various entertainment products or activities.

There are different levels of customer satisfaction derived from these choices.

In the case of the Raiders product, I for one, derive a signifantly higher level of satisfaction when the team is winning on a consistent basis. You are only kidding yourself if you deny this point. That is a "you" problem.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Snip stuff I agree with...

>>>>
We are on the verge of setting the record for most consecutive years with double digit losses. This is beyond the pale of "every team sucks ass once in awhile". Keep burying your head in the sand and act like this is a small blip on the radar.
>>>>


Ok fine... just pretend we weren't playing in a SB the year before this run, and could have WON a SB if someone hadn't taken a swan dive on our pro-bowl QB right before that then... oh and then there was the infamous tuck year to forget about also.

I doubt any of the other teams that sucked ass you are comparing us to now could say that in such recent history prior to suckage.

See how this works?

8:56 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>

It’s not that simple. Do you get to choose your family too?
>>>


We keep endlessly going around around and around here... is this a "feats of strength" test to see which will break first?

You can't choose your family, but you can ALWAYS choose your football team.

I almost feel kinda silly to actually have to point this out to anyone.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

I think maybe my point is if the Raiders hadn't accomplished anything since 1984 or something, I'd also be hanging my head in dismay about how things can't possibly get better with Al.

That simply isn't the case... no matter how much credit you give to St. Gruden, Al was still making the decisions involved in us playing in a SB this decade... and with that, I see no reason to think he can't do something similar in the next few years, especially with the core of promising young players we see every week (unless you guys are all watching different games than I am).

[shrug] hey... if the only way you yourself can be a Raider fan is by being miserable and not seeing any hope... knock yourselves out.. just don't expect me or any of the other optimistic fans to get in on your pity-party.

And ESPECIALLY don't act like we are the village idiots because we aren't gloom and doomers.

9:15 PM  
Blogger H said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:07 AM  
Blogger H said...

Blanda,

Ragging on a fan of another team is really more of a time honored tradition in college than the pros. However, I do believe there is a major exception. That being the Chefs.

To me that's the big rivalry. In some ways I hope as we climb out of this current state that somehow we drag them along just so we can knock them out of the playoffs every year.

Losing to Snotenhimer bugged me more than Shannarat. Mainly because the Geldings have to win like 15 in a row just to get the series even, whereas the Chefs are quite a different story in that regard.

And, in closing I would like to sum everything up here with a couple of my favorite football quotes:

For all of us, "Winning isn't everything, but losing really sucks"

For Psycho and me:

"When it's third and ten, I'll take the beer drinkers over the teetotalers every time."

Cable looks like a beer drinker to me.

H

5:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gary - As Raider00 said, none of us are standing out on a ledge over the Raiders’ failures, but let’s not pretend like nothing is wrong.

The problem isn’t so much how the Raiders look on the field right now. We can all see the improvement (except that the coach that helped bring the improvement was just fired).

White, Bugel, Callahan, Turner, Shell and Kiffin.... Do you not see a pattern here? Let’s hope Cable isn’t on that list next year. Furthermore, it can be argued that Davis has shown equally poor judgement in player personnel during this period.

At age 79, isn’t it time for Davis to establish a new foundation for the Raiders? Or, should he continue to micro-manage the team through his and his wife’s health concerns and ultimately to his death?

I grew up watching the Raiders, and always felt strong meaning behind expressions like “Pride and Poise,” “Just Win Baby” and “Commitment to Excellence.”

Those seem pretty hollow now in light of our unprecedented string of coaching and team failures.

In the last 5+ years, the level of entertainment you're witnessing has reached the lows provided by the worst NFL teams ever fielded, e.g., the Lions, Cardinals, expansion Bucs and Seahawks, etc.

I like Cable, but will he be given what he needs to succeed, e.g., time and resources, or is this just a continuation of the status quo?

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

nyraider said, "At age 79, isn’t it time for Davis to establish a new foundation for the Raiders? Or, should he continue to micro-manage the team through his and his wife’s health concerns and ultimately to his death?"

He is establishing this "new foundation" and elluded to it in the post-conference brew-ha-ha with the mediots. He said he was working on setting his estate to his son in the future, and even elluded to the time frame. He said right now, estate tax is 25%, but in 2010, there is no estate tax (unless the new coming Pres. changes that). But in 2011, it will be 48%. His target is 2010 if it remains there is no estate tax. But if the new President comes in and raises it higher than 25%, you may see Davis hand over the affairs of the Raiders to his son as early as next season.
Now here is the scary thing. Davis is 79, how old is his son? Is he pushing 60? His son has never been interested in football, nor the Oakland Raiders. That caused Al to say something even more profound, he was asked about minority partners having the option to buy in. His initial answer was no. Then he says this, "No, as long as we’re alive, and then there’s the possibility of Trask. I think I want to do something for her. That’s Amy Trask. Other than Carol and Mark, no… other than maybe her."
In 2010, or as early as next season, we could see Amy Trask as the new owner of the Oakland Raiders, in typical Al Davis fashion. EPIC!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>
Gary - As Raider00 said, none of us are standing out on a ledge over the Raiders’ failures, but let’s not pretend like nothing is wrong.
>>>

Al admitted a TON of mistakes in his semi-annual presser, and I guess I believe him when he said he is looking at addressing them.

I agree that Kiffin seemed to be doing the right things to get things turned around, but I sure as hell am not convinced he would have actually gotten us over the hump. Why? He kept making the same mistakes over and over again. His game day coaching decisions were easily some of the worst in the NFL. It sure as hell didn't look to me like anything was going to get changed, so maybe in this instance, it was best to make a change now instead of after the season, especially if Cable can tweak the things that Kiffin was obviously too stubborn to change? I see the parallels to the tweaks Callahan did to Grudens team that pushed the team to a different step. Granted we are at the bottom of the staircase instead of the top, but I think Kiffin is holding this team back right now.

I see tons of hope right now.

Anyone looking at the past instead of the future with THIS talent seriously has some issues going on.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a lighter note, do I have the balls to play Javon Walker on my fantasy team this weekend?
Probably not, maybe in the slot?

I'm still scared to put Darren back in because of the turf toe.

Personally, I don't see why we didn't START bush last game (in real live). I would have to say "A Bush on the field is as good as a Turf Toe in a Boot".

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:49,

I dumped Walker weeks ago. You're brave just having him on your bench. I have McFadden in my line up but think I'll switch to Bush.

JF

8:42 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It's amazing. It doesn't let up. In his press conference that everyone was so upset about, Davis plainly said he intends to bring in a GM in the off season, and he already has his primary candidate identified. Yet we're still getting the "evil Al" arguments.

Platitudes: "You can't choose your family." Not quite true. You can't choose your blood relatives. You can choose those who treat you like family, and those who you wish to treat like family.

As Gary says, "you can always choose your football team." I'm a Raider fan because I want to be, not because I have to be.

Also, I consider a losing season a losing season. Frankly, to me, any year we don't make the play offs is a losing season. I see no benefit to the argument, "five years of double digit losses." To me, it's five years of not making the play offs. And guess what! THAT has happened to every freaking team in the league.

It is true that without the coaching changes we might have done better. Say W/L totals around, 7-9, 8-8, 9-7. We still miss the play offs over those five years, and maybe well into the future - because we stuck with a coach who keeps us "respectable."

I don't want respectability. I want championships. I've said this before, a successful football season is one where your team in in contention for the Super Bowl through the last home game of the regular season. I want a coach who can continuously put us in that position. It wasn't going to be White, Bugel, Turner, or Shell. I was on board with firing each and every one.

Gruden was giving us success, but he left on his own volition. Kiffin punched his own ticket out of town, but I'm not sure he was the answer. All he really did was infuse the team with a kind of college spirit.

Cable, I have high hopes for.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon and JF,
I nervously had Javon in a staring slot this week and I already cut him for some guy I never heard of.

I'm rolling with McFadden over Bush. And though Miller is not projected to do anything I've got a feeling about this week.

Psycho

9:15 AM  
Blogger H said...

Psycho,

As for Miller, if you're named for a beer brand you gotta be good.

H

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't have javon on the bench, I just picked him up after this week. I laughed during our draft when dude drafted him.

half my team is jets and raiders, so my goal was to make it through the bye week (jets had bye also), and go from there.

Droped VernonDavis (they've been keeping him in to block all year to), put in Miller (was scared that long TD would get someone to grab him.

Had a spot, so I grabbed Javon. Will be hard to put him in for Coles or the kid from Houston, but considering the slot.

NO just lost thier nickle back for the year (rookie that was playing very well). The air is definately thier weekness.

CrashTestDummy is comming back on line, we'll need him blocking. Although Bush did a hell of a job blocking when McFadden couldn't (turf toe is a BITCH).

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep telling people I'd be winning my FB league if it wasn't for my allegiance to the Raiders. I knew it was stupid to draft Walker when I did it-- there were a lot of good WRs left. Whitten is my TE, hard to beat that. Will pick up Miller when Dallas in on bye.

JF

2:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I drafted walker late and he's been on the bench ever since. I can't even use him for trade bait. I would dump him, but my starting line-up is pretty well set.

3:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I was just searching NFL.com for some info on our upcoming game and found an amazing stat.

Miller is our leading receiver with 11 rec, and Higgins is next with 5 rec, after 4 games.

Wow! I guess it's time to start throwing the ball.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary: I have hope for the Raiders on many fronts. I like our core group of both young players and established vets. I like our coaching staff.

In my view, the 2 key elements to get us over the hump are (1) the hiring of a GM (2) stability at HC.

So you understand where I'm coming from, here is an excerpt from my recent blog post:

The team has shined when we have had a long tenured HC AND a QB with above average skills and leadership abilities AND a roster filled with above average talent AND a solid GM/Ownership duo in place. You could easily make a case for this premise with all 32 NFL teams.

HC Stability: Madden, Flores, Shell I, Gruden

QBs: Stabler, Plunkett, Hoss, Gannon

Roster: HOF players and elite players (too many to list)

GMs: Wolf/Allen working with Davis

A good chunk of the credit for these successful Raider teams in the past goes naturally to Davis. He picked the HCs, acquired the talent, worked in a joint effort with a GM.

This formula for success hasn't changed even as the game has changed.

* Davis needs to make the selection and stability of the HC a priority.
* Davis needs to use the salary cap space prudently.
* Davis needs to wisely utilize the draft, trades, and free agency to upgrade the talent base.
* The Raiders coaching staff needs to develop and support Russell as our franchise QB.
* Davis needs to identify a GM who he can work with in a collaborative effort to improve the product and shoulder some of the heavy lifting.


Where are we today ...

* Cable has an uphill battle in front of him the next 13 weeks to earn the right to have the interim tag removed. 5 wins is the minimum for him to see year 2 as the HC. I am hopeful that he is given every opportunity to establish the stability and continuity NECESSARY to gain traction.

* This team has a solid talent base core especially in terms of young, gifted players. We need to infuse more talent at OT, DL, WR as immediate needs.

* Our QB has a very bright future. The talent that we knew about from his days at LSU translates extremely well in the professional ranks. Some of the intangibles (leadership, poise, team first attitude, humbleness) are starting to emerge. Reading Ds, learning the game, the game slowing down for him, and taking a bigger leadership role are right around the corner.

* The GM situation seems to be in the works this off season which Davis hinted at in the press conference. The speculation about "local" candidates points towards Scot McCloughan (49er GM) who is the son of longtime Raider scout Kent McCloughan. Scot was mentored by former Raider GM Ron Wolf in his early career years. The other potential front office candidate is Tom Gamble (49er Director of Pro Personnel) who has had past conversations with Davis.

The key factors in moving forward are (a) how Cable fares (b) team unity (c) the development of Russell (d) the resigning of Asomugha (e) the hiring of a savvy, compatible GM (f) a solid 2009 draft (g) and a few key free agents.

What concerns me the most is if Cable doesn't last beyond 2008. If that happens 1 of 3 things will happen:

(1) We go for another diamond in the rough or hidden gem (similar to Gruden or Kiffin)

(2) We hire another internal candidate (Fassell, Hackett, Ryan, Lofton, Rathman) because there aren't any viable candidates willing and able to join the Raiders.

(3) We hire a NFL retread who is dying to become a HC but is unemployed for a reason.

If (1) happens we are right back where we started ... taking a chance on an unproven coach, thrusting him into a difficult situation and expecting miracles.

If (2) happens it is more of the same ... we promote Callahan, we promote Cable to watch them tumble.

If (3) happens it shouldn't be any secret that the HC lasts only 1 year.

It might sound silly to some but it seems to me that the only scenario that seems realistic, plausible, and positive is if Cable does well and we move forward into 2009 on firm ground.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>>
It is true that without the coaching changes we might have done better. Say W/L totals around, 7-9, 8-8, 9-7.
>>>


That is a frigging AWESOME point. With the talent on the field we were looking at those win totals tops... so what would that GAIN us right now if that had happened?

Well, no Russell and McFab, fer sure... maybe there are people that think that might be a good thing, but I don't... and knowing Al, he prolly would have traded up for them and we'd have even less on our plate.

I agree with Blanda (imagine that) unless you have a SB quality team, the w/l record is pretty irrelevant in the NFL.

An overacheiving7-9, 8-8, 9-7 without having SB quality players is just football-masturbation. It still makes you feel good, but it aint the same as the real thang baby.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

was watching the monday night game and it occured to me, tom cable & raiders are in for very tough time.

not only did saints lose a home game, but ed hochuli's crew was in fine form again, screwing saints at every turn.

so with pumped up crowd, saints on a mission, and refs sure to be extra cautious about flagging home team, cable has his work cut out for him in first game as HC.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>
It might sound silly to some but it seems to me that the only scenario that seems realistic, plausible, and positive is if Cable does well and we move forward into 2009 on firm ground.
>>>

I couldn't agree more.

I disagree slightly with your well done post, in that I think there are just two people that hold the keys to the Raiders future, and one of them isn't Al.

Cable and Russell.

Thats the list.

The NFL is coaching and QB's.

7:09 PM  
Blogger H said...

Calico,

Good points, but I have a good feeling about Cable. The Aints are ripe for the taking.

Besides, I think the O-line wants their coach to look good. They are going to try even harder.

Same thing for Knapp, except he wants to show he can call a good game. Good balance without getting his QB in trouble. And, if CTD (Crash Test Dummy) is back he adds some leadership on the field.

The receiving statistics are very telling.

I won't see the game until about 7:00 eastern 4:00 pacific time. I'll check in after that. That is if I got the recorders set up properly.

H

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can you bunch of DOOFUSES buy into such utter BULL? You all know that the SAINTS will beat the fizzlers to a bloody pulp with no problem. You continually follow blindly the "genius" never willing to admit that the best part of the fizzlers just got screwed by big al (MR.) davis, yes MR. Kiffin was your best hope now he will reap the benefits of the "genius'" senility! Kiff stands to walk with not only his fairly earned pay (close to $3Mil) and then some for libel and slander from the IDJEOT hisself! Yeah the "genius! Ha ha ha ha .....I wish Kiff all the best! fizzlers 1-15, Kiff 19-0 SUPERBOWL babies, defund the "genius nation"....

9:25 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm not sure that our WR stats really mean much. Kiffin didn't like to throw the ball, and that's naturally reflected. There are other factors too.

One of the things that always pissed me off about Kiffin is that he has the same tendency as Shell (and for that matter, Gruden). If you don't like a player, either don't play him (if you can get away with it), or just don't go to him.

Walker looked great on that first drive against SD. Then they didn't go back to him for the rest of the game. He made two quick catches on the first drive against Buffalo, then they didn't go back to him for the rest of the game.

I wonder about Madsen. Madsen had done well for us, then he disappeared, then he was cut and replaced by Troupe who is a similar TE. As soon as Kiffin is fired, and Cable takes over, Cable brings Madsen back immediately. What's that about?

Kiffin's approach to weaknesses was to avoid them by ignoring that part of the game. You can't do that. That's like saying you don't have 11 strong starters, so you're only going to play 9 or 10. Somebody to fill the hole is better than nothing at all. It's a negative approach.

The positive approach is to play to your strengths, and use your weaknesses when they can be most effective. If you don't have much of a passing game, 3rd and long passing situations are not going to help it. Throwing on first down will. Throwing deep on 2nd and 1 will.

8:54 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's possible Madsen is a scholarship that Al brought back. Although, he seemed like a good possession receiver.

And for the kind of money Walker is making, we should be prepared to live or die with him. I say, throw him the ball!

9:31 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I had read something the other day regarding Davis' "professional liar" comment. Apparently there was some confusion in the language of the moment which promoted someone to question whether that was directed at Kiffin or at Chris Mortenson at ESPN. While there is no question that Davis said that Kiffin lied, the "professional liar" comment was directed at Mortenson. The article claimed that Raiders HQ, called for comment, indicated that Mortenson was the correct answer.

JMac told us yesterday that he'd talked to a league official who told him that Davis HAS NOT been sent any threatening letter regarding his tampering charge against the Pasties. In fact, the official said, that the league has not yet even discussed the issue (although they likely will). The official also said that Kiffin has not filed any grievance. At least not yet.

But from Mortenson today we get this:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3633589

And the wording is remarkably similar to the wording used by Nancy Gay yesterday in claiming the same thing. I guess we know who Nancy Gay's "sources" are.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

annnnd nowwww from everyone's favorite mag:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?page=hotread4/raiders

1:29 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

On Madsen. I don't feel he's a scholarship guy, based on what he's had to do to even earn a spot on the roster, historically. Not sure why Kiffin gave up on him. It couldn't be for dropped passes, since he has zero going his way to date this season. I'm glad to see him back. We'll see if he changes my mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
John_Madsen

Some interesting quotes:

From Cable:
"I don't know that there's too many arms like JaMarcus has in this league," Cable said. "You've got a big, tall, strong guy that can really, really throw it. What he has to learn to do and continue to get better at is accuracy and making quicker decisions, things like that, which comes for a young quarterback the more you play. And you can already see it starting to develop.

"So we're obviously thinking that we have a breakthrough coming sometime soon here, and when that happens I think that everything that kid was thought to be, he'll be."


From Knapp:
"I love calling plays," Knapp said of the role he assumed when Kiffin was fired Sept. 30. "That's my chess game. That's my way to feel like I can help the team win and know how to put the guys in the best position to win."

2:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Pope- I never thought Madsen to be a scholarship either, and it's strange that he was released. I thought we should have converted him back to WR last season when we needed help at the position.

Blanda - as stupid as it may be, I believe BSPN and other national media get some of their (bogus) stories from Nancy Gay and other local "writers," not the other way around. That doesn't change the fact that stories aren't well sourced.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blandarocked,

you make the statement "kiffin didn't like to throw the ball".

how do we know this ?

we have a qb playing in his 6th pro game.
a bunch of rag tag wr's as targets.
and very suspect tackles protecting our 60 million $$ man.

i guess we are about to find out just how good our passing game is, because new regime has vowed to throw more.

but it remains to be seen just how ready the raiders are for this tactic.


and let's stop treating jevon walker like he's this great secret weapon we have that kiffin refused to use.

walker has been a disaster from day one.

on another note, an odd quote from d'angelo hall. he says "i'm having a great time here".

does hall know that we're 1-3, and that his/and defenses, play has been so uninspiring ?
not to mention those 4th quarter fade jobs by the D.

glad you're enjoying yourself d'angelo.
just wish us fans could say the same.

5:12 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

raider00, in the NFL you can't just refuse to pass the football. You might as well just phone in your forfeit.

Javon Walker didn't look like a disaster in the first drive against Buffalo or SD, the two games he played in this year. Then Kiffin refused to throw him the ball the rest of the game. Explain that.

Hall said he enjoys playing for this organization after playing in Atlanta last year where Petrino quit on them in the middle of the season.

Let's see how Hall does under the new regime.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Gary:

I agree that Russell and Cable are key people to our organization's immediate and future success.

However, I would go a step further by adding 2 additional legs to the table or platform for success.

If you were to look at the vast majority of successful teams in the NFL, past and present, these organizations have above average leadership at:

(1) Starting QB
(2) Head Coach
(3) GM
(4) Ownership

These 4 roles are the alpha dogs of most successful teams. These are roles that have the greatest impact of shaping and influencing an organizations bottom whether it is affecting wins, profitability, or culture. These 4 alpha dogs are naturally defined by the leadership capacity.

Of our 4 legged table for success, we currently have 2 knowns, 1 unknown, and 1 missing leg. The knowns are obviously Russell and Davis. The unknown is Cable. The missing leg is a capable GM.

At this point in time I would be happy with a steady tripod but hope we can add McCloughlen or Gamble to construct a stable table.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>>
From Knapp:
"I love calling plays," Knapp said of the role he assumed when Kiffin was fired Sept. 30. "That's my chess game. That's my way to feel like I can help the team win and know how to put the guys in the best position to win."
>>>


I'm anxious to see if there is any clear difference of play calling now that Kiffin is gone. This might be another reason that the Kiffin firing has benefits... Knapp obviously wasn't enjoying his job not calling any plays, and almost certainly would have been gone after this season if Kiffin's contract was extended to the third year.

Let's hope this is another thing that works out in our favor, for the first time in 5 years.

Think about it... what break have the Raiders gotten in this perfect storm? I was trying to think of the last time the Raiders have even received a lucky break to win one stinkin game, and the only thing I could come up with was Cleveland last year... and before that.. who knows?

Perhaps cosmically the stars will start aligning with the regime change?

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico, I like your analogy... I wanted to amend my comment about Russell and Cable being the only two pieces, to being the only two pieces in the SHORT TERM.

If Russell doesn't become an elite QB by his third year, and Cable is just another Raider coach over his head, there aint gonna be any playoffs next year.

And that should be the only short term goal this team has, besides becoming respectable this season to gain momentum.

7:58 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What’s Hall have to be so happy? He plays on a losing team and his coach got fired instead of quit. What’s the true difference here for Hall? Ans: Al Davis is his true coach (Hall said as much) and he’s making more money.

As for throwing the football, it’s reasonable that Kiffin did not want to rush it. The tools simply weren’t in place. We had 3 sacks the first 3 games when we predominantly ran the ball. Two of those games were very winnable. When we finally opened up the passing attack against SD, we had 4 sacks, with Russell’s first INT and a blind side sack fumble.

As for Walker, he was ready to quit before the season started. I see no clear evidence that Kiffin (or Russell) simply didn’t want to throw him the ball. I would argue that Kiffin forced the ball to Walker early in the last couple games to get his confidence up and get him involved.

4:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

From Jerry McD - "Davis watched practice Thursday and talked to selected players coming off the field from his cart, offering some criticism for strongside linebacker Ricky Brown, giving encouragement to place kicker Sebastian Janikowski and meeting for a minute or two with tackle Mario Henderson. He also talked with defensvie coordinator Rob Ryan."

Does this actually help the team, or does it undermine a new head coach?

5:01 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

NYRaider, please tell me you're kidding. An owner coming down to the practice field and talking to the players undermines the HC? What? You can't actually believe that Davis is the only owner who spends time on the practice field talking to players.

And your comment about Hall is a little over the top. Hall said nothing about Davis being his coach. All Hall did was praise Davis for having one on one relationships with his players. Hall's biggest comment about Davis was that Davis seemed to know stuff about Hall that Hall didn't know about himself.

Is it really gripe worthy that Davis cares enough about the people who play for him to learn about their histories and offer encouragement?

Of far more concern to me is the idea that the EX-HC is still coaching JaMarcus. Will Kiffin urge JaMarcus to follow game plan tips of Kiffin's own in contradiction of Cable? That seems more of a big deal to me, but if it doesn't bother Cable, I can live with it.

8:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blanda- It's more than Davis' presence on the field. Did you read the quote from Hall that I posted earlier? Hall seems proud of his contempt for the head coach (whomever it might be) because he knows Davis will back him up. His message to all FA is "come work for the Raiders" because the owner's got your back.

I'll re-post his comments if you like.

10:21 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

DeAngelo Hall:

“It’s nice when you have that personal relationship with the owner as opposed to trying to kiss up to every head coach who comes in. That’s when you probably have a problem. When you can sit down and talk to the owner about any problem, it makes it a little easier.”

Yeah, kissing up to your head coach is a real problem, especially if you can just go over his head and get what you want.

What we are experiencing is the status quo. I only hope the law of averages is in our favor.

10:25 AM  
Blogger wtdavid said...

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nflnation/0-2-191/Wilson-fined--25-000-for-hit-on-Bills-QB.html

Where the hell was this rule when Fat Ass Tony Seragusa was pancaking Gannon in the playoffs. I don't remember anything about him getting fined. The squashing he did on Gannon was much more flagrant than the hit Wilson put on Edwards.

1:08 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12 (2) of the NFL Official Playing Rules, which states "a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw [a player] down and land on top of him with all or most of the defender's weight. Instead, the defensive player must strive to wrap up or cradle the passer with the defensive player's arms."

They won't stop until this sport looks NOTHING like football.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>
Where the hell was this rule when Fat Ass Tony Seragusa was pancaking Gannon in the playoffs. I don't remember anything about him getting fined.
>>>>

IIRC, he got fined but not penalized.

I still say that play alone the Raiders more than anything else that has happened combined the last few decades.

Gruden would prolly still have his job here, for one thing.. and with an extra trophy on the mantle, I doubt all the ceaseless Al witch hunts would exist.

Well ok, I am exaggerating... The witch hunts would still exist.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

I meant:

"I still say that play alone COST the Raiders..."

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
NY and others, your making a lot of sense. Don't beat your head against the wall with Blanda. You'll never change him. Blanda still thinks our coaches actually make a lot of the game decisions. Blanda likes to blame all of our problems on everyone BUT Al. I can't figure ol' Blanda out. He's obviously a bright guy, but when he defends Al his IQ drops. It's surreal to me. Blanda, I liked Al once upon a time too. Seriously. In 1983 I was proud of the owner of my team. He was THE BEST in my book. The swagger, the mystique, the brand..."The winningest franchise in pro sports"!Unfortunately, there's no way you can watch what has happened to our franchise over the last 25 years and not see that the old man simply cannot compete anymore. It's sad. We will probably not beat the Saints. In today's NFL a team coming off a bye playing a team that played on MNF should have an edge. Not our team. Not with Al.
If only it were 1976 again.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Pope,

your take about the Nfl rules was so true.

when i first started watching football in the early '70's, the rule book was like a pamphlet.
today, it's the size of 2 phone books.

there's even a penalty for removing your helmet, and oodles of other time wasting flag throwing.
i love how confussed the ref's look every time they toss their little hankies.

ed hochuli gets more camera time than the players.
something is wrong.

yes, they ruined this great game a long time ago.

horsecollar tackle ? pleeeeezzz

2:16 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama, what I'm really looking for against the Saints is Al dropping back to pass, throwing up the hail mary, and then rolling his walker down the sidelines 70 yards to catch it in the end zone!

I figure on defense he'll play CB this week. Can't wait to watch him sneak up to the line of scrimmage to fight off an offensive lineman for the sack.

Once Al's given us the lead, then I want him to call the offensive and defensive plays that will finish out the game for a victory. And we all know, of course, that if there's a victory, Al is 100% responsible - just like the reverse. Right?

-And MY IQ is down... Sheesh.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

blandarocked,

the problem isn't simply that al davis watches practice or talks to players. there's nothing wrong with that.

the problem arises when the HC wants to waive a player, or upgrade a position, only to learn that al overrules it due to a "friendship" he may have with a player.

al said as much during his PC, "i can't let a guy go. i admit this".

this could help explain our derrick gibson nightmare that spanned several coaching changes.

when the raiders were good, they could carry a charles philyaw for a few seasons.
maybe al liked him, or wanted to get him an NfL pension, or take care of his family.

nothing wrong with this when the team is a powerhouse. but when your setting records for losing, every roster spot is valuable.

there's no time to place the owners "friends/bad football players", over the concept of winning.

3:32 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Raider00, there are two problems I've discussed regarding Davis, and I've mentioned them fairly regularly. One is Davis' penchant for holding on to players that seem to serve no purpose. But I have mixed feelings about that one.

I also feel that it is a coaches responsibility to CONVINCE Davis that the fortunes of the team require looking elsewhere for an upgrade. And that's the other problem I've acknowledged regarding Davis. He has a string of coaching hires where the coach didn't have the cajones to do the convincing. Those were, in order, White, Bugel and Turner. Shell was a different issue. I just think that Shell had no real eye for talent.

However, the claim all too often made around here is that Davis has both the first and the last word on every player brought in and every player sent packing. That's crap, unless all the former Raider coaches who have talked about the issue are lying through their teeth.

If Kiffin did not want Russell, and I'm not exactly sure that he didn't, I'm glad Davis overruled him. If Kiffin did not want McFadden, I'm glad Davis overruled him. But nobody wants to give Al credit for these picks because they were good ones - therefore they must have been Kiffin's! But Davis has the first and last word on every player brought in, so...

You see the circle we're finding ourselves in here?

But then again, my ability to see this conflict in logic simply means my IQ goes down every time I discuss Davis.

And there's one other issue regarding "scholarships." Sometimes a player has a ton of talent, but no work ethic. I'm looking at you James Jett. Everyone seems to forget that it looked like Jett would have a brilliant career his first couple of seasons with the Raiders. It wasn't so much the quantity of catches he was making, but the quality of those catches.

I believe that the owner of a team has the right to say to his HC, "I've invested a lot of money in this guy, but his work ethic is lacking and I can't get much for him in trade. I want you to make a serious effort to see if you can turn him around."

Both the Gruden and the Kiffin approach in such circumstances was to simply ignore the player and allow him to sit on the bench and take up a roster spot. Seems to me that it would be better if they'd shown some serious effort to turn the player around, and then go back to Davis and say, "I just can't get anything out of him."

At least Gruden didn't pout about it. Kiffin, on the other hand...

4:57 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BR:

I have every reason to believe that the past Raider HCs tried their absolute best to get the most out of "scolarship" players such as Gibson, Jett, Gabriel, S. Williams, etc.

The HCs first order of business is obviously to find a way to get every last drop out of each player he "inherited" to win as many games as possible.

Your argument about the HCs needing to plead their case(s) for why a player should be cut sounds good to the untrained ear. However there are a few factors that need to be considered:

(1) How do you know that the HC did or didn't plead his case?

You make many speculative assumptions but as we all know, these discussions happen behind closed doors in a confidential manner.

I find this ironic and somehwhat hypocritical on your part. It seems that you choose to read between the lines when it conveniently fits your argument but then blast other posters who use the same type of speculative reasoning for their arguments.

(2) What happens when the HC gives the scholarship player every chance to succeed, pleads his case to Al to cut him BUT the HC is still over ruled? What then?

If a player doesn't have a good work ethic and is unproductive ... that alone should signal a time for a change sooner rather than later.

To hold on to these types of "scholarship" players is detrimental to the success of the franchise.

If in fact Al had held on to a player a year or two too long based purely on a personal relationship that is bad business.

There have been times in the past where I've seriously questioned some of the personnel (or lack of personnel) moves.

I've openly wondered if Al's personal relationship with a player has clouded his best judgment.

There have been times where I wondered whether Al hung on to a player too long to prove he wasn't wrong about a guy (like Gibson).

I have no problem with giving each player every possible opportunity to succeed and develop.

My problem lies with the "scholarship" players taking up valuable roster spots after years of unproductive and unispired play.

Case in point is Sam Williams. This guy has been given more than his fair share of opportunites through Turner, Shell, and Kiffin.

Somehow he keeps sticking to the final roster in spite of a long track record of poor play, injuries, etc.

I would gladly take a vet cut by another team over Williams.

I would gladly draft a 3rd or later rounder and cut Williams.

I would even applaud a practice squad player being called up to take Williams roster.

As a matter of fact, I would gladly trade Williams for a dozen doughnuts than waste a roster spot on him.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blanda,

your math just doesn't add up here.

fact: al davis puts his HC's on very short leashes.
one or two yrs to succeed or gone.

in that small space of time, davis expects the HC to make pro bowlers out of stiff's like, gibson, brayton, jett, schweigert, langston walker, sam williams, etc.

wow, talk about the toughest job in america.

also, isn't it telling that davis, once the greatest eye for talent in the NfL, can't see for himself some of these bums can't play a lick ?

this is where i fail to understand davis any longer.
he goes around saying "commitment to excellence", and "just win", but then he just "can't let go" of lousy football players.

what does this mean ? i don't understand.

in some cases he needs 5 or 6 seasons to be "convinced", his faves really suck.

scary.

9:43 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

>>>>
(2) What happens when the HC gives the scholarship player every chance to succeed, pleads his case to Al to cut him BUT the HC is still over ruled? What then?
>>>>

How do you know this happens?

How do any of us know anything that happens in the Raider organization?

JFC... pick a hole.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

So what happens if the Raiders suddenly start winning again?

Scary thought isn't it?


My gawd... what would the IAAFers do?

It could actually happen this year... terrifying isn't it?

9:57 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The thing about scholarship players is they get five or six seasons of poor performance, injuries, etc. before any decision is made.

Conversely, recent history shows Raiders' coaches get an average of 1.2 seasons.

Davis said no coach should need more than 4 seasons to field a championship team. By that logic, it's probably fair to say no coach can do it in less than 2-3 seasons.

Now that we've hit rock bottom for almost 6 seasons, by Davis' math, shouldn't we at least be contenders?

6:43 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

(2) What happens when the HC gives the scholarship player every chance to succeed, pleads his case to Al to cut him BUT the HC is still over ruled? What then?

>>>>

"How do you know this happens?"

>>>>

I don't assume this happens each and every time but let's look at the facts:

* Gibson, Brayton, Jett, Schweigert, Langston Walker, Sam Williams were given 4+ seasons to prove their worth.

* All were given opportunities by multiple HCs to start for multiple years.

* All of these "scholarship" players were unproductive, uninspiring, wastes of $$ and roster spots.

Isn't the definition of a "scholarship" player one where a player continues to make the 53 man roster in spite of poor play?

>>>>>

"So what happens if the Raiders suddenly start winning again?"

Raider fans are pleased, happy, excited ... where are going with this, Gary?

>>>>

"Scary thought isn't it?"

Scary, no. Happy, yes.

>>>>

"My gawd... what would the IAAFers do?"

I wouldn't know. I have never been nor will I ever become an "IAAFer"

>>>>

"It could actually happen this year... terrifying isn't it?"

Let's hope it does happen this year. The talent is there. The schedule is favorable. It is long overdue. Finally, for the sake of Cable, stability, and prospects for 2009, it is imperative.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

"The thing about scholarship players is they get five or six seasons of poor performance, injuries, etc. before any decision is made.

Conversely, recent history shows Raiders' coaches get an average of 1.2 seasons."

Interesting point NY Raider.

Once Davis has carefully made his HC selection, I would only hope he gave the new HC as much time and leash to establish his worth as he does the scholarship players.

Since 1995, the year we moved back to Oakland, we have had only 1 Head Coach last more than 2 years (Gruden). Gruden didn't have a winning record until his third season.

At this point in time, I would be more than happy if gave both HCs and scholarship players 3 years to prove their worth. 1.2 years for a HC is too little while 5+ years for a scholarship player is too much.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KILL REGGIE BUSH!!!!

Psycho

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kill jamarco busto!!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary:

Yeah, it's still scary, better when we play conservative on offense and is this Kiffin's defence that never made adjustments at halftime? Or is it Al Davis' defence that we have seen since the beginning of time? Yes, it is very scary because now there is no one in the organization that will stand up to Al. Expect the Raiders to continue down the path of Al Davisville, when will enough be enough for people like you and Blandadope?

JONES

12:26 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

thanks for blowing the whole thing up again al.

at least with kiffin, we could almost beat good teams on the road like buffalo.

oh well, at least puppets tom & rob are good at kissing ass.

12:40 PM  
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