Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stop The Timidity

What is with all of the soft-pedaling of our recent first-round draft picks? If you listen to some folks, you'd think that JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey are fragile little eggs instead of first-round draft picks in their athletic primes.

JaMarcus Russell, he needs time, doesn't he? A: He's had two years, his time is now.

How should we use Darren McFadden in the backfield? A: Ummm...give him the freakin' ball...a lot.

Let's not expect too much from Darrius Heyward-Bey in his first year, okay? A: Why not?

Honestly, what's up with the aura of timidity and fragility that surrounds our young skill players? Listening to some fans, you'd think we had all the time in the world to coddle these guys instead of expecting big things, right now.

Sure, these guys need time to hone their games. But in the meantime, why shouldn't we expect them to set off some fireworks and show vivid signs of their potential? Why shouldn't we expect them to take firm control of their respective positions? After all, each was drafted no lower than seventh in their respective drafts, right?

Where's our Matt Ryan, Adrian Peterson or Calvin Johnson? Who coddled those guys? Who set low expectations for them? Remember how much was made of the Chargers "sitting" Philip Rivers for "years" before turning him loose? Well, they actually turned him loose in his third year, the same year that JaMarcus Russell is in right now, and he promptly racked up a 92-percent passer rating. So there you go, JaMarcus. You don't need to be Matt Ryan. But can you at least start kicking ass in your third year like 'Lil Phil? Is that too much to ask?

Whenever I give examples like this, folks remind me that I'm focusing on the success stories in the NFL, not the failures. Well, why shouldn't I focus on the success stories? Why should I expect failure over success? These guys were drafted as the studs of their draft classes, each being the first taken at their respective positions. They should be ready to rock the house. Not tomorrow. Today.

So take off the velvet gloves, Raider Nation. Let's play some football. Let's turn the young studs loose and expect big things. Heck, let's demand big things.

P.S. I don't want to hear about this not really being Russell's third year due to his holdout. Many of those who are making excuses for him now were telling me back then that the holdout wasn't a big deal, and you can't have it both ways. The fact is that he was drafted as the very first pick in the 2007 draft and it's now 2009. Time for big things.


Anonymous hipdogg said...

nice post take! I agree that the very first pick at QB, RB, and WR three years in a row should be EXPECTED to do great things... not expected to fail... if they fail though I throw it on the organization

11:24 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Ya never heard me underestimate the tallent and expectations...The only thing that got underestimated is the total lack of ability in those coaching stafs....But now that too shoud be a thing of the past...

There is more upon the shoulders of these coaches than there ever will be on these players...If this tallent is put in a position to produce and win they damn sure will just as they did at a lower level before becoming Raiders...They have proven tallents and abilities...It's the coaches who now have to step up and prove they have it...

At "QB" "J-Rus" has all he needs in physical ability...No "QB" before had his arm/size/mobility package all in one body...Design a game plan that works within his ability and he will shine...

My "McFab" is no fake...But how can he do it alone...Give him the damn ball and the blocking with a plan and just sit back and watch him tear it up...

"DHB" is a rare tallent...Who else has that speed/size/athletisism package...He can and will produce huge if the opertunities are there...

"TE" Miller has already shown it..But there is much more than that in the waiting...

"RB" Bush has shown it also but don't expect that to be all he's got...

We were not timid about "JLH" -n- Schellings...Why would we be timid about our top tallent...

Than there is that second rounder...Ya know that "S"...Mitchel will tear it up if he has the plan to play in that allows him to produce...

That's the difference between the players who make it and the ones who fail...The "PLAN"...Ya can have all the tallent in the world but if your put on the fild without a plan or a line to protecht you than your future will be just like Walter...Take a freaking beatting and be lost on the roster...Now that's the freakin shame...

So I agree with you...But I sure as hell don't put it all on the players...Not when we have had the 6 seasons of failure due to piss-poor coaching and stupid front office moves that have pleagued this team in the recent past...

After all...A great coach like Elkins could take the players who don't make it in the NFL and kick our asses with them....That is if we play the same way we played...Every coach kicked our asses....Right...

PantyRaider...Change Is Here...It Damn Well Better Be!!!/_

4:37 AM  
Blogger H said...


I’m with you on this one. I had said that while missing camp was a big deal, Kiffin had Russell at the mini camps and the OTA’s. Then he had him from mid September to the end of November before he put hm in a game, then coddled him with the play calling. Kiffin had promised a high powered offense, then called games like the forward pass was some new idea he was experimenting with even into his second season as HC.

Cable took it slow at first but opened things up in the last six games and we saw much better results. My question is how will we be using Bush. As much as I like Justin Fargas, I think he should be third on the depth chart and Bush should be in direct competition with McFadden for starting. Bush’s speed is very deceptive. In the Suckaneer game it took the DB’s fifty yards to catch him when he broke loose.

Zach Miller, ‘nuff said. But, Schilens is the wide receiver to look out for. He’s the biggest at the position and showed a little tenacity for going up and fighting for the ball. He is also the hardest worker we have at the position right now. Nothing but good stuff about him from the OTA’s and mini camp.

It’s also time for Tommy Kelly to be that “monster” Sapp said he created even though the young players had no interest in listening to the veterans. I knew Sapp was a blowhard before he made that contradictory statement, but that just sealed it.

I don’t think Cable is the coddling type. He’s more of a “you’re a man now, act like one” type.


“A great coach like Elkins could take the players who don't make it in the NFL and kick our asses with them”

You got the guy all wrong, he said he could make the playoffs with all those castoffs. He’d be kicking a lot of teams asses.


6:04 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

The young player I want to see dazzle me is McF not Jruss. Maybe its because I didn't want him in the first place... but if he is the real deal, I'd sure like for him to prove it. If the Raiders can establish the running game, I think Cable will be smart enough to design plays to kill the eight in the box... instead of Kiffin looking like a deer in the headlights and maddeningly handing the ball off into it. The defenses didn't even bother disguising their coverages... why bother? The play was set in stone before the snap.

Sounds like Kiffin had a top-10 recruiting year... he's going to need it. He'd easily one of the worst bench coaches I have ever seen.. at least in terms of the NFL. Maybe his style will work better in college?

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fantasy team that would strike fear into any NFL team. You give me these guys, I will give you the Lombardi Trophy!!

QB: Tee Martin
RB: Amos Zeroue
RB: JR Redmond
WR: Alvis Whitted
WR: Carlos Francis
TE: Teyo Johnson
TE: Courtney Anderson
LT: Kwame Harris
LG: Brad Badger
C: Jake Grove
RG: Matt Stinchcomb
RT: Brandon Lekkerkerker

DE: Tyler Brayton
DT: Ted Washington
DT: DeLawrence Grant(The only pos he didn't try to convert to)
DE: Akbar Gbaja Bi Amila
SLB: DeLawrence Grant(when we go it saves a roster spot!!)
MLB: Napoleon Harris
WLB:Travian Smith
CB: Phillip Buchanon
CB: Sam Williams(He is an athlete!)
SS: Stu Schwigert
FS: Marquez Pope

Money in the bank!!


8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoot forgot Special Teams:

K: Michael Husted
P: Leo Araguz
KR: David Dunn
PR: Sam Williams(He is an athlete!!)


8:46 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I've never advocated that we "take it easy" on any of these guys. All I've ever objected to was that these guys were somehow busts or failures.

JRuss, DMC, Bush, Miller... They are on track to be quality veterans. DHB is still a rookie. Let him define himself this season.

12:12 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Nice Take, Take! Good to see you back and swinging.

I found this gem that predicts we'll go 2-14.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

pope, i think we had the same link.... geez, it's amazing isn't it? with all the talent we have at certain spots, this moron picks us 32 out of 32.

guess his foreskins are winning the superbowl!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One of the big questions I have going into the 09 season is whether or not Russell will have the green light to audibilize at the LOS.

Just a few simple audible calls to get the Raiders out of a running play and into a pass play would give us some BIG play opportunities.

There are going to be ample opportunities to play action pass and go to WRs in single coverage.

Getting McFadden out in space would also create some BIG yet safe pass plays.

My expectations for Russell and McFadden are very high. Both are extremely talented players.

McFadden just needs to stay on the field, be used creatively, and be a major focus of the playcalling.

Russell just needs to be more accurate and make a few game changing throws each game whether it is in the red zone or vertically.

As far as DHB, unfortunately my expectations are quite low for 09. I hope he gets on track during training camp, stays healthy, and becomes a big play threat. At this point he is an expensive #5 WR with a steep learning curve. The skilled players who will need to carry a major load are Russell, McFadden, Miller, Shillens, JLH, and Bush. All of these guys are in their 2nd or 3rd year in the league.

7:10 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Understood but I was making a joke...The way we have played the game recently any coach could kick our asses...And did...

That's why we had better win big now after so many seasons of top draft picks...This team is loaded with tallent at the speciality positions like no other...


That was sarcasim...Right...I mean...Your dream team sucks...But COACH ELKINS would no doubt love it as the next "SB" Champ...


I have much higher expectations for "DHB" than you do...He is not one dementional...He played in a run oriented "O" and was a big part of the overal picture running sweeps and reverses out of the back-field...He is highly suited for situational plays like on short yardage when they expect us to run up the gut...

Everyone wants to focas on only one part of his game and ignor other posibilities but he fits Cable's mold for multi-dementional players...His main role may be the deep threat but that opens him up for something very short that is not being expected...

I would have him in a 3 "WR" set and in motion with "McFab" in the back-field...Now that "CB" is trying to clear threw trafic or handing him off to the other "CB" who may already have his hands full with 2 "WR"s up close to the line....The "S" needs to play up on that side to take coverage on one "WR"...Now who is on the "TE" and who get's double coverage...

"J-Rus" turns and hands the ball to "McFab" running right as he hands off to "DHB" running left...That "CB" who was trying to clear trafic needs to check-down first on the "RB" to see if he still has the ball...The other "CB"-n-"S" need to check-down on their "WR"s as they turn up-field with speed...That could put a "LB" on "DHB"...The key here is his terific speed...A parcial tick is all it takes to break a threat like that loose...And hopefully the "WR"s can learn to block on the play...

But now add in a pictch-back to the "QB" and a wide open "TE" or "WR"....Or a wide open "McFab" who swept the right side and is now in the clear....

Terific speed with multiple threats...Multi-Dementional at it's best...So why limit the expectations...

PantyRaider...Players Have it...Do the Coaches!!!!/_

10:33 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

OK...Here it is just for more laughs...

Coach Matt Elkins....

This sick-0 uses a sex-symble as his Raider image....Why....Because he wants the "Men-in-Black" to shove it up his glorious ass...

PantyRaider...Will This Debachal Ever End!!!!/_

10:46 PM  
Anonymous LK said...

Think the O will be fine. We need somebody on D to jack a bitch up. Hopefully Kelly and Sands get heart transplants...else it's up to Branch and Mitchell to be out there crackin' heads

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It was absolutely sarcasm...I thought about putting Sam Williams at every position, but it just wouldn't be as subtle;)


6:49 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

Nice Take, RT. I agree on Russell and McFadden, although most Raider fans I know aren't coddling him; I think a lot of us expect big things from DMC if Cable gives him the ball enough.

As for DHB, I differ a bit there, especially if you're comparing him to Calvin Johnson. Pretty much the whole league had Johnson tabbed as a rare, top 2 pick kind of WR. It appears that the Raiders were the only team who thought DHB was a top 10 talent. I have high hopes for him, but that's not the same as high expectations for his rookie campaign...

8:49 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I am all for throwing these players into the fire; however, as Mad Stork point out, a big part of this issue has to fall on the coaches shoulders, who must utilize his players effectively. This means pulling back guys like Justin Fargas so that guys like RunDMc and Bush get carries.

If teams pay top $ for players, they should expect quick returns on their investment, particularly in today's free agency. After this year Russell will be half way through his mega contract. Not much ROI at this juncture.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Good point. Hopes and expectations don't always intersect.

It is rare for a rookie WR to make an impact.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree RT. Time for all to step up. A little unfair however to compare Rivers to Russell. Rivers has been blessed with a championship D. We have no D, which leaves no room for error at all from the QB.
Until we fix our defense we will not be a contender, regardless of skill players on offense. It states with scheme and physical playmakers.
Marcus Washington, Terrell Suggs and D. Brooks are all LB's that are available right now. These are tough, physical football players and we sorely need them.
But I suppose we'll go with the mighty Ricky Brown and Sam "claude raines" Williams instead.

10:09 AM  
Blogger H said...


I saw that one. I think it was a Chefs fan hoping they would win 3 games and not be last.

To paraphrase one of my favorite movies, “Call me deranged, but I’ll see your McFadden and raise you a Bush.”

Bush is our secret weapon. You put Bush in and the playbook doesn’t change. And, there is zero drop off in talent and he is a three down back as is McFadden. Plus, both can throw the halfback pass. No situational substitution for a personnel set. As much as I like and appreciate what Fargas has done for the team, I see him as number 3. If all three stay healthy I see only needing about 3,000 – 3,500 yards passing from Russell to make the playoffs. Because we will be one of the top rushing teams, possibly number one.

Yes, Russell needs to improve, but not dramatically, I’m only talking about 65 – 70 yards per game.

That type of improvement, with a clock grinding running game keeps our defense rested and their defense fighting over the oxygen every time they leave the field.

Even with a tough schedule as we have, if we can run the ball and keep it close, we could snatch a few games we aren't supposed to win.


10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


JRuss is playing QB in the NFL. He was drafted out of college a year early making him younger than avg. Playing Qb in the NFL should take some time to master, and it is not like writing articles where you can just pull shiite out of your ass, aka you.


10:30 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

That's why Russell makes the big bucks and I make jack squat from this blog, Spicoli.

If someone wants to pay me millions to write a blog and declare me as one of the top bloggers in the world, then I guess I'd have to get used to high expectations.

You're the type of fan I'm talking about. You don't think Russell has anything to prove this year. Great, another vote for low expectations.

11:10 AM  
Blogger H said...


I agree. While I am saying we could make the playoffs with moderate improvment, I too have high expectations. No more kid gloves.

I want us to make the playoffs because of him, not in spite of him.


11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider Take,

You are the type of ADHD fan that ESPN has created---idiots. I know more about the Raiders than you dream you do. The kid gloves aARE off, but no one thinks Russell should have shown us the world last year Capt. Impatient. I do think Russell has something to prove this year and I believe he will, so you are dead wrong there, go to your room and write another "article"

J Effing Spicoli

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wern't born and I was at the Coliseum.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't go concentrate on what you are good at, like comparing helmets.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Okay, my mom didn't give birth to me in the bleachers of Frank Youell Field, so I'm not a real Raiders fan. I get it.

That helmet "article" was pretty good, wasn't it?

12:21 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Hey guys, remember when guys like JONES and Spicolis could get a rise out of us?

That was long before we realized that slow and steady wins the race. The core will always be here.

Maybe we need a pre-post test. For example, you have to have endured 10 of the "Pats fan's" rambles, real-time, before you can insult a grandfathered contributor.

1:19 PM  
Blogger H said...


I’m not sure he isn’t Jones reincarnated into one of his other personalities.

Don’t you love these guys who claim to know everything about everything! But, if they are going to use British slang and cuss words to sound cool they should at least spell them right. There’s only one “i” in shite.

The Raider off season is so uneventful the major story now is their deal with Air Asia.

One story though was humorous. Keyshawn Johnson was interviewing Kirk Morrison and was trying to suck him into a negative comment on this year’s draft choices. Morrison reminded him he was talking to a third round pick who wasn’t supposed to make it in the NFL. Lesson for Keyshawn, know who you are interviewing.


2:58 PM  
Blogger H said...


The Helmet article was a good one. You're still wrong about the Cowgirls though.


3:01 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Hey, where else do football fans talk about NFL helmets and make it interesting?

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm verry excited and hoping that the coaching staff relizes we already had a great back before mc fadden, not knockin on him at all, but why wouldn't we try to make the def. play to our strenghts instead of trying to overcome thiers.
i say we put bush in on the first possesion with neal, wear down the def front and lb's. pound the middle and give something to struggle to take down.
in zone blocking the linemen are more athletic than overpowering
correct me if im wrong.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I will assume that Spicoli chose his handle after the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" character. The heavy intake of cannibus clearly is the cause of the shortage of brain cells.

"Playing Qb in the NFL should take some time to master, and it is not like writing articles where you can just pull shiite out of your ass, aka you"

Please show me, Spicoli aka Pop Tarts & Pringles, where RT implied that Russell should be ready to "master" the position of QB this season. << CRICKETS >>

Solid improvement, better accuracy, improved red zone efficiency, an increased leadership role etc ... these are realistic goals and expectations for Russell in his 3rd year.

I'm not convinced that ANY NFL QB past or present has ever completely "mastered" the position of QB including Montana, Marino, Favre, Manning, or Brady.

The fact is that every QB has some facet of the game, mentally or physically, that needs fine tuning and improvement.

The bar should be set extremely high for Russell and McFadden. The team is depending on these 2 highly paid, supremely talented players to perform at a high level.

CJ's Expectations:

3200+ yards passing, 60%+ accuracy, 20 TD passes, 10 or less INTs.

Comment: If you don't think Russell, and the Raiders passing attack is capable of 200 yards passing per game, your standards are way too low.

1296 yards rushing; 288 carries (18rush attempts per game); 4.5 ypc; 6+ rushing TDs
60 receptions; 650+ yards; 4+ receiving TDs

Comment: If you don't think McFadden should get 22+ touches per game in a game that typically has 60 offensive snaps, I don't know what the hell you are thinking.

Let's break down a 60 offensive snap game and assume that the approx. run to pass ratio is in the ballpark of 60%/40%;

36 rushing attempts; Yes, I think McFadden should have approx. 50% of the rush attempts.

24 pass attempts; getting McFadden 3-5 pass plays per game is a sensible plan considering his lethal playmaking abilities, natural mismatches with LBs, and as a relatively safe option to move the chains.

7:06 PM  
Blogger H said...


Your expectations for Russell are right in line with my modest improvement to get us into the playoffs. We are only talking 60 – 70 Yards per game. My expectations are much higher, but then again I’m the infernal optimist.

I also like your use of McFadden. But I would cut him back a couple of touches so we could get heavy doses of Bush also. Keep the defense off balance and keep McFadden healthy and rested for the long run. Also, both backs need to be fairly fresh late in games for running out the clock. Three of our first four games are winnable with the use of both backs. But we then have a brutal run of four games with three of them against playoff teams, including going to the Dolts. I just think using the two of them is the best way to success. Them and Zach Miller.

Just look at the Dolts. Tomlinson has reached that age where he starts wearing down quickly. Sproles at 180 is not going to be able to absorb the punishment for an entire season. McFadden at 210 and Bush at 245 can absorb more punishment. Bush can give it back especially if the breaks into the second level. He’s got 20 – 30 pounds on most of the CB’s and a good number of the safeties in the league. Between being winded by McFadden and getting the crap beat out of them by Bush the fourth quarter should be ours. The only other team with a combination of RB’s like ours is the New Jersey Midgets.

Your 60% completion on 24 pass attempts equates to about 15 completions per game. I would like to see at least 4 of those go to Miller

JMHSO (Credit to Arkansas)


5:29 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...


in this blog "article" he says "Still, if I were a Raiders fan, I’d be concerned, while sitting around on house arrest, about the report that people who work with with Russell every day still question his work ethic."

HOUSE ARREST? just who the hell does this guy think he is talking bull-crap about us raider fans like that? you think this moron knows that raider fans are among the most knowledgeable fans in the nfl? NO - he has to prejudge us and make an immature comment like that for no stupid reason. unfreakinbelieveable!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I don't like the cheap shots at Raiders fans.

However, I can't really argue with these ultra-low projections for 2009. I don't necessarily buy them, but I can understand them.

Step back and look at it from the outsider's perspective, scanning the NFL. We are the dregs until we prove otherwise. We've earned these low projections. We're firmly in Lions and Rams territory.

We've given the Haters way too much ammo. We've fed their bias with facts. Now it's open season. Until we starting hunting again, we're the hunted.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

H: Good points. I agree about Bush getting a steady diet of carries. 22 touches for McFadden out of 60 some snaps in a game is actually using him conservatively. There are plenty of opportunities for Bush to get his hands on the ball as a runner, receiver, or even passer.

If I had to breakdown the avg. rush attempts, it would equate to the following;

McFadden: 18 carries per game
Bush: 13 carries per game
Fargas, FBs, Russell, other RBs: 5carries

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amarkus Russell is going to fail bigtime as long as he plays for the raiders! It's not like the raiders know how to develop him. Look at how many times over the last 5 years that players left the raiders only to go on and have pretty good careers.

Is this guy serious?!
Randy obviously only sucked in Oak, and Charles Woodson plays in a different system which gives him more picks. Nnamdi is a much better cover corner.

This guy must be talking about Stu Schwiegert and Teyo Johnson


12:12 PM  
Blogger H said...


Gee, I didn’t know that ankle brace I put on every morning had a GPS locator in it so the parole officer I didn’t know I had could keep track of me. And, I guess he heard about Arkansas and thought he was actually an inmate.

Some of these blog sites are ridiculous in who they let write for them. It only lowers their credibility. Besides, Mike Lombardi wasn’t at the practice he referenced and he didn’t site a source. Nor did he site a reason if Russell actually was absent. Russell lost his uncle to whom he was very close. His mother evidently has health problems and underwent surgery earlier this year. And, Russell is evidently a very private person. And, this is the first OTA he has missed since he signed his contract.

Allow him his private life. So far he hasn’t shot up a strip club, been sentenced for manslaughter, shot himself in the leg, or beat up his girl friend.


12:31 PM  
Anonymous ButteryPat said...

McFadden/Bush almost seems like Wheatley/Garner on overdrive...and younger too. It's definitely the brightest looking aspect of the offense, particularly since the line is best at run blocking.

Of course, everybody has something to prove in the NFL. It's like Take said, they're being payed millions of dollars. Jamarcus Russell was taken ahead of everybody else. He has to prove he's worth that. But I don't go quickly calling somebody a bust. He's got a lot of time left in his career, and he has the talent to be truly amazing.

I really liked that Kirk Morrison interview. I think he can step up and be a vocal leader on defense, but he seems to have a fairly passive style. A couple other highlights were his naming Jamarcus Russell as the team leader, and talking about how Mitchell and Heyward-Bey are eager to prove detractors wrong. Between Morrison and Nnamdi, it looks like the team is starting to get a little bit of a media identity.

Heyward-Bey, I read, even practiced hurt to show the team he was willing to play through pain. He says his hamstring recovery is going well, so that's positive. The OTA's aren't such a big deal, but if he missed a lot of training camp I'd start to get a little worried.

As for what Heyward-Bey can do this year, I don't know too much about numbers. If Walker comes back, I imagine he'll probably slide into the number one spot. Schilens would be the likely two. So that leaves the slot open to Higgins, Murphy and Heyward-Bey. Higgins is probably the favorite because of last year, which leaves Heyward-Bey as a possible 4 or 5 receiver. Meaning he probably wouldn't be putting up incredible numbers. However, he CAN make an impact in certain ways. What I'm looking for out of him is little things. Definitely looking for some big plays, but if he's making key blocks, beating his man, and really making his presence on the field known, numbers don't matter. He can stretch the defense out all game long, and make an impact without even having to catch a ball. However, I fully expect he'll make some big plays catching the ball this year.

McFadden touching the ball 22+ times sounds perfect, if you mean running, catching, and tricky stuff like passing or handing off. We definitely have a good one-two punch in the running game, and the good part about that is it keeps the backs going for longer. So, that means, we need more Michael Bush. Plus, he's a pretty excellent receiver in his own right, and I'm looking for him to come out as an all-around player. Fargas needs to be phased out, but I hope he'll stick around as a backup. He can carry the ball when the one-two needs a break, and he's a reliable runner if somebody goes down.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous ButteryPat said...

"H: Good points. I agree about Bush getting a steady diet of carries. 22 touches for McFadden out of 60 some snaps in a game is actually using him conservatively. There are plenty of opportunities for Bush to get his hands on the ball as a runner, receiver, or even passer.

If I had to breakdown the avg. rush attempts, it would equate to the following;

McFadden: 18 carries per game
Bush: 13 carries per game
Fargas, FBs, Russell, other RBs: 5carries"

Oh, I didn't see you'd posted this. This is actually almost entirely what I was envisioning. Maybe occasionally mix that up and let Bush carry the load, and I think you've got a formula for long-term success. We can be a real multi-tiered threat with those guys. I think the goal for the Raiders offensive coaches this year should be "how can we get McFadden and Bush on the field together as often as possible"?

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey RT, You should do a follow up to your 9-15-2005 Take entitled "I Love Al Davis". I would like to see you revisit that thread and your bullet points in it and I want to know how you feel about Davis now.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The new version would probably be titled, "I Still Love Al Davis, but..." or "I Still (Tough) Love Al Davis."

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me. I would like to see a new version. What else are you going to write about while killing time before training camp kicks off?!?!

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A revisit of the 2005 "I Love Al Davis" take seems appropriate since Al celebrates his 80th birthday on Saturday.

Sarasota Raider

7:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


What I really hope is that Cable has an intuitive feel for how to use both McFadden & Bush.

By that I mean ...

Each and every game has a unique set of circumstances and a multitude of variables that should guide Cable in how to maximize both McFadden & Bush's collective skill sets.

Depending on the opponent's D, the down/distance, the score, the time in the game, the flow, the health of each respective back, whose the "hot" back, and the complete dynamic nature of an NFL game ...

Cable needs to find ways to mix and match his backfields and diversify the offensive playcalling.

There will be games where it makes sense to give Bush the bigger load than McFadden.

There will be games where McFadden can do more damage as a WR.

Keep both backs fully engaged and featured as key centerpieces of an efficient and effective offense is absolutely paramount.

McFadden and Bush need to "stay thirsty"! CJ :D

In my mind, McFadden and Bush are fully capable of combining for 2000yards rushing and 100. receptions.

7:02 PM  
Blogger H said...

Some blue sky stuff:

If memory serves there have only been two teams with two backs that rushed for over 1,000 yards in the same season. Miami (Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris) and Pittsburgh (Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier). We could become the third. I don’t see it happening, but we do have the talent. I do believe that both those teams won the Super Bowl those years.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, as much as it pains me (actually it doesn’t), I would like to recognize one of my all time favorite Steelers. It’s a very short list, with only one entry. Rocky Bleier was drafted by Pittsburgh then one year later he was drafted by the United States Army. He was wounded in both legs in the same battle. Bullet in one and shrapnel in the other. He won the Bronze Star and received the Purple Heart for his wounds. It was after all that that he returned to the NFL and had his career.

For those who say we should have taken Crabtree over DHB and complain about the hamstring. Crabtree has yet to line up for a single snap in mini camp or OTA. Yet in the media the majority of the stuff you see is about DHB’s hamstring even though he is taking some snaps in every session.


4:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Some of you guys that now want to see McFadden and Bush take the reins at RB are ones who have stated right along they want to keep Fargas. Ok. What's the likelihood that Fargas will immediately assume a backseat role? Yeah, Fargas is a team player, but Cable has shown his propensity to favor Fargas as the top RB. Sure, eventually this will have to change, but how quickly?

Meanwhile, Rankin is ready to assume the role that many here want to see Fargas in.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been tough for me to stop in here since I'm still in mourning over the death of my Raiders 7 years ago. But this article was just too good to not post. I might have a new favorite Raider!


6:05 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Even with a tough schedule as we have, if we can run the ball and keep it close, we could snatch a few games we aren't supposed to win.

Someone pointed out on Usenet that the Raiders play 12 games vs teams that might be sinking like stones.

Here's the post from Andy:

Opponents in the crapper: KC, Denver, Cincy, Cleveland
Opponents who might be in the crapper: San Diego, Houston, Jets,
Dallas, Washington

These teams account for 12 out of 16 contests....

We need to for sure sweep KC and Den, split with SD.. beat Clev, Cinci.. we are already at 7 wins.

2 more wins from Hous, Jets, Dall, and Wash???

Doesn't sound very difficult to me... especially if we quit throwing away wins at the end of games by using the prevent defense the entire fourth quarter.

8:41 AM  
Blogger H said...


Do not fret, they will rise like the Phoenix. I saw that article. I though the comparison to Sapp was incorrect. More like a Hendricks, now there was a real prankster.


You are exactly right. I was one of those who wanted to keep Fargas when his contract was up. We did, and I’m glad we did. I am also one of those who wanted us to go with a run stuffing tackle instead of McFadden. Primarily because we had Fargas and Bush. I thought, and still do, that Bush would turn out to be the steal of the ’07 draft. I am now one of those who wishes to see more of McFadden and Bush.

It’s a little thing called reality. We have McFadden and Bush, both of whom should be better than Fargas. So they should get the bulk of the work. It has nothing to do with my admiration for Fargas, nor my support for him at the time. I didn’t get that run stuffer. We drafted McFadden so let’s use him. Under the circumstances it makes the most sense.

To suggest that we may be bandwaggoning or disingenuous is completely wrong. This is who we have on the roster, this is why he was drafted then, so let’s move on. We’re still trying to figure out how to stop the run. I’m hoping McFadden/Bush will help by allowing us to hang onto the ball more.

I again wanted to get that run stopper instead of DHB, but I wasn’t consulted. So, we now have DHB. Let’s move on and use him for what he drafted for.


8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Take...


11:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H - If you want to talk reality, why bring up that you didn’t want to draft McFadden? The reality is you can’t always have your cake and eat it too. Fact is, Fargas is a seasoned RB and will likely take snaps away from both McFadden and Bush (however many or few), just as he did last year. Cable has shown he favors Fargas.

I certainly hope McFadden and Bush capture the leading roles suggested here, but I’m not counting on it. Reality is, Fargas was our #1 RB last year and will probably continue to be until he gets injured again (which shouldn’t take long).

This goes back to the central point of this thread; it’s time to take off the kid gloves and give McFadden and Bush the ball. I think we agree on this much. The problem is, until presented otherwise, we still have a #1 RB named Fargas (a heck of a nice guy).

3:13 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


I have always been a big fan and admirer of Fargas. I believe it is important to have him involved, if only on a limited basis, to spell McFadden & Bush and as a vital backup in case of injury.

Although I like Fargas, I agree with your central point that Fargas could take away some valuable snaps away from McFadden & Bush.

At this point in time, IMO, it seems like Cable has McFadden as his lead back. The question will be how Cable views Bush & Fargas. If Fargas is the #2 back it would take away valuable snaps for Bush.

The GMen had the blueprint for using 3 backs aka "Earth, Wind, and Fire" effectively in their SB season. Jacobs (Earth), Bradshaw (Wind), and Ward (Fire) all had vital yet different roles that fit their skill set and the circumstances in the game. Each back complimented the other backs and had their time to shine. Coughlin kept all 3 backs engaged and fresh for a 16+ game season.

Can Cable use "Dash (McF), Smash(Bush), and Crash (Fargas)" in a similar way? I think McFadden should get 3x the number of carries of Fargas (roughly 18/6). I think Bush should get 2x the number of carries as Faras (roughly 12/6).

It might be a situation where initially (1st few games) Fargas gets more carries than Bush. Perhaps Bush has to prove to Cable that he deserves more snaps. It will be very intersting to see how Cable using the 3 headed monster.

6:33 PM  
Blogger RaiderCat said...

"Smash, Dash, 'n Crash..."!!!

I'd been trying to think of some moniker for our crew... this fits so well, CJ!

I also like the ways you've broken down the number of runs from each. Something else to consider is the use of Smash and Dash in the short-medium passing game, with DMac playing slot, while Bush and Lo'Neal split in the backfield.

Fargas, while being the "Commitment To Excellence" co-winner with Nnamdi, is an excellent team leader. I advocate, however, his getting fewer touches, yet his leadership can't be denied. Hopefully, he would be able keep his spirit up while remaining a Raider, albeit in a role to spell the others.


6:57 PM  
Blogger RaiderCat said...


An afterthought... how 'bout adding Thrash and Cash... Lo'Neal and JaMarcus?

"Thrash," because of Neal's lead-blocking prowess, and "Cash" for JaMarcus' being money in the bank...

Just a thought...!


7:11 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Calico Jack says: "At this point in time, IMO, it seems like Cable has McFadden as his lead back."

This is what I'm talking about.

Calico Jack, one of our sharpest observers, isn't yet sure that DMac is our lead back. What does that tell you? It's insanity.

Why draft a guy that high and then dilly dally with him? What are we trying to preserve by tugging on the reins all the time? Fargas has seven touchdowns in his CAREER. Yet we barely test a young stud like Bush during a lost season.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Let's not forget that the only reason Bush had his breakout performance in the last game of the season vs. TBay was because both McFadden and Fargas were dinged up. Would Cable have used Bush otherwise? Does this one game register or sound an alarm to lean on Bush more in 09?

Just so it is clear, there is a difference in what I think is in the best interest of the Raiders (= wins) and what I think will actually happen.

If I was the guy devising the game plan, deciding on the the focus of the playbook, it would be quite basic ... it boils down to 2 simple premises;

#1 Make sure McFadden is on the field as much as possible AND ...

#2 Make sure McFadden gets a concentrated number of touches each and every game

To execute #1 and #2 and maximize results, the coaching staff needs to make it a priority to use McFadden creatively and in a diversified fashion.

It isn't rocket science. All of the other skilled players would work off of McFadden whether he is a decoy, a single back, paired up with Bush, in I formation with Neal, in the wildcat, in the slot, in motion, or split out wide.

The entire offensive unit benefits from his prescence on the field. He is our biggest and most versatile threat to directly impact how an opponent's D plays us. He is the one guy who an opponent has to account for and scheme against. He is the one guy the Raiders have who can create mismatches and hit paydirt on any given play.

Why hold back on using him to his maximum potential? Why limit his god given abilitiies? The whole notion of 'saving' a player or 'conserving' a player is nice in theory but do you honestly think the top backs, past and present, have ever complained for being overused? Plus a head coach should have a feel for how to use their top players to get the most out of them for a full season.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Gary said...


Why draft a guy that high and then dilly dally with him?

McF was injured since game two?

I've had a toe injury as a track runner... its not like he had a cold.


10:26 PM  
Anonymous gary said...


I've had a toe injury as a track runner... its not like he had a cold.


..added.. I could barely WALK. It sucked ass.

I mean really guys... bitching we didn't use a player that should prolly have been in crutches more?

Crazy shit sometimes.

10:30 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

I like the input but want to add to it another thought about our new coaching staff....As I said earlier there is more on the coaches shoulders at this point than will ever be on the players...

We now have a "PGC"...Passing Game Cordinator...

It's his responsibility to design passing plays that best use the tallents of the "QB"-"WR"s-"TE"-n-"RB"s...So what should we now expect from this man...Do we remember what his teams looked like in the past...So do we have some feel for what he brings to the "O".....

The "HC" is also the "RGC" and that is his natural striength...Running the ball...He has proven to be efficaiant at it with teams consistantly in the top 5-10 slots rushing using his "ZBS" to run behind....He now finds himself with some new toys...

"DHB"....This guy is a tremendous thret out of the backfield....He has the speed to run the reverse and sweeps and the size that makes it difficult to bring him down...

"FB" who is healthy and proven as a lead blocker...How many big production running-backs has he opened the door for...Also the return of O'Niel....

2 "TE"s who can add to the formations-block and be threats in the passing game....

A now healthy core of extreemly tallented "RB"s..."R-DMc"-Bush-Fargas-n-Rankin....

A "QB" who is in his 3rd year and almost seasoned...About to becoame a big threat under the direction of the "PGC".....

And most importantly the loss of "SOB"....We now may have a "D" that can keep a game close so we can use that running game to it's full potiential....And a team that is a total unit instead of being devided...

There have been several very good points brought up in this thread...Well worth reading...I love it...It's so damn positive...Can you believe that...This thread has been positive again....Thank-You...I apreaciate the hell out of that...Please keep it going....

PantyRaider...The Smell Of "V" Is Very Close!!!!/_

12:47 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Gary, Bush was healing from a broken leg his first year. Last year he was fine, so why did we barely use him?

Of course I remember that DMac was banged up last year (which makes you wonder why we would put him in games for a mere three or seven carries, if he's that dinged up, then really let him heal and come back strong later in the season).

This year, McFadden is fine. So why are we wondering who our lead back is?

He and Bush already have the same amount of TDs in one year with a third less carries than Fargas in his career.

What is with all this sentimentality and hand wringing over Justin Fargas?

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Take, just because *we* don't know who the unquestioned starting RB is doesn't mean the coaches don't know.

I'll leave it at that.



8:00 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Good point.

Let's just hope we've given up this habit of sentimentality and hanging on and hedging...

The swift DeAngelo Hall axing was definitely a good sign. The minimal use of Michael Bush last year was a bad sign.

McFadden was hurt, the season was lost, yet we could barely find use for Bush? And people wonder why I might be concerned about RB usage heading into this season?

Let's hope that type of approach doesn't prevail this year.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

youth at several positions makes it tough to use the entire playbook. just the fact that we were playing with the likes of Luke Lawton as our starting fullback removes a pretty big chunck of the ol playbook right there. then you take into consideration that we have the human jumping bean Ole Harris as our starting LT and we are somewhat hamstrung. youth and injury at the WR spot. mind you, i'm not trying to make excuses, just stating a few (very few) of the reasons that things went the way they went last year.

as far as Bush not seeing more run, i totally agree and wanted to see us start off games by pounding Bush and slashing DMC. but i can totally understand why he didn't get that chance last season. for the last half of the season he was learning the FB position and spliting time between the two spots in case we needed him there. not an easy thing to do for him. when the injuries came up at TB we saw what he could do. now we know. i would think that the playing time issue has been decided on already. i love fargas as much as the next guy but explosive RBs are hard to find, we have two. justin is a great guy and a team first kind of player, you don't just rip his heart out quickly like we did Hall, you remove him slowly like we have been. let the team see how good the replacement dudes are then slide them in slowly like you should all young guys with lots to learn. you still get to utilize the entire playbook with the veteran and slip in the explosive guys here and there. this year the youngins have a pretty decent grasp on the playbook by now and the team has seen their game and know as well as we do that the youg ones should get the majority of the run. don't think Justin Faras doesn't know it too, he does. now the question is can he remain the heart and sole team guy from the bench? i don't see why not, he was of that ilk before he got handed the starting gig.

when we lost our studs at RB Justin was there for us. excellent job son, your perseverence and hard work won you a starting TB job for an NFL team for a few years. wow, what an acomplishment for a young man who transfered schools midway thru college and then broke his leg at USC to destroy his draft status. talk about a tough young man.

believe me when i say that even Justin has seen what the two kids that are taking his job can do on the field and is saying to himself, "well, i just can't do that, i don't possess that skill, he has better hands than i do" all those kinds of things everybody else is saying about him and about them he seestoo. he's been around the game a long time and seen many of great player in his day. he knows what one looks like on the feild and in the filmroom. he will accept his diminishing pt. and i doubt he pouts like porter or curry. he is a leader with heart, now can he be the same from the sidline?


9:36 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

.... Take, with the exception of the TB game, Bush actually struggled running... and TB was gasping for air at the end. He was recovering from a very serious leg injury... I dunno how well he would have done as a feature back.

Possible bad news schedule wise... my buddy just pointed out that a lot of teams we play are good at stopping the run, and I looked it up... we play nine games vs teams that were in the top twelve vs the run.


4:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Part of Bush's 'struggles' in 09 were due to the fact his carries were severely limited and random.

As you probably know, a back needs to get in a rhythm to be effective. Going into 08, his leg was 100% healthy. No one has ever questioned Bush's talents. The guy would have been a sure fire top 5 pick if he didn't break his leg. What are the Raiders coaching staff waiting for? McFadden suffered his turf toe in week 2. The coaching staff had 14 additional games to evaluate Bush's talents. It shouldn't have taken the last game of the season to unwrap the present under the tree.

I think that the gist of RT's original post is that it time to stop making excuses,lowering the expectations, and treating these gifted players like Russell, McFadden, and Bush with kid gloves. It is time for these players labeled as potential superstars to start producing at an elite level.

Bush in particular has one of the most amazing and unique skill sets of any back in the NFL. Size, power, strentgh, speed, agility, reliable hands. If used properly, he could be an upgraded version of Brandon Jacobs. He is the type of back that is good from goal line to goal line and doesn't need to be taken off the field for any down or distance situation. All he needs is the opportunity afforded by the coaching staff.

10:28 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Injury was an issue last year, but not injury to Bush.

Michael Bush had recovered from his leg injury the year before last, but Davis left him on the PUP list so we could keep tippytoes Jordon away from the Chiefs or Broncos, thereby stunting Bush’s development.

Then, despite his availability last year, we continued to play Fargas and an injured Darren McFadden over Bush. The two games Bush was given a significant load of running plays, he exploded.

Bush should be the starting RB! And McFadden should be a player that never leaves the field when the offense is playing. The ability of these two players trumps any loyalty, community service or other admirable trait that Fargas has to offer, certainly his seven career TDs.

It’s time to win football games!

HAPPY 4th!

6:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Al Davis turns 80! Here's a link to a transcript excerpt of his interview with Greg Papa. No question he is a fascinating individual, but he still needs help running his football team!

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Happy birthday, Al!

Happy birthday, America!


7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 80th Birthday Al Davis! For Al's birthday, I would like to give him a full retirement from GM duties. Its time that Al just enjoyed his retirement from GM duties and just sign the paychecks. Happy Birthday Al!

Sarasota Raider

8:34 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Bush's carry totals leading up to that last game: 0, 2, 0, 2, 0, 0.


9:23 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

After the bye week, when Cable took over as Head Coach, Bush had less carries (24) in 11 games (games 5-15) than he had in the game vs. TBay (27).

Carries (games #5-#15)

In games 1,6,10,12,14, and 15 Bush did not have a single carry. You mean to tell me that there weren't any red zone, goal line, short yardage situations where Bush's number was not called once? Yikes!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...


And that was with McFadden hurt for most of the year.

In other words: Fail.

So yes, based on the facts, I should be concerned about how we plan to use our backs in 2009.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Check out the comments on the previous helmet take, another failed attack on the intelligence of Raiders fans.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Bush getting less than 10 carries per game in 09 would be a failure on many levels. I realize that 09 is a new season and we will have to sit back and see how the backs are utilized. I can only hope that McFadden and Bush are the primary 1,2 punch in the backfield.

8:58 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

"RB" Bush....

I can only speculate here...

There is no logical reson except that the coaches wanted to use Fargas last season for all he's worth...Lke a reward before he's sent to pasture after signing that new contract...

They reserve Bush-n- "Run-DMc" for a season that accually matters...Remember it was lost within the first few weeks by all concerns until the rest of the west stumbled to a 7-9 -n- 8-8 finish...I personally think had the coaches gone all-out last season we posibly could have taken the divission...

Now there can most certainly be NO excuse for a repete of the same...We now have the weapons and any fool as "HC" could understand how to utilize them to the advantage of the team...I don't believe Cable to be a fool and wanted his retuen as "HC" as you may remember...So if he flops I will be the first to condem him for it....

Happy "80"th "MrD"....Now just for fun...Who was the oldest Öwner -or- "GM" to win in the "PO"s -or- "SB"...I personally would like that man to be Al Davis...Just one more feather for his cap...


We are still very young but with a little more experiance...Walker is the only so called seasoned player but he's a total head-case and can't be depended upon to start the season or finish it...

What we have are several young tallents at the position....These players will need time to develop...To get a rythem with each other and the "QB"....So I don't expect to be passing at full speed comming out the gate...

Our "QB" is also still in the developmental stage and should be ready for a break-out performance but don't expect to see that in every game...Most have a few great games mixed in with average games and 1-2 bad games in the works....So we all need to be a little resonable here...

Now that's NOT treating our young tallented players with "Kid-Gloves"...It's being realistic...Add to that that we have some new faces on the "OL" and you should get the picture of a work in progress...

What we do have is an experianced quality "TE" and a core of "RB"s who are most definately ready to shine and carry the bulk of the load...But they can't do it all on their own so here again we need to take a more realistic view of things to come....

What we desperatly need from the "QB"s -n- "WR"s is some consistancy in the passing game to keep the "D"s out of an 8 man front...Also passing to the "RB"s will help that game plan...

What we desperatly need from the "OL" is dependable consistant blocking both in the running game and pass protechtion as well...Will we get that in every game this season...Doubtful but hopeful...

Remember too as pointed out 9 out of 16 of our games are against top tallent at stopping the run...And the run is what we need to depend upon the most....

What we desperatly need from the "D" to keep the games close so we can utilize our running attack to it's fullest...Now that's the bigest question mark of all....What will we have on that side of the ball...

I personally believe we are poised to break out of that dungeon we have been in the past 6 seasons but with a resonable amout of conservitive restraint...We have a tough schedual and a young team in the making...On both sides of the ball...And a new coaching staff spending their 1st full season together...

So YES...Were going all the way...but that may only be to a "PO" contender and not to the reality of making it there...

PantyRaider...Go All Out -n- Hope For The Best!!!/_

11:58 PM  
Anonymous gary said...


In games 1,6,10,12,14, and 15 Bush did not have a single carry. You mean to tell me that there weren't any red zone, goal line, short yardage situations where Bush's number was not called once? Yikes!

I read some stats somewhere that showed besides the TB game, Bush was pretty piss poor at short yardage last season.. if not alost completely worthless. Granted, maybe he needs more touches to get into the flow of things, but I have more hopes for McF than I do Bush.

That said... ANYONE but Fargas this season will make me happy. For the life of me I never understood what anyone saw in him.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

I think Bush's mid to late season disappearance last year was a direct result of his refusal to take one for the team and temporarily play fullback. Just my opinion.

And if that's the case then good for Cable. We've been squawking for years about weak head coaches who don't hold players accountable and foster a team first mindset. I think Cable is actually walking the walk.

8:39 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Hey, I got abducted last week and had to leave town for another few days of work.

I've been reading the takes. In my experience it's very pointless to worry very much about any particular position being over populated - like RB. I can pretty much guarantee that either Smash, Dash or Crash will go down with an injury fairly quickly and we'll be really glad we have the other two.

My philosophy has always been to let them fight it out in training camp. The one who proves to bring the most to the field on a per play basis is the guy that should get the leading snaps. If that should turn out to be Fargas, then all hail Huggy, Jr.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary!!!! At last we agree!!! The Fargas quote:
"That said... ANYONE but Fargas this season will make me happy. For the life of me I never understood what anyone saw in him"

10:40 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Bama.. yes we do agree there! lol I think one of my Raider buddies that i watch all the games with said it best... "he looks like he is always running with his eyes closed."

He certainly has a knack of finding the biggest guy on the field and running right smack dab into the middle of him instead of simply trying to run around him.

And if he honestly wins the job outright, we are in deep deep trouble not just for this year, but in the coming years. It means McF and Bush SUCK ASS!!

11:25 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Why I like Justin Fargas.

Because even if he is not on the field, he is always doing something to help his team win. There is only ONE other player on this team to whom I can comfortably assign that statement and that's Nnamdi. You generally need several of these guys. Two isn't enough, and neither McFadden nor Bush bring that to the table. They do bring better skills.

Bush, especially falls short. He had the opportunity to recreate the Marcus Allen/Bo Jackson backfield with Bush/McFadden, but he couldn't have distanced himself further from it for fear of being labeled a Full Back.

There is no question that Fargas isn't a starter. In both of the seasons where he gained the most rushing yards, he started less than half of the games. He fell way off last year as the starter for all 14 games for which he was not injured.

Personally, I'd look for McFadden and Bush to spend a lot of time in the game together, with Bush opperating as a single set back, McFadden shifting wide. Fargas should be the guy who comes in with the lead for ball control and to take time off of the clock.

If Fargas does beat out McFadden and Bush for the starting job, that's not on Cable or Fargas. It's certainly not on Al Davis. That's on McFadden and Bush for not taking matters seriously enough to compete.

Instead of worrying about Fargas' drive to win the job (possibly leading him to succeed), think about putting pressure on McFadden and Bush to win the job and to not rely on their expectations.

12:22 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I think Stork nailed it - if Bush had Fargas' attitude of doing anything to help the team, he would have seen the field sooner and more often. He has the talent - no doubt about that - but with the focus Cable had on changing things up it makes perfect sense to keep him on the side until he was willing to help out the team. Remember - we lost both fullbacks to injury. Bush had the opportunity to get on the field - he just didn't take it.

Regardless, the addition of Lorenzo Neal makes it easier get McFadden & Bush on the field. In addition to the outstanding lead blocking, you have someone who can pick up the blitz and allow them both to be used as receivers. A great blocking back is invaluable to the passing game.

And I don't get all the Fargas bashing. Equate it to Garcia - everyone is happy with the signing, and expecting that his professionalism will push Russell to succeed quicker. The same applies to Fargas and McFadden/Bush. If they improve their understanding of the game, their blocking, etc., because of the example he sets, then that makes him an asset worth keeping.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree on Lorenzo Neal, StickUm25. What a great addition.
As for Fargas, I don't mean to bash him. It just seems, and maybe I'm wrong, that he is one of those guys that Al likes and has thus been bestowed a scholarship. Never understood the fascination with the guy. i don't think any opposing team has ever game planned for fargas.
Sort of like Brayton playing all those years... and the strange case of Alvis Whitted. And Jett before that, and now Richardson & Kelly. At some point we have to have winning results. Kelly sort of had a moment or two where you could say, maybe... just maybe (Not the big contract however!).

3:25 PM  
Blogger H said...

Happy Independence Day everyone belated.


“If you want to talk reality, why bring up that you didn’t want to draft McFadden?” You don’t seem to get my point. Please re-read the post. I didn’t get it, so I am dealing with the reality.

At least I’m not one of the people here who complained mightily about the run defense and that we needed a run stopper, then campaigned for McFadden, then after he was drafted went back to complaining about not having a run stopper. That’s ignoring reality.

And, I’ve been saying take the kid gloves off since Kiffin’s first season. I believe Cable is doing so.


5:03 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H - are you referring to me with that statement?

I don’t remember riding that pendulum, but I did have mixed emotions about drafting McFadden, mostly because we had Bush, and certainly more pressing needs than RB. At the same time, I was very excited to have McFadden because of what he brings. And what I didn't know at the time he was drafted that I now know, he's a team player.

Unfortunately, I don't have that same excitement about this year's draft. I strongly believe we let opportunity pass us by at OT and DT in rds 1 and 2 respectively. I hope I am wrong.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

awesome article in the chron today guys. check it out:

11:42 PM  
Blogger H said...


No, I am not refering to you. There was more than one. I didn't feel it necessary to list names to open up another can of worms. I remember it because I was is deep discussion with them.

As far as this years draft goes, reality is we didn't get a run stopper or OL (my personal choice was Oher). We got DHB whom I thought was treated very poorly by some idiot so called experts.

But, lets line him up and see what he's got. No use in bellyaching about not getting my way.

As much as I like Fargas, it's time to see what the combination of Bush/McFadden have. That's the reality of the situation.


5:15 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H - then we are in full agreement. The honeymoon with our draft picks is over. It's time to play these guys and see what they can do.

On the bright side, we have one of the youngest teams in football right now. If we can put together a respectable season (a playoff run), then that's something to get excited about. Otherwise, how many top ten draft picks will it take to put together a winning team?

6:36 AM  
Blogger H said...


Yep, great article. It pointed out a few things Blanda and I have been saying.

I like the fact that it pointed out with today's money teams are not as patience with developing their quarterbacks as they once were. Most are looking for a quicker return on their money.


Yep, we are on the same page on this one.

Bo Jackson said the following about McFaccen, "He ain't no young kid. He's a grown man. Go out and do what you're paid to do and run that ball. Just run that ball."

You could apply that to the whole team. We are a young team, but it's been several drafts and free agent support players. Time to earn their money.


6:53 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Couldn't one campaign for McFadden AND a run stopper? After all, we have more than one pick in the draft.

Let's review 2008:

Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas (Rd. 1, Pick 4)
Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut (Rd. 4)
Arman Shields, WR, Richmond (Rd. 4)
Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo (Rd. 6)
Chaz Schilens, WR, San Diego State (Rd. 7)

8:07 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

By my count, it's been four years and 37 picks since we selected a DT in the draft, and that was Hawthorne in the SIXTH round in 2005.

This isn't about McFadden by a longshot.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous gary said...


Sort of like Brayton playing all those years...

Maybe thats not a very good example considering I think he is starting for Carolina and had 4.5 sacks last year?

8:46 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

At least I’m not one of the people here who complained mightily about the run defense and that we needed a run stopper, then campaigned for McFadden, then after he was drafted went back to complaining about not having a run stopper.


8:49 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yes, because if we hadn't drafted McFadden, we wouldn't have been forced to not draft a DT since 2005, since when we've selected seven wide receivers.

No wonder you guys don't think we need a GM. All of this makes perfect sense to you.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

By my count, it's been four years and 37 picks since we selected a DT in the draft, and that was Hawthorne in the SIXTH round in 2005.

This isn't about McFadden by a longshot.

True enough... but the point stands... the people crying the loudest about our run stopping are almost all the same people that wanted us to pass on Dorsey.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous gary said...


No wonder you guys don't think we need a GM. All of this makes perfect sense to you.

Nope... I thought Al should have taken Dorsey and we would now have actual depth at DT.

How about you?

9:04 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I like the McFadden pick. If you draft wisely, and you don't run with scissors, the draft doesn't become and either/or equation.

Perennially neglecting one of our core needs has nothing to do with McFadden, and everything to do with the mess that we're in.

9:09 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Scorpio - I find that article somewhat contradicting to why those players were drafted, particularly Russell and DHB. Russell was drafted for his strong arm and Bay for his speed. I know the intention is get more from these players, but we got what we drafted, i.e., a strong armed QB and speedy WR.

9:18 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Except for one thing, RT. I think it's arguable as to whether we've really needed to draft a DT since 2005 or whether our inability to stop the run comes from SOB. Of course, there's no arguing with the people who insist that Al Davis calls every defensive play and positions the players.

Fact is that under SOB the Raiders were crap at run defense every year. Run defense was once the Raiders' greatest strength. It's a fair question to ask, "is Kelly really a loser, or has he just been improperly used?" As for Brayton and others, it was SOB who decided to turn DTs into OLBs, destroying careers in the process.

Personally, I liked the caveman, but image along with warm and fuzzies don't win ball games.

I'm going out on limb to make a prediction. Folks are going to be surprised early about what our front four can bring. I am, of course, banking on my faith in Al. I think he paid some big contracts for reason.

But, I know, Take. After six bad years you feel we are no long allowed positive thinking.

Scorpio, you're right, that was a great article. And a little team history never hurt anybody. It's about time someone put old and new side-by-side, so the new can see what they are to be measured against.

Here's an interesting point, Take. Since Turner, we've all been arguing for more "tough love." The difference is that while H, me, and others have been arguing that the tough love needs to be shown to the players, the rest have been arguing that the tough love needs to be shown to Al Davis. I'd argue that all of the tough love in the world will not get Al Davis to tackle any better.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary said, "Maybe thats (brayton) not a very good example considering I think he is starting for Carolina and had 4.5 sacks last year?"
Two things:
1) congrats on finally doing something Brayton. How were they on run d, cuz he was awful for us all the way around.
2) Perhaps the problems are in Al's defensive scheme then? maybe Carolina actualy teachs stunts, and moves other than the old Al staple, "just be stronger than the guy in front of you, bull rush him to the qb"

which is it?

9:40 AM  
Blogger H said...


Yes, you can campaign for McFadden and hope for the run stopper also. My question is if you constantly harp on the defense and stopping the run, wouldn’t that be your number one priority? Especially if you already have a top 10 rushing attack.

At the same time we are griping about our receivers and safeties. In your list we took a guy for safety and a wide receiver.

You’re right, it’s not about McFadden. It seems to be about the folks wanting Al Davis replaced and asking the optimist amongst us to face reality, when the reality is Al Davis will not be replaced. The reality is we have McFadden instead of Dorsey and DHB instead of Raji or Oher.

I would even argue that the optimists are the ones more grounded in reality. This is what we have, so let’s get on with it. Put these guys out there and let them do what they are paid to do and see what falls out.


9:58 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The memo seems to be that I have no reason to complain about our owner/GM no matter how bad things get, simply because "that's the way it is" and "he's not going away." Okey-dokey.

Well, then, let me just turn my brain off and pretend that it's all just sunshine and lollipops. Hooray.

Sorry, can't do it.

Anyhow, because you guys can't logically explain our draft behavior, you're trying to cloak the issue and drag me into the "it's all Al's fault" morass, when I'm simply observing the FACT that we have serially ignored the DT position in the draft at the very time we've become a joke at stopping the run.

Seven WRs and no DTs in four consecutive drafts, and it has nothing to do with McFadden.

Now we have Blanda saying that it was really all Rob Ryan's fault, that we didn't need to draft a DT, because we've had ample talent all along, and Ryan simply misused this talent year after year after year while refusing to fire himself.

10:27 AM  
Blogger H said...

Careful Take, your starting to quote Leslie Gore songs. Not very Raider like.

It's not a matter of logically explaining anything. It's a matter of accepting the reality that this is the team that has been assembled. Complete with new coaches for those areas we were complaining about.

Soon we will have all the questions answered.


11:07 AM  
Blogger H said...


Reread the article. Lamonica pointed out that you're drafted or acquired because of your arm. But, you then have to learn the subtleties of the position.

"It becomes a game of angles. The hooks, the outs, the comebacks. When you can complete your 12-15-yard passes, that opens up the deep game." - Daryle Lamonica

"Brown is more interested in how quickly the No. 7 overall draft pick can learn. There is so much more to the position than 40 times in shorts. There are routes to memorize, precise cuts to make, catches to properly secure."

Tatum to Mitchell, "The main thing is getting them on the ground, tackling them to the ground," Tatum said. "It doesn't matter how hard you hit them, just get them on the ground."

It sounded to me like the old guys were saying, "You were drafted because you could hit, run or throw. Now, get to work on the rest of it."

What's contradictory about that?


11:59 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, the problem comes from your insistance that we have to view this pre-season as a continuation of the last six years until more than five Ws appear on the stats page. I don't buy that.

Each season is a new season, and each of the last six years can stand, fall, or stink all on its own.

With each off season we all saw moves designed to address existing problems, whether or not we agreed with the moves. There is no indication that your strategies would have been any better because they obviously weren't tried. The point is that different strategies were employed every year inspite of your pains taking look for the similarities. And as long as you're dealing with the same owner, the similarities should be rather easy to find.

The only thing that should be clear is the the Raiders' problems over the last six years have NOT had an easy solution. That is not to say you have offered easy solutions. Rearranging the organization to match other currently successful clubs is not an easy solution.

Your argument is that Davis' ways no longer work. My argument is that they work just fine, but that he's gotten away from what worked during their most successful years.

Your argument is that Al should be immitating successful corporations. My argument would be that modern corporate business models work so well, American taxpayers had to poney up 12 billion dollars to bail them out. Ultimately, at the bottom of any success story, is ONE man with a vision.

There is very little about this off season that resembles the off seasons of the last six years. There is very much that is reminicent of the way things were done in the successful years.

I don't really think you can predict how seasons will go. But I will say that this year WILL be different than the last six. I don't believe in guarantees. The whole team could go down in a plane crash on their way to Mile High. Barring unpredictable circumstances, I'd guarantee that this team will win no fewer than seven games. I predict that they will be in the playoff hunt at least until the last two weeks of the season. I believe there is a good possibility that they will do better than that.

Once these kids believe that they can, in fact, play with anybody in the league, they will begin to rise to the top.

12:43 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H - I guess it just reads funny to me. Here’s what I mean:

On Russell:

“Daryle Lamonica doesn't care how strong Russell's arm is....”


“Tim Brown doesn't care how fast rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey runs....”

On Mitchell:

“Jack Tatum doesn't care how hard Mitchell can hit....”

Aren’t these the exact traits that got these players drafted by the Raiders? As I said, I understand there is good intention behind this discussion, but it reads funny to me. If Al Davis wanted a cerebral QB, a WR known for strong routes and soft hands, and a S that is a sure tackler above all else, why didn’t he just draft those type players?

1:00 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

ow, because you guys can't logically explain our draft behavior, you're trying to cloak the issue and drag me into the "it's all Al's fault" morass, when I'm simply observing the FACT that we have serially ignored the DT position in the draft at the very time we've become a joke at stopping the run.

I assert that our DT's wasn't the main problem in stopping the run, it was the players behind them over-pursuing and refusing to stay in their lanes. I also have pointed out that our defense is outstanding at run stuffing for most of the game, its just the 4 or five plays where they give up 40 to 90 yards gains that killed us.

Giving up long gains is not the DT's fault.

That said... I do agree that we should prolly have drafted a DT for depth... often times they were gassed at the end, which hurt their pass penetration. I don't recall our DT's having many problems vs the run. Usually one would notice gaping holes all game long if our DT's were as bad as you are trying to make them out... is that something YOU noticed, RT?

1:09 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda: "Your argument is that Davis' ways no longer work. My argument is that they work just fine, but that he's gotten away from what worked during their most successful years."

Crikey. Folks, this is the kind of Twister game that I'm up against here.

If Al's gotten away from the ways that worked, and the new ways that have replaced them have resulted in abject failure, then these new ways are not working and need to be changed, do they not?

By the way, I never said Al's ways no longer work. I have said that they haven't been working for six years straight. I'm sorry if that offends you, but the NFL Record & Fact book is on my side.

Al's ways (whatever form they take) will start working again when they start working again.

Until then, with each passing season of failure, the benefit of the doubt grows thinner and thinner. That shouldn't be hard to understand.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

If Al's gotten away from the ways that worked, and the new ways that have replaced them have resulted in abject failure, then these new ways are not working and need to be changed, do they not?

I'm pretty sure that is why the Raiders have almost an entirely new coaching staff and suddenly stopped picking up over-hyped FA's, or maybe you didn't notice this, RT?

1:38 PM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

Leslie Gore? That one got me!

It's short sided to just consider the draft. Sapp ,Warren, Boschetti are recent free agent additions. Their success was less than hoped for, at least for Sapp & Warren, but to say the area was not addressed is not true. These are also in the NFL Fact Book, btw.

1:45 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, I'm in line with the two folks after you (gary and StickUm).

The difference in this off season seems to be apparent to just about everyone but you.

"If Al's gotten away from the ways that worked, and the new ways that have replaced them have resulted in abject failure, then these new ways are not working and need to be changed, do they not?"

That seems to me to be exactly what I said, yet you call it a game of twister. What is it about this off season, to you, that makes you believe it is exactly the previous six?

"By the way, I never said Al's ways no longer work. I have said that they haven't been working for six years straight."

Seems to me that's pretty much what I said - but I'm playing a game of twister?

"Al's ways (whatever form they take) will start working again when they start working again.

"Until then, with each passing season of failure, the benefit of the doubt grows thinner and thinner. That shouldn't be hard to understand."

Okay, Take, I get it. You're going to be a pessimist until there are a sufficient number to Ws for you. But here's something I think both H and I have learned over the years. Pessimism is easy. Optimism is hard.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I guess I was right then, eh Gary?

2:17 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, let's return to your original Twister quote:

"Your argument is that Davis' ways no longer work. My argument is that they work just fine, but that he's gotten away from what worked during their most successful years."

My argument is that the ways of late haven't worked (obviously). However you want to classify them, these ways have been Al Davis's ways for six straight years at a minimum. If they aren't his ways, whose ways are they? The Jolly Green Giant's? Bugs Bunny's?

Yet you clearly have a problem with me saying that they haven't worked.

By the way, I don't care if we go the corporate route, the bohemian route, or whatever.

In the words of Mr. Davis, Just Win, Baby.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

And cry me a river about optimism being hard.

It's not hard. By perennially flying the optimist's flag, you essentially get to cut and paste the same takes from last July, and the July before that, and...on and on.

It's more challenging to evolve the analysis as the years and facts mount, and adapt your takes accordingly.

You call it pessimism. I call it facing the facts.

2:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Let me introduce myself, Take. I'm BlandaRocked. I've actually posted on this site before.

I've said for a long time that Davis got away from the way he used to run the football team since Shell I (actually since the later years of Tom Flores). I think that would include the last six years. And I don't think that Bugs Bunny had anything to do with it.

What was the exact difference. While Al still played with his toys, he had stopped being the driving force of the organization. This simple argument is that if you are going to run a from the top - down organization, you've got to have someone at the top who is more than a figurehead. A top - down organization without a leader is a directionless enterprise.

This off season Al has stepped up again, and he's also found a coach who can deal with him stepping up.

And get off it, Take. Nobody ever had a problem with anyone saying the last six years haven't worked. Name one person on this site who has had trouble with it. The six years have led to two arguments - whether any ONE person is purely responsible for the last six years and how things can be changed.

Of course, you might know that if you were a regular contributor to this site.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Sorry, not falling for the drama this time.

Here I was, simply explaining that I didn't think that drafting McFadden explained why we haven't drafted a DT in four years while drafting seven wide receivers (including 2009, so don't go telling me again that I'm just focusing on the past).

Next thing I know, you guys swoop down with all of this smoke and mirrors about Al Davis, and how I'm wrong for saying things needed to change while you embrace the notion of change I said was needed, etc. blah, blah, blah.

Next thing I know, you're chastising me by saying "Your argument is that Davis' ways no longer work," as if such an argument is out of line and utterly outrageous, instead of what it really is, which is obvious and self evident.

Go back and read the comments and see for yourself. This happens every summer now. You bait me into stating the obvious and repeating myself, then you rail on me for repeating myself.


3:12 PM  
Blogger H said...

Personally I think we should go Route 66. At least you'd be in a sharp looking Corvette.

Stickum, when you're as old as me catch phrases like "Sunshine and Lollipops" cause flashbacks. They're not necessarily good flashbacks, but they happen.

Optimism is harder, that's why there are so many self help books on how to be upbeat, positive and optimistic.

It's why I like Cable. Very positive attitude. He recognizes there is a lot of work to do. He hasn't guaranteed anything, but he believes this team can win now. I guess the part I can't understand is how the season is already in the toilet when we haven't even had camp yet?


3:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It's apparently in the toilet because we haven't drafted a DT since 2005.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Time to trot out the Straw Men, I see...

3:52 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blanda said - “The difference in this off season seems to be apparent to just about everyone but (RT).”

If recent memory serves me, the best time of year to be a Raiders fan is the off-season. That’s when the expectations fly free, and can’t be proven otherwise until, well, usually the first game, be it the Chargers, Broncos or Pats.

The Raiders are no stranger to aggressive and seemingly positive off-seasons (save last year). We have all been sucked in by huge free agent acquisitions (Randy Moss, Javon Walker, et al) as well as high profile draft picks such as Michael Huff, only to have the season bring us right back to realty... we can’t even buy our way out of a top-10 draft pick.

Ok, so this year’s theme is “less is more.” Great! I hope it works!!

4:12 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, I guess it comes down to when is the appropriate time to leave the last six years behind. If you take the attitude that nothing can overcome the last six years, then there really is no point to any discussion or disagreement. The last six years were crap, therefore the foreseeable future will be crap until the current generation is replaced by a new one.

At the beginning of each of the last six years there was reason for optimism. There was also reason for doubt. The optimists among us remained optimistic, and the pessimists decried the end of the world as we know it.

The string of failure has led me, like anyone else, to explain it. But NO organizational failure can be attributed to ONE man. But with the Raiders, the face of the organization is NOT JaMarcus Russell. The face of the organization continues to be Al Davis. I accept that because of that, blame will always be attached to his face, while so many attempt to avoid attaching credit to it. I also acknowledge that people like John Madden and Tom Flores did not get the credit they deserved because of Al's profile.

The problems of the last six years have been a hodge-podge of things. Ego has played a large part in it. Not just Davis' ego, but the egos of the Head Coaches that he's selected as well.

But in Cable we have someone who has been able to win the hearts and minds of the players, establishing his OWN authority, and one who goes about his duties unworried about how he will be viewed, side-by-side, with Al Davis (exactly what we had with both John Madden and Tom Flores).

I don't think that this is a coincidence that it is occurring during the 50th anniversary of the American Football League (now the American Football Conference in the National Football League).

All of those old, irrelevant guys that used to be part of the Raiders are surrounding both Al and Cable for the festivities. Al and Cable are being reminded regularly how things used to be done.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I never said that this season is in the toilet or that changes haven't been implemented. Must be that Straw Man talking for me again.

I have said that I am encouraged by some of the changes while puzzled/disappointed by other decisions (such interviewing a limited field of head coaching candidates, drafting DHB in the top slot, etc.). My takes clearly bear me out here.

Out of this mix comes a cautious optimism, tempered by a "wait and see" attitude that is only natural in the wake of our performance.

Because I'm not jumping for joy and declaring all of the changes and decisions an immediate success, I am now under assault from the Straw Men.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

If you were going to pick the main areas that have continued to trouble the Raiders over the past six seasons it would be (in no particular order):

1. The selection / stability at HC
2. Run Defense
3. Performance of WRs / depth at WR
4. Performance of Safeties
5. Below avg. pass rush

On point 1, I believe we have the right HC for the current circumstances. Cable seems to have a good combination of leadership abilities, selfless personality, and solid working relationship with Al. For there to be a hint of stability, he needs to earn the right to come back in 2010, 2011, etc. Stability in my book is 3 consecutive or more years with the same HC firmly in charge. This hasn't happened since Chucky.

On points 2-4, for the most part, we have whiffed badly on FAs and draft picks, or even worse, not identified these areas as a priority to fix.

Yes we have drafted and acquired a ton of WRs over the past 6 years but please show me 1 WR, just 1, who has produced ... and please, don't mention Moss who was a cancer and had his lowest production numbers in his entire career in Oakland.

On point 5, it seems to be largely a product of a passive, unimaginative scheme. Will DC Marshall deploy his LBs more aggressively in blitz packages? I sure as hell hope so because the 4 man vanilla rush has been mostly fruitless. The added man to the pass rush creates havoc and makes the D less predicatble and most importantly more aggressive.

BR: If the D has had the talent and if the scheme itself is hunky dory, are you putting the blame largely on Ryan's shoulders? If so, why was he allowed to F up the D for 5 straingt seasons?

I personally believe that the D has played poorly for the following reasons:

* It has been VERY predictable

* There has been a lack of depth and conditioning on the DLine

* The LBs have been deployed as jumbo sized DBs ... rarely lined up close to the LOS and rarely sent on blitzes

* The Safeties have been overextended in their duties, apt to give up big plays, and poor at reading an offensive play to develop.

Going into 2009 we have made a few changes on D. These changes are skeptical at best such as an undersized, unproven SLB (Alston), an unproven SS (Branch), a marginally talented FS (Eugene).

Clearly the sum of the defensive parts will need to trump the individual parts. Is this possible? Sure. We will need breakout years from some of the unproven players, above average years from the players being paid big coin (Kelly, Warren, Sands, DBurg). We will need improved coaching to lead to better execution and discipline. We will need a more pro-active, dynamic D that isn't sitting on it's collective heels.

7:19 PM  
Blogger H said...


I don’t pretend to speak for Blanda, but to your point on predictability, that would go directly to the guy calling the defensive signals. The DC. Lack of Imagination, the same guy.

Why, he was allowed to keep it up for 5 seasons is anyone’s guess. However, I would submit the offense was so bad during those years one could argue his defense didn’t stand a chance and had to play too timidly. My point would be, if the offense is that bad, then go down with guns a blazing. Be more aggressive, especially on the pass rush. Run defense is a little different. You have to be more disciplined and keep the runner in front of you, unless you are Stuart Sweigart and you do it by back peddling.

I also believe SOB got a lot of mileage out of that one year with a top 10 defense. The offense during that period couldn’t seem to get a pass more than 5 yards down the field. In other words we were one dimensional on both sides of the ball. It’s just that the defense looked a little better for most of the 5 years.


5:14 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Well said, Calico. Wow, that's a lot of "ifs" on D. Given the same basic roster and same coaching philosophy (as stated by Cable), there is clearly cause for concern.

Although, I have to believe Rob Ryan is a decent defensive coordinator, or at least good at taking instruction. Otherwise, he would have been fired, right? That’s what good management does, identify a problem or weakness and correct it, swiftly and effectively. Certainly, we would not wade through five years of blistering incompetence at DC without a move, because we know that no HC would be allowed that incredible latitude.

Ok, so assuming the same players show up with the same basic physical and mental skills, what it seems to boil down to is that our hope to improve the D rides on the shoulders of a DC who will be using the SOB method. Yikes!

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Raided Nate 75 said...

Just read where the 9th Court Circus of Appeals overturned a conviction, after a confession of murder, and let the murderer of Blitnekoff's daughter go. Why? They feel the prosecution intentionally left out race.
First of all, there is only one race of humans, humans. Second, we all have the same skin color, it is called melanin; we just have different shades of melanin. Third, how this needs to be stated is "Bigotry against one's culture, or nationality."
What the Court claims is that the prosecution intentionally left out 2 jurors because they were African American. The Court claimed there was overwhelming evidence of bigotry in dismissing these 2 jurors, but failed to disclose any of such evidence.
So to recap, a person who confesses to murder has his sentence revoked because an appeals court feels the prosecution dismissed 2 jurors because he's a bigot. And now the murderer has another chance to be tried? What a waste of tax payer's money! Good God! Our justice system is anything but. And people wonder why California is on the verge of bankruptcy. It's from crap like this.
Freddie B, my thoughts and prayers are truly with you family. I'm sorry that your family has to go through all of this emotion AGAIN, because our injustice system is a joke. I can't imagine how "empty" his apology sounded, and what kind of apology is, "There's not a day that goes by where I don't think about Tracey."? I don't understand how a court can throw out a whole conviction like that, especially after the guy has confessed to the murder. I'm sorry for your family, and I am praying that he gets the same conviction of life in prison.

5:41 AM  
Blogger H said...


Stop holding back. Tell us how you really feel.

Well said.


6:49 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

RaiderNate 75....

I second the emotions...It's very sad to say but I have more justice and more rights and less fear of the "Boy-in-Blue" 10,000 miles outside my own homelands air-space...Now that's totally pathetic...


You said...

"tempered by a "wait and see" attitude"....

Now that's very funny...As I remember it you were bashing me for the same attitude because it was selling things short of the expectations that were necessary...How things change....

"Wait-n-See"....That's NOT a Take...

Oh! Ya!....I was talking about "DHB"-n-Mitchel....And Coach Cable...

"Run-DMc"....I supported him than and I continue now....He was without a doubt the best pick at the position...So now who the hell is better...That "OT" taken by the "Donko"s who no longer run the "ZBS"....Dorcy did exactly what...Not to mention that "DE" taken by the "Jets"....

Positive -vs- Negative....Which is easier....

There can be NO doubt as the the answer to that question....1st go to any retirement community and sit and listen for a while...Case proven....Now go to any construction site and do the proven...Pick up a "CB" and listen to the truckers....Case proven...Now go down on the practice field or locker-room and do the same...Again...Case proven....

Bitching in US Air-Space is an epidemic....While positive active thought is met with opposition on all fronts...Especially from those above you who can't stand to see a positive spark amongst all their animosities....

I personally have a tremendous amount of hope for this season which my brothers is rapidly approaching....It's almost upon us...And we start the season the same as every other freakin team....

"0-0"....So what up with the "Neg"...

PantyRaider.....GOOOO Raiders!!!/_

7:07 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

The "Vick" Watch....

"UFL" is waiting....It's a new league to start in October playing on Thursday nights....

BSPN couldn't be wrong....

PantyRaider....Why The Hell Not!!!/_

7:27 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

PantyRaider, cautious optimism tempered with a wait-and-see attitude is simply my state of mind. It's what has shaped my recent takes, which are published here for all to see.

Unlike the cut-and-paste takes of easy unchecked optimism in the wake of repeated failure, I am adjusting my perspective to the evidence, not the emotions, of our situation.

This has nothing to do with expectations.

Even if the Raiders continue to underperform, I will not lower my expectations. Lowered expectations is what got us here, and I won't take part in it.

Whenever I state the critical facts, I get, "Well, I've said the same thing, Take..."

So apparently, the only difference between the Gilded Optimists and myself is that I don't camoflauge my criticism in the cloak of optimism.

Blanda keeps harping on the fact that I talk about the past six years. Sorry, but that's called a trend, and that trend isn't just our past, it's our present, too.

As recently as April, I was puzzled by our draft strategy. As recently as January, I was disappointed with our coaching search. As recently as last month, I was pleased with some of the things I'm hearing from the OTAs, and I've been pleased with the restraint exercised in free agency.

These are some of my takes. Some will be right, some will be wrong, but they are honest takes and opinions without the simple varnish of "IAAF" and "optimist" and "pessiment" and the other Straw Men labels.

7:48 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


When I saw that "Wait-n-See" thing I just had to jump on it....After all you do remember our past conversation when you told me that's NOT a Take....And I told you it's my attitude...

A reality of the times...WE KNOW NOTHING as of right now....All we have is speculation of what may be based upon what we have seen and heard....Nothing else....

The only difference is how one approaches that subject...Does he go about it with a Negative defeatist attitude or does he approach it with optimism despite the failures -n- struggles of the recent past...

Now the subject was brought up...Which is easier....And you think it's easy to be optimistic in the face of despair....Now I beg to differ and gave several very good examples of where you could look for the answer...Now there are 10,000 X 10,000 more just like it....

Go to a flu epidemic with souls dying....What will you see....Go to a war-zone....What will you see...So likewise go around the NFL and speak to losing teams and see what comes up...How much time have you spent in Detroit...Just to mention one....I can damn well guarantee you it's much easier as testified by the masses to be negative during times of trouble and that my friend is exactly where we as Raider Fans find ourselves today....Troubled....

We don't just ignore the truth and the adversity and run around with blinders and dark glasses...We are perceptive enough to pear past the obvious and get a view of something on the horizon though not yet realized....Now for that we should be belittled and called "Blind Followers"....I don't think so...And I wont be....

It's a shame if you have lost a portion of the "Spark" that ignited a flame in you for the Raiders....But please don't try to extinguish the fire in those of us who remain ignited....

PantyRaider....It Just Wont Happen Baby!!!!/_

9:21 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Following that logic, PantyRaider, you can't really have a take on politics, the economy or anything else, because you just can't say for certain what might happen tomorrow.

Come on, join me out on the limb, it's not so bad.

What's your honest opinion of the recent draft? How should we handle our RB corps? Why do we find ourselves thin in run-stopping talent yet again? What did you think of our coaching search? What have we done right this offseason, and what should we have done better? Why didn't Al Davis hire a GM or similar football executive, and is that a problem that might impact our season?

Until the games start, we are left with our opinions and speculation. What's wrong with that?

You have my takes. Some will be wrong, some will be right. So be it. This is Raider TAKE.

This notion that the slate is entirely clean, and that we are no longer mired in a losing trend, and that until the season starts we should just sit on our hands and avoid opinions and analysis while getting high on the fairy dust of "optimism" is absurd.

I'm not going to sit here like some Hear No Evil, See No Evil monkey.

I have been labeled a "pessimist" simply because SOME (not all) of my takes do not fall in lockstep with the "it's ALL good until proven otherwise" mantra being espoused by certain folks.

I believe that this offseason has been a mixed bag, some of it good, some of it not, as clearly documented in my takes. That's my opinion. Since when does that make me a pessimist?

9:41 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I find myself in agreement with your takes, more and more. I'll say that I never thought that SOB's defense was as bad as it appeared. I feel the offense was the more incompetent of the two, which caused the defense to suffer. When the offense was effective, the defense didn't run out of gas in the 2nd half.

My heart also goes out to Freddie B. and his family. While I support Nate's frustration regarding our criminal justice system, I think a couple of things in this case should be cleared up.

It's true Ali "confessed," but he confessed to Manslaughter, not to 1st Degree Murder. Manslaughter is "killing in the heat of passion, without premeditation." 1st Degree Murder is cold blooded and deliberate. Ali isn't claiming he didn't do it - he's claiming he didn't plan it, and that makes the penalty different. Manslaughter would typically be a 20 year sentence, and 1st Degree Murder would be life - without the possibility of parrol, or the death penalty.

I have not read the 9th Circuit decision, and without doing so I wouldn't comment on their reason. They may well have stated a very good reason why the jury deserved a perspective it didn't get. Also, the 9th Circuit isn't the California court system. It's the federal court, ruling on a Constitutional issue or something with the weight of federal law. The 9th Circuit covers CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, NV, AK and AZ. It is the CA court system that made the purported error. The 9th Circuit was once very liberal, but since it now has a majority of appointments from Reagan and Bushes I and II, it has become one of the most conservative.

I'm not a lawyer, but I do have a doctorate in law and work in litigation. I just got finished with a two week trial, but in a civil matter regarding a scientific invention. After eight days of trial testimony and well over 100 trial exhibits, the eight man jury devoted a whole 20 minutes of their time and completely blew the case off. There is much flawed with our jury system, and those who sit on them don't take the job seriously enough.

An optimist would say that even though the court threw out a conviction that I might have agreed with, it adjusted a jury system in desperate need of adjustment.

In the mean time, Ali will not be leaving prison anytime soon.

9:54 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Just to add. The decision of the 9th Ciruit does not mean that Ali will necessarily get a new trial. It will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the State of California. Ultimately, the SCOTUS decision will either put the federal stamp of approval on the jury selection process in the case or reject it, providing a guideline for the other 49 states.

10:09 AM  
Blogger H said...

OK, some of you may have seen these videos. I stumbled across them over the weekend and looked them up again.

It’s one on the Sea of Hands I hadn’t seen before. A bit of Irony on it was the Dolt player credited with the forced fumble was Woodrow Lowe, an All American from the University of Alabama.

This is one on the Ghost to the Post. It’s just short of 10 minutes. Worth the watch.


10:14 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Thanks for that, H. The most interesting thing is Stabler's talk at the end of the Holy Roller video. That's what's lacking in "modern" football. Everything is a computerized game of Madden Football, and very few players have developed the skill of improvisation.

11:10 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


I have already commented on those subjects but will again just to clear the air...But I have no idea of what "Limb" you feel your on...You know I've never been timid about support or predictions in the past so why would I be now


I like it...We needed the "WR" and I was not totally convinced about Crabtree going in....After the fact when I viewed film I became impressed with the players we went after....Especially in the second with Mitchel at "S"....Otherwise we filled some holes on the "DL-LB" positions that fit the type of "D" Marshal runs....Versatility is the theme of this draft....It also has size -n- speed -n- athleticism which are key ingredients to our new recipe for this season....I like "DHB" in the mix at "WR" much better than the 2 who were passed up


My man "Run-DMc" is the starter until we hear otherwise....That's why he was drafted so high...Bush has shown some signs of an attitude problem but is very talented...Remember before the draft when asked about "McFab" he said....Why would they when they have me....So that speaks for his attitude and hopefully it gets adjusted....Fargas is a very committed player but lacks the talent of the others and Rankin is poised to take his spot on the roster

Now with the return of the "FB" we should be very balanced in the run attack...I like how "CJ" mapped out the time for the "RB"s but also think they both need to be in the game at the same time....Just like Bo -n- Marcus....Nap -n- Harvey....They played well together...But again Versatility is the theme here and both our top "RB"s fit that theme

Run Stopping Talent

That's your opinion which I don't share....The scheme under "SOB" was the problem as was the inability to develop the talent we have on the team....We have also addressed that issue in this draft and signed Ellis...The "DB"s are run support type players and the "LB-DE"s are also....We also signed Joseph who I think will pan out very well

11:14 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Coaching Search

I was the one beating the "Give it to Cable" drum while others were demanding interviews....So I'm damn glad about it...As I said...At this point in time Continuity is the most important element as the rest of the AFCW is in turmoil....And that includes "SD" who have considered firing Turner

Done Right

We signed our own...We added a few pieces and let others go who failed to demonstrate the ability to play...We let "SOB" walk and brought in Cables man Marshal who has experience at a variety of schemes....We now have a "PGC" to design that part of the "O" as Cable handles the run-game....We brought in teachers so we intend to develop our talent...We stayed away from the big names who have big egos that might get in the way....But there is one big name I wanted to come in....Madden....And that is regarding the next question


The time ain't right for it as far as Al Davis is concerned and that's his decision to make and for the rest to find a way to live with....If I was an owner I would damn sure do as I willed and so would you....So let's not tie the mans hands with respect to his own damn team...It's his until stated otherwise....Now....Would I like to see him have some help...Yes...If that help is in the form of a John Madden than I would damn sure like to see it....But as was stated....He has a son who is not yet ready to take over for his father....When that day comes I'm quite sure we will hear about it....Until than I for one still love Al Davis....The "GodFather" of the Raiders....Despite what some may view as his weaknesses

Impact the Season

Everyone knows who's in charge and that he hired as "HC" a man who is not timid about kicking your ass off the team or benching you if that's the case with Bush....The "Cone-0-Silence" is again in place...There have not been any distractions despite the efforts of the "Midget Minded Mediots" who try to create one....Players like Greg Ellis are not afraid to come and play for the team and likewise the coaches who were hired....So where is the disruption coming from

If we are losers again this season it will be tough for the coaches to hold things together....That's because the "Will-to-Bitch" is much stronger than the "Will-to-Succeed"....That's just an element of life that we find our team playing in....Our modern society

So Now....That's my honest takes....If you want to see that as "White-Washed" blindness than so be it...My young friend....I have been drunk on that Raider-Kool-Aid sense 1962 when I was 12...That adds up to 47 years of my almost 59 years of life....Absolutely nothing is going to shake me loose from that love that has grown in me....Threw the shit and the daisies....I'm a Raider and will be unto death

PantyRaider....Hopelessly Devoted!!!/_

11:14 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Fair enough, PantyRaider. Those are legitimate takes. There are some negatives in there, as well as many positives. You are on the limb with me instead of hiding out with the Straw Men.

I disagree with you specifically on the 2009 draft (wasn't impressed), the coaching search (I like competition for a job) and our run-stopping talent (I believe that blaming it all on SOB is simply blaming it on Al Davis, just in a different way). I also believe that not hiring a GM was risky and that it negatively impacted our draft.

However, I like what I'm seeing and hearing from Cable, and I do expect the defense to improve with Ellis and with some new voices in their ears.

This really doesn't make you an optimist or me a pessimist. It just makes us two different people with varying opinions and analysis on specific matters.

We will know soon enough what we got wrong and what we got right, and that's the fun of having having and standing by a take.

I hope that everyone will join us in this more reasonable approach to discussing our Raiders.

11:44 AM  
Blogger H said...

You're quite welcome Blanda. A much needed break from the back and forth.


I was with you on the hire Cable thing. And, good response. It sometimes seems that if you are optimistic you are accused of never criticizing the team and nothing could be further from the truth.

I would disagree with you on the Bush attitude. Before the draft it would make sense he would say something like that. Blowing his own horn so to speak.

Be careful on that limb, it might actually be a ledge.


I believe I've been very reasonable. The fact that I haven't checked my optimism at the door will never change though.

When we come out of this I want to enjoy it and not feel like it's about damn time. No sighs of relief for me.


12:19 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


While the negatives have been undeniable their also not the entire picture....Their just difficult to look past but with effort we can and see that "Silver-n-Black" Lining that Ly's waiting underneath....

Sometimes improvement comes slowly and we're just as impatient as the players who get angry at their coaches...But as I said before...I played sports and have never been able to remove the emotion from the game...That holds true today as well...The emotion is who I am and how I react...Good or Bad...

As for the run-"D"...That's more a matter of scheme and fundamentals than it is specific players on the roster....I would wager..."SOB"-Rex who I campaigned for if we don't keep Cable...Could come in this season and build a "D" that is very strong in all aspects of the game with the same players we now have on that roster...He would demand it and teach it which is something his brother failed to do....

The only way that speaks poorly of Al Davis is that he allowed him to last so long....Until his contract expired....But....That's business and we have no knowledge of what was in his contract....As I remember there was some promise of consideration as "HC"....Fortunately that didn't happen....But maybe that's why he divided the team....As a tool to disrupt the "HC" who had his job....Who the hell knows but I for one and damn glad he's gone....

As for the draft....You have been very busy...How much video have you gotten to watch on the players we drafted....I am impressed with the size/speed/athletics/aggression-n-versatility that I see on those tapes....And I'm damn excited to see how it all fits in with our new schemes on both sides of the ball.....

The scouts did their jobs instead of just going after who everyone else picks for us....Because this season at #7 there was NO clear-cut choice that would demand that pick....Nor in the second rd....

PantyRaider....Food For Thought!!!!/_

12:41 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, your stawmen attacks are getting pretty lame. Go back through some of my posts, here's a list.

2009 Draft

I was on board for either a DT or a LB. As WR was also one our needs, I didn't anticipate DHB, but I understand why they chose him above the others. Generally I think picking a WR for only one dimension is a reach. For DHB to work out, he's going to have to prove early that his dimension is a very real threat.

DHB is a gamble. Pure and simple. But if he pays off, he opens up a dynamic offense for the next 10 years. If not, we just simply have not improved the WR position this off season.

As for Mitchell, I'm 100% on board. I'm willing to wait and see how the others pan out.

Due diligence and signing undrafted free agents has been stellar.


I've stated clearly that I don't think the poor play of the defense was all SOB's fault. I think some of the reasons for SOB's bad schemes were in order to attempt to make up for a pitiful offense.

I also believe the defensive players have been poorly coached, and the DL is better than we think it is.

Coaching search

I felt we should have simply just named Cable right after the end of the season. But I also understand how Davis opperates. He doesn't just interview for the current opening, he interviews for future openings. That's called due diligence. Something you once claimed the Raiders didn't have. And once you fill the position you currently have open, it's going to be really hard to convince people to come in for an interview.

I also know that Davis conducts a lot of business over the telephone, so he has probably conducted a few interviews nobody knows about.

Cable is definately the right man for the job THIS YEAR. As continuity is important, he should be here for at least three years.


I have no fear of Fargas winning the starting job in training camp, other than it might reflect that both Bush and McFadden are busts. Because if Fargas wins the job, it either means that McFadden and Bush are not as good as advertised or it means that McFadden and Bush refused to step up.


It is apparent to me that Davis feels it is time for him to get MORE involved, not LESS involved. If he is still capable of putting in the kind of time he used to put in, the more power to him. If he cannot, he needs to find the kind of help he trusts. He will have to do so eventually because Mark Davis is more interested in the Amy Trask area of the franchise, not the football operations part. It is just possible that some of those interviews for future positions were with the position of GM in mind.

Of course, it's even possible that GM is the ultimate title for Tom Cable.


My first concern comes from the media, because I think they are going to pull out all of the stops to create a QB controversy. In that light, I'm encouraged that Cable clearly doesn't give a rat's ass what the press thinks.

I'm concerned about the WR position. Question marks abound, but it is just as possible that this group could turn out to be one of the better ones. I'm most confident with Schilens.

I'm concerned about the safeties. I'm pretty sure that Mitchell can bring it, but will he? Will Huff step up this season? After losing his rookie year to injury, will Branch prove himself.

Off season improvements...

We've definately strengthened our OL. Whether we have improved at WR depends entirely on DHB. We have improved at both DL and LB, and we've brought in a DC who knows how to run multiple schemes. I think we've improved the talent at the safeties, but I don't know about their readiness.

While we've improved our OL, DL, and LB positions, and improved the talent level at safety, we didn't overspend, and seriously trimmed fat from our roster.

Realistic assessment...
7 to 9 wins.

Optimistic assesment...
Division title.

Take, I don't think you'll find anything there I haven't quite clearly stated in the past.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Wow, Blanda, there are some negatives in there, are you sure you're not a pessimist?

The Straw Men are not being marched out by yours truly. I'm not the one who turned a simple observation about our DT issues into a namecalling IAAF pessimist fest.

PantyRaider, if spending an equal amount of time watching tape as our scouts is a prerequisite to having a take on a draft, we might as well shut this site down, as well as every other football site.

I recall Raider Greg of Raider Nation Podcast clearly predicting the outcome of the Tom Walsh hire. Everything he said came true within a matter of months. He didn't interview candidates. He didn't spend dozens of hours in the belly of Alameda. But he seemed to know better than the team that it was a disaster in the making.

That's just one example.

Sometimes the fans do outsmart the team, especially lately.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that no back on the roster knew the blocking schemes as well as Fargas. McFadden could barely block with the turftoe anyway, he just crubled when he had to push on it for the most part. I wanted to start Bush, and accept he might miss assignments, but knowing he can execute if he gets it right.

We've got alot of chips on shoulders this year. How about a take on that?

Can we carry 6 backs?
O'Neal (interesting fullback combo)


1:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Reading the above posts, there seems to be sense of well-being that Al Davis (at 80) might be taking a more active role with the team this year. Good or bad on the field, this places the Raiders at increasingly greater risk, IMO.

As far as I have read, there is no contingency in place should Davis be distracted by health concerns (e.g., his or his wife's).

Hasn't Davis stated his son is not ready to take over the organization? And nobody has been brought on board to transition into managing the football operations.

Shouldn't this be a concern?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda: "He doesn't just interview for the current opening, he interviews for future openings. That's called due diligence. Something you once claimed the Raiders didn't have."

Six of our previous seven head coaches preceding Cable lasted no more than two seasons.

That is a stunning record of hiring failure. That's not pessimism, that's a fact.

Yet you are chastizing me for suggesting the obvious, which is that the Raiders have not done their due diligence in the hiring process, at least up until this year. The fact that you think Cable's hiring process was modeled after previous ones scares me even more.

Maybe they should have stopped trying to interview position coaches for the future and focused more on the process of hiring the top dog, because the result of having six out of the last seven head coaches get booted after two seasons or less is a sum total of three winning seasons since 1994.

Don't go telling me it's all about me dredging up the past. It's a trend, one that you yourself are saying bled into the hiring process just six months ago.

1:54 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

"The Straw Men are not being marched out by yours truly. I'm not the one who turned a simple observation about our DT issues into a namecalling IAAF pessimist fest."

You keep saying that about me, Take. There must be another Blanda out there.

Explain to me how this:

"Fact is that under SOB the Raiders were crap at run defense every year. Run defense was once the Raiders' greatest strength. It's a fair question to ask, "is Kelly really a loser, or has he just been improperly used?" As for Brayton and others, it was SOB who decided to turn DTs into OLBs, destroying careers in the process."

equates to this:

"Now we have Blanda saying that it was really all Rob Ryan's fault, that we didn't need to draft a DT, because we've had ample talent all along, and Ryan simply misused this talent year after year after year while refusing to fire himself."

Hey, Scarecrow. You want to see a stawman? Look in a mirror.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, let's look at your whole quote:

"I think it's arguable as to whether we've really needed to draft a DT since 2005 or whether our inability to stop the run comes from SOB. Of course, there's no arguing with the people who insist that Al Davis calls every defensive play and positions the players.

Fact is that under SOB the Raiders were crap at run defense every year. Run defense was once the Raiders' greatest strength. It's a fair question to ask, "is Kelly really a loser, or has he just been improperly used?" As for Brayton and others, it was SOB who decided to turn DTs into OLBs, destroying careers in the process."

So were you saying, in fact, that our run-stopping issues weren't all Ryan's fault and that we should have drafted more DTs?

If so, I apologize for misinterpreting your comments as suggesting the opposite.

2:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, due dilligence does eliminate bad hires, it just reduces the risk. There are plenty of other factors which enter into it. Talking to the appropriate number of people was not the problem.

The basis for the bad hires was not shortsightedness regarding the available personnel, it was the shortsightedness of the current state of the talent level weighed against the ultimate objective.

Not one of the other coaching hires had the ability that Cable did to come in and say, "I know what's wrong, and I know how to fix it," then go about proving it.

Cable understood four basic problems. 1) Young talent was not being developed properly. 2) High motor, big effort Raiders were not getting sufficiently rewarded. 3) High salaried, low effort players were remaining on the field. 4) A "watch out for number one" rather than a team first philosophy among the rank and file.

He has been very up front in addressing each of those issues, which leads me to believe he is also a consistant man. I'd identify consistancy as a team need.

2:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Okay, Take, look at the whole quote. Don't ignore any of the words because all words mean something. For instance

"I think it's arguable as to whether..."

Do think there is something about those words which might suggest to you that it is not necessarily my opinion, but one could make a reasonable argument for it? It is, in fact, a part of my opinion, but it is not ALL of my opinion.

If you want an explanation as to aspects of my opinions, fine. But don't accuse me of casting about strawmen. Don't accuse me of never making a critical comment.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, no wonder I'm having a hard time figuring out some of your folks' takes, with all of this parsing and hedging.

Okay, so what's your explanation, ie: take?

That our run-stopping issues weren't all Ryan's fault and that Al Davis has neglected these issues and should have drafted more DTs? Or that they were all Ryan's fault and that he should have been fired earlier because of it? Or...?

Run stopping was the subject and I gave my take. But the least folks can do when trashing my takes is clearly posit their own take.

2:52 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Expressing an opinion different from yours, or even suggesting another point of view is possible, is trashing your opinion.


3:01 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Trashing, disagreeing, debunking, countering, whatever you want to call it. That's what this place is all about, is it not? Opinions and counter-opinions resulting in constructive dialogue.

But if you're going to trash (counter, debunk, disagree, argue, whatever you want to call it), the least you can do is offer a clear counter-opinion.

Of course, that's twice now that you haven't answered my simple question regarding your take on our run D, so I guess I'm asking too much?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

This isn't Raider Parse Your Words or Raider Hedge Your Bets or Raider On The One Hand, On The Other Hand or Raider Hear No Evil.

It's Raider TAKE.

3:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Stopping the run...

The reason we had so much trouble stopping the run was because of the wide gaps created by playing the LBs so far off the line. This was SOB's scheme, not Al Davis'. The Raiders have done this only under Ryan.

I believe Ryan did this as a means to contain runs (not to stop them) while simultaneously providing help to a weak safety crew.

This was compounded by the inability of the offense to get first downs. The defense was constantly getting gassed by being on the field too long.

Why wasn't Ryan fired?

Because Ryan wasn't the ACTUAL focus of problems until this off season when the position of Head Coach was finally stablized.

Ryan was hired under Turner. In both of Turner's years, while the defense wasn't any great shakes, the offense was viewed as worse.

When Turner was fired, Shell asked that Ryan be retained because he felt he could work with him.

When Shell was fired, Ryan had run a top ten defense, and the feeling when Kiffin came in was that if Ryan simply maintained the defense, Kiffin's improved offense would win games.

Ryan's defense turned out to suck. But by that time Kiffin had made himself the center of focus. Davis wasn't about to fire Ryan and attempt to break league rules by talking contract with Kiffin's already employed father.

Cable eliminated Ryan and brought in Marshall who is strongest at Ryan's weakest point. Player developement.

There, Take. That's my analysis of Ryan's five year survival and the poor run defense. It's a little more complex than just saying it's Al's fault for failing to draft a DT since 2005, or Al's fault for not firing Ryan for his failure to draft a DT since 2005. It's also stuff I've said before.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Personally, I think that lack of solid talent acquisition (draft, free agency) at key defensive positions has had a lot to do with our run-stopping issues. It doesn't sound like you agree?

Also, I don't think there's any excuse for overlooking Ryan's deficiencies for so many years, if he's as bad as he's being portrayed.

4:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

If you're mired at .500 or below, you can fairly say that it is the poor performance of just the offense or the defense. If you're mired at 2 to 5 wins a season, you suck across the board.

In the former scenario you can get away with firing your DC, and leaving your HC in place. In the latter you have to address the HC foremost. After Callahan, Davis made changes across the board. After Turner, Davis focused on the HC first. Also, there was no way Ryan was going to be fired the year after he had a top 10 defense. Kiffin's actions after that pretty much guaranteed that Ryan would remain for 2008.

If you go back through what I wrote, you'll also not that I said the worst thing our defensive coaching staff did was the non-developement of players. Both of our corners (one who is considered to be the league's best) were considered busts, until they actually took the trouble to learn their NFL skills on their own.

It's not the drafts. It's the developement.

4:27 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Don't forget grossly overpaying to retain our own marginal DT talent.

Also, what will be the explanation when Ryan unveils a completely different D scheme in Cleveland. Could it be after five years of the exact same crap in Oakland he's finally wised up?

4:34 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


If, this season, our LBs are still playing 10 or more yards off the line of scrimage, then I'll agree that this is some internal, misguided policy. The fact is, the Raiders have only done that under Ryan. If Ryan does something different, it only proves he's abandoned his own theory. Unless of course the Raiders come out on opening day with the LBs 10 yards back. But don't expect that they will.

4:38 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Fair enough, Blanda. Let's hope they're more aggressive, as you suggest. I have to say, it will be interesting watching how Ryan's D fairs in Cleveland.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

"What's your honest opinion of the recent draft?"

I was disappointed & perplexed by our 2 picks in the 1st 2 rounds. 2of these 4 guys made the most sense to me: Monroe, Raji, Oher, Ron Brace.

I do think that DHB and Eminem have the athletic talent to hopefully make an impact in the next few years. I have been very pleasantly suprised and encouraged about the OTA reports on Slaughnessey (DE), Murphy (WR) and Norris (LB). Myers (TE) has been noted as an excellent, old school blocking TE.

"How should we handle our RB corps?"

How we use our RBs will be one of the most important factors to 09.

The Raiders need to add a dozen more pages to the playbook to take full advantage of our biggest strength. It is a waste of talent to use these 3 backs in a stripped down, conventional way. The 3 RBs need to be creatively used to add a diversified, dynamic element to the offensive unit. The RBs should be mixed & matched to maximze each backs skill sets. Using both McFadden and Bush to bolster the passing attack is a no brainer. It should be "where's McFadden" as in where is he lined up for this play? There is a wide array of formations and schemes that can be installed to create favorable matchups and keep the D on their heels. How the RBs are used will make or break our season.

"Why do we find ourselves thin in run-stopping talent yet again?"

A lack of organizatonal focus on a clear cut priority and obvious weakness for countless years. For whatever reasons, Davis has not been a big believer in drafting DTs or LBs in the 1st few rounds.

"What did you think of our coaching search?"

I thought it was a complete joke. As far as I know, not 1 single legitimate candidate was interviewed in person. No, I do not count Winston Moss or "Coutesy Interview" Fassell legit candidates.

The Raiders should have either named Cable a few short weeks after the 08 season OR interview 3-5 viable, qualified candidates before making a final decision.

"What have we done right this offseason, and what should we have done better?"

I appreciated the fact that we rewarded Lechler and Asomugha and kept them in the family. We hired some good positional coaches (Board-DL; Mski-OL) and a new DC who will hopefully install a more aggressive D. We have done a nice job of finding low priced, proven vets who fill a need. Neal, Garcia, Barnes, and Ellis were good pickups. I didn't like losing STC Schneider or RB coach Rathman. I think we should have persued the 2nd tier market for DTs and WRs which is still a possibility.

"Why didn't Al Davis hire a GM or similar football executive, and is that a problem that might impact our season?"

Quite frankly, I don't think Davis had a candidate who he could completely trust and was ready to take the job. I also think Davis was too busy with the HC decision, vetting some of Cable's coaches, and preparing for the draft. I would hope that he is using the next 6-8 months to start building contingency plans and getting some of the orgainzation's ducks lined up.

Lastly, BR said the following;

"Cable understood four basic problems. 1) Young talent was not being developed properly. 2) High motor, big effort Raiders were not getting sufficiently rewarded. 3) High salaried, low effort players were remaining on the field. 4) A "watch out for number one" rather than a team first philosophy among the rank and file."

Well said Esquire! I agree. The absolute key to these 4 points being implemented is the solid working that Cable is building with Davis. Of all the things I've seen, heard, and read this past 7 months, this is the the most encouraging aspect to getting our ship off the rocks and into the maiden seas.

7:14 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Now are we going to be held to some rigid format as to how we write on "Your" site....As if I could follow any proper format....If your up-set by "BR"s little improvisation than you must be totally terrified by my constant miss-use of "Your" language...

As to the needed drafting of "DT"s...Sense that seems to be your total focus as of late....Do you think that would have solved all our problems....Just what the hell has Dorsey done that impresses you so damn much...And what will be your take if the Raider "D" comes out this year highly improved with the same damn personnel as on the roster now....Or will you even bother to re-visit that issue....After-all...It's much easier to just ignore it like it was never posted...

Now in case you didn't notice that was a challenge....I will expect to see a follow-up as the season progresses....Positive -or- Negative....

PantyRaider....I speak Freely -n- Write The Same Damn Way!!!!/_

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda you have only one take.. "Al is a genius and prior screw ups had nothing to do with him". That's your perpetual take.
I said it before and NY is saying it now, what does it mean if Ryan is running something different in Cleveland? And your statement about only Ryan running that scheme in Oaksland's history I find hard to believe. That "preventive" style defense has looked the same for the last 15years. Man to man, little or no blitzing, 4 D-linemen attacking from a presumed notion that we are superior to the 5 blocking us.. we need only bowl the guy over in front of us, and we can cuz we're stronger. Doesn't work post 1990.
I think Al gave SOB one shot to run his own thing (3-4) but it came with a grotesque stipulation: he had to use Al's parts and secret weapons, primarily two DE-sized LB's that would roam around steamrolling everything in their area. Enter Brayton and Irons and one colossal flop... then a quick return to the 4-3 prevent we've seen for 15 years.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

PantyRaider, you're confusing me with Gary, who was calling me and others out for wanting McFadden over Dorsey.

All I said was that it would probably have been a good idea to draft at least ONE DT over the past four years, considering our performance on the line. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable take, does it? Yet it set off all sorts of outcry here. Why?

I don't mind being proven wrong. Otherwise I wouldn't operate a blog and commit my firm opinions for posterity, would I?

But even if our line improves this year, it doesn't mean that it wouldn't be even better if we hadn't drafted seven wide receivers while not drafting a single DT. That makes no sense, and you know it.

A lot of people here seem to be disagreeing with me...Without really disagreeing greatly on any particular point.

That's what I'm trying to get at by asking you and Blanda, where's the beef?

Calico Jack just offered a list of cogent takes that closely mirrors my own mixed bag of feelings about our offseason. I can only conclude that he is a Pessimist and IAAF member, too.

Just because I can't sit here and accept some ridiculous explanation about how our recent head coaching searches have been brilliant exercises in due diligence doesn't mean I hate Al Davis.

It just means that my neurons are firing.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Here's how something becomes "my total focus of late."

I make a simple observation, such as the fact that we drafted McFadden didn't keep us from drafting a single DT with the other 36 picks dating back four years.

That triggers some response, at which point I stand by my take, and then out come the "you're the only one who hasn't seen the positives this offseason" and "you won't leave the last six years alone" and "you say the season's already in the toilet," etc.

The violins start playing, and suddenly folks are telling me how tough they have it being Optimists (capital O), which is a backhanded way of namecalling yours truly a Pessimist.

This broadens the discussion, at which point I somehow find myself being lectured about how the Raiders are masters of due diligence in hiring coaches and how Rob Ryan's awful coaching went undetected by the front office for five years.

Like Alice in Wonderland, I finally stumble out of the rabbit hole and wonder why a simple and rational observation about our DT situation turned into such a brouhaha...only to be told by PantyRaider that DT is "my total focus of late."

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one can objectively look at the Raiders in the last 6 years and say our front office has done even an everage job. This mess starts at the top and ends at the top.

8:37 PM  
Blogger H said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:20 AM  
Blogger H said...


Remember, at the end of the season NFL rules “required” Al Davis interview at least one minority candidate. The Whiners were exempt since Singletary was a minority. Since, by rule, you have to interview at least one candidate, go ahead and talk to a couple more. It was pretty blatant and open Cable was the guy. While Davis was talking to HC candidates Cable was interviewing and hiring assistants. I’m sure there will be a new “Raider Rule” because of this.

Shell and Walsh were a disaster. It appears we may only just be recovering from that hire. However, at every coaching hire since the end of Shell I Al Davis lamented he thought he had made a mistake letting the man go. That, more than anything else, may have clouded his judgment. If so, then he has finally buried that ghost. While his loyalty and admiration for Shell is to be admired, it may have cost this team in more ways than we will know.


“Blanda you have only one take.. "Al is a genius and prior screw ups had nothing to do with him". That's your perpetual take.”

Pot calling the kettle black as my grandfather would say. Your perpetual take is “Al needs to go and every decision he makes is wrong.”


In my no longer humble stinking opinion there is a contingency for Al. It’s Tom Cable. During the early off season many of the things he was doing could be construed as GM duties. He organized and coordinated scouting, arranged and interviewed coaches before he was named HC. Then he represented the team at league meetings and the Senior Bowl when Al couldn’t make it.

One could argue that Cable has become a face for the franchise more than any coach since Chucky. Just an observation.

What I would like someone to explain is why it appears to be unacceptable for people to be critical of the team as Panty, Blanda and I have, yet remain optimistic? Since everything seems to begin and end with the last six years, I guess recorded history only began September of 2003.


7:53 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

What I'd like to know is why someone like myself or Calico Jack can't make reasonable observations about specific topics without being kicked out of the Optimists Club and being labeled pessimists?

I'm sorry I didn't like the 2009 draft, but I didn't. Looking at it objectively, I just didn't like it. You'll recall that I generally liked the previous two drafts, when there was a lot more to be pessimistic about with regard to where the team stood. In the end, I could be right or wrong about any of them.

It's called independent thought, not pessimism.

I'm not trying to bend spoons here and fit my takes into some pre-determined category of optimism or pessimism.

If you want to applaud the process through which Cable was hired as head coach, go right ahead. But quit acting like it's unreasonable for others to question how it unfolded.

Same with the subject of DTs. If you want to justify why it's logical for a team to not draft a DT for 37 consecutive picks spanning four years (including this year) while mired in run-stopping problems, go right ahead. But don't pretend it's unreasonable for others to question it.

This is what's happening here. Reasonable takes are being cherry picked, labeled and categorized, instead of being allowed to stand on their own.

This is creating this false schism of Optimists v. Pessimists, as if we're separate little clubs.

Personally, I don't want clubbiness to become a habit here.

8:05 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H - so in addition to being the head coach, Cable faces the possibility the Raiders may need him to take over all the responsibilities of GM, Director of Scouting, etc...? Yikes!

9:11 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Wow....Are your feathers fluffed...

Excuse me here but I tuned in to a post I believe by you stating that it's easier to be an optimist and walk around with blinders or something to that effect....Guess I have to borrow Gary's scissors and go back and copy/post it again....Just to be sure where were at....

Than I tune into a statement that "BR"s un-clear proclamations are un-acceptable here or something to that extent....

Than I also read about the infatuation with the "DT"s who were not drafted by the Raiders the past 6 seasons or so and so I asked a simple question..."What the hell do you see in these guys like Dorsey -n- the "DE" taken by the Jets" sense those are the most recent players over-looked by the Raiders as they went for another one of those damn "WR"s instead....

Did I miss something....So on all 3 points we apparently disagree...

Also on the point about "SOB" and whether or not he bares responsibility for the very poor play of his unit sense he's been here....So let's develop that just a bit because I want to revisit this topic around the 4th week of the season and again at mid-point....Just to set things straight....

1st....I don't give a rat's ass what he does under another "HC" on another team....That means absolutely nothing to the Raiders...Or are you of the opinion that a player like "NO-Moss" is spectacular and it's the Raiders who suck because we didn't let him perform well while here...It's the same damn story line Bro...

In the past there was one season that I can remember where the Raiders fell from grace by having a pis-poor "D"....That was under Bugle....Every other season that comes to mind brings back the idea that the Raiders were always known for playing a very tough aggressive "D"....Now comes the past 5 seasons that some are so damn proud of....

We SUCKed at "D"....Now that is as un-deniable as it gets....

"WHY"....That seems to be the unanswered question and the one I personally want to have a legitimate answer to...How do we get it....By viewing what happens with this roster under new coaching...A new scheme regardless of how many comments there are that we will run the same style as "SOB"...Can you say "Smoke-Screen"....

If -n- When there is a "Good" deal of improvement on that "D" with this same roster than that should certainly tell us something...Right....And if we continue to SUCK than that will also tell us something and I'll personally be the first to bash the coaching staff for their continued failures and perhaps even engage you that we should have addressed that issue threw the draft while we had the opportunity to do so....

But that is NOT self-evident at this particular point in time and I don't presently buy into it...Could it have helped....Most likely....We had a "DE" taken in the 3rd who was let go prior to the start of the season....He went to the "SB" this year but NOT on his own merit....He is NOT a starter now after what....2-3 seasons....

9:22 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Now how many "OT"-"G"-"C" have been taken with high selections....McQuist was a 3rd and not yet a starter....We took a "C" who many feel has failed to develop....An "OT" in the 1st who now plays "G"....So could we have helped the team by adding more high selections to that unit....Most likely....

"WR"....Now let me see....How many were taken as high picks...2 in the 1st 3 rds...."TE" was taken in the 2nd...."RB" was taken in the 4th -n- 1st one season and "QB" was taken in the 1st one season and 3rd another....Certainly we could have had improvement in those areas had we devoted more top picks to those units....But than we needed "DB"s...

The point is that if you go back in time on this blog it will be self-evident that we had needs across the board at almost every position on the team....Did we not....Some have been addressed threw the draft while others have been addressed threw "FA"s....

Look at the "RB"s....We addressed it with "FA"s like Jordan who wore out his welcome and the guy from the "Colts" who never made it on the field....Than we change our direction and went after players in the draft....4th rd one season and 1st rd the next...Should we now be set at that position....Damn rights....

Look at the "TE"s....We finally got it right with a 2nd rd pick after using "FA"s to fill the position....

"QB"...Now that's an issue....We went the course with "FA"s and stunk...We had a 3rd rd pick and stunk....We finally added that 1st rd pick and we may be settled at that position....We also went after "FA"s as back-up insurance did we not....

"OT"....We failed threw the draft and failed threw "FA"s....But just maybe we now have it right...The 1st rd drafted "OT" got moved to "G" as did the 3rd rd selection....

The "C" we took in the 2nd has not been what we expected but now we have a "FA" to take over that spot....Did we finally get it right....

We went after "DE"s in the draft but few have made any impact at all...Now why....I believe it's because we failed to develop the young talent on the team and that's also what Coach Cable and our "MGP" believe to be the case....Can you prove them wrong...This season will or it will prove them right....They spoke and now they have to deliver....

9:22 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

"RT"....What I liken this to is a "Bitch"....Now she was my 1st wife and for 12 miserable seasons I laid and died with her by my side....I grew to hate her worthless ass and nothing she did made any sense or got any good response from me....There was only bitterness until I finally pulled the plug and sent he packing....The whole damn time friends told me what a fool I was because she looked like a "Play-Boy-Bunny" and I would be sorry....NOPE....I was relieved and happy to see that bitch leave....

Now in retrospect...Had we sought out marriage counseling it may have saved that relationship...NOT A CHANCE....

So now I'm in a new relationship...Is it all good and no problems....That's not the reality of our times....But love is at work here now....So I learn to tolerate something foreign to me and look past the errors as I see them and see the good day by day despite her little childish issues...And when that spoiled little fit is over I welcome her with loving arms....

So what's the differance....Perception....I perceived the 1st for what it was and could not get past her ridiculas issues as I was trying to deal with my own....

So now relate that to the Game....Some fans at this point in time need to re-assess their relationships with the team....Perhaps seek some constructive advise and decide if it's worth keeping for better or worse till death do us part....

As for me I already know where I stand....I will die with this "Bitch" and find as much joy in her as she let's me have and do nothing to push our relationship apart and continue to look for the good in her despite all those fingers pointing at her errors....

PantyRaider....Onto Death!!!!/

9:23 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

PantyRaider, unclear proclamations aren't unacceptable.

But after asking twice for clarification in the wake of being called out for misinterpreting the unclear proclamation, and getting two responses that avoided the question, it's only natural that I would press for the courtesy of a response, right?

If I said you got me all wrong on something, and you briefly said, well tell me where I was wrong, and I replied without answering, so you asked again, and I still replied without answer, you'd probably say, dude, please answer my question, would you not?

Now, if you feel that I might not be answeroing some of your questions, it's only because, I must confess, I have a hard time locating them within your voluminous commentaries.

So I will do my best here to answer your points:

Re: Blanda, I just answered that above.

Re: Optimists have it easier. Yes, I said that. If you start labeling folks, don't be surprised if you get labeled back to make a point.

Re: DTs. It's not an infatuation. It was a simple response to H calling folks out for suggesting that those who wanted McFadden are hypocrites if they also say we should have drafted more DTs, as if the first pick in the 2008 draft was our only opportunity to draft a DT.

To make that response, I simply laid out the facts, which are that we haven't drafted a DT in 37 picks. That fact seemed to really freak some people out, and next thing I know, all sorts of strange justifications were afoot.

You make great points about the vagaries of the draft, and that we've had other competing needs. It could be that if we had drafted DTs, none of they would have panned out. But that has nothing to do with the McFadden pick.

I think that you and me, PantyRaider, are closer in our outlook than you might think.

I like the fact that you're not trying to sell me on what I consider absurd theories as to why SOB's poor performance went mysteriously undetected by an entire front office, or how the Raiders' hiring process for coaches has had nothing to do with our failure in choosing good coaches.

Stay reasonable, my friend.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Hold the phone H. Let's not get too carried away or too far ahead of ourselves with such statements as ...

"In my no longer humble stinking opinion there is a contingency for Al. It’s Tom Cable."

Cable was a default selection as our interim HC and eventual regular HC. I have no problem with us stumbling upon a guy like Cable who seems to be an ideal fit.

However, let's not act like the chain of events from the 5th week of the 08 season to the present were methodically planned out.

The reason I won't entertain the premature thought of Cable being groomed for GM are 2 facts:

Fact 1:
He has only completed 3/4 of a season.

Fact 2: He has a paltry .333 winning percentage.

Personally, I would just like to see Cable coming back in 2010 on the grounds of an improved and successful 09 campaign.

9:49 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

RT, while I admit that I've criticized you, you simply have to note that I have NOT criticized Calico. In fact, I've praised him.

Either I'm a completely unjust individual, or there is a difference between you and Calico.

The difference is this. While I've disagreed many times with Calico, I also believe we share the optimism - for largely the same reason, which is Tom Cable and his ability to work side-by-side with Al Davis.

On the other hand, when I disagree with you (quite civily, I might add), I get long diatribes on how I'm attacking you and refusing to wake up and smell the coffee regarding all of the problems left on the table, with the last six seasons as your trump card.

It's similar to what I get from Bama7. I can criticize Davis respectfully, but unless I'm willing to join Bama in calling Davis a drooling idiot who is continuously plotting to destroy the team to agrandize himself, I'm a Davis enabler.

Let's take a look at where we were under Shell II and see if anything has been done to improve this team.

Under Shell II, in addition to the fact that we had no decent coordinators on the staff, we identified these problems.

No NFL quality QB.
No game changing RB.
No TE with the ability to become an offensive threat.
Revolving door OL.
Revolving door DL.
No promising WR.
Only two decent LBs.
No NFL quality safeties.

Have any of these issues been addressed?

Coaches - Ryan and Walsh are gone, and Cable looks like he might be the best suited Raiders coach since Tom Flores (he reminds many of Madden).

QB - Russell and Garcia

RB - Fargas stepped up, and we've added McFadden and Bush (both are legitimate 1st Round picks).

OL - Sims is gone, Gallery is playing at a Pro Bowl level; we've added two respected OTs and a new Center.

DL - We've added Ellis. We've paid large contracts to Scott and Kelly, who are yet unproven. However, Marshall has replaced Ryan. We didn't give out large contracts to two players just to give up large contracts. Somebody saw something in these two that has not yet materialized. While this is a concern to me, I'm willing to wait and see if Ryan was the problem, and if they will be better utilized under Marshall.

WR - still a concern. But both Higgins and Schillens looked very promising toward the end of 2008. If the DHB gamble pays off, it could pay off big.

TE - Miller.

LB - It is now a crowded position with a boatload of competition. There is even discussion of being able to push Morrison back outside.

Safeties - We've added both Branch and Mitchell. Both are fast and hard hitting in the historical Raider mold.

I think we've done a remarkable job in solidifying the team since the 2006 season. We have not made that many changes on the DL, and there are still many questions around the WR position. But if you take it as a whole, we've made a boatload of progress. When a team is confronted with so many issues, you are not going to resolve them all equally in a given period of time.

So, yes, RT, you can fairly criticize both our DL and and WR positions as questionable. But taking the team as a whole, we're a damn sight better off than we were at this time in 2007.

While Calico seems very ready to acknowledge the improvements, you seem reluctant to do so, focusing on problems where the solutions are still in progress as not being addressed in the "last six years."

9:53 AM  
Anonymous tinfoil said...

Whoa, guys - lets all take a chill pill here.

What attracted me to the Raider Take site was the amount of respect that each writer had for the opinions of others. They may not agree, but all were welcome to speak their minds without the mindless insults and the apalling animosity I see on other sites.

As for the D problem, I believe it is a simple matter of a total lack of discipline. Callahan was right about the Raiders being the dumbest team in the NFL. We continually give games away either by overt agression or not being in the assigned gap.

Nobody's ever going to convince me that the 2000-2002 Raiders defensive players were all that much better then the current bunch.The 2000/2001 teams had a group of journeymen linebackers. And we clinched the West v Denver in '02 with both starting corners (Woodson and James) in street clothes and a guy named Clarence Love on the field.

But, those teams had a level of discipline unseen since 2002. You had guys like Gannon, Rice, Ritchie, Romo, Eric Allen, Parrella and Trace Armstrong that demanded accountability.

If Cable can (and I think he will) bring back that committment to discipline, the '09 Raiders can compete and we won't be out of the playoff hunt before October 1st.

9:53 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

On another note:

"The NFL Network reported that Russell paid for his receivers to fly to Alabama for the private workout, which still is in progress."

Wait a minute... I thought Russell was a lazy, fat guy, only concerned with bling and making a lot of NFL money.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, Blanda, I can't speak for Calico Jack, but there's a bigger burden on me here, as the operator of this blog, to clarify my takes, respond and, to some degree, moderate.

I'll bet if someone went on his blog and suggested that drafting McFadden obviated all opportunity to draft a DT, they'd get an earful from him, too. But it was said on my blog, so the earful came from me.

Calico Jack didn't like the coach hiring process and was disappointed in our draft, too. Those are the two biggest developments of the 2009 offseason, are they not?

But somehow I'm Dr. Evil for having similar takes on the two biggest developments of our offseason. Those are things that happened, not things that might happen. Therefore, they have received the bulk of the commentary at this point.

That doesn't make me a pessimist, nor does it mean that I'm saying that it's all bad and that nothing has improved. I wrote an entire take about how I've been impressed with the restraint shown in free agency, and the rewards shown to Nnamdi and Lechler instead of pinheads like Hall and Walker.

I am cautiously optimistic. I see improvement. I am not going to buy a pallet of Tom Cable Fairy Dust just yet (and neither is Calico Jack, I see), so don't expect me to make any proclamations of his greatness until he starts winning games.

But I expect us to be much better, which just happened to be the subject of one of my recent takes.

10:09 AM  
Blogger H said...


They're working out with Kenny at Margurittaville in Gulf Shores.


I'm the one who called Calico the voice of reason.

But, we in the big "O" camp are being refered to as Kool-Aid drinkers.

I've been forced to recite my criticisms of the team on numerous occasions. I'm not totally sold on this draft or any draft until the third year. Occasionally you get the rare gem like Zach Miller who impresses right out of the gate. It's why I believe EVERY rookie is overpaid.

Huff may be a bust, but the two QB's we were told we had to have are now sitting on the bench behind other teams castoffs.

We heard if we were going to take a receiver Crabtree was the guy based on the single criteria of how many passes he caught. Well, he has yet to line up for a single play and might be iffy for the first part of camp.

Being critical is not the only component of independent thought.

Gathering information, looking at video as Panty did, discovering other teams were actually looking at our frist two picks, in the first and second round is also part of independent thought and analysis.

Draft aside, the way we closed out the season and the way the off season has progresssed indicates the positives are starting to outweigh the negatives.


Yep. What's the contingency if Scott Pioli gets hit by a bus leaving a barbecue joint in KC.

Speaking of whom. The team he built as some great dynasty is only a handful of plays (3-5) away from joining Buffalo and Minnesota as the biggest loosers in Super Bowl History. Their total point differential in their last four visits is a whooping six points.

In every single game they either won by three or lost by three. And, that doesn't even take into account their playoff luck.


10:15 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

"Calico Jack didn't like the coach hiring process and was disappointed in our draft, too. Those are the two biggest developments of the 2009 offseason, are they not?"

The difference is this: No, Calico did not like the HC hiring process. He and I disagree on that. I agree with H, that Cable was already the choice, but since rules require a minority interview you might as well interview more than one. But while Calico disagrees with the process, he does not disagree with the selection. You apparently believe we could have done better.

In regard to that, I'd offer this. Calico believes that if Cable was the choice, he should have been announced the day the season ended. However, rules REQUIRE Davis to interview a minority candidate. What minority candidate will come in for an interview if Davis has already announced a selection?

I have neither praised our draft, nor stated disappointment. While both Calico and I lobbied for a DT in the draft, and we were both mildly surprised by the selection of a WR (even though it was an area of need), and by the selection of DHB, we both take a wait and see attitude regarding the potential outcome. I'm not quite sure how Calico feels about Mitchell. He and I are both encouraged by the reports from OTAs regarding Murphy. We also both agree on the emergence of Schillens.

Again, the difference seems to be that any positive offering from me is "running with scissors," from you. On the other hand, Calico will take the time to acknowledge the positive, but politely counter with a concern or criticism while not insulting my intelligence.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda wrote:
"I can criticize Davis respectfully, but unless I'm willing to join Bama in calling Davis a drooling idiot who is continuously plotting to destroy the team to agrandize himself, I'm a Davis enabler."
Blanda, have you ever critcised Davis at all? I once challenged you to say what he had done poorly of late and in exchange I listed what I thought he had done well recently.
I'll do my part again:
1. Russell, Mcfadden... excellent picks (agree we need DT help, but I don't think the 1st round was the only place to find it)
2. Garcia, nice pick-up
3. Lorenzo Neal- brilliant
4. Ellis- Perfect
5. Like the dice roll on Mitchell. at least he hits people.

But all you said, Blanda, the time i challenged you to be the contrarian on Al was something like "Al seems to have a problem hiring HC's he can communicate with."
That was your only offering at that time.

H wrote "Your perpetual take is “Al needs to go and every decision he makes is wrong.”

Not really (see above)
But I truly believe he does not know how to run an nfl franchise anymore. He is a legend and is a big part of why I became a raider fan, but he has done a really poor job since the 90's.
All of the people, schemes and bad decisions in the last 6 years can really only be traced back to an owner and GM, right? What'd Truman say about the buck stopping on his desk?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda wrote:
"I can criticize Davis respectfully, but unless I'm willing to join Bama in calling Davis a drooling idiot who is continuously plotting to destroy the team to agrandize himself, I'm a Davis enabler."
Blanda, have you ever critcised Davis at all? I once challenged you to say what he had done poorly of late and in exchange I listed what I thought he had done well recently.
I'll do my part again:
1. Russell, Mcfadden... excellent picks (agree we need DT help, but I don't think the 1st round was the only place to find it)
2. Garcia, nice pick-up
3. Lorenzo Neal- brilliant
4. Ellis- Perfect
5. Like the dice roll on Mitchell. at least he hits people.

But all you said, Blanda, the time i challenged you to be the contrarian on Al was something like "Al seems to have a problem hiring HC's he can communicate with."
That was your only offering at that time.

H wrote "Your perpetual take is “Al needs to go and every decision he makes is wrong.”

Not really (see above)
But I truly believe he does not know how to run an nfl franchise anymore. He is a legend and is a big part of why I became a raider fan, but he has done a really poor job since the 90's.
All of the people, schemes and bad decisions in the last 6 years can really only be traced back to an owner and GM, right? What'd Truman say about the buck stopping on his desk?

10:47 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Honestly, Blanda,

CJ just last night on the draft: "I was disappointed & perplexed by our 2 picks in the 1st 2 rounds."

That should give you a hint about how he felt about Mitchell.

CJ just last night on the coaching search: "I thought it was a complete joke. As far as I know, not 1 single legitimate candidate was interviewed in person."

These are exactly my takes.

Since when have I disagreed with the head coach selection? Cable was the only one truly interviewed, so it's hard to disagree with it. Now that he's our coach, I'm behind him.

What I'm sensing is that some of you need a whipping post. Happy to oblige.

You want to be able to say that you're maintaining your critical objectivity, and you can't really point out where my view of this offseason really differs much from someone like, say Calico Jack or even your own view.

But because I have the audacity to challenge what I consider really strange suggestions (McFadden kept us from drafting DTs for four years, Bush wasn't performing well last year despite getting a grand total of 24 carries in Cable's first 11 games as head coach, etc.), I'm now the anti-Calico Jack. Go figure.

Honestly, I'm not too bothered by any of this. I type quickly because I have to, and my words may sound strident at times, but mostly I find it funny.

10:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H - To answer your question, probably nothing. But Scott Pioli isn't 80 years old and occupying a minimum of three critical posts at the top of the Chief’s organizational hierarchy.

11:01 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


No bada Brada....

We still have that same Raider love but with such a dead off-season and so much on the line we have simply turned to debating every little criteria of what made us bad and what if anything is on the horizon....

We may get into it with "RT" just a little but a few weeks ago when he was a no-show for so long we were worried and contacting him threw the mail to make sure all is well....Now that we have him back and active we just don't want to let him off the hook....

A few months back I believe it was "H" who introduced himself as...

"Hi...My name is H and I'm a Raider Fan"....

Kinda like AA....So this place has kinda turned to a "Support Group" which is helping us deal with the reality that we face....The fact that we "SUCK"....Now ya gota believe that's very painful to admit but at the same time undeniable as the record shows....

So now we try to discover why and what can be done....Will be done....And how do we live with it as the Raider Nation....

It appears that we are in agreement about the cause of our deficiencies on the "D" being discipline which I have to trace back to "SOB" and the "HC"s he served under....But also a side note that in my opinion he was a divider of the team....Not a uniter....So we had independent units instead of a united team effort....Also his schemes were a cause for concern....

Now those "Midget Minded Mediots" want to bash "J-Rus" for hanging out with the "DL" instead of concentrating on the "O"....Well the last time we had that problem from a "QB" it was the "Hoss" and I'm damn glad to see that element return...Sounds like a united team to me....

PantyRaider....Imagine all Of That....The "D" -n- "O" Hanging-Out Together!!!!/_

11:12 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

I haven't scrolled up yet, but my biggest problem with you is you seem to make up stuff to whine about while ignoring other obvious things that point to the problems you are whining about being fixed. That's my problem with most of the incessant whiners here. Sure the last six years sucked ass... but lotsa teams suck ass in the NFL.

Get over it.

11:14 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Bama7, criticizing Davis, for you, requires a premise that I don't share. In order to criticize Davis on the level you desire, it would require me to believe that Davis makes every decision about everything, and that he does that just to retain control.

In case you haven't noticed, I don't believe any of that. In fact, my criticism of Davis has been in exactly the opposite direction, and you seem to take that as praise.

I have said, many times and consistantly, that the problem with the Raiders since the '90s is that Davis has created a Top-Down organization that depends on his complete involvement, but he's failed to be completely involved since the late 80s. (Scroll up a bit and look for my post that says exactly that.)

I have said that if Davis is no longer healthy enough to exercise the same kind of involvement he used to have, then he must find help he trusts. How is that not criticism?

Let's review past history that will help prove my point about Davis. The last years of Flores, the Raiders let the OL go to hell when it had always been a Davis priority to shore up the OL.

Under Shannahan, the Raider coaching staff imploded because of Davis' self proclaimed lack of involvement.

Al Davis let others convince him it was time to fire Shell and promote Mike White. Then he let the players vote for Bugel as White's replacement.

Davis gave Gruden and Allen virtually a free hand, but Gruden and Allen didn't work on developing young talent, only bringing in veterans at the end of their career. When those players were no longer effective, we had nothing to fall back on.

Davis gave Turner a pretty free hand, but tried to help him out by getting KFC and Jordan at Turner's request, and also signing Moss.

Davis' lack of involvement in Shell II is highlighted by the "fox in the henhouse" situation with Lombardi.

I think when he hired Kiffin it was the idea that Kiffin would become the Al Davis Mini-me, but Kiffin very shortly proved to have his own agenda.

When Cable came on board, he was very specific - "I won't do it without your help!"

Davis is once again burning the midnight oil, and that has made a big difference. At 80, I don't know how long he can keep it up, but we'll see.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Gary, if my intent was to make the Raiders look bad, I certainly wouldn't have to make stuff up.

By the way, what have I made up? That's a close cousin to your other favorite word: liar. The least you can do is give an example if you're throwing out those types of accusations.

Raider Take on April 6:

"First off, I like the Jeff Garcia signing. Even as a backup, he’s better than several of our recent "starting" quarterbacks, including Aaron Brooks, Josh McCown and Andrew Walter. That’s called progress and depth, two things that have been in short supply in recent years.

Ever since the hiring of Coach Cable, I hardly recognize the Raiders from a behavioral standpoint—and that’s a good thing."

Just thought you needed a reminder.

11:24 AM  
Blogger H said...


"But I truly believe he does not know how to run an nfl franchise anymore. He is a legend and is a big part of why I became a raider fan, but he has done a really poor job since the 90's."

I guess 98, 99, 00, 01, 02 were just episodes I saw during the Twilight Zone Marathon I caught on the SiFi channel over the weekend.

We were only 8-8 in 98 and 99 but they were the foundation for the other years.

Some of the bad moves made:

Moss (didn't want him in the first place)
Sapp (To self centered)
Hall, (Way wrong move and said so when the rumors started.)

Didn't want Turner and said so from the start.

The '06 draft wasn't too good, but the 07 draft seems to be beginning to pay dividens.

To insinuate we don't dissagree with Davis is disingenous. We're just not ready to throw him under the bus.


11:34 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


Just to give a little clarity to the subject....

You -n- "CJ" -n- "NYR" have been to some degree on the same page and pointing out the abundance of negativity that we are all aware exist....That's Undeniable history....

But the big difference here is that you are the one who proclaimed that the money and support of the team has dried-up until they are able to give you what you want...A winning record that you can be proud of....Now up to this point your the only one who spoke that way and disappeared from activity for half a decade....During which time you were missed....

Now upon your return there has been some very negative objectivity and some categorizing of some as "Blind Followers"....Being still intoxicated and all on that Raider "Kool-Aid"....

"NYR" -n- "CJ" stayed in there and punched it out with us and eventually things became a little more positive....

So that's just a side note as to why you may be perceived a little differently than another who shares your same opinion....

That's why I posted about the "Bitch" in reference to the fallen relationship with the team....I personally perceive your joy has suffered greatly and wish to find a way to bring back that "Minty-Fresh" feel that you were still able to find last season....

Really "RT"....We have a lot more to be thankful for this year than in any of the past few seasons....But it's very difficult to get that bad taste out of your mouth....Ya see....It's very difficult sometimes to be on an upper but very easy to slip into a downer....

I know your not a scout but do suggest you spend a few hours and watch some video footage of our picks....You may be pleasantly surprised and start to understand why they were selected....Why the coaches and owner fell in love with these picks....

PantyRaider....Just A Suggestion!!!!/_

11:45 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, that seems to be a standard now days. If you're not throwing someone under the bus, you're not criticizing.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

PantyRaider: "But the big difference here is that you are the one who proclaimed that the money and support of the team has dried-up until they are able to give you what you want...A winning record that you can be proud of....Now up to this point your the only one who spoke that way."

Incorrect on all points.

I never said that I wasn't going to support the team. I never said that I won't by tickets (I'll probably by one or two this year, as I have said earlier). I never said that my season tickets would only be renewed with a winning record. And I'm not the only one who spoke this way. I received a lot of support for my decision.

I did say that I will not renew my season tickets until the Raiders can prove to me that they are prepared to field a product that is commensurate with my investment.

Why should that be such a shock to you? Why does that make me a horrible pessimist?

You guys are turning me into a caricature. Frankly, I find it strange.

Have I occasionally referred to "Kool Aid" and the like? Sure. It's a great description for instances when I feel someone is bending the bounds logic so far that one can only conclude that they are drunk on Kool-Aid. I might use it again as a specific critique, but certainly not to group or categorize multiple people on this site.

12:00 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


OK....So I'm having the same problem as you trying to understand what was written....Sense we have no way to express or hear the emotion it becomes read into the statements....

From what you have said I perceived you as so overly disappointed in the team that you are pulling back from the time -n- money that you have been investing threw time until they show you what you want....But now you say that's not the case....Or at least not entirely....My Bad I guess...

Well....I guess it's about your lunch time and my bed time...2:12am....See you here tomorrow....

PantyRaider....Back In Thailand!!!!/_

12:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Mitchell is an interesting story. Nobody heard his name until the last couple of weeks before the draft. Then, suddenly, he was on the radar of a lot of teams, especially the Raiders. I think he visited about six or seven teams in less than two weeks before the draft.

I knew before the draft that the Raiders were definately interested in him, but you can never tell how the draft will fructify.

I was surprised that the Raiders picked him in the 2nd round, but I wasn't surprised with hearing they used a 2nd round pick because other teams were positioning to take him in the 2nd round.

But because Mitchell had very little fanfair before the draft, and it was the Raiders who picked him, the media felt free to call Davis a fool. If he had been drafted by the Giants, who were also positioning themselves to get him, the Giants would have been called shrewd and brilliant. Davis would have been called either a fool or accused of just making the easy pick no matter who he spent the 2nd round pick on. I guarantee that.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

No problem, PantyRaider. Again, you set the standard for staying on point and meeting me head on. Sleep well.

12:25 PM  
Blogger H said...


The Giants also appeared to be interested in DHB in the first round. They seem to be desparately seeking a deep threat for Eli to work with.


To a point you are correct. The Chefs may have a more diverse sharing of power. But, in any crisis such as the one you speak of folks would tend to turn to the steady hand.

That is what Cable showed in December/January. It would most likely be a temporary situation while things were sorted out, but he would be my first choice to run the day to day football operations were those unfortunate circumstances to occur.


12:28 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Take, you failed to answer my question (which comes indirectly from H). What minority coaches would have showed up in Alemeda for an interview if Davis had already announced his choice was Cable (which he was actually forbidden to do before he interviewed a minority candidate)?

In since pretty much the entire reasoning world assumed he would make Cable permanent, how easy do you think it was to commit anyone to an interview?

These facts have been pretty much left out of the equasion whenever either you or Calico criticize the HC hiring process in 2009.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, the question seems odd to me, because Al Davis himself said that Cable was never the automatic choice, and that he was, in fact, in close competition with another undisclosed candidate, to the point that both were asked to assemble staffs.

So if word had gotten out (it may have, and definitely should have, but I'm not sure it did) that there was an open competition for the job, I imagine that at least a handful of folks, minorities or otherwise, would have thrown their hat in the ring.

In fact, for all we know, the mystery candidate was a minority.

Am I missing something, or is your take on Cable's hiring process in direct contradiction to what Mr. Davis said about it?

Please don't call me a pessimist or anything else for asking that question. This is how these rumbles get started. I push back on something specific that doesn't make sense to me, and next thing I know, I'm in the dog house.

1:06 PM  

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