Monday, December 14, 2009

Hope, We Hardly Knew Ye

First off, thanks to Doobie for creating and sharing this awesome graphic of Bruce Gradkowski.

Sadly, while Doobie sent this graphic to me last week, I only discovered it in my email today, after the Gritmeister blew out his knee, leaving us rather hopeless at the QB position. Ah, cruel irony.

Hey, Doobie, can you make one of JaMarcus Russell? You'll only have to add one word: no. As in, No Hope.

Indeed, with Gradkowski out, we seem poised to circle the drain for the remainder of the season.

Unless we win two out of our remaining three games, we will have extended our NFL record for most consecutive seasons of 11 or more losses.

I was going to break out the clown car, but I will refrain, based on the competitive first half of the game. I'd call yesterday a half of a clown car game.

That's a total of 6.5 clown car games so far this season (the Cowboys game was one, even though I didn't post the clown car after it). That's a lot of clown car games. In fact, it's exactly 50 percent of our games to date (13/2 = 6.5).

In my opinion, our new year should begin with a GM hiring and a new head coaching search. Dare I hope for that?

Update: Thanks, Doobie!


Update 2: Thanks, Derick from Sec. 344

213 Comments:

Blogger H said...

Take,

As my Grandfather used to say, "Wish (hope) in one hand and piss in the other and tell me which one gets wet".

That's not to say I'm not hopeful. I was feeling the same way about Alabama a few short years ago and they are back faster than anyone expected. So, it can happen.

Bama,

I did say I try hard not to believe in conspiracies. In fact I don't. You have to kill too many people for a conspiracy to work. I think it's more a reputation thing. But man, Sunday was spooky.

H

11:57 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Here you go. What better way to sum up Jamarcus? BTW, anyone can do these kind of posters at obamicon.me.

12:12 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm betting that Cable wants to keep his job, so I'm also betting that Cable starts Frye for the last three games.

Cable can keep his job by showing that JRuss was the problem and a gamer at QB will win. He can't do that if he starts JRuss for the remainder of games, even if JRuss loses all of them.

In fact, I'd say that the only way Cable can keep his job is to win the remaining three games, and I think he knows he can't do that with JRuss under center. Cable said he considered bringing in Frye for this game, but as Frye didn't take 1st or 2nd team snaps all week there wasn't much point.

12:37 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Also, remember that when JRuss was initially benched, Cable said he was considering Frye (who he said was a "gym-rat" and study hound). So it has seemed to me that while JRuss was the official #2, that position only came to him by virtue of somebody else being #1. If the choice is now JRuss or Frye, it will go to Frye so long as Frye proves he can move the team this week in practice.

12:41 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H -

Your grandfather was a smart dude. Seems to me we're hoping for the same thing(s) this holiday season that we wished for last year, and the year before that....

Bama -

As evident in Sunday's game, the team no longer supports Russell. Why should we?

Any QB can play better if players around him play their game to perfection. It just doesn't happen that way. Russell needs to learn how to step up his game when others around him fall off theirs... see Gradkowski.

Of course Russell shouldn't be judged on Sunday's second half, but his body of work through the first nine games... which was some of the worst QBing any of us have ever seen. He lacks the basic instincts of even an average NFL QB.

Gradkowski's injury is completely deflating to the team and the Raider Nation. So there’s no hope left; and certainly no expectation for me that Davis will change anything he does during the off-season... which is typically fire/hire coaches and draft speedsters.

If I’m being realistic, I hope Davis interviews and selects from more than one prospect to be HC next year. That's the sad truth.

12:45 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My guess is that if Frye starts the remaining games, he too will outperform Russell. How could he not?

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Derick from Section 344 said...

Well, after another "Letdown Sunday" wanted to relay a quick story about my gameday experience yesterday.

A friend and I were lucky enough to score some on-field credentials from a family member who works at Fox sports and arrived bright and early to milk the whole experience for all we could. We were on field by around 10 AM when only a handful of guys were present doing some real light warm ups. As time went on the first really notable player to take the field was Gradkowski (why are you not surprised?) and he proceeded to take part in some light throwing. A short time later Jamarcus emerged and the two began to alternate throws as receivers would run duplicate routes.

(Before I go on I just want to state that up to this point I have been a huge Jamarcus Russell supporter. I felt like if he was to bust it would be a catastrophic event for this organization so I rooted for Jamarcus to succeed because I felt like I had to. I guess in a way I considered him "Too big to fail," Oh the Irony.)

Now here's the thing that bugged me about yesterday morning. Jamarcus came out dressed in his sweatsuit warmups like everyone else but also wearing a HUGE pair of white headphones. I even made a comment to my friend right off the bat, "Jeez Jamarcus, ever hear of ear buds?" Now, I'm no frickin square, the fur coats, the rock earings, none of that stuff has ever bothered me. I actually tend to appreciate flashy athletes, that is, if they can back it up. But here was Jamarcus with these headphones going through drills and looking HORRIBLE. Missing guys right and left, over and under. It was really actually quite depressing to watch up-close. There is no question Gradkowski
is 100 times more accurate, and if you'd been in a cave for 3 years and taken to this field to watch, there is no way you would Identify Jamarcus as the better paid of the two.

But the headphones remained. Throw after throw, miss after miss, the headphones remained. And I know they were on because between throws Jamarcus would occasionally sway to the beat of whatever he was listening to. It was just a perfect little snapshot of the state we have found ourselves in as Raider fans. I leaned over to my buddy and said "You'd think after 3 bad throws in a row he might consider taking off the phones and concentrating a little bit" But it never happened. You never got the sense that he even cared.

It was jarring to watch the team immediately deflate when he came into the game yesterday. He has lost that team in every way imaginable. I guess it just took for me to see someone else behind center to truly understand how bad he's been playing this year. But like I said, you just don't get the sense that it matters to much to #2. At least he still has his headphones.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

i beleive that tom cable is done.

i think al davis brought back randy hanson, because al has decided to fire cable after season, with cause.

once again, al will fire a HC, without paying the remainder of contract.

that is why hanson is back. it is to show that al is taking hanson's side, and cable violated his contract when he struck hanson.

1:30 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider00 -

Is it possible Davis sinks that low as to use the Hanson incident as a means to not pay Cable? Wow! I guess anything is possible. Not exactly a glowing invitation for any prospective coaching candidates... as if the "coaching with one arm tied behind your back" wasn't bad enough.

Derick -

Thanks for the story. Just like his boss, it's business as usual for JaMarcus Russell, no matter what, or how bad the failures.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

NyRaider,

it's not only the hanson incident that will doom cable.

remember, the NOW is pissed at the raiders for not taking action against cable after learning he had history of sparring with ex wife/girlfriends.

you know how al davis feels about womens causes.

when he's not drafting track stars, al can be found watching the WNBA, or staring at picture of amy trask.

yeah, cable is done, and he won't get paid, and it would cost too much in legal fees for him to fight it.

3:11 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Thanks, Derick, that confirms everything.

It's interesting that if Davis does something it's suddenly the only way he ever did it. Davis, if he fires Cable, will not fire Cable for cause. He'll fire him because he hasn't been winning.

Madden - retired because of an ulcer.

Flores - resigned because he thought he was no longer being effective.

Shanahan - fired for cause for undermining the organization. Davis lost the mediation, but still refused to pay Shanahan for the rest of his second season unless Shanahan got a court order.

Shell - fired for failing to regularly make the playoffs.

White - fired for inability to win.

Bugel - fired for inability to win.

Gruden - traded to Tampa.

Calahan - fired for because he'd lost the locker room.

Turner - fired for his inability to win.

Shell - fired for his inability to win.

Kiffin - fired for cause for undermining the organization.

Cable - if he's fired, it will be for his inability to win. Personally, I think he still has a life.

Davis doesn't fire every coach "for cause." In both instances where he's done it, there has been good reason. While he lost the mediation regarding Shanahan, folks who were in LA at the time know that Shanahan did, in fact, attempt to undermine everyone's authority but his own.

3:17 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

My guess is that we'll start Frye on Sunday. We've got nothing to lose except the opportunity to see what else we've got on the roster.

Unless Frye gets hurt I think we've seen the last of Russell this season. Even if by a near miracle he comes around and "gets it," the fans have had it with him. The best thing for all sides now is to first see if we could trade him(always try to get some value for a player that you can't use) or cut him this offseason. Bite the bullet and take the cap hit. Its not like we haven't been there before. Once again its time to start working on the plan for next year because this year is a wash. Boy am I sick of that.

I am still curious as to why Cable barely ran the ball against the 21st ranked rushing defense. Reminds me of that night game in Seattle in the rain when the B&B kept trying to pass the ball(which was ineffective) instead of running the ball(which was).

3:47 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Cable backed off the running game because of the loss of Gallery. It was apparent that he'd established an air attack against DC because of that. That's why McFadden was used so often as a receiver in the first half.

Remember that when we lost Gallery earlier in the year, it almost shut down our running game. Then when Gallery came back it re-emerged.

3:56 PM  
Blogger H said...

Isn't 2010 a no cap year? If we dump Russell then what would be the cap hit?

I watched Russell do all the right things in college. Come backs, hitting the clutch pass, scrambling for first downs and he was hard to bing down in the pocket. Now he folds like a cheap lawn chair and can't hit a stationary target.

I just don't get it. He has become the poster child for not giving big signing bonuses.


H

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Take,

I totally respect your desire for a new head coach. But I have to ask, why? What is it that Tom Cable has done, or hasn't done, that makes you think this losing season is on him?

I am a Cable supporter. I truly think, under the current circumstances, he's the best guy for the job. Maybe even if we had a GM. Sure, his play-calling at times is questionable - like every other HC we've ever had. But honestly, this team has played hard and together pretty much the entire season.

Cable inherited Russell. And I think we can all see clearly now, after Gradkowski's stint, that this is a pretty good team when we have a half-way decent QB under center. I believe if Grads had started, or Garcia had stayed, we'd have a more realistic shot at 8-8, maybe even 9-7.

I like what Cable has done. He's added discipline, for the most part. He brought in John Marshal who, if allowed, can be a very creative DC. Most importantly, there seems to be a chemistry with this team that's been lacking for years. But considering I'm a fan watching on TV, this is debatable.

Again, I respect yours, and anyone elses wish to have a new HC. We're on the verge of another 11 loss season. A new coach always brings new hope. But before we chop Cable's head off, let's take into account what he's been given to work with. Russell is probably the worst QB I've ever seen. On every level. And he's sunk this organization to new depths. I mean, we're demanding Charlie Frye for godssake.

Thanks for the great takes.
Tim

4:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, if there is no cap, there is no cap hit. But there is word that it might get negotiated back into place in the off season.

4:17 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Tim, I think you're right. I don't think Davis wants to fire Cable and is looking for a reason he won't have to do it. But if the team has only four wins again this season, he may feel that he has no choice.

I think that if Cable decides that the best chance to win is to install Frye, Davis will go along with it. That way he can have two questions answered. 1) Is JaMarcus really a bust, or 2) is Cable just a bad HC.

Right now the evidence seems to show that JaMarcus is a bust. Frye doing better than JaMarcus (let alone doing as well as Grad) might just prove that.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

It is very difficult to make a case for Cable returning in 2010.

Cable in 2008: 4-8
Cable in 2009: 4-9
Winning %: 32%

Besides the horrible record, what is more telling is the # of blowout losses.

To date, Cable has only been the head coach for 25 games (12 last year, 13 this year).

Of those 25 games played, the Raiders have been blown out in 10 games (2 TDs or more). In other words, the Raiders have been blown out in 40% of the games coached by Cable.

2008
10/12 N.O. 3-34 (-31)
10/26 Balt 10-29 (-19)
12/4 S.D. 7-34 (-27)
12/14 N.E. 26-49 (-23)

2009
9/27 Den 3-23 (-20)
10/4 Hou 6-29 (-23)
10/11 NYG 7-44 (-37)
10/25 NYJ 0-38 (-38)
11/26 Dal 7-24 (-17)
12/13 Wash 13-34 (-21)

10 blowouts
Avg. margin of loss: 25.6 pts

This record (8-17) and number of games that were not remotely competitive is and should be the final nail in Cable's coffin.

It is 1 thing to have a bad record. It is an entirely different (and worse) matter to have such a high number of games where it wasn't competitive football.

Once could easily make the case that this season we took a step back from 2008 which seems hard to believe.

Going into 2010 ...

QB?
HC?
GM still vacant
Worse cap shape

The 1 thing, and only thing at this point, that would bring me genuine hope is if Davis hires a GM with authority. Otherwise, we are just chasing our tail and gettin nowhere fast.

4:34 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Maybe this year we should try something different. Before everyone finds a player to campaign for in the first round and depending on which pick we'll end up with I suggest we seriously think about trading down if at all possible. We've had better results(and maybe luck) in the mid-to-late rounds and as someone said there would be less pressure on them to perform coming in. They could actually develop and be productive members of the team.

4:36 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Right now you could make a good case that the problem this season has been JRuss' inability to get it. Blow outs come when the team has cashed it in, and few of the blow outs have been from the beginning of the game. Most of the blow outs have come after it has been established that the offense can't move the ball.

If Frye does much better than JRuss, and has success moving the ball - leading to competitive games - Cable could well be off the hook. Especially if they beat Denver.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Tim, I never really thought Cable was qualified to be the head coach, and after another season of 11 or more losses (very likely), including numerous blowouts, my opinion hasn't really changed.

I agree that a lot of it's not his fault, but I think we need wholesale change. Can we retain Cable yet enact wholesale change?

With me, it all starts with hiring a qualified GM who has the freedom to develop and execute a plan, top to bottom.

Now, what qualified GM would accept the position on the condition that Cable be retained?

Even if it wasn't conditional, what qualified GM would come in, look at Cable's record and controversies, and say, you know what, I think we've got our coach of the future here?

If Cable started DHB for so long because he thought it was a great idea, then he's not fit for the head coach position, in my opinion. If he was forced to start DHB, then he's a symbol of an organizational era that really needs to end.

Either way, I can't see him being a part of the positive change that this team so desperately needs.

Maybe that makes him a fall guy, but something needs to fall here.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take,

I hear you completely. We don't disagree about any of that. I think Cable was doing what he was told, starting DHB - heck, drafting DHB. And I can't fault a guy for doing what his boss says. I do it every day to keep my job.

Bottom line, I hear you. But I'm thinking that wholesale change will not happen. Davis is a very egotistical man. If he relents control and decisions then he's admiting these horrible seasons are his fault. Not likely going to happen. What's more in line is, Jim Fassell, Kevin Gilbride. Or some lame duck from college. I'll take Cable over them any day.

And as far as his qualifications? Yeah, probably not. But again, if Gradkowski had played earlier and we were looking at 8-8, 9-7. Would that even matter?

I'm in this with you. Hoping for the best.
Tim

5:05 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Ask yourself this ...

What exactly has Cable done well as a Head Coach? What does he bring to the table? What is the team doing better?

Let's get past whether you like Cable or not, whether he gets along with Davis, whether the players like him ...

If the players are playing so hard for him, how do you explain the high % of blowouts?

If the players are more disciplined under Cable, how do you explain 14 penalities yesterday?

To me, Cable is best suited to be an OLine coach. Yes, Cable was put in a very difficult situation as HC. Yes, Cable was probably handcuffed by Davis (ie. playing DHB; playing Russell). In spite of these difficult circumstances, there is NO excuse for having 10 games out of 25 games where your opponent blows you out.

I would feel different about Cable returning if (1) we had a few more wins (2) we were a more competitive football team.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack,

This isn't about me liking Cable personally. I'm a fan. I have never met him. But I do respect what he's done, and how hard he's fought to get this opportunity. But okay, let's go beyond even that.

How do I explain the blow-outs? You mean those games where Russell turned the ball over more than once, sometimes three or four times? Putting the defense in one bad situation after the other? Go back to the Giants and Jets games. Russell threw picks and fumbled early. Before we knew it we were behind by two touchdowns. How does a team rally behind that? They don't, as witnessed against the Skins.

The penalties. You mean that one game yesterday? Because I've seen twelve other games where penalties were not an issue. And as a life-long Raiders fan (spanning 20-plus years) I can say with certainty that this is one thing Cable has done well.

I don't know. I hear a lot of people calling for Cable's job, but I don't hear a lot of evidence to back that take. Other than our record. Not to diminish that. But hell, could anyone do better with Russell? Hard to say.

I didn't intend to make this a fight to keep Cable's job. He's not the problem. We all know what is. But I think under the curcumstances the guy has done what he can. It's a horrible situation in Oakland. If we're not going to get a GM, then at least give the players some consistency and give Cable another year.

Tim

6:06 PM  
Blogger John C. said...

Cable has done a decent job with what he has, but the reality is that he's not fit to be an NFL head coach. Cable was very unsuccessful at the college level, so we can't expect him to be a success here. Al brought Cable in to be his yes man, and now Al can blame Cable for not turning Russell into a success. End of story. Cable is gone, and if we replace him with another yes-man, it will be more of the same. The sad thing is that I can't think of one legit NFL head coach that would want to come here.

6:24 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

There’s really no reason to replace Cable if Davis maintains the status quo everywhere else on the team and particularly in the front office.

Sure, Cable is over his over head, but simply bringing in another coach isn’t going to change anything (been there, done that). Like his predecessors, any new coach will inherent scholarship players and assistant coaches, including Marshall and Davis’50-year old defensive scheme.

(Note, Marshall will be in his second year, which historically is when Davis starts to tighten the reins on freelancing - which means dialing back the blitzing.)

This team isn’t going anywhere without the help of a professional football GM; and the one man that doesn’t believe we need a GM is only man that can make it happen.

Otherwise, why would he continue to watch and allow his team to get worse for seven consecutive seasons? At what point does a reasonable person implement change?

7:12 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Tim, good point. If we're going to remain in operational status quo, then I agree, keep Cable.

I'm aiming higher, in which case, Cable doesn't cut it for me.

That said, the only thing worse than not changing the operational status quo is changing coaches over and over again while not changing the operational status quo (which, if you think about it, IS the operational status quo).

7:17 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I have to agree with John C. here. Frankly, in relation to the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grieving, I'm right at the end of stage 4 when it comes to the Raiders. I've just about given up, but I'm not ready to accept it yet.

It doesn't matter how many billboards go up pleading Al to hire a GM...I just don't ever see it happening. Besides, no coach worth their weight in salt will come work for Al Davis unless they're prepared to deal with excessive meddling. And without a decent management infrastructure in place, you will continue to see poor talent evaluation, poor draft picks and poor development of players. And that's all besides actual game day coaching. It won't matter who we draft next year, we'll just ruin them. Case in point: read this October story about the differences in pre-game warmups between the Giants QBs and the Raiders. You tell me which coaching staff is preparing their players better.

7:22 PM  
Blogger x said...

Derick from Section 344...did you by any chance snap a photo of Russell wearing his giant, white headphones? It would be sweet to make an Obama poster out of that.

Oh, by the way, anyone watching Crabtree tonight? It makes me sick. He should be in silver and black.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tim:

Here's my feedback on your opinions:

"This isn't about me liking Cable personally. I'm a fan. I have never met him. But I do respect what he's done, and how hard he's fought to get this opportunity."

Tim: When I said 'liking' Tom Cable it is a general statement. It means you like his statements to the press, you like what you've read about him, you like his personality, you like the fact that he is a Raider fan himself, you like that the Raiders job was his ultimate goal. I get it. I don't necessarily disagree with this viewpoint. My point is that these are NOT the reasons to keep a HC. My vantage point is that a HC for the Raiders has to have unshakable LEADERSHIP skills to get past working for a dysfunctional organization. A HC for the Raiders has to be WELL VERSED in every aspect of being a HC and more.

"How do I explain the blow-outs? You mean those games where Russell turned the ball over more than once, sometimes three or four times? Putting the defense in one bad situation after the other? Go back to the Giants and Jets games. Russell threw picks and fumbled early. Before we knew it we were behind by two touchdowns. How does a team rally behind that? They don't, as witnessed against the Skins."

To me this is nothing more than excuses and the worst case of being an enabler. OK, your QB sucks. OK, you get down 2 TDS early. Guess what, a competitive, well coached, motivated team plays with pride and execution IN SPITE of the deficit. BLOWOUTS are NOT acceptable under ANY conditions. It is a team that is waving the white towel, doesn't give a F, and a coaching staff that can't overcome adversity.

"The penalties. You mean that one game yesterday? Because I've seen twelve other games where penalties were not an issue. And as a life-long Raiders fan (spanning 20-plus years) I can say with certainty that this is one thing Cable has done well."

Sorry Tim but to act like discipline has not been a problem throughout the 2009 campaign is bein a bit naive'. Are you implying that 10+ explosive BIG plays by the opponent's offense vs. our defense isn't a lack of discipline? Do you know where we rank in penalites in the league? Penalities have in fact be a problem in almost every single game with the exception of a few games. Bottom Line: Would you characterize our TEAM as a well discipled team? I think not.

"I don't know. I hear a lot of people calling for Cable's job, but I don't hear a lot of evidence to back that take. Other than our record. Not to diminish that. But hell, could anyone do better with Russell? Hard to say."

On the contrary, what is your "evidence" that Cable is the right guy? I look at 3 primary aspects:

(1) Record: We are 4-9
(2) Competitiveness: 6 blowouts in 13 games, 10 in 25 games under Cable's watch
(3) Improvement: Quick, name 1 thing better about this team compared to last year which was a HORRIBLE team. I see no improvement. If anything, I see us taking a step back.

"It's a horrible situation in Oakland. If we're not going to get a GM, then at least give the players some consistency and give Cable another year."

If it is the status quo, I prefer a well more qualified, experienced HC. Sure, Gilbride and Fassell are nothing to write home about but they are certaintly bring more to the table than Cable.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack,

Great points. I think what needs to be stated here is that I'm with you, as well as Raidertake.

We may agree to disagree about discipline. We're not the Patriots, but I do believe we're not the Raiders of years past. As far as the defense giving up big plays you're right, that's discipline. Can't argue that. But I also believe a lot of that has to do with the players themselves. Cable can't tackle for them or fill their gap.

Improvement from last season? Not much. Do you put that on Cable, though? As an Interim coach last season? Maybe. You say Russell is just an excuse, but I have to tell you, it's a damn good one. He gave us no chance to come from behind in those games. Opposing teams even said the guy doesn't see his own recievers. How can you win?

We're all preaching to the same choir here. We want change. The only thing I'm saying is I don't think we're going to get the ammount of change we want - a new GM. So, under these circumstances keep Cable. You listen to these players talk and they all say consistency has been a huge problem.

Thanks for the back and forth.
Tim

8:52 PM  
Blogger John C. said...

The "consistency" argument has been around for nearly two decades. We can't see what we have here without implementing a real NFL defensive scheme. No NFL team respects our D. They know exactly what we're doing most of the time. We're so predictable, that if we choose to blitz more than usual for one game, the other team is stupefied, because it's out of the question that we'd ever do anything different. Good scheming accounts for imperfections. No player is going to fill his gaps 100% of the time. Nnamdi has it right.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tim:

Still waiting to hear 1 aspect of Raider football that has improved under Cable's watch.

I'm also still waiting to hear 1 logical, football related reason to suggest why Cable is the right guy to lead this team.

The only sane reason to keep Cable is for the sake of continuity and stability which I'm normally a strong proponent.

However, in the case of Cable, I look at him as a guy doing his very best but who doesn't possess the strong leadership skills and force of will to enact significant changes. To me, he is an OLine coach and will always be an OLine coach.

If everything (for the most part) stays the same, and given the unlikelihood of a "real" HC search, I prefer a HC like Fassell, Trestman or Gilbride over Cable.

At least Fassell, Trestman and Gilbride have an offensive pedigree far superior to Cable.

However, as John C. points out, our D is so simple and predictable that it will continue to be a herculean challenge to overcome all of our organizational woes.

Systematic change and wholesale organizational restructuriing is in fact the only way to get our ships off the rocks. Our dream of a SB has been replaced by the "dream" of an 8-8 season.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Cable is a Mediocre guy Coaching a mediocre team who's whole strategy comes from a 80 year old and who is on the big slide of his Career. So, what's the news? Only way we get anyone worth a crap, is....drum roll......Al Davis has to sit down, just sit down....Al DAVIS, will you PLEASE sit down. He has to renounce his stranglehold on the organization. He has to let go, if he doesn't...keep on choking cause it won't be any different. This has been proven by a "peer review" process that includes ex players, fans, media, anyone who watches football....Al has to SIT DOWN.

JONES

11:09 PM  
Blogger H said...

You guys have been busy. Not much I can add to either side of the equation.

H

3:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Doodie -

Thanks for posting that "October" article (a must read for everybody!). For me, that really nails it.

Some terrific observations by some well respected players and coaches.

Calico -

I can't disagree with you about wanting Cable replaced, but I don't believe any of the coaches you mentioned can come in and do better under the same circumstances Cable faces. Like Cable, their hands will be tied.

Like any of those guys, Cable can make this offense better by:

(A) allowing a more experienced coach to call plays... an true OC would be nice.

(B) playing a guy like Gradkowski at QB.

(C) keeping unproductive WRs off the field.

(D) spending more time and effort on line play.

Meanwhile, Cable has no say on defense, and that's where most of our blowouts occur.

Even against the Steelers, when Gradkowski kept bringing us back, the D couldn't finish the game.

I'm not saying Cable is my choice; I'm saying what's the difference as long as Davis doesn't change the way things are done?

Let's be honest, how pumped will any of us be if all Davis does is bring in another HC?

5:53 AM  
Blogger H said...

NYRaider,

"Meanwhile, Cable has no say on defense, and that's where most of our blowouts occur."

I might disagree slightly. Even in the Squeelers game we were playing against the defending SB Champion, in their house, with a Pro Bowl QB and top flight receivers.

In many of the blowouts our defense was saddled with a turnover prone QB who also led the league in three and outs and could not complete even 50% of his passes.

That's a lot for any defense to overcome. I doubt any DC could devise a defense to constantly overcome that. The only time we did was the first KC game.

H

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cable's situation reminds me of Spurrier's in Washington.

They wouldn't get a real QB for Spurrier, and that's the one position his style needed the most.

Cable needed an O-line, and Al got him a stone-handed speedster and another safety.

Cable's got to go though. If he stays at HC, that means Al has not made the change he needs to make (the one Jones so accurately stated, Al! SIT THE F DOWN!!!!).

I would love to see Cable back as line coach, but only if the new GM hires a new Coach who asks Cable to be line coach.

-moshbucket

9:37 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

How low has JRuss fallen?

"Right now, it's about finding out where Bruce is," Cable said at his weekly news conference. "If, in fact, he's not ready to go, then how do we win the next three football games, period?"

Cable is waiting on word whether Grad can go on two torn MCLs. It sounds like he'd rather have Grad on a wheelchair than Russell.

My bet is that if Gradkowski can't go, it will be Frye.

10:41 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm also betting that if Frye gets the start, he too will do better than Russell.

11:02 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H -

Do you mean the same "Squeelers" offense that sliced through us like a hot knife through butter (thanks for that image, RT) in the 4th qtr, but was completely dismantled by the Brownies a week later? That offense?

I agree, however, that the Raiders' offense has more than contributed to many of the blowouts; but this defense is so bad, it coined the phase "stop, stop, boom." That's about right, one big play given up for every two stops.

As stated earlier, and made public by Asomugha, nobody can cover their assignments 100% of the time, which is basically a requisite for Davis' MTM defense to be successful.

Blanda -

If Frye plays, Russell will have been overshadowed and outperformed by his second string and third string replacements. Truly sad.

Everyone should read the "October" article linked in Doobie's post above. It's extremely informative regarding Russell's rise and fall, from college to pros.

Meanwhile, Gradkowski wants to play, injured. I'll take this type of player over a superstar wannabe any day of the week.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calico,

I'll try and be as clear as day about this. I'm not fighting for Tom Cable's job. I'm simply stating that under the current circumstances (Al in charge) I believe he's our best bet. Why? Continuity. Maybe I'm over-emphasizing the importance of this. But it's my reason.

You ask for a HC that will go against Davis, shake things up, be man enough to make a stand and implement his own schemes. That's exactlty what Kiffin did and we all know how that ended. Sollution? Al needs to step down.

I thought I did name one thing I think improved under Cable. Disciplne. The lack of penalties. Chemistry. But, you've already countered. So this is debatable.

I disagree about Fassel and Gilbride. You don't think Fassel, who allegedly wrote Al a letter asking for the job, will be a yes man? Or Gilbride, who's been an HC and failed badly?

This is turning into apples and oranges. Something we can all agree on is we need major change. Front office. GM. Al has to STOP calling the first two rounds of the draft. He has to stop forcing DC's to use his press schemes. And he has to let coaches coach.

And I totally agree with NY Raider. Any coach who inherits Davis' defense will probably fail.

Tim

1:21 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Tom Cable has failed, even at what he is supposed to know best.

Cable's bread & butter was his zone blocking scheme, that was going to unleash a 3 headed rushing attack of mcfadded,bush,& fargas.

well, we're still waiting.

as disappointing as Jruss has been. the 0-line, and the rushing attack, has been just as disappointing under Cable's guide.

if Cable cannot even get his own zone blocking scheme off the ground, what can he succeed at ??

1:33 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

While I'm normally the sort who doesn't think QBs are good bets for the #1 pick in the draft, I went with JRuss in 2007 thinking he was the prototype QB for the offensive system. I've learned my lesson.

While we all figured that Russell would very likely struggle at times (have some good games followed by ones where he stunk up the place) we all expected he would at least build from where he finished last season.

Instead, he's been record book bad and gets worse with each passing week. Even the biggest JRuss detractors never realized he'd be THIS bad. When he said that the only reason Grad was doing better is just that the other players started making plays, I was done with him. What an insult to your team mates.

I don't know if Grad is that good, or he's just adequate. If he's just adequate and makes that big of a difference, just how bad is Russell? If Frye starts and has a similar amount of success that Grad has, it kind of puts this season in a whole new light.

Consider that DHB might not be that bad - it's just that in his rookie year he had to deal with Russell. Grad managed to find DHB for a TD before DHB went down.

And I don't care what anybody says. If you have an offense that goes 3 and out on almost every series, turns the ball over continually on its own side of the field - and then turns the ball over when close to scoring! - teams are going to wrack up big scores on you.

Defense doesn't win championships. A defense is to keep you in the game so your offense can win it. But if your offense never shows up, you're going to get blown out unless the other team takes it easy on you.

1:37 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Well, no Blanda. Not ALL of us thought Russell was anything other than a bust.

2:17 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Why consider that DHB might be good? He can't catch. That has nothing to do with anyone, but DHB himself We know that DHB couldn't catch or score touchdowns with regularity at Maryland. So why would that be different in the NFL? Can anyone explain that leap of logic to me?

2:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Oh, I guess this is another instance of rewriting history so it will suit your own argument.

Well, let's see... DHB didn't play his senior year, and came out for the draft after his junior year...

"During his junior season in 2008, he made 42 catches for 609 yards and five touchdowns, and earned an All-ACC honorable mention. On January 7, 2009, Heyward-Bey announced that he would forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. He finished his career at Maryland second in school history in career receiving yards with 2,089, third in receptions with 138 and tied for third in touchdown catches with 13. In just three years, he was second only to Jermaine Lewis in receiving yards."

Not bad for a guy who can't catch. Oh, and for those who say that he had no football background and was only a track star...

"Heyward-Bey attended the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland, where he played football as a wide receiver and linebacker. During his senior year, he earned first-team all-state honors and was named a PrepStar All-American."

2:35 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

As for whether DHB was worth a #7 overall...

Well, the fact that DHB entered the draft as a Junior, and didn't announce to anyone before January, 2009 that he wasn't going to play his senior season, might have something to do with the reason he wasn't prominent on teams' draft lists. Plus, to my knowledge we had one first round pick. A couple of teams had DHB on their list for later in the 1st round.

I know it's important to make Davis seem as stupid as possible, but let's stay with reality. It's easier in the long run.

2:46 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

This was my line about Russell - "Even the biggest JRuss detractors never realized he'd be THIS bad."

Well, if you knew all along that Russell would be this bad you should immediately apply for a job as an NFL scout because about 90% of people "in the know" pegged him as an NFL superstar.

3:02 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And while we're on this subject, it's interesting to note that all three of our last 1st round picks have been slow starters. All three came out for the draft after their junior year.

It looks like that one extra year of maturity might really be worth something. We should avoid juniors in the future, unless we have a long time to bring them along.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blanda,
You nailed that one. 4yr starters are just better prepared, period. Peyton could have come out early, but stayed to continue developement.
You can't blame JR from comming out early though. Family comes first, and if you have a chance to get your family out of the ghetto, by all means you should take it.
-moshbucket

3:26 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Not a chance. You sidestepped the fact that H-bey dropped the ball quite a bit in college, that his stats were average, and that he wasn't the kind of WR who could get in the endzone. Who are you kidding Blanda? The kid has small hands, and he no instincts for running routes. And this kid had to nerve to tell us he's been playing well?

Have you seen Crabtree play? Night and day.

As far as Russell. There were more than a few scouts who had J-Russ pegged as a bust. He was no sure thing. Most scouts had him pegged as a "raw" talent who had questionable work ethic. He was more media hype than anything. LSU's team and offense were better after J-Russ left.

3:28 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

You're making up history again. Re-read the history above. It'll do you good. And the stuff about JRuss' work ethic only came out when he showed up at the combine "pudgy." But he's been pudgy his whole life.

Anybody seen this? H?

http://tfdssports.com/2009-
articles/december/espns-bayless-
the-snow-job-was-a-fix.html

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raider00,

See my post on Spurrier/Cable comparison.
Spurrier was supposed to bring a high-flying offense to washington, but the owner wouldn't get him a QB (he had two backups to work with, can't remember the names).

Al let our center go to miami because he didn't want to pay him, and picked up the guy miami cut. Two backup centers fighting for the starting center position, and just shuffle some more people around Gallery at LG. Doesn't matter what your scheme is, if you don't have players.

Chucky made an observation on Monday night about Alex smith and the niners. 5 systems in 5 years. You draft guys to fit your system, so you the picks are basically wasted because your players end up not fitting the system. Niners are WAY ahead of us now, because they finally found a coach. I was hoping Al would hire Singletary the year he hired Lance.

-moshbucket

3:38 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider00 -

It’s tough to run when your QB regularly throws less than 100 yards a game, and is prone to fumble.

Also, Davis hasn’t exactly placed a premium on getting quality lineman. Our last big O-line acquisitions were Kwame Harris and Kalif Barnes. These guys aren’t even good backups, yet they were signed as starters.

What participation Cable had in identifying these bums for the Raiders is probably a telling sign whether he is capable of coaching a successful ZBS.

Blanda -

The article, that I’m now mentioning for the 3rd time, explains why many of us were so high on Russell. He excelled in college, tore it up in the Sugar Bowl, then had an impressive pro day. Essentially, he was surrounded by better talent, played against weaker opponents and had better coaching than his current gig.

IMO, a big part of Russell’s demise is how the Raiders have handled him. The Raiders think they can develop young talent when, actually, Oakland is (now) the worst place to go to begin your career... if for no other reason than the coaching carousel (but mostly due to the lack of competent management).

Nevertheless, I don't believe Russell will (or can) be a good QB in Oakland. Maybe somewhere else, and only with a much more disciplined work ethic.

3:39 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

nyraider, as you may remember, I've been arguing for some time that that has been the Raiders number one problem - developing players! And that started under Jon Gruden. You know that it did.

And... One of the biggest complaints Al has when he fires coaches is that they failed to develop the younger players. Does it seem to you that might be a reason that Cable has continued to play DHB even though he's struggling?

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

..didn't meant to imply Cable hasn't failed, just that Al set him up to fail.

NY, you're right on the development issue. It's almost like Lance ruined JR to spite Al. 3 play callers in one year (last year), WTF is that?
I knew JR was somewhat of a gamble, but I never expected this level of meltdown.

-moshbucket

3:51 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Blanda, you're regurgitating average stats to make the case that H-bey wasn't an average receiver coming out of the drat. Moreover, anyone who watched him play at Maryland knew he dropped passes on an all too regular basis. I watched him play at Maryland; did you? Read and learn; this was written right after the draft by Larry Brown:

If there’s one player in this draft that I’m confident will wind up being a bust, it’s Darrius Heyward-Bey. Because Maryland’s quarterback was a local kid from LA, Chris Turner, I saw a good amount of their games and paid attention to what they did. Let me tell you this: I never once remember hearing or seeing Darrius Heyward-Bey, and that’s part of my biggest concern with him. How is it possible for a guy who’s supposedly a top-10 pick in the NFL draft to be so easily taken out of games in college? For an 8-4 team, does 42 catches, 609 yards and 5 touchdowns impress you? That doesn’t seem too impressive for a 12-game season. Heyward-Bey only had one game where he caught more than five passes and that also was his only 100-yard game of the season. Does that scream out game-changer to you? Me neither.

Al Davis and the Raiders are running the team the same way they did 30 years ago when Davis was a genius — playing the speed game. Heyward-Bey ran one of the fastest, if not the fastest 40 times at the combine. Darrius ran a sub-4.30 40 which was a time good enough to get Chris Johnson drafted from East Carolina in the first-round by Tennessee last year. Speed certainly is a weapon, but I’d be more concerned with taking a player who’s more of a play-maker with great route-running abilities and hands. Speed alone wouldn’t make me take a guy with the 7th pick in the draft. I feel sorry for you, Raider fans. You needed a big-time receiver and instead you got a speed demon who can be taken out of the game without much trouble. Way to rebuild the franchise, Oakland. Thanks for playing.
------

3:58 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:02 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

42 catches for slightly more than 600 yards and only 5TD'S are hardly the stats of a 1st round draft pick at the WR position. Name me one receiver with stats as low and drafted in the first round during the last decade. Guess what? You can't.

4:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

There are varying types of receivers in football. There are split ends and there are flankers. (Why do I have to explain this?) There are some players, like Cliff Branch, who's primary job is to stretch the field. Other receivers' primary job is to catch the ball near the line of scrimage and run for more yards. The latter receivers catch lots of balls (Crabtree), the former receivers don't catch that many because their primary job is to drag the safeties with them. Cliff Branch (who is in the Hall of Fame, by the way) usually had receptions numbered in the high 30s to mid 40s, and typically only had about 700-800 yards a season.

You tell me about players and then act like you know nothing about football. Or you tell me about football and act like you know nothing about players. Let's combine the two.

4:12 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

"The guy is raw as hell," one director of college scouting said. "He is not a natural catcher. He will body-catch. Sometimes he doesn't come out of his breaks very well. He has some stiffness. Obviously, he runs (fades) and skinny posts well, but he drops balls at times."

Wonder who he's talking about?

4:13 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

No matter the changes that JRuss had to endure in his second season (don't count his first because he's responsible for his own hold-out), his second season has been stable. He's had the same coaches, and the only change he had to endure was Cable taking over play calling. And yet, he's gotten worse and worse the entire season.

4:15 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

You can pull out negatives from every college receiver on the board. That's why they have two lists, positives and negatives. You haven't figured that out?

4:16 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

There you go again Blanda. Your paradigm is the old Raiders. The fact is that WR's are expected to do much more than Cliff Branch. Moreover, H-Bey doesn't draw double coverage. He's not a disciplined enough route runner to get open effectively and he's weak off the line of scrimmage. All you're doing is reciting the same nonsense that was coming out of camp. You never watched H-Bey in college; that much is clear. And bubs, I'll put my football knowledge up against yours any day. Your excuses for H-Bey are pathetic to be honest. He's useless, and will remain so. In two years will you admit you were wrong? Doubtful.

4:16 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

What can be a worse negative than a WR who can't catch the ball consistently coming out of college? Hell, even his college coach admitted his had a problem there. You can't coach bigger hands. The ball comes at you twice as fast in the NFL. The reaction time for an NFL WR has to be infinitely greater. The kid has vertical speed, but the plain truth is that the game moves to fast for him to adjust to the ball. The instincts aren't there, and that plain to see. Jett even had a better skill-set and instincts for the game.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

NyRaider,

your points are valid. the raiders have indeed ignored both, offense, & defense lines for far too long now.

they seem to have become gun shy after the gallery, grove debacles.

however, it is worth pointing out that the jets have the leagues leading rushing attack, with an up & down rookie Qb starting.

plus, they have the dumbest 0-line coach in america !!! lol

Mosh,

not sure Grove ever did anything to earn a big contract with the raiders.

4:29 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Who's this about?

"Tends to round off routes, shows minimal quickness into breaks and then drifts on exit, hampering his ability to get separation from defenders. Lacks deep speed, and is not a receiver who beats defenders in a foot race. Benefited from the wide-open system at Texas Tech."

Whomever, it doesn't seem like someone you'd want to draft when you are looking for someone who is quick off the line and can put space between himself and defenders - and who can beat defenders in a footrace.

And don't make light of Cliff Branch like numbers in a 12 game season in a deepstrike NFL type offense.

DHB has also shown ability at all other football skills he's asked to perform. Crabtree is a crappy downfield block, DHB is very good at it.

But don't treat this like I'm arguing that DHB has done all that's been asked of him. I've said repeatedly, and I'll say it again. DHB has been given too much playing time, which I think has actually hurt him. They needed to take the pressure off of him by starting him out as a slot receiver, and only in on certain plays.

4:39 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

There's the "speed" take again Blanda. Crabtree has incredible hands, is a first-rate route runner and was a guaranteed "good" WR in the NFL at the very least. Only his character was questioned, which was silly given that the kid has been a hard worker his whole life. as far as blocking downfield? Pffft. That's the one skill that ANY WR can be taught.

4:42 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Blanda: you keep avoiding the fact that Heyward-bey can't catch a football. I mean, he's REALLY bad at it. We knew he had these issues coming out of college. Again, a WR's primary responsibility is to CATCH THE BALL. No defender will respect you if you can't catch, period.

4:45 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And if you watch Maryland football...

"There you go again Blanda. Your paradigm is the old Raiders. The fact is that WR's are expected to do much more than Cliff Branch."

...why don't you know that this is the type of offense THEY run?

4:45 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

And it would be interesting to hear your take if Davis had drafted Crabtree (which would have duplicated Schilens) and Crabtree held out.

4:48 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

How often have I already pointed out to you Blanda, that all of the elite teams in the NFL play some version of the spread offense? Who cares that Maryland played an old-school conservative, run-first offense. H-bey's dropped balls at Maryland had nothing to do with the offensive approach, and I certainly never saw him double-covered as you implied.

4:49 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

You mean the Crabtree who held out Russell held out? Look, I can see Crabtree's POV. The idea that a crapola WR can be paid more than him because of a senile owner had an effect on his pocketbook. Who can blame that he wanted to be paid at market value as the best WR in the draft? He clearly was.

4:51 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

FYI, I didn't want a WR in the 1st round, but I knew that Al wanted one. So in that case, it was his responsibility to take the best one. Instead, he tried to outsmart the obvious.

4:54 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I didn't want a WR either. And I've never claimed that DHB caught everything thrown to him. Crabtree is pissed at Davis (when he wasn't drafted by the Raiders) so he takes it out on the 9ers who drafted him? And you think that's a reasonble point of view? Did you work for the Bush administration?

And you think that you don't draft a player according to the system you run? We should have drafted someone who'd fit NE's offense, perhaps? Interesting idea.

This might interest you. Likely what the Raiders were looking at.

"It's true Darrius Heyward-Bey did not amass many receiving yards in college, and it's true his star has risen atop the odious plume of a superlative Combine performance, but then Eddie Royal did almost the exact same thing last season. Royal made his college receptions count. So did Heyward-Bey. Royal consistently faced top defenses. Ten of the 25 opponents Hayward-Bey faced were ranked in the top 30 in defensive FEI.

Targets: 49

Catches: 37

Yards per Target: 11.16

Over those ten games Bey was targeted on 16.7% of his quarterback pass attempts. Maclin was targeted on 21.9% of his quarterback pass attempts over his seven games. So, Maclin may be the better possession receiver. Heyward-Bey, by contrast, rakes fewer possessions and makes noise. He had eight receptions of 20 or more yards, five of 30 or more yards, and four touchdown receptions. Clemson managed to shut him down in back-to-back seasons, allowing just two targets and two incompletes. Maybe that would be an instructive tape to watch. Nevertheless, projecting future performance is about innate talent and previous production. Hayward-Bey didn't have the quarterbacks or offense to contend with Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin or Juaquin Iglesias, but what he had he worked with, and his production per target is exceptional."

5:03 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Royal was a late 2nd round pick and he didn't drop balls in college on a regular basis, as did H-Bey. But if you're arguing that H-Bey may have been worth a late 2nd or 3rd round pick, I can possibly go there. But we're talking about an early first round pick. It was a "eyes closed" pick, and proved once and for all that Al doesn't carefully evaluate talent. Heck, he didn't even know anything about Cable when he hired him. Check youtube. It's amazing how little time Al puts into his decision-making. Guess he's been too busy in court trying to keep his every last dime: the sad irony is that he's losing more money than he's holding onto.

5:13 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider00 -

Remember, the Jets added O-linemen like Alan Faneca in the off-season, while the Raiders seemed desparate to sign Barnes.

It's not an accident that the Jets can run the ball.

And we saved a few dollars to sign Satele, who probably still doesn't know the line calls. Clearly, we have no true center to anchor our line.

Also, can someone explain why Nick Miller was given a roster spot this season? He's still not active. Between Miller and Walker, we had two spots on our 53-man roster completely wasted. Do other teams mismanage their personnel like this?

5:14 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

DHB was the first WR drafted, yet he is near the bottom of his rookie class. Last report I read, he'd been throw to 40 times, with 9 receptions. Could he have done better with a decent QB? Of course, but not much.

If we could switch DHB and Murphy in terms of draft status, the Raiders wouldn't look so stupid.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

NYRaider,

again i agree with you. no doubt the jets offense line is better across the board than raiders.

when jets drafted 2 0-linemen, furgerson, & mangold, they panned out, as oppossed to the flops of gallery(as a LT), and grove.

and, the jets went after quality 0-line free agents, instead of raiders grabbing the leftovers no one else wants.

but, still and all, wasn't the beauty of Cable's zone blocking scheme that you didn't need the big star linemen, or RB's ?

weren't we going to be like the Donks, who could throw any RB into their system to gain 1000 yrds ?

it just hasn't happened. and it's the one area i expected Cable to excel.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Mr.Duva32 said...

Oakland Raiders just signed J.P. Losman.........


Losman, 10-23 in five seasons with Buffalo, worked out with Indianapolis and was reportedly close to signing a contract with the Colts.

Losman passed for 6,211 yards with 33 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in Buffalo.

More grist for the rumor mill _ Losman’s UFL coach was Jim Fassel, who said last year he was interested in coaching the Raiders and whose son, John, is the Raiders special teams coordinator. The elder Fassel attended the Raiders-Redskins game

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring him on (Losman), classic Raider reclamation project? Sounds like Fassel had him playing pretty good in LasVegas.

Kind of ironic, sounds like the perfect nickname for Jamarcus, doesn't it? Loss-Man???

Just read this summary of his career, actually sounds like he has pretty good potential:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._P._Losman

-moshbucket

6:08 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Simply put......DBH was a poor pick, he isn't a football player.

Russell really needs some maturity and work ethic. His mind is not at a professional level nor is his fitness. Don't care if he was pudgy as a kid...this is the NFL, a place where you need to train like a CHAMP, not a chump. Chump is what Russell will be until he learns what a professional is....


Comparing stats or ideologies from today to the 80's or 70's is FREAKIN RIDICULOUS. As we can see, Raiders being proof, the game is so much different today. Comparing Cliff Branch stats to make a point about how the game is today is RIDICULOUS.

DBH doesn't get double covered, if he did, then the rest of the field would be open, does anyone see that? Of course not...DBH is a good blocker....WTF. You don't pick a WR TOP 10 to block..another very ridiculous statement....but, isn't it par for the course for this guy to keep saying this over and over..?

JONES

6:16 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

My guess is that they'll shut Gradkowski down for the year rather than exacerbate the injury to his knees. Mobility is his trump card. Following that line of thought Frye will be the starter for the rest of the season and Russell will be QB3. I can't imagine this happening without Al's input, so Cable could very well be coach for next year. Draw your own conclusion as to the likelihood of getting that GM we've been hoping for.

Folks, tis the Christmas season. How about a little "Peace in the Raider Nation?" Russell is done as a Raider. He'll darn near need police protection to take the field under center. He's gone from being the celebrated first pick to lower than whale dung. Do we really need to tear his football carcas any further apart? How many more new ones do we need to rip him? I know you're pissed at another lost season, but enough is enough. The saying is "a pound of flesh," and some of you are taking ten. Its ironic that folks who could show sympathy to a grieving Packer(Favre) who put on a clinic in our house on national TV, yet have none for a fallen Raider(Russell). How about some ideas as to how do we break the now seven year below .500 curse and get back on the road to the SuperBowl? The JaMarcus Russell route is a dead end.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

"How about some ideas as to how do we break the now seven year below .500 curse and get back on the road to the SuperBowl?"

Al Davis, PLEASE sit down. Al Davis, SIT DOWN = Al Davis sit down.

Step #2 has been well documented on almost all Raider sites and a billboard...until these 2 steps are done, nothing else can be done. Sooooo, what do you propose that is any different? How many times do we go round in this circle and expect anything different? Or are you just trying to spur on more comments about who we draft or blah blah?

JONES

8:32 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

"Its ironic that folks who could show sympathy to a grieving Packer(Favre) who put on a clinic in our house on national TV, yet have none for a fallen Raider(Russell)."

Oh POOR MR.RUSSELL....the guy steals 35 million and you say "give him a break". Come on, I thought your name was "realist"? Russell has put in no effort, doesn't even seem to care that it's all crashing around him and you say lay off? You are just trying to stir the pot, right?

JONES

8:37 PM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Jones, I'm merely suggesting that there are more constructive ways of dealing with the situation. I don't see how beating on a dead Russell horse gets us closer to where we want to go.

9:39 PM  
Blogger x said...

Blanda - please stop. First of all, Cliff Branch is NOT in the Hall of Fame. We'd like him to be, but he's not.

Second, DHB is a bust. He was an average receiver with bad hands in college. No where near worthy of a #7 pick. There are at least a half dozen receivers drafted after him that are leaps and bounds better. He's a good kid evidently, with good character, but not a good football player.

Crabtree is showing he should have been the pick at #7. Watching him pick the ball out of the air with his hands and DHB play volleyball with the football is like night and day. And if the Raiders had selected him, I don't think he would have held out. Didn't he only hold out because he wanted #7 money?

btw, I like the Losman signing. Could this be like the Plunkett or Gannon pick ups? I can dream.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

"realist"

Beating on Russell?, he's actually gotten off witout much at all. How can we be more constructive? Set fire to Alameda? Put up more billboards? I say, if Raider fans want to kick Russell for no effort and no caring...all the power to them, they ultimately pay his salary so HAVE AT ER.

JONES

10:05 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

"Blanda - please stop."

Reminds of that song by Buddy Holly...ohh, that'll be the day.....Blanda is a propaganda machine, he doesn't care about truth, he cares about his dreamy fantasy that the Org is as feared as it was in the 70's and 80's. He still references comparisons to what happened in the 70's....go ahead and have your fantasies, but don't pass them off like it is reality...he mirrors the thinking in Alameda..some people just believe whatever they are told by those in charge, others question and analyze. But, as Blanda says, who are we to question the Great Al Davis? He is the owner and we have no right to say anything.

JONES

10:15 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tim:

It sounds like we agree with most of the basics.

As far as hiring a HC who has a strong will and can enact change ... I guess it is relative to how much change.

Some coaches who have a vision, a plan, and strong leadership skills have a MUCH better chance of persuading Davis to some degree. Whether those are small changes, medium size changes, or big changes is a matter of speculation.

We all know that a straight "yes" man with no spine isn't going to help or last. The reference to Kiffin is irrelavant. He was in over his head and had no clue to begin with.

BR: Although some might say Cliff Branch deserves to be in the HOF, he isn't.

As far as DHB, you can spin all you want but he is a complete failure at the 1 skill required of any WR ... catching the football.
=================================

If Frye is a the starter the remaining 3 weeks and shows good overall command & competency, I would be ok with Grad, Frye, and Losman battling for the #1 starter BUT I would keep an eye on the FA list for an upgrade.

Realist: True ... nothing constructive can come out of lambasting Russell but who cares. The reality is that nothing constructive comes out of ANYTHING the fans do. We are at the mercy of Al whether we want to admit or not. Raider forum and blogs have ZERO influence and are nothing more than sharing opinions and yes, venting. Keep your self righteous ideals to yourself. I plan to vent my frustration and disappointment with Russell until he clears his locker ... and then some more. Capiche?

10:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I like the idea of Losman, Frye and Gradkowski (and a FA) battling to be the Raiders starting QB next year; but I will be in shock (needing CPR) if Davis cuts Russell... simply not going to happen.

Same with DHB. Consider these just wasted roster spots next year, like Nick Miller and Javon Walker this year. Only with Russell and H-Bey, they will hit the field show us again what we already know.

FYI, Wes Welker has 105 rec with three games to play. Branch had 60 in his best season. I wouldn't want to compare these guys, and certainly wouldn't say Welker is better than Branch, but this demonstrates how much the game has changed. The bar for WRs is much higher now than ever.

5:02 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

hey, Russell is lost-man,

and now we have loss-man.

what, stevie wonder wasn't availabe ??

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Raided Nate 75 said...

JP Lossman signed. Jim Fassell (Lossman's coach in the UFL) at the Raiders-Skins game on Sunday has the mediots speculating that he will replace Cable.

Cable needs help with offensive play calling. Right now, it is offensive (sorry, couldn't help the play on words). Gradkowski proved that the offense can run properly; but the fact remains that Cable needs help on play calling duties.

I think Fassell (the elder) will be in a role in the front office of "Football Operations"; or what every other team would call "General Manager".

Unfortunately, that would mean his son remains as Special Teams coach; and if there is one category that stinks just as bad as our offense, it is Special Teams.

So does Fassell become coach next year, with Lossman as our QB (33 TDs and 34 INTs), or does Fassell become "Manager of Football Operations"? Either way, does it make the Raiders better?

5:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Browns are negotiating with Mike Holmgren to take over their football operations.

There's no time like the present.

Let's not kid ourselves; Davis has no intention of handing the keys over to anybody, now or during the offseason.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jamarcus, got a new gig for ya:

"Losman turned down opportunities for a backup role in the NFL this season so that he could get playing time in the UFL. Rick Mueller, the general manager of all four UFL teams, said that's a path many players will look at taking in future years".

LasVegas needs you! (We need you to go to LasVegas).

-moshbucket

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and take Walker with you. He can show you the ropes out there.


On the lighter side, I was eliminated from fantasy playoffs this weekend, I needed Fitz and Vernon to have good games, didn't happen.
So i decided to flush my roster and fill them with Raiders (Grad and Frye to start). I alerted a couple of people to watch the waiver wire, and my commish got all pissy about "that's not fair", and locked down all transactions. So my Fantasy League is now a Fascist League, and and if Losman starts, I won't have a QB anyway. F-em. I'm done with Fascist Football. It taints the game anyway.

-moshbucket

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...yea, I'm a sore looser. Big woop. Wanna fight about it?

-moshbucket

PS: I hope SOMEONE got the family guy reference.

7:03 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

Calico:

Vent.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

100. For some reason, I'm not all that excited about it this time.

---Jeff

8:42 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Realist:

Beating dead horses is what we do here now. We've long since stopped talking about football.

9:06 AM  
Blogger H said...

Blanda,

Beating dead horses is what we do best.

J.P. Losman has been picked up to take Gradkowski's roster spot for the remainder of the year. Here's the story.

http://tinyurl.com/yglqdpc

His QB rating is better than Russell's and he has thrown for over 30 TD's but also over 30 ints.

H

9:29 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H -

I don't see where Losman is taking Gradkowski's roster spot, at least not in that article. I'd check the official website, but that still doesn't list Johnson as being signed in last off-season.

Blanda -

It's tough to talk about just football and pretend like the overriding organizational problems don't exist.

By all estimations, the decisions and indecisions the Raiders face this off-season will resemble the last seven years... and while I know some here don't like to talk about the last seven years, the results speak for themselves.

Basically, we’re lying in a cesspool of organization stagnation, while other losers like the Browns and Bills are already starting to make waves for their upcoming off-season and 2010 campaign.

10:27 AM  
Blogger H said...

NYRaider,

Taking his spot is an assumption on my part based on Gradkowski going on IR.

Unless Gradkowski isn't going on IR and I have misinformed myself. Which is possible.

H

10:51 AM  
Blogger H said...

This just in:

Charlie Frye to start on Sunday.

H

11:01 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Davis historically places players WAY above coaches (particularly ones that he endorses publicly), so benching Russell in favor of the 3rd string QB appears to me as more a disapproval or rejection of Cable's ability to develop Russell than a loss of faith in Russell.

Davis may have chosen to defer any further development of Russell to an incoming coaching regime (to be hand selected by Davis, again)?

11:28 AM  
Blogger H said...

NYRaider,

Why can't it just be Cable deciding to start Frye? After all he started Gradkowski and things got better.

H

11:59 AM  
Blogger H said...

One additional item. What tells you Russell has Davis' favor still? There have been many players over the years who fell out of favor with Davis.

It may be an audition for the #2 spot. Russell may be on his way out and they need to see what Frye can offer.

H

12:10 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

It's interesting. Losman was Fassel's guy in the UFL, and Fassel was at the game on Sunday. There is no doubt that the idea of picking up Losman was pushed by Fassel. And among the things that Fassel is known for is developing QBs.

I believe that the decision to start Frye was purely Cable's. If he's going down, he's going down with a fight.

But it does make the suggestion that Fassel will somehow be a part of the Raider family next season. However he has also said that he likes being a head coach in the UFL. If that's true, then he wouldn't leave the UFL unless he receives the position of HC or better.

I think this would come down one of two ways. Cable will be gone at the end of the season, to be replaced by Fassel. Or - Fassel is being considered for GM (or equivalent).

12:13 PM  
Blogger H said...

Blanda,

Actually Cable was reading this site. We have been postulating that and Cable wanted to make us look good.

H

12:24 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Fassel will almost certainly be with the Raiders next season. Think about it. The suggestion to sign Losman had to come from him given the timing and circumstances. Losman was considered "the star" of the UFL rosters - he actually shunned the NFL to be assured of starting.

If Fassel believed that he was returning to the UFL next season, it's hard to believe that he'd say to Davis, "here, take my QB."

Fassel will be in the house - but in what capacity?

12:34 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Another thing that would make sense is that there was indeed a competition for the HC job in the off season. And that competition was between Fassel and Cable (I thought it would have been Gilbride which is why they would have kept his name a secret - he's still employed by the Giants).

What might have been laid out is that when the decision was made to go with Cable, Davis told Fassel that if Cable didn't work out, he'd bring him back as HC. In the meantime it was suggested that Fassel accept the UFL offer, and show what he could do with a team in an upstart league.

Since Fassel won a championship, and Cable couldn't produce wins, Fassel is back.

I don't know if you'd call that "due diligence," but it sure makes sense.

12:47 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The idea that Davis never gives up on a player is rediculous. He gave up on Wilson after starting him one season; he gave up on Marinovich after a few games; he gave up on Stabler after back-to-back 9-7 seasons... Giving up on Russell after three seasons would NOT be out of character.

12:51 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H -

I don’t believe the decision to start Frye over Russell is Cable’s alone. Sorry, that’s a reach.

As a team (and as an organization), we should already be preparing for next season (see Bills and Browns). If we are simply auditioning #2 QBs, well that’s pretty sad.

I personally feel that if there’s a chance in hell Russell might start next year, he should be thrown in there now to take more lumps (and be pressed to grow up).

I’ve stated why I believe Russell is still in Davis’ favor. Davis stated publicly that Kiffin didn’t want Russell, but he thought Russell “will be great.”

It doesn’t take an engineer’s ruler to read between those lines.

If he holds true to form, Davis will see nothing except Cable’s inability to develop Russell as what’s keeping Russell off the field.

1:20 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

nyraider, so your position is that Davis NEVER changes his mind, no matter the evidence?

Behold. A QB who can express himself.

When asked how Fassel changed his game....

“He got me to smile, if that makes any sense,” Losman said. “You want to be perfect, just relax and go out there and have a good time. I know that’s an over-arcing theme, but from everything, our fundamentals, our footwork, we just calmed down in the pocket, and every movement was kind of just slower and under control.”

1:56 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Ummm, Blanda. You keep making things up. Why? Marc Wilson had 50 CAREER STARTS as a Raider and played in 96 games total due to injuries and poor QB play from Plunkett (he was prone to interceptions in big bunches at times). So tell me how that equates to Russell's situation again?

I should have known about Branch BTW. As much as I loved the guy, he doesn't deserve to be a HOFer. He was an average WR in the NFL at best. He made some big catches though, but that's not enough for HOF status. Tim Brown is the best Raider receiver of all time IMO. Well, unless you want to count Jerry Rice.

-JC

2:18 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Blanda is still living through the Plunkett model. Truth is this: Plunkett had a great supporting cast and he threw for more interceptions than TD's. That won't work with this team.

2:22 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

I think Davis doesn't want to destroy Russell's confidence more than it already has been. So I'm sure he and Cable can find some agreement on that point. But I don't doubt for a second that Davis still thinks Russell is salvageable. Besides, Al isn't going to pay money to Russell to sit at home. That just isn't going to happen. No way, now how.

2:25 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

onandonadon, how long have you been a Raider fan? Fifteen minutes?

2:26 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Blanda, I seem to know more about them than you. Sad to say...

2:30 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

He got me to smile???? Good grief! This is evidence of what?

2:32 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

How old are you? Fifteen minutes?

2:33 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

NY, will you stop please...can't you see that Blanda is creaming his shorts because Al is making a power move?

Blanda is full of pride that Al is taking things under control and setting us up for ....drum roll....Fassel and Losman. Yup, change we can believe in...right Blanda?

No more of this fool called Cable, no more of Russell and his 50 Million....Blanda says we got Fassel and Losman and that's good enough for me.....huuurahhhh...happy days are here again...cause Blanda says there here again oh and how I can hear that band again..happy days are here again!!!!! 3 cheers for Al, Fassel and Losman ....hip hip hurrah.

JONES

2:45 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Dear onandonandonandon:

Welcome to the world of Blanda...it is a curious world, one with funny walls, they just keep moving round in a circle...you think something is concrete but back comes the Blanda...on his white horse, to move those walls once again....logic is never a priority, it's scoffed at, ridiculed, distorted. Topics are to be manipulated into some weird and twisted reality...it's something to behold, really.

Anyways, welcome to Blanda world....where walls keep moving.............

JONES

2:53 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"nyraider, so your position is that Davis NEVER changes his mind, no matter the evidence?"

He changed his mind about hiring a GM.

The answer to your question regarding Russell is, No. It's just that I think the circumstances are stacked against it wrt to Russell, at least for another year.

Will you concede that, in Al Davis' mind, there's probably some belief that the coaching, not the player, is responsible for this mess?

If we have a new coach next year and Russell remains, we'll have our answer. If we keep both, well, then some will say we're really f'd... which may be the case anyway if no GM is brought on board.

How many times can one pirate ship sink before "we" find the leak?

3:17 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

I get it Blanda. You resort to name-calling when cornered. So how many games did Marc Wilson start again? *chuckle*

3:37 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Let's imagine this for a minute.

Now close your eyes, and focus really hard.

Can you see it ?

Do you see Jim Fassel standing on the sidelines wearing a headset, as HC of the Raiders ?

Do you see JP Losman barking out the signals, under center as Qb of the Raiders ?

Is anyone excited yet ?

I didn't think so.

Ok, you can open your eyes now. It was all just a bad dream.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

onandonandonandon,

BozoRock has just finally admitted that JahDummy is a fat bust! You see hes an old school dreamer with his best days past him (hmmm reminds me of someone else ahhhALDAVISchoooo *cough*sniff* sorry im allergic to bullshit)and his only role here is like watching grandpa catch himself on fire many times over, tragicly but funny, and we putting him out with laughter and patting his little over worked dust for brain cells.

So your opinions on players not deserving to be on the field like DHB (and McFadden which he also holds in high regards) go on literally on old def ears of grandpa BozoRockingChair hanging on to is stubborn ways and staying on practiclly burnt down bandwagons when most first jumped out when smoke appeared and way after the blaze picked up....but not old grandpa BozoRockingChair, instead its like watching a Chevy Chase National Lampoon Movie.

Laughter for all to witness and remember. So you see he will come around with DHB and RDMC and we will be there with our grins from cheek to cheek and chuckles.... but for now dance monkey dance!!!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I'm glad Cable/Davis decided to choose Frye over Russell as the starter. The other players deserve to have a QB behind center that they respect and will give them a chance to win.

Personally, I was suprised that Gradkowski earned the #2 QB slot over Frye. By all accounts, Frye has an extremely good work ethic, sense of professionalism, and complete dedication to his craft. He has a strong arm and good mobility.

I'm also pleased that we signed Losman who has the physical tools and right attitude to be a good candidate to have his career rebound.

I don't have a problem with Fassell being under consideration for the HC in 2010. He had success at NY in a very difficult and unforgiving market. However, to change HC (or QB) by itself will not get it done. A GM needs to be hired and a SERIOUS HC hiring process needs to be conducted.

The easy (and lazy) approach of interviewing 1 or 2 candidates, cutting Russell, and placing the blame for the failures on Russell/Cable is NOT due dilligence.

Due dilligence is turning over as many rocks as necessary, interview as many candidates as possible for BOTH GM and HC. Anything less is pure negligence.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, Raider00.
Why for the past several yrs has Fassel's name not been associated with any other organization other than the Raiders? Why are all the elite GMs and coaches being discussed for other teams? (Al Davis)

Once again the Raiders are like the geeky boys in the back of the room, none of the pretty girls want to dance with them.

JF

5:52 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

Buffalo fires Jauron and interviews two coaches that would return the Nation. Cleveland is courting Holmgren to be their GM. The "Team of the Decades" announces Frye as the new capt. of the Titanic.
It is all Al's fault.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

It is now the middle of December. We've got 3 games to play but more importantly, Daviss need to start actively preparing for the 2010 season.

The NFL has become a 12 month business. There are countless important matters that need to be attended to and addressed in a short amount of time.

First and foremost, if Davis is serious about hiring a GM for next season, he needs to get busy making a prospective candidate list, researching each candidate's situation, making prelimary calls, making plans to meet with candidates over the next few weeks up through January.

If there is a serious search, Davis would understand the urgency of the timeline and hiring of a GM to allow the GM the necessary time for a HC search, player evaluation, draft, free agency etc.

Does anyone on this board believe (a) Davis will hire a GM (b) is practicing due dilligence?

I don't. I hope I'm wrong and Davis is actively seeking to fill this vacancy and has already begun to work on this important matter. Based on the last 4,5 HC searches, Davis will let time slip away and as the viable candidates get hired elsewhere, we will resort to the late, easy, lazy, last resort type choice out of convenience.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico,

your point about the Nfl being a 12month business is a great one.

And let's face it. Al Davis is 79 yrs old. in 7 months, he'll turn 80.

Don't know about the rest of you, but most 79 yr olds I know, wake up late, go to sleep early, and take a nap or two in between.

I don't mean to sound cruel, but as we sink into yet another 11 loss season, it's time to be honest.

Our GM is 79 yrs old. it's time to ask real questions.

what time does our GM arrive at Raiders facility each day ?

How many hours does he spend at the facility ?

How many practices does he attend ?

What time does he leave the facility ?

How much game video is he able to watch ?

I could go on and on.

the point is, at age 79, with bad wheels, and seemingly no help, how many real hours does Al Davis put into running his football team ?

would it really surprise anyone to learn that every other GM in the league is outworking, and out hustling Al Davis ?

9:27 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"And let's face it. Al Davis is 79 yrs old. in 7 months, he'll turn 80."

I've time-warped back to this blog last year.

To answer your question, Calico, no. No, Davis will not hire a GM. No, Davis will not perform an exhaustive coaching search; unless, of course, one phone call to an actual candidate is exhaustive... it might be at age 80.

IMO, either Fassel or Cable will be the Raiders’ HC in 2010. No worries, we can easily wait until after the Combine to decide on one of these guys. Neither is being, nor will be courted by other teams.

The Bills and Browns might not have the answers to their problems, but at least they have a plan.

If after seven years of this BS, (80-yr old) Al Davis can’t make THE most important decision about the long-term well being of the Raiders, then he never will.

4:25 AM  
Blogger H said...

Wait a minute. Help me understand this. Russell is still one of Al’s favorites, but the decision to start Frye over Russell came from Al. Something doesn’t compute about that scenario.

Onandonadon,

The “Plunkett” model, as you put it, actually works quite well in the NFL. Quarterbacks considered second rate, washed up or bust, many times catch on to other team and do quite well. Just on memory there’s Billy Kilmer, Earl Moral, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon, Doug Williams, Brad Johnson. I’m sure there are others, but I’ve only had two cups of coffee this morning.

Also, Blanda didn’t call you a name; he asked you two simple questions. Using terms like “BozoRock” and “Blanduh” and other even more flowery labels, now that’s name calling. There’s a major difference between sarcasm and name calling.

Now, it is rumored that Russell will be told to do a mega restructure or be cut. Russell has some major soul searching to do. He still has his lottery winning signing bonus (unless he has managed to spend up 30 million already), but he owes one to the team. If he doesn’t restructure the players will lose what little remaining respect they have for the guy.

H

6:39 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Sure it computes H. The scenario keeps getting tossed around that Russell is done for good because he is getting benched. But traditionally, young QB's have been benched when playing poorly for a couple of reasons: one is that you don't want to shake the kid's confidence even more when he is playing poorly, and two is that you don't want a young QB to get stuck in bad habits: the only way to unlearn bad habits is not on the field, but in in practice and watching from the bench. Again, there's no way Al is letting go of his investment just yet.

And the "Plunkett model" refers to having a QB who throws for more interceptions than TD's: that model won't work with this team, and Lossman is THAT kind of QB. There, I said it twice.

As far as name-calling; yes, Blanda on more than one occasion questioned by allegiance to the team, my knowledge of the game and and said I was "15 minutes old." He's also insinuated that I don't know the difference between a spread offense and a traditional old-school NFL offense, as employed by Maryland. Funny, when it escaped him that many teams in the NFL are in fact running some type of spread offense. In fact, the most successful offensive teams in the NFL are doing so. Anyway, this is the petty shit that HE resorted to after I presented facts that conflicted with his biased view. I don't get why people choose to live in denial about Al Davis, or to protect his poor decisions. We are the 3rd to 4th 'losingest' team in the NFL in the last 20+ years. Says it all, doesn't it?

7:14 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Another thought: Cable (speaking for Davis) told us that H-bey played in a more pro-style offense and therefore would develop faster than Crabtree. Of course, as I said, most good offenses in the NFL employ a version of the spread offense. Here's where the irony kicks in: JaMarcus Russell played in a spread offense in college. You would think we'd at least try to work with his skill set and get a receiver in the draft he'd be comfortable with. Do you want a guy who runs fast in a straight line without pads, or do you want a guy who gets off the ball quicker, with great route running ability and great hands? Hmmmmm. The insinuation by Cable (Davis) was that route running wasn't employed in spread offense, and that Marylands's offense was more 'sophisticated' and therefore prepares a player better for the NFL. Now that's just DUMB. I can't believe Cable really thought that. Now Al is another story.

7:40 AM  
Blogger RaiderRealist said...

If we do get a GM it won't be Bruce Allen. He just got hired to be the executive vice president/GM of the Redskins:

http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/12/17/redskins-hire-allen-as-new-gm/

7:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Wow! Dan Synder hires a GM!! A GM right off our x-mas wish list, no less. Does this mean that Gruden is their next HC?

Add Redskins to the list of losers that are doing something to remedy their problems.

Leave Raiders on the list of losers.

H -

Maybe Davis has lost faith in Cable, and that's why Russell won't be starting.

As I said before, it's no mystery that Davis holds players above coaches.

Alternately, the explanation posted above by onandon is the most logical; but logic isn't always applied in Oakland.

9:11 AM  
Blogger H said...

Onandonadon,

“As far as name-calling; yes, Blanda on more than one occasion questioned by allegiance to the team, my knowledge of the game and and said I was "15 minutes old." He's also insinuated that I don't know the difference between a spread offense and a traditional old-school NFL offense, as employed by Maryland.”

That’s still not name calling.

“But traditionally, young QB's have been benched when playing poorly for a couple of reasons: one is that you don't want to shake the kid's confidence”

He’s been the starter for over 30 games. Gradkowski was signed in the offseason with exactly one season less experience in the NFL and zero in this system and was lights out better. If Russell’s confidence ain’t shot after seeing that, it should be. I do believe most of his problems are in his head along with a not so great attitude at the moment. He should be embarrassed when he gets his game check.

“And the "Plunkett model" refers to having a QB who throws for more interceptions than TD's: that model won't work with this team, and Lossman is THAT kind of QB. There, I said it twice.”

You can say it ten more times if you like, but my version of the “Plunkett Model” is where the quarterback bust his butt for a team, then gets tossed onto the trash heap and is blamed for a team’s problems when the people around him are crap. Then another, more talented, team picks him up and he takes them to the playoffs in multiple years. At least when Plunkett threw an interception he didn’t go into a shell, he kept firing, and winning.

H

9:15 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Every year there are losing teams at the bottom of the league that stand out as making sound decisions regarding searching, interviewing and hiring GMs and/or HCs who are then charged with assembling a staff to implement a professional football program.

That doesn't mean the results will always be fruitful, but at least there's a professional plan of action to carry them through the process.

Mostly, these same teams aren't at the bottom rung of the NFL every year (certainly not for seven consecutive years), so they must be doing something right.

Insanely, the Raiders refuse to follow even the most basic and obvious components of successful team models (on or off the field). The results have been excruciating for any loyal fan. Under present management, the Raiders are an absolute disgrace to the NFL and to their fans.

So, as fans, we shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about who will start at QB this week. We should all be screaming for the process of healing this organization to begin.

The Redskins, Browns and Bills seem to understand the process, just like the Jets, Chiefs, Broncos, et al did last year.

When will the Raiders wake up?

9:53 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Totally agreed nyraider.

H, I won't argue over semantics. If someone doesn't have an argument when facts are presented and they resort to some personal slight, then that's weak. No two ways about it in my book.

As far as the "Plunkett model." We don't need a QB who keeps firing. Plunkett had a phenomenal D and running game. We don't have that here. More interceptions than TD's won't cut it in today's game. What we need is a game manager and a creative offensive system. Lossman is the wrong QB in that regard. Gannon was not a failed QB when he came here. Ask KC fans what they thought about losing him.

10:03 AM  
Blogger H said...

Onandononandon,

Ok, let’s see. Fassel isn’t in the NFL because all these brilliant GM’s didn’t want him, yet Gannon was let go by three GM’s even though he was the greatest thing since perforated toilet paper.

Gannon’s reputation when he came to the Raiders was he was a journeyman backup. Period. He had starting chances and was replaced in each one of them. His presence the first season did not improve the team’s record from the year before. Gruden saw him as a “fit” for his offense that was based on power running and short ball control passing.

I really like that we brought Gannon in, but anyone can say they saw his greatness back then. Hell, I was living in New England when Plunkett played for the Patsies. I saw how he played, every game, every down. He put his all into that team, playing with shoulder separations and other injuries.

When he took over in 1980, I knew he finally had the talent around him to get to the playoffs. That remains my all time favorite Raider team. And, by the way, every team that wins the Super Bowl is more than just their quarterback. Gannon had a good running game and a strong defense to back him up also.

And, we do need someone who keeps firing. As soon as you start being afraid to throw the next one, you are toast as a quarterback and you are useless to your team. When you get sacked on third down, you need to get up, get angry and come back firing. Don’t just trot off the field and shrug your shoulders. Gradkowski did all those things and the team responded. Russell trots off the field and shrugs his shoulders, and the team responded appropriately. End of story.

I’m done with this dead horse, he’s so bloated and swollen if we beat him any longer he’ll explode.

H

10:53 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

You just go ahead and keep putting your faith in the past H. I'm looking towards the future. 20+ years of gambling paid off how many times? Once maybe. Thems are low odd muh friend. Facts are a bitch.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

don't want this to pass without a comment.

early this week, top rated college QB, Jake Locker of the washington huskies, decided not to enter the NfL draft, and return for one more season.

This means, of course, that Locker will probably be sitting there for the Patriots, using the Raiders traded pick, in the first round.

The rich get richer, and the Raiders keep losing.

Nice job by our all powerful, GM Al

3:49 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

NY-

I think the lack of any tangible, demonstrable movement in the direction of becoming a well run org., i.e., gm coach search, is what frustrates many of us. The Frye start might actually mean something tea leaves wise.
Perhaps Russell's horrendous play has gotten someone to realize the mistake in picking him.
Frye is a movement forward, of sorts. Maybe?
The reason why I say IAAF is AD does the draft. He also, in all likely hood, picked DHB and a host of other terrible picks that sets the team back for years.

I still have difficulty understanding why someone, certainly not herrera but maybe Trask, within the org., doesn't say to AD-"Commitment to Excellence, Team of the Decades?
"Look, this is not working."

Maybe when there are three people at the ravens blow-out.

Three more weeks-
I can't wait for this season to end. This is really how I feel.
But if nothing really changes, what does it matter.
It is sad how they have lost me.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Onandonadon:

I for one, appreciate your football insight. However, in the case of Losman, it is far too early in his career to say he is a certain type of QB or one who will throw more INTs than TDs.

Yes, in his 1st few years in the league that was the case. There are a gazillion factors that impacted his INT/TD ration. With many young QB like Losman there is a natural learning curve and fork in the road for their career. He has been humbled. He has learned from his early mistakes. He has new insight into the QB position. The key, IMO, is matching up the personnel, system, playcalling, QB so that it highlights the strengths and minimizes the weaknesses.

A PERFECT example is Gannon. The west coast offense + power running game was a GREAT fit for Gannon's strengths as a QB. A hybrid of the West Coast offense and spread offense would be ideal for Gradkowski.

What is sad and pathetic is that we are constantly changing our QB and HC. We go from the west coast offense to the Gilliam offense to the vertical offense and back and forth with each new QB and HC.

When you are constantly changing your QB + HC, how do you identify the system you run? the personnel that fits?

8:11 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00:

In reference to your question;

"would it really surprise anyone to learn that every other GM in the league is outworking, and out hustling Al Davis ?"

No. This is all the more reason why an 80 year old owner desperately needs to hire a GM. We are at a distinct competitive disadvantage since the role of GM requires MEGA hours 24/7/365 and has a HUGE impact on the team's fortunes.

8:17 PM  
Blogger x said...

Let's not blow Losman's TD-INT ratioo out of proportion. He only had one more INT (34) than TDs (33) and it was on a bad team.

I know it's hard to be optimistic as a Raider fan, but look at his college TD-INT ratio. It was an excellent 60-27. I'm hoping we got that guy.

To boot, the guy has a great work ethic and attitude - more like Ski and Frye than Russell.

8:37 PM  
Blogger x said...

Crazy thing is....if Al would've drafted strictly by stopwatch speed in 2008 like he did this year with DHB, the Raiders would have Chris Johnson instead of McFadden, who's looking very average.

9:03 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

When we compare ANY QB next to Russell they have good work ethic! I've seen Lossman play on numerous occasions. He was booed right out of Buffalo. I'll grant you that he a lot more skills than Russell. But he's a low IQ QB. No amount of hard work is going to overcome his lack of field vision. Don't get me wrong: he could be the best QB we have, since what we have is not all that great. But there's no 'next Rich Gannon' here. More like a Jay Schroeder.

-JC

9:07 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Okay Calico, I'll hold out some hope for Lossman. He actually does have an arm. But what I saw was a guy that had the mentality of a Farve, but with a mcuh slower release and less zip. Can he be turned into a game manager rather than a gunner? Hard to do, but that's where he needs to go IMO. He's one of those guys that holds on to the ball for far too long.

9:11 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Agreed Calico about using the spread for Grad. You see the Niners are starting to do that with Alex Smith. You look at the best teams in the league right now, and all of them have high powered passing offenses, and all of them are employing some version of a spread offense. The old mentality of running it down a team's throat is not as effective as it once was. Teams are stacking the box against teams with elite running backs, and employing sophisticated zone coverages. Look at how much better the Vikings are this season with Farve. Look at Tennessee once Vince Young came back and Fischer started realizing that Young can actually throw the ball accurately. Passing rules the day. You can't win a lot of games without a high-octane offense, and the spread is the way to make that happen.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Ideally, the Raiders would place a HUGE emphasis on rebuilding/upgrading the OLine irregardless of who is the HC or QB or what type of offensive system.

With Gallery's serious back injury, we really only have 1 OLineman (Henderson) who is safely in place for 2010.

9:55 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

The O-line is another reason why we should run more of a spread offense: more time and more options for the QB.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

x,
I mentioned the stop watch/Chris Johnson thing about a month ago. But you must consider that the Flaming Thumbtacks have stable coaching, a fair offense, a good O-line. I seriously doubt he has anywhere near as much success here than he has had there.

CJ,
Henderson being the only spot set for next year really spotlights how crappy our line is. Dude leads the league in sacks allowed (I think). Sure, alot of that was due to Jamrcus the Tree back there, but still kinda scary.

-moshbucket

6:49 AM  
Blogger H said...

Onandonadon,

“You just go ahead and keep putting your faith in the past H. I'm looking towards the future. 20+ years of gambling paid off how many times? Once maybe. Thems are low odd muh friend. Facts are a bitch.”

I’ve reached an age where I have much more past than future. So excuse me if I refuse to hang out with the albinos in the pit if despair. Yeah, facts are a bitch. I just find it amusing that facts are only allowed for specific timeframes.

As for Losman being booed out of town, the same thing happened to a guy named Plunkett on two sucky teams. So Buffalo blamed everything on Losman, he has been replaced by the mighty Trent Edwards and they brought in the fabulous T. O., and the Buffalo Chips have done what? Edwards’ passer rating for the season is 74.1 Losman’s is 75.6 for his career. Edwards is 6 TD’s and 7 Int’s for the year, Losman is 33 and 34 respectively for his career.

The Chips have won exactly one more game than us. Yep, it was all Losman’s fault.

We have seen what this team can do with what most folks would call an upgrade to average at the quarterback. Even if it was for only three games.

At the beginning of the season I said we could make the playoffs if Russell showed just steady, though unspectacular, improvement from last year. Instead he went backwards.

Now, we know who you don’t want at quarterback (which is pretty much everyone), so how about enlightening us on just who should be brought in at the position since you recognized Gannon’s greatness at Minnesota, DC and KC (and probably at Delaware too)? And, just how do we get them here?

H

7:55 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Senor H:

I know your question wasn't directed at me but I'll take a stab at it ...

Assuming Frye shows that he is a capable backup/starter over the next 3 weeks, we should have a healthy competition between Gradkowski, Losman, and Frye in 2010.

I don't think we should draft a QB. I don't think we need to go the free agency route (just yet). Free agency should be to target an OLineman, WR, LB.

10:46 AM  
Blogger H said...

Calico,

That's Senior H, to you (just kidding).

Yours is the same approach I would take. I'm not even sure I would offer Russell the chance to renegotiate.

That is unless he agreed to the league minimum with an invite to camp and no guaranteed roster spot. He would have to earn everything just like the other three.

I believe we could win with the combination of Gradkowski/Losman as starter and backup. But, that is predicated on major upgrades on the O-Line, which we have all wanted for several years now.

The defense is definitely playing better as a unit. The stats don't show it yet, but we are showing more disipline for "most" of the games and our pressure is better, and we are blitzing more. Routts first play when he came in for Nnamdi was a corner blitz.

I miight dither with you a bit on wide receiver, I would like to see what this crew can do with a quarterback that throws the ball to them instead of over their heads to the deep safety or over their heads out of bounds. I don't think we really have a handle on what these guys can do yet.

H

12:11 PM  
Blogger H said...

Take,

Are you getting paid for these ads this clown is posting?

Tell 'em you'll block 'em unsell they pay you.

H

5:01 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, I have no idea who these ass clown spammers are. I will delete 'em as I see 'em. That one slipped through the cracks.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous blackbagonia said...

mosh - don't be so hard on Henderson. He's done pretty well for us and penalties from that spot remain low. He is far from the leader in sacks allowed according to fanhouse:

Most Sacks Through Week 12

9:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's practically official; Russell may be the biggest $$$ bust ever in the NFL.

http://tinyurl.com/y88z5jn

Raiders can dump Russell and his $3 million salary next year. The cap hit, should a CBA be completed or some other cap provision made, could be up to $18 milion.

Meanwhile, Russell will have collected about $40 million from the Raiders; a pretty tidy sum for the work he's put in.

Something needs to be done about rookie salaries. This is criminal.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Rookie contracts should be only 3 years not 5 or 6 years. The NFL should adopt a similar model/pay scale of the NBA for rookie contracts.

If you prove yourself in the 1st 3 years then you are rewarded in your 1st contract as a free agent or an earned extension by your existing club.

If you lay an egg or get injured, your next contract reflects your worth.

If you look at Russell's value to the club over the past 3 years, it paints a rather grim picture.

Year 1:
Huge contract/bonus after holdout. Wasted 1 year of development.

Year 2:
1st year as starter; took a few steps forward in development but still far from a reliable signal caller; below average productivity.

Year 3:
Major steps back in performance, fitness, attitude, growth. He killed the 2009 season cold in it's tracks.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Take,

these spammers might give al davis an idea.

don't be surprised to see al trying to sell 10% of Raiders right here on Raidertake.

any takers ??

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no conspiracy theorist, although we do seem to get screwed in key situations more than most.

BUT, this has been the WORST one-sided officiated half I have EVER seen. A bad call is one thing, but not reviewing close plays inside 2 minutes is flat out HOME COOKING.

-moshbucket

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I called that Denver TD to take the lead as soon as they said Route was covering Marshal.
-moshbucket

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here comes Jamarcus, pimpin' in the clown car. Oh well. The 'Frye' was fun while it lasted.
(PLEASE prove use wrong, fat ass!).

3:41 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

It is so frustrating, Murphy was wide open and Russell under throws him, and I understand this has been said a million times before, but I don't understand how he can be so inaccurate on wide open receivers.

And it may or may not be a coincidence, but as soon as Russell comes into the game the defense gives up a huge play to Stokely on the next series.

I'm watching this on tape delay, and we are in delay because of the laser light pointer. I feel like chanting "let them play!"

:-)

4:08 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Oh my... lol

Kelly just mooned half of Investco.

;-)

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Hail Fat Bastard!!!

He took a crap that choked the donkey's!!!!!

-moshbucket

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take,

Here's something to write your next take about.
Would Jamarcus been able to complete that drive at HOME?

Because we all know the half full stadium would have been boo-ing the chit out of him.

-moshbucket

4:44 PM  
Blogger Mr.Duva32 said...

Coach Flores says it best as he's talking to Papa about JaBuster's game play.

"JaMarcus played very well in the last 3 mins of the game to pull a win from behind against all odds. Why he can't play like this every week, is beyond me? I don't know why that is."

Papa says," Well Coach it does take time for QB's to develop in this game?" “Yes, it does but there needs to be progress," says Flores.

It's beyond me, but it’s a win. The question hers is, Russell still has a lot to learn about managing the game and studying like he wants to change this course of these teams’ woes. I guess we'll see what happens the next 2 weeks and how Al deals with this situation during the offseason.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

So does the win promote Russell to the starting QB now?

4:53 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I’ll say it again; every time Bush gets significant carries in a game, he proves himself. WTF will it take to get him regular playing time?

Frye schooled Russell almost as much as Gradkowski. Russell has a long ways to go before he can be a legit starting QB. I’m happy for him and his 5 minutes of glory, but in no way do I want to see him playing behind center next season. He and H-Bey are both wasting everyone’s time.

Congrats to the Raiders for a nice win in Denver! It was fun to watch.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I liked everything I saw in Frye.

He moved the chains, had complete command of the huddle and playbook, and managed the game.

In spite of the late 3:00 heroics of Russell, he does too many things poorly to give the team a legit shot to win, game in game out.

Sacks, fumbles, indecision, blown time outs, poor body language, dumb down playcalls, etc.

A great win but it just goes to show you that we are FAR better off with a competent game manager who works hard, is dedicated, and studies the playbook (see Grad, Frye) then a guy who is ill prepared, inaccurate, and immobile.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed he's still not ready to start. To many balls in the dirt, and another strip-sack. I never even heard that term until this year, and JR could patent that one.
Lucky on the PI on Murph on that last drive. But when it's all said and done, Just Win, Baby!

On the bright side, he did seem to have his head in the game before Frye went out. He was hanging out with Cable and generaly seemed to be paying close attention. If his salary is 3mil, and the cap hit is 18mil next year, get used to it, he's staying. Not telling what's going to happen with the cap though, so that's really up in the air.

It's amazing what a decent back can do when the line actually opens a hole or two. Bush did look good. I'm still kind of confused about the Skins game, and how he didn't get a single snap. Darren looked quick. He doesn't have blazing top speed, but his acceleration on the few gainers he had was nice. Hated to see him cough one up.

And finally, lets give some props to the D. They hung in there, and didn't pack it in when fat bastard came in.

-moshbucket

8:25 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

don't get too excited about russell folks, it was LUCK! he still doesn't work hard, study hard, stay late and leaves early and is still FAT!

it was the D that kept us in this game, along with the running game.

good win! let's hope grad or frye can come back! frye was actually doing pretty good before he got hurt.

11:19 PM  
Blogger H said...

Scorpio,

I don’t think anyone here is overly excited about Russell. I would venture to a man, woman or child, we are hoping Frye is healthy enough to start.

NYRaider,

Rookie salaries are something we can completely agree on. Ryan Leaf lived quite well for years after he was out of the league, just on his bonus. At least he was smart enough to not blow it, like he did his career.

Also, agreed on Bush. He’s the reason I felt we didn’t need to take McFadden. And, that McFadden fumble is one of the knocks on him. He is just gets a little too loose with the ball. The Bush fumble we recovered was just a perfect hit on the ball.

Moshbucket,

The replay officiating in the last two minutes was actually worse last week in my opinion. They looked at a replay that took a completion away, and refused to look at one that might have reversed an incompletion for us.

The Murphy unsportsman like penalty was “somewhat” justified. The pass was definitely incomplete, but he has had several close ones taken away on review where I don’t think the evidence was convincing and irrefutable.

On the pass interference call, that was about as blatant as you can get. It almost looked like the DB was trying to take Murphy’s helmet off.

Good analysis Calico. As I said last week we saw what this team is capable of with an upgrade to what many would consider “average” at quarterback. According to the announcers, Frye wants to be a coach when his playing days are over. It showed in the way he projected leadership.

My favorite play of the game was when Frye fake pumped the quick slant and handed off to Bush on third and 9 and got the first down. Russell is too slow in his motions to pull that off. Your arm motion has to be super quick to freeze the DB’s.

Seeing Frye, I now know why Gradkowski was the number 2. Doctor Evil is a bit more mobile and maybe a step or two faster. But they both share a competitive fire that Russell doesn’t seem to have.

I think the telling shot of the broadcast was after Frye was knocked out of the game (with a helmet to the chin that was not called by the way), was during the last five minutes when the three year veteran who plays like a rookie was on the bench, Gradkowski was going over the game photos from the booth with him. The four year guy was mentoring the three year guy. That showed the difference between the two. That’s why the team responded more to Gradkowski and Frye. Indications are if Frye is healthy, he starts next Sunday.

On defense, only 80 yards rushing, 278 passing (over 60 came on one play) and three sacks. Lots of pressure with several blitzes coming from all angles. Like I said last week, this defense is playing way better than last year. We have 31 sacks and 55 tackles for loss with two games to play. Last year it was 32 and 36 respectively for the season. Nine of the sacks have come from positions other than the DL. Trevor Scott has 6, but I read somewhere that 4 of those have come since his switch to linebacker.

Even though it was only a one point win it was a very good overall effort by the team, and a very good coaching effort by Cable. The team was ready to play. Now, if he can put two in a row with the Brownies I would vote for him to return.

H

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kind of ironic that our wins are coming against the teams we were all sure would be losses, and our losses are against the teams we figured we would have a shot at.

This makes me a little apprehensive going against the browns, and more confident going against the Ravens.

That said, 7-9 is in our grasp, but so is 5-11. If I had to bet on it, I would say 6-10. Either way, let's hope for an exciting finish to another abysmal season.

-moshbucket

7:38 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Glad to see our D applying pressure at the end, instead of the usual prevent D. We were still rushing 4, with bump and run at the LOS.

I have a bad feeling about next week. The Browns are playing better, they're at home, and the Raiders have yet to prove they even show up for games following a win (0-4).

8:54 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Russell was a mirage. What we saw was the team's determination not to lose because of him. I say that because Russell didn't even bother to throw on the sideline before coming in - even though Frye remained on the field as long as possible to give him time.

That's the reason he was so bad on the first drive.

What is becoming clear to me, if not others, is that there is nothing wrong with Cable's offense or Marshall's defense, but both require the team plays like a team. Since Russell's benching, they've begun to put it together as a team to the point where not even Russell could kill them.

Whether or not Cable is fired, if this team continues to play like a team, that will be Cable's doing. And he's the first coach that has been able to do that since Gruden.

10:23 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Restating what I've been saying for a long time.

Every team uses a base offense and a base defense. Several teams use a run first, deep strike offense (such as Pittsburgh), while a much fewer number operate a 4-3, m2m as a base defense. Every team attempts to perfect their base system, while incorporating aspects of other systems over time.

The 4-3, m2m is the MOST difficult defense to master as a base because it requires two shut-down corners, safeties who can play both the run and the pass, four linemen who can provide unassisted pressure, a WILL who can stop the run and a SAM who can cover the TE.

That lineup is damned difficult to build, but once you have it, you can do almost anything. The model is the defense the Raiders fielded in 1983. (And I know I'm going to hear that 1983 is too ancient for modern football - where we have brilliant new things like the Wildcat formation - which is the fricken single wing invented 80 years ago.)

We are now getting a lot of pressure from our front four. Both of our corners can cover m2m. Branch can play both the run and cover on pass plays - and Huff has benefited from his time as a SS. Moving Scott to (Elephant) WILL was a stroke of genius, and moving Howard to SAM gets the TE covered.

The Raiders didn't blitz in the game yesterday hardly at all. All they did was incorporate a "rush to cover" scheme where coverage personnel, assigned to cover players held in to block, became rushers. The same thing that Washington was doing to the Raiders last week.

This is becoming an extremely strong defense. And now that they've begun to finally master the base, the sky's the limit.

10:47 AM  
Blogger H said...

Blanda,

I may need to review the tape once more, but I remember several blitzes. The sacks went to the DL, but that was because the blitzers were picked up leaving the DL one on one. Now I may be miss interoperating your statement, but that’s how I remember it.

The Brownies had to outscore the Chefs and did it with two 100+ yard returns and over 300 yards rushing. But, their defense gave up five plays of 23 yards or more with the longest being 47 yards.

The Brownies defense is next to last in the league and didn’t do themselves any favors against a poor Chef offense. Ours is playing better. The game should be competitive, but I said that about the Washington game. Current forecast is for 31 degrees and light snow.

H

11:33 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, a rush to cover scheme generally results in a sack (if there is one) for one of the defensive linemen. For instance, an LB will be assigned to cover an RB. The RB, instead of taking the ball or releasing on a pass pattern will stay in to double on a d-lineman, but instead of dropping back to cover, the LB then attacks the RB on a rush, leaving the d-lineman on single coverage.

The benefit of the rush to cover is that if prevents double teaming the on the d-line. The problem with a rush to cover is that you can't over use it. If you do, the QB will figure out how to direct where the rush comes from and defeat it.

11:57 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

The rush to cover scheme is part of what Cable discussed last week against Wash. DC kept attacking with that scheme and, according to Cable, Gradkoski was on the verge of defeating it. Russell still couldn't figure out where the rush was coming from which is why he got sacked six times in the 2nd half.

12:02 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

As I said, I was somewhat impressed that Marshall stuck with a pressure D at the end, when we normally would have gone into a prevent.

However, IMO, this defense needs a lot of work. Asomugha's recent comments out of pure frustration are evidence enough that there should be a genuine concern that our "base" defense is significantly flawed in today's game. While we only gave up a couple big gains yesterday, it's been the M.O. of this defense to get burned often by big gains.

On offense, 13 points scored yesterday in the first half is the most for the Raiders in the first half this year. That's scary!!

12:53 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Blanda,

i tend to agree with you on this. when the raiders Qb, no matter who it is, plays well, they seem to find a way to win.

when the Qb shows up, everything else falls into place.

but you have to wonder, where was this running attack all season ?

the zone blocking, bush, & mcfad, beat the hell out of the donks all day.

Question: will we keep giving the carries to bush, or will he disappear again ?

last chance this season to win 2 in a row.

12:58 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

raider00, I too have been wondering about the ground offense when it was so prevelent last season.

All I can figure is that it was put on the back burner this season in order to establish a passing game. With Russell, that never materialized this season, but when they were able to begin to establish it under Gradkowski, they re-opened the running game.

Aside from the team's record this season, my main complaint with Cable is that he can tend to get single minded about some things while neglecting others. But over the long haul that might prove to work for us. He's the first to display this kind of patience with a very young team.

1:37 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

moshbucket:

"Kind of ironic that our wins are coming against the teams we were all sure would be losses, and our losses are against the teams we figured we would have a shot at."

More interesting still. At the beginning of the season, with this schedule, many people were saying at the beginning that if Cable could just beat the beatable teams to a 7-9 record, they'd be convinced we were back on the road to respectability and they'd accept Cable as "the guy." Accentuating the problem was a deluge of injuries on a team in serious need of depth.

Cable could, in fact, wind up at 7-9, only doing it the hard way. And now he'll be facing those same people, who were okay with 7-9, demanding that he be fired.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCAR


Quick drive by here...
Been thinking about the possibility of a 7-9 season.
Before the season began, 7-9 isnt what I was hoping for, but what I WOULD accept as the road to title contention for this core of players.(obviously there are so many more factors involved, but then this wouldnt be a drive-by.) Through the ups and down, IF The Raiders do finish 7-9, my two cents is I got what I wanted this season. So lets beat the Browns this week, the Ravens next week, then plan for a breakout? season next year.
Merry christmas and a happy new year to you all.

SCAR

3:07 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think you guys are oversimplifying by merely stating a W-L record which, btw, isn’t 7-9 yet.

For all the playoff teams we beat this year, it's really pathetic (and a bad reflection on coaching) that we couldn't win the games we were supposed to win.

On avg, Raiders have scored only 11 pts per game, while giving up over 22 pts per game. Most seasons, that wouldn’t even get you five wins. The avg margin of points per game also is indicative of all the blowout losses this year... it’s never been this bad.

Also, the Raiders are at or near the worst in the NFL in almost every offensive and defensive stat.

So, does Cable deserve to come back? That’s open to much debate.

If I thought for a minute that starting DHB from Day 1, then leaving him in there until his injury sidelined him was Cable’s idea, I'd want Cable gone like yesterday.

Let me ask this; if the Raiders go 5-11 and mark their 7th consecutive season with 11 or more losses, do you still want Cable to remain as HC?

4:09 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

NYRaider said:

"Let me ask this; if the Raiders go 5-11 and mark their 7th consecutive season with 11 or more losses, do you still want Cable to remain as HC?"

that's a fair question NY, but what are the options ?

if we're choosing between Cable and Cowher, well, i'll take Cowher.

but if it's Cable or say, Jim Fassel, i'll go with the Cable guy.

also, you can site all the stats you want, but it seems clear to me that things are a little better with the raiders.

before Cable came in, the raiders couldn't even run a 2 minute drill.

now, most of the wins are comebacks.

i'm not saying things are perfect, but the raiders do play hard for Cable.

when the QB plays well, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

do we need to be more consistant ?

do we need more players on offense & defense ?

do we need to find a QB that can play well all the time ?

yes, yes, and yes.

but if you want to blow this team up yet again, for a fassel type, you can count me out.

4:26 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

I'm in the same place raider00 is.

For the last six years there is no way anybody could get these guys to play together. They were too lost in their assignment responsibilities to even acknowledge that they played with others on the field. And even then, they couldn't seem to get their assignments right.

We are being give the chance now to see what this team is capable of doing when they all understand the system and have each other's backs. I agree with Cochran and JMac that the team will march into hell for Tom Cable. I think much of what we are seeing right now is a team united to fight for Cable's job.

That doesn't guarantee that they will pick up at the start of next season where they are leaving off here (like they didn't after last season), but there is certainly enough here to indicate that continuity is the way gamble.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous memdf said...

RT?

4:55 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider 00 -

I think we all know what the options are if we don’t keep Cable; Fassel or Gilbride are probably best case for Al Davis.

“...you can cite all the stats you want, but it seems clear to me that things are a little better with the raiders.”

Not sure I follow this thinking.

The Raiders on occasion played hard for Art Shell. Fact is, after EVERY win this season, the Raiders didn’t even show up.

Week 2 - Broncos 23-3
Week 7 - Jets 38-0
Week 12 - Cowboys 24-7
Week 14 - Redskins 34-14
Week 16 Browns ?

In the four combined losses following wins, we have a 119-24 scoring disadvantage. That’s some bad coaching right there, and that’s not even considering the 29-6 spanking by Houston followed by the 44-7 thrashing at the hands of the Giants (a game I painfully attended), and the inexcusable home loss to the Chiefs.

Re: the 2-min offense, I credit that more to QB play than coaching. Russell can’t; Gradkowski (and probably Frye) can. That’s got less to do with Cable.

Consider this, 2 wins in a row may be unattainable for the Raiders this year. Meanwhile, the Colts have won 23 straight season games, and Turner and the Chargers have won 9 straight.

But we’d “rather be right than consistent.” That’s the mentality of a team that upsets two or three playoff-caliber teams, but ends up with a 6-10 record.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

This season leaves me scratching my head. Some of the head scratching is the proverbial "what if" questions such as;

* What if Cable gave Bush a legit shot to be established as the primary back (15+ carries per game) in stead of erractic cameos?

* What if Cable/Davis didn't play DBH so many snaps in the 1st 11 games?

* What if Russell was removed as the starter early on (ie. week 5 or 6)?

* What if DC Marshall employed a more vaired blitz package like he has the past few weeks and in a few isolated games (Phlly, Cincy).

If you were to tell me that our OLine will be significantly improved this offseason, Grad was our starting QB in 2010, Schilens/Murphy/JLH are our 3 primary WRs, and Bush our primary RB, I honestly think the offense could finally gain consistent traction and balance.

Unfortunately, we have yet to establish any consistency with performance or our usage of personnel on a week to week basis.

It just goes to show you how every decision and tweak has a major impact on results.

I do in fact take issue with how Cable has employed his personnel this season.

If I had to give a prelimary breakdown on whether I feel Cable should stay as HC or be demoted to OL Coach;

5-11 Bye Bye; Another 11 loss season marred by 5+ blowouts

6-10 Pending; Allow Cable to be considered one of the finalists BUT a serious HC search takes place to identify an upgrade.

7-9; Cable deserves another year based on a 3 game winning streak and 2 game improvement over last year.

6:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

As I’ve stated before, short of hiring and empowering a GM, I don’t see the point in replacing Cable, regardless of his record. I just don’t see the benefit of bringing in another coach of a caliber that would be willing to (A) work directly with Davis as GM and (B) accept Davis’ low-scale pay.

So I guess I’m on board with giving Cable a mulligan for playing Russell well past reasonable thinking, playing DHB without a shred of justification, mismanging his RBs and coaching the Raiders to some of the worst blowout losses the team has ever endured. By keeping a HC in place, maybe we can achieve some semblance of mediocrity next season.

Fully empowered, new Redskins GM, Bruce Allen, is already busy assessing and evaluating the Redskins (who wish they could play the Raiders every week). Mike Holmgren was just hired to start the same process for the Browns.

What is Al Davis waiting for? Certainly, his record-breaking consecutive losing seasons is well beyond deserving of his immediate replacement as GM.

6:54 PM  
Blogger H said...

NYRaider,

“What is Al Davis waiting for? Certainly, his record-breaking consecutive losing seasons is well beyond deserving of his immediate replacement as GM.”

Good luck with that one.

Also, I agree the defense needs work. However, it has made significant strides over the last few years, whereas Cleveland’s defense has gone backwards, or so the statistics would say. While the yards per game and points per game are only marginally better, they have been trending down the last few weeks. Sacks will be higher and tackles for loss are significantly higher; which, to me, indicates a more aggressive defense.

Further, this defense is overcoming several years of bad habits. Hence the propensity to surrender a couple of big plays each game. On Sunday, you take away the Stokley play and the Geldings have barely over 200 yards passing. Also, on that play, Routt did not give up. He brought Stokely down. Yes, he got penalized for the tackle, but he prevented the score that would have been the game winner.

It’s not something tangible like sacks are up by a full sack per game, it’s more an attitude on the field. Last year when the defense was in a 3rd and 7, or even a 3rd and 20 for that matter, I would sit back and wait for the impending first down conversion to be given up. This year even when they do give up a first down the opposing offense is paying a price. Tackling technique seems to be crisper and hitting is harder. They are developing an attitude on defense.

As we have seen, when the offense shows up the defense is even more effective. Early on our offense led the league in 3 and outs.

While I disagree with how long it took to bench Russell, as our first round selection we had to find out if he could do the job. The answer for now is a resounding no even on the face of his game winning drive on Sunday.

One of the primary reasons for Russell’s current persona non grata status is his seeming inability to grasp the entirety of the playbook. When Gradkowski was in, and Frye on Sunday, the play calling appeared to be much more varied, and these two haven’t been in the league that much longer. Additionally, they have spent much of their time as backups. Normally when your backup has to start you restrict the playbook, you don’t expand it. We were complaining about how simple and “old fashion” the offense was. It now appears it wasn’t the system, it was the guy doing the driving.

The proof in the pudding came after the Epidermises game when Cable announced Frye would start against the Geldings because, “He gives us our best chance to win.”

And Blanda, most of the lack of a running game early in the season was not to develop a passing game. It was the nonexistence of said passing game. Opposing defenses only had to worry about stopping the running game which they did very well.

JMNLHSO

H

6:10 AM  
Blogger H said...

Blanda,

Ok, we were looking at the same things. Hence the uptick in safety and corner blitzes.

I was just unfamiliar with the term "rush to cover", and I thought I had heard it all.

It's similar to what Saban does at Alabama, I just can't recall the term he uses. It's resulted in a cornerback (Arenas) leading the SEC in tackles for loss. Or, at least one time he was.

This is probably responsible in our major uptick in tackles for loss along with sacks also. The combined sacks and tackles for loss this year will approach 100 whereas last year the total was 68.

It's the only stat I can point to as a indicator of the new found agression on defense. Mostly it's just observation.

H

7:42 AM  

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