Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who Is This Team?

Two weeks ago, after the victory over the Steelers, I observed that the Raiders actually displayed some swagger, something we hadn't seen for a long time. Now I'm sensing something else that's been a long time coming: character.

Do you realize that if DHB doesn't let the ball bounce off his concrete mitts against the Chiefs, we would be looking at four last-minute victories in the past six games? Crikey, that's amazing. As it stands, three last-minute victories out of the last five games is still pretty impressive.

Have you ever seen a more Jekyll-and-Hyde season than this one? We open with a strong showing against the Chargers and a victory over the Chiefs on the road, followed by three embarrassing blowouts, followed by a shocking win over the Eagles, then three more utter embarrassments before going on this 3-2 run of thrilling victories interrupted by untimely incompetence.

Who is this team?

Let's not understimate the potential impact of these last two games. If we win one of them, we will notch our higest victory mark since the Super Bowl season of 2002.

I won't lie: I didn't see this coming.

Who is this team?

Honestly, I'm not sure what my take is right now. This season had all the earmarks of an utter debacle. And then a funny thing happened, we found our mojo at the most unexpected time, in the twilight of a lost season marred by angst and scandal.

Are we finally for real, or is it a cruel mirage? Who is this team?

71 Comments:

Blogger Calico Jack said...

"Who is this team?" is the ultimate question. Swagger & character 1 week and complete blowouts the next.

Even further, what is the identify of this team? Who is our primary RB? Who is our QB for 2010? What will DHB's status be when healthy? Where is the level of consistency? What is the direction? What is our HC & GM situation looking like for 2010?

A ton of unanswered questions that will be partly resolved based on the 2 remaining games. I have never seen so much riding on 2 relatively meaningless games. The unpredicatability of this team is amusing, fascinating, and tortue all rolled into one.

9:49 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

“Who is this team?”

Think for a second about the mismanagement of the following key players and roster spots, and you may have your answer.

Javon Walker - mysteriously benched
DHB - drafted #7 and played to an obsession
Michael Bush - plays when others are injured
Russell - yeah!
Nick Miller - undrafted FA injured entire season on roster

These are just some of the obvious ones.

As pointed out, the Raiders can get up for one game, then get embarrassed for three straight.

This week is our last chance at a 2-game win streak. How sad is that? The Browns are coming off a 2-game win streak, playing at home in the ice and wind.

Perhaps Cable and the Raiders are experiencing growing pains which lead to something better, but they still have to overcome the limitations that are self-imposed by ownership / management who has navigated this team through the worst run of football in NFL history.

To answer your question, RT, this is Al Davis' team.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Tom Cable is doing a good job with his crew. Lets look at a team like seattle. They are 5-9, knowing they will not make the playoffs so they have stoped playing, losing 24-7 to TAMPA! Not us, Cable has this team playing really hard! We can end the year 7-9. And we would knock Baltimore out of the playoffs! Hopefully, the win against Baltimore can act like the win in Kansas City in 1999 when the Raiders went 12-4 the next year.

What we do need is an offensive coordinator, the staff seems to be in place but we need a OC and a WR coach. Maybe demote Ted Tollner to WR coach and hire a Charlie Weis or Mike Martz type of OC. Maybe Al finally hires back Marc Trestman. OR brings in Jim Fassel who says he really wants to coach here.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous memdf said...

This team is indeed a paradox. Cable has them playing hard when you think they might mail it in. Cat calls for an OC yet Cable calls plays that are slightly unorthodox and takes more chances than most OCs would. There is DHBust but then someone also drafted Chaz Schillens.

My guess is that Cable stays and AD brings in a few FAs and maybe an "asst. head coach" type thinking he is close.

My paradox is that I don't think Cable is the answer and we are not close. Yet, I am looking forward to these last two games with the hope that there may be something going on with enough momentum to keep AD appeased and me not pissed off for the whole off season.

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

"Who is this team?"

I like it too. But I also felt the Raiders and their promising young QB had turned the corner when they finished last year with 2 straight impressive wins, going 3-3 over their last 6. Don't want to rain on the parade, but another kooky Al offseason can ruin a lot of the good things that are happening now. I'm pretty much in a semi-permanent "wait and see" mode with the Raiders now, even though I'm happy to see them showing a pulse.

I'm also of the mindset that Russell hasn't learned anything from his benching and his game winning drive may actually be bad for him. He may think he was right all along that he wasn't the problem, and Al may agree with him.

Sorry to ruin the party!

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I see some consistency I'll believe.

JF

7:00 AM  
Blogger H said...

Ok, just who are these guys? Inconsistent comes to mind, but that is more of a what than a who.

I don’t know if Sunday is pivotal or not, but it is extremely important for both franchises. This may be the first time two non-playoff teams have played in a meaningful game in December. There are plots and subplots out the whazoo.

SOB wants to prove it wasn’t him (though the Browinies defensive performance thus far would indicate otherwise).

Quinn wants to show he should have been the choice over Russell even though he’s not exactly lighting up the opposing defenses and has been almost as bad at times.

The Raider defense wants to prove to SOB they can be disruptive when allowed some aggression.

Two former Brownie quarterbacks would like to show the city of Cleveland it was a mistake to let them go. Provided, that is, if they are medically cleared.

Cable wants to bring them back to Oakland on a two game winning streak and show they are beginning to turn the corner with 4 of 6.

Eric Mangeni wants to impress the new boss.

Russell, it seems, just wants to know how much of his bonus is left so he knows when to actually start playing.

And Al Davis wants to “Just Win Baby.”

Personally, I want to see a positive carryover from last Sunday. And, if Russell gets the start and I were Cable, I would be telling him this could be his last hurrah with the team. It’s time for him to fish or cut bait. There’s probably a few other colloquialisms I could throw in, but I think you get the idea.

So, in case I don’t get a chance to check in again before the game, Merry Christmas to one and all.

H

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Derick from Section 344 said...

Did any of you guys catch Cable's press conference from Monday on Comcast Sports net?

Just got around to watching it last night and I think Tom Cable made it pretty clear that when asking the question "who is this team?" At least a good chunk of the answer right now is "Not Jamarcus Russell's." He basically went out of his way not too make too much out of his performance on Sunday, barely even mentioned him at all.

I think its the right move. First off, is there anything better than having Gus Johnson do the game for CBS when you're team is winning? I frickin love that guy! He made that last drive feel like MY life was on the line. I was genuinely happy for Jamarcus on Sunday. No matter what the guy says in interviews and how cool and calm he tries to appear nobody could enjoyed getting booed, at home, by your own "fans" as often as he has this year.

But could anyone actually watch that game and come away thinking anything had really changed? If you go back and watch that fourth quarter again (and believe me, I have) you see all the same old deficiencies; locking on receivers, errant throws, inability to sense the pressure, it was all there on my tivo. Denver's defense got real soft (where have we seen that before?) and Jamarcus was able to capitalize. Good for him, it was a GREAT win.

But he's not the guy. As much as I tried to tell myself he could be over the last 2 years, he's just not the guy.

So Take, you ask "who is this team?" I say this is a team that needs to figure out how to keep moving forward without the guy they had hoped would move them forward. The good thing is, you get the sense now that everyone over there finally realizes it. THAT is progress.

I like that this year's team genuinely seem to pull for each other out there. You actually get the sense that this group of guys enjoy being Raiders. I think you have to give some credit to Tom Cable. None of the off field instability has made it into the locker room and I think that's a hell of a feat.

We need at least one more win this year. Let's get it on Sunday and go from there.

9:06 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

That's the best question you've asked, Take.

Who is this team?

This team has seen six years of emptiness. Empty of character, devoid of fight.

This team is a young team. It's the youngest team in the NFL.

This team is aware of franchise history, and also aware that they have been a pimple on the backside of pride - and if they want to be proud they have to step up front and look the league in the eye.

They seem to have an increasing awareness that if they want to be one of the great Raider teams, they are going to have to be responsible for turning the ship around.

In this regard I have high praise for Cable. He has transformed this team from a group of draft choices and fee agent acquisitions into a band of brothers.

If we can settle the quarter back situation; if we can find a little depth for the o-line; if we can find a wise, veteran WR - we can field one hell of a team next season.

Who is this team? They are the Oakland Raiders, and they are getting ready to turn the corner.

9:47 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:06 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

If, if, if. If only the problem was the last 6 years. No folks, it's the last 20+ years that we have been one of the worst franchises in the NFL. Only the Gruden/Allen years and a few key veteran players gave us some relief from this historical trend. Who is this team? It's an unorganized, leaderless, rudderless group of players who can't play consistently, and are forced to play a defense and offense that can't be successful consistently over time. It's a team without a creative force behind it. It's a team that convinces the gullible that a game won here or a game won there constitutes a trend. It's a a merry-go-round organization that's so predictable at this point it's not even funny. Turning a corner? Not even close.

10:08 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Calico:

Re Bush. JMac seems to be of the opinion that Bush has conditioning issues, even though Cable denies that there's a problem. But Cable will rarely, if ever, criticize a player publicly. My take is that there are indeed issues (shown by Bush asking to be taken out after only five carries). I think Cable wants to resolve that in the off season, and use Bush more when he's in better shape.

Merry Christmas, Onondonandon.

10:12 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Of course Bush would get winded, as would any RB that hasn't seen significant on-field play over the course of a season. Off-field conditioning can only go so far in preparation for a real-game environment. Bush's conditioning isn't the reason why he hasn't gotten enough carries, no more than than H-bey being starting WR due to his ability to catch a ball.

10:41 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think we should all be wary of the kind of false hope that the Raiders gave us to end last season.

I’ll agree that Cable has rallied the troops to some cohesion, but there are still many obstacles and uncertainties. For one, we don’t know that Cable will even be here next year. So singing his praises right now is a little premature.

Bottom line: As long as Al Davis remains the GM, the Raiders will continue to operate at a huge disadvantage to every other team in the NFL.

I know some disagree with that statement, but just think of the demands of an NFL GM. I don’t need to trash talk Davis for any reasonable person to understand that he no longer possesses the physical tools and mental stamina to meet those demands.

Plus, can anyone here promise me Russell won’t begin next season as our starting QB and that DHB won’t be in on 90% of the snaps at WR, regardless of their off-season progress?

These two guys have been the bane of the Raiders existence this season (highly ineffective would be grossly understating), yet there is a high probably they will both be on the team and possibly starting again next season.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous tinfoil said...

Great question, Take.

I have been saying for 6 or so weeks that we would be a .500 team with Josh McCown (or darned near any other journeymen QB) under center.

When Bruce Almighty started the winning drive v Steelers I had more confidence that we would win than anytime since Gannon in the
'02 season.

And I like the fact that Cable is not afraid to take chances.

Russel's 4th quarter v Broncos was vintage JMarc. No pocket presence, fumbles, laser like passes, god knows how many flutter balls that by all rights should have been intercepted.

We flat got lucky....but, hell, we've had the ball bounce the other way for so long that we were due.

The '99 finale v Chiefs was a character building win, and a springboard into the 2000 season.

If we can go 7-9, great.

But, I still want a stop to the disastrous drafting and FA signings - so, in my mind a GM hire during this offseason is a must.

12:09 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

This team is reminding me an awful lot of the 1999 team. By mid season that year, folks were ready to trade Gruden in for a new model, and there was speculation that Davis would fire Gruden at season's end.

Then, toward the end of the season the team seemed to begin to get it. Leaders started popping up, and players started communicating with each other on the playing field.

The last game of the season they put it all together in the second half against the Chefs. Then, they didn't look back for the next three years.

But then, we had the oldest team in the NFL. We couldn't maintain the team. This time we have the youngest team in the NFL. If we can do now what we did then, we could be on board for a decade long run.

If I had the power to grant it all here, it would be my Christmas present to you.

As it is, I'll wish you all a Merry Christmas and see you next week.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous tinfoil said...

Mostly agree Blanda.

The '99 team got its offense in gear late in the year. Blew out Tampa Bay 49-0, had like 1600 combined rush yards from Kaufman and Wheatley. And had Gannon's first down by 2 scores 4th quarter comeback v Jets

And would have made the playoffs if they had a kicker all year that was dependable. Don't forget that Seattle won the division with a 9-7 record v our 8-8.

I still watch the '99 KC game at least twice a year as it was such a great ending to an up n down year.

I hope to goodness that you're right and this is the start of something good.

But, I had that same feeling after the Texans/Bucs games in '08. I was absolutely shocked at the skill reversal in JMarc. At this point I would take Bruce Almighty as my '10 starter. His accuracy at hitting receivers in full stride was surprising to me. He is such an upgrade over JMarc it's unbelievabe.

Happy holidays to all Raiders fans.

2:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blanda - you keep calling the Raiders the youngest team, but we’re not actually.

Packers are the youngest with an average age of 25.70 years.

The Indianapolis Colts are second at 25.89.

The league average is 26.61.

I would guess the Chiefs are quite a bit younger than the Raiders.

As for the 1999 team, they had Barrett Robbins anchor an O-line that also consisted of Lincoln Kennedy and Steve Wisnewski... with Rich Gannon at QB.

On the opposite side of the ball, we had Grady Jackson, Russell Maryland and Darrel Russell in the middle.

Forgetting about the skill positions, how is this Raiders team going to duplicate that level of talent in the trenches?

2:50 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

We are just around a corner away from having a decade long dynasty..according to Blanda....LOL. Blanda has wrote the same thing 6 YEARS IN A ROW....why would anyone think Blanda is right THIS TIME? Because we have the youngest team?...errr umm, ok, well, this year, Al will draft a guy who will get us over the hump?....err, umm...Russell is going to come motivated and mature?...err ..umm....

Grad is a decent QB, nothing more...once again, have to fill at least 3 holes on the O-line...WR looks OK, RB = inconsistent,

D-line needs quality, not 9 bodies. LB needs BIG upgrade...DB's look ok...scheme needs to be changed to an aggresive scheme...will Al allow that for a FULL year?

Coaching has been inconsistent as well...there is much to be fixed and done before Blanda's empty words have any meaning.

JONES

3:29 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

"who is this team ?". great question as they seem to suffer from a bipolar disorder.

all i know is, the raiders seem to be much looser, and relaxed at road games, and much tighter, and nervous at home.

an example, raiders just brushed off mcfaddens fumble, and stayed positive. kept their heads in game, and made plays.

now picture that mcfad fumble in oakland.
team probably hangs their heads, and loses focus.

it's something they must overcome.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottom line is if we would have started anybody else at QB the first 7 games we would be looking at a possible playoff birth right now. Last year the kiffin debacle killed us. This year the Jamarcus debacle killed us. And by the way, big Al can hang his hat on both of those situations. Hopefully next year there is no debacle and we are finally able to move forward.


RaiderMike

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who? Kind of remind me of the bad news bears. Haven't thought of that movie in a LONG time.

H,
Anderson is starting for the Browns Sunday.

All,
FYI, Frye is starting this weekend. not sure why that isn't up on raidernews dot com yet.

Tinfoil,
Damn right we got lucky. I usually hold on to the very end. I'm that guy in the stands when we're down by 3 scores w/ 5 minutes left. But as soon as Fat Basterd came in, I'll admit I 100% thought it was over. But we were unlucky to get to that situation (Frylock's concussion). With 3 drives, I think Frye and the full playbook would have gotten us the points.

-moshbucket

5:47 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Bottom line is if we would have started anybody else at QB the first 7 games we would be looking at a possible playoff birth right now.
---------

Playoff team? That's pretty insane logic. Based on Grad's past performances, he wouldn't be so consistent over the course of a long season. Sorry, but it's more than just QB that's the problem with this team, and since we don't have a Pro Bowl or even a top-flight QB, RB, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, etc., etc., I don't see where the playoff part fits in. Talk about a fairy tale.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Blanda:

The way that Michael Bush has been utilized by Cable has been a complete mismanagment of personnel.

This has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Bush is in top condidition. When he is given a heavy work load, he produces. Just like any other RB, he needs a blow after 4,5,6 carries in a row.

If you look at the game logs and statistics below it tells a few clear pictures.

(1) Bush rarely gets more than 10 attempts per game but when he does, Bush is HIGHLY productive. (in a possible 30 games, Bush has more than 10 attempts in only 8 games)

(2) Bush has been more productive than Fargas and McFadden IN SPITE of being used on a random, sporadic, and cameo basis.
(Bush is the leading rusher in yards with fewer carrries and has a far superior YPC at 5.0)
-----------------------------
Michael Bush

2008: 95 carries, 421 yards, 4.4 YPC, long of 67, 3 TDs

2009: 103 carries, 519 yards, 5.0 YPC, long of 60, 3 TDs
-----------------------
Justin Fargas:

2008: 218 caries, 853 yards, 3.9 YPC, long of 42, 1 TD

2009: 129 carries, 491 yards, 3.8 YPC, long of 35, 3 TDs
--------------------------
Darren McFadden:

2008: 113 carries, 499 yards, 4.4 YPC, long of 44, 4 TDs

2009: 92 carries, 325 yards, 3.5 YPC, long of 28, 1 TD

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Onandodandon: Don't misunderstand me- this is not a playoff caliber team by any stretch. However the deficiencies in this team overall are minimal compared to the deficiency we had at QB. This guy sucked the life out of every aspect of the team including the defense the o-line and the wide recievers. With any minimal amount of competancy at QB the Raiders would probably be 7-7 right now. I guess "playoff" wasn't the best term to use- maybe "respectability" would be more appropriate.



RaiderMike

4:36 AM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

I agree Raider Mike. Forgive my rudeness. I get a little heated over hearing the same predictions every year from Raider fans, when I feel that ultimately we have a structural and organizational issue that needs solving before any significant and lasting improvement occurs.

Happy Holidaze everyone!

-JC

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want the Raiders to be over .500 in 2010, which would mark the first time the Raiders have had a winning record since week 3 of the 2004 season (can you believe that will be six years?). When I see a record over .500, then maybe I will begin to get a little excited.


Sarasota Raider

9:45 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Well I hope the next winning record over .500, is past the 3rd week of the season. Wouldn't know if you can include being 2-1 as a "winning record".

It will take a couple of winning seasons and STABILITY throughout the Org. If there are more stories of coaches being "for cause'd", sort of problems, the coaching carousel continuing, poor roster management, wasting of cap space and/or resources that Al cannot afford anymore....lame drafting...then NO, can't support it, I'll watch and hope for wins, will not make excuses for it or deny it. My name is JONES, I'm a Raideraholic....Haven't had a drink of kool aid in 7 years..clean and sober...I could really use a drink...come on..give me a reason to DRINK.

JONES

1:13 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Jones:

Al Davis is the primary reason that you've been "clean and sober" the past 7 years.

Ironically, it falls on Al Davis' shoulders to give you a reason to put your lips up to an ice cold mug of kool aid.

Significant, impactful decisions need to be made by Davis over the course of the next few months.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

Uhh... 7-7 _IS_ a playoff quality team right now in the AFC... every 7-7 team is still in the playoff hunt.

I agree that Cable (or Al) mismanaged the team by starting JaMoney when he clearly had lost it (it was apparent by game 5.. 100 yards vs NYG) and starting DHB (who should be on the practice squad, let alone starting).

This is one year that instead of as usual thinking the team was playoff quality... they went with the young players with the hopes of developing them for later years.

Two extra wins (KC, and one of the SD games) would put us right in the hunt... how exciting would that be right now?

Al and the Raiders can't win for losing.

Not sure there is any team looking forward to playing us now that we knocked off FOUR teams that are still in the playoff hunt.

7-9 is still a great finish to a season that looked doomed by week 7.

I think they can do it!

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Merry Christmas, all!

---Jeff

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay i know this is a stretch but try and follow me....j russ went to lsu. new orleans is in la. cajuns are fron new orleans. cajuns practice voodoo. j russ has put a curse on any qb who replaces him!!!! lol

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
Blanda, I don't see this team resembling the '99 team at all and I don't remember Gruden being on the cusp of a pink slip then either. I remember thinking we were a pretty decent football team with a solid offensive identity... one that had gone 8-8 twice (98-99), right? 8-8 after the wonderful 4-12 bugel session where we ran the 7 yard Lamonica drop every play.
And weren't we 8-8 with a guy named Donald Hollis looking decent for a big part of those games? SCHEME, SCHEME, CHEMISTRY.
Right now we look like a team that has finally had the Al shackles taken off, where coaches are allowed to finally try modern schemes. Problem is, there is too much disease still clinging to our franchise and no innovation from our current staff.
We need a fesh start from the HQ and coaching level. And they need autonomy. I think al wants to win so badly now that he realizes this. But will anyone of championship caliber come to Oakland to coach and manage?
And finally, remember Donald Hollis. A QB succeeds with a solid organizational structure and good coaching. Like it or not, Jruss is our investment. A 1st rounder costing 60 mil that should, and will, get a another chance. How can we flippantly toss that investment away without looking like some brain-dead blond bombshell wrecking her rich husband's wallet at each pouting session. Jruss needs to grow up but we have not given him any developmental chance.
Some fans running around trumpeting Charlie Fry and Gradkowski! Holy freakin bat shit robin, we have reached the absolute bottom and now our fans are insanely impatient. Do you hear yourselves? Fry, Gradkowski??
How can any rookie Qb, taken as the first pick in the nfl draft, succeed in the rotten, archaic system we have?

3:18 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The comparison of the 99 Raiders to this year's squad is downright silly.

The 99 Raiders lost 8 games by a total of 34 points. The 2009 Raiders lost 1 game (Jets) by more points (38)

The reason Raider fans knew instinictively that we were on the right track with the 99 team is how competitively this team played. This team either won (8 games) or lost in a highly contested game.

In the 8 losses, here is the point differential (we didn't lose 1 single game by more than 7 points):

24-28 Green Bay (-4)
21-22 Seattle (-1)
13-16 Denver (-3)
9-16 Miami (-7)
21-27 Denver (-6)
34-37 Kansas City (-3)
14-21 Tennessee (-7)
20-23 Sand Diego (-3)

The 99 Raiders offense was a top 10 ranked unit; 8th rank in points; 5th ranked in yardage. The 99 Raiders offense had 24 TD passes and 3,609 yards passing to go along with 2084 yards rushing ... a very balanced, prolific offense. This offensive unit had a "go to" WR in Tim Brown who had 90 receptions ... this is more receptions than our WRs and TEs will have combined this entire year.

The 99 Raiders defense held it own too. 16th ranked in points, 10 ranked in yardage allowed.

The 2009 offense and defensive units both are in the bottom third of the league rankings. The 2009 Raiders have been blown out in 5 games while the 99 team was not blown out 1 single time.

10:03 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Bama - I can understand your wanting to stick by your boy, JaMarcus, and there's certainly more than enough evidence to suggest his environment has played a big part in his lack of development, but it doesn't change the fact that Russell has a long way to go before he reaches even the most basic level of play that most of us are "trumpeting" for.

IMO, Russell should NOT hit the field again until he has proven he is better than the QB he would replace.

The cold truth is, the Raiders simply can't develop players anyone (not sure they ever could). Players that succeed with the Raiders are usually self-starters, which Russell is not. He needs to take stock in his career and make something of himself, and stop waiting for others to do it for him.

After Russell was benched, only once did I read that he put in some overtime. Since then, Cable has made a point to mention the hard work and dedication that both Frye and Gradkowski put toward their craft. Russell still doesn't get it, and doesn’t even learn by example.

This off-season will tell us a lot, but I don't expect any more from Russell than what we see (read) now.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opulently I assent to but I contemplate the brief should prepare more info then it has.

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Raider fans, how does that seven straight seasons of double digit losses taste??


bwahahahahaha Raiders Suck!!!

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Yo mama sucks, but I'm sure you knew that.

---Jeff

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Raider fans talk so big like you are turning the corner or something, when the reality is, you have have double digit losses for seven straight seasons. Raiders suck!!!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, is anyone surprised by the game today? Is anyone even remotely surprised that this team went into Cleveland and rolled over and died? Nothing is going to change with this team until there is a complete houscleaning from the top of the organization all the way down to the waterboy. Once structural organizational changes are made (ie, GM and Head Coach with authority) then every season is going to look like the past seven seasons. Al Davis has seen his last winning season while he is still in charge.



Sarasota Raider

12:54 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Look, it's Mr. Hyde behind the wheels of the Clown Car, running over Dr. Jekyll.

What disgraceful so-called performance.

Reminds me of that late road game in Green Bay a few years ago, when the whole team melted down amid a hail of penalty flags.

Yeah, we turned the corner again, right back into the brick wall.

Nice playcalling, four passes from the two-yard line.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

The NFL is starting to look about as legitimate as pro wrestling. Or maybe the NBA.

So when was it, exactly, when they stopped showing the replay of a play on which a penalty was called? Neither ejection got a replay, so we didn't get to see what the guys did to get them ejected.

Coupled with the fact that the refs have been calling some ticky-tac penalties, I'm not so sure those two penalties were on the up-and-up.

If I ever stop watching the Raiders, I will simultaneously stop watching the NFL.

---Jeff

1:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Who calls an empty backfield on 1st and goal at the two? The three plays that followed were just as ugly.

A perfectly terrible game to mark another loss the week following a win.

Browns have won 3 in a row.

2:04 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Funny thing about clown cars...as soon as you think there couldn't be one more clown in there, out comes the one with brown shoes and zebra shirt!

I can’t say I’m surprised by today’s outcome. As I’ve fondly reminded everyone this season, “we only beat playoff teams” (with the obvious exception of the Chiefs).

This is a season of “what ifs”, no doubt. That said, it’s almost behind us. One more unexpected win against the Ravens and preseason is upon us. Shall we begin?

I’d like to see Fassel in the office, Cable on the sideline. Tom’s turning this team around and has earned another year, IMHO. I just like the guy.

I’d like to see Seymour get a reasonable contract. I’d like to see Russell wearing any other uniform than Silver and Black, regardless of the cost. I don’t even care if he’s successful somewhere else. All that matters to me is whether you can be success in Oakland. I’d like to see open competition between Losman & Gradkoski, with a fourth round pick used on a QB (we’ve been good in the fourth round at other positions, so why not give it a try?) If Frye can’t get other work, get him a clipboard and put him on the coaching staff. He has the passion and the ethic.

The odd thing is that if you go position by position, there are disappointments, but we have youth and potential almost everywhere. In the spirit of last post season, how about go find top notch WR coaching and get on with things?

I’m off to the mock drafts to do some shopping. I’m thinking O Line & CB depth?

All frustration aside, I haven’t had this much fun watching the Raiders since before the Superbowl. That’s going to have to be good enough for this season.

Peace on Earth. Good will toward Men.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Freaking Pope is a Freaking Loser. How can any legit Raider Fan have fun watching the seventh double digit loss season in a row? Since when have Raider fans become so soft? We demand the best and we deserve the best! It has become so bad, the the fans have become soft and have accepted the losing. That is something I never thought I would live to see.


Sarasota Raider

2:42 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Sarasota,

Reality check. It's just a game.

I didn't say I wanted the season to be over and double digit losses are acceptable.

The reality is that our season is over next weekend. We can dwell on that, or we can discuss the upcoming changes.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier, the career long for Seabass...I enjoyed that. Hope that's ok with you, Sarasota.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

"Since when have Raider fans become so soft?"

It's the "new age" thinking...= always be positive, no room for negative. They think nothing positive comes out of being "negative". They really believe that positive will only come with positive thinking or speaking. Little do they know of something called BALANCE. If you keep "positive" with a negative situation...it is most assuredly going to stay a negative...

You can always tell the young, anyone with experience in life would be calling the Raiders out for being so poor, so often. But these youngsters think they just have to be "positive" and it will magically just turn itself around....ahhh the innocence of youth.

JONES

3:06 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Lo and behold, Gary and the Al worshippers are wrong once again. I could win a fortune betting against the likes of this guy.

The fact is, as I keep repeating over and over (some of us GET IT), our problems are structural. It will take a new GM and new coaching staff to consistently turn this thing around. Even then, it will be a lot of work.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
onandonandon- agree completely. discussing individual players in this mess is a useless exercise.

3:16 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

JONES,

LMAO. It is age, and experience, and service, that have taught me to not take this stuff too seriously. You couldn't be farther from the truth on this one. Rage on though. I'm sure you'll convince us old "young" guys the error of our ways.

That said, seriously, does anyone have any particular positions, other than Al's, they'd like to discuss?

3:18 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

How about the head coaching position? I vote for Cable and company to be dismissed, a GM to be hired, and for that GM to be given the power to recruit a new qualified head coach, who can then assemble his own staff.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Angelic Raider-

I don't know that it means that someone is soft if they try and stay positive. But what are your options? I can get ridiculously upset about a game of football, or I can save it for something that really matters. " Your mad about that guy that hitting your car, but you were just as mad as when the Raiders......" Save anger for when it's necessary, we are just fans of a team that doesn't win a lot. That being said why on earth did we not to run the ball in from the two?

I love the Raiders, best fans worst management. I have a friend who is family friends with Al Davis and went to collage with the CFO of the Raiders, the theme (from inside the organization) seems to be that Al is getting worse and worse at taking advice from other people, even the ones he trusts. Until our beloved leader learns to pass the torch to someone else we are going to be hurting. So you spend all that negativity on something you cant control or you can shutup enjoy life and realize that it's a game where you root for a team but cant control your team. Unfortunately I'm also a NJ Nets fan.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

That's what I've been saying. Some folks say, well, this is Al's team, and this is how he's always done it, blah, blah, blah.

No, it's not how he's always done it.

At a time in his life when he needs more help than ever, he is seeking less help than ever.

That is the crux of our plight.

3:29 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Joseph: Agreed.

RT: Ok, so Cable & Co. I'm not sure I'm ready to throw him out, but I understand your concern.

For the most part, Cable has promoted hard work and team play. Ok, so maybe that didn't work for guys like Russell, but IMHO, he can claim credit for helping a guy like Huff go from benched to legitimate pro-bowl consideration.

I'm with you on the GM\VP position. Call it whatever makes Al feel comfortable, but get someone in there. I think Fassel is good fit there. I think Davis trusts him.

Do you think Cable could restructure his coaching staff, with the direction of someone like Fassel?

I'd like to see a stronger OC, along with the WR coaching I mentioned.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I cannot fathom why you ask a struggling Charlie Frye to pass the ball four times from the two-yard-line with the game on the line.

Bush is averaging five yards per carry, but we don't give him a single chance to gain two?

Rob Ryan gets the last laugh.

3:36 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

The last thing we need is another Al yes-man as head coach. Gruden wasn't that guy. Shell was. Cable is. Fassel is. No point in repeating a losing formula.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

FreakingPope, today sealed it for me with Cable.

Not just the crazy playcalling from the two yard line, but the undisciplined and unprepared way in which this crucial game (in terms of establishing momentum and consistency) deteriorated into a humiliating loss.

Cleveland has the second worst run defense in the NFL, yet Bush gets the ball 10 times (averaging five yards) in a game that was still fairly close in the fourth quarter.

Their top running back, Harrison, carried the ball 39 times.

The Browns said, hey, it's Derek Anderson, let's keep it on the ground. We said, hey, it's Charlie Frye, let's air it out. Great.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Although stupid penalties did force us into a lot of long-yardage situations. Still, against that 31st-ranked run defense, you need to run, especially from the two yard line, when you've got a back who averages five yards per carry on the season.

3:54 PM  
Blogger onandonandon said...

Fassel as a GM and Cable as a HC??? Talk about solidifying the status quo.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey RaiderTake, I can remember you writing that "I Love Al Davis" take back in September 2005. Still waiting for an update in regards to that Take ;)


Sarasota Raider

4:25 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Take,

Fair and balanced criticism. The play calling, and misread on player strengths is why I think we desperately need a strong OC.

Other examples include having Russel work from a X-Step drop when the stats clearly show him working better in the Shotgun. When the game is on the line, let's go with what this guy is least comfortable doing?

Cable shoes leadership and the players believe in him. Give the guy better Field Commanders and some strong NCOs (guys like Seymour, for example)

Agreed on the run game. This isn't the first time we abandoned the run when it was clearly working.

Q. OnAndOn...How can you say Fassel is an Al guy? Because Al likes him? He likes Madden a great deal. Was Madden an "Al guy"?

Fassel is a question mark, I agree, but to label him a "yes man" seems a rush in judgement.

I know the UFL isn't world-class, but a championship is a championship. Building a team from nothing, with limited talent pool options is something we could use, IMHO.

Just spit ballin' here.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Sarasota, haven't I been updating that take pretty regularly here? I still love Al Davis, but I don't love what he's doing to the organization right now.

How about this take from October of last year:

"On the organizational front, I’ve regretfully become convinced that winning is no longer the top priority for the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have become like a restaurant that is focused on the flatware, not the food. Their eye is off the ball, and ultimately off the prize.

I have no doubt that the Oakland Raiders organization has convinced itself that winning is still its top priority. But that doesn’t make it true. The evidence strongly suggests that stubbornness and stagnancy are the real bottom line Oakland today...

Organizations focused on winning do not act this way. The priorities have become jumbled in Oakland. Yes, the coaches and the players want to win on Sunday. The owner wants to win. They all want to win. Yet a culture of losing is allowed to persist, and insular thinking, not winning, is the ruling priority."

Good enough?

5:26 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"Fassel as a GM and Cable as a HC??? Talk about solidifying the status quo."

I expect nothing more this off-season. Haven't we all been conditioned to expect the status quo?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bama7
NY, I agree with you on Russell, but still feel the environment is SO BAD that we cannot judge any player anymore... and Russell is a #1 draft pick that we spent 60 million on. If necessary we should build the team around him... coach, strategy etc. We should judge him after we have a solid organizational structure behind him.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Bama -

Building everything around Russell is a ridiculous, losing proposition. Thanks but no thanks. Russell might be from Mobile Alabama but who cares? Russell might have been thrust into the worst possible environment to succeed ... so what? The guy is a L-O-S-E-R with no drive, pride, or dedication whatsover.

I know it might be asking for too much as a long time fan but ...

I want a QB who is the first into work and the last to leave.

I want a QB who treats his body like it is his temple and salvation 24/7/365 ... after all, his phyical shape is the primary tool for his trade and the way he makes a living.

I want a QB who isn't a sitting duck in the pocket where sacks, fumbles, INTs, and throw aways are the exepected results.

I want a QB who has every play in the playbook down cold and is begging for more nuance, details, and pages to memorize.

Prior to today's game, I was on the fence with Cable. After today's game filled with dubious playcalling and a lack of focus and discipline, I really don't see how Cable "earned" the right to come back. Knowing how things have been run lately, it makes perfect sense to bring Cable back.

Our organization lacks the work ethic, vision, and cajones to make winnning a true priority. If winning was the priority, why would you even consider bringing back a guy who has been 9-18? Does winning 1/3 of the games warrant bringing Cable back?

As I stated ad nauseum, Cable has no clue on how to use his personnel. This game was the PERFECT time to get Bush 20+ carries.

The 4 plays run on 1st down on the Browns 2 yard line made me violently ill and pissed off.

Why does Cable make things so GD complicated? The 3rd down call where we run a low percentage jump ball in the back corner of the end zone was the final straw for me. This is the classic case of Cable having no common sense when it comes to playcalling. This play required a perfect pass, an extraordinary play by the WR, the WR staying in bounds. Most teams by week 16 have a "bread and butter" play for such red zone situations ... what is ours?

Freaking Pope:

Huff has turned into a fairly good, serviceable FS but a pro bowl candidate? Please. I appreciate the improvements Huff has made but let's not get carried away. There are only 2 legit pro bowl candidates on our entire team ... Asomugha & Lechler. That is it. No one else is worthy.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WE ARE WHO WE THOUGHT WE WERE!

53 men crammed into a big ass clown car (Gallery's slick ride maybe?).

Abandoning the run near the goal line was stupid IMHO. I would have atleast tried a run on 3rd. Sure it was nearing 4minutes, but I bet it would have scored.

Frye just doesn't have an arm, kind of a shame.

Oh well. At least our odds are better against the Ravens, ain't that some crazy chit? Chances are it's 7-11 time. If we do win, what's the current record for most 10 loss season? Tampa might have that one set pretty high.


-moshbucket

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moshbucket, Tampa Bay has the current NFL record for most consecutive double digit loss seasons with 12 straight seasons of double digit losses (1983-1994). If things continue the way they are in Oakland, with Al running the show alone, I think we will surpass the dubious record set by the Bucs. I honestly feel that.


Sarasota Raider

9:00 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

New un-take is up, FYI.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again a honesty a possessions post. Because of your achates

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