Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Brand New Day

Here's what Mark Davis said recently:

"It's a brand new day...The business part really wasn't there. It was all football. Just win. Over the years, it just grew and grew and grew, and I think the size of the league and the size of the organization and the different things you had to deal with, media and all those things, kind of dwarfed the capabilities of the organization. Instead of a clean start with the organization, there's been a lot of plugging holes. So at a certain point in the near future, after careful evaluation, there will be a more modern structure so to speak."

This is good news. For years, I've been getting yelled at for making the same observation. Now I'm off the hook. You can just yell at the owner of the Raiders if you don't like it.

I'll still miss Al Davis, and will forever embrace the countercultural heritage of the Raiders. Some say it will never be the same, and they are probably right. But it wasn't the same lately, anyways, was it?

My primary definition of the Raiders is "winning." Without that, everything else is just window dressing. After nine years without a winning record, the Raiders were really no longer the Raiders, were they? There was a time when Mr. Davis outsmarted the NFL.
That was the Raiders. But the organization being outsmarted? That's not the Raiders.

Will these changes create a dynasty? Hard to say, impossible to predict, easier said than done.

One thing is for sure, you'll never see a repeat of what transpired in these years since 2002, the worst stretch of losing in NFL history, marked by a comedic coaching carousel and some remarkably awful personnel decisions. Only the issues outlined by Mark Davis could create a stretch like that, ie: an organization "dwarfed" by the modern demands of the NFL.

Mark Davis says it's a new day, and I'm ready to follow him into the sunshine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Routt Gets Whacked

Well, still haven't fixed the comments problem past the 200+ mark, so it's time to start a new thread to keep the conversation going, even though I'm still without a very thoughtful take.

So I'll keep it short, but the news about Stanford Routt is really the news of the week, as it's a window into the organizational mind, and where things are headed in terms of fiscal roster management.

Indeed, in the recent press conference to announce Dennis Allen as the new head coach of the Raiders, GM Reggie McKenzie stated, "We’ve got some contracts that are kind of out of whack."

So Routt got "whacked."

Obviously, it leaves a hole in our secondary. As much as Routt hasn't lived up to his big-money contract, it's easy to say we don't need someone, but perhaps harder to actually replace them. Cutting him was probably necessary, but finding a replacement who can play better than him is even more vital.

There's more to come, too. ProFootballTalk put it this way: "Other candidates to be released: Aaron Curry ($5.76 million), John Henderson ($4 million), Michael Huff ($8 million), and Tommy Kelly ($6 million). Even players like Kamerion Wimbley could be up for debate. We’ve seen mixed reaction from Raiders fans on the Routt decision, but it’s a great move. It’s a sign that fiscal sanity has returned to the organization."

Buy, hold or sell the Raiders? Buy, buy, buy, baby! We're stepping into some sunshine, and the future looks bright.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Non-Take Take

Well, there's no offseason here at Raider Take, and y'all have been filling up the comment section rather rapidly. And since I haven't fixed the problem with viewing comments past the 200 mark, I needed to start another thread, even thought I don't really have a new take. So here we go...may the debate and discourse continue!

Friday, February 03, 2012

2012 Season: A Post-Mortem

Thanks to GGRaider, who arrived on the scene out of the blue just long enough to share this brilliant piece of satire in the comments section of the previous take. It's funny enough to merit its own showcase here:

It's hard to believe that it's a day before Groundhog's Day, yet, the Raiders 2012 season is all but lost. It is understandable that fans would be tempted to try and reconstruct what has transpired and wonder "what went wrong?" Yes, how could a season filled with so much promise be caput before it has even begun? To perform the inquiry, you have to wind the clock back to the early off-season.

That first week of January which was filled with so much promise. Finally, the Raiders would get a GM with real power, and a coach who could choose his own assistants. Back then, the sky was the limit. Super Bowl? heck, yeah! Reggie McKenzie seemed like the guy with the right pedigree, part the Ron Wolf management tree, a former Raider. But then, it all started to go horribly wrong. In his first presser Reggie used the word "irregardless". This blog understandably blew up. How the heck can a man have an eye for football talent if he makes up words and dangles participles? Reggie could see he was out of his grammatical depth. In order to obfuscate his verbal shortcomings and realizing that they would prevent any proven coach from coming aboard, he reached and chose a coach who had no ties to the silver & black and probably thinks the Ghost to the Post is a blogging term for a guy who kicks the bucket while venting his spleen on this site.

Dennis Allen in his first presser failed the first test of a Raider head coach. Dennis Allen wore a black & white tie to the event, not a black & silver tie. Huejack never would have made such an obvious sartorial blunder. Heck, Big Al never would have let him on the stage.

Just when the season seemed like the season couldn't get any more off course, Allen sealed the team's fate by hiring Greg Knapp as its new offensive coordinator. Fans shrewdly realized that this must mean that the team would be completely re-built to suit ZBS and a west coast offense. What else could it mean? This offensive scheming stuff is complicated!! Ever tried to enrich uranium? Then, you know what I'm talking about. How could or would a guy like Knapp be able to run anything else? even if his team was drafted for a completely different scheme? But it was too late, there was not going back. Fans were left to look ahead to 2013 and hope for better days.

Many players when asked about these moves agreed that there wasn't much hope. Some candidly questioned whether they should keep going through the motions and show up for this Spring's OTAs. Why risk injury? Better to save it for 2013 when the lessons of 2012 could be addressed. To a man, they all agreed with the provferbial words of Al Davis; that the greatness of the Raiders is in its future.