Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Back in Black

I'm not going to lie. I've hardly glanced at Raider Take for a few weeks. Call it my annual offseason burnout, because it seems to happen to me every spring. Also, this year, I was increasingly turned off by the petty vitriol in the comments section. I haven't looked at the comments lately, I hope things have changed.

Anyhow, if I'm going to come back, I might as well come on strong, so I'm going to suggest that Matt Leinart is the key to our entire season. If that sounds ridiculous, consider that Kyle Boller hardly played last year yet his mere presence had a major impact on the future of the team for years to come.

By going into the season with Boller as the backup, we were knowingly playing with fire, and we got burned. A promising season suddenly turned into a potential grease fire after Jason Campbell got hurt. So we quickly gave up several draft picks in order to acquire a fire extinguisher, also known as Carson Palmer. The guy who drove that deal (Hue Jackson) is no longer here, but the ramifications remain and will shape our future for at least a few seasons to come, for better or worse, depending on how Palmer performs.

Now comes Leinart, much maligned but still perhaps holding some latent promise. What are the odds of Palmer going down for some games this year? I would say the odds are pretty high. And as far as insurance plans go, I think Leinart is a big upgrade over Kyle Boller. At some point during the season, our playoff fortunes could literally rest on Leinart's shoulders.

Leinart also provides a nice bridge between Palmer and Terrelle Pryor, who apparently is looking poised and primed in practice. Hopefully he has learned a few things from his various career missteps and, along with Palmer, can be a positive tutor (in life as well as football) to Pryor.

The bottom line is that this is a quarterback-driven league, and we're heading into the 2012 season with a much stronger roster at the quarterback position. In other words, we're trending upward at the most important position, hopefully just in time to slow down the Manning Express in Denver and finally take the AFC West.

105 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feeling minty this morning, got out of bed and noticed that the glass was more than half full! We have to admire the focus of the team right now, we seem to be on track with a plan. I can't wait for some football.


Topher

9:38 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well said!

9:47 AM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

Loving the fact it's a clean slate throughout the organization, and Reggie and co just keep tightening all those loose bolts... the whole feel is really good, and gone is that dysfunctional shadow hanging over the team... what with the changes throughout our division it's gonna be a really interesting season... can't wait for some football... GO RAIDERS!!!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The major overhaul of the organization from top to bottom and the transition into the new era has been amazingly smooth and business like.

What really excites me is that the future looks very bright under McKenzie's leadership.

This is especially true in the next 12 to 24 months when we have a full complement of draft picks and a payroll that allows us to add tier 1 free agents to the roster.

In the meantime (read as this season), I am very confident in the Raiders competitive chances to win the AFC West division.

10:30 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Welcome back, RT. The normalcy of this offseason has put many of us in a sleepy mode. It's really amazing to see the Raiders firing on all cylinders.

Perhaps what makes Leinart even more intriguing is that he could excel in a ball-control offense which, presumably, the Raiders will run. His presence on the Raiders a year or more ago would have been a mistake; but now it actually makes sense. Hopefully, Palmer and Leinart will relive their youths at USC, and provide Heisman-like performances.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Don't know if you guys have seen it, but Inside Bay Area has a video of the McClain incident in Bama. Don't know how he's innocent in this. In the video, he is pushing for a fight with the guy, saying all he had to do was fight back; then he goes outside. The next scene is the guy (victim) throws a punch, and McClain throws him down and just starts beating him. There is supposed to be a scene with him pulling the trigger next to the guy's ear, but I didn't see it.
I don't see how he escapes this.

8:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

He acted like a punk and deserves whatever punishment he gets (i.e., through the justice system and the NFL, cause both are gonna want a piece of him). It's a real shame for the Raiders, though. Hopefully, somebody else will step up and take over at MLB.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That wasnt mcClain fighting on the video it was the co-defendant Jadorias Willingham, who is shown fighting. On the video it doesn't show McClain doing anything other than showing a lack of common sense in who you choose to hangout with.


Topher

10:09 AM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

McClain's a punk and dumb, and now he's going down... the shame is that under DA and these coaches, and this new system of discipline and personal responsibility, I expected him to shine. I know he looked terrible last year but I put a lot of that on our failed DC... McClain needs guidance and coaching-up, he comes across as very immature.
Anyway bit of a shame... but I'm betting that Reggie & Co have already planned for this scenario and are all over it! ...GO RAIDERS!!!

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Derick from Section 344 said...

I couldn't be happier with the direction of this franchise. As handcuffed as he has been this year, I think Reggie has done an amazing job putting together a team that I really feel like has a chance to surprise some people come September.

I can't tell you how nice it feels to not have a used car salesman as a coach anymore. I've liked DA's demeanor A LOT since Day 1, and I'm excited to see his affect, most importantly on the defensive side of the ball. I still don't think we have our quarterback of the "future" but I fully expect Carson Palmer to have a big year.

Do you guys realize the Raiders kick off the pre-season in only 87 days??

5:39 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I have reading articles and watching videos of Dennis Allen very closely the past few months to get a better feel of the guy as a person and leader.

I have been impressed with his passion and laser-like focus at the task at hand.

Allen's mantra of a team that is tough, smart, disciplined, and passionate about the game of football is being drilled into this team.

A team unified who believes in what the Head Coach is selling can conquer the world. Of course, in a results oriented business, the proof will be in the pudding but I'm certainly even more optimistic that we are DEFINITELY on the right track for success.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its good to have a new raidertake up. Like you I seem to drift away from raidertake in the spring.

McClain, McClain, McClain... I kinda want to get H to comment on Rolando as I know he is a big fan and knowledgeble of his college days.

SCAR

3:45 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Raiders badly needed a fresh slate and, although the circumstances were unfortunate, they got one. At the end of the Day, it's Mark Davis that deserves huge credit for putting the team and the organization on course by hiring Reggie McKenzie. Despite incredible need, that hire would have never happened prior to Mark's involvement. Now McKenzie has modernized the Raiders and removed all overhead projectors from the premises.

It's been an interesting process to follow. I am enjoying the expanded media coverage. It's like real information is being spread around instead of the backstabbing guesswork of the past.

3:57 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Welcome back RT, it's nice to see a new take on the front page/up.

SFGate is reporting that McClain has been found guilty by a judge and is to serve 180 days in jail. His lawyer is now requesting a trial by jury.

I hate to say it, and especially with the Raider's new direction, perhaps it's time to cut ties with him; regardless of the outcome of the jury trial.

I have to admire the job McKenzie/Allen have done considering how stacked everything was against them. As CJ said above, the transition has been seemingly smooth and professional, which is a very nice change of pace.

I have always really liked Leinart and have felt circumstances have never really given him a true opportunity. And yes I realize players need to make the most of any opportunity regardless of circumstances, yet I think he's a quality QB. I'm much more bullish on Pryor. Looking poised and primed is a long way from excelling on the field. I personally don't think he has what it takes to be a quality QB in the NFL. But that's only my opinion, and not based on much other than seeing him play a few times.

It would be nice if Mr. Davis' final draft pick is a true gem.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Have to agree with Toni.

If McClain was being a jerk off the field. Can assume he was being a jerk regarding football.

This is exactly the type of person new regime is trying to phase out.

McClains mind is elsewhere. He's working harder at being a thug, then a football player.

Let's turn the page, and find a new MLB.

11:33 AM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:07 PM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:10 PM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

Re: McClain's stupidity... surely a financial rule change is in order?...

The pundits are saying we're still on the hook to him for $5m plus next year... that takes the cake!

In no other business could you sign a multi-year, multi million dollar contract, get arrested on felony assault in the second year of that contract, go to jail in the third year, get banned from your occupation (it's coming), cause damage to the company to which you are contracted, and expect to receive the rest of your money the following year...

2:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

If McClain is suspended by the NFL I would guess it's without pay.

For what it's worth (nothing now!), this is one area that Al Davis excelled in... withholding pay (although, more typically with coaches). In this instance, he'd be absolutely justified.

Raiders are having a run of bad luck in Alabama.

4:17 PM  
Blogger OakTown Blues said...

I took a nice break, and looking forward to a no-turf-toe McFadden, and a fresh passing game. Welcome to Oakland, Matt Leinart.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Toni, I agree with you about Leinart. I feel the same way about David Carr too.
His time with the Texans, he was an excellent passer, and accurate, but he didn't have the balance of a running game. I think if he was QB with Arian Foster at RB, they'd been in the playoffs before last year.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: Any reason no emblems on helmet?
A: We just started off that way. If anything, we’ll all earn the right to wear that symbol.

This is a Quote from Coach Allen I dig that style!



Topher

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyvon Branch speaks of the new Raider defense and the old Raider defense.

http://www.raiders.com/media-vault/videos/Behind-the-Shield-with-Juron-Criner/c108b7d3-934c-4a16-8c41-14b88e289402#?id=9c8707ee-9a68-4f91-be5a-60c634ac58eb

10:51 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

A lot of folks still don't understand this but it's pretty obvious, even to someone from the east coast.

Comment From Steve in NY:
"You are obviously in a unique position to answer this question. How different is this organization from a year ago?"

11:53 Steve Corkran:
"Much different. Coaches are free to coach the way they see fit, Reggie McKenzie is free to run the front office the way he wants and there isn't the hidden pressure that seemed to envelop the team in years past."

The Raiders are about as different as they can be in just a few short months.

9:31 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Holy Hell. Did we make it to 25 comments without name calling?!

I'm so glad I stopped by this morning.

I too am feeling minty fresh. I agree that the QB situation can't be underestimated. We’ve been “all-in” too many times in the last few years. At multiple positions.

ESPN is already saying we lack depth, which could turn into a “nightmare”, but I’m pretty sure that is part of the ongoing “draft pick” criticism.

Frankly, I look at our moves this offseason and I feel like we may just end up with the lowest cost high impact roster in the league. Is that unrealistic? Maybe, that’s why I called it a feeling. I just have a good feeling. And after the last few years, I’ll take a good feeling over trying to convince myself that player “X” was worth the money to give us a shot.

9:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Pope - there is really only one person who posts here and perpetuates the name-calling and, apparently, he's on hiatus.

IMO, the Raiders will have better depth across the board this year, particular at QB where it matters most, but also at positions like LB, CB, RB, FB, OL, etc. I guess losing Al Davis didn’t suddenly stop ESPN from being the Raider-hater network. It’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.

Some analysts think the Raiders will simply implode without a veteran presence at TE. There's plenty of time to address TE and other areas of needed depth.

In terms of cost, McKenzie appears to be a low-cost, high-value type GM, and not just because he was forced to because of cap problems.

5:07 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Well, thank God for small blessings. :)

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tinfoil

I like the non-vitriol mantra. I got so sick of all the name calling a couple of years ago I flat gave up on the site.

I also like the actions of Reggie. He is exactly what I've wanted for the last 6 or 7 years, a strong GM in the mold of Ron Wolfe and (maybe) Bruce Allen.

I am suprisingly optimistic about 2012, and am convince it will come down to how good we can be on the defenseive side of the ball. In 2011, no lead was safe - darned near every game came down to the last play or series. The Bills and Lions game were classic elfoldos.

5:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

T Pryor reaches out to Rich Gannon for advice on quarterbacking.

Not that long ago, this would have put Pryor in the doghouse, perhaps even ended his career.

Now it just looks like a smart thing to do.

5:32 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

NY,

Agreed. Plus, I never really liked how Gannon seemed to ignore Tui, so he owes us a bit of "mentoring".

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does nobody see the biggest benefit that Leinart brings? He knows the new system! He's been doing it under Knapp in Houston the last two years. This will HUGELY accelerate our offence learning the new system, particularly the QBs.

Regarding McClain, he is NOT dumb, he is very smart. Particularly on the field. Has been doing some pretty stupid/immature things off the field of late which are going to cost him dearly (hopefully minimal on field impact, and he gets his head out of his ass sooner rather than later).

-moshbucket

9:14 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Time for a reality check!!!

Don't be foolish enough to expect "V"s out the gate!!!....Maybe later in the season???



Under Pressure: Dennis Allen

We thought about naming first-time unknown defensive coordinator Jason Tarver the man under pressure. Tarver must transition from the college game, but in reality is this will be coach Dennis Allen's defense. And he's got all kinds of problems.

1. Oakland's projected started cornerbacks are Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer. Both players are 30 years old and were released by their previous teams. The Raiders figure to change from their decades-old approach of cornerback and the pieces from the previous regime don't necessarily fit.

2. Starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain hasn't performed to his draft level and he's facing 180 days in prison. If McClain has to go to jail during the season, untested third-year player Travis Goethel is projected to start. The other starting linebackers are Aaron Curry and free agent pickup Philip Wheeler. There are a lot of moving parts here. There aren't many difference makers.

3. The defensive line should lead the way, but it's worth noting Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly are not exactly ascending players. Seymour is the consummate pro but he can't be expected to dominate at age 33. Seymour is set to make $15 million, a figure worthy of a dominating player. Kelly will make $6 million.

4. Allen would love to show 3-4 fronts this year, but he doesn't yet have the personnel to do it.

5. This is a defense is transition. We know Allen is creative, but there are no easy answers with a cornerback group as shaky as this one. This team finished 29th in both points and yards allowed last year.

We wouldn't expect much improvement from the group this year, which will be tough to take for a defensive-minded coach like Allen.

PantyRaider...The New Era Of Winning Is On Hold!!!!/_

9:32 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Welcome back PR ... I think! LOL! No surprise that your 1st post in quite some time was extremely negative.

BTW, I will take Wheeler, Bartell, and Spencer over Wimbley, Routt, and C.Johnson any day of the week!

I expect our D to improve incrementally from last year due to coaching, scheme, and by a more aggressive, dynamic, less predictable standpoint.

If healthy, Wheeler, Bartell, and Spencer will be significant impact players. I'm also excited about Shaunnessey coming back. In our new D, our safeties will have MORE opportunities to be playmakers.

Clearly an infusion of talent on the defensive side of the ball will need to wait until next year with a full complement of draft picks and salary cap room.

In the meantime, the defensive improvements will need to be driven by Allen, his leadership, will, and philosophies.

Personally, I believe our D will catch our opponents and media by surprise by flying low under the radar but only time will tell.

A big part of the D's success or failure will be determined by the health of our key players and the back-ups being capable when counted on to perform ... but what else is new?

9:51 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What a buzz kill. In previous off-seasons, if anyone else posted that dribble, they would have been heavily criticized.

It's safe to say the Raiders can't get worse on defense. Just showing up and having a collective pulse will be an improvement.

But it's funny to read that this one stands behind some unnamed media source who actually suggests the Raiders defense can't immediately improve on a rudderless, high-yielding defense led by Chuck Bresnahan.

Man, the bar is low for this one.

3:26 AM  
Blogger OakTown Blues said...

Too soon to say anything at all... a unified team is hard to beat, and we got talent... Nuff said.

1:13 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

NFL.com was the source...Obviously nameless and misinformed!!!

Health is an even larger issue when most of our "D" is coming off our own "IR" or someone else...Or damn close to it!!!...Add the "O" into that equation as well!!

Than add in the total lack of interest in addressing our larger needs at "DT"/"NT" while adding more depth at "DE" which should have been a strength???..."LB"???....LoL!!!

Than there's the issue of just how much of what that damn "Donkey" did last year was due to "DA"....Their "HC" has been known for having very strong "D"s and turning programs around in a single season...Check his history!!!

Than there's the "O" and lack of interest in addressing the losses at "TE"/"RB" with anything closely resembling what was sacrificed!!!..."OL" is NOT the top 5 unit that we fielded last season either!!!

Add in the addition of a "QB"s coach which again is getting all the credit for what his team was able to due while totally ignoring the input of their "OC"/"HC"????...That "Retread" is now changing the entire system so even the retention of Al Saunders will have little to no impact!!!

Than there's the "ST"s of which I have NO idea what he have???

So the word is "TRANSITION"!!!!....On all fronts including the Front Office!!!

And that's NOT the return of a #9 "O" or the healthy return of a talented "D" roster....That plan has been scraped!!!

But for those wearing "Blinders" like some damn "Donkey MuleHead" there's really nothing to worry about....Your forecasting AFCW Champs!!!

LoL!!!

PantyRaider...."Reality Check" Wen't Way Over Your Collective Heads!!!!/_

3:54 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think the Raiders (and Reggie) are going to surpirse us this year with a couple or three extremely well-played acquisitions, including formerly injured players who are now ready, able and willing to make a difference.

Some very interesting prospects are in place. That's how you build a team. It doesn't happen by making free agent splashes. That much the Raiders have proven over and over and over.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

PR,

Name any our recent acquisitions who hasn't been given complete 100% clearance by our medical staff?

Name any our recent acquisitions who hasn't fully participated in mini-camp and OTAs?

Why the "sky is falling" attitude about players who were on IR last year?

Talk about "blinders" ... you are the one with blinders on if you don't recognize the fact that Reggie needed to get into cap compliance and deal with a short deck of draft picks. To suggest that he could go out and add talented upgrades to all our positional groups is rather childish.

When the dust settles, let's look back and see how Biesel, Wheeler, Spencer, and Bartell perform. Let's look back and see how young guys like Ausberry, Crimer, T.Jones, Burris perform in their first significant playing time.

1:16 PM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

PR...

Ok PR, you will slam me for this but here goes… We're all looking for points of strength/points of weakness, needs and possible additions; but there are so many variables, most of us are willing to wait until they actually play a few games to damn the team, and the moves they're making.

That NFL article was absolute garbage, uninformed bias… they still had Seymour at $15m this year, they had low improvement expectations for our defense when we all know just dumping Bres was at least a 300% upgrade… 'the pressure is on for Dennis Allen..', the pressures on for ALL coaches… I couldn't believe he got paid for writing that crap!

Me, I'm excited about this season, everything I read about Reggie and DA, the interviews the hires and fires, inspires confidence that our miserable last decade is finally over, they've got their feet firmly on the ground and are doing what we've wanted for years… we now have in place a solid professional franchise… it's all different, from coaches to computers, they've upgraded our sub-par strength & conditioning, we have a young team full of talent waiting to be properly coached. Every player, rookie and vet is talking about the vibe, the playbook, the great attitude, the excitement to get to work…

and all you see is negatives?

I can't wait to see THIS team play… GO RAIDERS!!!

4:27 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

bazjoz..

No slamming here but 1st -n- foremost Reggie was my man long before the rest of you jumped on his band wagon so I ain't putting my man down....Just being realistic!!!

I also was pimping Marc to take over so that's a clearer picture for you now too!!

But in this NFL game you rarely ever start new on all fronts and come out the gate competing on anything close to a high level...So like I said maybe later in the season when/if this new roster gels and stays healthy long enough???...Hopefully by the 5th week after our Bye???....

I didn't bother to mention that everyone else has made marked improvements in our division...At least on paper while our roster and perhaps coaching staff has regressed....Not enough can be said for "Continuity" and at this point we have NONE from last season...Or virtually none!!!

Than add in the rest of our schedule which is far from easy...All likelihood is that by week #5 we're playing from behind and trying to catch up the rest of the season....Meanwhile the rest of the AFCW is returning to a system which they have been in for at least a full season...We are NOT!!!

Another point to remember is those damn "Zebra"...I doubt they suddenly take a blind eye to that yellow their so found of!!!

And take a look at our roster and how many players have an injury history!!!....What the fuck makes someone think they will all miraculously evade that tendency now that Al Davis is no longer involved???....Pure stupidity...But than what can you expect from someone who starts pimping "AFCW CHAMPS" before we even have our coaches or a settled roster or even a schedule!!!

LoL!!!...Now that's "Football Stupidity"!!!!

PantyRaider....The Forecast Is Dim But That Don't Mean You Surrender!!!!/_

11:29 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Zebras? Really? Before the season starts? Wow. That's lame!

"LoL!!!...Now that's "Football Stupidity"!!!!"

5:05 AM  
Blogger bazjoz said...

Wow PR... so calm and collected, thanks for the response, and thanks for bringing up injuries.

INJURIES! I've said it a few times but one of the most important changes for our team this year has to be the upgrade at Strength & Conditioning. Al Davis was very loyal as we know, and kept people in house that he should have let go. I really believe what we had held us back... we were injured too easily and unable to fully recover. You can't get on a roll or be consistent when even your young studs can't get or stay healthy.

Ok, I'm a fan not a physio, but from what i've read we just saw Reggie go and hire a couple of the very best, so imagine our season with a healthy DMC, Ford, Moore... that changes everything!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One of the more significant, tangible improvements that I think will be realized from day 1 is a serious reduction in penalties in 2012.

By all accounts, Allen has been preaching, teaching, and instilling discipline as soon as he took over.

Worrying about injuries or the schedule before the 1st down has been played is ridiculous.

Seriously, PR, name a player on our roster that you are concerned about for health reasons.

As far as our schedule goes, you play the teams put before you. What teams scare you and why? The only game on the docket that is daunting is facing Baltimore on the road. The beauty of the NFL is the slogan "On any given Sunday ..."

To be so negative, faithless, and pessimistic before training camp has even started - - the ultimate "doom and gloomer"! Congrats!

7:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I didn't realize Marcel Reece's tender was only $540,000. Reece is a talented player and gives the Raiders another big weapon out of the backfield. Based on his pay scale, why is it so difficult for the Raiders to secure him to a long-term deal?

4:59 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Reece is a nice piece to the firepower, creativity, and diversity of the offense. Using Reece as a receiver/safety valve in space is perfectly suited for Knapp's offense.

NYR: Once the tender was signed, I would expect the negotiation of a long term deal. A very reasonable, long term deal should be secured.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

I was watching the 'Sea of Hands' on NFL network last night and the similarities of the comments of 1974 right up to last years edition of the Raiders was astounding. Players saying how the Raiders played strictly man to man, Raiders having trouble stopping the run, Miami TE saying the Raiders played "stupid football". Announcer talking about the Raiders penalty troubles. Back then, it was a trademark, later on, it was a liability.

Now, those days are gone, the Raiders hit 8-8 for 2 seasons under the "dumbest team in football" approach. Now, imagine, what will happen when they smarten up and play on an even playing field? With upgraded talent and coaching? A QB who has shown to play at a Pro Bowl level and poised to do it again, a RB that will be a Pro Bowl player if healthy, an improved O-line.

Better CB's, a defensive scheme that no longer resembles the exact scheme from 40 years ago....who wouldn't say the Raiders would win the West? I'll tell you who, people who have no idea, no clue, someone who still thinks the Raider way of old was the 'cutting edge' in todays game.

All teams in the AFC West will have basically the same schedule, saying the Raiders have a tougher schedule than the rest of the division is just an outright stupid comment.

The Raiders will win the West if they remain somewhat healthy. All teams incur injuries, they are unavoidable, just as long as the key players stay healthy, Raiders win the West playing SMART football.

JONES

10:26 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Jones - Agreed. For anyone to even suggest the Raiders have taken a step backward is absolutely uninformed and ridiculous.

Clearly, there was a time when Al Davis was healthy and could implement his plan despite its flaws; but those days were long gone well before this transition occurred.

As Davis' health deteriorated over the years, it became more and more important for him to have the right people under him. Unfortunately, it turned out just the opposite; first with Kiffin-gate, then Cable-gate (throw in f Hanson-gate) and, perhaps to a lesser degree, Jackson-gate.

The list of failures over the last decade seems endless. Arguably, Matt Millen had a better go of it in Detroit (at least on paper).

4:53 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Jones,

If you take it one step further on the idiotic remark about the schedule -- the Raiders have an easier schedule than SD and Den purely by the NFL formula.

The Raiders have the "3rd place" schedule. Yes, I guess you could argue the Chiefs have an easier schedule than the Raiders since they have the "4th place" schedule but who really gives a shit.

You play the team on the docket and when the regular season concludes, you add up the wins.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wheeler, a more compact player at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, will have myriad roles in a multiple system.



"They ask me to do a lot of things, cover the tight end sometimes, blitz sometimes, drop back in coverage," Wheeler said Wednesday after the Raiders' organized team activity. "It's fun because the offense is never going to know what we're doing."

Returning players are thrilled with a system installed by coach Dennis Allen and coordinator Jason Tarver that deviates from the standard 4-3 defense with minimal blitzing and backed by a man-to-man defense favored by late owner Al Davis.

Likewise, Wheeler is excited to play in something other than the strict Cover 2 employed by Indianapolis. He understand why the Colts played that way -- the Cover 2 perfectly complemented Peyton Manning as a play-with-the-lead offense on a team that could score.

1:51 PM  
Blogger OakTown Blues said...

Statistics and analyses are for previous actions, trying to predict is ridiculous! Schedule, schmedule. Just wait, you'll see. Then you'll have somethin' to analyze! Lookig forward to a boatload of swagger, and so glad Reggie blew up the old ship. I think Al would be proud.

4:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The “old ship” had too many barnacles. It had to go! Now if we could just get rid of the barnacles on some folks’ brains...

4:08 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Here's an example of the improved transparency of the team this year, that gives the fans a better understanding of the inner workings of the team.

From the media:

"On Wednesday, the Raiders confirmed that the conditional part of the trade last October applied only to last season. Therefore, the Bengals get the Raiders second-round pick in 2013, regardless what happens this season."

What's the big deal? Why couldn't this information be better articulated when it happened?

The Raiders didn't always use secrecy (a/k/a the cone of silence) to their advantage; it was mostly out of spite for the media and the rest of the NFL.

It's not fan-friendly, and it's not good business.

Cheers to the "NEW" Raiders!

4:59 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

What excites me the most about transitioning into the new era is an improvement in our D under new leadership.

If you get right down to it, our D last season was piss poor and cost us numerous games.

Across the board (rush D, YPC, pass D, pass TDs, penalties, blown leads, etc.), the 2011 D performed very poorly.

I'm looking at the 2012 D as flying low under the radar but able to improve significantly with a smart, dynamic, multiple, tough, disciplined unit that takes shape under Allen/Tarver's watch.

9:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

From Michael Huff:

“Nothing personal but, obviously, before with Al (Davis), rest in peace, he had his hands in all the defense,” Huff said. “He had all his little things he liked to do."

From Corkran:

"Huff is of the belief that the Raiders defense was too predictable in his first six NFL seasons and that late owner Al Davis’ heavy hand on the defensive philosophy and scheme limited the players’ ability to perform at peak level."

But some folks will still ignore what became painfully obvious through many years of losing.

The Raiders defense has no place to go but up, and 2012 presents the Raiders with their best opportunity in a decade (or longer) to make a significant improvement on defense.

We can finally stop trying to fit the square peg in a round hole.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Yay....the truth will always come out. Just to add to NYR's quote...


“We’re just looking forward to playing for a defensive head coach, getting to play a REAL DEFENSE" Huff said. “So, I’m definitely looking forward to that this year.

"The Raiders set franchise worsts last year in touchdown passes allowed (31), yards per carry (5.1), yards passing (4,262) and total yards (6,201), while giving up the third-most points (433) in team history.

Opposing offenses may have to actually guess what the Raiders defense will do next.

“(Last year,) everybody knew,” Huff said. “I’m in the middle of the field, I’m in the post, we’re pretty much man-to-man on the outside, it was pretty simple. We really didn’t blitz much. We let our front four get after them. That’s how it was, so we dealt with it.”

The Raiders will blitz a lot more this season under Allen.

“He came from Denver, he was with the Saints when they were blitzing,” Huff said. “That’s his M.O. He wants to blitz, get after the quarterback and just make plays. He puts us in position to make plays so that’s what we have to do.”

JONES

10:27 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

NYR,

I'm more than ready to begin the new era. A clean slate with a proud history ... nothing wrong with that in my book. Optimistic about the future while still proud of the rich traditions.

The predictability of our D was the elephant in the room. Some fans wouldn't acknowledge or understand the shortcoming but instead lived in the past or dealt with it with lame ass excuses.

It will be refreshing to utilize modern, dynamic defensive principles to be more competitive and stop playing with 1 arm behind our back.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

All this time we spent arguing about what was real and what wasn't....it's getting very clear what the past was, the facts are on the table and the worshippers never had it right. Al Davis was the HC, GM, Owner, you name it. He ran the Defense, the scheme was the same as the '70s, how many times did the denial trips go on about that?

It was crazy train in the Org and on this blog, there was no way possible, of becoming a contender with the way the Org was run, PERIOD.

Crew loses and are still crying for the dysfunction.

It's in the past....we can now move forward, it has been a long time coming. Too bad it had to come down to Mr.Davis passing for it to happen.

JONES

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Can you say, "Minty fresh?" Yup, that is how I'm feeling.
I am not going to sit here and say we are improved on defense because that remains to be seen. At some point, the majority of Raiders' fans (97-98% of them) felt we needed a change of scheme on the defensive front. We clearly have that now, and we will clearly see how effective our players are.
It's not going to be the same Raiders team from last year, but we cannot have injuries; or we will have the same results.
I will say this, the vibe coming from the players out of Alameda has me excited.

JUST WIN, BABY!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Go to Raiders.com and view the Carson Palmer video. What really sticks out is his comment about playing vs. our D in mini-camp ... not knowing what to expect in terms of scheme, alignment, coverage, etc.

It's a new day in Oakland and I'm excited and optimistic about our D making significant progress and improvements.

Yes, it clearly is a work in progress installing a brand new defensive system but it clearly will give us a better chance to compete.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Just a word of caution.

Just because a defense "blitzes" a lot, doesn't mean success.

The 2 teams that played in the super bowl, Giants/Pats, are not big blitzing teams.

Always better to bring the pressure with the front four.

9:41 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raider00 -

Buddy Ryan did pretty good with the blitz.

Also, teams today that get away with not blitzing as much have more talent along their interior line, and defense overall; the Giants to use your example.

Besides, it really doesn't matter.

The important thing is that the Raiders appear to be more capable of making adjustments on the fly than ever before.

And in the grand scheme of things, they are not likely to ever again be marred by nine consecutive years without a winning record while remaining uncompromising and unchanging over such a period.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00,

I agree that it is better to get adequate pressure from the front 4.

However, most teams, including the Raiders, are unable to create adequate pressure from the base 4.

I personally think one of the more important aspects of playing defense is keeping the opponent on their back foot.

This is achieved by being more dynamic, aggressive, using multiple looks and alignments, utilizing exotic blitz schemes AND ultimately being less predictable which in turn leads to causing offensive mistakes.

The analogy that I like to draw is that by being more multi-pronged on D and less static, we will be playing chess with our defensive pieces instead of checkers.

5:13 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

If you listen to the players, they make it sound like the Raiders went from one way of lining up and playing defense (which they did) to playing virtually every possible defense in the NFL.

The players are excited to implement this new defense, not like past years when they knew it was the same old boring approach.

Also, the message from mini-camp is that the coaching staff is very instructive and concise in their teaching methods.

Everybody is on the same page. There’s no more Wizard standing behind a curtain turning knobs and pulling strings to choke the defense into submission before they hit the field.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

The defense is going to be highly inspired.

In the past, players knew they were playing a very simple style of defense with no mystery to what they were doing. They were frustrated of what was being asked of them, football is a game of emotion, if players are not inspired, they don't play as well. From what we are hearing, these players are going to be riding a high of emotion because they will be playing in a "real defense". No longer going on to the field knowing that they have to make an impossible scheme, successful.

Motivation, emotion, feeling good about what you are doing, goes a long way in being successful at anything in life. I see a together team, they will be breathing fresh air and playing inspired football. They went 8-8 2 years in a row, playing in "not the best of" circumstances as far as wins are concerned.

The defense will be one of the most improved in the league. I'm saying that, I'm saying they win the West....been waiting for this for a very long time. It seems to be unfolding just the way someone would draw it on the chalkboard....very good execution from the Org as a whole and I expect it will continue.

JONES

11:21 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

I Pimped Reggie Because He's In The Image Of Al Davis...A Clone Who's "D" 1st!!!

His history as a Raider plays huge in this too…I believe he was the main man/top candidate on Al’s short list of replacements and I’m down with the direction he’s taking while I question some of the moves…

But he spoke true and I’m taking him at his word as a “Football Man” that knows….

It’s still year one. I don’t think we’re looking for a situation where players are going to act like they’ve been here for five years in one system, playing with each other and they know each other like the back of their hand. I don’t see that but I do see guys working very well together and getting it right. I feel good about it.

Out the gate this is most likely the situation of this team on both sides of the ball…Than if we can keep our key players healthy by mid-season or perhaps after the bye start to play competitive football…Unfortunately by than we’re prolley in a hole trying to play “Catch-Up” with our tough schedule but anything is possible…

I will try not to be too critical of what I see early on and look for the improvements instead…Considering new systems on both sides of the ball and "ST"s as well…That’s allot of changes in one season…Front office as well!!!

X-"Tebowphobe"!!!

by PantyRaider on Jun 16, 2012 3:28 PM ICT

1:33 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Exactly what the Raiders have is difficult to discern, given the restrictions on offseason contact and the fact that they have instituted new systems on offense and defense.

"It's a completely new offense, there's really no similarities to anything I've done before, but I love all the boots and play-actions and nakeds and keepers," Palmer said. "I'm excited to do that, and really all those things are going to help the running
game, and the more the running game moves the chains, the better everyone else is on the entire team."
--------------------------------------

That can be double for the new "D" as well...


As for the comments from Huff what the fuck are you reading into that...It's NO different than what has been reported in the past and Huff has always had a very big mouth that has yet to live up to itself on the football field!!!...See Reggie's answer to a question in his regard!!!

Al Davis had a basic scheme that he wanted to be run and hired/drafted coaches/players who he felt would best fit that basic scheme...That's NOT calling the fuckin "D"!!!...Al had very damn little to do with that bullshit that was on the field last season...The man wasn't even at mini-camp/camp/games or practices!!!...He didn't even make the last game of 2010!!!....Your "BrainDead" to even be pimping such total CRAP!!!

As for Reggie he's from the same system as Al Davis ran but obviously has a different "D" philosophy which will undoubtedly now be pursued...Hopefully it's as successful threw time as Al's "Single Deep Safety M-M Press Coverage" has been???

PantyRaider....The "HateTrip" Never Dies!!!!/_

1:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"Huff has always had a very big mouth...."

Michael Huff has been nothing but professional since being drafted and has said nothing of this sort in the past.

He is not alone. Numerous players have complained about the singular approach which Al Davis was the architect.

Huff is a key player in the Raiders defense and will show everyone he is the same player the Raiders drafted, but he's just been held hostage in a badly broken system.

5:36 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Hate trip? It's more of the truth being exposed, Hue Jackson said it, the players are saying it. It has nothing to do with hate. Denial and deflection of the truth, doesn't change the truth. Crying about the past isn't going to change it. The facts are out and it plainly shows that what some were "pimpin", is and was, totally off base.

JONES

6:04 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

"As for Reggie he's from the same system as Al Davis ran but obviously has a different "D" philosophy which will undoubtedly now be pursued."

The 2012 Raiders has absolutely nothing to do with Reggie's philosophy on defense.

Let's be clear. This is Allen & Tarver's D. Period.

Reggie hired Allen. Allen hired Tarver. The installation, instruction, philosophy, and execution of the D is Allen & Tarver's baby.

1:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The 2012 Raiders are about as removed from the past as they could possibly be in one season.

Reggie McKenzie DID what Lane Kiffin suggested needed to be done many years ago; Reggie "blew up the whole building."

Nothing "old school" about that.

The Raiders haven't cleaned house in 50+/- years. It's been 10 years since the Raiders fielded a winning team, and some folks here don't believe that team was all that great.

Putting the 2002 Raiders aside, you have to go back to the mid 1980s (almost 30 years) to discuss great moments in Raiders history.

The time for building on what the Raiders once had is long gone. It's time to move on! It's a new era in Raiders football. Embrace it!

GO RAIDERS!!

5:09 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Definitely a positive, business-like vibe to the offseason.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raider00 said...
"Just a word of caution. Just because a defense "blitzes" a lot, doesn't mean success.
The 2 teams that played in the super bowl, Giants/Pats, are not big blitzing teams.
Always better to bring the pressure with the front four."

I think the difference here Raider00, is the Giants/Pats, even though they don't pass blitz a lot; they utilize the blitz more effectively.

But both teams use their linebackers to blitz the running lanes. Instead of them backing up into pass-coverage, the LBs step up to plug the running lanes. They utilize their DBs in a man-zone read to cover against the pass. It is a hybrid defensive scheme. The Ravens, Steelers, Texans, and Packers have used this scheme.

Doing this creates opportunity to create pressure on the QB. Because if this is a pass play, and your LBs are stepping up, they are blocking the QB's passing lanes; which make it easier to deflect short passes and disquise the coverage of the DBs. As well, the QB puts pressure on himself as he sees the LBs step up, thinking they are coming with a blitz and he has to rid the ball quick. It is a mental game being played.

This sets up for when they do blitz, the QB more than likely will not have anywhere to go. Now, grant it, Brady, both Mannings, Rodgers, and Brees do a great job with getting the ball out quickly and knowing where their WRs are going; but they still get extremely rattled when the blitz is coming down the passing lane. They have nowhere to get rid of it, so they throw it away (if they can), or take the sack.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Jack....

The problem with the Raiders of past years hasn't been a player problem. It was the environment that was, that created a system that could not succeed. It was not a "business like vibe", it was an enigma that would change into different realms at the whim of one man.

There was no way the team could function as one entity. Team chemistry and togetherness has been proven over and over to be a very key element to a winning Org.


As soon as Reggie came on board, with the high recommendations of Ron Wolf and John Madden as well as others....listening to Reggie lay out his plan, hiring an up and coming, no nonsense, defensive HC that is allowed to be a HC....the players were mostly in place, they just needed an Org to play for that was streamlined to WIN. The Raiders will go from one of the most fractured and under coached teams to one of the most together and well coached teams in the NFL. Some will say it's too early to tell, I'm saying.... It's here, Raiders win the West.

JONES

2:18 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Jones,

The no nonsense, no drama, positive vibe, and business like environment where football is front and center is the perfect tonic to a new era.

I have never been so excited and optimistic about the future in close to 10 years.

Finally the players, units, and team as a whole can be unleashed to it's full potential.

None of the media prognosticators are predicting success for the Raiders in 2012 ... I'm standing firm and resolute in predicting the AFC West crown.

What I'm most pumped up about is our defense unit being aggressive and dynamic in shaking up and burying our opponents into the turf!

Onwards and upwards. All the negative, dooms day, glass empty fools can take a seat.

9:27 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"The Raiders will go from one of the most fractured and under coached teams to one of the most together and well coached teams in the NFL."

Indeed!

Personally, I don't need immediate results to keep my high on the Raiders. The transformation has already revealed itself as a huge positive for this franchise moving forward.

That said, I think they will show us significant improvement on the field this year.

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about the Raiders and the upcoming season.

I think the most overrated team coming into the season that is getting alot of press, and has quickly become the "favorite" of the league is the Doncos.

Nobody is even sniffing the Raiders. I love it! I feel we are in a position to dominate.

The difference is the players are completely on board and believing in the system. We haven't seen this since the Gruden Era.

Not to say they weren't motivated by each other, or motivated by Hue; but being motivated and being on board are two completely different things. There needed to be a change of culture, we have that culture change.

We haven't patched the holes in the sinking ship; the ship has been completely overhauled! Crisp sails are blowing in the autumn wind again! The cannons are being polished! The blades are being sharpened! The gold is there for us to plunder; and we are plotting a new course! We are no longer looking for buried treasure, we are looking to steal it from everyone else! Just like the Raiders of old! Ya better get out of our way, because we're looking for a fight!

JUST WIN, BABY!

6:16 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider Nate 75,

The excitement and anticipation for the 2012 season is growing each day!

I agree with you about the Raiders keeping a low profile and flying under the radar.

The feedback from the players about how business is being conducted is extremely positive especially in regards to the coaching staff.

Taking sustainable, forward steps in the improvement of the team is a process without shortcuts.

I truly feel that the clean slate that started with the hiring of Reggie McKenzie is the beginning of a beautiful new era.

9:47 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Well it apperas that my Reggie is still willing to look at "Gangsta Thugs" to wear the "S&B"!!!


LoL!!



Benson, who has topped the 1,000-yard mark the past three seasons, has not drawn much interest from teams. He’s had off-field problems each of the past two seasons — assault charges that resulted in Benson being suspended for three games this season.

McFadden, who missed nine games this past season with a foot injury, is at full strength now. However, he’s missed at least three games in each of his first four seasons in the NFL.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Anyone paying attention to the 'bounty' case? Looks like the League is going to be heavily challenged on their accusations. Looks like their evidence has plenty of holes in it. It looks like the League may have gone too far in their attempt to look like they are cracking down on injuries. I hope the 'powers that be' get exposed for lying and corruption.....absolute power....corrupts absolutely.

JONES

11:05 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It would seem the league has more evidence than they want to reveal. I hate to see the long suspensions, but I believe the players are probably guilty as charged; otherwise, why don't the suspended coaches challenge the allegations?

The "absolute power" still has its checks and balances. If Goodell steps beyond his authority provided by the CBA, which the players agreed to, then he could be in violation of federal laws, something that can and probably will get exposed.

I do agree, the process has not been fair to the players who are accused.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Did you see when they tried to appeal? The League basically told them to take their suspensions or it will get tougher on them. If the coaches go forward, to out the League, they surely know they would lose their place in the NFL 'community'. What would you do?

At the time, the League was holding all the cards...now that the League is being forced to come forward with evidence, those cards are slipping away. Their evidence is weak and it is going to be challenged, I hope it all comes around and kicks the commmish square in the ass. Dictators are never good.

JONES

1:51 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

NYR, I found this article, this thing might blow up in the Leagues face....

Posted by Mike Florio on June 21, 2012, 11:08 PM EDT...


If former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams wants to talk, he apparently can.

At Monday’s appeal hearing, lawyer Peter Ginsberg claimed that the league had issued a gag order preventing Williams and other Saints employees from speaking about the situation. According to the Associated Press, the league denies the existence of a gag order.

Ginsberg also claimed that Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo retracted their statements that the players were involved in a bounty program. The league denies that they have retracted their comments.

If true, then Williams has the green light to go on the record and explain whether, for example, he told the league that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game. The league claims that Williams, Mike Ornstein, and an unnamed witness said Vilma said the offer. Ornstein has denied in an interview with PFT giving the league such information.

Williams has remained silent, and many league insiders believe that he fears he’ll never be reinstated by Commisioner Roger Goodell if Williams goes public with any statements that weaken the league’s case against the players. Given the perception that he threw Vilma under the bus, Williams surely is feeling compelled to come forward — especially if he believes that he didn’t say what the league is saying he said about Vilma.

Of course, the absence of a gag order doesn’t mean the league office wouldn’t find a way to hold against Williams anything he says that the league office finds objectionable or unfortunate. In the end, Williams has to balance the possibility of alienating the NFL against the reality that he will now be viewed by players throughout the league, rightly or wrongly, as a snitch.

JONES

9:23 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Or this one, it explains what is really going on.....


...."And so the league’s case against the players amounts to a contention that the pay-for-performance program included payments for big, clean, legal hits that caused a player to exit the field, whether for one or more plays or the rest of the game. The problem with the league’s logic is that, even without the extra cash, professional football players (especially defensive players) already are paid to deliver big, clean, legal hits. The goal in delivering big, clean, legal hits is to break the opponent’s will or, at a minimum, get him thinking not about doing his own job, but about avoiding another big, clean, legal hit.

An unspoken (usually) goal of delivering big ,clean, legal hits is to make opposing players unavailable to play. As long as the big hit is clean and legal, there’s no rule (yet) against trying to hit a player so hard that he can’t keep playing.

Perhaps that’s why the NFL has felt compelled to make its case seem stronger than it is, and to make the Saints’ behavior seem more sinister than it was. By painting a picture of players who were looking to go beyond the rules to inflict injuries, the league successfully has glossed over the philosophical question of whether a player who already is paid to deliver big, clean, legal hits should be punished for receiving a little extra pay to (wait for it) deliver big, clean, legal hits.

It’s not that the Saints were trying to injure players. It’s that the Saints were offering extra money for big, clean, legal hits that advanced the pre-existing objective of victory through attrition, a concept that has been part of the game since the game was invented.

This inconsistency first surfaced when comparing the huge gap between Gregg Williams’ cartoonish remarks the night before the January 2012 playoff game against the 49ers and the absence of any extracurricular hits or stomps or knee-whackings or conduct other than big, clean, legal hits. (Of course, most of the big, clean, legal hits applied in that game were applied to members of the Saints.) But the distinction between talk and action largely has been lost in the stream of flawed evidence leaked and/or published by the league.

So instead of debating whether it’s fair and just to dub as a “bounty” program money paid to a player for doing the job he already is paid to do, much of the debate has centered the accuracy and credibility of the league’s interpretation of items like: the Anthony Hargrove declaration; the Mike Ornstein email of September 2011; the bounty ledger that was summarized for Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports; the specific proof that Jonathan Vilma offered a $10,000 bounty on Brett Favre; and the question of whether sideline video from the 2009 NFC title game actually proves that Hargrove said, “Bobby, give me my money.”

Maybe that’s precisely what the league has wanted. Maybe the league hopes to avoid a full-blown debate on what’s really going on here. Players were paid extra money for doing the jobs they already were paid to do. Absent proof linking the pooled cash to dirty or illegal hits aimed at inflicting injury, the Saints did nothing between the white lines that any other team ever sets out to do. Instead, some members of the Saints simply got a little extra money for doing what they already were supposed to do.".....

JONES

9:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Yeah, the whole thing is being blown out of proportion by the league. It seems as though the Saints and/or players may have used a rewards program as a motivational tool (even $10k isn't much money for a guy that makes millions), but the league can't or won't provide any real evidence, including, and particularly, illegal hits that caused injury.

I think the league is hypersensitive to this issue because they are trying to change football into a knitting competition by eliminating contact altogether.

I don't think what the Saints did (or might have done) is so bad they couldn't have recceived a warning, fines and/or much shorter suspensions. It's not like they broke the law, or were caught cheating Patriots-style.

At this point, nobody has a clue. The league should be forced to provide their evidence to the accused or shut up.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

4+ weeks away from training camp opening. In my opinion, this time-frame, late July up until the opener vs. San Diego, is by far the most important period of time for the new era to commence and to lay the foundation for success.

5:00 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I look at it as the whole process, from OTAs to mini-camps to training camp and pre-season. This is entire process was missing last year, which hurt the Raiders as much as any team, because they were in some respects installing a new system (even if only new coaches running the same system).

This year, the Raiders will have been exposed to all the above, with at or near full participation.

Also, everybody has a playbook in hand. Of course, what they do with it is up to them, but a guy like Carson Palmer will be sleeping with his.

One of my keys to training camp (and thru the season), will be keeping players healthy. Last year's frequency of non-contact injuries (e.g., hamstring, calf, foot) has to be decreased, and it will be up to the new training staff to figure it out.

PFT posted salary cap figures:

Raiders have like $1.3M to spend.

Strangely, teams like the Pats and Broncos (after paying Manning) each have almost $11M, and the Chiefs have over $16M.

I'd say there's no question Reggie has done a tremendous job working within the salary cap and yet keeping most of the team in tact, while actually adding depth.

Side note: I read that K Wimbley will be running the obstacle course on American Ninji Warrior airing this Monday.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Good points NYR. I agree about it being an entire process.

Yet, for me, the regular training camp period is the nuts and bolts of the foundation.

This crucial period of time is when the installation, competition, work habits, team spirit, and execution all comes together. In short, it is the building block for a team's success.

1:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

CJ - Agreed. No question training camp will provide the critical work needed for the Raiders to compete in a completely new system.

The feeling I have is that the Raiders will be better coached and better managed through that process than they have been for a decade, or longer.

That should be good news for any Raiders fan.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

It would seem that there is a calm before the storm. Raider fans for the most part, seem to be in a holding pattern. Sitting and waiting to see what will unfold before their eyes, not sure what to make of the 'new' Raiders after 50 years of one man in charge.

It's all so new to Raider fans, it kind of mirrors David Lee Roth leaving Van Halen and Sammy Hagar taking over. Old time Halen fans will always want Roth, while others liked the new direction, that was Sammy.

I suspect for some fans, it will never be what it was and their enthusiasm will not be the same. While others will accept the 'new' way as a breath of fresh air, when they were gagging on the old air of the previous way.

It may be quiet for now...but when the gates open and the team plays a few games....it could get very ripe throughout the Nation.

JONES

7:32 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I think the difference is that the "old" Val Halen still worked despite its dysfunction, while the "old" Raiders didn't.

It was time! The Raiders were changing head coaches like some folks change their underwear, once a year. And some assistant coaches were allowed to stay indefinitely, regardless of results. Same can be said for scouts and other personnel. Also, as Reggie has revealed, there were layers missing within the organization.

Jones, to borrow a word you used, a "fractured" team with a divided fan base is no way to run a business.

Like you said, a few games, a few wins, and this will be all forgotten, while the Raiders history and storied tradition will live on forever.

5:00 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

How totally pathetic!!!

"a few games, a few wins, and this will be all forgotten"

Now a "Few Wins" will suddenly rewrite the great historical records that Mr Davis posted????

REALLY!!!

Just how fuckin long do you suppose it will take "Son-o-Al" to post a record anywhere close to that of his father???....At 40 if he lives to be in his 80's will he have those 5 "SB"s -w- 3 Lombardi's at his side???...Will he have all those posted AFCW Championships on his record along with several "WC" appearances???....Will he have anywhere near the notoriety as the "GodFather" who help shape the NFL into what it is today???...Will he somehow be both Owner/Coach in his lifetime???...Will other NFL insider come to hang upon his every word???....

Stupidity!!!!

Who has ever matched the production of Al Davis???

How many owners did it take to post the Cowboy's history...3-4???

How about Pitts???...There was more than one Rooney!!!

Who the hell is there as past/present ownership that can boast what Mr Davis has accomplished???

But now a few fuckin wins in this new era will rewrite it all!!!!

Such total stupidity could only bubble forth from the worst "HateTripper"s on record!!!

PantyRaider....Your Stench Is Beyond Disgusting!!!!/_

3:44 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

For folks complaining about losing Chaz Schilens instead of re-signing him on the cheap, meet his instant replacement, courtesy of Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen.

Juron Criner.

From the media:

"At 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, the Las Vegas native by way of the University of Arizona is the possession receiver and red-zone threat the Raiders envisioned with Chaz Schilens for years...."

"Ironically, Criner's relative lack of straight line speed -- he ran a pedestrian 4.68-second 40-yard dash at the Combine -- would have turned off the Raiders' old regime. But these are new days in Silver and Blackdom."

No question, this kid does not get picked by the former Raiders' scouting and drafting.

But this is the NEW RAIDERS, baby!

Embrace it!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

No one should ever try to erase the Raiders proud history. No one should make the mistake of trying to re-write the Raiders history both good and bad.
This is the beginning of a new era.
Embrace it with both arms wide open and enjoy the ride.
Isn't this the essence of being a fan?
Optimistic about the future, proud of past glories, looking forward to raising the Lombardi once again!
Calico Jack

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I agree Calico. The history of the Raiders is the most epic history in all of sports. Like any franchise, it has had it's woes, and unfortunately, those woes were more recent.
I've shared on this site on how I became a Raiders' fan, and it involved Al Davis giving my dad tickets to the 83-84 AFC Championship game (my first NFL game). I became a fan immediately, and since I love history, I researched the Raiders' history, which wasn't hard to find, and I've been a fan ever since.
I don't want to change our history as a team; but I do want to add to that history with what we do in the future. JUST WIN, BABY!

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Embrace it with both arms wide open and enjoy the ride.
Isn't this the essence of being a fan?
Optimistic about the future, proud of past glories, looking forward to raising the Lombardi once again!"

some of us have been of this mindset the whole time. not just when things are looking up. adversity has a way of showing everybodies true colors.

frkyraider

12:14 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"adversity has a way of showing everybodies true colors."

Where to start...? This blanket statement reveals that somebody has not been keeping with current events that almost daily have revealed something new about the deep dysfunction within which the Raiders had been operating.

Being a fan also means wanting the Raiders to implement change when failure becomes so commonplace that players from other teams view playing the Raiders as having an extra bye week.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This blanket statement reveals that somebody has not been keeping with current events..."

how does it reveal that?

its a very common statement, particularly in sports. and it is true. your true colors show when your faced with adversity. if you would like to call it a blanket statement i guess that would be ok, i does apply to everyone. but the statement itself certainly doesn't reveal anything about me. as i am quite comfortable with my colors while facing adversity or not.

so already you are telling me what i know or dont know, as it were. are you going to be telling me how i feel next?

btw i agree with alot of the changes that have been made. just because i dont go splashing our dysfunction all over the internet everyday doesn't mean i dont see it.

frkyraider

10:25 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"...very common statement in sports?" Sounded more like a dig at anyone who didn't suck it up and take any adversity that Al Davis and the Raiders could dish out.

IMO, the Raiders fell several degress below adversity, as revealed by transparcenies, i.e., first one of the overhead projector variety, then transparencies of a new regime.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

How do you embrace 9 consecutive seasons of non-winning, non-playoff football?

This was more than just a mere bump in the road or aberration.

This strecth was representative of a franchise that was at a competitive disadvantage due to an outdated, dysfunctional franchise model.

The changes to the organizational structure, ways of condutcing business, and cultural overhaul were IMO long over-due.

I would have preferred to see these changes and transition take place 5+ years ago while Al was still alive.

The new era represents a new beginning, new optimism, and new history to be forged.

7:35 PM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...

Enough Of This CRAP!!!!

1:33 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

You mean the 'crap' of "poor scheme"...or..."dysfunction"...or...."bad mangement"? Truth hurts? How is that crow tasting?

JONES

1:51 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Improvement is everywhere, just look at the team's website, a small example, but a big one too.
The organization is already leaps and bounds ahead of what it was.

As has been mentioned on this blog for YEARS by a certain few, this will filter all the way through the TEAM = a better product on the field...if they could go 8-8, 2 years in a row with the mess that is now well documented...this team has a real chance at big things, starting this year. We Raider fans have been getting kicked in the nuts for too long, some even embraced it (ugh), it's time we got ourselves some redemption.

JONES

2:09 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

At the start of last year, the Raiders had Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller as the QB combo. This year, it's Palmer and Leinart = huge upgrade. I'm thinking that Leinart was one of those guys who comes into the league 'immature', meaning he didn't give the game the respect warranted to succeed at a high level. He seems to have grown out of that and is now willing to do what he needs, if Palmer goes down, I think he will be a good backup.

RB seems a little thin at the moment, a vet will sure it up and don't see any drop off from last year.

TE has youth and some talent, sounds like they might want an upgrade there, doesn't seem to be any drop off there.

OL I see less false starts this year, it has been a killer for years. Wiz at C, tough guy from Texans, LT is solid, Barnes recommitted....new scheme. Lineup is good, have to wait and see on this one.

WR...this area was neglected or mismanaged for years, sounds like they want to change that and some good young talent has been infused. I say this group will be better than last year.

Defense as a whole will be much improved, I say it will be the surprise of the league because no one see's it coming. You watch any of the meatheads on the sports predictions....they have no clue. Huff said it and it's the reason why there will be such a dramatic improvement. Predictable, easy to read, players having to fit into a system instead of a system fitting the players = bad Defense almost every year for YEARS. It's all changing and we will see a highly energized Defense with multiple looks and schemes = HUGE IMPROVEMENT.

Coaching...no longer will it be a fractured coaching group. No more yes men being undermined causing lack of respect in the locker room. No more 'moles', no more "looking over the shoulder". Again, for these reasons alone, the coaching will be improved this year.

Overall, the team has improved from the top down and that can only mean WINS.

JONES

2:33 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Well said, Jones. Getting kicked in the balls is never good. IMO, the pain is greater now reflecting back on nine wasted seasons (during which it was more of a gradual pain in the nuts).

Meanwhile, the Raiders past deficiencies and dysfunctions have never been so apparent.

It's like we just traded a tired 4-cylinder for a new HEMI. I can't wait 'til the Raiders take it out for a spin.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I have not looked forward to a new season so much since the fall of 2002 coming off our bitter "snow-job/tuck" loss to the the Pats.

What really has my juices flowing is our D finally being unleashed to their full potential. In spite of needing to add talent and depth to the squad, I definitely expect tangible, quantifyable, significant improvement from this unit in 2012.

Onwards and upwards!

9:25 PM  

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