Monday, November 19, 2012

One Postgame Take

“I’m patient, but I want to see progress. Not regression. I’m embarrassed, pissed, disappointed and I take full responsibility.”

-Mark Davis, after yesterday's blowout loss

Thank you, Mark Davis, for articulating a take that I've been repeating for the past six years. Remember all those years when I was growing increasingly impatient, wanted to see more progress, was disappointed and pissed, and held ownership accountable? Well, it's back to the future. Nice to know I'm in good company.

This is a team without a single great player. Think about that. McFadden was great for a spell, but hasn't sustained it, and I wonder if his ship has sailed. Palmer is really good, but not great. We have some good players, and plenty of not-so-good players. And as a whole, they're a disaster. Is it ability, culture, coaching, or all of the above?

What strange metaphysical brew is responsible for this team's 4-12 record over the past 16 games?

Why are we flailing around, doing an uncanny imitation of the Shell II-Kiffin era, even after yet another regime change? How can the defense get arguably worse after you fire Chuck Bresnhan and hire a defensive coordinator as your head coach? How come our "young" receivers are still so "young" when it comes to running routes and catching the ball?


In his postgame press conference, Dennis Allen sounded nothing like Mark Davis. He sounded very measured. He preached going back to work and working hard to solve the problem. He effectively praised his players, saying he knows how hard they work, and how no one is more disappointed than they are, and how for some reason they're just not getting it done. But the dude must be pissed deep down, right? Ripping the players didn't exactly help Hue Jackson.

The Clown Car remains in the garage today. The key was in the ignition, but this ultimately wasn't a clown show. It was just a simple bacon-and-eggs beatdown, an inferior team going through familiar motions, with familiar results.


Anonymous JONES said...

It's complicated, the players were in a situation, before this year, where they could do no wrong.They played for the owner. The owner loved his picks and signings and would protect and back them to no end. It's why players loved to play in Oakland years ago. The players knew nothing of being accountable because they knew it would be put on the coaches seeing as the 'GM' loved his players and despised coaches. This was the culture in Oakland for many years and it became more extreme as the years went on.

This year, they became accountable and no one was behind the curtain to bail them out. As this season has progressed, these players are realizing that this could very well be the end of their careers. They know they can't do what is being asked of them and their confidence and desire is quickly evaporating.

The coaches come in and see a culture they probably have never witnessed in their lifetimes. Believing, as I did, that the players would welcome and relish the chance to get out of the culture that WAS in Oakland, the coaches felt good about this season. As time has passed and the players having their 'uh oh' moments and the coaches realizing what they are into, IMO, this is what we are witnessing. A very unique situation that has very little chance of succeeding. This isn't excuses, it's just trying to make sense of this situation that is quite complex.

These players had it made, they could play the game for fun and get paid handsomely at the same time. Never really having to take coaches seriously because their boss wasn't the coaches.

Their 'Free ride' is over and they have failed miserably at trying to extend their careers once they became accountable. The players are realizing this more and more with each passing week. The coaches realizing more and more what situation they are dealing with. IMO, repeat, IMO, this is what we are witnessing. If you don't like this hot air, then don't read it. Just my humble take on what is a totally unique situation in pro sports that will probably never be duplicated.


9:23 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

Buried in Corks in game live chat, he mentioned he is hearing McK is attacking the lines next year. I assume this meant mostly through the draft.

I agree with this approach, especially in giving CP more time to pick teams apart (ala Brady) but we are in such a dire need of a FS... I assume he is going FA route. There is no way McK should go "bargain bin" at this position like he tried at CB this year.

We have the worst safeties in the league, IMO.. especially with Branch out. MM and Giordano shouldn't even be in the league.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

"There is no way McK should go "bargain bin" at this position like he tried at CB this year."....

What other choice did he have? He cut huge contracts, Routt, Wimbley to try and get under the cap. It's hard to get talent and pay money if it isn't available. Mr.Davis left the team talentless and a cap maxed and draft picks gone. And fans are screaming for McKenzie and Allen's heads? The same fans that took the years before this year and said they were "hitting it out of the park". The situation in Raiderland is twisted and it seems the fans are getting stuck in the 'twister'. It's going to take a while, I say give the coaches a situation they can succeed in AND THEN judge them. Judging them in this mess is just trying to find a pinata to whack.


10:22 AM  
Anonymous Derick from Section 344 said...

I agree with JONES the real evaluation of this new regime starts NEXT year. Its not what we wanted but its what we have to accept.

LOOK AT THIS FRICKING ROSTER. Add in the injuries and its unbelievable they've even won 3 games. (And absolutely should have beat Atlanta on the road)

You can coach guys up all you want, this league is about TALENT. They simply don't have enough of it.

Why do you think the few free agents we were able to sign this year were mostly given 1 year deals?? This roster will be UNRECOGNIZABLE next year.

It has to be.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Derick....when a rookie 4th rd LB is probably the best player and leader on your Defense, that says something. Then throw in the top paid player on last years Defense is now out of the league and no one is trying to sign him to a much lower contract....if that isn't proof, what else do we need? The next 2 top paid players, Kelly/ Seymour will probably be out of the league next year, or taking huge pay cuts to be roll players somewhere else. It's a mess and draft choices and a low cap # is the only way out of it.


11:45 AM  
Anonymous Derick from Section 344 said...

JONES...You're absolutely right.

Things can turn around very quickly in the NFL though. Which is what makes this prolonged suckage so frustrating.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Coming into this season, what did we know as fact ?

We knew the Raiders had one of the worst defensive front fours. Cannot stop the run, or rush the passer.

We knew the Raiders had linbacker issues.

We saw a secondary that was patch worked together in the off season.

We knew the Raiders had big trouble on the 0-line. Especially the right side, and center.

We knew the Raiders were switching to a WC offense, but did not have the WR's to fit the scheme.

We knew the Raiders best player on offense, Mcfadden, is fragile and always hurt. Surprise !!, he is hurt again.

We knew the Raiders had all these problems, and more, and no tools with which to fix them.

It's like asking Reggie Mckenzie to build a house. Handeing him a hammer, and walking away.

A hammer is not enough. He needs more tools.

I can understand Mark Davis' frustration.

But reggression is all we will get from current roster of players.

They have always been bad, and are getting worse all the time.

Frustrating, yes. But no one should be surprised.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

I have to admit, I thought the Defense would be better from just scheme alone. The players can't pick it up, mistakes everywhere. Safeties are forever messing up, Corners haven't been the worst of it and that is surprising to me.

I thought the D-line was going to be better, Houston has improved, Bryant has looked good at times...Kelly Seymour Shaunessy have been a disappointment. I thought McClain would be improved, I didn't know he was this much of a dog, he is the same player as the year before, also disappointing.

Seeing Huff and other DB's on the bench getting blasted by their position coach after a lackluster series yesterday, showed that the coaches are giving it to the players, the players can't do what is being asked of them. They only know the simple scheme, kind of, of Raider Defenses of past and anything more is too much for them. When I saw that coach really giving it to them, shows me the coaches are very frustrated at the players. Players are frustrated with themselves and they see their NFL football lives passing before their eyes and look at their efforts. It shows what they are.

These players are not good enough, not what is needed, that is crystal clear at this point.


4:41 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


I do not belive the Raiders defensive players are too dumb to understand a new scheme.

I also do not believe they have quit, or stopped trying.

What I see is a defense that has limited pysical ability.

When I watch a good defense, I see eleven fast, highly motivated, defenders, flying to the football.

Not just for one play, but for the entire game.

When I watch the Raiders D, I see slooooooooooow, stuck in the mud, athletes, running in slow motion, never getting to where they need to be.

When they blitz, they don't get to the QB in time.

In coverage, they are a 2 steps behind.

Special teams ? Forget it. They look more like the special olympics.

The Raiders just need better players. They will not fall from the sky.

They will come from the draft, and free agency. The only thing we can do, and Mark Davis can do, is wait.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Exactly what I have been trying to say, 00. They are unable to do what is asked of them. They couldn't in a simple scheme and they can't in this one. Seeing the DB coach screaming at them on the bench, shows me the coaches are as sick of their 'inabilities' as we the fans are.

There are no excuses for not knowing what you, as a player, have to do on every play. They go through the film, they have their playbooks, they practise it over and over and still, every Sunday, the same players make the same mistakes. Put these type of players on a long bus ride and let them fade into the night.


5:30 PM  
Blogger OakTownBlues said...

it's simple. it's football. case closed.

6:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IMO, it’s not as simple as just improving the roster. A team has to click on all cylinders to be successful.

So, basically, I side with statements made by Mark Davis and Dennis Allen that accountability exists across the entire organization, not just with the players.

To this point, there several teams around the league that are more talented than the Raiders but are playing as bad or worse, e.g., Detroit, NYJ, Philly. By extension, there are teams arguably less talent than the Raiders that are playing better than the Raiders.

We won’t really know the depth of the Raiders problems until we see what it takes to gain results.

For me - the train wreck of the last three weeks aside - there’s still a chance for the Raiders to meet my expectations for this year by finishing the season strong... something other Raider teams haven’t been able to do for a long long time.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous JONES said...

More evidence in San Fran. Jason Campbell was considered the best Raider Qb since Gannon, OUCH. Bush was supposed to be a big loss at HB, OUCH. I think Reece is a better HB than Bush already. This is what happens to players who leave the Raiders, they become backups and then they fade into the NFL afterlife.
Maybe Raider fans (myself included)are so used to having bum players, that it becomes hard for them to see the players for what they really are.... A bunch of overpaid neverbeens.


7:44 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yeah, I remember back when folks wrung their hands about getting rid of LaMont Jordan because he might join the Chiefs or Broncos...Oh, the horror! How could we possibly face LaMont Jordan!

Jerry Porter, Stuart Schweigart, Aaron Brooks, Alvis Whitted, LaMont Jordan, Justin Fargas, Ronald Curry, Kirk Morrison, Jason Campbell, Michael Bush, Stanford Routt, Zach Miller and even Nnamdi Asomugha. All to often, being a key Raiders starter is a stepping stone toward obscurity or outright retirement. Who's the last player we lost who was truly missed, aside from Asomugha (and then only because our CBs are so pathetic)?

It's sad, after watching the Raiders play patty-cake on defense yesterday and for the past three weeks, to see the Niners tonight just kicking ass on defense and destroying everyone in their path. The distance across the bay is 100 miles wide right now.

The Raiders used to intimidate other teams the moment they stepped off the plane. Now they can't even intimidate anyone running around the open field on their home turf.

Sad, sad, sad.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The Raiders need to be rebuild from the inside, out.

The foundation of a tough team is the OLine and DLine.

It isn't the flash skill players that will change the identity of a team that has struggled for 10 years.

It is the guys in the trenches that provide the platform for success. DL, OT are my top 2 priorities for 2013.

I'm looking forward to DA/McK building the team with draft picks and free agency from the ground up.

9:38 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

So, basically, whatever the Raiders had been doing for at least the last 10 years, they should now try the opposite approach. Unfortunately, that makes perfect sense.

It worked for George Costanza

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

RT asked, "Who's the last player we lost who was truly missed, aside from Asomugha (and then only because our CBs are so pathetic)?"

Charles Woodson, the last CB to make any consistent turnovers.

I will say this, we need to do something different offensively. Knapp is not imaginative enough to score points; and he wasn't the first time around either. Should be a little embarrassed to have such a turn around offensively from one year to the next like we have had. It's embarrassing.

I thought we'd be a little better defensively this year too. Going in I thought Knapp as OC scared me, and he proved me right.

We need DLine help at this point; and RT and Guard help on the OLine. But we need to replace all 4 on the DLine; not impressed with any of them.

If we destroy the roster, I hope we rebuild to a 3-4 style. If Rex gets the axe in NYJ, I hope we pick him up as D-Coord.

Jake Long (Tackle) and Brandon Moore (Guard) are the best available OLineman after the season.

Henry Melton (DT), Terrance Knighton (NT), and Michael Johnson (DE) are looking good on the DLine. If we are going to "spend big" after making roster cuts; then these are the guys I'd pursue.

We need a #1 WR and if we stick with ZBS, another RB that can run in this system. Reece seems like a good back to do that with, so maybe a backup. We will see.

Allen's theme to the team was to stick together, which proves to me that they are quitting and throwing in the towel during games. Good job guys. If everyone played with that attitude, Stanford wouldn't have beaten Oregon, and Baylor would have rolled over for KState; and every team would have buried their head in the sand against New England in the Super Bowl. That attitude is why former Raiders' players don't amount to anything on another team.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous JONES said...

Nate, I think the Raiders move the ball well between the 20's, settling for FG's is a killer when the Defense can't stop anyone. If the Offense isn't putting up 7's by their 2nd drive of the game, it's over. I find it hard to put the blame on the Offense even though the run game isn't helping. Every game they are playing catch up and knowing the Defense isn't going to make many stops. I see the redzone problems stem a lot from Palmer, on 3rd and long (8-15 yrds) and in redzone opportunities, Palmer is checking down early and throwing to players who are yrds short of the 1st down or TD. The Rec then catches and tries to get YAC to make it work. I have seen it time and again. Knapp isn't calling great games, he does get them into scoring situations often enough. Palmer can check to any Rec he wants, Knapp isn't telling him who to throw to every play. Not "defending" anyone, just writing what I see.

Reece has never played HB for a full season, IMO, he shouldn't be relied upon as the #1 HB going into next season.


12:51 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

You know, RT, it's funny how things turn out sometimes.

When Harbough came to SF, everyone assumed he would win with offense.

But SF's offense is pretty basic if you ask me. It's their defense that wins games for them.

Same with Brian Billick and Ravens. Former OC, but Baltimore had terrible offense's, but great defense under Billick.

As for Reece, I think the best way to use him is to keep moving him around.

He can line up as TE, HB, FB, even WR.

A great weapon to keep the defense guessing.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 -

The 49ers are an old-school, tough football club that has been built in the trenches the past 3 years with FA and draft picks. SF can effectively run the ball and stop the run.

It will be very intersting to see how DA/McK go about rebuilding the team, what positions are the priorities in the draft and with free agent dollars.

The sad reality is that we've got a talent gap across the board so it will be a matter of priorities in 2013.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

I'm pretty sure what we will see next year is the exact same coaching staff, and an entire new cast of characters.

If we continue to see the team get outcoached on both sides of the field (particularly in the third quarter) I guess we will all have our answer as to if it's the players or the coaches.

At least Mark Davis has noticed the REGRESSION.

Not sure anybody else has. Or know what to do about it.

5:39 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"I'm pretty sure what we will see next year is the exact same coaching staff...."

I wouldn't assume that. Coaches get paid to coach players up. If the season continues on its current path, I'd say Knapp and Tarver are both at risk.

McKenzie and Allen are secure, as they should be.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous gary said...

nyraider said...
I wouldn't assume that. Coaches get paid to coach players up. If the season continues on its current path, I'd say Knapp and Tarver are both at risk.


(Agreed with McK and Allen)

Under normal circumstances yes... but I don't think this is what we have here. I think we have some young unchecked ego's across the board that will never admit they are wrong. Knapp will benefit from CP putting up nearly 4000 yards almost COMPLETELY without help from anywhere besides his blindside, and Tarver is Allens handpicked dude from nowhere.

At any rate.. I'm sick of whining about it. It might all still work.

I watched the game last week without any strong emotions besides when Myers clunked the TD into an int. These guys are losers... and the coaching either isn't helping, at best, or a hindrance at worst... or they are all simply uncoachable.

Who really knows for sure? Maybe Hue just accomplished everything with smoke and mirrors?

I am all just numb to the pain anymore. We will suck for quite awhile again, and all we have is blind faith it will ever be fixed before three years. It is what it is...

11:35 PM  
Anonymous gary said...

BTW.. our savior on defense, Burris, was rated in the bottom ten last week in LBs by profootballfocus, and he was singled out after that against the Saints for even having a worse week. Not encouraging... Wheeler is regressing weekly too..

11:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Tarver is Allens handpicked dude from nowhere

Tarver was co-defensive coordinator at Stanford. Apparently, Stanford has a good D without Tarver, so maybe we signed the wrong co-coordinator. (It happened with Kiffin!)

"...coaching either isn't helping, at best, or a hindrance at worst... or they are all simply uncoachable. Who really knows for sure?"

That's my point. We won't know until the problem is corrected. It's easy for us to see missed assignments and blown coverages, but there are many other things that go into the game that we don't see.

Despite all Allen's talk about applying pressure and "effecting the QB," we currently have the lowest sack total in the NFL (11).

In terms of Burris being schooled by the Saints; he absolutely was. Give the Saints coaches credit for identifying and exploiting Burris' inexperience, and despite Burris being a fairly consistent performer up to that game.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

5:30 AM  

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