The Buck Stops Where?
Answer: The players, the coaches, the GM and ownership.
Let's tackle the coaching question first. Consider a parallel universe that would have allowed us to hire Bill Belichick or Joe Bugel as our head coach this season, with the roster being the same.
Do you think the results would be different with Belichick leading the Raiders or Bugel leading the Raiders? Of course they would.
If we can agree that different coaches would get different results out of these same players, no matter how much these players might stink, then we must agree that our current coach bears responsibility for our current results.
Now, our head coach was hired by the GM. And the GM was hired by the owner...So when Mark Davis says that he's mortified, and that the chain of responsibility ultimately stops with him, he's entirely correct.
Here at Raider Take, however, we've had some curious role reversals among our faithful community. Some who mainly blamed management (ie: owner, GM, coaches) for our ills over the years are now blaming the players, while some who mainly blamed the players are now blaming management.
But here's where management gets a bit of a pass. Yes, the roster is half full of "new" players, but the core of the roster was inherited. Look at Palmer and virtually all of our skill position players, not to mention starters like Seymour, Kelly, Huff, Wiz, Veldheer, Carlisle, McLain, Houston, Branch, Giordano, etc.
I mean, come on. Let's not pretend that this is Reggie McKenzie's roster. Every new regime must deal with inheriting players. Not every new regime is immediately ensnared in salary cap hell with a bare cupboard in the draft.
The 2012 Raiders should be better than they are right now. That is a failure of the current management regime. But these players were never going to become a great unit, despite the fact that we went into salary cap hell and draft purgatory to get them. That is a failure of the previous management regime. And these players have continually proven unable to play fundamental football. That is a failure of the players themselves.
So the buck stops not here, not there, but everywhere right now.
The benefit of the doubt remains on the side of Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie (and to a lesser degree, Dennis Allen). They may not get a full pass for this year's debacle, but we owe them time, and they will get it
Many of the players will not.