Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Narratives of 2014

I don't know how this next season is going to turn out. I don't think anybody does. We might have a better sense after the draft, but even then, we’ll just be guesstimating. Will Reggie’s picks pan out? Will our new free agents mesh? Will Dennis Allen come into his own as a coach? We shall see.

But I do know what the narratives will be if we show tangible improvement…and if we don’t.

If the Raiders show up for real in 2014, the narrative will be that patience pays off, and that Reggie was finally able to mold the roster in accordance with his vision. The many veteran free agent pickups will viewed as savvy moves. The misadventures at the beginning of free agency will be forgotten, and the recent drafts will be viewed in a softer light, if not as a smashing success. The doubts about Dennis Allen will fade, and the Raiders will be viewed as an up-and-coming contender.

If the Raiders bomb in 2014 (which I consider six or less wins), the narrative will be that Reggie forgot that the word "deconstruction" contains the word "construction." The veteran free agency pickups will be viewed dubiously for making the team costlier and older without generating substantive improvement. We'll be wondering just how many drafts and how long it will take for Reggie's Raiders to merely rise above the median of eight wins. Four years? Five? The question might be moot, as Reggie will likely be canned.

So while I can't say what will happen in September, I do know what we'll be saying come December.