Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014: A Bridge...Or A Cliff

Ah, training camp. Gotta love it. It's not even August yet, but there seems to be just a hint of Autumn Wind in the air...

Now, as far as which way the wind blows in 2014, I foresee this season either being a bridge or a cliff. I don't see much middle ground, and I think this season breaks one of two ways:

If it's a bridge, it will mean that our older free agent acquisitions still have gas left in the tank, and that Matt Schaub can still capably sling the ball, giving room for young players to grow while providing a competitive lift. Our latest draft picks will prove to be impact players, and earlier picks like Hayden will begin to gain ground. If this is the case, then we will have evidence to suggest that the ship has been righted, and that Captain Reggie and Crew are navigating us in the direction of the promised land. 

If it's a cliff, it will mean that we did too little, too late in matters of reconstruction, with Schaub and our free agent acquisitions failing to make a substantial impact. It will suggest that the offeseason action was more of a desperate act to play catch-up after two abysmal seasons rather than the next steps in a carefully orchestrated plan. The preceding two-year period of so-called "deconstruction" will fail to bear obvious fruit, and Reggie and Crew will go tumbling off of the cliff, and we'll be starting over again. 

If it's a bridge, you will sense it. It may not translate to a winning record yet, but the momentum will be palpable. Mark Davis put it brilliantly the other day: "You can feel progress. You can see it in games. Are we finishing games? Are we starting off games well and not finishing them? There were games last year where we didn’t show up."

If it's a cliff, it will be obvious as well. But let's not entertain that possibility any further at the moment. 

As Davis said, we're undefeated right now. Let the Autumn Wind blow, and may it carry us along a bridge toward a new horizon.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I felt the progress last season, even though it didn't translate to many wins; and I think Mark Davis saw it too which is why he retained Dennis Allen.

With that said, I certainly agree that this season will be a bridge or a cliff. I'm not so sure about Hayden, I'm not happy that he is still "recovering" from an ankle/foot injury from the OTAs. I like what C-Wood said, "At the end of the day if you want to make an impact, you need to be on the field."

There are certainly a lot of questions and ifs that remain, and with the salary cap opened, I was hoping to be here without this many lingering questions. I'm optimistic about our season, but it is questionable optimism.


2:15 PM  
Anonymous Tokai Raider said...

i call bust on hayden. the guy breaks a bone in his foot when not even playing? who knew that his heart would be the least of his health problems? i could understand his getting treated for burns after the philly game, but foot surgery? forget him. the team blew this pick.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


Just wanted to mention the passing of great actor, James Garner.

Mr. Garner was a huge Raiders fan, right til the end.

James Garner was a mans man. That, unfortunately, is quickly disappearing from our country these days.

So here's to better times.

When James "Maverick" Garner was on the sidelines, and the Raiders were throwing the long ball.

We may not have had cellphones, gadgets, instant/slow, replay, and 30 penalty flags in every game.

But trust me. The NFL was a better league, and the world was a better place.

R.I.P. Mr. Garner. The Raider nation remembers you, and will miss you.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well said, Raider 00.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

DJ Hayden put on the PUP list today. Time to find another CB, Reggie.

RIP Mr. Garner, and my grandma who passed a few weeks ago as well.

4:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Disappointing about Hayden. And it was surprising to me that the Raiders released Kevin Burnett. One report said he didn't play well last year. That could be said for the whole D. I think Burnett shined at times but it takes everyone to step up and play good D.

5:02 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I think Raiders are standing on edge of a cliff.

Reggie has built about a quarter of a bridge.

The key to everything is Derick Carr.

If Carr gets in, and plays well. the bridge will be extended to 3 quarters length.

And the rest of the pieces will fall into place very quickly.

If Carr is not the answer at QB, then it's start over time, again, in Oakland.

I don't see how D.A. can survive. And Reggie is on a very fragile bubble.

As I've said. It's all on the right arm of Carr.

If Carr is the real deal, Reg is a genius. D.A. is saved. The draft was great, and the Raiders are headed in right direction.

It's a lot of pressure for a young QB. But that's life in the NFL.

5:33 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Carr is a second round draft pick and, IMO, not the last straw. Raiders could end up with McGloin at QB this year and DA and RM could look brilliant in the process.

Lots of variables. It will be interesting to see Carr play in preseason but I can't imagine he will come close to displacing Schaub.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The pressure isn't on Carr, the pressure is on Schaub. Will he turn things over, that is the gamble that Reggie took this offseason.

If Carr comes in then you have a mean running game with Drew-Jones, McFadden, and Reece. I'm hoping Sheets and Murray make an impact as well.

The key to the offense is the WR corps. The Raiders beefed up the O-Line, now the WRs have no more excuses to dropped passes. The Raiders have to drive the ball. It will be the WRs responsibility to help keep drives going, instead of consistently going 3-and-out. That killed the team last year. I think they had more 3-and-out plays than total points.

Another key to the team's success this season will be Special Teams play. Who is going to be the Return Guy, will they hold on to the ball, gain some yards, etc? Will they make important stops in kicking/punt coverage? The Raiders have been burned here the past few years.

The key defensively, they have to get off the field, by putting pressure on the QB. The Raiders did great stopping the ball from moving last season, except when it came to 3rd (and some 4th) down. This cannot happen. They have to put pressure on the QB and get off the field.

I believe there is more pressure on Dennis Allen than there is on Reggie McKenzie. I think Reggie has shown why he is the most respected GM/Scout in the League. He is patient, smart, and knows what he is doing.

I believe there is more pressure on Dennis Allen to show what he has as a coach. If the Raiders do not have a season where there is light and day progress seen from last season, then Dennis Allen will be shown the door, and a new coach will come in. That coach may be an old familiar "Chucky" face.

In the end there is a lot of unknowns with this team (again). But the one thing that Raider Nation can hang there hat on is that there have been a lot of positive changes to the Roster. 'Tis the time of season where there is a lot of positive talk, but in the end, it's time to

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


I agree that Carr is not the last straw. But he does represent the Raiders best hope for the future.

If 3rd stringer, Mcgloin is playing this year. That is probably a bad sign for the season.


I agree. More pressure on DA, than Reg.

We need to see Raiders play solid football week in, week out.

I think this is an 8 win team. But they may only win 6 because of tough schedule.

Anything less than 6 wins, will probably mean changes again.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

"The key to everything is Derick Carr."

"But he does represent the Raiders best hope for the future."

The 1st statement seems to be talking in the present tense (this year). The 2nd statement I'm not sure how you would define the future ...

"Best hope for future" as in later this year? Next year? or year 3?

A 2nd round rookie has a lot to learn before being thrown in the fire. Ideally, IMO, Schaub is a 2 year bridge for Carr to blossom and become the #1 starter by 2016.

Of course the best laid plans don't always work out but grooming Carr as opposed to rushing Carr is better for the organization in both the short and long term.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

So local news here in Austin, TX, is reporting that Mark Davis was in San Antonio today talking with city officials about the possibility of moving the team to San Antonio next year.

That would make me extremely happy.

All in all, I don't think it will happen, but I do think that the Raiders time in Oakland is dwindling, not because they want to leave, but because of Oakland-Alameda politics. I think they stay on the West Coast, and either move back to the LA area, or go up north to Portland. Either way, it will be a sad day for the Oakland community and the Raiders franchise.


3:35 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The city/county has handled the stadium issue very badly. By signing the A's to a long-term lease, they are stabbing the Raiders (and the A's) in the back. The stadium won't survive the lease. I can't believe the A's would even agree to do that deal. The age and condition of is the laughing stock of professional sports.

Davis should weigh all his options at this point but I can't see the Raiders in TX.

5:48 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


When I say the key to everything is Derick Carr.

I mean Carr's success, or failure, will define how the Raiders 2014 draft will be viewed.

Carr's play will go a long way in determining D.A.'s & Reggies future with the Raiders.

It will tell us if our long QB search is finally over, or must continue on.

So yeah, Carr is the Raiders best hope for the future.

It doesn't mean he has to lead Raiders to playoff's this year, or throw every pass perfectly.

But Carr has to show enough to say, the Raiders future, finally, is now.

Carr is the man. And we can build the offense around him.

Because if Carr is not the answer at QB. Well, the Raiders future, will, once again, be somewhere off in the distant unkown.

7:49 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00 - Carr is a second round pick. There are no guarantees. Nobody really flinched when Tyler Wilson was let go, and he was a third round pick.

McKenzie has been far from perfect identifying QBs that can help the Raiders. Flynn and Wilson, and to a lesser degree Leinart come to mind.

Schaub is the next guy up. He's a savvy vet who can be the Raiders QB of the future if he takes charge of the offense and plays well. Carr might not see the field for several years.

Regardless, one player, or draft pick, isn't going to define McKenzie's success or failure.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


I'm not sure what Carr's draft position has to do with anything.

Many current playoff teams, SF, NE, SHawks, Philly, Cincy, have starting QB's that were mid/later round draft choices.

And really, Whats the diff between a QB, taken in the late 1st round, or the early 2nd round ?

I am not looking for guarantees.

I am looking for someone to get under center, and play the QB position at a high level for the Raiders.

I have a hard time viewing Schaub, or Mcgloin as long term answers at QB.

I have an easier time viewing Carr as the QB of the future. With the hope that the future is now.

Raidertake spoke the truth. "It's all about the QB".

I have called the Raiders, the Oakland "Waiters". Because we as fans are always being told to wait.

Wait for a QB. Wait for a stadium. Wait for a winner.

Well I am tired of waiting.

Carr's success means the Raiders will start winning soon.

Carr's failure means the waiting goes on, and on, and on, and on...

8:36 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 -

I think it is safe to say that we would all love for Carr to be a long term, successful QB for the Raiders.

The reality is that Schaub is the #1 QB and Carr is a rookie and the #2 QB.

As Raider fans it is clear we are tired of waiting for success. Schaub has a FAR better chance of bringing the Raiders immediate success than Carr.

With the current make-up of the team and recent past history, it would be MUCH better if Carr is the #1 QB in 2015 or later.

If Carr is our #1 QB in 2014, I would hope to be pleasantly surprised that he is ready to be a part of the improvements.

However, it would be a potential disaster if he is thrown into the mix before he is ready.

The only way Carr is #1 this year is if (a) Schaub gets hurt or (b) Schaub performs so poorly that the move is accelerated.

Both of those scenarios are DEFINITELY not ideal.

9:57 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00 - you're right, it doesn't matter which round Carr was selected. My point is that all our eggs aren't in one draft pick basket.

I take some solace in knowing McKenzie has been aggressive in populating the Raiders roster with QB options, and the Raiders have proven they can be decisive by not stalling with choices that don't pan out.

Schaub, Carr and McGloin are, IMO, the best group of QBs the Raiders have had since McKenzie became GM.

Schaub is the starter. To wish for Carr to start sounds like a wish for Scahub to fail, because that’s what it will take.

You said you’re tired of waiting. Well, Schaub is our best chance for immediate success, which could lead to his long-term employment with the Raiders.

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I have no doubt that Schaub is the starter, and will start the season as QB.

All I'm saying is, as the season rolls along. With the toughest schedule in the league.

If the losses are piling up. There will be a great amount of pressure on D.A., & Reg to show the fans something positive. To give some real hope.

It's at that point, Carr will get to play. I think significant playing time.

I'm not rooting against Schaub.

And if Schaub has Raiders at 5-3 at mid way point. I guess I'll happily eat my words.

But let's be real.

9ers were WINNING with Alex Smith, and still changed QB's.

They thought 3rd round Kaepernick could do better.

A bold move.

I just want the Raiders to be bold. Stop being the "Waiters".

5:47 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I understand where Raider 00 is coming from...

You can examine each instance, like Carr, and argue against immediacy and unreasonable expectation.

But it's just the collective weight of the perennial waiting for the Raiders to finally be THE team who gets THAT guy or, better yet, THOSE guys.

There are a million reasons why Carr shouldn't be counted on to step up and make a difference.

One of those reasons being that the Raiders are always the rule, and never the exception.

In fact, we're so much the rule, that we've become our own sort of exception: a team that hasn't managed to select a single elite player in many moons (save for this year, maybe Mack and/or Carr will break the spell).

3:46 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders are stacked with vet players, so much so that I expect them to come out of the gate competing their collective asses off. It's time to make some noise!!

However, if we're to assume that won't happen, which is entirely possible, then, yeah, switch it up and bring in Carr and other young guys to get a start on next year and beyond.

That's kind of how it works every year, or at least how it's should probably work when you 11 years in the hole and constantly retooling.

It's not something I would root for.

That said, I get fans being excited about Carr and what he potentially brings to the Raiders long-term.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm just happy that the Raiders are making "bold" moves again!


1:07 PM  

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