Monday, August 17, 2015

Back on The Horse

Well, my annual spring layoff went right into summer this year...

In trying to analyze my extended ennui this offseason, I realized that I'm somewhat exhausted. 

Consider that 2015 marks the 10-year anniversary of Raider Take, which was inaugurated right before the start of the 2005 season. 

For 10 straight years, I've had the privilege of keeping the lights on here for you rowdy renegades, and I will continue to do so. 

Along the way, I've aimed to stay informed for the purpose of producing my own original takes. The Raiders haven't done me any favors in this department, with a 10-year period of play that has been one of the most abysmal in the history of the NFL. It can wear a blogger down after a decade.

But even though there hasn't been a lot to celebrate, it's been a lot of fun. On that note, I'll stop driving down memory lane and try to get back on track...

Last year around this time, my big question mark was the skill positions. We were heading into the season with zero playmakers (no true #1 receiver and a couple of dogs at RB and a guy named Matt Schaub at quarterback), which is sort of unfathomable in today's NFL, and which produced predictable results despite the fact that Carr unseated Schaub and showed great potential.

The addition of Amari Cooper is therefore a game changer, while the addition of Michael Crabtree hopefully provides enough oomph to keep Cooper from being gang-defensed. 

The running game, well, it all hinges on Latavius Murray. Did you see this video of Trent Richardson the other night (click here). I have very little faith in anyone behind Murray, so Murray not only needs to stay healthy, but also rise to the occasion. 

We don't have a shutdown defense. I think we're going to need to score a lot of points in order to notch wins. If the offense clicks, it could be fun. If it stutters, get ready for another long season. 

Carr and Cooper can't do it alone. It's going to take a breakout season from Murray, a return to form by Crabtree, and stout effort by the o-line in order to make this season successful.

Let's plan on that and see how it goes. 


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I agree about the Running Game. Musgrave has to find a way to get Murray and Reece involved. I'm still inclined to think that they need to use those 2 as Gruden did with Garner and Wheatley. I'm not sold on Fragile Helu, Trent McFadRichardson, nor Tawain. I don't understand why they haven't brought in Green-Ellis, Mikel LeShoure, Pierre Thomas, or Jackie Battle if they are not going to look at Ray Rice. Any of those guys are better than Trent McFadRichardson. We need some depth here that is going to bring relief to Murray, and outside of Reece, there is nobody.

I was not impressed with the Red Zone offense too. I know it's preseason, and that was the first, but if the Raiders are going to win, they need to punch it in. This is where Carr is going to have to grow, leading the offense in the Red Zone for TDs. The Raiders have to have more TDs here than FGs.

I thought the defense was pretty solid after the first drive. Yes, they were torched on the first drive, but after that, the intensity was incredible. I'm worried about our DBs. I wish we could talk Nnamdi out of retirement. Like last year with the WRs, the Raiders do not have a playmaker at this position. A lot of young talent that is learning is a good thing, but we need a shut down corner.
I loved how the linebackers played. I thought the biggest change in the defense was pressure, and creativity in their scheme. I think the defense is going to keep us in games, but the DBs have to tighten the screws. So we will see what happens.

I think it's not the offense that will have to click, I think it will be the defense (especially the DBs) that are going to have to click. If they consistently stutter, it will be a long season. I really feel if they can click, then the Raiders will be the dark horse of the League this year, and they can win the division. I like the direction Del Rio is going. Let's see if Musgrave can figure out the running game, and if the DBs can click. JUST PROVE IT, BABY!

11:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IMO, OL looks improved. Hudson gets a nice push in the middle; which is a welcome change!

Watching that clip of Richardson only cements the stupidity of signing him. Ray Rice! Ray Rice! The guy paid his dues and now has DV activists on his side, pleading for the NFL to give him another chance.

With McFadden nursing injury (surprise!) the Cowboys should grab Rice. Because, let's face it, Rice would be considered a saint on the Cowboys roster.

As much as Raiders probably improved their run D, they are likely to get torched in the air a few teams this year. Hayden mostly looks over-matched in the NFL. One sure sign is how far he sets up off the line of scrimmage... 10+ yards.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMFAO.....well well well, look who's site is taking a complete nose dive, hahahaha.

Man, I was so right, that the Raiders even used my " I am a Raider " as they introduced this years rookies.

I told how it was being built and you laughed, who's laughing now? HAHAHAHA.

Raiders are back and you Donkey fans just HATE IT!

Agent orange is finished, time to wrap up this shithole site and BURN IT. You dumbfuck never had a clue and you never will = I WIN BABY!

I AM A are not

10:12 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

LOL! If the Raiders win this year it will be mostly despite Reggie McKenzie, not because of him. Del Rio is the man. He's making the decisions, and he keeps talking about changing the culture... the culture that belongs to McKenzie and his three years of near complete roster turnover and failed projects with Dennis Allen et al at the helm.

Thanks to Mark Davis for pursuing and hiring Jack Del Rio... but we'll see.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The secondary seems very shaky.

The team seems improved at skill positions pending Carr's performance but still last in our division


3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so clueless, you aren't worth my time.

I am a Raider, you aren't

4:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, Hayden lines up way too deep, and backpedals beyond the first down marker on critical 3rd down plays.

I want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but there's little doubt at this point. Waste of a draft pick.

5:31 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...


Nice catch!

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


There is an old adage from the game of poker which is:
If you cant spot the Phish at the table in the first 5 minutes then… its .

Well in this context, you’ve never been able to spot the true clown on this blog… and so the simple deduction is… Yep.

Everyone on this site is already aware that no matter , or the Raiders return to a true contender, it will have played out according to the plan you have so uniquely detailed here for us at RT.

With that being said, there’s really nothing left here for you to do. All of the spinning, POUNDING THE KEYBOARD, and mixing facts with subjective conjecture is exhausting. Do us all a favor and run along and troll some other blogs. The thing is that you’re unlikely to identify the clowns there either… and so… Yep.

Keep looking hard friend… eventually the realization will come to you.


5:53 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I'm watching the Vikings game and I can say without question, Hayden is badly overmatched. He just gave up a TD and never even looked for the ball. Bridgewater is shredding Hayden.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm.. had some text drop there.

There is an old adage from the game of poker which is:
If you cant spot the Phish at the table in the first 5 minutes then… its you.

Well in this context, you’ve never been able to spot the true clown on this blog… and so the simple deduction is… Yep.

Everyone on this site is already aware that no matter how, or when the Raiders return to a true contender, it will all have played out EXACTLY according to the plan you have so uniquely detailed here for us at RT.

With that being said, there’s really nothing left here for you to do. Do us all a favor and run along and troll some other blogs. The thing is that you’re unlikely to identify the clowns there either… and so… Yep.

Keep looking hard friend… eventually the realization will come to you.

5:56 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The score was closer than the game. Vikings kicker missed 3 FGs and an extra point.

Raiders had maybe three good plays, one coming on a 40 pass and catch; Carr to Cooper, in which Cooper made a nice double move to get open down the sideline. Very promising.

Otherwise, eh!

You'd think Ponder should have come in with a chip on his shoulder. Instead, it was the Vikings that had the last laugh, pressuring Ponder and pretty much keeping him from completing anything more than 5 yards.

McGloin's first pass was under pressure. He held the ball to long (which he often does) and threw off his back foot to a wide open defender... who returned it to the one. Vikings punched it in for a TD 3 plays later. One of McGloin's worst moments as a pro.

Raiders D front starters lack pass rush. Guys like Harris and other backups may help a bit, but the starters won't be enough (unless Mack is a one-man show!).

The lack of pass rush will only make a weak secondary worse. Hayden got burned over and over and over. It became obvious the Vikings were targeting him. Hayden plays way too far off the LOS and doesn't turn for the ball... keeps his eyes on the WR. On the TD, he illegally screened the WR with both hands up and still couldn't make the play.

Hayden probably won't be a starter by the time the season begins. If he is, we're in trouble because I'd look for more of the same.

Hey, it's only preseason, but that game was eerily familiar.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Right now, with the new coaching staff, all I am ready to say with the Vegas line is I am going with the over on number of wins.
That would be six.
Can I see 8 wins? Can I see a division champ in the Raiders? Of course I can because I am a Raiders fan. But the bar has been set, and anything over 7 wins is playing with the house's money this year...


1:37 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Another transition year. The Vegas over/under of 6 wins is a good one because it could go either way. Nothing will come easy. IMO, it will take at least another draft and free agency period (and smart decisions) before a contender is possible (hope they prove me wrong!). McKenzie may push this thing right into his contract year....

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The Raiders need to make a decision about Hayden. This is Reggie's guy, but he is not a starter. I read an article on another site that says he needs to be cut. I wouldn't go that far, I think he has talent, but he lacks discipline and his play shows that he doesn't watch film, or understand his assignments.
He's got to put in the work and be coachable. He reminds me of Stanford Routte when he first came in the league, and struggled for a few years because of the same thing. Routte had the talent to be shutdown, but would get frustrated and get hit with PI's because he was embarrassed. Routte never put the work in on film and assignment study, and got burned. I see the same tendencies in Hayden, and he needs to show he can put in the work and turn it around.
With that said, I do not think he should be a starter. I think he is too hesitant and concerned about his injury from a few years back still. I think it lingers in the back of his mind. He will not be starter material. Maybe good as a CB in the nickel package. I think he's shown what he can do for the moment, and is not going to grow until he studies film and can show he understands his position. I would seriously think about putting him in the Safety rotation instead.
Running game after Murray still stinks.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I tried watching Raiders, Vikes games. But Ed Hokuli and his crew of happy flag throwers wore me down. I had to change channel.

I will not watch any NFL game this year when Hokuli and crew are officials. These games are unwatchable. (I didn't watch last year either).

Just hoping all players stay healthy through preseason.

I think 5 or 6 wins sounds about right. Reggie is building team, a "piece at a time".

May we all live long enough to see a playoff game again.

11:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Hayden is a mess. He usually plays way too far off the LOS and/or backpedals before the snap... probably because he wants to keep the play in front of him. That leaves him vulnerable to short yardage plays (which he gave up at least 1-2 easy passes on 3rd down conversions while standing beyond the first down marker). Once he gets turned around on downfield plays, he's done. He can maybe keep up with a WR but he doesn't turn to look for the ball. So he has a tendency to screen the play with both hands in the air... something he should have been flagged for the other night on the TD play.

Even if the Raiders can coach him up, what's the timetable? Unless he makes radical adjustments to his CBing approach, his rookie contract may run out before the Raiders get any return; i.e., if they don't release him first.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders took a HUGE step in the right direction in bringing in players, and that is the upgrade to the training facilities. At the request of Del Rio, the Raiders have a new, state of the art training facility. About time.

6:22 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Carr was off most of the night, and the pick-six INT was as bad as it gets.

Mack is a star. He can't be blocked.

Hayden is a dud. At one point, he resorted to headlock as a means of coverage. He seems to get beat and flagged at a higher rate than he makes plays. A huge concern for a team with no veteran help at CB.

Watson injured on what looked like a non-event. Injuries just follow this guy. He and McFadden ought to start a focus group.

Thankfully, it's only preseason.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

MACK ate Veldheer's lunch yesterday, and then some. Carr was off, but Crabtree was playing not to get hurt too. He doesn't stretch out for the TD, he then drops a TD pass, and looked "ho-hum" out there. That's not going to fly in the Regular Season, and he knows it.
Watson out with a torn achilles tendon. Howard will be good, and we will probably bring in someone to help fill the depth.
CB is our biggest weakness on defense, and our running game on offense looked pretty horrible last night. Need help in those two areas.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Sign Jano to a lifetime contract. Looks like he is the star of the offense once again.

Carr's footwork looked off all night. And he practically underhanded that horrible screen pass/intercept. What was that ??

The running game was in slow motion. Blockers looked weak, slow and unsure. Runners looked confused of where to go. Though many times they were hit before they even took a step.

The defense looked sharp, but yeah, the corners are pretty bad. Looks like another long year.

8:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Carr and the offense looked at its best last night in a hurry-up offense, which happened like once the whole game. Carr played college in a fast-paced spread offense. That's his strength.

We can only hope that the sluggish, slow-paced offense Musgrave strolled out there last night was intended as a preseason diversion.

As it is, Janokoswki's fantasy football stock went thru the roof last night.

9:31 AM  

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