Sunday, December 31, 2017

Chargers Gameday Thread

 The rumors of a Jon Gruden return are a fitting punctuation mark on this flailing 2017 campaign. These are desperate times. Let’s see if we can end this lost season on a respectable note.


Blogger nyraider said...

Listening to the start of the game, it sounds like business as usual for the offense.

Save some useless bragging rights, this game means less than a fourth pre-season game. Why would they play their $25mm a year QB with nothing on the line.

Derek Carr should be benched!

This team needs to finish healthy and hand out some pink slips.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Del Rio is officially done.

5:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Four weeks ago, the Raiders controlled their own destiny, needing four wins to capture the division, including two divisional games. They proceeded to lose all four games.

This year, overall, they suffered six blow-out losses to the Redskins, Ravens, Bills, Patriots, Chiefs and Chargers.

They were regularly out-played, and regularly out-coached. I'm not sure the Raiders successfully converted a 4th down play all year, and they went for many... including mid-field and in their own territory.

Derek Carr forgot how to play QB. There's no way to sugar coat it. Carr sucked!

The Raiders abandoned everything that made them successful on offense last year, opting for zone blocking which has failed them so many times in the past.

Without question, this was the worst season since McKenzie took over, particularly in light of expectation.

Tomorrow is Black Monday. Raiders need to clean house... maybe all the way to the top!

5:08 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That's totally fair, given what Del Rio accomplished this year. Also, it paves the way for Downing and everyone else to be fired.

Enter Jon Gruden!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Del Rio announced he has been fired by Mark Davis. After tonight's game, I don't blame Mark. I said last post that Del Rio deserved another year with a different OC, but that he needed to be more assertive in the game with his Coordinators. I don't think that fits his personality, so it was a good move.

I am not sold on Gruden because he is a West Coast/Zone Offense guy. We do not have the roster to fit that mentality. I'm not sold on Pagano as DC either though. Yes, he did better than Norton, but he game plan came out flat today. Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson need to go too. Our next coach needs to be Power/Aggressive on both sides of the ball. Crowd the LoS and bump opposing WRs on defense; and power block and run on offense. Not sure who we should bring in as coach right now. I think they need someone with tangible experience. Chuck Pagano is the only one who fits that bill right now, and I like that move better than Gruden. Pat Shurmur may be a good choice at HC. He is currently the OC in Minnesota. Frank Reich, the OC in Philly may be another good candidate. The problem with both though, no HC experience. They would need stellar DCs to help balance them out. Going to be another interesting offseason.

5:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Tom Cable? He's more experienced and wiser now.

5:46 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

The King is dead. Long live the King. #gruden

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Happy New Year. Tom Cable how much bubbly were you drinking last night lol. Guys if Gruden comes we should be celebrating. He has the personality, love the Raiders and is a tactician at Andy Reid level. Most importantly he is a QB guru and will help Carr get to the next level.

Nate happy new year to you too. As far as West Coast I think Carr fits that system perfectly and played it at Fresno. In regards to running I remember plenty of power concepts back in the days of Kennedy, and Robbins.

Go Chucky Go

All the best

6:20 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Happy New Year, Sandy.

It was a question, not a New Year's wish... to answer Nate's desire for power-based system. But I am cautioned not to discount it. You and I don't make the decisions, and the Raiders are capable of anything....

Cable has ties to Oakland, and was pushed out by AL after he brought the team back from oblivion despite the ultimate obstructionist as a boss. Too, McKenzie has brought more personnel (players and coaches) from Seattle than from any other org., including GB.

It's curious that Davis acted so quickly to fire Del Rio. Does he have something up his sleeve? Maybe Gruden is already packing!

Del Rio deserved to be fired. Sucks for fans, because we have to endure starting over, again!

7:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Reading the media reports, Gruden to Oakland is practically a done deal. They already having him picking assistant coaches. It will get interesting fast, because Gruden is calling the Chiefs playoff game on Sat., the internal workings of which Andy Reid might not want the Raiders' next HC to have access.

Assuming Gruden is not a done deal, what about John Fox? He flopped in Chicago (with a bad team) but has two Super Bowls under his belt.

Sucks starting over, but the Raiders have an opportunity to take a step in the right direction.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Ben McAdoo is available for HC too. Look how well he did in New York after running Tom Coughlin off! Hell, NFL Network is saying Dennis Allen is a potential HC again. Let's team him up with Tom Cable and Hue Jackson, and have 3 Head Coaches!

I thought this crap was done when they brought in Del Rio, especially after last year. Letting Musgrave go was a big problem. Del Rio not being assertive with his coaches was the other issue.

Hard to tell what is really going to happen. All indication is Gruden is coming back. I still like Chucky, but I'm not sold on him right now. He has to come in and prove it. But let's look at the reality for a moment. First, this time last year, he was with Jim Irsay talking about a GM/Coaching position with the Colts and turned it down. Since he became a TV analyst, his name is the first name attached to NFL/NCAA coaching jobs; and has he taken any of them? He has even been connected to the Raiders (three times now) since Mark Davis took over. I'm not saying it won't happen, I just don't believe the hype until his name is on a contract.

Again, if that happens, I'm not sure he fits the strengths of our current roster, which as Reggie put it last season, was to build a bully. I think you have to find a coach/GM that will mesh well in philosophy. Not sure Gruden and McKenzie will.

John Fox may be intriguing here, but it depends on who he brings in as an OC. I like him better as a DC. Bottom line for me is: HERE WE GO AGAIN ON THE CIRCUS CAROUSEL

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack Del Rio had lost the team. When Mack and Irvin walked off the practice field it was over for Jack. Carr was mailing in games like he wanted the HC to be fired.
Ex; Raiders have the ball at midfield with 2 mins left in 2nd qrtr. Any QB knows that ball security is most important and the clock needed to be run down so Rivers could get his hands on the ball before the Half. After the 2 min. warning, Carr throws into double coverage in the endzone and it's picked off. Rivers marches down the field and puts up six before the half is over.

I'm sure Mark had discussions with Carr about Gruden and Carr knew that Jack was the walking dead. Mark has always wanted Gruden as HC and it seems it's about to become a reality.

Jack showed he is not a HC by his coordinator moves and his in game management. It seems he lost the team as well. At least we won't have to cringe when Downing does his stupid run down the sidelines after a TD.


9:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I am a big proponent of continuity, but what Del Rio did this year was inexcusable. He proved incapable of managing his coordinators and coaching up the team when they needed him most. Norton's failure as DC was more Del Rio's failure. And Del Rio's inaction (or inability) to get Downing to change his approach was epic.

Right now, everything is pointing to Gruden. Gruden has the awareness and acumen that Del Rio lacks. He's a hard worker, and earns the respect of his players. I think he can bring Derek Carr back from whatever it was that caused him to do a 180 this year.

Gruden with Fox as DC would be a huge step up from Del Rio and Norton/Pagano.

It's extremely important for Davis to get this right. He can't afford to do a face plant on his way to Vegas.

I still think McKenize's role might be a sticking point for Gruden. Like Del Rio, McKenzie has been given his chance.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

I love Gruden, but I'm always weary about reaching back to the past. Trying to recreate the magic from 16 years ago is a difficult thing to do.

I wish Gruden were coming in as the GM rather than HC. This way Gru could pick the HC, and draft the players.

I just don't think GM Reggie found enough talent in mid to late rounds. And most of his top picks were stinkers too. It was Carr & Mack, and not much else.

They say you can't go home again...I guess maybe we'll find out.

5:17 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

00 - Gruden can bring savvy that Del Rio just doesn't have. Frankly, that McKenzie doesn't possess either.

IMO, Del Rio's handling of the Raiders in 2017 was so bad it should preclude him from being HC again.

I think Davis (and fans) could have lived with Del Rio promoting Downing, but Del Rio's inaction to correct failures over an entire season led to his firing. Some guys, like Norv Turner, are good coordinators but can't manage any larger responsibility.

4:26 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Rumor that Rich Gannon will be QB coach.

What happens in 2-3 years? Gruden becomes GM/minority owner and Gannon HC?

4:42 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

PS McKenzie's job is not secure right now, with Gruden presumably being given full authority... which goes back to the central point; Raiders desperately need someone who is capable of making football decisions. Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Jack Del Rio are not. These guys presided over the 2017 Raiders....

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I am reading a lot of "reports" about Gruden contacting people to be on his staff should he become the Raiders next Head Coach. Look at some of the people being "linked" to Gruden's "staff". John Morton is linked coming to Gruden's staff as OC. Greg Olson is linked to coming to Gruden's staff as QB Coach, but so is Rich Gannon. The problem, though, with Morton and Olson is that you cannot hire a coach from a different team for the same position, unless they are released. So Gruden cannot pry away Morton and Olson from the Jets and Rams to be the OC and QB coach if he is becoming the next HC of the Raiders; according to the League rules.

So, this has lead me to think of a different scenario: What if Gruden is coming in as a GM with ownership %, and not HC? If this is the case, to me that means John Morton (Jets OC) be interviewed by Gruden as the Raiders next Head Coach. Another more scary scenario is then: Greg Olson is a guy Gruden wants to bring back as the Raiders OC, not QB Coach. Remember Olson? Vanilla, ZBS/WC offense of run up the middle, run up the middle, short pass on 3rd down? Yup, and that is the same dude that Gruden wants? I swear I'm swimming in the images of a "revived" Lame Kiffin/Dennis Allen era.

Again, I love Jon Gruden; but seriously, this is scaring the life out of me. If it goes down this way, and we go back to a ZBS/WC offense with the current roster; we are going to be hurting for at least 4 years. I don't think the Raiders can afford doing something like this, especially with their excitement of heading into Vegas. If you really believe that Gruden is going to come in and take us to the Super Bowl; you drinking the Kool-Aid. He is going to have to tear the O-Line roster down and build a new one that will compliment the ZBS he wants to integrate. Say goodbye to Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Donald Penn, and Keleche Osemele. We will have a line and a team that looks similar to the Jets, Texans, and Redskins. Not sure that I can swallow that.

11:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, take a breath, man. That sounds nightmarish. Del Rio was fired (instantly!) to make room for Gruden. According to media, Morton was given permission to interview and make a lateral move.

I wouldn't assume ZBS. That would require, as you say, completely revamping our line. Raiders need to play to their strengths... something they failed to do in 2017.

2:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I would add two things: First, I agree, Greg Olson entering the building would be a huge problem... I refuse to believe he would be given that opportunity, again. Second, Gruden is a QB guy, and exactly what Carr needs to get back to himself... and make it to the next level.

This should be a no-brainer.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate, what happened to the positive guy we know you to be. That sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory lol.

Check out article below from ESPN on Papa insightful stuff.

Bottom lone guys its all about the QB in today's nfl. Besides the charisma, love of the Raiders and game planning Gruden brings he is a QB whisperer and Carr obviously needs one. Del Rio is a good leader of men but no savant when it comes to strategy and tactics. I am happy to suffer through a crap season to get Gruden back.


5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some good comments from Peter King


5:43 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I saw the article which cites Greg Olsen might be under consideration. That's disturbing, but it's also reporting that Gruden would be calling the plays. Even so, I don't like the idea of Olsen being involved. He is a known ZBS guy, and possibly a one trick pony in that regard.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm not positive that Gruden is the right HC. With some of the things being said about Del Rio (mostly by Papa), he needed to go. He lost his team, and threw his QB under the bus; instead of his OC. It seems that Downing was Del Rio's guy, and would not listen to Carr or the O-line, so he lost the team.
It's not Carr I'm worried about, I'm worried about the O-line and the kind of system Gruden is going to bring, a ZBS/WC. Our current roster is not suited for a ZBS/WC offense. Maybe a hybrid Power/WC offense like we had in 2016, if Gruden can do that, I think we will be back on track. All indicators from the staff he is wanting to bring in, however, shows he is going back to ZBS/WC. When Gruden was here last, we had a stellar ZBS O-Line (L Kennedy, B Robbins, Mo Collins to name a few); but we don't have that now. Carr is only as good as his line, you have to play to the O-line's strengths, which is to be a powerhouse. Let them play to their strengths and Carr is going to flourish under Gruden. If not, this team is going to sink, and sink fast.
We have had our fill of ZBS with power O-line since Gruden has left, under Norv Turner, Lame Kiffin, Tom Cable, Dennis Allen, Greg Olson, this year with Todd Downing, and now this? I'm not willing to see our team go through that again. This season was bad enough, and look how much the Raiders regressed under it! I'm not optimistic about this at all. The ONLY way Gruden comes in and wins, is if he does a hybrid Power/WC scheme. If he doesn't, we are in for a long 4 year overhaul (if he lasts that long).
DC was broken this year because the coaches took away the power from the O-line, and took away DC's ability to make adjustments pre-snap. Then add to what Greg Papa said about Del Rio ripping Carr in meetings, no wonder the dude was lost this year! I agree, Gruden is going to do wonders with DC, but right now, it has to be with a Power/WC hybrid offense, and he has to give Carr the freedom to make pre-snap adjustments. The Patriots have been running this kind of offense for the last 4 years with Tom Brady, and Carr picked up on it, and showed the world last season what he can be capable of.
My concern with this is Gruden is not the kind of coach who allows this. He is an offense micro-manager, and that may suffocate Carr's ability. It works with Brady because although BB micro manages the defense, he allows Brady his freedom. This is how it is going to have to be with Gruden/Carr. So sorry, I'm not optimistic about this; especially after this season.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the Raiders run the ZBS first time around with Gruden? I seem to remember some power concepts with big Linc and Robbins.


3:21 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

They were more ZBS, especially under Callahan. Sure they did some power runs with Wheatley, but pass protection was all ZBS.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ZBS who cares I prefer to focus on pics like this. Enjoy Sandy

6:26 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The more things change...From The Athletic:

“We had a good bunch of guys in the locker room,” one player said Monday, “but I think it was more about having a good time than doing everything it took to win.”

“There is talent here,” one player said. “But there was no direction here. Some of us thought they were going to clean house. Then they fired coach Del Rio. I guess that means they are going to keep us around.”

One coach still had a hard time figuring out how this season turned so quickly Week 3 at Washington. The Raiders got pushed around, losing 27-10, then lost three more games in a row and were never the same.

“Our quarterback lost his poise that game, and there was nobody to gather the troops and get them ready to get keep fighting,” one coach said. “We just kind of took it.

“The coaches are responsible for a lot that happens, but they can’t go in the huddle.”

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO,the team saw that Jack had completely shit the bed with his coordinators and the team revolted. Downing had completely lost the Offense and Carr was put in a position because Downing was so close to him. It blew up the Offense and guys like Crabtree tried to stand up and say it sucked and look what happened to him.

Mack and Irvin walking off the practice field was another marker that something was really wrong in the locker room. The fact that Carr kept on saying in his pressers that nobody was paying attention to details, that is on the the players but it's also on the coaches for allowing it.

IMO, the team and Jack could probably hear the whispers of Gruden coming, because the way this is playing out, shows Mark had Gruden on the hook a while ago. Plus, Jack and Gruden share the same agent.

This hiring of Gruden has been a want of Mark's since he took over the team and the team saw it coming, I'm sure Jack had some idea too. Lame duck HC who lost the team means an ugly scene , man.


9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMO, Gruden has learned and matured, probably. His tour around the league for all these years can't help but give him a broader perspective on what it takes to manage a team and to being a Hc.

IMo, he is not going to run the same Offense as he did years back, it won't work in today's game. He has to be smarter than that?


9:24 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What came first, the chicken or the egg? I would argue the culture had improved under Del Rio but deteriorated as this season progressed and the Raiders kept spinning out the same tired game plan. What was pretty obvious to all of us seemed to elude Del Rio and his coordinators. Pagano provided a boost on D, but it was too little too late... then got crushed in a meaningless game.

However, I disagree with the author's assertion that it won't change under Gruden. Have to believe the players want to win, and will buy into a system they can believe in.

Del Rio turned out to be incredibly wishy washy and inept... something nobody should expect from Gruden.

9:51 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Agreed. Gruden may have been out of coaching for a long while, but he has been closely studying the game ever since. His return to coaching will be fascinating to watch, and way more meaningful than the wasted draft picks and $8.0mm in cash that AL traded for him years ago.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I've said it before, that I'm not worried about Carr with Gruden coming in. Apparently, in some circles in the League, it is a concern. gave this article about Derek Carr/Gruden factor:
"...the more important truth is whether Carr will still want Gruden to be his coach, after dealing with Gruden for a while. Per a league source, there’s a real concern that Carr won’t be able to put up with Gruden’s style for very long. Gruden will ride him and needle him and yell at him and criticize him and ride him some more. Carr will have to learn how to deal with that, or Carr won’t last. And that’s ultimately the concern: Carr, given the way he’s wired, may not make it with Gruden.
Here’s a prime example of the dynamic Carr will be dealing with. Remember his Superman routine after running for a first down late in the Cowboys game, when he lunged unnecessarily for the pylon and fumbled out of the end zone, essentially ending the game? Carr compared it to taking the last shot in a basketball game; Gruden will compare it to crashing the red Lamborghini, because there was still time to get out of bounds and take that last shot without trying to do too much.
And Gruden will let Carr hear it, if that happens again. (Gruden probably will let him hear about it during their first meeting.) And if Carr can’t take it, Carr won’t be long for the Raiders.
Coincidentally, Carr’s gigantic contract has a fairly early out for the team, allowing them to dump him after 2018 with only a $7.5 million cap charge, at a cash outlay over two years of less than $48 million. After spending a full season with Gruden, Carr may be willing to pay back some of that money in order to get out of town."

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

“There is talent here,” one player said. “But there was no direction here. Some of us thought they were going to clean house. Then they fired coach Del Rio. I guess that means they are going to keep us around.”

Had to laugh when I read this quote. The benefit of having Gruden come in is, he will not keep losers around that just want to "have a good time".

To Gruden a "good time", is winning, making playoffs, winning super bowl(s). And anyone that doesn't buy in, and put the hard work in, and do it on game day, will be gone.

And if Carr turns out to be a one season wonder. If he cannot put in the work, adjust his game, eliminate the mistakes, be a leader on the field, than Gruden will find a QB that can do it.

So my message to all the losers in the Raiders locker room that think Gruden is going to keep them around...Ya better start reading the classified section to seek new employment.

That's the price of having a good time while losing in the NFL.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sandy here happy new year. Would you mind pasting the text from that article in the Athletic? I don't have a subscription and though I like Tafur I refuse to support KAwakami lol.


4:19 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I don't believe Gruden will ride Carr (pun intended) into hating him. Gruden will do what he needs to do to motivate his players. Players whose egos are too big (and that doesn't include Carr), or can't handle Gruden's coaching style of tough love, should leave.

Gruden's relationship with Gannon was much different because Gannon is much different than Carr.

5:18 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Talks of Greg Knapp being Gruden's OC are heating up. That's really discouraging... to put it mildly. The only saving grace is Gruden would call the plays, and certainly has the savvy and the balls to take over if Knapp fails in Oakland, again!! This is where Del Rio failed the Raiders.

Another issue: where does McKenzie stand in all this? Gruden will have full control of the roster. No other way to see it. Is McKenzie out too?

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

NY, Here is a link to a good article, surprisingly from Jerry McDonald that sheds light on what Reggie's role could be. It seems he will stick around, or go to Green Bay to the GM opening there. If he does leave, who is going to manage the Salary Cap and scouting? That is a role that Gruden won't play as HC. Let's not forget either, that Gruden had Bruce Allen in both Oakland and Tampa Bay as GM.

7:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks, Nate. J-Mac always does a nice job putting things into perspective. Makes sense that Gruden will need help in McKenzie's areas of expertise, but I think his scouting has been overrated. His biggest contribution has been contracts and cap management... as McDonald points out, neither of which Gruden can do.

It's interesting that McDonald confirms Del Rio was hired by Davis; something some folks here (previously) argued was handled by McKenzie. I think McKenzie lost that privilege after tanking with Dennis Allen.

Turns out, Davis's decision-making has been no better. Let's hope this hire changes that pattern.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Steve Cockran breaks the news that Gruden will be announced Tuesday, as the Raiders have reportedly signed him to a 10 year, $100 million contract. Yup, you read that right. The longest tenure, and highest paid coach. What could go wrong?

12:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

10 years is absurd. The irony is Gruden denies his deal includes ownership. Assuming there's
a significant guarantee for his salary, what's the difference?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY/NATE: Come on guys this is the best investment Mark has ever made, 100 mm to take the best possible shot at a superbowl that is short money. The Raiders window is now.

HC in football is more important than any sport. Raiders now have everything at once for first time in 15 years. Elite coach who loves the Raiders and is a real leader, real football hierarchy (hiring an EVP for football operations), young franchise QB.

It's all good, let's celebrate this weekend


4:53 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

IF Gruden lasts all 10 years, he needs to win the AFC 8 out of those 10, and win the Super Bowl at least 3 times, in order for this deal to be successful. In reality, Mark Davis hopes this pays dividends with a Super Bowl win next year. I can't blame him.
Here is the real question, what happens if things with Gruden don't work out? Then what? Like I said before, I think this fails if Gruden goes with ZBS blocking. He succeeds with a power blocking/West Coast offense.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate how do you come up with you math. 3 superbowls 8 division titles. Man the last time the raiders won the superbowl was 34 years ago, I was friggin 15 years old. I will take 1 superbowl and be over the moon.

Who cares how Mark spends his money if it gives Raiders fans a better team so be it.

You guys seem so negative, I am ecstatic about this. Del Rio could not carry Grudens jock its not even close.

Gruden is a QB genius just what Carr needs.

Have a good weekend

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With those expectations that would mean that even Mike Tomlin’s record wouldn’t cut it...If Gruden can match Tomlin and keep the Raiders relevant I am a happy camper! But having said that I wouldn’t complain about 3 SB wins Especially if it reinvigorates RT to start blogging again, that my friends would be a bonus

10:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy, I'm laughing at the 10-year deal because it's not realistic and, if it comes with significant guarantees, it's akin to a stake in ownership which the parties deny. $100M is almost 10% of the valuation (and it comes with no debt hanging over it). But, as you said, it's not my money.

As for Del Rio, I liked him as HC until he became complicit in the failures of his coordinators and proved to be incapable of coaching the team out of the box he put them in. Raiders got all they could from Del Rio, and he has nobody to blame but himself. His 1-year descent was epic... and probably cost him another chance to be a HC in the NFL.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, Are you watching the first quarter of the Chiefs Titans game. More to my point the Chiefs are just carving them up and it's all brilliant play calling by Andy Reid Raiders have more weapons than Chiefs on offense with Gruden calling plays will be doing the same soon enough. Hope you're having a good weekend I'm looking at the temperatures in New York I imagine you're on the couch with a scotch watching football under a blanket regards Sandy

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Not much like the end of the Chiefs/Titans game, where Andy Reid went Andy Reid and lost. 6 straight home game playoff losses for the Chiefs. Awesome! Way to go Titans.

5:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

@ Sandy,

"I imagine you're on the couch with a scotch watching football under a blanket regards Sandy"

Lol. No blanket. Replaced that with a roaring fire in the FP.


Nate, for all the credit Reid gets, he can't figure out the playoffs.

Enjoy tonight's game, gents.

5:22 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Aside from the 2014 draft, McKenzie's drafts have not held up well. Not surprised to find out that zero draft picks remain from McKenzie's first two drafts. Here's the article.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

OH HELL YEAH! I'M FIRED UP NOW! Just watched the Chucky presser live on; and I'm ready for this! All my pessimism has been laid to rest! I'm ready to run through a wall for Gruden now! The best quote of the presser:
"To end my career here on the Tuck Rule game ticked me off, and I have unfinished business to settle here."
I wished the season started tomorrow. JUST WIN, BABY!!!!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that is the Nate we know and love

That is the spirit.

Gruden is a true offensive mastermind a must in today's nfl. The more I think about Del Rio's staff the more I realize it was sub par. Even Musgrave and Pagano are middle of the road type guys

All the best

3:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

A couple thoughts after watching the presser:

One, McKenzie appears to be on board, which is good. Despite some questionable personnel decisions, he has brought stability to the Raiders cap.

Two, Mark Davis has no more tricks up his sleeve. He has wanted Gruden since Day 1. Gruden is my first choice too, but he's not a lock to win. If this doesn't work, we're all screwed.

Worth noting: When asked how he felt about the Raiders moving to Vegas, he avoided the answer almost to the point of being uncomfortable. I get that he wants to focus on the "now" but not even a "we'll cross that bridge when we get there" response?

Bottom line: This is an exciting new time. Gruden stated he never wanted to leave Oakland. Well, we never wanted him to leave.

Go Raiders!!

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Sandy and NY,
I also liked his answer to the question of "What system is he going to use, is he going to bring back his old system?" His response was, "I have to evaluate the roster and see what their strengths are to set up a game plan. I can come back with what I used to run, but I don't have Gannon, Brown, Rice, Garner, Wheatley, etc. I have a roster of different guys from the past, and they have different strengths. So I have to find out what those are and develop a new system. Will I have some of my old stuff, sure; am I going to completely run it how I used to? No."

That answer sold me. I'm excited now, and I think if he comes in and builds a game plan in accordance to their strengths, we will win next year, big time. I can't wait for the season to start now.

Bleacher Report sent this video:

If you can't see it, it is Derek Carr going through "Gruden's Playbook" and every play is Spider 2 Y Banana.

8:59 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Playing to the strengths of your players. What a concept. Downing was not capable of that, and Del Rio was not capable of correcting, or even recognizing this weakness about Downing.

That's why they're both out of a job. Although, I doubt Del Rio has more than hurt feelings because he's still gonna get paid.

2:27 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Media reporting Gannon will not join Gruden's staff. Honestly, that's probably better. Can't have two alpha dogs in Carr's face.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I think Del Rio lands a job somewhere soon (if he wants it). He may take some time off (like the year he took off after being fired from Jacksonville), but he will land as either a HC or a DC again. I'm shocked the Giants or Colts haven't reached out to interview him yet, honestly. Maybe they have, and he turned them down, I don't know.
I also think he'd do extremely well in NCAA. UCLA, Florida (with his son), Tennessee, etc. I don't think he's a bad coach, never felt that way, I think he needs to be more smart about his coordinators and needs to be more vocal about what he wants/expects from a game-plan perspective. That killed him this year.
I still feel bad for the guy. He gave his soul to this team, and changed the culture of our team from a laughing stock to respectable. The League feared the Raiders this season, and Jack picked the wrong OC/DC combo to lead us through it. He owned it like a man, didn't cast blame on anyone, and I respect the hell out of him for that.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best lines from Gruden's QB camp with Carr is:

Gruden: I pick you, what do you say about that.

Carr: Let's go win some championships.

Prophetic we hope


3:42 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I like Del Rio but I think you give him too much credit. I believe the egg he laid this year will negatively impact his ability to ever get another HC job. More likely he will get hired as a DC and have to prove himself again. Even that's risky for any team, based on his inability to correct the Raiders defense over a period of several years.

Put it this way, he didn't do much to improve his resume while with the Raiders.

Culture is important but it's also intangible and typically aligns itself with wins (or losses). 2017 was a big step backwards for the Raiders.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Something I've been thinking about, regarding the egg laid this year, in light of the Presser to introduce Gruden. Mark Davis went on and on about how from day 1 he wanted Gruden to come back as coach, and Reggie as GM (which I believe, by the way, because he and Reggie have a better/longer friendship than he and Gruden). The problem, 6 years ago, he could have never had the money to bring Jon back. Reggie's job was not just to manage roster salary to a "normal" level and bring talent; but to help prepare to bring the overall $$ up to offer Gruden what he wanted. It took 6 years. We found that out from MD himself at the Presser.

With that said, how much of this did Del Rio know? Did he know that MD started talks with Gruden to be his coach during the season? If you listen to what Mark said, talks with Gruden began right around Week 1/Week 2 of the season. Our horrible season started Week 3. Everything changed Week 3. We were a completely different team from Weeks 1 and 2 through the rest of the season. Did Del Rio know he was losing his job regardless of if he won or loss this year? I don't know about you, but if I knew I was losing my job regardless of my effort, there wouldn't be much effort. There was no effort from our coaching staff, and it showed how the Raiders played on the field. I'm starting to wonder if Jack knew he was done, regardless of the results of the season. He and Jon have the same agent, so he knew from his agent about "dealings" behind his back.

This leads me to my other thought. If this is true, coupled with the argument that Callahan changed the game plan on the last practice before the Super Bowl; why don't the players rebel and call their own plays through audibles during the game? Gannon and Carr are smart enough to audible a play that puts the team in a position to be successful; so why didn't they do that? I wouldn't care if the coach told me not too, my reply would be, "I want to win, and if your play isn't going to work because of something I see, I'm not going to run it." When it became successful and the team won, do you think the coaches are going to call you out? If Gannon, Brown, and Rice did this in the Super Bowl, and Callahan went and complained to Al, who do you think Al would have stood by? The players. I don't think Mark is too different in that area either. This Presser showed, in a lot of ways, he is just like his dad. You take what you want, when you want it. Jack Del Rio is not our coach because 6 months ago (about Week 1 or 2 of the season), MD started talks with Gruden about becoming the next coach of the Raiders. Del Rio's agent informed Jack, and I can guarantee this with 99.999999999%. Del Rio knew as the season went on, his days as coach was numbered.

7:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, I think Del Rio would have kept his job had he performed at a reasonable level. Instead, he proved inept, which made the decision to fire him an easy one. Some say he would have been retained if Gruden wasn't available. Maybe.

As far as Del Rio knowing about Gruden before the season ended, I disagree. Both Davis and Gruden had to keep it very close to the vest due to NFL rules and because Gruden was under contract. Even now, only bits and pieces of their interaction is coming to light, and the media is trying to pin the Raiders into a corner with the Rooney Rule.

for Carr, he seemed to buy into Downing's approach... which is bothersome. Carr is too nice, because anyone could see it wasn't working, and Carr was made to look bad as a result. I don't think Carr was put in a position which he could readily audible plays last year... which reflects the stupidity of Downing's system. Seems the new system will have Carr calling plays at the LOS based on the defense, ala Rich Gannon.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Seems the new system will have Carr calling plays at the LOS based on the defense, ala Rich Gannon.

This is where he excelled under Musgrave a season ago. Power blocking is key to the offense right now though. I think we will be back to run-n-gun type offense. I'm pretty excited to see how this goes.

Gruden and Del Rio sharing the same agent suggests that Del Rio knew about the conversations. I think this is a big reason why no one has heard from him. Yes, he could have helped himself by winning this year. Not saying that letting Musgrave go was a good idea, that was my biggest concern heading into the season. But to completely under-preform the way it did cost Del Rio his job. Solidified by Gruden wanting to come back. Mark Davis even said Del Rio would still be here if Jon didn't want to come back. That makes me think the opposite is true then too. Even if Del Rio won and the season went the way everyone thought it would go; if Gruden wanted back in to coach next season, Jack would be out the door. What everyone is starting to see about Mark Davis is that he is as cutthroat as his dad.

6:28 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Mark Davis has been pursuing Gruden for six years. But I mildly question the agent being involved with any discussions while Del Rio was under contract with the Raiders and Gruden was under contract with ESPN? I think it was more covert, but who knows. Some of what happened may have been because the media asked Gruden if he's ready to coach again, with Gruden responding that he's in "training" to coach again. That had to have been like a siren for Mark Davis that it's time.

As for Davis being cutthroat, I think that's a reflection of six years as an NFL owner, where they eat their young. He's channeling AL to keep from getting eaten alive.

I appreciate MD for expediting the process. Go Chucky!

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Aaaah crap! Just when I was getting hope, reports this morning are that Tom Cable will join the Raiders to coach the O-Line, which if true means that the Raiders are going back to ZBS. $(*&%^&@%$#!
Ball game, over. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If this is true, this will not bode well for the Raiders.

10:43 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Not sure what to make of that. Gruden will be calling plays, so I don't assume Olsen or Cable will be able to insert themselves too much, particularly, if what they suggest isn't working. Also, both are vet coaches that I'm sure are well versed beyond ZB.

That said, I can't help but be a little concerned. I despise ZBS. It has failed the Raiders many times before, and as recently as last year.

11:13 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The Raiders biggest failure last year was trying to structure the entire running game around Marshawn Lynch and Seattle's system that Tom Cable worked. It fail miserably, and the Raiders became predictable and beatable, perhaps not to a level in the past which teams called playing the Raiders an extra bye week... but it was bad.

As good as Lynch was at times last year, IMO, the Raiders would have been better off without him. That would have forced the Raiders to spread the ball around more, creating a more diverse, less predictable system. Also, Lynch took himself out of the game so much, it became obvious that when he was in, he would get the ball.

Now, with Cable coming back, is it a lock that Lynch comes back, and does that mean we are in for more of the same? Gruden will be quicker than Downing at making adjustments but, as we saw this year, the season can get away quickly.

My instincts tell me it won't be until Gruden's second year that we see the results we are hoping.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The problem is not play calling, Olson and Cable are being brought in to implement a style that Gruden wants. It is becoming clear that Gruden is going to build a ZBS System, because that is what Cable does. Every where he has coach, ZBS is the style of blocking used.
Gruden doesn't have 2 years to turn this around, he has to come out swinging. He has to keep to his word that he will create a game plan to the strengths of his roster. I don't think bringing back re-treads who failed the first time around is going to bring different results. This is gearing up to be an epic failure like Art Shell's second time around.

10:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's discouraging when you think along those lines (pun intended). It's a square peg in a round hole, worsened by the fact the Raiders OL personnel is built for power.

But I don't timing is as important to Mark Davis as it is the fans. After all, Gruden has a 10-year contract. Raiders have a recent history of [stupid] patience and willingness to start over.

What's perhaps more encouraging is that Derek Carr will get far better direction from Gruden than from Del Rio and Downing. Gannon was a journeyman QB that became league MVP with a system Gruden installed.

Here's the bottom line: Who would you rather have as HC of the Raiders: Del Rio or Gruden? Based on what you know (and believe) at this point, would prefer Del Rio? Del Rio almost certainly would have changed gears on ZBS and gone back to power blocking. But is that enough?

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I don't think that is as easy to answer as you think. A Head Coach is as good as the staff he surrounds himself with.
We saw the capabilities of the Raiders last season under Del Rio with Musgrave. We saw Del Rio utterly fail this season by letting Musgrave go. Why did they let him walk? I will never know.
As for Gruden, and the staff he is building, Greg Olson and Tom Cable are not difference makers. They are system guys, and have proven they cannot work with players who do not fit their system. Derek Carr was not impressive under Olson 3 seasons ago, and excelled for 2 years under Musgrave. Musgrave, like him or not as a play caller, was a difference maker as a coach. With Gruden being more hands on as a Head Coach/Offensive play caller, he may prove to be the difference maker that Olson and Cable lack. Nothing about these 2 moves suggest that Carr is going to excel under Olson, nor will the O-line excel under ZBS. Power blocking would be a big difference to this team; this season proved it. A coach who will be in Carr's face while he is on the sideline, showing him adjustments needing to be made as the game progresses that will help him succeed. Derek Carr has only had that with Musgrave. Olson and Downing left him alone on the sideline. Gruden is not going to have time as Head Coach to do that with Carr.
So it is not one coach over the other, it is the coach and their staff. Right now, Gruden's offensive staff is equivalent to Del Rio's, if not worse. Del Rio had a better O-Line coach with Tice. Downing and Olson are almost equivalent, Olson has the upper hand due to experience. Gruden has a better Defensive Coordinator and Special Teams Coach hands down. To me, Del Rio with his last staff, and Gruden with his current staff; Gruden has a slight advantage by winning 7-8 games.

7:58 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Gruden's offensive staff is equivalent to Del Rio's, if not worse...

Not sure how you can say that. Downing was a rookie OC under a defensive-minded HC. Isn't that's as bad as it gets?

That's not on the same planet with experienced position coaches working for an offensive-minded HC. All the above are prone to ZBS.

11:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The url article below speaks directly to the topic at hand. There's a lot of speculation floating around. IMO, it's too early to push the panic button.

Personally, I don't care if Lynch is retained, and I certainly hope Gruden didn't hire Cable just to accommodate Lynch. Besides whatever distractions Lynch has caused the Raiders (and there have been many... including game ejection and suspension), his presence on the field brings predictability to the Raiders offense... partly because he pulls himself out of the game so often. RB is a position that seems to offer many options. Drafts are usually loaded, and no name players seem to break out every year.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Del Rio may have had Downing for a year, but he had Mike Tice. He also had a top notch RB and TE coach, unfortunately, none of the OC's knew how to use them. This is the strength that Gruden brings. Knowledge of how to utilize RBs and TEs, but his weaknesses were the strengths of Del Rio's staff. Great O-Line Coach, and great QB guy with Musgrave. That all fell apart when Downing took over at OC.
Tom Cable and Greg Olson are not difference makers, and never will be. We need difference makers in those 2 areas for the offense to be successful. Article says it best, Cable only does well with a good roster on the O-line. Anyone can coach a good roster. He's not a great coach. A great offense starts with a great O-line. We need a great coach to utilize the strength of our team, which is the O-line; and he goes and hires Tom Cable?
He wants someone to help mentor Derek Carr, and went and grabbed an Olson who was an utter failure with Carr? These guys are proven failures and retreads. Why is it going to be different, because Jon Gruden is there now? Gruden can't fix stupid coaching from Olson and Cable.

7:27 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, evidence would suggest that position coaches had far less to do with the failures of the offense than the OC and the system he installed. By extension, Gruden is capable of installing a system, coaching it up and making adjustments in a way that Downing will never understand.

I assume Olsen and Cable will do what Gruden instructs them to do. Otherwise, why couldn't Tice and other position coaches correct what happened last year?

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

The first time around, Al Davis picked most of Grudens wonder why.

2:29 AM  

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