Sunday, December 16, 2018

Bengals Gameday Thread

Mark Davis swears he's been letting the GM and head coach make the call on football and personnel decisions. Amari Cooper swears that Mark Davis traded him against Gruden's wishes.

If you wonder why the Raiders have become a perennial clownshow, here you go.

First of all, let's dispense with the idea that Reggie McKenzie had much authority this year. If he did, that would mean that Davis let a guy he was going to fire before the season's end make irreparable decisions that will impact the team for years (which would probably be even worse than the two scenarios outlined above). Plus, do you really think that Reggie was all gangbusters on dismantling his own roster and shipping off two of his few biggest draft accomplishments? Nope. He was neutered from the start.

So that means when Mark Davis says he's been letting the GM and head coach make the call on football decisions, it's code for Jon Gruden, ie: The Gruden Show. All of it. Mack, Cooper, Martavis Bryant, roster dismantling and the upcoming draft. This would square with paying the man $100 million and giving him a 10-year contract. As goes Gruden, so go the Raiders.  

(McKenzie said on Oct. 23 that Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones called and offered a 2019 first-round pick. That's when McKenzie walked out to the practice field, relayed the offer on the table to Gruden and the head coach approved the deal with a thumbs up.)

The second scenario, the one suggested by Cooper, is much more unnerving. If Mark Davis, after paying a football guy $100 million, is still pulling maneuvering trades because of a power trip or petty agent squabbles or whatever against the wishes of his $100 million football man, that means that Mark Davis is our true...GM. And he's not going anywhere, which means Gruden will never really be able to truly run his show, because the GM will go willy-nilly whenever he sees fit.

In other words, let's hope I'm right and that this is THE GRUDEN SHOW, because if Mark Davis is going be our acting GM in perpetuity, the road to respectability just got longer.

Which sort of brings us to the Bengals, because it would be really cool for the Raiders to win this game, too, and keep the momentum going and put some more wind in the sails of THE GRUDEN SHOW because we're apparently going to need all we can get in the years ahead.


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Raiders without Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele today. Gaeron Conley is out the remainder with a concussion. Even with this, the Raiders are still in the game. Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker are getting man-handled though. They both had back-to-back false starts on second and goal within the 5 yard line. If the O-line can figure out their assignments and protect Carr, the Raiders can win this game.
As far as the roster moves, Mark has made it clear that Gruden has final say on roster. Mark will sign/trade/release/draft anyone that Gruden says.
Bottom line, Raiders need the win here. JUST WIN, BABY!

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Special Teams runs laps this week. Poor tackling, and bone head mistakes (like false starts) hurt us this game. But Special Teams killed us.

1:15 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Excellent point, RT. If the guy who says he knows what he doesn't know is making the calls on what he doesn't know, we're in big trouble.

Today's game was ugly. Honestly, the two guards held up fairly well. It was mostly the rookie tackles that failed again today. And our best looking WR is a guy off the practice squad.

Bengals QB was awful. He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn; yet, the Bengals beat the Raiders pretty easily.

Raiders are 0-3 against rookie QBs this year, including an undrafted rookie playing his first NFL start.

Ugly play of the day was Carr throwing a long fade pass to Keith Smith, who of course dropped it. Gruden is still throwing the ball to this guy. That's amazing! He can't catch in the flat, what makes Gruden think he can catch a contested pass down field? Unbelievable!

Can't be upset about the loss though. The playcalling wasn't terrible, even if it was too conservative when they should have opened it up. At one point late in the game, Carr went down untouched. Atkins got the sack, but you watch the play. Carr was untouched. He was once again playing strictly for his survival. I can't blame him this late in a meaningless season.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Actually, we are 1-3, we beat Baker Mayfield.

2:59 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That's right. Hard to even believe we faced four rookie QBs in one season. Any other season and that's probably four games in the bag.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

All I have to say is the Raiders need to win on Monday Night. The last game in Oakland, against the Doncos. I also loved what Amy Trask said. She said you have to find a way to come back to Oakland next season, lawsuit be damned. If they really want to do something for the fans in Oakland, come back next season.
But she also said, if this is it, start with local artist (MC Hammer and others) throw a weekend long concert, free concessions during the game, let the Fans meet some of the Raiders' legends before the game, and let them come on the field after the game and meet the current roster. I wish she was the owner. This team would be different with her at the helm. JUST WIN, BABY!

9:02 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Florio thinks the Raiders home finale could get ugly based on other finales.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

RT....I believe the nightmare 2nd scenario is the truth, Mark Davis has been acting GM. Reggie was slowly stripped of power, and Gruden brought in to coach, and consult.

All the signs are there to see. M. Davis dresses all in white, just like Daddy. He won't change Raiders uniforms in any way, just like Daddy. He's moving the team, just like Daddy. He hired Gruden, just like Daddy. And now, he's the GM too, just like Daddy.

Only instead of being up front about it like Al, M. Davis stays in the shadows and lets others take the blame when all goes wrong.

I've said all along, show me a perennial losing sports team, and I'll show you a bad owner. The Raiders are doomed with bad ownership.

Mark Davis cannot be his own man. Every move he makes is, "What would Al do".

You cannot fit the past into the present. Mark Davis is totally clueless.

4:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Again, two things can be true here. Gruden making the final call and Davis acting on it. With McKenzie out, Davis playing GM for Gruden is certainly possible. The guy who knows what he doesn't know doing what he doesn't know.

It's all conjecture unless you work inside the building, and it doesn't appear anyone inside is talking. Cooper doesn't know. Raiders certainly didn't ask him if he wanted to be traded, and the Raiders probably didn't communicate with him directly at any time during the process.

2:26 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Eventually, we will have a new GM to replace Mark Davis and his lame attempt to channel Big AL in dual roles.

What concerns me more at this point is scouting, drafting, free agency, etc. Chucky can't do it alone, or with makeshift staff and/or GM.

Safe to say the early grades for last year's draft don't look good.

Both Miller and Parker have been awful this year. S&B reported that Miller leads the league in sacks allowed (14) and pressures allowed (59). Miller's run-blocking grade of 44.8 ranks 82nd out of 83 qualifying offensive tackles.

Wow! Ranks 82 of 83? Are there really 83 players to rank? Parker has been as bad or worse. If Miller and Parker don't get better, and not just a little better, they will both be draft busts, leaving OT still a position of critical need.

PJ Hall was the second round pick. After watching Hall in pre-season, I thought he would explode up the middle. He barely has a stat to his name this year. Hurst is the best of the draft, and Key seems to be coming around.

But Miller and Parker lend to the notion the Raiders still need to draft another tackle(s)... meaning the position that has already spent so much resource may still be a high priority.

I don't think there's any doubt that Tom Cable is a factor. Media had reported that the Seahawks' struggling O-line immediately improved after Cable left.

Mercifully, the season is almost over, but is there any plan or direction?

If the Raiders don't hire a legit GM, draft better and find better free agents... well, Year 2 could be more of the same.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Agree that Year 2 could be like this season, even with a legit GM. Donald Penn may be back this week. That's good news, but Gabe Jackson is on IR. Miller started off well, but has fallen off the wagon this last month. He is also playing injured. Parker sucks.

PJ Hall has been injured this season as well and has taken a back seat to Hurst and Hankins; so he doesn't see much play time. He does have 15 tackles, 6 assists, 2 pass defenses in 432 snaps this year; out of 907 defensive snaps. He has had limited play time in 12 games, but of those 12 has started 4. Those are not bad numbers for the time frame he has played.

Some interesting stats to compare Hall with:
Mo Hurst has played 472 snaps, has 26 tackles, 5 Assists, 4 Sacks, 3 pass defenses, and 1 forced fumble. Mighty Mo is our best D-Lineman.
Frostee Rucker has played 497 snaps, has 20 tackles, 12 assists, 2 pass defenses.
Jonathan Hankins has played 523 snaps, 20 tackles, 14 assists, 2 fumble recoveries.
Arden Key has played 557 snaps, 18 tackles, 9 Assists, 1 sack

Tahir Whitehead has played 904 out of 907 defensive snaps. The second most on defense is Marcus Gilchrist who has played 789 snaps.

Rodney Hudson has played 100% of Offensive Snaps this season with 914. The only person on the team who has played every snap on either side of the ball. Dude is our captain. We haven't had an O-Line captain since Barrett Robbins, and Rodney is so much better than Barrett was. For him to be shafted out of the Pro Bowl is a sham. The second most is Derek Carr who has played 902 snaps.

10:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Robbins was a huge cog on a much better team. Tough to make any comparison. But Hudson is no doubt the man when it comes to the current roster.

Interesting D stats.

Hurst is solid, and I think Key is better than his stat line. He's had moments that he's played the edge well, and he's been in opposing QB faces more than any Raider this season. Even Mack struggled to get sacks his first year. He'll get better with more talent up front.

It's unbelievable that Whitehead has played almost every snap. IMO, that speaks more about the coaches than the player. Whitehead is a solid run defender but a huge liability in coverage. It's not a close call. He's been grossly overrated by Gruden and his coaches.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I've listened to all the former O-Lineman talk about how smart Barrett was, calling the coverage at the line pre-snap, and how he was the glue that held them all together. They totally lost it when Barrett went AWOL.
Hudson is doing the same, and with the makeshift O-Line that we have, he has had 6 different Guards around him this season. But Hudson is by far a better player than Barrett was. Better at recognizing defensive schemes and countering with coverage calls. Out of the 914 snaps, he has had one holding penalty called on him, and that is the only penalty he has had against him this season. He has only allowed 3 pressures, one sack, and one QB hit all season, and was voted PFF's best blocker this season. Amazing stat line on his part, I'm glad he's a part of Raider Nation, and will be for a long time, I hope. Carr doesn't have the success he's had without Hudson.

Arden Key has the potential to be better, but his problem is over-pursuit of a play, and is constantly out of position against the run. That was his problem at LSU as well, and it would have been better had he stayed in college another year. I'm not sure he can be coached to do better.

Whitehead is not a bad player. He played well with the Lions, he is adjusting to a new system, but is definitely a better against the run than the pass. But he is not horrible against the pass. He gets out of position by biting on the play-action. I think he will play better next season, once he has a good feel of Guenther's defense, and especially if the Raiders get a decent pass rush. Then he won't have to cover so long.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. I am out until after the holidays, but will be watching the Raiders last 2 games. Hope everyone stays safe and has a terrific time with family and loved ones. All I want for Christmas is for the Raiders to win these next 2 games. JUST WIN, BABY!

12:43 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Merry Christmas Nate! Enjoy your holiday! And Go Raiders!

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

My Christmas wish list is to win out these last two games. Let's beat the hated Donks, and go to KC and beat the fading Chefs. Andy Reid loves to fade this time of year.

Happy holidays to all.

4:14 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

What a great X-Mas present. Kudos to Gruden for having the team playing so hard. That was fun to watch. Harris punt return was the play of the game. He's played smart like that all year and doesn't get enough credit for how savvy he is.

The only thing better would be to beat KC next week. KC needs that game to be top seed, so they will be playing for blood. If the Raiders can set them back it would mean a lot for the maturation of the team.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

8:19 AM  

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