Monday, December 03, 2018

One Postgame Take

You know, I was impressed. The Raiders played the Chiefs until the end. The hallmarks of a bad team were all there: the turnovers, the inability to make "the stop" when they needed to, etc. But the fact is, the Raiders went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the NFL, and to do so this late in a lost season shows me that there's still some grit left in this team, and that maybe, just maybe, Jon Gruden is getting buy-in from his players.

I've been biting my tongue for a lot of this season. I don't believe that Jon Gruden has been executing some sort of master plan from the start. He traded a third-round pick for Martavis Bryant. He thought he could do something this season, and then quickly found out he couldn't. The Mack situation blew up in his face, and then the wheels started coming off. This made Cooper expendable, because now it was all about shifting blame to McKenzie, blowing up the roster and hoarding draft picks. The team played so poorly, culminating in an embarrassing beatdown by the Niners, and the only explanation (other than the fact that the coaching was terrible) was that they were tanking. But then suddenly they weren't tanking, which meant you really had to question the coaching staff and their grip on the team.

But then yesterday happened and, well, you have hang onto glimmers of hope these days, because they are few and far between. Gruden has so much work to do, and he needs to hit on those draft picks, or we could be in for several more years of the nuclear winter. But that's a worry for another day.

And so there was a glimmer yesterday. December football in a lost season, against a great team. And they played hard. It's a start.


Blogger nyraider said...


Carr almost looked like his old self. Best play-action all season, and it was actually meaningful.

Still lots and lots of work to do... to hopefully prevent a "nuclear winter."

In addition to the post-game points I made on the last thread, I still don't understand why Jordy Nelson is being thrown the ball at the LOS. He's the worst open field threat the Raiders have at any skill position. Those plays get stuffed. Yet, when they throw him the ball down field, he's a reliable possession receiver.

This is still my biggest fear with the current coaching staff. They don't seem to know how to best utilize their personnel.

I will say this again; Conley is a sleeper this year. He's quietly one of the best cover CBs in the league. If Gruden dumps this kid because he's "Reggie's boy" that would suck.

The only reason we might be headed for "nuclear winter" is Gruden's scorched earth approach. Hudson, Jackson, Osemele, Conley, Carr, Cook and maybe a few others. You'd think these guys are building blocks.

We'll see!

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

Rebuild doesn't have to take that long.

Watched Dallas shut down high powered Saints with no name defense built up in 2 drafts. No Khalil Mack needed. Just 11 guys playing hard, playing with pride, with a good game plan. it can be done.

Denver Donks the same. Defense + running game, have made them respectable. Doesn't take long if you know what you're doing. Question is, does anyone in Raiders organization know what their doing??

Raiders have played better at home this year. They made a game of it yesterday. But Raiders on road have been scary bad.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benjamin Allbright

· 13h
What if I told you Gruden wasn't the reason Mack and Cooper were traded, at all?

Benjamin Allbright

What if an owner got so angry at an agent declining a fair offer, that he vowed not to have that agent's players on his team and began trading them away...?

Davis acknowledged that the Raiders offered Mack a record-breaking deal a year ago, but that Mack’s camp had declined the deal at the time and wanted to hold out for more money. Davis, according to Denver radio voice Benjamin Allbright, became so aggravated with Segal’s method of doing business that he wanted to move away altogether from Segal’s clients.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

This makes perfect sense to me. There's no way Reggie or Gruden can trade away a player like Mack without the owners final blessing.

I know what I don't know....The fish rots from the head down.

11:38 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's possible but Mark Davis doesn't impress me as someone who makes football decisions, for better or for worse. As you quoted above, he knows what he doesn't know.

IMO, Davis paid Jon Gruden to take over the football op and make those decisions. It's pretty obvious McKenzie got his legs chopped out from under him.

We'll probably never know the truth, because that means someone would get embarrassed.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Scott Bair has a story on the upcoming offseason for the Raiders, and who they should pursue as far as DE/EDGE rushers go:

I have my eye on Jadeveon Clowney and Trey Flowers, I think the Raiders could be in the market for either. Clowney I really like, but I think there is a possibility that Watt retires or is cut, and the Texans keep Clowney. Either way, getting a DE in free agency is going to cost money that the Raiders may not have to break the bank to do, but it is going to be pricey.

As far as the draft, I think our 3 picks in the first round should focus on DE, LB, and WR.
Josh Allen (MILB, Kentucky) is who I think the Raiders should use their first pick on. He will shore up our captain of the defense for years to come. I love this guy, he has a style that reminds me of Kirk Morrison. He has good speed to cover the pass and blitz, and can read the play to stuff the run. He's a solid pick that seems to have a natural knack of being where the ball is.

DE should be our 2nd pick. I really do not understand the Bosa fascination. Yes, he is disruptive, but he has a tendency to disappear for weeks at a time. I like Zach Allen (BC) over Bosa and Ferrell (Clemson) too.

I think Ed Oliver Jr is still the best option for this position though. quotes Houston coaches as Oliver weighing in at 275 at camp, and has playing at 282 this season (DE weight). With his injury and the struggles he has had with double teams, he will probably drop in the draft.

With our 3rd pick, we should pursue AJ Brown (WR, Ole Miss) if he decides to enter the draft. He is really the only WR in the draft worth a first round choice.

The only other WRs I like in the early rounds is Oklahoma's Marquise Brown. This kid has the ability to be like Tim Brown or TY Hilton, and has reliable hands and speed. My only hesitation with him is his size. He is 5'11, 160 lbs, not the kind of guy you want running the slot. What happens to his speed and overall abilities if the coaches ask him to jump to 180? Kelvin Harmon (NC St) is the other WR I like that could be selected in the 2/3rd round.

I think outside the first 3 picks in the first round OLB, WR, and RB are priority the rest of the draft. Maybe guard and DB depending on what happens in the offseason as well.

In the 2nd or 3rd round the Raiders could pick up Jalen Jenks (OLB, Oregon) or Chase Winovich (OLB, Michigan). Later round picks I like for OLB are: Tevon Coney (Notre Dame), D'Andre Walker (Georgia), and Christian Miller(Bama).

A small school, late round gem at the OLB position is Terrill Hanks (New Mexico St). My hesitation with him is he to be hesitant, but when he has a feel for the play and opens up, he is pretty unstoppable and disruptive. He will have to shine in at the Combine to be drafted though.

Gruden has made it clear he wants a Wheatley-type bruiser back. A good late round pick for this kind of back is Alex Barnes (RB, Kansas St). He is 6'1, 227 lbs, and has 1,355 yards and 12 TDs, with a 5.3 yard per carry average. Another hidden gem in this category is Qadree Ollison (RB, Pittsburgh). He is 6'2, 230 lbs, has 1,134 yards and 10 TDs this season, with a 6.4 yards per carry average.

Some late round WRs I like (not mentioned above) are: David Sills (West Virginia), Tyre Brady (Marshall), Ventell Bryant (Temple), KeeSean Johnson (Fresno St), and Anthony Johnson (Buffalo). My hidden gem at WR is Stanley Morgan (Nebraska) is 6'1, 190 lbs, with 70 receptions, 1,004 yards and 7 touchdowns this season.

I think Right Tackle is also a priority this offseaon for the Raiders, but it is a position that lacks sufficient talent in the draft. If they address this position, it will have to be through Free Agency.

That is my outlook on the up coming offseason. I'm looking for the Raiders to put some wins together as the season ends, but I expect a rocky offseason for our roster. Until then, JUST WIN, BABY!

12:05 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders need to make a decision at RB. Martin has been better than I expected, but he's not the Raiders future. Right? And Richard and Washington are scat backs and neither is a capable and durable starter. They have Chris Warren on IR. He should be given every chance to become the feature back.

It's a bit ironic that the two guys Gruden vowed to keep after their stand-out pre-season, Warren and Hatcher, both disappeared from the Raiders roster. Gruden overworked Warren into injury and cut Hatcher.

I have no idea if either one will be great, but I'd much rather see young guys like these two be given the opportunity over the parade of veterans Gruden signed this year.

The sad reality is, it thing could take several more years before the Raiders find a winning solution. Next year could easily be more of the same as this year.

And I don't expect the Raiders to win any more games this year. I'd be happy if they could build off last week and stay competitive.

This week it's Conley vs A Brown. Brown is a quintessential WR. But Conley is a sleeper, and IMO might be the most talented player the Raiders have on defense.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watt retire or get cut? I want some of what this guy is smoking.

2:33 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

McKenzie on his way out... as if there was any doubt.

12:12 PM  

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