Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Just Win, Baby

Amid all of the drama and chaos, let's not forget that the whole point of being an NFL team is playing to win, and doubly so for an organization that has prided itself on slogans such as "Just Win, Baby" and "Commitment to Excellence."

But is it just me, or does it seem like, every time the camera finds Mark Davis since he moved to Las Vegas, he looks contented, despite the fact that the team continues to be mired in an epic stretch of mediocrity on the field. Does he share his father's fire to win? If so, why don't I sense his father's rage at losing?

After getting a sweetheart deal from Sin City, Mark Davis coaxed Jon Gruden out of coaching retirement with a ridiculous 10-year, $100 million deal. Make no mistake, this hire was as much about making a splash and generating star power as it was about winning, timed perfectly for the move to a city that is all about the glitz and the glamor.

As of last Sunday, Mark Davis clearly wasn't getting his money's worth, but there was no way he was going to fire Gruden anytime soon, no matter what happened on the field, because there was too much invested in the "idea" of Jon Gruden. That's what happens when you factor publicity into your coaching hire, costs be damned. 

In other words, thanks to Davis's grandiosity, Gruden's job security was ultimately going to be  untethered to winning and losing--an extraordinary circumstance for any NFL head coach, let alone one hired from the television booth. Just win, baby? How about: Just sell PSLs and luxury boxes, baby.

Mark Davis now has the unexpected opportunity to repent from the shallowness, misplaced nostalgia and fiscal irresponsibility of the Gruden contract. He should thank his lucky stars and hit the reset button, hard. 

Let's talk about Mike Mayock for a moment. Either he has had a strong say in our drafts and personnel decisions, which would mean he's done a poor job; or he hasn't had a strong say, which means he's unproven. Neither of those options sound very appetizing to me.

Raider Nation, stay focused. Keep your eyes on Mark Davis. He suddenly has a chance to get out of his own way and do this the right way. What is the right way? For starters, it will look nothing like the old way. Clean house. Reset. Modernize. Delegate. Innovate. WIN.

Mark Davis, your turn.


Anonymous Ghost Ship said...

Well take, lets not forget Mark Davis famous saying, "i know what i don't know".

Not sure he really means it. after all, Davis hired Jack Del Rio, and Davis hired Gruden. So he's more involved than he likes to let on.

Will he get it right this time? sure hope so. but when i see him sitting there in his white sweatshirt, and white blazer, he does seem kinda goofy. But he's the owner. he makes the calls. it just seems like the apple fell very far from the tree.

Mayock is the mystery man. did he draft Ruggs over Lamb? did he reach way up to take Leatherwood? did he ignore the linebacker position? we just don't know. or, i guess you could say, we know what we don't know!

4:47 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Indeed, Gruden just did Mark Davis a huge favor. I think the entire organization has egg on its face after the all the missteps, the latest being the O-line debacle.

And I don't think we can give Mayock a pass. He has his fingerprints on many of the top level personnel decisions that have failed, like Ferrell, and perhaps even Antonio Brown, which the Raiders still haven't fully recovered.

The reset hopefully is a semblance to normalcy, e.g., hiring a HC who's on the clock for success. The 10-year plan was never a good one. It leads to complacency or, in Gruden's case, may have started with some degree of complacency.

This should be a wakeup call for Davis. He's had time to learn something since telling us he doesn't know.

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been some first round duds but if you measure the Raiders entire drafts for the past three years the are one of he highest in draftin efficiency. This can not be denied even in lig of me teible first round picks.

Gruden had the team going in the right direction whether you guys want to admit it or not. Top ten offense, Carr playing the best ball of his life and the defense has been vastly improved. The roster is stacked with good young talent and the salary cap situation is outstanding going nto next year.

Be careful what you wish for because I though Del Rio was mediocre at best, Dennis Allen awful, Tom Cable over his head, Hugh Jackson out of control, Lane Kiffin lol etc.

Let's not forget the Raiders need a coach who beleives in the Raiders philosphies and embraces the history. Gruden was that.

My two cents on next coach is David Shaw. He checks a lot of boxes, history with the Raiders, pro style offense, diversity, class, leadership and a long succesfultrack record. With many years of instability they need a strong leader who can be the face of the franchise. So some two year assitant like Joe Brady is too risky in my opinion.


6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same old story, NFL goes after Raider franchise, only this time, the owner buckles under and does what his corporate emperor tells him. Al would have never done it, he would of defended his HC and called this out for what it is, a witch hunt.

650,000 emails and Gruden is the only one? Snyder gets away with nothing? How the NFL keeps it's fans, is beyond me. But, this sort of 'culture' is going to be the downfall. People are getting real sick of this.

Raiders were looking real good this year, until this pops up, if you watched the Bears game, the team was completely rattled, especially with the refs calling everything they could on the Raiders. You want conspiracy, well, it's right in your face now, let's see how it is spun by the league defenders.

9:18 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders have clearly hit on a few draft picks but I'm not sure they rank anywhere near "highest draft efficiency" since Gruden arrived. Remember, Gruden has four drafts under his belt, not three, so the retention rate is much lower than the last three drafts might imply, and there have been at least two 3rd round players jettisoned without playing a single snap. That's unusual for one draft, let alone 2 out of 4 drafts.

Also, where the Raiders have failed most critically is at the top of their drafts, with picks like Ferrell, Arnette, and, yes, looks like Leatherwood too... at least from the standpoint that the Raiders can't field a serviceable O-line and have moved Leatherwood from RT to RG after drafting him as a plug 'n play RT.

But, yes, guys like Renfrow, Crosby and Jacobs are clear winners. Jacobs was the lead player in the Mack trade, so that definitely cushioned the blow of that deal.

My biggest concern with Gruden was the lack of accountability which has led to a painfully slow rebuilding. Perhaps we do fall back into the black hole of turnstile HCs, but at least they will be held accountable.

I agree Gruden made some progress but I can't tell if it was deliberate or in spite of.... Once one area of the team grows stronger, another fails. That said, to be clear, I didn't wish for this to happen. It's insane. I would rather play out the season with Gruden trying his best to make the playoffs, then have Davis make an informed decision to retain Gruden or fire him based on his performance... but we all know that wasn't going to happen.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Ghost Ship said...

Here's a curveball, how about Mike Shanahan. i know Mark Davis has met with him in the past. he mended the fences and all that.

And Mark Davis loves to flirt with what his father did in the past. so Shanahan part ll...could it be? well age is not a factor anymore. Shanahan won 2 SB's with Elway many yrs ago. This is crazy talk, right ?? But this is the Raiders right ??

9:38 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I believe that comparing Gruden to past Raiders coaches dating back to Lane Kiffin is like grading on a curve.

Have you noticed that none of these guys have gotten head coaching jobs since being canned by the Raiders (with the exception of Hue Jackson, and we know how that turned out). That just goes to show how bad the Raiders have been at hiring coaches.

They were hiring on the cheap for so long, then boomeranged by overpaying Gruden. Meanwhile a whole new crop of young, innovative coaches (and proven older ones) have flown right past our grasp.

Time to hit the reset button. Adapt, rebuild, delegate, innovate. Win.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when the Raiders were a wanted destination for coaches and players? The team has been unstable for so long, nobody wants to touch it with a ten foot pole.

Gruden had to be bribed to take the job. Once again, we see the league taking runs at the Raiders, what coach, in their right mind, would take that job?

With Mark as the owner, it still feels as if the league still wants to keep the Raiders down, this leak of emails is just more proof. Players and coaches around the league know this is going on, this is why the Raiders have to over pay. It isn't a good recipe for a stable franchise.

Easy to sit on one's perch and claim what needs to be done, but then there is a true reality to this situation that doesn't make it as easy as one believes.

Winning will only come when the league see's fit, at this point, they have a bullseye right on Mark's ass.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Was Gruden singled out and targeted? Of course. But now that the Pandora's Box has been cracked open, there will be more, and the NFL will have some explaining to do.

But Gruden said what he said, over years of communications. Regardless of your stance on how this played out, does he not come across in these emails as someone who is entitled, out of touch and stuck in his ways?

And how could these qualities not creep into his work ethic, management systems and performance as the head coach of the Raiders?

This could explain some things, including why the Raiders haven't been on a hard upswing under Gruden 2.0. We hired our old magician, only to discover that he'd lost his magic.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know if there will be more. NFL operates like the government, give the sheeple distractions until they forget what it was about in the 1st place.

Gruden was chosen as a scapegoat, it's obvious and it's probably because he said bad things about the emperor and a few owners.

So they went after him and Gruden recognized it and walked away. They are trying to ruin Gruden's life, sponsors gone, out of the NFL for life.

Has anyone seen these emails, other than the Times or the NFL? Gruden was hanged before anyone even get's to see the evidence. But go ahead, defend it and defend the league because the illusion must live on, am I right?

10:16 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I've not read any emails but I did read that Gruden lost the confidence of his players, which include Carl Nassib, whom the players love and respect. I understand that this issue more or less forced him out. Gruden probably can't reconcile his emails, as described by media, with the group of players he has to coach. If they don't respect him, it's over. No more knocking on wood.

11:30 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Someone in another blog asked if there could be any connection between the Gruden saga and the four executives who mysteriously left the Raider org earlier this year. Whatever happened to the internal investigation that was promised?

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, Anon

You are correct if you throw out year 1 the drafting efficiency in the last three years has been top 3 in the leauge per PFF (I know you like their analysis.) Not excusing crap picks like Ferrel and Arnette but they struck gold on the guys you mentioned plus Mullen, Moreau, Hobbs etc.

WE can disagree on how good Gruden was for the team, though I appreciate you saying he was making progress. We can agree Gruden had to go for the good of the team. The media circus would have been a nightmare and if his words alienated the players (which I certainly understand why) there is no coming back from that.

The NFL is downright evil. I mean how the hell do the Raiders lose their coach when the Redskins are discriminating and harrasesing their female staff. Obviously the league continues to hate the Raiders even a decade after Al is gone. I pin a good deal of the Bears loss on this situation.

I hope this blows back in the league's face because we know Gruden is not an isolated case in the NFL and Dan Snyder did way worse. If not for the Raiders I am starting to care less and less about the soap opera bs scummyness that is the NFL. College is way more entertaining last week alone 4 great games Mich-Neb, Bama-A&M, Oklahmoa-Texas and Penn State - Iowa. The NFL is lucky if they get that many quality games in a season.


1:21 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Mark Davis was quickly interviewed today as he was walking into the facilities. He said Mayock and Bisaccia have a 51/49% (favor Mayock) of control of football operations, whereas with Gruden it was a 51/49% for Gruden over Mayock. Meaning that if there was a disagreement of who to draft, Gruden got his way. Ruggs over Lamb was Gruden's decision.

Mike Mayock hit it out of the park with his interview on the situation, and you should look it up if you haven't seen it. Carl Nassib took a personal day today to evaluate the situation, and anyone who thinks that Nassib feels Jon has treated him fairly through all of this; I have ocean front property in Kansas for sale. Nassib has balled out for us this season, and is a vastly different player this season than last. Mayock said, "Of course we gave him a personal day, he's a one man island through this situation and has a lot to process."
Darren Waller saying, "No one should tell Carl how to grieve and process this. People may want to cancel him (Jon Gruden), but at the same time where do we offer grace for him to learn and grow?" POWERFUL WORDS! I think the answer lies in how he conducted himself these last 4 years? Did he continue to show similar patterns in his words and behavior that were found in these emails that range in the last 10 years?
Powerful words from Mayock, Bisaccia, and the players today; showing the willingness to rally together through this.

The big black eye is the refusal of Mark Davis to make a statement. When asked about it, his response was, "Go ask the NFL, they have all the answers." This tells me that he did not want to let Jon go, nor want him to retire. I don't like how this was an investigation against the WFT, and yet, the Raiders are the ones punished. Now the NFL is saying they will not release any more emails or other information regarding the investigation. I can understand Mark's answer and frustration, but Raider Nation needs to hear from him. Make no mistake, this is not just about Jon Gruden, this is about the direction of the organization from top to bottom. They have to find a Team President (bring back Amy Trask for God's sake), a CFO, Assistant CFO, and now a Head Coach. No coach like Joe Brady, Eric Bienemy, or anyone else worth their salt right now is going to sign with the Raiders without these organizational leaders in place. If Bisaccia does a great job, I can see him taking control as the permanent Head Coach; if not, the Raiders will be in a world of hurt.

I still support the Raiders, they will always be my team. We have the Doncos in town on Sunday, and one team will be 4-2, and one team will be 3-3. Let's hope the Raiders rise to the occasion and be "Committed to Excellence." JUST WIN, BABY!

2:47 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

So Davis confirmed what we already knew; Gruden was in complete control. Mayock now has control of personnel. Maybe that's a good thing. We'll see.

Not sure I get Mayock's comment about Nassib. He's far from being on an island. Gruden is the one under fire, not Nassib. Nassib is part of a team. That's where he belongs. If he wants a personal day, that's fine but why feel the need to label him as being alone?

Not sure we can read Nassib's mind wrt "not being treated fairly." Gruden was his HC but Bradley calls the defense. Nassib has played well in his rotational role.

I get Mark Davis' frustration. He should be pissed at the NFL. Gruden and the Raiders have been singled out. It's pretty freakin obvious when they go thru 650,000 emails and only Gruden's were leaked. Now the NFL seems content to just punish the Raiders as collateral damage to an investigation that I guess went nowhere.

Honestly, it doesn't make financial sense for the NFL to intentionally bring down the Raiders.

I hope Davis and the Raiders org and players stay pissed off at the NFL and channel that energy into winning games. That will put this thing in the rearview mirror quickly. I will gladly give Gruden his due if the Raiders pull off a great season.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said NY well said.

lol, If this crisis cna make your and my opinion and feelings ymboitic maybe it can lead to the team coming together and winning. I am basically adjsuting my expectations to writing the seson off but let's see.

I think the investigation of WFT probably did uearth considerable dirt on Snyder and the NFL was scared of the fallout and wanted to protect one of its billionares. I have read about the WFT scnadal apparently one fo the thngs Snyder did was invite a bunch of buddies down to Costa Rica while the cheerleader photo shoot was going on and was coercing the women into having sex with his buddies. Sounds like a felony to me as in human trafficking

I was impressed by Bisaccia's press conference he seemed very level headed. He started crying when talking about how grateful he was to get a chance at being a head coach, I found that genuine and touching

All the best

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey, Raidernation why the negative attitudes? its' next man up!

When Reggie took over team, Raidernation said- "Go Reggie!" He's gonna rebuild the team into a winner- Well, he didn't- but we stayed upbeat, positive and hopeful.

When Reggie started building team Raidernation media/ Reggie told fans it would be tough but he and his coaches would build with good draft picks and other players and later be a top team winning games- Well, they didn't but fans stayed upbeat, positive and hopeful.

When Del Rio was hired as Raiders HC Raidernation said- A real Raiders'-like coach and now we can think playoffs. Del Rio would get this team going- Well, he did in '16 then he was fired. But we stayed upbeat and hopeful and some of us suspected Gruden might be hired.

When Gruden was hired we Jumped to the moon!; we were pumped up, excited and shouted with passion! We just knew Gruden would take Raiders back to Glory! We knew he would coach us to the playoffs- Well, he didn't but we stayed upbeat, positive and hopeful.

* We may not have a good football team right now but we have the best fan base in pro sports! No other fan base has been through anything like the last 17 years.

Other teams can brag about sell outs, how much fans spend at the stadiums and how loud the fans are but we have stayed loyal to the Raiders when they- are in a 17 year slump, have rising ticket prices, are dealing with decades of ref bias, dealing with losing Al and they are in the city that team took off from for new city.

Like Al's era we don't have anything to prove but Raidernation shows every season they support this team.

You, Raidernation are awesome and one of the biggest stories in pro sports.

Don't get too upset remember, the old Raiders, Al, the great games. Don't let the NFL's schemes make you depressed and disappointed or the media's smearing make you stop watching the Raiders.

We are Raidernation! Go Raiders!

12:46 AM  
Blogger Aussie Raider ☠️ said...

In a state of shock on what has transpired these last few days, fortunately this doesn’t dominate the news cycle down here. Looking forward at potential HC’s which puts us in a unique position where we can vet out and let our potential HC have his staff lined and ready. I have seen a lot of names floated except for Jim Harbaugh. Mark made a last minute pitch to him after his mind was already made up that he was going to Michigan. He is an ex Raider he has a huge amount of respect for the late Mr. Davis and he is a proven winner in the NFL. I think most of us would take his 4 year record over the last 4 we had to endure. Not that he would come back to the NFL but I would pursue him…
Aussie Raider

2:43 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Hello, Aussie! Welcome back! Wish is was under better circumstances.

Anon, I love your optimism and spirited defense of the Raider Nation. You are right, the fans have nothing to prove. But the organization does. That's the crux of the matter right now. The fans deserve better than what Mark Davis has mustered in the TEN years since his father's passing. I would say: stay happy and optimistic, but don't shrug, either. Demand better from those in charge, because that's what Al Davis would do.

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

Demanding the organizational heads to do better is the spirit of my comments about Mark Davis speaking to the situation. We all know he and Gruden were tight, and we all know that this probably cut a deep wound in him; but some of the best healing comes in words driven by grief.

As for the NFL singling out the Raiders. I absolutely agree with this. How does a lawsuit, NFL investigation against Daniel Snyder and the WFT result in the punishment of the Raiders. Let's not forget in the emails between Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden, naked photos of the Cheerleaders were sent back and forth between the two. Where did they come from? They weren't on this sex-trafficking trip to Costa Rica with Snyder. For them to say that they are not releasing anymore emails, nor are they going to dole out any more punishment is ridiculous. And I don't believe for a second that Gruden's ego is going to allow Gruden to go down quietly. The NFL has always had an underlying accusation of sex-trafficking; and this may be the even that blows the top off, Jeffrey Epstein style too.

On Carl Nassib, I think it is pretty clear that getting a personal day for him to process everything shows the world that he was not treated fairly by Gruden, otherwise, I think they would have told him what was said here in this blog; he's not a one-man island, he has a team of people around him. That is still true, but sometimes when you have been wounded, you need some solitude as well. Good for the Raiders for allowing him some solitude.

In similar news, the Buccaneers announced they are removing Gruden from their Ring of Honor. Great, what about Warren Sapp? Didn't they recently sign Richard Sherman too? Do they not still employ Antonio Clown? This is the problem with cancel culture, nobody is perfect, and we should stop pretending like none of us has deep rooted faults. Yes, we can point fingers of shame and blame when people don't want to address faults, but it should also cause us to pause and ask, "What about me? What deep issues do I need to work on?" I tell my kids all the time, "Worry about yourself!"

I don't know what you believe religiously, or if you believe at all, and I'm not concerned about that. But I get a lot of shared blame for what others do in the name of the God I believe in. I am a pastor, and want to share the core of my beliefs here. 1 Peter 4:8 says, "Be fervent in your love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins." It is not perfection, judgment, anger, good deeds that cover sins (wrongs that harm others); but our love for each other. Derek Carr said that we can still love Gruden as a person and despise the actions he took. I don't think that is the proper way to say it, but I understand what he is trying to communicate. What DC is saying is, we can show him love as a human despite his actions and choices, and help him on a path to recover and seek help like Darren Waller suggested. As I stated earlier too, that if he refuses to seek the help, then we can wipe the dust off our feet. It's not always black and white when it comes to this either, but we should all be looking to improve ourselves, and do so in the spirit of love for one another. God bless you guys here. I love God, I love my family, I love everyone here, and I love the Raiders. JUST WIN, BABY!

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MD? Mayock?

Ummmm......Gruden drafted those players!? I don't think so! I don't think Gruden had close to complete control of the Raiders.

The Raiders FOA don't do things their way anymore. Remember, the media said the Raiders were way behind other teams because Al refused top change. The media said Raiders needed to be more modern- Reggie said the Raiders didn't have many things other NFL teams had in their offices.

Well, I guess our modern technology hasn't caught up yet because I see far less talent than Al had in much of that slump. Then they said because of the terrible (?) roster and dysfunction (?) Al created, it would take 5 years (?) to rebuild in a PARITY league that says mediocre teams can win now.

If Al's Raiders were loaded and the league is that mediocre WHY did they go into a 9 year (not saying they can't have some losing seasons) slump not having one winning season with some pretty average teams making the playoffs?

Unless you really believe those Al teams were that bad you can't explain WHY this team had a 9 year slump.

When Al passed the NFL made it's move. A conspiracy Yea it was! but it was the owners telling the Raiders to cooperate- just make money and forget what right.

* Think about it What happened to teams since Al passed on and off the field?:

1. The Raiders aren't standing up for the players like Al did. They stand up for LGBTQ and against player's criminal/ other actions but its' more of the NFL's program.

2. They don't seem to put Raidernation as high as Al did.

3. The REFUSE to spend, there are (were) some good players that they might be able to get if they'll trade players/ draft picks and sign them to big contracts but that's totally

4. They are more into making money than winning. They want to profit but don't want to pay their players. They

5. They have good ideas and beliefs(high character-passionate players-team players) but are terrible at finding talent. Not looking at bigger, faster players because Al did it. And reaching because you want high character players is

This is whats happened since Al passed.

1. Gruden and Reggie are ex-Al employees that were hired BY THE NFL to keep fans happy.

2. The reason they moved to LV was to get that LV money for the league not just the Raiders.

3. Gruden wasn't drafting players. Mayock/ new scouts who are running things. They probably blocked SOME of Gruden's plans about players.

Outsiders tell the Raiders what to do they could or did only take their advice on drafting and hiring front office people.

This may be the end of their con game. With the Raiders in L.V. they really don't have to con you. They may pick some old winning coach or some young OC to coach Raiders.
And you'll support it.

Wow! Raidernation the NFL/ media can tell you anything. You want to win so bad you take NFL's guys no matter if you even heard of them or not and NFL wouldn't want good coaches for Raiders but if it means getting rid or Al's era they will help bring them there.

11:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

When Mike Florio says he believes the NFL intentionally took down Gruden, then it's probably true. I kinda' like (or at least respect) Florio but he is a frequent Raider hater, so his opinion on this matter is revealing.

WRT Gruden, I like what Carr said. You can love the man and hate the sin. None of us are perfect. I agree, Nate, the Bucs taking Gruden down from their ring of honor is lame and hypocritical. If Gruden is being forced out of the NFL, plenty of others should probably go to jail.

Gruden is full of bluster but I believe he is deep down a good person, and hearing Derek Carr speak his mind only confirms that.

Despite their O-line troubles, the Raiders look like a better team in 2021 but, as I've said from the start, their fate rests with Derek Carr. He's the man. He may have more autonomy than ever before. Carr was already calling plays at the line.

And listening to Maxx Crosby speak about Bisaccia, players love this guy. Raiders may appear a bit rudderless but they have some vet leaders on both sides of the ball and coordinators well embedded in the current system.

I'm going with the glass half full until further notice.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Amen, Raider Nate, you can preach here anytime!

9:47 AM  

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