Sunday, September 04, 2022

2022 Week 1: Anticipation and Excitement

Let's get this out of the way first...

Debate is raging in the comments about the Gruden #2 Era, and what it means to the present and future of the Las Vegas Raiders. 

My perspective is echoed by a few things I read in a piece in The Athletic this week. First off, from beat reporter Vic Tafur responding in a Q&A:

Q: Observing McDaniels’ coaching philosophy through training camp, how does he differ from the past few coaches the Raiders had? Is there anything special that makes him stand out from previous regimes?

A: There’s not the emotional roller coaster there was with Jon Gruden, with opinions on players speeding up and down from day to day. There has clearly been a focus on fundamentals, details and penalty-avoiding technique, and it worked in the preseason. Players say the offense is more complicated and has defined roles in the red zone. McDaniels admittedly had problems with his people skills during his first go-around as head coach in Denver, and it will be interesting to see what happens the first time the team faces adversity. But everything has been smooth sailing so far.

I like the sound of that. Of course, anything "new" is always the shiny toy before it has been tested. I do believe that Gruden was probably more seat of the pants and emotional in his approach, but there are more than one ways to skin a cat and cultivate winning football. I just like the sound of trying to skin it differently under McDaniels. 

We shall see how it plays out. Every new head coach is a winner before games are played, especially when there's stark contrast with the previous coaching regime. Look at the takes coming out of Minnesota and Miami, for example: 180-degree turns in coaching approaches, with everyone slobbering about how the previous way sucked and the new guys are going to hit it out of the park. Nevetheless, I'm getting the "feels" from McDaniels and Ziegler, and I hope I'm right.

A reader added this in the comments section of the aforementioned Athletic article, and it also sounds about right to me:

We had some colossal hits in Gru 2.0 (Waller, Crosby, Renfrow, Hobbs) and many colossal failures (Arnette, Ferrell, Leatherwood, AB, Littleton, etc). His personnel decisions had FAR too much standard deviation to ever put together a full-ish team. Overall, I'd say he ended at slightly below average. I anticipate this regime to be a bit more calculated and less variable in their decisions. But this quick reload shows that the team was not as bad as much as Gruden gets ragged on for.

Moving on from the review mirror, let's look through the windshield.

Chargers, Cardinals, Titans, Broncos, Chiefs is real gauntlet to start the season. We could find ourselves grasping for patience over panic by Week 6 with a few bad bounces. Or the Raiders could explode out of the gates. Will the new-look offense led by Carr and Adams gel immediately, or will there be growing pains, especially with our offensive line woes?

The division is just brutal. You could finish last in the AFC West and potentially still be the fifth or sixth best team in the conference. But there are question marks hovering over our rivals. Are the Chargers finally for real, or just perennial playoff teases? Is Russell Wilson going to change Denver's fortunes overnight? With the loss of Hill and a host of new skill players, can the Chiefs still set pace? The answers to those questions will play a major role in the Raiders' divisional fate this year.

Most of all, I'm just excited about the return of Raiders football for another season, and to be in good company with all of you, firing off your takes, sometimes veering into heated debate but always willing to cool down and ultimately give love and respect and ultimately not take it too personally. 

We all agree on this: GO RAIDERS!


Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Before one game is even played, I like a lot of what I hear out of the Raiders org. Some of the things that McDaniels' is focusing on has never been the priority of any other coach in the organization's history. I think we will see a different team, but one that is committed to winning. Why? Because of the commitment to the small details.
As far as Gruden 2.0, I was never in favor of it. Yes, he did some good things, but he did some horrible things too. Gruden was out of the game too long to worry about the small details, and the small details cost the Raiders in his tenure. I like the take about Gruden's emotional roller coaster; as I think that is what best describes Gruden's second go round as HC; an emotional roller coaster. We didn't know which team was going to show up week in and week out. But you cannot neglect, whether positive or negative, that Gruden and Mayock have their fingerprints on the success of this year's team. Remember, McDaniels' and Ziegler came in with the expectation that they were not going to make massive sweeping changes all at once like Gruden did. At the same time, with the new regime, it is not the out-dated scheme of Gruden that will bring success, but a modern football scheme from a successful offensive and defensive coordinator. Gruden couldn't get over the hump to lead the Raiders to success, and I think that is on him, and him alone. McDaniels and company, I believe will; and that success will be theirs and theirs alone. JUST WIN, BABY!

2:22 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The answer often lies in the middle.

However, that doesn't change my opinion here. I agree with the sentiment that Gruden's effort and end result were below average. Yes, he hit on a few players and those "few" players will end up being core players on the team for many years (strangely, they include late rounders which were anybody's guess).

But let's not kid ourselves either, those hits were too few and far between.

Under Gruden, the Raiders were undisciplined and often unprepared (I mistakenly went to the Meadowlands thinking they would have a game plan). Under Gruden's preparation (or lack thereof), they Raiders habitually failed to score with scripted plays on first possessions.

Trading away Mack and Cooper resulted in epic waste of draft capital. And trading for Antonio Brown was self-destructive, at a minimum.

Dismantling the offensive line was undeniably inevitable but doing it all at once with the personnel Gruden/Mayock assembled was, again, self-destructive.

Gruden was strictly a coach of the offense and relied too heavily on his DC to handle that side of the ball, clinging far too long to his buddy, Paul Guenther, before making an obvious and much needed change at DC. I guess when you have 10-year contract you can afford to waste a year.

Gruden rarely (if ever) got red flag challenges right, and ones he challenged were sometimes inconsequential and just his ego writing checks he couldn't cash in.

Looking ahead (before reality actually settles in), the Raiders look far more disciplined and prepared. Trades, free agency and draft picks look measured and promising. The depth at RB is stunning, and I think we should all be ready to see these guys excel in a far more dynamic offense that includes a lot of screens and play-action... neither of which Gruden emphasized.

But the new look does not come without warning. The lack of talent and depth on the offensive line was clearly a Gruden legacy but it now falls to the new regime to make good. (Losing Parker to IR and cutting Leatherwood are additions by subtraction.)

My initial prediction is that we can expect more shootouts in the division. The Raiders start their season with a rematch of the insane shootout in Week 18 with the Chargers. IMO, it falls to the Raiders defense to make some key stops this year, i.e., after being worst in the league in red zone TD rate on defense last year. A repeat of that is sure to sink the ship, again! By extension, Patrick Graham could be the key to the Raiders success this year.

In the end, we need to be prepared for anything. Question is, will those folks who gave Gruden four years for incremental changes also be ready to give McDaniels that time? The simple answer should be, NO. Four years is too long for any NFL HC to get it right.

Vegas, Baby!

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I missing something or did the Raiders make the playoffs last year. I guess that's not getting it right lol

10:13 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

With all due respect, you're missing something.

Gruden did not coach the Raiders into the playoffs. He left the team early last season, at which time he finished his second stint as Raiders HC with a record of 22 wins and 31 losses (.415), well below his career average.

Fortunately, you will soon get to see how a dynamic offense works.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't have it both ways. McDaniel has been given a much better roster than what Gruden inherited. The team was in the playoffs last year, but as far as you 2 see it, the team was in shambles. You say this is McDaniel's team and no longer Gruden's, then, you say it's Gruden's fault for the O-line.

Gruden left the team in a better place then when he arrived. Gruden set this team up for hopefully, a very good season. Funny to watch as you both try to spin your narratives, keep going.

11:16 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"You say this is McDaniel's team and no longer Gruden's, then, you say it's Gruden's fault for the O-line."

Both things are true.

But that's not exactly what I said. I said the current regime inherited a bad O-line and now it's on them to repair it. They started that process in unprecedented fashion by releasing Gruden's first round pick from last year. That's astounding on its face and doesn't speak well for Gruden's top choice.

Saying Gruden left the team better off because he left a few star players barely touches the surface. Gruden's internal workings and results tell a different story.

I think if you dig deeper you will find the answers.

But even if we just look at the roster... I provided a detailed breakdown of players Gruden left at every position in the last thread. It's a short list and largely void of talent and depth at O-line, WR, RB, and many positions on D. You could have challenged me on that, but you chose not to.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gruden's internal workings? What is that? Talk about general statements.

The team went to the playoffs, how bout those results? The new regime were happy with most of the roster and the new regime loves the team chemistry and focus. How bout those results? Gruden left most of the roster.

I was quoting Nate when he said that the team is no longer anything to do with Gruden, that the success McDaniels gets, will be his alone, then he blames this years O-line, on Gruden.

Can't have it both ways.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, as usual you are full of it and making up crap.Almot every good player/starter/pro bowler on the team is from Gruden, Miller, Waller, Renfrow, Jacobs, James, Moreau, Perryman, Crosby, Moerhig, Hankins, Diablo, Hobbs, Carlson, Cole. They made the playoffs and won ten games let's hope this year's staff and players can do the same.


4:05 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Well, I'm gonna gently wade into this.

I think Gruden did okay. Leading a team that was (ultimately in his absence) one and done in the Wild Card last year showed that he wasn't a failure. That said, it was four years and $40 million into his contract, so I would say that that's about the very floor of what you would expect after that much time and salary. I mean, would you tolerate less from a head coach after four years and $40 million?

And to me, that's the rub. He had all the power and control for four seasons and the results were...kinda meh.

Now McDaniels and co. inherit a lot of *his* team. That's how it works. It's early. But I'm feeling bullish.

This is not throwing shade on Gruden. I just expected more, and it didn't pan out, and I think it might be a blessing in disguise. I could be wrong.

5:48 PM Delete

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Gruden was hired, the team needed to be redone. Hard to believe some think that the core of the team was already available to Gruden.

Carr and two players, three players who wanted big money and out of Oakland, that was the core of that team. Looking at the roster Gruden inherited, talk about Where are they Now. It takes a few years to build a team with just a few assets, the only thing that held back a quick rebuild, was the poor 1st rd selections.

Gruden, with out doubt, moved the team and the franchise forward and now the new regime is expected to do more. Who is to say how the team would be if Gruden weren't singled out by the league. Last year, the team started to not play well, once the email story was leaked. They were playing well up to that point.

IMO, Gruden gave the team an identity again, the team felt like a Raider team when watching them play. He was building that and the team really came together when they realized how their HC was getting the shaft from the commish.

It's Mark's money, why are fans complaining about Mark's money? Mark had to shell out big money to attract a big name HC, at that time, coaches were hesitant about joining the Raiders, today, it no longer seems to be the case. Gruden was a good step in that ladder. If one spits on that step, that will be a shame if they step on it on the way down.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, "Carr and three players, three players who wanted".

8:13 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Geez, so much is made about the so-called "awful" roster Gruden inherited but nobody has compiled that list. That team was one year removed from a 12-4 record and the playoffs, and, IMO, was equally or more impressive than what Gruden left McDaniels. That roster included stout lines on both sides of the ball (something Gruden failed to maintain).

Donald Penn
Rodney Hudson
Kelechi Osemele
Trent Brown
Gabe Jackson
Jon Condo
Khalil Mack
Bruce Irin
Justin Ellis
Denico Autry
Derek Carr
Amari Cooper
Michael Crabtree
Jared Cook (and Lee Smith)
Marshawn Lynch
T.J Carrie

There were others that probably should be listed, like Nicholas Morrow and Cordarelle Patterson (a top returner in the league at that time).

IMO, way too much is being made about Gruden's final roster, which obviously included a few star players. Notwithstanding, it's indisputable that Gruden made colossal personnel mistakes with respect to trades, drafting and free agency. These mistakes ultimately hurt the Raiders development.

It's axiomatic and the reason we have new management and new coaching staff.

Otherwise, we'd likely still have Mike Mayock and Rich Bisaccia running the show.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Gruden did not inherit a team that needed to be redone. He inherited a team that made the playoffs 2 seasons before his hire, and missed the playoffs due to vanilla offense. The only thing he needed to do was run the offense. He blew up one of the best young teams in the NFL. He needed to add a few missing pieces on defense, that was it. The blowing up of the team was not something he needed to do.
That is the scenario in which McDaniels and Ziegler has come into. They inherit a good team that is in a position to win now. Blowing up the team is not an option. Yes, they did make the playoffs last season, only because Bisaccia changed it up; but the coaching staff still missed a lot of little details that cost us the game.
Again, 4 years after blowing up a decent team, Gruden put them back in a position to win again, when he had the capability to win when he walked in the organization. I believe Gruden's tenure to be a failure because he left the team no better than when he took it. McDaniels and Ziegler have the same opportunity; except they are not blowing up the team.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penn was done, Hudson wanted out, Osemele was done, Brown wanted out, Mack wanted out and to be highest paid, Irvin was well past his prime, Ellis, come on, Autry avg at best, Cooper wanted out and was never as good as his hype, Crabtree was past his prime, Cook and Lynch very old, Carrie has never been much.

That list shows you how bad the line up was at that point and the Where are they Now at that time would have been not much to see. For some reason, a couple of fans think that line up was ready to win and was something to build on. You guys destroy your own arguments. The year before Gruden was hired, they were 6-10 and in complete shambles. Talk about trying to rewrite history.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only guy on NY list I would like to be on this year's roster is Autry. Looking at where most of those guys are now I'm glad Gruden rebuilt. Nate you are out of your mind if you think the roster Gruden inherited was young. Sandy

10:12 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Anon, you need to recheck your facts and your timeline. The Raiders O-line was arguably one of the best in the NFL when Gruden took over. Penn was mistakenly moved to RT by Gruden after spending his entire career at LT, and Hudson and Brown didn't leave until 2021. Remember? That's when Gruden dumped the entire O-line and it went to sh*t.

Autry went on to be a starter in Indy and has recorded two 9-sack seasons since leaving the Raiders. Raiders let he and Irvin get away at the same time Mack was traded, leaving the defense with no pass rush... thanks to Gruden. Imagine the shock to Paul Guenther to lose Mack, Irvin and Autry immediately after being hired as Raiders new DC? What a joke!

FYI, Autry and Irvin combined for 17.5 sacks in 2018. Raiders had 13 sacks as a team that year.

Jared Cook has 20 TD receptions since leaving the Raiders. Waller has 14 over the same span. But in Waller's defense, we recently learned that Gruden had no red-zone plan for him (Waller said so). Plus, I seem to remember Cook catching a long sideline pass in the Raiders Week 18 game with the Chargers. Hopefully, we won't see more of that this week.

T.J. Carrie was a full-time starter for the Raiders and possibly their best CB at the time.

Anyone who watched the Raiders knows their drop-off in 2017 was thanks to Del Rio letting Bill Musgrave get away. Derek Carr was MVP candidate with Musgrave as OC. Also, in 2017 Carr was recovering from a major injury that clearly rattled his confidence.

Honestly, the more we rehash the Gruden era, the more nonsensical and incompetent it looks.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2017 O-line review
The Oakland offensive line had a slightly disappointing season following a stellar 2016 campaign, but they were still among the 10 best offensive lines in football. The unit was anchored by center Rodney Hudson, who allowed just three total pressures the entire season and was named PFF’s best pass-blocker. However, guards Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn had all had a weaker season by their standards. The Raiders also failed to find a reliable alternative for the right tackle position as Marshall Newhouse and Vadal Alexander both allowed a large number of pressures, especially considering that they did not play as many snaps as the other four members of the line. In addition, Oakland running backs averaged just 1.34 yards before contact, which was the seventh-lowest in the NFL last season.

2018 O-line review.
This was an offensive line that was a top-5 unit as recently as *two years ago*. Kelechi Osemele inexplicably fell off a cliff though with a 53.8 overall grade this season, and the Raiders' offensive tackles were a nightmare. Rookies Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker combined to allow 26 sacks and had 19 penalties between them.

2019 O-line review
According to Pro Football Focus, Oakland’s offensive line finished as the 15th-best unit in football. That grading would have risen dramatically if it weren’t for a rash of injuries at the end of the season to Incognito and Brown. Take a look at PFF’s thoughts on the Raiders’ group from the 2019 season:

2020 O-line review
Injuries to Richie Incognito (74 snaps this season) and Trent Brown (282 snaps) really did a number to an offensive line that has talent. Incognito’s spot at left guard was manned by a combination of Denzelle Good and John Simpson, neither of whom reached a PFF pass-blocking grade of 50.0 on the season. Right tackle was held down by a combination of Sam Young, Brandon Parker and Good when Brown wasn’t on the field. Those three earned PFF grades of 59.2, 47.5 and 57.8, respectively. Those two holes hurt the Raiders significantly in 2020.

One bright spot moving forward is Kolton Miller, who has taken real strides in pass protection every season in the NFL to this point. His 81.3 pass-blocking grade this year is nearly a 30-point upgrade on what he was able to produce as a rookie in 2018 (52.7).

So, by this information we see the O-line that NY and Nate claim to be top of the charts when Gruden took over, is wrong. Obviously, we see that O-line peaked in 2016 and started to decline after that. Brown was injured for most of his time with the Raiders. Remember?

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, thanks for laying out the facts and such detail. As you've noticed NY just like to spout off stuff to try and push people's buttons. BTW, NY Brown was brought to the Raiders by Gruden he wasn't there beforehand I don't think Osemele played more than two games after he left the Raiders he was done, Gabe Jackson 10 million dollars a season give me a break. Donald Penn was also cooked they tried to move them to the right side to make room for Miller and he failed miserably. The only good player grew and got rid of from the offensive line was Rodney Hudson who is overpaid today. Sandy

5:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

In 2017 the O-line is reported - by whatever source you used - as "slightly disappointing season following a stellar 2016 campaign." Not exactly the indictment on the Raiders O-line you paint it as. "Slightly disappointing" doesn't begin to describe the O-line from last year. You might want to also consider in 2017 the Raiders lost their OC.

In 2018, when Gruden took over, the bottom dropped out mostly because of two rookies who combined to give up 26 sacks.

Notwithstanding, it's already established Gruden dumped a high-powered veteran O-line in 2021. Nobody can dispute that. Let's not pretend the O-line was better in 2021 than it was in 2017. The 2021 O-line debacle now includes unprecedented release of a 1st round draft pick one year after being drafted. Talk about a colossal miss.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's right there in black and white and yet you still try and spin it. 2017 is before Gruden, and shows the high powered, stellar, top line for 3 years was starting to decline, but don't let facts get in the way of your story.

Injuries played a big part in Gruden's O-line, it had no depth so the Incognito and the Brown injuries really put a damper on that line. Bottom line is, the old line was done, Penn was finished, Osemele had fallen off a cliff, Gabe was getting hurt and Hudson even fell off a cliff last year. It had to be replaced and Gruden was doing that, missed on Leatherwood but hit a homerun with Miller.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He hit a double with Andre James, At this stage I would rather have James at 3 mm than Hudson at 10. Sandy

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandy, reminds me of a story I saw on the biography of Rowdy Roddy Piper, the wrestler. Early in Pipers career, he was in Mexico to do a show. Pipers specialty was to rile the crowds and play the heel. In this instance, he came to the ring playing his bagpipes, he climbed in the ring and told the Mexican crowd that he wanted them to all stand for the Mexican National Anthem. So they all stood up, took their hats off and were ready to sing their anthem. Piper started to play and the crowd went crazy, they threw everything they could at Piper, he was playing La Cooka Roacha. This is the role NY wants to play on here, kind of like the maestro, I'm not calling him maestro though. Problem is, he keeps tripping over his own song.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James could be a homerun if he continues to develop, he is still a pup at his position.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't compliment NY by comparing him to the Rowdy Roddy, lol


6:34 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Anon, are you really trying to convince me that Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and Donald Penn were at a point of no return in 2017? If that's true, why did Gruden wait in 2021 to dump them? Btw, you do know that Hudson and Jackson are still starters in the NFL while the Raiders are still struggling to fill their positions, right?

Sandy, I don't disagree that James stepped up late last year, but two other things are also true. Gruden didn't just replace Hudson, he replaced 4/5 of the O-line at the same time, which was a disaster. Secondly, James still has a lot to prove to stick as permanent center. Raiders are carrying two backup centers. That's unusual.

Playing center is more than run/pass blocking. Center is a guy who calls protections. There were more than a few breakdowns in communications during preseason (not all were James' fault). That's largely why Hudson is so good.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Gruden cut/traded players like Mack, Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Kelechi Osemele, Penn, Cooper, etc. for two reasons. First, what they were getting paid, and what they were about to get paid. Gruden did not want to tie big money into a handful of players (exception was Carr). Yet, Reggie McKenzie had a different philosophy that fit with modern football contracts, the most money goes to the lines, where the game is won.
Second, he cut these o-line guys because they were not zone blockers (exception was Hudson, who did well in both). Most of our O-line were power/hybrid blockers. Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele went to teams that were mostly power blocking teams. Gruden was all about ZBS.
2016, the Raiders had the #1 offensive line, lost their OC, and slipped, but still had a top 10 line. The slip was clearly due to losing Bill Musgrave, and everyone in the media, and most here on this site, thought Gruden would utilize that and they would be a top line again. NOPE!
Jackson and Osemele wanted out when they went to a ZBS. Hudson wanted to stay, but Gruden didn't like his salary, and he wasn't going to renegotiate.
James is a lot like Kolton Miller. He struggled at the beginning last season, but really improved and got it together. He seemed to do well in the pre-season. The bottom line, the O-line is the biggest question mark coming into the season since the end of 2018, when Gruden came, and everyone thought he was going to make them stellar again. I'd take a top 10 O-line coming into this season. I think our O-line is the kind that will improve, and the weakest link right now is Simpson. I think he will be there until Parham catches up to speed. Lester Cotton Sr has been the underdog, in my book. Undrafted in 2019 and on the practice squad, he has really developed. I think he and Jermaine Eluemunor is going to surprise people, a lot more than what they are given them credit for. My only concern is there is no back up for Center or RG. We will see, JUST WIN, BABY!

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabe Jackson had an ordinary season in Seattle, he also had another surgery this off season.

They moved Penn to RT because he no longer was wanted at LT, he couldn't make the switch and his career was over. Penn's last year with the Raiders was 2018 and he only played 4 games that year.

Hudson, fell off a cliff last year and was considering retirement. Imagine if Gruden would have signed Hudson to the contract he wanted and then had a bad season? Imagine the outrage here?

Jackson's best days were/are behind him, Penn was gone after the 2018 season and Hudson had a bad season last year and was considering retirement this off season.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gruden brought in Incognito and Brown to stabilize the O-line, both were hurt and that is why the young guys had to play so much. Miller,Incognito, James, Good, Brown was supposed to be the line. Brown had problems from day 1 with the Raiders, Ritchie played really well in the games he played in. Good was hurt too, so, trying to rewrite history isn't going to work, this time.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miller,Incognito, James, Good, Brown with everyone healthy would have dominated last year


9:46 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It's all about to become moot.

The Raiders have what they have... and it's time to see exactly what that is.

Just watched McDaniels presser. I have to say I have never heard any recent Raiders HC articulate his job, roster, game preparation, etc., better than McDaniels. Of course, we didn't have access to the Internet when Raiders legends were coaching. If there is any doubt that McDaniels is grounded, intelligent and ready to go, listen to his presser. That doesn't mean he's going to go out and win the super bowl, but it's definitely good to have him on our side.

The Raiders might get outplayed in some games this year but it's unlikely they will get outcoached.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY, would you consider anything less than 10-7 and a playoff berth this year a disappointment? Sandy

5:21 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

IDK, lots of factors to consider. One, 10-7 might not be good enough in the AFCW or AFC wildcard.

Plus, we are yet to see how deep rooted the O-line problems were (are).

Consider too, last year, the Raiders won at least 6 games by the seat of their pants... 3 in OT. There is a certain degree of luck that goes with those wins. Tough to duplicate.

I don't like making season predictions. What I can say is, I would be satisfied with a season which the Raiders continue to make improvements, not just from last year but as the year progresses. Absent a rash of injuries, I expect the Raiders to be noticeably improved as the season winds down.

Winning 4 games to end last season was tremendous!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Less than 10 wins we will need to question McZieg especially considering the 16 million in cap space and an o line that ranks 30th in cost. Sandy

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Raiders do not make the playoffs, it will not be a successful season.

1:31 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Isn't that true of every season?

In fairness, you just gave Gruden 4 years to reach mediocrity. So giving McDaniels and Ziegler one year seems fair. Call it a honeymoon.

Granted, the rope is very short. But to be sure, these guys did not come here to lose. And they are not sitting on 10-year contracts with no chance of being fired.

I am going out on a limb here to say we will all be pleasantly surprised by game preparation, play-calling and hopefully execution on both sides of the ball.

The hurdle isn't just coaching and player execution, it's that every team in the division is loaded for bear. The Raiders are underdogs... which is historically where they excel.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't get a honeymoon, when you inherited a 10 win team. Anything less than that is an indictment on the negligence of not addressing the oline. Sandy

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Raiders have established themselves as a playoff team, if they do not make the playoffs, it will be a regression. Some seasons, you hope to make the playoffs, some seasons, you expect to make the playoffs. Gruden left a playoff team behind, why wouldn't fans expect a playoff season? And falling short of that, won't be good enough. And that would be the case if Gruden was still coaching, or even Rich.

We just went over the fact that the team Gruden inherited, was not as good as the team he left behind. Why must you keep pumping a false narrative? Gruden had to tear down and rebuild, that doesn't happen in one or 2 seasons. Sad that the basics of the situation cannot be comprehended by some, even when it being clearly pointed out to them, just a few days ago.

3:21 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Wow, it's amazing that you guys stood behind four years of mostly destruction and demolition, then incremental improvement, but now you're ready to indict the current regime before a snap is even played. Your patience has finally run out. Ha!

To be sure, 10 wins in last year's 17-game season did not automatically make the Raiders a perennial playoff team. Let's be real. The Raiders got in by the thinnest of margins, on the skin of their teeth.

Gruden resigned before mid-season and Bisaccia managed to scrap together enough wins to qualify. Kudos!

Forced to hire a new GM/HC team, Mark Davis has, IMO, given the Raiders their best chance to get to the next level (build a real contender). Management, coaching, scheme, and probably over 60% of the roster has turned over in one season.

Let's at least see one game before we start slinging arrows. What do ya say?

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Raiders also had to endure their HC being booted from the league in midseason. They also had to endure their top draft pick, destroying his and other people's lives. Most teams would have fell apart, Gruden's team showed a lot of character and what they did was historic. But, go ahead and act as if it was some kind of fluke.

In no way did I say the Raiders were a perennial playoff team, they have established themselves as a playoff team and they have made some additions to the team this off season that should make them a better team. So, connecting the dots, the Raiders should be in the playoffs and if they aren't, that is not acceptable, don't care who the coach is.

6:14 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Let's not play the victim. Mark Davis didn't. He hired Rich Bisaccia whom he knew the players loved and Bisaccia inspired the team to an unlikely playoff berth. Then he hired perhaps the best GM/HC tandem available to him and away we go.

To your point, if the Raiders don't make the playoffs that would be a disappointment in any season. That's what made watching Gruden struggle to piece together a team over 4 years so insufferable.

The way I see it, Gruden was stubborn and had a big chip on shoulder. He played to scheme, not to player's strength. IMO, that cost the Raiders in their ability to execute, particularly, scripted plays to start games. He seemed to rule with an iron fist, yet the team lacked discipline to mitigate even the most controllable pre-snap penalties.

McDaniels comes in as humble as he could possibly be (expressly learning from his Denver experience). His player evaluations have been transparent and articulate. His presentation makes pretty clear he will exploit the strengths of his players. He's also coached on both sides of the ball and is able to assistant on defense if things go sideways... something Gruden proved he could not help with.

McDaniels is yet unproven as HC, but Gruden's long coaching history is just average. If you want an established, perennial playoff team, average isn't good enough.

So, I think we agree, expectations should be high. But we also have to see what challenges the Raiders will face this year. Every team in the division has improved its roster, and every divisional game will be a dogfight.

McDaniels said, and I'm paraphrasing, every player on the Raiders is ready and excited and will play like their hair is on fire. Prepared and disciplined would be a great way to start the season.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not play the victim? It's called facts, my man. Gruden hired Rich and then he was promoted to HC because Gruden was tossed out of the league. The players were playing as much for Gruden as they were for Rich.

Watching Gruden tear down the old team that was left to him, a team that wasn't good at all and build it to what it is today, was fun to watch, even when some of us knew it would take a while to redo. The new regime didn't have to tear down and rebuild because of Gruden.

NY, you really want to make this a McDaniels vs Gruden thing, when all I have been trying to tell you is, Gruden has set McDaniels up nicely, something that Gruden didn't have when he started back with the Raiders.

Like I wrote earlier, your La Cooka a Roacha routine isn't funny and all you are doing is going in circles. I'm not into hamster wheels, when you want to be geniune, maybe you might be someone to talk football with. Trying to reason with someone who wants to keep pounding on false drums, is impossible. So, keep on singing.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Raiderstake, part I

This is about your story on not using any of the old Raiders system or ideas.

Act like a $B company?: Yea, over charge the fan base for season tickets, show little loyalty to employees, pay players as cheaply as possible, forcing cities to give public money even when owners are paying for most of the new stadiums. Yea, that sounds like a billion dollar company.

Dysfunction?: FOA, I thought Al was the source of any dysfunction and ANY modern NFL exec could build a winning team? I don't remember dysfunction from Reggie's era, Maybe a little from Gruden's/ Mayock's. But Al's era was full of it and it didn't stop him before this slump! When did people leaving or dysfunction ever keep the Raiders from coming back later and winnng? Media/ fans seem to think Al's dysfunction was still around during Reggie's era, but Reggie got rid of almost All of Al's era.

MD shrewd moves?: FOA...what did he do? He hired Reggie who did what? fired an 8-8 coach/ OC, hired an inexperience HC so you had an inexperienced owner, GM and HC. He agreed to move to L.V.? You are wealthier, have a new stadium but:

1. you are in debt.

2. you haven't spend on star FA yet

3. you have priced many LOYAL fans out of games.

4. the relationship between players-ownership is

get rid of the(old) Raider Way? sentiment, loyalty? : Oh, you think MD, Reggie and Gruden used the 'Raider Way'? No Raidertake, Al's era left with him/ his staff:

1. Al tried to make sure the prices were affordable. And parking too.

2. He tried to make sure the Raider were connected with the fan base. He tried to make sure his PR team communicated with fans.

You should show loyalty- That's what Raidernation is all about. No matter the record or city. But now we cheer for the team and not what Al stood for. We support the Patriot, Packer, Buc, 49ers and NFL ways were money 1st and stadiums, not football.

The NFL/ owners don't show a lot of sentiment. They have a mediocre product they then over-charge for season tickets and luxury boxes; And sometimes threaten cities to help them build new stadiums.

The NFL/ owners/ Reggie didn't have ANY sentiment for Al's culture they ejected it in '12. Al and a few other owners had sentiment for players/ fans these new owners- not a lot of it.

So, IOW you want to be like other NFL fans? Its' all business just big stadiums and entertainment before/ halftime of games and buy buy buy merchandise? Is that what you call NFL football?

Al hired bad coaches?:

1. N. Turner/ if he was a bad pick he worked hard in S.D. He sure kicked our butts there.

2. H. Jackson/ maybe the best Raiders' OC '03-present. I think he's a good HC and helped team go 8-8 twice. He's well respected except by fans/ media. The Cleveland gig was Browns'(management) ruining their season then blaming the HC who had NOTHING to do with it. He's now a college HC.

3. L. Kiffin/ 1 of the best OCs' in college football- has it all but wasn't ready and was very immature. Doing o.k. in college and 1 day may be a good college HC- Maybe 1 day he'll be a very good NFL HC.

4. J. Del Rio/ Wow Raidernation! Just Win? Really?! Way to go fans! A guy leads you to the playoffs and what do you do? Shout "Gruden, Gruden, Gruden, Gruden!" Oh, Del Rio was o.k. but Gruden can build a contender! Thanks for everything coach(Del Rio) but we want Gruden!

5:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"NY, you really want to make this a McDaniels vs Gruden thing...."

No. These are two distinctly separate eras for the Raiders. IMO, you are the one that needs to come to grips with that.

You will see a dynamic offense this year but not a single play will be called out of the Gruden playbook.

"The new regime didn't have to tear down and rebuild because of Gruden."

If we're sticking to facts, Mark Davis specifically made that a condition of employment for Zeigler and McDaniels because he didn't want to go through that disaster all over again. He said so in his presser.

So instead of trading Crosby and Renfrow (like Mack and Cooper) for more draft picks, the new regime re-signed them, along with Carr. Waller is on deck!

"The players were playing as much for Gruden as they were for Rich."

Are we still talking "facts" because you lost me with that one. Not sure how you prove that as fact.

IMO, Bisaccia inspired the Raiders to their unusual 4-game winning streak to end the season. Player interviews I watched, they clearly loved Bisaccia. I don't recall any players giving Gruden glowing endorsements before or after his email-gate. Do you know of any? That is, besides Carr and his always-diplomatic approach to public speaking.

Funny, despite the constant barrage of press that Gruden was looking to replace Carr, I don't recall Gruden ever throwing Carr a bone and dispelling those rumors. Do you?

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There may be no plays out of Gruden's playbook, but most of the roster was given by Gruden. So I would say that Gruden still has a spot on this team.

Mark recognized that this roster didn't need tearing down and so did the new regime, the new regime wouldn't be in Vegas if they thought it needed tearing down. Mack and Cooper wanted out, the players Gruden got, don't.

I mean honestly, this is the best you got? It's like dealing with a 10 yr old.

10:11 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"...most of the roster was given by Gruden."

Obviously, you're not reading my posts. I have laid out in some detail the players that Gruden left and the ones he harshly miscalculated.

Your guess that "most of the roster" is Gruden's is grossly misrepresented. 20-25 players out of 53 might be generous, and that's only because there is only so much that can be done in one off-season.

Go look at the roster. It's already built with Ziegler/McDaniels guys.

Okay, let's look at it another way to show the Gruden era.

NFL just came out with top-100 list. After using 6-7 first round picks from Mack, Cooper and the Raiders own stock, how many of those players are in the Top 100? None?

We're back to Gruden leaving fewer players than he should have after four years of rein.

Unfortunately, the facts show what I am telling you to be true. If you want to give Gruden credit, that's okay with me, just don't get upset when I don't join you.

McDaniels is not taking over a team with the nearly the talent or foundation that Tony Dungy left Gruden in Tampa. But still, I don't hear anyone saying it was Dungy's team that won the SB.

You're gonna hear crickets again when the Raiders get back to prominence. It won't be because of Gruden.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you ain't reading mine, so, what are we doing?

Yes, there are approx 25 Gruden players on the roster. Those players are the core of McDaniel's team. You act as if there is no quality on the team at all. Why would the new regime want to get rid of the players that stayed? They are top quality.

This has been the point the whole time. Every team makes a lot of changes every year, it's the way the league works now. It's nothing unusual.

In earlier posts, I said that Gruden missed on his top picks and that is why it took longer to rebuild. Gruden did make up for it some with some excellent later round picks.

Your spinning and pounding of your false drum doesn't change anything I wrote. Gruden deserves credit for ok, half the roster, with most of that half being the core of the team. This is all I wrote and you have made out into this, good job.

12:37 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

It takes two, friend. You would like me to concede Gruden deserves credit. All we can attribute to Gruden is a few core players (certainly not 25, or even 15). Every team has that. The Raiders had it when Gruden came on board. I named that list, and it's pretty long.

You claim most of those 2018 players were washed up. I strongly disagree. Gruden dismantled that team with his giant ego and tried to transform the O-line to zone blocking which was a huge failure. That's why it took so long to reach 8-8 (and Gruden had to beat the lowly Broncos in a meaningless end of season game that cost a draft slot to do it).

While you think Gruden deserves credit, I believe he deserved to be fired... but we know that would never happen. Ergo, the "mulligan" gifted to Mark Davis which forced Gruden to resign.

Listen, this is a new era. The Raiders play today in one of the most important games of the season. Enjoy the game. I'm confident you will see new looks on both sides of the ball.


4:26 AM  

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