Monday, November 03, 2008

4 Possessions of Ineptitude

This game was decided in the first 4 possession. The Raiders first four defensive possessions resulted in 24 Falcon points (TD, TD, TD, FG). The Raiders first four offensive possessions were marked by going nowhere fast (punt, punt, punt, punt). This is the most disheartening beatdown that I have witnessed. This is the second consecutive week that a rookie QB has schooled the Raiders highly paid, highly touted (before the season started) defensive unit. The offense is regressing to the historically bad 2006 level. At the midway point of the season, the Raiders offensive unit has 1, I repeat, 1 TD in 48 first half possessions.

Here is the breakdown of the Falcons blasting through the Raiders D:

Drive began on ATL 12 > 10 plays > 88 yards gained > 37 yard TD pass
Drive began on ATL 30 > 7 plays > 70 yards gained > 12 yard TD run
Drive began on ATL 12 > 13 plays > 88 yards gained > 27 yard TD pass
Drive began on ATL 28 > 9 plays > 42 yards gained > 48 yard FG
Summary: 39 plays for 288 yards and 24 points

Here is the breakdown of the Raiders sputtering offense:

Drive began on OAK 21 > 3 plays > 1 yard gained > punt
Drive began on OAK 23 > 3 plays > 4 yards gained > punt
Drive began on OAK 20 > 3 plays > - 5 yards > punt
Drive began on OAK 21 > 3 plays > 1 yard gained > punt
Summary: 12 plays for 1 yard and 0 points

It can't get much worse than this, can it? Under interim Head Coach Cable, the Raiders have been blown out in 3 of 4 games. Is there anything worse than a lame duck interim coach? Well I guess the ushering in of the Jim Fassell "era" is a close second. Why Jim Fassell? Al likes Jim and Jim can put up with Al's nonsense and desperately wants to rejoin the head coaching ranks.

Anyone who thinks that 6 consecutive seasons of ineptitude doesn't call for drastic measures is only kidding themselves. The most important step that needs to be taken in the off season if the Raiders decide to join the adults table is to hire a football savvy GM. Without a savvy GM, this team will not gain the tractions for sustained success. No one can discount the fact that the Raiders are the only team in the NFL without a GM and are fast approaching the NFL record for most consecutive double digit loss seasons (6).

Remember how the 2006 Raiders offensive unit was the worst in modern history? Don't look now but this squad is quickly approaching the taking of the mantle as the worst offensive club ... ever. In 2006 the Raiders scored 10.5 points per game and recorded 12 offensive TDs for the entire year. The 2008 offensive unit is averaging 13.4 points per game and has recorded 9 offensive TDs ... 1 in 48 first half possessions. 1 TD in 48 first half possession is so ridiculously bad that it makes me violently ill to my stomach just thinking about it.

All you need to do is look at is the turnaround of the 2008 Dolphins and 2008 Falcons to realize a few important lessons:

(1) It is vital to have a football savvy GM building a foundation for success through the acquisition of personnel who fit the coaching staff's system.
(2) The Head Coach & GM work in a partnership to build a cohesive team with a well thought out plan.
(3) The Raiders are completely rudderless with an owner to stubborn to let himself do the one thing he desperately needs to do: Hire competent football executives, delegate responsibility & authority, and allow the team to rise again with the owner in a reduced role.


Anonymous raider00 said...

jim fassell ?? hell yeah, things sure can get worse with that bum.

call me when raiders have hired a Gm with real AUTHORITY !!
someone who can hire the BEST coach available(bill cowher).

otherwise it's just more of the same al davis BULLSPIT !!!!!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Who in their right mind will sign on as a Head Coach for the Oakland Raiders without a GM?

What established Head Coach or rising coaching prospect is go to sign on as the Raiders Head Coach without the authority to hire their own coaching staff and have serious input for the personnel decisions?

What Head Coach will willingly go to an environment that is a losing & dysfuntioanl?

The answers are not pretty:

(a) Past Head Coaches out of football who can't get hired elsewehere

(b) Retreads who did poorly before

(c) Hidden gems like Gruden & Kiffin who want the opportunity to be 1 of 32 Head Coaches in the NFL but then are either shown the door or not properly supported.

The only solution to what plagues Oakland is for Al to hire a GM who in turn hires a Head Coach who has the authority to make normal HC football decisions including the hiring of his staff, cutting players he doesn't want, and having a say in the personnel.

Without a GM, there is very little hope that this will be turned around. Al needs the help of a GM in the worst possible way. The only thing preventing this from happening is his stubborness, delusional thinking, selfishness, nearsightedness, and ego.

Sad stuff.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What took you so long to come to your current conclusions re the Raiders?? Too much Kool Aid?

The writing was on the wall following Gruden's departure. The old senile owner insists on running the football operation his way; all employee decisions [including those of coaches, players, admin staff, et al] are subject to reversal by Al Davis according to contracts. Also, Al can ignore the contract and dismiss personnel without pay on his authority alone. Even if NFL finds that Al should pay Shanahan back pay, Al the Great ignores that decision. Oh, the bad karma from all the evil deeds that Al has done is returning to haunt him and Raider Nation and loyalists of the Raider Nation!! LMAO

Just whine, Al !!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Excellent take, total nail on the head analysis.

Anon: Kool Aid? Calico Jack? Yours is obviously a case of mistaken identity.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RaiderTake: My apologies for mistaking Calico jack for another die-hard...Thanks for pointing that out!!

CalicoJack: I truly owe you an apology. Your wrote a fine critique re the Falcons game....

12:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


No apologies necessary. I encourage all visitors to this site to share their opinions about the Raiders whether I agree with the opinion or not.

The only problem I have with your comment is the fact that you are "anonymous".

I have never understood the point of sharing your view if you don't sign off with your name or handle?

If you visit a blog regularly (mine or anyone else's like RTs) it would be nice to establish your unique opinions.

BTW, you can be a "diehard" and not a "kool aid drinker". I know many Raider fans who are "Realistic Optimists" ... fans that hope for the best but are grounded in realistic, sound points of view.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous the raider said...

With Hall out and a list of others next, I have no choice, but to boycott the national media.
Al just tossed them another bone, for Raider bashing.

I know in some way, it is a way of creating a fresh start around Russell and Run DMc, but it will ruin any chance of redeaming the 2-6 start. By that I mean, ruin the long shot of winning any games in 08'

So, I'm sticking to reading my Raider News and not watching any video, unless it is a live interview.
I have to for my sanity. Going into next weeks game, waiting for another disaster, is bad enough.
I might have to watch it with no volume on.

That Hall cash better go to Nambdi!
Looks like a vet QB is needed.
A stud LT and Stud DE need to be signed first.
Draft a shut down Corner and the WR with the most talent .
Hire a respectable coach and with an established Coordinator.
Knapps playbook is floating around in the league because of Kiffin. I'm not blaming things on that, but you can't rule it out totally.

Reality is: There needs to be aggressive change in order to try to make something ... anything positive happen while the west is struggling. By the grace of any God listening, "Have Mercy on us and prevent us from being last in the division!"

Oh, Why is Ronald Curry only playing in a Special Teams roll?

Calico, Do you think the new starting CB: Johnson, will be any better versus Carolina?

If this gets ugly, as expected, the Raiders better bloody the other team up. In other words: If you rush the passer and are off sides ... make it count big time!

2:00 AM  
Blogger Stuporburg said...

It is not going to be enough for Davis to recognize mistakes and try to correct them. Based on his own history, he will only do half an arsed job at best.

Just having the luck to hire a capable GM alone may not be enough. The fact of the matter is, a life-long meddlesome-body like Davis cannot simply keep to himself in the owner's box. Part of it has to do with his own ego, but also because it has become deeply ingrained to his behavior.

Meanwhile, those few players who are actually talented will become disgruntled and would look for employers with better prospects. In other words, not being able to hold onto home-grown talents. (Take Nnamdi Asomugha as an example. I think Nnamdi should look for other employers soon, and make sure to make everyone around him that he will become pissed off as hell if he becomes franchise-tagged again. There is no future for him as long as he wears Silver & Black.)

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Calico, thank you for focusing the conversation on true solutions. A real GM and HC combo are exactly what the team needs. Unfortunately, no one will fill those roles until His Alzheimerness eats it.

I get so #$%^& frustrated that I start wanting every single player and coach's head on a platter. They only achieved 3 first downs (other than starting a drive after kickoffs/punts) in the whole game!!

Now with the $70 million "oops" on Hall, we've got Nnamdi all over the papers saying it's BS, so I'm sure he's gone after this season.

Curry's on the bench. There is no offensive line, even though the interim HC is the #$%^ so-called offensive line coach. Christ, up is down and black is white. We've stepped through the looking glass.

The next loss (or will it take another?) will see them officially be the worst team in football. Ever. Worse than the 'aints teams of the 70's and 80's. Worse than Tampa in its expansion era. Worse than the 49ers in the '70s and now again. Worse than the 49ers NOW??!!

Thank God for college ball. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are the only Raiders worth watching right now.

A friend ran into Ronnie Lott a few weeks ago, who had a few not-for-the-record comments about what he thought of the current 49ers team/ownership. I wonder what past Raider greats are saying of their once-beloved franchise? Perhaps appealing to them to remove Davis is a way to go.

I feel like a Chicago Cubs fan going into this weekend's game against Carolina. I f'ing hate that!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tooz: I have a small sliver of hope that Davis will hire a GM this offseason. As I mentioned on a post about 3 or 4 weeks ago:

The GM situation seems to be in the works this off season which Davis hinted at in the press conference.

The speculation about "local" candidates points towards Scot McCloughan (49er GM) who is the son of longtime Raider scout Kent McCloughan. Scot was mentored by former Raider GM Ron Wolf in his early career years. The other potential front office candidate is Tom Gamble (49er Director of Pro Personnel) who has had past conversations with Davis.

To further elaborate, I posted this on RT's site today:

There is the real world and Al's world. In the real world you go after the best available GM without any restrictions or limitiations.

In Al's world, it is a far different picture.

The GM will need to be someone on the rise or has a past connection/relationship with Al. It would need to be a person who could deal with a team at the bottom AND work for a difficult owner.

Scot McCloughlan (current SF GM) is a football lifer from a football family. The obvious connection is his dad Kent who was a Raider player (1965-1970) and a scout since 1971.

This is what Ron Wolf, who mentored Scot, said about Scot:

"He's very good at what he does and has tremendous desire to improve," Wolf says. "He has an exceptional eye for talent".

As far as Tom Gamble (current Director of Pro Peronnel, SF);

Gamble has had past conversations with Al. He has 21 years of NFL experience. He was mentored by Bill Polian for 7 years at Indy.

If either McCloughlan or Gamble joins the Raiders as GM, we will be better off than we are today.

The key to putting this mess in order is to have both a short and long term plan.

A key component of having a well designed plan is to have a savvy GM working in partnership with the owner, Head Coach, and scouting staff. I can't emphasize this enough ... the key brick to rebuilding the Raider house is the GM.

The formulatin of the plan needs to be setting priorities based on needs AND which acquisitions we will get the most bang for our buck.

Along those lines, the focus should be on proven players with good character who play impact positions. Paying 10% of the cap for a CB is foolish. Paying Hall $1M per game asinine. You could pay a mid round CB $50K a game($800k a season)and get better results.

Paying big bucks to proven OLineman and DLineman is how you construct a solid foundation. Run D and offensive line play are the cornerstones of a good team.

Although we have MANY holes to fill, it is important to use the cap dollars wisely.

One of the reasons there needs to be a sense of urgency on Al's part to identify and hire a good GM as soon as possible is that it will allow a new GM to evaluate the team, help pick a HC, and get ready for FA and the draft.

Let's face it ... without a proven GM on board, recruiting for a proven HC will be next to impossible.

7:21 PM  

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