Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Move A Mountain














Jerry McDonald had a very interesting and revealing blog post today where he shed some light on the change of playcalling duties for the Raiders. Apparently Head Coach Tom Cable stripped Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp of his playcalling duties following the 0 to 24 Falcon debacle. Some other facts from Jerry's blog post and additional points by C.J.:

* The Raiders have not scored a TD in the last 9 quarters and have a total of 9 TDs in 9 games.

* The Raiders have 1 first half TD in 56 possessions.

* The Raiders do not have a single offensive player with more than 1 TD. The 9 TDs were scored in order by Lelie, Curry, McFadden, Bush, Russell, Higgins, Miller, Walker, and Griffith.

* The Raiders scored 28 offensive TDs in 2007 under Lane Kiffin.

* The Raiders averaged 19.5 points per game in Kiffins' 4 games this year and 7.0 points per game under Cable. The Raiders have failed to score a TD in 3 of 5 games with Cable as Head Coach.

With Cable taking charge of the playcalling duties vs. the Panthers, the Raiders struck a better balance between rush attempts (36) and pass attempts (39) but simply failed to execute.

What is the picture that this playcaller switch, poor record, and regressing offense paints for the future? The playcaller switch, although probably the correct adjustment, leads me to believe that Knapp won't return in 2009. The poor record and impotent offense of 2008 will be the impetus to move Cable back to Offensive Line Coach in 2009.

What really needs to happen is a combination of major changes immediately following the 2008 season. Ideally the Raiders would identify and hire a GM. The newly hired GM should recruit a new Head Coach. The new hire Head Coach would clean house on the existing coaching staff and hire a new staff where he sees fit. The next item on the agenda would be for the Head Coach & GM to work in a partnership with the owner to evaluate the personnel roster and make the necessary moves.

Of course this is the logical, normal way of tackling the current set of circumstances. Raider fans are painfully aware of the fact that logical and normal are not synonymous with how the Raiders typically conduct business. Would a GM come aboard if Al hires Jim Harbaugh as Head Coach first? Would Harbaugh and a new GM have the real authority to put the Raiders house in order? Will scholarship players such as Sam Williams still exist on the roster under a new regime?

What's it going to take turn this fiasco around? It is a mighty tall order but every facet of how the Raiders conduct business needs to be evaluated, improved, or changed. This includes but is not limited to the coaching staff, players, player personnel department, scouting staff, marketing, finances/salary cap. All of these areas fall under the direction or authority of Al Davis. All of these areas need to be revamped, altered, or heavily scrutinized in order to put a winning product on the field.

Bold, decisive leadership is required to enact the type of changes to impact and move this franchise in a positive direction. Or as my wise colleague Raider Take said in his usual brilliant fashion, "I'm waiting for the kind of change you can see and taste. There will be nothing vague about it."

Update Nov. 12: According to Nancy Gay at the S.F. Chronicle (see link), Greg Knapp was stripped of his playcalling duties by Al Davis not Head Coach Tom Cable.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

CJ, I vote for you as GM. You're smarter than Davis and you probably come a lot cheaper than most seasoned NFL talent!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Tooz: Simple common sense and a serious interest in what is best for the Raiders is all I possess. LOL! There is a core group of young, talented players. With the the right support and leadership in place this organization could be turned around very quickly.

All you need to do is look at the Falcons and Dolphins for examples of teams that are on the rise becasue of sound executive decisions.

The first step in resolving the problems in Alameda is Davis realizing he needs help. The second step is having a plan with a focus on rebuilding a first class organization. The third step is to foucus on the areas that need the most improvement and will have the biggest impact on putting a winning product on the field.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the cornerstone of any successful team is the owner, GM, Head Coach, and QB. These are your 4 primary leaders. We know Al isn't going anywhere. We also know that Russell is our franchise QB. The GM and a solid proven Head Coach are the missing components to getting this ship off the rocks.

It isn't rocket science. Any armchair football enthusiast like ourselves realize that in order to be able to recruit a GM, this GM needs to have real authority. In order to recruit a top level HC, you need to have a GM in place. In order to recruit and keep top players the organization needs to be soundly structured and run in a functional way.

I could go on and on but I think you get my drift. Thanks for being a regular visitor to SBF. I hope you have a terrific weekend.
CJ ;0

10:19 PM  
Blogger Leighraider said...

DUDE!
sorry just back from California.
Great trip, bad games, whats new?
I think we all know that Al needs some help, and I hope that Al himself is coming round to the idea as he mentioned something in the Kiffin PC.The sudden cut of Hall may be a pre-cursor to the culling of this roster, hopefully so because we need to get a lot of
the scholarship players as you put it out, and get some real football players in here.I don't care if we have to really re-build properley because along that road there would be players with heart, some close but tough losses and eventually something to call a RAIDER team again, rather than the excuse for a team that I saw in Oakland the past two weeks.To start that we might have to grit our teeth and say bye bye to the likes of Aso, Burgess, and Bush to get some extra picks or quality vets.I'll still be going into work late on Sunday night for the Miami game though, just in case...

4:36 PM  

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