Friday, December 12, 2008

Perception = Reality

Over the past six seasons, the Raiders organization has been tagged with the perception of a losing culture. This perception is largely based on 4 areas of concern:

(1) Results on the field - a 23% winning percentage (22-71 record)
(2) Instability at Head Coach - (6 Head Coaches in 8 seasons)
(3) Dysfunctional front office - (vacancy at GM)
(4) Questionable decisions made by Al Davis (selection of HC, draftees, and free agents)

All 4 areas of concern are inter-related. How do you 'flip the script'?

Losing Culture:

The obvious remedy to the losing culture is leadership. The teams that are successful have strong leaders both in the locker room, within the coaching ranks, and the executive staff.

In the case of the Raiders, this leadership needs to be from the top down ... meaning Davis hires a respected GM. The GM selects a capable and qualified HC. The HC handpicks his own OC & DC. The positional coaches develop leaders within each unit. The players police and enforce a winning attitude.

Changing the Perception:

The way to change the perception of the organization is for Davis to delegate real authority to a GM and HC whereby these 2 leaders clean house on both the coaching ranks and personnel. Of course this doesn't mean EVERYONE goes but it certainly means that dead wood is cleared over a period of 2 full seasons. It simply isn't possible or practical to make too many drastic, wholesale changes in 1 year.

The GM & HC need to be directly involved in this clearing process which involves selecting and retaining key personnel that (a) fit the system (b) perform (c) are worth developing.

Here’s a list compiled by Raider Nate 75 of possible Head Coach and GM candidates:

Possible coaches:
Jack Del Rio
Jim Harbaugh
James Lofton (possible OC too)
Mike Leach (God forbid, but I hear his name mentioned)
Wade Phillips
Jim Schwartz
Bill Cowher (not likely, but a wish)
Mike Murlarkey
Gary Kubiak (not likely)
Mark Trestman

Possible GM's:
Jim Fassell
Dennis Green
Scot McCloughan
Reggie McKenzie
John Schneider
James Harris
Floyd Reece (* added by CJ)

Ideally, the best case scenario is for the GM to be hired immediately following the 2008 season. The newly hired GM would be responsible for compiling his own list of HC candidates based on his own past relationships. The recruitment and hiring of a capable and qualified HC becomes a much easier task if someone like Floyd Reece or James Harris is already on board.


Anonymous Steve said...

Good Post. I really can see Al Davis hiring Jim Fassel has the head coach and Marc Trestman as the OC (you know how Al likes to hire the coordinators). But I think those would be two good hires. Fassel knows how to win and Trestman knows how to put points on the board.

You should take all the defensive minded coaches off that list because with the struggles on offense and Russells development, Al is no doubt gonna hire a offensive coach just like his last 11 hires. I like Dennis Green too.

Tim Brown said he REALLY wants to work for the Raider and Al Davis. I would love to see Tim Brown as GM and next owner.

Go Raiders!!!

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

New England 49, Raiders 26.

Perception = they suck. And perception definitely = reality here.

Glimmers of spirit on offense and special team returns. Not one stinking ray of hope on defense except Asomugha. That includes Ryan. Christ Almighty would somebody at least please agree now that he is the lone, single coaching thread through the last six years and that maybe, just maybe, just MAYBE the poor defense has something to do with him. I'd like to put him and the Gerbil (I now have a strong aversion to the number 28) on an ice floe and give it a big push.

One last thought. The defense got beat by Jordan. Bleeping Jordan.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


I say this with all sincerity ... Gerbil Wilson is the least of our worries or problems.

When you have a defense that gives up 4 TDs on the 1st 4 possessions, it points back to the DC. Ryan has a body of work as DC for the past 5 seasons that spells F A I L U R E. No 2 ways around it.

Players have come and gone but the D has been performing poorly in each season of Ryan's tenure.

When you look at the Raiders situation objectively, you realize that whole changes need to be made. Anything less will result in 2, 3, 4 win seasons. We need (in this order) a GM, a new HC, a new OC, and a new DC.

The GM and HC need to be given the GREEN LIGHT to clear all the dead wood on the roster and build the team as if it is the equivalent to an expansion team ... from the ground up. Start from the inside out by making the lines the top priority. Run the ball, protect your QB, and stop the run. This is the essence of a good team that can be competitive week in, week out. The skill players on both sides of the ball (WR, RB, CB) will never flourish as long as the lines are subpar.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

CJ, I agree that a quality GM should be first, but the HC should come the next day. It would be beneficial for a GM to be hired before season's end, because the sooner we can get a quality coach the better.

Asomugah hired an agent, which could be an exit strategy (according to J-Mac). I agree, if he makes it to the Pro-Browl this year, the Raiders cannot franchise him; and I think he'll be gone. That became evident to me after losing to the Chargers; and he was bent because other players were laughing in the locker room.

Though I agree that Ryan and our defense is a concern, it is not a big of a concern as our lack of offense. Cable and Knapp, clearly are not play-callers; nor do they know how to use the talent around them (McFadden on the bench, only one receiver being targeted in a game, Mike Bush, well what is his role again?). This is the only thing that has saved Ryan the last 6 years; a dismal offense that has imploded since the Barrett Robbins incident, and completely destroyed itself when Gannon went down with a career-ending neck injury.

The last 6 seasons, I've held to a facet of hope that the pendulum will swing back. I'm losing that hope.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate75 said...

Oh btw, nice picture of Al

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that the failures of this season will finally convince Al Davis that his time has passed. $152 mill on payroll and three wins? He should spend a small fraction of that money on Cowher to make him a GM and let him rebuild the team a la Parcells in Miami. Hell, Marty would probably join up for the right contract.

6:26 PM  

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