Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby Steps First

After our 2 big blow-out victories (Den, Sea) and an inspiring 3 game winning streak, I honestly thought we had turned the corner. I'm not so sure anymore. As I mentioned on quite a few prior posts, the key is establishing a level of consistency.

Consistency in every sense of the word. We are more like Sybil. It is difficult and elusive to put your finger on our team in regards to performance and identity. From week to week it is any one's guess which team will show up.

QB play --- Who knows from one week to the next?

Playcalling --- Sometimes creative yet other times quite predictable and rudimentary.

Running Game --- At times dominant, persistent, and the team's identity ... other times MIA for no reason whatsoever. How does a player like McFadden go from a 20+ carry work-horse stud to a secondary feature in the running attack?

Run D --- It looked like an improvement only a few short weeks ago. In 2 successive weeks, a sieve.

From a 59-14 thrashing of the Donkeys to a 3-35 beatdown by the Steelers ... there simply is no rhyme or reason for the MAJOR roller coasters of this season.

This is an odd, exciting, surprising, and perplexing season all rolled into one.

On the bright side of things ...

There has been a noticeable uptick in terms of sustained effort by the team. No one is throwing in the towel at the end of games.

The team and individual players seem to have good chemistry, accountability, and a lack of negative, distracting, me-first behavior. No one that I know of on the team is making lame excuses or throwing anyone under the bus.

There seems to be a fairly good handle and realistic view of what it will take to truly turn the corner. In my judgment, it will be solid, reliable QB play, an upgraded and improved OLine, depth at WR, and a play-making,dynamic LB.

2010 is looking like the year we will take 1 necessary baby step forward towards climbing the competitive ladder. There is still a glimmer of hope if we can run the table vs. our divisional rivals and catch a few breaks. The min. magic number is 9 victories which would require an unlikely, Herculean 4 of 5 win effort.


Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

CJ, any chance you'll be at the Donkeys game? I'll have a crew there: my son and his friend, and a guy I do biz with. May the better Raiders team show up that day! Also thinking about Colts game.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Dard - We are going to the Colts game unless they "flex" it for the NFL Network and change the time to a night game. I won't be at the Donkeys game. If we go to the Dolts game the day after XMAS, I will shoot you an email. It would be wonderful to see you and your son and tailgate. We would get to the lot at around 11:30am. :D

8:44 PM  
Blogger Danna said...

CJ, don't forget the sudden surprising play of Jaboby Ford. He's also been a bright spot. Whether that continues, and what his role will be in the future is yet to be seen, but he's given us a couple great thrills and won a couple games for us.
As for baby steps, I only consider this season to be one if we can better our record from last year. That would require one more win, which I hope can be achieved. O-line needs to step up, and I feel our D has to put more pressure on opposing QB's. Blitz and blitz often.
I'd also like to see what the offense might look like with the no huddle...just praying for a miracle this weekend in SD. Thanks again for your blog.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Danna - Ford has been a revelation and serious playmaker. I'd like to see the Raiders put all the chips into the center of the table tomorrow by taking some calculated chances on both O and D. Creative blitz packages would be a good start.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Raiders have had many problems since the Super Bowl loss. The the biggest problem has been the lack of a legitimate starting qb. I don't know how they are going to overcome that----do you have any ideas? Please don't tell me Campbell is the answer and needs a year in the system blah blah and Gradkowski has proven himself to be a quality back up only. Florid Raider

8:41 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

FL Raider - The NFL is clearly a QB driven league. Without an elite QB, the best the Raiders can hope for in the short term would be an above average game manager who minimizes mistakes, makes good decisions, and is a leader.

In the immediate future, the Raiders QB options are limited. For one, we have no history of drafting and developing QBs. We also have no 1st round pick to use as trade bait.

The best bet besides a creative trade (ie. for Kevin Kolb) would be to make the OLine a MAJOR priority. A top level OLine would give the QB, running attack, and passing game the best chance to make a quantum leap in production.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Danna said...

I defo liked what I saw in Kolb this year. Just so tired of waiting for "next year". Let's GO RAIDERS!!!

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

In this Jekyll and Hyde season, you never know who is going to show up. And yesterday, it was Dr. Jekyll, beating the living daylights out of a pretty good San Diego squad. Who knew Campbell was a sleight-of-hand magician!! THAT was Raiders football ladies and gentlemen.

4:05 PM  
Blogger JR TO THE RESCUE said...

WTF? TC goes 8-8 and gets sacked? After beating the Chefs twice, going 6-0 interconference and being a Pop Warner length successful field goal from being 9-7. UFB. Does the Great OZ really think he is going to get Harbaugh to join this disfunction? James Dolan and Issiah Thomas have nothing on this organization. When JH rebuffs you I guess JR#2 will be in line for the gig-break out the Purple Drank we're in for a long painful ride ahead.

8:28 PM  

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