Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Al Davis / Hue Jackson Press Conference

A very interesting day in Alameda to say the least. Davis dropping verbal hay-makers on Cable, F-Bombs caught on mic, and introducing Hue Jackson, "But today, I want you to meet the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders, I'm proud as hell, Hue Jackson."

By far the most entertaining and interesting part of the press conference was the Q & A with the various Bay Area and national sports writers. Part of the transcript by Kawakami is here.

Newly named Head Coach Hue Jackson's demeanor, personality, energy, positivity, passion, and enthusiasm really bubbles to the surface in his press conference.

I have to say I am either a complete sucker for what I saw from Hue Jackson's PC or we are in for a wonderful, glorious ride with him at the helm. When I watched Hue's press conference the first things that ran through my mind are;

(1) Wow! He is a lot like Gruden in terms of vibe, energy, passion, and charisma. His communication skills are quite extraordinary.

(2) Hue has fully embraced the unique and difficult environment in Oakland with no misgivings whatsoever. He is either very naive or the type of guy who truly relishes the opportunity when all the cards are supposedly stacked against him.

(3) Hue is without a doubt the most positive, confident, self-assured HC we have had since Gruden. It doesn't seem to be an artificial bravado but the real deal.

(4) He understands that if he has any chance of being successful at being the HC in Oakland that he needs to;
(a) raise the bar and preach high expectations or die on his own sword ... playoffs or bust.
(b) give Davis public respect w/o reservations, hesitation, and in such a way that he is acknowledging the challenges BUT not making excuses for anything less than striving for the brass ring. Yes, this also means kissing the Don's ring & ass. If this is the game that he has to play to survive and strive, so be it. Hue Jackson will need to be a skilled diplomat, savvy politician, gifted deal-maker, Oscar worthy actor, and yes, results-oriented head coach all rolled into one.

Lastly, the twitters and quotes from players seems to be universally behind and supportive of this promotion. Guys like Campbell (IMO, the most important relationship on the team), Asomugha, Miller, goes a long ways towards stability, continuity, and trying to get to the next rung on the competitive ladder ... playoffs 2011 (or 2012 with a lockout).

All things considered, I feel a whole lot better about this team going into 2011 than I did prior to the 2010 campaign. This feeling of optimism is especially true considering the nucleus of the 2010 draftees plus other young players making up the core group. Onwards and upwards!

Davis explanation for Cable being shown the door:

Godfather Davis dropping F-Bombs:

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cable Cut Loose

Cable Cut Loose
The Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders often used the mantra of “Just cut it loose” to express to his team to play with passion and not worry about making mistakes.
Little did he realize that Davis would “cut him loose”. I’m sure Cable is devastated and blindsided by this stunning news. The guy bled silver and black and seemed to grow as a Head Coach.

After doing all the heavy lifting, excavating the team from the gutter into a competitive, on the cusp playoff team, Cable will not be on deck to see the fruits of his labor in 2011. In the meantime, I am in a "wait and see" mode and here's why:

Davis took such an unexpected, early in the game, decisive approach to clearing Cable with still almost 2 weeks before the deadline to exercise or opt out of Cable’s contract. Just speculation on my part but to me it means 1 of 4 things:

(1) It was Cable or Jackson ... Davis must be giving the lion's share of credit to Jackson and desperately doesn't want to lose him. Davis has always preferred a Head Coach who was also the playcaller. Jackson took an anemic offense from 2009 and doubled the unit's scoring output in 1 season of work. The fork in the road or accelerated cause for making an early decision on Cable was the interview with SF. Davis didn't want to be playing musical chairs without a chair for Jackson.

(2) Davis was severely disappointed in not making the playoffs ... in spite of going 6-0 in the division, the Raiders fell short in winnable games to Arizona, San Francisco, and Jacksonville.

(3) Davis has a “rock-star” candidate on deck who is a clear upgrade over Cable and his hand is forced by external forces due to the candidate’s current situation.

(4) Davis has lost his marbles. This is his vendetta on Cable for siding with Ski over Campbell in the early stages of the season.

If Davis lands Harbaugh or Fisher, I applaud it. Whenever the organization has an opportunity to upgrade their personnel and coaching staff, no time is better than the present.

If Davis names Jackson the Head Coach, I will be disappointed but would understand (see comment 1).

If Davis is fumbling around interviewing retread candidates well into February without a clear cut plan in place, what can I say but welcome to Raiderville.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Where Are The Condiments?

Raiders 31 - Condiments 10
Who says the game on Sunday was "meaningless"? In the epitome of a true character game, the Raiders put a SERIOUS beatdown on the Ketchup and Mustard Men of Kansas City.

Our OLine and DLine completely destroyed , dominated, humiliated, and decimated the Chefs on the day Marty Shittenheimer was inducted into the ring of "fame".

For all the Chef fans barking about making it to the playoffs, remember a few important points before you go hoarse:
(1) We swept your ass and owned the division going 6-0 while you limped to an embarassing 2-4 mark.
(2) Your team hasn't won a single playoff game since 1993 ... 17 years ago with Marcus Allen at tailback no less.
(3) Your one and only Lombardi Trophy was earned in 1969 ... 41 years ago when Tricky Dick Nixon was president of the good old US of A.
(4) Your QB was running scared for his life on Sunday after suffering 7 sacks, numerous knockdowns, completing only 11 of 33 passes, and throwing 2 picks.

With the Raiders missing arguably their best offensive (McFadden) and defensive (Seymour) players on Sunday, going on the road with nothing to play for besides pride, pride won out convincingly. And make no mistake, KC Head Coach Hayley was clearly playing to win. He desperately wanted his team to earn the #3 seed and go into the playoff round with an 8-0 home record and momentum.

Instead his team got steamrolled in every possible phase of the game. When he finally pulled QB Cassel from the the fray, the Raiders led by 21 points and he didn't want any more mental and physical harm for his QB. It was a mercy substitution and nothing more than waving the white towel.

The Ravens should be thanking the Raiders organization after they eliminate the Chefs (1 and done) from the playoffs. The blueprint is fairly simple. Stop the run, put pressure on Cassel, get the lead, and watch the Chefs collapse. The fact that we crushed the Chefs pysche and confidence going into the game is the cherry on top.