The season has mercifully been over for Raiders fans for several weeks now, and despite the basking glow of knocking Jon Gruden's Buccaneers out of the playoffs, several missteps by Al Davis have dimmed any optimistic afterglow the Raiders Nation may have carried into the 2009 offseason.
The mass defecting of the Raiders coaching staff was expected with contracts expiring in January. However, the most disappointing loss is of special teams coach Brian Schneider. The Raiders have not had outstanding special teams play in several seasons, yet Schneider has able to get his teams to play well and generate points for a struggling offense.
The loss of this particular coach will be felt by the Raiders, and the knowledge Al could have kept him will haunt this team next season.
For most Raiders fans, there is an understanding that Nnamdi Asomugha's days in Oakland are nearing an end. The fact that Al Davis has not entered into any contract talks in hopes of convincing Nnamdi to stay is borderline ludicrous. Sure, Al can tag him, but this is an elite defensive back a defensive coordinator can build a team around for several seasons.
This lack of ownership inertia does not display "good faith" and loyalty towards cornerstone players. If the Raiders lose Asomugha in this manner, what impact FA would want to sign with the Raiders? Or anyone?
The constant media feed of how great Larry Fitzgerald is serves as a reminder to Raiders fans how botched a Raiders draft can be. In April, the Raiders Nation can expect another draft filled with passing up of a good football player for speedy track athletes. With needs for the OL, DL, and WR positions, expect the 2009 draft to be filled with DBs and late round WR project players.
For the last six years, mistakes in the offseason has been the Raiders way. While some NFL franchises overhaul losing teams and try to infuse a new spark, the Raiders do not do this. Some 1-15 teams are able to turn it around in one season with aggressive offseason changes and make the playoffs; the Raiders set records for consecutive losing seasons.
The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over again but believing it's being done differently. One mistake the Raiders Nation can avoid to escape this insanity is to not renew season tickets or buy merchandise affiliated with the Raiders.
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