Yes, despite a 1-4 record and six-going-on-seven years of losing, there are still some very big egos in Oakland.
Though some have suggested otherwise, confidence is about the only thing JaMarcus Russell has going for him. His ego has him so delusional that he is unfazed by losses and is actually happy with his play.
Tom Cable apparently thinks he is above the law and won't give up his play-calling responsibility no matter how unqualified he is or how bad he is at it.
But these egos are actually dwarfed by the biggest ego in Oakland.
No, I'm not talking about Stephen Jackson of the Oakland Warriors. I'm talking about Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders.
Al Davis' ego has done a lot to get in the way of running a successful organization.
The main way his ego gets in the way is he is unwilling to let a coach become bigger than himself. This is why he only hires no-name yes men who are willing to follow him blindly and coach the team the Al Davis way.
Look at the coaches the Raiders have hired: Lane Kiffin, a young nobody who never coached at the NFL level. Tom Cable, a fat nobody with an anger problem. Bill Callahan, who didn't make a single major roster change and ran an already established offense in his Super Bowl run. And the list goes on and on.
Some would argue the Raiders have hired big-name coaches like Gruden and Madden. But these guys were nobodies before they were Raiders. Al Davis made both of them and he hates the fact that he made them bigger than himself. I'm sure Davis was furious when EA made "Madden NFL Football" rather than "Al Davis NFL Football.
So far, Al Davis' ego has gotten in the way of the team's success a few times.
First it stopped us from attaining Chris McAlister. Chris was so confident he would become a Raider he told reporters he would be signed on Sept 15th. Though he didn't actually say it to the Raiders, his projected sign date suggested he would be signed by one of the four team teams who played in the opening Monday night double header. In addition, a mutual friend of Jarrod Cooper and McAlister spread the word he was going to Oakland.
So why are Raider fans still calling for Stanford Routt's head every week and why is McAlister still teamless?
Likely because Jared Cooper had some harsh words for two of Al Davis' scholarship players, Routt and Michael Huff.
As of late, Davis has been known for keeping scholarship players, players who others consider busts, because he sees something in them that no one else does.
Rather than let his two prize track stars be insulted, Davis likely stopped the McAlister signing to spite Cooper and hurt his credibility.
Then there's Sam Williams. After years of failing to live up to expectations, why is he still on this team? More importantly, after his words regarding coach Cable, where he said Cable is a joke to half the team and everyone outside of the locker room.
Why hasn't he been punished at all? If he would have said this on any other team, he would be looking for a new job. Either because what he said is the truth or because he is another one of Al Davis' scholarship players. I would say a little bit of both, Williams is a scholarship player and Tom Cable is a joke, and everyone knows it.
Right now you can say Al Davis is the problem and blame him for this. But the bottom line is not only is he responsible for this, but he is the only one who can fix it. In order for the Raiders to finally turn around, Al Davis needs to swallow his pride, leave his ego at the door, realize he is no longer the man in the picture above, and hire a real coach.
Someone big enough to be the face of the franchise, someone to hold players accountable for their performance, somebody who we have at least heard of this time, please.