Chickens Coming Home to Roost: How Did Raiders Get Here?

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Chickens Coming Home to Roost: How Did Raiders Get Here?
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Passion is the nemesis of reason. 

A desired outcome can sometimes blind the reality of the situation.  Don't get me wrong, I want the Raiders to win a Super Bowl again before I die, I'd like to be able to die someday and know that we were winners.

In 2003 I paid a month's salary to go Tampa to see the Raiders, only see them embarrass themselves.  But I kept hope...

Hope is the last thing to go.

The constant chatter has been whether the Raiders need a new head coach, new recievers, or an offensive coordinator, or how the Raiders will return to greatness with the direction of a competent general manager.

They're all good suggestions. In fact, at this point the organization is in such bad shape that any shift in personnel and strategy couldn't be much more detrimental to the team than they are now. 

The reality is, that as long as the core problem to the Raider's woes continues to be, present things won't change much.

It is really easy to just say Al Davis is the problem, and one could play devil's advocate and argue that he isn't the one running the routes or calling the plays, that the bums that can't make a tackle or catch a pass are the problem, or that the reason the Raiders can't score is because Cable has no idea how to call plays.

Blame is spread all around, but ultimately in an organization like the Raiders, it's no secret that this is Al's team and the Raider's success or failures are directly tied to his decisions.

You think that Russell is a joke of a quarterback with no leadership skills and lacking a fundamental game... hey, who drafted the guy and gave him that fat contract (no pun intended).

Or you think that Russell is an amazing quarterback that has no o-line to protect him and receivers that can't catch and if Russell had better talent around him, and a mentor  that his productivity would be through the roof... ok, why is it that no pro-bowl receiver wants to come to Oakland?  

Or that year after year when the Raiders draft they keep getting guys who underachieve with the rare exception... I'm not even talking about probowlers, I'm talking about guys that could contribute on a daily basis.

Or maybe you think that the talent is there and Russell is being manhandled with all these coaching changes and that's why he is not performing on the field... well, again it doesn't take a genius to figure out why a coach with any real talent or ambition would rather keep a coordinator job than take a job in Oakland.

It's well documented that the coaching talent is closely monitored and upper management is involved not just in the day-to-day but also in the gameplanning and personnel make up.  Al likes to put his stamp on everything that happens in Oakland.

Changing a quarterback might help, but what happened when we went from Gannon to Collins, Andrew Walter, Aaron Brooks, McClown, Culppeper, and finally on JaMarcus..?

Or going from Chucky to Callahan, Turner, Art Shell, Kiffin and finally Cable. Sure you could argue that the mere fact that not one coach has had a chance to impliment his strategy to really get the Raiders back to the fundamentals is valid, but stop and think about why that is.  What could be the contributing factor, why is it that not one coach with talent will come to Oakland?

Or that no coach has lasted more than two years. Who makes those decisions?

Again, it doesn't take a genious to figure out that a coaching change will only change the name of the guy we yell at and criticize because any coach worth anything simply won't come to Oakland. 

I heard a speculation that maybe Cowher might come to Oakland.

Seriously?  The only respectable NFL coach we have a chance of getting to come to Oakland is John Madden, maybe Chucky if Al can stomach it.

This is the result of years of developing and feeding a reputation that coaches are expendable in Oakland.  Look at what happened to Shannahan, or twenty years later to Kiffin?  This doesn't happen overnight, it's a pattern over the years. 

In Oakland, you either follow the Oakland way or get out.

That works great for developing team pride but if Al only keeps people out of loyalty rather than whose who prove they are talented... what can you expect?

So all the future speculation over who should be the next coach or the next quarterback after JaMarcus, completely ignores the fact that over the last six years no matter who's behind the ball or calling plays, the results are the same.

Until Davis changes the way he does things, no matter who we bring in, we will get the same results.


The bad will that Al has created throughout the league, the poor reputation, poor drafting, bad management, all these things have finally come to the limelight when the Raiders take the field game in and game out, only to get wiped out.

As long as Davis keeps making the usual decisions...

Expect the usual results...

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