I know you've heard the talk.
"Al's over the Hill."
"The game has passed Al by."
And that one the really has to light you up...
"His deep passing game doesn't work anymore."
Like they haven't seen Kurt Warner bomb his teams into the Super Bowl.
You can't put up with that garbage! You are the Raiders! You are the heart and soul of the greatness!
Al, it's time to get back to the top.
The facts are the Raiders aren't meant to be built around spoiled high draft picks. The Raiders are always at their best when they are built around the rejects of the rest of the league.
The UFL is made of NFL rejects. Go raid the UFL.
Man, you know that playoff teams need good leadership at the top. A strong owner, a good coach, and a good solid QB. You got one out of the three, but you haven't had the others since John Gruden left.
JaMarcus Russell can hold the bench down until his contract is up or until you decide to cut his fat, lazy ass. The guy is another Ryan Leaf. He is an Akili Smith-level bust. The guy doesn't even come to camp in shape? You don't need him.
Bruce Gradkowski is a 53 percent career passer with a career QB rating of 61. On top of that, he doesn't have the arm to go deep. He's a solid backup to a third QB, nothing more.
Charlie Frye was a nice prospect once. He's an OK third QB, but it is pretty clear the Raiders don't have a starter.
Your head coach, Tom Cable, isn't a winner and is out of his league as a head coach. He ran the University of Idaho into the ground. He's actually the guy that ended the run of great coaches at that school. He was the first coach fired at Idaho in 22 years. 22 years! You know you have a program on cruise control when they haven't fired a coach in 22 years. Cable blew it taking over a strong program.
He certainly hasn't shown anything as the Raiders' coach.
It is time to cut your losses and roll the dice on getting better now, Al.
Fire Cable and hire Californian Jim Fassel away from the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives to be the next coach of the Raiders and sign Former Buffalo Bill first-round pick and current Locos QB J.P. Losman to be your starting QB.
The Locos were that league's second best team, but they kept improving as the year went on and they ended up beating the league's best team for the title.
That is the sign of a well coached team. Fassel also is a former NFL coach of the year who took the Giants to a Super Bowl before he was run out of the league by the fans in New York. He is a Raider who just hasn't happened yet.
The UFL season is over, so he could step in filling the role that an interim coach would normally fill and take over the staff for the last five games, allowing him to see if he wants to keep any of your assistants or bring in his own guys next season.
Fassel is an intense ball of fire. He is good guy, but he can be the SOB the Raiders have needed for years to be your avatar on the field and kick lazy and problem players around.
He likes to run the ball and to take shots deep fairly often. He demands his players play with toughness and fire, and people in the NFL don't give him the respect he has earned. He seems like the perfect Raider's coach.
Losman went to the UFL to play for Fassel. The two are a very odd couple, but it clearly works.
Losman is a weird California dude who looks like a dirty unshaven surfer roaming the sideline and muttering to himself during the games.
But he respects Fassel and Fassel can get Losman's attention.
Losman is still the same guy who got run out of Buffalo.
He appears to think he is better than he is and also sometimes appears to bristle under coaching. That said, he really seemed to want to learn from Fassel.
Losman has the big arm to make the deep passing game work. He has the arm and deep accuracy to make this offense work like it should.
He is a surprisingly tough player who will stand in to hit the deep pass, but has a bad feel for sensing the rush and will hold on to the ball too long—Fassel is working with him on that.
Losman's mechanics come and go, but you can see a slow improvement in his consistency from working with Fassel. When his mechanics are good, he can throw an accurate pass with zip 50-60-plus yards. He can throw accurate bombs.
He completed a sweet 62.6 percent of his passes for 9 TDs and 2 INTs in the UFL's seven game season with a pretty marginal pair of starting WRs, but that was against poor secondaries. Still, he has a career 75.6 passer rating in the NFL, which is better than the career QB ratings of your other QBs.
Losman appears flaky, inconsistent, self-absorbed, a bit argumentative, and frankly a little weird, but he's also talented, tough, and better than anyone you've got.
Think of it as trading JaMarcus Russell for J.P. Losman. At this point, who wouldn't make that trade?
It isn't like there is a huge talent difference. Russel can probably throw the ball 90 yards while Losman can only throw it 70 --- big deal. Both have big arms and the physical talent to have been NFL first round picks.
Then there is how they actually play on the field. Losman has a 75.6 NFL QB rating for his career. Russell's is 65.5.
With a full offseason with Fassel, Losman could really smooth out his game and become a pretty good player.
He's a Raider. He might be another Jim Plunkett.
Fassel has enough faith in Losman to start him over Gradkowski, regardless of the occasional bad game by Losman. Losman, Gradkowski, and Frye lay out nicely as your QBs.
The Raiders are one of the worst teams in the NFL today. It sucks, but it is what it is. There is no difference in talent between the guys starting in the UFL and the bottom half of the Raiders' roster. So why not go sign some of those guys to replace your weaker backups?
You have guys that you know aren't developing or lack the talent to contribute in the NFL sitting on your bench. Time to dump some of those guys.
UFL rosters were built specifically to have NFL prospects in every roster spot. That is part of the UFL's hope to become a feeder league of the NFL.
The UFL didn't go after big time collegiate playmakers who the NFL wouldn't touch. They went after guys who have made NFL rosters. These guys were in the UFL because they didn't make enough plays to stay in the NFL, not because they lacked NFL talent.
And as it turns out a very small sliver of those guys in the UFL can make plays.
Use the retreads from the UFL to restore the chip on their shoulders that Raiders players should have towards the rest of the league.
The Locomotives won the title because their defense ate up the league's best offense. Give Fassel the freedom to bring in clutch playmakers like DE Adrian Awasome, DT Ross Kolodziej, LB Teddy Lehman, S Tony Parrish, or other Locos like TE Adam Bergen, WR Tab Perry, QB Tim Rattay, and others to fill out his bench and ease the transition.
Guys like Florida's WRs Taye Biddle and Marcus Maxwell could also be targets to investigate to help that receiving corps. They may be the two best receivers in that league and do appear to be legit NFL talents that would fit the Raider's down field passing scheme, not just bubble guys like most of the UFL's players.
Florida's OLB Odell Thurman looked a cut above most of the UFL talent. Florida's FSU saftey 1 2 punch of Jerome Carter and Dexter Jackson (yeah, that guy) seem to know their way around the field.
I didn't see any RBs that would beat out your top 3 --- arguably the UFL's best, DeDe Dorsey, would be a change of pace/3rd down back in the NFL--- and there is a question if adding another decent RB would help team chemistry any, but you can probably nab a couple of good backup OL from the UFL too.
The UFL season just ended and you have to think most NFL teams aren't going to touch most of those guys to try to discourage players from going to the UFL in the future.
Be Al Freakin' Davis.
Treat the UFL as your bonus draft. Add the right 10 or so players from the UFL and another three or four in the next draft and this team can be back in the playoffs next season.
Come on, Al.
Just win, baby!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!