It is official: the Raider Nation is the most dysfunctional team and fan base in the NFL.
Despite the fact that all those teams have worse records than the Raiders they haven't reached the point the Raiders have. Its so bad in Raider-Nation fans took it upon themselves to start and sign a petition against Al Davis called http://messagetoal.com/ .
They currently have a billboard (seen above) on I-880 less than a mile from the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, 30,000+ signatures and thousands in donations. The petition reads:
We kindly ask for Mr. Allen Davis to remove himself as general manager of the Oakland Raiders Organization.
We ask for a new General Manager to be hired with previous experience and success in the NFL.
We ask for a new, Super Bowl Caliber Head Coach/Director of Football Operations to be hired replacing Tom Cable. Suggestions include Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden; or any other coach with similar credentials.
We ask the Owner and new regime to give the new Coach substantial power in hiring Assistants, installing football philosophies and most roster decisions.
It is very apparent that change needs to happen in Oakland, and Al Davis is ultimately the only one who can bring such change to the Raiders. And its not just the fans who have been trying to get this across to Al.
The players have also made comments to try and get the message across:
Justin Fargas and much of the offensive line have made comments criticizing the offensive playcalling for not sticking to the run and/or giving up on it too early.
Sam Williams, the Raiders current starting strong-side linebacker, openly said that Tom Cable is a joke to half the locker room and everyone outside the Raiders organization.
Nnamdi Asomugha, the Raiders best defender (best player period), has been criticizing the defensive playcalling all year and recently went in-depth about how the defense is too simple.
Jeff Garcia, former Raider backup QB, commented that the Raiders were putting too much responsibility on Russell and that too many players were just there to collect checks.
It has all been said, but is Al Davis even listening and does he care?
So based on the players' and fans' comments, here are 10 things Al Davis needs to do to change the Raiders.
1. The first thing the Raiders need to do is listen to Rich Gannon who said, "The only thing left to do is to blow up the building and start over from scratch."
Screw that continuity bullshit, time to start over.
2. Then Al Davis needs to hire a GM, or atleast a Co-GM to help him with decision making.
Al Davis has a definite eye for player talent; otherwise no way he could have picked up Trevor Scott and Chaz Schilens in the sixth and seventh rounds. But as of late, his eye for NFL coaches has been less than spectacular. Al Davis needs to find someone to help him bring quality coaches.
3. The offensive play-calling is horrible. Why? because the Raiders do not even have an offensive coordinator on the payroll.
This needs to be fixed and the Raiders must hire a qualified play-caller, rather than allow Tom Cable to hold two full time jobs (head coach and offensive coordinator), neither of which he is very good at.
4. Sorry Cable fans, but if the Sam Williams comment holds any water, Cable has to go. A head coach needs all his players behind him and if half the team already thinks he is a joke, then he is a lost cause. Tom Cable must go.
The Raiders need to find a head coach with former success at the NFL level. Unlike Tom Cable who is new to being a head coach at the NFL level and was a horrible college head coach.
5. Was Nnamdi calling out the defensive coaching staff or Al Davis who is known for meddling with the defense and his basic press-man-coverage with a four-man rush? Either way something needs to change here.
Either the Raiders need to find a coaching staff who will call a more diverse defense or the current staff needs to mix it up without interference from Al Davis.
6. Pick up a real nose tackle. Just because you play Gerrard Warren at nose tackle doesn't mean he is a real nose tackle. In fact the Raiders haven't had a real nose tackle since Ted Washington in 2005.
This glaring hole has been ignored by the Raiders for years. Now is the time to finally address the biggest weakness in the defense.
7. Find players who want to win. Jeff Garcia said we have too many players just collecting paychecks. And Gary Russell said the Raiders have more talent the the Super Bowl champion Steelers.
The only difference between the Raiders and Steelers are the Steelers have players who would put their bodies on the line every play.
The Raiders need to cut everyone who is just here to collect checks and find more players like: Justin Fargas, Tyvon Branch, Trevor Scott, and Gary Russell.
8. Bring in a veteran QB to compete for the starting job. This season Garcia was brought in solely as a mentor and that didn't work out too well. The Raiders need to bring in a capable QB who can compete for the starting job and truly wants it.
One who can mentor Russell from the field not the sideline. Viable QBs who are currently on a contract year include:Jason Campbell, David Carr, Daunte Culpepper, Tarvaris Jackson, Kyle Orton, Chad Pennington, and Troy Smith.
9. Fix the O-line. Mario Henderson and Robert Gallery are good. Samson Satele is...Ehh. And Cooper Carlisle Cornell Green are horrible. The right side of the line is a constant source of penalties (holding from Carlisle and false starts from Green) and QB pressure.
Something needs to be done to shore up the right side of the line: Either through free agency, a trade, the draft, or players already on the roster like Erik Pears, Langston Walker, or Khalif Barnes.
10. Bring in a veteran receiver to help mentor the receivers and teach them how to get open in the NFL and hold onto the ball. Sure our receivers are young fast and have tremendous potential but the flat out can't catch.