As JaMarcus Russell casually saunters out of Oakland, on his way back to Mobile, B/R Raider writers have turned their attention to other suspect Raider players and coaches.
There is a Buddhist saying that, "the blame falls upon the person who refuses to accept it."
It is a recognition that no one is blameless in most matters. Acknowledging our part in things allows us to grow and seek to be better. This was something that JaMarcus was incapable of doing and his departure has a lot to do with that simple fact.
When a team is not succeeding on the field, there's plenty of blame to go around. But football is not a blame game.
Good football teams don't blame players, they just expect their best from their players and the players give their best.
That's all any fan can ask for.
So rather than put the fire to Raider personnel, I propose to look at some of the players and coaches whose best efforts will be scrutinized this year and who will be expected to accept blame where blame is due.
I was not thrilled when Cable was selected to coach the Oakland Raiders.
Having gone through Callahan, Bugel, Shell, Turner and Kiffin, I was not prepared for yet another figurehead coach.
I have been won over by Cable's contributions to the team.
Everyone knows that Al is in charge but Cable manages to get things done where the other coaches have failed.
The benching of Russell was done at a time when Cable was under intense scrutiny from the mediots.
The fact that he chose to do it at that time was impressive, in my mind.
The trade for Jason Campbell and the outstanding draft were all the work of Al Davis, make no mistake. But it was Cable who helped Al look at these things and his contribution cannot be ignored.
Cable seems to be the right fit for Al. Not combative like Gruden or Kiffin, but not passive like everyone else.
The one knock against Cable has been his play-calling.
I only blame Cable for hanging on to the job for so long.
Obviously, there's a reason the previous offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp, was fired from the Seahawks in less than a year.
In case anyone has forgotten, the coach doesn't hire the offensive coordinator, Al Davis does.
I don't think Cable hung on to the offensive coordinator duties as much as Al Davis made him wear the hat.
It's all water under the bridge as Al has now hired Hue Jackson as the new OC. That along with other off-season moves now puts the ball squarely in Cable's court.
The tools have been given to him. Now he will have to produce.
I don't think any other player or coach will be evaluated based upon the team's win/loss record.
I do believe Cable will be evaluated based upon our success in that area. 8-8 or better will most likely result in a contract extension. Anything less and we will probably be looking at the next guy as our new coach.
The mediots have had a field day with the hiring of Hue Jackson as offensive coordinator.
Depending on which TV show you watched or newspaper you read, Hue Jackson was everything from JaMarcus Russell's babysitter to the new Raiders Head Coach.
Now, Hue Jackson gets to focus on the job he was brought in to accomplish.
As offensive coordinator, Jackson will attempt to bring focus and purpose to what can only be described as an anemic offense.
There has been some re-tooling since he's been hired and Jackson clearly took the lead role with the offense in mini camp, even working with the offensive line.
Jackson's challenge will be maximizing the potential for each offensive player. That's not a small order.
Running back Darren McFadden has often been cited as a player who is not being used in the correct capacity. Many fans have stressed that McFadden, or Dmac, is much better as a receiver than an every down back.
It will be Jackson's responsibility to make the assessment and changes.
In fact, Jackson will have to make assessments on a host of receivers and backs. Training camp will be a very busy time.
The good news is that Jackson isn't beholden to anyone except Al so he can call it like he sees it in camp.
There may be a few surprises as the Raiders continue to shed dead weight.
Cable is not a tough act to follow, when it comes to play-calling, but Jackson will need to bring some creativity to the play-calling.
The running game suffered mightily due to the lack of innovation in play-calling and the poor play at the quarterback position.
Again, I don't think Jackson's future is tied to the win/loss record other than perhaps a promotion in his future should the Raiders stumble but the offense improve.
Hue Jackson isn't the only coach who's getting shiny new toys this season.
Marshall will be getting a few players of his own, notably: draft picks Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston.
McClain has the mind, skills and desire to be a great middle linebacker. One of the first thing he did upon being drafted by the Raiders, was request the playbook. It was apparent, in mini camp, that he didn't just do that for show. McClain appears to be the real deal.
Lamarr Houston is a 300 pound defensive tackle that once played running back. That says it all. He will be playing defensive end in the Silver and Black but he definitely has the athleticism to succeed at the position. He got more than a little attention at mini camp for his aggressive style.
There are other new faces as well. Quentin Groves (LB) and Kamerion Wimbley (LB) were also signed during the offseason. It's been noted that we've collected quite a few linebackers and defensive ends and not all will be playing on opening day.
Unlike, Hue Jackson, Marshall was already a Raiders coach for one year. While everyone is excited with the new acquisitions on defense, Marshall's seat has got to be getting a little warm. His first year, as defensive coordinator, did not result in improvement in a bottom of the NFL run defense.
Now that the personnel have been assembled, Marshall will need to provide an upgraded playbook to go along with the new look. Cable has made it clear that the Raiders are still a 4-3 defense. With that said, Marshall will need to be more creative in his defensive schemes to better utilize the new talent.
Cable's offseason giddiness regarding the defensive planning does give the Nation hope. It appears the Raiders will be more innovative defensively than they have been in the recent past. Dare I say blitz? Marshall will have to get the rest of the Nation as giddy as Cable if he's planning on sticking around. If not, Mike Waufle may be working on more than the defensive lines in 2011.
JaMarcus Russell is not the only recent high draft pick who has struggled with the Raiders.
Dmac has not lived up to his potential or the hype surrounding his pick.
Considering that Chris Johnson and Felix Jones were passed over to select Dmac, the seat is getting a little warm.
Dmac is in danger of being labeled "fragile" which is a death knell for a "supposedly" every down back.
He has missed seven games in the past two seasons for various injuries. His on-field production has been minimal at best. With the emergence of Michael Bush, Dmac has seen his role in the backfield diminish.
There have been two factors working against Dmac that were not under his control.
The first was the play-calling of Tom Cable which tended to have Dmac running between the numbers. Almost every fan agrees that this is not Dmac's strongest suit.
The other factor has been the instability at the QB position. Many opponents "stacked the box" against the Raiders while daring them to pass.
With the removal of these factors from consideration, Dmac will have an opportunity to shine. Dmac's best hope is as a receiver or running outside the numbers.
Hue Jackson will, most likely, give Dmac a chance to show his skills.
The consensus seems to be that Bush will be the every down back with Dmac being utilized more as a receiver/back.
When Dmac was selected, there were many who believed he was a better runner than the other backs in the draft.
When DHB was selected, everyone believed that Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin were much better than DHB. His selection actually drew laughter during the draft.
DHB did little if nothing to prove his critics wrong during his first season.
The biggest knock on DHB was that he tended to drop the ball.
This criticism proved to be an accurate assessment of his ball handling.
In Crabtree's first game, six weeks into the season, he caught more passes (five) than DHB caught in his first seven games.
It has been noted that wide receivers sometimes take awhile to acclimate to NFL play. One can only hope that DHB is a late bloomer.
To his credit, he has spent the off-season working out and practicing. His desire to improve cannot be questioned, only his skills.
With an abundance of receivers, DHB faces a challenge for playing time. Should he start the season with drops, it may be hard for him to crack the starting lineup once removed.
Hue Jackson's play-calling and Jason Campbell skills should ensure that DHB gets a chance to improve on his numbers from 2009, but only if he can hold onto the ball.
Playing opposite the best corner-back in the league will get you noticed, especially by opposing quarterbacks.
Routt's response to the attention has been less than stellar. In fact, it's been downright awful.
There are many in the Nation who question the first and third tender placed on Stanford Routt as well as his new Three million dollar contract makes him the highest paid nickleback in the game. Not something people expected when they looked at Routt's speed (4.25/40.)
At this point, Routt shows no signs of supplanting Chris Johnson or whoever as the No. Two corner-back.
Unless Marshall's new defensive schemes, which has Cable salivating, contain some unique uses for speedy defensive backs who can't cover an invalid, most will be happy when Routt is out of uniform.
An improved run defense will make Routt even more of a liability as teams are forced to pass even more against the Raiders.
Given the length of Routt's tenure with the Raiders, further improvement is not expected.