Will Al Davis Let His Coaches Coach in 2010?
There has often been trouble for head coaches bringing their program to Raider Nation. Much of it is blamed on Raider owner Al Davis.
Many in the media say, "He mettles too much and will never get a respected coach to come to Oakland." Warren Sapp has been quoted as saying, "The Raiders will not change for the better until Al Davis doesn't own the team anymore."
Sapp didn't stop there. He said, "Al Davis knows football. It's just '70s and '80s fooball. He's thinking Cliff Branch is outside and Jim Plunkett is dropping back and you can throw it 80 yards down the field—deep ball, deep ball, deep ball."
Sapp even acused Davis of calling plays. He said "One of my teammates said, 'we're going deep on this play.' I said, how do you know? He said 'the phone just rang.'"
Sapp is right that Al Davis does know football. He is a genius and every genius or hero has tragic flaws.
Davis has an addiction to the deep ball. He also has an affinity for big-armed quarterbacks who otherwise can't play.
There is definitely a place for the deep ball, but not all the time. You especially need an accurate quarterback to execute it. Big arms are great, but without accuracy it's an interception waiting to happen.
This is where the Raider head coach comes in. It is his responsibility to save Davis from himself when needed.
The deep ball was a weapon in Raider history, but ball control was very important. All you need to do is look at every Raider Super Bowl team.
How many Super Bowls did the great Daryl Lamonica win?
A Raider head coach better be able to convince Davis to deviate from his ways. If he does so, his job is on the line of if things don't get better.
John Madden won a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1976. He did that by saving Davis from his tragic flaws.
Madden started his savior of Davis in 1968 with the draft. Davis wanted big-armed quarterback Eldrige Dickey from Tennessee State. John Madden wanted the accurate Ken Stabler from Alabama.
After Davis got his man in the first round, Stabler fell to the Raiders in the second round. From there, the battle ensued over who would replace Lamonica. The rest is history for Stabler.
Tom Flores was the head coach to save Al Davis in the '80s. After Jim Plunkett won the Super Bowl in 1980, Davis replaced him with Marc Wilson in 1981. The result was a 7-9 season for the Raiders.
Flores would eventually convince Davis to come back to Plunkett in 1982. The result of that was an immediate playoff run followed by a Super Bowl victory the next year.
In the late '90s, Jon Gruden came to Raider Nation and replaced Jeff George with Rich Gannon. The Raiders didn't win a Super Bowl but got to one in 2002. They didn't win it as the were ironically beaten by Gruden.
Has Al learned anything from those experiences?
Maybe not but Tom Cable must have.
Cable fought tooth and nail for a large portion of the season to get Bruce Gradkowski on the field. When he did, Davis learned that the team wasn't that bad. The quarterback was just horrible.
The Raiders would then go on to win a hand full of games against playoff teams. The Raiders actually had a chance to beat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17.
That was until Russell had to come into the game for injured Charlie Frye. He would promptly turn the ball over twice and the Raiders would lose by eight points.
Cable also put his job on the line to go to bat for Defensive Coordinator John Marshall. He wanted Marshall to be able to use his blitzing elephant scheme.
It all started with the Philadelphia Eagle game. The Raiders sacked then-Eagle quarterback Donavan McNabb six times and only gave up nine points to the second ranked offense at the time.
Russell has since been released and found "Sippin On Some Sizyrup." Jason Campbell is the big-armed quarterback with accuracy that is to replace hm.
Hue Jackson is now the Offensive Coordinator. He will bring in his power-run with the play-action vertical game behind it. It was effective in Baltimore.
Davis then brought in some goodies for John Marshall's Elephant scheme. Pass rushing outside linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and Quentin Groves were brought in as perfect scheme fits.
It looks as if Cable has Davis's ear.
Will Davis really let is coaches coach in 2010?
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