Oakland Raiders: Lack of Business Structure Hurting Team

Elias Trejo@@Elias_TrejoSenior Analyst IIMarch 26, 2010

ALAMEDA, CA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks during a press conference to announce the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin of the Oakland Raiders at thier training facility on Septemer 30, 2008 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

I was speaking to a mentor of mine earlier today and we were discussing the importance of systems in a business.

To have a successful business, you must have systems in place that are to be followed by everyone in the organization.

These systems are put in place to be consistent regardless of who is in the organization or how many locations the organization has.

A perfect example of this is McDonald's, one of the most successful restaurant chains in the world.

Whether you go to McDonald's in Blackfoot, Idaho or New York there is a 99 percent possibility that if you order a No. 1 on the menu, you will receive a Bic Mac value meal.

It doesn't stop there. The order goes from the cashier's desk to the computer screen in the back. The person in charge of cooking the meat grabs the patties, puts them in the cooker and passes the finished product to the person in charge of the buns and condiments.

The person that gets it next finishes the burger and wraps it up, then places the ticket on it and puts it in the finished burger section.

Then someone grabs it, puts it in the bag with the fries and calls out your number. This is truly a beautiful system because it happens in the exact same way in almost every McDonalds restaurant in the world.

We then continued to discuss marketing strategies for our sales reps that we are looking to hire. We wondered if we had a system in place that generates leads for our sales rep, would it matter who the sales rep was?

We figured if the system provided enough leads and our product was solid, that even an average sales rep in our system would reap greater benefits than a great sales rep would if he tried to do it by himself.

The NFL is a business and each team is a business entity as well. There is structure from the executives making decisions, to the players on the field and all the way down to the ushers in the stadium.

I look at the Chargers and Packers as good examples of systems that work when it comes to the players on the field.

When it comes to grooming young players and replacing a solid starter, these two teams have made a pretty good transition.

The system is the players around the QB position and the coaches calling the plays. Just like McDonalds or any small business, each person has a job, too. 

The QB is the cashier. He is the one you give your money too and the one that is the face of the franchise. Even if he isn't physically making the burger, he is the one that delivers it to you.

The Packers were able to replace Brett Favre pretty successfully. Aaron Rodgers was learning the system for a couple years before being plugged into it.

Once he was plugged into the system, the offense ran as if it didn't skip a beat. In Favre's last season with the Packers, he threw for 28 TD's, 4,155 yards and had a QB rating of 95.7.

In Rodgers first season, using the same offensive scheme as Favre, the young QB threw for 28 TD's, 4,038 yards and had a QB rating of 93.8.

The same can be said about the Chargers. They replaced the current Super Bowl champion QB, Drew Brees, for Phillip Rivers.

Brees was solid in his last year as a Charger. In his last season in the Chargers system, he threw for 24 TD's, 3,576 yards and had a QB rating of 89.2.

The following season when Rivers replaced him in that same system, he threw for 22 TD's, 3,388 yards and had a QB rating of 92.

The talent around them made the system great and made the transition easy for each player. Each team has had continuity and the system hasn't changed too much.

A perfect example of dysfunction would be the Oakland Raiders.

In 2007, they drafted a young QB with great physical abilities and tried to plug him into a system that had no structure, stability and continuity.

They had a cashier, but no real order and the burgers were always made in a different way.

They kept trying to fill positions to solidify their system, only to fail. The problem isn't with the players being brought in, as the problem lies within the system created.

Most businesses that fail have no systems or structure within their organization. The reason for the failures of the Raiders and JaMarcus Russell up to this point has been due to the lack of a system that is organized and well structured.

A well structured system can plug in most anyone that has experience in that position and continue to run smoothly.

When there is no system in place, you end up where the Raiders are today.

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