Oakland Raiders: Does an 0-2 Preseason Record Signal Trouble for the Raiders?
Jerry Rump – Aug 21, 2012
Well, here we are Raider Nation. Two games into the preseason of the New Era and a big fat zero in the wins column. After a dismal offensive performance in the first game against the Dallas Cowboys, the rumbling and mumbling began about how not only the offense as whole, but especially, starting QB Carson Palmer played poorly.
After the offense stumbled early in the game against Arizona last Friday, more than a few lobbied that backup quarterback Matt Leinart should get the starting job!
Granted, Palmer failed to get the offense into the end-zone and threw his second interception of the preseason, so could these fans have a valid point?
First, we need to examine the evidence to get a clearer picture of what is going on before things progress to benching Palmer and starting Leinart.
For those who do not understand that preseason is all about evaluating players that are trying to make the team and learn new schemes, please take note and remember that these games are EXACTLY about just that.
Next, it is vitally important to understand that the Raiders are attempting to incorporate offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s new west-coast style of play, combined with his zone-blocking scheme into the mix.
All of this is brand new to pretty much everyone on the offense, except Leinart and OG, Michael Brisiel, who played for Knapp with the Texans.
Offense is all about timing and execution and it is more than apparent that these are the things the starters are needing to work on, not to mention adjusting to all the changes from last season.
But, that is precisely why preseason games are played. So to look at the 40 or so plays that the starters have played to this point and scream that a backup should now lead the team is absolutely absurd and borderline hater behavior if you ask me.
Of course, Leinart should look more comfortable in this scheme as opposed to Palmer early on as he has been involved with it for a few years, whereas Palmer is being asked to learn his second scheme in not even one full season with the Raiders!
Now, I know your next statement is well, "what about the interceptions?"
Yes, Carson has had issues in this area in the past and last year, many chalked it up to coming off the couch in week 8, only to be thrown right into the mix and we all know how that turned out.
However, with an offseason to work on these issues, many expected to see him come out of the gate blazing it up like a Rastafarian at a reggae concert. So, when the starting offense stumbled in not one, but both games they have appeared in, all the over-emotional couch quarterbacks instantly began clamoring for his head.
These are a lot of the same people that think Jason Campbell was a better quarterback and should have been left secure in the starting position when he returned from his injury last season. Folks, I liked Cambell too, but let's face it, he is not a very good quarterback, not to mention, if he was a great fit here he would have stayed and fought to win his job back.
Well, Jason left to be a backup in Chicago, so there goes the logic in that argument. Which leaves the question to be asked, if he is no better than a backup in Chicago, what does that say about the people that judged him to be the perfect starter in Oakland?
Then there are those clamoring that Terrelle Pryor is the guy that needs to be the starter.
I am not going to address this any further than to say that Terrelle has potential, but has a long way to go in development and is right where he needs to be for now. This guy has 110% of my support, but there is no sense in rushing his development as we have two guys ahead of him on the depth chart and ex-Raider Rich Gannon working to help him improve.
Give it time and personally, I think letting him come in time to time on 3rd and short adds a dimension that could really create serious problems for opposing defenses.
In all of this complaining and naysaying it seems everyone is quick to throw certain guys under the bus. However, these are a lot of the same people that continually barked about supporting Reggie McKenzie and head coach, Dennis Allen, when they were brought in earlier this year to run the organization.
Well I say then, let’s do just that!
They have evaluated all the talent from every player and have decided from day one that Carson Palmer is the starter, so how 'bout we trust their decision?
I realize many of you are emotional and love the Raiders, but let these guys do their jobs and work out the kinks before we kick off the season in a few weeks. It is completely unreasonable to assume everything is going to run smoothly and like a game of Madden on the easy setting.
There are going to be bumps in the road and if you ask me, it is all about how the team responds to these hiccups that will define the merit of this team.
Let the coaches coach and the players make mistakes early on, so that when it counts for real, they know how to address the situation.
Leinart was brought in as a backup because he understands the scheme and quite frankly, is not as talented as Carson. However, he is a perfect fit for the backup position and if something does occur where we need him, then expectations should be high that he comes in and perform well. Until then, oh I don't know, maybe we should support our starter in his first real season with the team.
What say you Raider fans?
As far as all this complaining and calls for Palmer to be replaced, YOU really need to check your football IQ as this guy is our leader and is rejuvenated and prepared to play his heart out for Raider Nation. The level of talent he has is better than any QB we have had in decades and it is ludicrous to say he should be replaced because of 2 interceptions in preseason!
Reggie and coach Allen agree that Carson is the guy and that’s good enough for me.
You may not like what I have had to say here today, but if you have been one to throw Palmer under the bus, I question whether you are a true diehard or just someone that is unhappy all the time and likes to stir up controversy whenever the opportunity presents itself, as opposed to a fan that truely wants the team to succeed.
Either way, there will be those who continue to hate and complain and I suppose that is just fine, because the REAL Raider fans have had to deal with this all of their lives.
Truth is, it is this hate that makes the real diehards stronger and more united than ever.
So go on and clamor and complain and tell us all how you know better than the guys who are actually paid to run the team. The rest of us that know better will just shake it off, laugh and say: “Haters are gonna hate!”
Come week one, when the Raiders take the field to begin the New Era with a victory over the San Diego Chargers, I am sure you complainers will find some way to try and bring us down even if the score is an unbelievable Raiders’ win with the score like 99-0, there will always be the couch quarterbacks that could do it better.
For now, let the kinks get ironed out and the players that are suffering from nagging injuries get healthy. It is preseason with so much that needs to be taught and learned and evaluated. The changes are not the same as they have been in the last decade and if you really knew football and looked closely, you would see there is a change in the wind in Oakland.
The penalties are way down, the breakdowns in play are simply fundamentals that can and are being coached up. Leaders are stepping up and rookies are shining. Comraderie and optimism is high, so let’s do our part as fans and embrace this change, instead of embracing the negativity of years past.
We really need to come together Raider Nation and support the team as never before.
After all, it is the first season without our iconic and beloved Al Davis at the helm. So, if for no other reason than that, let’s come together and support them whether they win, lose or tie….Let’s prove we are Raiders til we die!
Like Raider Nation Times
How Would You Grade the Raiders Free Agency So Far?