Oakland Raiders Preseason Wrap Up: Reason For Concern?
Jerry Rump – Sep 3, 2012
It was not a pretty sight last Thursday night as The Oakland Raiders wrapped up the preseason with a game in Seattle. From the opening kickoff, things did not look promising as the Raiders’ first team came in and ran the ball six straight times.
The results were one first down and having hardly accomplishing anything, the Raiders punted the ball away. Well, things did not improve the rest of the night as the Seahawks came out and dominated the game in a fashion that quite frankly, should have worried everyone in the Raider Nation.
Or should it?
First, before we look closer at everything that went wrong, let’s begin by examining the couple bright spots.
To put it bluntly, there were no bright spots on offense whatsoever. The backup offense was dominated all night by a Seattle team that played their starters for most of the first half.
Really though, I must ask at this point exactly why did Seattle play their starters so long and why did they play this game like it was playoff time?
Perhaps going 4-0 in the preseason was more important to the Seahawks than concentrating more on something that counts, like oh I don’t know… the season opener?
On to the best performers in last Thursday’s game as there were a couple Raiders’ backups that deserve mentioning here.
Miles Burris looked like he is figuring things out as he performed much better and showed that he is a tackling machine. Burris will have to play well as there is no real announced time frame for LB, Aaron Curry’s return. This means Burris will have to step it up for a few weeks and do more than just earn valuable reps as the Raiders will count on him to fill the void left by Curry’s absence.
Now for what I considered the one very obvious shining star of the night and that is backup safety, Mike Mitchell. Although a case can be made for the slight resemblance Mitchell bears to actor/comedian, Wayne Brady, there is absolutely nothing comedic about the 4th year safety’s play this preseason as he is flat out taking the field like a savage with a craving for fricasseed ballcarrier.
Mitchell looked exceptionally well all night and put in a stellar job of running the backup defense, which in all honesty, did not play that horribly versus the first team Seattle offense.
To say this is welcome news in Raider Nation is an understatement as having a guy like Mitchell standing by and filling in for starting SS, Tyvon Branch, is a luxury few teams in the league possess.
Now, onto the horrible, downright dismal performance on the field by the Raiders, and where better to start than the feedback from the head coach?
So what exactly was the official word from head coach, Dennis Allen, about the game?
Allen is quoted as saying: “Obviously, we didn’t play well last night. We didn’t execute very well. We got beat up front on both sides of the ball. We had mental mistakes, so yeah, I would say no, it doesn’t bode well for some of those backup players. This is the National Football League and when we go in to play a game, these players that played the other night, they’re going to be the guys that if we have an injury or somebody misses a game, those are going to be the guys that have to step in and play. We’re going to expect them to play at the same level at what a starter does because that’s what we do. So yeah, I was disappointed in what we got out of some of those guys.”
Hmmmmm. So, what are the key elements to take away from this incredibly cryptic response from the Raiders’ head man?
Apparently, and this is just speculation here, but it appears the bottom of the roster did not impress in this match up against the Seahawks first and second teams.
Well, Allen really left us struggling to figure out what to say with this absolutely unclear comment. I mean this was a preseason game and it is supposed to help determine who makes the team and who gets shown the door, right? So, why all the double talk and unclear statements from Coach Allen?
How does he dare leave us wondering like this? Shouldn’t he be throwing a tantrum wherein he berades Carson Palmer on facebook?
For the love of cheesecake, the Raiders got beat 21-3 in a game that does not count and Carson Palmer didn’t even attempt a pass in his six play performance to open the game. He clearly is the worst thing to happen to Oakland in ten plus years at the quarterback position.
See dude, he’s so bad they wouldn’t even let him throw the ball against Seattle.
The bad thing is, there are just way too many of these type statements made by so-called know-it-alls, which are all currently agreeing with my sarcastic comments and have no idea this is what they look like when they rant and rave about the Raiders’ leaders.
The really bad part about it all is these same whatever you want to call them, "haters" works for me, claim in the same breath as they bash a quarterback who has yet to play a full season in a Raiders uniform, that they are true die-hards and love the team.
WHAT THE _ _ _ _ ?
You insert whatever expletive you want in that box as most of them work quite well.
We all bow to your extreme knowledge of the game as clearly you understand better than the guys paid to evaluate talent for the team what it takes to play quarterback for the Raiders. The really, really, insane part is that these are the same guys that will be singing his praises if he leads us back to the division crown and/or even further in the upcoming 2012 season.
Can you say bandwagon?
Man, all is lost and we should just pack it up and hope for next year as clearly this coach is out of his freakin mind. Playing backups and evaluating the bottom of the roster in a game that essentially means absolutely nothing and has no bearing on the 2012 regular season at all. A game where all you should be doing is trying to get out of town without any significant injuries. So…..
What was Coach Allen thinking?
Quite honestly, I have sat back this whole offseason and watched for the difference that this new regime brings and I just cannot figure where all the criticism is coming from.
They inherited a team that basically imploded last season and from day one preached that this type of culture was no longer going to fly in Oakland.
They cut the over-priced, under-performing players that refused to restructure their bloated contracts and/or were just not worth the effort.
They made considerable improvements in a draft, wherein the Raiders did not even own a pick until the sixth round. Mark my words, WR, Rod Streater is already worth a second round pick, and that is very likely to only be an understatement by the end of the season if he continues down the path he is on.
They ran a very successful OTA’s and training camp and have the Raiders sitting in a spot to perform this season with something they clearly lacked for far longer than just last season. Discipline.
Oh and defense has suddenly returned to the East Bay area as that is quite an achievement considering the dismal display on this side of the ball last year...and in many previous years.
So, why is it that so many are already in panic mode and how does all of this show that Palmer is the sole reason for any and all tragedies that may befall the team?
Perhaps it is the culture of a decade where the Raiders have under-performed and habitually inhabited the cellar space of the AFC West.
Perhaps it is the constant rotation of coaching staffs that have come in and abruptly left Oakland in this same time-span.
Perhaps these haters just have a crystal ball and can only warn us of this prognosticating talent that they possess by bashing the Raiders starting quarterback.
Honestly, I have no clue as I have only been a diehard Raider fan since 1976 and cannot fathom the way they can sit there and claim diehard status without seeing the obvious writing on the wall in Oakland heading into this year.
The same old song and dance from years past simply will not do anymore. They are attempting to change the culture of the past decade and by the way, this coach is the first defensive minded head coach since a real no name had the helm in that ironic year of 1976.
A guy nobody has heard of. A guy that has contributed hardly anything to either Raider or NFL culture. For the record, his name is JOHN MADDEN…not that it matters much to these diehards I am speaking of.
Oh did I mention this is the same guy that was consulted when the decision was made on bringing in coach Allen? As was former Raiders and Packers Super Bowl winning GM Ron Wolf.
There sure have been a tremendous amount of question marks in this article as quite frankly, I am just befuddled beyond any sense of the word-à comprehension, when it comes down to how these fans can bash the decisions made in this offseason.
Correct me if I’m wrong Raider Nation, but is this the type of behavior we go into a season projecting and proclaiming loudly from the rooftops for all the world to hear?
Is this the mindset we take after a few off seasons and the demise of our beloved GODFATHER?
Did the haters finally win and beat us down to the point where we accept failure before we have even kicked off the season?
If so, then I am truly sorry to be called a member of Raider Nation, because I have never seen such a season ever!
One where the DIE HARDS are hanging it up and bashing the coach and starting qb before there is even a snap!
My point in all of this Raider fans, is before you put something out there…think about it as your setting a tone some of the less advanced may imitate.
Raider Nation, the true Raider Nation, would and will never give up and will not put up with this kind of ridiculous talk.
No matter how unrealistic or not, I have gone into every season, even the ones with "The Purple-Drank Whale" quarterbacking the team, with the expectations high and aspirations of a fourth Lombardi trophy coming home.
So should Raider Nation be worried?
I say yes, but not about the team, but about these posers masquerading as true Raider fans.
So what say you?
Is this acceptable behavior for the darkside?
Has the Autumn Wind changed suddenly into a summer’s breeze?
Is the black hole now nothing more than a shooting star?
What are we San Diego fans…Chiefs, or dare I say it… Broncos?
Are you on board or jumping ship?
Are you ready for some football?
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