Oakland Needs To Embrace The Raider Definition Of Commitment.
Terrell White – Oct 6, 2012
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
Before I go any further, I leave you with this disclaimer: I personally plan on dying a Raider. As many of you are aware, I made my bones at the age of six, which found me wearing my eye patch out of necessity, not as an accessory to my wardrobe.
Therefore, I don't care what happens this season, next season, or the season after that. I'm always going to bleed silver & black. With that said I now must apologize to you all. I allowed my hopefulness for the Raiders, and this season to infiltrate into my writing. My writing style isn't designed to be hopeful. I'm based on reality.
The reality of the situation in Oakland is simple. The organization (from top to bottom) must re-learn the Raider definition of commitment. Commitment, as defined by the Webster Dictionary is: To pledge, or assign to some particular course or use. For the Raiders of the past, the particular course or use that the organization was committed to was WINNING.
Winning; (gotta love it) the only stat I love, because wins and losses are the only statistics that matter! Mind you I'm not just referring to our management, and the coaching staff needing to be committed to winning. This commitment to winning also needs to be demonstrated by the men who actual play the games. Players today seem to be more committed to money then they are to winning.
I apologized to you for allowing hopefulness to infiltrate my writing. Hopefulness that was based on the promise the team showed in last year's eight win season. However, the truth about football is that it's more than just a sport. Football is also a business. Hope - hope has to do with the sport of football. Reality - reality has to do with the business of football.
Therefore, while I was being hopeful that despite the change in management the team would be able to build upon last season success. I should have been writing about the reality of the situation. What's taking place in Oakland right now has very little to do with the sport of football; it has everything to do with the business of football.
Truth be told, as far as Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie are concerned last year never happened; I knew this from the beginning. The firing of Hue Jackson had nothing to do with the organization being committed to winning. It was a business decision. A business decision made mainly to provide distance from the aura of Al Davis.
Moreover, if Hue Jackson has returned, and the Raider were able to build upon the success of last season how much perceived power do you think that would have given Hue Jackson? In business perception is reality. In reality neither Mark Davis nor Reggie McKenzie would be willing to allow Hue Jackson (and the spirit of Al Davis) to be perceived as the force behind the Raiders; even if that means they have to throw away a season (or two).
Business is business.
So, we're not using last season's coach, a man who won a number of games that current head coach Dennis Allen doubtfully will see (under much less stressful circumstances). Instead of using our smash mouth power running scheme, we're last in the league in rushing. The icing on the cake- we're also not winning. However, we do know who's in charge - don't we?
Business is business.
Mark Davis is donig what owners of football teams, who have no real knowledge of football do—God only knows. Reggie Mckenzie is the perceived force behind the Raiders. Now we've all read the superlatives that have been showered upon Reggie Mckenzie. However, in reality we know very little about Reggie Mckenzie, General Manger. I know a few of his major decisions have me questioning his commitment to winning.
I personally don't care if people are under the impression that my mystic Ba-Ba is the driving force behind the team. My only concern is winning! I'm not firing Hue Jackson; So, he was a bit loud and arrogant; name me a RAIDER that isn't (in one form or another).
I'm not moving Al Saunders. I'm not changing our power blocking scheme; It's the players of the offensive line (a topic I've written about on more than one occasion) not the scheme.
Speaking of players, lets take a quick look at a few of the rookie players McKenzie added to the team. At the top of the list is a player that McKenzie & Company didn't actually draft; Rod Streater (Wide Receiver): For an undrafted rookie the kid hasn't played all that bad. As for players the team actually did draft.
Jack Crawford (Defensive End): The best we can say about his kid thus far is that he saw some time in the Denver game. Then again just about every defensive player got to get some playing time in that Bronco game.
Christo Bilukidi (Defensive Tackle): I recall seeing him play a bit in the Miami game. I also remember that from what I saw of him he didn't look too good in that Dolphin game (but then again no one in a Raider uniform really looked good in that Dolphin game).
Miles Burris (Line Backer): Has a good game one. The problem is that was about three or for games ago.
All in all it's a bit too early to say that anybody is an outright bust. However, it isn't too soon to say that nobody's really a diamond in the rough, ready to set the league on fire. Can't give the group a grade of anything higher or lower that a C at this point.
So what do we know? Well we know that Reggie's got an ego, which in and of itsself, isn't a bad thing, unless it winds up interfering with a commitment to winning. We also know he's a decent evaluator of talent. However, if the Raiders are to return to where we (Raider Nation) want to see them, we're going to need more than just decent.
Let's take a quick look at a few key members of the coaching staff.
New Special Team coach Steve Hoffman has been in the league for over 20 years, most recently with the Kansas City Chiefs. However, you have to wonder how and why a 20 year veteran doesn't have a back up plan if something should happen to his punters long snapper.
New Defensive Coordination Jason Tarver has the 28th ranked Defense in the N.F.L.
Do I really need to write anything about new/old Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp and Head Coach Dennis Allen (especially after the teams offensive performance in the Denver game)?
Now, make no mistake I'm not under the impression that the Raiders would, or are going to win every game they play. However, I would expect the team to be competitive. For me, it's not just the fact that the Raiders have lost game that has me questioning their over all commitment. It's the way the Raiders have lost game that has me questioning everyone's commitment.
Truth be told the Raiders have been embarrassed. We opened the season, in PRIME TIME playing like the peanuts gang; looking like Charlie Brown and Lucy, trying to kick a football. Next we let a rookie quarterback, and Reggie Bush look like All Pro's. Lastly (but most certainly not least) we play a game in which our opponent doesn't punt one time. Moreover, we went without a first down, or any positive yards passing for the entire third quarter!!
What makes this even more intolerable is that two of these three embarrassing losses were against division opponents!!
Now, I'm not saying that the Raiders can't turn their season around. What I'm saying is that from what I've seen thus far, the team hasn't given me much of an indication that their committed to winning.
How would I have spent the bye week (assuming that I'm Reggie McKenzie)? Firing people! Namely Greg Knapp. I'd move Al Saunders back to the sidelines. I'm having the team go back to its POWER RUNNING GAME! No more having McFadden run East and West, it's only North and South! All the while still searching for at least two pro bowl caliber Offensive Linemen. On Defense it's back to the in your face style, with the exception of having Rolondo McClain roaming the deep middle trying to cover a wider receiver.
Me- I'm Committed To Winning, no matter what! Just Win Baby! Isn't just a slogan! It's a way of life the NFL has adopted from the Raiders (as they should). History never really cares about HOW a team wins, all that really matters is that they won! In Oakland the Raider Nation will soon find out just how COMMITTED this team really is to WINNING.
Management, coaching staff, and players alike.
Things can not continue to unfold the way they have over the first quarter of the season, or the perception that the Raiders are committed to losing may turn out to be their reality.
Raider From Birth.
Like Raider Nation Times
How Would You Grade the Raiders Live Mock Draft?