Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Oakland Raiders Brass Saying/Doing All the Right Things

I've been a Raiders fan for 20+ years and this is the very first moment in time I can say I agree with everything the front office management is doing. Let me count the ways...

* There is no overbearing influence of one man's paranoid, self-centered whims.

* New man in the big chair, Mark Davis, is open and forthright in his public comments.

* A new coaching staff has been assembled, not an easy task, as admitted by Dennis Allen. I'm not sold on some of the hires as being upgrades but a new regime wants their own people, at least Allen is honest about it.

* The entire roster is being evaluated in terms of talent equitable to the player's salary. This is a FIRST in Raiders history that does not factor in the personal taste of Al Davis (which as we know is geared towards some non-football rationale).

* Not a peep thus far from Al Davis apologist Amy Trask.

It's a new era for sure in Oakland Raiders football. The ghost has left the building along with Al Davis flunky hanger-ons.

For me, that means I am seriously considering renewing my season ticket subscription in East Side Club section for the first time in 5 seasons.

We may not have a winning record off the bat but I am betting we will see measurable progress. I am seeing the logic now of letting Hue Jackson go. You want a new energy to build momentum with. Hue was a little too outspoken and irresponsible with some comments to the media. I am liking all of Reggie McKenzie's decisions thus far in the off-season.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hey Chiefs GM, what games were you watching?

I'm mystified how a piece of shit player like Stanford Routt can not only get picked up off the waiver wire by a team, but signed for mega millions on par with the "out of whack" contract Undead Al Davis signed him to. I understand speedy corners are at a premium but there is no justification for Stanford Routt even being remotely close to a solid player. I used to think Romeo Crennel was a quality coach. It's not easy to win in Cleveland so a fair shot in Kansas City is deserved. If he had anything to do with bringing Routt in, he should hang his head in shame.

Is this the same Scott Pioli who allegedly takes GM credit for New England's initial Super Bowl success and was hired to do the same at KC? You have to kidding. This is like the twilight zone. Routt will absolutely kill you in every which way possible. We all know he's shit because we watched him make horrendous plays on a consistent basis as an Oakland Raider. He improved slightly under Rod Woodson's watch and will occasionally make a nice play, only to take two or three steps back with worse plays. Stanford Routt is the highest liability player you can possibly bring in to your defense. And you have the gall to pay him?

Chiefs fans, the Raider Nation feels your pain. I wish there was something we could do to make you feel better the next time you have a square dance or have milk and cookies at your tailgate or whatever you do for fun in KC. Your GM just shot you in the foot.

This guy "Matt Bowen" is way off in his analysis. You have to laugh at the National Football Post for deleting all the negative comments to the article. I posted something and now it's gone along with many others and my comment was not even offensive.

I lay out the case for dismissing Routt here. Raider fans already know the guy sucks donkey balls. If you think Routt is a decent player then you haven't watched the games. How can you miss such catastrophic ineptitude?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Finally, John Herrera is Dimissed

Let's be honest, no one would have any idea who John Herrera was if he did not speak unprofessionally on a video captured in stealth during a lull in a Raiders press briefing. It is likely this episode would never have taken place at all if Al Davis had not hired Lane Kiffin to begin with, creating tension inside and outside Raiders HQ. John "Raiders senior executive" Herrera snapped at sports writer Tim Kawakami who stood there unfazed while Herrera ranted about whatever it was that made him upset.

This singular event defined Herrera's entire professional career as a lackey of Al Davis. His career goes as far back as his teenage years when Al Davis hired him because his father owned an Oakland-based Buick dealership which was then a sponsor of the Raiders. This was important stuff in the early 1960's. In that era, Al was a lot closer to the community as far as public relations. These days, having a dad who owns a car dealership doesn't amount to much. Clearly, John Herrera never had a skills set throughout his entire career as lapdog.

Herrera rose to the rank of number one Al Davis henchman, serving his master for many years. Whenever Al had need to lay down his law, John Herrera was there to deliver the message. Now, his access to Raiders HQ has been revoked or at least demoted depending on what story you believe. The bottom line is he no longer has a master to serve.

My guess would be this was a Mark Davis decision, not Reggie McKenzie's. I don't think Mark likes John Herrera and rightfully so, what's to like? The two had ample time to get to know each other over the many years they worked in the organization and they are also similar in age. If the two were friends, there would be no reason for Herrera to leave or be demoted. I'm hoping he was told to leave and that ends the saga.

The number of affronts John Herrera has committed as lapdog to Al Davis are too numerous to mention. The importance of Herrera's dismissal or reassigment should not be understated in the long-awaited re-shaping of the Raiders front office organization.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finally, Stanford Routt is Dismissed

The worst cornerback in Oakland Raiders history, among the worst draft picks ever, for any team, has finally been dismissed. After seven or eight years of bad play, penalties, giving up yards, getting toasted by receivers and in some situations, losing games, Stanford Routt was cut from the roster today. He's a very wealthy man now and will never have to work a day in his life, thanks to the preference of Al Davis to admire and pay well athletic black men who run fast. Never mind that he lacked football skills and had barely any collegiate playing experience at the University of Houston. That's the way Al rolled. He would never have paid a cornerback of any other skin color that kind of money. Make no mistake, for Al Davis, he carried a gleam in his eye for athletic black men.

Bottom line reality (other than the money), Routt's gift was in track and field, not football.

Al had a notion that speed could define the player and therefore speed could at least in part, define the team. Unfortunately, this logic never paid off. The only thing it did was make a handful of select men wealthy and did nothing to raise the team's overall level of performance.

Al's lasting legacy was saddling his franchise with financial liability. Before his death, Al made sure to sign a bad cornerback to a $54.5 million five-year contract. Nobody would have paid Routt anything more than veteran's minimum but Al liked to believe he had a solution with the next roll of the dice (which to others may have seemed like good football sense but we know better).

Who knows how much the Raiders are still on the hook to pay Routt, hopefully, they don't take a cap hit or continue to pay him due to contractual obligations.

The roster move is exactly what the franchise needs to do. Get rid of the useless elements and at least start the process of re-stocking actual talent.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dennis Allen's Coaching Hires Smacks of Good ol' Boy Networking

You have to wonder if, in the back of his mind, Reggie McKenzie is regretting handing new head coach Dennis Allen the keys to the kingdom as far as the authority to hire his own coaching staff. I've stopped paying attention for the moment but it sure seems that Allen's selections are guys he already knew from his days with the Falcons. Coach Allen is using a good ol' boy approach in his new gig.

It's no secret, you are more comfortable with people around you that you have worked with and you can trust but in this case, I'm not seeing anything that is a step up from the previous coaching staff. So why make the hire, because you can? Greg Knapp is just mediocrity. He's about as scary to opposing defensive coordinators as a baked ham (I just made that analogy up but feel free to insert any vegetable or meat of choice). The Raider Nation is groaning, belching as well as blasting out very serious gas at the notion of Greg Knapp returning to Oakland. Someone please explain exactly what Greg Knapp has done to earn an offensive coordinator gig other than being one on previous teams that didn't fare so well.

I'd like Reggie McKenzie to look us all in the eye and tell us Greg Knapp is a step up from Al Saunders or Hue Jackson as an offensive brain trust.

Allen also went through the trouble to fire the strength and conditioning coach so he could coax Al Miller out of retirement and into the role. I'm guessing Miller is a guy Allen worked with under Jim Mora Jr's scary Falcons of the failed Michael Vick era. Seriously, are we saying we actually need to import a legendary strength coach to California? We don't have enough strength and conditioning guys already here? You know, lots of guys know about strength and conditioning. Who the hell cares who is coaching them in the weight room. We don't need a guy you worked with on the bad Falcons team you were part of. The fact that Justin Griffiths (another Falcons refugee) was handed a job seals the deal that this is just about coaches helping coaches.

The bottom line is these new coaching hires are anything but notable. There is nothing here to inject anything in the way of hope into the team's success projection for next season. Personally, I wasn't looking for flashy hires. I just wanted something new, not sideways. Dennis Allen's good old boy network hires are transparent. The man hired his friends the first chance he got, probably to return favors from his climb up the ladder. Hey buddy, did you think we wouldn't notice? Glad to see you liked... Kelly Skipper enough to keep on as RB coach and saw fit to keep Steve Wisniewski on as an assistant OL coach.

If anyone sees anything in these retread Falcon buddy hires that will actually improve the team, I'd like to hear about it.