Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Raiders are Falling on Their Own Sword

If you are into the art of killing yourself slowly then you are an Oakland Raiders fan.  The epic slow motion drama of failure continues.  Another QB named Matt enters the building.  The new Matt (Schaub) has a receding hairline and a lot more career yardage than the old Matt (Flynn)  thanks to having Andre Johnson to throw to in Houston.

Unlike Matt Flynn who sported flashy sunglasses upon his arrival and had just about nothing to show for his career except an end of season 400+ yard game over Detroit,  Matt Schaub is much more humble. Especially now that his starting job in Houston has been usurped by journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Ouch, traded for a 6th round pick.  Schaub is fresh off a disastrous 2013 season in which even Andre Johnson could not bail him out. 

And Dennis Allen, the genius of a head coach he is, puts the mantle of QB savior squarely on Schaub even before the ink is dry on the contract.  No pressure there Matt.  Hey, we know you can bounce back.  The question is will you?  Unlike Jim Plunkett, you won't get to bide your time on the sidelines awaiting a second chance.  See, Dennis Allen is basically a lame duck.  The NFL takes no prisoners and ol' Dennis can't win more than 4 games in a season.  So if Schaub's woes extend into the 2014 season it wouldn't just be business as usual.  Heads will roll.  They have to and that would include GM Reggie McKenzie along with the latest addition to the master plan - Schaub and his multimillion salary.

Here's the thing - there is no one left to blame. Al is dead. The salary cap money he clogged up by overpaying and taking too many risks on players who did not come through is for the most part overcome.  Reggie has made some decent personnel signings recently but overall he has been far too conservative and ineffective - at least so far.  He doesn't have any margin for error at this stage.  Every player he signs has to live up to their contract.

Reggie is no doubt a terrific guy.  He is a man of upstanding character. However, this is the grand finale we have all been waiting for by letting go of a lot of bad contracts.  Now, we need that dead money replaced with the truckload of dependable talent to re-launch the franchise to respectability.

The last few seasons can be summed up with a few simple truths: Mark Davis is not a football guy.  He's much better at managing the business aspects of an NFL franchise than his father was but he does not know how to build a winning team on the field.  He admitted as much when he sought help from luminaries John Madden and Ron Wolf, resulting in the hiring of Reggie McKenzie as GM.  Unfortunately, as good a man as Reggie is personally, he has been entirely lackluster in his managing of roster moves in addition to making a bad head coaching hire.  The team needed a veteran head coach and we got a rookie head coach who has been stumbling and bumbling, groping around for solutions but coming up empty. Who knows what else has gone wrong that we are not seeing.  The scouting is either terrible beyond compare or they are not pulling the trigger where they need to. 

Let's not get into salary cap woes and the like.  The money is there to find players.  For all their complaining they had to make due with Al's players, they have done very little to patch those holes.  The fact is at this rate of acquiring talent they will not be able to climb out of the AFC West basement.  Let's also not point to long range plans because that is always an excuse.  The Chiefs rebuilt in a single season.  There are countless other examples.  Reggie does not seem up to the task.  Mark Davis wouldn't know who to hire if not for Madden and Wolf's advice.

I am not holding my breath draft picks will change anything this upcoming season.

If 2014 collapses on the field, it is time to fold up the tent.  Seriously, Oakland Raiders fans - you are not getting a new stadium.  Oakland is a sewer.  No one will invest in anything there nor would they want to invest a billion in a franchise that sucks so bad.

The best that can be accomplished is to sell the franchise.  Someone will relocate operations, blow it up and rebuild the right way.  What is happening now is a travesty.  The franchise should be handed off to investors who know what they are doing.


Anonymous said...

Schaub had one bad season and he's hung? I don't get it... All the money we had who did you expect Reggie to sign? And how is this bad money managing if this is the fort year Reggie has had money to spend. Really getting tired of the bashing the raiders are getting for the moves that are being made... Another article broke down starting qb salaries and Schaub is making considerably less money that the likes of the field with the exception of mike Vick the McFadden of qbs who will no doubt be hurt later in the season. I really hope raiders do well this season so I can come back to your free blog space and read the "dr mr Mckenzie I'm sorry I doubted you" letter

Anonymous said...

As much as i dont wanna believe this, i feel it because its real. Yeah they got some names but who are they foolin we aint goin nowhere. As much as i am a die hard Raider fan for life, they have no idea what the hell theyre doing. All theyre doing is running a business not a team. I guess theres a reason why were a joke in this league in todays world but we'll bounce back , one day , one year , sometime , hopefully. Until then ill stay criticizing every move until someone actually knows what theyre doing.
RaiderNation4Life til death do us part, or until i cant take it nomore either or haha, good read tho.

Al's Wingman said...

Schaub is not hung. He'll get his shot obviously. Every starting QB is going to be making some kind of bank so that is not really the issue other than are they paying the right guy? Doesn't seem like it. It is hard to find a quality starter, no question about it but my point is Reggie has not done a very good job if finding the right guys.

If Reggie makes me and every other critic of his moves eat crow then that is a good thing. I'm still waiting for him to show that he is actually a decent GM. All those years with the packers and this is all leading up to pretty much below average work.

Anonymous said...

Let's wait for the draft. I think the signings were good moves bringing in proven veterans. The team hasn't had many picks the last two years and Reggie hit on some good free agent signings of players that went undrafted. The team was a mess for years under Al with bad FA signings and bad drafts, then spending lots of money on busts both in the draft and free agency. I believe they will improve and next year should be even better. They must have a good draft though. If they draft poorly, then there will have to be changes.