Oakland Raiders

A Long- Sad ’04 for the Raider Nation

While any Raiders fan should be pleased with Oakland’s house cleaning this offseason, they should also be plenty worried about coaching, age, quality and defensive scheme.The only thing Norv Turner has proven over his tenure as a head coach in the NFL, is that he has no business being a head coach in the NFL.

In fact, Turner faces a situation in Oakland that is very similar to what he faced in Washington; A team of aged vets who used to be excellent, and an owner who can’t keep his nose out of the coach’s business. Over seven years as the Redskins’ HC that earned him one playoff appearance and a winning percentage of .454. He had the `Skins residing on the low end of mediocrity.

He’s a very good OC, I won’t even pretend to argue that he isn’t. He’s just a worthless HC.

Ted Washington has serious fragility problems now that he’s gotten older. His size has played havoc on his knees and he’s lost more than a step. Warren Sapp is both slowed and takes too many plays off (something you’d never see him do in his prime). Neither man has the ability to be a game-breaking NT.

The age and deterioration of these two men is a contributing factor to Oakland’s switch to the 3 – 4. In their primes they’d have been a terror playing side by side in the 4  -3. Since neither of them has enough gas to go a whole game, they have to spell each other. The bigger problem is that of Oakland’s four DT’s, only one is under 30, so they don’t have a whole lot to fall back on when injuries start popping up.

To make things worse, Oakland’s stable of DEs may have youth on its side, but doesn’t have more than a drop of talent.

Then there’s the LB corps. The 3 – 4 only works if you have considerable talent at the LB position. That becomes more true and more critical when your front three are expected to underperform. But Oakland has neither talent nor depth at the LB position. What they do have is a lot of young guys, and that is their hope.

The 3 – 4 is an act of desperation, for Oakland. They pray that the front three can do an adequate job, and then Turner keeps his fingers crossed that his shoddy, but young LB corps can make up for any shortcomings in the line.

As for the rest of the team.

What is Ray Buchannan supposed to bring to the table? He’s both drastically slowed — this goes way beyond “a step” — and prone to late career injuries. Is it supposed to be leadership? Sorry, the presence of Norv Turner makes player leadership a waste of time, because his personal mediocrity and lack of motivational ability can’t be overcome.

Neither RB Troy Hambrick nor RB Amos Zereoue belongs on any NFL roster. Not as starters, not as situational guys, not as water boys. The only thing either has going for him is age, because neither has NFL level talent. I doubt they even have NFL – E or CFL talent.

Sure, RB Justin Fargus rocks, but he has already proven himself fragile.

Rice still has some gas left, but is in considerable decline.

Porter gets a lot of hype, but has never lit up a season.

Rumors have Tim Brown possibly not even making the final roster.

Barrett Robins, Oaklands best Center, won’t be allowed to take performance enhancing drugs any longer, so how good will he really be?

The Raiders’ one bright spot is at QB, but even there it looks like Gannon is being set up to fail this year in order to save Collins butt from the flames and keep him healthy for next year.

The only thing Oakland will be good at this year, is giving San Diego a run for last place in the AFC West. It’s going to be a very long year for the Raider Nation.

6 replies on “A Long- Sad ’04 for the Raider Nation”

as a member of the Raider Nation, I must defend I agree the Raiders have some unanswered questions and you make some valid points.  However, each issue has two sides and some could work out in the Raiders favor.

Norv Turner – He was not the second coming of Lombardi for the Redskins, but right when he took his team to the playoffs, Danny Snyder took over the team and blew it up.  He is a great offensive mind who has coached on Super Bowl winning teams.  Before you can label him “worthless” I think he deserves a second chance.  No one was blown away by Bill Belicheck’s job in Cleveland before he got a second chance with the Patriots.

3-4 Defense – Is not an act of desperation, but part of the package new D coordinator Rob Ryan has brought along with him.  He had been a LB coach under Belicheck in NE for the past few years and has a lot of schemes the Patriots used.

Sapp – Watch tape from the Bucs games last year and you’ll see Sapp is still a force rushing the passer.  He isn’t quite what he was in his prime, but Ryan will use him like Richard Seymour in NE and move him around to exploit the opposing O’s weakest link.  His new duties could revitalize him, especially playing next to Washington.  Big Ted may have been injury prone over the last few years, but did you see him aginst Carolina in the Super Bowl?  The man just pulgs the middle and makes it hard to run.

I could go on and on, but this is supposed to be just a comment.  I’ll be writing plenty about the Raiders for the upcoming season.

Raiders Turner is your guy, so if you think he deserves another chance, you just happen to be in luck. There are some guys I’ll bad mouth now, but if they came to my team, I’d be thankful to have them. Brian Billick, for instance. Norv Turner isn’t one of those guys, though.

I acknowledged that he was an excellent OC. But if he came to Denver as the HC, I’d still not have any faith in him. He’s one of those guys who’s easy enough to like, but who I would rather not have guiding my team.

If the 3 – 4 defense is, as you think, simply an accident of fate, then it’s a lucky one. Because the 4 – 3 would be an even bigger disaster for the Raiders. They don’t have any quality up front once you get away from Sapp and Washington.

I do believe that both men still have some good football in them. They just don’t have enough to make a difference. Not only because of their ages, but because they have no support.

Sapp is not an every down player. He can only be so effective, regardless of how he moves around. The more he’s used on the outside, the less he’ll be able to spell Washington on the inside. There’s no other quality interior lineman, so when Washington is out, the line will suffer. But if he’s in too long, it’ll suffer, too. It’s a no win situation for the team, because they won’t be able to put up a consistent rush. The 4th quarter will be Hell for the Raiders this year.

only the season will tell Basically I support Turner now because I’m biased, but we’ll just have to wait and see if good things happen.  He does have credentials and good have learned some valuable lessons the first time around in DC.

All I know about the Raiders D-line is that it is much better than last year.  In the 4-3 Sapp, Washington, John Parrella and Chris Cooper will rotate at DT.  At DE Bobby Hamilton, Tyler Brayton, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, and Sam Williams should see some time.  They will line up in the 3-4 with Sapp/Parella at ends and TW in the middle, with Hamilton, Brayton & Cooper filling in.  Those are the combinations that I see before training camp start.  A good mix of youth and veterens and again we’ll see what happens.  

The NFL is filled with so much talent that every team really has a chance and predictions are very hard to make.  So based on the last two year the Raiders should be somewhere between the Super Bowl and 4-12.  That is something we can both agree on, right?

Radiers are long gone The Oakland Radiers have bben doen ever sinve they lost to the BUcs in the SB. Gannon isnt wat he used to be, they have no RB’s. They gained an aging Sapp, they lost a great coach Gruden and replaced hima w/ a sucky one, they have a group of aging, former superstars. Porter is the only weapon left that they have. Their whole team is old, past its prime and they have the worst oner in the world. they are DONE!!!

Miracles As Chris Berman says, “That’s why they play the game.” I won’t give a prediction for wear I think they’ll finish, but if they reach 8 – 8, I think they’d have to be considered a Cinncy-like surprise team.

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