This Article is About
oakland raiders
hue jackson
conspiracy theories
head coach
sting
franchise
A New Tommorow Is Today For The Oakland Raiders
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A New Tommorow is Today for the Oakland Raiders

In the Oakland Raiders world things have always been made to seem like the team were either heroes or victims of the NFL powers that be. Conspiracy theories abound about getting wronged by refs, about overpaying talent, and head coaches don't matter.

Let's take a minute to review the Raiders season in general and what changes may be made in the near future for a team that is missing its patriarch Al Davis.

1.They had yet another first year head coach

Hue Jackson was chosen by Al Davis to be the new leader of this team. To hear Jackson tell it, he was grooming him to basically take his place in the event that Al would no longer be here.

2.They lost the only owner the franchise has ever known

To most people Al Davis was the Oakland Raiders. His passing sent a shockwave not only through the league, but through the team that he controlled every single part of for the past 40 plus years.

3.They lost their starting quarterback in week 6

The player that Al thought might be able to take them out of their doldrums, and hopefully take away some of the sting that went along with him openly stating of the mistake he made named JaMarcus Russell.

4.They lost their most explosive player the following week

Darren McFadden was drafted as the #4 player in 2008. Until this season he had shown great promise, but also showed that his body was fallible and would betray him. This year he broke out and was on his way to being the best running back in the league, until he wound up hurt and didn't play again this season.

5. Hue Jackson trades for Carson Palmer

New coach Jackson took over as de facto GM at this point and swung a trade to land them a new starting QB. In the process he completely destroyed their 2012 draft, and risked another first round pick. (Disaster avoided there as they failed to make the playoffs)

All of these things have to be factored in when trying to dissect this season. Was a first year head coach in too far over his head? Maybe. Did Jackson have any business making these trades? Fair question, but you'd have to ask those at Raider HQ who gave him the authority to make the deal.

There good, bad, and ugly of Oakland's 2011 season isn't really the matter of the day. The had every chance to not only make the playoffs, but to win the division when Denver handed it to them on the final day of the year, and the Raiders failed to capitalize.

Now all sights must be set on how they proceed from here and in the future. It seems like common knowledge that the Raiders will hire their first general manager in a long, long time. There are all sorts of rumors and innuendo about who it could or should be. Here is a list of the most commonly known candidates for the position.

Reggie McKenzie (Green Bay Packers), Tom Gamble (SF 49ers), Les Snead (Atlanta Falcons), Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens), Scot McCloughan (Seattle Seahawks)

You might recognize a name or two on this list, but what does anyone know about any of these guys? McCloughan's father has worked for the Raiders for several years now, so his name will always come up because of the connection.

Reggie McKenzie is a name many others will know simply due to the fact that he was a former Raider player in the late 80's. The other three names you need to be personal friends of theirs to have a clue as to who they are and what they do.

There is one common thread amongst all of these names though, minus McCloughan, they are from winning franchises.

McKenzie has been the man behind the scenes in Green Bay since 1994. McKenzie has climbed the ladder so to speak. He and his team of scouts are part of the new trend in the NFL, which goes in stark contrast to the way Al has done it forever.

McKenzie and the Packers don't get all the #1 draft selections, and in fact a lot of their team is made up of late round selections and undrafted prospects. Although most will point to first round draft pick Aaron Rodgers, you can't discount the defense that is led at the corners by two of the undrafted Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. Former Raider and Packer GM Ron Wolf has stated "the Raiders would be an ideal opportunity for Reggie McKenzie."

There are a lot of factors that will go into who gets hired for this position. The team will also need to put together basically a new defensive staff after four of them were let go early this week. I'm putting my hat in the corner of McKenzie.

The Oakland Raiders need a different style of approaching the way they value players. Along with finding these hidden gems that play their way onto the team, it also helps mitigate costs as well because you don't have to pay everyone like a first rounder unless they earn that money. Mmmhmm, excuse me for the 2nd JaMarcus reference, but that will unfortunately follow Mr. Davis' legacy as one of the worst picks he ever made.

The potential candidate will also have to do one thing very well also, and that is to get along with Hue Jackson. Jackson will not be running the entire show, but he will keep enough of his swag that he will be heavily involved in the process.

I believe that with the right fit, a new vision as to the way players are evaluated, and Jackson's already aggressive (some might say foolish or ignorant) play calling, a full off season and camp for Carson Palmer, and this team should improve enough to challenge for division titles and playoffs for years to come.

Jackson has already made it clear that he's putting the last game on the players. After the defensive coaching staff was cleared out, I think it's only a matter of time before certain players will be given their walking papers as well.

My interpretation of Jackson's comments mean that he wants his defenders to play more like Ravens than Raiders. He wants what the fans want. He wants his guys to be disciplined, and more than anything he wants them to stick their noses into the battle and tackle somebody.

All these questions will be answered in due time, as most of these coaches are still working. The Packers, Ravens, Falcons, and the 49ers execs won't be able to interview until they've been eliminated from the playoffs. So that cuts their time by almost a month. Then it's only another couple of months before the combine and April is draft time.

So we can say right now that the Oakland Raiders are on the clock so to speak. We will see not only what choices this franchise is making, but also who will be making these decisions for said franchise. Just know this, Hue Jackson isn't going anywhere anytime soon. So weather you like him, love him, or hate him, you'd better get used to him. I know I wouldn't have it any other way.


Street Talk

That photo is actual Raiderette Bianca LaRussa. Yes, that's her dad.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes, Detroit lions finally had a winning season and some players that the franchise can build on. Look forward to next season and keep the sports news coming. Job well done on all your articles that I have read.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

The raiders have come a long way in recent years. They deserve a new beginning.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree, but still a long way to go. Detroit has been through it as much as anyone so you would know what a turn around can mean for a fanbase & a franchise.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

It's not a fact that can be argued. McKenzie should be welcomed by all as a chance to veer 180 degrees from Al's way, and start doing it in a winning way. I truely believe things are going to be quite different in Oakland in the coming years.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Matt9  

Most penalties in the league, year in, year out. Inexplicably, the Raider fan base seems to revel in this ignominious distinction, as if it's a sign of their toughness. Funny thing is, they get their asses kicked in the trenches every week. Here's an idea, show how tough you are by stopping the run.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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