[NFL] Raider are stuck in the past

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The Raiders are stuck in the past By Paul Attner - SportingNews


You look at the Raiders and see a wretched team with sullen players. You see coaches who are overmatched. You see a front office that is outclassed. The organization is stumbling through its fourth straight season of humiliation and you see no reason the ineptness will change anytime soon. All that is left is for Al Davis to fire himself.

It's almost inconceivable it has come to this, that the Raiders finally have lost every bit of the edge once associated with their name -- the physicality, the arrogance, the rogue players who won a lot and flirted constantly with improper decorum. They had an aura of invincibility, of being the rowdy guys at the end of the bar. This current crew should be drinking tea and eating crumpets. Bars should scare them.

The franchise courted its outlandish image, massaged it constantly. Davis never cared whether anyone in the NFL liked him. He was the guy in the old movies with the handlebar mustache you knew you had to boo the moment he appeared on screen. It was part of the edge he was seeking. He never fit in, and he didn't care whether he did. It was just about the Raiders and winning and self-serving proclamations of greatness. Take your pick: The club is the "team of the decades," and "the greatness of the Raiders will continue in its future." That's what Oakland's media guide says about the franchise, as if nothing has changed. But of course it has because Davis, 77, has changed.

He is old and frail, and his once masterly feel for personnel has betrayed him. He had that touch -- with trades, with quality draft picks, with the ability to bring in a veteran near the end of his career who could produce one last sterling effort. Now Davis has a roster that is barely competitive. It's embarrassing to watch these impostors. The old Raiders beat up teams on defense and threw over the top of them on offense. In the offseason, these Raiders settled for Aaron Brooks to solve their quarterback woes. Did they watch Brooks in New Orleans the past few years? If they had, they would have seen an inconsistent, undisciplined, pressure-challenged player who lacks the requisite skills to play the vertical offense Davis relishes. It made no sense at all: replace Kerry Collins, who had a decent 2005 (20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions), with someone who had 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

But that is the Raider arrogance. Put Brooks in Silver and Black and somehow that will transform him into something he isn't, which is an efficient downfield passer. That is how it once was, so many times. Not anymore.

The Raiders are stuck in the past because there is no future. Jon Gruden was the team's future, but he left for Tampa after the Raiders' 2001 playoff run. Gruden wasn't good enough; he wasn't a Raider, a Davis guy. So now the answer is Art Shell, who couldn't keep his job the first time despite three playoff appearances in six seasons.

Shell, who lately had been an executive with the NFL, came in unprepared to hire a staff. His offensive coordinator, Tom Walsh, was a college football analyst on radio the past seven years. Oh yes, he also was a Raiders assistant from 1982 to 1994. That is the only pedigree he needed to return.

Once, players wanted to be Raiders. Now, Jerry Porter wants out, yet the club seems unable to figure out what to do with him. Phillip Buchanon was going to be the next great Raiders cornerback. Marques Tuiasosopo was going to be the next great Raiders quarterback. Neither happened. The team has high draft picks starting and can't compete. The record says it: Since playing in the Super Bowl after the 2002 season, the Raiders have gone 4-12, 5-11, 4-12, 0-3.

Davis was the reason for all the success. Now he is the reason for the collapse. He still meddles in the draft, still oversees the front office and the coaching staff and everything important that happens within the paranoidal walls of the organization. But it's not working anymore.

Yet he has no successor, at least not one he has identified. Davis owns 51 percent of the club. Who takes over when he can't continue? There is no NFL team more vulnerable to prolonged incompetence.

But don't expect the Raiders to understand this. It's hard to be humble when you still are the greatest.

Senior writer Paul Attner covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at attner@sportingnews.com.

Source: Sports.yahoo.com

Edited by ripgut
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I don't like the Raiders, but I liked it when they were good, it was fun watching teams play against them and they were actually games worth watching.

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Marques Tuiasosopo

Jerry Porter

("the next big things")(porter and tuiasopo where going to be the raider in 5-10 yearrs after gannon,rice, and brown left )(gannon was going to teach Tuiasosopo to be "like him" a good QB)(porter is mad we got moss, the raiders said he will be the #1 guy, but when the raiders got moss, porter was the #2 guy)

Robert Gallery

(he was also the next big thing)(gallery was going to make the O line better, witch it seems this year he is bad pick)

Phillip Buchanon

(was going to be the next charles woodson)(he will get pick on because he was young for his 1st 2 years)(the raiders didnt want to wait so they trade him to the Texans

Charles Woodson

(the best pick from the raiders)(well the best pick in years)(was going to be the greatest raider CB of all time)(but yet his time as a raider is over :( )

Aaron Brooks

Kerry Collins

(the raiders got brooks and collins witch they hoped that they will be the next gannon)(both are not a field general like gannon, they dont led a team)

there are 2 other reasons, or maybe the real problems.

the 1st on is bad offseasons, AL Davis is suck in the past, he thinks one draft pick or one big name will fix the raiders. he thinks the raiders will pull trough with greatness, just because there the raiders.

the 2nd is the players think they have there jobs, the raiders think they dont need to try to win, they think they will win.

look at moss, he walks up and down the game, walking routs. jerry porter did the same thing he doesnt attack the ball. sapp hasnt played good football with the raiders. his best season is this year in the raiders. the raiders D are doing good, im mean they are trying and its looking good. i see the WRs (not moss or jerry) trying, i see a young QB that is will to play, i see a bad online. i think the raiders need to get a better oline next year, im not talking about a quick fix but they have porter, witch isnt playing they could trade him for a o line man, trade even moss for a o line man. and tell the o line there is a battle for there jobs.

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