State of the Raider Nation

So its been a fun 12 years right?

I know for me, the amount of nonsense we had to endure almost puts us on par with Cleveland fans (notice how I say almost).

With that said there is hope, or at least I believe there is hope.  Therefore, my second post will be about the present state of the organization, as without talking about the present, we cannot start talking about the future.

Organizational Structure – It really boils down to “in Reggie” I trust says Mark Davis.

Before I talk about Mr. McKenzie, I wanted to bring up a story from last week.  95.7 interviewed Mike Holmgren and he mentioned the discussions he had last year with Mr. Davis about coming on board for the Raiders.  He mentioned that he was offered a job but it was not a good time for him.  I am calling BS on that statement.  Holmgren is just positioning himself for something , anything with a foot ball team.  Mr. Davis never offered him a job and if he did, it was something more administrative and nothing to do with the GM or HC duties.

Now at some point I think we will hire a CEO, but just as Ray Andersen is not with us, that role is more “title” than substance.  That is why it is not a pressing need and why no one has gotten that job (maybe Madden – probably wishful thinking).

So now onto Mr. McKenzie.  I fully believe in McKenzie….for now.  There was two years of great pain and now this is where we will see if he has the chops to lead this organization.  I believe he does, but only time will actually prove this point.

People will mention the 2012 draft as a bust.  It pretty much has been, but they started really with only a 4th round pick in that draft.  The fact that Miles Burris started last year was enough for me to give him a pass on this draft.  Again this was a big wash as that 2012 was never going to amount to much.

People will mention DJ Hayden.  I love and will continue to love this pick.  The guy has character, plain and simple.  Could we have drafted other players at 3 or at 12 last year, of course, but since McKenzie knew that 2013 was a wash year, why not invest in a player to learn and develop so that when things really matter he will be ready.  I fully expect DJ to start and thrive.  Will he be the next Revis, no one is.  Could he be a top 10 CB in the league for many years,  I believe so.  In the draft has Dion Jordan done much or even Sharif Floyd.  Not much when you look at their performances individually (hey if I played on Carolina I would look amazing…..hence Mike Mitchell).

People will mention Matt Flynn.  I understood the logic on this one.   My argument though is that McKenzie knew he could not keep Palmer.  He would have been too expensive and would have meant we could not sign Porter, Jenkins and probably Sims.  Three players or 1.  I understand his viewpoint.  So since we don’t have a QB, can we find one that can be just serviceable on a team we are not expecting much from?  Sure and it wont cost us an arm and a leg.  Did it not work out, of course, but I understand.

This offseason is the most important for Reggie.  He is working at an advantage so it will be interesting what happens.  More to come on that.

Organizational Structure – Dennis and my visor/red pen Allen.  Is he the answer?

The answer is I don’t know.  He definitely was working with one of if not the worst talent in the league unfortunately for at least 1 most likely 2 years now.  The guy deserves to now face the situation with a level and most likely strong than average roster.  I like DA.  I like our staff too.  I think the core of Tarver, Olsen, Soprano and April will be in place for years to come. People will make a big deal out of 1 year deals.  I don’t understand the big deal to be honest.  Mr. Davis is saying the following “prove to me you can take this team to the next level now that we are on a level playing field.  If you cant then you are gone.  If you can then you will all be rewarded nicely.”  Same thing we all face in business. Prove it and you will be taken care of and if you can handle it, then we will find someone else who will.  DA is up to the challenge now that he has a full deck (he mentioned 3+ playmakers on each side of the ball) which we will have moving into next year.

Team Structure – Offense review.

I fully expect that JV will be back so I am including him in this review.  We have the building blocks – a great left tackle, a solid center who I wish we would move to guard (Wiz), a WR who is and will be our first 1000 yard receiver (Streater) and a Tight End who looks like he could be something special (Rivera).  The rest I don’t know.  I believe Watson can be the answer at Right Tackle, in 2015.  We should be able to retain Pashos for another year which will make all the difference.  Again building blocks.  I am not sold on DMO.   I believe actually we should trade him.  Holmes I think is our home run threat.  He reminds me of like a TY Hilton and will be someone I will keep my eye on.  Jennings will be back as well.  The big elephant in the room is QB.  More to come on that.

Team Structure – Defense Review

We have a few more pieces I think on Defense.  I love McGee and I think he will be entrenched in the D line for a long time to come.  I love Sio “man with 10+ sacks next year” Moore.   DJ I have already written about and is going to stud out next year.  Roach and Burnett are the right guys for us and Branch will make the secondary scary next year.  I would be happy to see Burris back full year and healthy, but think he is a back up best case.  As for Mr. 24 Wines, come on back and see this through. Again, the key here is defensive end.  More to come on that.

Overall Review

The Raiders do have pieces to build around.  Though not flashy at times, they will and have shown productivity.  The key is getting those 3+ Playmakers on each side of the ball to make this happen.  We have the salary cap and draft picks to make this happen. So check out my next post about what we should do on free agency to get those 6 playmakers.

Everyone enjoy the Super Bowl and go RAIDERS!

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