Wednesday, 30 December 2009


I had it decided last week, despite contrary opinion carrying some weight I wanted to keep Tom Cable as Head Coach of the OAKLAND RAIDERS next year.Maybe with an offensive co-coordinator in tow, but still I had decided that continuity was the key to things getting better.

Then I watched the Browns game.

Frustration and anger are an understatement, fortunately my daughters were not in the immediate vicinity at the time.The inability to follow up a win with another one is getting really old, it's maddening, sorry John.It would be slightly less so if the team we lost to this week to perpetuate this ridiculous trend was actually :

a. Good, and

b. Better than us

Watching the re-run (yes I actually watched it again) confirmed to me that the RAIDERS looked the better team and with a few exceptions, had the better players.But again they managed to pull out that loss, and the first place I can find culpability is at the door of the Head Coach.Cable had talked about the game being one of field position, and it took the RAIDERS a quarter to wrestle that field position from the Browns.During the second quarter they were vulnerable, they were vulnerable despite the some erratic play from Charlie Frye, we were at the Browns eleven yard line with a third and three.Here was the game of field position that Tom Cable had talked about, Michael Bush was averaging over five yards per carry for the second week in succession and we had two downs to gain three yards for goal to go heading towards the half.In a worst case scenario we still had field position if we failed to get the first down.So Cable asks Frye to drop back and pass, having already seen the interior line struggle to protect him - SACK, FIELD GOAL.

The ensuing chaotic Browns drive, where the RAIDERS shot themselves in both feet with indiscipline of numbnuts proportions, smacked of frustration, funny that.I was still seething from the fact that we should have been tied at ten, and it seemed that the players weren't too impressed either.

That's not an excuse for the players either, they were truly a set of knobs on that drive, but the fact that a possible 10-10 scoreline quickly became 17-6 is down to Cable, and the implosion before the half also.To top it off he stood on the sideline as it all unfolded with a blank look on his face.You get the impression that there weren't many players who were worried about the reaction to their behaviour from the Head Coach .

Later in the game the RAIDERS had a chance to punch the ball into the end zone again, down close to the Browns line, a couple of scores needed and decent clock time left.Cable chose to drop Frye back on every down, every single down.By this time he had un-necessarily given up on the run, but Bush had gained fifty yards on nine carries in the first half, but inexplicably was not called on in the second, not even when we needed two yards for a touchdown.


It felt like Cable was almost asking to be fired.

For every positive thing that he has done for this team, like benching Russell for Gradkowski, he seems to return the status quo with baffling stuff like using Darren McFadden up the middle, or lining up at the two with a five receiver set, who does he think he is Mouse Davis?

And while we are at it, is it me or is John Marshall the only NFL defensive co-coordinator who sees an opponent with a third an a lot to go, with a bad quarterback, who don't want to take any risks in a close game, and doesn't see a draw play coming?I saw it and I am not any sort of co-coordinator.

The coaching decisions all around were poor.Charlie Frye threw the ball forty five times for 333 yards against a team that are unable to stop the run, forty five times!!! not long ago he was our third string QB, he is not Dan f@#*?*g Marino.We ran the ball seventeen times!

Call me mad but what if Frye had thrown it a lot less, hence less interception opportunities, and we had at the very least ran the ball down in the red zone possibly picking up another fourteen points, maybe we win two games in a row.



The shit is piling up.Yes the RAIDERS had themselves to blame for the majority of the penalty tally against them on Sunday.But we still see the stuff like the taunting call on Zach Miller and we know your game.You need to wind your necks in a little, it's starting to get too obvious.And where were the replay's following the player ejections?Obviously they weren't major incidents worthy of such scrutiny.


The only points of interest for the season finale are :

a. Can the RAIDERS actually get six wins in a season?

b. Can Cable call a worse game than this week?

c. If he does, will we see Al Davis fire a coach at halftime?

d. Will we still be using a FB to return kicks?

e. Do they know it's christmas time at all?

Hope you all had a good one, and all the best foe 2010.

Monday, 21 December 2009


I do love a successful DONKEY week.And how the fans who must wear orange can whine.Many of them are actually putting the loss down to the laser pen incident.Come on girls you had the ball inside the five yard line with a full set of downs to punch it in.The RAIDERS defenders are really tough in the red zone as they proved a few times on Sunday night, in fact but for a couple of plays, particularly the Brandon Stokeley big play, the defense played their heart out all night.The team will always put in a shift at Denver, but if you want them to play any harder why not introduce a play that throws the ball back across the field to your left tackle, which I took to be pisstaking/lack of respect from Josh McDaniels.
In fact Mr McDaniels you and the DONKEY faithful deserve each other, those who are now claiming to have been hard done by in the laser delay, were looking pretty pleased with themselves while it was actually going on.There seemed to be a lot of premature celebrations of a win against the RAIDERS.It was sweet to see the same mule lovers faces staring in dis-belief as the worst quarterback in the league got the team ahead with less than a minute remaining.
The RAIDERS showed more Jekyll than Hyde, the bend but no break defense coupled with some smash mouth running were the foundations for this win.The play of the quarterbacks was enough to keep us in the game, and if whoever is under centre does that the team has shown that it can play for sixty minutes.
Debate will probably surface as to whether Russell could come back into the starting line-up after the come from behind drive.I didn't see anything that suggested he was any better to be honest, there was still lack of mobility, batted balls and under/overthrown passes, and if a DONKEY db hadn't yanked Louis Murphy's helmet to pick up that pass interference then who knows what would have happened.I will give him credit for getting it done on fourth and ten during the drive, but I can't get over excited about what he brings to the team overall.Frye is still the better option if Gradkowski is unable to go in again.
If the RAIDERS can shut down Joshua Cribbs and Jerome Harrison next week, and play hard against the Ravens, a record of 7 - 9 seems do-able.The question is whether the trend can be bucked and Mr Hyde stays away.If indeed 7 - 9 comes to pass, there is the also the question if that is deemed enough of an improvement to see Tom Cable return next season.As much as the Gruden rumours grab the imagination, even the Fassel rumours, with what Cable has had to deal with during the season with Hansen, domestic violence accusations, and the play of Russell, he has done ok.Ok may not be enough for Al Davis or the RAIDER NATION, but the players seem to keep playing for him, and maybe the addition of a good quality OC would be enough to make a real difference.If Davis added the GM that we would all like to see there could be some cause for optimism with Cable still holding the reigns.I can see the reasons that will also cause those to argue that Cable has not done enough, but the coaching turnover in Oakland has to stop some time.
At least since Cable took the decision to bench Russell, the games have been watchable, entertaining even.The DONKEY game had it all.Smash mouth running, hitting, fights ( I do enjoy a good RAIDER vs DONKEY fight ), Tommy Kelly's pants or lack of them, and a come from behind win with Russell at the helm, plus the fact that we have ruined the week for our four legged friends in Colorado.There is a real possibility that the RAIDERS could have put a serious dent in the DONKEYS play-off ambitions.Nice.
McDaniels and his team took the RAIDERS lightly, and got what they deserved.Pride is a word that has long been used by the Silver and Black, but has been in short supply in recent years.Maybe, just maybe, a little of it has been restored in some unexpected wins over teams that we weren't supposed to beat.Everything is not completely rosy in the garden, but it is nice to have some of the RAIDER attitude back.
Oh and hit of the week.Mike Huff on Brandon Marshall at the end of the game.
Well it was either that one, or the hit on JaMarcus Russell by Louis Murphy.

Monday, 14 December 2009


The keys to the loss to the Redskins on Sunday for me were :




When Bruce Gradkowski left the field, so did any hope of winning that football game in my opinion.It deflated me as a fan, it must have deflated everyone in the Coliseum, and I would be very surprised if the players did not feel the same way.Along with the hope went discipline and the shambles returned.I put that down to Gradkowski not being there to keep it all in check, after he had gone to the sideline it was interesting to see players from both offense and defence clearly taking the time to ask after his well being.Juxtapose that with the demeanour of players in the huddle alongside Russell where communication was down to a minimum, and the energy levels looked affected.I am convinced that the offensive lines effort in protecting Russell was less than their best.They probably watched as he threw the interception to LaRon Landry, into quadruple coverage on first down, and thought here we go again, what is the point.Russell was sacked six times in something like 20 drop backs, I know that the Redskins defensive front played well but it looked to me that players like Mario Henderson were not interested in putting their bodies on the line to keep Russel's shirt clean.If I'm right it does not bode well if the prognosis on Gradkowski's injury is a bad one.The team was behind when Gradkowski went down but we were in the game, and but for an un-characteristic dropped pass by Zach Miller and some truly ridiculous flags we could have even been ahead at the half.

That's the second time I can remember this season that officials have thrown flags on RAIDERS coaching staff when they have questioned an already horrendous call.It's weird, I can watch any other coaching staff from around the league get into officials faces whilst screaming obscenities, and it seems to be acceptable, even to the point where the official in question seems to feel the need to explain the call to calm them down, but no flag.The way in which RAIDERS games are officiated is a joke, these tools don't even try to make it look convincing anymore.After helping the Redskins out on a scoring drive in the first half, they came back in the second with one of the most laughable pass interference calls that I have ever seen on Stanford Routt.

Routt was the man that the Redskins were obviously going to go after when Nnamdi Asomugha left the field due to injury, and they made hay while they could before he returned late in the fourth quarter, but the fact that Routt had covered Moss well, with Moss slipping to the ground due to the conditions on that particular play didn't seem to interest the officials much.Routt didn't make physical contact with Moss at any point during the play, it is quite clear that the RAIDERS and Stanford Routt in particular are capable of pass interference by telepathy, the bad boy OAKLAND RAIDERS are clearly using mind control techniques of MK ULTRA proportions.Once the criminal element, always the criminal element, and the NFL are right to nip this in the bud.God bless them for their efforts.

The penalties that were legitimate tended to be of the sloppy pre-snap type which had plagued the team earlier in the season, dare I say it before Russell got benched.No I can't blame him for those but the players are definitely more jumpy when he's around.The difference in the team after Gradkowski had left the field shows that leadership at that position should never be underestimated.Watch the first play of the game as the RAIDERS offense comes out onto the field with a spring in their step, Justin Fargas winks at his quarterback and nods his head as if to say lets go, just do your thing.Just a little thing I know but it said a lot to me.

I pray to the great Flying Spaghetti Monster in the sky that Bruce gets healthy, although the early reports of ligament damage in both knees seems to make that highly unlikely.Such a shame when watching a RAIDER game was starting to be fun again.The prospect of the last three games mirroring what went on in the second half on Sunday leaves me with a heavy heart to say the least.It will feel more like having to endure something, as opposed to watching something for pleasure once again, it was nice while it lasted.I knew that I shouldn't have mentioned the possibility of Gradkowski getting injured in an earlier post, I had to open my big trap didn't I?

Ah well there is always Charlie Frye....

Saturday, 12 December 2009


Q: What are people going to see when you hit the field again?
A: A totally different JaMarcus. People going to have their opinion, and I really don't pay too much attention to that. I worry about JaMarcus and JaMarcus only.
Q: How will you be different?
A: "Time will tell. Time will tell. Time will really tell."

I said that I wasn't going to write the name of JaMarcus Russell again this season.This weeks comments by the single most stupid player in the NFL got me mad enough to.
Not only has he tried to belittle everything that Bruce Gradkowski has done since getting the nod to start, he has also suggested that the supporting cast of players are suddenly making plays which they weren't when he was under centre.The players are mysteriously better.
HELLOOOOO, maybe , just maybe numb nuts, the players are reacting to the play of their quarterback, taking confidence from his play and appreciating his leadership.Maybe they give a shit when the leader of the offense gives a shit.
His reaction to being asked if he would re-structure his contract if the RAIDERS wanted to speaks volumes.He is on target to have the worst quarterback rating since Ryan Leaf, RYAN LEAF.Opinion could be that the RAIDERS agreed to the terms of the contract and should honour it.My opinion in this age of NFL rookies getting paid a fortune before taking a single snap at the pro level,is if they don't deliver on a scale of Russell proportions, they shouldn't be surprised if their team would want to base their future earnings on their play on the field and the dedication they have shown to the job.Russell would obviously be in trouble on both points.
If he was serious about being a starting quarterback in the NFL, as he says he is, surely he would do anything to get that job back, including re-structuring a hefty contract to reflect the fact that due to his play he is no longer a starting NFL quarterback.His guaranteed money has already made him a wealthy man, although all the bling, cars and furs will make a dent in that, and a re-structured contract would hardly have him struggling with the bills while proving that football matters enough to him.The guy who has taken his job is earning a fraction of the money that he is, and has shown him what it takes to have some success at the quarterback position, although he would rather put that down to other factors.
After seeing his attitude to even the possibility of earning less money for being the worst quarterback in the league, if it was my team and my money, he wouldn't wear a RAIDERS shirt ever again.Maybe he is stupid enough to think that if he was cut there would be a team out there willing to pay anywhere near what the RAIDERS have for him to turn up overweight.
JaMarcus Russell is not the only self centred, over payed, underachieving modern day athlete ( and I use that word loosely ), but he does play for my team and shows a general apathy which pisses me off.
There are RAIDERS fans out there that still believe that Russell has something to offer in the future, that he can come back after this season and be a good quarterback. I disagree.There have been examples to follow in the league this year, although when asked about Young and Smith his answer suggested that he shows as much interest in what is going on in the game as he does in getting in shape.

Russell is embarrassed at being benched.No more embarrassed as I have been to see him play in a Silver and Black jersey.
There that's it I'm done.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009



I had to get upon Monday morning and check the score, I know Guinness is good but surely not that good.No, we really did beat the Superbowl Champion Steelers in their own stadium, with Ben Roethlisberger back in the team, and with a banged up offensive line.No point in debating the merits of JaMarcus Russell and whether he can get back in the starting line up or not, in fact that is the last time that I am going to write his name unless Bruce Gradkowski is unfortunate enough to get injured.

As was mentioned in commentary of the game, this is Gradkowski's team.Bruce is the starting Quarterback of the Oakland Raiders.

He may or may not be the long term answer, although he is a clear improvement on the other guy whose name I am not going to write.I have been looking at the Raider Nation's reaction to Gradkowski around the message boards since Sunday nights win, and there have been comments like, "he rode his luck" and "he basically threw a hail mary,and by a miracle i think murphy caught it".

Who cares, what I care about is that with Dr Evil, sorry Bruce Gradkowski, at Quarterback the team has shown that it can win games, come back and win games, and we are not a laughing stock on the field of play.He has also shown leadership, which is something that was seriously lacking from you know who.And for gods sake let's be happy with a good win, a really good win, in a tough road game.Let's be happy that the OAKLAND RAIDERS looked like the OAKLAND RAIDERS for a change, even the receivers are starting to hold onto the ball, it helps that DHB has been benched, sorry I mean injured, but maybe it also helps that they know where the ball will be to a degree of certainty.Louis Murphy is looking like he can play at the NFL level, and with Miller, Schilens and JLH we suddenly look to have some receiving threat.

If Bruce Gradkowski plays well for the rest of the year, there is the possibility that he won't be in Oakland next season.He will be out of contract, so Al will have to pay him to keep him around, he is making in the region of $530,000 for this year while the other guy is due to earn $9.4 million in 2010.I know who I would rather have on the roster.The question is, will Al Davis pay Gradkowski and let him have the opportunity to beat the other guy to the job in camp this time?

I hope the answer is yes, surely he has shown enough to get that chance if indeed he wants it, after all he may well have a couple of teams looking his way come the offseason and see his future elsewhere, especially if the RAIDERS are making noises about the other guy being the starter.

The resurgence of Vince Young will also help the cause of the other guy, as I'm sure that Al will be clinging to the possibility that all those guaranteed millions have bought more than fur coats and Rolls Royce's.There is always the chance that the penny will drop with the big lump, and Al has made a rod for his own back by stating in the Kiffin press conference that you know who would be a great QB, which suggests that he will be given more time by the owner.In the meantime I'll be thankful for Bruce almighty.At least I can watch a RAIDERS game at the moment and it be fun to watch, at least I can look forward to it and not wince every time our Quarterback let's go of the football, and if we do go behind in the game, I actually feel like we still have a chance.More importantly the team must feel the same way too, no-one has come out with direct criticism of the former starter, but they aren't blind or stupid.

We have four games left in this season, and the RAIDERS actually have a shot at .500.It's a slim shot, and next weeks opponent the Redskins just pushed New Orleans all the way, but bugger me I'm at least thinking it's a possibility, which wouldn't have been possible a few weeks ago.

Maybe there should be another billboard erected on the freeway in Oakland, "Mr Davis, please bring Gradkowski back in 2010, even if he wants a Katrillion dollars!"

Monday, 2 November 2009


Dan Fouts, we'll call your Holy Roller with an Immaculate Reception, and raise you a Tuck Rule.Can you call, didn't think so.

Well at least the RAIDERS scored some points, and we were competitive.That's all that I wanted from them going into the game.But post game it was disappointing because that game was there for the RAIDERS to win.There were a few little things that could have changed the game here and there in the second half, but three things for me made the difference.
1. The RAIDERS passing game, or lack of one.Whether you put it down to Russell, the wide receivers, the line or a combination of all three, it is still awful.

2. Fourth down and 2 at the Chargers ten yard line.Trailing 21 - 13.San Diego's defense were looking out on their feet.Fargas and Bush were running hard.Tom Cable had a chance to turn the season around right there, he had a chance to make a statement.He had a chance to say we have had enough, we are going to take the initiative for once and we want to win.The worst case scenario was that we would still trail by one score with the Chargers backed up deep, there were far more good things that could come from having the balls to go for it.Cable wimped out as far as I am concerned.

3. If the RAIDERS had incorporated half of the defensive gameplan that they used against Philadelphia, in trying to get to the QB, we would have been in with a chance.Rivers had 249 passing yards, when we were giving him all day to pass, what would his figures have been like if he had been on his back more often.Al's defence doesn't work, and I feel sorry for those players on that D, because they have some talent and with a better scheme they would be getting some reward.

I don't know who Cable gave game balls to this week, but I would give them to Justin Fargas ( I know his stats weren't incredible but he played with heart once again), Tyvon Branch and Matt Shaughessy.
Apart from a sense of relief that we weren't a laughing stock this week, the only other good thing to come from that game was the feeling that San Diego fans are kidding themselves if they think that their team has a shot at anything this season.They still have the bragging rights over their win streak over the RAIDERS, but deep down they know that they will choke once again.When the RAIDERS are as bad as they are, I have to glean pleasure from petty things like that, and I make no apologies for it!

I keep hearing that things will get better when we get Schilens back, and although he is a big target he is hardly Jerry Rice, or Sidney Rice for that matter.Even when he is back I just don't see this team improving in the passing game to any great degree.I see the San Diego game being replicated a few times between here and the end of the season, I see the defense keeping it tight while our toothless offense manages to get Seabass in range now and then.Not a great deal to look forward to but I can't see anything else.I wish that I could see something in JaMarcus Russell to give me some hope , I wish that I could see something in Tom Cable that says things will get better soon.I wish that I wasn't just glad on a Monday morning when the OAKLAND RAIDERS haven't been embarrassing the night before.That's the glass half empty view I suppose, but that's how it feels to me at the moment.It's getting really hard to remember how it feels to expect a win by the RAIDERS, its quite sad that now it's almost like watching the game with one eye closed waiting for the inevitable to happen.
When things do change for the better, we had better enjoy every minute of it, I think I took the Gruden years a little too much for granted.Come back Chuckie all is forgiven.
At least we can't lose next week.............

Monday, 26 October 2009


AND NEITHER COULD I ................




Monday, 19 October 2009


All that I wanted was some pride, for my team t0 play as a team and some under achieving players to finally give a damn.I didn't really expect a win against the Eagles either, but it just goes to show what can happen when a group of players finally grow a pair and decide that enough is enough.It's only one game, but its a start.The difference from the team that played the Giants and Texans was night and day.

The biggest difference in the game was the DEFENSIVE PRESSURE!!!!

The RAIDERS were blitzing from the Eagles first series and kept it coming, and what a breath of fresh air it was.Maybe , just maybe Al has allowed John Marshall to do his thing, lets hope it continues for the rest of the year, we shall see.It was noticeable too, in a week when there were questions about the RAIDERS having any leaders out there, Ellis and Seymour were vocal and led by example, which sparked other players on the defensive unit.The loss of Nnamdi Asomugha in the early part of the game could have affected them, but the much maligned Stanford Routt came in and played well, and should have had an interception return TD to his name, chalk up another TD wiped off for the RAIDERS that would have stood for any other team in the NFL, Maclin tripped over his own feet and we get interference called?, and tag on a 15 yarder thrown on an irate Tom Cable and the NFL lackeys were doing their bosses proud.

The play of the defense also seemed to stop any panic spreading to either the offense or into the stands, and it helped that the inability of the RAIDERS offense to get anything going was for a change not on JaMarcus Russell, but more to do with those young receivers and missed blocks.The players heads didn't go down, and it was noticeable from the off that something was different around the team.Antonio Pierce could have done us the biggest favour in the world with his comments last week, and as a fellow RAIDER fan maybe that's what he intended.

That spark from the defense was seized upon on the Russell to Miller TD.The hustle shown by Louis Murphy on that play to throw two blocks made up for his earlier culpability in the Asanti Samuel interception, Murphy is football player, and that is what the RAIDERS need to start to change the mentality in Alameda.I think that there are players who deserve mention this week, who made a difference, who set an example to be followed.

Justin Fargas is not the best running back in football, he's not the best back on the roster, but he is a warrior, and he is a RAIDER.

JaMarcus Russell showed us something this week,it wasn't mind blowing by any stretch of the imagination but it was better.Whether that stems from the criticism he has had the last couple of weeks is hard to say, I even saw him pump fake for gods sake!He still likes to throw high or into coverage but he played with more focus than he has shown so far.

Richard Seymour is a beast.He and Greg Ellis seem to have decided that they are going to be the leaders of that defense and possibly the team.Someone had to step up and these two guys aren't used to being the butt of jokes around the NFL and it showed this week, long may it continue.

Zach Miller is basically the RAIDERS passing game, and it is to his credit that he still gets open so often.

Gary Russell may be a difference maker in the passing game, giving his namesake another option in getting the ball off quicker.

The keys to this win were simple really.The defense played with intensity, the O-line played well enough to give us a run game, and Russell was a serviceable QB this week.That basic formula took us past the Eagles, it may be enough to give us a chance in a few more games down the line.
Kudos to Tom Cable too, in a week when things were at an all time low, somehow he got his team together and turned all the negative energy around.
It's only one week, but in a season that was deteriorating into farce, it's something for the RAIDER NATION to savour.The challenge now for Cable is to maintain the momentum, and for the Marshall defense to play to the benchmark set this week.
No one is laughing at the OAKLAND RAIDERS this week, and it feels good.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

"I do not like knocking teams," . "But right now, they're struggling. We're playing that game the other day and, honestly, it felt like a scrimmage, like a practice. It felt like we were going against our offense [in a controlled setting] as far as the tempo.
"There was no vibe of trying or effort from the Raiders at all from a defensive standpoint against their offense. We're getting three-and-outs. You don't hear nobody [saying], 'Hey, let's go!' trying to pick the guys up, rallying them, getting guys fired up. There was nothing. It was quiet. A guy gets sacked or somebody gets beat, they just get up. It's not like there's yelling or no kind of [emotion] about the way they were playing.
"It was shocking to be out there in that game and get that kind of feeling.""It's sad because I grew up a Raiders fan," . "That organization right now, they need some guidance. They need somebody to pick them up."

(Giants LB Antonio Pierce. )

Tom Cable insists that the RAIDERS players are putting in the effort.I know who I believe.

Sad, very sad.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009



I am usually preparing flights and tickets for a trip to Oakland by now, having worked all year to save the money to go and watch some football.This year the country of Jamaica is getting my money due to the lack of anything resembling football coming from the RAIDERS.

Sunday's game brought back dark memories of the AFC Championship game in 1990, and I mean the scoreline predominantly.That 1990 team was after all a game away from a Superbowl, had gone 12-4 in the regular season and had just lost Bo Jackson to injury.That team also had players on the roster such as Howie Long, Steve Wizniewski, Greg Townsend, Eddie Anderson, Tim Brown, Marcus Allen etc etc.Good players, some great players, football players.I'm not sure if that 51 - 3 drubbing by the Bills back then is the heaviest defeat suffered by a RAIDERS team ever, but it must be up there.If there wasn't a fortunate replay call, negating a fumble return TD for the Giants, the score could have been 51 - 0.I would rather have this team remembered in the context of all time RAIDER low points than some of the ex-players from that 1990 team who wore the Silver and Black with pride.
It's hard to keep coming up with words to describe the state of this present team and organisation.This team would get it's backside kicked by College teams.At the moment we have the worst starting QB in the NFL, we have a further reduced playbook as a consequence, we can't run the ball due to opponents stacking the box and a depleted O-line that wasn't great to start with, atrocious special teams play, and a defense that looks disheartened knowing that whatever they do they will be back out there on the field very soon.
There doesn't seem to be a coherent coaching philosophy on offense and the defense rarely puts pressure on anyone.This is as bad as anything that I can remember, the bed and breakfast offense was better than this wasn't it?
This team has collectively quit, the organisation is a laughing stock, and there is deafening silence from the top.Tom Cable keeps telling us how well practice went during the week.Unfortunately come Sunday we aren't playing ourselves.I was of the opinion that the only game that we can win now is the return match with the Chiefs, I am having my doubts about that one now.
This never ending downward spiral has been ongoing for the best part of a decade, and every time it looks like it can't get any worse, it does.The organisation is in complete meltdown, and something needs to be done, something drastic.I would hope that there are enough ex RAIDERS who still care, and that have the nuts to tell Al some home truths, they need to be people who Davis regards as loyal RAIDERS and they need to make him see sense.We need a Parcells like GM in there to change the course, from the bottom up, it's hard to see Parcells leaving Miami to take on the car crash that is the RAIDERS, but we need someone of that stature first, because no Head Coach worth his salt is going to go to Oakland without the signs of a clear plan.
So Howie, Wiz, Tim, John Madden, Rod Martin, round up a posse that Al can't ignore and help the RAIDERNATION.If he won't listen to you, then we are well and truly ****** until the inevitable hand of time intervenes.This is becoming a sad state of affairs for a man that should be remembered for what he has done for football, unfortunately he will probably be remembered as much for overseeing the decline of the organisation that he built.
I will still be watching the back to back home games in November, but there will be no dodging the seagull shit in an empty Coliseum for me this year.And it feels like a relief. Ya Mon!!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


I used to have doubts about whether it was possible for the NFL to have an agenda or strategy when it came to dealing with the OAKLAND RAIDERS.They couldn't possibly treat one team differently to all of the others could they.The tuck game put it beyond doubt.

It is a fact, a fact I tell you, that there is nothing that the NFL likes more than screwing the RAIDERS.

Sticking it to Al at every possible opportunity obviously gives them a great deal of pleasure, whatever floats their boat.When the RAIDERS have had success, going to the playoffs, going to five Superbowls, there was only so much they could get away with, good teams will win through the bad calls and bullshit.

During last nights game it was easy to be angry as a RAIDER fan.It's easy to be angry when watching this present team, to witness the ongoing futility of it all.The game is hardly worth mentioning from a football standpoint, actually it's not worth mentioning at all.What made me angrier than my teams inability to produce anything vaguely resembling football, was the performance of the officials.

Louis Murphy must think that he has done something wrong in a previous life.Following on from his wiped out TD from week one, we now have the no you didn't catch that pass even though you caught the ball and got both feet down in bounds kind of call.Everyone watching including the CBS commentators saw the catch made which would have kept a drive alive in a season where RAIDER drives are hard to come by, but somehow superslowmo with zoom option wasn't enough to spot it.

And Chris Johnson, what were you thinking.Ok so you made a nice interception in your own end zone, that doesn't give you any right to be happy with yourself.And that going down on one knee holding your arms out thing is clearly unsportsmanlike.I have watched two other games from Sunday and in both players were guilty of more extravagant celebrations, for things like making a special teams tackle or knocking a ball down on third down, not a fifteen yard penalty to be seen, but then they don't play for the RAIDERS do they?

The outlawing of making contact with a quarterbacks head is probably a good idea, I mean the NFL wants to protect them at all costs.So when a defensive lineman comes through and smacks the QB around the head as he releases the football, that will be a personal foul and a fifteen yard penalty, that is of course unless you happen to be a QB for the OAKLAND RAIDERS, then, as an official despite being only a few yards away you are allowed to totally ignore the infringement.Happy Days.

You see NFL, even if your employees hadn't screwed the RAIDERS again, we would still have lost the game.We are a terrible football team, we are quite capable of screwing ourselves at the moment thank you very much.So how about you let us get hammered by teams every week without adding to the scoreline in your own little way.It must be hard to resist putting the boot in when the RAIDERS are down, but what goes around comes around and when we can play football again, hopefully while I am of an age where I can still dress and feed myself, we as RAIDER fans will take great delight in raising a collective middle finger in your direction.

It's not easy to see where the whole organisation can start to turn this around, the start of this season seemed to offer a glimpse of something, but that has faded pretty quickly and that feeling of deja vu has returned.Barring a miracle of biblical proportions another season is effectively written off already.It's a sad state of affairs, and looking at the imminent fixtures it isn't going to improve anytime soon.One thing that will endure is the RAIDER NATION, there is no choice for us, we have to ride out the storm, a bloody long and ugly storm, and hope that there is better to come.But soon, very soon the man at the top and those around him have got to realise that drastic measures are required to right the ship, it has already drifted aimlessly for too many years.

Monday, 28 September 2009


"They are making easy throws look hard"

"This is poor by JaMarcus Russell"

"This has been ugly so far"

"His fundamentals and mechanics need working on"

"It's about being a good decision maker"

"JaMarcus Russell could learn a lot watching Kyle Orton today"

"Thats why I'm having trouble figuring out why the QB is having his struggles, they have one of the best coaches in the game at that position in Paul Hackett here in Oakland"

"Oh no!"

"The big question was if the running game didn't work, did JaMarcus Russell have the ability to take over?And its clear that he doesn't"

"This is a step back for the RAIDERS".............

RICH GANNON, CBS, 27th September 2009.

Well John Herrera, I can't disagree with any of the above, and whether you stick your fingers in your ears or your head in the sand, he is still right.Lets face it shall we the happiest of happy clappers couldn't find a positive spin for the dross that went on in the Coliseum on Sunday.Here's some numbers for you Mr Herrera :

JaMarcus Russell so far in 2009 :


The only QB in the NFL below 50%.Russell wasn't the whole story by any means but he is a major talking point for RAIDER fans, and probably a good laugh for fans of everyone else.The Broncos only had to move the ball 27 yards to get a ten point lead following those two horrible interceptions.

Only one RAIDERS receiver registered a catch - Louis Murphy with two.

The defense reverted to the bad old ways and allowed 215 rushing yards.

The offense managed a paltry 137 net yards.

Darren McFadden fumbled three times.It's official McFadden IS a fumbler.

THREE points at home.

There wasn't much to react to on a positive note at all.The defense played well in the red zone with some tough stops, but the Bronco's O-line pushed them around all day and even Richard Seymour is now officially a RAIDER, committing a stupid and costly penalty, I can't remember the last time I saw a penalty for hair pulling!
Last weeks win came despite a horrific offensive showing, this week was as bad if not worse, and something has to change.The quarterback is playing badly enough to be benched by any other team, the embarrassment of having our franchise QB holding a clipboard is nothing to the humiliation of him actually playing every week.Plus I want to see just how much the inexperience of the RAIDERS receiving corps is contributing to all this.I said last week that a serviceable QB would be enough to make us better and Kyle Orton's stats are nothing to write home about but he sort of proves a point.I just want to watch a decent game of football and not be worried every time our offense steps onto a field.At least if Russell starts for the next two weeks he'll get booed less in Houston and New York than he does in Oakland.
It looks at the moment that DHB was a reach, Murphy has made a few rookie mistakes but at least looks a player, and we need Walker, Higgins and Schilens to get back and contribute.The upcoming schedule based on what we have seen from the RAIDERS so far makes for a frightening read.
We did a good job against the run in the first two games, and then the wheels fall off all of a sudden.Maybe that Denver O-line is just really good and things will improve again, you have to cling to some hope right?The defense had a bad day no doubt about it, but they weren't the reason we lost that game for me.Denver scored 23 points, 10 of which were basically gifted to them, without those gifts it would have been closer, but when you score one FG in a game at home you are going to lose.I still have a lot of time for Tom Cable too, he is coaching with half a playbook it seems.

Sunday was just not good enough.Maybe everyone in Alameda can start worrying about the present players rather than the ones that went before.

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Al Davis is old school.He puts great emphasis on loyalty.Loyalty to the RAIDERS from ex players is something that he expects.Obviously it isn't something he will always get, Warren Sapp is making a new career of having a pop at the whole organisation for instance.I didn't have Rich Gannon down as in the Sapp bracket, he has said some critical things about the RAIDERS since his retirement, but I have always believed that he wanted the team to get better and turn around.
John Herrera's latest outburst, directed at Gannon, just looks bad.He would hardly do something like this unless it came from Al, and regardless of whether Al feels that Gannon has been dis-loyal, trying to ban someone from the team facility,or from broadcasting the game looks silly and petty.Al and the RAIDERS maverick nature, and us against the world mentality is one of the reasons that I'm a RAIDER fan, but sometimes they just get it wrong.Just when the team starts to show a little promise, the owner and his inner sanctum are worrying themselves with things other than football.Rich Gannon is not the enemy.His work ethic and professionalism whilst a RAIDER was part of the success story that the team enjoyed under John Gruden, Al himself has said so.And Herrera's cheap shot remarks about the five interceptions and worst Superbowl performance in history etc do nothing for the RAIDERS image whatsoever.We all know what went on around that game and to put the blame at the feet of Gannon is just uncalled for.
Maybe Herrera is a loose cannon, his confrontation with Tim Kawakami last season was comical but showed that he has little self control, but this whole thing with Gannon is a case of him delivering the party line, and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.Maybe everyone in the RAIDER organisation should just get back to making sure that there is little room for anyone to criticise them, especially former players.Lets keep the hatred for the donkeys this week shall we?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Thanks to the wonderful new service provided by NFL Gamepass and their ongoing Sunday night server problems, I had to watch the RAIDERS vs Chiefs game on Monday.
By the way NFL, you need to do something about the company whose service is so far not a service, who have now ruined two consecutive weekends for people who are investing hard earned money into your product, rather than watching un-authorised streams.The European fan base for your sport is particularly loyal and have been shabbily treated.

Anyway back to the game.

First up, the RAIDERS are 1 - 1, and I am pretty happy about that fact and will take it thanks very much.The main emotion I had after the game was one of relief.Lady luck seemed to be in our favour for a change, in a big way.There were so many moments that could have gone against us, but didn't.I am thinking about the the ball stripped from Michael Bush that dropped right back to him, the three of four times that JaMarcus Russell threw the ball straight to a defender who should have taken it back the other way for six points, the roughing the passer call late in the game which seemed marginal, but maybe that makes us even for the Louis Murphy TD that never was last week.

Add to all that the fact that the Chiefs were guilty of continually shooting themselves in the foot with dare I say it, RAIDER-esque penalties at critical times.K C had the better of us moving the ball, the offensive stats don't lie, but a combination of those badly timed penalties with brilliantly timed defensive plays ( take a bow Mr Huff and Mr Ellis ), meant that the superiority in yardage did not turn into points on the scoreboard.
Even after a positive outcome, the most glass half full amongst the RAIDER NATION know that we were just horrible on offense for the whole game, well up until the final three minutes or so.The sheer number of three and outs that the team is producing at the moment, apart from the obvious lack of points, means that a defense which is playing tough is also in danger of being exhausted in the fourth quarter of games when it could cost us dear.On Sunday Nnamdi Asomugah had to leave the field due to dehydration, Chris Johnson seemed to be cramping up and Mike Huff at the end of the game looked shattered.God bless them they kept it going and closed it out, but can they be expected to have to do that for the rest of the year?

On offense we were simply poor.JaMarcus Russell was probably more erratic than week one, and I don't want to continually get on the guys back ( couldn't reach anyway ), but lets not duck the issue, he has looked very very bad in both games so far.It didn't help that we seemed to go away from the run putting more pressure on Russell, it felt as though either Tom Cable tried to be too clever with the Chiefs and surprise them with a pass happy offense, or the Chiefs could key on the run due to our inability to complete passes consistently.
Of course, then to confound everyone with defeat seemingly upon us again, the guy who couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo suddenly starts to make good throws down the field, more than once in the same drive, and for a few seconds when he lets a pass go like they did, you get a glimpse of the potential that people saw when he entered the draft.Unfortunately those passes have been few and far between.People looking on the bright side will say he got it done when he needed to, and he did, all credit to him for that, but 19 of 54 over two games with a completion rate around 35% is woeful, and we may have been looking at a very different outcome on Sunday had the opponent been better than the Chiefs.

My props go out to this week to that whole defensive unit.Arrowhead is never easy to go to, and they bent but never broke, restricted Todd Haley's new offense and new QB to ten points in their own stadium, while being on the field for long periods.

[On a side note as Haley's name comes up.It was nice of him to reveal his hatred of the RAIDERS in the week before the game, due to his Steelers connections.Cheers Todd, it's all the sweeter to see you at 0 - 2, it must have hurt, a loss in your home opener to the old enemy, team meetings in KC will be a pleasant environment this week .]
Seymour and Ellis are a threat for any opposing QB, and the secondary combination of Asomugah, Huff, Johnson, Branch, Eugene, and Mitchell look confident and hungry.Thankfully the prevent didn't rear it's ugly head this week, and long may it continue.
As I said last week, I think with a serviceable QB the RAIDERS defense will give us a chance to be competitive and win games.Russell needs to become that and fast, Denver will offer more than the Chiefs this week, the injury to Robert Gallery is not helpful to Russell either, but a combination of Satele and Morris may be able to do a job in the short term.

And speaking of the coming week its Donkey week, hurrah.And what would Donkey week be without the obligatory picture of a knackered old ass................................................................

............................................................ and a list of things I don't like about the Donkey's :

Mike Shanahan and that wonky eye, John Elway, Shannon Sharpe and his planet sized face, Steve Atwater, Terrell Davis, Mike Shanahan again, Champ ( no longer the best shut down corner in the league ) Bailey, Jay Cutler and his fat head, John Lynch, Ricky Nattiel, Knowshon Moreno and his made up name, Oh and Mike Shanahan............................

and some Donkey facts, education is power..................................

1. The Donkey or Ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family, and an odd toed ungulate.

2. Donkeys vary considerably in size, depending on breed and management.

3. Until recent times, the synonym, ass, was was commonly used to refer to Equus asinus

( e.g. as in jackass, meaning "male donkey".


The term "donkey" in British English is used in horse racing to refer to unsuccessful horses.

5. To refer to someone as a jackass in modern slang provides a connotation of being obnoxious, rude, and thoughtless, with or without the added connotation of stupidity.This usage is also considered vulgar.A less vulgar substitute is donkey itself.

6. The donkey has long been a symbol of ignorance.

7. Donkey's have teeth that continually erupt or grow from the gum line, in fact they erupt at about 2mm per year, see below.......................................

......................................... Got to Love Donkey Week.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


The hiatus is over here at the pond, sorry to the five readers and my dog but times they were a changing.So here goes.............

During last nights game commentary, as the discussion turned to JaMarcus Russell, it was stated that Tom Cable had said that last year the coaching staff gave their QB only 40% of the playbook to worry about, and this year they had doubled it to 80%.

That is a truly remarkable statement.Our head coach is saying that our No1 pick quarterback, with a full season of starting behind him, and another full training camp, is still not able to grasp all of the playbook.I doubt that there is another starting QB in the league that is less than 100% familiar with his teams playbook, or put another way, I doubt that there is another coaching staff in the NFL that has to restrict their options by 20% based on the ability of their own starting quarterback.

The difference that Richard Seymour made to the RAIDERS defensive line, after only a couple of days in town, showed the effect that one player can have on a unit, and there is no doubt that through three quarters last night the defense played some great football, good enough to give a team a chance in most games.I believe that had the RAIDERS started the game with a serviceable NFL QB, nothing special, you know someone who has the playbook down, who doesn't continually lock onto a primary receiver, or have ongoing accuracy problems, that we would have had that game won.The addition of Seymour on the defensive side of the ball will make people better around him, his play and attitude will instill confidence in team-mates, it seems to have happened already.At no point during yesterday's game did I feel that Russell could have a similar effect on offense and for a No.1 pick that is worrying.Add to the admission that 20% of the playbook is still being kept away from Russell that Steve Young thought that the coaches should make it simpler still.

It may seem harsh to level so much at Russell after one game of a new season, he had a couple of rookie receivers out there which won't have helped but a lot of the eighteen passes that were not completed were way off target.The problem too for me is that he is making the same types of mistakes that he was making as a rookie, there doesn't seem to be a progression.We all know what a capable NFL calibre quarterback looks like, not everyone can be a Brady or Manning but they can run an offense.There are rookies who come in and do well like Flacco and Ryan and look the part immediately, while we are babying a third year guy.If things had gone differently and Al could have resisted the Russell factor, we may have now had Calvin Johnson and Trent Edwards rather than #2, and after watching Edwards operate the Bills no-huddle offense this week oh how I would take that scenario right now, in fact the development of Edwards up to this point only highlights where Russell should be.Edwards was by no means perfect but he lead a more sophisticated offense than the RAIDERS do, and he did it well.

I'm not saying that all the other players in a RAIDER uniform were blameless .There were drops and missed opportunities, some iffy looking kick coverage, some far too soft defensive playcalling in the fourth quarter, and lets not get onto the Murphy TD that then wasn't, maybe you need to hold onto a ball till you get home after the game these days, who knows.DHB wasn't a factor at all, and there are still issues with the linebacking corps, but none of this is as important as Russell.There could be a case to level criticism at the coaches for our franchise QB's lack of improvement, but the RAIDERS did get an experienced quarterback guy in Paul Hackett to help, and that is why I was looking for the difference in Russell this pre-season and especially last night, but didn't see it.I want Russell to do well, I want him to win, he's the quarterback of the OAKLAND RAIDERS, I just don't see him becoming what a No.1 overall pick with those physical attributes should.

There were reasons for great optimism.Seymour and Ellis, Mario Henderson looking the real thing at LT and doing a job on Merriman ( lose the Mohawk, how old are you?), the Bush and McFadden combination, and to see a real intensity on Defense in general, those fellas went and knocked SD around, it was a beautiful thing to see so many Chargers staying on the ground after contact, jesus even McFadden was laying people out.We have Schilens to come back who looks a real player, and Barnes to maybe upgrade the RT position, and we didn't get blown out this year in week one.But all this optimism seems misguided if our supposed franchise QB is a liability, an average QB would give us a chance in the AFC West this year so lets see if he can become average but consistently average, I don't have a good feeling about him though.

Something else that bothered me about MNF :

I get the whole AFL Legacy thing, it's an anniversary and all that, and the throwback jerseys are a nice idea, well if your a Denver or Jets fan that may not be the case, I'm sure those yellow and brown shirts are going down a storm in Colorado!But the RAIDERS in white at home, come on thats just not right, I haven't seen a good explanation for this yet, all I can come up with is that the away shirt looks more obviously retro with the silver numbers and more likely to stimulate sales.Thats all well and good but we play in black, NFL.BLACK.

Onwards and upwards RAIDER NATION, two divisional games on the horizon and an opportunity to feel better after smacking around some Chiefs and Donkeys, and speaking of Donkeys how is it fair that they play that poorly and still win in that manner, they were playing the bloody Bengals for gods sake, you shouldn't need that sort of luck to do that, they lost more games than we did last year!The division is there to be taken if JaMarcus can turn the babying into Just Win Babying.



Saturday Sept 19th 2009 is International Talk Like A Pirate day.SHIVER ME TIMBERS.
All self respecting RAIDER fans need to pop a parrot on a shoulder of choice, break out the full pirate regalia and do someting to a mainbrace.AHARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
Carrying a cutlass is generally frowned upon by most police forces though, so do be careful.