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Old 03-31-2012, 06:32 AM   #1
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Default • Since 2002 The Oakland Raiders and The Cleveland Browns have the same EXACT number of wins • 56

Have the Raiders fallen behind?



By Bill Williamson Mar 30 12:00PM ET



The Oakland Raiders are one of the most intriguing franchises in the NFL these days. How will the post-Al Davis Raiders evolve?

After Davis' death in October, the much-less-involved Mark Davis turned his father’s beloved franchise over to Reggie McKenzie, a respected personnel man from Green Bay, who is embarking on his first journey as a general manager. McKenzie has entrusted former Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, who at 39 is the youngest coach in the league, to be the next coach of a team that finished 8-8 last season and barely missed the playoffs.

The first focus for McKenzie has been clearing the Raiders’ roster of bloated contracts given to players as the Raiders desperately, and unsuccessfully, chased championships in Davis’ final years.

It has been a necessary exercise as Oakland begins the process of getting out of salary-cap jail. But Oakland has lost more talent than it has brought in the past month.

The question begs to be asked: Has Oakland fallen behind the rest of the AFC West for the 2012 season? It depends on whom you ask, of course. Asked this week if his team will be stronger or weaker in 2012, McKenzie, without explanation, said this: “Honestly, I envision it being stronger.”

However, many folks around the league wonder how.

“I think they have fallen behind,” Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. said. “They are in a tough salary-cap position and they are paying for it now. I just don’t see the improvement.”

Added Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.: “I do think they have slipped.” Williamson, in an Insider piece, gave the Raiders one of the worst free-agent grades in the AFC.

It’s difficult to look at the list of players Oakland has added and lost and not come to the same conclusion. Even given the need for salary-cap repair, a loss of talent mustn’t be brushed aside.

Here are some of the key players who were either cut or departed Oakland as free agents: linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, running back Michael Bush, quarterback Jason Campbell, cornerback Stanford Routt, tight end Kevin Boss, defensive tackle John Henderson, running back Rock Cartwright, receiver Chaz Schilens, defensive end Trevor Scott and cornerback Chris Johnson.

The projected starters who have been brought in: guard Mike Brisiel and cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer.

“You look who has come and who has gone, and it’s scary,” Horton said. “I like Mike Brisiel. He will help. But the two cornerbacks are just guys. They are not starters for a good team. The defense needs improvement and I don’t see it. All I see is the loss of talent. Where is the coverage coming from? Where is the pass-rush coming from?”

In addition to not having much cap room, the Raiders have a small draft class. They have five picks and their first pick is No. 95, at the end of the third round. McKenzie has said the Raiders need a starting outside linebacker. He might not know who that player is for some time.

Compounding the concern in Oakland is the fact that the rest of the AFC West has been aggressive this offseason.

Denver added the big prize of the NFL offseason -- quarterback Peyton Manning. Kansas City added several players, including Routt and Boss after they were jettisoned by Oakland. The Chargers lost star receiver Vincent Jackson and key backup running back Mike Tolbert, but added several pieces and have been lauded by scouts around the league for using their resources properly and adding to their overall talent level. Speaking this week solely about his own team, Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli said he felt the need to improve his roster because of the improvement around him in the division.

Meanwhile, McKenzie and Allen are seemingly beginning their tenure in Oakland by taking a step back. Asked about the loss of talent while at the NFL owners meetings this week, Allen took a realistic approach.

“You know what, we knew what the situation was when we were going into it,” Allen said. “We knew it was going to be a tough situation. I think Reggie’s done a great job of managing everything as we’ve gone through this. You go through it every year. Every year, you have good players that you lose. And you’ve got to find a way to regroup and replace those guys, and that’s what we’re trying to get done.”

The problem is that Oakland has more holes than it did at the end of last season. In the past couple of seasons, the Raiders were intriguing because they were young and didn’t have many glaring needs. All they needed was their young talent to continue to improve. Now, though, Oakland has holes at tight end and linebacker and depth issues at all layers of the defense, at running back, along the offensive line and at quarterback.

“What if this team gets hurt a lot?” Horton asked. “There is no depth in this team.”

Still, not all is lost in Oakland. Running back Darren McFadden is an elite runner when healthy, the defensive line is an upper-echelon unit, the interior offensive line is strong, the special teams are top-notch, the receiver crew is potentially dynamic and the team believes quarterback Carson Palmer will benefit from a full offseason in the program.

The Raiders are hopeful that their talent can withstand this necessary offseason of cap repair. In a couple of years, if McKenzie continues to be financially prudent, the Raiders should be out of cap jail.

“This team wasn’t far away when I got here,” Allen said at the owners meetings. “We’re excited about trying to build on that and develop this team into a playoff-caliber team. Obviously, we took a couple hits because of the cap situation, but we’re looking forward to trying to develop the team and the players.”

The only question: Has the rest of the AFC West left the Raiders behind in the immediate future?




http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post...-fallen-behind

Last edited by Bronco Rob; 05-11-2012 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:35 AM   #2
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I was some what convinced they had a good team last year
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:38 AM   #3
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Dennis Allen has made a huge mistake by taking the Faiders' gig...

Wouldn't it be funny, if Del Rio becomes a head coach elsewhere come next season and newly unemployed Allen comes back to us as the new defensive coordinator...

Well, it worked out for us with Shannahan, right?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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They will be battling the Queefs for ownership of the basement.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Dennis Allen has made a huge mistake by taking the Faiders' gig...

Wouldn't it be funny, if Del Rio becomes a head coach elsewhere come next season and newly unemployed Allen comes back to us as the new defensive coordinator...

Well, it worked out for us with Shannahan, right?

Ya know he probably did. Fox will not coach forever and Allen was the obvious choice to replace him but you don't get offered a HC position everyday.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:42 AM   #6
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Ya know he probably did. Fox will not coach forever and Allen was the obvious choice to replace him but you don't get offered a HC position everyday.
That's fair. But with another season and as his young defense improves, better opportunities would definately come.

Since 1994, no head coach lasted more than 3 years in Oakland/LA, which include Jon Gruden. Also, not only Oakland has no cap space to sign, they have limited draft picks and lost several key players via free agency.

Now having said that, I do like Allen as heir apparent to Fox and would welcome him back here any time.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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That's fair. But with another season and as his young defense improves, better opportunities would definately come.

Since 1994, no head coach lasted more than 3 years in Oakland/LA, which include Jon Gruden. Also, not only Oakland has no cap space to sign, they have limited draft picks and lost several key players via free agency.

Now having said that, I do like Allen as heir apparent to Fox and would welcome him back here any time.

Oakland should be a very different franchise going forward.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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Its hard to say where the faid will be in a few years, the crypt keeper is dead and the team is being run by a real GM. Yah, they are going to suck for the immediate future but if they draft well, coach well and become more stable then they will inevitably be competitive.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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The good news for the Raiders is that they'll have a top five pick next year.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:58 AM   #10
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:59 AM   #11
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slipped from what? worst to worstest?



these clowns haven't done jack **** in 10 years
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:04 AM   #12
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I got 5 bucks that says that rapper guy doesn't own that coat anymore.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:16 AM   #13
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They will be battling the Queefs for ownership of the basement.
I think this puts things in perspective.





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Old 03-31-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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I got 5 bucks that says that rapper guy doesn't own that coat anymore.
I bet he does... that dude pulled off the biggest heist in NFL history!!!
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:02 AM   #15
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They will be battling the Queefs for ownership of the basement.
Methinks you underestimate KC. They get back the star players that were on IR last year, added some good players & have a ****load of cap room to add more. If they had a QB, they'd be ruling this division. I figure KC will be neck & neck with Denver for the AFCW crown.

This quote addresses the question of the OP: "The first focus for McKenzie has been clearing the Raiders’ roster of bloated contracts given to players as the Raiders desperately, and unsuccessfully, chased championships in Davis’ final years." The death of Al Davis has brought in a new GM that has gutted the organization from top to bottom. Legacy font office personnel, coaches, trainers, assistants & players alike have been booted out the door. This is a total rebuild being attempted without cap room or draft picks. Oaktown has to learn how to become a real NFL franchise starting from less than scratch. Has Oakland taken a step back? It don't take a jenious to figure that one out.....
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:30 AM   #16
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Methinks you underestimate KC. They get back the star players that were on IR last year, added some good players & have a ****load of cap room to add more. If they had a QB, they'd be ruling this division. I figure KC will be neck & neck with Denver for the AFCW crown.

This quote addresses the question of the OP: "The first focus for McKenzie has been clearing the Raiders’ roster of bloated contracts given to players as the Raiders desperately, and unsuccessfully, chased championships in Davis’ final years." The death of Al Davis has brought in a new GM that has gutted the organization from top to bottom. Legacy font office personnel, coaches, trainers, assistants & players alike have been booted out the door. This is a total rebuild being attempted without cap room or draft picks. Oaktown has to learn how to become a real NFL franchise starting from less than scratch. Has Oakland taken a step back? It don't take a jenious to figure that one out.....
Well there certainly aren't many of them around
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:46 AM   #17
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Well there certainly aren't many of them around
Thank you, baja. You and I - we understand that literal words are correlated with context in the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex. If there is a disconnect between the two (i.e., sarcasm), this is where it will be recognized in the brain. Most Bronco fans aren't capable of understanding that, but you, baja.... you and I, are apparently cut from the same cloth....
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:57 AM   #18
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Should good sarcasm need explaining? Just wondering/
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:06 PM   #19
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Should good sarcasm need explaining? Just wondering/
Only when it's a backhanded jab at those who do not....
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:49 PM   #20
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Should good sarcasm need explaining? Just wondering/


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Old 04-01-2012, 11:18 AM   #21
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Oakland should be a very different franchise going forward.
after a few bad seasons, it will get better for them if they have the right scouts. They should just admit they are in salary cap hell and will need to deal with it for at least 2 seasons. Their major problem is lack of quality draft picks and they must score big in the later rounds. It could be at least 4 seasons before they smell 1st place in the division. We can once again thank Al Davis and the Front office staff for giving us Raider's Committment to Average for the next few seasons.

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #22
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Ya know he probably did. Fox will not coach forever and Allen was the obvious choice to replace him but you don't get offered a HC position everyday.
It's the Raiders. That makes it a Junior head Coaching position.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #23
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At least they can have some optimism for the future with Al Davis gone and a supposedly sharp personnel guy in charge. This year they are screwed. This won't be another year where 9 wins takes the division, either. If you think about the last couple years, there were stretches of each season where Denver, KC, and SD were easy wins. I get the feeling that things may be a lot different this year.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #24
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I bet he does... that dude pulled off the biggest heist in NFL history!!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:29 PM   #25
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... John Elway like... hahahahaha!!! What a fail Kiper is!!! J.Russel is still laughing all the way to the bank!
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