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Old 03-17-2009, 01:12 AM   #1
DeusExManning
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Default Raiders benefit from suddenly dysfunctional Broncos

Raiders benefit from suddenly dysfunctional Broncos

Gwen Knapp, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


(03-16) 21:42 PDT --

Assuming they have any stationery left after their paper blitz against Lane Kiffin, the Raiders might want to send thank-you notes to Jay Cutler, Josh McDaniels and Pat Bowlen. The Broncos so quickly and thoroughly have transformed themselves from NFL bedrock into molten lava that they've obscured the Raiders' deposition duel this week with their ex-coach.
Gwen Knapp

Kiffin flew into town, went to a law office at San Francisco's Ferry Building on Monday morning and gave testimony to support the theory that Al Davis stiffed him. Davis is scheduled to give his side of the story today. In a lot of places, that would qualify as high drama.

Here, we've seen two men sue each other over who caught a record-breaking home run ball, a pro basketball player defend the right to choke his coach, a record-breaking home run hitter indicted for touting the miracle of flaxseed oil while under oath, a linebacker sued for bashing in a teammate's eye during practice, one football team owner plead guilty to shady dealings with a Louisiana governor and the other owner, a litigation lion, sue his league and his city - again.

As early as last spring, we suspected that Davis and Kiffin would end up where they are now, acrimoniously parted with their lawyers squabbling over cash. Right after the season-opening humiliation, when Kiffin said the defense wasn't really his turf, we knew for sure.

What nobody could have guessed then was that Cutler, whose arm carved up the Raiders' defense on opening night, would end up every bit as alienated as Kiffin, and more brazenly bratty than the Raiders' baby-faced coach ever dared to be. We couldn't have imagined that they'd have exchanged Mike Shanahan for a frat-boy model, with a modus operandi woefully short on finesse.

Cutler demanded a trade Monday, saying he couldn't get over the disrespect that coach McDaniels had shown him by trying to trade for Matt Cassel, a McDaniels cohort in New England. McDaniels - 32, or a year older than Kiffin at the time of his anointing by Davis - essentially replied: "Nuh-huh."

For a brief time, it appeared they might settle their differences with a spitball fight followed by a goldfish-swallowing contest. Now the only thing they possibly can accomplish together is bringing the joy of schadenfreude to places like the Oakland Coliseum and the Clippers' front office.

In a sports world inured to absurdity, this development is fairly shocking. The Broncos had long been the anti-Raiders - stable, wedded to Shanahan, never far from contention, terribly confident. Three years ago, a 40-something writer named Stefan Fatsis approached teams throughout the NFL to see if one would accommodate him in a Plimpton-esque attempt to become a placekicker. Shanahan said yes, his profound sense of security apparently overwhelming his deep control-freak tendencies.

The resulting book, "A Few Seconds of Panic," should have set off some alarms. Fatsis rarely mentioned Cutler, focusing instead on Jake Plummer, then the Broncos' quarterback. Plummer, in Fatsis' view, had the spirit of a rebel, but also the respect of his teammates. He dared to challenge the coaches and exuded a confidence that did not stray into arrogance. Cutler, when he appears in the book, comes across as smug, unlikable.

Of course, the personality that a writer finds appealing does not necessarily make a great football player. Cutler's behavior since the trade reports has confirmed the impression. He is a superior talent who cannot cope with obstacles. His performances against the Raiders last season bear out that assessment. He looked phenomenal in the opener, a rollicking 41-14 blowout. But when the Raiders went to Denver in November and won 31-10, Cutler played without a hint of inspiration.

Bowlen, the team owner, deserves much of the blame. After three straight years out of the playoffs, he grew impatient and fired Shanahan, rather than trying to work through philosophical differences with the man he once called his coach for life. Cutler seems to be following his example.

A lot of teams will be grateful, particularly the ones that get a shot at acquiring Cutler and believe that his whining will stop once he moves to sea level. The Raiders don't want a new quarterback. Instead, they are getting flattery from their division rivals. Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form.

E-mail Gwen Knapp at gknapp@sfchronicle.com.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:25 AM   #2
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Raiders benefit from suddenly dysfunctional Broncos

Gwen Knapp, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


(03-16) 21:42 PDT --

Assuming they have any stationery left after their paper blitz against Lane Kiffin, the Raiders might want to send thank-you notes to Jay Cutler, Josh McDaniels and Pat Bowlen. The Broncos so quickly and thoroughly have transformed themselves from NFL bedrock into molten lava that they've obscured the Raiders' deposition duel this week with their ex-coach.
Gwen Knapp

Kiffin flew into town, went to a law office at San Francisco's Ferry Building on Monday morning and gave testimony to support the theory that Al Davis stiffed him. Davis is scheduled to give his side of the story today. In a lot of places, that would qualify as high drama.

Here, we've seen two men sue each other over who caught a record-breaking home run ball, a pro basketball player defend the right to choke his coach, a record-breaking home run hitter indicted for touting the miracle of flaxseed oil while under oath, a linebacker sued for bashing in a teammate's eye during practice, one football team owner plead guilty to shady dealings with a Louisiana governor and the other owner, a litigation lion, sue his league and his city - again.

As early as last spring, we suspected that Davis and Kiffin would end up where they are now, acrimoniously parted with their lawyers squabbling over cash. Right after the season-opening humiliation, when Kiffin said the defense wasn't really his turf, we knew for sure.

What nobody could have guessed then was that Cutler, whose arm carved up the Raiders' defense on opening night, would end up every bit as alienated as Kiffin, and more brazenly bratty than the Raiders' baby-faced coach ever dared to be. We couldn't have imagined that they'd have exchanged Mike Shanahan for a frat-boy model, with a modus operandi woefully short on finesse.

Cutler demanded a trade Monday, saying he couldn't get over the disrespect that coach McDaniels had shown him by trying to trade for Matt Cassel, a McDaniels cohort in New England. McDaniels - 32, or a year older than Kiffin at the time of his anointing by Davis - essentially replied: "Nuh-huh."

For a brief time, it appeared they might settle their differences with a spitball fight followed by a goldfish-swallowing contest. Now the only thing they possibly can accomplish together is bringing the joy of schadenfreude to places like the Oakland Coliseum and the Clippers' front office.

In a sports world inured to absurdity, this development is fairly shocking. The Broncos had long been the anti-Raiders - stable, wedded to Shanahan, never far from contention, terribly confident. Three years ago, a 40-something writer named Stefan Fatsis approached teams throughout the NFL to see if one would accommodate him in a Plimpton-esque attempt to become a placekicker. Shanahan said yes, his profound sense of security apparently overwhelming his deep control-freak tendencies.

The resulting book, "A Few Seconds of Panic," should have set off some alarms. Fatsis rarely mentioned Cutler, focusing instead on Jake Plummer, then the Broncos' quarterback. Plummer, in Fatsis' view, had the spirit of a rebel, but also the respect of his teammates. He dared to challenge the coaches and exuded a confidence that did not stray into arrogance. Cutler, when he appears in the book, comes across as smug, unlikable.

Of course, the personality that a writer finds appealing does not necessarily make a great football player. Cutler's behavior since the trade reports has confirmed the impression. He is a superior talent who cannot cope with obstacles. His performances against the Raiders last season bear out that assessment. He looked phenomenal in the opener, a rollicking 41-14 blowout. But when the Raiders went to Denver in November and won 31-10, Cutler played without a hint of inspiration.

Bowlen, the team owner, deserves much of the blame. After three straight years out of the playoffs, he grew impatient and fired Shanahan, rather than trying to work through philosophical differences with the man he once called his coach for life. Cutler seems to be following his example.

A lot of teams will be grateful, particularly the ones that get a shot at acquiring Cutler and believe that his whining will stop once he moves to sea level. The Raiders don't want a new quarterback. Instead, they are getting flattery from their division rivals. Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form.

E-mail Gwen Knapp at gknapp@sfchronicle.com.
The beginning it is...mmm hmmmm....of hell in the AFC West for horses that are untamed and wild. The bottom are the stallions, darkness is evident.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:23 AM   #3
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I still can't believe that this is what it has come to: the Raiders are thanking us for ineptitude. What a horrible year.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:43 AM   #4
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Just wait until the Faiders sweep us this year. Then the organization will have hit rock bottom.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:22 AM   #5
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Cutler's whining, while bad, is just a player complaining. That happens everyday in the NFL. It is completely containable.

In contrast, McD's actions have farther reaching consequences to the Broncos.

Not only did Josh put egg on his face personally, but he has shamed this franchise and "transformed them from NFL bedrock into molten lava."

The years of stability that Shanahan brought have now been flushed down the toilet.

Thanks Josh.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:08 AM   #6
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Yes, years of stability at fielding underperforming, underprepared teams. Golly, we should all pine for Shanny and his decade of non-playoff football.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:14 AM   #7
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Just wait until the Faiders sweep us this year. Then the organization will have hit rock bottom.


Great attitude.


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Old 03-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #8
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Great attitude.


Just being realistic. This team is in for a hard fall with McDaniels running it.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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Just being realistic. This team is in for a hard fall with McDaniels running it.
Yup...with all the games in the offseason, you sure are 100% correct.


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Old 03-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #10
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Just being realistic. This team is in for a hard fall with McDaniels running it.
Holy hell

Its getting scary around here
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:37 AM   #11
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Just wait until the Faiders sweep us this year. Then the organization will have hit rock bottom.
you must have missed week 11 last season
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:38 AM   #12
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Just being realistic. This team is in for a hard fall with McDaniels running it.
No you're not. You're being ridiculous. You haven't seen him coach one game. Let's wait and see what he does before we label him worst coach ever.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:38 AM   #13
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Holy hell

Its getting scary around here
If by scary you mean stupid then yes. Come training camp and the season this team won't be dysfunctional, thats a fact.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:40 AM   #14
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If by scary you mean stupid then yes. Come training camp and the season this team won't be dysfunctional, thats a fact.
There are alot of theads around here that should be merged with the bacon/gravy/BBQ thread.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:42 AM   #15
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There are alot of theads around here that should be merged with the bacon/gravy/BBQ thread.
Or just deleted.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:42 AM   #16
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hey gregg....

the raiders have been so dysfunctional for so long that no one cares any more
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:42 AM   #17
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There are alot of theads around here that should be merged with the bacon/gravy/BBQ thread.

Agreed. No one can be angry at bacon.


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Old 03-17-2009, 09:47 AM   #18
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Agreed. No one can be angry at bacon.



You've obviously never fried bacon naked before
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:50 AM   #19
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You've obviously never fried bacon naked before

Even then can you honestly be mad at it?


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Old 03-17-2009, 10:32 AM   #20
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Anything coming out of Faderland deserves to be ignored. **** them.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:48 PM   #21
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No you're not. You're being ridiculous. You haven't seen him coach one game. Let's wait and see what he does before we label him worst coach ever.
I've seen McDaniels kind before and I know what is coming. See Dan Henning. McDaniels is going to make Wade Phillips look like a HOF coach.

Serious question, has anyone seen a coach come in and try to trade away a 25 year old Pro Bowl QB before the season even starts? This guy has no clue what he is doing and it will set the franchise back for years. 4-12 in 2009 if we are lucky.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:49 PM   #22
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blah blah blah blah.....who cares
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:49 PM   #23
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I've seen McDaniels kind before and I know what is coming. See Dan Henning. McDaniels is going to make Wade Phillips look like a HOF coach.

Serious question, has anyone seen a coach come in and try to trade away a 25 year old Pro Bowl QB before the season even starts? This guy has no clue what he is doing and it will set the franchise back for years. 4-12 in 2009 if we are lucky.

he knows what he's doing....the problem is that he was caught

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Old 03-17-2009, 12:50 PM   #24
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You've obviously never fried bacon naked before
Microwave bacon FTW!
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:27 PM   #25
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Just being realistic. This team is in for a hard fall with McDaniels running it.

Do you know the lotto numbers too?
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