Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Perfect Shit Storm

My take on the disastrous Raiders' 2012 campaign is that it is truly a unique year in many ways -- call it the perfect shit storm.

New owner, new GM, new coaching staff, new systems, a depleted roster lacking talent and depth, key injuries, makeshift bargain basement replacements, etc.  

The biggest X factors in this shit storm equation is what our new GM inherited.

Reggie inherited a payroll that was by far the most over the cap of all 32 teams.  Going into the 2012 off-season, the Raiders payroll was at $145.7M (or approx. $25M over the cap).  To put some perspective on these numbers, Denver was $50M under the cap. 

It isn't just that he had a shoe string budget to fill out his roster.  It is the fact that he had to go bargain hunting with band-aid 1 year replacements in addition to not having the luxury of re-signing a few players.

I'm not suggesting that Bush, Wimbley, Routt, Boss were necessarily 'world beaters' or that their salaries weren't out of whack ... but this is the type of depth and talent that would have rounded out the roster.  Reggie's hands were tied to retain players but more importantly, to identify upgrades in the open market.  

He inherited the fewest draft picks of all 32 teams.  The 1st Raiders pick wasn't until the end of the 3rd round (OT Bergstorm).   Finding players in the late rounds that can make an impact is challenging to say the least.   Before Reggie came on board, this is what our 2012 draft board looked like:

1st round: Traded to Bengals for Carson Palmer

2nd round: Traded to Patriots for 2011 3rd- and 4th-rd picks

3rd round: Exercised in 2011 supplemental draft (Terrelle Pryor)

4th round: Traded to Redskins for Jason Campbell

5th round: Still own pick

6th round: Still own pick

7th round: Traded to Seahawks for Aaron Curry

This transition has been very difficult to say the least.   How does a GM build a team without coin or picks?  In my opinion, Reggie did a lot of the necessary "dirty work" this year to put the Raiders in a better position in subsequent seasons.  In 2013 he will have the cap space and draft picks to construct a team from the ground up with players that he identifies as building blocks. 

I expect to see tangible progress and an improved performance year over year as the Raiders rebuild from the ground up.   Or as another Raider fan (Raider 00) opinionated on RaiderTake,

" I would like to give Reggie a couple of drafts, where he actually has some draft picks, to see what he can do.

I also would like to see DA coach the new players Reggie brings in.

I am all in for 2 more years. By the 2014/15 season, I expect the Raiders to field a contender."

Concur 100% with this grounded and reasonable opinion.


Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Since the 2003 season, almost a full 10 seasons now, the team is 48 and 109, for a 30.6% winning percentage. A shit storm indeed.

I've thought about this a lot more than some might expect. I am not a knee jerk 'we suck so something must be done' kind of guy.

I've thought about it from my own work perspective. I lead teams of people for a living, and I specialize in turning around underperforming operations. Sometimes these operations require a light touch and a simple refocusing; other times, they require a complete blow up and rebuild.

In the case of the Raiders, I firmly stand in the latter court. This team, no, entire organization, requires a complete blow up and rebuild. Whether McKenzie and Allen are the first wave of that rebuild, or are instead simply more of the same rot that has killed a once proud franchise remains to be seen.

The unmistakable fact is that the entire organization -- ownership, management, coaching, and players -- are the laughing stock of the NFL. It makes me sick.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I subscribe to McKenzie and Allen being the 1st wave of the complete rebuild. Next year will be tough but at least with draft picks and cap room, McK & DA can begin to build in earnest. The light at the end of the tunnel will be if McK can identify tough, smart, disciplined, coachable players to build a foundation for future success.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

CJ, I've made a bunch of posts in the last few weeks, but they disappear by the next day. In any case, the record remains 30.6% winning percentage for the last ten years. The Palmer era was a joke, the Leinart era was blessedly 3 quarters long, and who knows about the Pryor era yet. But I stand by my earlier prediction that success is yet 5 years out (I'll listen to an argument about 4, but no sooner). Much to discuss in the off season.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Can't explain why your posts have disappeared but wanted to wish you a Happy New Year. Glad to see the unispiring Knapp shown the door and I look forward to an offseason of building in earnest.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...


I've considered the Flynn move for a day now. Am surprised to say I like it. There are many more parts to this machine, to be sure. But in isolation, I like the Flynn acquisition a lot. Hungry dude, has been on 2 winning teams, ready for a breakout. Has seen starters in GB and Seattle succeed, wants his chance. Heck, if the guy avoids the Drank and can tie his own shoes, we are already ahead!

6:30 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


Although it is painful to be in a complete rebuild mode, I'm glad that there is a clear, methodical plan in place. Getting the payroll in order, releasing over-priced vets, selectively utilizing free agency/trades for fair market valued younger players, and lastly, to use the draft as the centerpiece of the rebuild is a breath of fresh.

No more wasted picks and wasted dollars on losers. Feels like we are an expansion team but I'm surprisingly relaxad, at ease, patient, and optimistic about building a model of sustained success.

Flynn is a guy who fits the profile of the player we are looking; young, motivated, above average football acument, professional, passionate about his craft, winning and TEAM success at a reasonably structured contract.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Agree. McStain was a metaphor for the wrongs of the past. DHB too, though he really broke my heart. Thought we had something there. Is baseball season over yet!?

8:03 PM  

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