"There should be a science of discontent. People need hard times and oppresion to develop psychic muscles." -Dune
I've been reading this book a lot lately. I've needed to drift off into space, considering how bad the Raiders have been since the bye. Apparently, a balanced offense has gone the way of the dodo (apologies, I'm fully aware it's an overused cliche) and Darren McFadden has been disappeared so that we can determine which one of our quarterbacks suck less. Jacoby Ford is disproving my "anything starting with Ja- automatically sucks" theory. Darrius Heyward-Bey, well, Occasionally Ever-Plays. Louis Murphy is suffering from the sophomore slump. And if I dare to dwell on the offensive line, there's a good chance I will end up on COPS screaming obscenities at the police. Actually, knowing the cops around here, I'd most likely get tased to death or shot multiple times. For pete's sake, they tased a flippin COW. To death. I am not even kidding. Don't you just love when mindless bloggers go off on tangents unrelated to the original point? Forgive me.
Anyways, this team needs to perform triage on this sucking chest wound that is the Oakland Raiders. We could easily go redefeated (is that a word?) over these next 5 games. All 3 divisional games plus Indy and Jacksonville are what lies before us. We must win at least 2 games for this season to not go down in sheer disappointment. That's 7-9 for the season, thus ending the suckfest and turning it into the mediocre bowl, also known as the Humanitarian Bowl. At least that's what they call it in college. 2-3 over 5 games.
To salvage something out of what's left of this season, I've decided to propose some easily makeable changes that will, if nothing else, give us a look at what we might become.
1. Install Bruce Campbell at RT
Oh where, oh where, has my boomstick gone? Stuck on the depth chart behind someone, I guess. But the current starter, Langston Walker, is getting outrun in pass protection. He was good last year, when he was a guard. He can't handle the outside rushers, the speed guys. With Freeney/Mathis looming large on the schedule and his job on the line, Tom Cable needs to play this guy. Sure, I was against this early on, but the other options are Mario Henderson (blocked himself out of a job) and Khalif Barnes (busy catching TDs in practice??).
2. Install Daniel Loper at RG
When Robert Gallery went down early in the season, most of us (excepting the much respected LAP) simply assumed we would fall hard, season's over, end of story. Then Loper, a Lions castoff of all people, stepped in and stepped up. And while he wasn't spectacular, he was solid. And in some cases, that's all you need. Our right side is a clusterf**k, and Cooper Carlisle isn't the answer.
3. Pick a horse, and ride him like a show pony
Bruce Gradkowski. Jason Campbell. Kyle Boller (ugh). Orange Darth Donkey show guy. Pick him and stick him in the lineup, and keep him/her/it there for the rest of the year. If you don't like them, just click your heels three times and say to yourself "Kellen Moore is available to draft, Kellen Moore is available to draft." And if you like Cam Newton, just look at the last Auburn QB drafted high. He's wearing number 8, in case you were wondering.
4. Run, rabbit. RUN RABBIT!!!!
Yes, I love that movie. And what, in the name of all that is unholy, are Hue and Tom thinking? Darren McFadden is finally, after exasperating the hell out of the Nation, living up to expectations. And the coaches say, "You know what? Let's not do this anymore." It's not like we're the Packers or Indy, where we don't have a RB. We have two high quality backs on the roster. Our receiving corps is essentially waste, with a notable exception. Why develop something you don't use?
5. Fire Sanjay Lal
When my girlfriend came home and found me enraged, she naturally asked what was wrong. I angrily muttered something about wide receivers dropping the ball and the receivers coach being a friggin idiotstick piece of- "What's his name?" she asked. When I responded, sneering Sanjay Lal's name, her immediate response was, "Isn't that the guy from American Idol?" It made me laugh, and wonder if indeed, Al would be crazy enough to do something like that. The short version is that this guy is an idiot. Lal needed to never be on this staff ever.
6. Terminate Paul Hackett and Ted Tollner
During this interminably lengthy period of insufferably losing seasons, we have had inconsistent quarterback play. The constant theme of these seasons seems to be Hackett and Tollner. Neither of these guys has done what they were brought in to do, which was to develop the QB and the passing game. Our QBs are at best, ineffective. Our passing game is a shadow of what it could be. This is their responsibility. Their heads are being prepared for the executioner as we speak.
There are other possibilities to contemplate. I'm leaving the defense alone, as the offense has been the most egregious violators and the lack of Nnamdi has exposed a lack of depth and experience in the secondary. But know John Marshall is moving up the list quickly. And Hue might be as well. I can only hope that these defeats were a lure, a way to lull the Chargers to sleep before administering the death blow to Norv Turner's career as coach there. It is the only reason I can explain the failure of these past games. Now we can only hope that this slumbering giant will awaken in time to slaughter the soul of the San Diego Chargers.