Many of these quickly become heated topics, so let's just try and apply some logic, and not be too harsh in assessments of other people's ideas (goes for me too).
As a forum, we have a wide variety of opinions on various issues regarding the team that tend to only come out in bits and pieces via posts. Seldom does anybody really have the chance to lay it all out, all their plans and schemes.
So with the benefit of hindsight, how would this season have gone if you were the shot caller?
( Note: The fictional situations put forth are not meant to render judgement on actual personnel, etc. Merely a set of circumstances)
Congratulations, you've just been hired as the new GM for the Oakland Raiders. You have your work cut out for you.
-In January, the Raiders opt not to bring Tom Cable back. They tell you to go out and find a new coach. Do you hire an offensive or a defensive minded coach? Who? Why? (assume the big name still won't show up due to their apprehension of the sinister MGP..can't make this too easy)
-The new coach looks at some film, looks over his roster and...
A)If you hired an offensive-minded coach, he tells you, "Don't worry. We'll shock and awe'em on the ground and through the air. We just need to solidify the O in a few spots. Don't worry about the defense. We'll blow them away with our offense." (In traditional video game style, he brings about a 20% increase in offensive productivity already with the players you have.) Which guys is he talking about, and how will you go about getting them?
B)If you hired a defensive-minded coach, he says, "Great, I have a job. But we got A LOT of work to do on this defense. Damn near last in the league against the run. That won't do at all. We're gonna need some people. And we need to do some house-cleaning." (Your defensive-minded coach brings about a 20% increase in defensive productivity.) Who needs to come in, who needs to go, and how do you go about it?
The season gets underway, and if you hired an offensive coach, you see the O coalescing into something worthy of the vertical passing game concept. If you hired a defensive coach, you begin to see new life from some of your defensive starters who only last year seemed to have trouble.
-Week 6 The unthinkable happens. Jason Campbell gets his collarbone broken and may be gone for the rest of the season. The coach comes to you and says, "Are we competing this year, or going for a better draft choice? If we want to make a playoff run, I need somebody else in here."
Are you making a playoff run or are you going to call it a season? If you are thinking post-season, who do you bring in and why? What do expect the cost to be for the new acquisition? (This has obviously been a touchy question for us, so let's just try and exercise the logic here, keep it cool, and make a case for your guy.) Also, you've got 2 days before the trade deadline, so if you've got some last minute magic, now's the time.
-Week 7 Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, you lose Darren McFadden to a Lisfranc injury. He's expected to miss at least two months. Do you put Darren on IR, or decide to wait it out? If you do put him on IR, do you bring in another RB? Who?
In addition, if you decided to ride it out with your backup QB, Kyle Boller teaches you the meaning of awful against Kansas City. Your head coach has a pained look on his face every time #7 goes out on to the field. Do you stick with him regardless, smiling to yourself as you envision those draft picks you're going to make in April or does the horror of it send you rushing to the phones looking for somebody else to take the snaps?
-Week 14 The injuries are racking up something fierce, despite the best efforts of your trainers.
Your record stands at 9-3, if you pulled a Gannon out of the hat, 7-5 if you brought in a pretty good QB, 5-7 if you stuck with your backup.
At Lambeau, things are not going well. In the 3rd quarter, Richard Seymour decides he's not going to take it anymore. He rips off an Packer offensive lineman's helmet, and proceeds to hit the guy with a right-left-right combo that would make most boxers gape. Ref doesn't see it that way and ejects him from the game. Come Monday, Powderpuff Girl Goodell gives him a 3 game suspension. You invite him into your office the next day and tell him....
-Week 16 McFadden is back, Campbell is not. If you found yourself a pretty good QB, you beat the Chiefs in a close one. You finish the season with a 9-7 record. Not terrible, but you get edged out of the play offs by the Tebownator.
If you pulled a Gannon out of the hat, you destroy them to the point where the Raiders fans in the KC stands are openly brawling with Chiefs fans. The entire place gets tear-gassed by Kansas City Police. You finish at 11-5, make the playoffs but lose in the AFC Championship game.
If you stuck with Boller through all this (You are as stoic as they come. They'll probably put it on your tombstone when the mob of outraged Raider fans outside of Alameda gets through with you.), the Chiefs utterly humiliate the Raiders for the second time. You finish 5-11, but the draft next year is going to be your oyster.
Regardless of what you did for your first season, the press will find fault in your performance as GM. What do you tell them?
Next thing you know, it's the off season, and you get to start over again...