What Am I Missing?????

The logic-defying trend that is the 2012 version of the Oakland Raiders took another mind bending twist into an alternate universe to commemorate the conclusion of a dismal and logic-defying season that began with a mind bending twist into an alternate universe where ZBS would lead the team to the light. Except we didn’t have a ZBS line and our starting back hated the ZBS and 3 of our 5 players sucked. And ZBS can’t overcome predictability. But it didn’t matter in this alternate universe and that was enough for our coaches.

To commemorate the conclusion of a dismal and logic-defying season, the coaches have managed to create a conundrum that cannot possibly exist anywhere in the physical world. The components necessary for such a conundrum do not occur naturally. It could be that the Mayans were correct, the world has ended and therefore there is a need for to evaluate Matt Leinart as QB for next year. One can certainly argue that sounds apocalyptic enough to be true. But there is no place to go in that universe, so we must stick to terra firma. We must pick our shredded Gregorian calendar off the floor, shaking the tattered pieces of 2012 out of remembrance. We must recall the names of the days and the weeks and the months before the world ended. We must write those words into the calendar, starting with 2013.

Now that we have created a world where 2013 matters, we can address the mythical conundrum on firmer ground. We can plant the seed of reason beginning today. We start by remembering that Matt Leinart won’t be here in 2013. That there exists no scenario in this universe that envisions such an occurrence without a white flag being attached to the season. Since we flew the white flag midway through this season, that will not do. Two white flags in a row will not do. Save the surrender to win for the 12 step meetings. Mediocrity is insufferable when combined with routine. Moving forward, we cannot afford half measures such as the ones that accompanied this entire season.

Matt Leinart is here because of Greg Knapp. That’s the only reason Leinart is here. He’s been available before and he’ll be available again. As in all that is Greg Knapp, familiarity has bred contempt. Leinart would like an opportunity to compete now that Palmer is out Christmas shopping for the o line. It’s logical, in his universe and ours, that’s what backups do. Grad and Campbell, Henne and Gabbert, that’s what backups do. Because change comes through backups. Brady was a backup. Young was a backup (which was frigging insane!!!!). Gannon was a backup. Warner was a backup. Fire from the bench is what everyone remembers years later as a Pro Bowl QB is shredding defenses. Problem is, we know that won’t happen with Matt Leinart. There is way more than enough film to move beyond that dream. His value to the Oakland Raiders is “emergency” only. The problem is we don’t have the luxury of having an emergency QB. Roster spots are tight. We don’t have an offensive system that we can just hand off to an emergency QB to run for a week or two. We don’t have an offensive system, period, but that’s another issue. After 4 preseason games and 15 regular season games, we still have not gotten around to developing any red zone packages utilizing our “prospect” QB. That’s the one we decided we might keep for 2013. Considering our red zone offense is still in the toilet after a year, the prospects of our prospect in the red zone in 2013 don’t look good.

Speaking of Pryor, our prospect, who is the second half of the mythical conundrum, we have to wonder what is going on. The verdict is bad, very bad. He throws the ball behind him, he runs into the bench, can’t read. So why is he still here?? I remember something about RM saying “at some point, we’re going to have to take a look at Pryor”. Has RM not gotten the message that we already have? Well there is Pryor’s “footwork”, but I’m a little gun shy of that word since it came up a lot in the “ZBS” discussion too as an improvement that I never saw. I have this dreaded feeling there’s an old 8 mm projector somewhere in the coaches lounge with black and white films of old high school games. And some obscure coach rallies his team to some improbable victory using the word “footwork” a thousand times. And our coaches sitting there mesmerized. So let’s just say I hate it when they use the word “footwork” in any sentence, right or wrong.

RM makes a good point. “Sho” would be nice if we could see whether we need to start looking for a new prospect. If he’s as bad as they say, shouldn’t be a problem. Don’t worry about it being ugly. We’ve seen ugly all year. We ain’t scared of ugly. We’re immune to ugly. We see it and we’re bored. Whatever TP does on Sunday will not be as ugly as the last two games, I guarantee it. Can’t be. He’s a rookie QB stepping in for the first time. Those were grown men playing in their 14th and 15th game that couldn’t score a TD. If they can’t score a TD, am I going to be upset with TP if he doesn’t? Only happens in alternate universes where Willie Smith is a right tackle and Greg Knapp is an offensive coordinator.

While our latest conundrum is fitting as a logic-defying conclusion to our logic-defying season, it’s also a serious wake-up call regarding the state of the 2013 season. Even those content to let mad experiments run their course have to be shocked we’re asking for more beakers and Bunsen burners at this point in the season. As far as Raiders management is concerned, change is required. What form it takes may be up for discussion but there must be steps taken to place management, fans, team, coaches and players in the same universe. We are not technically advanced enough to exist in multi-universe environments.

Going into our 16th game of the season, we are aware of one thing. We are ill-prepared for this game. Regardless of the score at the end, we did not approach this game in a manner beneficial moving forward. The lack of preparation in developing any offensive packages around TP speaks volumes about the real problem. Don’t be misled by the “Leinart” debate, that’s what’s really happening in this universe. We have wasted so much time trying to get our stagnant offense going that we have not game planned one iota into the future. We could have had Saunders doodling during TD less games on napkins instead of being forced to watch the debacles unfold. Instead, we took a Knapp.

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