With the holiday season and the Raider’s season at polar opposites, it’s time to bring things a little closer together. Our experiments with altered states of consciousness seem to be receding and with it the threat of an apocalyptic ending. We have survived, as fans and players this season, the madness of predictable uncertainty and we have won. But we have won a single battle and there will be many more during the offseason.
“The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones”
It’s so easy to forget the good that has come from many people. Part of the reason is the bad things that may have come from some of the same people. But that’s the difference between good and evil. The bad things that are happening are going to be here awhile unless we do something about it. The good things that are happening are telling us about the people doing the good things. We should not forget them or abandon them or the bad things will keep happening. So how about some love for:
I’m so on the fence with RM after this year but this is about love and I’ll give him some in the hopes that the bad men go away. OK, so I kept my light on in the closet as a kid too but it worked. Some of the other guys I’m giving love to were his picks. Some of the guys that I wish I could give some love to were his cuts, but this is about the loving not the hating. He’s got some eye for talent even if he doesn’t have the ears to go with it yet. I’m just going to assume that he was talked into the Briesel deal.
He’s made bad moves but he has positioned himself to act. He does have another OC on retainer. Wish he had used him but his presence on staff and the offensive struggles tell me he was at least thinking about it. He’s not gullible. As a rookie GM, he hired a rookie coach and made a rookie move by giving the coach selection over both coordinators when he should have made it only the coordinator within the coach’s field of expertise since it was a rookie coach with limited coordinator experience. It’s just a decision that had implications down the line and we’re seeing the implications. Still RM has been active and much of the hope for 2013 hinges on the activity.
Mark Davis gets much love for jumpstarting the dialogue regarding the abysmal fall of the Raiders. I say “fall” because we had been somewhat removed from a modest two game winning streak by a series of horrendous beatdowns of historical stature. With Reggie forced to do his best Anti-Al impression as part of the new look Raiders, Mark did his daddy proud and then retreated quietly. This of course opens the door for RM to do his interview and toss out a few ideas about what some of the problems are and what we’re going to have to do to solve them. Take MD out of the picture and RM might sound like dear departed Al getting ready to pull out the projector. Put MD back in and it’s just a routine presser with plans for the future. Much love Mark.
First player to get love on the team has to be Carson Palmer. He’s the one who has had to go the deepest into the belly of the beast. Hell, he gets his Fed Ex shipped there. Last year had to be the craziest year any QB could possibly have had. The holdout, couch time, the pickup with Hue, the PICKS!!!, the rust, the play, the fans. He was just in the holding pen. 2012 – Reggie, Hue fired, Knapp hired, Bush gone, no play calling, no PBS, no rushing, no huddle, no no huddle, no scoring, no defense, no PBS line, no ZBS line, no red zone packages (no sh-t??).
If he isn’t playing like Manning, it’s probably because we’re not treating him like Manning. CP3 has heart. He has spoken favorably of the coaches, as if to the players, as much to the fans. In particular, the manner in which he handled the decision to squash the no huddle is telling of his leadership. They said we couldn’t afford to rely on the no huddle for wins and they could be right but we can’t beat a team outside of Kansas City without it and so our season was destined to be 2 and whatever wins we could eke out of no huddle before we shut it down. CP handled the whole affair masterfully.
DMC gets much love for being a free man. For not being 51/50 for the season. For talking to whoever he’s rumored to have talked to about the madness rather than going with it. For coming back with some pop instead of checking out for the season. For getting passionate about the offensive insanity. He’s not a rookie anymore. He couldn’t do anything when he caught Knapp the first time around before Cable took over. He was doomed the minute DA pronounced him the every down back since everyone pretty much knows which downs we’re going to run. Which means no matter how many times he busts one, he’s going to have 4 or 5 stuffs in between. Palmer’s slight consolation is 4000 yards. DMC doesn’t get anything. Much love for realizing who he is and what he means to the team.
Goodson gets the love because I gave him a little hate early on. He’s been better than expected which I attribute to the limited carries. That’s cool because he hasn’t hurt us with fumbles. So he’s been a good pickup but I would still shy away from making him the every down back. And there is the fact that he seems to hit the IR as hard as DMC which defeats the purpose of backups and starters. But when he’s played, he’s definitely good and, at times, inspiring.
I’ve been giving Reece love since he’s got here. I’m just hoping the team will join in at some point. If you want to look at why we’re not 7-9 or 8-8, look no further than Marcel Reece. The potential that is Marcel Reece was never realized this entire season. Our limited offensive strategy envisioned Marcel Reece as a substitution player. Perhaps, if we had gotten around to fiddling with those red zone packages, we would have discovered potential in having Reece and DMC in the same backfield for a purpose other than to run sweeps from sideline to sideline. In chess, Reece would be a rook. We’re treating him like a pawn.
Veldheer and Little Wiz
Insanity isn’t a new thing for a Division 2 tackle that takes his first snap months later as a center (while the team was changing to a new scheme) after getting no snaps in the preseason. He and Little Wiz must have a lot to talk about and maybe that’s what keeps them going. Much, much love to these two because without them, we’d need a complete line. Little Wiz does convey the frustration of the season in some of his comments which is refreshing.
Always love for the hot rookie receivers. I don’t care what tomorrow brings, I’ll give the love in the hopes that it will continue. Streater has done good given all the dysfunction that is our offense. He is a bright spot on the team.
Easily the most productive hands on the field right now. He gets much love for holding things together while we figure out how to get an offense on the field. Our elation of having found a productive tight end is tempered with the knowledge that much of the production is tied into the dysfunction just as it was when Miller was here. But Myers has shown that he belongs to the future and he'll continue to make huge contributions to the offense once we decide to put one on the field.
The rest of the receiver corp.
Lots going on and it doesn’t appear everyone is on the same page (perhaps because it’s blank?). But you guys get much love too. You have battled predictability and the resultant tight coverage to the best of your individual abilities. You have run useless routes and pointless slants well short of the first down marker because you believed in the team, the coach and your ability to move 11 men 4 yards. You were wrong, of course, but we admire your spirit. For this and your willingness to do the same thing on the next set of downs, we give you much love.
PART 2: DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS