There are fans of all types with all sorts of varying backgrounds and knowledge levels. Some have detailed memories and knowledge of the Raiders dating back into the Glory Days, others are more recent but have no less enthusiasm about the team. Some have played the game in High School and maybe College, others have Coached various levels, and some are Coaching right now. Some are very stat-wise and aware of details that elude most of us, while others are within tweet's reach of each and every Raider. Some have fantastic insight into the X's and O's of the game, while others are still learning and growing in both detailed knowledge and fandom. What we all have in common is that we are unified together as the Greatest Fanbase of any NFL Team and actually any sporting team, Period.
Sites, blogs, and forums like S&BP allow us to gather, interact, share, and exchange thoughts, opinions, facts, and stats. And this is a virtual treasure trove of Raider information, where guys like Levi and MAK keep us all current with up-to-the-moment details in what's going on in Raider HQ. And this is all Fantastic!
And now, I would like to try to organize some of the more interested fans to extend the manner in which we interact. I want us to STUDY together.
A few of you frequent my blog and so are aware of my interest in the play breakdowns and in study and detailing interesting and important plays from the games. It's been quite a bit of fun and very rewarding and I've grown so much as a fan from doing it and have made uncountable new friends as a result. And now I want to share that experience with anyone who is interested.
I'd like to start an Informal Study Group, which is basically a few (or hopefully more than that) interested fans who want to take a little extra time (especially in these Dog Days of the Offseason), to look at and study some plays from the previous year.
For a certain time period (perhaps a week), we'll choose a few plays to look at. We'll all get the video and some screenshots and then we'lll have a "Homework assignment." That assignment will be to look at the video closely and break down the play as best you can. If it's a defensive play, we can look at what we think the assignments are and where the defenders should be. What gaps should be filled and by whom, or whether a certain defender is getting beaten by a blocker.
Then we can compare notes. Since we'll all be looking at the same play with the same video and the same screenshots, we'll be able to discuss it in detail. Those that have deeper knowledge can inform the rest of us; those that are confused are have less X and O knowledge are free to ask questions and likely generate interesting discussions, whether or execution or in philosophies. More motivated individuals may mark up the screenshots in a Paint Program and give us some diagrams that may clear up some confusions or misconceptions.
All the while each participant will provide an interesting perspective on what is happening and what they expect SHOULD be happening.
I will of course be willing to facilitate the process and to provide the materials, including the initial "homework assignments" that give a framework of what to look for and what to discuss. But ideally there will be increased feedback and ownership by various individuals who may want input into play selection and details.
So I'm asking you, Raider Nation, are any of you interested in participating in such a Project? If so, I will start preparing the materials and planning the first set.