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Caveat Raiders II: Commitment to Excellence lacking in Deep South

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"Caveat Raiders II" revisits the data pattern that appears when comparing the backgrounds of players and their salaries to their performance on the field. It examines whether the Raiders should consider a player's background as a significant factor in its selection process, and speculates on whether or not the phenomena can be overcome. 

The table below shows the 25 Raiders making $1,000,000 or more/year. Those players whose names are bolded are generally considered poor performers - some worse than others. Gradkowski, who gave us much joy and hope last season, makes $541,760 - 5% of Russell's salary!

Our general consensus is that we need a lot of help on our Right O- Line and on the Interior D-Line. The three DTs who played last season are the 3rd, 5th and 9th highest paid on the team roster; the ROG and ROT are the 10th and 16th highest paid Raiders, respectively.       

When you look at the table you will notice that some players received a Caveat-Index [CI] ranging from 1 to 4; the legend below will explain how the CI is assigned.

This brings us to the crux of the matter. The raw data indicates that 6 of the 9 ‘poor performers' who make more than 1 Million/year both grew up and played college ball in what is know as the  Deep South. The Deep South [DS] is a widely used term designating the geographic area comprised of five states and the northern portion of a sixth: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Northern Florida. This region shares a common culture that is distinct, unique, and (with some exceptions) monolithic and pervasive.  

Once it came to light that 6 of our 9 worst players came out of the same cultural incubus we discussed and argued whether or not to boycott DS players for the good of the Raiders. A poll was taken (in which 288 votes were cast) and a 52% majority voted to abstain from bringing in any more DS players - except those coming out of Alabama.  

Many have and will deny there is a problem. Some blame Al's misjudging talent or the Raider organization's lack of structure or discipline that exacerbates propensities that DS players seem to possess.  

During the 500+ exchanges that took place on ‘Caveat Raiders I', names of great Raiders were presented with assertions that they were from the DS - but the facts could not support any but five: Willie Brown, Kenny Stabler, Hewritt Dixon, Ray Guy, and George Atkinson;  all grew up in the DS and played their college ball there. They demonstrate that no matter what adversities a culture imposes, an individual can overcome them and become great.  

A list of all the Great Raiders is presented below the Table

Oakland Raiders Player-Salary-Profile Table

Player

Position

Total Salary

College

Where Raised

CI*

Nnamdi Asomugha

CB

$12,001,560

California

Los Angeles, CA

1

JaMarcus Russell

QB

$11,255,440

LSU

Mobile, AL

4

Tommy Kelly

DT

$7,001,560

Mississippi

Jackson, MS

4

Shane Lechler

P

$6,401,560

Texas A&M

East Bernard, TX

1

Gerard Warren

DT

$6,130,000

Florida

Lake City, FL

4

Chris Johnson

CB

$6,006,760

Louisville

Longview, TX

1

Robert Gallery

OL/G

$5,999,260

Iowa

Winthrop, IA

1

Darren McFadden

RB

$5,391,760

Arkansas

No. Little Rock, AR

1

Richard Seymour

DE

$3,787,860

Georgia

Gadsden, SC

4

Cooper Carlisle

OL/G

$3,506,760

Florida

Greenville, MS

4

Justin Fargas

RB

$3,506,760

USC

Encino, CA

1

Greg Ellis

LB/DE

$3,000,000

North Carolina

Wendell, NC

1

Isaiah Ekejiuba

LB

$2,456,760

Virginia

Suffield, CT / Nigeria

1

Darrius Heyward-Bey

WR

$2,420,000

Maryland

Silver Springs, MD

1

Kirk Morrison

LB

$2,301,760

San Diego State

Oakland, CA

1

Cornell Green

OL/OT

$2,006,760

Central Florida

St. Petersburg, FL

1

Javon Walker

WR

$2,002,600

Florida State

Lafayette, LA

4

Sebastian Janikowski

K

$2,001,560

Florida State

Walbrzych, Poland

2

Mike Mitchell

S

$1,910,000

Ohio

Fort Thomas, KY

1

Ricky Brown

LB

$1,551,760

Boston College

Cincinnati, OH

1

Erik Pears

OL/T

$1,506,760

Colorado State

Denver, CO

1

Khalif Barnes

OL/T

$1,200,000

Washington

Spring Valley, CA

1

Matt Shaughnessy

ED

$1,162,250

Wisconsin

Norwich, CT

1

Jon Alston

LB

$1,016,760

Stanford

Shreveport, LA

3

Tony Stewart

TE

$1,000,000

Penn State

Allentown, PA

1

 

                      *Caveat-Index [risk factor for Raiders (D is high risk)]                                                             CI

Raised Outside the Deep South And Played College Ball Outside the Deep South

1

Raised Outside the Deep South But Played College Ball in the Deep South

2

Raised in the Deep South But Played College Ball Outside the Deep South

3

Raised in the Deep South And Played College Ball in the Deep South

4

 

Saint and Spirals suggested that the Raider organization itself might be a factor in the failure of DS players due to its lax structure and Al's famous laissez faire towards players -"treating men like men" and (ironically) abstaining from interference.  It's true that Al's way is the opposite of those methods of the SEC and perhaps a militaristic approach could work with DS players - if, in fact,  the problem is the need for externally imposed discipline. But why should the Raider culture change to accommodate a foreign culture?

NB. This article is entirely about culture's adverse effects on Raider performance; it has nothing to do with race.  brhynno speaks for me and others when he writes, "This, above all, should be the factor by which we choose a player: the innate desire to be great; [players who] don't care about getting paid, just being great." 

GREAT RAIDERS (those who played in 2 or more Pro Bowls as a Raider)

12 Pro Bowls

5 Pro Bowls

3 Pro Bowls

Great Raiders in HOF

Jim Otto

Terry McDaniel

Ben Davidson

Jim Otto

9 Pro Bowls

Lester Hayes

Jack Tatum

George Blanda

Tim Brown

Todd Christensen

Marv Hubbard

Willie Brown [DS]

8 Pro Bowls

Marcus Allen

Dan Conners

Gene Upshaw

Howie Long

Dave Casper

Don Mosebar

Fred Biletnikoff

Art Shell

4 Pro Bowls

Mike Haynes

Art Shell

Steve Wisniewski

George Blanda

Lincoln Kennedy

Ted Hendricks

7 Pro Bowls

Ken Stabler [DS]

Fred Williamson

Mike Haynes

Ray Guy [DS]

Hewritt Dixon [DS]

Dave Grayson

Howie Long

Willie Brown [DS]

Raymond Chester

Harry Schuh

Dave Casper

Gene Upshaw

Phil Villapiano

Nnamdi Asomugha

Marcus Allen

6 Pro Bowls

Daryle Lamonica

2 Pro Bowls

 Non-Player HOF'ers

Fred Biletnikoff

Ted Hendricks

George Atkinson [DS]

 Al Davis, Coach/GM/Owner/Icon

Shane Lechler

Cliff Branch

Vann McElroy

 John Madden, Coach/Ambassador

Clem Daniels

Henry Lawrence

Chester McGlockton

Derrick Burgess

Art Powell

Warren Wells

Rich Gannon

Greg Townsend

Tom Keating

Darrell Russell

Kent McCloughan