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Tony Sparano: Raiders "have forgotten how to win"

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Once again, Marshall Faulk has a question for us: Being GMC Professional Grade means being bold and decisive. At the quarter mark of the season, it’s time to put a stake in the ground. What bold decision would you like to see from your team?

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It just so happens, the Raiders already made that bold decision. It was the boldest decision any team could make.

Dennis Allen was ousted from his head coaching position Monday night. This move was not unexpected with the team going 0-4 on the season along with a couple embarrassing losses along the way. Taking over for Allen is interim head coach, Tony Sparano, who was promoted from assistant head coach.

Sparano was asked what went wrong with the Raiders this season and he didn't back away from the question.

"Honestly, I don't mind answering that question and I don't mind [the players] hearing it before I tell it to them," said Sparano. "I think the biggest problem right now is that they have forgotten how to win. You can fall into that trap. There's plenty of excuses out there right now, a lot of them. I say this with all due respect, you guys will have them lined up a mile long. There are a lot of excuses out there. We're not going to use those excuses. As soon as we taste, and we will taste, what it feels like to win, that's how change happens. There are a lot of teams in this league that are front-running teams. They taste it a little bit and then they want more and want more and want more. Our guys need to taste that. I think that's probably the biggest problem. They played their hearts out two weeks ago at New England and we came up short. We didn't win. That's the kind of game that we need to be able to win. We need to win one of those kinds of games and see that snowball and turn things around. That's what I've been a part of. I know it's possible. It's something that we're going to work real hard to get done here."

It can be easy to forget how to win for a team that hasn't tasted victory for so long. For the newcomers, it's just the four games. For the holdovers from last season, that losing streak is at ten games dating back to the six-game losing streak to finish out last season.

It' for that reason Dennis Allen is now out of a job.

Sure, you can say it wasn't all his fault. It wasn't. But ten straight losses can't be laid all on the players either. Great players can make up for bad coaching and great coaching can make up for some bad players. What the Raiders had was a lack of either one.

Will Sparano change that? That remains to be seen. But what is worse than zero wins? A change is the only thing that could possibly shake this team out of that rut. For that reason, this decision had to be made.

Allen had become the ultimate lame duck coach. Knowing he was to be fired whether it be sooner or later. And at 0-4 with the bye week ahead, this was always the time that decision was to be considered.

The Raiders now have 12 games ahead of them to try and get in the win column and/or look at least respectable and give them something to build upon for next season. If Sparano can light a fire under this team, he may return next season with the interim tag removed. If not, the Raiders will look elsewhere to find a winning solution.

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