Posted January 05 2007 - 08:26 PM
Ah, the discussion turns to 1 of my favorite topics, inept franchises. This never gets old for me, maybe if I were a Cardinals or a Lions fan it might...but its not just that I love this discussion in any sports thread.
| Back to Al Davis, |
I think he can return his team to it's former glory. The problem is I think he is too impatient right now. He has made some poor decisions as of late. I'm
surprised that Daniel Snyder has been as patient as he has with Joe Gibbs but I think he fears the backlash if he runs Gibbs out of town.
Here's the thing, Al Davis was written off 10 years ago, and then hired Jon Gruden. People give Gruden a lot of credit for those Raiders teams and he deserves a lot but the reality is that all of those guys that were brought in were brought in by Al Davis. Davis had his hands in everything including the selection of the 53 man roster. Picking the 53 man roster was 1 of the sticking points when the team was trying to renegotiate his contract.
So, I'm not willing to write him off as someone who doesn't get it. Everyone that interviews with the Raiders even now values the experience because they end up getting a football lesson. I do think he's set in his ways but who at that age doesn't fit that statement really? I'm not ready to write Davis off but I do have a pen and paper sitting on the desk if that makes any sense.
The one thing you have to give the guy though even now is that football is his business. Its not a pet project, its not something he has as a little pet project. He genuinely cares, even f it is a bit misguided, at least he cares about his team. That can not be said of every owner in the NFL. Those in Dallas, Pittsburgh, The Giants, Kansas City...Green Bay (probably the most caring owners in the league up in Green Bay) Arthur Blank cares down in Atlanta and the franchise benefits from that even if it doesn't show in the win column every season. Red McCombs owned the Vikings and to him it was just another thing. His ownership was a complete disaster.
As for the Cardinals, they're a lot like the Raiders in this respect. There is talent, in Arizona its mainly on offense, in Oakland its the defense. Neither organization is fond of paying coaches big money. Of course Arizona is far more willing to extend that same policy to the playing field. Also, I think I read somewhere perhaps a whole bunch of times that the longest tenured coach in the history of the franchise got 6 years. One other thing that both franchises have in common is that this year (as in years past) whomever is hired as the head coach is going to have to work with assistants that were part of the last regime. I believe Arizona is retaining 7 of Dennis Green's assistants and Oakland's new coach (if its not Rob Ryan) will retain Ryan, and a majority of the defensive staff and probably some of the offensive coaches like Fred Belitnikoff.
As for the playoffs, I only pick them 1 week at a time because of the injury factor and potential matchups.
I like The Colts over the Chiefs in a high-scoring game. Indianapolis can't stop the run but the Chiefs defense hasn't exactly been Baltimore's this year either. This is a game where an upset wouldn't really be an upset though.
Patriots over the Jets: I don't want to pick against New England in round 1 even if they have no receivers to speak of at this point.
Cowboys over Seahawks: I'm not really thrilled with either one of these teams especially with Dallas losing at home to Detroit. Seattle has a strong home-field but they haven't beaten anyone with a winning record.
Eagles over Giants: I can't believe I'm predicting success for Jeff Garcia in a playoff game in 2007. If Coughlin's Giants lose, he's done.