Monday, January 02, 2006

Black Cloud, No Silver Lining

















By the time I post this Coach Turner may be already fired... I have real mixed emotions about this one... Coach Turner, heck any new Head Coach, really needs a third year to get his program functional, the way he wants it, with the players he wants, with his philosophy in place... but then again, are there any circumstances underwhich a coach can stay when losing 7 of the last 8 in Year 2?

I'm torn about Coach Turner for a few reasons:

Through a horrible year, for the most part he still has the confidence of his players... make no mistake, this speaks volumes... Coach Turner was not the one who failed to block and pass protect, Coach Turner did not get flagged for false starts at home, Coach Turner did not throw the ball too high, Coach Turner did not drop many perfectly thrown balls... That said, as Head Football Coach, he is responsible for what happened on the field. Its very clear from Norv's post game remarks on Saturday that he knows as much and takes full responsibility.

The biggest problem in my mind is that the team actually regressed from '04. The '05 Raiders where shutout in the AFC West, they lost easily winnable games to the Dolphins, Jets, Browns... shit like that just doesn't happen to the Silver and Black World without major repercussions...

My football philosophy is guided by the words of the Great Gene Upshaw: "the Offensive Line is the Heartbeat of the football team"... Without a doubt, the '05 Raider O-Line was the worst in the storied history of our Great Oakland Raiders Franchise (or at least since 1962)...

There were many problems on this team this year but the O-Line is largely responsible for what went on... ANY continuity or rythm is established by the five men up front... I was shocked by the poor - piss poor - play of our O-line...

Look at it this way: put the best skill players in the NFL together - Peyton Manning, Shawn Alexander, Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Chad Johnson, Tony Gonzales - with our O-Line and they would struggle to score... what does that say?

No game plan or play calling could hide the deficiencies of our O-Line... Coach Turner really had his hands tied with the way these guys played. QBs Collins and Tui did not stand a chance... Its a minor miracle that Lamont Jordan gained 1000 yards....

Barry Sims Ole'd a DE 3 to 4 times per game... Badger, Stone and Treu were equally pathetic... Gallery and Grove regressed... there was no push up front in the middle all season long... the middle of the O-line was consistently soft .... oh for the not-so-long-ago days of Mo Collins, Barret Robbins and Frank Middleton...

Gallery, Stone, Grove, Treu, Badger and Sims let us all down, but most relevant today is that they let Coach Turner down - and it will cost Norv his job.

That said, should Norv be let go, my vote is for the return of the Great Art Shell... I'm sure Shell could turn our O-line into a strength again...

PS, to my buddies at the old Tri-State Raider Boosters... esp. Ivan and Darren, if your reading this pls email me at thetooz@mosszone.com

6 comments:

Mad Stork 83 said...

Great article, I agree with most of what you write, especially about the offensive line. However, it must be pointed out that the offensive line looked like a strength at the end of the 2004 season when they were coached by Aaron Kromer. NORV TURNER decided to fire Kromer and bring in his old friend Jim Coletto and the line fell apart? Coincidence?...

Anonymous said...

Hey guy, love the Canadian Raider point of view. Just wondering if anyone should be touting Casey Printers to Al? He's big, he's strong, throws a good ball and can run like the proverbial wind.

Alberta Raiders

The Tooz, Silver and Black Canada said...

Hey Alberta Raider! I believe they brought in Printers for a workout not so long ago... Who knows????

The Tooz, Silver and Black Canada said...

Hey mad stork 83!!! (LOVE the handle!)... not that it matters much any more but did Kromer get canned or was he out on his own? I thought he was a Gruden holdover that didn't plan to stay long was Gru was traded...

Raiderfanman said...

Back in 1994 I thought Art Shell was holding back the Raiders. (It was actually Terry Robiske) I think Art should return and return the Raiders to "Raider Ball" like he did in 1989. I think the players would respond to him, he's walked the talk, All-pro, Superbowl Champion, Hall of Famer. He is the man for the job.

The Tooz, Silver and Black Canada said...

Raiderfanman.... from your mouth to God's ears!!!!!!!!!!!!!