Damn, I feel like I just typed up one of these columns yesterday, that is just the way that these last couple weeks have been. It’s felt like I haven’t had the time to take a good shit. And it’s important to be able to have the time to take a good healthy dump, because sometimes that’s the only place where the wife will leave you alone. Anyway, enough preambles, lets get right into what is on my mind after this past weekend.
1- Layoff Lane
I feel like this is quickly becoming the Lane Kiffin apologist blog, but the criticism of Lane following Saturday’s game is astounding. The bulk of the critique is aimed at Lane’s decision to let the world know that the Raiders were going to come out passing against the Cardinals.
The critics have lambasted Lane, “why would you announce ahead of time of your intentions”, “this was a major tactical error”, “when it wasn’t working they should he should have gone back to the run”.
Dear Critics, you are idiots, this is the preseason, the game doesn’t count.
The point of telling the other team that you are going to come out passing is that you want them to gameplan for that. You want to see how your passing attack stacks up against a team trying to shut it down. You want to know how the team is going to perform when it has to pass, and when you have to pass the other team knows it and attacks accordingly.
Trust me, Lane is hardly the only coach who is letting the other team know what they are doing prior to a preseason game. Detroit came out and ran their two minute offense to start this past weekends game, and if you take a look, the other team ran their prevent to start the game. You think that wasn’t planned out ahead of time between the coaches? The only thing that Lane did differently was he let all of us in on the secret prior to the game.
2 – I need to get my Fantasy draft review out
Had my second live draft of the season this past weekend. Got together with a bunch of Guys here in the burgh and sat around a living room drafting. And holy shit; there were some confounding moves. I mean stuff that really hurt my brain trying to figure them out.
Needless to say, when I tell you who the last pick of the 1st round was, and the 1st pick of the 2nd round was you are going to be lining up to get into this league next season and try to win the pot, since there is at least one player just lighting Franklins on fire.
3 – Nature rocks
Lots of time spent out in nature this weekend. I needed to get out and away from the house, cell phones and computers. Saturday morning we went hiking some mountain bike and horse trails nearby, at one point we stopped for five minutes and just watched a spider spin its web. I don’t know if that qualifies as a Zen experience, but just stopping to appreciate nature is something everyone should do.
Sunday I made the trek down to WV to the family land solo. While the local park was relaxing, it just doesn’t compare to the relaxation I get from hiking out into the forest where there is no one for miles. Brought my lunch, by bow and a target. Took target practice for about an hour, then I started hiking. Stopping at a ridgeline where I could over look the valley and the mountain across the way and just soaked in the sun as I devoured a sandwich. Watched a turkey strut, and squirrels frolic. To me there is nothing better that just being alone where I can quietly watch the world without any other people around.
4 – I don’t care who you are, your shit stinks too
I have a co-worker, we will call him Frank, Frank has a reputation for being one of the best in the company at his job. Frank fully believes that he is the best at his job, Frank believes that he is infallible, and that he knows best how to get any task done.
For the last three months Frank has been droning on and on at every meeting that he wants a certain task performed his way. We have been performing the task as per his instructions. Now there is a problem. Frank has disavowed any knowledge of ever instructing us to perform in the manner resulting in the problem. This is typical Frank.
Now don’t try to tell Frank that you have been doing what he wants, according to Frank that’s just not true. Don’t try telling the Project Manager, he loves Frank, Frank can do no wrong. I hate Frank.
5 – As much as I love going there, I could never live in WV
A sad truth struck me this weekend. As much as I love going to the Family land in West Virginia, I could never set up a home and live there. And there is one simple reason for this: I can’t grow a beard.
As I drove up the dirt road to the land I pass some of the neighbors (i.e. people who live within a mile of us). All of them proudly wore full beards. When I stopped at the local general store, only three miles from my place, even the 17 year old behind the register had the scraggly start to his facial masterpiece on display.
I am well into my 3rd decade on this planet; I still need only to shave twice a week. I would never be able to fit into the mountain man culture down there, I just wouldn’t be able to fit in, and that saddens me, damn you genetics.
6 – The injury bug hits, and proves Lane right
Back to the Raiders, there were two major injuries to the Raiders this weekend as both Carter and O’Neil went down with season ending knee injuries. Of course, as luck would have it, both of them play positions where there is little to no depth behind them.
We all knew coming into this season that the Raiders were one injury away from major problems at WR, hell there were major problems there without injury. As camp progressed we were regularly informed that the receivers on the roster just weren’t getting it done, and many of them were having trouble staying on the field.
At FB, the Raiders looked damn good at both starter and back up. Griffen plays at a probowl level, and O’Neil was pushing him for playing time last season, combined with the RB’s, the Raiders had an embarrassment of wealth at the position. But looking at the depth chart the Raiders were only 2 deep at FB, sure Rankin was getting some time at H-back, but for all the wear and tear a FB receives, you should at least have a camp body there.
Now the Raiders have a major problem, cut downs are upon us, and there is nobody to step up, nobody has been brought in to get some sort of handle on the system. The Raiders are either going to have to keep a WR that should be on the street or pick up someone who has no experience in the system.
At FB, the Raiders now have to bring in another body, once again some one with no experience in the system, the Raiders are a run 1st team, and now Griffen will have to play extra time, opening him up to injury. Bad things man.
7 – For those looking for Haters
Raider Nation loves to claim that the media is full of Haters, everyone is out to cut down the Raiders at every chance they get. Well Nation, we finally have a true outlet in the media for your disdain.
Marty Schottenheimer has joined Sirius NFL radio. As I type this he and Adam Schein are discussing the Raiders potential for the upcoming season. Marty has the Raiders pegged for 3 wins. When pressed on the issue, his reasoning is…”They are the Raiders”. That’s it, no insight, no reasoning; just “they are the Raiders”.
OK, I will give you that one Nation that is a hater. Schottenheimer went on to disparage Al Davis’s contributions to the league, claiming that he never did anything for the good of the league, he only looked out for the Raiders. Go Fuck yourself Marty, Davis has arguably done as much for the league as any other Owner.
You want to know why you are no longer a coach in the league Marty, because of one thing, when it came to the playoffs you knew that your team was going to lose, for one simple reason, “(Insert Team Name) is coached by Marty”.