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Happy New Year

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 1:26 am in Oakland Raiders.

Returning from a New Year’s Eve Party less than an hour after midnight shows my age, I guess.

A handful of Raiders fans were there, including the hosts. Even their dog was named `Raider.’

It was almost like a chat, not that I minded with an open bar plus a craps table and a blackjack table available for entertainment purposes only.

The condensed version of my Raiders-related responses: Cable goes, JaMarcus stays, Gruden isn’t coming back.

Thanks for your interest in the past year, whether you agree with me or not, whether I meet your informational standards or not . . .

The biggest Raiders moment of the last decade was the “Tuck Rule” game. Yes, the Raiders got a raw deal. And it would have never happened if they’d have converted third-and-1 with Zack Crockett, if Adam Vinatieri hadn’t hit a miracle field goal, and the Raiders hadn’t wilted in the face of Walt Coleman.

It not only led to a Raiders loss, but set up a timeline in which Jon Gruden was available by trade to Tampa Bay, which just happened to be the opponent which mopped up the Raiders in the Super Bowl.

Best moment of the decade? The sound of the Coliseum when Tory James set sail on a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown in the playoffs against Miami, which ignited a 27-0 win and signified the Raiders as having officially returned to relevance.

The Raiders were back in their old Oakland glory, if only for awhile.

Worst moment?

Everything pales after Walt Coleman, because of what it meant and the sequence of events that followed.

Gruden was gone, Bruce Allen was soon to follow. Rich Gannon was injured, and Al Davis flailed as if he were thrown off a high dive and didn’t know how to swim. Most moves made in desperation failed, with the Raiders currently residing at or near the bottom of the NFL ocean.

Here’s hoping Davis recognizes his way isn’t working and hands over the reins to a capable replacement or suddenly rediscovers what it takes to build a winning team. Cynic that I am, the guess is neither is forthcoming in in the immediate future.

Either way, the number of empty seats is evidence enough it’s about time he realizes the problem.

Not exactly an uplifting year-ender, I realize. Hope to be writing something much different a year from now, explaining the error of my ways.

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  • RaiderDuck

    Wish I could argue with you. I can’t, except for one part:

    The lowest point came during this season, when a bunch of empty suits on the NFL Network were talking some lousy team or other, and one of them said, “And imagine: They have a worse record than the RAIDERS!”

    Laughingstock-status hurts worse than anything else.

    Hire a GM, Al. PLEASE.

  • Moose

    Highlight for me is watching Murphy discover how many bad calls the Raiders get…unbelievable watching him discover what we already know

  • Moose

    Al had a GM between the end of last season up unto the draft…everything was perfect if you recall,i heard it was an ex-Raider and member of the scouting team that was GMing during this period..but then Al got draft fever and we get Hey to the Bey instead of Moore or Oher

  • 4evaRaider

    Good Morning NATION

    Twenty Ten arise from the dead

  • 4evaRaider

    How much “entertainment” money did you win Jerry? =)

  • Florida Pete

    you left one part out of your assessment of the Tuck rule game…

    Gruden quit… he gave up…

    and the team followed him…

  • SnakeStabler

    The decade of the 2000s started so promising- the Raiders defeated the Chiefs at the end of the 1999 season to knock them out of the playoffs in January of 2000. Then the Raiders won division titles in 2000, 2001, and 2002 a remarkable event in a league of parity. Then the bottom fell out. At this point I don’t know if the Raiders will be even a .500 team again. Things look very bleak.

  • Florida Pete

    one other worst moment was Siragusa doing a pile-driver onto Gannon’s arm… with no flag… now that was amazing…

  • 4evaRaider

    Pete….if thats the case and Gruden quit as you say,why in the world would some want him back?

  • raidermarty

    Happy New Year RAIDER NATION! May 2010 be the year Al Davis finally does something good for the team and we turn it around!
    GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!

  • Florida Pete

    4evaRaider Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 5:35 am
    Pete….if thats the case and Gruden quit as you say,why in the world would some want him back?

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    you must not have watched the game…

    anyway… the people who want him back fall into two categories…

    the ones who blame Al for Gruden’s quitting…

    people like me who, because there seems nowhere else to go to get back credibility… wants him back…

    besides… if anyone should get a second chance it should be Gruden…

    Gruden is probably a far better coach now than he was his first time around…

  • 4evaRaider

    well he looked pissed after the call,the coin flip really seemed to piss him off….

    But as I said B4 Big Al is all about 2nd chances soo if he was to come back,GREAT but I doubt the chace will arise 4 him…

    Abd heprolly woukd be a better coach this time around also

  • 4evaRaider

    sorry about the last post still a little hammered from last nite =)

  • Florida Pete

    ghs;oiu fj okay…

  • raiderzmaverick

    Well, hopefully the 7 year hangover ends soon….

  • El Tato

    Tennessee safety Eric Berry announced that he’s skipping his senior season and entering the NFL draft.

    I hope he is not selected by KC and he stays out of the AFC West.

    He is an example of what kind of DB you select Top-10 overall, 2 FF and 14 INTs in 3 years (Huff had 4 INTs in 4 years)

    If we are going to select a DB in round 1, I hope its him. Taylor Mays has 1 FF and 5 INTs (1 in the last 2 seasons) in 4 years.

  • Kirk

    The Raiders could turn around very easily.

    1. Hire a new coach and GM.

    2. Start Gradkowski, Bush, Murphy, Schilens, and
    Miller.

    3. Draft O line, D line, and middle linebacker.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Why would we draft a SAFETY? I could even see the lunacy in picking a CB but another safety? We have too many as it is and can’t even put in our 2nd round pick who is looking pretty good.

    As far as coaches go, I’d be fine for Cable to stay if an OC was added.

    If not, I’d be happy with Fassel (He probably knows what to expect and could work with Al descently). If Gruden would come back and Al could swallow it I’d be happy with him too. Whoever’s head coach I’d like a bright OC with him who will call the plays. I don’t think Gilbride would be so hot.

  • raiderzmaverick

    # Kirk Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 8:40 am

    The Raiders could turn around very easily.

    1. Hire a new coach and GM.

    2. Start Gradkowski, Bush, Murphy, Schilens, and
    Miller.

    3. Draft O line, D line, and middle linebacker.

    —————————————–
    I pretty well agree with that. I’d say get another QB for competition for Gradkowski. I don’t want to put all our eggs in that basket, but I wouldn’t be unhappy for him to be given a chance to win the starting job next year – as long as there’s someone else valid who he’s competing against as well.

  • El Tato

    Why would we draft a SAFETY? I could even see the lunacy in picking a CB but another safety? We have too many as it is and can’t even put in our 2nd round pick who is looking pretty good.

    ………………………………………

    I dont want a SAFETY, I m just saying, if we are going to select a DB in round 1, I only hope its Berry, the guy its awesome, he can play SS, FS, CB and KR, 14 INTs in 3 years. He will be Ed Reed Part II.

  • El Tato

    I want ILB Rolando McClain or OT in round 1.

    ILB Brandon Spikes could slip to round 2, because of speed limitations (like Rey Maualuga last year), it would be awesome an OT in round 1 and Spikes in round 2.

  • http://atm Raider O

    I want ILB R McClain in the 1st, Carlos Dunlap in the 2nd, and a RT in the 3rd! Move Seymour inside!

  • http://atm Raider O

    I think McClain and Suh are the best 2 players in this draft. And I want one of them! I like McClain more than Suh! 6’4 255 and runs a sub 4.6

  • http://atm Raider O

    I think McClain can be as good as P Willis if not better.

  • jhill

    This weekend will show you why we are drafting CB in Rd 1 this year.

    Holland as the nickle this week? With no one behind him, mind you.

    Will probably see Huff play the nickle over Holland with Eugene getting S reps.

    SAD CB situation from a depth perspective. Right up there with OG!

  • jhill

    So with Stanford losing, does that impact our chances of getting Harbaugh?

  • http://atm Raider O

    LMAO

    How many 1st RD CBs and Ss can ONE team draft in a Decade?

    Philip B
    Nnamdi
    Washington
    Gibson
    Huff

    Play Huff at CB since he can cover, and play Branch and Mitchell at Ss.

    No more DBs in RD 1 !!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Harbaugh or Fassel!! ill be happy. I also like John Fox and Jack Del Rio.

  • http://atm Raider O

    I think Fox and Del Rio are good coaches, but they need some GM help for Talent and FAs. Could be the perefect fit with Al!

  • jhill

    CB is actually a need this year, O. You simply can’t deny that. Unless we are bringing Routt and Bowie back that is.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Jhill,

    It’s been a few years since Al drafted a CB, so I will not be surprised at all!
    Still LMAO

    That would make it 6 DBs in RD1 in the last decade, 1 LB, 1DE, 1 K, 1 OL, 1QB, 1RB, and 1WR.

  • jhill

    I just don’t understand how we do not have a single backup OG on the roster?

  • jhill

    Or KR?

  • http://atm Raider O

    Jhill,

    I agree that we need help at CB. CJ is descent at best, and Routt can’t cover! I still will not draft a CB in RD1 due to other more important needs. OL, DL, and LBs!

    We still allow about 150 yards rushing a game. A CB will not help much against the Run!

  • jhill

    We certainly have other needs, can’t deny that. I actually am rallying for OT in Rd 1 and C in Rd 2. Just wouldn’t be surprised or mad if CB was the pick.

  • http://atm Raider O

    I will not be surprised as I said. Al loves drafting DBs in RD1, and he hasn’t drafted a CB in RD 1 since Washington. That was 4 long years ago. lol

    I would be Mad Jhill!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Buckeyes vs. Ducks!!!

    Go Buckeyes!!!!!!!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Brutally honest and probably correct assessment from Jerry….

    Anyway, why do the Raiders have to draft a nickleback in the 1st round. Good grief! Drafted all of these fleet footed CBs AND traded a 2nd & 5th for deAngelo Hall and we still need CB help?

    Forget it! I can live with a hole in the secondary. Draft some kid in the 4th round and bring in some free agents…we don’t need a rockstar back there…just someone competent.

    The run defense is still awful…(in case anyone realizes, big runs count in the stats and results, they don’t give do-overs….the offensive line is atrocious, I see Henderson as the only reliable lineman. We have no right side, backup center and Gallery coming off back surgery, a broken leg, a bad knee and a bunch of other injuries and he was just barely above average to begin with….he is going to look old next year.

    We need a middle linebacker to go with a lane clogging NT…

    If the Raiders draft a CB in the 1st round or 2nd round…..I may have to look away for 2010

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Since Fargas is so talented…can’t we trade him and JaDavis..throw in D-HB for a nickle back?

  • http://atm Raider O

    Pete,

    Your boy is playing against LSU.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    If I was drafting, which I am clearly not, here’s what I do:

    Draft the highest rated player among (DT, MLB, OT) in the 1st round

    In the 2nd round draft the highest rated player of the position I did not select in the 1st round

    In the 3rd round draft the highest rated player of the position I did not draft in round 1 or 2 or the highest rated Offensive Guard

    Repeat for the remainder of the draft!

  • raidermot

    Cable gone, JamarBust stays?

    JarMarBust will be so screwed. New coach comes in, new offensive system comes in. It took J-Russ 3 years to get a poor grip on the current offensive system.

    Give the guy a onew ffensive system and you are back to 2007 – square one. If you insist on keeping #2, you have to keep Cable, Tollner & Hackett.

    I guess I know what Al Davis is going to do…….

  • Gary

    Happy New Year to you Jerry!! Good job all year, I for one appreciate you telling it like it is!!

  • Florida Pete

    Raider O Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 9:28 am
    LMAO

    How many 1st RD CBs and Ss can ONE team draft in a Decade?

    Philip B
    Nnamdi
    Washington
    Gibson
    Huff

    Play Huff at CB since he can cover, and play Branch and Mitchell at Ss.

    No more DBs in RD 1 !!!!

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    just before i saw your post i was thinking:

    if your going to move anybody… move huff to corner and see what he can do…

    he always could cover…

  • Florida Pete

    Raider O Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 10:10 am
    Pete,

    Your boy is playing against LSU.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    ah, wisneiwski… did they say anything about him coming out for this yeaers draft???

  • Florida Pete

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 10:20 am
    If I was drafting, which I am clearly not, here’s what I do:

    Draft the highest rated player among (DT, MLB, OT) in the 1st round

    In the 2nd round draft the highest rated player of the position I did not select in the 1st round

    In the 3rd round draft the highest rated player of the position I did not draft in round 1 or 2 or the highest rated Offensive Guard

    Repeat for the remainder of the draft!

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    at this level i wouldn’t draft a college guard… unless that guard was unbelieveable…

    i draft right & left tackles… and the losers of the battles become guards…

  • http://atm Raider O

    Pete,

    I didn’t hear anything about him being drafted, but it’s hard to judge anybody in that game. The field is not in good shape.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Huff played CB and S at Texas, and he already proved that he can cover ( shadow). I would like to see him cover the big AFC WRs with Nnamdi & CJ.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Huff reminds me of Sir Charles, but woodson was faster and tackled better.

  • El Tato

    Charles Woodson was Huffs idol when growing up

    I read somewhere Huff will be playing nickel corner this game, Eugene can ply FS while Huff is playing nickel.

    Also Tyvon is injured and he may not play tomorrow or play full speed, so we will see plenty of Mitchell too