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Difficult to call this progress

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Owner Mark Davis told colleague Tim Kawakami earlier this month that the Raiders are ending their “deconstruction” phase and entering a “reconstruction” phase. If so, then now is as good as time as any to measure the progress.
With that in mind, close emphasis was placed on Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers as a means of gauging what Davis, McKenzie, Allen and the Raiders have to show for their two-year tear down of a Raiders team that went 8-8 and came within a season-ending loss to the Chargers from making the playoffs.
In short, not much, and we’re not solely talking about the fact the Raiders lost 26-13 and dropped to 4-11 on the season.
Part of the lack of progress owes to many of the players on the roster being under one-year contracts and several others on the verge of hitting free agency unless McKenzie uses some of the league-most cap money at his disposal on them to bring them back.
Some of that owes to McKenzie failing to land any game-changing players of the 16 he selected in the NFL draft the past two seasons. The rest is a result of McKenzie not signing any free agents that are indispensable.
Add it up and the Raiders don’t seem much closer, if at all, to turning the corner than they were in 2011, when then-coach Hue Jackson got the Raiders within a final-game collapse of the Raiders first playoff berth since 2002.
The knee-jerk reaction is for many to call for Allen’s firing. Davis and/or McKenzie very well might decide to go that route.
If so, McKenzie needs to answer how he expected Allen to win without a proven quarterback, with a patchwork offensive line, no standout running backs, wide receivers or tight ends and a defense devoid of impact players.
Those calling for Allen’s ouster also need to explain how it’s his doing when fullback Marcel Reece has a ball fall through his hands in the end zone in the final minute. Or why it’s Allen’s fault when Lamarr Houston and Jason Hunter jump offsides, Greg Jenkins fumbles a kick return, Jeron Mastrud drops a pass in the open on a third-down play or Mike Jenkins and Miles Burris keep alive Chargers drives with senseless penalties.
The Raiders still are in the market for a quarterback and McKenzie might be faced with a major roster turnover for a third straight season.
Lest you disagree with this assessment, you better be able to provide a lenghty list of players worthy of coming along for the ride next season, when this so-called reconstruction phase is in full swing.
From here, and based what we saw today, again, it says that the Raiders still have a long way to go.
On the bright side, the Raiders likely will have a top-five draft pick to help with their latest infusion of talent next year. As of now, they are in line for the No. 3 pick, behind only the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins.
Then there’s the matter of McKenzie having north of $60 million in salary cap room to spend on re-signing players such as left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive lineman Lamarr Houston and other prospective free agents, his draft class and whatever free agents he feels can help the Raiders get over the proverbial hump.

— The Raiders committed 12 penalties for 73 yards, while the Chargers got flagged only three times for 24 yards. This harkened to the Jackson Era, when the Raiders set the league marks for most penalties and yards penalized.

— Sebastian Janikowski appeared to strain a groin muscle on a pre-game kick. However, he remained healthy enought to convert both his field-goal attempts against the Chargers.

— Running back Darren McFadden scored Oakland’s first touchdown on a 5-yard burst up the middle in the second quarter. That turned out to be the lone highlight for McFadden in his most extensive action since he suffered an ankle injury against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
McFadden rushed four times for 8 yards and caught one pass for 8 yards. Rashad Jennings led the Raiders with 45 yards rushing on 10 carries.

— Rod Streater caught one pass for 2 yards Sunday. What seemed like a safe bet two weeks ago, now is a long-shot of Streater reaching 1,000 yards.
He needs 152 yards against the Denver Broncos in the regular-season finale to become the first Raiders receiver with 1,000 yards or more since 2005, when Randy Moss accomplished the feat.
Streater got denied of 35 yards or so late in the game, when a long pass he caught and turned into a touchdown got overturned when the ball came loose at the end of the play.
It’s something that happened to Louis Murphy a few years ago, when the officials ruled that Murphy didn’t control the ball through the play.

— If you thought the Streater call was brutal, how about the officials waiving off a play the Raiders ran because of a clock malfunction and then taking back a penalty on the Raiders because a fan blew a whistle from the stands?

— McGloin completed 20 of 36 passes for 206 yards and no touchdowns, with one interception. He made a handful of nice throws, missed badly on a slew of passes and had the kind of game you might expect from an undrafted rookie.
In other words, the Raiders still aren’t much closer to having a franchise-type quarterback, and McKenzie and Allen have only one more game to evaluate McGloin and Terrelle Pryor to see if either might fit the bill.
Given Pryor didn’t play today, it’s unlikely that he’ll be used against the Broncos, unless Davis intervenes and orders a change, as he did before the finale last season.

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Steve Corkran

  • SaintKaufman

    Scotch-Irish? That’s like a Japanese-North Korean!

  • Raider O

    Clueless Titty Monkey makes $2 million/ year?

  • kenchun24

    I expected worse to be honest in the 2013 off/pre-season. But hoped for a 6 win season with 8 of the 10 losses being of the 3 to 7 point variety. But no talent/depth reared it’s head eventually…season started out with some 6-10 hope however.

  • 0ak R8rs

    $4.

  • Raider O

    $2 million per year is a lot to the poorest NFL team? You are kidding, right?

  • SaintKaufman

    That’s about spot on. Just don’t tell the others.

  • Raider O

    Per year? I doubt it

  • Jojo

    DA showed his ineptness when he hired Knapp, IDK why he did not play to the strengths of his personal (Dmac being a power rusher)…that , the Denver game and lastly the way he handled Pryor I have lost any misplaced faith I had in him as a head coach.

  • VanHeathen30

    Pretty bad we have to give the GM credit for releasing his 4th round pick, the highest picked player to not make his teams 53 when we are constantly told how short on talent the roster is… when in reality it shows the GM was not aware of who he was really drafting. Guess he won’t be putting that in bold on his resume.

  • 2romes

    You expected worst than 4 wins? Like what?

  • 0ak R8rs

    Poor comparatively speaking. We r the least valuable team in the nfl. In fact, of the major sports (football, baseball, hockey and basketball) I believe we r in the bottom 5. Don’t have a link tho.

  • funnyfalcon

    To be fair, Reggie made a decision to jettison Palmer leaving the coaching staff scrambling to integrate Flynn who was carrying an injury. There might have been more improvement if that hadn’t happened, but it’s hard to say. Overall, RM has kept changing the team. How much input DA has had? No one knows.

  • 0ak R8rs

    There’s a reason why we suck and yet we r still $3.5 million under the cap.

  • Stabler

    So this is what over-achieving looks like?

  • Jojo

    This may be tru but I bet our GM can out eat any GM in our division

  • Tony Rasmussen

    Didn’t know what to ‘label’ McCown, but that term is common http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch-Irish_American

  • kenchun24

    Well if you recall several pre-season pubs had the Raiders and Jags as the two teams likely to maybe win 0 to 2 games. Funny Texans are that team, not that 4-11(12?) is any better.

  • Here’s what I don’t get. If Reggie wanted to come out of the gate with some authority, why did he hire a green HC?

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Exactly, that’s why Mark hasn’t give any extensions to assistants and coordinators whose contacts end next weekend.
    Olson
    April
    Sparano
    Sanders, LB
    and Allen are the only ones with a contract beyond 2013.

    Mark will only need to eat $4 million and maybe a couple of the four above.

    I’m confident the new HC will want to keep April, special teams coordinator.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    New TV monies have come in since 2008. Absurd monies.

    The TV money and profit sharing alone cover all of his expenses and then some. Every ticket and jersey sold is gravy.

    Mark Davis is swimming in it like Scrooge McDuck. His pool of gold coins is just a little smaller than those of others

  • 0ak R8rs

    $4 million. Fire DA and hire another big name HC and that makes it at least $8 million. These aren’t cap dollars that r paid for w TV money. These r real operating dollars. I don’t have any access to our books obviously. But I suspect we r not thriving w 40,000 seats sold for $10 a week.

  • Stabler

    McKenzie’s good points:

    Charming lisp
    Manly scent
    Ruggedly handsome red hair/freckles combination
    Fetched coffee successfully for 20 years in Green Bay
    Scammed Mark Davis into a GM job with one, six-hour interview and somehow convinced Mark not to interview A SINGLE OTHER CANDIDATE

    Am I missing anything?

  • Dakota

    I am pretty sure that was the case in 2008 as well. The TV contracts have covered the entire salary cap amount, or nearly that for quite some time now.

  • 2romes

    If you are comparing 0-2 game Vs 4 games I guess your near prefect.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    2nd highest, highest was Montgomery, whom we just signed to the practice squad and was injured, he was a 3rd rounder by Houston originally.

  • Raider O

    No way we are paying a rookie HC with one year experience as a DC $4 million per year.

  • SaintKaufman

    That’s interesting. I know several of both and I wouldn’t go around calling any of them the other. That’s old school hate right there.

  • funnyfalcon

    His twin brother Raleigh actually convinced Mark to hire him?

  • Dakota

    Nepotism.

  • Art shells clipboard

    Yet he gets a pass for poor drafting and not being creative with the salary cap.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Right. Doesn’t cover operating dollars, management and coaching salaries, taxes or stadium lease payments. They r certainly doing better than me. But I suspect we r hardly “rolling in it”.

  • prometheus

    yeah MD is a fuuukin moron for not looking at other possibilities

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Two things:

    1) Chicago was scheduled to interview McKenzie the next day, and

    2) Ron Wolf basically told Mark “That’s your guy.”

  • Jojo

    Not trying to sound antisemitic but Mr. Davis was a smart Jewish businessman and I would be shocked if they did not carry HEAVY life insurance policy’s as the insurance is used to pay what ever estate taxes are charged…I dont think MD is going anywhere soon.

  • Raider O

    Chicago was going to draft Missile Mike Mitchell, so does that make him a good player?

  • JV.

    Also forgot he does all his scouting at the local ihop.

  • 2romes

    Problem was he got some Raiders big shots to take the bait rather than just to look on the field for the progress than was proven.

  • IHOP connoisseur?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I feel like point 2 is critical here.

    Kudos to Mark Davis for being smart enough to know that he didn’t know very much and seeking the opinion of others. But I think he may have been TOO aware of it to the point he completely deferred too much.

    I think if he did it all over again, he’d interview others.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Hey, USC hired Kiffen.

    And besides, everyone, and I mean everyone [ including those in denial] knew none of the top tier GMs and HCs wanted to come here two years ago.
    It was 180 degrees to Jordan and Kobe w/ Shaq being coached by Phil.

  • 2romes

    100% agree.

  • Jojo

    Can we get Ron to recommend a barber?

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    No, but it did create a situation where Mark may have felt he had to hire Reggie (the Wolf and Madden-recommended candidate) right then and there or risk losing him entirely.

  • JB

    As I understand it, from a supposed informed source, is that Pryor’s problem is that he is intellectually challenged – translated. he’s dumber than a box of rocks. When he first came on the scene I was a big fan of his. Not so much now as i believe his 15 minutes of fame is done. I also believe that his type of QB’ing, run & shoot, is not going to work in the NFL. The defenses have already figured these types out. Unless he can convert to pocket passing they are just not going to succeed. Their constant running exposes them to injury and after that, they are no longer special. TP2 may be the #3 QB next year but I don’t see anything more than that. If he wants to start somewhere he can do the arena league, maybe.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Very true, that Chicago was going to draft Mitchell that is.

  • Jim Jesus

    LOCKSTEP!!! B.S. more like it. Locksteppin into a steaming pile of DUNG!

  • Stabler

    Just go back and watch the video of McKenzie’s introductory press conference. I knew we were doomed right then and there.

    Not to mention listening to Mark’s introductory press conference. The blind leading the blind.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Because no one else was going to take the job.

  • kenchun24

    No I know…both suck either way heh

  • Stabler

    Scared of hiring someone smarter/more experienced than him.