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Difficult to call this progress

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

  • Thechairman66

    Don’t like the list. But I do like the idea so props for that. Here’s a better HC board (in order).

    1) Dungy
    2) Cowher
    3) Smith
    4) Gruden
    5) Whisenhunt
    6) Phillips
    7) Edwards
    8) Martz
    9) Kubiak
    10) Shanahan (sure why not)

  • Raider O

    That makes sense.

  • JV.

    Man next year should be interesting…

    Allen or no Allen I just wanna see how the team is gonna look with all the people we are gonna get plus the draft.

  • Eldiabs

    Because he didn’t want a coach that could instantly undercut his authority

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Yup. Look at who he interviewed: Todd Bowles, Marty Mornhinweg, Dom Capers, DA, Mike McCoy (cancelled), Pete Carmichael, Winston Moss and Mike Tice (cancelled). The best you can say about that list is that it had some very good B-listers. No A-lister would be interested in the mess Reggie inherited.

  • SnBG

    I almost agree with Cork’s article here. D.A. really hasn’t a lot of talent to work with and I’ve seen him and his staff work wonders with it. If he gets fired then I have to blame Markie for not knowing football. The part I don’t agree with in this article is about Reg. For what Reg has had to deal with, I say he also has done a good job. Hayden and Watson will play next year and play well. Rivera has shown some flashes. You can say he missed on the draft because he didn’t take a playmaking DE or Keenan Allen but I say we had so many holes to fill he really was drafting for need. When he got here one of the worst positions on this team was Lber. He drafted for that area and picked up some free agents. We neede corners so he drafted Hayden and signed a couple of free agent CBs. I do not believe D.A. will be fired as the press is beating the drums for or some fans here wish. He will stay and Reg and him will draft good players. My hope is that they draft a QB and go from there.

  • Jojo

    What the black dude with the red afro who stutters did not make you want to follow him into battle?

  • Stabler

    Maybe ten guys on this roster actually worth keeping.

    From this Raiders team, who would start on the Niners? (can’t stand them) Taiwan Jones as special teams gunner? I think that’s it. Just a roster devoid of talent and playmakers.

  • Eldiabs

    Should fit in with an equally challenged coach and gm

  • SaintKaufman

    You’re screaming sanity from a sound-proofed room. You wont get away with that comment until at least Thursday!

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Disagree with this article. Big Mac hasnt been very good but would look a lot better had Allen been better.

    Remember when Pryor was winning a few games big Mac was being praised for fielding a competitive team for peanuts

    Allen sticks with macgloin through rookie pains but didn’t give Pryor the same consideration

    Now the team is losing & not competitive & the same players they were considered finds are now being lampooned along with big Mac.

    Allen & macgloin are the reason for the sour end to what started as a promising season for a team that was viewed as a scrappy over achiever

    Allen must be fired

  • Stabler

    Maybe the best way to go is with a college coach that would take any NFL head coaching job. Taking a Def. Coordinator with ONE year of experience with a lowly-ranked Denver defense sure hasn’t worked out well.

  • Papertiger

    NEW POST!!

  • 2romes

    Why give it over to RM and Mr. Green? if that was the feeling steady as we go starting 8-8 was the ticket ,if that was the excuse.

  • Jojo

    He’s not “intellectually challenged”,no way he goes to Ohio State if he is, SEC schools yes, Ohio State would not touch the second coming of Vince Young.

  • funnyfalcon

    Cutler sucks.

  • SnBG

    LOLs, I’ll just copy and paste on Thursday at 9 am. Morning crowd will fight me tooth and nail.

  • DJ Johnny

    “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.”

    Yeah. I suppose this is just “crying” from Cork right?
    Some of the “everything is fine” know it all posters here know better. Yep.

  • SaintKaufman

    Man, you could find faults in every teams decisions but with what this staff has had to work with they would have had to be absolutely perfect for us to win more games.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Took forever to find it. I heard on nfl radio I think it was 4 years guaranteed for $16 million. For the first year, his contract actually remained undisclosed. Still can’t find the details anywhere (buyouts, incentives, failure to perform, etc). This year he made $2.5 million. Makes me feel a little better actually.

  • kenchun24

    I think they both get a 3rd year…but heads roll in 2015 if any of the following happen…

    - multiple blowouts (3 or more)
    - no winning streaks of at least 3 games
    - crappy East Coast game showings by the Raiders
    - the draft yields more fringe players and IR friendly type of newcomers (and zero impact guys).

  • VanHeathen30

    Wins? How about not being an EmbarASSment?

  • Jojo

    You have some valid points on this not being an ideal situation for any GM let alone a rookie one. However RM 1st round choice was to me a mistake in so far as this team being a complete rebuild did not have the luxury of a project like Hayden. No offense to Hayden but RM need guys who could step in right away and that was just not the case with him.

  • SaintKaufman

    F U

  • DJOdub

    Call me crazy, but I have to stand pat on my opinion until next season. I
    think people who expected some semblance of improvement this year are
    delusional. With 10 new cast-off defensive players, no depth, and a damn
    near all undrafted free agent backfield, no offensive line for half the season, coupled with multiple injuries? you expected maybe play-offs? or a .500 season?
    That’s like me sending you into a gun fight with a knife. We as Raider
    fans have to be more realistic and at least give the system time to work
    with at least some pieces in place. Everyone is so quick to blow it up and start all over again. We have had that the last 12 years and I am sick of it.

  • Jojo

    In fact this team is way further away from that corner!

  • VanHeathen30

    You ‘know’ Hayden and Watson will pla well? From what DJ’s lack of size or ability to get his head around, or slow guys at the Los? And Watson, he’s only looked good blocking from the TE position. These guys, our top two picks are as big a question as this team has… I’d like them been both to be pro bowlers, but I have no evidence to support that hope…

  • Jojo

    Nick Roach.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    at least we will know our draft position by kickoff, all other top 8 teams in the draft play early games

  • VanHeathen30

    What is this system you speak of?

  • DJOdub

    I agree, people are so reactionary. it’s easy to pontificate for behind a computer screen. I loved Al Davis, but the old man did a lot of damage to this franchise. The team needed to be gutted and and rehabbed. It has to be more than a 2 year project to make this team relevant after 12 years of mismanagement.

  • 0ak R8rs

    How do you know that? Players double dip all the time. Who’s to say a HC can’t do the same thing?

  • DJOdub

    you can call it a system or a process of renewal. Either way, it’s easy to be cynical about another bad season for Raider football. I get it, I am a 48 year Raider fan since birth, it’s in the family blood. The Raiders are so far removed from the glory years, it’s very disappointing for me and my family to see this mess. However, I refuse to pile on Reggie and D.A. just yet, I at least want to see some sort of consistency for 3 years and see if the process is going to work. I understand that Reggie and D.A. have inherited an ugly situation and have made some mistakes, but we do not know the true impact of those mistakes until we see it play out. It’s too small of a sample size. So I think before you blow it up and start all over again, you have to give it another year.

  • Eldiabs

    He can’t once he takes another coaching job it voids his last contract. No coach can get paid by two different teams unless the prior owner agrees to it

  • David Kern

    Yeah, I am really worried about Davis hitting the reset button (with the support of the fans) as well. I am particularly concerned with what we choose to do with McGloin. His ascension to being a quality starting NFL quarterback has been phenomenal and worthy of a longer look going into next season. If we draft a QB any coach going to obligated to play him immediately and its unreasonable to anticipate that player would make a greater impact or put us over the hump in the short or even intermediate terms. If McGloin were say, a second round pick, as opposed to an undrafted free agent ,the owner, fans and coaches would have no problem making the decision to bypass taking a QB on the first or second day of the draft and see what we have in this guy based on his performance this season. But every report and post I read has already labeled him a long-term back-up. Where is this precedent for sure-fire QB’s that always has everyone convinced that using a high draft pick is the answer? I wouldnt take Smith, Weeden, RG3, or any number of first round qb’s over McGloin based on the simple idea that he has the same chance to get better in the coming years as any other young guy would.

  • Jojo

    DA’S coaching staff not given extensions…???? Hmmmm?

  • turf toe

    With you on this, DJ, one hundred percent.

  • turf toe

    You are missing nothing, Stabler. Nice post.

  • turf toe

    Yes.

  • turf toe

    He hired down to protect his position and ego. Huge mistake.

  • holy roller

    TP should start, da should go.

  • OhioRaider

    Supported as well by John Madden. Woe is this franchise.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    McGloin? That will be the raiders downfall as it has turned out to be Dennis Allen’s downfall.

    All you McGloin fans got excited after that titans win. A great running game that we had with TP, time of possession, and a rested and excited defense would have gotten us more wins.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    McGloin? That will be the raiders downfall as it has turned out to be Dennis Allen’s downfall.

    All you McGloin fans got excited after that titans win where the defense spotted him 3 touchdowns.. A great running game that we had with TP, time of possession, and a rested and excited defense would have gotten us more wins–given us life for this listless team.

    You guys forget TP made the raiders relevant again. I’m not saying he’s the next great qb, but it was the first time in years the raiders were exciting again and had a small glimmer of hope. So much potential and so many more wins thrown away for a ginger.

  • MachoManRandySavage

    “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.”

    Its called coaching for a reason. Allen is at fault for the team’s lack of concentration and discipline.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    Yeah it’s crazy to me fans here want to keep DA and speak of McGloin as future quarterback?? Chad Henne sometimes makes good throws. Raider fans just haven’t seen good throws for a while so I understand.

    DA’s stubborn, inexperienced, un-creative knowledge of offense is the cause of our demise. Remember our 8-8 teams before him? With the same or lesser talent? Wow he’s taken that mediocre team into bottom feeders.

    Sorry but I wish both Mckenzie and DA will go. Hayden as 1st rounder when there were so many d-linemen there like Star?

  • MachoManRandySavage

    As RM and DA learn on the job, and by gosh they are slow friggin learners, the team flounders and the players loose interest. The bright side: the team has a ton of money to spend and a top 5 draft pick. The dark side: who is going to spend the money and the kind of players available for it, not to mention RM is clueless during the first 2 rounds of every draft.

  • Tyrone Wheatley

    Tom Cable and Hue Jax: 8-8 with a worse team IMO.

    An exciting team that was having fun playing (with Terelle Pryor) has turned into a listless team more boring than the jaguars. Of course Dennis is boring as well. What do you expect? You need passion and creativity.

    Take a look at Harbaugh, Chip Kelly, and Pete Carrol. Do you see any of their qualities have any similarities to Dennis Allen?

  • Rico Stifler

    The only difference between last year’s offense and this year’s offense is the QB. but the team in general is better than it was last year.

  • Rico Stifler

    Even with the injuries, the team was still better. The OL was still decent at times despite the constant injuries.

    It is the serious regression as the season went on. We got healthier but the team managed to get worse.