Raiders Debut New Head Coach, Same Result, Absolutely Pathetic
The hapless St. Louis Rams captured their first win of the 08 regular season under new Head Coach Jim Hasslet. The Rams, winless through the first five games of the regular season pulled the proverbial wool over the eyes of NFC east’s Washington Redskins.
In Raiderland however it was a slightly different story, New Coach, Same Result, Absolutely Pathetic.
A field-goal attempt by the Raider’s late in the first half would certainly be tantamount to foreshadowing, Raiders extra-large place kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed a 57-yard field-goal attempt that would have seen the Raiders, at least early, keeping pace with the high-powered New Orleans Saints offence. Instead, typically, the Raiders missed the field goal attempt, turned the ball over with a short field and allowed the Saints to march just twenty yards before launching their own, successful field goal attempt. Saints lead 10-3 at the half.
In the second-half Raiders interim Head Coach Tom Cable, former Headman at the University of Idaho (2000-03) couldn’t turn the good ship Raider around. The first half of Sunday’s game may have in fact been a blessing, the Raiders were down but only by a minimal margin, 7 points.
During the second half of Sunday’s game, the Saints would deliver on the offensive side of the ball, twenty-four second half points. Bush, Bress and Co. were able to take full advantage of a Raider defence that relies on just one player, Nnambi Asomugha, to carry the weight of the entire defence. Despite a massive amount of talent Asomugha, the 27-year-old, 6 year pro is often unable to carry the immense girth of the Raiders defensive unit from his starting position in the Raiders defensive backfield.
Lane Kiffen replacement Tom Cable was horrible, the team under Cable’s supervision managed a season low 3 points against a less then stellar and extremely suspect Saint’s defence. The 34 points allowed by the Raiders defence on Sunday was second only to the 41 points allowed against the Denver Broncos on opening day.
Following one week under the tutelage of new Head Coach Tom Cable it had become all too clear the Raider’s without Lane Kiffen were worse off then they were with him. The question now is, who’s to blame for the state of the Raidersnation?
Is Lane Kiffen to blame for "trying" to get fired? Or perhaps Tom Cable is the one to blame for not being able too win over a locker-room full of Kiffen peers? (Kiffen, the youngest Coach in NFL history would have been only 10 years-older then a vast majority of his players and therefore would have been viewed more as a peer then a figure of authority). Or maybe the onus falls directly on the shoulders of the players, the guys getting paid millions of dollars to play a game they supposably love? But the real answer, the truth behind the curtain is that the only person to blame for the fall of the Raider, is big boss Al Davis who coldly tossed young Lane Kiffen overboard without even a floatation device and wearing a pair of what appear to be cement slippers. Davis has not only refused to pay Kiffen but the Raiders owner has also attempted through his tightly knit Raiders press corp. too devoid the young Kiffen of any future within the NFL coaching ranks.
Davis has been through this before, following the 2001 season, Raider’s young, taskmaster coach Jon Gruden had become a highly sought after Head Coach, Davis traded Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the Buc’s first and second round draft picks in both 2002 and 2003 plus an additional payoff of 8 million in cold hard cash. Gruden would storm into Tampa Bay on the heels of the Tony Dungy administration and deliver the Buc’s directly to the promise land, winning the 2002 Super Bowl 48-21 over, who else, the Oakland Raiders.