Raiders Have Role Models in World Champion Saints


Everything the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints are, the Oakland Raiders must strive to become one day. While the difference in class is a vast as the waters separating the United States from Japan, the similarities in structure are similar.

Don’t take my word for it. Examine the rosters and you’ll see what I mean.

There are no 1,000-yard rushers in the French Quarter. What the Saints have is a diverse collection of running backs with various skill sets utilized in dynamic ways. You could give Tom Cable’s running backs to Sean Payton and there’d still be a Lombardi on its way to The Big Easy. If you gave Payton’s runners to Cable there’d still be another 11-loss season in the East Bay.

The difference is the ability of Payton to get the most out of what he’s got.

Both Reggie Bush and Darren McFadden will never be the prototypical NFL style runners. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving that Cable would finally use McFadden as a wide receiver in ‘09. It took Payton all of one mini-camp to comprehend how best to get Bush touches. Cable has a Bush of his own too – Michael Bush. Oakland’s Bush was by far the best runner on the team, yet he was often frozen out of the offense. Hue Jackson take note.

The lone 1,000-yard receiver on the Saints’ roster, Marques Colston, barely snuck over the line with 1,074 yards receiving. Colston, a 7th round pick in the ’06 draft, is a big target with good speed and some pretty reliable hands (his Super Bowl drop not withstanding). Sound familiar? Almost reminds me of a guy the Raiders snagged in the 7th round of the ’08 draft – Chaz Schilens. No, Schilens has not proven himself to be the talent Colston is, but he has similar abilities and talents.

Robert Meachem, just two healthy years into his NFL career, has already been labeled as a bust by some. But he still has a role and his coaches have found ways to get the most out of what he can offer to the team. Darrius Heyward-Bey take note.  

Then there’s the defense.

The Saints, like the Raiders, play a bend but don’t break style of D. However, the Saints keep the ball in front of them at all times, whereas the Raiders are constantly pursuing the ball in allowing big play after big play. While Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the best cover corners you’ll ever see, his talent mean nothing if the men behind him aren’t doing their job. The New Orleans secondary does boast of Darren Sharper, one of the best playmakers to ever play the game. Michael Mitchell take note.

When it comes to pressuring the quarterback, both teams are very similar. The Saints totaled 35 sacks during the regular season, one less than what the Raiders amassed in ’09. The Saints, like the Raiders, weren’t great against the run. However, New Orleans forced more turnovers and in turn gave their offense more opportunities.

Of course, the biggest difference is the quarterback position.

JaMarcus Russell has nothing in common with Drew Brees. Russell has physical gifts Brees could only dream of. Brees has a work ethic which Russell will never possess.

Therein lies the reason why the Saints hoisted a Lombardi and the Raiders are drafting in the top 10 yet again.

The Raiders are a rudderless ship in desperate need of direction. Brees has a quick release, makes definitive decisions and is as accurate a thrower as you’ll find. But his biggest asset is his ability to get the team on one page, united for one cause. JaMarcus Russell take note.

There is much work to be done in Alameda before the Raiders can even begin to contemplate adding another trophy to the cabinet. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but Al Davis doesn’t have a flattering bone in his body. He still desires to do things his way no matter the results.

Perhaps that is truly the biggest problem.

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Tags: Role Models World Champion New Orleans Saints

  • Raider Nation American Samoa

    Please man, you mean the Saints need to be striving for our Success and History! The Raiders already have glory and are Proven…The Saints, I give them props but man don’t ever count out the Silver and Black…We had a drought but not compared to the Saints, we are not that far off from another Dominating Team….. Props to the Saints, but if you watch the Viking game in the Overtime then you tell me if the Saint’s were Destined to be the NFL Champs!!!(AFC Snubbed again)

  • http://myoaklandraiders.wordpress.com Matt Rice

    I agree in some respects but the problem isn’t just a thing here or there. It is an organizational problem. Davis acts like a czar who thinks he is the only one that has the answers. He’s using schemes that are 30 years old, while Sean Payton is innovating everyday. I beleive the main problem is that Al will always evaluate athleticsm and physical traits over intelligence and work ethic, which is a huge problem considering the direction of the NFL.

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  • thor

    american somoa is quite obviously puffing on the crack pipe. the raiders aren’t even close. abandon all hope ye who root for the raiders!

  • Phil

    The New Orleans Saints ran the same offense as the 2002 Raiders. That’s the last time The Raiders looked anything like the 2009 Saints. This 30 year old schemes stuff that some people say Davis is running is nonsense. The Raiders basically play poorly because of bad QB play over the last 7 years and a shabby offensive line, has nothing to do with the playing, except for the Art Shell year.

    Until the Raiders find that franchise QB like Drew Breeze they will continue to struggle. I think their WR’s and RB’s will be fine, they are a young talented group.

    The Raiders need some offensive line help as well. It makes no sense to go out and get anymore WR’s or RB’s until the get their QB and offensive line problem under control. They have been putting the horse before the cart for way to long.

    Can Gradkowski or Fyre turn into a Drew Breeze type of QB? The question with those two should be, can the Raiders keep them healthy and protect them? Can Russell be that QB? not in the foreseeable future that’s for sure.

    Problem is gentlemen, there just not that many good QB’s on the open market. The Raiders have to take other teams hand me down QB’s and hope for the best like they have been doing up until Russell, and he did even worse then the hand me downs.

    You want to see a short time solution to the Raiders troubles? Raiders need to get as much help as they can on the offensive line in the draft and free agency. The try to talk Kurt Warren out of retirement. Give him a Bret Favre type of deal, the kind that Minnesota gave Bret, an offer he can’t refuse. Of course if Warner is still under contract with the Cards the Raiders would have to deal with them also, not sure if he is.

    I don’t care if Warner is 38, he still is one of the most accurate passer in the league with a very fast release. A very smart QB. And just Maybe Russell can learn a few things watching him for a year or two.

    Raiders need a field general, and Kurt Warner is nothing short of just that. And he could possibly be had.

  • mikem34132003

    I was googling the Raiders the other day, and I cam across this jackass slamming them. You might want to check it out.

    http://jockpost.com/everyone-hates-the-raiders/

  • Jason

    Hello my fellow raiders. I looked up your link Mikem,

    This is what my response was:

    Chicago- Lets see, the cubs… enough said. The white sox. One season worth a note. The Bears same said again- One season worth a note and another, losing and not yet to return. not even a playoff win. The bulls, still holding on to Pippen, luke longley, Bill Cartright…OF COURSE JORDAN, who would rather work with the Bobcats franchise (wizards too!) than his own team where he built his legacy.
    Blackhawks, well thats hockey. So you can have that. Your the biggest city with the least wins. At anything other than bad weather and lasagna you call pizza.
    And i live here (Chcago area). So I know how much I miss the Bay area (born and raised) and my fellow Raiders…
    Hey by the way- have you seen what Cedric Benson can do when he is not playing in that stagnant offense you have , Your team is so boring Mushin Muhahmed went back to play in Carolina, Their stagnant offense was a better choice than staying in Chitcrapo!
    You lose one safety(Mike Brown) and your so called great defense gets smashed. And you let Bernard Berriam get away cause your Hester project is the answer?

    Don’t spend so much time raider Talkin, because I know I spent too much Bear Talkin!

    Let me know what your thinkin. Take care, Raider Nation.

  • Slam

    When Al Davis acts as his own GM, and he drafts guys like DHB and signs free agents like Javon Walker, you’re wasting our time breaking down areas of the team where we need to improve compared to the Saints. It all starts from the top, and the Raiders are doomed.

    The best move Davis has made recently was trading a #1 draft pick for Richard Seymour, and the only reason that happened was because Bellichick wanted to screw over Seymour and send a message to the rest of his team.

    Even the Saints owner Tom Benson, who is a complete white trash cheesy car selling dipshit, has a GM. And the GM had the cajones to roll the dice on a QB with a bum shoulder ( Brees ).

    Comparing the Saints to the Silver and Black on ANY level is lunacy.

    Not your best post, Chris.