Oakland Raiders: Stop the worrying and let it happen
Sep 30, 2014; Alameda, CA, USA; Tony Sparano is introduced as Oakland Raiders interim coach during a press conference at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Let the miscreants and bandwagon pundits have their fun. Badger, belittle, or beguile the state of the Oakland Raiders all you want, I’m not worried one bit. This is what I asked for. I wanted the Raiders to fire Dennis Allen, and the realistic choice for Interim Head Coach was Tony Sparano. In the end, a record of 8-28 was the ultimate downfall for the Dennis Allen era. If you cannot win games in the NFL, you must go. Plain and simple. Now, it’s time to move on.
Speculate and guess all you want, the fact of the matter is that the Oakland Raiders and their fans will not know who the Head Coach of the future is until January. Until then, it’s Tony Sparano. Just listening to him talk and deal with the media is a breath of fresh air. First and foremost, Sparano took responsibility for the demise of this team in 2014. Sparano stated that it’s time to re-evaluate the players, coaches, and the direction the team was headed, starting with himself. That’s a leader.
Hopefully, this will translate into a change in attitude for the entire team. The players will feed off of a Head Coach who takes responsibility for his actions. Furthermore, this will bring about better play on the field. Sure, players must perform, but it takes the right play calls and coaching to teach and instruct the players to be in the right place. So the Dennis Allen era didn’t pan out, big deal! We are moving on.
Listening to all the commentary and reading boiler plated stories is getting old fast, and the only thing that can change anything is winning. That’s all this team will be about moving forward. I have faith that Sparano can get this ship headed in the right direction, and I back the organization 150% as they once again hit the reset button.
Does this mean that General Manager Reggie McKenzie needs to go next? I don’t know, but I wasn’t very happy with his interview prior to introducing Sparano. He sounded as if he’d just got his butt chewed out and told that he was on thin ice. Defensive and withdrawn are good words for his interview. Still, I like what he’s done with the contracts and most of the players he brought in, not all of them but most of them.
What’s next for the Raiders? Well, I was listening to commentary on “Moving the Chains” (SiriusXM NFL Radio), with Pat Kirwin and Jim Miller, and an interesting point was brought up. Bring in someone to evaluate the players, the coaches, and the staff (including Reggie) for the remainder of the season. It can be a retired Head Coach who was successful throughout their career or a successful ex-GM. Kind of an overseer if you will. Take notes and provide feedback to Mark Davis. Then, when it’s time to pick a Head Coach, all the information will be available to that person and he won’t be going in there completely blind. Just a thought.
Either way, the Raiders are in a tough situation. The fans will have to endure another meager performance of a season, unless Tony Sparano can right this ship and get it moving full steam ahead. Look, the players are in place to have success with this team, but they need to be running the right type of schemes and packages. Game planning is everything. Then, during the game, the team must be able to adapt on the fly to adjust to the opposing team’s changes. That’s all upon the shoulders of the coaches. This is where Sparano must focus much of his efforts.
Again, I have faith that he can do it. Furthermore, I still believe that an 8-8 season is a bigger possibility than most would guess. Granted, no team has ever made the playoffs after beginning 0-4 and changing their Head Coach, but the Raiders are all about making history. Wouldn’t it be something! A quick turnaround and winning out the rest of the way! Talk about a miracle. That’s what is needed here, a miracle. One can dream. Either way, Raider Nation will be right there to be supportive as always. We are the best fans, and we deserve a team that can bring it home for us. Go Raiders!