Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 14, 2010
Readers reach out


A few emails that have trickled in from Raider Nation...last names deleted, for privacy sake...PG

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Paul,
Glenn Dickey has often written about how much Al Davis hates to admit that he's made a mistake. Thus, he'll hang onto a bust player long after everyone including the waterboy knows the guy should be mowing the grass, not playing on it. Fans with long memories will recall the likes of Charles Philyaw, Monte Jackson, Marc Wilson, James Jett, and Matt Stinchcomb. JaMarcus Russell and Darrius Heyward-Bey are going to be the latest busts that Davis will be reluctant to cut loose.

Sources inside the Raiders say that Davis was especially infuriated when Tom Cable publicly said that the Raiders would have been a playoff team but for Russell's dismal play. That only highlighted the obvious - Davis drafted Russell over Lane Kiffin's objections, Davis gave him a $30 million signing bonus, and Davis demanded that he keep playing long after it was obvious that Russell didn't deserve to play. Not only did he play terribly but he didn't work hard to fix his errors.

At this point, it's a matter of Davis' ego vs what's best for the Raiders. If Davis dumps Russell, he's admitting that he was wrong to draft Russell in the first place. Russell will go down as the biggest draft bust in history - even worse than Ryan Leaf. And if he keeps Cable and dumps Russell, he'd be instilling a sense of power and authority into Cable among the players - something Davis hates to do. He wants a puppet coach. It would seem that Cable stopped being the perfect puppet - probably when he realized that he'd eventually become the scapegoat for the lousy seasons anyway and if he wanted to salvage his personal pride and professional reputation, he'd have to break from Davis.

Why has Davis delayed in firing Cable? Dickey noted in his book "Just Win Baby" that Davis had frequently refused to tell coaches whether they'd been rehired until long after the season ended. That would reduce their employment options for the next season since other teams wanted to fill positions as soon as possible. But if Davis learned that a coach was sending out feelers, he'd fire that coach. Davis' notion was that this kept coaches from going to other teams and revealing Raider secrets. He's delusional enough to think that other teams care what secrets lie in Raider HQ. If anything, opposing teams would want to know what not to do!

-Tom

Tom, my sentiments exactly...PG

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Paul,
With another long season over, I thought I would send you a note of thanks for your Raider coverage. Good, bad or really bad, they are my football team. I still get excited on game day, though the losing is hard to take.

I am a season ticket holder, though I only went down for 4 games this year. I have been a fan since October, 1966, when the Raiders were chasing the Chiefs for the division title. The Raiders had a great 21 year run, from the '66 season through the '86 season. Those were fun times, with lots of great teams and players. Since that point, the only good stretch was the 3 year run from 2000-02.

Anyway, though I have not always agreed with your articles and nearly sent a note a time or two, I did appreciate your work this season. Thank you.

-Pat

Pat, appreciate the kind words...PG

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russell over cable?
don't be surprised if you see both back next season

-Motif

Motif, you're right. I'd be more shocked than anything. But hey, anything's possible in Silver and Blackdom, right?...PG

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Hi Paul, if Al does keep Russell over Cable, he will have a fan revolt bigger than his pocketbook. The stands are already half empty and I have boycotted this garbage since the 2003 season. So, the fans will play hardball(no season ticket holders)and hope Al takes his garbage to Tokyo, Japan or some deserted island with Jabust at quarterback and we the fans don't have to see it.

-John

John, I sometimes wonder if lagging attendance enters into Al's mind...PG

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Paul,

Hope you had a Merry X-Mas and have a Happy New Year. Just a note to let you know as you have probably seen, not all of your readers are opposed to you personally. I dislike reading a lot of the comments from some of your readers that, to me at least, are more personal than about football. While I have no problem with people attacking you about football observations it seems too many are directed at you personally. I basically posted the same thing to your post about Frye returning to Cleveland. I have pointed out that your column is provoking as it should be since we have the blogs to express ourselves. Anyway, just to wish you Happy Holidays and hopefully we'll see you next football season. As I also posted, please quit feeling sorry for Russell! As a long time Raider fan he has used up his goodwill and it's time for him to go.

Again, Happy Holidays and thanks,
Okie

Okie, appreciate you taking the time to reach out with an email...same to you and yours...PG

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Loved your piece on Losman. As a Raider fan I have a Christmas wish that Jamarcus Russell read it. Oh wait, that would be a Christmas miracle.
-vdirkes

Vdirkes, to quote Tiny Tim, God Bless Us, every one...PG

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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