We have a new coach, who wants more balance and not "run, run, run, punt." This is a good sign. This isn't like we have to revamp the entire staff. Besides Kiffin, the entire staff is in place. We shouldn't let our emotions take over and begin to drink the media Kool-Aid about "adjusting to a new head coach." How hard is it to continue to do your duties at work when you have a new boss two levels up, but all your coworkers and managers remain the same? Not much really changes. Nothing that should negatively impact the team.
This is one very important game. For Al Davis, for the Raiders, and for Tom Cable. The most important factor in the game will be this: Raiders coming off a bye, Saints coming off a short week. This gives us a distinct advantage in preparation and health. I wonder if the team is watching the game tonight?
The matchups to watch:
Thomas Howard vs. Reggie Bush
Raiders Secondary vs Drew Brees
Fargas, McFadden, Bush vs. Saints D Line
Look for a huge day from our return game. Playing on turf you will see some very fast Branch and Higgins returns. Special Team's could be a huge factor.
Cable seems to have settled in. If a Head Coach learns that Al Davis is going to be Al Davis, then you will again see success. Al Davis is going to need appeasement. If the boss suggests something, consider it. If you believe it isn't going to work, prove that to him. Jon Gruden did this by putting video together for Davis on why he didn't think it would work. However, no telling when Al Davis will have an idea that the coach determines could work. Davis is still a very smart football man, no doubt. Too many coaches have an ego. You aren't the end all in Oakland. Remember, Davis is the only GM/Owner in the league that has also been a very successful football coach. has Davis changed since Madden and Flores? My guess is he was very much the same then as he is now, but winning cures everything. Madden and Flores won, Davis didn't feel the need to give his input when things were working on the field. We know Davis doesn't believe in any other off-the-field progress. So Kiffn's progress off the field worked, but his Run, Run, Run, Punt philosphy didn't work on the field. Ultimately, Kiffin, Ran, Ran, Ran his mouth and got punted.
I wasn't going to bring up Kiffin again, but I had reflected on if any coach could be successful with Davis. I believe it is possible, if they just appease the man that writes the checks.