1.15.2012

Scouting



The increased professionalism/exposure of the sport enables improvement in the sense of bigger scouting departments and better access to talent around the country than in the past. There's improvement in the sense there are more scouts, more resources, like the internet: videos and football sites offering statistical indicators -- like QBs completion % + number of starts in college.

But scouting itself still isn't a science, a technique, or something pragmatic that the evaluation of a player itself is getting better or worse than the evaluation of a player 20-50 years ago. The art of scouting is always still an opinion, a gut feel, a crap-shoot, guesswork, and other irrational methods.....(like drafting players named Napoleon, drafting someone because they resemble a past champion, or they come from a certain program, or they grew up somewhere, or they went to some high school that historically has a lot of famous/successful people from all walks of life come from it, or because they are a son/nephew of either a former star or a former player of that team, like combine and Wonderlic numbers, etc).

There are just as many reaches and early-round busts as there are late-round and undrafted gems becoming stars, today as there was 20-50 years ago. All scouting is like is trying to pick the winning horse in each race. There's no science that can establish a system of improved hit/miss rate. If there was, there would be no reaches still, no early-round busts and late-round/undrafted gems still. But the rate of these continue to happen as they always did before.

Scouting is identifying talent, that's it. It's like identifying what's beautiful or not. The understanding of 'talent' or 'beauty' never changes, and has no bearing on whether a player actually becomes a good or bad player, translates to a good/bad pro-player. Coaching itself is a science, or an approach, to turning acquired talent into good players, but even that there's no certified system or approach.

1.11.2012

X&O's Versus I&T's



Much is made of the idea of a team hiring a new General Manager, or, an existing General Manager, cleaning out a coaching staff and hiring a new coaching staff. Sections of fans struggling to make sense of it, or so enamored with a Head Coach they resist and lash out at change.

But one has to appreciate the essential difference between a 'coach' and a 'scout' -- which is what a GM is.

Coaches are a dime a dozen. Whereas GMs with a midas touch are rarer and a priority installation. They establish the entire structure and tone of the football department. They make all the tough personnel/scouting decisions, including free agent negotiations and financials that make-or-break roster flexibility. They oversee the entire football operation like a military commander.

What I mean by ‘dime a dozen’ isn’t that any person will do or can do, but that coaches essentially run schemes that are long-established. They are graduates of X&O knowledge, acquired thru schooling. They are teachers of football fundamentals. The Co-ordinators are the engine room of a coaching staff, whilst Head Coaches have to also be attitude setters and adjustors, people managers, and have the nous on the sideline to determine good from bad tactical decision-making.

Whereas personnel people, theirs is not a school of knowledge as it is a feel and intuitive grasp. Like trying to pick the winning horse in each race. Which I will call the I&T's -- dotting the I's and crossing the T's on structural policies, scouting analysis, and market valuation.

Which comes back to the dynamic of why GMs fire a coaching staff and hire a new coaching staff. Personnel people believe in the talent they acquire. They hire coaches to teach, hone, and utilize that talent appropriately. To put them in situations, schemes, and positions that suit them and fulfill their potential. Beyond that, unifying a group of soldiers to function cohesively, committed to itself, and performing to a high standard of accountability.

General Managers fail a Head Coach by failing to bring and/or upgrade talent, or by interfering with the Head Coach's actual role -- not allowing them to control the entirety of their sphere of control (which is a contractual sphere).

1.09.2012

Tebow and the Option



It’s been a re-education of Elway’s, and fans, coaches, and owners previous beliefs about QBs and pro-football. A pocket QB who can scramble off every now and then is completely different to an Option QB running an entirely Option-based offense

Tebow doesn’t have to be a traditional QB putting up traditional QB statistics for him to be an ‘effective QB’. It all depends on the system being used. If you have an Option offense, an ‘effective QBs’ stats are generally those non-gaudy numbers we have seen from Tebow this season. The offense is entirely different to a traditional system. Calling 40 rush plays to 12 passes is no longer “abnormal”. One can no longer compare a Matt Ryan 29/40 for 350 yards as "great", and a Tim Tebow 8/20 for 150 yards as "pathetic."

Basically, Newton and Tebow have opened the floodgates now for Pryor, RGIII, etc. Legitimizing the effectiveness of college systems, not forcing college system-QBs into becoming pro-style QBs, validating more ‘types’ of QB in today’s NFL than previously.

Happy to see the Broncos win for the re-education of fans, coaches, owners of the validity of college offensive systems, legitimizing its place in pro-football. We've seen it creeping in more and more of late -- the Pistol, Wild Cat, Spread, now Option, hopefully things like the Double Wing (big fan of), etc.

Imagine, for instance, Pryor, McFadden, Bush, Reece, Ford, Moore in a Double Wing or Triple Option offense. The NFL is a copycat league and I can see more owners/GMs daring to try new things, to be different, become more unique to other teams instead of everyone running essentially a hybrid of a few pro-styled systems.

With the NFL and its new waves of rules increasingly becoming a flag-football pass-crazy offense-friendly game, seeing the NFL turning a little circle and start implementing old-style Wing formations, having FBs and H-Backs becoming more relevant again, seeing college programs continue to utilize FBs and HBs not everyone switching to WR and DB, would all be welcome developments due to the successes of not just Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, but also the courage and acumen of coaches like John Fox, Ron Rivera, Rob Chudzinski, and Mike McCoy.

Instead of the traditional pro-style systems with the starting and back-up QB concept, why not re-define the QB depth chart concept itself with 5 or 6 QBs like a RB or WR depth chart?! Where the QBs are all from an Option background and you can rotate them in and out to maintain their health and for tactical purposes.

Sure, the Wild Cat is gimmicky, is not sustainable as a base system. But the Option and Double Wing are not gimmicks. The Spread isn’t a gimmick and it’s finally taken off in the NFL. The NFL is a copy-cat league too, why I believe we will start seeing NFL teams adopting more college ingenuity. Seeing teams wanting to become more unique, thus harder to game-plan against. Today, everything’s too common and known, every team essentially runs a hybrid of WCO and Air Coryell systems.

12.15.2011

Bush



BUSH

I been up, I been down
Take my word, here in Oaktown
I ain't askin' for much
I said, coach, spell McFadden
I'm just lookin' for a touch

He's been bad, more than good
Dialing plays from the playbook
Gone to the pass too much
I said, coach, here on third down
I'm just handin' off to Bush

Take me back, back a year
When people, weren't in my ear
I had a feel when to rush
I said, Chuck, stop these first downs
I'm just lookin' for some Bush

12.08.2011

Predicted To Bust



PREDICTED TO BUST

The games are on
But they're not home
Live scores
On their cell phones
Their rage flares
They punch a wall
Heyward-Bey
Reels in the ball

That's now eight
And two TDs
Ignored him
On bye weeks
In all their leagues
Up the creek
It goes beyond
Just fantasy

Whoa
They like to brag that they're a guru and such
Oh yeah
But so far every claim they make they
Don't know that much
You know they'll try to trade for someone
They predicted to bust

They know it all
Since Ryan Leaf
Eugene Monroe
and Mike Crabtree
Were the ones
They had in mind
Look what the Jets
Blew on Sanchez
They won't confess

They can't be told
Nonsense and lies is getting old
And change their
Point of view
Say of him
Always knew

Whoa
They'll try to brag that they're a guru and such
Oh yeah
If you don't pull them up to say they
Don't know that much
You know they'll trade again for someone
They predicted to bust

First was Michael Huff, they predicted to bust
Then was McFadden, they predicted to bust
Then was Heyward-Bey, they predicted to bust
Then was Bruce Campbell, they predicted to bust
Then Terrelle Pryor, they predicted to bust

The scores are in
Now they're at home
Your team
Has crushed their own
Their palms sweat
Their teeth grind
That DHB
Has 29

Whoa
They like to brag that they're a guru and such
Oh yeah
But so far every claim they make they
Don't know that much
You know they'll try to trade for someone
They predicted to bust

First was Michael Huff, they predicted to bust
Then was McFadden, they predicted to bust
Then was DHB, they predicted to bust
Then was Bruce Campbell, they predicted to bust
Then Terrelle Pryor, they predicted to bust
Davis first round picks, they predicted to bust
Every Davis pick, they predicted to bust

11.23.2011

On Tebow



There are some good aspects to organized religion – e.g., the selflessness. But one of the worst aspects is fanaticism. Plummer is 100% right – keep it to yourself, religion is meant to be a personal thing.

The problem is, imagine a top-tier QB was a practicing Satanist, and wanted to praise Beelzebub in post-game interviews. He’d be told to shut up by political forces in the NFL and above it. Imagine a Muslim was a top-tier QB and wanted to praise Allah after a TD by getting on all fours to Mecca, let alone on week 1 the 9/11 remembrance day.

There are a number of Muslims who play(ed) NFL and they’ve never been vocal/public like Tebow and others. I would guess they’d been told not to, which shows an underlying corporate prejudice in the NFL.

What the NFL needs is a franchise QB who is a Satanist, one who is a Muslim, one who is a Scientologist, one who is an Atheist, one who is a Buddhist, and all of them as rabid as Tebow/etc in their pre and post-game praising and on-field celebration theatrics….then all this would be put into proper perspective of how inappropriate it is.

One cannot stop religion from being involved in sport -- players pointing to the sky after a TD, or groups of players praying when someone is injured. These things shouldn't be part of sport, but shouldn't be legislated against either.

However, there is legitimate dismay and aggravation with someone constantly promoting and proselytizing his faith like a breakfast cereal or health insurance plan. As stated before, the implication is that it is okay to promote and proselytize Christianity only. The corporate entity of the NFL waving the Christian flag which is hypocritical in itself.

The other thing being criticized is the insidiousness/insanity of certain things being attributed to Tebow (either other people or Tebow himself) where it's said God is working thru him on the football field, that it's God's plan to win, that because the Broncos won some tight games at the death that God was responsible. What about all the other games in the NFL where teams came from behind and won?

It doesn't require atheism or even anti-Christianity to initiate criticism of Tebow's religious persona. I am sure there are Christians out there who roll their eyes too.

Another thing that highlights how the media and corporate NFL is driving Tebowmania, is how his signature pose is now called 'Tebowing', when for many many decades previously other NFL players have been doing this same pose after a TD or victory.

10.18.2011

Carson Wants To Play With Somebody



CARSON WANTS TO PLAY WITH SOMEBODY

Ahhh
Yeah
Oooh
Hey yeah huh
Oooh yea
Aha
Yeah
Carson wants to play

Deadline's upon the hour
I'm still waiting for a trade
Mike Brown's got me by the nuts
Don't wanna retire this way
I've done my best up till now
With TJ and O'Brien somehow
But when the whistles blow
My throwing arm's cold

Carson wants to sign with somebody
He wants on a team with somebody
Carson wants to play with somebody
With somebody who wants him
Carson wants to sign with somebody
He wants on a team with somebody
Carson wants to play with somebody
With somebody who wants him

I've been in touch with many agents
Going from town to town
Sooner than later the week ends
And my hopes get let down
I need a coach who'll take a chance
Who'll send two 1sts before deadline's passed
But when the whistles blow
My throwing arm's cold

Carson wants to sign with somebody
He wants on a team with somebody
Carson wants to play with somebody
With somebody who wants him
Carson wants to sign with somebody
He wants on a team
Carson wants to play with somebody
With somebody who wants him

Somebody who somebody who
Somebody who wants me
Somebody who somebody who
To open up his arms, oh
I need a coach who'll take a chance
Who'll send two 1sts before deadline's passed
But when the whistles blow
My throwing arm's cold

Carson wants to sign with somebody
He wants on a team with somebody
Carson wants to play with somebody
With somebody who wants him
Carson wants to sign with somebody
He wants on a team with somebody
Carson wants to play with somebody
With somebody who wants him

Ohhhh, ohhhh
(Play)
Come on Hue, aha
(Play)
Oooh yeah
Now get with this
Oooh, oooh, oooh
Don't you wanna play
(Play)
with him, Miami?

Don't you wanna play
(Play)
with him, Seattle?
Don't you wanna play
(Play)
with him, DC?

With somebody who wants him

Don't you wanna play say you wanna play
Don't you wanna play?
(Play)
Don't you wanna play say you wanna play
Don't you wanna play?
(Play)
Don't you wanna play say you wanna play?
Uh huh
(Play)
With somebody who wants him
Oooh
(Play)
Oooh Oooh
(Play)
Oooh

11.03.2010

Hue Jackson



HUE JACKSON

Well you ask me 'bout the plays I call
And you ask me why I air the ball
And you ask me why I'm in this thing
I dig being a Raider linchpin
So you wanna see us doin' our thing
All you gotta do is plug into Hue
I said Hue
Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson roadshow

Well you ask me if I like to blitz
And you ask me if I like to run
And you ask me if I like to zone
I got to get Al wins some way
And you ask me what I'm all about
Come on stand and shout Hue
I said Hue
Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson roadshow
roadshow

I said Hue
I said Hue
Waooh

Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson roadshow

Just win baby
Burn the candlelight, put the lights out, turn the film on

Hue Jackson roadshow
Hue Jackson roadshow
Haters gonna hate
Hue Jackson
Hue Jackson
Plug me in, turn the film on, I'm a sparklin' man
Hue Jackson roadshow

10.31.2009

I'm An Oakland Raider



I'M AN OAKLAND RAIDER

To the Vikings in Minnesota, we cracked your skulls, fuck you
In Chicago, Bears tried to maul us, but you didn't pull thru
Fuck you all in Philly, we were just too good for you
And all you Patriots in Boston, we've got something nasty for you

Do you dare, I'm an Oakland Raider
Don't turn the other cheek, I'm an Oakland Raider
I scrape, I claw, I bite all game, I'm an Oakland Raider
I hit, I stick, I run over you, I'm an Oakland Raider
I don't fit in your schemes and scenes, cos I'm an Oakland Raider

New York City, with a point to prove, we trampled you
Broken bones in Ohio, in Pittsburgh, and Carolina
Down Dallas, Houston, way, you hit and bruised us but no gain
We laughed, we took your best, from Maryland to the fucking mid-West

Call a spade, I'm an Oakland Raider
I put you on your back, I'm an Oakland Raider
I score on you until I'm done, I'm an Oakland Raider
I get what I want, I'm an Oakland Raider
I don't fit in your schemes and scenes, cos I'm an Oakland Raider

Seattle, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, you couldn't take us any fucking way
Our backs up against the wall, in San Diego, Denver and Kansas
But you still fucking couldn't overcome us
Then over at our home turf, we stuck it to you
Crying for the hurt to stop, but words weren't getting thru

There's a penny waiting to be dropped
We just can't be fucking stopped
We seethe, we rage, we're in your face
We're the Oakland Raiders

9.21.2009

The Celebration Of The Kiffin



THE CELEBRATION OF THE KIFFIN

Is everybody in?
Is everybody in?
Is everybody in?

Training is about to begin

LACE UP!

We must be better than we were
Has this team stopped?

The ball was golden brown, glazed and inflated
They weren't afraid to touch it
The field was hot, still, airless
And Al was beside me, old
He's, no; young
His dark wavy hair
The white soft skin
Now, run to the huddle in the endzone
Look!
Knapp's coming in here
I can't wait for this slow century of off-season to end
I let my cheek slide down
The cool smooth clipboard
Feel the good cold stinging hits
The loud clatter, helmets, 2 minute drills...

-------

Once I had a little scheme
I liked to use at USC
I think you'll like the scheme I know
I mean the scheme called West Coast O

Now you should try this little scheme
Just close your eyes, feel the seams
Forget the rush, forget the blitz
And you'll defeat their hands and wits

This little scheme is fun to do
Just time your throw, no way to lose
And I'm right here, I'm going to
Release the run, we're breaking thru...

-------

Burrow back into the brain
Back past the wristband of names
I find the plays to move the chains

And the chains move steadily up the field
And over the heads of our opposition
And in the labyrinth of plays in the playbook
I unleash screens, bootlegs and counters
Upon the nervous opposition defensive co-ordinators
Their indecision abounding
Toss sweeps, options, play-action fakes

Each down repeats a mold
Defenses rolled, newspaper-stands say in the morning

Al's now sleeping
The haters silent
Their mirrors vacant
Dust builds inside their heads
And questions trip up their feet
The AFC West sprayed with semen
Lies in our mercy

Wait!
There's been a slaughter here

Don't stop to doubt or look around
Their gloves and pads are on the ground
They're getting out of town
They're going on the run
And we're the one they wished didn't come

-------

Not to Air Coryell
Not to Run 'n Gun
Nothing left to do
But run, run, run
Let's run

Split backs on the first
I-Form on the second
Bunch set on the third
First downs are a breeze
C'mon LJ run with glee
Let's run

The O-Line is tough inside the redzone
Quick are the wideouts in the spaces there
Strong are the hands of our Tight Ends flared
And they wont know which receiver will get inside

Our guards and tackles push hard at the snap
Their linebackers react like frozen caps
C'mon JR we're going very far
To the NFC to meet their best

We're outlaws from across the Golden Gate
The NFL's in love with the hate
Whose umpires want to throw flags at our feet
Well done, Cable, we're almost clean

Run Run Run
Rhodes Rhodes Rhodes
Soon Soon Soon
Bush Bush Bush
He will get you soon
Soon
Soon
Soon

I am the Lane Kiffin
I can do anything

1.15.2008

Amy Trask



AMY TRASK

They see her ride out in her Corvette
On their CCTV screens
Out for all that she can get
For the Raider team
Suits to the left of her
And suits to the right
Don't need a gun
Don't need a knife
Better not start a fight

'Cos she's A-MY TRASK...she's dynamite!
A-MY TRASK...and she'll win the fight!
A-MY TRASK...she's the CEO!
A-MY TRASK...do what you're told!

She's loyal, mean, mighty as can be
She's a hired gun
Corporate enemy number one
Understand?!
So lock up your GMs
Lock up their wives
Lock up your front doors
And run for your lives
Amy's back in town
Better not mess her around

'Cos she's A-MY TRASK...she's dynamite!
A-MY TRASK...and she'll win the fight!
A-MY TRASK... she's the CEO!
A-MY TRASK...do what you're told!

A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi
A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi
A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi
A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi
A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi...she's dynamite!
A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi...and she'll win the fight!
A-MY TRASK, oi, oi, oi...she's the CEO!
A-MY TRASK...do what you're told!

1.08.2008

Al Will Always Love You



AL WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU

If you
Should stay
Al will always be there every day
So don't go
And you will know
Al will think of you every step of the way

And Al
Will always
Love you, oohh
Will always
Love you
You, Oooh OOoUUoowoo

My Raider you
Mmm-mm
Bittersweet
Memories
That is all we'll take with us
No good-byes
Please don't cry
We both know Al will look after our needs

And Al, lllllllllllllllllll
Will always love you, ooohwoooOUwooOooo
Al, llllllllllllllllllllll
Will always love you
You, ooh woo OOOooWoooOooUooo

Al hopes life treats you kind
And Al hopes you'll have all you dreamed
And Al will wish you joy and happiness
But above all this
Al will wish you love

And Al, lllllllllll
Will always love you, oooowoooOooUooWouWooOhhhh
Al, lllllllllllllll
Will always love you, oooowooOUuuoWooOhhh

Al, Al will always love
You, OooooWooohouwooOuuUoo
You
Raider, Al loves you
Al will always
Al will always
Love
You, OoohOhhhWooUooOooo
OoohOOooUUUouuwoooOowoo
OoohhhhhhhhOoooOoooUoooWoooOhhhh