No hope in sight for Raiders, 49ers


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Jan 22, 2006
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No hope in sight for Raiders, 49ers

It's not as if they don't desire better players. Needs? If the talent-starved Raiders and 49ers got any needier, they would qualify for federal relief.

These two teams are tied for the worst record in the NFL since the start of the 2003 season. So why are the two teams in most desperate need of improvement getting worse instead of better? The free-agency period is far from over. The draft is coming up. This is no time to issue the Raiders and 49ers final grades for player acquisitions. That said, this offseason has been no more encouraging than the past two regular seasons for the Bay Area's resident NFL franchises. If the season started today, neither team would win four games.

What about Larry Allen, you say? The veteran guard the 49ers signed Friday is a 10-time Pro Bowl selection. The guy was named to the all-decade team.

One problem: It was last decade.

The Raiders replaced the mediocre Kerry Collins with the equally mediocre Aaron Brooks at quarterback, which hasn't exactly lit up the switchboard at the team's newly formed ticket office, where the Maytag Repairman is on duty, 24/7.

They inked Duane Starks and Tyrone Poole to improve the secondary. Those would've been encouraging signings -- five years ago.

The 49ers have lost more talent than they have gained this offseason, which is frightening considering they may have been one of the least talented teams in NFL history last season. Geez, how low can you go? The 49ers lost their two most talented defensive players -- not best, but most talented -- in Julian Peterson and Andre Carter. They lost their best receiver when they traded Brandon Lloyd to the Washington Redskins for draft picks.

Peterson was not the dominant presence he was two years ago before he blew out his Achilles and probably wasn't worth what it would have taken to re-sign him. Carter is a pass rusher who never rushed the passer. Describing Lloyd as the 49ers best receiver last season is at best a backhanded compliment given the team's lack of talent at that position.

The only thing worse than losing players is overpaying to keep them, especially when their value is debatable. That's why coach Mike Nolan and player personnel man Scot McCloughan have shed few tears over those departures.

The sad truth is the free-agent market is weakest at the positions -- receiver and cornerback -- where the 49ers need the most help, limiting their ability to improve their roster despite being a reported $18.4 million under the salary cap.

Nobody knows what the Raiders are thinking. Is there a plan? They haven't won a game against an AFC West opponent in two years. How are they going to snap that embarrassing string after losing Renaldo Hill, their second-best defensive player behind Derrick Burgess last season, and re-signing Derrick Gibson, the former first-round pick on the James Jett scholarship plan.

Nothing has been done to improve the offensive line, an obvious weakness last season. Given the disturbing decline of Robert Gallery, the second overall pick in the 2004 draft, coaches Irv Eatman, Jackie Slater and Art Shell might be the three best offensive linemen in the organization right now.

You can't blame them for not signing Drew Brees or trading for Daunte Culpepper. Those are two high-risk, high-reward players. Quarterback Josh McCown would rather compete for the starting job with the Detroit Lions than assume the starting role in Oakland. That you can blame them for.

The Raiders and 49ers used to attract free agents. Now they repel them. The Raiders' hiring an offensive coordinator who hasn't coached in the NFL since 1994 might have had something to do with that. Tom Walsh was running a bed and breakfast in Idaho horse country when Shell offered him his old job.

Give Al Davis credit, though. He was one of the first NFL coaches to mine the all-black colleges in the South back in the day. Soon teams will be combing dude ranches in the West in search of offensive coordinators.

Let's hope it works out that way. No team's forecast should be this gloomy in March. Maybe Walsh will make Shell and Davis look like geniuses. Maybe Brooks will enjoy a late-career renaissance and Randy Moss will be the beneficiary.

Allen may have lost a step, but he'll still add toughness to what should be an improving 49ers offensive line. Perhaps Alex Smith will develop into a worthy successor to Joe Montana and Steve Young, and the 49ers' search for a team president won't take as long as their search for a new stadium.

Both teams have too many fundamental problems to expect a quick turnaround. Expectations are non-existent. Fans are just looking for a light at the end of what has become a long, dark tunnel. So far this offseason, neither team has provided a flicker.
Do we have on our rose colored glasses?

You see this is how non-Raider fans see our team.

While we see them improved and ready to challenge for the AFC West title others seem them as "talent starved"...

Somewhere in the middle is probably the turth! :(
Nah! That's simply spin-city. It's piling on. It's stating the obvious somehow disguised as reporting. Neil (and bob) Hayes had a deadline to meet, a column to fill, and he decided to say what everyone knows and paint it in the most gloomy light possible.

Yeah, Poole and Starks aren't starters. We already have good starters at corner, but I guess it's better to say the signings were crap than to paint them in the proper light.

Want to complain about our offensive coordinator's job before we hired him? I guess if Neil (and bob) Hayes went off on sebatacle somewhere for a couple years he'd forget about how to compose a newspaper article. The industry has changed so much. The sports he'd be asked to report on would have changed dramatically, and there'd be no way he'd be able to get up to speed, EVER. That's just ludicrous. Now he might be right that he'd never be hired by anyone of consequence unless he knew someone. Well geez, that's what happened to Tom Walsh. Art Shell was hired as a head coach and wanted his old assistant back on the job.

Now if he had something to say about the job Walsh did in the past, he might have something of value. But he doesn't know anything about that, he didn't do any research, he didn't look into any facts, he didn't interview anyone for his "story", he just put together things he could have picked up anywhere on the internet. All he's doing is fanning the negative flames.

The value of that article, and ultimately, of Hayes, is nothing. It and he are worthless crap. They don't tell us anything new, don't make any revelations, and don't dig up anything substantial. Could he have? With a little work, no problem, but that's beyond his ability to produce.
Nobody knows what the Raiders are thinking. Is there a plan? They haven't won a game against an AFC West opponent in two years.

^^^This alone proves the writer doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.....I remember watching Walker block Elam's f/g in '04 for the Raiders to beat the donkeys @ Mile High!! :)
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