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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Top Five Reasons to Keep Norv Turner

1. You can't blame Norv for outrageous officiating.
The refs cost us both KC games and the first San Diego game. And I don't mean there were a couple of minor bad calls or non-calls. These three games were flat-out STOLEN from the Raiders. Our record is 7-5 rather than 4-8 otherwise.

2. Our two best players have been injured.
Randy Moss, our best offensive player, has not been Randy Moss since October 16th, when he was brazenly interfered with by two Chargers on a deep pass. The blatant pass interference was not called, and Moss sustained injuries to his ribs, pelvis, and groin. Since then Moss has been Ashley Lelie, NOT Randy Moss.
Charles Woodson, our best defensive player, broke his leg on October 23rd.
Every team sustains its share of injuries. The Raiders, for example, have also lost Langston Walker, Derrick Gibson, and Warren Sapp for the season, and had many players miss individual games. But effectively losing your BEST player on both defense and offense is unusual and difficult to overcome.

3. Norv Turner has done an excellent job of drafting, trading, and getting free agents, in his two years as head coach.
Basically we traded Philip Buchanon, Doug Jolley, Napoleon Harris, and the 7th overall pick for Lamont Jordan, Randy Moss, and the 23rd overall pick, which netted us a starting cornerback. Not one of the players we traded is starting!!!
This year's class: Fabian Washington has been solid, Kirk Morrisson has been spectacular. Walter looked great in the preseason and may have a future, and Stanford Routt showed signs that he may be a great player once he gains more experience.
Last year's class: Robert Gallery, Jake Grove, and Stuart Schweigert have all been solid starters for us this year. Johhny Morant may be a starter in the future.
Free Agents
Derrick Burgess. He is young, he is a stud, he is a team player, and he has 11 sacks. Compare him, to say, Trace Armstrong. 'Nuff said.

4. The Raiders have had a brutal schedule.
This is no excuse, especially given the winnable games we have lost. But it is a mitigating factor. I mean imagine we were Chicago, and we got to face Detroit, Green Bay, and Minnesota twice each. I've no doubt we would have a winning record now. Denver, San Diego, and Kansas City rank 3, 4, and 8, respectively, in the best of the power rankings poll.

5. Kerry Collins Sucks
Time and again Kerry has blown throws that would have resulted in touchdowns early in games, and blown short, crucial third-down completions late in games. Time and again our receivers have had to make spectacular catches that should have been easy catches with yards after the catch. Time and again Kerry has thrown the ball away when he faced little or no pressure.

The difference between a quarter back who makes plays and a quarterback that blows plays was glaringly obvious versus San Diego. Brees feels intense pressure, runs away from it, and makes a beautiful on the run pass resulting in a 3rd-down conversion inside the 5 yard line. The Chargers end up with 7 points. Kerry feels non-existent pressure, fumbles his footwork, doesn't see Randy Moss wide open, and heaves an all-arm throw over a double-covered Jerry Porter and out of bounds. Brees throws a picture-perfect pass to a covered wide receiver resulting in a crucial 3rd down conversion. Kerry throws an ugly duck behind a wide open Courtney Anderson that results in another 3-and-out.

There is a synergistic relationship between a head coach and a quaterback, yes. Some of Kerry Collins' failings are therefore Norv Turner's fault. But Collins' faults are too many and too obvious and too severe to blame on Norv Turner.Imagine Dan Pastorini had not been injured in 1980, when the Raiders were 2-3. Flores would not have started Plunkett. We would not have made the playoffs as wild card nor won the Super Bowl. We may well have had a losing season. Imagine Brady did not replace the injured Bledsoe, for that matter.

Norv Turner should be given one more chance, one more year, to right the ship, and return the Raiders to glory.


Comments are greatly appreciated, even criticism, so don't be shy. For more Harkonnendog Raider click the links below:

1. 8 Raider Predictions Revisited 10/07/2005
2. 8 Raider Predictions for 2005 season 06/28/2005
3. Plunkett: Best Raider QB Ever? 5/19/2005
4. And yes MORE incompetent Raider reporting! 3/17/2005
5. More incompetence from the Bay Area media 3/4/2005
6. Monte Poole and Tim Kawakami = Sad but Funny 2/24/2005

(This is mostly a blog about my novels- trying to write them, publish them, actually making rather than losing money from selling them, with some politics and criticism once in a while. Thanks for stopping by!)


  • At 7:47 AM, Blogger RowdyR8R said…

    I agree with some of your points but let me comment here:
    On the draft: We all know our coaches are given 1-2 picks a draft but Al and his team of scouts pretty much create the draft board so I wouldn't give that credit to Norv. As for the refs, that is something as a Raider head coach you know you're going to have to deal with and overcome. It is unfair, but it is what it is and as a very long time fan of this team, I'm unfortunately used to it.
    Now the "Collins Sucks" comment is the one that is most evident that Norv has to go. Norv chooses the starting QB and he could have made the call to pull him long ago and didn't. He kept thinking that his system works and it just takes time but in my opinion his system doesn't work. Look at the Denver game. The interception return for a TD was 100% the fault of Norv. We only line up in that formation with that particular motion for one play and it is always called in the Red Zone. The defender (a rookie btw) recognized the play and jumped it for a INT for a TD.
    I honestly feel we need a fresh mind in here as a coach. Al has been great in the past in recognizing coaching talent and I feel it's time for him to do it one last time.

  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger Harkonnendog said…

    Good comments rowdyr8r, and hard to refute.

    I disagree about the draft- during Gruden's years picks were consistently pretty bad, during Turner's time they have been pretty good. Maybe Al does have final say, but I'm sure the coach has a lot of input, and right now the Al/Norv draft team is working very well.

    Regarding the refs- this is the worst reffing year I remember. I can't think of another season where I was this horribly frustrated by the officiating. During out SB year I thought it was pretty good, actually. Having said that, I agree Norv has to have that built into his calculations, but I hope you'll agree that this means the Raiders are spotting teams between 0-21 points every game- and you can't blame the head coach for that. I mean no head coach can overcome that deficit. Tiger Woods wouldn't win giving his opponents 5 strokes. So you need to judge how well Norv coaches while keeping that in mind. Otherwise we could easily get somebody worse.

    Than donk TD- that was retarded, no excuse. My assumption is that, since Collins ALMOST had the same pass intercepted and returned for a TD the week before, Norv assumed he would loop it over that receiver to the far one- but nope. So... I don't know- I just really don't want to go through 2 more rebuilding years, only to find Norv's replacement(s) are worse than Norv.
    That's exactly what happened to the Redskins.

  • At 3:35 PM, Blogger steve said…

    Norv must go/ to lose to Miami the way we did/ they were shut out the week before by Cleveland/we need a coach like chucky, one that breathes fire and brimstone.

  • At 9:24 PM, Blogger nflrefssuka$$ said…

    yea i agree with most of it but i want the raiders to put out andrew walter he looked really well in the pre season, this guy is tall, accuratte (way more accurate then collins) he just need's a shot to play. This season did suck like hell for oakland and the refs. we were goin against playoff teams and we held up pretty well, we would of won most of those games if it weren't for the refs.

  • At 11:06 AM, Blogger Harkonnendog said…

    Steve, the Miami game WAS horrible, have to agree. I think I've never been that pissed off watching a Raider game. The refs HELPED US!!! and we still lost. But that game was almost completely and totally Kerry's fault.

  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger Harkonnendog said…


    (nice nick lol)
    I think Tui needs a chance, and I think our O-line really is not playing well now, so he gives us a better chance to win.


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