Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Battling Organizational Culture

After an exhilarating, improbable, impressive win over a good Bengals team on Sunday, most teams would take momentum into their next start. But it's well documented that the Raiders always do a major face plant when coming off a win. Shane Lechler blames players, saying, "Guys become real cool."

It's quite remarkable to me that there are so many significant players who have absolutely no idea how to handle themselves as professionals. It is to be expected given the lack of discipline that flows from the utter lack of organizational structure the Raiders have. But for the life of me I can't figure out who those guys are.

So my hope this week is that the short week distracts the Raider players from their typical post-win routine of going out, getting drunk, showing up late for practice, skipping their studies - whatever it is they do.

Another organizational quirk that always baffles me a bit is the inability to stop the run. This year's focus on fundamentals didn't fix it, but per David White's post, John Marshall seems to know exactly what the problem is. And it sounds like guys are just missing assignments and failing to learn, which points right back at the discipline problem mentioned above.

With Seymour, Ellis, and Branch, DE and SS seem less likely culprits this year. Is it a problem with the LBs and DTs? Something to watch now that we actually get to see a game on TV, I guess.

The good news is the Raiders showed promise on Sunday and a second win in a row would be a revelation.

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