Chumming the Water

In a surprising move, the Oakland Raiders have decided NOT to renew Bill Musgrave’s contract. The orchestrator of Oakland’s best offense in nearly a decade and half is now a free agent. Because of his time aboard the pirate ship, he will likely get an offer to be a head coach elsewhere. Fine Bill, don’t sink on your way back to shore.

Shocking to most, Musgrave’s scheme was exposed when he didn’t have a QB who could run it. Like many of Oakland’s flaws, Bill too was exposed when the young swashbuckler came down with a case of the peg leg on Christmas Eve. It was quickly apparent that Bill was unable to squeeze any life out of this team sans Carr.

Fans had been clamoring for bill to be sent to his “Watery musGrave” since the beginning of last season. It didn’t take long for JDR to join the pack this year. Several times after games Jack pointed out that he wasn’t sure why certain decisions were made late in games. He also fired shots at DC Ken Norton Jr. who, surprisingly, will be retained.

Kudos to you Bill, not a lot of us are going to miss you; I hope.

Well, “who’s next?” you may ask. Surely a top name coordinator will climb aboard this 12-4 vessel and guide us to the promised land. Nope, QB Coach Todd Downing was promoted immediately and will take the helm at OC in the 2017 season. According to Greg Papa on 95.7 The Game, Todd and Carr are THAT close.

I know nothing about Downing except the praise he’s received from every QB to come out from under his tutelage. That’s great, but can he call a game? Bill was criticized for his uber-conservative play calling that was baked in a kitchen powered by Adrian Peterson.  Well, we don’t have AP and our run game, though promising, never could bail us out consistently.

Can Todd do better? Seems risky to take a top flight NFL offense and hand it over to a guy that has never done any work at the coordinator level before. So far, his crowning achievement was being named PFF’s 2015 QB Coach of the Year. Not too shabby. I suppose if all goes well, that plaque is going to look pretty nice next to your Super Bowl LII ring.

UPDATE: According to reports on Twitter, the decision to promote Downing became immediate now that the young coach is being courted by several other teams. According to Albert Breer, Todd was such a hot commodity that the Raiders blocked other teams from interviewing him to be their offensive coordinator.

In other news, KNJ will reportedly be retained while CB coach Marcus Robertson was released today. I’m surprised Ken remains after the Oakland Defense underperformed nearly every single week. Though showing improvement towards the end, they still failed to generate consistent pass rush up the middle and were always suspect to give up the big play.

More specifically, it was the Oakland secondary equipped with 2015 playmaker David Amerson, first round pick Karl Joseph, and free agent standouts Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith who were burnt every week in 2016. JDR also didn’t shy away from calling out this bunch in his post-season presser earlier this week. The point was hammered home today when Marcus was released.

What makes this slightly surprising is the fact that #24 himself returned to Oakland because of Robertson. One of the best DB’s to ever play the game endorsed Marcus on a regular basis. Well guess what? Chuck ain’t here anymore and neither are you Robertson; walk the plank.

Written by: Kenny Stapler