They say trauma is passed down. If you’re a Raiders fan, you know this by your hate for the Steelers. Unless you read up or watch ESPN classic, you might not know why.
Once upon a time, the Raiders and Steelers has battles in the playoffs. They were physical teams who hit each other and kept hitting each other.
There are multiple classics including the emasculate deception. Nonetheless, as a Raiders fan on this era you might hate the Steelers and not even know why.
That’s why a win over the Steelers feels so good. And that’s also why it felt so weird for Reggie McKenzie to get fired the next day after a big win over a playoff contender.
Why Reggie McKenzie got fired
Reggie McKenzie got fired for a lot of reasons. Mostly, his draft picks.
McKenzie dropped the ball in every second round. He passed on Pro Bowlers throughout. McKenzie only had nine picks on this roster.
Then, there’s the Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack trades. Both players were among RM’s top successes. The Raiders asked McKenzie to trade his favorites because the team wasn’t ready for limelight. Most of that was because Mark Davis didn’t get along with the agent of Mack and Cooper.
Turns out McKenzie could’ve got more. In fact, it turns out Davis wish he got more. What took him all season to realize that?
Speaking of power struggles, we can’t act like Gruden didn’t have a say in this move. Dude got a ten million dollar per year deal to bring Oakland a Super Bowl. He’s gonna be given as much support as possible including his own personnel, scouting and front offices.
All that aside, we got to be thankful for Reggie being the bridge. He got marquee free agents to seriously consider Oakland. A few signed.
McKenzie notoriously got the Raiders out of salary cap hell after Al Davis. He brought the organizations technology and facility out of the dark ages. RM was a small peace of consistency in an organization that needed it in the fallout of losing their iconic owner.
He got us back to the playoffs. Fans loved him. Fans hated him. He signed team friendly deals. He found solid starters and good backups in the late and undrafted rounds.
McKenzie is respected around the league. He was drafted by the Raiders and groomed in Green Bay’s front office. McKenzie turned down an interview for his dream job with the Packers because he believed in Gruden and the Raiders. That was his biggest undoing.
No GM and now no home. It’s uncertain where the Raiders will play next year. They’re being sued by the City of Oakland for a number of reasons mostly that they’re leaving. Now, the Raiders are including every option from Sacramento to Reno to San Diego to Fresno to Glendale.
I get it from both sides. The Raiders are supposably paying anywhere from 2 to 7 million in rent. Oakland will always be their home. The colors and logo were designed based off the city. They’ve always been a cultural icon that connects the different consciousnesses in the Bay. They want to stay but they can’t play where their playing. Vegas was willing to build them a billion dollar home and Oakland wasn’t.
For Oakland, I get it too. California isn’t building stadiums. We’ve got too many taxes already. The city hasn’t even paid off the renovations they did for the Raiders to return in the 90s. They’re also loyal to the A’s who also need a home but never left Oakland.
At the same time, they can’t just sit back and let the Raiders and Warriors leave Oakland within a few years. The lawsuit is an easy PR move.
Either way, the Raiders better leave if their smart. It’s going to get ugly next year if they don’t make leaps and gains. No Marshawn Lynch homecoming or Gruden return can save their relationship with a city they’re turning their back on for the second time.
It doesn’t appear they’re gonna make a lot of on-field gains next year. I fully anticipate the Raiders will continue the purge of players signed and drafted by McKenzie. They’ll field a bunch of their draft picks again. They’ll tank again to get a high draft pick before Vegas. They’ll trade anyone who can get them closer to that goal. Then they’ll get booed every step of the way.
Back to football
The Raiders favs the Bengals this week. It’ll be the second time they face a coaching staff with Hue Jackson. Jackson was fired from the Browns this season and he’s on the Bengals now.
Still, the Raiders can completely end the Bengals playoff hopes. They very well might end the Marvin Lewis era too.
To win, the Raiders will need to continue improving their offense. They’ll need to show some sort of pass rush. It’s the same thing that’s been said all season long.