So long to the Bay Area follies
November 1, 2008
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
I’ve had it. My allegiance to the 49ers and Raiders is over. A fan can only take so much brutal football.
I’ve never seen two teams mismanage their fortunes so poorly and fall from the upper echelon of the NFL in such a short span of time.
Let’s start with former Niners head coach Mike Nolan, who had the brilliant idea to draft Alex Smith ahead of California’s Aaron Rodgers. Are you kidding me? Rodgers ran a pro style offense at Cal, while Smith ran whatever you call Urban Meyer’s offense while at Utah.
Rodgers was much more equipped coming out of college than Smith, who lost his job in San Francisco to journeyman free agent J.T. O’Sullivan, who has since lost his job to Shaun Hill.
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I don’t see a problem with offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s system except the 49ers don’t have a quarterback on their roster capable of running it right now. It’s an offense that requires accurate passing and quick decision making. Let’s face it, there is a reason O’Sullivan never started until he came to the 49ers.
The team isn’t really solid at wide receiver, either. It’s an aging Isaac Bruce surrounded by a bunch of lesser-known guys.
The Niners have been so bad that they can’t keep the good talent they drafted around for very long. Seattle’s Julian Peterson is a very good outside linebacker. Can you imagine him and Patrick Willis playing alongside each other? That would be a pretty formidable duo.
And the Raiders? Please don’t get me started or we could be at this for a long time.
This was an organization that did things the right way and always seemed to attract the good talent. That isn’t the case any longer. They have had a string of bad drafts Al Davis hasn’t been able to get a decent coach except Jon Gruden ” and he ended up leaving for Tampa Bay.
JaMarcus Russell still isn’t showing me a whole lot under center. He doesn’t use his size very well. This is a guy, who at 250 pounds, could take on linebackers and defensive backs if he tried to scramble a little bit. He has a strong arm, but hasn’t been the most accurate of passers. I thought it was a mistake to spend a first-round draft pick on Russell and I still do.
I like to take guys that can be shutdown cornerbacks, athletic linebackers or linemen in that first round.
If you make a mistake at quarterback, it can set your franchise back several years, and that’s what the Raiders are seeing now. Honestly, had I been the Raiders I would have traded down to get a second first-round pick.
Seems to me a guy named Walsh had tremendous success with that strategy. Didn’t he get a quarterback named Montana in the third round?
Enough already, I’m tired of talking about losing teams. Makes me sick to my stomach.
– Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson clarified the conference’s agreement with the Poinsettia Bowl.
He said that the WAC must fulfill all of its bowl obligations first, and that if the Pac-10 doesn’t qualify seven teams, the WAC would have the ability to place a team in that bowl. Benson, however, said that a team with a 6-6 record would not get to go unless there were no available 7-5 teams out there. He did say that geography plays a part in the NCAA’s decision.
If Boise State gets a Bowl Championship Series bid, there is a chance five WAC teams could go bowling this year. Nevada, San Jose State and Hawaii have some work to do. Both New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech damaged their bowl hopes with losses last week.
It’s very doubtful that the Pac-10 will qualify seven schools. Arizona State and UCLA both lost last week and are in deep hole. If one of those teams doesn’t make it, that will leave a spot for a qualified WAC team.
The Poinsettia Bowl would be great for teams like Fresno State and Nevada, who recruit Southern California heavily. It would be a chance for the kids in that area to play in front of family and friends.
There aren’t many conferences that deserve more than five or six slots. As of now, the ACC will have 10 bowl-eligible teams. Obviously that could change dramatically in the next month. The ACC has some decent teams it but lacks one or two really good teams.
– Next week’s Fresno-State-Nevada battle on ESPN2 should be an interesting one. The Pack will get a chance to showcase its stout run defense against the Bulldogs, who boast the deepest backfield in the conference with Ryan Mathews, Lonyae Miller and Anthony Harding.
No doubt Tom Brandstater will throw the ball, but the Bulldogs like to play smashmouth football and I doubt that FSU coach Pat Hill strays from that strategy much.
Harding and Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick were teammates at Pittman High School in Turlock.
– Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or (775) 881-1281