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Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"


I am a big fan of HC09!

I truly wish just one of several things would happen:
  1. The game is reborn (new rosters, ability to update rosters and random player generation for infinite replay value)
  2. They basically drop all the HC code in Madden so the franchise mode is HC
  3. They release a brand new game with the ability to decide on a strictly Head Coach or GM role as you begin your career
One can dream. But, enough about that, this is a dynasty thread!

I was recently inspired by lastlastlast when he started a new thread on rebuilding the Radiers. I've tried several times to rebuild them and each has been disasterous. I've been turfed after the first season and, I recall, might have won four games in the best attempt. So, I was kind of hoping someone would show me the light!

That lead to a quick exchange within that thread with BrnwsBucksFanNC who was in his second year with the Raiders. That really got me thinking about revisiting HC09 and giving it another shot. I did, but only half-heartedly, simming most of the games. Not a great effort and predictably brutal results again.

So, inspired by new threads by each - lastlastlast - BrnwsBucksFanNC - I'm going to document my own alternate history of The Raiders here!!! Why not have THREE on the go at once, each hopefully examining the team from a slightly different perspective. They certainly are a challenge and, to varying degrees of success I'm sure, can be molded in many ways.

I've previously done some "Dynasty" threads under that tab, but this one will be right here so I can check the progress on all three!

Hope you come along for the ride?

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HC09 dynasty - Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

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Old 02-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

New Career - Head Coach of the Raiders

I begin this new HC career with one focus - I plan to make best use of Jamarcus Russell, hence the title of this dynasty. With the default rosters, he comes with a decent enough overall of "76" and his contract is a huge concern, so let's see if we can make this work.

As I mentioned, I have tried the Raiders several times and several different ways, without a lot of success. So this time, for me at least, I try a slightly different strategy off the top.

New career Head Coach
Lone Wolf - There aren't any in the game at the outset, so why not? I've never worked with this personality previously.
Special Skill - Ambition. Big points off the bat, but if I survive, I'll hopefully progress faster and be able to contribute more to my team.
Skills - Level 4 Chemistry and Level 4 Performance at the outset.
* That starts me with an overall rating of 12 in the game

Plan
Because I have tried to adopt new playbooks (and even took a stab at starting from scratch and creating my own before one career) in the past, I'm going to give myself a head start by retaining the Oakland default playbooks. I didn't check, but if the players start with some knowledge, then I should get a better jump at the outset than trying to relearn a new playbook.
Kiffin - Offense (which I will add to and tweak and I go along)
Raiders - Defense (I also plan to let Ryan do most of the D work)

I also plan to begin in the 2008 Pre-Season - that should separate this thread from at least one of the others.
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HC09 dynasty - Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

Team Philosophy
I won't outline every single philosophy, but note some changes I've made to adapt slightly to what I feel will work best for me, without altering things dramatically and getting me into trouble once again.
In no particular order:
Draft - Changed from a large school to medium school focus, just because!
Contracts - Normal counters, Normal tag, Flexibile negotiation. I plan to do most of this myself anyway (for better or worse) so I'm not sure it matters. If I survive, maybe I can do a "Coach Only" and leave things to my GM in my next life.
Players - Change FB to Balanced and left everything else pretty much the same. I did tweak the O-Line, WRs, HBs and CBs to sub and practice at moderate fatigue (my intention being to rotate instead of grinding the starters into the ground, if that's how it indeed works).
Evaluation - Changed to "Build through Draft" (so un-Raiders and kind of pointless if I don't live more than one season...but).
Playcall - Blitz Normal, Man Coverage, Playbook left to DC, 46 and left offensive scheme as "Vertical Pass" but plan to run quite a bit with McFadden "when" I sign him.
Trade - Over-value draft picks (again I plan to be in on every transaction, so I'm not sure this matters...but).
Depth Chart - Bench Complainers, Skippers and be balanced and start young HB (again, if this matters).
Coach - Give lots of control to both the DC and Trainer, otherwise very little control. I'm not sure if this initially matters or makes a difference when you're looking for a new coach...but.

Overall Approval as I begin - 46
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HC09 dynasty - Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

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Old 02-26-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

I won't completely document every single move I make in this thread, but give you the flavour and highlights.

Notable Goals
If you've played the Raiders, then you know that the owner wants you to trade for DT-Babineaux. That did come up and I was able to acquire him for Pick 5 2010 and Pick 6 2010. We'll see if he factors in at the end of the season because there are some significant contracts at the DT position that I don't want to be penalized for by dumping too early?

Trading Block
FIRST, in keeping with this dynasty, I changed Jamarcus to Indispensable in the player road map!
Then I placed several players on the block to see if I can get a nibble or two and move some cash or trade some surplus?!? Fargas, Jordan, Bush, O'Neal, Walker, Curry, Harris, Gallery, Wade, Carlisle, Kelly, Sands, Warren.
I think I know what will happen - nothing - but we'll see how the year plays out?

Signing
HB McFadden - 38mil/5 year contract now in place. I really plan to use him to allow the QB to breath.


Practice
Obviously there are some goals to get players up to speed with the playbook, etc. I generally plan to "Train" the rookies in the pre-season, knowing that it will also train the others on that side of the ball. It seems to be so slow trying to work on individual plays.
And I do take note of the practice results and try to utilize some of those plays in the next game.

Longer Term Stuff
Because the whole HC experience can take a long time because of the depth of the game, I plan to delegate all the Scouting through the year. IF I make it to the draft, then I will have that to work with but I strictly want to try a work with this team, players, lineups and play out the games so that I maximize the chance of seeing Year Two with the Raiders!

Wish me luck...again!
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

I finished up the pre-season games on the weekend (I had started the season before beginning to write this dynasty thread and didn't sit continuously at the machine all weekend...really)!

Strategy
I am essentially going to use a mix of running with McFadden and primarily "Quick Passes" to spread things out with Jamarcus. Rarely will I go down field, but will just to keep the secondary honest. Hopefully this will be the formula for Raider success this time around?

Pre-Season Results

Pre #1 - Raiders WIN 31-19 over the Sam Francisco 49ers!
** It is only pre-season, but my initial strategy produced a Jamarcus QB rating of 147.9 as he went 11/12 for 2TD's and 120yards in the air. "It's only pre-season" and, let's face it, both teams had tons of players on the field going through testing.

Pre #2 - Raiders WIN 10-6 over the Titans!
** Tough game. Neither team could really get things going. Then when anyone started to get traction it seemed like it was time to sub and test some more warm bodies. But a win is, as they say, a win and I will take a 2-0 start even in the pre-season!!!

Pre #3 - Raiders Lose 14-10 to Arizona.
** Small confession. I was playing around with my roster, depth chart, and evaluating things and the game simmed without me. Oops!
** Made a couple of moves, assuming you don't mind not hearing about some fringe players that were moved on the cut down days? LE Richardson suffered an injury that will keep him out for several weeks. I moved a few players around on the depth chart as a short term solution and also signed a depth MLB Simmons. Plus, despite putting my team up against the salary cap, we added free agent OLB Demorrio Williams to bookend with Howard and released a rookie that would have just taken too long to develop for me. With all these contracts, and my past record, I really feel I have to win first, rebuild later! I think we have to be set now, barring any trades that can help with cap space.

Pre #4 - Raiders WIN 27-24 over the Seahawks.
** Great tune-up game. We again started slow (my fault, I was trying to experiment and do too much - MUST remember to stay within the plan with Jamarcus). Also had some success with my 3rd string rookie/youngster and Walters. It took a while to take the lead and, in fact, the defense actually did this with a great pick-six. It was then our game to lose, but we held on for the win in spite of some late game pressure.

The Raiders finish the pre-season with a record of 3-1! Have to say, this has never happened previously in any Raiders dynasty I've started. I feel cautiously optimistic.

Plus in the final game I did manage to get my overall rating to 98 mainly through some obvious "Defining Moments" situations that proved relatively successful. A decision at the end however, dropped me ultimately to 88, but I'm satisfied. I have previously been in the teens through most of the season...

Owner Expectation: Finish below .500
My Choice: Same...and that did cost me a slight reduction (to the number above).

We'll see if we can get off to a great start. I'm quite positive I will be asked to do that!
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:59 PM   #6
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

The Raiders 2008

After the pre-season I trimmed the playbook a little. I removed some of the hastily created plays I put in to satisfy one of the goals (of adding 10), but a couple actually faired pretty well in the pre-season when I ran them, so I did keep those.

It would appear that McFadden will be my top rookie coming out of camp and I'm really anxious to see what he can do this year. I do plan to platoon as much as the game will allow, and have kept four RB to break camp.

I feel this year of Raiders has a great young crop of receivers (plus more of those pesky big contracts on some vets) so I've decided to retain six WR. We'll see if that comes back to haunt me later? That was at the expense of retaining only Miller as my lone TE.

Final Cuts
The following four players have been released:
TE Madsen (57ovr)
LE Scott (71ovr)
CB Johnson (79ovr)
LT Wand (81ovr)
** I did try to trade each away, but there were no takers. I felt a little bad cutting the veteran Wand, but I decided to go with some youth and smaller cash behind my OLine starters. And Johnson was a very tough call, opting instead to retain a couple of rookies on 3-year deals at a great price as backups.

Without further delay, here are your 2008 Raiders:


Oakland Raiders Depth Chart - 2008
Regular Offense
STARTER2ND3RD4TH
WRCarter 80Curry 78Higgins 77
TEMiller 81
LTHarris 83
LGGallery 82Terrell 81McQuistan 80
CWade 81Morris 79
RGWellborn 84Grove 79
RTWilson 87Green 80Henderson 79
WRWalker 79McFoy 74Shields 75
QBRussell 76Walter 79Pittman 71
FBGriffith 80O'Neal 73
HBMcFadden 83Fargas 79Jordan 77Bush 71
Base 4-3 Defense
STARTER2ND3RD4TH
LDEEdwards 75Richardson 74
LDTBabineaux 77Warren 69
RDTKelly 76Sands 63
RDEBurgess 84Beck 71
WLBWilliams 83Thomas 72
MLBMorrison 81Hartwell 78Simmons 72
SLBHoward 88Williams 72
CBAsomugha 89Routt 78Bowe 70
SSWilson 82Baker 77
FSHuff 88Eugene 79
CBHall 85Branch 68
Special Teams
STARTER2ND3RD4TH
KJankowski 89
PLechler 93


JUST WIN BABY!

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HC09 dynasty - Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

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Old 02-28-2012, 07:39 PM   #7
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

News Season Goals
I'm sure you're aware, if you've ever played the Raiders, that the new goals include:
  • Crush Denver in the first week
    Beat Denver on Monday Night
    Start with 3 of 4 wins
    Re-Sign - P Lechler - CB Asomugha - T Wilson
    Replace GM
    Hire a College Coach (I'll have to pay attention for that one)
    Re-Sign Ryan (I would anyway)
    And have an approval rating of 90 at year end!
    ...That's all

Week One vs Denver Broncos

We start at home on a rainy night in Oakland.

* I did have a game freeze on the loading window just as I went to start. I hate it when that happens. But after re-starting it appears no harm was done.

* As I mentioned, I'm letting Rob Ryan have complete control calling the D during the season, so I'm essentially hitting the circle everytime a defensive call comes up on the clipboard.


Game Highlights/Summary:

SS Baker had a Pick-6 early - Go Ryan - so I'm feeling good about the defense already.
QB Russell runs one in from four yards out as I marched down the field. Called a quick pass, but with everyone covered Jamarcus took off. Nice! I'm counting on that happening regularly, provided it's a smart move.
DT Kelly with a fumble recovery for another 6 in the first half!

35-14 at the half

Gotta say I was really not expecting this at all. The defense was monterous (my mistakes in the previous dynasties may have been trying to master the defense, when I should have left it in the hands of the pros). And I was more than happy with the offenses response to my playcalling and game plan.

CB Hall out of the game early 3rd.
DT Kelly out of the game in the late 3rd.
DT Warren out of the game in the mid 4th.
FB Griffen also out late in the 4th.
That is a lot of cash in the training room!!! Thankfully we had put up some numbers by that point and weren't fighting for some points.
I even had a chance to sub the second string with about 5.5-minutes to go.

Final Score: RAIDERS 42 - Denver 17

Russell was not without his faults in this one. We'll work next week.
- 13/25 for 178 yards (35.5rtg) - 4 INTs!
- Russell and Jordan with TD runs
- Baker, Kelly, Wilson with defensive TD's made the difference
- Beck with 2 and Howard and Babineaux with a sack each

Stats for the team included 193 passing yards, 126 on the ground and 15 first downs.


Loved this game. I haven't started this strong in any previous dynasty. Obviously met the goals for the Denver game and remain optimistic that - probably because I decided to summarize this in this dynsasty - The Raiders might just be for real!
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Re: Rebuilding the Raiders - "Russell Rulz"

Week Two @ Kansas City Chiefs

The team worked all week on the run game, focusing on pitches and our draw plays. But we also spent some time with the DB's to make sure they were finely tuned for the Chiefs.

Plus there was a couple of opportunities for some minor staff development after the first victory.

Game Highlights/Summary:

CB Hall with a nice INT in the first quarter seemed to signify that the defense would pick up right where it left off against Denver. And it validated the practice plan for the previous week in my mind.
HB McFadden was able to walk into the end zone a few plays later.
HB Jordan also made the coaches look good when he took the ball in on a draw in the second quarter. Love it when a plan comes together!

The defense was all over the KC QB and backfield in the first half with some solid pressure from the line leading the way.

Oak 14-3 at the half

The second half was a slightly different story. Through a combination of trying to get a little bit more out of our offense (read: greedy) and also the adjustments the Chiefs clearly made at halftime to try and answer the first half pressure, things turned around a bit after the half.

Plus we seemed to embrace the injury bug!

LE Edwards out of the game early 3rd.
RG Welbourn out of the game mid 4th.
LE Richardson out of the game late in the 4th.

Clearly the loss of both of our LE's hurt and the pressure we had been getting dropped off. We still had some solid play from the LB's and our CB's, but the Chiefs were able to put up some points.

They came right back to tie the game at 20 with 4mins to go on a field goal.

We stumbled on the next drive - maybe some nerves - and despite the fact we did stifle their defense, they hit a 50 yard field goal with 1:51 left on the clock to put them up 23-20!

Once again we only partially answered them in the next series and essentially ended things by turning the ball over on downs, inches from a first down, with 1:28 left.

Final Score: KC 23 - Raiders 20

Russell tried to hard to air things out in places and the stats showed it.
- 16/38 for 202 yards (48.4rtg)
- He did drop his INT total to only one this game
- McFadden with 1 and Jordan 2 TD's on the ground
- WR Walker dropped three easy balls (that did not help Jamarcus and, frankly, is unacceptable)

Stats for the team:
358 total yards, 192 passing yards and 166 rushing.


We should have won this game. We had numerous opportunities, but failed to capitalize. The silver lining is that we were in it all the way and I still feel confident we can achieve our goal of a big, early start to the season.

By the way, additional injury details:
LE Edwards - Out for the Season with a leg injury - PLACED on IR
Welbourn - 2 to 3 weeks
Richardson - Out a week
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Last edited by Winnipeg59; 03-01-2012 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Added injury detail
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