Saturday, October 15, 2011

What the Raiders Fans are Saying About Aaron Curry

The following isn't an essay on Aaron Curry or the Oakland Raiders' fan base so much as it is on desperate rationalization - the need to believe that mountains of unpleasant news or unfavorable evidence can somehow be turned in your favor by a single unsupported, unsupportable, unfalsifiable hypothesis.

Those big words give way too much credit to the hilarious crap that some Raiders fans are pulling right now. They want to make their new LB acquisition, Aaron Curry, look like a good move and are pulling out all the stops to do it. Most of it involves taking Curry's elite skillz for granted and brandishing all kinds of unrelated criticisms on Seattle's front office, hoping to make them look like just the pack of stooges that would release a burgeoning Hall-of-Famer.

In fairness to Oakland, this phenomenon is not unique to the Bay Area. I remember Seahawks fans rationalizing about Greg Knapp when he came to Seattle for the 2009 season as offensive coordinator. Nobody wanted to believe the simplest implication of his body of work - that Seattle was in for a year of unimaginative, ineffective, laughably bad play-calling - so they set about searching for a reason to believe. Untenable speculation, excuses, dismissals, contradictions of fact, all in an attempt to shed better light on Knapp.

So, before we start making fun of Raiders fans over their Curry-squirming, let's remember that we're not immune to that tendency. We're all sports fans. We all want reason to hope. Some stoic churls like myself excluded, every one of us is looking for the silver lining that might, just might, flash into a glorious clear sky.

Now then, to the good part. Some examples (courtesy of Sadhappy at and my rebuttals in Seahawks blue:

"your coaching staff is overvaluing K.J. Wright"
You would need to prove that Curry has outplayed Wright in order to have any kind of respectability behind that.

"Curry is simply not one of 'Carrolls boys'."
Neither was Lofa Tatupu, Lendale White, or Lawrence Jackson, I guess.
"the way he was handled in Seattle by the coaching staff that Curry was thinking too much on the field instead of just playing"
I've seen that excuse floated in Seattle, too. But how hard does a #4 LB have to think to make a basic open-field tackle?

"Curry getting moved around, being asked to play DT"
As impressed as I am that another team's fan would know how we've used our players, it bears mentioning that Curry was moved around only after he failed at his default position of OLB.
"The Seahawk's don't have many vet players on the defensive side of the ball that carry the weight that someone like Seymour does."
Okay, this one there might be some truth to. But how many vets does a #4 LB need to make a basic open-field tackle?
"I think we have great coaches who know how to use people's strengths, and Seattle isn't getting much out of ANY of their players."
Tell that to the stack of highlight-reel plays amassed by Mike Williams, Chris Clemons, Kam Chancellor, Leon Washington, Brandon Browner, Doug Baldwin, Red Bryant, Raheem Brock, and Ben Obomanu. Instead, sadly but typically, I suppose the only Seattle player you're aware of is Tarvaris Jackson.

"he(Carroll) doesn't know how to work with anyone outside of his own system"
Does he need to? 

"alot of Nfl players Dont do well in Seattle anyways, see Deion branch tj houshmanzadeh, so I think Aaron curry can do well here"
Yeah, because T.J. Houshmandzadeh is lighting it up these days. Can't argue about Branch, I suppose.
"suspect there were issues in Seattle that may have gone beyond the football field. I think a change of pace to a contender, where he is not expected to save the team (as in Seattle)"
The latter suggestion I respect, but the former - proof, or you're Peter King.
"I'm just amazed that his former team only gave him 2 years when you take him 4th in the first round. I think the same thing for DHB, if you draft someone high, you need to play them, get them experience and let the develop. Not everyone can be a ****ing star day 1, most of the time it takes time."
A #4 LB had better be a Pro Bowler. I'll take Wright otherwise. Pro Bowl linebackers typically flash early, while Curry has flashed nothing but an excess of penalties. 

"I'm excited though because Curry has fire within him and Seattle has a depressing affect on players anyway. "
If only that fire had resulted in more than throwing-the-helmet penalties. Might put out some of that rain.

And now the nosebleed section, whose primitive assumptions are so unfounded that responding to each one would be a bigger waste of time than reading Steve Kelley:

"No good can come to Hawks from this. It was desperation sad to say, but preying on another team's desperation is how the game is played!"

"Hey seattle fans, thank you for having crappy coaches and giving us a player of curry's caliber.. much appreciated."
"Seattle doesn't know how to use talent."

"Seahawks are a mess -- I'm betting the guy will be a stud here."

"I'm not quite sure the Seahawk brass is making the best decisions these days"
"he's going to be our starting WLB or much improved in coverage due to our coaches being better than the Seahags."

"No one is denying that he regressed in Seattle, but that's seattle."

"simple, i 'think' seattle has crappy coaches. Do you really need me to elaborate?"

The funny thing is, I can't say that Curry will bust in Oakland. I have no idea. It's being said that a change of scenery, losing the pressure of being a #4 pick, could be the best thing that ever happened to Curry. It's Oprah thinking, to be sure, but not impossible.

But who cares? Curry wasn't cutting the mustard that he needed to cut to justify his salary, and got cut himself. It's that simple. His problems were at the fundamental level. Linebacker is such a fungible position anyway that Seattle faces little long-term damage from releasing him, even standing to benefit from fewer and smaller coverage holes and failed pass-rushing attempts. Curry's release really is addition by subtraction, and Oakland should be grateful that Al Davis wasn't the one making the transaction. Otherwise, we'd be setting pretty with their 2013 first-rounder right now.

I'm not sure why I'm bothering. Since when have opposing fans ever convinced anyone of anything? As long as Seattle is winning the NFC West with 7-9 records and doesn't have an elite quarterback who's grabbing all the headlines, no move we make will look good to anyone else. That's okay. We've climbed to the top of the NFC on the back of national disrespect before, fed off the under-the-radar resentment. We've get through it.

I would have been nicer to Curry here, because I do feel bad for the guy's attempts to succeed here. But I lost that when I saw Curry dogging it on the field against the Giants. That lack of effort was unprecedented, inexcusable, ugly, and fate-sealing. Good luck in Oakland, Aaron.

I really need something to do.


  1. I was hopeful for Curry to succeed here, but he never improved with his play, People can say: 'The coaching staff didn't know how to use Curry' all they want, but the fact of success of other players like Leroy Hill, KJ. Wright, Earl Thomas, WT III, and others (listed above) proves the coaching staff here in Seattle knows how to get the most out of their players, no matter the talent level they may posses..

    I wish Curry success in Oakland, not because I want him to succeed, but for the improved draft picks we will receive in return for that success... and I hope the Raiders fans don't make the same mistake that the Seahawks fans made with Curry, Curry is who he is, an athlete freak big/strong/fast, but he lacks the mental tools needed to be a force on the field-of-play.... I've always said: "Put Lofa Tatupu's brain in Aaron Curry's body and you will have a Hall Of Fame'er"...

  2. Never thought that Curry was dogging it. On that play trailing the TE, I think he was just so paralyzed after what happened on the Turner TD the previous week, that he's too unsure of himself to go full speed. Without that total loss of confidence, maybe he's still on the team.

  3. What a Seahawk fan is saying about Raiders fans: You are the Aaron Curry of fanbases.

  4. I like how there is a frequent reference by the Raiders fans as being "contenders" and the Seahawks having "crappy coaches" When the raiders have compiled a 70-124 record with 7 different coaches in the last 10 seasons. And, the only good coach they've had in the last 10 years, Tom Cable, now belongs on our coaching staff, along with your teams Pro Bowl tight end and pro bowl guard.

    The raiders think they have a shot because they traded their future away for a wildcard berth in the playoffs for one season. Lets see where they are in 2-3 years after getting no talent in the draft and Carson Palmer finishing his career.

    The raiders trade for Palmer reminds me of dumb and dumber when Lloyd trades his dead parakeet to a blind kid for a bike.

  5. It's almost laughable to hear people say Seattle doesn't know how to use talent. Especially considering two of their biggest success stories involve moving the underwhelming Red Bryant to another position where he flourished and then making a huge draft bust named Mike Williams a Comeback Player of the Year candidate.