Stanford Routt played eight seasons in the NFL – from 2005 to 2012 – and he spent his first seven seasons in Oakland. The Raiders didn’t make the playoffs in any of those years, but they were at least respectable, finishing 8-8 in both 2010 and 2011.
After back-to-back 4-12 seasons, however, the Raiders (0-7) have a legitimate chance to go winless this year. In fact, with upcoming games against Seattle, Denver and San Diego, 0-10 is basically a foregone conclusion.
What in the world is going on there?
Routt, 31, isn’t sure.
“My experience was great,” the former cornerback said on The MoJo Show. “I was there with Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, Charles Woodson – one of the greatest ever. Three guys who are definitely going to be in the Hall of Fame. Well, Sapp already is. It was great. We had good old (Al Davis) running the ship. We obviously didn’t make the playoffs in any of my years there, but we were always competitive and it was always exciting for us to be on TV to watch us play.
“As far as what’s going on now, I haven’t been there in several years, obviously,” Routt continued. “The main thing is, you just got to question the direction that the team is going. Al passed – God rest his soul – in October 2011. And after that season, all of a sudden new management came in, a new regime, and they wanted to go in a different direction. Everybody wanted to to try to throw Al Davis and his philosophy under the bus and make it seem like that was the problem.
“Now that three years have passed and everybody’s had a chance to give their two cents and force the team in the direction they wanted to go, you have to question (whether) that (was) the right move and (whether this was) the right direction . . . to go in all along.”
Oakland, which ranks 22nd in passing offense (228 yards per game) and 32nd in rushing offense (69.6), has lost three games by a touchdown or less.
Speaking of touchdowns, there have been a whole lot of those this season – and a whole lot of offense in general. In fact, two of the four greatest yardage days in NFL history have occurred this year. Why is that?
“That’s obviously what sells tickets, and that’s what keeps the ratings high on TV,” Routt said. “It’s definitely become a passing league, and it will continue to become more of a passing league. You used to have a lot more teams running man coverage a couple years ago, and now pretty much everyone is migrating away from man and running a whole lot of zone. And the new rules – you can’t even breathe on the receiver the wrong way before you get a flag called – so yeah, it’s definitely geared toward the offense. But that’s what sells. That’s what gets ticket prices high, and that’s obviously what boosts TV ratings.”