Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

03 Jun 2013

MMQB: Kaepernick Draft Day Tale

This week, Peter look back at the 49ers and Raiders trying to out-position each other for Colin Kaepernick in the 2011 draft and buries the Raiders for getting rid of their PR guy.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 03 Jun 2013

10 comments, Last at 05 Jun 2013, 1:58pm by Kyle D.


by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 11:36am

PK has some great points on Oakland's firing their PR guy. Exiled to working from home for 6 weeks, then getting outright fired because of a negative article being written? What exactly could anybody have done to prevent such a story? It's not like the Raiders own Sports Illustrated.

And the topic that Al Davis had lost it by his final years shouldn't have been shocking to anyone. I get Al's son wouldn't have liked reading it, but he couldn't have been surprised by it. Sounds like the son inherited some of the same problems as his father had.

by Craig in NS (not verified) :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 1:07pm

If a PR guy gets his owner to cooperate with a piece that turns out to absolve the guy who asked for the PR guy to be hired of blame, and stick the blame with the owner and his beloved predecessor, he gets fired. This isn't unique to the Raiders, or to pro sports. If a PR guy can't get stories spun, why pay him at all?

Related: If you asked someone to say why the Raiders fell off so badly from 2011 to 2012, wouldn't the first answer be "hired Greg Knapp"?

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 3:34pm

I'd go with "years of terrible drafting" and "players aging"

by wr (not verified) :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 3:43pm

And "salary cap hell".

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 7:19pm

How much spin do you expect any PR guy to pull off? Did you read the article? It's an incredibly positive story on where the Raiders are headed. But...shocker...to praise the path they're on, there needed to be a contrast to where they were. Because the article was going to read "Raiders doing even more fantastic now than they have been for the past decade"?

by Craig in NS (not verified) :: Tue, 06/04/2013 - 11:13am

The most basic PR here, is that if you can't sell your progress with actual positive developments (and the two most positive developments from last season were Wheeler & Myers, who are both gone), you talk about how you're hamstrung by the mess your predecessor left you.
Which works great when your predecessor no loner has influence, and not so well when your predecessor's son owns the company.

I'm not saying Oakland wasn't a team full of undisciplined players and bad contracts. I'm saying that the best case scenario right now is that maybe in two seasons they'll get back to being a marginal 8-8 team unless you seriously believe the Matt Flynn hype, which I don't.

Don't mistake Al being historically bad for Reggie being good. He might work out, but last season was a wasted year that improved nothing, and this season is a sacrificial year to the cap. The team *may* be better once they have cap room, if they spend it wisely. Let's wait until it actually is better before praising McKenzie's direction though.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Wed, 06/05/2013 - 1:58pm

You may be onto something. It's doubtful the PR guy could have okayed the article all on his own, but I wonder if firing him wasn't meant to send a clear message to McKenzie that trashing Al's memory wasn't going to be tolerated.

Anybody could have predicted how the article would go with Al getting plenty of criticism. And McKenzie does come across almost a little too good in the story. (Only McKenzie realized there shouldn't be dead spots on the practice field and that hiring a groundskeeper might fix that?)

by Guido Merkens :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 4:45pm

If Mark Davis is in the habit of firing people who point out flaws that are obvious to everyone, that would go a long way toward explaining his haircut.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 06/04/2013 - 9:07am

He dyes the hair black for his other gig as a Moe Howard celebrity look-alike.

by Jeff M. (not verified) :: Mon, 06/03/2013 - 4:37pm

Shorter PK: One Witbier-style craft brew "copies" another Witbier-style craft brew by including traditional Witbier ingredients. I think I think I think I think.