In the post-mortem of the Raiders' preseason annihilation at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, Oakland's players and coaches are scrambling to figure out what went wrong. New Raiders linebacker Greg Ellis thinks he sees the problem, and he's not blaming it on early bedtimes and warm cups of milk.
"Guys, you can't stay out all night," Ellis told the Sacramento Bee, in a very thinly-veiled swipe at his teammates. "Can't expect to come in here and just turn it on. This isn't high school or college football. This is the best of the best in the NFL. So you've got to do those small things that you maybe didn't have to do in college."
Coach Tom Cable thinks Ellis may have a point. "The one thing as a coach you're always leery of is breaking camp," Cable told the Mercury News, "Because then they get home, they don't have the curfew, don't have those kind of things. And so, as grown men we've got to handle those distractions and be able to take care of our bodies and stay focused on what we're trying to do."
How bad was it? At one point, the Saints were winning 45-0. The Saints ran for 252 yards -- without either of their top two backs playing. Freaking Joey Harrington earned a 129.2 quarterback rating against the Raiders.
It was bad, Raiders fans, but it could be a lot worse. We could be the Donkeys.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who's kinda glad that disaster was not broadcast live locally.