Will the Oakland Raiders Build a Model That Gets More Victories?

A vision precedes the manifestation of what is seen. Al Davis and the coaches have to have a working model in their heads.

They have to have a clear idea of what kind of team they need, and they have to simulate in their heads what kind of results they expect in 2010.

That's why the NFL draft is so important. The selections for the Oakland Raiders have to fit the context of the vision of a winning team. 

Of course, if you have never been a part of a winning team, then it may be more difficult to envision what is needed to develop a winning team.

Now, Al Davis ought to know what makes a winning team. Is the composition of a winning team in 2010 the same as it was during the days the Oakland Raiders had more wins per season? Obviously, the anwer is no.

The NFL rules have changed. The context on the playing field is different. A model must be built and tweaked to improve the results.

There are few constants in the game of professional football. There are many variables, and those variables get transformed or deformed based on injuries, and other dynamics.

From another discipline, we can learn something that may give more wisdom to those who are searching for the right model to ensure more victories for the Oakland Raiders.

First, what is a model?

It is a representation. It is a part of a simulation. It allows us to "cast the situation into a more convenient form." It allows us to tweak the situation, and test the "what ifs."

A model builder has to know the game of football so well that he or she can do "divergent thinking" on the spot and make good decisions, even if there are all kinds of transformations, including deformations (injuries, poor referees, etc) going on in the game.

Why do I say they must use divergent thinking? It is because convergent thinking is a dichotomy. Yes or no is all you have to answer. Ho...

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