It is pretty clear what the emphasis is around the East Bay these days. You can’t begin to spell Oakland without the “O” and that is where it all begins. As soon as the season ended Al Davis made it clear that going forward his team will be led by the offense.
The thing is, it might all being with the “O” but in the Town it ends with the “D”. The defense is the final paragraph to be written in the first chapter of the Hue Jackson era and thus far the front office has writer’s block.
There was no hesitation to appoint the offensive minded Jackson. Almost no time was wasted in pursuing Al Saunders.
But when it comes to the D…yeah…about that…
Chuck Bresnahan is in place as the “defensive coach”. So, is he the coordinator? If so no formal announcement has been made. While we’re on the subject, nothing formal as to just who the Raiders might be going after for the vacant DC position has come to light either. Sure, the names Winston Moss and Darren Perry have been floating around before the Super Bowl was played. Now that both coaches have concluded a championship season in Green Bay they’re still awaiting an interview to be setup by Mr. Davis.
Maybe Davis had a plan to put Bresnahan in place all along. It certainly doesn’t feel that way though. What it feels like is the defense is on the back burner and Bresnahan was brought in as an insurance policy. He’s coached under Davis so he knows what to expect. Instead of bringing in another rouge like John Marshall who is going to do the unthinkable – blitz – just go with the tried and tested.
Davis might think Jackson’s swagger is going to be enough to carry the entire franchise but that is a fatal flaw. Putting too much on Coach Jackson is a sure fire way to set him up for future firing followed by the obligatory lawsuit to recover funds.
What the defense needs is someone with the same swagger of Jackson. Someone young, hungry and bold. Someone like…I don’t know…Winston Moss. But that’s just not a priority right now.
Oakland beings with “O” but it ends with “D”. This cannot be forgotten. Without a dominant D it won’t matter what the O accomplishes. Davis knows this. The problem is Davis has been frustrated by inept offense for too long that seeing the Raiders double their point total under the coordination of Coach Jackson blinded him. Yes, with a capable quarterback, a dominant running game and a young core of playmakers the offense was good enough for this team to be in the playoff picture after October. But if Mr. Davis wants to see his team actually competing in the postseason then he’s got to make the defense a priority.