We already knew replacing Nnamdi Asomugha was as impossible as keeping JaMarcus Russell awake in a team meeting. That’s not news.
While it was an impossible task to find a substitute for the world’s best cover corner it was embarrassing how the Raiders went about filling his void.
The Raiders did nothing. Ok…maybe next to nothing unless giving Stanford Routt a raise, Chris Johnson a promotion and drafting two projects in DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa counts.
Again, we already knew that was a no-win scenario. Therefore it became imperative the rest of the defense stepped up. Specifically the front four. Already one of the most feared units in football, Oakland’s defensive line has got to be great every week if this team has playoff designs.
The secondary is the primary concern. So it stands to reason pressuring the quarterback is the best bet to get back what has been lost in Aso’s Philly fly-away.
We saw first hand what happens when the D-line disappears at the wrong time. Buffalo’s offense looked more unstoppable than Lindsay Lohan at an open bar during Sunday’s second half meltdown. A lot of the fault can be traced to the secondary. To be fair the defensive line shares an equal amount of the blame. However it is Chuck Bresnahan and Al Davis who are the biggest culprits.
Davis is still clinging to his antiquated principles on football. Again, this is no secret. Sure, there’s nothing (other than Al Michaels) that says success is impossible playing this tried and tested scheme. It’s just that variety is the spice of NFL defenses these days.
Let’s for a second assume Davis isn’t the one laying out the defensive game plan. No matter what you might hear Davis isn’t the one making the calls on game day.
Therefore it’s on Bresnahan to find more creative ways to put all his Raider speed to good use.
Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston are more than capable of creating havoc going one-on-one against opposing blockers. But you’re not going to be able to rely on those talented men to be the lone providers of pressure.
Mixing in blitzes, disguising defensive packages and giving opponents new looks on every snap is the way of the new.
Time for Davis and his puppet coordinator Bresnahan to step into the reality of 2011.
This secondary isn’t good enough to shutdown the passing game as they’ve done in years past. The new recipe for defensive success is to be in the QB’s grill like hot dogs on the 4th of July.
Watching Ryan Fitzpatrick play catch with Stevie Johnson should be the wakeup call that gets Rolando McClain, Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff and any other unsuspecting Raiders involved often in exotic blitzes built to bully opposing quarterbacks into mindless mistakes. See Monday Night season opener in Denver as exhibit A.
To be sure Stanford Routt is playing at a high level. But he alone cannot account for all of the holes in Oakland’s secondary. Huff and Branch are still liabilities in coverage. Johnson is just Johnson. He’s hit or miss with his misses becoming more and more costly.
Enough with this selfish pride of doing things the Davis way. Last time I checked there was only one motto that mattered.
Just win, baby!
Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Chimdi Chekwa Chris Johnson Chuck Bresnahan DeMarcus Van Dyke Lamarr Houston Matt Shaughnessy Michael Huff Nnamdi Asomugha Richard Seymour Rolando McClain Ryan Fitzpatrick Stanford Routt Stevie Johnson Tommy Kelly Tyvon Branch