I saw this coming from a mile away. Back in January the writing was on the wall. More specifically I wrote about it for NFL.com’s Blog Blitz. It was Oakland’s general indifference to addressing the needs of the defense. What it has become is the biggest problem plaguing a team poised to push for the playoffs.
We’re at the quarter mark of the NFL season and there aren’t very many secrets around the league anymore.
The whole world knows to fear Hue Jackson’s bullying offensive line combined with all his weapons on offense.
The football world also knows the Oakland defense would have trouble stopping De La Salle’s offense these days.
From day one the Oakland front office let it be known that offense was the priority. As usual an offensive mind ascended to the head coaching rank. Later an offensive heavy draft followed.
Meanwhile what money was spent on defense went to securing the same talent from previous underachievement. No doubt Richard Seymour needed to be rewarded. Stanford Routt could be considered a discount when compared to what Nnamdi Asomugh would have banked. But shelling out major money to Kamerion Wimbley and re-upping with both Michael Huff and Hiram Eugene exemplify the failures to upgrade the defense.
The real gamble was the Oakland brass banking on the young defenders to elevate their game to elite status. We’re still waiting on Rolando McClain. As for the hopes of DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa to make us forget about Asomugha, let’s just say it’s a good thing Raider Nation didn’t hold its collective breath. There is also the issue of staying the course with Quentin Groves on the weakside, a move that echoes the inexplicable manner in which Cornell Green kept his job in the East Bay for as long as he did. But this is about the current defense and not the past offense.
Beyond the contracts handed out and gambles on youth, the Raiders took their sweet time to find a new defensive coordinator. Chuck Bresnahan was hired as a defensive coach but it wasn’t until almost a month later he got the coordinator title.
Now we all know who the true defensive coordinator of this franchise is. Problem is Al Davis is slowly fading into the silver and black background.
So who exactly is running the defensive show these days?
By rewarding members of a subpar defense with new deals, attempting to replace Nnamdi with unproven rookies and doing nothing in terms of coaching the Raiders ensured they’d be winning via the shootout route. While that may be entertaining to watch it does little to help put more Lombardis in Al’s cabinet.
Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Chimdi Chekwa Chuck Bresnahan Cornell Green DeMarcus Van Dyke Hiram Eugene Hue Jackson Kamerion Wimbley Michael Huff Nnamdi Asomugha Quentin Groves Richard Seymour Rolando McClain Stanford Routt