Greg Knapp might not read many high quality Raider blogs such as the one you’ve had the good sense to spend a portion of your day reading today. But if he does there is no doubt he must feel like all of Raider Nation hates his zone blocking scheme.
That is simply not true.
What Raider Nation can’t make its peace with is the fact that Darren McFadden was an MVP candidate in a power scheme and is looking more like a Justin Fargas crash test dummy in the zone scheme. We know what Run DMC is capable of and 3 yards-a-carry just ain’t-a-cutting-it.
Clearly Knapp knows his scheme doesn’t have the right personnel to be fully effective. He’s proven that by incorporating a few power scheme principles and formations during the loss in Atlanta.
Now if there is one man that is thriving in the zone scheme its fist year Raider Mike Goodson. In case you haven’t noticed Goodson is picking up 8 yards a carry on the year. Mind you he only has 11 carries and most of those yards have come on a couple of long runs.
None the less Goodson is a productive change of pace back that should see more touches if the Raiders are serious about getting back to ground domination. On Sunday Goodson ripped off a 43-yarder that helped the Raiders to their best effort of the season as far as running the rock goes. Take away a few of those awful penalties that negated some big gains by McFadden and we could have easily seen Dennis Allen’s first major victory.
Aside from how effective Goodson has been running the ball he’s also had some success catching it as well. On the season Goodson is averaging 16 yards per reception with much of his damage being done on screen passes. Let’s not forget his 63-yard scamper in Miami plus a nice 37-yard gain this past Sunday.
Another major advantage in giving Goodson more looks is that it can minimize the wear and tear on McFadden. Nobody in their right mind is going to say to move away from Run DMC but it only makes sense to let Goodson get a few more snaps each week. If he’s this effective in limited use then an expanded role will only help to better the entire team.
And to think fools like me we’re burying Goodson after his woeful preseason debut. Just goes to show you why the preseason matters little with regards to the regular season and why bloggers blog while coaches coach. For now those coaches should just make sure they’re letting their best players play and right now Goodson is a playmaker that needs to see more work.