First and foremost. My apologies for a prolonged absence from posting on JBB. Work has sent me on an odyssey traveling to some hole in the wall places across this great country that at times make it impossible to find running water let alone internet access. Thanks to those of you that continue to support JBB.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to the business at hand of critiquing the sad state of our beloved Oakland Raiders.
When Dennis Allen arrived he came with the reputation of being a defensive minded coach that was supposed to bring a more “modern” scheme to the Silver and Black. With the season more than halfway gone we’re seeing a historically bad Raiders defense.
Greg Knapp was supposed to create a high powered and efficient offensive attack that would push the Raiders into the NFL elite. Instead he’s turned Darren McFadden into the biggest fantasy bust since Chris Johnson circa 2011 while making the Oakland offense more offensive than Andrew Dice Clay running a daycare.
What exactly is it that has caused the Raiders to go from border line playoff contenders to over the line awful?
For one both Allen and Knapp have failed to properly evaluate the talent on the roster. Sure, the Raiders a very thin at certain positions and are in desperate need of an upgrade at others. But if you look around the league you’ll find plenty of teams with major shortcomings that have overcome them with clever schemes and proper execution (Seattle Seahawks, anyone?).
Knapp’s stubborn insistence on running an offense that doesn’t fit the personnel has made Hue Jackson look like the second coming of Sid Gillman.
Allen’s promise of a modern scheme with multiple fronts and clever blitzes has made Oliver North look like Abe Lincoln.
In both instances these coaches have missed their mark in embarrassing fashion.
While injuries, necessary roster moves and various other factors have played a role there is still no excuse for under utilizing talent.
Marcel Reeceneeded dueling injuries to occur at running back before he finally got his chance to shine. It took Hue
Jackson all of one look at Reece to know he needed to get touches in creative ways. Whatever he saw in Marcel, Knapp has continuously failed to grasp. Same goes for plenty of other offensive players that are being pushed into roles they were never meant to fill.
As for Allen and his dismal defense, the excuses ran out once camp concluded. Nobody is saying the Raiders have the defensive talent to be a top tier unit but to be this bad is beyond maddening. A year ago Bresnahan’s awful coaching helped make the Raiders defensive front one of the best pass rushing units in the league. With the same personnel Allen and his coordinator Jason Tarver have made those men invisible.
It is more than understandable for the new regime to want to do things their way. However no coach will ever find success by constantly forcing their system onto a team that does not have the right pieces in place. Successful coaches work with what they’ve got and maximize their strengths.
After it is all said and done though, this will fall on the shoulders of Reggie McKenzie. Say what you will of Al Davis and his hard headed approach but he held his coaches accountable making winning the only priority. Certainly Davis had his system ever y coach had to adhere to but in the end he also found the talent that fit that very system. McKenzie’s hands might be tied with regards to acquiring new talent but that doesn’t mean he can’t turn up the pressure on his coaching staff.
Someone must be held accountable no matter the excuses for poor showings. If McKenzie doesn’t do it then he can expect Raider Nation to do so in a very public way should we see another sad showing on Sunday.