Among the many qualities an individual must have in order to be a coach in the NFL you wouldn’t think the ability to make arrogant assumptions is one of them. Certainly both Jason Tarver and especially Greg Knapp need thick skin for all the heat they’ve taken this season but making plans for next year would be among the worst things either could do at the moment.
But in keeping with what this season has been all about for the clueless coaching staff of the Oakland Raiders that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Both Knapp and Tarver are already talking about how much better the respective units they coach will be next season.
Now for Tarver there are plenty of viable excuses not the least of which is the fact he inherited the worst defense in the history of the franchise. Last season Oakland broke new ground in their inability to defend the run racking up some historically bad numbers. This season Tarver took over a defense that had nowhere to go but up. Too bad an already weak unit was further weakened due to some necessary roster trims.
So Tarver doesn’t exactly get a pass but he’d be foolish to assume his job is guaranteed. Reggie McKenzie already said he’s going to be more involved with the coaching staff. Apparently Tarver doesn’t think that applies to him.
“With the change of personnel, now they’re realizing what the scheme can do for them. It’s been good. With a year under our belts and keeping as many of these guys as we can, it’ll grow big time.”
Tarver is correct in his claim that another year under the belt should help to improve things. However his assertion fails to address the reality of the situation. This defense has been horrendous no matter the excuses. At some point the coaching staff has to be held accountable. All of this putrid play cannot be pawned off on the players alone.
Now as for Knapp, his story is much different.
Greg Knapp didn’t inherit a bottom dwelling offense. Quite the opposite. Knapp took over a unit that boasted a potential MVP in Darren McFadden and a potentially potent aerial assault with Carson Palmer comfortable in a scheme he had just weeks to digest last year.
So, what did Knapp do? Scrap everything that worked previously to install a system that doesn’t fit the roster. But in keeping with his blind ignorance, Knapp is talking up how much better things will be next year.
“Every place I’ve been to, it’s usually going to take at least a year’s transition time to get everything taught. If you take a business structure and you make those changes, it’s going to take a year’s time to process everything and learn it. Once they master it, you can add to it. Right now, it’s taking some time.”
Knapp knows more about football that I ever will. But there are some ideals that translate no matter the profession or the experience one has in said profession. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…right?
Dennis Allen’s hiring of Knapp has proven itself to be a failure on all levels. Absolutely nothing that Knapp has installed has bettered the Raiders in any way.
Making matters even worse Knapp has pissed away a precious season for many of the offensive players at the expense of cramming his failed system down their throats. McFadden’s prime is fading as an NFL running back – if he ever had one. Carson Palmer’s best days are dwindling.
Exactly how can Knapp justify flushing an entire season down the drain just so he can get his scheme all figured out?
It’s deplorable to hear coaches struggling through a 3-10 season talking up what next season will be like. Of course if there is a next season for Knapp it will be even more deplorable. As for Tarver, it is truly hard to tell what kind of coach he is given the talent and turnover he’s had to deal with.
Knapp on the other hand was handed the keys to M3 yet he’s driven it like a Prius. Next season apparently can’t come fast enough for the Raiders coaching staff. For McKenzie’s sake I hope he realizes this is the exact mentality that has ruined an otherwise hope-filled season. Coaches on scholarship are much worse than players on scholarship. Time to hold every man in the franchise equally accountable.