Yet to be made official by the team but reported by nearly every major media outlet, the Oakland Raiders have hired Greg Olson as their new offensive coordinator. Last season Olson spent a forgettable year in Jacksonville as the Jaguars’ quarterback coach. However like most men in the coordinator stable that was just a brief stop for the seasoned play caller.
Olson was most recently a coordinator in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he engineered an offense filled with you talent. On Olson’s watch Josh Freeman showed gobs of potential that has since gone wanting while getting big time production from then rookie receiver Mike Williams and cranking out a rare 1,000 season from an undrafted rookie in LeGarrette Blount. Of course that was 2010 and things went south in a hurry in 2011 costing Olson and the rest of his staff their jobs.
Prior to Tampa Olson has served as a coordinator for some high powered offenses during a two-year span in St. Louis so he knows a thing or two about getting the most out of his talent. That was the biggest problem with Greg Knapp last season. Knapp was too tied to scheme, unable to coach up talent or devise a means to get said talent in it s best place to produce.
But all of that is just resume talk. Let’s cut to the chase.
Olson will return the Raiders to power blocking in the run game which should be music to everyone’s ears. Last year we sat through some of the most painful football of our lives watching Darren McFadden run for two yards and a cloud of dust over and over again as Knapp’s zone scheme robbed the Raiders of their best weapon.
In 2013 it’s back to what has worked. Which is where we should have stayed in 2012 but what can you do at this point?
What Olson can do is cite the number of running backs and quarterbacks he’s worked with over the years that have been highly productive. As previously mentioned Olson was able to get the most of Blount in Tampa and his time in St. Louis with Steven Jackson will serve as an example of what to expect from McFadden.
In addition Olson has been a QB coach for the likes of Drew Brees while at Purdue and Jeff Garcia across the Bay.
This is very much an inspired hire by the Raiders who were largely linked to re-tread coordinators such as Mike Martz. However the Raiders did keep their interviewing process on the hush with only Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa times having Olson on Oakland’s radar prior to this news.
This also signifies Dennis Allen’s last chance to hire an offensive coordinator. Unless Olson gets a promotion elsewhere next season there can be no more offensive coordinator musical chairs on Allen’s watch.
Last season was an epic failure on all fronts from an offensive stand point. Allen chose to completely scrap every element of a top 10 unit in favor of a scheme he preferred. Not only did the scheme fail but Allen sat back and watched as it never improved all year long bottoming out with consecutive games without a touchdown.
This hire has to be a hit otherwise Allen is as good as gone. It’s that simple.