Say what you will of Hue Jackson as a head coach. His confidence bordered on and often crossed into arrogant territory. His desperate move to acquire Carson Palmer was both bold and ill-advised considering the price paid. He pretty much threw the defense under the bus when the Raiders’ playoff hopes disappeared like so many orders of Papa Johns at JaMarcus Russell’s house, a move that no coach would dare do if he desires to remain a head coach (see Jackson toiling as an assistant in Cincinnati as proof).
All that said Jackson’s charisma was exactly what the then dead franchise needed and his vision for the offense breathed life and excitement back into Raider Nation.
Then Greg Knapp happened…
Square peg, meet round hole. Round hole, get used to square peg being forced down your throat every Sunday for four months.
Why Knapp was given another chance to prove he’s a failure as an offensive coordinator in Oakland is dumbfounding. I know, I know, you Dennis Allen apologists will say there were no other options available for the first year head coach to hire as an OC. I’ll simply ask this: why not let Al Saunders have the job?
Whatever…that’s in the past…
In the near future Raider Nation will hopefully see something on the field that more closely resembles what had us so giddy back in 2011. New offensive coordinator Greg Olson spoke for the first time since taking the job.
While he did the very un-Hue Jackson thing by not throwing Knapp under the bus Olson was quick to point out that a system that doesn’t fit its parts isn’t a system…it’s pretty much a Tim Brown style sabotage.
“I’m not naive enough to believe it’s all Greg Knapp’s fault. Coming in a year ago, they made a switch to a zone system. I don’t know if you ever want to pigeonhole yourself that way and say, ‘That’s what we do.’ You may not be able to do that based on the players you have.”
Who knows if Olson’s offense will bring the Raiders back into the NFL’s upper echelon but at least dude has some common sense.
In addition Olson expressed his desires to get Marcel Reece more involved while also working with Terrelle Pryor to see just how high the ceiling goes. He also sees Palmer as more of a pocket passer that could benefit from more play action as opposed to being an immobile QB asked to rollout like Knapp did. Oh and Olson was shrewd enough to watch a little game tape realizing that Darren McFadden is better served running behind a power blocking scheme.
So it’s pretty much back to where this team was before Coach Jackson left.
Look, I’ve been as critical as any when it comes to dissecting many of the mistakes decisions Coach Allen made last year. But credit where credit is due he has made the change and removed himself from the offensive decision making. Never forget it was Allen who wanted to go with the ZBS.
Of course it could be that behind closed doors Allen was told either make the change or make a U-Haul reservation. Whatever the case it’s refreshing to hear someone speak in terms of talent as opposed to system.