“Great coaching is adapting the scheme to fit the great players that you have.” A quote made by Head Coach Dennis Allen in his media address after day 3 of mandatory mini-camp. It’s a powerful statement. A statement that made me think back to the teams led by the late great Vince Lombardi and Bill Walsh. It’s reminiscent of the Bill Parcels and Bill Belichick led programs. It speaks volumes as to what is occurring in Oakland with the Raiders.
Never mind the bashing of our quarterbacks, offensive line, running backs, wide receivers, defense, etc… The media only sees the face value or on-paper statistical worth of a team and its players. I look deeper. I want to know what the inner workings are. A lot can be said for the way the coaches and players carry themselves. By no means do I believe that the Raiders Organization is going to come out and tell us exactly what is happening in Raiderville, but if you look into the eyes of the coaches and players you can find the truth.
The team is buying into the system. That, in and of itself, is an interesting concept. The teams of the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s, who have had great success all bought into a system. The coaches of those teams didn’t whine and complain that they didn’t have great players at every position. They worked with what they had, and they found success in the idea.
Offensive Coordinator Greg Olsen and Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver are installing that exact scheme or concept. They are working with what they have, and they are utilizing position competition to define the best player available. No player has donned the pads yet. It is merely an overview of what is to be at Training Camp. The players have had a chance now to see the direction the coaching staff is headed. They are buying into the system.
Like mid-terms or finals in high school or college, the players must begin studying before their big test. Training Camp begins in July, and the players must ready themselves by utilizing this time off to study. The players who truly care about succeeding will emerge at the top of their positions. They are the players who will be putting in the extra hours to learn the playbook and schemes. These are the types of players that Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen have brought in to play for the Oakland Raiders.
This concept, this idea, this scheme, is transforming the organization into a team that can continue to win and do well for years to come. Although this idea is not new to the NFL, it is new to the Oakland Raiders. Raider Nation is buying into the system, and so should the rest of the world.