Back to the Bay With Rory Anderson: Week 11

Jul 30, 2013; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin (14) throws a pass at training camp at Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Back to the Bay with Rory Anderson is a weekly column from Just Blog Baby cohost Rory Anderson. For more of Rory Anderson’s Raider breakdowns tune into the Just Blog Baby Podcast on blogtalkradio.com/justblogbaby

Time For A Change

I was trying to decide on a subtitle and my first idea was “This is getting old fast”, but that sounded a bit too much like an alcoholic grandfather muttering while he rocks in his patio chair clutching a shotgun, so I figured I would make it the centerpiece to the first line of the column in a rambling fashion as I am doing right now. So I guess that means everything went as planned. I wish I could say the same for the Raiders when they faced off against the really uninteresting New York football Giants, but instead they laid an egg. Again. To be honest, I am starting to tire on discussing the same things every week and every week doing it in the same format, so I have made an executive decision (which is pretty easy of course since it’s just me making the decisions) and I will this week and possibly every week moving forward, mention some of my most interesting tweets from film study and begin on some scouting profiles. I will explain more about those profiles later because I will give you the reader and opportunity to get mentioned in my column each week. But again, that will come later.

Twitter Hot Reads 

This formation was something I loved seeing in this game. By coming out with three men down and two linebackers in a dime look (six defensive backs), the Raiders do not make it obvious where the fourth or even fifth man is coming from. What was most interesting was the decision to utilize three safeties as opposed to another cornerback. This very well could have been because DJ Hayden was hurt, but it helped the Raiders blitz by having another bigger defensive back on the field with blitz potential up the middle.

 

Unfortunately, this was not the only time that Watson whiffed on a block. He also whiffed badly on a run block later in the game, but overall he played a solid game for his start and he looks to have a bright future in this league. At times he did look like he wasn’t sure what to do next, but that will fade in time. His feet and tenacious attitude are awesome.

Olson seemed to find his creative bone in this game and this was the beginning of it. An offensive coordinator does not have to have success on every play to for a defensive coordinator to back off or respect another threat, and in this game the Raiders got the screen game going early both to backs and receivers. Next is Mychal Rivera I hope.

 

All of Raider Nation has been antsy to see a play caller utilize Marcel Reece in a way similar to the way Hue Jackson did and this was a nice step. Reece isn’t a guy that should be shouldering the load of carries, but instead he should be used like a fine wine. Only when you can best maximize his talent. In this game the Raiders got the ball to him a few times in the screen game. Next may be the seam routes…

I have a pet peeve about these sort of blocking schemes which have become a bit of a nuisance in west coast offenses when a team expects a heavy blitz to the middle or to the weak side. What is most important is that the ball come out quickly so the defensive end cannot react to it, but Pryor struggled all day and as you will read later, I was very unimpressed.

 

This is an honest question I have brought up several times and finally we got to see some pitches from this offense with Rashad Jennings in the backfield and he ran those plays very well.

 

On this play, Pryor had Moore in one on one coverage on the sideline and rather than throw the classic back shoulder pass which Aaron Rodgers is so adept at, he chose to sail it straight over Moore’s head and he simply couldn’t make the catch. The way the corner was leading him, if he throws it back shoulder, Moore could easily slow a step and make that catch against the sideline.

 

As far as I am concerned, I am convinced from watching tape that the Raiders found four starters in this draft and a potentially talented slot receiver in Butler. Hayden, Watson, Moore, and Rivera will all be long time starters for this team and watching them will be both fun and frustrating but that is the nature of being a rookie. Moore has really come on as of late and Rivera runs very crisp routes, has soft hands, and is starting to become a quality blocker. Hear me now believer me later.

 

That’s pretty self-explanatory. Between he and Nix… I was going to write something witty but I couldn’t think of anything. That’s how bad they are at times.

When McFadden gets healthy, he and Jennings should split carries. I have said this before, but if Latavius Murray had not gotten hurt, I would bet that he would be the starting running back for the Raiders. Right now Jennings deserves a lot of carries.

 

On this play Butler was lined up in the slot on the left side and he was running a fade route of sorts. He was in one on one coverage with the defensive back facing him not even looking for the ball, and had Pryor put that ball on his backside shoulder, it would have been an easy touchdown or quite possibly a pass interference.

 

On this slant route Jenkins gave up the inside way too easily and once he was beat he didn’t even bother trying to make the tackle.

 

All of these tweets came on the same drive. I noted the movement the Raiders were getting by slanting toward the runs and although they did a lot of two gapping rather than penetrating, they defended the zone runs fairly well. It is a good sign to see especially with Houston next week whose entire offense is based off the zone blocking and the bootlegs off the backside of the play.

 

Ford is toast. Frankly, I would cut him and bring up Greg Jenkins, but I have been advocating that for a month.

 

Sadly this is a consistent theme.

 

Veldheer is finally back to practice this week which means there is a good chance he plays next week. You never know it may be this week. If that happens, the roster move will occur on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

 

Wait, I have more.

 

There is no way for any person to justify the throw that Pryor made on this play. It was absolutely abysmal. Yes the Raiders use that route frequently, but you can clearly see that corners in cover two and the second corner is sitting on that route reading Pryor’s eyes. Secondly, he held onto the ball too long, and if he pumps there and looks back to Streater, not only do the Raider have a first down, he would be one broken tackle away from a touchdown. People have tried to take me on with this play, but there simply is no reason a professional quarterback of any experience level should throw that ball. I have never been this harsh with Pryor because I have long been a fan of his, but this was inexcusable. His play reading was extremely poor in this game and he basically cost the Raiders the game with this play.

 

 

Truth hurts. Adams was abysmal in this game. He was burnt on virtually every play giving up reception after reception. Now I know why Reggie McKenzie drafted DJ Hayden because his physical gifts alone give him a vastly higher upside than Adams.

 

And for all the Pryor sycophants out there that simply will recognize reality, try me, I dare you. For the last time, I am not a “Pryor hater”, I am a guy that writes about what he sees, and what I saw was a confused quarterback that stood in the pocket for over four seconds before any hint of pressure got there and he couldn’t make a decision.

Texans Preview
I hate to oversimplify matchups, but I am going to for this game. The way one stops the Texans is by slowing down the rushing game. Kubiak’s offense is built entirely off of the zone run scheme with bootlegs coming off the backside when the defense overplays the front side zone run. The Texans have struggled on offense this year, but Case Keenum has given them some considerable life. The Raiders do matchup against this offense well. Andre Johnson is getting old and isn’t the same player he used to be but it still a deep sideline and red zone threat, while DeAndre Hopkins has been impactful at times, but also non-existent at other times.

The defense has been underrated this year with all of the hype surrounding this team and the losses it has piled up. This team still has JJ Watt and Johnathon Joseph to group with some talented young pass rushers on the outside in Mercilus and Reed. Although losing Cushing inside hurt, they still have Joe Mays and Daryl Sharpton who are both very talented and a talented rookie safety that is all over the field. This is not a defense one overlooks, but again, this is a game the Raiders can win. The tough part for the Raiders is who is going to quarterback this team.

With Pryor not revealing his injury and thus hurting himself some more, it may be time that we see Matt McGloin. If you remember, it was reported that many executives in Alameda thought very highly of McGloin even to the point of urging that he start not Pryor. I am a fan of McGloin’s game. He is a scrappy quarterback and a fighter by nature. He can zip the ball in and make all of the throws. He also ran a very complex offense in college under Bill O’Brien who helped develop the Tom Brady passing system with all of its wide receiver option routes. I also believe that Olson will find play calling easier for McGloin since he is much more similar to the quarterbacks he has taught before. McGloin has some mobility and can run occasionally. I think there is a solid chance he starts and Pryor will be inactive for this game, which would also require the Raiders to sign Tyler Wilson to the active roster.

Scouting Reports

Considering that the Raiders are essentially done with their playoff hopes, I want to transition little by little into offseason mode, most notably draft mode. What I really want to do is bring the scouting reports that you want to read. In order to do this I want any reader who has a prospect in mind to tweet me that prospect. I would prefer you not send me just the big names because those are obvious and will get covered to no end. What I want are requests to scout guys in the middle rounds who are just as important to scout. Each week I will do four reports so get your requests in early and feel free to do multiple requests.

Dominique Easley, DE/DT Florida, 6-2 287 pounds

Easley is a little undersized but he is very quick, he has a high motor, fights through blocks, splits double teams okay, has a nice rip move, a slow spin move that is effective, he is short for a 34 defensive end, but he would be a versatile 43 lineman. On the downside he can be overly reckless and get lost in the fray when he does so. He is a second round pick at this time, but where he ends up is on him. If he can interview well he can make some real progress at the combine assuming he shows his recklessness is intentional rather than just blind flailing.
Request from @A_NewLookRaider

Lamarcus Joyner CB/S FSU, 5’8 172 pounds

Joyner has a little Tyrann Matheiu in his game, but he is not the player Mathieu is. Joyner plays a lot of zone especially cover two zone even when he lines up in the slot. He mans up on slot receivers, but frequently gets burned in man coverage. He has below average hands, he doesn’t reroute well, and he is undersized. He is best suited as a free safety or a cover two corner due to his tackling ability which is superb. He is a mid to late round pick, probably a fourth rounder, but I would not select him for the Raiders considering they like to use safeties in man coverage against tight ends and backs who are significantly larger than he is. He would fit in perfectly with the Bears.
Request from @A_NewLookRaider

Aaron Lynch OLB/DE USF, 6’6 265 pounds

Uhhhh…WOW. He is very explosive off the edge, he is strong at the point of attack against the run, he tackles well and wraps up, he has a very nice swim move and fights through blocks tenaciously, and best of all he doesn’t lose his leverage for a tall player. He has freaky talent for a man his size. What is interesting is his lack of production this year as a junior after tearing it up as a freshman at Notre Dame. After sitting a season and playing in a lesser conference I would expect more production. It is tough to gauge where he fits, but I think he is an early second rounder as of now, but I would expect if he comes out that someone will fall in love with him after the combine and he could go as high as a top 10 player.
Request from @A_NewLookRaider

Chandler Jones WR SJSU, 5-11 174 pounds

Jones is undersized but speedy. He isn’t laterally quick but instead he has downfield speed. I wish to have seen more open field moves to accompany his speed. He has soft sands but he gets lots of short catches or wide open catches. He isn’t a real threat over the middle, but he does have the ability to excel in the screen game. His production has been prolific in a pass happy scheme against lesser competition. To me he is a dime a dozen wide receiver until we can measure him up at the combine. He is a round five pick at the earliest, and he could plausibly be undrafted.
Request from @RaiderMarston

Topics: Back To The Bay With Rory Anderson, Oakland Raiders

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