Oakland Raiders: Greg Olson Thursday Press Conference


Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson looks at images from the game with the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Olson’s offense struggled from the opening drive to the final whistle on Sunday in Cleveland as some questionable playcalls once again doomed the Oakland Raiders into a seventh straight loss. From abandoning the run on clear running situations to a fake FG pass from Matt Schaub, to a Darren McFadden red zone fumble, the Raiders shot themselves in the foot far too many times in the 23-13 loss to the Browns.

Whether or not all of those offensive struggles were Olson’s doings as a playcaller is up for debate, but the fact is that 13 points is not enough to get it done most weeks and it was another instance of the offense not scoring enough points in a game the defense held up. A familiar theme from losses to the Jets, Patriots, Cardinals and now the Browns as despite promising rookie Derek Carr continuing to improve at quarterback the Raiders offense is not putting up enough points to get wins on Sundays.

Greg Olson answered some of the questions surrounding the Raiders struggling offense on Thursday, talking frustrations with the lack of points being put on the board as well as finding offensive balance. Following is a transcript of that press conference from the Raiders official team website:

Q: What do you take from last week’s offensive reports? Frustrating or do you think you had a chance to get it going at some point?

“It’s frustrating because there were some good things that we did in the football game. The efficiency, the scoring efficiency, we just have to get better at. Point production, more than anything, coming away from that. I thought there were some good things, especially in the first half and in the third quarter there that we did. We have to get more points on the board. Those drives have to lead to scores and have to lead us into the red zone where we can score. I think when you’re doing things efficiently, but you’re still not scoring points, that’s something else that we have to get fixed. That’s part of the reason, at the end of the half, I think we were 25 minutes into the first half, why we jumped into a no-huddle mode. I think there were four or five minutes left, and we ended up getting two series there and scored two field goals to kind of get us jump started. We got back into the third quarter and had the good drive going before the fumble. The good thing is, the young quarterback is continuing to progress and get better. We have to get him some wins and he’s got to continue to work hard at his craft. He’s becoming a good football player.”

Q: Fifty-six passes, 22 runs… Is that just the flow of the game?

“The last five minutes of that first half, we threw it 10 times there. The last two-minute drive was a 16-pass drive, so there is 26 passes there. As you look at it, the 16-pass drive, the very last two-minute drive, usually a two-minute drive doesn’t last that many plays. Certainly going back and looking at it, there was a time there at the start of the fourth quarter where you possibly could have. But, I’ll say this, we scored the six points before the half in our final drives. All of our points were scored in those situations. We just have to find a way, offensively, where we are running the football to be more productive, in terms of finding some chunk plays within those drives, to get us in scoring position.”

Q: Mychal Rivera had a productive game. Coach Sparano was talking about how tight ends’ production ebbs and flows throughout the season. Is there something that he needs to do to be more open or more of an option?

“I just think it’s … With a first-year quarterback, there is still a trust factor. As you see, I think there is great trust right now based on the previous relationships with James [Jones] and Derek [Carr]. They’ve had a good relationship from knowing each other previously. You can see he has a tremendous amount of trust there in James Jones. I think he’s beginning to find trust in other players on the field, Mychal Rivera being one of them. That’s also part of that growth process in the passing game with a quarterback and the familiarity with his wide receivers.”

Q: So, you don’t have a problem with how he’s running routes?

“No, I think Mychal is a young player that is still getting better. A lot of high expectations for him, you try to remember that he’s a developing player. He wasn’t a ready-made player when he got here. I think last year as a rookie, he got better during the season as a rookie. I think he had a good offseason. By no means right now is he a guy that’s anywhere near where he is going to be in this league.”

Quotes from Raiders.com