Tony Sparano Continues to Defend Greg Olson


As the Oakland Raiders continue to struggle offensively against some of the best defensive teams in the league, offensive coordinator Greg Olson has taken plenty of blame from fans and writers as the struggles to move the ball to put points on the scoreboard have been placed on the OC quite often during the Raiders 0-9 start. With rookie quarterback Derek Carr struggling and the running game sputtering, Olson’s playcalling has been a source of frustration as well as finger pointing as one of the chief reasons that the team is without a win.

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Interim head coach Tony Sparano is still backing Olson however, defending the offensive coordinator in his Monday press conference as well as on 95.7 The Game as a talented coordinator that has been snakebitten just as much as the rest of the Raiders team during this 0-9 stretch, not pointing to playcalling as the blame for the Raiders failures through two months of the 2014 season.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Greg,” Sparano said in his press conference. “I think Greg’s done a very good job since I’ve been here with Greg as far as him running his (unit) and doing the things he needs to do that way.

“At this point in time, everybody’s looking for answers. We have to stay the course in what our beliefs are.”

Sparano continued his backing of Olson in a radio spot on 95.7 The Game.

“To be honest with you, the guy is one of the brighter minds I’ve been around in this business,” Sparano said on 95.7 the game. “He’s done a good job. I’m not calling plays. I have input into the game plan obviously. I have quite a bit of input on both sides of the ball right now. As far as calling the plays go, that’s Greg’s responsibility.”

Sparano and Olson deserve equal blame for the Raiders failures, but calling the plays it is hard to make a case that Olson isn’t amongst the worst coordinators in the league with the Oakland offense posting up some of the worst numbers in franchise history in an era that is incredibly kind to offenses. Working with a depleted roster and a rookie quarterback are excuses for the struggles, but despite Sparano’s backing it is hard to imagine the perception around Olson as a failed playcaller will change unless the offense turns their play around over the course of the final month and a half of the 2014 season.