“What are you talking about? He had one catch for the entire game!” Before you say that, you have to think about what’s going to be the focus for the next game against the Seattle Seahawks. Amari was only thrown to once, which is going to be recapped in the film session.
Seattle’s corners are not that great, so getting Amari Cooper involved is going to stand out in the game plan. You just wish that they would get him involved in every game. Cooper is in the same boat as Marshawn Lynch. The coaches hold him back. Sure, we can say that Derek Carr is just simply not targeting him.
But that’s where a head coach has to step in and let his quarterback know that Cooper needs to be targeted.
In those 10 games that Cooper only recorded 30 yards receiving, he was only targeted a combined total of 39 times, via Josh Dubow of The Associated Press. That is unacceptable. You’re not going to produce if you’re not given the chance to have the ball in your hands.
In his post-game presser, Gruden said that “Just because he wasn’t targeted doesn’t mean he wasn’t the primary guy on some of those. He was. And sometimes the opposition takes guys away.” via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. That feels like a cop out, like a lazy excuse. Why is it that other teams are able to create chances for their top receivers, but the Raiders never can?
Gruden and Carr get paid an insane amount of money, yet they’re telling us they can’t figure out how to get Amari involved? It’s just plain lazy. Scheme him open. Figure it out. It’s what they’re getting paid for. They just can’t give up on their best playmaker because the opposition is taking him away.
That’s significantly under-utilizing the offense. I don’t recall seeing Cooper in the slot much, so that right there is an example of being lazy.
Give him a variety of plays to be successful because when Cooper receives heavy targets he produces heavy, like last week against the Cleveland Browns. He was targeted 12 times and had a solid cornerback Denzel Ward on him. Feed him the ball. Even Cooper himself acknowledges he needs more looks like when he illustrated “Feed me more” against the Browns.
Had he been fed this game, the Raiders score more than a pathetic 10 points. Hopefully they don’t hold him back against the Seahawks.