It’s Marshall’s turn


As much as Tom Cable has wisely distanced himself from Lane Kiffin, in one area the two were of a like mind.

When it came to defense, specifically defending against the run, it was mostly the fault of Rob Ryan.

The difference is Kiffin essentially pointed the finger at Ryan in the most damaging way possible. He also brought Al Davis into the mix, playing to the longheld belief that the Raiders play defense Al’s way and that the owner was even involved in game plans on a week-to-week basis.

Kiffin tried to fire Ryan after his first season and was told no, with Davis bringing the defensive coordinator for his final season. You wonder if Ryan came back because Davis really wanted him as the defensive coordinator, or if Davis simply wanted to spite Kiffin.

The toxic days are over, and so is Ryan is gone, moving on to Cleveland after his contract expired.

But make no mistake, as the Raiders made little effort in the offseason to change the personnel in their 31st-ranked rushing defense, other than the drafting of a raw in-the-box safety in Mike Mitchell, they also implicated Ryan and his staff for the deficiency.

(You could also include defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti, but he played so seldom in Washington it’s hard to know if he can be a factor or if he’ll even make the team).

If Ryan wasn’t so busy trying to put together a defense in Cleveland, he could probably feel the force of the wheels from the Raiders team bus.

Ryan used to often say the Raiders system was designed to put their superior players in position to make plays _ the inference being Oakland had ll the talent it needed and that it was his job to make it work.

At the minicamp, the words coming out of Cable’s mouth could have been Ryan’s, while at the same time leaving no doubt the former defensive coordinator ran a loose ship where details and assignments were missed.

“What it gets down to is I think we have some talented players on defense, and so getting them in the right place and them understanding what you’re asking them to do, and teaching how to play the game with their hands, and how to tackle, and how to blitz and how to cover the right way,” Cable said. “If you ask me what’s going to be different, that’s how we’re going to be different. We’re going to coach it and teach it better.”

Doubtful you’ll hear any response from Ryan, who will no doubt throw his considerable weight into building up some of the Cleveland Browns as unblockable and unstoppable.

You’re not hearing anything from Marshall, either, as Cable thinks its best at this time if he does all the talking.

Linebacker Thomas Howard said it’s been strictly fundamentals since Marshall arrived and isn’t sure what the defense will look like.

“We’re still feeling out John, seeing if he’s going to lean toward pressure or what,” Howard said.

Regarding blitzes, “Howard said, “We’re putting in a lot more pressures but you still want to see how it’s going to translate in a game. Even when Rob was here, we did it out here but you still want to see how it goes in games.”

Howard believes Marshall’s vast experience will be of some help.

“He’s been around the game for so long, he’s seen it when teams went (1-15) and he’s seen it when teams were (15-1),” Howard said. “He’s been to the big dance. he’s been at the top three in defense. He’s been in the bottom three in defense. He’s seen it all.”

If Marshall’s strict adherence to fundamentals _ Howard said the Raiders are doing things he did in high school _ pays off in one of those top three finishes, then the Ryan was the problem. If it is one of his bottom three finishes, Ryan is a scapegoat, and Marshall will be next up for scrutiny.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • raidertay

    Our rushing defense has been horrible for a while. I dont know if you can that al on RR. At some point the players have to take some responsibility.

    I was also suprised that we spent the entire offseason focused on offense. I didnt think the offense was THAT bad we put up some points at the end of the season.

  • Still gotta love Tim Brown for what he did on the field…only reason to watch the Raiders for about 5 seasons there in the mid 1990’s:


  • centurionWR87

    @ 102 – can’t remember where but Gil Brandt predicts the Raiders to win AFC West! 😀

  • RaiderRockstar

    Derrick Gibson was actually a very good run support safety. His coverage skills were a bit lacking but not by much. Huff and Stu have the exact same issue: they are always one second too late in their reactions. And Stu’s tackling was atrocious.


    Derrick Gibson (like Gibril Wilson) was good in the box, but terrible vs the pass. Schweigert couldn’t make a tackle to save his life and also was burned pretty regular in pass coverage. Huff has had tackling issues as well, but mainly playing in the box role, not the centerfield role. He only got 5 starts last year before Cable pulled the plug and I think if the front seven played better against the run Huff’s tackling skills or lack thereof wouldn’t have been so noticable. Huff, unlike the other 2 or 3 guys mentioned is a good cover man. He’s solid vs the passing game. He’s dropped some balls, but who hasn’t? Nnamdi, CJ, Morrison, Howard, Eugene.. they all dropped easy INT’s last year!

    What we can hope for out of the safety position is that Branch and/or Mitchell are better cover guys than Gibson, Stu and Wilson were. I’m pretty sure they can both tackle better than Stu & Huff. MM hits like a mack truck! The main thing is Marshall getting the front seven to play better against the run so that we’re not relying so heavily on the safeties to bring down a bigger RB with a full head of steam who has already reached the second level and sees paydirt. Thats putting your DB in a position to fail.

  • Rockstar…I’m sure some of them own mirrors, so you might be wrong on that.

  • Hey USC fans…looks like you are the NE Patriots of College football.

    When are they going to take your championships away?

  • DKnight007

    raiderrej Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 11:29 am
    score is-27 raiders-21, game winding down 4th and 10 on the 10 yardline, 6 seconds on the clock…. whats the play???

    Bush is the single back with DMC in the slot….Miller goes in motion from one end to the other. JLH is on one side with Schilens on the other. Making sure Miller is lined up on the same side where DMC is lined on the slot.

    Play action to Bush DMC has man coverage and runs a 12 yard out with hard cut…..Schilens runs a post toward the back of the end zone with Miller being the primary runs a hard post of his own to try and clear out the safety. Primary is Miller but he also a decoy….look to get the ball to DMC at the goal line who should beat his man or Schilens who should be one on one with his man since safety will help be toward Miller.

  • vegas raider

    Just watched Timmy’s clips from # 102. He had some stinkers in the playoffs, but he was almost always money against the Broncos in the regular season.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    But I saved the “Hitler Gets Angry At the Raiders”
    Thanks Dakota. LMFAO

  • Missed tackles, over pursued, bad angles , bad use of talent what else can you say about the Ryan era, other than glad it’s over.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    The Oakland Raiders acquired veteran tight end J.P. Foschi, agreeing to terms with him on a one-year deal, according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Good Night Everyone including the Mods. LOL

    Go Raiders

  • DKnight007

    Dakota Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 3:02 pm
    Hey USC fans…looks like you are the NE Patriots of College football.

    When are they going to take your championships away?

    Thats what I’m wondering….how come the Reggie Bush cheating scandal is taking so long to come to an end and why is USC not being punished for obvious violations??

    The NCAA is rigged and corrupt thats why and they know they need USC to stay afloat…..

  • Nnamdi21

    Very young team in Oakland.

    The D will remain the same as will the scheme and most of its players.

    The system is sound and proven if executed properly and if the offense is producing long drives and points to protect.

    We all know about the defenses lack of gap control and disregard of responsibilties and we’re all painfully aware of Oaklands shocking lack of offense in the last few years.

    In theory, Davis is right.

    This scheme works.

    IF its run properly and the offense puts up points to protect.

    If Bush and DMC live up to their potential….

  • Nnamdi21

    Lynn from Snot Says:
    May 13th, 2009 at 4:15 pm
    Missed tackles, over pursued, bad angles , bad use of talent what else can you say about the Ryan era, other than glad it’s over.


    I agree.

    Morrisons out of place at MLB.

    When the Raiders play disciplined gap control defense, they look good.

    Last year, Kiffin was right. We lacked depth.

    (Not sure how many teams on a five year skid have New York Giants depth, but…)

    This is a very young team and we felt some growing pains when some of these younger players took the field, often giving up big runs or key plays.

    I hope they’ve gotten a little more experience and will continue to progress because their is potential.

  • Nnamdi21

    Watched the Dolphins Raiders game from last season.

    Satele struggled with Warren. Was Satele hurt then? He got pushed around a bit and had some trouble getting second level.

    Grove had the better day but I’m not sure who played DT for Miami and how good they were.

    Intersting, I watched another game from last year and noticed it there too, but against Miami, there were at least two occasions where Oakland lined up in a 4 man front and at the snap dropped Gerard Warren into coverage on the TE.

    The big man can hustle!

  • Mad Road Dog

    I will never drink the koolaid. This is a no brainer, the Raiders have been losers because they are deficient not only in the lines where it counts the most, but Al has had nothing but lap dogs to tell him that the talent is OK and the coaching will work it out. Now, you add poor coaching and you get six straight losing seasons of eleven plus games.

    I like Cable but he is definitely a pedigree. I was never a Kiffin fan but at least he had the balls to tell Al straight.

  • Dont be creul bloggers…

    To the Mod/Troll when she is on her period she will boot you from this blog.

    That angry little gal needs some love….who wants to pork a fat chick