Part of the Bay Area News Group

Raiders shoot for consolation prize

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 2:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.

News, notes and quotes and observations as the Raiders prepare to face the Chiefs Wednesday at Arrowhead Stadium in the 2010 regular-season finale:

– It’s not going to be like 1999, when the Raiders were out of the playoff race at 7-8 but went to Kansas City knowing they could stop the Chiefs from going as well.

But the Raiders are doing their best to convince themselves that finishing with a 6-0 record in the AFC West and .500 overall would be a stepping stone into something special in 2011.

After the 1999 win, the Raiders jumped to 12-4 and began a three-year run of AFC West titles.

How it all works out this time around remains to be seen.

“We all expected a little bit more. We all expected to be in the playoffs,’’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. “That was our theme coming into the season; that was the goal. In training camp, we were saying it all along, this team was different, this team looks like we’re ready to contend. It’s a big year for us.”

Said quarterback Jason Campbell: “We’re just trying to finsh out this year on the right note, a strong note, finish 8-8 and try to get to 6-0 in our division in our division and go into the offseason feeling good about our last game and getting ready for next year.’’

– Asomugha and Richard Seymour conceded they’re not locks to play in the Pro Bowl Jan. 30 (held the week before the Super Bowl) although they hope to be healthy enough when the time arrives.

– Besides alternates moving up the ladder either because of injuries or players who made the team otherwise occupied with preparing for the Super Bowl the following week, another possible Raiders addition is long-snapper Jon Condo.

He was added last year on Jan. 19 in the days leading up to the game as a “need’’ player.

— Sounds as if Jacoby Ford, named the AFC special teams player of the week for his 99-yard kickoff return and 188 return yards against Indianapolis, could add punt return duties next season.

Ford could have conceivably been a Pro Bowler as a rookie this year if he returned punts with anywhere near the effectiveness that he returned kickoffs. The Pro Bowl return specialist (this year Tennessee’s Marc Mariani) typically does both specialities.

“We have been kicking him the ball,’’ coach Tom Cable said.“We did that in camp, in OTAs and all that, but were never really comfortable with that. As the year has gone on, he’s getting more and more comfortable. That certainly may be something for his future.’’

As for Cable’s future, he sidestepped the issue again when asked if he thought the outcome of the Chiefs game could play into his job security.

“I don’t think about that,’’ Cable said. `I think it determines if we can get it to 8-8 and 6-0 in the division. That’s really our goal so that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re focused on that.”

– Shane Lechler was stumping for Sebastian Janikowski, with Baltimore’s Billy Cundiff getting the nod at place kicker for the Pro Bowl.

“Not to have Seabass after the year he’s had, that’s very disappointing,’’ Lechler said. “I know he’s disappointed. I’m disappointed for him. There would be a whole lot of head coaches around the league I guarantee would take him. They won’t say it to their guy’s face, but they would take him over their guy right now. That’s just how it is. That’s how good he is.’’

— The difference between the division title-winning Chiefs and the Raiders?
Cable thinks it’s turnovers. The Raiders have 25 turnovers, more than twice as many as Kansas City (12).

He thinks it’s the biggest reason the Raiders have given up so many points.

The biggest area that I feel like we’re short is turnovers. We’ve done a nice job of scoring points, moving the ball, although erratic at times, but compared to where we were before we’ve done a nice job,’’ Cable said. “We need to be more consistent from game to game that way but the turnover thing is what really hurt this football team in terms of giving people extra opportunities.’’

The Raiders have given up 30 or more points six times, losing all six games. In those games, they have 13 turnovers and six takeaways. Overall, the Raiders are at a minus-3 in turnover margin.

— Although they took the field for warmups, right tackle Langston Walker (concussion) and Darren McFadden (ankle) did not practice along with Seymour.

Wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle), Nick Miller (ankle), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and safety Mike Mitchell (ribs) were limited.

Asomugha (ankle), and Zach Miller (foot) were full go.

— With an early game Sunday, the Raiders again moved up their schedule as they did before they played Jacksonville, getting meetings in before a 9:45 a.m. practice.

The Raiders started well against the Jaguars, leading 17-7 at halftime, but didn’t finish.

“I thought we fired a great shot at Jacksonville, in terms of our effort, and the energy level and the focus and all those things, I felt like were there,’’ Cable said. “And we adapted to it quite well by Friday of that week. And here we’re doing the same thing this week and kind of went right into it this week like no big deal. So, I think it’s something that will stick to us for the future.”

— Chiefs coach Todd Haley told Bay Area reporters by conference call he had no intention of backing off to keep players healthy against Oakland.

“Maybe some teams can think another way but we’re clearly not in that position,’’ Haley said. “We need to take advantage of every practice day we have and every game we have.’’

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel said: “Absolutely we plan on playing it like a regular game and I’m planning on playing 60 minutes and I think everyone else in the locker room is too. The last thing you want to do is go out and get your butt kicked by the Raiders on Sunday and lose any momentum we’ve built up to this point.’’

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  • RaiderRockstar

    I like Jim Harbaugh, always have even as a player for Chicago & Indy …

    hope he doesn’t take a HC job for SF, because I have a feeling he’s going to fare pretty well in the bigs (like his brother John in Baltimore)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Hwnrdr,

    aren’t Chester McGlockton & Steve Wisniewski coaching under JH at Stanford right now?

  • hwnrdr

    Yup, you’re right!
    Chester McGlockton is a defensive intern and The Wiz is a strength and conditioning intern

  • hwnrdr

    You think The Wiz would be a better strength and conditioning coach than fn Brad Roll? I would say Run Run would have probably been a better S&C Coach than him…

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    NEED SOME OF THAT WIZ ATTITUDE 4 SURE.GUY PLAY’D EVERY DOWN TO THE WHISTLE AND BEYOND.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Chester McGlockton is a defensive intern and The Wiz is a strength and conditioning intern

    ***

    Raiders current staff:

    Offensive Assistant – Eric Sanders

    Defensive Assistant – Mike Clark

    buh bye !!!

  • hwnrdr

    Yup…The “Real” #76! He was a badass!
    LOL @ Rockstar!
    Trade Brad Roll for The Wiz!

  • RaiderRockstar

    By Jason Cole

    Looking ahead to the free-agent class of 2011 is a precarious issue because of the lack of a collective bargaining agreement. There are a number of labor related scenarios that could happen:

    First, owners could follow through on their threat to lock out players, meaning that free agency wouldn’t begin until a new agreement was negotiated. Even then, players could put a wrench in that if they were allowed to decertify the union.

    Second, owners could continue to negotiate with players during the offseason, using the current rules (no salary cap and six years to unrestricted free agency) of the CBA until either a new agreement is reached or there is impasse (in which case the owners could invoke their last offer).

    Third, there could be a strike.

    Fourth, the sides could reach an agreement by March, which would likely mean a system similar to the previous rules (a salary cap and four years to unrestricted free agency).

    With that in mind, here’s a look at the top potential free agents broken into three categories. The first is the players with at least six years, who will almost assuredly be unrestricted free agents regardless of what happens with the CBA. Then there is a list of players with five years experience and with four years experience.

    Under the previous rules, players in all three categories would have a shot at unrestricted free agency:

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    WHAT WAS GALLERY’S # HIS 1ST YEAR? WAS IT 74..B4 HE SWITCHED

  • hwnrdr

    I hope they reach an agreement b4 the SB!
    What would we all do without football on Sundays and Monday Night? LOL

  • hwnrdr

    I think he asked Wiz if he could wear 76 and The Wiz said that he better wear it proudly! So I believe he was always 76…

  • Que

    Does any feel Cable cost us two wins with the back and forth qb shuffle so early in the season? Guys we could have made the play offs with some better line coaching and decision on LT. Hell When campbell got killed in the preseason vs SF I thought then maybe we should try someone else. How about the crazy Center situation vs Tenn?

  • RaiderRockstar

    SIX-YEAR (OR MORE) CLUB

    1. QB Peyton Manning – He can name his price with the Colts and he will (Manning doesn’t do discounts). The worst-case scenario is that he gets slapped with the exclusive franchise tag.

    2. QB Michael Vick – Vick and agent Joel Segal are dreaming about a $15 million a year deal. Based on Vick’s play, he’s worth it. Based on his past, yikes. This is going to be a tough one, meaning the franchise tag is probably coming.

    3. G Logan Mankins – Great offensive linemen don’t often get to free agency. When they do, they’re expensive. Mankins could be the first interior lineman to make $10 million per year.

    4. WR Vincent Jackson – San Diego’s passing game without him and his off-field issues will give teams reason for pause. When they actually see him and talk to him, they’ll pay. He can ball and he’s very bright. More than $9 million a year is a lock.

    5. DL Richard Seymour – Somebody is going to pay handsomely for the 31-year-old Seymour, who is having a terrific season. He’s really good, but has a tendency to play on cruise control.

    6. CB Ike Taylor – When cornerbacks hit the market, they get paid. That’s just the way it is. Taylor, 30, isn’t great (11 picks in eight seasons), but he’s a good one and he can run.

    7. LB Barrett Ruud – Ruud was miffed in training camp when Tampa Bay extended LT Donald Penn before they extended him. Sorry, Barrett, but that’s the reality of left tackles and inside linebackers. Ruud is very good and still young, but he would be best served re-signing with a team that knows his limitations.

    8. WR Randy Moss – His value on the open market is going to be interesting. Is a team going to pay a lot on the belief he’ll play to the big deal or will the 33-year-old receiver be forced to play on a make-good contract?

    9. CB Champ Bailey – Again, cornerbacks get paid and there is little question that Champ Bailey is better than Taylor. However, Bailey is two years older and has had a run of nagging injuries.

    10. WR Terrell Owens – At 35, Owens is proving he can still put up great numbers. Whether he can help a team win is debatable. Then again, it’s hard to blame him when he plays for the Bangles.

    Other notables: WR Braylon Edwards, LB Shawne Merriman, RB Cedric Benson, S Quintin Mikell, OT Matt Light, DT Pat Williams and RB Ricky Williams.

    FIVE-YEAR CLUB

    1. CB Johnathan Joseph – Don’t expect a down year by the Bengals defense to impact Joseph’s value. The franchise tag beckons for a guy who can both cover and lay the wood.

    2. NT Haloti Ngata – Pure beast. He’s one of those rare players you look at and say, “How in the world do I attack that?” He also picked a good year to have nearly as many sacks (five in nine games) as he had in his first four years (6.5).

    3. LB Tamba Hali – He’s not only one of the great stories of the NFL (his escape from his native Liberia is the stuff of movies), but he’s a very good pass rusher having a great year. Emphasis on “very good.” He’s not great, but even “very good” pass rushers get paid.

    4. DE Ray Edwards – Where Hali has to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, Edwards is purely a left defensive end in a 4-3. There’s nothing wrong with that, but he’s more of a complementary piece than a guy who stirs the drink.

    5. LB Chad Greenway – An absolute tackling machine. Has 92 in the first nine games this season. Has also shown pass rush skill in the past with 5.5 sacks in 2008.

    6. DL/LB Mathias Kiwanuka – After getting four sacks in the first three games, Kiwanuka suffered a herniated disc in his neck. This is an example of why free agency needs to be after four years. It would be a shame if he’s healthy and gets stuck as a restricted free agent.

    7. RB DeAngelo Williams – He had one magnificent season with 1,515 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns scored in 2008. He’s out for the rest of this season (he played in six games) with a foot sprain. Will have to be healthy to get paid.

    8. G Davin Joseph – He’s a very good guard, but a notch below Logan Mankins. He’s the type of player who gets paid because of scarcity, not necessarily talent. On the open market, he’ll do very well, perhaps as much as $8 million a year.

    9. TE Marcedes Lewis – Picked a great year to realize his vast talent. But tight ends generally don’t get paid and he could be heading for the franchise tag with the penurious Jags.

    10. TE Owen Daniels – Before his knee injury, he was a pass-catching machine bound for elite status. The return has been slow and painful.

    Other notable: WR Santonio Holmes.

    FOUR-YEAR CLUB

    1. LB LaMarr Woodley – Critics say he’s not great against the run or in coverage. But when you’re projected to average more than 10 sacks in three straight seasons, you get paid. That’s the bottom line.

    2. LB David Harris – Stout, sure-tackler with just enough pass rush ability from the inside to be dangerous. He’s going to make some serious money soon.

    3. CB Eric Wright – Like Ike Taylor, Wright is a good corner at a time when even the very good become the very rich (See: Robinson, Dunta). Wright has better ball-hawking skills than Taylor, so that will put him at a higher premium.

    4. WR Steve Smith – The Giants’ version is an incredibly versatile wideout, capable of being a terrific third-down guy and a good deep threat. Great hands, great route runner.

    5. TE Zach Miller – Always good, but is having a career year now that the Raiders offense is competent.

    6. WR Sidney Rice – Sitting out the year won’t hurt him as much as some might believe. He’s a monster target and a big-play threat. Another guy likely to be franchised.

    7. RB Ahmad Bradshaw – The little back that could. He plays extraordinarily hard and can hit big plays if defenses aren’t careful. He has a bad attitude, but that’s part of his talent.

    8. OT Doug Free – Workmanlike left tackle who will never look like much under the eyeball test. But he can play and competent offensive linemen get paid.

    9. S Eric Weddle – Some people prefer Dashon Goldson, but Weddle has been more consistent. Probably will never be a star, but he’s the glue of a defense.

    10. S Dashon Goldson – Has flashed ball-hawking skills and is considered very bright.

    Other notables: LB Stewart Bradley, DL Paul Soliai, LB Paul Posluszny, TE Kevin Boss

  • Que

    We need to still get a coach and gm and draft and sign linemen 1st then get a qb in later of draft or trade for someone. We play in the afc west and it showed

  • RaiderRockstar

    bummer for the Jags if the Colts lose to the Titans on Sunday, because they have NO SHOT to beat Houston without David Garrard …

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Bcz24

    You actually won Dell’s League…

    There was some sortf of adjustment in the scoring and you ended up beating me by 1 point.

    Well done man.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Later.

  • hwnrdr

    I don’t think that the Colts are gonna lose to Tenn, though…not at home…

  • Pingback: Asomugha on Raiders Season: “We All Expected More” | Sports Journey Broadcast Network | Serious sports talk for the serious fan

  • http://chismetime.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/sofia_vergara_01.jpg r8eray

    good morning raider nation!

  • hwnrdr

    Morning Ray!

  • hwnrdr

    Last game of the year…then a couple more weeks of cheering just for the game itself then … boredom for a while!

  • RaiderRockstar

    a couple more weeks of cheering just for the game itself

    ***

    I’ll be cheering for the Chiefs to lose.

    then the Patriots, Steelers & Saints to lose (in that order)

    as long as 1 of these 4 teams doesn’t win the big one, I’m cool with it

  • LesterHayes4Ever

    Read the Broncos might be interested in Hue Jackson. If thats the case Big Al will fire Cable and hire Hue just to keep him away from Denver.

  • RaiderRockstar

    the Donks have went with offensive minded HC’s the last 3 times Shanny, McDaniels & interim guy Stutesman

    I hope they switch it up and go defensive so we don’t have to worry about Gruden, Jackson, Cable or Garrett.

    Maybe they’ll settle for Rob Ryan, Perry Fewell, John Fox or Leslie Frazier?

  • LesterHayes4Ever

    Why are people in here talking about Andrew Luck? He is a lock for number 1 pick….we dont even have a first round pick as of right now. If people in here want to talk about drafting a QB, better get your mind wrapped around Mallett or the kid from Nevada. Both will probably be there in the second. Mallett maybe even late first, would probably have to trade up to get him. DEEP QB class this year, but like any year NOBODY knows who will pan out and who will be a bust.

  • hwnrdr

    Who do you want to win the SB? Atlanta? Philly?
    I agree with you though…KC must get destroyed the weekend of Jan 9. 10…

  • LesterHayes4Ever

    If I’m in the NFC I wouldnt wanna see the Packers on the other side of the field right now. Could be looking at a Packers, Pats Super Bowl.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Hwnrdr:

    AFC – Ravens, Jets, Colts

    NFC – Falcons, Bears, Eagles

    in that order

    note: the Packers, Giants & Bucs are all 9-6 and one of those teams will enter as the sixth seed. Of these 3 it’d be cool to see the Packers go imo

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Just to reply to someone’s reply to me about it being the wrong thing to do to let Cable go after us going 6-0….

    I don’t think Cable had much affect in our improvement this year. It was all Hue Jackson and the offense. We are pretty much the same team defensively as last season, but the huge change was we no longer were scoring like 7 pts a game but 20 or so. Hue is still going thru growing pains calling plays, he made blunders, getting too cute, straying from things, etc.

    If we’re going to lose Hue Jackson, we’d have to get a very good OC under Cable. Again, Cable isn’t the key. If we don’t get a good OC, retaining Cable is like going back to the 2009 season again. Cable did a lot of good things, and is a good personality that suits the Raiders, but he can still only take us so far.

    Cable + a Mike Leach or Marc Trestman as OC would be an idea if we lost Jackson.

    Question then…

    Would you all rather retain Cable as HC but lose Jackson. Or promote Jackson to HC and lose Cable??

  • RaiderRockstar

    if Hue Jackson gets a Head Coaching gig elsewhere? good for him. he earned it

    if that happens I’d like to hire Childress & Phillips as my coordinators (they aren’t going to get HC offers). Retain Cable and let the X’s & O’s guys do thier thing

    it worked for KC bringing in proven coaches that couldn’t cut it at the HC level (Weis & Crennel)

  • M Lonetree

    the idea that teams are so beat up after playing the Raiders that they’re useless in the next games may not hold true in every case but it certainly does with the Jags. MJones-Drew and Garrard haven’t been the same since.

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Retain Cable and let the X’s & O’s guys do their thing

    +++++

    That’s the thing. Key part the X&O guys. Cable as a figure-head and someone who can work with Al…with the engine really being the OC/DC. As long as we get coaches who are renowned and relevant. Not the Gilbrides etc.

    My point as you intimated too, is that it’s the X&O guys at OC/DC that will make a difference in Oakland. Cable per se isn’t the reason for our improvement this season.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Would you all rather retain Cable as HC but lose Jackson. Or promote Jackson to HC and lose Cable??

    ***

    GG,

    good position coaches & coordinators often flop as Head Coaches. the players want Cable back and he obviously has the ability to work with Al Davis. It’s easier to find OC’s & Dc’s than it is HC’s – especially for a team like Oakland.

    it was Hue Jax’s decision to bench Campbell for Gradkowski. He went ultra conservative in some games and had a few head scratching play calls in each game throughout the season. Not sure i’m sold on him as my Head Coach.

    OC? fine – but even then he’s got to turn it on every week.

    Scoring points had more to do with Al Davis than Hue’s offense imo.

    Who kicked Russell, Walker, Fargas & Green off the team? Who drafted Veldheer & Ford and traded for Campbell?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Russell, J Walker, Fargas & Green = gone last year

    Gradkowski, L Walker, Bennett & Nmiller = gone this year

    NO MORE SCRUBS!

  • Terry

    I love Raider fans……glad they and the Chiefs are back……Hope you give us a good PRACTICE game. Damdecent of you folks to help us prepare for
    ….THE PLAY OFFS….!!!!!!
    Be prepared to be Kansas City STRIPPED of your undefeated AFC ” thank you for participating ” trophy…
    GET MAD RAIDER NATION GET MAD…..

  • RaiderRockstar

    I love Raider fans……glad they and the Chiefs are back

    ***

    Terry,

    Oakland beat KC last time without Nnamdi Asomugha & Zach Miller. plus Rolando McClain only played the first quarter

    what do you think a HEALTHY Oakland team is going to do this week with Cable’s job on the line and KC having nothing to play for?

  • Terry

    Chiefs getting better every game and
    it is at ARROWHEAD…..gotta be there to know….
    ….Marty Sottenhiemer and all the old RAIDER beaters will be there to cheer on the PLAY-OFF team…..

  • M Lonetree

    Rockstar,

    you mentioned your thoughts that HueJack had less to do with the Raiders’ resurgence than ol’ Uncle Al. if that’s the case plus the fact that AD says he checks this blog thereby coming across your words…is HueJack a goner? It’s all on your head if it comes to that.

  • M Lonetree

    Rockstar,

    why don’t you mosey over from Podunk to KC for the game? You and Terry can have a throwdown in the parking lot.

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Of course Al had an impact on why this offense improved. But really it was Hue Jackson. McFadden, for instance, was on this team before Hue arrived. When we had different OCs. But immediately Hue made an impact in Oakland. He did do a lot of different things, and spiced it up, utilized players better. He wasn’t a genius, not saying that, but we finally had someone capable in the role compared to previous OC’s the last 5 years, and the impact was immediate on his arrival.

    Al drafted Reece. But Hue made him effective, brought him into the gameplan, found ways to utilize him, McFadden, Ford, etc etc.

  • bcz24

    Marc Trestman as OC would be an idea if we lost Jackson.
    ******************
    Not really. Trestman wont even interview HC positions, why would he go back to Oakland as a coordinator?

  • bcz24

    Oakland beat KC last time without Nnamdi Asomugha & Zach Miller. plus Rolando McClain only played the first quarter
    ***************
    LOL funny seeing you type that Rock… that last line specifically.

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Anyway, RR, the thing is, I’m agreeing with you anyway. Cable is good as a pep-talking go-between for Al who can work well with him etc. But he’s expendable, replaceable. The real work is being done at OC/DC, especially as you say, in Oakland in our system and GM/Owner being Davis post-Gruden/Allen.

    I agree that Jackson may not make a good HC, they often dont. But he might also. Remember all those JerryMac blogs from training camp about how vocal and drill sargent Jackson was? As if professional players wouldn’t/don’t respond just as well to those types as they might to Cable rah-rah types.

    Like i said too…if we lose Jackson to Cincinnati, and retain Cable, that’s ok if we do get ourselves renowned proven X&O guys at DC/OC.

  • RaiderRockstar

    is HueJack a goner? It’s all on your head if it comes to that.

    ***

    LOL @ M

    let it be so!

  • RaiderRockstar

    GG,

    McFadden’s “arrival” had more to do with staying healthy and getting Justin Fargas out of the RB rotation imo. Hue didn’t make DMAC great.

    Marcel Reece went undrafted and the Dolphins gave him a look in 2008 before we did. He was a FB before Hue Jackson came to town, just came off the practice squad for the final 2 games of 2009 after Lawton was suspended

  • M Lonetree

    2009 – 17 TDs for the season.
    2010 – 12 TDs in two games against the Donks

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Another example…

    Al always likes offensive-minded HCs, who can call their own plays, and be responsible for the whole offense, while Davis can separate from that to be more attached to the defensive side of the team and the DC.

    Cable isn’t that type. 2009 was evidence of that. He failed and for the sake of keeping the players happy and trying to maintain some consistency, also appreciative of Cable himself, how he doesn’t rock the boat like Kiffin, can work with Al, then Al kept him on as long as he delegated the whole offense and play-calling to an OC.

    So if you take away Cable, that HC job is still a position Al would naturally want filled by an offensive-minded X&O coach who can run it all and do all the play-calling.

    Whilst Jackson is still on training wheels, he at least does fit that HC as OC role. It’s feasible for Al to get rid of the middle-man (Cable) in order to retain Jackson on staff. Al might be ecstatic with Jackson, be really excited about his potential as a HC/OC. He’s still developing and Al might think he has a high ceiling to lose to Cincinnati.

    The players at least know Hue know and respect like him. They’re professionals and would adjust and be comfortable with Hue as HC if Cable left. Not like the players are gonna stand in the corner and refuse to work in 2011 if Cable left.

  • RaiderRockstar

    funny seeing you type that Rock… that last line specifically

    ***

    BCZ,

    most of you guys think the Run Defense is better with McClain in at MLB than Ricky Brown. Correct?

    well if they couldn’t run it on us with Brown (undrafted) then they sure better not be able to do it with our Top 10 MLB in there!

    … but i’m sure if Charles/Jones combine for 200+ rushing yards you guys will find a way to blame it all on Tyvon Branch or Quentin Groves, LOL

  • YoungAmerican

    The Raiders will have a problem consistently stopping the run as long as they coach a defensive scheme that does not emphasize gap discipline.

    The way it is now, all four defensive linemen are primarily pass rushers. Their goal is to shed the offensive linemen and get to the QB. On running plays, you see the entire defense trying to converge on the ball carrier. This is why good cutback runners usually have big days against the Raiders. They get the entire defense going in one direction, and then with one move cut back upfield into a lot of empty space.

    It’s a scheme that is effective when it works, but when it doesn’t the result is usually a big play (sound familiar?).

    Personnel-wise, the Raiders aren’t going to do much better than what they already have on the defensive line. If the Raiders really want to become more consistent in stopping the run, they’re going to need to become more disciplined, and start playing as a team instead of freelancing.