Off. coord. Knapp pleads for ‘patience’


With the Raiders run game 31st after two games, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has become a lightning rod for criticism. To that end, Knapp pleads for “patience.”
During training camp, Knapp likened the installation of his West Coast Offense to a start-up company, where it takes time to get in synch and to carve out a niche.
“You know who I’m talking to?” Knapp said. “I’m talking to my friends, who call me and let me know, ‘Hang in there, bud. You’ll be fine. I know they’re coming down on the run game.’ It’s like we tell the players: ‘We want success right away but we also have to understand that it takes a little time to develop.’ … I’m very confident we’ll be fine.”
Knapp said proof that the run game is competent comes in the form of Darren McFadden running the ball well in the exhibition games and in the first half against the San Diego Chargers in the regular-season opener.
It also hasn’t helped that the Raiders played Chargers and Dolphins teams that are pretty stout against the run.
“Let’s keep things in perspective for a second here,” Knapp said. “We’ve played two games in the regular season on offense. We’ve had two different centers and a right tackle who played half a game last week. We need some patience.
“You can’t develop a scheme in two weeks in a regular season, especially when last week we faced the No. 3-ranked rush defense from 2011 and the week before they held the number two rush offense in the league to 2.4 yards per carry, the Houston Texans. That was a good team we faced last week. The scheme will be fine. It just takes some time.”
Knapp said the run game flourished in Atlanta, here, Seattle and Houston, when he was with those teams before rejoining the Raiders this season.
It might take a little longer this time around, he said, because the Raiders are working with some young offensive linemen — third-year left tackle Jared Veldheer and second-year center Stefen Wisniewski, who missed all the offseason workouts, all but six snaps of the four exhibition games and the regular-season opener.
“A lot of it depends on who the parts are,” Knapp said. “At four different places, Atlanta, here, Seattle and then when I was in Houston, it was already in play. There was a different running back, five different linemen and a different coach. And all places they’ve had success where we did it at. It depends on that group of players.”
Indeed, Justin Fargas rushed for 1,009 yards in 2008 in Knapp’s offense with the Raiders in his first stint here.
McFadden has rushed for only 54 yards on 26 carries through two games this season, whereas last season he had 222 yards through the first two games.
Playing against a stingy Steelers defense doesn’t bode well for McFadden busting out this week, though the Steelers aren’t expected to have the services of linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu.
“It will take a little while,” Knapp said of the run game hitting its stride. “I don’t know what the set time is. A lot of it will be changed week to week, based on who we’re playing. It’s making progress, it’s making progress. It may not look (like it) statistically but in the execution on cut blocks, combination blocks, we’re seeing progress being made.”

— Few Raiders are as qualified to speak about the zone-blocking scheme as left guard Cooper Carlisle.
He spent numerous years executing the scheme with the Denver Broncos, when they featured one of the top rushing offenses in the league. He also has worked in the scheme during his Raiders career.
Carlisle said the zone-blocking scheme is a solid one and that it works once everyone is on the same page.
“Yeah, I’m definitely a believer in the system,” Carlisle said. It works. There’s potential flaws in any system you run or pass, or any defensive system. I’m a believer in it and I still think it’s going to work.”
Carlisle said it’s not anymore difficult to learn the zone-blocking scheme than, say, the man-scheme or power-blocking scheme.
Therefore, he isn’t sure what all the fuss is about with people clamoring for a return to the power-blocking scheme used the past two seasons under Hue Jackson.
“I still have confidence in it, and most guys still have confidence in it,” Carlisle said. “We just haven’t hit any big runs. The flow of the game hasn’t been conducive to runs, either, the last two games, especially in the second half.”
With that said, Carlisle said he is “somewhat” surprised that the run game hasn’t clicked yet. The Raiders amassed only 68 yards on 34 rushes their first two games.
“You go in thinking you’re going to play well and you want to play well,” Carlisle said, “so when it doesn’t work, it’s not ideal.”

— Raiders middle linebacker Rolando McClain said he is feeling better today than he did either of the first three days after he suffered a concussion against the Miami Dolphins.
Even so, he still hasn’t passed all the tests required of players that suffer a concussion. He needs to pass all the tests before he can be cleared by team doctors to play in a game.
McClain practiced today, which is part of the evaluation process, Allen said.

— Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer prepared for games against the Steelers 17 times during his eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2003-10.
As a result, he has plenty of insight into what to expect when playing against one of the league’s best defenses year in and year out.
So it was that Palmer met with Knapp on the players’ off day Tuesday as a means of passing along some of that insight to Knapp.
“He had a lot of information because he’s … faced these guys quite a bit,” Knapp said. “At least half a dozen or so either the winner goes to the playoffs or was a playoff game. He gave me a lot of insight that’s very helpful for my mindset going into the game to attack this defense.”

— Knapp said rookie Tony Bergstrom is progressing well. He also said that Bergstrom now is getting some work at offensive tackle, Bergstrom’s natural position, in light of the groin injury to starting right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes.
Bergstrom was converted to guard as soon as he was selected by the Raiders in the third round of this year’s NFL draft.

— Much was made of former coach Hue Jackson pulling aside McFadden and asking which plays he is most comfortable running, and then going heavy on those plays.
Knapp said he has done the same thing with McFadden.
“Every place I’ve been to, it’s important that we find out, a guy with that kind of talent, what’s his comfort zone and what plays we like to do,” Knapp said. “So, we definitely seek his input, and that comes into play in some of the stuff we do.”

— Steelers coach Mike Tomlin coached against Palmer twice a year from 2007-10, so he has a pretty good take on Palmer’s skill set.
Even though Tomlin’s Steelers haven’t faced Palmer since 2010, he said: “He looks like Carson. He’s highly accurate, he’s very good in play-pass. He can turn his back to the defense and come up throwing, he has better mobility than people give him credit for. He’s a competitor. Got a great deal of respect for Carson Palmer.”
Palmer went 4-8 against the Steelers during his tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals.

— Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said it was tough to part ways with cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, given Van Dyke has a “boatload of talent.” Tomlin seems equally impressed by Van Dyke now that he’s with the Steelers.
“He’s done a nice job for us, man,” Tomlin said. “He’s provided some quality plays for us just in two ballgames. He downed a punt in Denver on the 1-yard line. He prevented a ball from getting down on the 1-yard line. Last week, he blew up a punt returner that created a turnover.
“He’s been an awesome surprise for us in (special) teams and really just beginning the process of acclimating himself to the defense, and hopefully once he learns what to do, he can be an asset for us there as well.”
Van Dyke tended to be hard on himself during his one-plus seasons with the Raiders. That philosophy about a cornerback needing to have a short-term memory never quite took hold.
Tomlin said he is prepared to judge Van Dyke on what he does from his time with the Steelers.
“We don’t care what happened with him there,” Tomlin said. “We just base our opinions on what happens with him here and how he works, and to this point he’s done a nice job working. He comes to work every day, he’s diligent and detailed and trying to learn what to do, and providing a shot in the arm along the way in the special teams capacity. So that’s our mindset regarding him.”

— If Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is licking his chops over the prospect of facing a depleted Raiders secondary, he isn’t letting on.
“You can’t do that,” Roethlisberger said. “Everyone is in this league for a reason. The biggest thing is, just not knowing who’s going to be out there to watch them on film. For us, the strength of this defense is, it kind of starts up front, and they will tell you that. It’s no disrespect intended for the rest of the guys, but their front seven, and especially their D-line, is just phenomenal.”


Steve Corkran

  • Just Fire Baby

    I guess wanting to be a Global Icon wasn’t enough of a tip to Mistic about one’s desire to be a star.

  • DutchRaider77

    899.RaiderDebo Says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:15 pm
    Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    Im afraid he is getting a little cuaght up in being the star.


    And I’m afraid that’s what some people were getting at about the reports of him leaving college(s), before we were labeled a bunch of racist hillbillies.

    If the label fits, wear it.


    So you are changing your handle?


  • The Beeech Dawg

    Brahs, got 12 huge cucumbers chillin’ in the freezer, in a few hours I can stuff one in my Speedo

    Heading out to the Ritz pool, them ladies will be like “Dang Beeeech Diggity, you grew 5+ inches overnight?” and I’ll be like “Hell Yeah, Ladies”

    And of course I’ll have a sweet new rudder for pool laps

    Nothing like making sure you’re going in a straight line, holla

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I guess wanting to be a Global Icon wasn’t enough of a tip to Mistic about one’s desire to be a star.


    all mega star athletes are global icons, so i dont have aproblem with that.

    I have never seen him behave like he did last night or play as poorly. He hopefully will take it as one to grow on and get back to trying to improve.

    lets not fool ourselves though the kid turned in the single greatest rookie qb season in history, so 2 shaky games in his second year isnt nearly enough evidence to write him off as a bad guy or player.

    besides CAM STILL OWNS YOU!!!!! You said he would flop but instead he became one of the greatest stories in football last year.

    By the way do you care to take back your prediction of “russel wilson holding a clip board for matt flynn by mid season?


    ok really im out

  • MiamiRaider78

    -And of course I’ll have a sweet new rudder for pool laps

    Beech, can’t randomly put a comment up like that while I’m under the cali green effects.



    I’d take Cam as our QB right now!
    So would I.

    But he’s still got some growing up to do and needs an attitude check.

    I think he’s a team player and a winner, that’s why the SuperKam posing while getting spanked is disappointing.

    I’ll tell you another thing…

    If Kam was my QB, I’d emphasize the importance of him refining his game as far as being a ‘pocket’ QB, reading defenses, etc…

    But on a night when you’re facing a fierce pass rush, the passing game is languishing and the run game is struggling…

    I’m telling Kam – you’ve got a green light to run whenever you want to, and would let him take the team on his shoulders and carry it.

    I’d utilize every facet of his ability and wouldn’t worry about pre-conceived notions that there’s an urgency to mold him into the protypical pocket passer.

  • r8eray

    It’s entirely possible that the Raiders will be 0-5 before they play at home again, and entirely possible that the Jaguars will be 0-5 heading into that game, too. That’s not a recipe for sellout. Or a game the fans would even want to watch on TV.

    – Michael David Smith PFT

    SMH…if we’re 0-5 heading into that game I refuse to attend a game this year!

    Sorry to say it but if we are 0-5 our season is over and we need to start counting our eggs (draft picks) for Aprils Draft!

    BTW…blow it up and start over, trade DMC and all!!!

  • MiamiRaider78

    When is the trade deadline?

  • 605RAIDER

    RaiderDuck Says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    605RAIDER Says:
    September 21st, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Not sure where you get “panic” from my post, RD.


    Maybe not from your post, but there have been thousands (literally) of “The Sky is Falling” posts on this board in the last week.


    Well, true that. I’m a long time reader, seen those myself. Been a member of Raidernation my entire life and I’m not about to jump ship now. Nevertheless, I do believe some of those singing “The Sky is Falling” tune do have a point. There was already a functional hybrid zbs/power running OL scheme in place when Greg got here. Why mess with that when you’ve become the OC of a team well known for their lack of continuity? Isn’t Greg doing the very thing we all complained about when AD (RIP AL) was still with us ?

  • DKnight007

    aig-raiders Says:
    September 20th, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Man you Hue lovers kill me.

    Hue’s offense in the final 5 games down the stretch.
    14, 16, 27, 16 (OT) and 26. We went 1-4 in all those games. Can we please stop with this revisionist crap? Under Hue, we scored zero points, 9 points, 3 points, and another 13 points during his tenure here for 32 games. Some offensive genius that dude was. (rolling my eyes)

    Without DMC, without Ford, without T Jones, and with a QB in Palmer who barely knew half the playbook and with a crappy defense was still one game away from playoffs. DA and Knapp could only dream of coming that close.

    Use some more in depth thinking buddy.

  • Daryle Lamonica

    Patience? That is another name for ‘Pre-season’…

  • redshirt

    Beechams Gay Lover Says:
    September 20th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    come home to daddy beeech dawg


    (yeah, I haven’t posted much over the last 7 years or so, but I sure as hell know who that putz Masterbater Beechum is)