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Examining the beloved `prevent’ defense

My dad died more than four years ago, but even he knew the only thing the `prevent’ defense actually prevented was winning.

He used to ask me about it all the time. Here was a 60- and eventually 70- something accountant who could never comprehend how NFL coaches would go balls-to-the-wall all day and then meekly surrender and let an inferior opponent drive for the winning points.

I miss him terribly, but I said the same thing then as I do now _ they wouldn’t be employing that kind of strategy if there wasn’t a good reason for it.

For what it’s worth, Raiders coach Dennis Allen, a relative youngster in the head coaching profession at age 40, said he’s never even once heard the term `prevent’ during a meeting.

Still, what possible excuse could there be for employing a strategy that is so universally reviled outside of the coaching profession?

– It works more than you think it does.

– It’s a better option than blitzing the quarterback, then allowing a receiver to run free and catch a long one for a sure-thing field goal attempt or touchdown.

Coaches with skin thick enough to understand this shrug off the criticism. I was pretty impressed with how Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver dealt with the issue this week after the Atlanta Falcons moved into position for a 55-yard field goal.

The easiest thing in the world is to sit back on a couch with a beverage and say you should have blitzed.

But I remember the Raiders giving up a key third-and-long to the Chiefs in Arrowhead once _ it helped lead to a loss _ where an inactive Rich Gannon approached and suggested I should be damn well be asking the defensive coordinator about how he could have called such a thing.

Defensive coordinators were off limits at the time, so the question went unasked that day.

Yet it illustrated the point that the calls aren’t nearly as important as the players who are supposed to carry out the mission. In theory, every play works.

In the Raiders loss to the Falcons, Allen said the Raiders used only three rushers twice on the final drive. Tarver cited a big completion to Roddy White the previous week against Carolina and not wanting to duplicate that error.

The Raiders pressured on some downs, backed off on some others, and in the end Gonzalez made a catch deep enough in Raiders territory to set up Bryant’s game-winner. A 55-yard field goal was a tossup at best, yet the end result was as if it was a 25-yard chip shot.

The unexciting truth _ no defense brings the heat every down because it doesn’t make sense. They study this stuff a lot more than the guy sitting on the couch or the media member at his computer. It’s their livelihood.

Success is determined as it always has been _ through execution of a plan rather than the design of the plan.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Just Fire Baby

    Last year Veldheer had 9 penalties and 4.5 sacks allowed.

    The only other player with more penalties was Jamarcus Webb that I see.

    The 4.5 sacks is not too bad, I believe it was worse in 2010.

    The most amazing one was Duane Brown of the Texans, who had 1 false start penalty, 0 holds and 1 sack credited.

    That’s a 10 year anchor at LT.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Chargers busted by officials on Monday Night Football for using stickum. Trainer busted with towel by officials. Cheating could cost Bolts draft choices. LMFAO

  • Just Fire Baby

    Maybe with a Romney win, it will spur on Veldheer.

    Hillsdale college (where he went) is like a training cell of right-wing politicians.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Once you get the Sunday ticket, going back to regional viewing schedules is not an option.

  • realtruraider

    Yeah I just looked up how many sacks allowed and it was only 4 last year and 7.5 in 2010 his rookie year, not too bad.

  • RaiderRockstar

    run-first teams like JAX are no longer a threat.

    ————————————————————

    Who do you credit for that?

    ***

    @ Jhill

    McKenzie, Allen & Tarver!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post

  • qodrn1

    The Prediction Board:

    Dedicated to Al Davis, Raider duct tape (boy does it hold) and the Coliseum rodents

    Week 1: Alex7: Chargers 27 Raiders 20 (22/14)
    Week 2: R8eray: Dolphins 20 Raiders 13 (35/13)
    Week 3: Plunketthead Raiders 30 Steelers 27 (34/31) R
    Week 4: Amysincharge: Denver 48-7 (37-6)
    Week 5: Klas Tjorborn: Falcons 35 Raiders 20 (23/20)

    C2E Says: Raiders 30-17
    Dan78 Says: Raiders 24 Jaguars 17
    downsouthraider Says: Raiders 35 Jacksonville 13
    DMAC Says: Raiders win 31-7
    JLofty Says: Raiders 24 – Puddytats 13
    PlunkforHOF Says: My beloved Raiders 41 Cute Little Kitties 15
    qodrn: Raiders 27, Jags 20
    SilverNBlackPA Says: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 17
    Sullivan 44 Says: Raiders 20, Jags 10
    Trepidacious Raider Says: Oak 24 Jax 17

  • qodrn1

    The Prediction Board:

    Dedicated to Al Davis, Raider duct tape (boy does it hold) and the Coliseum rodents

    Week 1: Alex7: Chargers 27 Raiders 20 (22/14)
    Week 2: R8eray: Dolphins 20 Raiders 13 (35/13)
    Week 3: Plunketthead Raiders 30 Steelers 27 (34/31) R
    Week 4: Amysincharge: Denver 48-7 (37-6)
    Week 5: Klas Tjorborn: Falcons 35 Raiders 20 (23/20)

    C2E Says: Raiders 30-17
    Dan78 Says: Raiders 24 Jaguars 17
    downsouthraider Says: Raiders 35 Jacksonville 13
    DMAC Says: Raiders win 31-7
    fingers Says: Raiders 31….. Cats 13…..
    JLofty Says: Raiders 24 – Puddytats 13
    JRaider Says: JAC-27 OAK-21
    Just Fire Baby Says: Raiders 33-10
    MiamiRaider78: Raiders 37 Jaguars 17
    PlunkforHOF Says: My beloved Raiders 41 Cute Little Kitties 15
    Purvisman/Intrepid/ Full Disclosure Says: 27 to 13, Raiders win
    qodrn: Raiders 27, Jags 20
    raidermarty Says: RAIDERS 27 jags 13 GO RAIDERS
    RaiderRockstar Says: Dirty Pirates 30 Kitty Cats 17
    SilverNBlackPA Says: Raiders 27 – Jaguars 17
    Sullivan 44 Says: Raiders 20, Jags 10
    Trepidacious Raider Says: Oak 24 Jax 17