By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 11:17 am in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders on Monday fired offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in response to a drastic drop in production.
A person familiar with the situation confirmed the news.
The Raiders also fired offensive line coach Frank Pollack, special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman and linebackers coach Johnny Holland, the team announced.
“Decisions like this are very difficult,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said in a press release. “I have a great deal of respect for all of these men and I appreciate their contributions to the Oakland Raiders this season.”
Allen will speak with the media in the next several minutes. More on that later.
In particular, running back Darren McFadden’s yards per carry dropped from 5.4 in 2011 to 3.3 this season. He averaged 5.2 in 2010, as well.
There was a slight increase in passing yardage this season, with the Raiders jumping from 11th in 2011 under Hue Jackson to eighth this season. The passer rating of the quarterbacks also surged from 79.4 to 82.4.
Beyond that, the Raiders endured noticeable drop-offs in yards per game, points per game, rushing yards per game and rushing touchdowns.
The Raiders dipped from seventh in the league in rushing in 2011 to 28th this season, with a drop of more than 43 yards per game. They also tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns (4) after tying for seventh with 16 in 2011.
Allen hired Knapp and Pollack with the understanding that the Raiders would switch to the zone-blocking scheme favored by Knapp and Pollack.
McFadden and the offensive line struggled in the new scheme, though Allen and Knapp remained steadfast in their support of the change.
Knapp pleaded patience, saying it takes time for the scheme to take hold. McFadden looked nothing like the player that flourished in Jackson’s scheme, and his frustration surfaced toward the end of the season.
Here is a comparison of how the Raiders offense fared in 2011 and 2012:
Yards per game
2012: 18th at 344
2011: 9th at 379.5
Points per game
2012: 26th at 18.1
2011: 16th at 22.4
Passing yards per game
2012: 8th at 255.2
2011: 11th at 247.6
2012: 18th at 82.4
2011: 17th at 79.4
Rushing yards per game
2012: 28th at 88.8
2011: 7th at 131.9
2012: Tied for 31st with four
2011: Tied for seventh with 16
Rushing yards per carry
2012: Tied for 23rd at 3.8
2011: Tied for 7th at 4.5