Ranking the Most Disappointing Oakland Raiders of the 2011 NFL Season
The Oakland Raiders narrowly missed making the playoffs this season and there's plenty of blame to go around. This young, super-talented team should still be playing, but instead, they saved Norv Turner's job.
But if you look at it, it shouldn't have even come down to the last game of the season. But it did because there are a lot of talented Raiders that disappointed Raider Nation this year.
Turn the page to see who they are and where they rank.
No. 10: Matt Shaughnessy
Matt Shaughnessy was dubbed as the new superstar of the defensive line by fellow defensive lineman Richard Seymour. His season was cut short by shoulder surgery, but I didn't see a superstar when Shaughnessy played.
He had one sack in his three games and I didn't see a whole lot of hurries, hits and pressures either. There's a chance he could have turned things around, but we'll never know.
He's on the list because I expected a lot from him, never saw it, then didn't get to see him finish the season.
He's not higher because he didn't play in enough games to make a big judgement.
No. 9: Khalif Barnes
Khalif Barnes actually did pretty well in the passing game this year, but he struggled mightily in run blocking. He hardly ever got any push of the line of scrimmage; in fact, he was the one being pushed most of the time.
Right tackles are supposed to be great blockers because most teams are right-handed, with a tight end on that side. But Barnes pass blocks much better than he run blocks, so the Raiders couldn't run to their right.
He's on the list because no Raiders offensive lineman should get pushed back.
He's not higher because I didn't expect much from him.
No. 8: Cooper Carlisle
Cooper Carlisle is a small, zone-blocking type of guard the doesn't belong in a power scheme. But for the second straight year, he was blown off the ball and was another part of why the Raiders couldn't run right.
Believe it or not, I saw Carlisle get bent back and pancaked on a goal-line play in Buffalo, where the Bills made a stand. The fact that he was even on the starting offensive line was disappointing enough for me.
He's on the list because he got pancaked and the Raiders couldn't run his way.
He's not higher because I saw from last year this would happen.
No. 7: Samson Satele
How do you have a starting center that you can't run up the middle with when you say you're building a bully?
Samson Satele was blown back last year, then everyone wants to talk about great he is at the start of the season because superstar running back Darren McFadden was running well. What people failed to realize is a running back that runs a 4.2 40-yard dash and is hard to tackle covers a lot of offensive-line flaws.
Bush is a big bruiser that doesn't have that kind of speed, so he needs to run up the middle, where Satele did provide much help. In the first San Diego Chargers game, Bush was able to run up the middle with ease.
Last Sunday, Bush got nothing up the middle.
What's the difference?
Wisniewski was at center in the first game.
Every time the Raiders could run up the middle, Satele wasn't in the game and that's why he's on the list.
He's not higher because I wasn't surprised at all.
No. 6: Chris Johnson
I really thought that the Raiders would be fine without Nnamdi Asomugha this year because Chris Johnson was one of three Raiders corners to finish the season in the top five in burn percentage. Then Johnson shows up this season and all he does is get burnt before getting injured and missing time.
Then, right about the time he's going to come back, his sister is killed, his mother is shot and he can't bring himself to play another down this season. I completely understand his not playing the rest of the season, but the way he played at the beginning of the season is why I'm so disappointed in him.
He's better than that—that's why he's on the list.
He's not higher because the death of his sister prevented us from seeing if he could turn things around.
No. 5: Lamarr Houston
Lamarr Houston was supposed to be the steal of the 2010 NFL draft, being drafted by the Raiders in the second round. A 300-pound defensive lineman with a mean streak and 4.8 40-yard dash speed can't miss.
Houston sure did miss a whole lot this year because the man had only one sack. Really, Desmond Bryant only had 10 starts and he had five sacks to Houston's one.
That's why he's on the list.
He's not higher because there are others that are worse on the list.
No. 4: Rolando McClain
Rolando McClain has improved so much over his rookie year, but still has a long way to go. He finished just short of 100 tackles this season, as the Raiders finished No. 27 against the run this year.
McClain was pro-ready coming out of college and was supposed to be an immediate superstar. I believe his problems will end when the Raiders switch to a 3-4 because that's what fits his skill set.
Everyone can't run sideline to sideline like Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher.
McClain has been a disappointment, but not as much as the next three.
No. 3: Darren McFadden
I can make a case that McFadden is the biggest disappointment this year.
Not because he played badly—because he played so well, then got hurt, not to be seen in uniform again this season. For me, his season was tantamount to going to see Beyonce perform, she's giving the performance of a lifetime, then she all of the sudden starts coughing and get's pulled off the stage.
At one time, he was on pace to go for 2,000 yards.
They would be calling him the best running back in the league if he didn't get hurt.
That's why he's on the list.
He's not higher because he was the biggest disappointment but not the most disappointing because it wasn't his fault.
Do you catch my drift here?
No. 2: Stanford Routt
Stanford Routt has been a huge disappointment with all of the cake he got this offseason. He finished in the top 10 in burn percentage, but gave up 10 touchdowns and was among the league leaders in penalties.
He played so well getting picked on opposite Asomugha that I thought he was ready to be the guy this year. I guess next year we'll find out if 2010 or 2011 is who Routt really is.
I'm going to go ahead and bet on Routt.
He isn't higher because it's not all his fault.
No. 1: Chuck Bresnahan
Chuck Bresnahan is the reason why Routt and others on the defense didn't play as well as they could have. The Raiders have always picked corners for their ability to bump and run.
They're not good at reading the quarterback's eyes and breaking on the ball. You'd think that Bresnahan would understand his personnel and allow them to do what they do best—bump and run.
And when they get beat in zone so may times, go on back to man defense and give them their best chance to succeed. Bresnahan acts like Rolando McClain is Derrick Brooks, putting him in deep coverage with Calvin Johnson.
If that isn't enough, he didn't learn his lesson, setting McClain up for failure again with Vincent Jackson. I'm just trying to think of why you play Tampa 2 with bump-and-run personnel.
I always say you can't get whiskey out of a bottle of wine.
So why did Bresnahan take a bottle of wine and keep expecting whiskey to come out?
Isn't that the definition of insanity?
There you have it.
That's my 10 most disappointing Raiders of 2011 and I'm sticking to it.
I've changed them up enough already.