Unlike Their Defense, the Oakland Raiders' Offense Has No Leaders
Some have suggested that the Raiders are lacking leadership and don't have a single leader on the whole team.
I would argue otherwise; the Raiders have a fair share of leaders: Nnamdi Asomugha, Greg Ellis, Richard Seymour and even Gerard Warren. Unfortunately, there isn't a single leader on the offensive side of the ball, so defenders have to do their best to fill the missing holes.
During the first day of training camp, Nnamdi picked off a pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Nnamdi then proceded to coach the young receiver up, telling him what he did wrong and what he needs to do so defenders can't read him. That is pure leadership right there.
The only problem is, that's not Nnamdi's job. A veteran receiver or a coach should have been doing that.
I don't want to throw Sanjay Lal under the bus yet, as I have no reason to aside from numerous dropped passes. Also with the youth at receiver, Sanjay has been giving a very tough task.
The Raiders are desperately in need of a vocal leader on offense, not only from the QB but from the coaching staff, receivers, whatever, anything will do.
In a recent interview former Raider Jared Cooper suggested that after Russell comes off the field, no one says a word to him: not coaches, not players, no one. He rarely goes over plays with Cable or talks to his recievers.
This is only partially true. After three and outs during punts, defenders often come to Russell's side. Nnamdi Asomugha, Gerard Warren, Greg Ellis, Richard Seymour, as well as other defenders have all been in Russell's ear after three and outs.
Last week, Gerard Warren seemed to have a lot to say to Russell on the sideline. I don't know if he was giving him constructive criticism, trying to rally his spirit or chewing him out but he showed alot of fire.
Why are the only players trying to rally Russell players who play on the other side of the ball? Easy: there are no leaders on the offense because the youth movement has back-fired leaving the offense completely void of veteran leadership.
The closest thing the offense has to a leader is Robert Gallery and Justin Fargas. Cornel Green and Cooper Carlisle are the only players on the offense over the age of 30 and they are both injured.
The offense can't continue to look to the defense for leadership. They need to find it within themselves. Someone needs to step up a coach, the QB, Zack Miller, someone.
But this gets put on JaMarcus Russell also. Leadership and communication is a two-way street. Not only do players and coaches not talk to Russell, but Russell doesn't appear to make an attempt to engage his team-mates or coaches. Like Jeff Garcia said, he isn't a leader.
Look at all of the top offenses. Romo is always side by side with a coach or Jason Witten. Manning and Brady always immediately are going over plays with coaches and nearly every succesful QB-to-receiver tandem are in constant communication. Russell and whoever else: not so much.
But don't get me wrong: I am not pinning this on the Raiders' big-armed QB, either. Like I said, it is a two-way street. Not only does JaMarcus Russell need need to step up and engage his rookie receivers (and give his linemen an earfull when they miss a block). but the coaches and receivers need to step up and engage Russell.
You cannot blame the recievers for not talking to Russell, as they are all rookies or close to it. But between Russell and Cable, there is a problem.
Do you blame Cable for not talking to Russell or Russell for not talking to Cable? Well, you have to blame both; it needs to be a mutual relationship.
Everyone on the offense needs to step up both on the field and off. Cable needs to make a better effort to talk to Russell on the sideline and Russell needs to go to Cable. The receivers need to comunicate with their QB, tell him what they see and what they think may work.
Without more communication, this team will not improve.
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