Bench Jamarcus Russell? No, Bench the Raiders Wide Receivers

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Bench Jamarcus Russell? No, Bench the Raiders Wide Receivers
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

First off, benching Jamarcus Russell accomplished nothing.  There was no way Bruce Gradkowski was going to lead us back.  My opinion is once again, the coaches put Russell in position to fail.

The Raiders offensive game plan was ill prepared.  The Raider QBs were lost when the Jets sent pressure;that is inexcusable.

The zone behind the Jets' linebackers was open all day, as it always is.  The Jets often line up two linebackers on the line of scrimmage. At least one receiver should have been sent on crossing routes to the area just behind them the entire game.

Russell had zero time.  I counted 2.5 seconds before he got hit on his blind side for the first turnover. The second turnover also resulted from Russell running for his life, then making a poor decision.

Now to my point.  If you listened to the radio broadcast you would have heard Coach Flores say the same thing over and over; our WR's are not fighting for the ball and are getting manhandled out there.

Look at the interception in the end zone to Watkins. Russell saw one-on-one coverage.  In that situation, an NFL wide receiver is always supposed to win that battle. 

If Watkins had experience he would know that going down like he did was the worst option to take.

All he had to do is stay upright and run through the play and it would have been either pass interference or an incomplete pass.

If Watkins would have stayed upright, looked for the ball, and jumped for it, it would have been a touchdown. Instead, the Jets No.1 DB did as the wide receiver should have done and fought for the ball in the air and made a great catch.

I have been watching this type of play from our rookie(s) and second year receiver Watkins all season.

Look at the significance of this play,  instead of a 14-7 lead and having momentum back, it's a pick and no points.

There were numerous mistakes by the WRs Sunday. 

The Jets seemingly had balls thrown right in their hands; this was not really the case. It was the WRs who do not know how to fight for these balls yet.  Look at the replay and you will see just how many routes were jumped by Jets DBs.

Some may have thought that putting Gradkowski in may have changed things up, but, as everyone saw, he could have easily had three or four picks, but the Jets dropped balls on plays where the routes were jumped, or the young trio of WRs were just out- played.

Did I mention dropped passes? How many were there Sunday?  How about the critical drop by Murphy on the slant on a critical third down during our second series?  Watkins dropped easy catches;  DHB in the end zone, right through the hands?

Look, before this game, Russell's completion percentage to the rookie WRs was a combined 24 percent. You will not win many games with that stat. Compare this with the completion percentage to a player who runs correct routes and fights for the ball. Zach Miller last year caught 65 percent of passes thrown at him and 60 percent this year.

I'm truly not advocating benching the wide receivers;  I just want to point out the fact that this is tough business for Russell.

Combine the young WRs with a banged up o-line, a bad game plan, and a staff who will abandon the run at the drop of a hat and you have an impossible formula.

I agree with playing these young WRs.  This is the only way they are going to get better.  We all demand that they identify their weaknesses and address them in practice. 

This is where coaching comes in. 

Somebody better be drilling these guys on a daily basis on what it takes. They have to expect that the ball is coming their way and better be ready to fight their asses off for that ball.  Don't sit down!  Be the aggressor and fight.  Fight for the ball, fight for your team. 

Work on these plays tirelessly.  This is where Chaz Schilens took a big step forward from his first year.  Jonnie Lee, if you expect to have playing time, you should also prepare to go to battle—in the air if needed, on every play.

We all expect to see a better showing against the San Diego Chargers;  now go to work guys!

Like many, I am also very displeased with our strategy to stop the Jets' run. Everyone knew that we had to do it and we could not.

I have no clue why we sent DBs around the edges when we all know the Jets are all about the quick hit and cutback runs up the gut,it made no sense.

We crowded the line with backers then put DBs on the edges?  We have no second-line defense. 

Look, our defense is comprised of lean and speedy guys. We must use this to our advantage, not our disadvantage.  The LBs are not the type of players who get off blocks well. 

Don't allow our guys to engage blocks early; our guys have fill gaps using their speed.  Our DBs must come  up the middle (not the edges) to help with gap protection.  We must push the play to the edges where our speed can be an advantage.

Please make adjustments on defense when the scheme is not working.

Use your weapons. Where is Mike Mitchell?  Why is he not starting.  I see him in almost every goal line situation making great plays with great anticipation.  He has been in on at least 10 goal line stops.  Play him now, what are we waiting for coach?

Punt the ball to live another series; punt, punt, punt.  We have the best punter in the league.  Early in the game, there is no reason why we have to put Russell in a bad spot. 

Run, run, run, punt,  run, run, run, punt, run, run, run...break away TD. I guarantee you we will be in games if we focus on running only. 

Don't worry about the pass;  it will come.

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