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The Gameplan: Talking Oakland Raider Strategy

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06:  Head coach Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders looks on while playing the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Oakland won the game 27-24.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Keilyn EllisCorrespondent IMay 28, 2010

The Oakland Raider have not had a good coach since John Gruden patrolled the sidelines, scrunching his face at improper conduct on the field.

Many Oakland Raider fans do not understand the dynamic between a great coach and a great QB; Show me a sh*tty quarterback and I'll show you a sh*tty coach.

You'd be hard pressed to find a successful QB combined with a terrible coach. They are one in the same. Brady and Belichick. Roethlisberger and Tomlin. Manning and Dungy. You get the idea.

So how is it that Raider Coaches manage to escape criticism despite terrible QB production? Is it safe to say a terrible coach breeds a terrible QB? How should a coach handle a struggling QB? Should he play QB musical chairs and whine to the media? Or should he actually do what he is paid for, get into the film room and study the strengths and weaknesses of his starting QB and coach em up?

What was the issue with Raider's starting QB's last year? Many say it was because they held on to the ball too long? But why would a QB want to hold on to the ball and take an un-necessary beating? Where were the crossing routes? The receiver screens and delays to keep the D honest and out of that soft ass zone that only works against the Raiders.

I don't expect the common Raider "Fan" to know anything about football strategy so I can't really go into greater detail. But I do recall Jim Plunkett going into a rant of frustration at Cable's playcalling on multiple occasions throughout 2009 stating "I don't know how you can run an offense with no crossing routes, I'd run a crossing route on EVERY play." Thanks Jim. Now I don't have to shoot myself.

To better simplify things for slower Raider fans, the crossing route is a necessary  outlet for a QB under direst. It gives the QB a highly visible quick option flashing across the play like "ME ME, I'm open." This also forces the Defense to come up and play more honestly. The sweetest part about this play is that the D will generally be forced to cover it with a linebacker. Imagine DHB or Higgins on this route. Devastating, huh?

I often hear Raider's fans say "The QB holds on to the ball too long." Well this is probably the reason why, Nation. You can't throw the ball quickly when both(who knows what happened to trips and 4 receiver sets) of your receivers are running 37 yard routes, and the defense is in all all out blitz and your running backs stay in for max protect.

Good coaches are at a premium these day as they Generally serve as both babysitter and strategist. Needless to say Cable aint much of a strategist.

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