Oakland Raiders 2010: Still In The Fight But Need To Make 10 Changes Now
The 38-13 behind kickin' the Oakland Raiders got from the Tennessee Titans is just one game.
It's only the first one at that.
The Kansas City-San Diego game showed us that the Raiders can still win the AFC west.
This Raider team has very few weaknesses but those weaknesses will cost the Raiders majorly if not addressed. There are a few tactical adjustments that Al Davis needs to allow to be made as well.
I was very disappointed to see that Tom Cable wouldn't even talk about the Raider's biggest issue. (His offensive line.) But that was game one and he does have time to get things fixed.
Turn the page to see how to fix things.
Cut Mario Henderson
The Jamarcus Russell project did not work.
The Mario Henderson project isn't working.
Why is he even still here?
Cable fought tooth and nail to get Jamarcus Russell out of Raider Nation and for good reason.
Why won't he get rid of Henderson.
He showed signs of being something at the end of 2008 as Russell did. Then he was the worst left tackle in the league while Russell was the worst quarterback in the league and the Raiders didn't win.
Now we no longer have the worst quarterback in the league.
Why do we still have the worst left tackle in the league.
Henderson blamed Russell for his giving up the most sacks last year. He blamed the crowd noise for his getting abused on Sunday.
What will he blame next?
There is a better left tackle on his team and in the streets.
Start Khalif Barnes
Khalif Barnes was a good tackle in NFL at one time.
He had a stretch in 2008 where he shut out Mario Williams, Aaron Shobel and Dwight Freeney. I know this sounds a lot like the Mario Henderson story but there is a difference.
Henderson had his streak against power-rushers that bull-rushed. Barnes had his streak against power and speed-rushers.
Henderson can't get out of his stance in time for a speed rusher. Many in Raider Nation have come up with the idea of moving him to right tackle but all you have to do is put your speed-rusher on his side.
Barnes was brought in to compete with Henderson for the left tackle spot in 2009 but he broke his leg in camp. Barnes then healed and tried to play too soon because the Raiders had so many other injuries on the offensive line.
That made the out of shape Barnes look horrible in 2009.
He still could have done as well as Henderson last year. (He couldn't have done any worse.)
Right now, Barnes should take over at left tackle until Bruce Campbell is ready. (Or until further notice)
He looked good when he had to help Henderson and Sunday.
Cut Samson Satele
Here goes another one of Cable's boys.
I never could understand what Cable sees in Samson Satele or Henderson. The two of them have led to so many quarterback sacks, quarterback pressures, quarterback injuries, and blown up running plays.
Raider quarterbacks or running backs behind Satele are listed as an endangered species. I really wonder if he would be in the league if Cable didn't love this man so much.
Cable's coaching ego finally gave way in the preseason as he benched Satele for Veldheer. The truth is Luke Skywalker had a better chance of converting the evil Emperor than Cable had turning Satele around.
I have to say this.
You can't get whisky out of a bottle of wine!
Bring Back Jake Grove
How many Raider fans wished the Raiders didn't let Jake Grove go and trade for Samson Satele?
Grove and his big contract were released from the Dolphins and we don't have a center. I understand that Grove gets hurt but most NFL players do and Grove is worth rolling the dice on for cheap.
The Raiders were a top 10 rushing team with Grove and went to the bottom of the league when he left. He would give us more in 8 games than Satele could in 16 games.
What if Grove just gave Raider nation a healthy year this year?
The Raiders would really have themselves a steady presence in the middle of that offensive line. I think it would do a lot for undrafted free agent center Alex Parsons in his learning process too.
But the bottom line is that the Raiders don't have a center.
Move Jared Veldheer To Right Guard
Veldheer is a very good interior blocker that can handle the larger nose tackles. However, he is not up to the responsibilities ball security chores of a center.
Julius Peppers showed that long-armed defensive ends could slap his hands down before he touches them. Before you Veldheer lovers give the Johnathan Ogden speech, is no comparison between the two.
One thing Ogden had among other things is exceptional hand speed to the target. Hand speed is the best way to compensate for lack of length in boxing or any type of hand fight.
It also helped that he came from the Pac. 10 where he was used to compensating for his disadvantage. Forget the school, Veldheer doesn't have that kind of hand speed go to the target.
But those short arms and legs serve him well inside where he can bend and get underneath guys. That's why he gets good push on the inside when run-blocking.
That's something Cooper Carlisle can't get anymore.
Don't get it twisted.
I love Veldheer but not as a left tackle or center.
He will be a part of the solution at right guard.
Give Darren McFadden The Ball
Darren McFadden was the only thing the Titans couldn't stop on Sunday. He runs much lower now so he can break tackles and make people miss these days.
Why didn't he get the ball more so the Raiders could control the ball.
As it was, McFadden had 95 yards on just 18 carries without the big run he would have had with more carries. McFadden also had 55 yards receiving on six catches and the Raider's only touchdown.
You can't be afraid to wear out a first round draft pick.
Michael Bush will be back before McFadden could wear out anyway. Going forward, the Raiders need to give opposing defenses a steady diet of McFadden.
Give him a chance to show us why the Raiders pick him so high.
Get Zach Miller The Ball
This one ties in with Henderson.
Zach Miller has been the Raider's most consistent offensive weapon since his arrival. The Raiders can't afford to have him blocking on pass plays because Henderson can't do his job.
I understand that Campbell didn't have enough time to find his receivers down the field. But he has to be able to hit Miller underneath and that cant happen with him blocking.
If the Raiders can't get better left tackle play, they should chip with the running backs.
Miller should be catching passes.
Attack On Defense!
I heard the most amazing thing come out of Cable's mouth during a post-game interview. He said, We were trying too hard not to make mistakes instead of cutting it lose and trying to make plays.
Did he mean the coaches were coaching like that too?
Offense could protect the quarterback so I have nothing there but the defense did nothing. Davis must not have approved of the plan and changed it.
I can't think of any other reason why the Raiders didn't blitz.
Did you see a blitz?
I might have seen one fake blitz.
Where was the elephant scheme?
The Raiders have all of these hybrids to cause confusion and they didn't use them. Your supposed to attack a young, non- established passer on third down.
Make him read a defense because he's not very good at that it. Attack him so we dictate to him which way he can run.
The Raiders made Young look like Peyton Manning/Michael Vick.
That's what happens when you let the offense attack you.
Move Michael Huff To Corner
I still believe Huff would make an outstanding corner.
He can cover one on one with the best of them but he can't tackle. Every time a back gets through the first seven or eight, it's a touchdown.
Huff wasn't even in the picture when Johnson broke for his 76-yard touchdown run. Judging from the preseason and his whole career, he probably wouldn't have made the tackle anyway.
He also wasn't in the picture when his teammate was burned deep on Sunday. Speaking of that, the Raiders don't exactly have a shut-down corner on the opposite side of Nnamdi Asomugha anyway.
Either have him play where he can actually help us or get rid of him.
He's getting too much money for nothing.
Play Mike Mitchell at Free Safety
We need a momentum changer!
When everything is going wrong, a guy makes a big hit and wakes the team and the crowd up. If a running back gets though the hole, Mike Mitchell can make him sorry he got through.
He'll at least make the tackle.
Remember the hit he put on Justin Forsett in the preseason?
After that, fear made him drop the next ball that was thrown to him.
That's what we need!
Mitchell's only problems are in man to man coverage.
He doesn't have to do things like that from the free safety position. I thought Mitchell did a good job at free safety when the Raiders finally decided to use him there in the preseason.
Don't wait until the Raiders give up another 80 yard run.
It's Not Too Late
You've only completed Week One so It's not too late Mr.Cable.
I think my ideas are pretty good but you don't have to make those moves. However, you must make some kind of moves because this does not have to be another throw-away season.
If it is, you'll be watching game from home just like me.
I don't want that!