Oakland Raiders Need To Put Clash With the Titans in Rearview, Look Ahead
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Okay, so we all know the Raiders fell flat on Sunday. The offense stagnated largely due to a lack of effective blocking by the offensive line, Jason Campbell had a conspicuous debut as a result, and the defense played well for the majority of the game but once again gave up big plays that broke our backs.
I was probably a little too hard on Campbell for his slide that fell short of the first down. I questioned his heart on that play (and I'm still baffled by it) but he obviously showed the rest of the game that he's got a ton of heart by picking himself up and trying to rally the team.
I am a big Jason Campbell fan and feel he's going to help turn this team around. But he needs time to throw the ball; hopefully the offensive line is working very hard to ensure this happens. They've already re-signed recently released Erik Pears to provide depth.
Anyhow, the garbage occurred four days ago; I've said my piece and moved on.
Hopefully, the Raiders have too.
It's key for this team to focus on the positives from Sunday, like getting Darren McFadden going, holding Chris Johnson to nothing other than one big run, and Hue Jackson's play calling being more creative and innovative than in years past.
Not to mention refusing to fold on offense despite being pummelled all day by players who were getting a little help from the refs and a ton of help from the crowd. I liked the way they battled in the second half.
It's just as important for them to recall that it's one game, in a tough environment, against what will most likely be a playoff team and one that returned basically intact after being one of the more dominant teams in the latter part of 2009.
There is no need for fans or the team to change their attitude 180 degrees towards the positive off season moves after one disappointing showing. This team has been mired in negativity for many moons now, and the attitude shift that has been occurring needs to continue forward despite this hiccup.
The good news is that the team seems to realize this, and in interviews and Cable's press conference they've all acknowledged that they weren't good on Sunday, but there is no panic, no loss of confidence. Cable stated:
"Just we had a bad day. We’re not going to sit around and over analyze it or overcook it. We’re going to look at what the issues are and fix it. We feel great about our team. We just really did not play very well yesterday, but the cool thing is you can put your hand on what it is. It’s unfortunate at the same time."
This was a simple acknowledgment that they didn't bring their A game Sunday and paid a steep price as a result; no fire-sale level worry, no blow it up and start all over again sentiment. Simple acknowledgement.
While I'd like to see Cable hold his players a little more accountable at times, he's getting better at putting away his rose-colored glasses and admitting some truths.
In my eyes the biggest key to success this season is how this team responds to adversity and negativity. There are going to be bad moments, plays, games, but it's key for a team that has not had recent success to have a short memory and concentrate on making the next moment, play, or game that much better.
Jason Campbell and Jared Veldheer have been watching film to determine if they are tipping snap counts. DHB has been putting in more extra work in practice this week, and Hue Jackson has been after the guys to show they're better than Sunday. He's taking this personally, from all accounts.
This team is responding to their disappointment in a positive manner by acknowledging they weren't good and working hard toward correcting what went wrong. Despite what happened, they still believe in themselves, which is a huge step in the right direction.
This Sunday, that attitude shift will serve them well in the home opener against the Rams. They're 0-1, like half of the NFL, and are refusing to dwell on the details of how and why, other than to identify issues and improve as a team.
If the Raiders truly identify their issues, work hard on them, and bring a confident, positive attitude where they're ready to crack some skulls on Sunday, then they should more closely resemble the team we all think they are, and we will all breathe a little easier going forward.
Take some passion, add some fire, throw in a little verve and mix it with some confidence and that's a great recipe for Raider success going forward.
Well Nation, let me know what you think. As always, all comments welcome.
Please look for week 2 of my weekly column, Pressures, Hurries, and Knockdowns, which will be out tomorrow.
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