So its only been one game however the Post Game analysis from the Coaching Staff sounds the same as last year's. I keep hearing "we need to pay attention to detail".
What does this mean? Who is this directed to? Both Coaches and Players or just players?
Only Players who got burned or all players or all coaches?
What does this mean to the Raiders Coaching Staff really? I would like to hear more about these so called "Details".
To successfully execute by paying attention to detail means to first know what detail to pay attention to.
For the sake of this discussion lets say there are 3 primary areas where details should be paid attention.
#1) Basic Preparation Detail - Practice Fundamental Football Techniques (good tackling and blocking drills etc.)
#2) Game Preparation Detail - Study opponents film and work on plays during the week on the field. The focus is to develop a specific game plan with intent to exploit the other team's weakness
#3) Real-time Detail - During an actual game, details which are dynamic in nature. These are most difficult because they - unlike the 2 above - are often unplanned details which must be addressed during the game on the sidelines and on the field - sometimes during chaos and crisis.
I would like to talk about #3 since to me, this is an ongoing primary weakness of ours.
Example #1 of Coaches need to pay attention to Real-time Detail - Be on top of Refs
Titans Jump snap count several times. Coaches seemingly do not see it. Therefore seemingly do not address it on the sidelines with either the officials or with the players. It continues until the 3rd time and our QB gets his head taken off. Coaches need to openly display disgust and outrage with the officials. Embarrass them publicly if you have to. Display disgust for both the blatant Offsides and for not calling roughing the passer when the DE tackled Campbell by the helmet. We always seem 2 steps behind with these important "DETAILS". Coaches need to be on top of the offsides issue. First they need to see it - which they did not appear to. Next they need to complain and show outrage for the non-call. Second, whether refs listen or not, Coaches need to change the snap count and talk to the Rookie Center and QB who are tipping off the count. Performing a hard count would have most certainly drawn the Titans offsides and they would have probably lost a step during subsequent plays.
Hire one special coach in booth and one on the sideline who's only duties are to spot the injustices and communicate the injustice to the coach. It is hard to see a lot of what is going on while on the sidelines alone. This aids the coach as to when to aggressively pick the battles with Refs.
Example #2 of Coaches need to pay attention to Real-time Detail - Implement Plan B
Offense is rattled and there is no Plan B to get things back under control. We continue to call risky long drawn out plays which do not allow the team to RESET. Rather, things get much worse. When the team is rattled there must be some go-to plays to reset and calm the team.
Personally I would have gone up the middle with 3 hard runs, instructing the OLINE to lay it on the Titans hard for 3 plays. Even if you go 3 and out, these plays pay off later. Running hard is like when a boxer goes to the body. Eventually the opponent will break down if you continue to go down low. Running allows the Oline to be the aggressor instead of being turnstile's.
Example #3 of Coaches need to pay attention to Real-time Detail - Know when to call a time out.
When the other team is tired from a long drive and we have them on their heels, NEVER, NEVER call a timeout and give the oppnent a breather and allow them to reset and plan. Keep pounding them to oblivion. Rush in fresh bodies and steam roll them. If the other team looks tired, we kick the tempo up even more. First half timeouts are more expendable then 2nd half timeouts. Critical 3rd down plays are a good time to call a timeout in the 1st half. Think it over and call a good play that you know will work given the current game environment. Also when in the first half, when a pre-snap offensive penalty or holding is called on us, it is okay to call a timeout. Bring the players over and discuss at a high level how we plan to get to the 1st down marker in 3 plays. This way there is less worrying about the previous penalty but focus on the goal of a 1st down.
Example #4 of Coaches need to pay attention to Real-time Detail - Know when and how to go deep.
DB's are often way off our receivers yet we send them on deep routes. This is the case most of the time with DHB. When this happens, tell the QB to call the audible and throw an easy 7 yard pass and let DHB do the rest. A few of these and the DB will be forced to play closer to the line of scrimmage. Why we don't do this is MIND-BOGGlING. Why these same plays occur week after week after week kills me. I believe in and want the vertical game to succeed. We need to force them into the box.
Example #5 of Coaches need to pay attention to Real-time Detail - Know when to go Wildcat
At least once a game, every game, when the time is right, direct snap the ball to McFadden. Research the other teams film and you will find a good situation for this - when they least expect it. A good time may be after a successful 1st down play. Keep these wildcat plays simple and low risk to begin with - like just have McFaden run the option but with no intention to pitch it or pass. There is no need to get fancy just yet. Just By doing this you have already accomplished some things. 1) you put the ball in the play-makers hands 2) you have confused or put doubt in the opponents defense
3) You give your leader and play-maker the responsibility to make plays and he gains confidence because you show you have confidence in him.
Once the team is comfortable with it, the wildcat is a great option when inside the opponents 10 yard line. Another good play would be to line up in the wildcat, leaving the QB on the field to observe the defense to see how they plan to defend, then before the snap, get out of the wildcat formation and let the QB get under center to run the play. This is another low risk play but you accomplish a lot by giving the QB perspective he would not otherwise have just before the snap.
I truly believe if we focus on the critical area of Real-time Detail, we will see very positive results every week.