Oakland Raiders Lose to the San Francisco 49ers: It's Time to Reevaluate
The Oakland Raiders' loss to the Bay Area rival San Francisco 49ers might have helped save Mike Singletary's job.
However, it may very well have put Tom Cable's job in serious jeopardy moving forward.
The players didn't look like they were ready to see the desperate team that they saw on Sunday. They also didn't try to put their foot on the throat of a team that didn't have any confidence in the first half.
If Cable wants to keep his job, he needs to seriously reevaluate some players and what he's doing. The Raiders have an above-.500 roster but are getting sub-.500 results.
Turn the page to see what needs to be reevaluated.
In a previous article, I stated that I thought Jason Campbell should start to see if he was lucky last week. I don't think his performance against the Chargers was luck, but I have seen enough of Campbell.
He and Bruce Gradkowski are one and the same.
They have both shown the ability to come off the bench and spark the team but can't do it as a starter. They need to come in after someone else messed up so they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Forget about stats.
The Raiders have a young team that needs to learn how to win. Winning is all about making plays when the opportunity presents itself.
Campbell missed a wide-open Louis Murphy twice after he flew past the entire 49er defense. Gradkowski missed even easier throws for touchdowns during his time as the Raider starter.
He missed more of them too.
You have to make plays when you have a chance, or it will come back to bite you.
They're Killing Us at Corner
There was a lot of talk about the competition at corner between Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson. They were both looking so good in training camp and the preseason.
Now, the competition seems to be more about who can get beat the most. They gave Michael Crabtree a reason to believe that he can beat someone deep now.
Something must be done about the corner opposite Nnamdi Asomugha.
What Does Cable See in Him?
I don't think Samson Satele has moved anyone off the line of scrimmage since he got to the NFL. Sunday was no different, as Satele had to face Aubrayo Franklin on Sunday.
That's a big problem when a 245-pound running back (Michael Bush) can't get any yardage inside. It also makes me wonder why the Raiders kept running up the middle to get in these 3rd-and-long situations.
But I'm on players right now.
Justin Hartwig and Jake Grove are at home while Satele is allowed to embarrass himself. Satele is the only center on the roster on top of that.
The Dolphins found a guy that could replace Grove without a drop-off or the big salary.
The Steelers just flat-out found a great young center in the draft.
While Hartwig and Grove are out of work, Satele is the only center on the Raider roster.
Do you get it?
Why Is He Still in the League?
Tom Cable is the only reason Cooper Carlisle is still in the NFL. Better linemen than Carlisle have been cut by other teams around the league.
He did give Raider Nation a couple of good years, but he no longer has it in him. Carlisle, along with Satele, is undersized and doesn't have the strength to get a push inside.
I know Cable loves his zone scheme, but at some point you have to put the best guy in there. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has brought power blocking plays into the mix anyway.
Either way, the Raiders must do something for Michael's sake.
Improved, but Not Enough
Darrius Heyward-Bey is just as bad as he is improved.
And he has improved a lot.
But one went though his hands again on Sunday, and that tells me why tight end Zach Miller gets doubled. Louis Murphy draws a few doubles as a deep threat that's not always necessary.
All a defense has to do is bracket Miller and not give the quarterback time to find Murphy deep. Heyward-Bey is hardly open, and catching the football isn't an easy task for him.
Chaz Schilens, where are you?
Not What Al Davis Paid for
Tommy Kelly did have a sack, but he had no choice, as the sack came right to him. Every big running play the Raiders have given up so far this year has come inside to the right where Kelly dwells.
He doesn't even get double-teamed while getting pushed off the line of scrimmage. Rolando McClain is an immensely talented middle linebacker that has no room to roam because Kelly gets handled one on one.
He was a part of the problem with the Raiders' run defense the last few years, but he's still there. Kirk Morrison and others were shipped out while this part of the problem remains.
He cost an awful lot of money too.
Maybe he's better off as a 3-4 end.
That's not what the Raiders run.
Give Him a Chance
In a perfect world, the Raiders would be able to get the Philadelphia Eagles to part with Michael Vick. But we know Andy Reid is happy to hold on to both of his quarterbacks, so cancel that one.
Neither Gradkowski nor Campbell has won a game as a starter, so Kyle Boller should get a chance. He actually looked better than both of the other quarterbacks in the preseason.
I know it was just the preseason, but we have already seen what the others can do this regular season. We haven't seen Boller yet, and there is no reason he shouldn't get a look.
He can do no worse than the others.
Plus the other two have looked better coming off the bench.
Move Him to Corner
When the Raiders give up a big play on the ground, Michael Huff has either missed a tackle or been missing in action. However, Huff is the second best one-on-one cover guy on the team.
So why doesn't he play corner?
Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson are taking turns getting cooked on the other side of Nnamdi Asomugha. Huff clearly has all the attributes of a good corner and not too many of a good free safety.
Huff himself has expressed the desire to play corner.
So why not give him a shot?
The Raiders don't have anyone else doing anything over there.
Get Daniel Loper Back on the Field
Daniel Loper was the best lineman on the team while filling in for an injured Robert Gallery. You'd think it was a no-brainer to plug him in at right guard upon Gallery's return to left guard, but it didn't happen.
Did Cable forget that the offensive line is the unit that he's most known for as a coach?
Does he no longer take pride in this unit the way he used to?
If he does, Loper will start at right guard next week.
The Raiders couldn't even run inside on a team ranked No. 20 against the run.
He Plays or You Find Someone Else
Chaz Schilens flat-out plays when he plays.
But when is he going to play?
The Raiders have always played better toward the end to the season the last couple of years because of him. There's always a big upset involved when Schilens is in the lineup as well.
That's because the Raider offense is much better when he is in the lineup.
It has much more versatility.
Louis Murphy is the deep threat, while tight end Zach Miller is short to intermediate. Schilens is a deep to intermediate receiver, so that is where the offensive versatility comes in.
Plus he can catch the ball over the middle in traffic.
The Raiders need a receiver that can go across the middle besides Miller.
If Schilens can't play, they need to find someone with the same skill set that can.
Trade Overpriced Defensive Tackles
The Raiders do not have a base tackle on defense that it takes at least two to block.
Despite what he's going through in Washington, Albert Haynesworth is still that guy.
The best stretch of Raider run defense this year came with veteran John Henderson as the base tackle. Richard Seymour is handling his business as a three technique, so opposing teams run the other way.
Tommy Kelly just isn't a base tackle.
He's decent at best as a three technique.
He is a better 3-4 end than anything.
And Albert Haynesworth hates playing in a 3-4.
That's why Kelly for Haynesworth is a win-win trade.
The two highest paid defensive tackles get to play the positions they are best at.
Mike Mitchell Deserves to Play
Mike Mitchell has looked good every time I've seen him on the field. The Raiders can use a hitter besides Tyvon Branch at safety too.
They can especially use a guy that can make a tackle as the last line of defense. I don't count catching a running back from behind 50 yards down the field as the last line of defense either.
This is obviously a part of the Huff deal so he can be free to do what he does best (cover). It also puts the best 11 on the field for the Raiders and gives them a physical presence.
How about it?
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