Sunday's shellacking by the Miami Dolphins highlighted Oakland’s coaching staff deficiencies.
I noticed that both QBs have consistently under thrown Ford. This is not an ability, as much as a timing issue. Without practicing together, they can't get on the same page. Bruce threw a go to Higgins on Sunday, but Higgins sat down in the zone gap. Had Bruce been throwing to Murphy, he wouldn't have stopped. Higgins did the RIGHT THING in that situation, but Bruce threw to where he expected the receiver to go.
This reveals a lack of familiarity between the players. I like Bruce and honestly believe he can lead this team to success. But those skills must be built from Monday and Wednesday-Saturday during practice.
That being said, Campbell could probably do just as well if he were truly given the opportunity. Game day is a reflection of the week's practice and development throughout the year. Neither QB has had the opportunity to develop into this offense.
I have a feeling Al will be trying to sign Vince Young this offseason. If he does, I hope the coaching staff gives him the opportunity to develop his timing and trust with the O-Line, WRs, TEs and RBs. If not, we will see the same sporadic production we have seen this season.
Tom's biggest problems show themselves in who he leaves active and who he deactivates. Tired of not getting a TD from the punt returner, Tom deactivated Nick Miller and gave Higgins his old job back.
How long will this last? Your guess is as good as mine.
This week we knew Johnson couldn't play and hoped Asomugha could go. Tom decided Ware played poorly against Pittsburgh (Really? Ware has looked like a veteran most of the season with only isolated rookie lapses) and deactivated him. This placed McFadden at nickelback. McFadden has been injured most of the season, and his development was severely hindered because of it.
This was a game to deactivate Johnson and have a plan for Asomugha further aggravating his ankle. They knew he was and is still injured.
Prepare Huff to play CB if Nnamdi can’t continue, with Branch at SS and Mitchell/Brown at FS. If McFadden is getting lit up, bring in Ware during the nickel (or show confidence in Ware and keep him at nickel to begin with) and Brown/Mitchell in the dime.
These adjustments are on Cable, Marshall and Washington.
The Defense, including McFadden played their hearts out.
Marshall, where were those blitzes that won us three in a row? Did you forget that pressure equals turnovers? Shaughnessy is just as good as Scott and better in some aspects of the DE position. What happened to that Elephant Scheme? We need to mix it up and bring more heat with Wimbley, Groves and occasionally McClain.
McFadden’s lack of NFL experience was exploited. The coaches needed to replace him, go over how he was getting beat on 3rd down and help him develop a plan to address it. They need to get him refocused, put him back in the game and see if it works.
I would want to take a chance that he could adjust and refocus for two reasons. First, it shows confidence in his abilities from the coaching staff. Trusting McFadden to reenter the game after going over how he is getting beat shows good faith. This will boost his confidence in executing the plan and spark his desire to justify the decision.
Second, when McFadden comes back on the field, Miami is going to throw at him on 3rd down. I don’t think the Dolphins went anywhere else on 3rd during the game. If the adjustment worked, McFadden might have gotten a pick six or at least a pass break-up.
If he is still getting beat on 3rd down, then replace him for the rest of the game. Sit with him and describe what his replacement is doing differently and why it works. Get Asomugha to talk to him about what is happening between series.
It is the job of the coaching staff to provide the tools that enable players to succeed. That is to be done not only during practice, but in game as well.
On offense, we had several problems.
The offensive line is horrendous.
It looks like teams have decided to stop the run by overpowering the middle, right over top of Satele and Carlisle. Forcing them into one-on-ones, drives them right into the backfield and opens a gap for the LB to the RB and puts pressure right in the QB’s face. Campbell and Gradkowski have not been able to step into a throw since the bye week.
Perhaps Loper or Campbell at RG would help this situation.
We have gotten away from utilizing Barnes as a blocking TE. After two games, it is apparent we need the help to succeed.
Kelly Skipper and Sanjay Lal need to take note of the interception intended for Reece. Reece acted like he was 5’6” and 135lbs. As he turned inside for the ball, he saw the DB turning outside, cutting the space between them. Reece threw his hands to the side and avoided contact.
He should have reacted like Jacoby Ford, and continued his turn, extended his arms back to the ball and caught it. As a FB or No. 4 WR, you don’t get a lot thrown your way, and you need to catch every one regardless of who has better position. If we get called for pass interference, we get called. Remember, YOU’RE THE BULLY!
Over three games you showed us you can do it so…
Wake up coaches! It’s time to take it to the NFL.
We are the intimidators, we control the game, we are the Raider Nation. It’s time to play like it. Punish your opponents and force them to give up. That is how we win.
Now, let’s put that fear into San Diego! The Autumn Wind is Howling!