It does not appear that the Raiders defense will be any more sophisticated with the installation of a new defensive coordinator.
John Marshall is an old school guy, and seems a good fit for Al's preference to simply line up and dominate the opposition. The Raiders concept is a single-minded approach of applying pressure in the pocket, echoing Al's famous quote "the quarterback must go down and he must go down hard"
Several years ago, all-pro cornerback Eric Allen described the Raiders defense as "mano y mano" which is a Spanish expression meaning "hand-to-hand" (as in hand to hand combat. One man versus the other).
Nothing has changed about this system, indicating a lack of progress in disguising the game plan.
More coaching or teaching, as the case may be, is always a good thing. Though the lack of ingenuity in this approach speaks for itself.
The problem with this strategy is it makes the D transparent. Opposing teams have a light week designing a game plan to score points when they know the defense holds few surprises.
The notion that QBs avoid throwing to all-pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha's "side of the field" is inaccurate. Did you see Matt Cassel avoid throwing at Nnamdi in coverage last season? Any team with a good QB could care less who is playing cornerback and just plays their game. It's called confidence and balancing out your offensive play calling.
You don't avoid anywhere on the field. You do what you want to do.
For whatever reasons, Ricky Brown is being eased in as the starting middle linebacker over Kirk Morrison. It looks like the two will share responsibility for a while at first. My own feeling on this is Morrison is not considered an asset by Al who has not offered him a contract renewal.
Brown was handed a million plus contract in the offseason, presumably as reward for being a solid special teams guy who has earned his way into the starting lineup as an LB.
I'm not aware of anything Morrison has done to irk Al. All Kirk has done is be the team's leading tackler and set an example with his professionalism and team play. Stupidly, Al will let him go to free agency next season.
Al, really knows how to spend his money unwisely by handing it to lard duffs like Tommy Kelly who have accomplished nothing, instead of guys who have achieved something in a Raider uniform.
Morrison is a success story. He wasn't expected to be a force in the league but without him, the Raiders D would have been a lot worse than it was last season.
Defensive end Trevor Scott came into camp beefier and hungry to exceed his rookie year sack totals. Thus far he has done nothing of note in camp. Left Tackle Mario Henderson has shut him down. Mario has not only elevated his game, he appears to be a rock. If he holds up all season, it will go a long way towards helping Jamarcus get the time he needs in the pocket.
It appears that someone (probably QB coach Paul Hackett) wants Bruce Gradkowski to win the third string job over Charlie Frye. Hackett coached Gradkowski in Tampa Bay. Camp reports say Frye has been the better QB but Gradkowski is getting more reps. That tells us he is being given more of a chance to win the job.
That's a shame; unless there is injury or a need to switch up QBs it doesn't matter who holds the clipboard.
Let's be realistic. Injuries happen and QBs are vulnerable. Immediate backup Jeff Garcia's heart is in the game but his body might not hold up, so having a reliable No. 3 is important. If Gradkowski wins the job over Frye the Oakland Coliseum crowd will be chanting for the return the Marques Tuiasosospo.
Justin Fargas stated it and made perfect sense. There are enough carries to go around for all RBs to have 1,000 yard seasons. Darren McFadden will finally be showcased and if Bush picks up where he left off last year, he will have a big season.
Fargas, on the other hand, may have his role scaled back, carrying the ball less and becoming more of a run blocker, which he excels at.