Thursday, September 18, 2008

Raider RB Injuries are the Result of Poor Coaching Decisions

I don't want to harp on the guy because I know he is doing his best with his given system. However, with each passing week my confidence dwindles in Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp. I just don't think he has an innovative playbook and I don't think Kiff has the authority to do anything about that since (old story by now but requires mentioning) Greg Knapp was handed the keys to the offense by Al, not Kiffin. I know it's easy to believe that Kiff is running things and you can believe whatever you want. Fact is, any one of us could stand there in a headset holding a laminated play chart. I'll give him some slack though. Kiff and Knapp probably collaborate. I'd like to know who's final call it really is but whatever the case, I think our offensive playbook is mis-using our most productive players.

What has really bothered me is how McFadden has taken a pounding in pre-season and in the first two games. Why run him between the tackles so consistently where he has taken some solid hits. His style of play is not a battering ram.

So was it really worth it for McFadden to destroy the hapless Chiefs so badly? Well, someone had to score other than Jano. Glad we had a guy with big play ability. But there's a price tag with those stats.

Now McFadden has turf toe and a lingering shoulder stinger from the Denver game. His total career thus far is just two NFL games. McFadden is the team's biggest weapon and the best hope for a successful Raiders season. He should not have been put through the gauntlet so early in pre-season and he should not be the workhorse against Buffalo. We want him to be a 15-20 carry a game back all season. Where he's at now heading into game three is McFadden, is on the cusp of sitting out with injury. Who knows how long he will be able to stay in the game against Buffalo.

But this is the life of the career NFL running back and young McFadden has already started a life of lingering injuries. Turf toe and stingers tend to stay with you. I hope the severity isn't bad but as any former player can tell you, the game ends but not the pain.

Jerry McDonald called this out in one of his blogs but honest, I was wondering the same exact thing with the Fargas injury. Why was Fargas running a deep route when he hobbled up? That looked like a play where McFadden was supposed to run that route. My bet would be they had the wrong personnel grouping so that one is on the coaches.

Fargas needs to be put in a situation where he can succeed. Play to his strengths, which is not catching passes downfield. The offensive play calling has not been matching up to the team's talent correctly.

Don't be fooled by McFadden thrashing a seriously woeful Chief squad. There were still NFL players out there in red and gold so we will give KC the respect that is due but the reality is, this proved the Chiefs are in much worse shape than the Raiders in every which way.

Bottom line is the Raiders should have won that game and needed to win that game. They did win it so onto week 3.

I will eat some crow since the Raiders O-line is really working well as a team. I have to admit, I have yet to find fault in Robert Gallery's play thus far.

Bummer about McQuistan. He's a good kid, works hard. I hope he is able to come back from his injury.

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