Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reggie's New Era of Excellence Will Take Some Time



I should be the last guy to stick up for Greg Knapp but here I am doing it. Not that I see value in his work as offensive coordinator in the least.  It’s just that the sluggish start of the Raiders is not all on his shoulders.

Look at what the new coaching staff and franchise management inherited.  We all knew there would be problems working with a roster limited in talent.  You had guys overpaid.  You had guys on scholarship.  You had guys underperforming.  Al Davis traded away all of the team’s high draft rounds.

All things considered, the coaching staff are doing the best they can with what they have pieced together thus far.  If it wasn’t for the dirt on the infield, maybe Travis Goethel would have made those snaps and the Raiders stood a chance against the Chargers opening game.

Maybe if they would not have cut Demarcus Van Dyke and coached up Chimdi Chekwa, they would have two serviceable cornerbacks ready to step up right now.  Maybe, just maybe if they were not so anxious to fire Rod Woodson as secondary coach after last season, the team would not be suffering such hardship right now trying to fill holes.

Where could you possibly go wrong in having Rod Woodson coaching your DBs?  He’s one of the greatest to ever play DB.  Michael Huff could sure use some good coaching.  He has regressed. He had an all-pro caliber season last year and is now he is back to where he was, arriving late for tackles. 

The team has thin depth everywhere.  The lack of a legit number two back to turn to when McFadden is not getting it done has hurt the running game.  The offense is really good at flicking it underneath coverage and picking up yards.  They even broke one for a long TD against the Dolphins.  However, the problem is generating momentum and finishing drives.

There is a complete lack of leadership in the receiver corps.  The biggest threat is DHB who is good but he is still a work in progress, not an established number 1 guy.  Derek Hagan helps but he's more of a middle of the road player as well.

GM Reggie McKenzie has stated the approach they are taking is to groom young receivers.  That is all well and good but young receivers are unreliable. Why not bring in guys who Carson Palmer already has established a rapport with?  How much harm could it cause to see what Chad Johnson could do at this stage in his career?  T.J. Houshmandzadeh was actually on the team last year and not re-signed. Terrell Owens or Plaxico may make some sense for a short term fix.  But of course, Reggie won’t hear of it. They are banking on their young receivers to step up. 

Hey man, it’s not working.  Are you saying we should be patient?

How long will they put up with Palmer being inconsistent?  He makes a great play and then follows it up with 2 plays out of synch.  They will not bench him because he is making too much money to sit.  Even Leinart is getting over 2 mil to be a backup. They have not even suited up Terrelle Pryor – who would be effective in my view.

If you are breaking in young receivers, why not a young QB too?

Never mind, Reggie and the coaching staff have a long range plan and they will stick to it, even if they go 4-12 this season.

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