July 03, 2013

HOW IS THIS CONSTANTLY GETTING MISSED?!?!

PIGGYBACKING onto my last post.

I just read NFL.com's 32 in 32: Oakland Raiders Stare Into the Void

(http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000216061/article/32-in-32-oakland-raiders-stare-into-the-void )

From what I can tell, there is NO credence given whatsoever to the identity of this team. When you judge an athlete's worth, HOW he is utilized has as much to do with his worth as WHAT he can do. 

Section #2 of the article is the part that REALLY bugs me. When they talk about the "depressing" D-line. I don't get that at all. But then again I actually read how the Raiders are planning to use their D-linemen. Today D-linemen are judged on one thing: Getting to the QB. Last year we had Richard Seymour AND Tommy Kelly. We got plenty of penetration but couldn't stop the run AT ALL. So there was a schematic shift and players who didn't fit were allowed to walk, while players who did, were courted and signed EARLY. 

The article also said that there is no "anchoring presence" on the D-line. ALL Vance Walker and Pat Sims DID was be run stop anchors! Neither man is a pass rusher by trade and weren't in college either. They're run pluggers. Anchoring is what they did in Atlanta and Cincinnati respectively. (How someone who's paid to do this, could miss that is beyond me.) 

The other thing that bugs me about that section is that, no mention is made made of LB Miles Burris. He missed OTA's due to a January procedure on his knee, but should be back for Training Camp. Yet you'd think he was dead and buried for all he's mentioned in recent NFL articles!

******

Look, I don't expect a miracle. But I do expect us to surprise. Not because I see something others DON'T see, but rather because I see something others WON'T see. Keep deliberately not looking at.

Today's game is rushing the QB, airing it out, and trying to score over 20 while trying to hold the opponent to under 20. Most teams are built along exactly that formula. 

The Raiders aren't. We're deliberately being built for something else. That's the bit that keeps getting looked right past, even though it has been stated numerous times! It's maddening! It would be one thing if it were mentioned then dismissed as not being able to work. That would be one thing. Players and fans could say "Oh yeah!?" and we'd just have to wait and see. Instead what we have is a team built like a bus, but repeatedly judged as a car. We keep being judged as not what we are, so it's no wonder we look short.

The Raiders have a HC who used to be a DC. He totally scraped last years zone-blocking scheme to go to a power based one (changing OC's in the process). He removed penetrating pass rushers and installed gap controlling run pluggers. The only finesse players on the Defense are at CB, and both ARE finesse players. Coach is building a ball-control Offense and combining it with meat-and-potatoes, fist-fight type Defense. As this IS a passing league, note our coverage CB's and FS addition Usama Young. (Because identity notwithstanding, you still have to defend against your opponents strength.)

Provided we don't get blown away early in games (because we can't apply ANY pressure to opposing passers), the Defense should be able to keep us in games easily. If that happens, the sport of football genetically favors a ball-control, clock chewing style. 

It'll only surprise those who won't look directly at what the Raiders are openly signaling.

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