Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE
Bloggers from Greg Olson's two previous NFL stops - Jaguars and Buccaneers -- chime in to give their takes on their take on the Raiders new offensive coordinator.
Few would have a better idea of his performance as a coach and coordinator than a writer who covered every game as well as all the players he coached in those stops.
We start with Alfie Crow from Jaguars blog Big Cat Country who gives us some insight into Olson's work with the quarterbacks.
"Olson joined the Jaguars last season as assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach under Mike Mularkey," said Crow. "Olson quickly made a difference improving Blaine Gabbert's overall mechanics, especially his footwork and his balance in his drop back. Some of that translated to the game, but obviously Gabbert didn't seem to improve as much as most would have liked. Olson was a coach the Jaguars were said to have wanted to retain however, but were not going to block any moves. I do know that in the past as an offensive coordinator Olson has employed a zone-blocking scheme and has seen big years from Steven Jackson and LaGarrette Blount."
Next I asked Sander Philipse from the Buccaneers blog, Bucs Nation.
"First, he's mainly a West Coast Offense guy," said Philipse. "He has some influences from other offenses, most notably some of Mike Martz, and the Bucs always talked about a run-heavy, throw-deep offense -- but that never really came out on the field.
"With the Bucs, he had a few weird staples. He'd run really badly-blocked end-arounds with Arrelious Benn, which were routinely disastrous and never gained much yardage. He'd have one or two deep shots off play action per game.
"As for a run game, he never seemed to commit to either zone or power runs and ran a mixture of both.
"Slow starts were an issue throughout his tenure, and the Bucs didn't score a single point in the first quarter of 25 of 48 of his games. They managed to score 7 or more points in the first quarter just 10 times. The offense would often get going later on in games, but the early going was always a problem."
What Philipse said about Olson is very interesting because he does not have the reputation as being a West Coast Offense type coach. He certainly didn't run that type of offense while with the Rams in 06-07.
It seems to me, he tried to tailor his scheme to fit the personnel he had on the Buccaneers. That is what the Raiders are hoping is the case.
And I hate to say it, but both descriptions sound very much like they are talking about Greg Knapp last season. Great QB coach, West Coast Offense, mix of zone and power blocking scheme, slow starter, Lack of long passes. The knocks with regard to play calling from fan comments I read from when Olson was still OC in Tampa Bay were uncanny in their similarity to Knapp as well.
The main difference is in the track record with players who thrived in his system. Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, and Marcel Reece are three such players who should do well with Olson. That could make all the difference. We shall see.