Most people would point to the things they actually saw ON the field as why the Raiders couldn't get out of their own way offensively. Things like the failed zone blocking scheme experiment and poor play calling. The Raiders are hoping the Greg swap (Knapp for Olson) will remedy that issue.
Darren McFadden won't make excuses for his poor season last year. As he told media today "It's the execution." However, he remembers he had his best season in the NFL in 2011 working in the Power Blocking Scheme and he's looking forward to working in it again.
"It's confidence," said McFadden. "You know you've had success in it, so you just look forward to doing it again... I came in last year with my hopes set super high and they were just crushed, so I just wanted to put that behind me and move forward."
Even in his one great season, McFadden was lost for the last part of the season with an injury and the Raiders just missed having their first winning season in a decade. He was lost to a Lisfranc injury which as it turns out was the same injury that kept Jacoby Ford out for all of last season.
Ford had his best season in 2010 and was on track to have another one in 2011 before leaving with injury. The Raiders have the formula for offensive success but the required ingredients to make it function properly are the two players who have missed the most time over the past few years.
"Me and Jacoby, we've talked about those things, and several guys on the team," Said McFadden. "I feel like that's something that just having our offense at full strength, I don't think we've had that the last two or three years. So having our offense at full strength I think is going to be great for us."
In camp last season, Ford too had high hopes for his 2012 season. He was even testing his skills at both kick and punt returner (he is normally just a kick returner). Now, he and McFadden are in the same boat. Both with Lisfranc injuries that derailed their hopes as well as the Raiders hopes for them, and a chance to start anew and finally put it all together.
"We're definitely eager to get back out there, because we both know how explosive this offense can be," Ford told media today. "We have a whole bunch of weapons on this team right now, on both sides of the ball, and on special teams. So, I think just bringing this whole team together right now and having everybody here just gets everybody a little antsy and ready to go."
It's a scary thought pinning the hopes of this offense on two players who have missed as much time as they have but there isn't much choice in that. Both players are proven explosive weapons. When healthy, they are two of the best at what they do. They can't play scared and neither can the Raiders.
The Raiders know what McFadden and Ford are capable of when they are fully healthy and those two have seen what this team can do with the right offensive scheme in place. That scheme is in place and so are DMac and Jacoby. At least for now.