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Why the Raiders' playing safe is anything but

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Here is one of Tom Cable's responses to Q&A's today. I find it alarming because it betrays an attitude or mindset that is not at all aggressive and most unRaiderlike.

Q: Did the Chargers defend your WRs to the point where it opened things up for others, or were there things you didn’t exploit with the WRs?

Cable: "It really kind of played out like you thought it would. If you go back to the fist nine third-downs, we were 1 of 9. That’s where the game, to me, was never in our hands the right way, because we’re not able to stay on the field. I mean, hell, we block two punts, the defense is getting stops and if we score once or twice there off the two blocks, you’ve got a chance to kind of put this thing away and get into almost a 4-minute mode, if you will. But we were never able to do that, simply because of third down and just some bad throws, a couple of guy slipped coming out of breaks in their routes. All those fundamental things – get your weight over your toes, follow through when you throw and little things like that. And on top of it, continue to wanting to get better protection for your quarterback."

http://www.ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders/2010/10/11/cable-qa-8/

If a team gets ahead then something is working and should be continued until it no longer is working. Why would any HC abandon what got a team ahead and go into a 4-minute mode (?) unless the HC did not believe in the means that got the lead to begin with. How can our players have confidence in such leadership?

Make no mistake, the Raiders won yesterday because they started using their defensive talent prudently, i.e. attacking the QB with blitzes. Rivers was eating up yards - 370 of them during the 1st Half and 3rd Qtr - and if we had not added the extra pressure on Rivers in the 4th Qtr by sending OLBs and/or Safeties we'd have lost the game. Same goes for St.Louis when we added the 5th man to the line in the 2nd Half and dominated the Rams from that moment on.

Next week we face a desperate team with another strong-armed QB who threw for over 300 yards and had 3 TD's in a losing effort. Alex Smith is a dangerous QB. But if you've followed Smith you'll appreciate that he cannot handle pressure. He will throw beautiful passes that move the chains until the blitz disrupts his timing and confidence and then he will collapse with fumbles and interceptions. But, if we wait around to Blitz next week, it is certain that we will be burned because our pass defense is still a shambles - across the boards.

It is not smart to waste these assets, OLB Trevor Scott and Kamerion Wimbley, Safeties Mitchell, Branch, Huff, Eugene and Brown, these athletes are natural born QB Terminators; yet they are wasted and being set up to fail - forced to stay back in pass-coverage with inadequate QB pressure. The result is our secondary being picked apart, shredded by better QBs. When we should be the aggressors bringing hell down upon QBs who would risk throwing against us.

This innate attitude of Oakland's HC - this lack of killer instinct - this desire for security and playing it safe - that is undermining and emasculating our team and season.

The Raiders might be able to win a Divisional crown at the most with this conservative "just don't lose" attitude. But they will never ever be dominating and intimidating or go any further under this sort of leadership.