clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Do Oakland Raiders have weak link?

New, comments

After watching four preseason games and taking into account coach and player performances, I'm not comfortable with the Raiders' starting line-up or coaching staff as it currently stands.

Brandon Myers was consistently one of our best special teams players but did not come anywhere near filling the gap left by Zach Miller.

Who watched the former Texan, Oakland's starting RG Mike Brisel get thrown around and blown off the line of scrimmage? This Texan came with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp (see below).

The Raiders' right cornerback position has been weak since Nnamdi declared his desire to be an Eagle. The latest RCB, Shawntae Spencer, is hardly better than DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chris Johnson, or even Jeremy Ware or other marginal players being ushered into other professions.

The Raiders' weakest link, however, is probably not even a player. My biggest concerns are the OC, Greg Knapp, and Special Teams Coordinator, Steve Hoffman.

Knapp is a retread from the 2007-08 seasons in which he helped the Raiders to 4-12 and 5-11 records as Offensive Coordinator - a tenure marked by unimaginative and predictable play calling.

Recently, Knapp was questioned for his use of the team's best offensive player, Darren McFadden, as a power back slammed into the trench in short-yardage situations. Knapp responded that he would use DMC in that way and every other situation and use him a lot. I don't like this simplistic thinking. DMC should be used with discretion.

McFadden thrived when Hue Jackson realized DMC needed to be put into space and before that realization, DMC did nothing but run into the line and fall down. Perhaps, the worst inherent defect of Knapp coming back to Oakland is the zone blocking scheme which he brings with him. We all saw how well the Raiders' run game took off when they ditched the ZBS and resumed Al's beloved Power Blocking Scheme. The PBS, incidentally, was the blocking scheme used when the Raiders won all three Championships and in 2010 it was a big factor in Oakland being ranked #2 Rushing Team in the league.

Next, there is Steve Hoffman who replaced John Fassell as special teams coordinator. I cannot remember seeing a Raider ST as poorly prepared and disarrayed as what was presented to us this past four weeks. Hoffman is basically a punter and place-kicker coach since 1988 and later ST assistant. Recently (2009) he became the ST coach for the Chiefs. With kickers like Janikowski and Lechler, why would the Raiders bring in a punting and place-kicking expert to coach the special teams?