With all the talk about the problem with the Raiders’ secondary being communication, the issue of fundamentals are what bothered Jack Del Rio the most in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Rams.
“We’ve got plans, but I’m less concerned really about the play called and more concerned with basic execution right now,” said Del Rio following the game. “I think we’ll go a long way when we clean some of those things up. The things that we’ve talked about for too long in terms of communication errors and eye violations and things like that that just keep you from ever being really good on defense. Those things just have to be cleaned up.”
The Rams took the field first on Saturday, and Jared Goff proceeded to lead the Rams on an 85-yard drive for a game opening touchdown. On the drive he went 4 for 4 for 66 including the 23-yard touchdown to a wide open Cooper Kupp.
That touchdown pass is very likely the play that was standing out in Del Rio’s mind when he talked about eye violations. The main culprit in this case being TJ Carrie who allowed Kupp to get behind him for the easy score. Matt Millen broke down the play pretty well in the broadcast.
“It’s not a good thing,” Del Rio continued. “It’s really simple, I mean, you don’t have your eyes where they belong and you’re playing man, if you’re playing man, or even in zone. If you’re not seeing what you need to see, makes it hard.”
Spotting the Rams 7 points definitely makes it much more difficult.
The Raiders offense had to play catch up all day. They did well to keep pace while it was all first team starters for both teams, but the offense shouldn’t be put in that situation all the time. They need the defense to hold up their end, not just turn every game into a shootout until someone makes a mistake.
Del Rio has identified the problem — or rather one of several. But as he noted; “Getting it fixed is the challenge.”