Offense Needs A Transplant
It will take a concentrated effort, plan, and vision for the staff to coach and sell to the players how the offense should be run. The players need to be willing to learn and buy what the coaches are selling through dedication and commitment.
One of the more glaring shortcomings of the Raiders offense has been the play calling of Offensive Coordinator Tom Walsh. He just doesn't seem to have a real grasp of the basic elements of good play calling. I could give countless examples from each game where his play calling caused me to either (a) scratch my head in disbelief (b) predict the play before it happened (c) scream at my television set in total disgust.
What offensive coordinator calls 15 consecutive 1st down running plays and still has a job in the NFL? Who calls for an off-tackle run play on 4th down and inches? What OC calls 7 step drop passing plays when your QBs are getting continuously mauled? Name an OC who called ZERO pass plays to his running backs in 2 consecutive games? Who calls sweep running plays against an opponent with the fastest set of linebackers in the league? Walsh's play calling shows a lack of imagination and common sense. Now, what is my idea for a remedy?
Cut Walsh loose or demote him ASAP. We know that Art Shell selected Walsh to be his OC. Shell is too loyal and stubborn to pink slip his friend. Al Davis needs to handle this in the most dignified manner as possible. Keep Walsh as a paid offensive consultant if necessary but he shouldn't be kept on board as an offensive coordinator.
I think Tight Ends Coach John Shoop (see bio) should be promoted as an "interim" Offensive Coordinator. He is a young, bright, energetic guy who was the OC for the Bears for 3 years prior to joining the Raiders staff. He was a QB for a small college, has been a QB coach, offensive quality control coach, an OC, and a Tight Ends coach. As interim OC, if Shoops gets the offense on track by the end of the season, than you take away the interim tag. If he doesn't turn things around, the Raiders actively look for another OC out on the open market.
Promoting Shoop in-season would be the most practical solution. It allows the Raiders to make a change and have a relatively smooth transition.
I'm 100% behind Art Shell to remain Head Coach. Give him the time to develop the players, install the offense, weed out the dead wood plus acquire the players needed in next year's draft and free agency. This season is going to be very rough sailing. I am totally confident that Shell will get the ship off the rocks and back out to sea.
If you are squeamish, don't look below. These stats are U-G-L-Y.
|Oak (Rank)||NFL Leader|
|Scoring||10.0 / (32)||30.2 / San Diego|
|Yards per Game||229.0 / (32)||402.3 / Philadelphia|
|Rushing yards per game||111.8 / (12)||232.0 / Atlanta|
|Passing yards per game||117.2 / (32)||290.8 / Philadelphia|
|Turnovers Allowed||15 / (32)||2 / San Diego|
|Sacks Allowed||24 / (32)||5 / San Diego|
|Time of Possession||26:18 / (32)||35:33 / San Diego|
|Penalties-Yards Lost||37-276 yds / (20)||15-131 / Pittsburgh|
|3rd Down Conversion|
|58.5% / Indianapolis|
Another key element to improving the offensive unit's problems is by making the proper half-time adjustments. During the half-time intermission, the offensive coaching staff needs to discuss and evaluate what changes should be made in the play calling, schemes, and personnel groupings. What was working well in the 1st half? What is the strategy for the 2nd half? What plays run in the 1st half can set up plays for the 2nd half? What are some key points and insight that the coaching staff gained from the 1st half that needs to be shared with QB Walter? The stat summary below does not paint a very pretty picture in terms of half time adjustments. In the 5 games played so far, the Raiders have scored a GRAND total of 13 points. 13 points! When your team is averaging a pedestrian 2.6 points per 2nd half, the coaches are not coaching and the players are not executing.
|1st Half||Final Score / 2nd Half Pts.|
|vs. San Diego||Down 13-0||27-0 / 0 points|
|at Baltimore||Down 16-3||28-6 / 3 points|
|vs. Cleveland||Up 21-3||21-24 / 0 points|
|at San Francisco||Up 13-7||20-34 / 7 points|
|13-3 / 3 points|
"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better." - King Whitney Jr.