Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Raider Offense Needs A Time-Out

At the half way point in the season, the Raiders' offensive unit has made no progress. It can be argued that based on the last 4 weeks performances, the offense has regressed. In the MNF game at Seattle, the weather matched the mood of the Raider Nation. As the rain continued to pour, the Raiders' offensive unit once again was unable to execute anything close to a competent level. The statistics and commentary below shows an offensive unit that should be in a full crisis mode. The broken record keeps playing the same depressing song. Cue up an old Robert Johnson ditty. The offense wasted another Herculean effort by the Raiders defenders.

Playcalling:
Walsh is responsible for designing the offensive schemes, selecting the personnel groupings, creating favorable match-ups, and selecting the plays that will give the offensive unit the best chance to succeed. In essence, Walsh should manage the game by providing a road map for the players to get to their destination … the end zone.

What on earth is OC Walsh thinking? Who in their right mind would call 45 pass plays and only 11 run plays in the stormy, wet, windy conditions of Seattle? Why would Walsh abandon the run so quickly when the Raiders were only down 10-0? The Raiders had success running the ball (11 carries for 64 yards) on Monday night and throughout the season (avg. 4.2 yards per carry). Regardless of the score, the opponent, or match-up, the rushing attack needs to be a primary staple in the Raiders offense. With a first year starting QB, the run/pass ratio should be around 55% run to 45% pass. The Raiders for the season are only averaging 25 carries per game. With the pass protection shaky at best and the passing attack struggling, does it make any sense to run the ball only 11 times during the course of a game? Further, when your QB is getting mauled (44 sacks on the year; 9 vs. the Seahawks) on a regular basis, who in their right mind calls for 7 step passing plays? Common sense, right?

Execution:
The players are responsible for winning their individual match-ups, their effort, and carrying out their assignment on each and every play. In essence, the players are the drivers of the car with the OC setting the course and the coaching staff giving instructions on how to most efficiently get to their destination … the end zone.

QB – Andrew Walter’s body language said it all on Monday night. Although he is trying his best in some very adverse conditions, he realizes the deck is completely stacked against him. He is too busy running for his life on each pass play to get in any sustainable rhythm. He is botching the most elementary plays (center snap exchange), holding on to the ball too long, and has been inconsistent with his reads down the field. His development has been severely stunted with Bozo Walsh's playcalling and shoddy protection from his O-linemen.

O-Line – 8 games into the season and the Raiders are on a record pace for most sacks allowed in a season. Undisciplined & unfocused play has become the calling card of this inept unit. Simple bull rushes by marginal defenders are enough to put Walter on his back. About the only thing the O-line has done fairly well on a consistent basis is run block. Unfortunately, a consistent running attack has not been established. The entire foundation for the offensive unit’s success rests with the O-line’s ability to protect the QB. Is it time for the O-line to be reconfigured once again? Should some of the non-starters be given the opportunity to play like Paul McQuistan? It will be critical for the Raiders to identify a blue chip O-lineman in the upcoming 2007 draft and free agent market.

WRs – Is there any sane reason why the Raiders best possession receiver (Ron Curry) gets so few snaps? Is there any logical explanation for why Jerry Porter was glued to the sideline on Monday night? How can an All-Pro receiver like Randy Moss drop so many catchable balls? Is the TE (Courtney Anderson) on the Witness Protection Program? One scheme and personnel grouping that I’m dying to see on Sunday vs. the Donkeys is the 3 WR set (Moss, Porter, Curry) where Porter and Curry run short patterns and Walter uses a 3 step drop. Why is this missing from the playbook?

















Offensive Number Crunching:
8 games played to date
- 5 of 8 games = 0 TDs

94 total possessions breakdown:
-44 punts
-12 interceptions
- 9 fumbles
- 9 field goals
- 8 loss of downs
- 6 TDs
- 4 end of half/end of game possessions
- 1 safety
- 1 missed FG

69 total points produced in 94 offensive possessions. The Raiders offensive unit is averaging 8.6 points per game and only 2.7 per 2nd half. Please note: The scoring avg. below factors in the 25 points scored by the defensive unit.

Offensive Category

OaklandRank
Scoring11.532
Yards per Game227.932
Rushing yards per game105.218
Passing yards per game122.732
Turnovers Allowed2131
Sacks Allowed4432
Time of Possession27:1030
3rd Down Conversion

30.8%

30

The numbers above indicate an offensive unit that is beyond just struggling. The unit is on it's death bed. A change needs to be made that will have a positive impact on both the short term results and the upcoming 2007 season. In my humble opinion, the most sensible and practical solution is to fire Tom Walsh and slap the OC tag on TE's coach John Shoop. In season changes to the coaching staff are never easy and don't necessarily produce immediate dividends. However, under the current course set by Walsh, the offensive players are going backwards in terms of performance and confidence. In season changes to the 53 man roster are very limited. I would like to see some of the younger players get some meaningful playing experience to build towards 2007. Players like McQuistan, Morant, Fargas should see an increase in their workload.

“The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.” John Dewey

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

9 Comments:

Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico,

I agree that Walsh is flat on his face, and there is no way back up for him now.

But by firing him, wouldn't the Raiders really be signaling an end to the Gilman/Davis, vertical dream ?
The Raiders best teams, in recent yrs, have been with the Gruden offense, not the vertical stretch.

With this in mind, doesn't it make more sense to bring in a Steve Mariuchi, instead of Shoop ?

Mariuchi is the closest thing out there right now to Gruden.

I know he flopped in Detroit, but even Lombardi would flop in Detroit.

I would like to hire a decent coach, before people are saying the same thing about the Raiders.

My vote is for Mariuchi.

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CJ,

Walsh should be drawn and quartered he is a disgrace. It was bizzare the lack of run attempts Monday night.

The real problem though is an offense line that is the worst in football period. We could have Barry Sanders and Joe Montana back there and we would still be hopeless behind the offensive line. I think Gallery is a bust or mariginal palyer at best, Grove is no Barrett Robbins, how sad is it that the best guy on the line is Boothe who I think was a sixth round pick. It could take years to fix that line because they need to start from scratch.

Regards

Florida Raider

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Spot on, CJ.

Let us not overlook "Coach" Shell's flaccid, impotent post-game press conference. He could barely speak and almost starting crying, simply mumbling over and over that "you got to block and we're not blocking." His inability to inspire me as a fan is nothing compared to his inability to get results out of his team. Rob Ryan is the sole bright spot on the staff.

Interesting developments today -- 9ers are moving to Santa Clara and the A's are moving to Fremont. I wonder what the implications are for the Raiders?

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see Rich Gannon be brought in as offensive coordinator
and mentor for Andrew Walter. He is a winner and student of the game.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider 00 -

When you say that you would like to hire a decent coach, are you refering to a new OC or a new HC? I'm firmly in Shell's camp to remain.

I think step 1 in the rebuilding of the offense is to find a young, rising coach to replace OC Walsh. Whether that is during this season inernally (Shoop) or at the end o the season externally.

I'm not a big fan of Mooch and I don't think he is a good fit for the Raider organization. My best bet is that Mooch might end up at Mich St. U.

Firing Walsh doesn't mean the end of the Gilliam offense. Whatever OC replaces Walsh will need to incorporate the short passing attack to go with the vertical stretch.

One of the big misconceptions about the Gilliam or vertical offense is that short to intermediate passes are not a prmiary staple of this offense. On the contrary, the Gilliam offense uses the backs on short patterns, and the Tight Ends and Recievers on short, intermediate, AND long pass plays.

Florida Raider:

I wouldn't say we need to build the O-Line completely from scratch. I do think we will need to add a blue chip stud in the draft and sign 1 quality FA. I also think we might need to reconfigure the line again. The key will be finding a solid LT. Gallery should be moved back to RT. Walker might be more serviceable at LG. Boothe is fine at RG. As a matter of fact, I would not be the least surprised if Boothe is given a shot at LT next camp depending on the draft and free agency. Some how, some way I see McQuistan finding a starter's role next year. I wouldn't give up on him (or Grove) quite yet.

Tooz -

I'm firmly in Shell's camp whether he gives passionate press conferences or not. My hope is that Shell turns things around and eventually Ryan takes over down the road.

My best guess on the Raiders' stadium situation is that the city of Oakland will agree to fork the bill to renovate McAfee Colisieum in the year 2010 but who knows?

Anon:

Rich Gannon would be a dynamic leader in the Raiders coaching ranks. I would like to see him start as a QB coach and become the OC. However, I get the feeling that he has no interest in becoming a coach. He prefers his cushy job with CBS instead of working 14+ hour days as a coach.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Calico,

When I float the idea of Mariuchi, it's as a HC. these are my reasons:

First off, I love Art Shell. I think he's doing about as good a job as can be expected under the circumstances.
But Shell only knows one way, and that's the vertical he was part of as a player. It's what he knows, and believes in. He has said as much.
That is why, in part, he was hired by Davis, to bring the vertical back to life in Oakland.
That is why Shell hired Walsh. Because Shell believed Walsh was the only OC out there that he felt comfortable with as far as knowing the Gilman/Davis, vertical offense the Raiders were going to use.

Ok, now fast foward to today. The Raiders offense is the worst in the league, and Walsh has been a disaster. The players,(on offense), are uninspired, and do not believe in what they are doing on the field.

Now we all agree something has to be done to fix this.
So now comes the premise that John Shoop, will add a short passing attack to the verical already installed, and things will begin to get better.

That all sounds good, but everyone in the Raider nation knows that in order to have a short passing game, you have to have someone to throw to.

Currently, the Raiders have no pass catching TE, no pure FB at all, and no HB with the combo of speed, and good hands, to make this short passing attack effective.

Ok, so I suppose we just have to go out and get these type players in free agency, & the draft.
That sounds good too, until you stop to think that the Raiders have not had a pass catching TE since Todd Christensen, nearly 20 yrs ago.
Not had a dangerous pass catching HB, in the vertical since Marcus Allen,(I know Garner was good, but he played in the WC).

Am I now to believe that the Raiders are going to go out and get these players in the next yr or two ?
I find it hard to believe.

Oh, and by the way, that we're going to fix the entire offensive line at the same time.

Not to mention, that, while Walter has shown some flashes, that we still can't be 100% sold that he is the QB of the future based on what we've seen thus far.

I've read your blogs, and Blandarocked, and you both have agreed, if we're going to run the Gilman, you have to have the players of high caliber talent on the field.
The Raiders, to be kind, need alot of work on offense.
Maybe even a complete make over, or even major plastic surgury, like Joan Rivers.
Not a pretty picture.

So, while I love Shell, and wish he'd succeed, if the vertical flops with walsh, I think it will flop with Shoop, who, by the way, no one is beating down his door to offer a OC job for three yrs.

Let's get back to something closer to the Gruden offense. That's what has worked best for the Raiders over the last 25 yrs.
If you don't believe me, you can look it up.

Mariuchi is the closest one out there right now.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Bucky O'Grog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Stick'em said...

I gotta keep movin'
Blues fallin' down like hail
fallin' down like hail

And these plays keep worrin' me
There's a hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail


Think I'll go drink myself back to sleep now. A stupendously stuporous blackout might just help me forget this offense exists.

This "O" doesn't need a time-out, CJ, it needs a habanero enema.

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

From Yahoo! sports on Sunday night:

In a veiled shot at offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, Walter said the Raiders are too predictable on offense.

"We don't have a lot of depth as far as our playbook goes," he said. "They made some adjustments and started coming after us in the second half."


Amen, brother. 2-7 and not much in sight. CJ was at the game. Looking forward to his on the ground report.

7:40 PM  

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