Sunday, September 02, 2007

Roll Out the New Offense

The regular season opener is less than a week away. The roster has been pared down to 53. JaMarcus Russell is still a holdout. With or without Russell in 2007, the Kiffin era officially begins on September 9th vs. the Detroit Lions. After the obligatory test drive of the 2007 Raiders in preseason, it is GO time. After last year's nightmare season & dismal offensive performance, the rebuilding phase started with the hiring of Lane Kiffin. The obvious emphasis in the rebuilding phase was to concentrate on improving the offensive unit. Fortunately, the defensive unit has been steadily improving over the last 3 years. Last year's defensive unit ranked #3 in YPG at 284.8 and had the #1 rated pass defense at 150.8. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan looks to shape this group into an elite unit. For the D to take its next step, it will need to play the run better and become even more opportunistic in creating turnovers & sacks.

The offensive numbers from last year were UGLY. Here's a quick summary. If you start getting queasy, scroll down.

Scoring: Ranked #32 >>> 10.5 pts. per game (5 rushing TDs, 7 passing TDs)
Rushing: Ranked #29 >>> 94.9 yards per game; 3.9 yards per carry
Passing: Ranked #31 >>> 151.2 yards per game; 5.9 yards per reception
Sacks Allowed: Ranked #32 >>> 72 sacks allowed; 4.5 sacks per game
Turnovers: 40 >>> 24 INTs + 16 fumbles

The Raiders are in the midst of a major overhaul and rebuilding phase when it comes to the offensive unit. To illustrate this point, below is the projected starters for 2007 in comparison to last year's unit. Out of 11 starters from last year, only 1 remains either as a starter or in his original position.


WR1Randy MossJerry Porter
LTRobert GalleryBarry Sims
LGMcQuistan/SimsRobert Gallery
CJake GroveJeremy Newberry
RGKevin BootheCooper Carlisle
RTLangston WalkerCornell Green
TECourtney AndersonZach Miller
FBZach CrockettJustin Griffith
QBAaron BrooksDaunte Culpepper
RBLamont JordanLamont Jordan
WR2Alvis WhittedRonald Curry

The overhaul in offensive personnel, an entirely new offensive coaching staff, the infusion of new talent, and the reconfiguration of the OLine were necessary 1st steps in the rebuilding process. However, to turn the roster over without a cohesive plan would lessen the impact and progress that this unit needs to make. All the pieces need to fit cohesively. The coaching philosophy, scheme, playcalling, and personnel must be singing from the same sheet of music.

Out: Shell's antiquated offense that relied on man on man power blocking, 5 & 7 step drops, vertical offense. The RBs & TE were not used as integral parts in the passing game. The playcalling by Tom Walsh was unimgainative, predicatable, and lacked common sense. In game adjustments made by the coaching staff were nonexistent.

In: Kiffin is well versed in modern offensive game planning and will rely on Tom Cable's zone blocking scheme, 3 & 5 step drops, a hybrid West Coast offense, and a diversified offensive philosophy where the RBs & TE are primary weapons in the passing game. Kiffin will be calling the plays. His use of roll outs, bootlegs, moving pockets, multiple formations, and creative use of personnel will give this offense a boost in production and new identity.

Questions of the Day:
#1: If Culpepper plays well for the Raiders in 2007 and bonds with his teammates and coaching staff, how likely do you think Al Davis will extend Culpepper's contract to a multi year deal?

#2: Will Russell sign before the season, during the season, draft rights be traded in March, or will he be back in the 2008 draft?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

#1- answer depends on #2...

#2- Russell will sign sometime in the next month. Probably before the 1st game. Because $60 mill will be tied up on Russell, unless Daunte plays like crap thier will be better offers than Al can give him out there.

7:20 AM  
Blogger PantyRaider said...


I disagree with the Culpepper deal....I think he demonstrated that he is NOT just all about money....if the team plays well and becomes a "PlayOff" contender expect him to sign a reasonable contract to stay in OakTown with Kiff and his new team the Raiders where he was given the opertunity to play "Saviour" and have his carear saved at the same time....Loyalty still matters to some people in this "$$$$$" ruled society....


I like most of the moves but just a few things that I question....

"RB"....Jordan will have to prove himself to me over time...."Heart-n-Health" are big questions with that guy.....

"WR"....Portster is in the same position as Jordan...."Heart-n-Commitment" long before this "HeadCase" falls off the ladder and becomes disruptive again.....and again.....

It was reported that Kiff may be looking for another "WR" and I understand why....antisipation about Portster may be an influence in that move....I suspect he was not tradeable because of his big contract and his disruptive "ShowCase" the "New-n-Improved" model and hope for a taker.....

Aside from that I think the "O" looks able to make some impressive moves up the ladder....

As for the "D" the only thing of question was the Moses cut....were we planning to sign him to the practice squad....I think so...look at the "DL" we there any reason to think we would not have signed Moses....that could end up being a big loss but that something the future will tell least we could go after DarnelBing again sense nobody wants him....


11:49 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

re: porter....
isn't this a contract year for him? so he MUST play well if he wants to get paid here or wherever he goes. my guess is it won't be here so we'll be looking for a receiver anyway. ohhhhh CJ.... oh man, here i go with my hindsight again. slap me will ya?

i agree with anon. #1 depends on #2. if he does well, i think we sign culpepper for 2 more years. he'll be a good teacher for russell if russell ever signs.

btw calico, thats a rather fiendish pic of al you picked there.....

12:13 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Since I think Russell will sign before the start of the season (I've amended my thinking from late camp) I can't see the Raiders extending Duante. Just doesn't make sense, too much money would be tied up in one position.

BTW nice chart. That's pretty amazing, who knew? I think the TE's are going to have a huge impact on our offense this year. And I even like Madsen/Miller over Griffth. Just goes to our depth at the position. They'll be a very nice weapon for the QB.

I'm not as bullish on our WR core though. Porter didn't show me anything in the preseason but he could still be shaking off the rust from last year inactivity. I don't see "that" guy.

You have any feelings on Bush? I think if our O-Line resurgence isn't a mirage, he could come in and have a BIG half season. But maybe that's wishful thinking, he's been out what two years? Talk about shaking off rust...

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Panytraider, you are lost when it comes to Porter.

1:43 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Good job Calico-
My prediction is Culpepper will re-sign with the Raiders if he plays well. And, he'll have an opportunity to continue to start, because Russell's development has been stunted by his holdout.

WRT Russell, I'm worried that he could end up in Al's doghouse and we all know what that means.

As the 53-man roster stands, we don't have our #1, #3 and #5 draft picks. Hindsight would seem to suggest we could have (and should have) drafted better.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

ok, one of our favs peter king says something stinks in oakland. here's his quote:
e. Something stinks in Oakland. The Raiders released third-round defensive end Quentin Moses. When I was in Raiders camp, there was talk of him starting this year. Smells like a disagreement between Al Davis and Lane Kiffin over the final roster. To me, it's a terrible mistake. Moses will play, and play well, in the NFL, and the Raiders will be embarrassed over this. The Cardinals claimed him. I bet he'll be starting for the Cardinals by Oct. 1. What a dumb cut that was.

to me, it doesn't matter who made the final decision. this one's gonna bite us folks!

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I think Culpepper will be here one more year, if he plays well.
I'm in the thought process of "Who cares about Russell?" right now. If he doesn't sign by the end of this week, I will gladly count the loss.
I agree with Scorpio about Moses. I think that will come back to haunt us, but only time will tell.
I can understand the reasoning that he is not a good run-stuffer, which is what we need. But neither is Burgess.
I think we can trade Walter if Russell signs. Washington would be a nice fit for him, as well as Minnesota if Tavarius Jackson doesn't work out.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, we are all waiting with baited breath for the QB announcement for the opener on Sunday. Pundits are speculating that Kiffin is leaning towards McCown, while the pulse of the fans seem to sway towards Culpepper. Who will it be and will it matter? A fast start and a win will add momentum and feed the frenzied masses chomping at the bit to return to the days of yore! Hope springs eternal this time of year, when everyone is tied for first. Culpepper displayed flashes of his old self in the preseason, however, McCown has been there from the start and it's my humble opinion that he will ultimately get the nod. Not tipping your hand forced Detroit to prepare for two QBs instead of one.

As Jamarcus sits and waits for his call to come and cash in his lottery ticket, the game will go on. The silver lining in this black cloud, (pun intended) is that he will now benefit from carrying the clipboard and observing big league play and not be forced into a premature role of trying to be the savior. The return to respectability is the mantra today just as "Just win baby!" was yesterday. It will be tough, but a .500 season will be gladly accepted and the future will be ripe with renewed optimism should that occur. A new day in Raiderland is dawning whenever Jamarcus signs, but don't be foolish and throw him to the wolves. Allow this year of seasoning and maturity to occur and I'm positive that copious dividends will be realized! Good luck Raiders... until we meet.


5:13 PM  

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