Dazzle Us With Magic
"Hi. My name is Calico Jack and I'm a recovering Raider addict". Please bear with me as I try to get a grip on a season that is beyond the pale of competitive football and fan satisfaction.
I was reviewing the Barney Rubble "era" and realized as an arm chair football enthusiast that there are a few things that are a serious detriment to the health of all Raider fans. Let me make a few general observations and point out a few obvious remedies. Allow me the latitude of making a few common sense solutions as I rip the headset off of Barney. This will require a sense of humor and your indulgence.
First, it is important to establish a baseline for the Rubble Era. Rubble has been at the wheel for six games. In these six games the Raiders offense has scored 0 first half TDs and a total of 2 TDs. Here is a quick summary of 1st halves under Rubble:
at New Orleans > 1 FG
vs. NY Jets > 1 FG
at Baltimore > no points
vs. Atlanta > no points
vs. Carolina > no points
at Miami > 1 FG
9 points in six 1st halves. At what point does a light bulb go off in Cable's thick cranium that the ineptitude of the offensive unit requires some serious retooling in terms of game planning?
Calico Jack the Magician has a few barbed opinions when it comes to shaking things up. Most, if not all, of these "suggestions" are basic common sense points that anyone with an IQ over 80 and a passion for competitive football could easily point out. The fact that I'm blogging about these remedies is enough to make me reach for a bottle of Tylenol (or beer).
So your offense is in quicksand and is historically bad in the red zone ... what are some ways to jump start the offense, change the variables, or get a different result? Really now. Is there any downside to changing how things are being currently run?
* Has Cable or Knapp ever heard of the "no huddle offense"? I was just wondering because the no huddle offense is often times used by teams to catch the D off guard and create a faster tempo. How many times have you seen the Raiders use the no huddle offense this year? This type of offense is regularly practiced and sprung on opponents by 31 other teams in the NFL.
Isn't one of the tenants of an effective offense to keep the D on their heels or off guard? Used selectively, the no huddle offense is a way to dictate tempo, keep certain defensive packages off the field, and change the terms of the game.
* Just how skimpy is the Raiders playbook? I'm curious because the playcalling has been the most unimaginative, predictable, and vanilla offense that I've ever seen. Would it kill Cable and Knapp to incorporate some trick plays? Are flea flickers, reverses, and option plays off limits in Alameda? You've got Curry, Bush, and McFadden who are very viable candidates to take direct snaps and be utilized on various option run/pass plays. These guys can and should be used in a wide variety of ways. Curry was a QB at UNC. Bush was a QB in high school and used regularly at Louisville on option plays. McFadden is practically the godfather of the "Wildcat" formation. The point being that key personnel should be used in a wide array of offensive plays as game changers.
* What exactly are the Raiders doing in practice from Tuesday to Friday? If CJ the Magician is at the helm, at least 50% of the offensive practice time would be devoted to practicing and incorporating a new red zone offense. The Raiders are the worst team in the NFL in terms of red zone efficiency. Since the Raiders fail to score TDs when in the red zone, more times than not, the team falls behind in the first half. 0 TDs in 6 first halves says it all. Efficiency in the red zone is the difference between a rather miserable season and a competitive season.
The Raiders need more than a few "Hail Mary's" to get off of life support. It has reached a point where I would seriously doubt any Raider fan complaining if no huddle offenses, trick plays, hail mary's, all out blitzes on D were simply attempted regardless of the execution. At least there would be a competitive pulse to spark a small inkling of hope ... of playing to win.