Blog Entry

The right man is Tom Cable and Raider musings...

Posted on: December 30, 2008 4:33 pm
 
At the moment, with Al Davis running the show, Tom Cable is the right man for the Raiders.  He's gotten the attention of the team and has had them playing the game the right way at the end of the season when there was nothing but pride to play for.  He's won the respect of Al Davis and has shown a willingness to work with him for the better of the team. As a result, he may get himself a player or two - but more importantly - there isn't a huge scism between the front office and the coaching staff right now. As important, due to both of these things he's collected Davis's staff pieces together into an actual coaching staff that will work together for the better of the team.  And with Cable calling the shots, there is a chance that both Shane Lechler and Nnamdi Asomugha will be willing to come back, something I don't see with any other head coach.

Going forward the Raiders need his mentality, and they need his expertise in the trenches to get better. If the Raiders do what most people think they should and beef up the offensive and defensive lines they will be better for it only if the players develop.  And who better to ensure that they develop then a man who has come from the trenches and knows how to make the most of what the team has there.

On defense, the pass rush was good but not great - tying for 12th in the league in sacks, and along with trouble on the back side (particularly early in the year) they gave up a lot more yards then expected ranking only 9th in the league in passing yards allowed despite the opposition throwing an average of 3.2 times less per game against the Raiders then the average team in the league.

On the line, Tommy Kelly wasn't great - but he's been paid and showed well enough that he can be expected to continue to develop inside. Along side that Trevor Scott showed well for a first year player and along with the arrival of Kalimba Edwards they provide some solid depth at defensive end. On the other hand, they need some support from the nose tackle and strong-side linebacker which both need to upgradeded.  Tardell Sands didn't play well enough inside to justify his contract and Gerard Warren is more a rotational player with how he's played - making him a solid backup, but not the guy you want starting. Ricky Brown is likewise a solid backup - but not starting material and the Raiders would be wise to look into competition in free agency or in the middle of the coming draft.  In the secondary, the Raiders appear to have found themselves a real football player in Gibril Wilson and if they can keep Nnamdi to go with the Chris Johnson/Standford Rout who have developed this season in the back line then perhaps they'll continue to improve back there.

On offense, the young talent that was marginalized under Kiffin is starting to show.  Michael Bush really lit things up in the season finale - and he'll make a push to get on the field with Darren McFadden.  If the coaching staff is paying attention to other teams in the league, they'll look at the Saints and Dolphins use of unorthidox two back sets and will get their best 11 on the field more often.  With Zach Miller continuing to develop into a weapon along the seams, Johnnie Lee Higgins starting to develop in the deep threat that he always looked like and Chaz Schilens showed in the last two games that he could provide a slot option for JaMarcus Russell.  That said, the receiving corps needs some help as Higgens, Schilens, Ashley Lelie, Ronald Curry and Javon Walker don't make a receiving corps that anyone will fear. But nothing will really matter until the edges of the offensive line improve. The Raiders struggled (to say the least) at both offensive tackle positions and didn't show much from either the FB or TE in terms of pass blocking skills. They need better overall play in protecting Russell or we'll continue to find check downs and short passes as the passing game options. The Raiders will get help at the FB position with players coming off of early season injuries - but the rest still needs to be addressed.

In the draft finding an offensive tackle, a wide receiver and a defensive lineman should be the priorities. But while those are the priorities a strong-side linebacker, a blocking tight end and further depth in the trenches and secondary should be a secondary focus.

In free agency, a veteran QB would be a good complement to this team as a backup/insurance policy on Russell.  And any players who would compete for jobs in the trenches should be given long and hard looks.
Category: NFL
Tags: Oakland, Raiders
 
Comments

Since: Dec 22, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2009 11:24 am
 

The right man is Tom Cable and Raider musings...


The one thing the Raiders have lacked since Jon Gruden is a consistent voice leading them on a yearly, sometimes weekly, basis.  Maybe we can take a step forward at the helm, I really hope so, but as of right now...I just know.  The last six years have taken its toll. 

At least we're not the Detroit Lions.



Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2009 12:11 pm
 

The right man is Tom Cable and Raider musings...

I agree with retaining Cable.  Although he made some real questionable calls and could have handled the Huff and Curry benchings a lot better I believe Cable is the guy the Raiders will go to war for.  Russell's development at the end of the season is a sign that he is "buying in" (can't wait to see how well recieved that cheesy line will be on the southeast recruits, good luck Lane)  I would like to see a solid OC/QB coach with play calling ability come in to help in Russell's development but not shake things up. 

I am aware of the glaring needs at WR, OT, and DL but I can't help but feel this defense needs a LB that teams have to game plan around.  I don't know if the USC LB's are the guys I am talking about but even when this defense was effective there was never an impact guy that put fear in the heart of opposing teams.  So much of the NFL game is perception and psychological.  I have watched what Merriman in San DIego has done to the Raiders or more effectively get in the head of Peyton Manning in the playoffs.

I think we should cut loose Derrick Burgess as well.  Great guy but his durability and lack of run stopping ability warrant him as a situational pass rusher and his contract demands will contradict that.  Tommy Kelly was a dissapointment.  Like the typical Raiders DT he would make some big plays when he felt like it but like Sands, you could see his fat butt getting pushed all over the field by mediocre OL way too often.

The Raiders need not only more talent on the OL but attitude.  Cable has been great teaching the fundamentals to these guys but you can't coach nastiness.  I want to see more of a Wisniewski mentality from them.  I think that comes from confidence but I have noticed that the "here we go again" mentallity seems strongest from the OL.

The WR position is a tough call.  If the Raiders draft Crabtree or another college kid the risk is that the adjustment from a gimmick offense could take a long time or never happen.  On the other side if the Raiders go free agency or trade route the player could be damaged goods (I an sure you all know about that)  Glad I don't have to make that call.

In my opinion, draft Maualuga or Orakpo, go for a big, fast WR from a pro style offense in the later rounds (ie. V. Jackson, B. Marshall).  Look for solid ROT in free agency and give Henderson a chance to flourish next season.

 




Since: Jul 21, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2008 1:23 pm
 

The right man is Tom Cable and Raider musings...

You have to give credit to the Raiders for their last 2 games. They were 3-11, with nothing to gain, playing two teams with something to play for. The Texans needed that win to have a winning season for the first time ever. Tampa Bay needed to win to make the playoffs. Most of the teams in the NFL in that situation would have mailed it in.

The Raiders went out and beat them both!

Most character the Raiders have shown since their loss in that Super Bowl against Tampa Bay 6 years ago.



Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: December 31, 2008 12:36 pm
 

The right man is Tom Cable and Raider musings...

well, the right man is NOT Al Davis, anymore

have a voice, support, or sound off...  impeachaldavis.com



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com