While any Raiders fan should be pleased with Oakland’s house cleaning this offseason, they should also be plenty worried about coaching, age, quality and defensive scheme.The only thing Norv Turner has proven over his tenure as a head coach in the NFL, is that he has no business being a head coach in the NFL.
In fact, Turner faces a situation in Oakland that is very similar to what he faced in Washington; A team of aged vets who used to be excellent, and an owner who can’t keep his nose out of the coach’s business. Over seven years as the Redskins’ HC that earned him one playoff appearance and a winning percentage of .454. He had the `Skins residing on the low end of mediocrity.
He’s a very good OC, I won’t even pretend to argue that he isn’t. He’s just a worthless HC.
Ted Washington has serious fragility problems now that he’s gotten older. His size has played havoc on his knees and he’s lost more than a step. Warren Sapp is both slowed and takes too many plays off (something you’d never see him do in his prime). Neither man has the ability to be a game-breaking NT.
The age and deterioration of these two men is a contributing factor to Oakland’s switch to the 3 – 4. In their primes they’d have been a terror playing side by side in the 4 -3. Since neither of them has enough gas to go a whole game, they have to spell each other. The bigger problem is that of Oakland’s four DT’s, only one is under 30, so they don’t have a whole lot to fall back on when injuries start popping up.
To make things worse, Oakland’s stable of DEs may have youth on its side, but doesn’t have more than a drop of talent.
Then there’s the LB corps. The 3 – 4 only works if you have considerable talent at the LB position. That becomes more true and more critical when your front three are expected to underperform. But Oakland has neither talent nor depth at the LB position. What they do have is a lot of young guys, and that is their hope.
The 3 – 4 is an act of desperation, for Oakland. They pray that the front three can do an adequate job, and then Turner keeps his fingers crossed that his shoddy, but young LB corps can make up for any shortcomings in the line.
As for the rest of the team.
What is Ray Buchannan supposed to bring to the table? He’s both drastically slowed — this goes way beyond “a step” — and prone to late career injuries. Is it supposed to be leadership? Sorry, the presence of Norv Turner makes player leadership a waste of time, because his personal mediocrity and lack of motivational ability can’t be overcome.
Neither RB Troy Hambrick nor RB Amos Zereoue belongs on any NFL roster. Not as starters, not as situational guys, not as water boys. The only thing either has going for him is age, because neither has NFL level talent. I doubt they even have NFL – E or CFL talent.
Sure, RB Justin Fargus rocks, but he has already proven himself fragile.
Rice still has some gas left, but is in considerable decline.
Porter gets a lot of hype, but has never lit up a season.
Rumors have Tim Brown possibly not even making the final roster.
Barrett Robins, Oaklands best Center, won’t be allowed to take performance enhancing drugs any longer, so how good will he really be?
The Raiders’ one bright spot is at QB, but even there it looks like Gannon is being set up to fail this year in order to save Collins butt from the flames and keep him healthy for next year.
The only thing Oakland will be good at this year, is giving San Diego a run for last place in the AFC West. It’s going to be a very long year for the Raider Nation.