Wednesday, October 19, 2005

If It's Broke...

We’ve all heard that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But the opposite is also true: If it’s broke, fix it. The Raiders are broken, and they need to fix it. Fast.

Among other things, the ground game is still a mess. The football equivalent of duct tape was applied against the Cowboys, when Jordan got some yardage and a score. But based on Sunday’s game against the Chargers, the duct tape is already peeling.

Where is Zack Crockett? The Colts have James, but they still run Rhodes. The Chiefs have Holmes, but they still run Johnson. Crockett is a proven bruiser. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry last year. He is averaging 4.0 yards per carry (which is more than Jordan) this year. However, he has only carried the ball nine times in 2005. That’s right, nine times total. You’d think if you were having problems with your running game, you might try to mix it up? The aforementioned Rhodes and Johnson each carried the ball more than nine times in a single game over this past weekend.

LaMont Jordan is correct: he needs more touches. But so does Crockett. They all do. Right now, the running game is anemic and one-dimensional, without any commitment, confidence or creativity from the sidelines. Pass completions to Jordan are nice, but they're no ticket to a balanced offense.

In an earlier post, I also took Coach Turner to task for wimpy playcalling prior to halftime. Here we go again. What’s with not exhausting our timeouts at the end of the half, to get the ball back and press for some sort of score? Why such contentment in the face of failure? If you don’t have the lead, don’t play like you’re protecting a lead. Better yet, don’t play like that, ever.

I could go on and on about the awful gameplanning for LaDainian Tomlinson, the ill-timed penalties, Kerry Collins, the officials, blah, blah, blah. But this is a blog, not The Brothers Karamazov. Also, I don’t break down game film for a living. So don’t come at me with this, “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you a coach?” crap, which I’ve gotten here before. Sportswriters aren’t coaches, either, but they get paid for asking relevant questions. It’s the same here—just with more creativity and no pay.

I may not be a coach, but logic always prevails: if it’s broke, fix it. What are the Raiders going to do this week to fix it? The same old thing doesn’t cut it now. It’s too late for that. The benefit of the doubt has expired. We in the Raider Nation need a plan, and the plan needs to be published by Coach Turner, to all of us who will be there this Sunday against the Bills. We are waiting, and the clock is ticking…

7 Comments:

Blogger RaiderGreg said...

Your "takes" continue to be eloquent and full of class. I enjoy every one of them. I hope to meet you at the "Bills" game.

9:56 PM  
Blogger js said...

You're right, quaketown. Turner needs to shake things up (or Davis will shake him up by season's end). Jordan and Crockett should combine for 30-35 carries per game unless the Raiders are in catchup mode, and Turner has to take the risk of sitting Kerry Collins down.

I said to people when the season started that if Collins can't put the ball in the end zone at least twice every game with this lineup, in a system built around his skills, there's no hope for the man. In the second half on Sunday, the Chargers gave him every chance to score. Collins couldn't pull the trigger.

Of course, by that time, I'd tuned out the game to re-read the story of Rich Gannon directing a comeback against the Colts in the RCA Dome in 2000. Ah, when we were kings!

I had some hope for Collins during the preseason and even after the Patriots game, but not anymore. San Diego should have picked Collins off four times on Sunday. He's never looked in rhythm, and though he can fire a spectacular pass once in a while, he can't seem to master the art of moving the ball ten yards in three downs without making some sort of bonehead error. If it's 3rd-and-7, I'll bet you real money he'll throw a 6 yard pass. (One that will probably lead the receiver right into a safety who wants to do his Jack Tatum impression.)

Barring a miracle comeback that I just don't see Collins directing, the Raiders are out of postseason contention. Collins is now 4-14 as a starter. We've given him his shot at redemption. It's time to think about the future, and it would be nice to know before next year whether that future should belong to Tuiasosopo, or Walter, or whether we need to look elsewhere. The future doesn't belong to Collins, and it's hard for me to see why the present should either.

1:53 AM  
Blogger djh_raider said...

You are right but Crockett is not going to get a lot of touches while he doubles as a blocking FB.

Solution? How about put Curry on IR, sign Jon Ritchie to block and have Crockett splitting more time at RB with LJ as well as the short yardage role.

4:13 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Jeez, this is why I love doing this, the great takes and comments from the Raider Nation.

Raider Greg: Back at you! The Raider Nation Podcast rules. Will dial you up.

JS: I have a tape of that Colts game in my closet. I may have to pull it out...I agree that the time is now to try getting the RBs 30+ carries per game, instead of less than 20. And maybe it's even time to test drive Tui or Walter. Something needs to change.

DJH_Raider: Great point. A move like that would demonstrate some sort of plan, a fix, a reaction--the type of thing I'm talking about. Anything but the same old thing that's not working.

6:29 AM  
Blogger NFL Adam said...

The problems with the Raiders come from two things, Norv and Collins. They are a rudderless ship.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Trent Green
Drew Brees
Jake Plummer

Kerry Collins

And we thought we had a shot to win the division? Kerry is 4-14 as a starter. It is time for him to sit.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a change at QB,and not tui A. WALTERS

6:09 PM  

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