Saturday, June 18, 2011

Time to Fix The Mix?

In a recent blog post, Jerry McDonald recounts a recent interview with Stanford Routt on Sirius NFL Radio:

Hosts Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan tried their best to get Stanford Routt to say the Raiders’ reputation as man-to-man defenders was overblown.

“You can’t play press coverage every damn down," they said.

Replied Routt: “Basically, you just hit it on the head. We basically play man every damn down.”

Ryan challenged Routt with a 2009 game against Philadelphia when the Raiders blitzed Donovan McNabb heavily and backed it with more zone than usual.

Routt said “we ran a little bit of zone that game, but predominantly, (man) is what we do. If we play 60 snaps on defense, at least 56 of those are going to be man coverage. Everyone in the league knows what our game plan is.”

This exchange recalls Nnamdi Asomugha's comments in the wake of that aforementioned Eagles game, when the Raiders mixed things up and delivered a surprise beatdown:

Asomugha is a bit of a skeptic when it comes to promises of pressure tactics.He said he lobbies defensive coordinator John Marshall every Monday, only to come away disappointed the following Sunday.“This time, I guess it worked out just because we knew the type of weapons that they had, and he said he was going to do it,” Asomugha said. “Maybe he’ll see that it actually works, and we’ll stick on it. He said that he might get yelled at for it, but he’ll keep it going.”

Now we have yet another new defensive coordinator heading into the (alleged) 2011 season. So the question is, are we going to mix things up more? Or are we going to stick to the familiar plan referenced by Routt? Do we need to mix it up, and if so, why don't we? If we don't need to mix it up more, why do you feel that way?

Inquiring minds want to know.