Monday, August 31, 2015

Run Fred, Run...To Oakland?

Look, I'm not advocating making a declining running back an alleged centerpiece of our rushing attack (ie: MJD circa 2014).

But Fred Jackson just got cut, and he's probably a better option than our current backup, Trent Richardson.

Jackson caught 66 passes and averaged 3.7 yards per carry for the woeful Bills last year. Richardson caught 27 passes and averaged 3.3 yards per carry last year for the powerful Colts. He has never averaged more than 3.6 yards per carry over a season. 

Our rushing attack looks woefully thin once again. Last night, we gained 37 net yards on the ground. I'm sorry, I don't expect Latavius Murray to light the world on fire this year. I'm sure he'll be good. But great? Unlikely. 

And if for some reason he gets hurt, it will be the "Trent Richardson show."

(From "In three games, here's the preseason rushing line for Oakland running back Trent Richardson: 15 carries, 42 yards, 2.8-yard average. Sound familiar, Browns/Colts fans?")

I don't know about you, but the "Fred Jackson show" may have a better ring to it? 

If so, maybe that's a hedge we want to play while he's still available.

A meaningful rushing attack is going to be vital to maximizing the potential of Cooper & Co. through the air. 

To meet that goal, no option should be left unexplored, even at this late hour.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back on The Horse

Well, my annual spring layoff went right into summer this year...

In trying to analyze my extended ennui this offseason, I realized that I'm somewhat exhausted. 

Consider that 2015 marks the 10-year anniversary of Raider Take, which was inaugurated right before the start of the 2005 season. 

For 10 straight years, I've had the privilege of keeping the lights on here for you rowdy renegades, and I will continue to do so. 

Along the way, I've aimed to stay informed for the purpose of producing my own original takes. The Raiders haven't done me any favors in this department, with a 10-year period of play that has been one of the most abysmal in the history of the NFL. It can wear a blogger down after a decade.

But even though there hasn't been a lot to celebrate, it's been a lot of fun. On that note, I'll stop driving down memory lane and try to get back on track...

Last year around this time, my big question mark was the skill positions. We were heading into the season with zero playmakers (no true #1 receiver and a couple of dogs at RB and a guy named Matt Schaub at quarterback), which is sort of unfathomable in today's NFL, and which produced predictable results despite the fact that Carr unseated Schaub and showed great potential.

The addition of Amari Cooper is therefore a game changer, while the addition of Michael Crabtree hopefully provides enough oomph to keep Cooper from being gang-defensed. 

The running game, well, it all hinges on Latavius Murray. Did you see this video of Trent Richardson the other night (click here). I have very little faith in anyone behind Murray, so Murray not only needs to stay healthy, but also rise to the occasion. 

We don't have a shutdown defense. I think we're going to need to score a lot of points in order to notch wins. If the offense clicks, it could be fun. If it stutters, get ready for another long season. 

Carr and Cooper can't do it alone. It's going to take a breakout season from Murray, a return to form by Crabtree, and stout effort by the o-line in order to make this season successful.

Let's plan on that and see how it goes.