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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oakland Raiders Offensive Positional Analysis

With the NFL only a few short months away and the majority of offseason moves wrapped up, it's time to see what we have on offense. The Raiders are completely loaded on offense but were unable to live up to expectations last year primarily because of bad coaching and poor Quarterback play. The Raiders attempted to address these problems with signing Aaron Brooks and hiring Art Shell back as Head Coach. Let's take a look at this loaded offense position by position.

The top three projected QBs on the roster are Aaron Brooks, Marques Tuiasosopo and Andrew Walter. Art Shell has not named a starter and most likely won't until a couple of games into the preseason. Aaron Brooks has a clear edge because of his experience and mobility but if he struggles, Andrew Walter could get his chance to shine. There have been an abundance of rumors and speculation lately that Walter might edge Brooks out at some point during the regular season. Whatever happens, it should be an improvement over Kerry Collins and fun to watch play out.

Signing Lamont Jordan last season provided the Raiders with a quality number one back. In his first season as a starting running back, Jordan put up 1025 yds rushing and added 563 yds recieving to put him close to the 1600 yd mark combined. The only problem was he only average 3.8 yds per carry. This was largely due to poor offensive line play throughout the season. The offensive line should be improved this season and I anticipate his average and total yards to be improved. Behind Jordan, there is a large gap. Zack Crockett is a shord yardage specialist and speedster Justin Fargas has been injury prone. As long as Jordan stays healthy, this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

The Raiders boast one of the most stacked Wide Reciever cores in the entire NFL. Randy Moss should put up outstanding numbers this season with a new QB and an improved line. Moss's injuries slowed him down last season but he was still able rack up over 1000 yards receiving. Jerry Porter is tremendously talented but has never lived up to expectations. I think part of his problem has been lack of discipline. Shell will fix that little problem. Porter should be able to eclipse the 1000 yd mark this season. If he doesn't, he could be traded next season. Ronald Curry was enjoying a break out season in 2004 before injuring his achilles tendon. He then reinjured it in 2005 because he tried to come back to quickly. This year he should have had enough time to heal and should be a factor on offense. Curry and Doug Gabriel will battle for the third receiver spot. Either of them could be number two recievers on most NFL teams. Gabriel has been slowly emerging the last couple seasons and could also be productive if given the chance. The only problem with the wide receivers is that they are all too good and will have to compete for the ball.

Courtney Anderson will most likley be the starter again. He is young and has shown flashes of being a great TE but will need to improve his consistency if he wants the ball. Behind him is O.J. Santiago, Marcellus Rivers, and Randal Williams. If Anderson doesn't step up and be productive this season, TE is a position that may be addressed in next year's draft.

Art Shell has confirmed that he is moving Robert Gallery back to Left Tackle and Jake Grove back to Center. These two young players should show that they were worth those high draft picks this season. They should benefit greatly from a coaching staff that boasts two Hall of Fame Linemen. Barry Sims has been moved from Left Tackle to Left Gaurd. Sims should be solid at this position. Having him and Gallery both on the left side should should keep pressure off of the QB's blind side and provide some nice running lanes. At Right Tackle, Langston Walker will get his chance. Walker has potential and size and should be able to be a solid Right Tackle. At Right Gaurd, the position is still unsettled. Badger has experience but rookie Paul McQuistin will provide a challenge. This will be a camp battle and I anticipate McQuistin to be the starter at some point during the season. The greatest asset that this line has is the coaching staff. The coaches will be able to teach this mostly young offensive line how to get the job done.

With all of that said, the Raiders should have a formidable offense this season. The Offensive Line is really the key to success. If the line can gel and play solid, both Jordan and the passing game will be successful.


Blogger Calico Jack said...

Analyzer - Great post & breakdown.

I think the overall success of the offense's productivity will depend on the O-Line. The O-Line needs to allow Brooks to be comforable in the pocket and have time to find the WRs downfield and go to his 2nd and 3rd reads. Of course Brooks mobility will aid him in this cause. The O-Line needs to open up holes for Jordan and sustain their blocks better than last year. In short, a dominating, effective power rushing attack sets up the play action pass and keeps the D off the field and well rested. I also expect the O-Line to be a leadership unit for the team by exerting their will on the opponents D.

One area of concern that we need to address is a back-up RB which can lighten Jordan's load. I am hopeful that we can grab a good change of pace/3rd down back. I would like to see us get Michael Bennett from New Orleans because his outside rushing attack would be a nice complement to Jordan's inside rushing attack.

I look forward to being a regular visitor to your webpage.
It will be important

6/02/2006 7:18 PM  

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