Oakland Raiders: Dennis Allen's Coaching Staff Shows a Change of Direction for Offense and Defense.
Elias Trejo – Feb 6, 2012Dennis Allen has hired Jason Tarver as the Oakland Raiders new defensive coordinator. This comes not long after Allen hired Greg Knapp as Oakland's offensive coordinator. Now that Allen's staff is complete, it appears that the Raiders offense and defense will have a different look than we've seen in recent years. Oakland's offense normally features a vertical passing game that is set up by a power run game. The defense usually has a lot of man to man coverage and they rarely disguise their pass coverage. It appears that all this may change with the new coaches. Let's take a look at a few changes you may see in 2012.
The Oakland Raiders offense may drop a lot of their vertical pass plays from the playbook. The vertical pass game was a staple of the Oakland Raiders that was loved by Al Davis. Mark Davis hasn't been shy to promote the "New Era" and letting everyone know that things will be done differently with Al gone. This is a great move for Mark because only one man can run the Raiders like Al did. Knapp could very well bring in a West Coast style of offense that will spread the field and give the receivers more open space to operate with, which will be good for Oakland. They have plenty of speedy play making receivers who could benefit from this change. Allen said he wants to have an up tempo and aggressive type of offense.
Knapp also does very well with the run game as his teams have ranked in the top 10 in rushing eight out of the nine times he has been an offensive coordinator. Those worried about Darren McFadden or Michael Bush can relax. Knapp may have been in Oakland before, but Oakland didn't have the talent it does now. The offensive line is better. Carson Palmer is better than Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown and JaMarcus Russell, and the receivers are much better as well. Knapp will have a chance to run the offense the way he wants, without any meddling from the owner or disgruntled head coaches like Lane Kiffin or Tom Cable.
This is where Allen has an opportunity to change the Oakland Raiders the most. Not only in their scheme but in their results and discipline. Oakland has struggled to stop the run and have been one of the most penalized teams in the league since they lost the Super Bowl in 2002. Allen has an opportunity to come in and make this defense better. Discipline is a very big factor in how Oakland will perform next season. If they can cut their penalties in half they could easily win an extra game or two.
Allen will most likely change a lot of things about the Raiders defense. He will want a defense that blitzes early and often as he has learned from Gregg Williams who loves to blitz. This could be something new for the Raiders as they haven't always had a complicated blitz scheme on defense. This should also change how the Raiders defensive backs guard against the pass. You may see more zone coverage for the Raider defense allowing them to disguise their coverage and show different looks. This should help Oakland improve in stopping the run. Many say their man to man defense hindered their ability to stop the run because it took their defensive backs out of the play.
These changes have made many fans nervous and many don't agree with them. It's important to realize that these changes haven't won or lost us any games yet. We've also never seen what it's like to have a coach have full power of a team and it's scheme without Al Davis. So throw everything you think you know out the window, because this is a "New Era."
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