The Raiders' defensive struggles aren't all that complicated to figure out. If anything, Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said, they aren't complicated enough.
"We're a team that chooses to be who we are regardless of who we're playing against and regardless of the matchups," Asomugha said Wednesday in his regular state of the defense address.
"We've got one way of doing it and that's what we do, and teams can get us into some tough situations."
That one way is press man coverage in the secondary with a natural four-man rush on the defensive line. It's been owner Al Davis' way for as long as the autumn wind has blown in these parts.
When the Raiders had the best players in the NFL, they were able to dominate one-on-one matchups, taking the ground they were standing on, as it were.
Problem is, Asomugha said, those days are gone, and have been for years.
"You have to be better than the player in front of you," Asomugha said. "We're not proving that right now. It's not like we proved it last year or we proved it the year before.
"This is several years now where we haven't been able to get over the hump."
This year, the Raiders rank 29th in overall defense - 25th against the pass and 31st against the run. And while the Raiders lead the NFL with 39 tackles for a loss on rushing plays, no one tops their 15 rushes of 20-plus yards or 54 plays of any type for 20-plus yards.
In other words, the Raiders may be able to make some big stops here and there, but teams eventually find a way to pop a big one on them.
"That's been the issue pretty much all year," Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "I don't know if that's really the scheme. I think that's staying disciplined with what they're doing."
If anything, the Raiders are more complex on defense this season than they ever were under former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who stayed true to Davis' long-held principles.
New coordinator John Marshall used a variety of blitz packages to beat divisional leaders Philadelphia and Cincinnati. He's turned defensive end Trevor Scott into a stand-up pass rusher and weakside linebacker - the hybrid "elephant" position Marshall used when with the 49ers.
"We mix it up probably more than we have in the past," Cable said.
In the end, though, the Raiders always fall back on their man coverage, just as teams expect. Asomugha said that wouldn't be so bad if they were great at it, but they're not.
Asomugha points to the Buccaneers teams that excelled in a predictable Tampa 2 defense during their Super Bowl run. Simple was good when it was well done.
If it isn't working - and it hasn't worked in Oakland in years - maybe it's time to change things up. If not this late in the season, Asomugha said, then during the offseason.
"The game changes," Asomugha said. "The game is never going to be the same as it was 10 years ago or five years ago with the rule changes and things like that. You have to be able to adapt."
takes a innocent little jab at al davis if he would have said 20 years ago it would have been loud and clear it was intended for al
now here something very intresting
The Oakland Raiders have not enjoyed a winning season since 2002. No NFL team has a worse record since the 2003 season began. And the team's head coach, Tom Cable, has been accused of breaking an assistant coach's jaw during a summer meeting. The situation has gotten bad enough that fans have taken action.
A group of unhappy Raiders fans have formed MessageToAl.com, a web site urging team owner Al Davis to do four things:
1) Remove himself as general manager.
2) Hire a GM "with previous experience and success in the NFL."
3) Remove Cable and replace him with a "Super Bowl-Caliber" coach/director of football operations.
4) Ensure that the new coach has sufficient authority to make organizational decisions.
The group claims that more than 28,000 fans have signed the petition, and 316 people have contributed $5,500 to the cause. The movement, as the site refers to itself, has also taken the extreme step of posting a billboard that reads, "MR. DAVIS, DO THE RIGHT THING, PLEASE HIRE A GM." Below, see a picture of the billboard
its all true. the Raiders will never be respectable until king al steps down. he has to do it for the good of the raider nation! its all true. He tries to run the same schemes as he did when he was winning superbowls in the 70's and 80's. But that all relied on being physical and dirty and punking people on the field. The game has changed, there are waay more rules that protect players now a days. Davis is just to stubborn to not do it his way. It's his team and always has..and will be.
This whole situation is like Jackie Moon in Semi Pro lol, Al, like Jackie did, needs to give up the football side of the team. Do the right thing Al!!