There weren’t many positives that came out of the Raiders offensive performance against the Green Bay Packers in the second week of pre season action. Quarterback, Derek Carr, said a lot of it had to do with the lack of game planning in the pre season. Coaches don’t put together specific game plans during the pre season because they are more concerned with getting their offense installed. The Raiders are still a young team in the second year in this system. Continuity does help but the elite teams have been entrenched in their system for over three or four years and the Raiders just aren’t there yet.
One bright spot in the game was the play of guard Kelechi Osemele. He was nearly perfect in pass blocking, cutting off on the backside, and busting open running lanes.
Although this Carr scramble was called back because of a Hudson hold, you can see an example of what the Raiders are getting with Osemele: a mean man that wants to hit people. Osemele doesn’t have anyone rushing in his area so he “looks for work” by helping Donald Penn by absolutely destroying the defender.
Osemele does a great job of keeping his hands inside and tight and driving his feet to create a an enormous cutback lane for the split field zone. Murray busts through the hole and then just runs into a defensive back who stops him in his track. It might be too much to expect Murray to make one defender miss in that situation but at least truck a defensive back and fall forward for some extra yardage.
Murray’s lack of vision was pretty evident in this game. In the clip, the Raiders are running an inside zone concept. He is reading the defensive linemen in the blue squares. His read should have told him to cut the play all the way back, which would leave him one on one with a cornerback, a match-up he should be able to win. Instead Murray runs into a defender and gets upended.
On the second run, there is a clear seam if Murray made the correct read. The first defensive linemen that Murray should have read went outside and Murray should have cut up inside of him where there was a clear seam. Instead Murray runs right into defender and again does not land forward. At this point, I am ready to see Deandre Washington get a shot with the first team offense. I just don’t see Murray progressing any more at this point. I hope I am wrong about this.
Another positive sign is that Carr and Cooper seem to have fixed their fade route timing problem for the first week. Carr sees that the safety is cheating over to Cooper’s side but trusts him enough to throw into double coverage. He throws a very low trajectory ball for a fade but fits it in with such perfect location and timing that the cheating safety couldn’t make a play on the ball.
Unfortunately, another problem with the Carr to Cooper fade revealed itself. When the corner is playing outside and gives Cooper the inside, Carr has to lead Cooper inside to give him a chance. The second play in the clip shows Kirk Cousins doing exactly that. Cousins’ receiver got inside of the corner but he leads hims slightly inside, which gave his receiver a chance to protect the ball with his body and make a play. I’m sure Carr will look at the play and practice this situation with Cooper.
The Raiders performance wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination but there were some positives. The pre season is there to clean up some of the mistakes we are seeing from the Raiders offense. It doesn’t help that the Packers were playing predominately bump and run coverage which disrupts the timing of offenses. Game 3 against the Titans who play a lot of off coverage with heavy blitzing will be much more telling about where the offense is at in its progress.