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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tribune's Carl Stewart Is Wrong - Raiders Line Was Never Bad To Start

Hi Carl,

I have to correct you on your column. The Raiders Offensive Line was never so bad to be so good. It was poorly coached,
and that was why I called for Tom Walsh to be fired on August 15th of 2006.

Take note. That was preseason.


And here's what I wrote:

Fire Tom Walsh

I continued the drum beat each week, and through the season. The reasons were based on my knoweldge of technical football. In other words, I can see just one game and tell you how an offense in going to perform for the rest of the year, in general terms.

The Raiders of this year use a more contemporary run blocking scheme, one that is exactly like the Denver Broncos in execution and design. For example, Lamont Jordan's 30-year second quarter run was a classic indictment of my claim. The line stepped to the left to get the defense to move that way, then fire blocked in zone fashion.

The result is that the whole defensive front seven moves that way, even though the running back does not. Thus, the back can see the blocks develop, then move toward the cutback lane. The weakside linebacker moved into the backfield too far, and didn't stay home.

Thus: a big run.

The Broncos are the master's of this. But note that the line isn't making a whole via brut muscle, it's just coaxing the defense to move in a certain direction.

It's this, and other techniques, that the Raiders are employing this year and why their offense is better and why I believe they'll go 9-7.

In closing, I ask that all reporters improve their ability to understand the technical aspect of the game, so they can see -- in one game -- what an offense is doing and why.


Zennie Abraham, Jr.

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