Hue Jackson essentially benched Darrius Heyward-Bey, the team’s most productive receiver, in favor freshly signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh and rookie Denarius Moore. Moore’s production has dipped since taking over punt return duties and was targeted on three of the six interceptions against the Chiefs and another one Sunday against the Broncos. Benching a guy just starting to get confidence is terrible mistake if he is to be part of the Raiders future. Al Davis wouldn’t have let this happen and by pulling this move Jackson is essentially urinating on whatever legacy Al Davis left behind.
Houshmandzadeh hasn’t played a down in months and he gets more action than your top receiver? Palmer is paid to throw the receivers on the roster. Houshmandzadeh was not a terrible sign, but it’s subtraction by addition if he plays more than your top receiver. The only valid reason to bench Heyward-Bey was for discipline reasons. By all accounts Heyward-Bey is a model teammate.
Jackson has no one to contest his authority and the rookie head coach is full of himself. He is accountable to no one on the moves he makes. He has more power than any coach in the league right now. Carson Palmer, Houshmandzadeh, and Aaron Curry moves are prime examples. Quickly out were Al Davis’ pet projects on defense Joe Porter and Bruce Davis Jr. Louis Murphy has been shoved aside and now Heyward-Bey. When does someone chew Hue Jackson out? Even a good CEO has to answer to the board of directors. Jackson will soon be answering to boos of the home crowd.
Kevin Boss. Not the boss lately. He’s not starting and hardly playing. Why would you throw all kinds of money at a tight end and then not use him when the team is trying to break in a new starting quarterback? It doesn’t make a lot of sense for Hue Jackson to turn to Brandon Myers over Kevin Boss, yet that’s what he is doing. Boss needs to be more involved going forward.
From too cute to too conservative. Jackson gets predictable the offensive series after a turnover. Never would he have given Jason Campbell the ability to audible as much as Palmer did on Sunday, so the excuse that he was easing Palmer into the offense rings hollow. Run, run, incomplete pass, punt after the second interception. Carson Palmer made a few laser throws that saved the Raiders and Jackson’s play calling on more than one occasion. Why not go for it on fourth and one with the game on the line? Do you not have faith in your offensive line and Michael Bush? Hue punted and turned the ball over to his defense. The defense keeps letting him down.
That brings us to Chuck Bresnahan. Read option. The team swears they practiced to stop it all week. Bresnahan couldn’t get his players to execute his game plan or the plan to stop a college offensive scheme was terrible. Either issue reflects poorly on Bresnahan’s skill as a defensive coordinator. This wasn’t the Patriots offense. This was Tim Tebow. The Raiders continue to get exposed on defense against the run and pass. The Raiders couldn’t stop Tebow and let him get the edge on multiple occasions. The secondary seems lost in zone coverage and blown assignments resulted in two touchdown passes. The Broncos rushed for some ungodly amount of yards because the linebackers didn’t fill the right holes. It’s pathetic how many points the Raiders are allowing. The Raiders have the players to be way better than they have been on defense.
Mental penalties. Hue Jackson swears he is focusing on getting the penalty issue fixed, but it is getting ridiculous how many stupid penalties the Raiders are committing. The problem is particularly bad on defense. The message is not getting through. It’s a culture problem. Hue’s needs to hold players accountable, but his discipline is either non-existent, toothless or the players don’t have respect for him. It doesn’t really matter which problem, they are all cause of great concern. Hue himself is not being held accountable for two pathetic losses to division teams at home in front of sold out crowds and it’s about time someone tore into Hue Jackson.
Richard Seymour continues to be the biggest offender when it comes to mental penalties and yet remains a team captain. Jackson has allowed Seymour’s mentality to rub off on the rest of the team. While some if this is a good thing, the bad has also made itself known in terms on mental penalties. Hue’s mistake is allowing Seymour to remain a captain when he isn’t acting like one. At very least the Hue Jackson needs make an example of Seymour. Stripping him of his captain title wouldn’t be a bad idea if he doesn’t respond. We should probably already be to that point.
Special teams have saved the Raiders a few times, but not lately. Punt coverage has been terrible and Denarius Moore hasn’t a clue how to return a punt. Penalties finding their way into this unit as well. John Fassel isn’t getting the job done. How many years do we blame poor special teams on the players and not the coach?
Al Davis liked a football team that played with aggression, but does a face-mask penalty when the player is stacked up or a late push out-of-bounds or slamming a quarterback to the ground, or tossing a ball into the air or running into the punter help you win the game? Certainly not. That’s a recipe to Just Lose, Baby! and that’s just what Hue Jackson has done since Al Davis passed away.
The rookie coach may have made the right moves while playing GM, but he’s doing so at the detriment of learning how to coach a winning team. Fix the penalties Hue and get rid of the deadbeat coaches before Mark Davis and Amy Trask start thinking the problem is you.