One of the more disappointing story lines of the Raiders 2012 season was once again the inability of Darren McFadden to meet expectations.
A lot of the blame for that was burdened on former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and his reconstructing the Raiders offense with a zone blocking scheme, with which McFadden visibly struggled. Because as that old Oakland Raiders saying goes, “If it’s not broken, you ALWAYS try to fix it.”
New offensive coordinator Greg Olson on Wednesday spoke to the media for the first time since being hired last month and promised that the Raiders run offense will be returning to the gap and power blocking schemes that McFadden prospered in previously with the Raiders. From BANG:
McFadden fell to a career-low 3.3 yards per carry in 2012 under the zone scheme runs favored by offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who was fired by coach Dennis Allen following the season. [...]
“Coming in a year ago, they made a switch to a zone system,” Olson said. “I don’t know if you ever want to pigeon hole yourself that way and say, `That’s what we do.’ You may not be able to do that based on the players you have.’ ”
Regarding McFadden, Olson said, “maybe a year ago, they weren’t sure about that zone scheme. Now, after a year of having to look at it, maybe he is a downhill runner. So we’ll get back to some of the gap schemes and things he does well.”
Operating a system that sets up McFadden for success is only part of the solution. There’s also the other part, which is of loftier importance, of McFadden needing to stay healthy. Unfortunately that’s the part that’s nearly impossible to predict.
[via Jerry McDonald]