Oakland Raiders: Coordinators Start Making Excuses

Jeff SpiegelContributor IIDecember 13, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25:  Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders fumbles the football after being sacked during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Bengals defeated the Bengals 34-10.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Everyone knew a new coach and new systems might take some time to implement, but few could have imagined the result would be as poor as it has been.

Well, on Thursday, the Oakland Raiders offensive and defensive coordinators started pandering for their jobs.

The news broke through the Twitter account of Steve Corkran, a contributor to the Contra Costa Times and the Bay Area News Group.

The first:

Off. coord. Greg Knapp said it takes at least a year for players to learn and function well in his system. Said it will show next year.

— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) December 14, 2012

And then, just minutes later:

Jason Tarver said Raiders defense will take off "big time" next season and that they need as many players back as possible.

— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) December 14, 2012

For starters, let me clarify: I'm not saying that both of these comments are inappropriate of even wrong. Sure, with new coaches in place, no one was expecting this team to run at full capacity.

However, to imply that Oakland is 3-10 primarily because of the new system is a joke. In fact, it's equally comical to imply that the group of players assembled isn't chiefly responsible for the team's pathetic performance.

Then again, that's not something any coach in their right mind would ever admit to, so back to the first point: that adaptation to a new system is the reason for disappointment.

As I mentioned above, I think it's partly true, but here's my real issue: Knapp and Tarver are largely to blame for this mess.

Knapp, who has been the fanbase's punching bag since coming back to town for a second go-round, has taken an effective offense from last season and run it straight into the ground.

Knapp's first problem was the re-institution of the zone-blocking scheme, seemingly the only thing in the NFL that can apparently slow down a healthy Darren McFadden.

Coming into the season, McFadden had averaged less than 4.4 yards per carry just once in his career. This season, however, McFadden is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry and has been below three in six of his nine games this season.

Defensively, I think Tarver has a much stronger argument than Knapp—and for that, he can thank the dreadful lineup of corners that Oakland has shuffled through this season.

That said, with all of the talent Oakland has along the defensive line, there's no excuse for its inability to stop the run.

As mentioned, I think this whole situation is comical. Naturally, the coordinators are going to say they need one more year, that their systems take two years to be implemented.

The National Football League, however, is not a "next-year" league and both of these guys knew that before coming in.

One thing it is, however, is a no-excuses league. I guess they didn't get the memo.