The Official Offensive Coordinator Thread
We need to promote Al Saunders!!! I think this because there should be no worry about continuity because he's still with the team as an assistant. Beyond that, the guy's resume is head and shoulders above Knapp's resume.
As an offensive coordinator, Knapp has never had an offense finish No. 1, and he didn't improve in Oakland the first time. The Raiders offense finished No. 25 in 2007, then dropped to No. 29 in 2008.
Remember all that talk about it taking a year to get better?
Saunders had No. 1 finishes in consecutive years from 2002-2005 in Kansas City, but more importantly, he had the Raiders offense in the Top 10 in his first year last year. Don't forget that he did it with an injured McFadden, and Palmer off the couch after starter Jason Campbell was injured.
All I've heard from Allen during the Raiders' time of ineptitude on offense is how he believes in the West Coast Offense and zone-blocking. Allen could really use the wisdom from an Al Davis quote on this one.
The Raiders' fallen owner once said, "Don't believe in schemes, believe in players." Letting players do what they do best would help, and Saunders knows how to do that.
Saunders knows how to use Darren McFadden, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry last year before injuring his foot. Compare that to the 3.4 yards per carry he averages now with Knapp in the fold.
In the Chiefs game, McFadden's anger was about more than just losing yards on that short yardage play. It probably came from built-up frustration over Knapp force-feeding his zone-blocking scheme.
For his career, McFadden averages 3.7 yards per carry the zone-scheme vs. 5.3 in the power-scheme because he doesn't like to run parallel to the line of scrimmage, then make one cut. He likes to hit a gap, then do whatever his instincts tell him to do from there.
Off the run, Saunders' offense uses the Raiders' fast receivers like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore and injured Jacoby Ford in the vertical game. With that in place, opposing defense's would have to choose between stopping the deep ball or the running game.
It is impossible to stop the vertical game and ground game at the same time when you are good at both. The Raiders would be good there, because to go with McFadden and the receivers, the Raiders have a big-armed quarterback named Carson Palmer.
Palmer threw for over 4,000 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions for the 2012 season. He did the majority of that while not having his big arm used right, throwing screens and five-yard slants.
Saunders wouldn't waste an arm like that