Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is Preseason Over Yet?

Just something to discuss while we digest the news that Drisan James has been cut and the Chronicle freaks out about Michael Bush getting a few reps at fullback.

Remember when Warren Sapp talked about those mysterious phone calls received on the sideline during game days? Given the state of the Kiffin-Davis relationship, might Kiffin's offensive Arizona game plan have been designed to reduce those calls? He announced to the world that he was going to throw-throw-throw, he didn't install anything elaborate for McFadden, so it's really no wonder that Arizona put four guys on Zach Miller and blitzed with abandon.

After the game, Kiffin made it clear that "throw first" not only plays to the Raiders' weakness on offense, but also eliminates the cut-block running game's strength of tiring out the opponent. Granted, it's pretty obvious what the Raider offense's strength is and what it is not. But this seemed a little like an experiment set up to fail followed by a public explanation of why it failed and why it would fail in the regular season.

I remember reading that during Norv Turner's regime the game plan would often change at the last minute once edits had come down from upstairs. I also recall reading that Jon Gruden used to prepare detailed film evidence to argue against such edits, and that the approach worked. Perhaps this was Kiffin's chance to build some film evidence to put in Al's mind so that the call to unleash the $60 million arm would not come so early in regular season games.

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