Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cable Takes a Stand

A non-practicing fan though I may be, I found it impossible to stay away from the radio in the second half. It's games like these that always blow my mind. Just when you are absolutely sure they will never win again, they beat a winning team. This leads to what longtime CLOAK reader Dave labels a false sense of hope, and the cycle of disappointment begins anew.

But this was a win, and despite what many will say about the Eagles overlooking the Raiders, the cross-country flight, Reid's game plan, or McNabb's poor play, the Raider defense played a huge part in delivering this win. How did they do it? By defying reason #2 why the Raiders always lose. They mixed up their scheme. They blitzed like crazy. They dropped into Cover-2. And it worked.

Per Winston Justice: “They were doing some stunts. They caught us by surprise. They did a lot of things that we weren’t really expecting.”

Per McNabb: “This week the defensive coordinator came up with a scheme we haven’t seen. They’re known for playing man coverage. They dropped back in a lot of zone, more zone than we’ve seen in the early games. That allowed them to sit back in a zone and just wait for a guy to catch the ball and make the tackle. They came up with more of a blitz package today. They were able to get pressure.”

After the game, Greg Papa asked Tom Cable why they had shown such a different look this week. Cable said he made the decision and sounded defiant in his comments, which went something like this: "We weren't going to sit back in man-single free safety and just take it."

This, I believe, is Cable taking a stand against the vanilla defense dictated by Al Davis. Cable knows that with defensive performances like they've had in Houston and New York, he wouldn't be employed for long. He might not even make it past tomorrow, depending on what the Napa DA has to say.

If there's any doubt that Al dictates defensive scheme, here is what Nnamdi had to say about John Marshall dialing up the blitzes today: "He said that he might get yelled at for it, but he’ll keep it going." Nnamdi added, "Maybe he’ll see that it actually works, and we’ll stick on it."

He might as well have been talking about Al.

1 comment:

John Sousa said...

he WAS talking about Al. Seems to me Bresnahan brought pressure. Remember, there's no Tuck Rule if Woodson doesn't blitz from the corner.

I think--and obviously this a big if, which I'll get to in a post of my own shortly--that if they keep this up, and JaMarcus continues to not obviously suck, that Al doesn't say shit. He likes to win. Maybe Cable's figured it out. or maybe he just no longer gives a shit. It will be interesting.