Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 10, 2008
An answer to the blitz questions

ALAMEDA -- The inbox has been flooded by angry fans that want to know why the Raiders don't blitz.

Cover 2 teams don't blitz a lot, but they provide safety help. Most teams that play a lot of man defense as the Raiders do, bring extra heat to confuse teams and make life a little easier on their cornerbacks.

That's not the Raider (Al Davis) way.

"Rob and the owner are always in communication," said head coach Lane Kiffin. "For the most part, I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that. So, that wasn't the way the game plan ended up the other night."

Davis and Ryan meet weekly to go over the defensive strategy. So if you want to tear into Ryan, you've got to tear into Davis, too.

It would stand to reason that with the money being paid to Nnamdi Asomugha and DeAngelo Hall, asking them to play press coverage while unleashing the likes of Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison as blitzers would make sense.

Kiffin wouldn't discuss what his philosophy on defense.

"I'm not going to get really get into if I was the defensive coordinator what I would do because that doesn't really matter," Kiffin said. "I'm the head coach, I oversee everything and I control what I can control. Do I have the exact belief we do on defense? No, but it's hard to have the exact belief that we do. So, it is what it is."

The Raiders did not blitz on 10 third downs on Monday night. They blitzed 15 times on third down all of last season.

That resulted in quarterbacks going 9 for 12 with two touchdowns. The defense registered three sacks on the other plays.

Only Indianapolis had fewer blitzes against the pass last year than Oakland. The Colts and Raiders had 74 total blitzes last year, tied for the fewest, according to Stats LLC.

The Colts' Cover 2 scheme provides helps for the cornerbacks. The Raiders ask their free safety to patrol the middle of the field without giving the cornerbacks much help.

So you can direct your blitz questions to Mr. Davis.

CB DeAngelo Hall did not practice because of an elbow injury. He's expected to practice on Thursday along with S Tyvon Branch (shoulder), LT Kwame Harris (knee) and DE Derrick Burgess (shoulder).

And don't worry about Hall's confidence after his rough Raiders debut.

He said he has thick skin and that he's played much worse before.

"I've got the spotlight on me," Hall said. "It's not on me the way I wanted it to be on me but it's on me. Now I can come out and make some plays and do what I do."

Kiffin has said plenty of good things about JaMarcus Russell's play against the Broncos.

Russell didn't pat himself on the back.

"Things were OK," he said. "But at the same time when things don't go well I look at myself and what I could have done differently as far as that throw to make him
catch it. But other than that I think I did pretty good."

Russell tried to put a long pass on Ronald Curry's hands in the second quarter that Curry jumped to catch but dropped.

Russell continued to keep the focus on himself rather than blame a teammate.

"It wasn't necessarily about me missing it," Russell said. "It's just put it in a better spot. If I could have it back, I'd put it a little lower on his chest or something."

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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