Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 17, 2008
The cost of talking

ALAMEDA - Defensive end Derrick Burgess has the ability to put things in perspective in a simple and effective way.

So who better to ask about why the Raiders have communication problems on defense after 14 games.

Those communication problems are a big reason the Raiders allow 167.1 rushing yards a game, 31st in the NFL.

"Communication problems," Burgess said. "That's one of those little things cause, you know, it don't cost you (expletive) to talk. But it just happens in a game when you're trying to focus on your technique but you need to be giving this guy a call and you don't give him the call or you give him the wrong call. It's just one of those things where more time in the meeting room, more time together will smooth that all out."

The amazing thing about that statement is that more players haven't dedicated themselves to time more time together to address the communication problems.

One of the things that's supposed to make the Raiders' scheme effective is its simplicity because it just asks players to be in their spot.

And as Burgess points out, the defense hasn't changed in four years.

And the only significant members of the defense that is in their first year in the scheme are safety Gibril Wilson and defensive ends Kalimba Edwards and Trevor Scott.

That's a reason why the defense was asked and expected to carry the team the last two seasons. With so many veterans in the scheme, they shouldn't be having these problems.

The first step needs to be a talk, amongst the players to fix the problems.

*Another thing Burgess mentioned was in defense of Rob Ryan. He said why should Ryan call more blitzes if when they're called, the players don't execute them.

That's not the first time I've heard that from a player.

Ryan would never blame a player for anything that goes wrong, so that's probably as close you'll get to your answer as to why he doesn't blitz more.

Perhaps communication is a problem there, too.

*Here's the injury report for today:

Did not practice
WR Ashley Lelie (calf)
WR Ronald Curry (turf toe)
DT Tommy Kelly (knee)
LB Ricky Brown (groin)

Kelly had his surgically repaired right knee drained yesterday, but is expected to start Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Limited in practice
TE Zach Miller (shoulder)
FB Luke Lawton (concussion)

--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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