On Black Monday, the Oakland Raiders released four assistant coaches. It was not the splashy move that makes noise in the national news, but it was an important decision nonetheless. The most notable coach to be let go was offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.
Knapp’s second stint in Oakland was about as successful as his first and it lasted a season less. The offense was predictable and the play calling was questionable at best. The Raiders did not feature Darren McFadden enough when he was healthy and relied too heavily on Carson Palmer’s arm even when they didn’t supply him with enough weapons to succeed. It was a disaster and Knapp deserved to be let go.
While Oakland is looking Knapp’s replacement they must look for someone who can reinvent this offense. The Raiders have a unique talent in Terrelle Pryor, who showed he can handle a larger role in the offense. Using Pryor as a quarterback in the Wildcat formation will keep teams on their toes because they must account for Pryor’s running ability and underrated arm strength.
The new offensive coordinator also needs to use the running game more than 15 times in a game and allow McFadden to reestablish himself as one of the premier backs in the NFL. The added emphasis on running the football will make Palmer’s life easier and allow him to be more efficient with the football. It will also help alleviate Oakland’s issue of not scoring touchdowns in the red zone because the offense will be less predictable with a better running game opening opportunities for the aerial attack.
The Raiders success next season hinges upon who they find to replace Knapp as the offensive coordinator. The offense held Oakland back at times last season and as the season wore on, it became too predictable costing them a couple of wins.