Jon Gruden will be back on the Oakland Raiders sideline after nearly two decades. Tom Cable is also returning to coach the offensive line nearly a decade since he was fired as head coach. Even Greg Olsen is returning to offensive coordinator, four years after his firing as OC.
What should you expect for the Raiders new offense in 2018?
Obviously, you can expect a return to the old school. Gruden may or may not have joke about his old-school approach since he returned as head coach but I expect a return to basic pro, west coast offenses.
That means plenty of dinking and dunking down the field between many gap and man assignment, run blocking. Additionally, I would expect more utilization of the TE and FB for both blocking and catching.
Oh yeah, there should also be plenty more motions, audibles and under-shotgun snaps.
What do I want to see?
Let us start with creativity in play calling. Last season, it was clear the Raiders offense was dumbed down for various reasons. I want to see the team experiment with more modern concepts.
Let us get creative with lineups, personnel, and packages. Amari Cooper should move and play all the different receiver positions. Jared Cook and the other TEs should be able to lineup in the backfield as well as the slot.
Play action and run-pass options should be more utilized so that defenses are constantly on their backs.
Moreover, I want to see Gruden and the Raiders push the ball down field like Al Davis always wanted his teams to do. Make the old man jump from the grave with excitement from deep, vertical TD passes.
How much they do that will depend a lot on Derek Carr and Gruden. It is one thing to install the plays and work them into the gameplan, it is another issue to make the call, audible or throw.
Moreover, I would like them to get back to relying on the offensive line to set the tempo. Give the ball to the RBs and let the offensive line create some running lanes for him. To do this, how about instituting more of a third offensive tackle as a tight end. The Raiders did a great job with this a few years ago.
Oakland should also rely on more man and power blocking offensive line concepts. This group’s strengths are their toughness, strength, and power. I want to see them spend more time pushing people back because trying more zone and lateral blocking concepts killed them last year.