Raiders Preview: Needed Schematic Adjustments

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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr

Despite an abysmal season, filled will with awful moments, the Raiders did show some signs of life in 2018. Yet, with a new season, expectations arise. Schematically, the Raiders need to tinker with parts of the offensive. Granted, Derek Carr enjoyed a banner year with completions. However, the team needs more. To answer what, FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs discuss potential improvements.

Aspuria

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Playaction bootlegs. Derek Carr has better wheels than he has given credit for and he can throw the ball well on the run. Now, when I say PA bootleg, I am talking the whole gamut — roll out and throw, roll out and run like hell.

One of my favorite plays is the PA bootleg on the goal line, which baits the defense hard to the running back leaving the QB all alone to scamper in from the outside. Hue Jackson had Jason Campbell run this exact play to perfection against the Chargers. Seeing Carr do the same would be as demoralizing as seeing Peyton Manning do it for opposing defenses.

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Moreover, with an improved running game, the bootleg would be a great tool.

Pro Football Talk made the case for Carr as an MVP sleeper:

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With a wealth of offensive talent around — including Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, — and a full year of Jon Gruden’s system under his belt, it would not be hard to see Carr returning to his MVP-caliber form in 2019. If he puts up big numbers while helping the Raiders navigate a tough early-season schedule, he should be in the mix.

Biggs

First, throw sharper deep balls. While not essentially a schematic shift, Carr’s arm is better than the occasional arm punts he featured in 2018. If he can find Tyrell Williams vertically, that is where the schemes begin to change. The Raiders need to put that threat into the hearts of defenses. Granted, Carr completed an abnormally high numbers of passes, few hurt a defense. Additionally, if you are honest, many happened in garbage time. In 2019, use the same playbook, but with a major wrinkle. If the Raiders tailor the playbook to route a shade deeper, maybe 3 or 4 yards, that would open up space.

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As mentioned, the Oakland Raiders enjoyed some success in a brutal year. Now, they key remains is to how to improve.

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