Print and Go Back AFC West [Print without images]

Monday, February 6, 2012
Remaining questions for Raiders

By Bill Williamson

Now that the Oakland Raiders have hired Stanford co-defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and they have filled their major assistant spots on Dennis Allen’s staff, let’s look at some remaining questions for the team:

Will the Raiders be a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense? Allen ran a 4-3 defense in Denver last season. Tarver’s defense at Stanford was a 3-4 and Tarver was an assistant in a 3-4 defense in San Francisco. Allen said last week that schemes can be overvalued and the Raiders will show multiple defensive alignments. I’d guess the Raiders would mostly use 4-3, but show some 3-4 looks as well.

Who will call the defensive plays? There were rumblings during Allen’s search for a defensive coordinator that he could reconsider and call the defensive plays. Allen said last week that he won’t call the defensive plays and he’d be a game manager. However, Tarver didn’t call the plays at Stanford. So, it will be interesting to see what Allen does.

Will the Raiders run a zone-blocking offense? The Raiders hired Frank Pollack from Houston to coach the offensive line. The Texans used the zone-blocking scheme and it would make sense that Pollack would do the same in Oakland. The Raiders transitioned from the zone to power-blocking under Hue Jackson and running back Darren McFadden seemed to fare better. McFadden, however, has also had some success in the zone-blocking scheme.