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Monday, December 31, 2012
Raiders move quickly to fix offense

By Bill Williamson

The Oakland Raiders made a quick statement about their unhappiness over a disappointing first season to the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen era.

But it seems like the two men are safe.

The big move was the firing of offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. Also fired were special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman, offensive line coach Frank Pollack and linebackers coach Johnny Holland. Allen made the announcement Monday.

"Decisions like this are very difficult," Allen said in a statement. "I have a great deal of respect for all of these men and I appreciate their contributions to the Oakland Raiders this season.”

Knapp’s offense was a major disappointment. Oakland did not take to Knapp’s version of the West Coast offense and the zone-blocking running scheme. Oakland was particularly poor in the red zone.

Running back Darren McFadden had a poor season under Knapp and he was never comfortable in Knapp’s scheme.

Knapp was a curious decision by Allen. He wasn’t his first choice, but he was paid well in Oakland. Knapp was the Raiders’ offensive coordinator in 2007 and ’08 and he was stripped of his duties by Tom Cable in the 2008 season.

Whoever Allen hires, expect the Raiders to try to employ a more power attack that flourished under former coach Hue Jackson. It seems to fit the team’s personnel better than Knapp’s scheme.

I think defensive coordinator Jason Tarver should be safe. If he wasn’t, he probably would have been shown the door quickly like Knapp was.

Tarver’s defense was a sieve for much of the season, but it tightened some in December. The Raiders' biggest issue on defense is talent. I think it has a good coaching base there with Allen and Tarver.