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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
New OC, new success in Oakland?

By Bill Williamson

New Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson is going to be a popular man in Raider Nation for several reasons, including the following:

  1. He is not Greg Knapp, the man who was fired after one season because his system didn’t fit the Raiders’ talent on offense.
  2. Olson counts former Oakland coach -- and lifetime Raider Nation key-holder --- Jon Gruden as a major influence on his NFL career.
  3. He plans to go back to the attacking offense with which Oakland had solid success under with Hue Jackson.

The Raiders’ new assistants met with media members Wednesday to discuss their plans and philosophies. Olson told reporters that he plans to run an attacking offense with a heavy emphasis on play-action, designed to get running back Darren McFadden back on track. He also wants to utilize Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece. That is a smart call because getting the ball in Reece’s hands often produces results for Oakland. He had 276 rushing yards and 52 catches, both career highs, in 2012.

Meanwhile, new Oakland offensive-line coach Tony Sparano is excited about working with McFadden as well. McFadden struggled last season, but Sparano plans to run a blocking scheme better-suited to McFadden’s strengths in his final season under contract in Oakland.

Olson also addressed the thought of Terrelle Pryor competing for the starting quarterback job with Carson Palmer. Raiders leadership has made general comments about competition, and Olson kept to that stance. I think we will learn more about Pryor’s chances in the coming weeks.

If the Raiders keep Palmer, he will very likely be given the first chance to start. If not, the Pryor era could start in Week 1.