The Raiders need big changes to get in the mix

The Oakland Raiders were just 7-9 this last season with a 24th ranked offense and a bottom feeding 24th ranking in defense. They have their share of issues going on in their team dynamics. They were 4-12 in 2018 – and 6-10 back in 2017. Now, the AFC West has the champions of the NFL in it, with the KC Chiefs – it is obvious, they need to try something new to challenge and move into at least a solid 2nd slot in the division.

Derek Carr at QB has been up and down – he is a solid pocket passer, without a ton of mobility. He isn’t a “running QB” – but he is a QB who can move around – and pick up needed yards with his feet, if he has to. Carr is pretty solidified in his pocket, nothing more, nothing less. Oakland bringing in 26 year old Marcus Mariota, I think was a slick move – it gives him someone to compete with to get his game back up to what many saw as his potential career going to – back in 2015 and 2016.

I think if their management actually gave him someone to throw the ball to – I think a lot of people’s tunes might change about him. He isn’t the worst passer with his steady completion ability – and he is pretty good moving around back there, as his ability to avoid sacks verifies. His TD% ratio has not been great, and he has struggled to push the ball downfield for several seasons. But, it seems he has become lazy and almost complacent as their QB. So although he has had problems – I think he is just one of the issues that needs tightening up on, but the problems go elsewhere as well.

They are also a very poorly disciplined team almost every year – and that falls directly on Head Coach, Jon Gruden. I thought signing him back in 2018 was a good move, but after 2 years, he is 11-21 since then, which is starting to make me feel maybe he is a bit overrated. He came in with a career 6 above .500 seasons out of 11 seasons coaching – which is solid – but they threw piles of cash at him to come back and be the savior for the organization, I would say 11 wins later, the team hasn’t looked so “saved.” They have looked better than from 2018, but this is the year for him to prove something.

Jon Gruden also doesn’t have the team just as he wants it, yet now in Vegas. Their biggest problem on offense has been their receiving corps – they need better WRs. Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow were middling to say it best – with just 1256 YDs and 10 TDs between them, it wasn’t spectacular to watch. Williams can be a great WR2 who should be able to get 800+ yards and 8 TDs on his own – I just think they need that WR1 that is a great pass catcher to bring the best out in him. Oakland has had more than their share of problems stopping the opposition from putting up points, with 26.2 oppg. But, their offense is anemic. They scored 25 or more points in just 3 games in 2019 – a season average of 19.6 /game. They need to concentrate on offense for this team.

With the RB they have in Josh Jacobs – they should be calling 55% percent run to throw – I know Carr wants to chuck the ball, but Jacobs can move the chains on the ground – he is the future for this team. In 2019, the Raiders were 54% throwing the ball to running, which should be flipped. Jacobs should be the offensive leader – they have a 220lb back who can plow through or juke almost everything that comes at him. Jacobs gave them 4.8 YPC, 1150 YDs, and 7 TDs on a team that gave him more than 20 carries in less than half of his games. Imagine if he got 20 or more carries /game in 75% of the games? I think he could be a 12 TD and 1600 YD guy.

Oakland soon to be Las Vegas Raiders has more than their amount of problems to try and clean up for the next season. Gruden needs to keep building, this is a vital year 3. Carr has to push the ball downfield with confidence – and Jacobs must get more carries. I think if Jacobs starts to be the offensive cog and they can get WRs for Carr to move the ball to, this team can potentially be a 10 win team quickly, and at least be in the playoff conversation in their conference.

How Khalil Mack has changed the Bears

The Chicago Bears picked up the 27 year old Khalil Mack – to bring to their roster. When they grabbed him – the Bears immediately thought Mack would be the answer to their unsuccessful and poor season woes. Mack went to a team with a proud history, and Mack has an amazing track record, that has immediately brought a great defensive presence to the Chicago organization. With 231 tackles and 40.5 sacks with the Raiders, and an incredible head for the game, over the previous 4 seasons – it was something the Bears certainly wanted to have on their struggling team.
The Bears had played many of the previous seasons without great offensive threats, with a low ended offensive team – but then they brought in Mack to immediately upgrade their already high ranked defensive squad to improve an already solid defense. Khalil has been playing great for the Raiders – and was contributing immensely for them, before being traded to Chicago.
The Chicago Bears have lacked a truly powerful presence on the defensive side of the ball for numerous seasons. Getting Khalil Mack was almost like a dream come true. Khalil brings a very real, and very serious threat to their opponents.
The Bears have only had 2 seasons of 10+ wins since 2007 – and that isn’t a good thing for any team to have hanging over their heads.
With that, the Bears haven’t been able to finish games with overwhelming defense and a bad offense. Since 2007 they have only had 4 seasons ranking in the top 10 for opponents ppg defense. And the Bears haven’t had a truly dominant defensive player since the likes of Richard Dent, Steve McMichael or a LB like Brian Urlacher. For a proud and gritty team like Chicago that has always had an enterprise for defense and brought fear to opponents, that is unacceptable.
They desperately needed a serious option for the team to look to – to make the big play, the big stop when needed – Chicago had just 1 season of 42 or more sacks since 2013 – adding Mack will immediately help them improve that and be able to terrify opponents for years to come. The team is already expected for 50+ sacks for this season. Khalil has gotten the Bears team ready to take the next steps, with great energy and an amazing motor. They have not always made the best defensive adjustments for the team recently,  but Mack brings excellent defensive leadership and a great leader to the team. Chicago can now change things up by picking up their pace or even by throwing in an unexpected blitzes through the game.
There’s something very hopeful about a team that makes the big moves, has a healthy roster, and has a new young coach in Matt Nagy who knows the game more for today’s style, and is much more open to ideas, that has to get teams more concerned. When the Chicago Bears are invading opponents on the field teams pay attention. Khalil Mack is going to instantly change the culture of Chicago Bears – and the Bears defensive system is built for his aggressive style.
There is really is no other way to win the big time game unless a team goes for the jugular; with Khalil Mack and a new offense with some spark, they will now be able to. This team is one that was slightly better than its 5-11 record in 2017, and given the supporting cast around their young QB, Mitch Trubisky – adding Khalil Mack to their already good D is going to get them over the hump, and fervently make the move to get to the postseason for the first time since 2010.
Mack is one of the best defensive players in the game – and very dangerous to offenses and any other player he goes up against. Teams will not be able to handle his speed and his power and will not be able to match up vs his skills. The 6-3 DE is a silky smooth player who brings great talent and a proud game back to the Chicago Bears. With a defensive TD, 4 forced fumbles, and 5 sacks over 5 games this year, Mack has delivered a truckload of abuse and has been monstrosity to a middling team that has needed a defensive leader for some time. The other teams in the division are in for a tough time dealing with Da Bears and their dominant pass rusher for years to come.
Mack has found a fantastic landing spot for himself, going to Chicago – I fully expect Mack to bring a great future to the Chicago Bears – in a very short time.  This is a positive move for Chicago – as they have put up just an average of 7-9 record since 2011, and haven’t won a division title since 2010. Simply put, Khalil Mack has and will, deliver when the pressure gets at its greatest for this team.

Is Trent Richardson the biggest RB bust we’ve ever seen

   We, as football fans have all watched and waited for the next big thing to come out of college to join the ranks of the NFL. Many are good, few are great, even less are legends. But then we run into the word, we all know, and loathe.
The word instantly brings a player or two (or two dozen) to mind in a flash. Faster than a pass from Dan Marino, we go into a debate on who was the worst. Who had the big upsides, who was expected to be the star QB, the legendary play making WR, or the bulldozer TD machine RB. It is a word that we never hope our team has labeled next to their draft pick.
But here we are. And there is a player that deserves recognition in being the biggest bust conversation. Trent Richardson from Alabama. We can ask if he could possibly be the biggest disappointment as a running back in NFL history. I think that statement is a very accurate assessment.
When Richardson came out of college the vast majority of people felt he was going to be pretty darn good. He was strong and quick, he went to a big name SEC school in Alabama. He crushed his opponents for 35 rushing TDs and 3130 yards in his 3 year career there. He scoured the gridiron for 5.8 YPC. He was going to be “that guy.” The Browns drafted him in 2012, at the number 3 spot, before Michael Floyd, Alshon Jeffery, and All-Pro RB Doug Martin as well.
Then 3 YPC happened. And missing holes happened. And finally the trade happened. And suddenly, Richardson was on the outside looking in. Recently, the Ravens signed the journeyman RB to a deal. With a below average offensive line, that pushed their backfield to only 92 YDs/ game, they are fortunate to have a big armed QB in Joe Flacco, that always keeps teams on their toes, for the big play. But Richardson hasn’t given any teams a reason to worry about him regardless of who is throwing the ball for his team.
The first thing we have to consider, if we are to discuss about the worst bust as a running back in the NFL, we have to really look at it all. What kind of time frame are we going to give a player to considered a bust? 10 games, a 3 YD rushing average, a 3 year time-frame?
When he first went to the Browns, I fell for it, and genuinely thought this kid was going to be a beast on the field, like the majority of others did.
Trent Richardson looked like he had so much potential. And so much skill to become a 1300-1400 YD back. Richardson wasn’t worn down, after 8-9 seasons of punishment, like many veterans do after some time. He simply never got off to make it to the next level. When he was playing as a rookie in 2012, he wasn’t horrendous, he had 6 games of 80+ yards on the ground. Which isn’t terrible. He ended his rookie season with 11 TDs on the ground. Which was good for 7th in the NFL on a whole. He had promise.
Obviously, we know, he didn’t have a great opportunity from the start of his career, when he was drafted by the Browns. But, no player that is grabbed that high in a draft, is going to a good team. There is a reason that the team is drafting in that spot. They are expecting the player they draft to be the guy who comes in and changes the mindset of the organization, to be the guy who makes them excitable for the fans, the player that gives them hope of a successful season and possibly become a guy for years to come to lead them in the playoffs and further.
The running back position, opposed to many other skilled positions, is typically the position to adjust the quickest at. If a player doesn’t continue to find his holes, or hit his speed pretty fast in the NFL, then they likely are going to not succeed at the next level. Of course we know the usual situations, that all running backs wear down as they get older. Which has been seen over and over in the annals of NFL history. But 29 games, and only 25 years old?  Trent Richardson had become a 3.1 yd/carry rusher?
No, he’s just a bad RB. End of story.
Now, 4 years later, after 614 carries and just 17 TDs, he has already played poorly for the Browns, Colts, and never even took the field for the Raiders, and now he is going to play with the Ravens. Maybe now that he has a chance to play with team like Ravens, who are a team that has been usually more RB friendly, he could be a better RB. But after this disastrous start to his young career, it is going to be very trying to come back from that. He was fully at fault for his poor career, he cannot point a finger at anyone. There are no more excuses for him as a RB in the NFL. This should be the last time he is given an opportunity to be a starting back in the league.
When the Browns, who have had their fair share of bad RBs over the last several years. Then the Raiders, who have been winning just an average of 4.5 games/year since 2012, have decided that a player doesn’t fit their teams, there has to be a reason. These are franchises that have had plenty of struggles and they still decided, that having almost anything else is better.
As a RB, he lacks the true RB vision that is needed. He was able to make a few catches in the flats, but that is where it ends for him. He never panned out anywhere close to where he was expected to be for his draft slot. We could line him up with the Ryan Leafs, Jamarcus Russells, as some of the all-time biggest busts in NFL history. He was a great college player, there is no question to that. But he never made the big adjustment to playing in the NFL, and at the highest standard of play. He always had the excellent physical strength and ability to bounce off tackles. It was his complete lack of vision. He misses holes seemingly all of the time.
This is a guy who went at the #3 slot in the 2012 draft. Behind only QB Andrew Luck and RGIII, who both had the world on a silver platter at that time. The world couldn’t get enough of either of those guys. So to be drafted that high, you really better be much, much more than a 400 YD runner. As stated, Doug Martin and Alshon Jeffery were picked after him, and we could easily say, they were far and away better picks than Richardson. Let’s not forget what makes this even more ridiculous. Being that he was drafted so high in the extremely important 1st round, but then was also then dealt off to the Colts for a 1st rounder in 2014, makes him a double bust.
There obviously, were several other RBs that fell apart and ended up in the slush pile of RB busts. The Jets had Blair Thomas, who was drafted 2nd overall in 1990 and his career as a player never panned out. Lawrence Phillips, from Nebraska, was a huge bust, and Karim Abdul Jabar, was a very low yardage gainer in the Miami run he had.
We can question, how does one judge a players worth? Their entire career, what they’ve done most recently, the value that they brought to the team, or how they were acquired? If Richardson was drafted in the 4-6 round range, I’d think nothing at all of his dismal career. It, for me, is the fact of his high draft spot and what he only produced from being taken that high in the 2012 draft class.
We need to remember, just because a player has excellent speed and is a great player in college, doesn’t mean they can make it to the elite level. The NFL is a league made of really amazing players, to stick around and hang with them, is very hard. Trent Richardson has been just bad at the professional level of football, and that is a fact. Considering his expectations, when he came into the league, I think this is true.
According to NFL Network, Richardson has the 2nd-worst career rushing average of any player with at least 500 carries since all the way back to the 1960s.
Simply put, Richardson, has been the worst high picked RB of all time according to VegasTopDogs experts..