The Oakland Raiders are heading into a much needed bye week after a disappointing 2-4 start to the season. What makes the Raiders slow start so frustrating is that they have played much better than expected and they should probably be 4-2. New offensive coordinator Greg Olson has done a fantastic job building an offense around Terrelle Pryor on short notice, now he can finally have some free time to put in some new plays for the mobile quarterback. After studying some game tape on the Seattle Seahawks, I believe they run perfect style of offense for the Raiders. Just like the Raiders, Seattle’s offense is dealing with injuries on their offensive line and they have the benefit of having a mobile quarterback.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Terrelle Pryor have had similar paths to the NFL. Both Pryor and Wilson were considered too raw to become NFL quarterbacks, which made them drop to the third round of the NFL draft (Pryor in the supplemental draft). They both were expected to backup the legendary (bad) Matt Flynn and they both outworked Flynn in the film room and in practice. Obviously, Wilson is by far the better passer but Pryor nearly 6 inches taller and much more explosive with his legs.
The Seahawks have built their offense off of Wilson’s athletic ability and Oakland native Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch. Although Wilson has put up good numbers so far this season, he is not a gun slinging quarterback like most would expect. Most of Wilson’s completions are off of designed screens and roll-outs. In fact, Wilson is so effective in throwing short throws off of screens and rollouts that it helps soften the defense for beast mode.
Terrelle Pryor has had a remarkable year so far despite playing behind the worst offensive line in the NFL. While many have criticized Pryor for his terrible performance against the Chiefs, most of the blame could be put on the inept offensive line. The biggest takeaway from the game in Kansas City should be that Pryor is nowhere near ready to be a gun slinging quarterback.
Olson and Terrelle Pryor should spend this much needed bye week to study every aspect of the Seahawks offense. The Raiders have better athletes than the Seahawks at wide receiver, which should make the Raiders want to run more screens than Seattle. Brice Butler, Jacoby Ford, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore all have world class speed that will allow them to take a screen pass to the house. Inept running back Darren McFadden would also benefit from screen passes and the short passing game. Although Lynch and McFadden are very different style running backs, they both have the ability break long runs when in open space.
Greg Olson won’t be able to completely change the Raiders offense in just one week but he will be able to incorporate a few changes to the offense. It looks as though Pryor is the Raiders quarterback for years to come. In order for the Raiders to best utilize Pryor, they must run his style of offense. With McFadden likely playing in the last few games as an Oakland Raider, the Raiders should find a bruising running back like Lynch to help Pryor in the running game.