Let's break down the RB's and TE's


The Long Wind
Nov 2, 2005
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HB: Lamont Jordan is a very good back. He’s not a speed guy, and not a particularly adept banger, so he’s right in the middle. Crockett appears faster on the field and punishes would-be tacklers more. Jordan delivers solid blows when he gets a head of steam, but has decent swerve to allow him not to take the punishment head-on. His ability to force tacklers into disadvantaged positions has helped him gain the tough yards or extend an already solid gain.

Zack Crockett is the #1 backup to Jordan, even though he is listed as the #1 FB. He brings a little extra energy to the position and seems to be more explosive when coming in off the bench, but you don’t pay for Lamont Jordan and bench him in favor of last year’s FB.

Justin Fargas is sitting on the bench as the only backup to Jordan at HB, but he doesn’t have the confidence of the coaches, the front office, or the fans. He has lightning quickness, and doesn’t shy away from the tough yards. Too bad his career-long (including college) struggles with injuries and fumbles still plague him. He’s apparently cleaned up the fumble troubles, but a bad taste remains in Al Davis’s mouth from watching him fumble early in his career with the Raiders.

FB: This has been a hybrid position for the Raiders. Crockett was ostensibly the starter at FB, but plenty of snaps have seen a TE or H-back in motion to fill the role. Crockett is a good blocker who has honed his abilities on years of Sundays after losing out to Wheatley as the starting HB and starting FB Jon Ritchie was sent packing. Omar Easy is listed as the backup FB on the roster, but he hasn’t seen many snaps as a FB on Sundays.

TE: Courtney Anderson is a specimen out there at TE. He’s bigger than the current crop of athletic TE’s, and therefore a little slower, but he’s got plenty of speed to keep LB’s honest and great directional and body control honed as a power forward on the basketball court. He’s got size to muscle through just about everybody at the second and third levels, but hasn’t demonstrated the ability to block DE’s on a regular basis. He’s disappeared from the passing game plan significantly this season, and his hands seem to have lost a little of their softness this season too. Sophomore slump, or just the malaise of the rest of the team rubbing off? It very well could be both.

Zeron Flemister and John Paul Foschi have been very good #2 TE’s this season, often doubling as FB when the play calls for it. Foschi was the better of the two, getting some action in the passing game, and laying down punishing blocks as a FB. These guys have done their best work as blockers, but we might see something different if they have to start for a possibly injured Anderson Sunday.

Randall Williams is listed as a TE, and often lines up in that role, but he’s more of a pass catcher than a blocker. I guess he could be considered a Shannon Sharpe-type TE, but he’s called on for his blocking skills as an excuse for leaving him on the field. When he lines up wide, he’s difficult to stop, like most TE’s with speed are. But since the offense doesn’t look for him that often, he’s not as effective as the WR’s he replaces in the offense.

So what work needs to be done here?

I think the real problem is that only two of these players have well defined roles in the offense. Jordan is the HB and Anderson is the TE. After that everyone has two roles.

Crockett has lined up wide, only to motion back inside. I'm not sure how many defenses consider him a credible receiving threat.

Foschi and Flemister have lined up in the backfield and been solid blockers.

Easy has seen most of his game time on special teams, as has Fargas.

Jordan leads the league in drops. I don't like him as a pass catcher, but I'll give him the off-season to develop that talent. The Raiders lack a true 3rd down or change of pace back. While Fargas could fill that role, it's unlikely he'll see much time on the field after his early fumble issues.

As muddy as these waters are, the Raiders could do worse than going into next season standing pat in these areas. The reason there are so many guys with multiple roles says a lot about their flexibility and abilities since they've pulled off most of what they've been asked to do.

Personally, I'd like a 3rd down back I can trust. I would give Fargas the chance to prove himself if the offense wasn't in disarray already. Crockett needs his role defined in my book. Either he's the #1 FB or he's the #2 HB. Shit or get off this pot. He's a good player with plenty to offer, so I understand wanting him on the field. If you set him up as the FB draft a credible backup HB.

I could stand pat at TE and be happy. I'm not sure that Williams's blocking is up to TE snuff, and I'd rather have his slot available for a true backup HB. That said, there's probably a WR slot that can be freed up for a true backup HB. Hmmm.
Look, Jordan may not be a Tomilison but he a good back. Over 1,000 yards this year behind that piece of shit offensive line. Not bad. Just think what he would have done behind the line Gannon had those three years. WOW. I'm OK with Jordan. He's not going to be spectacular but he'll get us 1,000 -1300 yards and that will be plenty.

We need a stud FB -- one like they have in Cincy that can knock some heads leading the way for LaMont. Where we donna get one? Not sure. Maybe we can get lucky with one who knows his role later in the draft.
Rupert said:
HB: Lamont Jordan is a very good back.

I said Jordan was very good. He may not be spectacular at anything, and so what? He does everything but catch the ball very well. And like I said, I'm willing to let him develop the talent.

Actually, the OL has shown the ability to run block when it wants to. And the zone scheme of Jim Colletto is the same one that got Baltimore over 2000 yards and did the same for Davis and all the other Denver RB's. So it's really no surprise that they're trying to get it established in Oakland.
What do all the new members think of the Raiders' running back situation?
Jordan: I'm pretty happy with Jordan overall but I think he might be more effective if he dropped a couple of pounds. It might help him discover that extra gear he seems to be missing. I'm not to worried about his pass catching. He led the league in drops but I believe he was also thrown to more than any other RB.

Crockett: It might be time to part ways with Zach. He's not a traditional FB and I don't like him much as a change of pace to Jordan. I wouldn't mind drafting another back in the later rounds to fill one or both of his roles.

Fargas: Keep him for ST's until his contract runs out.

Anderson/Williams: Both good in the passing game but their blocking remains wanting. Our line just isn't good enough to start a TE that isn't strong in that department.

Bottom line... I would look to take a solid 3rd down back or blocking TE in the later rounds of the draft.
gst8 said:
Jordan: I'm pretty happy with Jordan overall but I think he might be more effective if he dropped a couple of pounds. It might help him discover that extra gear he seems to be missing. I'm not to worried about his pass catching. He led the league in drops but I believe he was also thrown to more than any other RB.
Outstanding comment IMO.

Jordan is a very good back but I do think he could use to lose a few pounds as you say. That would make him even more dangerous. Just a thought.

It also wouldn't hurt for the OL to block somebody. :mad:
I think we got our money's worth with Jordan. Early in the season, he looked to feel his way through the hole instead of blowing through them. By mid-season, he was running with authority and looked to be the do everything power back that we've needed for a decade.

Personally, I would rather have seen Fargas start at HB in the final two games when Jordan was injured. Crockett has been a valuable asset as both a runner and a blocker, but we pretty much know what he can do. Fargas looks to have all the skills necessary for a change of pace back and he's very good on ST's, but obviously his durability has been his biggest issue. My guess is that we'll either sign a FA or draft somebody in the later rounds to back up Jordan.

I'd like to see us draft a FB (again, not on day one) who can bring some fresh legs to the position. I'd prefer to see Crockett utilized in his previous role of short yardage back than as the full time FB. Foschi looked pretty good in his FB/H-back role, but injuries hurt him also. I don't think he's the long term answer, but he doesn't hurt us either.

At TE, I think we have good talent, but as with the WR's they were utilized incorrectly, IMO. I saw Anderson as being the perfect TE to wreck havoc on defenses who would be geared to stop Moss. I also saw him as a TD machine in the redzone. Aside from an early 2-TD game, we rarely seemed to look his way inside the 20. I'm not sure whether it was because he was asked to block more for our weak O-line, or that he just couldn't get open. His blocking does need polish, but I think a new coaching staff could help him more than anything. Williams looks to be a keeper as a TE. He's too slow to play as a WR, but a LB can't cover him and he seems to have pretty good hands. Blocking is his area of need, especially if Anderson goes down. The rest of our TE's could be easily replaced with any number of FA's.
I really though Jordan and Crockett played outstanding last season, Anderson showed promise, Foschi is a team guy, the rest are scrap pile material.

I think the biggest need for us is to get an actual third down, shifty, pass catching, KR, running back. I know those are alot of jobs, but I see what San Diego has done with Darren Sproles or Indy with Dominic Rhodes.
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