Monday Morning Musings: Hue’s choices and aftermath of Raider loss
Was playing the best football of his career the last four contests and being Oakland’s most reliable receiver not enough for the speedster to get into many of the packages Hue Jackson used on Sunday?
“We had certain sets where we have a bunch of guys targeting for those particular sets because of comfortability. It had nothing to do with … Darrius is a good player, and he’s doing well, so that had nothing to do with that,” said the head coach.
Instead, Carson Palmer targeted Denarius Moore all afternoon, Jacoby Ford had his best outing as a pass catcher this campaign and newly acquired T.J Houshmandzadeh got his run with the first unit.
Chaz Schilens was sprinkled in, and even Louis Murphy got some reps.
It is a crowded unit, but that does not excuse the coach from keeping Heyward-Bey off the field at a time when his confidence is skyrocketing and winning over many of his naysayers.
“We have some very talented players, and he’s one of them,” Jackson said.
DHB is still a work in progress and the coach has been one of his many boisterous supporters. But relegating him to spectator and rationalizing that based on the sets used is not a way to bring along a highly scrutinized selection.
Another dubious move by Jackson was releasing Dave Rayner during the bye, especially since Sebastian Janikowski was obviously not healed up for the game yesterday.
“It held up good,” Janikowski said of his injured hamstring. “On kick-offs, I was just doing whatever I could. That’s the hardest I could swing.”
Oakland dodged a bullet when he came away without any further damage.
Jackson did a disservice to his return unit by putting Janikowski out there. What if he had to chance to tackle dashing returner heading towards the end zone? What if he aggravated the injury even more? Even if Jackson knowingly knew coming in that his kicker was not ready to go, why risk him missing more time or playing a man short out there on returns if he was such an impediment?
Another week of rest would have been more beneficial than a few obviously arduous swipes at the football.
- Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions in six quarters of play.
- Rolando McClain was dressed, but did not see any action.
- In their last five games against the Broncos, Oakland has compiled 58 penalties for 501-yards.
- Erick Decker in week-one had a 90-yard punt return for a score. Eddie Royal yesterday had a momentum swinging 85-yard return to paydirt.
- Samson Satele had injuries to his knee and quadriceps per Hue Jackson.