The Oakland Raiders’ biggest prize of free agency was that of former New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown. The Raiders wanted him so bad, they made him the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history. Not only that, but the Raiders are planning on playing him on the right side, which isn’t even quarterback Derek Carr’s blindside. Head coach Jon Gruden believes in last year’s first-round pick Kolton Miller, but time will tell if he’s able to make the coach proud.
Most news out of Raiders OTAs has been very positive. Trent Brown was absent for at least a day of practice, but he was also seen in Nevada working out at Von Miller’s Pass Rush Summit. Despite the fact that Brown has been relatively quiet this offseason, he decided to take to Twitter to post an interesting quote.
“Good players can’t overcome bad coaching’ – Bill Bellicheck,” is what the massive offensive lineman tweeted. It makes sense that Brown would praise his former coach. Because of Bellicheck, Brown has a Super Bowl ring and a fat new contract. Not only that, but Bellicheck is widely considered the greatest football coach of all time. Any player would be smart to heed his every word.
Now, before arrows start getting slung at the Raiders coaching staff, it would be wise to narrow down who the targets of Brown’s Tweet could be. Jon Gruden can likely be ruled out as Brown knew what Gruden was when he signed that contract. The most obvious candidate would be offensive line coach Tom Cable. The former Raider head coach is no stranger to criticism as he’s received a nice helping of it ever since his days in Seattle.
The criticism is much deserved. According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders went from having the eighth best offensive line in the NFL for 2017 to the 28th in 2018. Cable might defend himself by noting the number of injuries the offensive line was hit with during the season. While this is true, Cable’s track record doesn’t indicate that he has what it takes to build a top unit. The Raiders offensive line is loaded with talent. Rodney Hudson has been called the best pass-blocking center in the NFL. Gabe Jackson has been a consistent rock at right-guard. Left-tackle Kolton Miller should improve in his second year. Despite all his flaws, not many people are going to get past Richie Incognito at left-guard. This is without mentioning Trent Brown, who should sure up the right side. Barring injuries, if Cable can’t get it done with this unit, he’ll never be able to get it done with any unit.
With all that said, it is more likely that Brown is making a general comment on bad coaching. It’s hard to imagine that he’d be comfortable calling out his new coaching staff before he’s played a game with the team. Regardless, Tom Cable should be on the hot seat and if the Raiders don’t protect Derek Carr this year, heads are going to start rolling.
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