April Wagnon says:
"What I feel that could be successful is more hurry up offensive plays, allowing Carr more freedom to call audibles as he has had before."
Something I've noticed that's been a blessing and a curse for the offense has been "hurry up offense."
The Raiders have capitalized on keeping things fast and fluid numerous times this season, especially in the first half against the Jaguars last Sunday. The team is second in the NFL in percent of drives ending in a score (46.1), only behind the Kansas City Chiefs. However, it's become detrimental when the offense falters in execution and get forced into three-and-out situations. The Raiders' third-down conversion percentage this season is 37.9%, ranked 21st in the league.
As for Carr, the veteran quarterback has been in a few systems in his time with the Raiders, and recognizes it takes time and patience to get everyone on the same page – including his star receiver Davante Adams who is tied for the league lead in touchdown catches.
"Last week, we took another step in the right direction. But I think from overall standpoint, his patience level, he's used to being in the same system," Carr said of Adams. "Same guys, almost the same roster every year, and he's learning that when you come to new place with new coaches, the roster is going to change, the scheme is going to change, all that kind of stuff.
"His patience level has been great, and he understands, we all understand. I wish I didn't understand, but we all understand that it takes time, but we're hoping that time doesn't take much longer, that we can get it together now. Because we know what to do, but all 11 have to do it right at once, and if we can do that, I'm confident that going forward we can finish the year how we want to finish it."
Ian Ramirez says:
"The defensive line needs to apply pressure other than Maxx Crosby and avoid costly penalties."
This could be a game for the Raiders' defensive line to really shine.
The Indianapolis Colts have allowed a league-high 35 sacks this season, including second-year quarterback Sam Ehlinger getting sacked nine times in their loss to the Patriots last Sunday. Bringing in former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday to coach very well could light a spark in the offensive line, but it's statistically been this team's glaring area of concern this season.
As for the Raiders, one of their areas of concern has been getting to the quarterback. The defense has nine sacks this season, with six of them coming from Maxx Crosby. While Crosby has been the standout, he's been getting a lot of attention from opposing offenses this season – and Josh McDaniels doesn't expect that change against Indy.
"[W]hen you're a productive player in this league, most coaches and teams will put a little bit more attention into trying to limit your production if they can," McDaniels said Wednesday. "Maxx has had a great attitude the entire year about that. He wanted us to chip him and double him in the spring, so that he could anticipate kind of what this was going to be like as he goes into another year and has more attention given to him.
"So, like always, when there's people that are assigning two people to another player, there's opportunities for others. There's opportunities schematically to hopefully try to do some different things."
Wise Laniear says:
"Maintain intensity and make necessary adjustments. That's the only things we lack."
This is a team that's found success in all three phases of the game, but maintaining success and executing the gameplan for all 60 minutes has been a different story. In three of the Raiders' six losses, they were up at least 17 points in the first half. Playing a complete game is the one thing that's prevented this team from winning more games, the coaching staff and players have made that clear.
According to Davante Adams, one thing that can fix that moving forward is self-reflection and accountability.
"I don't play safety, so I can't talk about what's going on there. I don't play D-End, so I'm not talking about edges needing to set and that type of stuff," said Adams. "That's what they'll get to the podium and talk about. ... And I'll talk about making plays and catching that ball at the end of the day and find a way to still be productive in the midst of them trying to throw all the coverages that they throw at me. That's where you can grow as a team is when you're real with yourself and everybody takes ownership and does something about what they can control.
"That's what this is about, what you can control, taking ownership of that. ... Really owning it because that's when you can be real enough to yourself and say, 'OK, this is what I need to change to be able to come back and help the team win.'"
Head inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center to view the best photos from Thursday's practice.