Raiders Offense vs. Bills Defense: Oakland OC Al Saunders Talks Power Run Game, Playcalling

Al Saunders, offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders, talked to the media today. Most of it was "blah blah blah coachspeak." But there are some interesting nuggets that could be useful for Sunday's game against the Bills. You can view the transcript below; some of the quotables can be found below.

Saunders did address how the Raiders tried to power things on the ground and let quarterback Jason Campbell (click here for some of his press conference tidbits) manage the ballgame. It makes sense, since the Raiders do have a punishing run game they can use to get things going offensively.

Q: You weren’t able to get the ball to the wideouts that much that game. Was that just you keeping guys in or was it something that the Broncos were throwing at you guys?

Coach Saunders: No, actually in normal down and distance situations, we were 10 for 11 passing. We just didn’t do anything to put ourselves in jeopardy to push the ball down the field. It wasn’t necessary at that time and we felt like going into halftime after the field goal and we established a pretty solid way of moving the football as we expect when we went in on the ground, and there was no need to push the ball down the field. If we would have been in a situation where we would have had to do that, I believe we probably could have, but it was not necessary. The important thing for a quarterback in a situation like that is to manage the game, protect the football, and don’t turn it over. I thought Jason [Campbell] did a tremendous job of that.

The Raiders did introduce a six offensive linemen set on a short-yardage situation to try and get much needed yardage against the Chiefs.

Q: You guys used a lot of that six offensive linemen set. What do you like about it?

Coach Saunders: The physicalness that it brings to the running game. When you can put a 300-pound guy on the end of the line of scrimmage against an outside linebacker that’s a favorable match up. Match ups aren’t only in the passing game when you have people in space. It’s also along the line of scrimmage and it gives us an opportunity to be a little bit more physical in what we want to do establishing the edge in our running game.

Buffalo was not tested mightily on the ground in their opening game; the Bills took a big lead early, forcing the Chiefs to go to the air early. As a result Kansas City's feature tailback Jamaal Charles logged a mere ten carries on Sunday. Don't be suspect that if Oakland tries to power that ball against Buffalo to get their offense moving. They don't want Campbell taking too many risks on the road and would love to test Darren McFadden and Michael Bush against an uncertain Bills front seven. Chan Gailey is bracing for it, that's for sure.

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