Raiders acknowledge Lamarcus Joyner was schemed out of the Minnesota game

When the Raiders signed Lamarcus Joyner to a four-year, $42 million deal, the thinking was that the cost made sense particularly because of Joyner’s ability to play both nickel cornerback and safety.

But despite his versatility, Joyner played just 23 plays in Minnesota last week, which amounted to a mere 37% of the defensive snaps. The Raiders coaching staff said Joyner didn’t get on the field because the Vikings essentially schemed him out of the game. Making matters worse, the Raiders rolled out Curtis Riley at safety and watched Minnesota receivers run circles around him for most of the game.

“He can do both [positions], but that wasn’t part of the plan going in,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said of Joyner this week. “So I didn’t want to put him in a spot where he hadn’t practiced. I never want to do that to a player unless it’s an emergency. So we stuck with the plan that we had. And obviously this week, we’ll have some different things for him.”

So basically, is sounds like the Raiders weren’t prepared. After practicing with the team since late July, Joyner hasn’t been worked in enough at safety to contribute in a pinch? Watching Riley struggle was bad enough, but what was the plan if Riley had gotten hurt… was there no one available?

These are the kind of storylines that make you wonder. What else haven’t the Raiders been prepared for? Is this type of oversight carrying over to the offensive side of the ball, too?

The Athletic’s John Middlekauff has been critical of the Raiders a lot in recent years, but he made an interesting point on Gruden this week. These are at least the series of questions we should maybe start asking:

Have you watched a game the last two years where you thought, “Man, that is a brilliant play design by Gruden”? And I’m not talking about games where Derek Carr played well, like in the victory over Denver in Week 1. I’m talking specific play calls where you thought, “This guy is a freaking genius. No wonder Mark Davis spent $100 million for him to call plays.” Maybe I have memory-loss issues, but I don’t remember any.

This is actually something I look for on a weekly basis. What are the top offensive minds doing? How are they scheming guys open? You can’t help but notice it around the league with the top offensive coordinators.”

Just something to think about as the Raiders prepare for a two-game stretch that could sink their season already if they don’t win at least one. Certainly, Guenther and head coach Jon Gruden know more about football than essentially all of us, but you don’t have to know how to drive a train to see when one has fallen off the tracks.

The Gruden train might still be upright, but it’s not too early to be a little concerned.

twitter: @raidersbeat


9 thoughts on “Raiders acknowledge Lamarcus Joyner was schemed out of the Minnesota game

  1. Dear Jon and Paul, (not the Beatles) are you worth the money you’re collecting? The team has a helter skelter look a lot of the time. Can’t you keep a consistent process on the field? Sorry to b***h but it’s been, what? 13 years?

  2. They should have moved him to safety and took out Riley. And brought in Nixon as the third nickel Cb

  3. You nailed it! So frustrating. Gruden is consistently out coached. Consistently. Even by teams with lesser talent. He shows no creativity and no guts. The team goes into a shell when they should be putting on the gas. He is terrible at making adjustments and they sure as hell should be putting up more points. Even in the first game his poor coaching kept Denver in the game when it should have been a blow out. Unless something dramatic happens it is going to be a long year. Say what you want about Carr, or the youth. I blame the coaching.

  4. This team is different than last year RAIDERS will get better, and a better team is being built

  5. I think loosing AB really messed up the offense and if you are a real RAIDERS fan then you know once we lost Johnathan Abrams it changed up the defense he was the Quarterback of the secondary

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