It can be difficult for the untrained eye to know exactly when a pass is supposed to go to a certain player based on the play and coverage of the defense. For that we tend to trust those who are coaches or players.
Dan Orlovsky is a former NFL quarterback who now works as an analyst at NFL Network. He went through tape of the last two games the Raiders played to try to figure out why Davante Adams is suddenly so underused. What he found were, as he describes it, five or six instances where the ball should have gone to Adams and, for whatever reason, it didn’t.
A Raiders fan tweeted video of Orlovsky’s video analysis.
You can blame McDaniels, Waller, the defense, everyone, but where is Carr’s vision on these plays? Do you possibly have the best receiver in the game spread wide open over and over again and not look in his direction? Of course you will continue to lose games. pic.twitter.com/Y5HpwTft7E
— RedDeadRaider (@RDR_RAIDER) September 27, 2022
Orlovsky’s claim that Derek Carr is intentionally not throwing to Davante Adams seems a little crazy, but he points out that he just can’t think of another reason why Adams wouldn’t be getting the ball in these situations. He said something similar in an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.
Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was asked what Orlovsky said. He began by saying that he did not see the segment nor did he know what Orlovsky was referring to.
However, McDaniels points out that the problem could be relying too much on studying the tape and not enough on deciding where to go with the ball based on reading the defense down the line.
“We have seen many different things in three weeks. A lot of which may not have shown up in the scouting report based on what one team played against another,” McDaniels said.
“The scouting report almost turns right or left at the start of every game because a team decides to do something radically different than maybe they decided against two or three opponents before their game. So I think getting used to it, being able to adapt and still be productive. . . that’s why what we always try to preach is that the most important thing that we can do is read the defense because if you’re going to assume a guy is going to be open or I have to throw him here again the defense always has a vote on that and they can determine how they are going to try to cover you.”
McDaniels used, as a prime example, that a team can duplicate a receiver, which would eliminate that player as the top pick. But clearly that was not the case in the examples Orlovsky showed, and he claims that he has so many similar examples that he did not show.
And, yes, we all understand that goals are going to vary even for big receivers like Adams, depending on what the defense is giving you. And he can make guys like Mack Hollins have big days because the defense isn’t pressuring them.
But, clearly there is more to it than that. Not to mention, that was never an issue between Adams and Aaron Rodgers, and you can bet every defense was focused on trying to get Adams out of the equation.
Even with the great game Adams had in the season opener, it’s clear that the high-flying offense and supposed pre-set chemistry we’d hoped for between Derek Carr and Davante Adams hasn’t materialized.
This season, Derek Carr has attempted six passes of 20 or more passing yards targeting Davante Adams.
A capture has resulted from those targets.
That catch was by Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. pic.twitter.com/oK4LL8S1nX
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) September 28, 2022
Does that mean it won’t materialize? Certainly not. It’s strange considering the expectations that this duo would not need an acclimatization period.
Which brings us back to what Orlovsky said. Which is that chemistry is not the problem. That it wouldn’t even matter if Adams was Adams in these scenarios. It just makes him even more heinous than *is* Adams. The guy that any quarterback should go to great lengths to get the ball, sometimes, many times, he doesn’t even get a glance from Carr. And other times Carr doesn’t seem to recognize that the situation is ideal for Adams to be the target.
There is simply no excuse for it. Look at Adams because he is the correct reading. Watch Adams because you shouldn’t have to find her time with him with so many times he’s thrown at her over the years. Look at Adams because he is Davante * Freaking * Adams and the success of this offense depends on utilizing his abilities.