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 by the defense. For that we tend to rely on those who are either coaches or players.
Dan Orlovsky is a former NFL quarterback who now works as an analyst on NFL Network. He combed through the game tape of the last two games the Raiders played to try and figure out why Davante Adams is suddenly so underutilized. What he found were, as he describes it, five or six examples in which the ball should have gone to Adams and, for whatever reason, did not.
One Raiders fan tweeted out the video of Orlovsky’s video analysis.
You can blame McDaniels, Waller ,the defense, everyone, but where's Carr's vision on these plays?? You have arguably the best receiver in the game wide open over and over and over and you don't look his way? Of course you will continue to lose games. pic.twitter.com/Y5HpwTft7E
— RedDeadRaider (@RDR_RAIDER) September 27, 2022
Orlovsky’s assertion that Derek Carr is intentionally not throwing to Davante Adams seems kind of crazy, but he notes that he simply can’t come up with another reason why Adams wouldn’t be getting the ball in these situations. He said similar in an appearance on the Rich Eisen show.
Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was asked about what Orlovsky said. He started out by saying he didn’t see the segment or know what Orlovsky was referring to.
However, McDaniels does note that the issue could be in relying too much on tape study and not enough on deciding where to go with the ball based on reading the defense at the line.
“We’ve seen a lot of different things in three weeks. Much of which may not have showed up in the scouting report based on what a team played someone else,” said McDaniels.
“The scouting report almost takes a right or a left turn at the beginning of every game because a team decides to do something dramatically different than maybe what they decided against two or three opponents prior to your game. And so, I think that getting used to that, being able to adjust to it, and still be productive. . . which is why what we always try to preach is, the most important thing we can do is read the defense because if you’re just going to assume that one guy’s going to be open or I have to throw it here, again, the defense always has a vote in that and they get to determine how they’re going to try to cover you.”
McDaniels used, as a prime example, that a team may double team a receiver, which would take that player away as the primary option. But that was clearly not the case in the examples Orlovsky showed, and he claims he has just as many similar examples he didn’t show.
And, yeah, we all understand that targets are going to vary even for great receivers like Adams, depending on what the defense is giving you. And it can lead to players like Mack Hollins having big days because the defense isn’t keying on them.
But, it’s clear there’s more to it than that. Not to mention that was never an issue between Adams and Aaron Rodgers, and you can bet every single defense focused on trying to take Adams out of the equation.
Even with the big game Adams had in the season opener, it’s clear that the high flying offense and supposed pre-packaged chemistry we expected between Derek Carr and Davante Adams has not materialized.
This season, Derek Carr has attempted six passes of 20 or more air yards with Davante Adams as the target.
One catch 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 just odd considering the expectations that this duo would not need an acclimation period.
Which leads back to what Orlovsky said. Which is that chemistry is not the issue. That it wouldn’t even matter if Adams was Adams in these scenarios. It just makes it all the more egregious that is *is* Adams. The guy any QB should be making every effort to get the ball is, at times, is often times not even getting a look from Carr. And other times Carr seems not to recognize the situation is ideal for Adams to be the target.
There’s simply no excuse for it. Look to Adams because it’s the right read. Look to Adams because you shouldn’t have to find your timing with him with as many times you’ve thrown to him over the years. Look to Adams because it’s Davante *Freaking* Adams and the success of this offense depends upon utilizing his abilities.