The Oakland Raiders filled their void at offensive coordinator with the hire of Greg Olson. Olson spent last season as the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach. It is not a high profile hire, but the Raiders hope Olson can turn around an offensive that struggled in 2012.
Last season when Olson coached in Jacksonville, the results were subpar. Second year quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed under 60 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and six interceptions while battling injuries throughout the season. His end of the year quarterback rating was 77.4 playing in nine games.
A quarterbacks coach for five different NFL teams and an assistant coach for seven NFL teams, Olson does have experience. He also has previous offensive coordinator experience with the St. Louis Rams from 2006-2007 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2008-2011. In 2006 under Olson, the Rams were sixth in the league in total yards averaging 360.4 per game. Running back Steven Jackson had his best year with a career high 1,528 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 90 passes for 806 yards and three more scores. Darren McFadden has a skill set similar to Jackson and Olson will have the opportunity to get the best out of him.
When Olson was the offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay he had the chance to develop a young quarterback in Josh Freeman. In his second year, Freeman made a big leap. He threw 25 touchdowns to just six interceptions. However, the next year he regressed and tossed 22 interceptions. The Bucs were 28th in yards per game in 2009 and averaged only 15.2 points per game. They improved in 2010 to 19th in the league in yards per game and averaged 21.3 points per game. In Olson's final year as the Tampa Bay offensive coordinator, the team finished 21st in the NFL in yards per game and averaged 17.9 points per game.
Olson is not the sexiest hire and has had both success and failure in the NFL as an offensive coordinator. He will now inherit a Raiders offense that is plush with weapons and talent. Former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was unable to get much out of that talent. Now Olson will get the opportunity to find ways to improve execution and develop players.
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