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Raiders becoming 'Houston West?'

The Raiders should look like Houston-West this year, at least on offense, thanks to new OC Greg Knapp
The Raiders should look like Houston-West this year, at least on offense, thanks to new OC Greg Knapp
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Remember when the Texans were not so affectionately glossed "Denver South?"

Well those days are kind of over now that Denver no longer resembles what Mike Shanahan had created there years ago.

But the legacy is alive and well - in none other than Raider Nation.

When Texans fans watch the Raiders offense this season they will see some very familiar things.

New Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will undoubtedly bring a copy of the Texans playbook with him so the Raiders can implement their own version of the Texans/Denver west coast scheme.

It looks like they're getting a head start.

(Raiders QB Carson) Palmer wanted to get a jump on things, so he has been watching a lot of film of the Houston Texans' offense, for which Knapp was the quarterbacks coach the past two years. And Palmer has talked shop with Houston quarterback Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, who played for the Texans and is now a free agent. "I am fired up to get my playbook," Palmer said.-

In addition to Knapp, the Raiders signed former Texans starting right guard Mike Brisiel as a free agent and hired former assistant offensive line coach Frank Pollock as their offensive line coach.

On the other side of the ball, former Texans coach Johnny Holland is the Raiders linebackers coach.

The Raiders already have the pieces in place to implement the Texans/Broncos offense.

Palmer should be a good fit for this offense even though he's not the most mobile of QB's (Matt Schaub is?). Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are a nice pair of running backs for this scheme.

The Raiders have speed and depth at wide receiver with Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, and Denarius Moore already on board.

Tight end and fullback are areas that the Raiders may need to improve in order to realize the full benefits of the Shanahan/Kubiak schemes. Pollock and Brisiel's main task during the off-season will be to help the Raiders move back to a predominantly zone blocking system - something the Raiders ran under Tom Cable but got away from somewhat last season under Hue Jackson.

The Raiders might not get much help from the draft this year. Without the recently awarded compensatory draft picks, the Raiders would have had only two picks in the 2012 draft - a fifth and sixth rounder.

But the Raiders were awarded compensatory picks at the end of the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds to account for the losses of Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller, Robert Gallery, Thomas Howard, and Bruce Gradkowski during free agency last year. The Raiders do not have any of their own picks this year in rounds one through four because of various moves made last year.

The silver and black have been a frequent opponent of the Texans over the years but the only way these two teams will meet in 2012 is in pre-season or the playoffs.


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