Some fans and critics thought Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson was too conservative in the second half of Sunday's 21-18 win over the Steelers. Well, Olson said Wednesday he wished he'd run the ball even more. "We really wanted to gut them rushing the football," said Olson, who called runs on 15 of 23 plays in the second half - for 15 yards. Oakland (3-4) had 182 yards rushing in the first half. Olson has crossed out the pass plays in the second half in other games as well. The passing game, ranked last in the league in yards per game, had three turnovers Sunday. Terrelle Pryor, in his seventh career start, had two interceptions in the first half, although one was off receiver Brice Butler's hands. And when Olson did go to the air in the second half, Jacoby Ford fumbled a screen pass, a turnover that led to a Pittsburgh touchdown. It was a rough day for Butler, who dropped another pass, and Ford, who fumbled a punt return out of bounds and almost committed a turnover on another one. Head coach Dennis Allen said the backup-receiver position (behind starters Denarius Moore and Rod Streater) is a hot topic going into Sunday's sold-out game against Philadelphia. "Well, we've got to do better," Allen said. "Brice had really two costly drops in the game. Jacoby had the fumble. I just think we've got to get better production overall from that position. ... It's the consistency factor. "That will be an area we're going to emphasize." Andre Holmes, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound second-year player, has climbed the depth chart and had more snaps (13) than Ford (9) or Butler (8) on Sunday. That was despite missing the first four weeks of the season because of a suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. "He's a big-bodied guy," Allen said. "He had a really good preseason. He obviously missed a lot of time with the suspension, so he's still getting back into the groove of the offense a little bit, but he's a guy that I think can help us." Holmes then injured his hamstring and was limited in practice Wednesday, which might give Butler a chance to atone for his mistakes. The rookie from San Diego State was jolted out of his postgame funk by the news Monday morning that a childhood friend had died. Butler has been locked-in at practice this week, and it is clear that he still has a lot of confidence in his ability to make big plays.
Raiders hope receivers improve
San Francisco Chronicle | Nov 2