The Oakland Raiders showed another angle to their versatility in Sunday's 52-25 annihilation over the Tennessee Titans – one player goes down and the next guy steps in and does the job.
Two of the Raiders draft picks, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, and to a lesser extent tight end Doug Jolley unveiled that aspect of Oakland's personality. Buchanon, the 17th overall pick in the draft, is starting for the injured Charles Woodson (shoulder).
Titans' cornerback Steve McNair tested the rookie on the first series and Buchanon came up with an interception. That play, however, was overturned because replay officials determined that Buchanon did not have possession. That call only put off the inevitable. Buchanon later returned a punt 83-yards for a touchdown and added an interception.
Jolley, a second-round draft choice from BYU, caught two passes for 16 yards – nothing overwhelming but now all of the sudden his contributions are a necessity and not a bonus. Jeremy Brigham and Mondriel Fulcher are both on injured reserve, meaning they cannot return to action even if they are healthy. Keep in mind, Jolley missed some time in camp with a groin injury, which really could have set him back.
There was yet another revealing quality that continued to show on Sunday.
Oakland head coach Bill Callahan will likely never shake the comparisons of the man he took over – Jon Gruden. Instead, there's a contrast. While Gruden did wonders restoring accountability after taking over in 1998 to a chaotic franchise, he also had a tendency to become conservative.Callahan's play calling the last two weeks has been like a racecar driver who has two speeds. Fast and faster. Attack, attack, attack. The last two weeks the Raiders have gone to the no-huddle with empty backfield and a heavy dose of passing even with a sizeable lead.