By the Numbers: a look at new Raiders OC Greg Olson

The Raiders have reportedly made (but not yet officially announced) the somewhat surprising hire of Greg Olson as their new offensive coordinator.  Olson was surprising because he has had a few chances at being an offensive coordinator in the NFL already and has never showed any amazing success.

I wanted to see how Olson had done in his previous stops so I gathered the following data to see how he stacked up with both his predecessors and his successors.

First, for comparison purposes, here are the numbers for the last two years for the Raiders:

Now, here is a chart that shows how teams did before, during and after Greg Olson was their offensive coordinator. I also included some defensive numbers to see if there was any indication that his offense helped the defense get better.  There are some conclusions that will be drawn below but here is the data.

The color coding is as follows:

Red = Greg Olson was not on the staff in any capacity.

Orange = Greg Olson was on the staff either as QB coach or coordinator but was not the primary playcaller

Green = Greg Olson was the play-calling offensive coordinator

Now, for some conclusions.  First, as you can see from the info above, Greg Olson has never been a coordinator of an offense that ranked better than 20th, statistically.  He has been a playcalling offensive coordinator for 5 seasons and in 4 of those 5 seasons his offense ranked 27th or worse in terms of points scored.

Further, the offenses of the teams that he calls plays for do substantially worse than others with many of the same players.  In fact, on average the teams he calls plays for dropped almost 5.5 points per game in his first season calling plays.

That data and some other info is highlighed here:

Also troubling is that 2 of the 3 teams he was coordinator for improved the next season, after he was fired.  St Louis was the exception, dropping in most every category.

In Olson's defense, two of the the teams he was hired to coordinate, the Detroit Lions and the St Louis Rams, were almost devoid of offensive talent at the times he was there.

However, there is enough data to indicate that Olson also isn't able to bring out the best in his players, a troubling conclusion now that the Raiders have tabbed Olson for the Raiders coordinator position.

Olson does seem to be a good fit with the personnel in place in Oakland as he's a proponent of the power blocking scheme that works much better with RB Darren McFadden and he has a good down-field passer in Carson Palmer so Raiders fans will have to hope that his previous stops are not indicative of his powers and were, instead, more related to the lack of talent with which Olson had to work.

What do you think of the Olson hire? You can let me know in the notes or If you're on Twitter, give me a follow @AsherMathews and tell me what you think.

Asher Mathews

About Asher Mathews

Head writer for TFDS Sports, covering the Oakland Raiders and NFL at large. Proud Purdue alum. Follow me on Twitter!

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