Ron Waller, pro personnel director for the Kansas City Chiefs, scouted the Oakland Raiders in their 34-17 exhibition loss here to the Redskins and in the Raider's overtime loss to the Chargers Sunday in San Diego and said yesterday, "The Raiders are a different team now."
Waller, onetime University of Maryland and Los Angeles Rams running back, remarked, "They are playing in Oakland, aren't they? Then the Redskins have got their hands full. Don't you believe that the Radiers are on the downgrade, despite a 9-7 season last year and their 1-1 record this season.
"They gave Dan Pastorini pass protection as good as I've seen. They moved the ball good on the ground, too. They have a massive offensive line, with three of the players up around 300 pounds -- Art Shell, Mickey Marvin and Henry Lawrence. The center, Dave Dalby, is the smallest at 250 and Gene Upshaw is about 265.
"Dan Pastorini had all day to pass; his uniform didn't have a spot on it. He was sacked only once, near the end of the game, when he suffered a knee injury. The Redskins can count on Pastorini to go to wide receiver Bob Chandler, on turn-ins and comebacks in the Raiders' possession offense, then go 'downtown' to Cliff Branch two or three times a game, and throw long to tight end Dave Casper.
"Now the Raymond Chester is back from an injury, Oakland is using a double tight end formation, with Mark van Eeghen, a very punishing type of fullback, a 'north-south' runner. Kenny King, obtained in a deal with the Houston Oilers, is a slashing runner with good speed and explosiveness, but questionable hands.
"The Raiders spot Arthur Whittington, who is their threat to break long runs."
Waller offered a ray of hope for the Redskins' runnig game.
"They may be able to gain at the right side of the Oakland defense," he said. "That appears to be a weakness, if they have one. But if the Redskins try to run at the left side of the Raiders' defense they will encounter John Matuszak (6 feet 8) at end and Ted Hendricks (6-7 at outside linebacker."
The Raiders use a three-man defensive line with Dave Browning and Matuszak at the ends. Nose tackle Dave Pear has been injured and reserve Reggie Kinlaw has been playing the position. On obvious passing downs, the Raiders bring in Cedrick Hardman and Willie Jones to rush the passer.
Waller said the Raiders put heavy pressure on the Chiefs' scrambling quarterback, Steve Fuller, as Oakland won its opener at Kansas City, 27-14.
"Fuller had to scramble seven times and was sacked five times," Waller said, "He's a young quarterback who won't stay in the pocket."
Waller said of Coach Mary Levy's third year with the Chiefs, "We've improved some, but so have the other teams. We play good defense, but it is hard to catch up unless the quarterback does the job."