Oakland Raiders' Lines Need Help? Part Two: D-Line

tim spoonauerContributor IJanuary 7, 2009

Let me start off by say sorry about taking a couple of days to write this. I have been working ridiculous amounts...

When you look at our D-line, if you don't look at stats, I bet many would believe that we were dominant just by the size of our linemen. But sadly that is not the case, and I believe that it's not because of the the talent these men have but because of our coordinator.

Let us look back size Rob Ryan has been here we have never had a Run DEF under 20... Not all the blame deserves to go under Ryan, though I believe Al Davis's system is just all over the place he makes Ryan play a man system with no Blitzing which forces the linemen to get into the backfield but then once he starts to get heat for not blitzing.

Ryan blitzes for one game and our Run D rips the other team and our DEF plays much better.

The only other time our Run D is nice is when ESPN is like the Raiders have the worst Run D ever and then our line decide that the next game they will play.


Now for the actual line...

For anyone who has seen my other article, I believe it is time to part ways with Derrick Burgess. I believe he has become a liability in Run D and that is what we need to focus on instead of Sacks next year.

The man is a machine when it comes to getting to the QB and a great tackler but his technique is in need of a run move. Like the Colts Dwight Freeney they go outside way to much and it leads to big runs. 

To give Burgess a big contract would be saying we know the problem but find no reason to correct it. Mainly because you aren't giving Burgess a huge contract to sit during definite run plays.

Especially when we have other young players who stepped up in his absents and will get better.

The three men who could take burgess's spot are Jay Richarson, Trevor Scott, and Greyson Gunheim. This year each player has there ups and downs. Jay Richardson is a good run stopper and has improved his pass rush but still needs to improve in order to be a all around player.

Trevor Scott was a very pleasant surprise i thought it wold at least take him a couple of years to figure out how to play on a pro level being he was a tight end for most of his college career. But as always with young players, he can still get better his sacks came on his speed so if he can get better technique with that type of speed he could be special.

Greyson Gunheim kind of came out at the end of the season but i think he could become our next Chris Clemons and just be a good pass rusher but for right now i don't see him being a starter. I think whoever plays better in training camp Richardson or Scott should get the spot.

Then comes our big boys, the DTs. Tommy Kelly is the leader of the group and had the best year of his career, but just like all of our DTs, he was inconsistent seem to get better as the year went on.

Started to get some push and  controlled the Line during some games and showed he could do it for as long as his body could handle him to be on the field which is another one of our big problems.

Kelly had several games where he was just a straight beast penetrating the line the whole game. Tommy Kelly may never live up to that contract but has shown serious improvement and may become a great DT.

Terdall Sands is the biggest man I have even seen besides Shaq. But his weight isn't the only thing that this man has to use. Sands has good strength and solid technique but they both only come out when he hears people say he is terrible.

Like before the first Chargers game, he was ripped on raidersnews.com, and he showed that up by  basically standing next to Phillip Rivers all day and recording two sacks. That is the player he can be but he needs to realize that potential for right now he is still a bust until he does what he is capable of on a consistent basis.

But he really needs to get in shape so he can stay out there.

Gerard Warren is the weirdest out of all our DT's he either comes to play or doesn't when he comes to play he is a very good DT but when he plays like a bag of shit he looks well like shit.

William Joseph...I didn't see enough of to say he could be good but when he filled in, I didn't see any real mistakes, and if I don't see you mess up, then you're a solid backup in my books.

Tommy Kelly is the definite starter on left side, but when it comes to the right side, I think both Sands and Warren could be good but a third or fourth-round draft pick for a DT to make them play harder to get it might help the Competition. But for now, it is Tommy Kelly and Sands in my head. 

The most impressive lineman and the best offseason pick-up for us was our new starting Defensive End Kalimba Edwards. Edwards came in the almost no  expectations and played his way into the starting lineup.

I mean, if you watched, he was always playing pretty well. He ended with five sacks and deserves to start next season to see if he can step up and be a starter in this league.

So the starters next year and will change this team into a good run stopping D with a new coordinator hopefully will be Edwards, Kelly, Sands, and either Scott or Richardson.

This unit could be very good. We have seen improvement in the teamwork they have shown, but they will need to play as a unit and trust each other to do there job.

A draft pick or two should go to the O-line and D-line to push the starters and so we get some depth in there. But to go out and spend money on these in free agency would be stupid because these guys could get the job done.