How To Fix the Raiders Defense

kevin emmonsContributor IFebruary 6, 2009

OK, my first article after writing numerous comments on others about the draft and upcoming coaching additions—let's see how it goes...

I often wonder what some people think it would take to right some of the wrongs on the defensive side of the ball and how people might react to how I think it should be done.

Well with the NFL draft a few months away, lets give it a try. First up, the 4-3 scheme—straight up we don’t have the linebackers for a 3-4 or a nose tackle or the big strong ends.

T. Kelly is versatile enough to play 3-4 end, T.Sands could be the nose, and Richardson is big enough to play the other end but would they be effective—and what happens to D.Burgess?

Well, we stand him up and make him a rush backer who never drops into coverage (is that possible?).

What about the other linebacker spots? It would mean Burgess plays weakside because I don’t think he’ll be able to cover anyone, meaning T.Howard will have to play strong side locked up against the TE’s which is not his game.

Right about now the hoards of screaming R.Maluaga fans are chanting his name thinking this can work but hold on. Who backs up T.Sands at NT because he’s only in for a couple of plays? G. Warren is just a bigger W. Sapp who can’t clog the holes—penetrating is his game.

One reason the 3-4 is not going to work is its very hard to find a NT. Most of the DT’s in the upcoming draft are products of the 4-3 and with so many teams switching to 3-4 you’ll have to reach very high to get a suitable one.

So, 4-3 it is for me.

1st of all I would revamp the line keeping the starters as ________(DE) T. Kelly(LDT) ______(RDT/NT) D. Burgess (DE).

Notice how two spots are blank. Well people, this is where the upgrade begins.

J. Richardson is a base left end and if that’s Burgess’ spot they need to flip flop for a right end.

Richardson is never going to woo anyone with stats but we may have better production from him on the left and seeing that the run game is D. Burgess’ weakness this only makes sense.

We’ve sacrificed the run D in order to get sacks but if they don’t need to pass what is the point?

I’d leave G.Warren as a back up for rotation purposes. I think he would excel in this situation coming on with T. Sands and taking on two blockers, leaving Warren 1-on-1, which is his game.

I think Kelly will be better next season knowing he has full confidence in his knee and can go on conditioning but pairing him with a Ron Brace type clogger would do wonders for him and K.Morrison. (R.Maluaga fans are screaming again).

No, I wouldn’t move Kirk to outside because he’s too slow for that now. Why draft a two down MLB when you have a three down MLB already?

The one spot which needs to be addressed is the strong side.

 R. Brown was solid in his couple of starts he got but if there’s an upgrade available take it. With that said, B. Cushing makes more sense to me as a MLB.

As for the DB’s, well does Aso stay or go? If he stays then we pair him with C. Johnson, play press all day long, and let M. Huff take free range like he did at Texas.

Let G. Wilson play with the ball in front of him so his deep coverage responsibilities are limited.

I may do an offensive report depending on how this is received.