Oakland Raiders fans are well aware that some of the biggest improvements must come from the Raiders' defense in order to get the Silver and Black on top of the AFC West in 2012.
The hiring of head coach Dennis Allen in January was an important step in making some of those much-needed improvements. The former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator was a big help to a hugely improved Denver offense in 2011.
In fact, much of quarterback Tim Tebow's success should have been credited to their defense, partially in thanks to Allen. When the Broncos were on their six-game winning streak, they held their opponents to an average of 17 points per game.
Oakland’s defense has a strong D-line and although the unit hasn't always played up to their potential, the Raiders' D-line is a collection of incredibly talented and highly capable athletes. It will be up to the new defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver, to use his defense to their full potential and take advantage of every opportunity possible.
According to Raiders.com, "Throughout OTAs, the defense had been installing their new system and working diligently to become as familiar with it as possible before training camp."
Defensive end Lamarr Houston remarked, “I feel like we progressed with all the installments we’ve had over the past two weeks. I feel like we’re building our tradition as a defense and our foundation for the season so I feel like we’re doing really well.”
A solid defense is key for the Raiders in 2012. Here is a look at the four draft picks the team signed this week, as the pieces of the puzzle come together in the new winning era for the Silver and Black.