Oakland Raiders: 3 Things That Must Change in 2013

Ray GarciaContributor IIIDecember 11, 2012

Oakland Raiders: 3 Things That Must Change in 2013

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    The Oakland Raiders are finishing up a disappointing 2012 season. New coach Dennis Allen has a team that lacks talent on defense, an offensive coordinator trying in vain to run a West Coast-style offense and a fifth-year running back that has yet to stay healthy for a full 16-game season.

    Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is already looking towards the offseason, and here are three changes the Oakland Raiders organization must make in 2013.

A Commitment to Defense

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    The Oakland Raiders defense has holes in practically every position. The defensive line can’t put pressure on the quarterback, linebacker Rolando McClain has been a huge disappointment and opposing quarterbacks have been licking their chops at the chance to throw against Oakland’s soft secondary.

    As Oakland prepares to jettison players, they would be best to concentrate on the following free agents to help build some stability in the defense.

    Cornerbacks Brent Grimes (Atlanta), Tracy Porter (Denver) and Sean Smith (Miami) will require big paydays, so general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis are going to have to dig deep in the Raider's wallet. Available defensive lineman Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis), Henry Melton (Chicago) and Cliff Avril (Detroit) should also be on the Raiders' free-agent radar.

Reevaluate the Offense

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    Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and the Raiders offense has been an abysmal failure. The zone-blocking scheme and West Coast passing scheme has been more miss than hit for a few reasons.

    The offensive line as it stands today just isn’t suited to zone block. Offensive linemen Mike Brisiel, Cooper Carlisle, Willie Smith and Khalif Barnes have been huge disappointments and should be on their way out.

    The Raiders will be forced to rebuild this offensive line if they plan on (and I shudder when I think of it) keeping Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

    I know what many of you are thinking, “Knapp has to GO!"

    While many Raider fans believe this, I’m not sold that GM Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis are going to play “one and done” in their first season running the team. 

Trade Darren McFadden

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    Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has been with the team five years now and will be owed $5,856,250 in his final contract year with the Raiders in 2013.

    No one can disagree with the fact that McFadden is a powerful, stud running back who as recently as 2010 ran for 1,157 yards in only 13 games before getting injured.

    But there is the rub. From the 2008 to the 2011 NFL seasons, Darren McFadden averaged 11.25 missed games per season and has only rushed for over 1,000 yards one time.

    We’ve already stated in this story how the Raiders need help in other areas, now is the time to start testing the NFL waters to trade Darren McFadden for future draft picks and/or players. McFadden will be a hot property for teams like the Dallas Cowboys or the Arizona Cardinals, who are struggling with their run games.

    What three changes do you think the Oakland Raiders should make in 2013? Post what you would change in the comments section!

     

    Ray Garcia is a sports radio host and owner of TPSRadio.net (The People's Sports Radio Network). You can follow him on Twitter @tpsray