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With the departure of the mercurial Rolando McClain, the Raiders knew that middle linebacker was a position that needed some special attention.
As the "quarterback" of the defense, a team can live and die by the intelligence and ability of its middle man.
With all of that in mind, the Raiders came into camp with veteran Nick Roach manning the middle, and his short time in practice thus far has been impressive.
Aside from the fact that many believe he has the talent and experience to be an impact player this year (having played behind Brian Urlacher for years), what Roach has started to display is something almost as important as talent—leadership.
With the departure of guys like Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour and Philip Wheeler, the Oakland defense was in desperate need of a guy who could command the team.
In a short week of OTAs, Roach seems to be becoming that guy.
Of course, Charles Woodson is another guy who will be a vocal leader of the defense, but Roach is showing that he's capable of filling that void when need be, as well.