What I have found in researching the Raider's new DC was hit right on the head in an article I had read in The Seattle Times by writer Jose Miguel Romero in which he writes, "Toughness is Marshall's trade mark. Its a character trait Marshall has taken with him everywhere he has been."
Mike Homgren once stated, "He requires his player's to be tough guys and accepts nothing less"
No matter where Marshall has been, the one constant that I find is that his player's respect him and held him in high regard. While Marshall was the LB coach with San Francisco his player's held him in such high regard that they recommended him for the 49ers defensive coordinator job in 1997.
And in his first year as defensive coordinator the 49ers were the NFL's No. 1 defense.
As taken from the Seattle Times article mentioned above, while linebacker coach with the 49ers. Gary Plummer, Rickey Jackson and Ken Norton and I am paraphrasing, would act as ring leader's of the LBers. They would threaten to throw Marshall into the pool if he would not let them out of their meeting.
"If he didn't let us out, we'd throw him in the pool," Plummer said. "It would take all seven of us to get him into the pool. He was fighting us the whole way. He'd grab onto anything. Eventually we would get him in."
Marshall would still have the last laugh and get them to their meeting.
So besides learning that John Marshall has been very successful and respected in his time coaching in the NFL what might we expect to see from his defense in Oakland?
Marshall, from what I have learned, always runs a very aggressive defense and does not have his unit sit back and react but attacks an offense.
His defenses are all fundamentally sound and he teaches his player's where they must be in terms of the scheme so that the unit plays as a unit. He does not want his player's doing more then their job and getting out of position.
From all that I have read coming from his players is that the one thing that will get the hair up on his back the most is a defensive player not being where they are supposed to be on a play.
Watching Seattle while he was there I noticed that he does not play much of the standard nickle defense. He plays a 3-3-5 formation a lot instead. Out of this formation he would run a lot of exotic blitzes on third down using line stunts and delayed LBer blitzes.
You do not see him using the strong safety in the box much and his LBers account for many sacks. Julian Peterson had 10 sacks his first year with Marshall and 9.5 sacks his second year. The other outside LBer Hill had 7.5 sacks.
In 2005 John Marshall'sdefense lead the NFL with 50 sacks and allowed only (1) 100 yard rusher. Finishing second in the NFL in Red Zone defense 40.4 percent and rushing touchdowns allowed (five) in route to Super Bowl XL with Seattle.
This off season has seen much attention being given to the LBer position. In the draft the Raiders drafted very fast pass rushing type player's that have played both LBer and DE in College.
Does this tell us anything? Well looking at what Marshall has done in the past it just might and we will just have to wait and see. I for one cannot wait to see what Marshall will bring to our defense this year.
So welcome to the Silver and Black, Mr. Marshall; I, for one, am hoping you and head coach Tom Cable will be putting the Raider back in the Raider defense and get the team back to thumping the offenses it will face this coming year.