First Off I’m sorry it to me so long to write this my Microsoft Word crapped on we for a awhile. I hope you enjoy...
Before we start I would like to say I believe Oakland will have one of the best defenses in the league this year. Not a ton of moves were made on the defensive side of the ball. Especially where most Raider fans including myself wanted some change, the DT position. Let me start with this controversial position.
Trevor Scott- Scott had a promising rookie season as a pass rusher registering 5 sacks tying him for the team lead. Unfortunately he wasn't as promising as a run defender, I'm not going to say it was a weakness but it certainly wasn't a strength of Scott's last season. As soon as the off-season started after the Bucs game I was hopeful Scott could be our next Burgess if used correct as just a pass rusher.
Then as OTA's started there was a lot of talk about Scott getting bigger. I couldn't have been happier when I heard in an interview Scott talk about how he wanted to be a starter and help this team finally stop the run. Young players like this guy are how I still watch the Raiders. He is unselfish and wants to be the best he can be for the teams sake not just his own.
Jay Richardson- Richardson has been a average right end in years with the Raiders. One of the only ends that are better against the run than the pass. Not to say he is a run stuffer but he has been decent against the run and has few moves to get the QB making him a crappy pass rusher. Richardson has been decent for a 5th round pick and has been at least what I expected a stop gap for the right end.
Don't get me wrong I am not saying he will not see playing time because he has shown some promise but I just believe Scott is going to be a better player. Richardson will come in as a sub in games to give either end a rest next year and will be a huge necessity for depth on the Raiders roster, in order to stop the run.
Rookies- Matt Shaughnessy , and Stryker Sulak are unknowns as of now. I won’t predict for either of these guys because I don’t know how much they will even see the field. So lets keep them at hopeful.
Tommy Kelly- Few Raiders fans agree with me when I say Tommy Kelly is the real Mamma Jamma. The guy always eats up two blocks and is the only reason we aren't miles behind the worst run Defense in the League. I believe Kelly will be even better this year because he has had another year to get his knee stronger. I mean honestly any of us that has injured something and played knows even after your a 100% it takes you awhile to make it feel like it use to. I’m predicting a big year for this man I’m saying 8 sacks and 18th in run defense. Kelly will be a big reason why...
Terdell Sands- I don’t about this guy he is a player that confuses the hell out of me. Sands is a mammoth, he should eat centers and guards for as an appetizer. But somehow Sands seems to get pushed back and becomes a weak point to the D-line. Or Sands bowls over everyone in his way and eats the QB(see chargers game.)
It has been said Sands dropped weight and is back to the size he was at in 2006 when he played the run defense pretty well. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this guy. He could be a real special player, if he could follow the easiest rule for a DT to follow. STAY LOW and use your WEIGHT to knock the guards back.
Gerard Warren- Warren is a one gap player. In other words he tries to split the game and bust plays up in the backfield before the QB can do anything. This technique has it’s pros and cons, the pros are he gets to the QB fast so fumbles are always possible and who doesn’t like when your Defense gets the offense the ball back. He stuffs runs in the backfield. Now the Cons are a good line blocks this technique very easily, if blocked Warren is basically out of the play and leaves a huge hole. Overall this technique is just too inconsistent, which is why Warren is either a monster on game day or a scrub. I don’t see this guy being anything special this year. He might have 3 sacks and 2 will come in one game. More of a weakness then a strength in my opinion.
Ryan Boschetti- This guy I have high hopes for, from what I hear he has a nonstop motor. Something the Raiders Defense has been lacking for years. Boschetti is a run defender and hopeful he can help stop our woes in that line of department.
Greg Ellis- My favorite pickup this off-season he is a good DE and will help our defense get better. The reason I think Burgess could have a big year. Ellis will be the Starter, he is better vs. the run and hold the point of attack better. Ellis had 8 sacks last year for the Cowboys and that is all I want from him this year. Ellis could form the best LDE tandem in the league with Burgess this year and honestly I’m massively excited to see them play. I'm predicting Ellis will be a strong part of our defense will be one of the main reasons we will come down to 18th in run defense. I don't think Ellis will be rack up double digit sacks but I believe he will be right under it.
Derrick Burgess- Monster against the past but I’ve always said he just doesn’t get it done against the run. Will have a good year as the Pass rush specialist, if he can stay health that is. I’m still so happy Al hasn’t given this guy big money he can’t stay on the field long enough to get the contract he would want. I say use him this year as our sack machine and then let him test the waters of Free agency. This year Burgess will bring himself back up to a monster pass rusher by registering 11 sacks as strictly a pass rusher.
Thomas Howard- This guy is fast, he has run down running backs. Howard is a great pass defender he is one of the best LB’s at covering running backs out of the backfield. Howard is a decent tackler, he will make a good majority of open field tackles but will definitely miss some. My one problem with Howard is one that is a problem in Oakland in general. Howard tends to run after the ball instead of filling his gap.
Howard is an up and coming star on the Raiders defense, he will have a good solid year because of John Marshall making Oakland more gap oriented. You could even say a bounce back year because Howard only had one interception last year. Howard will have over 100 tackles this year, 2 Forced Fumbles, and 5 Int’s.
Kirk Morrison-(Leader Of This Defense) First of All what is up with the haterade Raiders fans be drinking all over Morrison. Morrison is a great LB I don’t know about great MLB. But for anyone who is hating on Kirk you don’t register 498 tackles in 4 years on a defense if your a crappy LB. He is a tackling machine and is also great in coverage. Yet again his main weakness in my eyes is he follows the ball.
By the way Morrison destroyed Keyshawn Johnson’s face on Rome Is Burning. He backed his QB and Oakland’s first and second round picks. Now that is a team player!! Morrison is coming off only one int from last year so in pass coverage he will bounce back. I’m predicting Pro Bowl for Morrison or at least screwed out of the Pro Bowl AGAIN. With 132 tackles, 5 int, 4 FF, and being the main reason Oakland drops down from 31 in Rush Defense all the way to 18.
Whoever starts here will have a good season with 89 tackles, 2 int, 2 ff.
Ricky Brown- Brown was a pleasant surprise last year. He came in with little expectations at least from my stand point, and looked better and better each week. Leading up to his best career game against the Ravens where he registered 10 tackles. Brown injured his groined landing him on injured reserved and had surgery to fix the problem.
After Brown was fully recovered this off-season at OTA’s . It was a surprise for me to hear Brown was playing second string MLB. I hope Cable is telling the truth when he says that Brown will get a look at strong side and he is just playing MLB to see if he can basically handle the load of being MLB. I like Brown a lot he seems to be a good team player that wants what is best for the Raiders, and it helps he loves being a Raider. We will see who will win this spot but I hope Brown pulls through.
Jon Alston- Before this year at OTA’s Alston was mainly a special teams player. But during the Off-season Alston put on weight and muscle which shows his dedication to getting better. Not to mention he didn’t lose his speed. This type of Off-season step up is something the Raiders have been lacking in the past couple of years. Alston has looked good in OTA’s defending both the pass and run. I really like our chances this year with Brown and Alston competing for this spot, because this guys are going to push the other very hard.
Nnamdi Asomugha- Best in the NFL... The guy destroy stat giants Steve Smith and Andre Johnson last year. Not to mention everyone says Randy Moss(The guy I hate the second most in football) had a nasty game with Nnamdi covering him, first off NOOOOO!!! Secondly Nnamdi didn’t even cover him that much because Rob Ass Ryan kept Nnamdi on one side of the field.
67 tackles, 5 int, 2 ff
Chris Johnson- Fast as shit and will be part of a great core of players for us. If Johnson keeps up the way he played last year our pass Defense is going to be SICK.
75 tackles, 7 int, 3 ff
Stanford Routt- Has the skills to be a #2 corner. Good at coverage fast as hell, and a nice tackler, it’s a surprise how good our pass defense looks now before the season. Lets just say if Routt is matched up on the other teams best receiver I still feel very confident he will get the job done.
48 tackles, 3 int, 0 ff
No stats for these guy individually because no idea who is going to start. So overall I’d say for SS and FS we will have 240 tackles, 8 int, 3 FF.
Mike Mitchell- Just think of this now if you throw passes to Nnamdi’s side the pass will get intercepted and your receievers face will be destroyed. Seriously this dudes highlight tape is SEXY, I just want one big hit in pre-season. This guy will be good and may not break the starting Lineup but will definitely see some good time. No predictions on Rookies.
Hiram Eugene- Good special teams player and is a pretty good tackler compared to what we have seen in Oakland lately. But he isn’t much of a playmaker and isn’t going to wow anyone with his speed, hands, or reading plays. Good stop gap last year and did his job may start this year but I wouldn’t count on it. Is worth keeping around for depth and special teams.