I'm going to give you a solution to a problem that has been agonizing to fans for the past several seasons. Follow my steps and you'll be on the quick road to a successful run defense in 2010 Oakland Raiders.
The first thing that you need to do is get Richard Seymour back. Not hard. I think he wants a nice fat chunk of change, so give it to him. He is your best defensive lineman at this point and has said he wants to help turn it around. If he doesn't like your offer, then franchise him.
The next move should be to re-sign Kirk Morrison. He will eventually be our new strong side linebacker.
That leads me to item number three. Sign the free agent defensive tackle Vince Wilfork from the New England Patriots. I have a few things few things to add to this suggestion.
First of all, Bill Bellacheat thinks that he creates players in his system, and therefore finds it hard to make the owner pay them when there time comes to be paid, because he can just make a new one in their absence. Unless, of course, you are Tom "The Golden Boy" Brady, then your poop is golden.
Odds are, Vince will want a big contract similar to the one received by Albert Haynesworth, courtesy of the Washington Redskins last year. History with free agents and the Patriots suggest they will not accommodate his desires.
Al Davis should give it to him. I'm not saying it has to be as big as Haynesworth's, you could cut some years off the deal, but it should be lucrative enough to garner his interest over other teams. Reuniting him with Richard Seymour could be a great motivational factor for Wilfork.
He is a young guy who has been a force in the 3-4 alongside former teammate Richard Seymour. I would just love to see what the two players can do in the 4-3 when they have less people to block them and will force opponents to keep additional blockers in to help the offensive line.
Another good reason is because I'm sick of the Patriots, all Raiders' fans should be. What better way to get back at them for Randy Moss and the "Tuck Rule" then to take their two best defensive linemen over the past 20 years and plug them into our system. We have part one, now it is time for part two.
The last step to turning this from a potentially good defensive unit, to a potentially great, and good on a bad day unit, is to draft Alabama middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
McClain is a smart player who is already into film study. He has a great work ethic and is very instinctive on the football field. He is the leader of a Crimson Tide defense that shut down the high powered Florida offense in the SEC Championship game.
McClain is 6'4" and weighs 258 pounds. He is a really big linebacker, which you would tend to think would make him very durable. His speed is rumored to be in the high 4.4 range to the mid 4.6 forty yard dash range. That gives him the triple threat; height, weight, speed combination that Al Davis desires.
Crimson Tide head coach, Nick Saban, said having McClain on the field is like having a defensive coordinator as a player. Kirk Herbstreit said that he plays as fast as somebody who is 220 pounds, and said that McClain can take a call from the sidelines and adjust his defensive comrades to a different role on a play within seconds.
Now, there are a couple problems with this scenario. For one, McClain has not yet declared himself for the NFL Draft. Problem No. 2 is that when, and if he does, he might be one of those players who flies up the draft board. Right now he is ranked seventh on the Scout's Inc.'s "Top 32" list. The Raiders draft pick is No. 8.
These few moves would complete the defense. Add a nickel corner in free agency or the draft, and the rest of your offseason signings can be devoted to offensive linemen if you'd like. But we need to fix the run defense, for one, the passing defense finished seventh in the league, and for two, defense wins championships.
There you go Raider Nation. Now all we have to do is convince Al Davis!
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