This article focuses on the defense,which we all know needs upgrades.
John Marshall did do a good job mixing in the man to man,zone,and the blitzes,but is still in need of improvements.
It has been said that "A good defense wins championships".
This past season we saw improvement on a minimum level,but some improvement none the less.
More exposed was the lack of stopping the run,especially on 3rd downs!
The defense would do great on 1st and 2nd downs,it's 3rd down when the opponents would keep the drives alive,being it passes or running.
So here are a few suggestions as to what's needed on Defense.
He was brought in at the very beginning of the season right before the Chargers game.Not many thought he would learn the playbook in time,but fellow defensive players helped him along and played anyway.
He has been a pretty dominate force,taking on double teams,getting penetration,stopping the run and sacks.
His contract is up and has said that he would like to remain a Raider.It's up to Al now to open up that wallet of his and sign this pro-bowl caliber player to at least a 2-3 year deal.
Seymour could also be used for the recruiting of Vince Wilfork who's contract is up this year for the Patriots.If I'm not mistaken,Al Davis originally was targeting Wilfork to be traded for the 2011 1st round draft pick,but was given Seymour instead.With Seymour and Wilfork,the opponents will have to double team just one of them,leaving the other to wreak havoc!
I would love to see this move,but It's hard for me to believe the Pats will give him up.
If Wilfork gets resigned by the Pats(which I'm pretty sure he will),I think the next best prospect would be Casey Hampton from Pittsburgh.Lets face it,The Steelers like no name players who want to make a name for themselves.Casey has done just that.He is the reason why the Steelers are one of the top five in run defense.
Hampton, earlier this season, hinted toward a move away from Pittsburgh if the money warrants it.
Rolando McClain name has been mentioned on recent B/R articles as a target in the first round at # 8.
I have to agree that he is a play maker and would be the type of LB that we need to compliment our Defensive line.Kirk Morrison,as much as I like him as a player,is not the middle Linebacker type.His size is more of a Outside or weak side Linebacker.He does however,bring good hustle and stays healthy for every game.
Morrison should be still retained,but moved to one of the other spots.
Thomas Howard is good on pass coverage most of the time,but gets beat way to often on the run.He doesn't get off of blocks well which results in big plays.I still like Howard,but could go either way with him.If he is kept on the roster,a new commitment so be put in play for the 2010 season.
Trevor Scott started playing LB,starting off kinda suspect,but then improving on the position through the season.Trevor has always answered when getting the call.It's only this kids second year out of Buffalo and he is always improving.
As far a Sam Williams and Isaiah Ekejiuba,they also play on Special teams and could be still retained for Roster spots because of that.
Ricky Brown and Jon Alston have both been on and off the injury list and think we should cut our losses and move on.I think they are also not the size needed at that middle line backing spot.
Nnamdi Asomugha signed a new contract just last year and has earned every penny of it.
What Our Raiders now need is another shut down corner to compliment him on the other side.
As much as I want Chris Johnson to succeed,he has not done so consistently throughout the whole season.
My dream addition to that side would be Derrelle Revis from The Jets.There would be absolutely no passing game for any team against the Raiders with him on the other side.He is a large part of why the Jets are the #1 defense.
I know,I'm dreaming,but we can dream can't we?
Chris Johnson (if kept on the roster)has to "step up" his game and put in that extra work to become like Nnamdi.
If by chance Revis is signed,then I would move CJ to the nickel spot and cutting the terrible Stanford Routt.One thing is for sure (imo),is Stanford Routt has to go!
Tyvon Branch in his second year,has improved tremendously.He is second in most tackles.If it wasn't for him and his sure tackling,many games would have been much more worst.At the beginning of camp,he earned the spot and hasn't looked back since.
Micheal Huff showed a lot of improvement this year also.He has been suspect in years prior,but his showing of recent play has warranted him sticking around.
Mike Mitchell has shown a little improvement this year towards the end,but needs to mirror himself to Tyvon and keep at it!
Hiram Eugene has been suspect when inserted to play and has been burned also once too often.I could go either way on this one also.
I know some of my ideas are a reach,but the thought of being an uncapped year has me wondering if it is really possible.
We can all dream,hope,and pray the needs get fulfilled,but the bottom line is just seeing improvement by everyone on this team.
Here's to a good draft and filling the needs.
I can honestly say that this team is not really that far off to compete than it has in the last 7 years.
Please comment My Raider Brothers and Sisters and tell me what you would do if you was Al Davis?
Remember,this ones about Defense.If you didn't read the other 2,here are the links!
Thanks for the read!
Go Raiders in 2010!