The Raiders reload is now out for all to see. How they reshuffle the deck is still open to conjecture and more change may still be coming.
So far we have seen 3 major changes on the porous defense that just could'nt consistently stop the run. With Greg Ellis, Gerard Warren, and Jon Alston. I include Alston because of special teams play and substitution value. Dont count John Bowie on this list cause I never saw him as anything but dead weight.
Raiders are left with 2 DT's as of now because Seymour is best at DE and playing on the right side with Asomugha behind him is ideal. Desmond Bryant is improving I believe, however at 290lb's is not a run stuffer. Tommy Kelly could do so much more with a Big Body next to him that could take up 2 blockers. With that not being addressed in the free agency race, it will come in the draft even if they acquire someone from another team later after the draft. That can be done within our 1st 3 pick's for best available. Dont count William Joseph as an answer here.
Defensive End is more flexible but a bit of a gamble I think. Seymour and Richardson both play the run well. That leaves Matt Shaughnessey to fill in for Ellis leaving and Trevor Scott could be used but looks to be playing LB more if not a complete switch.
At Linebacker then with Scott being used we have Thomas Howard who was sat down last year and curiously protected recently. Ricky Brown who could be MLB but is injury prone and not ideal there, and Kirk Morrison whose fate remains in the shuffling cards. Does Sam Williams remain taking up another roster spot for basically special teams play?? One of Al's favored projects or do you feel comfortable with Slade Norris yet? There is no one to answer the call for a true MLB to change the trend we cant stand to swallow anymore. Raiders need a Hammer and again free agency player's are gone.
No matter how it happens, we dont have any depth at CB and question marks with 2 of the 3 we do have. With depth at safety, Mike Mitchell and even Jerome Boyd, could the Raiders be thinking of Michael Huff at CB?
Offensively, the main concern is to give the QB a chance this year to survive. Raiders have no depth at Tackle or Guard. Right now faith is being placed on Khalif Barnes and Mario Henderson, and who plays where is still a question. Can Erik Pears or Langston Walker fill the role if injury occurs? Are they better suited at Guard? Langston gets the nod here as last year showed over Pears and Brandon Rodd? Would it be wiser to get a veteran from another team perhaps in trade? Possibility after the draft but thats a gamble that could get your QB killed and we dont want a repeat of last year. Raiders carried 9 OL men last year. This must be dealt with and maybe a Guard is the answer which can be had later in the draft than Tackle. With a solidified line situation, maybe we could actually exploit defenses again with our good handed TE's instead of asking them to stay back and block. If Oren O'Neil can return to form that would be a blessing but it's unknown. Luke(suspended)Lawton, Gary Russell and Marciel Reese are all lacking some element of their game. This in my opinion is where the only major tweek left needs to be made. Who is solid at picking up a blitz or lead blocking when needed on short yardage? You could use a linemen for short yardage ala William Perry but picking up the blitz? This is where our team is gonna miss Justin Fargas who could stop a streaking player in his tracks as well for his style of play and professionalism.
Raiders will reload and in what priority only time will tell. I would like to see at least one veteran here for stability and example to the younger players. Either way, this team is very close and very young. With a wise draft this april and a years gained expirience and stability,expect a dramatic change from last year and a playoff team in 2 yrs.
And how about Metallica getting back to the parking lot again!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!