Oakland Raiders: What They Need To Do This Offseason, Part I

John TolliverContributor IMarch 24, 2010

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Chaz Schilens #81 of the Oakland Raiders is congratulated by Javon Walker (L) after scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

This offseason is crucial for the Oakland Raiders. Their performance will tell us what Al Davis' thinks about the state of his team and if his Raiders can really compete for the AFC West crown.

With the current free agent period and little activity by Oakland, we can assume the following: we will go with the young guys and a new offensive gameplan.

If the Raiders are going to win this year, we have to play outstanding defense. All of Raider Nation agrees that most of our best players are on the defensive side of the ball.

Al Davis trading for Wimbley says that we will be bigger at linebacker with Wimbley and Scott on the outside. What Mr. Davis needs to do is draft Rolando McClain as our middle linebacker in the first round and Terrence Cody as our defensive tackle in the second round. 

McClain is NFL-ready right now and I think he would be our defensive leader. Terrence Cody would be the big body with the attitude that we could grow to love as Raider fans. With this group and proper coaching and playcalling, we could and should compete for being one of the best defenses in the league.

Al Davis has addressed the special teams this offseason with the following: signing Sebastian Janikowski to a multi-year deal and signing Yamon Figurs as a kickoff returner and punt returner (the Raiders only averaged 18 yards per kickoff return last year). If Johnnie Lee Higgins can return to form as a punt returner, than we should have one of the better special teams in the league.

I hope everyone enjoyed part one of this article. Part two will break down the offense, and in particular the quarterback and line positions. Maybe Al Davis sees this too, and will help his quarterback the same way that the Ravens helped Joe Flaco with a dominating defense.