The Raiders defense is a very talented unit, but even with all its talent the defense has struggled in recent years. They give up the big play, and are not very good against the run.
At times it is surprising that a team filled with so much talent on the defensive side of the ball, could struggle so much. One week they look like a championship caliber defense, then the next week they look like the practice squad for a JV football team.
2010 should be the year the Raiders defense turns it around, and becomes the engine for the Raiders overall turnaround.
Surprisingly the coach that will have the biggest impact for the Raiders defense is on the opposite side of the ball. Hue Jackson will help make the Raiders defense one of the best defensive units in 2010.
One of main reasons the Raiders have struggled on defense is because their offense cannot stay on the field long enough to give their defenders a good rest.
The Raiders lack of scoring on the offensive side of the ball has also hurt the defense. Opposing teams are usually playing with a lead and can afford to run the ball late in the games.
No team had more rush attempts ran against them than the Raiders in 2009.
The problems on the offensive side of the ball need to be fixed for the Raiders defense to perform to its highest ability.
One major issue has been fixed with the addition of Jackson. Tom Cable has the support of the players, and players believe he is a great motivator. His attitude and style have Oakland Raider written all over it.
He issue last season was that he was wearing too many hats, and play calling wasn't his strength. If you don't believe that, refer to the Sebastian Janikowski fake field goal a couple years back.
With the addition of Jackson the Raiders should see a major improvement on the offensive side of the ball, which will translate to a major improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
With Jackson calling the plays, Cable will spend more time with the offensive line. This should help improve the offense as a whole. A strong O line is the foundation of a good offense.
The talent on the offensive side of the ball is very young, and is starting to develop. The running backs are young and explosive, the receivers are big and fast. Cable was not shy to announce that Darrius Heyward-Bey will surprise a lot of people next season.
Zach Miller should be solid again, and with the improvement of the receivers he should also get a lot more action.
Jackson's job will be to get the most out of this young offense, including quarterback Jamarcus Russell.
The Raiders must try and score more and keep their defense on the field. The Raiders strength on defense is their secondary. If they can force teams to throw late in the game, it gives the Raiders an advantage.
If Jackson can turn the offense around, the Raiders defense can be a top ten defense and should keep the Raiders in every game.
Look for the Raiders to turn their misfortunes around in 2010, and expect Jackson to have the biggest impact on the Raiders defense.
For more Raider news and updates follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/RaiderWorldWide