Oakland Raiders Mini-Camp: Cable's Defensive Secret!

Jimmy HalCorrespondent IIIMay 1, 2010

NAPA, CA - AUGUST 5: Head coach Tom Cable looks on during the Oakland Raiders Training Camp at the Napa Valley Marriott on August 5, 2009 in Napa, California.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The 2010 Draft made it clear that the Oakland Raiders have finally understood what has been plaging them for close to a decade, porous run defense and shotty offensive line play.

With the first four draft picks addressing those issues, the Oakland Raiders seem poised to at least be a much improved football team, emphasis on the word team.

Pro-Bowler Nnamdi Asomugha admitted that though the Raiders did not make big splashes in free agency, they were still active by cutting certain players that either did not perform to expected standards or overall did not fit the future team first philosophy that Head Coach Tom Cable is trying to implement.

Those actions combined with the moves made in the draft, more than prove that the Raiders understand what is needed to become successfull. With mini-camp now in session, it is time to put their plan in action.

In the second round, Oakland selected DT Lamarr Houston. Fans were ecstatic too see the Raiders address such an important position of need. Though, Cable soon made it known that Houston would be used as a defensive end, not tackle. Making the defensive tackle position scarily thin.

Cable in his press conference said he had something special in store for the DT position that he felt many people would find acceptable, but kept it a secret until mini camp, still not addressing it in his post practice press conference.

Some believe that the secret is moving DE Richard Seymour, who is now working on a long term deal, to play defensive tackle. Though I think Seymour will play some DT in a few packages, I do not think that is Cable's secret weapon.

Seymour played DT in several different packages last year, so doing it again and being so secretive about it, does not make much sense.

I don't think Cable is keeping a certain scheme a secret, but rather a certain player.

DT Desmond Bryant.

Remember Bryant proved to be the Oakland Raiders diamond in the rough, as far as undrafted free agents are concerned, and flourished in the pre-season.

Coming from an Ivy League school, I believe Harvard, Bryant had great measurables, but needed to work on technique. Not seeing him very much in the regular season makes you wonder how much of the mental game has Bryant retained.

Bryant played DT but looked more like a DE. What if Bryant has put on some weight and gained substantial power? He could be an ideal three technique DT, moving DT Tommy Kelly to Nose Tackle.

Now for the twist. What if instead of switching Bryant and Seymour from DT to DE and vice versa(still having Seymour at DT in some other packages), you switch Bryant and Houston. Though that may be asking a lot from a rookie, keep in mind Houston played DT in college.

This I think gives the Raiders versatility on defense, and may give them faster production.

This is speculation on my part I do admit, and I have not worked out all the kinks. Im still not sure how to work in DE Matt Shaugnessy who was very productive as a rookie.

But with Bryant playing with the first team defense on friday, the idea occured to me as Cable raved about the unknown rookie last pre-season.

Tell me what you think of my idea, may not be perfect so im open to criticism, but you got to admit that keeping a player a secret makes more sense than keeping a scheme a secret. Especially when the Raiders have made it clear that they will remain a 4-3 defense.