Former first round outside linebacker Kamerion Wimbley is a Raider reclamation project I am very excited about. Wimbley had 11 sacks in his rookie season. From there, his numbers fell to nine sacks in his next two years.
That happens when you become the only marked man on your defense. Opposing teams found it rather easy to game plan for him as no one else could hurt them.
Shawn Rogers only playes when it's not too hard on his lungs. Outside of Rogers, what other threat did the Cleveland Browns have? You can also put that together with the fact that Wimbley went from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker.
In 2009, Wimbley came back with a solid season from his outside linebacker position. He posted 69 tackles, one pass defensed, one forced fumble, and 6.5 sacks.
Are those the numbers that the Browns drafted him for?
No. But he became a better all around linebacker and his pass rush skills are still there.
How? He had only 6.5 sacks.
Most fans and media rely on stats to evaluate a player. Real insiders and coaches use film as their tool when evaluating a player. So I took a look at some tape myself.
Wimbley consistently put pressure on the quarterback. Cleveland Brown Head Coach Eric Mangini said, " There are a bunch of plays on tape where Kamerion is close."
Many of you must be thinking, "Almost doesn't count." But the NFL now has stats called quarterback pressures and hits. Wimbley had 24 pressures and eight hits in 2009. That's where almost really does count.
The Raider secondary will largely benefit from Wimbley's pressures and hits. New York Jet cornerback Darelle Revis's eight interceptions came from quarterback hits and pressures. He was beaten deep by Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, and Steve Smith only to intercept a poorly thrown ball.
However, all the stats say is that Revis shut all of those guys out. Imagine Nnamdi Asomugha being the beneficiary of such pressure. That's why the Jets won't give Revis Nnamdi Asomugha type money.
Cleveland Brown Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan said of Wimbley, "He's smart. He's a tough, competitive guy. We are going to use him in a multiple role." That led to Wimbley's improvement from the previous two seasons.
How you use Wimbley is important. Wimbley is listed a strong side outside linebacker since coming to Raider Nation but I'm sure he'll have other duties.
Wimbley is a perfect fit to John Marshall's 4-3 elephant scheme.
What is the 4-3 elephant scheme?
It,s a base 4-3 scheme in wich one of the defensive ends can stand up. He could either have his normal responsibility or switch responsibilities with the outside linebacker. Sometimes they both get after the quarterback.
Wimbley came into the league as a 4-3 end before switching to 3-4 outside linebacker. This makes him a perfect hybrid type of player for the scheme. Marshall used the scheme to help the Seattle Seahawks get to the Super Bowl in 2005.
The team that he is going to will turn a lot of his pressures and hits into sacks as well. Wimbley now has guys like Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelley, and John Henderson on his team. Therefore he won't see too many double teams.
On third down, he could stand up on the same side as up and coming star Trevor Scott. Opponents will have to guess who's coming.
If they both come, the quarterback will be immediately threatened.
Why should we think Al Davis will allow the Raiders to use such a scheme?
Cable, Marshall, and the Raider defense have made a believer out of Davis in Week six agianst the Philadelphia Eagles. They held the Eagles to nine points while sacking then quarterback Donavan McNabb six times.
After the game, a stunned McNabb said, "They ran some blitzes that we never saw them run on flim."
The fact that Davis brought Wimbley in speaks volumes about the Raider's 2010 plans. Quenton Groves is another hybrid type that was brought in to help the Raider's cause. Trevor Scott is a hybrid type already on the team in 2009.
With the scheme and players around him Wimbley should break out in 2010. This will make him the Raiders reclamation of 2010.
Do you remmber Derrick Burguess?
He didn't do a whole lot before coming to Raider Nation.