Oakland Raider Switch-Outs That Can Make the 2010 Season
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The insanity that Raider Nation has lived in appears to be over now.
President and dictator of Raider Nation Al Davis is now leading the nation in a different direction. A host of switch-outs have been made throughout the team.
I believe that these switch-outs to have really changed the face of Raider Nation for the better.
Happy days are coming to Raider Nation!
Turn the page to see what those switch-outs are.
Switched Out: Kirk Morrison
Kirk Morrison's switch to middle linebacker did not work out. Many Morrison supporters will refer to his tacking stats as they were top-10 for his position. Some will blame the defensive tackles for not keeping Morrison clean.
Here is the bottom line:
Morrison would have fit in well as an outside linebacker if not for the elephant scheme. But as a middle linebacker, he was not good.
He often couldn't find the ball carrier until he was at least 10 yards down field. Then he uses his speed to charge in and finish off the tackle.
What good is a bunch of tackles if they are 10 to 20 yards down field?
Then there is his physicality, or lack thereof.
On a long run given up against the Baltimore Ravens, Morrison was put on the ground by Todd Heap. Heap is not known for being a physical tight end. He is widely known for his pass catching.
There is no way to not place a big portion of the blame on Morrison of the the Raiders' woes against the run.
Enter: Rolando McClain
Rolando was picked first by the Raiders in the draft to fix the defense against the run. He is everything Morrison isn't from the middle linebacker position.
He is instinctive and knows where everyone on the field is supposed to be. McClain's head coach at Alabama, Nick Saban, said, "Ro probably knows more about defensive football than I do."
Then there's McClain's physicality, or abundance of. A former teammate of McClain compared practicing against McClain with sparring with Brock Lesnar.
Check and check.
Morrison was traded to Jacksonville upon McClain's arrival.
Switched Out: Gerrard Warren
Gerrard Warren was a beast!
He was a beast for one in every five plays.
Unfortunately, you need to be a beast on every play in the NFL. Defensive lineman with low motors usually amount to big yards given up on the ground.
When your team is at the bottom of the league in rushing yards given up, players like that must go.
That's is why Warren is now a New England Patriot.
Good for him that he has found work.
Enter: John Henderson
John Henderson still is a beast! He may not be the pass rusher he once was but he is still an immovable object in the run game.
That's all Raider Nation needs him for.
Henderson understands his role all too well. He said, "You can take me out on third down. But I will get it done in goal-line and short yardage."
So far in camp, he has shown that he can still stop the run. Tommy Kelly has been switched to the nose, where Henderson plays, but don't read too far into it. He has been getting handled by the likes of Daniel Loper and new center Jared Veldheer.
Since Richard Seymour is now manning the three technique, Al could save himself some money by getting rid of Kelly.
He, along with Lamarr Houston, Richard Seymour, and McClain, will instantly improve the Raiders against the run.
Switched Out: Cornell Green
Cornell Green was a really busy man in 2009.
It was usually no-good that he was up too.
He spent much of his time false starting for the Raiders. When Green wasn't false starting, he was usually holding. Then when he wasn't doing those two things, he was giving up sacks to defensive ends.
Therefore, he had to leave Raider Nation.
Enter: Langston Walker
Clubber Lang is back!
Langston Walker is back and ready to fight as he did with teammate Lamarr Houston.
His prediction for the 2010 season is pain!
The Oakland native is a former second round pick that chased the money to Buffalo in 2006.
We was let go in 2009 and ended up back in Raider Nation. He actually played well in relief of the injured Robert Gallery and re-signed with the Raiders.
He has since trimmed down and claimed the right tackle spot he was drafted for in 2002. This will result in a reduction in penalties and sacks, while bringing a mauler in the running game.
So far it has been Walker who puts Houston in his place when needed. The two will continue to fight as they make each other better in camp.
Switched Out: Greg Ellis
The old warrior gave Raider Nation what he had left in 2009. He tied for the team lead in sacks with seven but couldn't stay healthy.
He and his bad knees also got pushed around in the run game. That would ultimately lead to his exit from Raider Nation.
There's no shame in getting old.
Enter: Lamarr Houston
Houston comes to Raider Nation just they way you want him to. He comes with talent and a huge chip on his shoulder.
At 6'3", 305 pounds, Houston runs a 4.74 40-yard dash and the former running back has plenty of agility. There you have it with Houston's freakish talent.
Where might the chip on his shoulder come from?
Houston entered the draft as a defensive tackle. He then fell to the Raiders in the second round despite outproducing top-10 pick Gerald McCoy in college.
He also outperformed him in the combine.
The Raiders now plan to use that freakish size and speed at strong side defensive end. He was known a disruptive penetrator college and that is needed in Raider Nation.
Switch-Out Pending: Cooper Carlisle
Cooper Carlisle gave Raider nation a couple of good years. But the 32-year-old appears to be at the end of his road.
There is no shame in that.
However, the Raider motto is "Just Win Baby," and Carlisle just wasn't doing it last year. It's only going to get worse as the Raiders will employ the power-blocking scheme this year.
Carlisle is a small NFL guard, so he will mightily struggle against larger defensive tackles. It will no longer be as simple as a combo-block or cut-block on every play.
But I do appreciate his help in resurrecting Oakland's run game in '07and '08.
Still Pending: Bruce Campbell
Bruce Campell is a 6'7", 320 pounder who runs a 4.78 40-yard dash!
Campbell was a left tackle in college but doesn't appear to have advanced enough technically for an NFL job there.
So Cable has decided to move him to guard, where he can make an immediate impact. I didn't originally like the move because of his upside at left tackle.
On second thought, this is an awesome move.
That's why Cable is the coach.
Campbell has even more potential as a guard for the Raiders. His speed will be very useful along with fellow guard Gallery's to escort Darren McFadden outside.
Campbell paired with Gallery can even bring back the counter trey.
How about the Packer sweep?
Switch-Out Pending: Samson Satele
Samson Satele is already a part of a bad switch-out with former Raider Jake Grove. Grove went to Miami to do some really good things for the Dolphins.
Satele struggled last year in Oakland.
First, he was sat down for not getting his calls right. Then he came in and mightily struggled with larger nose tackles.
What did Coach Cable expect?
Satele was exactly who he was in Miami.
Satele led the league in losses at the point of attack in the run game. That was also the case when he was in Miami. He also led NFL centers in sacks given up.
I understand that Cable has a reputation as an artist with his lineman. However, every artist needs paint, canvas, or clay.
Satele is none of those.
Still Pending: Jared Veldheer
Jared Veldheer was drafted as a left tackle, just like Campbell was. Also like Campbell, he isn't quite ready to assume the the left tackle spot just yet.
However, the need for a strong center led Coach Cable to experiment with Veldheer as a center. So far, he is doing much better than expected.
Cable may be on to something!
At 6'8", 320 pounds, Veldheer is a huge and athletic man. Cable said of Veldheer, "He has already shown that he is strong enough to handle the nose."
If he continues to adapt to the new position, it will be his this year.
Needed Switchout: Mario Henderson
This switch-out is needed for quarterback Jason Campbell to survive. The Raiders already have two quarterback casualties under Henderson's care.
Would you trust him with your quarterback?
People like to blame Gallery's injuries for Henderson's play, but Walker played well in Gallery's stead. Add to that the fact that Henderson is still struggling in pass protection in camp.
He constantly has Campbell on the run. This leads to constant tongue lashings from offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
In a previous article, I suggested a trade for Baltimore Raven Jared Gaither. The Raiders are now in camp, so I will only talk about current Raiders at this time.
Perhaps Khalif Barnes should be given a shot to compete like last year, before breaking his leg. Daniel Loper is having a pretty good camp so far.
I just don't wanna see this job given back to Henderson.
The Raiders need Campbell to play.
The Biggest Switch-Out of Them All: Enter Jason Campbell
I refuse to wast a whole page on JaMarcus Russell with his photo on it. It's time for Raider Nation to get past that.
So we will jump straight to Oakland's legitimate quarterback, Jason Campbell. Both coaches and players alike have sung his praises during camp.
There are far fewer footballs hitting the ground during passing drills. The Raider secondary actually gets work while going against the offense. Receivers make more catches as they expect catchable balls every time.
The Oakland Raider offense suddenly looks like an NFL offense!
Most importantly, the Raiders have confidence now. They're all walking around with a swagger that hasn't been seen in years.
The influx of talent talent that has arrived in Raider Nation has to play a part. But they all know that if they do their jobs, it won't be ruined by one man.
In fact, they know they will actually get help from the quarterback position this year!
Now the Raiders are complete!