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Oakland Raider Aaron Curry Reclaiming His Career in Raider Nation

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IOctober 27, 2011

Oakland Raider Aaron Curry Reclaiming His Career in Raider Nation

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    There are a lot of reviews about the Carson Palmer trade after just one half of one game that he wasn't prepared to play in. It is a move that needs time to develop before we are able to know the true value of this trade for the Raiders. Palmer needs time to get into the playbook and work with his receivers.

    Meanwhile, there's another trade that's paying immediate dividends and no one is talking about it. Aaron Curry is already showing himself to be a steal as the Raiders gave up a 2012 seventh-round pick and a condtional fifth-round pick for a man that has made an immediate impact on Raiders defense.

    Last year, the Oakland Raiders had Kamerion Wimbley come to Raider Nation and reclaimed his career. This year, Aaron Curry has come to the nation and he's in the process of doing the same thing.

    You can call it just a couple of games if you want to for the 2009 first-round pick that's recently been on the bust list. But this move for the Raiders to reclaim yet another career has greatness written all over it!

    Turn the page to see why.

Davis' Last Move

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    This move has Al Davis' fingerprints all over it!

    The man didn't just die and all of a sudden, the first thing Hue Jackson wants to do is get Curry a couple of days after his death. This is a move that has been in the making for a while now—only we didn't know until it happened.

    It's always been that way with Davis.

    We all know that Davis loves physical freaks and the Curry completely fits the bill there. But what some of you may not know is that Davis wanted Curry bad in the 2009 draft—only to see him go No. 4 to Seattle.

    The Raiders were No. 7 that year and ended up taking Darrius Heyward-Bey. Davis had to be hot on the trail once the Seahawks announced they were open to trading Curry since Davis wanted him in 2009.

    It might have been Davis' last request to see to it that the trade between the Raiders and Seahawks happens. The Raiders now have both of the guys Davis most wanted from the 2009 draft on his team.

    His spirit will be with Curry as well as Heyward-Bey and others going forward.  

Raiders Bloodlines

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    Eric Barton was the weak-side linebacker (same as Curry) the last time the Raiders went to the Super Bowl in 2002. Barton just so happens to be the brother of Curry and he is sure to give him pointers on Raiders linebacker play. Not to mention, Barton also played under defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.

    Curry said of his brother at his first post practice press conference as a Raider on CSN, "Eric is way more excited than I am. I'm excited and he's over the mountain excited. He's like, 'When can I come up? Where can I stay? I'll be there tomorrow. I'll see you tomorrow. What's the defense look like. Tell the coaches a said hey. Tell everybody I said hey.' I think he's revisiting his time here. He had some special time here. He's going to be here today and he's going to show me the ropes."

    It reminds me of someone else we know. (Stefen Wisniewski)

First Impressions

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    From the first impression Aaron Curry made as a Raider a couple of weeks ago, Curry looked like he belongs in the silver and black. He had just three tackles but he made his presence felt in a big way in the game.

    He consistently set the edge against the run—turning the ball carrier back inside for middle linebacker Rolando McClain. Then last Sunday, he continued to set the edge and made what could have been a momentum changing play—forcing a fumble in the first quarter near his own goal line.

    The Chiefs recovered the ball for a touchdown so the play didn't have the impact on the game that it could have. But if one of Curry's teammates could have recovered it, the momentum of the game would have changed with the Raiders only down 7-0.

    That's a huge if now, but Curry made the play.

Plays Well Against the Run

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    If Curry doesn't do anything else right, he will be an important player for the Raiders. The two things that the outside linebacker does well is he sets his edge against the run and he tackles well.

    We all know those two traits in an outside linebacker will help the Raiders tremendously and showed it right away against the Browns. On a toss play when the ball carrier took it outside, Curry shot out there and made the play on Browns running back Montario Hardesty.

    The Raiders run defense got better on that day!

Pass Coverage Questions

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    The big knock on Curry that I've heard all over the media is the knock on his pass coverage skills. At the same press conference on CSN, Curry spoke on his pass coverage skills—saying, I've gotten way better since I was a rookie and it's only going to get better here because it's not as complex."

    I guess that's why there have been so many reports on Curry not having instincts in a zone coverage scheme. Curry won't have to worry about too much zone as the Raiders are a man-to-man team, which was the defense the Raiders were playing when Curry had two passes defensed.

    Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was 0-2 throwing Curry's way.

    All he needed was to be better than Quentin Groves anyway.

No Confusion

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    Sometimes, a first-round pick goes to a team and busts because the team expects too much from them. They see all of the athletic ability and think, "Wow! He is so athletic we can have him do a little of this, a little of that, and a little of the that."

    The player may be able to do such things physically but you run the risk of making him think too much. The Raiders are reclaiming Curry's career by giving him a role on the defense that suits his athletic ability.

    The Seahawks didn't do it that way with Curry.

    Curry said at the press conference on CSN, "Up north, (Seattle) everyone had to be able to do everything vs just being given a role and taking off with it."

    Simplifying things for great athletes sounds good to me!

Overview

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    Isn't it ironic?

    Curry has been a Raider for two weeks now and he less confused than he was in two years in Seattle. That's because the Raiders are just letting him line up and do what he does best through a defense he can operate in.

    He's had an impact on the Raiders run defense and surprised many in pass coverage. If the defense as a whole were a little more alert, his forced fumble could have been the biggest impact play of the game.

    But something tells me there will be more coming from Curry in the future. The Raiders just waved 6'2", 210 pound, 4.2 40-yard dash running cornerback Ron Parker, who they picked up after the Seahawks cut him, and moved from safety to corner.

    The only reason why he was waived was to make room for a kicker, due to Sebastian Janikowski's injury. I thought the Raiders should have waived Derek Hagan, who does nothing but drop balls but that's a whole other subject.

    I think the play of Curry taught the Seahawks that they should find out what a great athlete does well before they cut them. So the Seahawks reclaimed him—knowing he had to learn something about coverage as a Raider.

    But that doesn't make up for what the Raiders now have in Curry.

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