Will Mike Mitchell Become the Starting Free Safety If Michael Huff Leaves ?
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Rumors have been circulating around the NFL that FS Michael Huff will be playing for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. Should this event take place and it is highly likely considering that the Oakland Raider have options at the FS position and they are not making any huge strides to renegotiate any contracts. Michael Huff has been a Cowboy fan since youth.
At 6'1, 205 lbs Michael Huff has been an Oakland Raider for five years. Last season Michael Huff posted 4 sacks, 94 tackles and had 3 interception.Last season was in fact, Huffs best season.
Another benefit for the Dallas Cowboys signing Huff is the reunion of Michael Huff with former and first NFL coach Rob Ryan.Rob Ryan was the defensive coach for the Silver and Black 2004-2008. His best season was 2003 when the Oakland Raiders ranked third in defense. In 2006, the Oakland Raiders ranked 3rd in overall defense.Oddly enough its appears the Raiders are back on track to being the best.
Michael Huff had a slow beginning for the Silver and Black but has since managed to pick up his game and become formidable.
Yet, the Raiders are on the verge of winning their fourth Superbowl in 2011 and improvement can be made at the free safety position.
To begin with the Raiders currently have Mike Mitchell and Tyvon Branch at SS. Basically, some moves can be made or adjustments. Mike Mitchell has the speed required and and tackling ability to replace Huff. In fact Mike Mitchell delivers a harder blow when stopping rivals.
Which player for the Silver and Black will have an improved season in 2011?
The NFL free agency has a few potentials like the Eric Weddle from the rival San Diego Chargers. Eric Weddle would be a perfect because he knows the rival teams and coming to the Oakland Raiders gives him an opportunity to get to the playoffs.
Looking at the AFC West its easy to understand why the Oakland Raiders have a legit shot at division domination.
The Denver Broncos drafted Tim Tebow last season and had his big opener against the Silver and Black. What Tebow learned was that the defense was fast and he spent alot of time trying to evade the pass rush. The Oakland Raiders defense is still intact thanks to Al Davis resigning the defensive line.
The San Diego Chargers seemed to score and get great field position when RB Darren Sproles returned kicks for the Chargers. However under the new NFL guidelines it appears that Sebastian Janikowski will now kick to Sproles from the Raider 35 yd line. This will stop any runs from the speedy Sproles as Janikowski will now kick the ball into the end zone every single time. This will hurt San Diego.
Then you have the Kansas City Chiefs who have a nice combo of RBs ( Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones) yet seemed to have lost an offensive coordinator ( Charlie Weis). The Chiefs are going to have to get used to the new coach and are still building after being embarrassed by the Silver and Black Attack the last time they met. Yes, Jacoby Ford made CB Brandon Flowers look pop warnor. This was really an awesome and the best of rivalry football when Jacoby Ford took over!
Do you think losing Michael Huff would be a mistake for Oakland or a plus?
Back to the subject at hand. The Oakland Raiders will also have the opportunity to pick from the NFL draft when the lockout is over. Keeping this in mind lets look at two potential players for the Raiders at free safety.
The first player that comes to mind is Chris Culliver from South Carolina. At 6'0", and 199 lbs, Culliver posted a 4.36 in the 40 yd dash making him the fastest. Everyone know Al Davis loves the speed. There is some speculation that should the Oakland Raiders lose Asomugha ( lets hope Al can keep the pro-bowler !), Culliver could get drafted and moved to CB position.
The second choice, Colin Jones from TCU, who posted second place speed at 4.40 in the 40 yd dash. Not bad for a guy 6'0" and weighing 201 lbs. Both possibilities have the qualities Al Davis loves and that is speed. If you want to become an Oakland Raider kiddies, you better be quick!
The Oakland Raider are a few improvement short of becoming a World Champion Superbowl team. Replacing Huff could be a great move provided he is replaced by a better player. Should Huff stay with the Raiders then it would be based on his performance last season and the Raidernation would expect continued improvement from the 5 year veteran.
The Raiders will have a great year and its is with great "pride and poise" that I tell my friends and family that the Oakland Raiders are Back!
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