Is John Henderson the Final Cog Needed for Oakland Raiders Defense To Click?

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IJune 11, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 14:  John Henderson #98 of the Jacksonville Jaguars tackles Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers during the game at Jacksonville Municipal stadium on December 14, 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Is John Henderson the final cog in the wheel?

Henderson is 31, and his production has dropped over the last couple of years. It's been a while since he's made his last Pro Bowl too.

It could still mean a lot.

His pass-rushing skills have diminished a bit, but that is not what the Raiders brought him in for. He is still very stout at the point of attack and should be a big help for the Raiders to stop the run.

At 6'7", 335 lbs, Henderson is still a man that you can't block with one man in the run game. Therefore, he will no doubt see double teams.

This will leave Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour one-on-one with opposing offensive linemen. It will also help keep blockers off of first-round middle linebacker Rolando McClain.

Like John Matuszak and Lyle Alzado in the past, he has Raider character written all over him. I wonder who he will chose to slap the taste out of his mouth before each game now.

The offense looks to be a much improved unit now. It looks like the defense was made its journey too.

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If Chris Johnson can rebound from last year, the Raiders are set with the games best on the other side. Michael Huff looked like he re-learned the free safety position, and Tyvon Branch looked like a beast last year.

The aforementioned McClain will be manning the middle at linebacker. Up-and-comer Trevor Scott looks to come up more this year at outside linebacker. Kameron Wimbley is now in Oakland to put heat on the quarterbacks from his outside linebacker position.

John Henderson joins Kelly and Seymour and looks to be that big, final cog in the wheel that will make the Raiders defense roll.

Is he?

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