Look no further than the most basic stats in football to determine where the Raiders need to upgrade after an 8-8 season.
To be fair, the total allowed score includes three touchdowns scored by the opposing defense. And it’s still awful.
Trainer Jon Gruden wasn’t specific at his end-of-season press conference, but hinted at continuity in secondary school and happened both indoors and outdoors. Gruden will be working overtime with General Manager Mike Mayock to bolster the Raiders’ worst defense in the Super Bowl era.
Defense is the biggest problem, but let’s face it – the Raiders knew their defense was bad when they were 6-3 and were helpless when falling to 8-8 due to their offensive problems running the ball had and touchdowns in the red zone and scored with turnovers.
There the defense needs to be revised in terms of system, vision and personnel. The offense also needs help.
Gruden said the raiders were « moving fast. Little information about the process suggests that they are speaking to assistants with whom he or interim coordinator Rod Marinelli has experience. In particular, Gus Bradley, Kris Richard, Joe Barry, and Raheem Morris.
Gruden trained with all four. Richard, who was previously a Head Coaching candidate, took last year off instead of taking a coaching position. Richard took over the defensive game for Marinelli at the Dallas Cowboys in 2018.
The coordinator is just the beginning. After the Raiders drop 478 points, expect to make major changes to the defense staff after identifying their coordinator. Then they have to hope that there will be some kind of off-season to implement changes in the system. In terms of the system, based on previous names, expect a lot of Tampa 2 and Seattle Seahawk’s defense style. Gruden said at his press conference at the end of the season that he was interested in a 4-3 defense as a base.
Maxx Crosby # 98 needs help as an outside pass in 20201. (Getty Images) Getty Images
There are no obvious Khalil Macks out there, so that name and the Raiders’ decision to trade him after the 2017 season is back will appear. But the Raiders desperately need help for Maxx Crosby. Clelin Ferrell looks like a two-down player, Carl Nassib fights as a free agent and Arden Key barely gets a whiff of the quarterback in 2020.
The free agency may or may not include the Ravens Matt Judon, the Buccaneers Shaquil Barrett, the Ravens Yannick Ngakoue, and the Rams Leonard Floyd. Aside from a franchise day or re-signing with their team, they could be in the market. And only Mark Davis knows if he has the money to reel in a big one.
The undoubted edge player doesn’t seem to be available via draft either. It’s more likely that this player will come in the middle of the round – that’s where the Raiders are in 17th. They’ll soon find out a lot about names like Gregory Rousseau (Miami), Kwity Paye (Michigan) and Azeez Ojulari (Georgia) and Joseph Ossai ( Texas).
The recipients were amazingly clear throughout the season, and when the Raiders got the chance to make games, it rarely happened. Both cornerback and security were issues.
It is imperative that the Raiders update the initial selection rounds of Johnathan Abram (2019) and Damon Arnette (2020) in a spirit of “design and develop” strategy. Trayvon Mullen, elected in the second round in 2019, had moments when it looked like the classic angular cover corner.
Coaching should help immensely in this area, as should a semblance of pass rush (see second point). If the Raiders want to follow Jason Witten’s path, there is no better player to walk into the briefing room with Abram, Arnette and Mullen than Richard Sherman, who seems to have resigned himself to leaving the 49ers.
Of course Sherman would want to come to the Raiders and the Raiders would probably have to write a check bigger than what they are comfortable with.
Could the Raiders look to Richard Sherman in hopes of mentoring some young nooks and crannies? Getty Images
If the Raiders are unwilling to risk another $ 14 million for Trent Brown, or Brown is unwilling to take less money, then they have a hole in the real duel where a £ 380 man is The last two seasons were 16 games long.
Apart from Brown, veterans Sam Young, Brandon Parker, Denzelle Good (in an emergency) and Patrick Omameh (also in an emergency) played. Brown, Young, Good, and Parker were all starters at one point or another.
None of these characters as starters for 2021 unless they saw enough of Parker, who played well when the Raiders ran 40 times per game and then went inactive again late in the season. If the Raiders don’t like edge rushers in the first round and Brown doesn’t matter, the first round selection could be a tackle.
If you’re not ready to leave with Darren Waller and something like the first and second round for the next few years, then you can forget about Deshaun Watson when he and the Houston Texans have irreconcilable differences.
Are the Raiders bringing Marcus Mariota back after suddenly running out of $ 10 million to support Derek Carr?
On the subject of matching items
Finding the Raiders Defense Coordinators: Think Seattle, Tampa Bay
Why Raiders’ Darren Waller lost to someone named « vacant » on the All-Pro team
Raiders’ All-71: A look at every player who stood at 53 in 2020
Raiders’ Salary Cap: Trent Brown, Derek Carr contracts could be targeted
Raiders Free Agency: will Agholor be back with a big raise? Assessment of all 21 unrestricted free agents
If you’re convinced Mariota is as good as the guy we saw on December 17th, I’d say yes. I’m in the minority here, but it seems like a good idea to spend a lot of money on backing up the most important position in professional sport. If he’s not playing, consider it a high insurance premium. If it is needed, it is definitely worth it.
And now that Mariota has two healthy legs under her, Gruden was able to do what he was reluctant to do in 2020, putting him in a limited part-time role in some packages, especially in the red zone.
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