Oakland Raiders and the Defense of the 2016 Season

Forwarded by Scott Davis former Los Angeles Raider

The Oakland Raiders have finished a season that didn’t conclude with a trip to the playoffs, but it was a season of sizable improvement nonetheless. The Raider team as a squad was much better than anyone have witnessed in quite some time. There is no doubt that the Raiders are a team n the right direction and will be a cempetitive force seasons. However, there are still some gapping holes on this roster that must be addressed.

And in the minds of many, the biggest divide the Raiders need to address is quite possibly the offensive line. At least, it is according to self proclaime industry experts as well as the many folks who jumped on that band wagon quickly after the saeson ended.

 The fact is the Raiders could use some upgrades along the line. Donald Penn – assuming the team does the smart thing and re-signs him – and Gabe Jackson have one side of the line nailed down tight. And Rodney Hudson is a solid anchor in the middle. Most believe that it’s on that other side of the line – the J’Marcus Webb andAustin Howard side of the line – that could stand to be upgraded a bit.

but in the interst of wht is best or a top priority….

Upgrading that side of the line should not be the biggest concern this offseason. And certainly not enough to warrant using a first round pick to do it. The Oakland Raiders should take an extensive peek around the free agent market if they see upgrading their right side of the line as imperitive. There are plenty of players to be had with tlent that couod fill thge holes in the offensive line – and more importantly, veteran established players like Russell Okung and Andre Smith perhaps – who are going to be available soon.

But then again, if something isn’t broken, why try to fix it?

some have identified Webb and Howard as being sub average – or at least the weaker aspects of the current Oakland line. However, PFF  ranked the Raiders’ offensive line as an overall sixth best in the entire NFL. Hmmm? Many would agree that the offensive line was one of the Raider’s biggest shortcomings prior to and early on in the 2015 season. But… and it indeed became one of the team’s biggest strengths. That’s impressive bt anyones terms.

The line did a decent job protecting  Derek Carr enough to alow him to pass for just under 4,000 yardswhile also plowing the way Latavius Murray to become a pro bowler caliber palayer and Oakland’s first 1,000 yard rusher since Darren McFadden surpassed the threshold in 2010. Under the coaching asvvy of Mike Tice, Oakland’s offensive line was , regaless of the naysayers, one of the NFL’s better units in 2015.

If you can secure an upgrade through free agncy that would be a good win for the Raiders.  top draft selection in the name of the offensive line would be a mistake in a line that is getting the job done by most terms.   Especially in light of some larger needs that ned to be address.

The biggest and most obvious need is in the Raider’s secondary. Charles Woodson is retiring, so the team need to fill the safety position– although that need could  possibly be filled out well by signing somebody like Eric Weddle. What the Raiders desperately need is a cornerback who can make some plays. Beyond David Amerson, the Raiders’ corners wernt producing the best results by any terms. Travis Carrie had an sub average season for a consistency basis and D.J. Hayden provided little to write home about. Carrie has the talent and plenty of upside and could be a solid slot corner. The Raiders might consider transitioning him over at the safety spot sinc ehe has proven in 2015 he could handle the role.

If the draft sloting works out the Raiders might be best served by taking a hard look at Florida State’s Jalen Ramsey or Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander.  those two have the talent and athleticism that may very well mesh well at the pro level.

Additionally the Raiders could really use a linebacker who could hold down duties in the realm of pass coverage.  Some solid talent exists n the team now but it not hard to remeber the, Oakland’s linebackers getting the short end of the stick on a good chunk of pass plays in 2015. Curtis Lofton ended up being more of a liability than the asset the organization has hoped for.

Neiron Ball was a unexpected surprise in 2015 as he proved capable at both run and pass defense, but his season was cut short by injury.

Somewhere it became a popular mantra  that defense wins championships. Arizona v. Carolina, Denver v New England featured 4 teams who had defenses ranked in the top ten this season. Superbowl matchup teams – Denver and Carolina-  have the first and sixth ranked defenses in the NFL in 2015.

Jack Del Rio knows that is takes awesome defenses to win big a the end of the day. Coach Del Rio has committed to building a defensive powerhouse in Oakland.

Kiper is dead wrong- no new insight. The Raiders don’t need to use their first round pick on an offensive lineman. The offense where the needs are most. Defense brings home the bacon.

Advertisements
Oakland Raiders and the Defense of the 2016 Season

Scott Davis of the LA Raiders On The Oakland Raiders Future Home Field Still Up In The Air

Scott Davis Raiders Football NFL

Here’s what’s happening regarding the inevitable move of one or two NFL teams to the Los Angeles market. The league confirmed the Raiders, Chargers and Rams, as expected, have forwarded proposals relevant to their bids to make such a move by close of business o yesterday. The Rams are proposing to build a extravagant  new stadium in Inglewood, California, and the Chargers and the Raiders are uncharacteristically uniting to propose their own new stadium in Carson, California. Both are considered the LA market. The proposals are quite substantial and significant. “The proposed Inglewood stadium can host an additional 30,000 fans to support standing room only fan attendees. Thus there is a greater shared ticket revenues through the regular season, postseason and Super Bowl, paraphrasing content from the Rams’ application.

And the owners collectively are presented with making a decision as to which proposal exactly is most favorable to the “league’s collective interests” should such a move to take place. The owners will begin a series of votes today in Houston concerning the complicated matter.

To add to the excitement surrounding the whole situation Jerry Jones is now in the mix with the various proposals concerning teams that are vying to move their franchises to the Los Angeles market. Along the way he may have positioned himself as an Oakland Raider fans 2nd favorite league owner. Why?

Jones has injected himself into the dilemma surrounding which team is a best fit for the LA market. The Cowboys owner has officially offered a proposal that suggests the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers be the two teams to share a new stadium in Inglewood California. Therefore, and based on his insights, the Raiders would remain in Oakland next season.

Ultimately the decision falls on a vote by the rest of the NFL team owners who essentially hold the fate of which team, if any, will make the move the Los Angeles which once was home to both the then LA Raiders and the Los Angeles Rams. It could be that Jones proposal is an early indicator of who is likely to make the move which should leave the Oakland fans feeling pretty good about their team remaining in Oakland.

The NFL’s head cheese, Commissioner Roger Goodell, distributed a lengthy 48-page report to all NFL owners this past Saturday basically making all aware that Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers had not been supplied credible stadium proposals respective to and from their current home stadium cities. This coming from a news reporter source who has seen the report first hand.

Bottom line is the St. Louis plan “lacked certainty” according to the source based on the fact that is relied on significantly more financial support from the league than it had been promised and would most likely need even more government approvals to get it done.

At the same time Oakland didn’t even offer a completed stadium proposal, and San Diego’s assurance of $350 million dollars promised toward a new local home football stadium is contingent on a public vote.

If St. Louis’ proposal to remain in St. Louis had been embraced by the league, it could have paved the way for owners to approve the Raiders’ and Chargers’ joint $1.7 billion stadium proposal in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson California. The St Louis Rams are pitching a competing $1.86 billion stadium in Inglewood.

Goodell’s report, according to the source, informed league owners that both proposed Los Angeles stadiums “were ready for development,” although he did not offer any sort of recommendation as the decision is clearly the responsibility of the owners relative to approving which teams make the move.

The vote is set to take place when all owners assemble today in Houston.

At this point the word is that neither stadium proposal is likely to get the required 24 votes, although a Chargers and Rams scenario has been gaining some traction. Additionally Jones who is one of the league’s most powerful owners going all in backing the Rams’ Inglewood stadium proposal.

To add to the drama such an Inglewood scenario makes sense based on the facts that San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos is considered to have the highest percentage of support among owners concerning a move and the St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is in the top 2 richest owners in the League.

On top of the momentum the Rams and Chargers seem to have, it has become fairly common knowledge the Raiders don’t have the funds and organizational capacity to be a viable candidate for a move to the Los Angeles marketplace.

Although the deck seems increasingly stacked against the Raiders managing a move Spanos has publically remained steadfast in teaming up with the Oakland Raiders.

Time will tell. Money talks and under the right circumstances big deals like this many times work out quite differently as incentives change and looming deadlines approach.

Scott Davis of the LA Raiders On The Oakland Raiders Future Home Field Still Up In The Air

Scott Davis reports on Disney’s Iger Helping the Oakland Raiders In Los Angeles

Scott Davis Los Angeles Raiders forwards article…

Part II: More on Iger the NFL, the Raiders, and Chargers in Los Angeles…

Continued…Iger shared information a number of related topics including his participation and his ideas specific to how to league should return to the country’s 2nd largest big city market.

Here’s a brief from Iger on exactly why it was that he decided to get more deeply involved with a team or teams moving to LA: “I think it would be great for the community to have an NFL team. It’s high time that we have that. I really was interested in the civic side of this. But I’ve also thought about my life post-Disney and how I would spend my time and my energy. The opportunity to be involved with either an NFL team, or in this case two NFL teams and a stadium project, and using my experience that I’ve obviously gained from Disney over these years to successfully move two teams here, I thought that would be a great next step for me.” Long story short Disney’s is in LA and it would be possibly mutually beneficial for the NFL to be there as well.

Iger was asked what it is that he delivers by being involved in this situation: “When you run the Walt Disney Co., you gain a fair amount of experience in customer-facing businesses, particularly in site-based entertainment. I have a lot of experience in marketing, a lot of experience in selling, particularly tickets to site-based entertainment or movies or whatever. “I have tremendous brand experience. What I do a lot for Disney is manage the great brands of this company, whether it’s Disney, ESPN, ABC, Pixar, Marvel, ‘Star Wars.’ And I’m very engaged in technology and its impact on the consumer, either what experience you deliver for them or how to market and sell to them.”

When pressed on the Carson project specifically: “There’s a tremendous amount of support for Carson. What I’m trying to do is articulate not just the vision for the project itself but the values of Carson and the specific value of two teams moving at once as well as the value of the project itself and the location.”

Iger was the asked about the relevance or importance of Orange County California: “Orange County is a big, important market, and a football market too, particularly for the Chargers. So I think Carson is really well located to attract people both from L.A .County and Orange County and even possibly north San Diego County, particularly on a Sunday, when traffic is less of an issue.”

He went on to speak his thoughts on defines as “repositioning” the brand of the Oakland Raiders: “I think it’s incumbent upon us to make sure it doesn’t scare people away, in how you portray yourself, how you present yourself to the public is one way to do that. And I think with a large new stadium where you have the ability to attract a real diverse fan base, diverse geographically, diverse ethnically and diverse from an age perspective, I think you have a shot at doing that.”

Careful Mr. Iger, that could be taken as a shot at the current fan base that fills the stadium in Alameda county.

Iger went for the safe neutral answer when asked about which NFL he prefers to see in the Los Angeles marketplace: “I’m a big believer in theatricality, so if you’re going to bring the NFL back to a market this big, this important, then do it big. And two is much bigger than one and I really think it would create such a level of excitement and interest in the NFL in Los Angeles that it would do a world of good not just to the league but the teams.”

Perhaps the biggest question other than which teams may make the move is “when”: “I am gaining more and more confidence that the league … believes it is time to move a team or teams to L.A. I feel that they now hear the footsteps, to use a football analogy, and that the league believes it’s good for them to do it now. They’ve debated it and considered it for a long time, and now it’s time.”

Scott Davis reports on Disney’s Iger Helping the Oakland Raiders In Los Angeles

Scott Davis former NFL Raider Has More On The Oakland Raiders Moving Back To The L.A. Market

Forwarded by Scott Davis Los Angeles Raiders 

Not much time is left in 2015 for the NFL‘s  to get a NFL franchise to return to the LA market. At least not for the 2016 season. Enter once more  the Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger who is doubling down on his determination to bring the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders Los Angeles.

Iger is not shy about making his efforts and feelings known. “I’ve been selling hard,” Iger said Thursday as he shared his first public statements on the matter. For those not aware the Chargers and Raiders publicized his in November he was involved in an effort to move the two NFL teams to a new- not yet built stadium- in Carson California.

It is an interesting situation to be sure. Iger, who has 2 years left on his contract with Disney, has emphatically agreed to step in and spearhead the NFL efforts if in fact the League owners select Carson instead of the Inglewood stadium proposal sought by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke. Part of an Iger-NFL deal stipulates he would only take$1 in salary in such a partnership but would receive an ownership stake in the Chargers and Raiders. Very interesting indeed.

Apparently Iger is a longtime NFL fanatic and has stated he had been a Packer fan since a he was a young boy. And if anyone were to question his love for the Green Bay Packer he’ll just point to the bust of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi he has just outside his Disney headquarters office.

Iger was available to multiple media outlets past Thursday where Disney has its Burbank, California Headquarters. He gave a 30 minute interview with print reporters. Iger stated he was originally approached by the Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, while meeting with him in L.A. this past summer.

According to Iger the gist of that conversation went like this…”He (Richardson) asked whether I’d be interested in helping very specifically the partnership of the Raiders and Chargers move to L.A., develop a stadium, reposition themselves here”. “I engaged in conversations with Jerry, and then with both entities.”

So that relationship may possibly ruffle some feathers throughout the league based on the fact that Richardson is a member of the Committee on Los Angeles Opportunities, which is composed of six owners who make recommendations to the other 26 owners around the NFL. Can you csay conflict of interest? It is -or was- generally assumed that these committee members are neutral, objective, whatever. Richardson has openly claimed he backs the Carson project.

Iger say however that he did not immediately inform the league he had had those early conversations with Richardson. “When Jerry approached me, he asked for some degree of confidentiality. I didn’t discuss it until much later with the league.”

The NFL has January 12-13 on the calendar to hold a special meeting in Houston when owners could vote on weather or not the St Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have fulfilled their respective relocation requirements. They will also vote on various aspects of the two L.A. plans. For such plans to pass muster, any such initiative requires the approval of a three-quarters majority of NFL owners, which means 24 votes. Iger is not saying definitively if he will attend the Houston meetings.

More on Iger the NFL, the Raiders, and Chargers in the Next Blog…

Scott Davis former NFL Raider Has More On The Oakland Raiders Moving Back To The L.A. Market

Scott Davis looking forward to the Oakland Raiders taking on the Denver Broncos.

by Scott Davis Los Angeles Raiders 

First I have to say the Raiders are a better team than the Bears. If only do-overs were a real thing. Oh well, onward we go….

This coming weekend finds the Oakland Raiders (2-2) meeting up with long time rivals, the undefeated Denver Broncos (4-0), at O.Co Coliseum Sunday afternoon. There are two tidbits worth mentioning right way. Oakland’s head coach Jack Del Rio is familiar with the Broncos as he was a part of that organization as a defensive coordinator before becoming the Oakland Raider top dog this season. The second is that Denver has beaten the Raiders in their last 8 match-ups. This makes for good football.

Denver has been a formidable opponent especially since Peyton Manning’s came on board.
That being said this year could prove to be a different story. This is not the same Raider  organization that has fielded teams over the past couple years against Manning and crew. Del Rio is at the helm, Derek Carr and Amari Cooper are on the field and continuing to improve and providing the Oakland offense with some solid weapons. The Raider defense is talented and ready for a big breakout with Khalil Mack and Smith. They must be sure to bring the pressure to Manning who isn’t necessarily on his a-game especially with the new offense style that seems to be challenging him to say the least.

There are some notable points worth taking a look at on the Broncos Side…

The Broncos are ranked 2nd in the NFL on defense and a lot of that has to do with Aqib Talib. Yes the Raiders offense is vastly improved with the addition of Amari Cooper but Talib has shown he has what is takes to cause fits for talented wide receivers. His physical press coverage erased the likes of Calvin Johnson and Jeremy Maclin in the early part of this 2105 season. It will be a good match-up to see Talib bringing the pressure to Cooper and visa versa.  We may however see the talented veteran giving a bit of schooling to the top rated rookie.
Manning knows defenses well and can pick them apart where there is the slightest opening. to be sure the Raiders have make significant progress on the defensive side. But Owen Daniels and Virgil Green are likely be able to get open and that’s when you can look for Manning to capitalize on the Raiders slower linebackers. Other teams have gone after the Raiders with the same successful approach all season so the question is can the Raiders make the adjustments and fill those holes on defense.

Derek Carr needs to be aware of the Broncos and their pass attach this week. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware are veterans with solid record against opposing teams. Add the likes of Shane Ray who pulled down his first sack in last week’s gams and add Derek Wolfe who is back from his suspension. The new combinations are an advantage for Denver giving defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ a myriad of options in his play calling.

On the Raider side Latavius Murray had a rough game against the Bears last week so he needs to shake it off and get back to form. He’s a real threat to opposing defenses and assuming he can fins his a-game he can keep Denver honest and put a crimp in their blitz plans. He simply needs to keep both hands on the ball as the Broncos have seen film of Murray’s two fumbles last week and will be looking to take advantage.
For Carr, he must know Miller and Ware will be coming at him off the edges so make sure to have Helu Jr. in position to take the hot throws when Carr is pressured.
The Raiders are a bit banged up in their defensive backfield and Manning has definitely seen the tape so… the pass rush for the Raiders needs to come strong early and often and set the tone. Otherwise Manning will be throwing a slew of long balls and may have a field day if he gets his rhythm going. Khalil Mack and crew must be present from the start.

Scott Davis writes sveral blogs on sports, charity and business

Scott Davis looking forward to the Oakland Raiders taking on the Denver Broncos.

Scott Davis Sees Oakland Raiders Ready To Prove Their Defensive Salt

By Scott Davis, Oakland Raider Blogger

Is the Oakland Raider defense set to reveal just what they are made of this week against the Cleveland Browns? It’s a fair question especially when it is clear they need to improve the one statistic in particular; one that catches everyone’s attention. Sacks! Sure QB pressures and hits are undoubtedly essential and affect outcome but they just don’t deliver the type of game-altering impact that a sack does. The Raider defense is going into game three as last in the league in defense having allowed 444.5 yards per game.

Ken Norton who is the Raiders defensive coordinator knows what’s at stake. But he is also a veteran who knows it’s early on in the 2015 season and there’s some time to make the adjustments necessary for the Raiders to excel. Just don’t wait too long. He knows he has a team with a new mix of players and is counting on them maturing and playing as more of a complete unit as the weeks progress.

The Raiders have faced veteran QB’s in the initial first two game of the season. Point begin such seasoned players know how to get rid of the ball fast which can generate frustration among defenses. With some fine-tuning however the Raiders need to find a plan to slow opposing QB’s down. To be clear it is a total unit effort and not just the responsibility of the defensive front to apply all the pressure. It begins with the rush but having excellent coverage in the secondary is equally relevant to stopping passing attacks. It’s not rocket science but the balance has to be a constant throughout the entirety of every game across the entire season.

The Raiders have their work cut out for them this week as they are facing an opposing offensive line that’s considered among the tops in the league. But great defenses can prove their salt especially against highly rated opposing teams and show the public that they deserve to be respected.

Cleveland’s line has a couple repeat Pro Bowlers and one all-rookie team selection from the 2014 season. They had highly rated second best pass blocking to boot.

Great. Beating them will go a long way to prove the merit of the Raider defensive talent.

As for Cleveland QB McCown, the Raiders face a player who is vulnerable and can go south fast when pressured. Time to retest that theory.

Khalil Mack and crew need to continue to step it up and continue to improve each week. If that happens well soon see the Raider defense we are hoping for.

Scott Davis Sees Oakland Raiders Ready To Prove Their Defensive Salt

Scott Davis Notables: Oakland Raiders Approach Deadline For Making Final Cuts to Set 53 Man Regular Season Roster

By Scott Davis: Blogs On Oakland Raiders and NFL

The Oakland Raiders have seen a lot of activity going on in this past off season right through the end of the preseason game schedule. Certainly more than most teams could imagine… or handle. to begin, there’s the ever looming question about where their new home will ultimately be. At the same time millions of dollars have been poured into the massive undertaking of building out a stellar new home practice and training facility that was pushed to completion on a incredibly expedited schedule- which they somehow accomplished. And then there’s the players. Head coach Jack Del Rio and GM Reggie McKenzie have been busting their backsides to bring in the right talent over the past year. To this point and all others they are working hard to put the Raiders back on the road to winning seasons. Their end game, one would easily assume, equates to much more than simply walking away at the end of the year with merely a winning record; it is rise up, compete fiercely in the NFL and to be prominent in post season play. Pretty standard stuff.

Tomorrow amounts to an early telltale sign of the result of all their hard work over the past year. It’s time for the new Raider-in-chief to assess his strategy and to move to the next phase. No doubt he faces some difficult decisions ahead as he must cut the roster down to the mandatory 53 players by the September 5th deadline. One particular matter should be very interesting to see play out. The big question is what Del Rio does about Sio Moore.

The future is not so clear, at least at this moment, for Sio Moore. His future with the Oakland Raiders could go one of two ways. Raiders with Moore. Raiders without Moore.

Anyone watching couldn’t help notice Moore had been strictly limited to playing on special teams in the Seahawks game.

Then all of a sudden halfway through the 4th quarter he got some defensive playing time?

What gives?

Del Rio’s answer according to some reporters was that it was all Moore had earned! Whoa.

My sense is they will be keeping Moore. They know what he’s capable of and simply used the Seahawks game to drive home a strong point with Moore. Motivation is a tricky and highly nuanced thing in the NFL and different players quite simply require very different forms of inspiration. It’s up to the people at the top of the coaching/ organizational pyramid to figure it out.

There was no additional detail provided as to why Moore has been kept in a limited role? Crap practices? Lousy attitude? Poor player chemistry? Either way, his future and likelihood of remaining with the Oakland Raiders seems to be questionable to the many watching and waiting.

Does he stay? Get cut? Traded? We’ll soon find out…. Good Luck to Moore. It seems his future lies in his ability to see the forest for the trees. Hope he figures it out

Scott Davis produces and edits several blogs on sports and business and social media

Scott Davis Notables: Oakland Raiders Approach Deadline For Making Final Cuts to Set 53 Man Regular Season Roster