June 21, 2013

AND NOW, THE RAIDERS SECONDARY.

THE Secondary is vastly improved over what we had last year. Provided we get decent pass rush this year, there should be a marked improvement in the teams overall defensive performance this year.

I'll start with the obvious. Charles Woodson's presence and experience is only going to make Tyvon Branch a better SS. That's not to knock Matt Giordano or Michael Huff, but Wood has things to teach that Gio and Huff didn't. Provided Branch wants to learn, this season could mark a turning point in his career. Add to that Usama Young for depth (and more speed) at FS, and it really is a solid group.

In any case, with "gap control", and "finishing downs unblocked" being the new focus points for the Defense, when a Safety fills in run support, he should just be finishing the play off. Better play against the run sets up more obvious passing situations, where the Defense can know what's coming and make it easier to defend the pass. 

Defending the pass should also be dramatically improved this year as Mike JenkinsTracy Porter and rookie D.J Hayden add talent that simply wasn't there last year. So much so that last year Huff was moved from FS to CB to try and make up for the deficit. Last year the best CB we had was former Eagle Joselio Hanson (who incidentally may have just had his best season as a pro so far). Today Hanson is the 4th best CB on the roster. True, there are some health concerns with Hayden and Porter, but those concerns stem from freak occurrences, and no one is expecting to see a repeat of either. 

More talent and a scheme that should keep things where we can see them, should make for a better year than we had last year.

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