Friday, April 5, 2013

A Quick Snapshot of Raiders Offseason Moves

I really like the transition away from Carson Palmer to Matt Flynn at QB.  I didn’t get the impression Palmer really wanted to be in Oakland.  His attitude reminded me of a zombie corporate guy going to work with no emotion.

The bottom line is Flynn will get his shot in Oakland.  How that plays out is all speculation right now.  Flynn does give the Raiders a better pocket presence than Terrelle Pryor.  If the Raiders planned to run a read-option offense then Pryor would be the best fit and they would have brought in a similar type of talent to compete but that is not the case.

Flynn has lived a charmed life thus far in the NFL.  He has not been called upon to do too much yet has been paid very well.  In limited action he has shown good ability.  I don’t think we should read too much into Flynn getting beat out by Russell Wilson in Seattle.  Wilson is a great talent.  If Seattle or any NFL team knew how well Wilson would be able to handle the rigors of running an NFL offense as a rookie, Flynn would still be Aaron Rodgers’ backup in Green Bay.

By the time the draft rolls around and there are more free agent signings, there should be a good workhorse contingent ready to compete in the backfield for depth.

Right now we are young with talent at receiver.  Hopefully there is a gamebreaker in Juron Criner to go along with Rod Streater and Denarius Moore and we find a tight end.

I am a more concerned at this point how the defense will hold up.  Rebuilding a defense is not easy but GM Reggie McKenzie is doing the needful in bringing in (hopefully) healthy bodies to fill some gaps.

We have three free agent linebackers added to the roster with the expectation that all will win starting jobs.  Last year McKenzie hit a home run by adding free agent linebacker Phillip Wheeler.  No one, myself included, expected Wheeler to be such a beast.  His loss this year will truly be felt.  If McKenzie has the same mojo with Kaluka Maiava,  Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett then that would really go a long way to finally turning the corner on D.  It remains to be seen where 2012 weak side starter Miles Burris fits into that picture.

It is obvious Nick Roach will supplant Rolando McClain in the middle.  That is of course unless they utilize a 4-3 set in which case Roach will occupy an inside slot.  Roach is exactly what the defense needs. You need smart, tactical guys in the inside.  

Maiava is lauded as one the finest football talents to ever come out of the State of Hawaii.  He is a solid LB and should outright win the strongside role.  He signed for 3 years at 6 mil overall.  That includes a signing bonus of $2 million,.  They must have high confidence in him.

Also added were free agent defensive linemen Jason Hunter and Pat Sims. Base salaries are 1 million for DT Pat Sims, $715,000 for Hunter.  A pretty good bargain to fill some much needed real estate on the line to partner with Lamarr Houston.

Big question mark at punter with Shane Lechler gone, Marquette King must step up.  Thus far he has been less than impressive along with injury slowing him down.  King has to come through.

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