At First Glance: Raiders’ Secondary is Primary Concern


Replacing Nnamdi Asomugha is going to be more impossible than ignoring Tim Tebow mania. Shutdown corners are the rarest of all commodities in the NFL. That being said, what we saw of Oakland’s secondary in the preseason opener was frightening.

To be sure it is far too early to panic. We’re talking about a group that has only had two weeks in Napa to prepare. Adjustments will be made but that might not be enough.

With the injury to Hiram Eugene an already thin secondary is going from Jennifer Aniston slim to Courtney Cox non-existent.

Oakland’s safety play was horrendous as a whole during the loss to the Cardinals. Zona’s QBs threw for 290 and scored all three of their TDs through the air. Of course the corners did the last line of defense no favors either.

Walter McFadden must be better in practice than he is in game play cause all I’ve seen from him is the back of his jersey chasing receivers all over the field. Rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke played well but was still unable to contain Larry Fitzgerald. No shame in that as DVD was in good position and Fitz just made plays. Still, you’d like to see a little more safety help for the young corner.

Now I realize it is completely unfair to judge the entire unit on the first outing of the season. Doubly so when you consider the fact that the first team played just one series. Then toss in the fact that the second unit D-line applied about as much pressure on the Cardinal quarterbacks as a masseuse with no arms and it is easy to see why the secondary had such a horrible night.

All that being said the concern is what happens if there is an injury to either of the senior corners Stanford Routt or Chris Johnson. DVD showed some real promise but also some of the rookie mistakes every young corner makes. With Oakland’s heavy dependence on man principles it could get ugly fast (see the Miami game last season). If Walter McFadden is the next option after DVD then all I can say is let’s hope Chimdi Chekwa is the ace in the hole.

We knew this was going to be a difficult season without Asomugha. That was no secret. What we don’t know is what to expect going forward. There’s finally game tape to watch so Rod Woodson has his work cut out. The camp days are numbered and the regular season will be here soon.

The secondary has been such a strength in Oakland over the years that it would be a shame to see the opposite become true when the front four look so dominant.

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Tags: Chimdi Chekwa Chris Johnson DeMarcus Van Dyke Hiram Eugene Larry Fitzgerald Nnamdi Asomugha Rod Woodson Stanford Routt Walter McFadden

  • Raiderhays

    I thought DVD played very well. He was in position to make a play on the ball on both of Fitzgerald’s long receptions. He just needs to learn to attack the ball while it’s in the air. Let’s face it, Larry often makes even seasoned pro-bowl corners look foolish. So DVD being right there with him is a good sign for the rookie.

    Walter McFadden on the other hand still looks complete lost and totally clueless. And he doesn’t seem to have learned anything from his past (or present) mistakes. Every time he gets called for a PI penalty, instead of manning up, he whines, and looks at the refs in disbelief, when CLEARLY he committed the foul.

    One other concern besides the secondary I have has to do with Jason Campbell. In his two series, he had receivers open who had beat their man. But instead of letting it rip, he seemed to just kind of lob the ball up there, where it hung up, was too short or behind the receiver, causing him to have to adjust to the football and allowing the DB to turn and make a play on the ball. Not a good sign. AND to finish this off, DHB is STILL not catching the ball with his hands and instead keeps allowing the ball to get into his body. Also not a good sign.

  • Raiderhays

    I thought DVD played very well. He was in position to make a play on the ball on both of Fitzgerald’s long receptions. He just needs to learn to attack the ball while it’s in the air. Let’s face it, Larry often makes even seasoned pro-bowl corners look foolish. So DVD being right there with him is a good sign for the rookie.

    Walter McFadden on the other hand still looks complete lost and totally clueless. And he doesn’t seem to have learned anything from his past (or present) mistakes. Every time he gets called for a PI penalty, instead of manning up, he whines, and looks at the refs in disbelief, when CLEARLY he committed the foul.

    One other concern besides the secondary I have has to do with Jason Campbell. In his two series, he had receivers open who had beat their man. But instead of letting it rip, he seemed to just kind of lob the ball up there, where it hung up, was too short or behind the receiver, causing him to have to adjust to the football and allowing the DB to turn and make a play on the ball. Not a good sign. AND to finish this off, DHB is STILL not catching the ball with his hands and instead keeps allowing the ball to get into his body. Also not a good sign.