A few days ago a member of the Bay Area News Group sat down and interviewed Dennis Allen on a handful of topics including McFadden’s health, Terrell Pryor’s status and most importantly the Raiders possibilities for running a 3-4. After the draft one of the questions that I had was why the Raiders passed on a few nose tackle prospects. Although they got good mid-round talent, a lot of people were surprised that they didn’t fill the nose tackle position in the draft. This was a position that most people thought they needed to draft in order to run the 3-4 defense. Dennis Allen is not among those people.
When asked if Allen had a nose tackle for a 3-4 defense, the Raiders coach simply smiled and said yeah. The guy? Tommy Kelly. Although he is a tad bit tall for a true nose tackle and also underweight, Dennis Allen is confident that he has the talent to take over the position when the Raiders switch to a 3-4. To start to look like more of a nose tackle Tommy Kelly should pack on a few pounds this summer in order to be more of a run stopper and gap filler. I’m not saying the man’s not big already (he’s huge) but he needs to widen out a little more.
With Richard Seymour playing most of his career as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, the coaches have to be excited to give him a chance to resume his original role in the NFL. With the talented Shaughnessy expected to move to defensive end on the other side of the line that leaves Kelly, the only true defensive tackle to take the position of nose guard.
Don’t get too set on the Raiders playing a 3-4 though. Allen told the reporter that he plans on having a bag full of defensive schemes to throw at any offense. This will make it hard for teams to prepare for the Raiders defense and will give the Oakland more situational options. If Kelly can step up and be an effective nose tackle the Raiders should have a really successful 3-4, and a more well rounded defense.