Oakland Raiders 2014 Training Camp Lookahead: Defense

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


In 2013 I thought the Raiders Linebackers played well. Not great, but well and was a strong suit of that Defense. They return all three starters, Kevin Burnett (105 tackles-2.5 sacks), Nick Roach ( 112 tackles-5.5 sacks) and Sio Moore (50 tackles-4.5 sacks). They are also getting back from injury, Kaluka  Maiava and Miles Burris. Then you add to this mix, 2014 1st round pick (#5 overall) Khalil Mack and you have all the makings for a 3-4/4-3 Hybrid defense. Although I believe the Raiders will be more 3-4 than 4-3 this coming season. The Raiders also return special teams contributors Kaelin Burnett (Kevin’s brother) and Marchall McFadden. They also picked up practice squad player Justin Cole and undrafted free agents Bojay Filimoeatu and Carlos Fields. Remember that name Carlos Fields, he won the Division II Defensive Player of the Year, in 2012 and 2013. Plus he’s wearing my number, #44, so you know he is special.

All jokes aside, this group of linebackers is ready to bring Tarver’s vision to the field. Head Coach Dennis Allen and Jason Tarver have been stressing having a solid linebacking group, as they feel it solidifies not only the defense, but special teams.  I’m looking forward to see what group they put out there to start. With the seasons Nick and Kevin had, I don’t think you can’t have them on the field. Sio came on strong at the end of the season and I think has earned some playing time. Miles is finally healthy and flying around like he did his rookie season. Don’t forget about the Mack, kid is special and should see plenty of snaps. Kaluka was touted as a starter last year before he got hurt. With all this talent, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see 5 or 6 linebackers on the field during some run/pass tweener downs this year.