Oakland Raiders Front Seven is Another Team Strength

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November 24, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Pat Sims (90) defends during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at O.co Coliseum. The Titans defeated the Raiders 23-19. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Sims

Big-bodied nose tackle Pat Sims is the main one responsible for the Raiders improving their run defense the last couple of years. The 6’2″ 310-pound anchor does not get moved  backwards and has no problem taking on or splitting double teams. Sims is a run stuffer used mainly on running downs but I expect him to use his underrated pass rush ability to double his 2013 total of two sacks this year.

His ability to push the pocket back would have landed him mores sacks last year if there was enough pressure coming off the edge. Opposing quarterbacks would have been forced to step up right into Sims for a few cheap sacks just like in the preseason opener. He won’t be in on passing downs but teams do throw on first down and the outside pressure the Raiders can bring now will lead to some of those cheap sacks.

Figuratively and literally, Sims is ready to be a big cog in the wheel that is the Raiders’ defensive line as he has shown  so much improvement in camp so far.  Defensive line coach Terrell Williams told CSNBAYAREA.COM’s Scott Blair, “I see a completely different Pat Sims. He can do anything he wants to in this league. I truly believe that. He’s being physical. He’s pushing the pocket back in the passing game… Any time you can put that body mass in the middle, the defense has  a chance.”