Oakland Raiders to Watch For Tonight

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Aug 29, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) makes a reception against Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Kaluka Maiava (50) during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Kaluka Maiava

Nose tackle Justin Ellis was out for two weeks with a concussion before he was finally able to get back to practice this week. So we’re not sure if Nick Roach, who’s been out a week so far with his own concussion, will be okay for Week 1. So tonight, we get a look at Kaluka Maiava, who was out all of last year and all of camp with various injuries.

But the coaching staff has hung in there with Maiava and from what I saw of him this preseason, I know why. He’s actually better at diagnosing run plays, avoiding blockers and shedding them to get to the football and he hits harder. What I need to see from Maiava is how he is in pass coverage as Nick Roach excels at it to stay on the field all three downs.

If he can cover, not only will the Raiders defense be okay for Week 1 but they’ll be better this season with Maiava.