Oakland Raiders Make or Break Unit: the Secondary

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October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders free safety Charles Woodson (24) celebrates after intercepting the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders G.M. Reggie McKenzie is re-establishing deceased owner Al Davis’ brand of football. He went out and put together one of the biggest and best offensive lines in football, adding parts in free agency and the draft. He also has a backfield that has four men that can take one to the house on any given play because of the speed they have.

There are plenty of big-play threats in the passing game too as there are receivers that run sub-4.4 40s. They even have a pass catching tight end and fullback that run sub-45 40s to get deep on opposing linebackers for big plays. And to bring that all together, they drafted a big-armed quarterback that’s mature beyond his years to the point that he was just recently named the starter.

Then there’s the defense, where traditionally, they’ve always been among the most physical units in the NFL up front. McKenzie just drafted the best outside linebacker to put with some big-time free agent defensive lineman. So with the offense straightened out and the defensive front seven looking like they match the old Raider-brand model, the secondary is the question.

The old Raider-brand always consisted of a great secondary from the “Soul Patrol” of the ’70s to the “No Passing Zone” in the ’80s. That usually meant there was a hard hitting safety, a ball-hawking safety that can also hit and great bump-and-run corners. This year, the secondary is a big question mark that can either make or break this Raiders team tomorrow and for the rest of the season.

Turn the page to examine the secondary.