Is Reggie McKenzie Ruining the Oakland Raiders?
Oct 12, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (34) fumbles the ball asPittsburgh Steelers free safety Mike Mitchell (23) and outside linebacker Arthur Moats (55) defend during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
In 2012, head coach Dennis Allen started Matt Giordano over 2009 2nd-round pick Mike Mitchell at free safety. Allen believed Giordano “deserves a chance to start.” but his play didn’t show it as bombs were constantly thrown over his head. Mitchell has since went on to emerge as a defensive play-maker for the Carolina Panthers and now the Pittsburgh Steelers while Giordano is at large.
At outside linebacker in 2012 and inside this year, Pro football focus has Miles Burris as the worst linebacker in the NFL. Meanwhile, Rolando McClain, who at his worst was better than Burris, is the 3rd best inside linebacker in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys. Yet the McKenzie has Sparano at press conferences spitting out the company line of, “Miles Burris is doing an outstanding job.”
Then last year, McKenzie’s regime had 300-pound Lamarr Houston out of place at 4-3 rush end and 3-4 outside linebacker. His size and 4.8 40-speed would have made him a good 3-4 end, 4-3 base end, or 4-3 3-technique but McKenzie let him walk. Now, Justin Tuck is hurt and 4-3 tackke/3-4 end Antonio Smith is doing something pretty close to nothing.