Oakland Raiders Film Room: Week 9 (SEA)

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Oakland’s Competent Young Corners

One of the more intriguing positions to watch on this team has been cornerback. Oakland brought in veteran corners Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers from San Francisco to fix what’s been a major weakness on the team. Yet, neither of them has been the teams best corner. TJ Carrie has proven game after game that he’s the best corner on the team. He’s most consistently in the best position and has shown great ability to be physical with opposing receivers and make the big play on the ball to breakup the pass.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Late in the first quarter CB TJ Carrie comes in as nickelback in Oakland’s nickel package (3 DLs, 3 LBs, 5 DBs) against Seattle’s 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) in a 3×1 alignment. Seattle fakes the bubble screen and QB Russell Wilson goes for the back shoulder throw against Carrie. TJ Carrie maintains great discipline, not driving on the screen before the pass is thrown, and makes sure to stay in solid position on his man. Wilson’s rocket arm manages to get the ball into his receiver but TJ Carrie is in position and makes a great physical play to break up the pass. Plays like these display the ever-important ball skills defensive coordinators prize so highly in their DBs. It’s great to be in position to make a play, but if the DB can’t break up the pass it doesn’t matter.

Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Anyone that’s ready to give up on DJ Hayden is a fool. A couple freak injuries have kept him out of much play, but it’s far too soon to declare him a bust especially considering his potential. Early in the 3rd Quarter, Oakland brings out their big nickel package (3 DLs, 3 LBs, 3 safeties, 2 corners – nickel generally brings in a 3rd corner instead of a 3rd safety) against Seattle in the same formation as in the play above, 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) 3×1 alignment. On the three receiver side Seattle runs what essentially is an upfield tunnel screen to WR Paul Richardson. Richardson runs no more than five yards upfield then breaks inside taking advantage of pick-like action from WR Jermaine Kearse’s stem. Kearse and WR Doug Baldwin, never even look for the ball. They run off in vertical stems then immediately look to block. DJ Hayden maintains his cushion, keeps a eye on Russell Wilson, and breaks hard on the ball, avoiding the pick in the process. The result is a near pick-6, which is unfortunate, but still a great pass defense forcing the punt.