Oakland Raiders Should Consider Tony Sparano For Future

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Fixing Run Defense

Under former head coach Dennis Allen, the Raiders run defense was as bad as an NFL run defense can get. Running backs like Cris Ivory of the New York Jets suddenly look like Adrian Peterson when they played against the Silver and Black. The Raiders gave up 158 yards per game on the ground while averaging  4.3 yards per carry and that average was helped by a then non-running New England Patriots team.

Since Sparano took over, opposing teams only rushed for 109 yards per game and averaged 3.5 yards per carry. When Miles Burris was a true middle linebacker, outside linebackers Sio Moore and Khalil Mack set the edges while opposing backs ran through avenues up the middle. The Raiders have since went to a 4-3 over, where the weakside and middle linebackers are positioned like 3-4 inside linebackers.

That gave Burris less responsibility and weakside linebacker Sio Moore more responsibility on inside runs as Moore now leads the team in tackles.