Oakland Raiders no longer same old losing franchise

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Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) fumbles the ball as he is tackled by New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Middle Linebacker

Throughout his career, middle linebacker Curtis Lofton has played at just below Pro Bowl level. Then he struggled with an ankle injury last year and was released by the New Orleans Saints. He was cut because you can’t have a bad year when your team is against the salary cap like the Saints were.

Lofton was not only a team captain but he was fourth in the NFL with 144 tackles during his bad year. So if he stays healthy this year and he usually does, he should be at or near elite level in 2015. On his worst year, he’s still major upgrade over Miles Burris, who just isn’t a middle linebacker.

Burris was thrown in there with no middle linebacker instincts after starter Nick Roach went down. He was an edge-rusher in college and Allen put him in position for failure instead of success. And if Lofton goes down, 2015 fifth-round pick Ben Heeny’s instincts look good in training camp.

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