Oakland Raiders 2015 Preview: Playmakers forming defensive identity

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Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Nate Allen (29) intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle in the fourth quarter during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Allen

G.M. Reggie McKenzie took fire from the media for the amount of money he gave free safety Nate Allen. He’s coming off a bad year last year but he was a good free safety with the Philadelphia Eagles. The problem for Allen last year was that the Eagles moved him to strong safety.

That means he had to cover the tight end and the slot one on one at times and that’s not what he’s best at. Allen is at his best when playing center field with his range and instincts. You can put him on the tight end and the slot once in a while but you don’t want to do that consistently.

Sunday night, Allen showed that he still has good ball skills to capitalize on the other traits he has. And it resulted in two interceptions of quarterback Carson Palmer in the first half of the game. With the pressure the Raiders can now apply up front, a safety like Allen is going to clean up on the back end.

Next: Raiders Defensive Playmakers: Malcolm Smith