Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans: Players to Watch

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders inside linebacker Ben Heeney (51) stretches during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Heeney

As noted in an article posted on JBB earlier this week, Raiders rookie inside linebacker Ben Heeney is receiving more opportunities on Oakland’s defense. Though that same article pushes for the idea of Heeney claiming a starting spot, his increased role still serves as a platform for him to prove he can perform at an NFL this early in his career. 

Given that Heeney’s weaknesses primarily revolve around the idea that he a very raw talent, Oakland must look to get the instinctive, athletics ball-hawk some experience before his sophomore season. Curtis Lofton is also having one of his worse seasons as a pro, thus making it almost too easy of decision to get Heeney more involved defensively. 

While Tennessee doesn’t necessarily have a strong offense that can truly test Heeney’s abilities, he will be tested in coverage of given the opportunity to cover tight end Delanie Walker. According to NFL.com, Walker leads the Titans with 53 receptions for 617 yards and three touchdowns. 

If Heeney can hold his own in coverage and fly to the ball against the run he should earn even more playing time as the season comes to a close. 

Next: Players to Watch: David Amerson