The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off of one of the worst defensive seasons in a long time, giving up a near-record amount of points in 16 games. While the offense had its moments, specifically against the Chiefs, the defense failed to keep the Jon Gruden offense in the games.
The West Coast offense isn’t designed to put up 45 points a game and neither is the Raiders offense as it currently stands.
The Raider’s offensive line is built to run the ball down the throats of the opposing defenses with large, mauling offensive linemen, and then the play-action attack with Darren Waller splitting the safeties. The offense needs long, sustained drives to be successful, while the defense needs to get off the field quickly to play a field position game.
The Colts head coach Frank Reich calls special teams yards “hidden yardage,” and the Raiders need more of that.
For this team to be successful, Jon Gruden needs a defense like he had in Tampa Bay when they won the Super Bowl. People tend to forget how dominant the defense was with players like Ronde Barber, John Lynch, Warren Sapp, Simeon Rice, and an all-time great in Derrick Brooks. The Gruden offense only works when the defense holds the opposing team to less than 17 points, which happened twice last season, both games the Raiders won by the way.
While the defense as a unit struggled, the main position was the linebacker position. That being said, here are three linebackers the Raiders should pursue in free agency this offseason.