The Raiders are still weak in the interior Defensive Line. When we traded Gerrard Warren to NE, we filled his gap with Kellen Heard a 6-6, 355 lbs DT out of Memphis - un-drafted but signed as a RFA. Heard's claim to fame is a cheap shot on Colt McCoy. Oakland also re-signed former Raider DT, Chris Cooper a 6-5 emaciated 285 lbs brought in from the UFL wilderness. William Joseph (6-5 310) is still on the roster along with Tommy Kelly (whose greatest highlights show his nether regions). We are optimistic about Desmond Bryant who now has a year of experience and by accounts is buffing up - now at 310 lbs.
Then there's Richard Seymour, who played DE and DT last season, but is listed as DE on the current roster. However, our roster lists 6 DEs (including Lamarr Houston our 2nd draft pick), so it's likely Seymour will see more action in the interior middle. So with Kelly, Bryant, Joseph, Cooper, Heard and (probably) Seymour playing DT, you decide whether they are strong enough to take us as far as the other elements (DBs, LBs, DEs) of our Defense.
Here's a breakdown of Rich Seymour's 2009 season. Rich shows the old potential - but no consistency.
Tommy Kelly, had 5 decent games, most coming early on weeks 4 vs. Houston, 6 vs. Philadelphia, 8 vs. S.D., but throughout the season he was sporadic. If there's an upgrade need on this team it remains run D middle.
Bottom line: Our Defensive is still vulnerable between the DEs. I had hoped we'd put Lamarr Houston smack in the middle but that doesn't seem to be the plan. Thus, even the positive acquisitions of Mike Waufle as DL Coach and MLB Rolando McClain may not be sufficient to quash top 12 rushing offenses like: Tennessee, Miami, Jacksonville or Kansas City (x2), all of which we face in regular season. I expect 5 games where our middle is pummeled if things remain at status quo.
What, if anything, needs to be done?
I believe the addition of a proven veteran DT of the caliber of Albert Haynesworth 320, whose 2009 season game report is below, is what's needed to avoid a looming disaster.
Any of the following DTs would cure our IL-ness and we should get one them (by hook or crook): Jonathan Babineaux (Atlanta), Kelly Gregg or Haloti Ngata (Baltimore), Kevin or Pat Williams (Minnesota), Sione Pouha or Mike Devito (NYJ), Brodrick Bunkley (Philadelphia), Lorenzo Alexander (Washington), Shaun Rogers or Ahtyba Rubin (Cleveland), Kyle Williams (Buffalo), Israel Idonije (Chicago), Jay Ratliff (Dallas), Aubrayo Franklin (SF), Brandon Mebane (Seattle). The first 3 listed have even better charts than Haynesworth whose chart was better than Wilfork's.
NB. FA John Henderson is not of the caliber of these 17 aforementioned DTs.
News Flash 1:45 pm Thursday 5/6/10 ... JaMarcus Russell has been released!!!!!!!