Vittorio Tafur is doing a great job at camp, asking the right questions and keeping us informed of high and low occurrences at Napa.
Today Tafur recorded statements of Raiders leader, Rich Seymour. The Raider All-Pro DT had some things on his mind and the truth no matter how hard it is to hear is not something he bothers to sugar-coat or spin:
"Ten guys can play right and one guy wrong, and you're in trouble. We all have to get on the same page and that's what the preseason is for. We still have a lot of work to do." ... "If you can't stop the run, you aren't going to be successful in this league. If you want to be tough and you want to build a bully, well first and foremost, you gotta stop the run. We didn't get that done. But, you know, I am optimistic."
Tafur quotes more of Seymour on the current (why only now) theme (HC Hue Jackson emphasized rush defense the past two day) - "[Seymour] there needs to be a stop-the-run mentality across the board on the Raiders, and it's not there yet. It has to be important to the team ...There has to be a mind-set. If you want to rush the passer in this league, you have to be able to stop the run first. You stop the run in order to rush the passer. Because if a team can run the ball all day, there is no need to pass it."
Thank you, Mr. Seymour. Indeed, how can we expect to be taken seriously and advance to and through the playoffs - especially when styling ourselves "The Bully Team" - if we can't stop teams running on us? Pittsburgh stops the run and gets great respect for it ... and, thereby (imo) also guarantees a perennial playoff birth for themselves. Stopping the run is that important; no team can be considered "Good" if it cannot stifle the run.
The LB situation has not been adequately addressed; and with Goethel out for the season we must act a.s.a.p. by bringing in some physical Linebackers who can squash RBs, cut through debris, shed blocks, cover receivers and hit with authority, i.e. do the very things most of our LBs cannot.
What must be done to stop the run and become a Bully on defense?
Each player must constantly repeat, "I am a Bully, I am a Bully..." (149 votes)
Bring in Linebackers who already are Bullies. (783 votes)
Nothing, we stop the rush once regular season starts (108 votes)
1040 total votes