I know that having any sort of confidence in the Raiders right now is about as intelligent as jumping off a cliff without a parachute but hey somebody has to do it right?! It appears outwardly that Richard Seymour is going to be that base jumper for Raider Nation. I still have some hope for this team that has given me every reason to jump ship but Richard Seymour puts my own hope to shame.
After going over some of the game film Richard Seymour came out feeling optimistic that the Raiders were close to making plays time and time again. It is eerily similar to his preseason quotes claiming the Raiders had the talent to be a Top 5 Defense so it is understandable and justified if you temper your expectations this time around. Seymour has been around a long time and is widely respected across the league so people tend to listen to what he says but if you feel like he is just saying the company line then you are not alone.
Richard Seymour and Michael Huff place the blame on the players and not on DC Jason Tarver and his defensive scheme.
"We're so close on so many plays. It's fixable. We're headed in the right direction," Seymour told the media as reported by Vic Tafur Monday. "Teams are getting the ball out quick to try to tire (the defensive line). We've got to get our hands up and challenge them on the edges.
"I said all offseason, all camp, I believed in this scheme." said Huff. "So, it doesn't really have nothing to do with the scheme of things. It's just us players aren't really executing when we need to. The playmakers aren't making plays when we have to. For us, the players have to step up and make more plays."
Seymour's belief that the Raiders are right there to make plays gives me some hope that the team might actually begin stopping opponents every once in a while. However, he has been talking up this defense since training camp. This is what he told our own Levi Damien in training camp about his lofty belief that this would be a top 5 defense:
“Well, you always have goals, you always set high standards. You try to control where you fall but that’s always a goal of ours. Even last year, that’s still a goal. But I feel like everyone’s on the same page and understanding what we’re trying to accomplish. It isn’t gonna be easy but we have the guys that can get it done and I feel like we have everything thing we need to do what we need to do this year."
“I mean, it aint like we’re pulling it out the sky. Everyone knows the type of players that we have here. But now I feel like the coaches are putting us in the right position and just have an opportunity to go out starting on Monday night to prove it.”
It is pretty safe to say that they had the chance to prove these statements correct and have failed pretty epically. When you see hyperbole like this you can't help but feel any further positive comments from that person without a direct connection to their on-field play is just more of the same old spin. Continuing to Speak positively is great, but it's past the time for words and we really need to see it on the field now.
Its hard to look at the game against the Broncos and not question the schemes on both sides of the ball. Seymour and Huff could just be saying what they think is right to say instead of what they actually believe. Then again, maybe they really do see something on tape that fans did not see in real time.
On the outside looking in, it has been abysmal. Then again I am not a football player, I am just a fan/blogger. If Seymour says after looking at the tape he sees the defense being close to turning the page it does give me some extra hope. Even if his previous comments this offseason make me question that hope.
Granted, the offensive side of the ball also needs to get something changed during this bye week or Jason Tarver's scheme on defense isn't going to matter much and Richard Seymour's faith in it even less.
At least Richard Seymour believes that this defense will get better even if most of Raider Nation disagrees right now. Despite him being pretty obviously wrong in previous conversations about the defense it does still give me some extra hope to hang on to. Hopefully these new quotes from Seymour do not leave the same bitter taste in our mouths.
Seymour is a trusted and respected player in this league, but if he and the rest of the defense has got to back up those words on the field or people might just start rolling their eyes and Raider Nation will stop listening to what he has to say.