After last year's penalty-ridden season, most people, particularly people that are not Raider fans, seem to dismiss our defense as being really sorry. Some people believe that our defense is the weak link that opposing teams will continue to exploit and we will come in 4th in the AFC West. But recall after 2010, everyone was saying we had such a vaunted defense. At the start of 2011 I often read how our defense really instilled fear in opposing teams. Nevertheless, when you look at our defense, what changes have happened from last year. Our defensive line is what everyone seemed to fear and has that really changed? People overlook the fact that our D-line often did stop opposing teams last year and often teams would score touchdowns mainly because penalties kept their drives going. Our D-line for the most part is still the same, we have our beasts there. In addition, Bresnahan did not know what he was doing, and with good defensive coaching, I believe our D-line can pick up where it left off in 2010.
There is room for speculation in other areas. There is talk that the Raiders are going to be easy to beat because all you have to do is throw on us. How accurate is that? We can't know for sure with two starters who have been off for a year. At least we won't have Routt and his penalities, and Chris Johnson was absent practically all year, and Nnamdi is ancient history. I don't know about you, but I feel pretty good with the progress of DVD, and Chekwa looked even more promising for the little playing time he showed. Is this going to be a weak spot? We will soon see but it seems Reggie knows what he is doing with the people he brought in.
What about linebacker? That was most certainly a weak spot in terms of the long runs that broke out, but Quentin Groves is now gone. Curry is a true LB who I think is going to continue to get better. I saw shades of Villapiano in him the way he was all over the field frequently. Curry needs to improve only in stopping the pass, and with the good defensive minded coaching that we have, I believe Curry has the talent to adjust. I don't think he ever had decent coaching, especially with Bresnahan as DC. What can he do with good coaching? Wimbley, although a good player, was overrated and did not deserve the glorifying title of pass-rushing specialist. Some people have said that Wheeler was the steal of free agency. We have Burris and Goethel who have much promise (provided that Travis stays healthy). We also have a decent bunch of safeties with Branch, Huff, Mitchell, and don't forget that Giordano was our interception leader (although he at times was out of position).
Anyway, I am just touching base in the different areas of our defense and I could have gone into more depth. I am hoping to hear what you have to say regarding our defense because it is and has been vehemently criticized by so many people. For example, will it continue to be exploited? Will the penalties continue? Will our defense continue to be ranked so low - why or why not? I do believe that we will struggle somewhat because so many changes make chemistry a real issue. I believe that with good coaching our defense will come alive again as it did in 2010. What do you think?