There have been many questions as to what the Raiders would be doing with the safety position this year. I have been known to question it considerably considering the lack of off-season moves made at the position. The Raiders had another plan all along. They were filling the need in-house.
Brandian Ross was signed off the Packers practice squad early last season and played quite well for the team at corner last season. He also stepped in and played some safety with Michael Huff having moved to corner. Now Huff is gone, leaving a vacancy at free safety - a position Ross has an opportunity to fill.
Currently running first team at free safety is free agent acquisition, Usama Young. Ironically enough, Dennis Allen transitioned Young from corner to safety when Allen was his position coach in New Oreans. It's a transition Allen claims he has had a great deal of success.
"When you bring him in as a corner, you let him go out there and you see how they do," said Allen. "Their skill set, at the end of the day, dictates that... Brandian Ross can go out there and play corner in this league and be able to hold up, but his skill set probably lends him a little bit more valuable as a safety.
"When you look at a corner who is a 4.5 guy playing out on the Autobahn, that's a tough proposition at times. So, moving him in our system and what we want to try to do, being able to man those guys up on the corner, it takes a lot of athletic ability. They can do it, yet that athleticism and skill set probably suits him better as a safety."
It's hard to argue with Allen's past success in converting Young as well as Malcolm Jenkins to safety. It also makes it easier to see Ross in the same mold when he comes in on his very first day after the position change and has an interception.
Ross was running with the second team defense and playing deep middle. Terrelle Pryor threw an errant pass and Ross was in perfect position to pick it off for the only interception of the day.
Right now the free safety position is between Young and Ross. That could change with Charles Woodson scheduled to make a free agent visit on Tuesday (in case you hadn't heard about that).
It could have the free safety position go from a complete vacancy to having a lot of quality competition and depth.