It's no mystery; the Raiders had a terrible defense in 2013. We started hot but seemed to crash and burn HARD. It's also not a mystery why successful teams are finding success..defense has a lot to do with it. I lived in Seattle for about 5 years and although I am NOT a seahawks fan, I have watched some of their games, and I have seen an offense that STRUGGLES! They are plain bad on 3rd down and Marshawn Lynch puts the offense on his back and runs hard enough to put a few points on the board while the defense absolutely humiliates the other team. San Francisco, Carolina, Kansas City, Arizona...all these teams had at least 10 wins this season and they all we're know for good defenses. Some other good Defensive squads like Buffalo, Tennessee, and Houston did not find the same success but they had high turnover margins, had problems with identity, or were poorly coached. I don't know what to think of DA but he's our coach, like it or not. And since I'm a fan I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Next seasons schedule is rough but if we bring a smash mouth defense, a low turnover margin and an identity as an offense we can compete. And that's all I want to see on Sundays..our Oakland Raiders fighting it out till the end giving the other team hell.
The possibilities are so numerous this offseason it's hard to even imagine what the final roster might look like next year. But if I was RM I would start by hiring Wade Phillips as the DC. As mentioned in another fan post, we don't have as much leeway to sign a bunch of all-pro players that our cap room would suggest. This is due to the high number of empty Roster positions and key FAs that we need to retain this offseason. Adding good less expensive talent will be key to success in FA. In perticular I hope we show interest in DE Arthur Jones, he has talent and youth on his side. A great 2013 means he will not come cheap but he won't command a Greg Hardy or Michael Bennett sized contract. CB Walter Thurmond, a rotational player in Seattle but very skilled and also young, the Hayden/Thurmond duo could be a long term answer to a continual problem in Oakland.
As far as the draft goes we should have no problem finding at least 1 starter on defense and maybe a couple rotational players. Trading back for more picks seems like a good move to me. Mostly because I just don't see Clowney available at the 5 spot. With beast OLBs like Barr, Mack, Beasley, Murphy, and Van Noy all coming out of college we should have a shot at one of these guys. There are good NT prospects like Jernigan, Nix, Daquan Jones, and McCullers, one of which should be in Silver and Black next year. Craig Loston could be a 4th rounder that would provide some needed depth at the safety position.
Oaklands offense is a huge question mark but I think a very strong run game can get us places. This means solidifying the line, Gabe Jackson is the best run-blocking G in the draft, a likely 2nd rounder. Grabbing a RB in FA gives us a committee of strong backs. The likely to be cut McClain from San Diego would give us a blocker in the back field freeing up our best offensive weapon Marcel Reece to take on more of a HB role. As far as QB is concerned I don't have a clue what the answer is. Maybe we draft someone (my least favorite option) maybe we role with McGloin, maybe we reunite Olson with Josh Freeman..maybe we bring in an old vet like Kyle Orton. You can hate but that old fuck has swag! I watched the philly-Dallas game and he is a SMART player, and someone who can mold our future franchise QB. Anyway, whatever we do having an identity as a running team takes some pressure off of our QB situation.
This is all just speculation, I just hope RM and DA can make something big happen. Go Raiders!