It has certainly been a very busy last week for the Raiders Organization and doubly so for Reggie McKenzie. There has been a veritable storm of negative communication from ESPN and NFL writers over any and all Raiders free agents signings, followed by meaningless speculation into McKenzie's methods and the cultural change that he is trying to bring to this ailing organization.
I am not going to harp on the loss of Jared Veldheer and Lamaar Houston, obviously the coaching and the organization evaluated both players and had they been game changing players the organization would have offered them compensation commensurate with their ability. Players walked business goes on such is the way in the NFL.
What I will delve into is the defensive free agent signings and how they have remarkably improved our overall defensive outlook going into 2014. I strongly feel that raiders are already an improved product compared to 2012-2013 even with the NFL draft at least a month away.
A strong defense wins championships, remember this as you read further.
Raiders have had some very good defensive signings so far, these include DE Justin Tuck, OLB/DE Lamarr Woodley and DT Antonio Smith.
I am a numbers guy so lets start with analyzing player data.
The table below represents the 2013 player statistics for the all three free agents, each column represents different categories of player performance.
|Pos.||Name||Snaps||Run Def.||Pass Rush||Pass Cov||Overall||Run Def.||Pass Rush||Pass Cov||Penalty||QB Sack||QB Hits||QB Hurries||BP||Tackles||Assists||MT||Stops|
|DL||Antonio D. Smith||770||324||445||1||12.6||-3.5||18.8||-0.5||-2.2||8||9||29||0||19||5||7||21|
This second table represents the 2013 pass rush statistics for the entire Raiders team:
|QB Sacks||QB Hits||QB Hurries||BP||Tackles||Assists||Missed Tackles||Stops|
Tables can be sometimes difficult to interpret so I will pare this data down for easy consumption:
Free Agent Sacks: 60% of the combined sacks by the entire 2013 Raiders Team
QB Hurries: 55% of the combined QB Hurries by the entire 2013 Raiders Team.
QB Hits: 42% of the combined QB Hits by the entire 2013 Raiders Team.
Another Important statistic is that these players have missed a total of 27 games combined in their entire NFL careers.
In short these players above account for close to half of our pass rush statistics for 2013.
The data above clearly shows that in two days of recruiting McKenzie has had positive impact on our Defensive Line/Pass Rush, arguably one of the weakest links in the Raider defense.
Another OFT mentioned and forgotten statistic for just these three players:
Total Pro-Bowls: 4
Total All Pro Selections: 3
Total Champion Ships: 3
Total Super Bowls : 3
Not only are these players upgrades due to ability, these players bring with them a winners mind set and experience that is absolutely key to a young team such as the Raiders.
Raider Nation look at the above data and then tell me if you still think we are headed the wrong direction.
Does Reggie McKenzie have a plan? You bet he does, look at the numbers for yourself, analyze for yourself, do not blindly follow the National Media they love a good story and will continue to bash the Raiders because for them it means good ratings.
If you want to get good data join twitter, follow people such as Rory Anderson, Levi Damien, Vic Tafur, Steve Corkran, these guys know what's up.
(Stay tuned for updates and further analysis)