Earlier in the week the Raiders released veteran linebacker, Derrick Johnson after only six games. In a corresponding move they promoted undrafted free agent linebacker, Jason Cabinda.
Cabinda, played four years as a Penn State Nittany Lion, starting in 36 of 43 games. As a senior he received second team all Big 10 honors. Cabinda made a name for himself in Happy Valley with his toughness and leadership qualities.
Some of the strengths of Cabinda’s game are his ability to take on and shed blocks and his aggressive play.
Cabinda earned himself first team reps with Raiders during the preseason. He was eventually cut and then signed to their practice squad. Because of his impressive play throughout the summer, the Raiders feared he could be signed to another teams active roster.
“Cabinda had generated a lot of interest from other teams. We didn’t want to lose him. It was a tough decision and we got to try and improve our run defense. We are going to give Cabinda a shot,” said Gruden.
Cabinda will join a group of linebackers who have been underwhelming to say the least. The Raiders run defense ranks 29th in the league, and as Gruden said Cabinda was signed to improve in this area.
In the week four preseason game against Seattle, Cabinda played the entire game and finished with a team high 10 tackles. He showed up well in both the run and pass game.
In college, Cabinda was known as a “thumper,” he demonstrates why on this play from the preseason.
Week 4 preseason-Jason Cabinda knows how to finish a play. Has some “thump” to his tackles. pic.twitter.com/uHWSPkv3yp— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 18, 2018
On this play he display’s his ability to diagnosis a screen pass and quickly get to the ball. He finishes the play with another big hit.
Jason Cabinda reads the screen quickly and makes the tackle. Played a nice game last night. 10 tackles. pic.twitter.com/5VcAMdsG01— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) August 31, 2018
The final clip, again shows his aggressive nature quickly getting to the ball carrier.
More from Cabinda on film. Quickly reads and reacts to the TE coming under the formation. pic.twitter.com/fqUQxoVxTS— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) October 18, 2018
It’s hard to get overly excited about film from a week four preseason game, but if there is anything to take away from the small sample size we have on Jason Cabinda it’s that he is an aggressive, reliable tackler.
For years, the Raiders have struggled to find a guy they can count on in the middle of the defense. Hopefully, Cabinda can take advantage of his opportunity and help turn the defense around.