Addressing the team’s pass rush issues was a huge point of emphasis for the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason. The Raiders added a handful of veteran defensive linemen in free agency and spent a third-round pick on Buffalo edge rusher, Malcolm Koonce.
While some have questioned Koonce as a Day 2 selection, defensive line coach Rod Marinelli is intrigued by the young pass rusher’s potential. On Saturday, the coach shared some insight into why the organization drafted the Buffalo product:
“His tape was really good, really good bend at the top of the rush...and the movement and the speed. He’s going to be a big guy, he’s young and he’s going to fill out. We saw a guy who can pass rush...He comes out each day works at [the details] and I appreciate that.” Marinelli would go on to add: “He’s got enough talent to really help us as a pass rusher.”
In the same statement, the coach mentioned it’s always tough for players to make the transition to the NFL because what worked in college doesn’t always immediately translate to the next level. To me, that suggests Koonce might be having some ups and downs during training camp, but that’s as to be expected at this point.
The transition from any college conference to the NFL is difficult, let alone a smaller conference like the MAC. Regardless, it sounds like the Raiders’ third-round pick has a bright future ahead of him.
In other Raiders’ links:
- Waller misses fourth straight practice: Head coach Jon Gruden is expected to answer questions on the matter, but the team’s superstar has been sidelined for an unknown reason.
- Abram to “turn the volume down”: Defensive backs coach Ron Milus said the team asked the safety to be a little calmer to help him play better.
- Allen discusses relationship with Flores: With legendary head coach Tom Flores entering the Hall of Fame this weekend, former player Marcus Allen opened up about what the coach means to him.
- Woodson and Flores receive gold jackets: The Hall of Fame festivities have already begun with Charles Woodson and Tom Flores receiving their gold jackets Friday evening.