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I was thinking about how Cable has been playing so coy about the defensive plans in Oakland (mostly because reporters keep asking about it). The things we know are that the Raiders plan to show a 4-man base front but that Groves and Wimbley have been referred to as both linebackers and defensive ends on varying occasions and that prior to drafting McClain they were the only defensive additions we had made, making them a fairly good indicator of a new defensive theory.
This is a bit of a shot in the dark, but here's what I think Oakland is planning to do. I think we're bringing back some form of the 46 defense.
It makes too much sense. It won't be a base system, of course, but it'd clear up some confusion about positional remarks by Cable. Putting Houston at LE would suddenly be a necessary decision, since we'd need someone strong enough to anchor that edge and keep runners from breaking outside. It'd also give us a chance to use Mike Mitchell up at the LOS like he was used primarily last season. More importantly, it'd give guys like Scott, Wimbley, and Groves a chance to charge around the edge of the line and disrupt the play. It would, of course, place a ton of pressure on McClain, giving him a similar role to the one Singletary held when the Bears first introduced this defensive look. That said, intellectually and physically, I believe he's totally up to the task.
Once again, I'm not saying this'll be a base look or that it'll exactly mirror the generic 46 defense, but it fits our personnel and would make some sense of why the team went after a bunch of edge rushing linebacker but appeared to make no real effort to draft a 0-tech. Just a thought.
It had never crossed my mind, and with Al Davis and a good majority of the Raiders staff being such appreciators of football lore (like the infamous 46 Bears defense), it probably should have – because on the surface it does make much sense as you have said.
Although I would say that we have as great personnel as anyone to run this defensive scheme, even as a base defense, like the introduction (or reintroduction) of anything perceived to be “new”, it would take some time for everyone around the league to figure out how to stop it. The game is far more sophisticated than it was a quarter century ago, so in saying that, I could not safely bank on it to be successful for a full season.
What makes me believe that this system could be tremendously successful for our personnel, specifically, are the coverage abilities of our LBs. There will certainly be instances where we will line up in the 46 and only rush 3 linemen, dropping 8 back into coverage.
It leads me to begin questioning who the odd man out would be in this formation. I would bet on it being Huff. What I know about the 46 is that the two outside lineman and the lone free safety need to be good open-field tacklers, and I’m not sure Huff is a better fit for that role than Branch. Plus, it would allow for the maximization of Mitchell’s abilities this early in his career, because he isn’t, and may never be able to become, the prototype, well-rounded safety we envisioned when we overdrafted him; up at the LOS is exactly where he should be.
I would say that the use of this system should be entirely dependent on not just the situation, but the personnel of the opposing team. For example, it would be of great use against inexperienced TEs who would need to make instinctual decisions on whom to block, or likewise inexperienced QBs, who may not be prepared to react quick enough versus the added pressure. The head games this defense would pose for young QBs would be absolutely glorious to witness – this is not a scheme I would want to give Peyton Manning or Drew Brees a shot at figuring out.
This may very well be a mere one-year experiment, because once Nnamdi bolts that leaves us with no physical, capable man-to-man corners, which is an absolute necessity for this system to function.
This is the place to discuss all things Oakland for the upcoming 2010 season. All draft talk should be confined to the other appropriate threads, but after the 24th is over, this is the place to post!
In the mean time, the schedule for this year...
August 12 : @ Dallas
August 19-23 : @ Chicago August 26-29 : San Francisco September 2 : Seattle
September 12 : @ Tennessee September 19 : St. Louis
September 26 : @ Arizona October 3 : Houston October 10 : San Diego
October 17 : @ San Francisco
October 24 : @ Denver October 31 : Seattle November 7 : Kansas City
November 14 : BYE WEEK
November 21 : @ Pittsburgh November 28 : Miami
December 5 : @ San Diego
December 12 : @ Jacksonville December 19 : Denver December 26 : Indianapolis
January 2 : @ Kansas City
(BOLD - Indicates home games, but might just as well indicate blackouts)
My aunt gave me niner season tix this year (everyone in my family are niner fans - except me - and the season tix pass on to another member of the family each year) and I cant tell you how happy I am that the battle of the Bay will be played at the stick. The only question I have is I went to the last regular season meeting between these two and it was at Candlestick, how come the venue doesn't alternate? Is it because the Niners have to play a 'home game' overseas? Or they want the game to actually sell out?
yes, I will be selling the remaining tix on craigslist, and use the money to buy Raider Tickets.
If the Raiders put Branch at FS in the 46 i won't turn out good he doesn't have the range like Michael Huff,With Huff you have someone that can play that center field and make up ground if he has too.
Branch was a corner who ran a 4.36 coming out of college. He's bulked up, to be sure, but I don't necessarily think he lacks range. Moreover, he can actually clean up runners who spring free, something Huff hasn't proven he can do.
Mitchell is suppose to see alot more time this year and we have to get Branch on the field. I could maybe see some 3 saftey sets with Mitchell as a OLB/SS type guy. I think Branch can adapt to FS if needed but he has shown that he can be one of the best young guys to play there right now in the NFL and moving him can hurt him