If there is such thing as moral victories in the N
This year’s free agent class it’s all about the slot guys. This is a great thing for the Raiders for two reasons. One Bo Jackson Jersey , because that’s what they need. They have Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley to patrol the boundaries, so they need a guy who can keep up with the speedy slot guys and maybe take over the outside corner spot when needed as well. And two, because slot guys tend to be more affordable than the every game starters on the outside.Here are the guys the Raiders are sure to be taking a long look at this free agency.Ronald Darby, EaglesDarby has started in all but one game in which he’s appeared over his four years in the NFL. The problem is he has appeared in just 17 games over the past two seasons. He landed on partial season IR after the first game of 2017. Then he returned to the lineup in week ten and was a key starter in the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, including six pass breakups in their three playoff wins. Last season he was lost after week nine. Also suspect was the 2015 Bills second round pick getting traded for a third round round pick after two seasons. But the Eagles don’t seem to have any regrets about making that trade.Darqueze Dennard, BengalsA first round pick by the Bengals in 2014 while Paul Guenther was defensive coordiangor. Under Guenther in 2017, Dennard had his best season, playing all over the field, he appeared in all 16 games, starting six with 2 interceptions, one returned one 89 yards for a touchdown, and six passes defended. He also had a career high 83 tackles and added 2.0 sacks. Dennard had started a career-high 9 games last season before landing on injured reserve. He still matched his pass defended totals of 2017 (6) and had similar tackle numbers per game as well. Guenther may want to get ahold of the 27-year-old Dennard again to continue his career development.Bryce Callahan, BearsThis 5-9, 188-pound slot corner has been quite impressive over the past two seasons in Chicago. He has put up two interceptions and 6 passes defended in each season and last season saw his tackle numbers jump to a career best 45. And lest you should think that was just tackling on catches he gave up, QB’s have had sub-80 passer rating when throwing to his receivers each of the past two seasons as well.Bradley Roby, Broncos This former first round pick has been a key part of the Broncos pass defense the past five years and has set career highs in various categories nearly every season of his 5-year career. As a rookie he put up two interceptions, 13 passes defended, and a still career best 67 tackles (65 solo). Following his second season, Roby stepped up big time in the Super Bowl, breaking up three passes. The following season, he matched a career-high 2 interceptions, but this time he returned BOTH for touchdowns. Then in 2017, he had a career-high 17 passes defended. Last season, he started a career-high 15 games and put up an interception, 12 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, and 50 combined tackles. The Raiders should take this 26-year-old away off the hands of their division rival.Steven Nelson, ChiefsSpeaking of stealing from your division rival, Nelson quietly had a pretty good season on an otherwise shaky Chiefs’ secondary. Nelson had a career best 4 interceptions and 68 tackles while starting every game. He also had 15 pass breakups, which is one fewer than his previous career best from 2016 when he started all 15 games in which he appeared. Despite being targeted an NFL most 113 times according to Pro Football Focus, Nelson held his own, allowing just 53.1% completions and a passer rating of 76.8 in his coverage.Follow @LeviDamienTell The Truth: Yippee Raiders season opener The Oakland Raiders lost their season opener to the Rams 33-13. What’s important to note is head coach Jon Gruden suggesting the score was not indicative of the game played. He may be right as this was a game the Raiders had every opportunity to win, so it’s time to tell the truth. The Good HalfThe Raiders started out fast in front of an impassioned Coliseum crowd. The pads were cracking as the hits were coming hard and heavy. Jared Cook would produce a career night and a record breaking performance for all Raiders tight ends with 9 receptions for 180 yards. Derek Carr was granted the autonomy over the line of scrimmage and was making changes to the play at the line of scrimmage early and often as the Raiders took the opening kickoff and drove straight down the field to score a touchdown. It was a marvel to see, in an atmosphere that will truly be missed. Statistically speaking, the Raiders came out and did what they had to do nearly across the board. They were focused, and the important columns all slanted in the Raiders directions. Time of Possession 31:31 Raiders 28:29 Rams, total yards 395 Raiders 365 Rams, and penalties 11/155 yards Raiders 8/70 yards Rams; however, lost the two that weigh most heavily: points and turnovers. Paul Guenther and his defense came out like gangbusters and showed how much better this defense will be this season. At the halftime break the Raiders defense had only allowed 98 yards. Carr had completed 20 of 24 passes for 199 yards with one interception https://www.raiderslockerroom.com/authentic-antonio-brown-jersey , tight end Jared Cook was destroying Rams linebackers having caught 6 passes for 113 yards in the first half. Running back Marshawn Lynch carried [literally carried on his back] half of the Rams defense into the endzone on a 10-yard draw to end the first drive. The Raiders entered halftime with a 13-10 lead. The X-factors and beginning of the endStop me if you’ve heard this before. Penalties, and Carr’s three interceptions cost the Raiders this football game. There it is, out in the open, calling a spade a spade. The Raiders had the momentum, the crowd, and the lead, but couldn’t get it done. Why? Because the defense had two monumental lapses in technique which proved pivotal in leading to points, and three interceptions including a pick-six were thrown by a quarterback who appears to have a not-so-slight case of the yips.Rashaan Melvin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have both got to turn their heads around and locate the football in the air. It’s plain and simple. In today’s NFL throwing a flag for defensive pass interference for face-guarding is automatic and they both know better. Sadly, both of these gentlemen had a chance to make plays on poorly thrown footballs, even after having been burned, and ran into the receiver. Giving the Rams field flipping penalty yardage.Carr threw three interceptions which can be categorized as bad, wtf, and good gosh no. In his own words Carr “under threw a pass to Cook [intercepted by Johnson in the endzone] which was a bad throw.” This was a drive killer and seriously sapped nearly all the momentum from the team. One foot more on that pass and we could be talking touchdown Raiders, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. W.hen T.hat F.eeling hits you, is the tragic version of when keeping it real goes wrong. Carr’s explanation of this moment went, ‘checked the right side didn’t see anything came back to the left which i shouldn’t have done and decided to throw it away but tried to leave my receiver on the bench route an opportunity.’ What resulted was a three-flies up looking, come and get me, dying duck falling out of the sky pass, which dropped right into the arms of an unseen defender. The first interception was forgivable and excusable for a quarterback trying to be aggressive, but this second one was a game killer. It sucked all the life out of the team. Good Gosh no, is the final insult added to the injury. Down 13 with minutes in the fourth quarter Carr is throwing 5-7 yard crossing routes because the defense isn’t allowing the deep pass. Throwing into a heavily defensively populated area of the football, Marcus Peters was able to step in front of Cook and intercept the pass take it 50 yards the other way to thehouse and jump in the endzone for the final nail in the coffin. Yip Yip YippeeCarr had a very bad second half of football. It is becoming an alarming trend from Carr that he gets happy feet after being pressured and or hit. Carr’s toughness is unquestioned, but he has broken four bones in the last two years. At some point that has to weigh on his mind and he may even be unaware of it. In this game, as evidenced in the lead photo, he took a low hit early when Aaron Donald threw guard Kelechi Osemele out of his way like he was an annoying fly, and dove into Carr’s knee folding him up and taking him down. It was such a play that Carr actually had some words after the play, watching the replay it was a scary looking twist. Carr’s brain is an overpowered quantum processor which can diagnose pre-snap reads and calculate probability and risk. Carr appears to be finalizing his decisions at the line of scrimmage, which in effect is allowing the defense to dictate what plays he runs. To his credit Carr gets it right more often than not. But when he’s fooled at the line of scrimmage it is a bad look. When things break down around Carr, he has a nasty habit of looking at the rush. His process speeds up and he starts eliminating receiving options before the play has a chance to develop. Against the Rams, Carr shaved off nearly a half a second off his snap to throw average time of 2.7 seconds to a blistering 2.2 seconds. I mean Carr is getting the snap and throwing the ball so fast his receivers didn’t have time to finish their routes. Really who is getting open in 2.2 seconds? what kind of routes? Only a specific set of route combinations will allow him to get rid of the football that fast. Carr needs to work on his pocket awareness and for the love of all that is holy keep his eyes down the field and allow his receivers a chance to be in the game. Carr alternates between throwing up 50/50 balls when he has no pressure, to not even looking his receivers way after he’s been hit or rushed a couple of times. Carr appears to have the yips, he can’t help himself, once he’s been hurt he hears the footsteps and is pressured by ghosts. Forcing himself to get rid of the football when he has time and not going through all of his progressions. It’s been an issue which dates back to his time at Fresno State.Final ThoughtsWeek one was a game the Raiders could have won and it would have set an impressive tone to begin the season. The defense didn’t look like the haphazard unit which was roasted, toasted, and burned to a crisp all last season. The offense appeared capable and even having a plan at times. But here’s the most important thing to realize; good teams don’t beat themselves.The Raiders accrued 8 offensive penalties in the first half alone, effectively gutting their own dominance in the game. They let the Rams hang around until something happened and then the bottom fell out. Carr went from being able to do no wrong, to not being able to see his wide receivers from the moment he broke the huddle.perhaps this should be one. Clean up the turnovers and the penalties and they can play with the best the league has to offer.
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