The Oakland Raiders will never receive much respect from the national media (or anyone outside of Oakland) until they start winning and becoming relevant again. Since 2002, this team has not made the playoffs once and are currently stuck in the rut of the rebuilding process.
Thus, it is not surprise that NFL.com’s Greg Rosenthal gave the Raiders the dubious honor of the having the worst linebacker group and defensive line in the league.
Here are his comments on the linebackers:
The Raiders’ linebacker group is the definition of replacement level. Nick Roach, Kaluka Maiava, and Kevin Burnett were all signed to cheap, short-term deals. They all would fit better as reserves somewhere, but they will start in Oakland. Third-round pick Sio Moore is the group’s best hope for the future.
And for the defensive line:
Once again, Oakland is starting guys who would struggle to get jobs elsewhere. Lamarr Houston is a nice player, but after that it’s Vance Walker,Pat Sims and Jason Hunter. There just aren’t young guys to get excited about. If Dennis Allen wins seven games with this roster, he should get Coach of the Year votes.
Like it or not, Rosenthal’s comments are true and will hold true until the Raiders can prove otherwise. This is not a roster filled with studs, or even formidable veterans. These are simply scabs signed to short-term deals, meant only to plug up holes until GM Reggie McKenzie can complete the rebuilding process, which may take longer than Raiders fans would like.