December 2, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Keenan Clayton (57) celebrates after making a hit on a kickoff return against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter at Coliseum. The Browns defeated the Raiders 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders Have Worst Linebackers and Defensive Line in the NFL

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’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.

Tags: Oakland Raiders

  • Dean Thomas

    Lets see, did all these knuckleheads forget about Miles Burris? And, Roach & Burnett both had over 100 tackles last year. Roach played better than the injured guy he stepped in for, what’s his name? Oh yeah, Erlacher…. I just hope we surprise a few people this year.

  • Marek

    It not about the need to always hear positve things it only hearing the negative thing without acknowledging the positive. It about giving the carrot and the stick rather than all stick!

    • goldenbaysports

      Ok, give me a positive thing right now about the Raiders.

      • jeff yaws

        the days of al davis spending sprees are over

        this time next year mckensie will have this team 50-60 million back under the cap

        our new GM is a huge part if why GREEN BAY was succesful and is a guru at finding under the radar talent

        greg knapps days of soft zone blocking is OVER and DMC will be behind a power scheme that he THRIVES in

        denarius moore
        jacoby ford
        up and comer rod streater

        our offense is HIGHLY underrated and the addition of flynn and wilson will prove it

        im not saying rome was built in a day but this new regime is takin this team is a very positive direction

        give this NEW REGIME 3 years before you so called reporter poopoo this team

        ofcourse we aint guna win the superbowl this year but the positived out weigh the negatives

        which you downers always seem to focus on

        obviously you are SF fans,..write about them instead

        cuz THE BEST FAN BASE IN SPORTS,…THE NATION knows better

  • Tej Kamaraju

    Hey, guys? Layoff the hate! As a fellow Raiders fan, I agree with Eric because he writes about the truth. You love your team.. WE GET IT ALREADY! The fact of the matter is that there’s almost nothing positive to say about a team that has failed to get it together over and over again. Will I stop liking them? No, but maybe they aren’t good because they have terrible linebackers. He writes about the truth. Also, why does your bias blind you so much? How can the Raiders be such a good team if they’re well below .500. Sorry but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with someone trying to analyze why a team is failing. When there’s something good to be said about this team, you bet your ass he’ll say it.

  • Emmanuel Rojas

    Well if u think about Kevin Burnet brings leadership to the LB core and Millis Burris is going into his 2nd year ik it’s alot to ask for Burris but man he plays very well and with Nick Roach filling in for urlacher those r big shoes to fill

    • goldenbaysports

      Thanks for the non-hateful comments. Those are all good points.

      It’s not like the people they signed are cheap scrubs, but they haven’t exactly proved themselves and that’s why they were signed to short-term deals.

      Will they out-perform their contracts? Who knows, but if they do, Reggie McKenzie will look like a genius.

      • holy roller

        no hate here…….ur 2nd paragraph is my point exactly. we run into trouble when these guys play lights out and want a new contract. The “hate” that bothers me is on Big Al. You don’t make the big spalsh without taking chances and he did. Mistakes, sure. They all bag on the seymore trade but he was all pro 1st year as a Raider for example. Jwalrus and dead row mclain were sure fire picks by all the talking heads…….DHB had better #’s his second year than crabtree and would have done fine last year but they stopped throwing to him. Huff? come on. he plays corner for a year for us and we give him a dose of ghb and send him on his way.Here is a quote from bill walsh……..” everything i know about football, i learned from Al Davis”……
        We all have our right to opine the difference of course is that…..I’m right!
        Have a lucky day……

    • Emmanuel Rojas

      Well with his 1st year Reggie looked like a genius when he went out and got players like , Millis Burris, Rod Streater, Phillp Wheeler , and Wheeler who wasn’t on everyone’s radar and also brought in on a 1 year deal was excellent so u think exp players that r young and a gm like Reggie being a Talent Evaulator will spell fail for. Nick Roach, Vance Walker, Kevin Burrnet, Mike Jennkins, Rashard Jennings, and Porter is he is healthy :)

  • jeff yaws

    i agree, this eric he guy is horrible at his job. take what he writes or ‘copies’ with a grain of salt.

    never has anything positive to say

    all this raider reporting coming from a guy who thought last year was greg knapps first and only year as our offensive coordinator.

    he never has any good insight and is always down on the raiders

    reggie mckensie is making due with what he can with the money he has until he gets this team salary cal relevent again.

    rosenthal is horrible too and doesnt and CANT see that mckensie is doin a much much MUCH better job then expected

    have patience raider nation, rome wasnt built in a day but i will guarantee you big mckensie will right this ship within the next 3 years and people (im not calling him a writer) like this will havin nothin to write(copy & paste) about


  • goldenbaysports

    Why don’t you go to and read their articles if you want a positive spin on a bad team.

    Until they can prove to be relevant again, the negativity will keep on coming. We give credit where it is due, so if the Raiders make the playoffs next season we will be more positive towards them.

    Until then, if you can’t face the truth, don’t read us.

  • goldenbaysports

    “Never has anything positive to say.”

    Do you want us to gloat about the Raiders all day? About how every draft pick and signing is the greatest decision ever made?

    This team has been horrible for 10 years, and until they can prove otherwise the negativity is going to keep coming.

    So either accept that fact, or don’t read us. Plain and simple.

  • bill kush

    Eric He you’re a shit writer ! All you do is hate on the Raiders. You are the reason I won’t read this rag anymore.

  • holy roller

    gbs, ur biased against the Raiders, plain and simple so either accept that fact or don’t read this…..

  • bill kush

    We will go read our articles there since they are not full of hate. We all know the team is rebuilding & fixing the salary cap disaster is going to take time. So keep your hate to yourself.

  • goldenbaysports

    See ya! I’d rather have logical and open-ended people read our blog than those who simply want us to gloat about how good their team is.
    Enjoy the folks over at, they will keep you happy even through a five-game losing streak.

  • goldenbaysports

    I’m starting to feel like Tim Kawikami. Enjoy!

  • bill kush

    Logical ? Lol. Put the pipe down

  • goldenbaysports

    I don’t get it. You’re confirming that you aren’t logical?

  • bill kush

    I am but you aren’t. Bashing them & labeling them the worst in the NFL & they haven’t even started the season. How is that logical ? Wouldn’t that be more of a story if they were doing bad during the season ?

  • goldenbaysports

    When did I say they were the worst in the NFL? I’m quoting an article written by Greg Rosenthal of who says they have the worst linebackers and d-line in the league. Until they prove otherwise, I agree with him.

    Once the season starts, everyone’s opinions will change. But for now, this is my opinion. You can have yours too. Just don’t lash out at me for no reason.

  • bill kush

    When you title the article that way & you agree with Rosenthal then you are calling them that as well. I would never call a player a scab either.

  • goldenbaysports

    Alright I give up.

    The Raiders are going to have a big bounceback season. With the veteran additions that Reggie McKenzie signed in the offseason, they will surprise many and make the postseason. Darren McFadden will reach Pro Bowl status with a new offensive system installed by Greg Olson. Dennis Allen will prove himself and lead the Raiders to success. Terrelle Pryor will win the starting QB job and be the second coming of Colin Kaepernick.

    That’s what you want to hear, right? Does it make you happier that I said all that?

  • holy roller

    now, thawhatI’m talkin about! Ol shiete on big Al kawasak……I mean kawikami……

  • goldenbaysports

    Yes, we hate the Raiders and everything they stand for. That’s what you want to hear. Satisfied?

  • mike scarpino

    No i don’t want the second coming of a guy who lost the superbowl i want a guy who is going to be able to complete the dream

  • holy roller

    ur comments about the lb’rs were way off base. the above scenario has some plauasability (although i realize you only speak with a sarcastic tone) dmc could actually last a season….(i’d go 10-1 against),Olson’ssystem has at least a chance (even odds), Woodson will have a posative impact (but get hurt anyway)…wht i really think……da is our weakest link.

  • holy roller

    i find ur tone somewhat hostile….i said u were biased……plenty of negative ninnys outthere….if you can’t standtheheat………

  • goldenbaysports

    Yeah I’m totally biased and can’t take the heat. What else do you have? I’m open to any criticism.