Oakland Raiders: 6 Reasons Jack Del Rio Might Be On To Something

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Jun 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) stretches at minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


This is something of a novel concept for the Raiders, at least over the last twelve years or so – actual depth, with actual talent.

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  • When Nick Roach went down with a concussion last season, Oakland’s defense was thrown into a little bit of chaos. Miles Burris was playing out of position – and doing so, badly. Plus, the injury to Sio More exposed the Raiders for not having a real replacement. The linebackers group, which was supposed to have been a strength for the team, turned out to be a liability – and a liability with very few bodies at that. The injury to Roach had severe implications for the Raiders’ defense as a whole.

    That was something else that McKenzie fixed this offseason as well. He brought in Lofton and Smith, but he also drafted Ben Heeney and Neiron Ball to join returning veteran Ray Ray Amrstrong, to be depth at the linebackers position.

    Oakland’s linebackers group is now the backbone of the team. It’s one of the deepest units on the roster, and it will be the source of strength in 2015 that it was supposed to have been in 2014.

    Next: 3. The Young Gun