Is This Why The Raiders Refuse To Bring In Defensive Help?

The Raiders defense was one of the worst in the NFL in 2016 and to the surprise of many, including Khalil Mack, general manager Reggie McKenzie has been slow to add veteran defensive help.

Maybe McKenzie’s excessive restraint was the product of his grooming in Green Bay where the Packers go into yearly hibernation during the free agency period, but there could be another explanation.

Is it possible that McKenzie and his merry men believe the coaching staff is primarily responsible for the defensive struggles of a year ago?

It makes sense.

As coaches go, the Raiders reeled in a big fish in John Pagano. As for free agents, McKenzie brought in little more than a bait fish.

McKenzie drafted defense and that shouldn’t be overlooked. Still the front seven is largely the same as a year ago – which may be fine if the group continues to develop.

Moving forward, Pagano will serve as ‘Assistant Head Coach – Defense’ (essentially co-defensive coordinator) under head coach Jack Del Rio and Pagano figures to have a heavy hand in the defense. Can we expect Pagano’s influence to expand moving forward? That seems like a strong possibility and might even be the plan.

The food was bad and the Raiders have simply added another chef.

We’ll see how long it can last, but for now the three-headed monster of Del Rio, Pagano, and Ken Norton Jr. will be stirring the defensive pot in Oakland – albeit cooking with generally the same ingredients.

On Sunday we’ll see if the food tastes any different.

twitter: @raidersbeat


17 thoughts on “Is This Why The Raiders Refuse To Bring In Defensive Help?

  1. This explanation is probably the best I’ve heard so far. But everyone knows the saying “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup”. I think Norton is on a short leash or just flat out taking a back seat as a defensive assistant. The offense can’t carry the defense all the way to the SB. So we’ll see how the three headed dragon of defensive coaches works out. After watching KC demolish NE last night we really need our defensive to be better. Much better.

  2. If this dude meaning Reggie didn’t think we needed more guys or help on defense, then he is worst than I thought. And other fans stop with this bullshit about the 14 and 15 drafts. Mack was a no brainer, so was Carr. Our owner said days before the draft that he wanted Carr in the first round. This man is too fucking stubborn when it comes to building this team. Howie long calls the Sheldon Richardson move by Seattle as maybe the biggest off season move of all the 32 teams. He might be right. When Sheldon is playing his true position and not LB like he did last year for the Jets he is a nightmare. One of the best run stopping lineman and he can get after the QB in the middle of the line. But as usual fucking draft picks keep him (reggie) from making a move. You can’t be one sided when building a football team.

    1. If Mack and Carr were such “No Brainers” as you say. How come they were both still on the board to be picked.The man picked Mack,Carr,Jackson,and Ellis(ALL STARTERS).All from the 2014 Draft. In 2015 he picked Cooper,Edwards,Walford,and Feliciano who ALL contribute at least.He KILLED the 2014 and 2015 drafts. I didnt see anyone else taking advantage of the same opportunities.The man likes to keep his draft picks for good reason.He has more ability to control the cap space.Seems like you have a beef with how he runs this team that was a dumpster fire before he took over. The man and his scouting department helped turn around what was considered the laughing stock of the NFL around. THEY ARE NOW CONSIDERED LEGIT SUPER BOWL CONTENDERS. Maybe a little patience is due. He’s done a great job with almost everything. No general manager is perfect and hits on everthing.

  3. Well, that’s true all we can do is wait and see. Funny thing is this is more than likely, accurate. Reasons being:
    1: with injuries to DB and LB guys like S Dwight Lowery who is familiar with pagano, available and Perry Riley, Gerald Hodges, sean spence, A.ayers and beefy Jay Howard and with 10$+ mil in cap none were brought in.
    2 . All the “2016” preseason defensive positional group rankings had Raiders Secondary top 3 boasting 3 players with top 16 pff scores in 2015. They also had the def line and pass rush as top 3 or 5, point is they were hyped up.
    3. After allowing 1000+ in first two they played phenomenal vs titans wk 3 then regressed a couple weeks before finally coming together to be a top 10 def wk 7-17.
    4. Mario Edwards can be looked at as an addition basically and Hester and Eddie V look ready to rotate now, unlike Ward last year who was forced into action. Speaking of Ward…he looks the part and JDR praised his off-season work. Maybe he makes the sophomore jump which would be another huge addition. Justin Jelly Ellis looks like a different player too which is also huge considering his talent and fact that NT usually takes few years to develope we can expect big things in contract year. The Inside linebacking group is less than desirable in terms of experience, but the talent and athleticism are there and James will be surprise of raider nation, barring injury.
    Prediction for def /off ranking
    Pass Def / 16, 246.3ydg
    Run def/11. 99.7ydg
    Total def #17, 346ydg
    Scoring Def / #13, 21.5ppg
    Sacks #8, 39sacks
    Takeaways # 4, 27

    1. If we can be a middle of the pack defense we’ll go far into the playoffs! But you’re much more optimistic than I am! We haven’t shown the ability to stop the run or the pass! Still haven’t shown a interior pass rush. Just think what Mack and Irvin could do if QB’s couldn’t just step up and avoid them! I sure hope you’re optimism rubs off on the team!

  4. If coaching is truly believed to be the problem why not just fire Norton? He makes poor adjustments if any and doesn’t implement schemes that play to the strengths of his personal.

  5. Not enough defensive talent. Period! That’s the reason the Raiders were 26th last year. True, bad coaching probably contributed to it. But to expect dramatic changes just by adding Pagano is unrealistic. This team will be bad defensively, again, so you’d better hope that the offense can outscore the other team most of the time, or we’re looking at a very disappointing year!

  6. Hopefully that’s the case. Adding Pagano I think was actually a pretty good addition to the defense. Last year with Pagano the chargers actually did ok defensively considering they had alot of injuries. He still had the chargers defense playing competitive football. Let’s see what happens tho. If a few games into the season the defense looks bad then I think they should let go of Norton……and get Mack some help! RAIDERS4LIFE!!!

  7. I never post anything but after reading this article I can say that our defense did get better later in the year (2017) but knowing Reggie that didn’t address priority needs, bums people out but I understand that they are the professionals not us fans let just trust and believe and by the end of the year if we don’t get better then yes heads are going to roll I hope. Let’s Do what we do best and stay loyal raider nation that’s all we can do nothing we say or think can change anything anyways. Raiders 4 life win,tie or lose

  8. That is a lame excuse! Outside of drafting Mac all Reggie’s defensive draft picks have been either injured before he drafted, had heart problems and/or been under criminal investigation or just extreme reaches of picks of guys from no name programs. Hoping Joseph will live up to the hype, Conneley I have yet to see play a single snap! Then he gets rid of the only decent linebakers the Raiders had!! Why build a powerhouse offense and one of the worst defenses in the NFL! It’s going to be a frusterating year that should cost Reggie his job!

  9. Yah. I think Ken Norton Jr. is in trouble. If he isn’t able to get into the 15-16 range of defensive ranking this year, he is done. I don’t see an interior pass rush at all. And the timing and instincts of the inside linebackers are key in this pass happy league. You can’t just keep Sean Smith caliber players in there forever. At any position. Maybe RM is looking for one more draft to get the RAIDERS to the SB. Watching the Chiefs offense Thursday night makes even the casual football mind think the RAIDERS have a long way to go yet in the AFC West race.

  10. How come Raider Nation is either singing Reggies praises or calling for his head. No one saw 12-4, NO ONE. Reggie gave us that. Three years to clean up Mr. Davis’s mess and now we’re seeing results. This will be a tough season. If it’s great we’ll praise Reggie. If it doesn’t end with a ring….off with his head!
    I remember almost 15 years of reactionary management. So far Mark Davis has shown better patience and the The Raiders are relevant again. Thank you Mark, thank you Reggie.

  11. Well after the week 1 win I can admit that I was plesantly surprised that the defense played well enough to come away with a win. My previous point about Reggie not being very good with defensive personell picks stands and we are still one injury away to Carr from being a last place team again. There were many opportinities to upgrade the interior defensive line and inside linebackers . . . but other teams grabbed up those opportunities. There were many opportunities to also get a capable back up QB . . Reggie passed on all those as well.

    I am not saying Reggie has not made any good draft picks, but when your picking in the top 10 of the draft year after year, it’s not that hard to pick a few good players. Think of how the Raiders would be sitting had they drafted Dak Prescott rather than Conor Cook as our back up qb. I could go on and on with the picks that were made defensively rather than the no brainer picks Reggie could have should have mede. I hope the Raiders kep winning and people take shots at my criticizing of Reggie every week . . . Ill take it!!! We just had so many opportunities to get better on defense and we at best stayed the same if not taken a few steps back!

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