Raiders Preparing To Play With Fire At Linebacker Again This Year?

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Khalil Mack, who has been staying away from OTAs without a new deal, will have “a lot of catching up to do” when he gets back to the team.

A positive angle to Mack’s absence though, is that Arden Key has been getting more reps in OTA sessions.

Derrick Johnson says there’s a lot to learn in Paul Guenther’s defense, especially for the linebackers.

“It’s very aggressive,” Johnson said of the Raiders new defensive scheme. “So many different looks. The onus is really on the linebackers to learn a lot of stuff. That’s good for myself because I know a lot. It’s putting a lot of pressure on me to learn it quickly. Learn it well enough where I can put my own flavor in making plays on this defense.”

It’s good that the Raiders have a veteran in such an important position, but what happens if Johnson (who turns 36 during in the season) can’t keep up physically or misses time to injury?

In fact, there was a small linebacker scare at practice today, that fortunately ended up not being serious.

As overall talent and depth are concerned, it feels like the Raiders are preparing to play with fire at middle linebacker again this year.

One other interesting nugget from Johnson was in reference to Jon Gruden’s offense. He said Gruden’s offense is going to have “a lot of shifts and motions” for opposing defenses to adjust to.

Under Todd Downing there was very little pre-snap movement to the Raiders offense and by week three of last season, analysts were already calling Downing’s offensive scheme one of the most simplistic in the league.

That’s all about to change.

Daryl Worley and Leon Hall are separated in age by 10 years, but they both saw first-team reps in practice on Tuesday.

Considering the Raiders lack of depth at cornerback, Worley and Hall each have a relatively clear path to making the team.

Even though he’s 33, Hall is decent bet to make the final roster because he has experience in Guenther’s system and brings toughness to the team.

Worley should just be flat-out talented enough to keep around.

Not a big fan of what the Raiders are doing at linebacker so far in the offseason, but Gruden is going to be right about his cornerbacks. If healthy, they’re going to be better than people think.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “Raiders Preparing To Play With Fire At Linebacker Again This Year?

  1. Regardless this team is much better than the 12-4 team. The great players of that team are more seasoned and we have actual coaching and scheme…not to mention we have back up edge and a couple interior pass rushers and actual depth at CB. I think Lee will do well in run game and Morrow can take over in passing downs.

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