With the weeks slowly melting away toward camp, I can sit and ponder the Raiders, one week at a time. Granted, most people consider May to be a down time, little drips of news and opinion form. As a result, fan will stay locked in to the bigger picture.
Kolton Miller Remains a Concern
Two weeks ago, ESPNU replayed the broadcast of the Memphis/UCLA game. While people marveled at Anthony Miller and fawned over Genard Avery, Kolton Miller patrolled the blindside. After the Raiders drafted him, I watched endless film. Yet, all I could see was a gigantic project that did not bend and lunged at defenders. In addition, Miller’s footwork seemed disjointed. Suddenly, the thought of Bosa, Houston, or Miller screaming off the edge became a living nightmare. If Kolton Miller does not rapidly improve on the field, the Raiders could regret this pick.
If Tom Cable can transform Kolton Miller and to a lesser extent, Brandon Parker into quality tackles, the Raiders will look smart. In Seattle, Cable, depending on the story did not always have the squad or his scheme failed. Since they did win a title, then go on to use projects at important spots, Cable did what he could. In Oakland, Cable must prepare the Raiders for a life after Donald Penn. With Osemele, Hudson and Jackson locked in; the tackles require his full attention.
By now, you have seen the photo of rookie Arden Key performing a tennis ball drill. If you have not look at the photo at the top of this page. The photo shows freakish balance that befits a much smaller player. However, Key gets super low and gets the corner at 6’6”. To the surprise of everyone, people are not concerned with Key’s transition to the pro game. That is to say, Key’s shift to the pro lifestyle remains an issue for many. With this in mind, a strong veteran presence helps Key. If he can provide pressure, the Raiders could finally give Khalil Mack the bookend he needs.
In reality, mid-May represents a dark period for football. Yet, the Raiders, due to their high-profile coach and future home will generate interest. Although not tightly connected, Miller, Cable and Key represent a trio of gambles by the Raiders.