When the Raiders finish the preseason ON Thursday, the toughest part of the year arrives. Although the team finished 6-10 a year ago, the roster will look and feel very different than it did to close 2017. On defense, Paul Guenther appears to have the perfect scheme for the new arrivals and holdovers. The question remains, who earns roster spots on defense?
When the Raiders drafted Calhoun, the anticipation was that he would provide immediate pass rush help. However, through lackluster, or even absent coaching, Calhoun never sparked. As a result, he ended up on the practice squad for a time. Yet, Calhoun rebounded with great coaching and played as the Raiders envisioned.
Outside of the interception, Cowser’s preseason did not stand out. If you look at the roster, linebackers and defensive lineman abound. Moreover, special teams’ overhaul could mean trouble for him. Kyle Wilber is one of Rich Bisaccia’s prized pupils. Additionally, Bisaccia maintains influence with Gruden.
While Chris Warren seemingly shocked people on offense, Lee stunned on defense. Initially, Lee looked like overmatched depth during his first season. In contrast, Lee played with a downhill style that he displayed at Wake Forest. Under Paul Guenther, Lee’s responsibilities appear more focused. As a result, Lee makes quicker, more profound decisions.
When asked about the main differences between this and last year, Brown answered with coaching. He is not the first Raiders holdover to take a potshot at the previous regime. To his credit, Brown backed up his talk with a consistent pass rush. Depending on numbers, Brown could find himself on the roster.
The Worley Issue
With a possible suspension looming, how will the Raiders handle Darryl Worley. Worley’s spring antics cost him a job in Philadelphia. Not to mention, they could cost him games in Oakland. Luckily, for the Raiders, they enjoy a surplus of corners.
In reality, the Oakland Raiders are a better team right now than last year. However, that claim’s basis resides within the overwhelming expectations of the organization. While not starters, the above listed players will be in the hunt for a roster spot. Unlike years past, just being good does not help.