2012 Oakland Raiders Outlook: Getting Defensive Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

While Raider Nation pinched its collective nose in the aftermath of Monday’s 3-0 sleep-aid masquerading as a football game, there were morsels of information and glimmers of hope for those denizens of the Black Hole that cared to look. 

So as we peruse the roster and read the tea leaves for the upcoming season, we begin a three-part review of the 2012 Oakland Raiders.  First up, the defense.

As dawn breaks on the 2012 campaign, the Raiders find themselves facing a revitalized AFC West and a mountain of skeptics. 

Last year’s 29th-ranked defense lost both starting corner backs (Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson) and their leading pass rusher (Kamerion Wimbley), and gains a whole new system under the direction of Jason Tarver and the watchful eye of defensive-minded head coach Dennis Allen. 

Gone are the days opposing teams knew the Raiders’ scheme before they got off the bus.  The stubborn commitment to a 4-3 base and bump-and-run on the outside has been replaced with an air of unpredictability, dynamic fronts and, dare we say it?  Liberal blitzing! 

If nothing else, opponents should have more to work on, especially with little film to see of the revamped look.  But fans should temper their expectations for this unit as they work through what will be a steep learning curve. 

There is a lot of work to be done to improve the 27th-rated run defense, the 27th-rated pass defense and the 29th-rated scoring defense.  But look on the bright side, there’s really only one way to go!

Defensive Line

This unit enters the season with an interesting balance of youth and experience.  With veterans Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour anchoring the middle and young guns Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston on the outside, the starting unit looks to be among the best in the division on paper. 

Of course...

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