A Look At the Oakland Raiders Revamped Core of Linebackers

Did the Raiders fix the run defense with the revamping of the linebackers?

It is one of the biggest questions the Raiders will need to answer this offseason.

If so, can the linebackers Trevor Scott, Rolando McClain, and Kamerion Wimbley also cover running backs out of the backfield and tight ends on passing downs?

The Raiders started 2009 with Thomas Howard, Kirk Morrison, and Ricky Brown as the starters. By the end of the year Scott had supplanted Howard on the weak-side and Howard had moved to the strong-side for the injured Ricky Brown.

When Sam Williams and a rookie fifth-round draft pick get meaningful snaps, it is time for an overhaul.

So the Raiders started the overhaul, traded for Wimbley, drafted McClain, and finally traded for Quentin Groves and shipped out Kirk Morrison.

Trevor Scott

Scott developed into a nice linebacker last season, but wasn’t asked to drop into coverage very often. In five games as a linebacker, Scott dropped into pass coverage 65 times. This amounted to about 50 percent of the snaps in which a pass was thrown.

Scott fared pretty well in coverage and earned an overall neutral pass defense grade from profootballfocus.com , but he will need to continue to develop his pass coverage ability if asked to drop into coverage more often.

As a linebacker, Scott had two poor games defending the run, both against prolific rushing teams in Baltimore and Dallas. He will need to show improvement against the elite rushing teams to be anything more than a rush linebacker.

Most of the hope for Scott is pinned on his pass rushing ability. As a linebacker, he recorded four sacks, one quarterback hit, and three quarterback pressures in just five games.

Kamerion Wimbley

Trying to breakdown Wimbley as a strong-side outside linebacker in the 4-3 defense is somewhat difficult. Wimbley played outside linebacke...

About the Author