No Simple Fixes for the Oakland Raiders’ Poor Pass Rush

One of the biggest problems with the Oakland Raiders in 2012 was the lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Due to salary cap concerns, the Raiders were forced to jettison their top pass-rusher last year, and they didn’t have the cash or draft picks to address the problem.

Reggie McKenzie tried his hardest to put a bandage on the problem by signing Dave Tollefson, but the pass rush was still anemic. McKenzie went out and signed veteran defensive end Andre Carter, but that didn’t help much either.

Fixing Oakland’s pass rush is going to take a lot more than signing a couple of bargain-bin free agents. It’s going to take a free-agent pass-rusher the Raiders probably can’t afford or a top draft pick to solve the problem, but the Raiders don’t have the cap room or draft picks to address every need.

The best pass-rushers on the team were probably Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant last season, but not only are both defensive tackles, but they are also both free agents. The Raiders will desperately try to re-sign Bryant, but his value is rising.

Oakland’s best blitzer is linebacker Philip Wheeler, and he’s also a free agent. If the Raiders are going to fix their pass rush, they are going to need to retain their good players.  The last thing the Raiders need is to take two steps forward and one step back.


Quick Fixes

There are a few ways to address a need for a pass-rusher: sign a free agent, trade for one or draft one. Not really any different than any other position, except the NFL puts a premium on the ability to rush the quarterback. Premium position usually means more commitment, and more commitment means more money and higher draft picks.

The Raiders could make a run at veteran pass-rusher Dwight Freeney, who will not return to the Colts, according to Freeney was a bad fit for the Colts...

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