Oakland Raiders: Should T.J. Carrie Start at Cornerback or Safety in 2016?

As the season winds down, it’s clear the Oakland Raiders need to revamp their secondary, but where does defensive back T.J. Carrie fit into the pass defense in 2016?

It’s not a simple answer, as Carrie can play both cornerback and safety. However, he’s excelled and struggled at both positions at different points of the season.

Then again, the coaching staff might have stretched him too far, constantly toggling the second-year pro between two positions.

The instability in his week-to-week assignments may explain his recent struggles in the secondary.

The added responsibilities hurt him most in Week 15, when he blew a coverage due to confusion, per San Francisco Chronicle writer Vic Tafur. 

In 2016, the coaching staff must give Carrie a definitive position to promote his growth, but which position should he play? Here are some factors to consider:


Woodson’s Retirement 

Veteran safety Charles Woodson will finally hang up his cleats after the 2015 season at age 39, and he’ll leave a huge void in the secondary. When considering safety Nate Allen’s injuries, there’s some deep concern at the position.

Woodson became the true ball hawk in the secondary, logging five interceptions as an early leader in the category.

Without him, the Raiders don’t have a bonafide threat to force turnovers, unless Allen returns to the Philadelphia Eagles version of himself. 

The Raiders can spend cash on a cerebral safety like the San Diego Chargers' Eric Weddle or dual-threat safeties that can thump in the box and force turnovers like the Kansas City Chiefs' Eric Berry or the Cleveland Browns' Tashaun Gipson.

Carrie, who played a majority of the season at safety, could permanently replace Woodson and play alongside Allen.


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