Oakland Raiders To Adopt a Hybrid “55 Defense?”

“We will be doing something different this year.”


So said coach Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders Defense in 2010. But at the end of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), we are still no clearer on precisely what will be different.


On the face of it, the Raiders are still a 4-3 defense, albeit one lacking size amongst interior lineman and boasting a plethora of linebackers.


O ne intriguing possibility is for the Raiders to dust off a hybrid version of the “46

Defense” made famous by the Chicago Bears in the 1980s under Buddy Ryan.


Oakland has players who are blessed with defensive speed and great man-to-man coverage skills, but the team has been poor at stopping the run. It also plays in a division where most teams have run-dominant offenses.


From a purely logical point of view, stacking the box and forcing teams to pass seems like a sound strategy.


Have the Raiders got the skill-set to pull it off?


A defensive front four of Seymour, Kelly, Henderson, and Shaughnessy/Houston would certainly give the Raiders a solid look. Shaughnessy (or Houston) and Henderson would be solid against the run, allowing Kelly and Seymour to penetrate.


We may see something more exotic amongst the linebackers. The 2009 season ended with Trevor Scott playing as a stand-up linebacker, moving around and looking for mismatches and opportunities to get to the quarterback.


This is likely to continue, which in effect would the give Raiders five linemen going man-to-man against the opponent's offensive line.


This will put all the pressure on a rookie middle linebacker, but Rolando McClain has clearl...

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