Oakland Raiders: Who Is The Most Important Man On The Defense?

There are high hopes for the Oakland Raiders for the upcoming 2010 season.  There are several reasons for this new found hope.  Things like a new QB, new offensive coordinator, improving receivers and a new look defense.  Which brings me to my question.  Who is the most important member of the defense?

The defense is vital to the Raiders return to respectability.  You know what they say, "defense wins championships."  With that in mind, let's take a look at the biggest pieces of the Raiders defense.

Richard Seymour:  Now that he has signed his franchise tag, Seymour will be back in silver and black.  Coming off a season with 47 tackles and 4 sacks, he needs to continue to play the way he did in New England when he went to 5 Pro Bowls.  He couldn't help the Raiders run defense, which brings me to the next player.

John Henderson:  A 2-time Pro Bowler for the Jaguars, he has been signed to a one year deal for one reason... instant run stopping!  His success shouldn't be measured in tackles, it should be measured by number of blockers he eats up to free the LBs. 

Tommy Kelly:  Kelly has queitly been a rising talent.  He hasn't been recognized because of the teams overall struggles and he has been judged harshly for his then record contract in 2008.  Kelly has penetrated into the pocket and has chased down RBs.  With a good co-DT in Henderson, he should start getting recognized.

Lamarr Houston/Matt Shaugnessy:  One of these men will start at defensive end opposite Richard Seymour.  Shaughnessy looked good as a rookie playing part time but he will have to improve to be an every down player.  Houston can rush the pocket and stuff the running back.  He should have a few snaps to show what he's got.

Rolando McClain:  He has a big weight on his shoulders, to snap the streak of ...

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