Untitled Oakland Project: Where the Raiders Still Must Improve for 2010

So far so good this offseason for the Oakland Raiders. 

Critics will say that Raider Nation says that every year, but I can honestly say that 2010 has been different and for one simple reason—even non-Raider fans have been impressed.

The Raiders must continue to improve however.  After finishing the last seven seasons with double-digit losses, it will take more than one draft weekend to cure the ills.  I know that we can all hope that the Raiders will have a magical season in which they beat the expectations, but the focus must be on the here and now and not, "maybe."

With that said, I do believe that much of the Raiders woes since 2003 have been psychological and not so much talent.  The Raiders just didn't care enough to put in the work needed to succeed, because all the critics said that it was futile, as long as Al Davis was still in charge.


On Defense

The one position that concerns me the most is nose tackle. The reason why is that the Raiders lack any true potential behind Tommy Kelly.  Undrafted rookie Kellen Heard has the most upside, but has no track record.

A few years back, the Raiders signed nose tackle Tommy Kelly to one of the richest contracts ever for a defensive-tackle.  Kelly, however, has been a B-minus player at best. 

Right now, former Jacksonville tackle John Henderson is available and would be an immediate upgrade as a run-stuffer.  The Raiders have the legacy of signing unwanted players and making them stars again. 

I think Henderson fits that mold, because I think that Jacksonville released Henderson in favor of a youth movement for a line that has struggled with the pass-rush.  As a run-stuffer though, Henderson is still above average and would improve a run-defense that has been perennially soft.

Thus, Henderson's availability presents another opportunity for...

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