Ok Raider Nation, we are ever so close. Training camp begins on the 25th of July, that’s next week!! The dreadfully slow offseason is almost over and Oakland Raiders football is right around the corner. Till then, let’s take a look at what is on the minds of Raider Nation in this week’s mailbag:
— Ricky Bobby (@AlsSpirit) July 16, 2014
This isn’t so much a question as it is part of a conversation that I had on Twitter today. But even though it was not posed as a question for this piece, I found it interesting enough to include. For some reason, I have seen a surprising number of people on Twitter calling for the job of Stefen Wisniewski and for the life of me I cannot understand why. What makes the whole thing even crazier is that some of these people wish the Raiders would bring back Samson Satele.
You know, the Samson Satele who spent more time being pushed into the backfield than he did anything else? The one who is still unemployed because all of the other NFL teams got tired of seeing him get dominated? The one whose BEST season as a professional ranked about half as good as Wisniewski’s season in 2013 according to Pro Football Focus.
Wisniewski played along side the worst tandem of guards in the entire league last season with Mike Brisiel and Lucas Nix. Brisiel was injured and playing in the wrong scheme while Nix received the worst grade for a guard in the history of Pro Football Focus. Yet despite playing next to scrubs (which is very important to note), Young Wiz was ranked as the 11th best center in the entire NFL by PFF.
I know PFF is not the end all of football knowledge but COME ON! The idea that Wisniewski is a liability that needs to be upgraded makes zero sense. People pointing to individual plays where he lost a battle are choosing to ignore the fact that EVERY lineman in the league loses battles in every game and pointing to anecdotal instances out of literally over 1,000 snaps just doesn’t make sense.
Stefen Wisniewski is going to be an anchor on the Raiders line for years to come and the only reason I can see for complaints is that people have too much time on their hands.
— RL Garcia Aspuria (@AssPooRia) July 16, 2014
First let me say that I do believe the Raiders will end up playing in the 3-4 formation quite a bit this season. Dennis Allen has expressed the importance of versatility in his defense mostly because he wants to get creative and throw offenses off balance.
As for who will start, I would think that the defensive ends will be Justin Tuck and Antonion Smith with nose tackle being a rotation between Pat Sims, Justin Ellis and Stacy McGee. As for linebackers, that is a little bit trickier. I could see a number of formations including ones where LaMarr Woodley plays at outside linebacker while either Sio Moore or Khalil Mack move inside to play alongside Nick Roach. Or, if they wanted to keep both Mack and Moore at outside, I could see Miles Burris playing inside next to Roach. But that is what is great about this defensive front seven, the number of combinations they can show offenses is mind boggling.
@RaidersReporter With camp on the horizon predict 1 suprise camp cut from Raiders and 1 from another team who we would pick up.
— Michael Martin (@559Raider87) July 16, 2014
It is pretty hard for me to predict guys who may be cut from other teams. The dynamics of every team is different and I simply do not follow other teams closely enough to be able to pick out a surprise cut. But with that being said, expect Reggie McKenzie to look at every single player who is cut, notable or not.
As for a surprise camp cut from the Raiders? This is where things get interesting. The most obvious name would be Kevin Burnett. He lost his starting job after the Raiders drafted Khalil Mack in the first round and was a no show for the majority of offseason workouts. If not traded, he could end up being cut. I think it’s more likely he sticks with the team as a backup but it’s certainly possible.