Charley Casserly of NFL media believes that the Las Vegas Raiders as a whole are a better team than they were last year. However, he also thinks their defense isn’t good enough yet.
The other day, Charley Casserly was on NFL Network discussing the Las Vegas Raiders. He was asked about the team’s biggest offseason improvements, and the former general manager went on to mention all the new pieces added the team added on offense, saying “they got talent on offense now.” However, Casserly was then asked if he thought the Raiders were a playoff team. He replied that they were “not quite there.” His reasoning was that the defense is not up to par, but does he have a point?
Casserly’s complaint about the Raiders defense
Casserly cited the pass rush and secondary as the Raiders weaknesses weakest links. He called Maxx Crosby the team’s “only pass rusher,” and then criticized cornerbacks Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette. His main complaint was that they are “grabby,” which leads to penalties. The former Washington general manager finished by saying that the Raiders would not make the playoffs. He said that they were behind the Chiefs and Chargers, and tied with the Broncos.
Is he right though?
His remarks about the pass rush were a little harsh. He might’ve overlooked the addition of defensive end Carl Nassib. The comments about the corners was a bit overblown. Raiders corners have been heavily penalized since the dawn of time. That is not going to be as big of a factor as Casserly thinks. Ultimately, he does have a point though. Those groups have a lot to prove before this defense can be looked at as anything other than mediocre.
That being said, there’s one part of the defense that Casserly ignored, the linebackers. The additions of Kwiatkoski and Littleton should be a gargantuan upgrade. An improved linebacker corps makes an entire defense better. They should improve the run defense, making opposing offenses more one-dimensional. Against the pass they help with the pass rush and coverage. For Casserly not to even bring up their new linebacker corps seems silly.
Also, the last part about the Raiders being tied with the Broncos at the bottom of the division is just nonsense. There is no way that you could look at the AFC West rosters and think Denver and the Los Angeles Chargers look as strong as or stronger than Las Vegas. I cannot fathom how Casserly can justify that statement. Only thing the Raiders can do now is prove it on the field.
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Top photo: raiders.com
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