After four weeks of NFL football, it’s obvious the Las Vegas Raiders still need to address the safety position. Defensive captain Erik Harris might be a leader but he is not the long-term answer.
Harris was chosen as one of the Silver and Black’s captains after a solid 2019 campaign. His memorable game against the Los Angeles Chargers left a shocking impression on both coaches and fans alike. In that contest, he recorded two interceptions and returned one for a score. Tack on three passes defensed and Harris had a near-perfect game. Combined with his belief in this defense and good guy mentality, Harris was naturally a captain from the outset, the ‘C’ on his chest made it official. Sadly, some fans feel the letter stands for Harris not being able to guard anything in the backfield.
Positive attitude and high character is something you want from all of your players, though others yearn for the Raiders of old, Jack Tatum or George Atkinson perhaps? For Harris it’s more than his character, he simply can’t hold down the safety position. Prior to the Bills game, the safety had already given up 162 yards through the air while surrendering a touchdown. Pro Football Focus’ grade of 47.8 for his coverage in 2020 doesn’t help to paint a better picture.
Can the Raiders realistically replace Harris this year?
Erik Harris was a nice story but the position must be addressed.
— #BounceBeatBaby (@NFLMaliik) October 4, 2020
As much as fans or writers might be clamoring for some sort of change, it might not be feasible. The Raiders have been decimated by injuries which limits who they can throw out there. The only option the Raiders really have right now is to stick with Harris. It will be interesting to see as the season progresses if Harris can play better or whether Guenther can put him in a better position so as not to be such a coverage liability. General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden will need to do something drastic at next year’s draft or perhaps there’s a certain free agent they can look to.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Eric Risberg