The Las Vegas Raiders defense has underperformed this season and their players haven’t lived up to expectations. Among those is defensive tackle Maliek Collins.
The Raiders decided to invest heavily in their defense this past offseason, sparing no expense. Linebackers Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton came with hefty free-agent price tags but they needed help at the position. Likewise, the defensive line also needed reinforcements despite already consisting of promising young talent. So, the Raiders opted to sign Maliek Collins, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. In doing so, they reunited him with his former mentor, Raiders defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.
It was supposed to be a match made in heaven thanks to familiarity and the fact that Collins was surrounded by promising Raiders players. Alas, Collins has been anything but remarkable four weeks in. The team just hasn’t generated pressure, which has led to several issues. Without a consistent pass-rush, there haven’t been any forced fumbles and Collins’ individual numbers are currently subpar.
The Raiders can’t be happy with this production…
To blame Collins for all of the defensive woes would be short-sighted because there’s plenty of blame to go around. Littleton, the other prized acquisition, has not had any impact in 2020 so far. The defensive backfield is still lacking talent overall and of course, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther isn’t maximizing what he has available to work with.
#Raiders DC Paul Guenther says that DT Maliek Collins is doing a good job against the run. Guenther adds that he wants to see Collins’ practice performances carry over to game day.
— Carlos Sánchez (@HaeruHariken) October 1, 2020
What’s concerning is that Guenther himself said back on October 1st that Collins was doing good against the run but his practices weren’t carrying over. Well, versus the Buffalo Bills yesterday, that has yet to happen as Collins barely notched a tackle. Prior to Sunday’s game against the Bills, Collins had only managed one quarterback hit for the season. This simply will not be enough and if Collins doesn’t step up it could be a long season for the defensive tackle.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/John Locher