Next Raiders DC Will Have Tall Order Polishing Johnathan Abram

Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram has become a polarizing figure amongst Raider Nation this season. What does this mean moving forward?

Johnathan Abram needs to become an asset on defense

Abram is in many ways the fiery and spirited leader of the Raiders defense, you can see this in the games he didn’t play in 2020. His enthusiasm and energy are currently unmatched on the roster, unfortunately it takes more than that to be a good safety. Abram’s tackling can be devastating for opposing offensive players, but has shown a penchant for missing his target. His coverage was also a liability this season so you can see why he divides fans.

On one hand, it’s good to see a Raiders player give it his all, looking to punish their opponent. However, being an effective safety also requires knowing where to be on plays and knowing when to wrap a player and when to go for the kill shot. Abram’s current 31.4 Pro Football Focus coverage grade is very concerning and whoever takes over the Raiders defense will have his work cut out for them.

Related: What Route Should Raiders Take With The Guard Position?

Raiders will have to teach Abram how to harness his fire…

Abram currently has 82 combined tackles, three tackles for a loss, and five passes defensed. He’s the Raiders’ leading tackler but he’s also allowed 19 receptions. Despite his fiery instincts, ’24’ will have to learn how to harness his fire and maintain disciple.

He has six penalties this season, three of which are for unnecessary roughness and one for facemask. Van Malone, a former Mississipi State assistant coach recently spoke with Sam Gordon of the Las Vegas Review-Journal about Abram.

Malone elaborated that Abram’s the type of player that people want to control, but that his intensity which is out of control at times, is his strength. This may be true but in the modern NFL, you have to play with restraint and self-control. Now that the league is aware of Abram’s playing style, said disciple will be paramount in 2021.

Whether it’s Rod Marinelli or someone else, it will be up to them to get Abram to the next level. His pass coverage will have to become more refined as he hopefully evolves into the field general that the Raiders believe he’s capable of elevating to.

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*Top Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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Gabe Martin

It should be up to his position Coach to take care of most of those issues. Same with similar situations. Big failure of Raiders Staff, for a decade plus.

Rodney T. James

Obviously the talent and skill is there, even the intelligence, he’s still bit raw and needs to be discplined enough to understand his job in the Defensive scheme.

He also needs to remember he has to cover recievers, running backs and tight ends.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rodney T. James
Raymundo Ramirez

People forget that this is technically Abram’s first season. He missed all of last season, minus the first game. I expect him to improve, especially woth his position coach and DC now having enough film to evaluate him and begin development. Patience is all we can have with these young bucks…


Another wasted #1 pick !

Roger A Sinden

Unless Will Compton lied….which he didn’t in my opinion, Guenther ran a very poor ship. The secondary always played like they didn’t no what the hell they ever doing. Abram is a hitter first. So I think he reverted to his natural tendency since the defense was essentially rudderless.


I have a jersey #24 I’ve been a raider fan for 48-years he’s my boy you’ll see next year


He missed a year of learning on the field. The only training the had was at training camp and no preseason games to help him grow. Our DC was crappie and now a new one will have to fix the defense. Why not hire Charles Woodson as a defensive backs coach. I am sure there is money to pay him. Let’s get more training and better leadership on the kid first before tossing him out.
Oh the officials will always call penalties on the Raiders, it’s in their contracts.

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