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Position group analysis: Defensive line

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 5:11 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Sixth in a series analyzing Raiders position groups with a contingent of scouts and coaches in Indianapolis at the scouting combine:

Starters: RE Richard Seymour, DT Tommy Kelly, DT Gerard Warren, LE Greg Ellis. Backups_ DT Desmond Bryant, DE Greyson Gunheim, DT William Joseph, DE Jay Richardson, DE Matt Shaughnessy.

Review: As a group, was less effective than the sum of its parts. On one hand, the Raiders often played on the opposite side of the line and were among the league leaders in tackles for loss. Which was more than negated by the amount of rushing yardage they surrendered through either shabby tackling, poor gap control, or simply getting pushed around.

The Raiders thought enough of Seymour to make him their exclusive rights franchise free agent, guaranteeing him at least $12.398 million. He looked that good at times. Other times, he vanished for stretches. Although Kelly has his moments, he’s shown no sign he’ll ever be worth all the money they paid him the previous year to stay out of free agency. Warren has moments where he can’t be blocked and then . . . it’s been the story of his career at previous stops in Cleveland and Denver. Ellis, despite a balky knee, recorded seven sacks and proved to be an excellent free agent acquisition.

Third-round draft pick Matt Shaughnessy out of Wisconsin looked like a real find. He showed great range and passion, a good burst rushing the passer (four sacks) and was a sponge for everything Seymour and Ellis had to offer. Bryant, an undrafted free agent out of Harvard, was heavily involved in the defensive line rotation and produced far more than could have been expected after jumping from the Ivy League to the NFL.

Richardson, with three sacks, looks the part of a dominant lineman but plays that way too infrequently. Joseph has been on a yo-yo from being released, to being signed and then released again. Gunheim was a practice squad promotion for the second straight year.

Contract status: Nothing to worry about. Everything is within the Raiders control.

What’s next: Rumors continue of the Raiders wanting to off-load some players, particularly those with bloated contracts. Kelly and Warren would both qualify on that score, although, as noted before, these supposed fire-sales have been rumored every season and they never actually happen. The assumption here is that Trevor Scott will play linebacker based on the way he finished the 2009 season. That’s a good idea because it means more time for Shaughnessy, who will eventually push Ellis out of the starting lineup and off the roster. In the meantime, Ellis is good to have around.

The Raiders usually take a defensive lineman or two in the draft, and have scored big with the picks of Scott and Shaughnessy the past two years (it more than makes up for the Quinton Moses whiff).

Mike Waufle returns as defensive line coach. Waufle’s a big believer in leverage and position, two areas that if improved, could turn a talented front into a more productive one.

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  • Seymour Bush

    # Thec07 Says:
    February 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Makes sense to me. If Mr. davis was paying me in some way shape or form i would defend also…lol
    =============================================

    No, I’m not paid by the Raiders. But, if you asked me my own history, I graduated with a four year degree at 20, bought a house at 19 which is paid off, had a public corporation at 26, and I do what I want from the age of 29 on. The question still stands….what have you ever done?

  • Thec07

    Bush, I am not big on stating what I have done in a raider blog no less…

    I didnt ask what you have done, but you feel compelled to tell me about you exploits okay.

    You should be “proud” of your accomplisnments, but i am not impressed…lol

  • http://www.raiderfans.net Richochet

    # Seymour Bush Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    # Thec07 Says:
    February 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Makes sense to me. If Mr. davis was paying me in some way shape or form i would defend also…lol
    =============================================

    No, I’m not paid by the Raiders. But, if you asked me my own history, I graduated with a four year degree at 20, bought a house at 19 which is paid off, had a public corporation at 26, and I do what I want from the age of 29 on. The question still stands….what have you ever done?
    ========
    LMFAO..you are so full of crap.
    Dude…you’re a professional liar as it is.

    YOU ALREADY ADMITTED YOU LIVE IN THE GHETTO, NEAR THE COLISEUM..liar.

    Oh…and dumbass? Should read before you post…see…you stated YOU WERE IN SCHOOL UNTIL YOU WERE 20?
    Yet..lol…YET…YOU BOUGHT A HOUSE WHEN YOU WERE STILL A FULL TIME STUDENT, AT 19?? That’s..uh..paid for?

    lol…you’re so stupid you can’t even lie right.

    Try it again, cross posting loser.

    Definition of Seymour and his cross posting handles?

    Compulsive Cross Poster:
    The compulsive cross poster is someone who has serious self-image problems. They feel that creating multiple handles, and posting to oneself, and then proceeding to read what they posted, in their own little insecure way, they convince themselves they’re not a loser.
    Some compulsive cross posters will actually engage in full conversations with themselves, only to gloat later to everyone how they conquered..well..their self.
    Once they are exposed, the compulsive cross poster will always make more new handles, hoping to gain back a little bit of self respect that they never seem to find.

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!
    Been a long weekend!

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    GOOD MORNING SPORT’S FAN’S.ANYBODY AWAKE ?

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    HWNRDRRR..WHAT WAS YOUR 40-TIME AT THE COMBINE ?

  • hwnrdr

    1minute and 20 secs…
    Oh wait…you mean how fast I ate a double double? LOL

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Trade DMAC for a double double!

  • hwnrdr

    Sorry, I totally forgot about the combine…I was too worried about the Tsunami heading towards Hawaii pretty much all day. By the time the all clear sounded, I was like totally out of it!!!
    My heart goes out to the Chilean people though!!!

  • hwnrdr

    Hey Bo, that better be a bunch of double doubles…

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Hwnrdr, the In N Out people have seen his film, and right now they are only offering one burger… I’ll keep pushin em.

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    I BEEN DRINKING DOUBLE-DOUBLE’S ALL WEEKEND,TRY’N 2 CONVINCE MYSELF 2 RENEW MY SSN-TIX…

  • hwnrdr

    Only one burger? Haha! i guess they don’t want to waste their product since it might end up on the ground!

  • hwnrdr

    DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 6:16 am
    I BEEN DRINKING DOUBLE-DOUBLE’S ALL WEEKEND,TRY’N 2 CONVINCE MYSELF 2 RENEW MY SSN-TIX…

    I heard that, Dirt Lot!!!

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    I KEEP COVERING UP THE INVOICE HWNRDR, BUT IT KEEPS MAKING ITS WAY BACK TO THE TOP SOMEHOW..

  • NoMoreFargas

    Trade Dmac for a Dirty Burger!

  • hwnrdr

    I hid the invoice…but I got a call from my rep on Friday!
    Funny thing though…and this may be a sign…I tried calling back and got her Voice Mail!!!

  • Tino

    I believe we should move Seymour. He really only played DT in the 4-3 and was an DE when in a 3-4. So start him at DT..
    Our line would be Ellis, Seymour, Kelly, Matt… The backups at DE Jay (would get moves time playing) and Scott moves from OLB to DE on passing downs.. DT we will have Warren and Byrant can play both DE and DT given size. The only problem I see is that some players can’t adjust from left to right and in our case they will need to adjust and be ready to play from both sides.. This make subbing easier and gives the line different looks.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Good morning Nation!!

    No 4eva I see……

  • Thec07

    Richochet Says:
    March 1st, 2010 at 1:07 am

    lol…you’re so stupid you can’t even lie right.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yep…….ROFLMAO…..

  • hwnrdr

    Yeah, 4eva is working on getting his own comp…hopefully!

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    jhill Says:
    February 28th, 2010 at 10:00 pm
    If Kiffin and company were still in place, or whoever was the coach Jamarcus’ rookie year, I think you will see a lot more progression.

    Russell was simply asked by Cable’s gameplan to do something that he was not ready to do. Especially with 2 rookie WRs, and a shotty Oline. I understand the concerns his teammates have, but I don’t think his progression from shotgun spread offense QB to NFL QB was far enough along for Cable’s plan. Should have been heavy run, and play action off that. Shorter routes like we talked about earlier.

    *******************************

    Ahem…(good morning)

    Jamarcus’ best moments as a pro come under Cable at the end of 2008. I thought Cable’s gameplan of Jamarcus in Denver in 2008 ( 10-11, 150 yards, 2 TD’s) is exactly what you are calling for. Kiffin had Russell throwing 20+ passes his last game against the Chargers.

    Cable tried to grow Jamarcus in the offseason going in to 2009, and the first week, it worked well. The 20 points at home opening night, was the most points Jamarcus would lead our offense to all year in a game.

    Than everything fell apart, but I don’t think you can blame it on being too aggressive in play-calling. We lost games by 30 points, and threw under 20 passes. We threw the second least amount of passes in the NFL last year. We just couldn’t get any first downs and offensively we were as bad as any Raider team, maybe ever. It gave 2006 a run for the money.

    They had to bring in Bruce to triage the situation, and he did a bang-up job, especially considering the circumstances. Even Russell looked better after the few games, and certainly benefitted from watching a pro’s pro for once in his career.

    Bruce needs to be on the roster for 2010, for no other reason than to push Jamarcus. If truly an open competition this camp and preseason, which I think it will be, it will be a close one.

    Bruce, we know, will fight tooth and nail in the preseason, and show his “fire”. Russell will try to show off his arm and unleash some rockets down the field.

    Get your popcorn ready.

  • hellsbells

    We should go hard at Evans the OG from the Saints. Beast at RG. Dump Fargas for Mike Bell. Make a run at Dansby also.

  • http://atm Raider O

    O Mock Draft 8.0:

    1- OT: Williams, Davis, or Campbell
    2- DT: L Houston
    2- ILB: Spikes Trade 3rd & 5th to move up to the 2nd to draft Him.
    3- WR/ KR: Jacoby Ford
    4- DE: Austen Lane
    5- OG: M Johnson, JJ, Ciron Black, of CB: Walter Thurmond
    7- DT: Demarcus Granger, or FB

    -Move Seymour inside, Trade TK or give him a pay cut, cut Walker, Warren, and Fargas.

    -Sign the best C in FA and add a FB.

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