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Position group analysis: Defensive backs

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, March 4th, 2010 at 12:14 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Eighth in a series analyzing Raiders position groups as free agency begins (on the West Coast, anyway) tonight at 9 p.m.

Starters: CB Nnamdi Asomugha, CB Chris Johnson, SS Tyvon Branch, FS Michael Huff. Backups: CB Stanford Routt, S Mike Mitchell, S Hiram Eugene, CB Jonathan Holland, S Jerome Boyd.

Review: The Raiders were eighth in passing yardage surrendered, but part of that was because opponents were busy attacking the 29th-ranked run defense. Opposing passers compiled an 89.5 passer rating and the Raiders intercepted only eight passes. Huff had the best season of his career, Asomugha was avoided as much as possible and Johnson held up about as well as could be expected considering Asomugha was on the opposite side.

Branch, in his second year out of Connecticut, was second to Kirk Morrison in tackles with 124 _ more than any safety in the league. Depth was a problem. Routt had no interceptions, Eugene was overtaken by Huff and Holland and Boyd are projects changing positions, Holland from wide receiver, Boyd from college linebackers.

Contract status: Routt was issued the NFL’s most eye-opening tender, a first- and third-round designation that brings with it a salary of more than $3.2 million. Eugene received a second-round tender, his agent confirms. Everyone else is under contract.

What’s next: Do the Raiders have something up their sleeve with either Asomugha or Johnson in terms of a trade? Or is the mind-blowing tender to Routt simply another example of Davis seeing far more in a physical package than has manifested itself on the football field? It’s true Asomugha had a few rough years before he blossomed, but Routt has given little or no indication he is capable of doing the same.

Huff is due a $5.75 million salary that puts him with the elite at his position, and although he played much better, it’s a stretch to consider him Pro Bowl material. But at the NFL scouting combine, Cable went out of his way to say Huff had “arrived,” making it sound as if his salary is not an issue. It’s a big year for Mitchell, who showed promise toward the end of last season although Cable’s combine assertion that the second-round pick was “sensational” was a bit over the top.

It will be interesting to see what Mitchell can do if he keeps his hamstrings loose, gets in the kind of shape he wants and hits the ground running and hitting in July. Branch had some issues with angles and missed a tackle or three, but made more than his share and is the best looking young safety the Raiders have had in years _ very good for a second-year player they got in the fourth round.

Holland was on the roster primarily to return kickoffs, and the Raiders will look to replace him that area. That means he’ll have to make great strides as a defensive back to stick. Boyd will have had a full professional year under his belt as a safety, but the Raiders are more crowded at that position than they’ve ever been assuming Huff, Branch, Mitchell and Eugene are all still around.

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  • mcskinnnylegs

    The Big Banana Says:
    March 4th, 2010 at 2:21 pm
    I can break tackles with DMC in Madden 10. I’d say that’s pretty unrealistic. And they have Russell rated way too high.

    i agree a 63 ovr is waaaayyyyy too high for russell

  • RaiderRockstar

    i agree a 63 ovr is waaaayyyyy too high for russell

    ***

    what is the lowest they go?

    50?

  • mcskinnnylegs

    24 i like keepin the real team so i dont make any trades just play it out the way it is of couse with russell on the bench

  • 24

    They should put Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf into an Octagon so we can watch them fight. Thats entertainment.

  • mcskinnnylegs

    rr dunno ill check right now

  • mcskinnnylegs

    rr u mean whats the lowest they go or lowest qb?

  • 24

    Mcskinnylegs – Well I change the team over the years through the franchise mode. The objective is to run the team like you’re the GM and my goal is to make the team better over the years, not stick with Al Davis’ team. That only leads to losing.

  • mcskinnnylegs

    this is gonna take awhile have 2 do update for ps3 in my bedroom wifes in livin room wifi in bedroom

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

    Trade DMAC for a ban on video game chat!

  • mcskinnnylegs

    Mcskinnylegs – Well I change the team over the years through the franchise mode. The objective is to run the team like you’re the GM and my goal is to make the team better over the years, not stick with Al Davis’ team. That only leads to losing.

    lol awesome.dude you can turn the cap off u know

  • RaiderRockstar

    i like keepin the real team so i dont make any trades just play it out the way it is of couse with russell on the bench

    ***

    I’m the opposite. I’ve got Madden 2006 on PS2 in my “Raider room”

    got hooked on franchise mode several years ago when the game first came out. now it’s the year 2031 and obviously there aren’t any current NFL players on the game. LOL

    got PS3 hooked to the big screen tv in the front room and Madden 08 (or whichever one has Favre on the cover), but its just not the same

  • mcskinnnylegs

    thought u only pop up when sum1 else is talkin trash bout dmac lol

  • mcskinnnylegs

    lol year 2031 damn bro

  • RaiderRockstar

    I know, but keep in mind I started the franchise 4 years ago (in real life)

    love to build my own team with my own kind of players and kick some tail

    my Raiders team on Madden has a real NT. go figure!

    haha

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    They should have a sense of humor and have snowstorms in Phoenix in 2031, 90 degree weather in New England in December, a couple of stadiums toppled from earthquakes, where they play the games at a high school, only 10 teams left in the league, with only black and white uniforms, and a Chinese flag at every stadium.

  • buckeyeraider

    Rich-O
    You always talk as if John Madden and Al Davis and the Raiders have had some sort of falling out. Some sort of strained relationship or something.You act as if John is more closely associated with the 49ers and Santa Clara than Alameda. I’m not sure where all that is coming from.
    I’ve read three of Madden’s books, all written well after he was done coaching and into his broadcast career.He still described Al Davis as his best friend. Vacationed together with the wives, etc.
    Did you see his “Road to Canton” special a couple of years ago on NFLN. Everyhting on his bus, and his home was “Commitment to Exellence”. All his hand written notes were on Raiders stationary. Besides As Big John himself always says: “Once a Raider, always a Raider!”
    What happened during Super Bowl week in 2002?
    Enlighten the ignorant masses if you don’t mind. Please.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    I believe Madden and Davis had a beef, I just want to hear Richochet’s details. He sounds like he knows something most people don’t know. In a couple of those books written by former players or coaches, whatever, I forget, they say that Matuzsak once told the team during practice that if they ran one more good play, practice would be over, and Madden went livid. I think that was Madden’s last year that. So I’m thinking maybe Davis might have sided with the Tooz, and Madden had had enough.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    Madden saying Davis is his friend is not any kind of evidence whatsoever that the two of them didn’t have problems when Madden was there. There’s this thing called lip service.

  • souldogdave

    Richochet only spewed minimum venom today, must have passed out drunk earlier than usual.Only 3 posts before he faded…

  • RaiderRockstar

    5pm in Podunk. later gents!

  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antisocial-personality-disorder/DS00829 KoolKell

    I’ve never heard of anything between Davis/Madden.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    lol, dave. He probably never went to sleep. He was on fire last night. He must have marital problems, if he really is married. What woman is going to let her husband be on line as much as he is? Wives today don’t play that. I know guys who are married. I’ve interacted with the married species. I know how they live.

  • buckeyeraider

    RMR,
    LOL. You’re not lying brother. I haven’t been around heremuch the last couple of days. The wife’s been off work. Spending some quality time. Don’t wanna hear “you in front of that damn computer again?”

  • buckeyeraider

    What I remember Madden saying pushed him into retirement was the Darryl Stingley Tragedy. That was the last straw. He always spoke highly of Al and their working relationship in the books I read.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    MADDEN’S REFERENCE TO THE STINGLEY TRAGEDY WAS A METAPHOR FOR HIS CHAOS WITH AL DAVIS, AND YOU KNOW IT!!

    Oh, I’m kidding. Talk to you guys later.

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

    Tomorrow is payday, so tomorrow is order my sweet Bruce white throwback jersey day!!!

    A great day to be a Raider fan!!!

  • mcskinnnylegs

    damn i had 2 take off back now

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

    new post

  • soldier32mp

    Why in hell would you keep Routt???? He is so sub par as a back he gave up big play almost evrytime he played of course no one is going to give up picks for him!!! Not even Oakland high would trade for this guy..As for the rest on tender oh well times are changing..

  • SteveAlford21

    Good evening, Raiders fans! I wish I hadn’t already completely spoken my mind regarding the tenders earlier today… I find myself at a loss for relevant things to say at the moment.

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