By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, March 30th, 2012 at 7:24 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Update: Raiders officially announce Wheeler’s signing at 8 p.m.
Linebacker Philip Wheeler, wowed by the support of Raider fans on his Twitter account, was also suitably impressed by the organization.
The Raiders announced Friday night that they’ve signed Wheeler. NFL Network reported earlier that it’s a one-year deal.
Wheeler’s signing marked their second move of the day after acquiring running back Mike Goodson in exchange for third-year offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
Wheeler visited the Raiders facility Thursday, a bit of news he reported himself on his Twitter account. He was immediately inundated with tweets of encouragement.
“Raider Nation showed love. Preciate that. Legendary place,” Wheeler tweeted.
With Wheeler filling the role of strong side linebacker, the Raiders starting defense under coordinator Jason Tarver and coach Dennis Allen shapes up like this:
RDE Matt Shaughnessy
DT Tommy Kelly
DT Richard Seymour
LDE Lamarr Houston
SLB Philip Wheeler
MLB Rolando McClain
WLB Aaron Curry
CB Ron Bartell
CB Shawntae Spencer
SS Tyvon Branch
FS Michael Huff
That’s assuming the Raiders run a 4-3 defense, of course. If Oakland finds a true nose tackle and switches to the 3-4, it will make for interesting deployment of the defensive line. Seymour has been a 3-4 end with New England Kelly has played end in a 4-3 but never played in a 3-4.
Shaughnessy seems ideally suited for a 4-3 end. Houston is a tweener in terms of being a three-technique in 4-3 or an end.