Wheeler comes aboard


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.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Silverandblack666

    “Anyone who supports Russell after how he ripped us off and set us back is either a Raider hater or has a IQ of 60 I think you are both Raiderdebbie

    Man you must be in a good mmod Bruh…Being hella generous…

    Anyone that throws away an NFL career due to lazyiness is battery operated, or brain dead.”

    Yes Thec I was being kind but now not so much!

  • alzadoX

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 2nd, 2012 at 12:30 pm
    @ alzadoX

    who do you think we could/should get at #95 ??


    I don’t have time to watch college games, so I can’t give a name of a player we should draft. Many years ago, I did a little college scouting for a guy who wrote draft guides, Joel Buchsbaum (with Pro Football Weekly and did his own independent guide before joining PFW). I do know what it takes to actually get an independent informed decision on college prospects and I don’t have time or sufficient interest anymore. I still like to read draft guides from a few years back and see who made it and who didn’t. A lot of guys rated highly don’t make it, but most Pro Bowlers are high picks. I watch the Raider games and a few NFL highlights that’s about it. I watch the preseason games (after the subs start playing) several times to get a good look at our young players.

    With new coaching staff and schemes, we have less knowledge of what kind of players will fit, less informed ability to guess what exactly the new Reggime will be looking for. Reggie Mac has rep as excellent evaluator. No one hits on all their draft picks over time.

    New Reggime has filled gaping holes so that they will not be unduly influenced into reaching in draft to fill a hole, but competition and depth needed almost everywhere on team. Realistically, on picks later than round 2, need usually will factored in rather than pure BPA drafting, but if you narrow it down to only one or a few positions, you are still likely to make mistakes. But few teams make late round selections at positions where they are loaded. Usually, for teams that have many needs, it is better to trade down in the draft rather than up, with more chances you usually get more hits, whereas that one guy you were so sure about often looks different in camp than he did in college.

    Primary needs; some could be filled by developing talent already on roster, and bringing more players in to compete:

    OLB/ LB(s) who can rush the passer; Also from what I can tell Allen likes LB who can cover pass

    CB who projects as starting calibre; depth is okay (note: I think Ron Bartell excellent if healthy)

    NT/DT who can stuff the run (Potential sleepers on roster: Travis Ivey per beat writers, I haven’t seen him play.) Good chance Lamarr Houston plays inside more in 2012, some have suggested Desmond Bryant. In Denver’s 4-3 hybrid D, Broderick Bunkley listed as DT but lined up on center’s nose (4-3 nose tackle), strong anchor guy but also played on move some, Houston may be closest we have to that, but probably not as strong vs. run as Bunkley)

    ILB maybe a vet who can push Romac rather than draftee. If we use a 3-4, I think Curry may move to ILB

    Edge rusher situational if not starting LB or heavy rotation LB; situational rush DE or LB

    RB backup power runner for short yardage, goalline runner also play special teams (potential sleepers on roster: Lonyae Miller, Rashawn Jackson)

    QB backup – probably a vet if new Reggime likes Terrelle Pryor, if new Reggime doesn’t like Pryor, then a QB to groom for future

    Possession / Red zone WR (potential sleeper on roster: Eddie McGee. Ausberry may even play in red zone WR if he isn’t starting TE. )

    TE who is red zone threat at minimum, preferably complete TE (potential sleeper on roster: Ausberry). Reece will probably be used more as receiver.

    Those are primary needs; 3rd round pick will probably be BPA at any of these positions of need

    also may need:

    Punt returner – Denarius Moore still learning how to return punts. Taiwan Jones mostly KOR in college. Jacoby Ford may be used more here.

    FS depth/ special teams players (have a lot of players on roster who I haven’t seen yet)

    OG & C depth maybe but this is one of easier and cheaper things to find (potential sleepers on roster: 2 year practice squadder Alex Parsons is well suited to ZBS and was being tried at center late last preseason, can play both guards should push hard for roster spot. T-G Zach Hurd if he fits ZBS).

    OT depth if Barksdale doesn’t fit ZBS – I don’t understand why some say OL is one of our primary needs, I’d say one of our strengths. Khalif Barnes needs competition to be pushed to play to his potential and keep his head in the game, but I agree with his re-signing) (potential sleeper on roster: T-G Zach Hurd, if he fits ZBS)

    Like what new Reggime is doing. Still have draft/trades, rookie UDFAs, June 1st cuts and late market/ bargain free agents. Expect a lot of value/ budget players to be brought in to compete at unsettled positions, especially on defense.

  • RaidO

    Looks like the Feds raided Oaksterdam. Boooooooooooo!

  • ToneMcFresh

    #95 Pick……Bruce Irvin (West Virginia)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Raiders DC Jason Tarver helped close deal with phone call in getting Wheeler — two had met years ago at Senior …

    In Indy, defensive ends were in charge of chasing QB. “I also like to rush the passer,” Wheeler said

    Wheeler said Raiders new defense “catered to linebackers and the way I play” — will blitz more than he did with Colts

    All of the #Raiders fans reaching out to Wheeler “showed me how big a football city this really is”



  • RaiderRockstar

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