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The Mega Offseason Workout/OTA/Training Camp Thread


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27 minutes ago, NYRaider said:

Yeah Joseph was a big hitting safety coming out of West Virginia.  

I'm excited to see what Moehrig can do for us this year although it is a huge task for a rookie to play well in single high coverage. 

We need a lot of guys to step up this season particularly the defensive line. We need Crosby/Ferrell to take the next step, Yannick to live up to his contract, and some of our interior DL to provide some pass rushing. Bradley's scheme is very dependent on the front 4 being able to consistently generate pressure so if our DL isn't able too we'll likely struggle again this year. 

I think Abram can be better in Bradley's defense as a box safety, that's always what he has projected to be and he didn't really fit into Guenther's 2 high safety scheme. But I do think he's on a short leash this year, we wouldn't have drafted two safeties and brought Joseph back if we had a ton of faith in him. 

I agree with most of this. One thing I would say is that I don't think SS is just a box role in a Gus Bradley scheme. From what I've been reading the SS will have to play man coverage at times and drop back at times too when they disguise coverages and can be quite a playmaker so it's quite a cerebral position and the SS will have to make decisions not just be an in the box thumper, see ball, get ball type. I have my doubts that Abram can handle all that but at least we have some guys on the roster who could potentially push him for the role and offer versatility.

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2 minutes ago, Darbsk said:

I agree with most of this. One thing I would say is that I don't think SS is just a box role in a Gus Bradley scheme. From what I've been reading the SS will have to play man coverage at times and drop back at times too when they disguise coverages and can be quite a playmaker so it's quite a cerebral position and the SS will have to make decisions not just be an in the box thumper, see ball, get ball type. I have my doubts that Abram can handle all that but at least we have some guys on the roster who could potentially push him for the role and offer versatility.

Quote

Strong Safety: This player will be an athletic and strong run defender that is athletic enough to cover receivers and tight ends. This player will often act like a swiss army knife type of player that is asked to fill a variety of roles.

From an article about Bradley's scheme, will be interesting to see how Abram plays. 

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23 hours ago, NYRaider said:

The Raiders have shown in the Gruden/Mayock era that you are going to start if you were a high draft pick/getting paid a lot even if there are better players on the roster at your position. 

Who do you think about with this?

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Just now, Rolni said:

Who do you think about with this?

Maliek Collins was handed a starting spot last season despite being terrible. 

LaMarcus Joyner played exclusively at NCB despite playing terrible and being better suited to play safety. 

Jonathan Abram played all the time despite Heath being a better player. 

Corey Littleton played a ton despite being outplayed by Nick Morrow last year. 

Jason Witten played more snaps than Foster Moreau.

Gilchrist and Nelson played more than Karl Joseph in Gruden's first year here. 

Brandon Parker got a scholarship roster spot over David Sharpe who outplayed him. 

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4 hours ago, NYRaider said:

Seems like everyone hated Guenther, lol.

I think we actually might've wound up better if we got rid of him a few games sooner. It was so laughably obvious he was getting fired for anything short of absolutely dominating performances the last couple of games of his tenure, and clear some guys were just over it. 

I'll never understand why we held onto him as long as we did.

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2 hours ago, NYRaider said:

Maliek Collins was handed a starting spot last season despite being terrible. 

LaMarcus Joyner played exclusively at NCB despite playing terrible and being better suited to play safety. 

Jonathan Abram played all the time despite Heath being a better player. 

Corey Littleton played a ton despite being outplayed by Nick Morrow last year. 

Jason Witten played more snaps than Foster Moreau.

Gilchrist and Nelson played more than Karl Joseph in Gruden's first year here. 

Brandon Parker got a scholarship roster spot over David Sharpe who outplayed him. 

Literally every single one of those was sooooo stupid.

Gruden would've been canned by now if not for his contract. 

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5 hours ago, BackinBlack said:

The nice thing about this, is that if he can cover Waller in practice we have a pretty good idea on how he will do in games. 
Opposite, is when we see Andre James dominating Maleik Collins in practice and think he is the next elite C 😆

I hope you are correct because Kelce is Joseph's kryptonite.  If you go back and watch it does not matter how well Joseph plays him.  He is just to big.  Joseph will blow coverages sometimes, more than we would all like, but he is good when he knows his assignment.  I like his ability to cover but he seems to get caught looking in the backfield to much.

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5 hours ago, NYRaider said:

Doesn't hurt to move guys around and see what they can do at different spots during OTA and TC. 

I agree but I hope they have a better option then Joseph on TEs.  He is just not big enough.  I like that they are willing to try Robertson on the outside but he plays bigger than his size.  Joseph does not against TEs.

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5 minutes ago, drfrey13 said:

I hope you are correct because Kelce is Joseph's kryptonite.  If you go back and watch it does not matter how well Joseph plays him.  He is just to big.  Joseph will blow coverages sometimes, more than we would all like, but he is good when he knows his assignment.  I like his ability to cover but he seems to get caught looking in the backfield to much.

For sure, I remember a few plays where theres Josph is in pretty much perfect position against Kelce and he just cant win. 
That is def the problem with an undersized safety, playing man against TE (typically going to be bigger) is going to be tough. 

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3 hours ago, drfrey13 said:

I agree but I hope they have a better option then Joseph on TEs.  He is just not big enough.  I like that they are willing to try Robertson on the outside but he plays bigger than his size.  Joseph does not against TEs.

Definitely. That was the one area that Joseph clearly struggled the most, and it's an area where it really isn't a lack of ability in terms of speed, instincts, closing the distance, using good technique, or just generally being in the right position with good coverage. I feel like he was often in as good as coverage on big TEs that we could have hoped for. But the end result would simply be big TEs, particularly Kelce being in the division and seeing him so frequently, would just out muscle him or QBs would simply throw it intentionally high and they would just out jump Karl and take the ball away from him. 

I really liked Joseph here, and didn't want to let him go. Was he worth the first round pick we invested in him on the whole? No. But I would argue the level of play we did get from him was far better than a lot of our first round picks in the past 20 years. Obviously that shows how bad our drafting has been, particularly in the first round, but it also shows that KJ wasn't a complete bust that struggled everywhere and thus was incapable of being a solid player, filling a role, and being a decent contributor on a good team. 

His biggest short comings was covering TEs, but to me that was never so much on Joseph and his skills but a total disservice by the coaching he received to regularly ask that of him and make it a primary role. Obviously there will be times where that will naturally happen and the player will have to be able to hold their own. But those instances weren't so much the issue (take the game sealing play in the end zone against the Lions for example). The problem was so consistent because we regularly tried to trot him out there as our defenses TE eraser with him getting the most looks locked up on a TE one on one. Even if the hope was he had enough other skills to overcome the size and be that guy, at a certain point you have to admit that just isn't something he is capable of doing to keep relying on it so consistently. 

Joseph, even for his size is a great safety in run defense IMO. He hits dudes and they go backwards, but unlike Abram who is always looking for that, KJ wouldn't consistently miss tackles because that was the only way he would make the tackle. Joseph would also wrap up and drag a guy down. He was also far more effective on blitzes (though I feel we never used him enough there but could be wrong), and in coverage when he wasn't asked to go 1 on 1 with good TEs he showed some flashes. Particularly in deep zones or when we would allow him to play the shorter zones and close in a hurry on TEs coming up and making the tackle (not contesting the catch). He had some solid plays in deep zones too where he showed he does have decent closing speed. 

I am interested to see him in this Bradley scheme as well. I could absolutely see him taking a lot of snaps from Abram to give more steady play to hold the fort down long enough if they don't feel like Gillespie is up for the challenge that soon. I get they may have these guys set up for particular spots in Bradley's system or whatever, but KJ is a good enough vet to handle small amounts of reps at either S spot. But the KJ we saw in his time with the Raiders would be considered a real sign of at least some progress if Abram were to play to that exact level. So while Joseph obviously isn't good enough to be a long term answer, if Abram doesn't cut out the bone headed, undisciplined, reckless play, Joseph at the very least could provide less big plays surrendered, provide some of that same big hitting to provide a spark, and provide better veteran NFL experience on the back end (which as much as I like Moehrig is something that could easily make or break the secondary being decent with so much youth overall and a rookie manning the single high FS position). 

Edited by Mr Raider
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I'm not totally giving up on Abram, he's one of the more frustrating players for us in recent memory because you love the big hits, the swagger (unjustified to this point), the passion, being vocal. You love his mix of size and speed. But he's also just so frustrating because of how undisciplined he is, how unreliable he is, his style of play leading to injuring himself and his teammates, plus penalties. Another source of frustration was my football philosophy totally disagrees with the Gunther style of defense where you ask your safeties to be interchangeable and equally is good in all areas. I think with a dominant front 7 it can be fine and your defense can have success, but without it, in todays NFL it's a disaster waiting to happen. 

It's so rare to find safeties that are great in coverage in general. Finding two that can do it equally as well? Best of luck. And I am of the opinion the S position is perhaps the most under valued and slept on position in all the NFL. The S spot is one that transforms a defense to a different level if you have one elite one. Look at all the great defenses of the past 20 years, how many were without one of those top tier S guys? And when you ask both safeties to be equally adept everywhere you decrease your chances of finding, developing, and identifying that guy because you quite possibly are wasting everything they could be by not playing to their strengths. How many of even the all time elite safeties were elite everywhere? Obviously there are those guys, but there's also a lot of all timers that were solid in coverage but great enforcers and vice-versa. 

Abram with Bradley won't be put in the same position Gunther put him in and ask him to be the down hill thumper he is at heart, and be a backend passing eraser that can lock guys up in man or play the deep zone. If he can't take a big step forward in a more well defined roll that will play him to his strengths on a more consistent basis, throw KJ out there to hold down the fort. He isnt the long term answer, but could provide more short term stability. And Bradley likely won't make the same mistakes of asking Joseph to go out there and be the one guy in the league that can lock up Kelce 1 on 1. 

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Edwards is going to be a really good player for us IMO. He is exactly the type of WR Carr has shown the most trust and chemistry with. Big bodied, strong handed, reliable, chain moving, contested catch makers. That is why Crabtree worked so well for us for a couple years. I would argue Crabtree had the most chemistry with Carr of any pass catcher outside of Waller since DC has been here. 

What will really determine if Edwards is as good as I believe he can be, will be the health. He struggled with injuries in college, he lost any chance of serious impact as a rookie due to injuries after being raved about in camp and given a starting job. He has to prove that he can hold up consistently and be available on game days. If he does, I think he may be our most consistent red zone presence and most trusted perimeter receiving threat this season. But to this point that's a really big question mark. 

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