Teams Las Vegas Raiders - The Black Hole

andana

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Gus Bradley stressed simplicity and collaboration as two of the keys he used to build now-legendary defenses with the Seattle Seahawks a decade ago.


Some may assume Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” units, which led the franchise to its first Super Bowl victory in 2013, were complex schemes that baffled the rest of the NFL, but the team’s ex-defensive coordinator says that’s a misconception. Bradley says the basis of the Seahawks’ defense came out of an attempt to form the best fit for his personnel that allowed it to play freely and quickly.

“Some of us that came up with it went into a room and kind of designed it,” Bradley said. “There’s always things that are copied, but the foundation of the defense, really when it was brought to our attention, ‘Hey, try to design something that allows young players to come in and play early.’ It’s not a defense that you’re going to come say, ‘I’m going to need this 12-year veteran, I need this 13-year veteran because they understand the system.’ It was not brought up in that fashion.”

Bradley now hopes to bring a similar philosophy to Las Vegas. The Raiders announced Bradley, who spent the last four years with the Los Angeles Chargers, as their new defensive coordinator Tuesday morning.

The 54-year-old plans to spend the next couple months devouring Raiders’ game film from the past couple seasons to devise the best system suited to the team before the 2021-2022 league year starts in mid-March. It’s a massive reclamation project considering Las Vegas finished 26th in the league in giving up 6 yards per play this season, the fifth straight year the Raiders have ranked in the NFL’s bottom 10 on Bradley’s side of the ball.

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andana

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Fix the ******* pass rush and lack of coverage across the middle of the field.


Bradley is known as a Cover 3 — dropping an extra defensive back into deep zone coverage — acolyte.

But the new defensive coordinator says that won’t be a problem as he’s started to more frequently switch up looks and provide multiple coverages. Bradley cited Gruden as a primary reason for what he was attracted to the Raiders’ job after being linked to other defensive-coordinator openings around the league.


Bradley anticipates his focus “starts up front,” getting pressure on the quarterback. That will be a particular challenge with the Raiders.

Despite the progression of second-year defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby and significant capital invested on the defensive line in free agency, the team ranked 30th in the NFL in sack percentage at 3.49% this season. The Chargers weren’t much better under Bradley this season — coming in at 23rd and 4.74% — but they dealt with cluster injuries along the defensive line.

In his four seasons with Los Angeles overall, Bradley’s defenses ranked average to slightly above-average by most metrics — far superior to the Raiders’ recent units. He’s interested in bringing over some of his assistants from the Chargers, though did specifically mention defensive-line coach (and interim defensive coordinator) Rod Marinelli and assistant defensive-line coach Travis Smith as likely to stay in Las Vegas.

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andana

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Terrible pick Ferrell, I get chewy's point about him being good against the run by you pick difference makers in the top 10.

Josh Allen obviously would have been a far better pick also.

But yes, Devin White probably is the best linebacker in football right now imo.
 

Chewy316

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Got a message saying we would have gone for White if we didn't get Burfict.


Absolutely not true. They wanted Ferrell going back to mid January of 2019.

Terrible pick Ferrell, I get chewy's point about him being good against the run by you pick difference makers in the top 10.

Josh Allen obviously would have been a far better pick also.

But yes, Devin White probably is the best linebacker in football right now imo.
I would have preferred White for sure. I really liked him in college based on the dozen or so games I watched of him. Deion Jones type player.

Regarding Ferrell, he shouldn't have been selected 4th but they knew he'd be gone by their next pick at 24. He's a safe pick, and he will be a solid building block going forward.

I spoke to someone extremely knowledgeable in defensive schemes yesterday specifically about Ferrell and Bradley's scheme, and he fits it perfectly. He didn't have many sacks this year but created a lot of pressures. This person fully charted the raiders D the last 3 seasons and believes Guenther's scheme did not match up with what the D line was doing in terms of Marinelli's various stunts and what not. They also pointed out that the Raiders were something like 16th for total pressures on QBs this year so even though they couldn't bring the QB down, they generated pressure at a reasonable rate - enough to suggest that with a better scheme on the back end that we will see a significant uptick in the sack total.

Ferrell will be used in the exact same position that Michael Bennett was used by Gus Bradley in Seattle. That is the comp. I'm expecting a very good year from him next season.
 

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Absolutely not true. They wanted Ferrell going back to mid January of 2019.



I would have preferred White for sure. I really liked him in college based on the dozen or so games I watched of him. Deion Jones type player.

Regarding Ferrell, he shouldn't have been selected 4th but they knew he'd be gone by their next pick at 24. He's a safe pick, and he will be a solid building block going forward.

I spoke to someone extremely knowledgeable in defensive schemes yesterday specifically about Ferrell and Bradley's scheme, and he fits it perfectly. He didn't have many sacks this year but created a lot of pressures. This person fully charted the raiders D the last 3 seasons and believes Guenther's scheme did not match up with what the D line was doing in terms of Marinelli's various stunts and what not. They also pointed out that the Raiders were something like 16th for total pressures on QBs this year so even though they couldn't bring the QB down, they generated pressure at a reasonable rate - enough to suggest that with a better scheme on the back end that we will see a significant uptick in the sack total.

Ferrell will be used in the exact same position that Michael Bennett was used by Gus Bradley in Seattle. That is the comp. I'm expecting a very good year from him next season.
I really liked White coming out too. In fact, i think if we went back through this thread to draft time two years ago I said the Raiders should pick him and he's be great for them.

But even I didn't think he'd be this good though, especially this early. He's unbelievable honestly. He's like the love child of Kuechly and Lavonte David . Smarts, power, speed sideline to sideline, he's the complete package.
 

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Grading the 2 first pick. I know things can turn around, but some damning stats for both so far.

Round 1, Pick No. 12: WR Henry Ruggs III

Ruggs was the first wide receiver taken in this draft. Ahead of the likes of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Justin Jefferson — all of whom significantly outperformed Ruggs and his 452 receiving yards. You can include 25th overall pick Brandon Aiyuk, 33rd overall pick Tee Higgins, 34th overall pick Michael Pittman Jr, 42nd overall pick Laviska Shenault, and 49th overall pick Chase Claypool. The only WR in the top 50 with fewer TD’s than Ruggs’s two was Pittman (1).

Ruggs’s issues seemed to be about getting open and gaining separation, which is incredibly important for him considering he was drafted to be the team’s deep threat receiver.

Grade: C-
Round 1, Pick No. 19: CB Damon Arnette
Arnette was named the starter out of camp. Three games into the season, he suffered a thumb injury and was placed on IR. He returned week ten, started three games, but was concussed early in the final two of those starts, causing him to miss two games. He also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, returning to play the final two games.

His six full games were rough too, routinely getting beaten for big plays, including the one that cost them wins against the Chiefs in week 11 and the Dolphins in week 16. He had just two pass breakups and no interceptions on the season.

Grade: D
 

andana

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Grading the 2 first pick. I know things can turn around, but some damning stats for both so far.

Round 1, Pick No. 12: WR Henry Ruggs III

Ruggs was the first wide receiver taken in this draft. Ahead of the likes of CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, and Justin Jefferson — all of whom significantly outperformed Ruggs and his 452 receiving yards. You can include 25th overall pick Brandon Aiyuk, 33rd overall pick Tee Higgins, 34th overall pick Michael Pittman Jr, 42nd overall pick Laviska Shenault, and 49th overall pick Chase Claypool. The only WR in the top 50 with fewer TD’s than Ruggs’s two was Pittman (1).

Ruggs’s issues seemed to be about getting open and gaining separation, which is incredibly important for him considering he was drafted to be the team’s deep threat receiver.

Grade: C-
Round 1, Pick No. 19: CB Damon Arnette
Arnette was named the starter out of camp. Three games into the season, he suffered a thumb injury and was placed on IR. He returned week ten, started three games, but was concussed early in the final two of those starts, causing him to miss two games. He also landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, returning to play the final two games.

His six full games were rough too, routinely getting beaten for big plays, including the one that cost them wins against the Chiefs in week 11 and the Dolphins in week 16. He had just two pass breakups and no interceptions on the season.

Grade: D
Still some upside to both.
 

Chewy316

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Still some upside to both.
Plenty. Both guys had rough seasons but I still have high hopes for both players. If Ruggs puts it all together he will be a star, but at the very least I see him being a solid #2 who is a true deep threat. Arnette needs to stay healthy. He was light on frame this season because his wrist injury meant he couldn't do weights for a few months. Lost a lot of conditioning and you can't get that back during the season when games are being played.

I'm very excited to see what Isaiah Johnson can do in this new scheme. Frame wise he is everything Gus wants in a corner.
 

andana

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In a recent piece by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, Ruggs was named a potential breakout candidate for the 2021 season. Here is why the site believes he could be in for a big season in Year 2:

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: WR HENRY RUGGS III
Somehow, despite Henry Ruggs III being drafted to add a deep threat to the Raiders' offense, Nelson Agholor was the wideout who stretched the field. Meanwhile, Ruggs struggled to find a niche within the system. Agholor is a free agent this offseason, and the Raiders won’t sit idle while a weapon like Ruggs goes as unused as he was in Year 1. Ruggs was targeted only 43 times, but he averaged 17.4 yards per catch and 5.7 yards after the catch. His speed clearly still plays at this level, at which point all he needs is the right looks to do real damage in 2021.

pff.com
 

Chewy316

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Ruggs and Carr were cooking in game 1 of this season in Carolina, then he got hurt in the 2nd quarter and was gimpy the rest of the game. Played week 2 but was a non factor in large part to his injuries.

Theyll work it out. To me they're not asking Ruggs to be a 1200 yard guy. 50 catches, 850 yards and 7-8 TDs as a deep threat is probably the numbers id be looking for next year. Hard to really project numbers when Waller is clearly the team's best receiving target, and hence everyone else is fighting for leftovers.
 

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In a recent piece by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, Ruggs was named a potential breakout candidate for the 2021 season. Here is why the site believes he could be in for a big season in Year 2:

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: WR HENRY RUGGS III
Somehow, despite Henry Ruggs III being drafted to add a deep threat to the Raiders' offense, Nelson Agholor was the wideout who stretched the field. Meanwhile, Ruggs struggled to find a niche within the system. Agholor is a free agent this offseason, and the Raiders won’t sit idle while a weapon like Ruggs goes as unused as he was in Year 1. Ruggs was targeted only 43 times, but he averaged 17.4 yards per catch and 5.7 yards after the catch. His speed clearly still plays at this level, at which point all he needs is the right looks to do real damage in 2021.

pff.com
Jeez, You'd hope Ruggs is far more than a niche/deep threat reciever, otherwise it's a massive fail considering he was the first receiver taken with the talent taken behind him.

I wouldnt be overly concerned just yet, but he most certainly needs to step up a lot next season.
 

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Someone is always first. The mocks had 3 players as possible first pick.
I'm not ready to write hm off yet,but last year's reciever class was sick. Anything less than a true WR1 and it's a fail.

With Waller there to take some attention away I'd expect/hope Ruggs takes a big leap in year two .
 

Chewy316

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I'm not ready to write hm off yet,but last year's reciever class was sick. Anything less than a true WR1 and it's a fail.

With Waller there to take some attention away I'd expect/hope Ruggs takes a big leap in year two .
I think your expectations are unrealistic given Gruden's offensive scheme. Even Nelson Agholor this year who was their WR1 only racked up 48 catches on the year.

Waller is going to get his 100+ catches, but from there it's going to be a fairly even spread between Ruggs, Renfrow, Agholor (or whoever his replacement is) and Edwards.

Anyone expecting one of the Raiders WRs next year to have an 80 catch 1200 yard season is kidding themselves.

If you extrapolate Ruggs total rushing and receiving yards to a full 16 game season (he only played 13), he would have gotten a little over 616 total yards on 43 touches. I think a realistic expectation next season is 900 total yards on 60 touches, whilst getting his TD number up to half a dozen (at a minimum).

He's clearly got talent though. As long as he is stretching the field and keeping the defense vertically honest, I couldn't care less as to how many touches he gets.
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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I think your expectations are unrealistic given Gruden's offensive scheme. Even Nelson Agholor this year who was their WR1 only racked up 48 catches on the year.

Waller is going to get his 100+ catches, but from there it's going to be a fairly even spread between Ruggs, Renfrow, Agholor (or whoever his replacement is) and Edwards.

Anyone expecting one of the Raiders WRs next year to have an 80 catch 1200 yard season is kidding themselves.

If you extrapolate Ruggs total rushing and receiving yards to a full 16 game season (he only played 13), he would have gotten a little over 616 total yards on 43 touches. I think a realistic expectation next season is 900 total yards on 60 touches, whilst getting his TD number up to half a dozen (at a minimum).

He's clearly got talent though. As long as he is stretching the field and keeping the defense vertically honest, I couldn't care less as to how many touches he gets.
He's got far more talent than Agholor. Id like to think we can set the bar a bit higher than that. I'm expecting big things Chewy. 1000 yard season is well within his capabilities if he takes a jump. He's a good route runner and should get plenty of one on one looks next year.
 

Chewy316

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He's got far more talent than Agholor. Id like to think we can set the bar a bit higher than that. I'm expecting big things Chewy. 1000 yard season is well within his capabilities if he takes a jump. He's a good route runner and should get plenty of one on one looks next year.
His numbers won't be reflective of his talent. It's simply a case of not getting enough targets to get 1k yards. Theyre one of the most run heavy teams in the NFL (run 45% of the time) and they have a litany of receivers worthy of touches. If Carr throws around 530 times in a year, he's gonna complete 360ish balls assuming a 68% completion rate. You compare this to a guy like Mahomes who would have thrown more than 600 balls this year had he played a full 16 games. That's why the Chiefs can get enough balls to Hill and Kelce whilst still getting sprinkles in of Watkins, Robinson and Hardman. On the other hand the Raiders use their RBs more which means less passes to the wideouts. It's not better or worse imo it is just a different way of running an offense.

From there, if Waller gets 100 catches thats 260 left between Ruggs, Agholor (or a replacement), Renfrow, Edwards, Moreau (hes gonna be a bigger part of the offense next season), and the two RBs Jacobs and likely Richard.

If the RBs and Moreau get around 75 catches, there's 185 catches left for the wideouts.

So you can see with roughly 185 catches left, there isn't going to be enough balls for Ruggs to ridiculously stand out numbers wise. 50 catches and say 15 runs are about right for my Ruggs projection.
 

A11dAtP0w3R

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His numbers won't be reflective of his talent. It's simply a case of not getting enough targets to get 1k yards. Theyre one of the most run heavy teams in the NFL (run 45% of the time) and they have a litany of receivers worthy of touches. If Carr throws around 530 times in a year, he's gonna complete 360ish balls assuming a 68% completion rate. You compare this to a guy like Mahomes who would have thrown more than 600 balls this year had he played a full 16 games. That's why the Chiefs can get enough balls to Hill and Kelce whilst still getting sprinkles in of Watkins, Robinson and Hardman. On the other hand the Raiders use their RBs more which means less passes to the wideouts. It's not better or worse imo it is just a different way of running an offense.

From there, if Waller gets 100 catches thats 260 left between Ruggs, Agholor (or a replacement), Renfrow, Edwards, Moreau (hes gonna be a bigger part of the offense next season), and the two RBs Jacobs and likely Richard.

If the RBs and Moreau get around 75 catches, there's 185 catches left for the wideouts.

So you can see with roughly 185 catches left, there isn't going to be enough balls for Ruggs to ridiculously stand out numbers wise. 50 catches and say 15 runs are about right for my Ruggs projection.
Total catches don't really mean much with a deep threat like Ruggs who can have a 90 yard completion on any given play. Average per catch will be a far bigger indicator.

What was his average per reception this season?
 

Chewy316

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Total catches don't really mean much with a deep threat like Ruggs who can have a 90 yard completion on any given play. Average per catch will be a far bigger indicator.

What was his average per reception this season?
17.4 yards per catch this year. So 50 catches next year at that rate would be around 850 yards on the year.
 

andana

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In 2020, the Raiders’ offense played 1083 snaps. And center Rodney Hudson played every single one of them. That’s right, he didn’t miss a single snap the entire season. If you think that’s unusual for Hudson, you haven’t been paying attention.

This is the third time in his six seasons with the Raiders he’s gone an entire season without missing a snap. Another season he missed one snap. He is the ultimate iron man.

The best ability is availability and he’s always offered that. Along with plenty of ability in the form of Pro Bowl talent.

Here are the snap counts for the entire offense:

PlayerPosNumPct
Rodney HudsonC1083100.09%
Gabe JacksonG106298.15%
Derek CarrQB100793.07%
Darren WallerTE99391.77%
Kolton MillerT96088.72%
Denzelle GoodG95888.54%
 

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