Skip to main content

Missing Hiram

After the Raiders "bullied" the Jets it is easy to forget the team has inadequacies. Even though the Raiders have a very imposing defensive line and are tied for third in the league with 10 sacks, the defense is still allowing nearly 290 passing yards per game. What is also looked over in the Raiders 2-1 start is the inconsistent play of the kick coverage units. The Raiders were exposed on a couple long kick returns despite recovering a fumble by Antonio Cromartie. The punt coverage has been terrible and is a huge weakness on this team.

Stanford Routt and Tyvon Branch are the only healthy members of the Raiders secondary who were on the team last year. With the injury to DeMarcus Van Dyke (knee) coupled with his lack of development, the Raiders are extra thin in the weakest area of their defense.

Chimdi Checkwa, is showing why he was drafted and made the roster. After Chekwa's promising performance the starting cornerback position could be his for the taking with Chris Johnson nursing a hamstring injury. Because of the Raiders tendency to run dime packages, Matt Giordano, Joe Porter and Jerome Boyd saw additional snaps last week. The Raiders will continue to rely heavily on these defensive backs because they now have pivotal roles  on the defense. The success of the secondary hinges on the performance of these young and unseasoned defensive backs.

The Raiders may be missing special teams ace Hiram Eugene. Eugene found a way to make an impact and in four years with the Raiders, Hiram played in 60 games and started in 19, with 10 being in 2008 over a healthy and disappointing Michael Huff. In four years Eugene accumulated over 120 tackles, most coming as the last line of defense or as the gunner on special teams. Not bad for an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech.

Eugene provided depth in the secondary and supplied leadership as one of the premier gunners in the league. Eugene may not be a household name, but his presence is sorely missed. The Raiders have allowed punt returns for 53 and 90 yards without Eugene; there is no wonder the Raiders rewarded him this past off-season with a four-year contract.

The Patriots are averaging a gaudy 437 passing yards per game so Tom Brady and Wes Welker will be ultimate test for the Oakland Raiders secondary. The defensive line cannot take a play off and the linebackers have to play very well in space.  Special teams cover units cannot let New England have great field position or any free points.

The Raiders will miss Eugene for his special teams ability most of all, but with all the injuries in the secondary Eugene may be also missed as a backup.


  1. [...] Often when injuries begin to pile up it’s the lesser known or recognized role players who are missed the most, which is the case Raiders special teams ace Hiram Eugene. [...]


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Oakland Raiders Swing for the Fences in 2016 NFL Draft

[embed align="center"][/embed] These aren't your daddy's Oakland Raiders or even your younger self's Raiders. If anything, these are your newborn's Raiders or your puppy's Raiders. These are the Raiders we've never seen before. Indicative of the freshness of the franchise was their 2016 NFL Draft. No longer slave to a high draft pick and desperate needs, the theme of the draft for the Raiders was upside. It's as if general manager Reggie McKenzie got so used to hitting his draft picks out of the park that he started swinging for the fences. We'll have to wait a couple of years before we know if he struck out or if he'll continue his Ruthian ways. First, McKenzie boldly went with a safety at No. 14 overall. Kyle Joseph is coming off a torn ACL and fills a major need, but safety isn't a premium position. Only a handful of safeties have been drafted in the first 14 picks in the last 15 years and include names like Ea

The Raiders aren't who we thought they were....they're better

The Oakland Raiders are tired of being the team that will be good in a year or two. The team expects to win now and it is winning now. We thought the Raiders needed more talent. We thought that being in the playoff hunt was a year away for this team, but we were wrong. This isn't the team we thought they were, they're better. On Sunday, they moved to 3-3 on Sunday with a 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers that wasn't close until the final minute. It was also the Raiders second road win of the season. The last time the Raiders had two road wins by their sixth game was 2011. Before that, a five-year streak from 1998-2002. The Raiders went 8-8 in 1998, 1999 and 2011 and narrowly missed the playoffs each year.  They made the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. They didn't have a losing record in any of those seasons because teams that can win on the road are usually pretty good. As the season matures, there is more and more evidence that some of the "best-case scenario

Looking Forward: Raiders 2012 Free Agents

Khalif Barnes - Weakest link on the offensive line with youth behind him. Raiders will look for for other options. It's not as if there aren't a dozen Khalif's on the street each year. Darryl Blackstock - Was a Chuck Bresnahan guy, but found a home on special teams. Would have to make the team as a reserve LB and special teams guy next training camp. Wouldn't be surprised to see him back as a camp body or gone entirely. Kyle Boller - Hue didn't have enough confidence to turn to Boller. Expect the Raiders to look elsewhere for a backup to Carson Palmer. Jerome Boyd - Was nothing more than a reserve and special teams player. Some good moments and some very bad ones. Camp body again and fate will depend on the defensive coordinator. Tyvon Branch - About the only consistent producer in the secondary. Raiders will want to bring him back. Desmond Bryant - He's been great in limited action and can play inside and out. Key reserve. Michael Bush - He'll find a home a