Raiders fans across the country have been all cantankerous and up in arms about the lack of noise from the team’s decision makers. Why haven’t the Raiders made some big moves to match the rest of the free-agency nonsense in the league? Other than regurgitating my constant argument that Oakland needs to save money to pay their QB, let’s take a different tack.
Zach Brown Specs
Zach Brown is a free agent from Buffalo. He racks up a massive amount of tackles, finishing second in the league in 2016, led only by Bobby Wagner of Seattle. He tied for fifth in solo tackles, notched four sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and four passes defended. He grabbed a respectable spot in almost every category. That’s the kind of renaissance man behavior that earned Khalil Mack Defensive Player of the Year honors.
So what makes this guy so special? Why does he garner this much attention? Because the Raiders are one piece away from perfection. Well, two. Brown would fill that gaping hole behind the line. The last question is Ken Norton Jr. More on that later. But a signing like this will eliminate one of his headaches.
Once KNJ gets his mess together, the defense can and WILL be atop the league. With the DPOY giving opponents anxiety attacks, and a number of quarterbacks and running backs that have nightmares about “Baby Reggie” Bruce Irvin hunting them down, this defense is poised to take over. There were struggles behind the line and depth is certainly an issue, even if the Raiders do pick up a few players to back up those spots, but Reggie McKenzie spent time and money upgrading the secondary last year. Don’t discount any of them, just understand that the pieces haven’t fallen together yet. Zach Brown can very feasibly be that one piece that brings all of it into line.
Brown is a big boy, like any respectable defensive player, should be, muscular and athletic. He’s that guy who can keep up with the massive tight ends that are all the rage these days. He ran a 4.50 in his combine, tying for second in the draft class with who? Baby Reggie. Pretty impressive for a man his size and possibly a sign of things to come. Brown can hawk a ball with the best of them, and if someone drops their assignment on the line, he can track a runner down with a fair amount of ease. These are all desperately missing from the Oakland defense.
It’s time to make this free agency worth it. Zach Brown has been sitting on the open market for a week now. He can be signed for a bargain, barring some outlandish offer from another team. Oakland needs to make sure that doesn’t happen. Come to the dark side, Zach Brown. We need you.