The Raiders ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed and 31st in touchdowns allowed last season, but they’re confident that this year will be different. Very different.
Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour said at the start of training camp that he believes Oakland can have a Top 5 defense this season, and teammate Tommy Kelly said Thursday that he feels the same way.
“Most definitely,” Kelly said. “To me, the biggest change is probably [head coach Dennis Allen] and [defensive coordinator Jason] Tarver. It is just attention to details, the little things. DA harps on that all day long. It helps because you see the mental errors on the field, on the practice field and even in the game, we’re down. The technique, we can fix that. If we cut down on the mental errors and the penalties, people are going to have a hard time dealing with us.”
Kelly has been with the Raiders since 2004, and he said he can already see — through one preseason game — that there’s a difference with the new coaching staff.
“This is the first time in nine years that we have looked that good tackling in the first game of the preseason,” Kelly said. “So whatever they are doing it must be working.”
The new approach is going to have to work really well for the Raiders’ defense to be as good as Seymour and Kelly think.