Haters gonna hate, but I say you're spoiled. Instead of complaining over your conjecture, you should state what you would do to improve the defensive line.
Improve the line by
~ keeping 7 DL ( Pickett, Raji, Jolly, Jones, Daniels, Wilson, Boyd) ... (Neal at OLB)
~ Pickett and Jolly play a lot more of the run down giving Raji more rest time
~ Let Raji rush up the field using his expolsive burst up the field (if he still has them).
He played in a 4-3 scheme in BC and drew comparisons to Warren Sapp when he was in the draft process. Sapp was an all-around player, but he also got above average sack numbers playing his position. What happened when he moved to Oakland? He played in the 3-4 and eventually became a forgotten man until retirement.
Ummm not use that's correct. While Raji was a BC they played BOTH the 4-3 and the 3-4 and they did play a lot of 3-4 with Raji at 3-4 DE with NT Ron Brace at NT. Brace was a lot like Pickett, run stuffer only and about as big as Raji.
But Raji couldn't do that same thing at 3-4 DE in the NFL, because he's lack of length held him back, where in college they were less talented and that didn't matter near as much, so the team moved him to NT.
Also did the Raiders play a 3-4 with Sapp there? ... honestly I don't remember but I don't follow the Raiders at all, just didn't remember they've played the 3-4 since 2000... probably have and I just don't remember.
But Sapp was old and on a losing team... I think that killed Sapp mojo and he claimed he also got worse because football stop being fun to him and became more like a job and he hated it. Also talked about how he disliked (his believe) that Al Davis would call down onto the field and order the coaches to do this or that and it made no sense to Snapp to listen to Davis.
As Sapp put it.... Al Davis KNEW a TON of football info, scheme and ideas, etc etc.... but it was all 70s and 80s football and none of todays football.
What Capers and Trgovac ask of Raji and the fact that he's held up shows his athleticism, and yeah he's been pushed around -- but we haven't exactly been going against poor offensive lines as of late. Line play is better as a unit.
I'm just saying Raji burst and athleticism seems to have gone down since his second year and his run stopping has gone up some... but not enough as he was clearly pushed around in the 49ers game... if nothing else get low.... get down on a knee... no you're not going to make a play that way... but you do clog up the OL that way.
Getting down on a knee is better than getting pushed back play after play after play.
In the Super Bowl year we had plenty of packages from the rush package where we had Jenkins/Pickett/Raji to the jumbo package of Raji/Green/Pickett -- that combined with stellar play from the other players on defense led to wrinkles such as the Raji interception.
I WANT JUMBO PACKAGE BACK!!!! Pickett, Jolly and Raji... thank you
Has he been playing like a top 10 pick? Maybe not, but he hasn't been a bust if that's what anybody's trying to imply.
Never said he's bust... think he's better than Hawk (who I don't think i a bust either). Just don't think he's good as his hype... and think Raji frame burst up the field which got him to be such a high draft pick in the first place has been missing the last couple of years.
And that Pickett and Jolly might be better pure NTs. Thought Raji might be better than them overall... if he can pull out that burst pass rushing again and stop poor showing like in the 49ers game.
Honestly I think Jolly toughness / hands up to tip balls is spreading and I love it. Jolly is a leader of this team... attitude wise... just seem like he's helping by others noticing him.