Tag:Aaron Curry
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:05 pm
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Film Room: Raiders vs. Chiefs preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Imagine you get sick. You call your girlfriend to tell her that you’re sorry but you’re not going to be able to go with her to the ski resort this weekend. She says that’s no problem, she’ll just go with one of her friends. But when she scrolls through her contacts, she realizes she doesn’t have any friends nearby who are good skiers.

So, she calls to tell you to get well soon and also that she’s going to the ski resort with that guy her cousin knows from the gym. Oh, and the guy and her are moving in together after the trip but can the two of you still be friends? You can’t help but realize that if you’d never gotten sick, your girlfriend would not have started thinking about someone else.

If you can imagine this, then you can imagine how Jason Campbell is probably feeling right now. Let’s examine Jason Campbell’s Carson Palmer’s 4-2 Raiders as they head into their matchup against a Chiefs club that has won two straight coming off its bye but has been rocked by injuries and turmoil.


[Raiders vs. Chiefs PreGame]

1. The Decision
Forty-three million over four years, along with a first-and either first-or-second-round pick in exchange for a quarterback who became inconsistent after a slew of injuries and failed to manage the oversized personalities infiltrating his locker room and huddle in Cincinnati? That’s a steep price – probably too steep, in fact.

But you can understand the Raiders’ logic in going for a potential franchise quarterback. Like the skiing girlfriend, they’re attracted to strong-armed prototypes and are looking for a ring.

The Raiders knew they couldn’t get that ring with Campbell. Caretaking quarterbacks don’t cut it in today’s NFL. Campbell has always been too methodical in his reads and mechanics. He locks onto receivers, which limits what Hue Jackson can do with his gameplans. Campbell is athletic but seems to forget it whenever defenders flash in his face. In short, he has always been exactly what he’ll be when his collarbone heels: a quality backup.
That said, when a team goes all-in like the Raiders have here, they’d better be set in virtually all areas around the quarterback.

So how set are the rest of the Raiders?

2. Pass offense
It’s difficult to gauge Oakland’s passing attack because it has been tailored to hide Campbell’s limitations. But a safe assumption is that with Palmer aboard (whenever he does play), it will become downfield oriented. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore might be the fastest receiving trio in the league. Also, tight end Kevin Boss is not fast, but he’s effective stretching the seams.

Still, speed isn’t everything. The Raiders wideouts all remain raw. Heyward-Bey’s elevated reception total has been partly a function of facing favorable off-coverage. His hands are improved but still not naturally soft. As for Ford, durability and route running can be hit or miss. And Moore? He has done next to nothing since his breakout game at Buffalo.

Still, we’ve seen that (when healthy) these guys can give the Raiders firepower. And because Darren McFadden and fullback Marcel Reese are such dynamic weapons out of the backfield, Hue Jackson can comfortably sacrifice an extra receiver in the formation in order to employ a sixth offensive lineman.

Doing this makes for a better play-action game (a run-oriented team throwing out of a run formation) and also ameliorates right tackle Khalif Barnes’ weakness in pass protection.

3. Run offense
McFadden has blossomed into a legitimate top-five running back. The difference between now and two years ago is he’s staying healthy and has figured out how to get to the perimeter early in the run. That’s important because being such a stiff-hipped, straight-line runner, McFadden doesn’t have the type of agility and lateral burst needed to elude defenders at the line of scrimmage or second level. But he has uncanny speed and acceleration, which, when turned on full blast, make him hard to tackle cleanly.

The Raiders blockers have helped ignite Oakland’s explosive outside run game. Rookie guard Stefan Wisniewski has good movement skills (particularly in short areas) and center Samson Satele has been getting out in front with much greater consistency.

The Raiders also spend a lot of time in six-offensive linemen sets, with the nimble Khalif Barnes serving essentially as a 325-pound blocking tight end. Factor in Michael Bush’s between-the-tackles power and you have the making of a potent, sustainable rushing attack.

4. Defense
When the Raiders don’t surrender big plays they’re tough to trade blows with for four quarters. The defensive line is enormous and athletic, particularly inside where Richard Seymour (future Hall of Famer?) and Tommy Kelly present thundering power augmented by uncommon initial quickness.
The key to creating big plays against Oakland is isolating their linebackers.

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain plays slow (both mentally and physically) and can be exploited. Aaron Curry has only been in town one week, but if his track record from Seattle means anything, he too can be exploited, mainly in space outside the numbers or when forced to cover receivers horizontally. It’s surprising that Curry was handed Quinton Groves' job right away (Groves had been up and down but was getting more comfortable).

The secondary does indeed miss Nnamdi Asomugha, but any secondary would miss Nnamdi Asomugha. Stanford Routt has been adequate on the left side, and the versatile Michael Huff is having the best season of his career. Anytime a team plays predominant man coverage (like the Raiders do), the defensive backs are vulnerable. A pass-rush can help relieve this. The Raiders have great interior rushers but could stand to use a little more speed on the edges.

5. Kansas City’s chances
The question is whether the Chiefs can find some sort of run game without Jamaal Charles. So far, the answer has been no. Don’t expect that to change Sunday; Oakland’s defensive tackles should feast on Kansas City’s struggling interior line.

In the air, teams have been attacking the Raiders defense with play action and rollouts. Matt Cassel has the mobility and arm to make throws on the move (he did so frequently against the Vikings) but that’s usually by circumstance, not design. This is a shotgun passing offense, with success hinging on whether Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston can separate from Stanford Routt and DeMarcus Van Dyke (or Chris Johnson or Chimdi Chekwa, should either return from their hamstring injuries).

On the other side of the ball, Tamba Hali is one of the most disruptive players in all the land. He plays with perfect leverage and physically strong quickness in all cardinal directions. The Raiders don’t have anyone who can block him. Hali can’t do it alone, though, which is why Justin Houston needs to play with more decisiveness (tough to ask of a rookie sometimes). Kansas City’s secondary misses Eric Berry but has two physical corners (Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers) who can compensate, especially against raw wideouts.

Key matchup to watch: Darren McFadden against Derrick Johnson. Speed on speed.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 7 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: October 12, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 6:14 am
 

Aaron Curry traded from Seahawks to Raiders

Posted by Will Brinson

Not too long ago, Aaron Curry was the fourth-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft and a sure-fire, can't-miss linebacking prospect out of Wake Forest. Now, he's been traded from the Seahawks to the Raiders for a pair of undisclosed (read: late) draft picks.

According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Raiders sent the Seahawks an undisclosed 2012 draft pick and an undisclosed 2013 draft pick in exchange for Curry.

Curry recorded 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, nine pass deflections and 130 total tackles in his time with Seattle, though he lost his starting job in 2011.

Earlier in the day, our Seahawks Rapid Reporter John Boyle noted that Curry cleaned out his locker and said goodbye to his teammates, though it took some time for word of the trade to leak out to the public.

A fresh start with the Raiders certainly stands to benefit Curry (more than staying in Seattle anyway), and there's no question that he's got enough upside to warrant the first post-Al Davis trade for Oakland, especially at the low price of two later draft picks.

The early part of the 2009 NFL Draft is now shaping up as one of the worst in recent history though: Jason Smith (Rams, moved to right tackle), Tyson Jackson (Chiefs), Curry, Andre Smith (Bengals), Darrius Heyward-Bey (Raiders), Aaron Maybin (Bills), and Larry English were among the top-20 picks in that draft class.

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 7:47 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Seahawks bench former first-rounder Aaron Curry

Inconsistency landed Aaron Curry on the bench. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry was the fourth pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He's started 30 games in just over two seasons, including the first two games of 2011, both lopsided losses to the 49ers and the Steelers. In that time he has 123 tackles, 5.5 sacks, eight passes defended, four forced fumbles and he's still looking for his first career interception. (He had it last Sunday when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit him in the hands with what would've been a pick six ... except he dropped it.)

On Thursday, Curry was demoted in favor of rookie fourth-round pick KJ Wright.

“I don’t even know how to put it into words,” Curry said, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune. “But it is what it is. … Everything happens for a reason. There’s a purpose behind everything, and I’ll find it and learn from it and take off running. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens on Sunday. All questions will be answered on Sunday really.”

Curry didn't explain what exactly will be answered on Sunday, but getting benched on this team, arguably one of the NFL's worst, says something about the way he's been playing. Either way, he's taking the news about as well as can be expected. 

“He’s good, he’s a professional," Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Boyle. "I’m sure he doesn’t like it, but he’s responded well.”

The News-Tribune's Eric Williams takes a trip in the ol' Draft-Day Time Machine to see what the Seahawks passed up to take Curry:

"While Curry has floundered, other linebackers taken after him in his same draft class have flourished. Washington’s Brian Orakpo (selected No. 13), Houston’s Brian Cushing (No. 15) and Green Bay’s Clay Mathews (No. 26) all have a Pro Bowl to their credit in their young careers."

Since arriving in 2010, Pete Carroll has been nothing but laudatory when talking about Curry, but the team did restructure his rookie contract this August during training camp. The length of his deal was reduced from six to four years and, as Williams notes, in return for giving up $5 million in guaranteed money in 2012, Curry can become a free agent after the '12 season (where he will almost certainly make much, much less).

It also means that the Seahawks can cut him after this season and not take a cap hit because Curry's salary won't be guaranteed.

If nothing else, Curry's predicament should take some heat off the other 2009 first-rounders who didn't quite live up to expectations: Andre Smith (Bengals, 6th overall), Darrius Heyward-Bey (Oakland, 7th), Aaron Maybin (Buffalo, 11th) and Donald Brown (Colts, 27th).

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com