From Linemen To Running Backs, Attempting To Limit Von Miller Is A Team Effort

Every Oakland Raider on the offensive side of the football takes it personally when Derek Carr gets touched.

I mean, every, single one.

While the Silver and Black's offensive line might be the most vocal about their desire to keep No. 4 clean for 60 minutes, giving Carr time to operate certainly takes more than one man, and a multitude of position groups.

"It's a team effort," said running back DeAndre Washington. "We [the running backs] try our best to make sure Derek stays clean. We don't like him getting touched by any means. We definitely take that as a challenge, a chip on our shoulders, to make sure that he doesn't get touched, and let him do what he do best, and that's distribute the ball."

As the Silver and Black head to Denver to open divisional play against the Broncos, not only will they be trying to get back on the winning side of the ledger following a Week 3 loss to the Washington Redskins, they'll also have to find a way to limit the effectiveness of one of the premier edge rushers in the NFL, outside linebacker Von Miller.

"He's a heck of a player," Carr said of Miller. "Again, he's another player that knows how I feel about him. I think he's one of the best to ever play the game. Not just in the game now. We all know that. He's one of the best to ever play."

Through three games, Miller looks every bit the five-time Pro Bowler that he is, as he ranks in the Top 10 in the NFL in sacks, and has constantly made himself comfortable in opposing backfields.

Similar to Khalil Mack – arguably the best edge rusher in the NFL – it takes more than just one player to limit Miller, so the entire Raiders offense, from the big guys up front, to the running backs, and even the wide receivers need to be aware of where Miller is from whistle to whistle come Sunday afternoon.

"We always have to have our eyes on 58 [Miller]," Jalen Richard explained. "We have to make sure that we help our tackles out, giving them a little support, double check over there, whether it's give a chip, or just a certain game plan where on that play we know we have to check and make sure if they're good, or they're not good get over there and help them out."

Richard was quick to note that having to check in on the Raiders linemen isn't a slight against them in the least, Miller is just a generational player who has the ability to wreak havoc on an offense in a variety of very destructive ways.

The prized asset in Miller's bag of pass rushing tools? Speed.

"I think his biggest thing is just his speed," Washington explained. "What he lacks in size he definitely picks it up with speed, so that's his biggest thing. You have to get on him fast because if not, in a blink of an eye he can be in your backfield disrupting the play. You have to neutralize him as soon as possible."

With a player like Miller, that's likely easier said than done, but after last Sunday's effort where Carr was sacked four times – his most since 2015 – the Raiders as a whole are ready to move on and return to their typically-stout ways.

"We know last week that wasn't our best effort, especially offensively," Washington said. "That wasn't our best effort. We definitely took it to heart that No. 4 got touched a little too many times for our liking. That was definitely a big emphasis going into this week, to make sure that we get back on track, do what we do best, and that's protect the quarterback. We had one of the least amount of sacks last year. We know what we're capable of. We just have to focus back up, and get back to doing what we do best."

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