It was a rough day at the office for the Oakland Raiders, as the team fell to the Seattle Seahawks 27-3 in London.
All three phases of the team struggled to do much of anything all afternoon, and that’s why the game resulted in the manner it did. Following the game, Head Coach Jon Gruden took the podium to discuss the team’s mistakes, and areas he felt they saw some decent contributions.
For the majority of the season, we’ve heard Gruden and Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther share that they’re still looking for their two starting corners on defense. They’ve tried a variety of combinations in the secondary, featuring Gareon Conley, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rashaan Melvin, and Daryl Worley, but it seems the team is getting closer to finding a solution.
“Worley is a good player,” Gruden said postgame. “Worley is going to be a starter here. He’s a guy that’s established himself as a true corner for the Raiders.”
After missing the first four games of the season due to a suspension, Worley has had a nice showing in his first two games as a Raider. He’s totaled 13 tackles, two for loss, one interception, and has been physical against his competition. His effort was on full display Sunday, and while there were a couple plays he gave up yards to Doug Baldwin, he held his own for the most part.
“It’s good, you go in with confidence,” Worley said after hearing Gruden’s comment. “Felt like today just those 50-50 balls are ones I gotta win. I was in position [Russell Wilson] made some perfect throw and catches, but those are routine plays. Especially being in coverage with plays like that I’ve got to make plays on the ball.”
Gruden also took the liberty of sharing that Conley and 2018 fourth round pick Nick Nelson are coming along nicely, but as younger players on the team they still need some time to develop.
“Conley’s still a young guy, we’re going to reiterate that over and over, his career is just getting started,” Gruden explained. “He had a couple plays last week that he’s gotta get better and improve at. Next week — after the bye — hopefully you’ll see Nick Nelson who’s completely healthy — our fourth round pick.”
Similar to Conley, Nelson has spent the majority of his rookie campaign rehabbing from a knee injury, but according to Gruden No. 23 is back at full health and ready to make his NFL debut in Week 8. Nelson played three years of college ball, two at the University of Hawaii, and one at the University of Wisconsin. During his three seasons of college football, he totaled 122 tackles, one sack, 41 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles. With some extra time to get in playing shape I’m excited to see how the soon-to-be 22 year old performs in his first game. Until that day comes, the Raiders will have plenty of time between now and then to figure out what went wrong during Sunday’s game.
At 1-5 the Raiders aren’t where they want to be, and finding a way to get back on track will be the focus headed into the bye week. After a disappointing loss the team will travel 10 hours back home, and I’m sure Gruden will waste no time reviewing the film.