How does Jackson assess Raiders defense?

September 1, 2011, 11:46 pm
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- The Raiders finished 11th in total defense in 2010, second against the pass and 29th against the run.Improvements were expected.Then the first-team defense only played six snaps as a unit in the exhibition-opening loss to Arizona before giving up 402 yards to the 49ers and followed that up by surrendering 514 total yards to New Orleans.In all, Oakland has yielded 75 first downs and 1,316 total yards in its three exhibition games thus far.What was all that business about Hue Jackson "building a bully" again?Truly, Jackson's mantra begins, and ends, in the trenches. And the defensive line has not been able to answer said challenge. Not yet anyway.So how does Jackson look at his defense entering the final exhibition, at Seattle?"This is how I assess our defense," he said. "This is a defense that has not had 11 starters playing together on the field yet. And we still won't (against the Seahawks). I can't truly (assess) where we are or what we are until we go play a game where all 11 defensive starters are on the football field, playing together, walking out there together and competing together."For those keeping score at home, that would be a defensive line of Lamarr Houston, Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly and Matt Schaughnessy, a linebacker corps of Quentin Groves, Rolando McClain and Kamerion Wimbley and a secondary consisting of cornerbacks Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson and safeties Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch.Of course, Johnson has been out all season after undergoing surgery on an undisclosed body part and Seymour missed the Saints game with a strained hamstring."Do I think we have the makings of a very good defensive football team? Yes, I do," Jackson said. "Do I think we need to improve and keep getting better? Yes, I do. Do I think that these players understand that and are willing to accept the challenge? Yes, I do. They will play well, and I feel very comfortable with that."We know what Jackson thinks. What do you think?

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