One of the long-shots on the Oakland Raider’s roster that I am more excited about is OLB “Ray-Ray” Armstrong. The former University of Miami LB has serious intensity and according to reports from OTA’s has really been impressing.
The thing I like best about “Ray-Ray” is his passion, this kid obviously loves football and in a LB-grouping that includes Khalil Mack, Sio Moore (Mr Intensity himself) and Malcolm Smith it is quite possible that a real quality grouping emerges.
In the past Ray-Ray Armstrong has sometimes struggled with missed tackles and poor positional play, but (if OTA reports are true) he’s really improved this offseason. Lets give Ray-Ray a chance, he only has a couple of years experience at LB, having played S in college….a plus being here his coverage skills exceeded many backup LBs.
In UDFA signing Bojey Filimoeatu the Oakland Raiders got another member of the bad-boy-facemark-brigade (ala Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack). Bojey’s stats are very impressive, and if he hadn’t suffered a bad injury at the end of his 2012 season, I think Filimoeatu would have been a day one-or-two draft pick. Do not be at all surprised if Bojey Filimoeatu makes the 53-man roster, or at least is put away on IR or the practise squad for next year.
At 6’1″ and 258 lbs Bojey is a stout run-defender, combine these bulldog-like measureables with his impressive strength (lifting 225=lbs 33 times at a pre-draft workout) and speed (4.7 second 40-yard time) and we’ve got the makings of a real nfl LB’er. His game-tape, from the year before last, shows him rarely being moved by the opponents OL, plus a real canny ability to wrap up the RB. He seems to flash out an arm, with which to wrap up the RB, and very rarely can they escape, or is he moved backwards.
I’m putting Bojey out there as this year’s wildcard UDFA, although his game time (in 2012) was largely spent at OLB, a potential switch to ILB/MLB might make more sense in the pros, but in 2014 I’m expecting impressive performances on special teams.
The Raiders cut promising LB Martez Wilson, to likely make room for last season’s rookie sensation Miles Burris. Now I’m not saying re-signing Miles Burris isn’t a good move, as I really rate Burris and feel he could be a corner-stone of our much improved defensive front for years to come, but that I’d liked the signing of Martez Wilson and thought he could have brought some much needed pash-rush.
As our LB-corps are so much improved this year, with Roach, Burnett and Sio Moore really impressing, the return of Burris will not (I imagine) be all that noted, but over the longer-term it will be great to have him back. I love his attitude, as a player he’s got “true Raider” written all over him. Obviously he wont be 100% ready for a few weeks, but he’ll certainly bring some additional back-up depth as the season unfolds….hopefully in the playoofs, but maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.