Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks stumble upon ‘secret sauce’ to Raiders newfound pass rush

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Over the first couple weeks of this season, some interesting stats show the Raiders are getting some extraordinary pressure. If you’d like to pump the brakes, it’s easy enough to say that it’s been just two games. Or you could listen to Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks whose recent show seems to have stumbled upon a formula that the Raiders have which suggests these first two weeks are no fluke.

The thrust of the show was analyzing ‘get-off’ as it relates to great pass rushers. Which is how much time from the ball coming off the ground on the snap to when the defender’s shoulders come across the line of scrimmage. And it appears as if there is a near perfect correlation between the two.

Jeremiah lists off names of the players in the top ten in get-off time last season and this season. And there are some elite pass rushers at the top of it. For instance, he mentions the top five last year being TJ Watt, Bud Dupree, Carl Lawson, Yannick Ngakoue, and Myles Garrett.

That’s a hell of a list. One of whom — Ngakoue — joined the Raiders this offseason, and instantly we see an improved pass rush.

“We’ve talked about maybe the most improved defense in the NFL through two weeks, the Raiders,” Jeremiah said. “You’ve got Ngakoue, who for the second year in a row — obviously last year he wasn’t with the Raiders — he’s in the top five. So, he’s proven what he does getting off the rock. So, Ngakoue’s up there, he’s number three. Maxx Crosby’s number seven. So, you’ve got two rockets coming off the edges there for the Raiders.”

The play of Crosby and Ngakoue has a trickle down effect. A high tide raises all boats, if you will. Carl Nassib has been adding pass rush as well and the interior guys have been given some chances too due to the outside pressure. For instance, last week Solomon Thomas had his first ever two-sack game.

Bucky Brooks takes it a step further, mentioning that having an outstanding defensive line coach is also crucial to helping these players find their game.

“I think you have to pay a premium for the positions that we say are vital when it comes to coaching. Not only paying for pass rushers and offensive linemen, but if i’m a head coach in the National Football League, the first couple areas that I’m taking care of are the offensive and defensive line. . . I am investing in those guys, because I think there’s the secret sauce to being able to be a great defensive line coach.”

Brooks could be onto something, and Jon Gruden would seem to agree. We already know that when Gruden came back to coaching in 2018, he made Tom Cable a top priority to coach the Oline. And last year, he was able to get longtime well-respected Dline coach, Rod Marinelli onboard as well.

Maxx Crosby is entering his second season under Marinelli, who Gruden held onto even with the change at defensive coordinator and overhauling most of the rest of the defensive staff. And clearly we’re seeing the benefits of that time they’ve had together.

It’s weird and foreign to be talking about the Raiders as having a good all-around pass rush. They’ve had the league’s worst pass rush over the last few years since trading away Khalil Mack. And seemingly overnight, they are discussed among the best in the league. Now we know why.