One of the biggest surprises for the Oakland Raiders this season has been the much improved defense. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has done a superb job for changing the culture of the defense in Oakland and has turned a lot of heads around the NFL in the process.
Even though the Raiders have vastly improved on the defensive side of the football this season, Tarver is far from satisfied saying the following about what needs to be done moving forward via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com:
“You turn bad into good, good into great,” Tarver said this week. “You guys have heard that from me before and that’s what we’re trying to do. The last three weeks it’s turned closer to good, but we’ve got to turn it into great.”
With Charles Woodson returning to Oakland, Lamarr Houston making an impact off the edge and rookie D.J. Hayden improving on a weekly basis, Tarver has been able to mold this defense into a force to be reckoned with this season. Currently, the Raiders are the 13th ranked defense in the league giving up only 99 rushing yards per game (10th in the NFL) and 241 passing yards (15th).
Despite the fact that progress has been made so far this season, the Raiders need to continue to play solid defensively in order to keep this team in games from the first snap to the last. Woodson and company have done an incredible job thus far, but the team is still sitting at 2-4 heading into the bye week with the season starting to slip away if the Raiders can’t bounce back in Week 8.