After two poor performances to start the season, the Las Vegas Raiders‘ pass rush woke up a bit against the New England Patriots. They only notched two sacks, courtesy of Maxx Crosby, but did a better job at getting after the quarterback. However, the team still needs to apply more pressure.
The Raiders could look to the free-agent market to add a spark. According to Albert Breer, the team brought in defensive end Breeland Speaks for a tryout.
Speaks was a second-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 but was cut prior to the start of this season. He missed all of 2019 with an injury but played all 16 games during his rookie campaign. He notched 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. Speaks isn’t the sack artist the Raiders need but he does still have potential.
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Chiefs GM Recently Explained Why Speaks Was Cut
Unless you’re the Raiders, it’s not often that players drafted in the first three rounds are let go after only two seasons with the team. However, when you’re the Super Bowl champions, it’s easy to run out of room for talent. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach explained why they let go of Speaks recently, via Chiefs Wire:
That was certainly a unique scenario where, of all the positions – I certainly think we have a very good roster, a very talented roster – that defensive line position is probably our deepest position. With Breeland, a different scheme from when he got here. I, and our staff, thought in his rookie year he did some things that you can really lay a foundation on. And we all know that he came in a little out of shape the next year, and then he had the injury. So, I think when you get behind the eight ball in professional football, it’s tough. And then when you get behind the eight ball on a roster with a deep defensive line, it’s even tougher. I will say this – credit to the kid – he did come in in shape and worked hard to get that weight off. Again, he was just up against a very deep and talented defensive line class.
Speaks does have talent, he wouldn’t have been drafted in the second round if he didn’t. The Chiefs are loaded everywhere so Leach’s logic makes sense. Perhaps the Raiders can bring in Speaks and see if he can return to college form.
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Is Crosby About to Pick Things Back Up?
Maxx Crosby put up 10 sacks as a rookie for the Raiders. Due to that fact, it looked like he was in for a breakout year in 2020. The season got off to a slow start as Crosby didn’t do much. He picked things up considerably against the Patriots and got two sacks on Cam Newton.
That’s a good sign for the Raiders. If Crosby can get going, the team will have a much better time stopping the pass.
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