Outside of the offensive line, the Las Vegas Raiders‘ secondary was the biggest concern for the team. While there were some issues early on in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, the secondary played decently despite losing starting cornerback Anthony Averett and starting safety Tre’von Moehrig. Justin Herbert is one the best quarterbacks in the NFL so holding him to just 24 points while the defensive line couldn’t generate a pass rush is something to be happy about.
However, the injuries could be concerning. Averett is a key player and it remains to be seen how badly he hurt his thumb. Based on a recent transaction, it could keep him limited for now. According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the Raiders are signing veteran cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Robey-Coleman has been in the NFL for a long time now having been signed as an undrafted free agent of the Buffalo Bills in 2013 after a standout career at USC. He lasted three seasons with the team before moving on to the Los Angeles Rams. He lasted three seasons with the team and was with them for their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots in 2018. Robey-Coleman played in 127 games over his career, starting 30.
Can Robey-Coleman Earn a Role?
The Raiders appear confident in their group of cornerbacks this season. Nate Hobbs continues to make strides while Rock Ya-Sin and Averett are solid veterans. Robey-Coleman is an experienced pro and can help the team in the slot. Hobbs was the main nickel cornerback for the Raiders last year but the team has been putting him on the outside more.
With Robey-Coleman, the team now has a proven slot cornerback who has a lot of experience in the role. Prior to his signing, the Raiders didn’t really have a dedicated nickel cornerback on the roster. Robey-Coleman could be just what the defense needs.
Nate Hobbs Talks Loss to Chargers
While the first half of Week 1 was rocky for the Raiders’ defense, they have to feel good about the second half. The team only allowed seven points despite the offense turning the ball over twice in the second half. Nate Hobbs played the Chargers twice last season and he’s already seeing improvement from Justin Herbert.
“He was more patient today, which I think is a big step for him,” Hobbs said after the game, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “If he didn’t see the deep ball, he would check it down. He didn’t do that last year.
“He is already so efficient and deceptively elusive. People think he is just a great passer, but it’s very hard to get him down in the pocket, and then he can scramble and make a 70-yard throw. That’s a problem.”
The Raiders had an ugly first half and were down 17-3 at halftime. Hobbs believes the team was way too slow to start the game.
“As a team, we have to start faster,” Hobbs said. “Whoever starts the fastest, most of the time they are going to win. But I do think that we competed our a** off.”
Hobbs then spoke about how the team was able to turn things around in the second half.
“And the attitude was different,” Hobbs said. “We got hit in the mouth and we made the decision to respond. As a man, that’s how you measure yourself.”