Oakland Raiders Positions that Could be a Liability in 2012: Linebacker

The Raiders linebacker position has been a work in progress. The Raiders have had a notoriously bad run defense and it was in large part due to poor performance by the linebackers. The linebacking corps hasn't exactly shined in the pass game either, but it has been better than in the run game. The Raiders will welcome a new starter to the linebacking corps with free agent Philip Weaver and a new draft pick who should challenge for a starting position with fourth round pick Miles Burris.

Aaron Curry will be entering his second season with the Raiders. He played much better in the Silver and Black than he ever did for the Seattle Seahawks, but he still showed a lot of the same flaws that prevented him succeeding in Seattle. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain has come no where near being the stud linebacker that was supposed to solve the Raiders run problems. On top of that, his off the field issues run the risk of forcing him to miss time due to jail, suspensions or both. With Kamerion Wimbley being cut this off season, the Raiders will look to Philip Weaver to man the strong side linebacker spot. Wheeler is a little undersized, but has great football instincts. He played primarily in a cover two with the Indianapolis Colts, so it is hard to know how he will do in a new difference.

As for depth, the Raiders have perennially injured back up Travis Goethel and rookie Miles Burris. There is a lot of talent in the back ups, but there is very little experience. The upside is that both of these guys can play all three positions, so the thin depth is made better through their versatility.

The linebacking corps in Oakland is not going to wow anyone. The goal should be just to stay out of everyone's mouth. For a unit that has had a lot of problems and is often talked about, but only in a negative light, silence would be welcomed as a good thing.

For more on the Oakland Raiders, join the discussion over at Silver And Black Pride. You can also check out everything we have to offer at SB Nation’s NFL hub.

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