Huff's return gives Raiders greater flexibility

Posted Aug. 01, 2011 @ 3:39 p.m.
Posted By Eli Kaberon

With the free-agent market not to his liking, FS Michael Huff opted to re-sign with the Raiders, which came as a bit of a surprise. Oakland has two young safeties in Tyvon Branch and Mike Mitchell whom coaches are high on, and most felt the team would be more active in signing offensive players instead of bringing back Huff. The move does give new defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan more flexibility to create mismatches. Over the last few seasons the team occasionally used a three-safety package, which they called "Wolverine," playing two safeties deep and a third up near the line of scrimmage. Both Branch and Mitchell are better pass defenders than Huff, but the veteran is strong against the run and in rushing the quarterback, almost playing as an extra linebacker at times. Though the unit's starting 11 is fairly strong, expect to see Bresnahan use the "Wolverine" to add more athleticism and speed in blitzing situations.

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