In looking over film of Week 2’s loss to the Bills, there is no shortage of areas the Raiders need to fix and it is very, very unlikely that signing a free agent at this point is going to significantly alter the team’s shaky trajectory. But given what we know so far—that getting pressure on the quarterback remains a major issue and that defensive end Chandler Jones might be out a while yet—it seems that adding a capable pass-rushing veteran is as good an option as any.
And the folks at Bleacher Report suggest just the kind of guy coach Josh McDaniels likes—a former Patriot, Kyle Van Noy.
Here’s how B/R sees the Raiders’ situation: “The Raiders already signed Jordan Willis to the practice squad last week to address their depth on the edges, but Kyle Van Noy could immediately help. The Raiders should be in the market for that, as Chandler Jones is currently inactive while dealing with a ‘private matter,’ per head coach Josh McDaniels.
“Van Noy is a familiar face for McDaniels going back to their days in New England.”
Van Noy Helped Patriots to 2 Super Bowl Wins
Van Noy is a nine-year veteran who started his career in Detroit and was traded to the Patriots in 2016, a deal that helped bolster a New England defense that won the Super Bowl that season. He also was an anchor for the Patriots in 2018, another Super Bowl-winning team.
Van Noy, who played for the Chargers last season after leaving the Patriots, has long been adept at forcing fumbles, and forced 10 of them in his career, while also recovering nine fumbles. The Raiders have not forced a turnover at all this season, and ranked 30th in turnover differential last year.
Though he is 32 and a free agent, Van Noy said recently he still intends to play. He had a workout with the Ravens last month.
He told KSL in Utah, “It’s been a dream come true. I feel really blessed. Winning those Super Bowls meant a lot and I’m just trying to continue on. I’m not done playing yet. I’ve still got some more juice left in the tank. I’m just excited to continue to perform and get back to it.”
Chandler Jones Situation Ongoing
Getting back to it in Las Vegas might be ideal. As wretched as the offense was in Week 2, there is some hope that there’s enough talent there—when healthy—to keep the Raiders in games. But the defense, as constructed, is going to continue to be a problem.
In addition to the absence of Jones, the Raiders are still trying to hone the game of defensive end Tyree Wilson, the No. 10 pick overall in last year’s draft. Wilson played 50% of the team’s defensive snaps last week, and 49% this week, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Jones, meanwhile, does not appear to be near a resolution on his bizarre standoff with the organization, which has culminated (so far) in Jones’ claim that Raiders owner Mark Davis, “is holding a huge secret that only I know,’ involving what Jones says is Davis’ knowledge about a “powerful man.” Jones stated the secret stems from the fact that, “someone was molesting my God daughter.”
Serious accusations, to be sure, and ones that should be investigated thoroughly.
But as for the team on the field, Jones probably won’t be with the Raiders any time soon, and they’re going to need help in his absence.
Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter covering the NBA and NFL for Heavy.com. He has written for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of experience covering the NBA, including 17 years as the lead NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of 7 nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley became Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney
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