Click photo to enlarge
Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff leaps over Chicago Bears center Chris Spencer after Huff intercepted a pass during during their game at O.Co Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. The Raiders defeated the Bears 25-20. (Aric Crabb/Staff)

The whispers for years have been that owner Al Davis was the de facto Raiders' defensive coordinator and that the owner had a hand in game plans and scheme.

Thanks to Michael Huff, they aren't whispers any more. Huff is one of many defensive players who are enjoying the transition to a multiple scheme with head coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver.

"Nothing personal, but obviously, before with Al, rest in peace, he had his hands in all the defense," Huff said. "He had all his little things he liked to do. Now with D.A. (Dennis Allen) out there, we've got all kinds of blitzes, we've got 3-4, 4-3 fronts, just a lot of variety and different things going on. So I'm going to love it."

Huff said it was commonplace for opponents to opponents to know what the Raiders were running defensively merely by the way they lined up.

"Everybody knew," Huff said. "I'm in the middle of the field. I'm in the post, we're pretty much man-to-man on the outside. It was pretty simple. We really didn't blitz much. We let our front four get after them. That's how it was, so we dealt with it."

And now?

"We don't want (the offense) knowing pre-snap what we're in," Huff said. "The main thing is, they have to learn as the quarterback drops back, still guessing what we're in, kind of learn on the fly. Then hopefully our front four will get after them."


Advertisement

Coming out of college at Texas, Huff was a big fan of Charles Woodson. He even took Woodson's Raiders' No. 24 when the cornerback signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers.

This season, Huff's role will be similar to that of the role which caused Woodson's career to take off in Green Bay. He'll be a slot corner in nickel defenses and play some standard deep safety.

But the scheme will also free him up to blitz and do much more than as the kind of single-high safety which was preferred by Davis regardless of the defensive coordinator.

"I want to do it all -- blitz, get picks, get sacks, just kind of do everything," Huff said.