ALAMEDA – Dion Jordan has played several spots along the line in his NFL career, most of it off the edge. The Raiders need help there but requested he help in another spot on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“We asked him to go inside and rush,” coach Jon Gruden said. “We want to keep [Clelin] Ferrell and Maxx [Crosby] and [Benson] Mayowa outside. Dion gives us another guy with length who can go against the guards.”
Jordan’s a superior athlete who stands 6-foot-6, 284 pounds. He’s quick and agile enough to go around blockers, strong enough to go through them.
That certainly helped him work from interior spots over 14 snaps against the Bengals, and he was able to generate some pressure working obvious passing downs. He had a quarterback sack on third down that forced a punt, a run stop and one other quarterback pressure.
Jordan's presence was also felt in ways that can’t be quantified in the box score. His teammates said his athleticism helps create chances for others. Crosby credited Jordan for freeing him some off the edge.
Fellow interior rusher Maurice Hurst, who plays a different, yet effective game getting to the quarterback, liked the new energy Jordan brought to the front.
“He’s a great athlete who gets the guards to kick out to him pretty fast,” Hurst said. “It creates space for some of the other guys. You can run cool things with him. He will really help us inside.”
We’ll see whether Jordan’s role expands as we move forward. He only had three practices to adjust to this Raiders scheme after formally joining the team on Tuesday after his NFL suspension was lifted. More time might allow him to do some different things, or at least prep him to take more snaps helping this pass rush and defensive effort as a whole.
"He gives us some athleticism and chase-down ability, and he showed that he can still do that [after 10 games away on suspension]," Gruden said. "We have to keep working him into football shape, and try to get him some more turns."
Here is the entire Raiders snap count:
Total offensive snaps: 70
Quarterback – Derek Carr 70
Running back – Josh Jacobs 45, Alec Ingold 17, Jalen Richard 16, DeAndre Washington 9
Wide receiver – Tyrell Williams 51, Zay Jones 48, Hunter Renfrow 31, Marcell Ateman 5
Tight end – Darren Waller 66, Foster Moreau 41, Derek Carrier 20
Offensive line – Richie Incognito 70, Kolton Miller 70, Trent Brown 70, Gabe Jackson 70, Rodney Hudson 70, Brandon Parker 2
Total defensive snaps: 63
Defensive line – Maxx Crosby 49, Clelin Ferrell 41, Johnathan Hankins 41, P.J. Hall 35, Maurice Hurst 30, Benson Mayowa 19, Josh Mauro 18, Dion Jordan 16
Linebacker – Tahir Whitehead 63, Nicholas Morrow 59, Will Compton 6
Defensive back – Erik Harris 63, Daryl Worley 63, Trayvon Mullen 63, Nevin Lawson 57, D.J. Swearinger 38, Curtis Riley 25, Isaiah Johnson 7
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Kyle Wilber 20, Dallin Leavitt 18, Carrier 18, Riley 15, Moreau 14, Keisean Nixon 14, Johnson 13, Compton 12, Morrow 9, Harris 9, Lawson 8, Crosby 8, A.J. Cole 8, Trevor Davis 8, Trent Sieg 8, Mullen 6, Daniel Carlson 7, Hurst 5, Whitehead, Worley 5, Denzelle Good 3, Parker 3, Washington 3, Brown 3, Miller 3, Jackson 3, Incognito 3, Jordan 2, Mayowa 2