Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Tommy Kelly (93) in the first quarter at O.Co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
NAPA, CA (AP) - Tommy Kelly needed only one preseason game to be convinced Oakland's defense is already vastly improved from a year ago.
The veteran defensive tackle has fully embraced the changes made by first-year coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and says he expects the defense to be one of the top five in the NFL in 2012.
That might be asking a bit much from a team that ranked 29th in overall defense and surrendered the second-most touchdowns in the league last season. Then again, Kelly has been defying odds since he entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2004.
A Pro Bowl alternate each of the past two seasons, Kelly has developed into a player who Allen believes can be one of the game's premier defensive tackles.
The Associated Press