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Great Scott, a multiple defense?

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 2:49 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Since Trevor Scott was open to talking about his defensive role Friday, it’s worth examining what might be in store for the second-year defensive end out of Buffalo.

We say might because we’ve seen the Raiders do these sorts of things before in practice, then often go back to what Al Davis believes they do best _ create pressure with a natural rush (usually with a four-man line) and depend on a tight man-to-man defense with one deep safety as the last line of defense.

The Raiders blitz during training camp practices. Always have. They blitz during OTAs and minicamps, some of which are open to the media. I’m assuming they do the same in their closed sessions.

Then the game starts, and, well, everyone wants to know why the hell Rob Ryan never blitzes. Ryan did blitz on occasion, but nearly as much as you’d think for a guy who believes so fiercely in pressure.

Conventional wisdom is the Raiders don’t blitz is because it’s an organizational philosophy, with the organization being someone who goes by the name of Mr. Davis. The blitzing in practice, you can surmise, is often done to prepare the offense for what they’re going to see.

With that as a backdrop, Scott was talking about a Friday session in the John Marshall-coached defense which he lined up in various positions and wasn’t in a three-point stance. He even dropped into coverage.

Asked if we might see Scott performing some of those duties this year, Cable said, “You know, we might. I really don’t want to talk about scheme.’’

(We’ll ask Marshall the same thing when he is made available to the media _ and chances are he’s not going to talk about scheme, either).

Scott gave his expanded duties a thumbs up, and also said he had done it in the offseason (not surprisingly, during the days the media wasn’t present at OTAs).

“I love it. It’s a lot of fun,’’ Scott said. “Mixing things up, give me an opportunity to do some different things and do well at ‘em. I like it a lot.”

Scott said he hadn’t played in an upright position since high school. A converted tight end, he promises he still has the hands to catch the ball and go the other way if placed in coverage.

He believes some of these new ideas will be implemented in games, not just in practice.

“Pretty much all the stuff that we run against our offense, we’re going to use on anybody, know what I mean?’’ Scott said. “We’ll give them a look . . . we’re going to run what we’re practicing.’’

More notes and quotes and observations:

– Moving Scott around at 256 pounds is the best way to get the most out of him, because even though he’s packed on some muscle, he’s not built to withstand the pounding of 330-pound tackles against the run.

– Cornerback Chris Johnson is unconcerned that despite a contract which paid him a $4 million signing bonus, and having the endorsement of Davis, he is alternating with Stanford Routt in the base defense.

“We are rotating right now, but at the end of the day I’m going to feel like I’m the starter, regardless of whatever happens,’’ Johnson said.

Johnson played extremely well over the last eight games after the DeAngelo Hall was written off like a Bernie Madoff investment.

“You know Tom Cable thought I could hold this position, and that’s why Mr. Davis felt this contract was a good deal for me,’’ Johnson said.

– Javon Walker remained mysterious about his offseason knee surgery which he said has him feeling better about his health than he has in years.

“I will say it’s new. It’s new,’’ Walker said of the procedure. He declined to be specific or even say where it was performed.

“I don’t know where it was done,’’ Walker said. “I’m clueless.’’

He believes the Raiders will get the receiver they expected when they paid him $12 million last year, a contract that was renegotiated downward and will pay him $4.6 million guaranteed over the next two years.

“When I get back out there, I’m just excited about working with some young guys who are going to push me more than I’m going to push them,’’ Walker said. “I’m also excited about letting Oakland see what Javon has to offer because I’m young, I’m in my prime right now.

“My ability hasn’t changed, my enthusiasm hasn’t changed. I’m just excited to be back to the Javon that was that first year in Denver and the Javon that was in Green Bay and all of a sudden have it translate here.’’

Walker said Thursday he expected to be on the sidelines for another two weeks. He is performing running, cutting and jumping drills with the athletic training staff at what looks like close to full speed with no sign of a limp or discomfort.

– Like a good politician, Ricky Brown feels strongly both ways about whether he’s a strong side or middle linebacker. He’s played both so far, occasionally with the first team.

“I’ve proved that I can be the opening day starter at the SAM linebacker. I think maybe my more natural position would be MIKE, just kind of the way I’m built, having good change of direction and all, but either one’s fine,’’ Brown said.

– Count linebacker and special teams standout Isaiah Ekejiuba as one of the players on board with Cable’s four-days-of-learning approach.

“It seemed like it was weird at first when he talked about the concept, but you go through it and it’s a great concept,’’ Cable said. “We’re doing a lot of learning, get all the mistakes out the way.

“They were talking about a lot of injuries that happen during camp happen the first five days of camp. So right now we’re doing a lot of mental work and leaving the physical work until Monday. And I think that’s going to help, help your body adjust real quick and then when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”

– Wide receiver Todd Watkins on the Raiders options in route-running as opposed to last season:

“Last year we were like opening a children’s book when we ran our plays,’’ Watkins said. “Now we can take advantage of whatever we see, just simple tags on stuff we already have installed.’’

Watkins said he enjoyed his trip to Mobile, Ala., at the invitation of quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

“We worked out a couple days, and we worked on the things that we wanted to work on, without the pressure of having the coaches out there to nitpick, because we’re the ones ultimately who are going to be out there on the field,’’ Watkins said. “So as long as we’re on the same page, and see the same way, that’s what really matters.’’

Watkins said workouts, when not interrupted by thunderstorms, lasted 90 minutes to two hours. They took place at Williamson High School, where Russell was a local star. They worked with high school players in a clinic-like setting.

“A lot of people knew it was going on, because that’s his community. They know when he comes back,’’ Watkins said.

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  • Dakota

    GOOOO LAKERS!!!!

  • Dakota

    Cable’s pseudo-passive aggressive start to training camp – begin with a day full of meetings, follow with four straight days of non-contact two-a-day practices in helmets and shorts while installing new schemes on both sides of the ball – seems to be a hit among the Raiders veterans.

    “You know, in 17 years, I’ve never seen anything like this, but I can’t believe how much we’re getting out of it,” Cable said Lorenzo Neal told him after Friday’s morning practice. “Just in our talks, in our room, or in meetings, or whatever, it’s a chance to really sort it out and work through it before, all of a sudden, you put the combative part into it, which will start on Monday.”

    Meaning full pads and hitting.
    _____________________________

    Call my cynical if you like, but if the current Raiders are the only team doing something…it is probably not the smartest thing to do…

  • 909RaiderLifer

    YaVonne going 3rd. person. Who’da thunk?

  • 909RaiderLifer

    Just have to wait and see, how this four days of “Pop Warner” hand holding instruction, plays out.

  • anth0nyi3m

    Call my cynical if you like, but if the current Raiders are the only team doing something…it is probably not the smartest thing to do…
    ————————————

    shut up you are annoying.

  • Dakota

    lol

  • Raider75

    You guys really are cynical. If the players are comfortable with it and EXCITED about what they are learning, then let the process play out.

    New coaches were brought in to teach fundamentals because this was an undisciplined team.

    Sounds like a good thing to me.

  • AZ Raider

    Tell that to:

    Andy Reid
    John Madden
    Bill Belichiken
    Mike Tomlin
    Rex Ryan
    Tony Sparano
    etc…………….

    There are alot of successfull “players coaches”. I think what Cable is doing, is exactly what your reading. Getting back to basics…. When your 5-11 who can argue with that?

  • Raider75

    From Raider Beat…

    Running back Darren McFadden saw a lot of time at wide receiver. Cable said he realized in breaking down video of Oakland’s games last sason that playing McFadden out wide opened up the whole field. It also opened up some carries for the other backs. Cable said he needs to find a way to get the ball to all three running backs because they “are all playmakers in their own way.”

  • Dakota

    Raider75 Says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 3:17 pm
    You guys really are cynical. If the players are comfortable with it and EXCITED about what they are learning, then let the process play out.

    New coaches were brought in to teach fundamentals because this was an undisciplined team.

    Sounds like a good thing to me.
    _______________________________

    Every year the players come out and say they love things the current coach is doing…in 2007 it was how much they loved the music and the day-night practices…then when Cable took over they loved that he ended practices on time…and when Art Shell was here the second time the players loved that he would pass out in meeting and they could leave early…and the players loved Ryan’s pizza parties and nap times and no accountability approach….

    Players love it!!! So fukin what?

  • jhill

    Getting back to basics…. When your 5-11 who can argue with that?

    —————————————————–

    Exactly!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Yavone is a liar! He said he was fine last season, and look what happened!

    If hes not 110% healthy, Put him on IR, and then cut him next year.

  • Once You Go Silver-n-Black…

    Call my cynical if you like, but if the current Raiders are the only team doing something…it is probably not the smartest thing to do…
    ————————————

    shut up you are annoying.
    ——

    My thoughts exactly. What a frigging girl.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    There are a few players that m read to give up on:
    Yavone
    Sands
    Huff

  • Dakota

    Players are always trying to find ways out of training camp and you guys wonder why the players are on board with playing patty-cake for the first few practices?

    lol morons

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    DMC should get atleast 40-50% of all carries.
    Bush should get 30- 40%.
    Fargas will get the rest.

  • Dakota

    I thought we had a shot at winning 8 or 9 games if everything goes right….not anymore…6 wins max under Cable.

  • Dakota

    Waaaaaaaaaa! Man, I’m gay.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Dakota,

    They are learning the sys and fundamentals.

  • Dakota

    We now practice like synchronized aquatic dancers and Cable still plans on utilizing his secret weapon, Justin Fargas, lol = 6-10!!!!

  • onca upon a time in the west

    Count linebacker and special teams standout Isaiah Ekejiuba as one of the players on board with Cable’s four-days-of-learning approach.

    “It seemed like it was weird at first when he talked about the concept, but you go through it and it’s a great concept,’’ Cable said. “We’re doing a lot of learning, get all the mistakes out the way.

    “They were talking about a lot of injuries that happen during camp happen the first five days of camp. So right now we’re doing a lot of mental work and leaving the physical work until Monday. And I think that’s going to help, help your body adjust real quick and then when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”

    Translation, I sure am glad I am not getting the SH*&^%%T kicked out of me.
    Its football MAN UP. I bet the Steelers are not practicing this way. You are being paid MEGA-BUCKS practice hard and play hard. More on thet later…

  • SNB Defense

    Dakoota is right about having some skepticism. Positive comments in camp is usually the norm.

    However, this is the 1st year in recent memory where the Raiders have seemingly competent and qualified coaches. The linchpin in all this is whether Al Davis gives the freedom to the coaching staff to design their own game plans and allow playcalling without worry about having to explain things on Monday should something go wrong.

    I will say this again: We will have all the answers after that MNF game against San Diego. The score is not even as important as to how they play, how they look and the way the playcalling is done.

    Yes, we will have all the answers for 2009 after week 1

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    9-7!!

  • Dakota

    Really Raider O? Why don’t the other teams have to take the first five days of training camp to learn fundamentals and the system? I’ll bet the 1-15 Phins didn’t take the first five days of camp last season to learn the fundamentals and the system by playing patty-cake did they?

    I guess Cable runs the remedial football camp.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    I want the answers now!! I can’t wait for week 1. lol

  • AZ Raider

    I dont’ know man, I like it… If it’s different it has to be good right? Hope so. sounds like there is some confidence in Walkers talk huh? Last year he wasn’t claiming all that.

    Just remember:

    AZ Raider said it all along. “Walker still has some left in the tank IMO. I think he still has a shot at #1 spot”.

  • AZ Raider

    9-7!

    whats up “O”?!

  • jhill

    So instead of focusing on the mental aspect of getting in the right positions to stop the run, we should just get right into it with the hitting? I guess so, sense it is the same thing we’ve been running for the last 2 6 years. What sense does it make to make sure they no the assignments before the contact starts? They should already know there assignments, right, so let’s get at it.

    What is the big problem, other than it’s the Raiders?

  • Pingback: Trevor Scott practicing as the elephant(Multi-tasking defender) - Oakland Raiders Forum | Message Board - Where the Raider Nation lives!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Dakota,

    All I know is what we did the last 6 yrs didn’t work, and I always thought we lacked Fundamentals, so this is exactly what we need IMO. It’s only for a few days!!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    As you can see, I’ve been drinking your KoolAide. lol
    9-7!

  • http://IBABUZZ.com Tony Pigagoosa

    909? is in cali?

  • Dakota

    jhill Says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 3:38 pm
    So instead of focusing on the mental aspect of getting in the right positions to stop the run, we should just get right into it with the hitting? I guess so, sense it is the same thing we’ve been running for the last 2 6 years. What sense does it make to make sure they no the assignments before the contact starts? They should already know there assignments, right, so let’s get at it.

    What is the big problem, other than it’s the Raiders?
    ________________________________________________
    What did Cable focus on during OTAs? How to put pads on?

    LMFAO

  • jhill

    All I care about is what we are doing. We looked SOOOO bad at basic fundamental things on defense that I have NO problem with these sessions. We were beat on so many plays within the first step of the play, or exactly the stuff we are working on now. Lining up in the wrong place, calling the wrong audible, taking the wrong first step. It’s ridiculous that we have to do this stuff, but it certainly can’t hurt.

  • http://IBABUZZ.com Tony Pigagoosa

    Raider O Says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 3:37 pm
    I want the answers now!! I can’t wait for week 1. lol

    just like a chick, ctying about what you want.

    lol, omg

  • Coach Elkins

    The players are trying to convince themselves Cable is the man for the job by standing by their coach in relation the early passive start ….

    They will find out soon enough what type of Head Coach they have when he decides to go with Garcia somewhere around the bye week…

    When this coaching move fails….the responsibility will rest where it should…on the man who signed Garcia…and the first to be shown the door…TOM CABLE

    NEXT!

  • RaiderGator

    Wide receiver Todd Watkins on the Raiders options in route-running as opposed to last season:

    “Last year we were like opening a children’s book when we ran our plays,’’ Watkins said. “Now we can take advantage of whatever we see, just simple tags on stuff we already have installed.’’

    ——————————————————-
    Well this is all looking very promising. And next year they’ll be saying….”Man, last year was like being back in high school. No, actually high school camp was tougher. Never seen anything like that in my career. Glad that we’re hitting things hard this year.”

    just watch….

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Tony,

    It was a joke! OMG pls don’t freak-out!

    Another Talking Monkey!! You should feel at home here.

  • AZ Raider

    Coach Elkins Says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 3:45 pm
    The players are trying to convince themselves Cable is the man for the job by standing by their coach in relation the early passive start ….

    They will find out soon enough what type of Head Coach they have when he decides to go with Garcia somewhere around the bye week…

    When this coaching move fails….the responsibility will rest where it should…on the man who signed Garcia…and the first to be shown the door…TOM CABLE

    NEXT!
    ……………………………………………….

    Hey coach, where can i get one of those crystal balls?

  • RaiderGator

    Been a fan for a looooonnnng time. To players, the present is always wonderful and the past always sucked monkey gonads.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    At Liquor & Guns in Podunk. They sell everything!

    lol

  • http://www.niners.com Norco Bob

    For some reason I cant sit down,..hurts back there!!!

  • AZ Raider

    If you don’t recognize the name “O”, I wouldn’t sweat ‘em :)

  • http://www.oakglenn.com KoolKell

    When I git to napa Im gonna kill ray ratto.

  • Dakota

    Tom Cable: “Next week we are going to concentrate on how to keep groomed. A clean team is a winning team! We plan two a days that will kill the players; manicures in the first session and pedicures plus a course in foot fungi control in the second session! I know we are asking a lot from the players this year, but the pressure is on all of us to get some wins!”

  • http://www.oakglenn.com KoolKell

    Ok listen up, y`all know me, I know what the hells Im talkin bout…Jeff Garcia is the only chance we got to succeed,…thats the real deal…its another losing season if Russell is annointed the job due to salary.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    I enjoy the Show. lol
    Where else can you see so many Talking Monkeys?

  • lefty12

    Jhill-they have to biotch about something.just like the players in the draft,they didn’t want Cable as HG so he can’t be any good.give him time to prove whether or not he is-hell no,we didn’t want him so he must suck.

  • Dakota

    Have a nice weekend suckers.

  • King Of The Trolls

    Well, well, well, it appears I am back in business.