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Raiders no longer feel like pushovers

Starting Monday, or whenever Richard Seymour arrives from the New England Patriots, you won’t have the Raiders to push around anymore.

That was the prevailing notion among Seymour’s new teammates as one of the NFL’s best and most versatile linemen was acqured by trade for a first-round draft pick in 2011.

The Raiders inability to defend the run over the past six years has been well documented. They’ve never been better than 22nd since 2003 in rushing defense while the Patriots are usually among the leaders.

Perhaps most important, Oakland has been gashed for 122 rushing touchdowns during that span _ the most in the NFL. The Patriots, during that same 96-game period, have given up 56.

“We’re going to get it fixed right now and I think he’s the answer for it,” middle linebacker Kirk Morrison said.

Said coach Tom Cable with regard to Seymour and the run defense: “I think a guy that has proven for, what, seven, eight years now that he’s a terrific run player, can hold the point and separate, get off blocks and make tackles in doing so. I think that gives us a real key piece.”

Seymour will immediately be installed at right end and also play some defensive tackle. He’s 54 pounds heavier than Trevor Scott, the second-year end who held that position through the preseason.

“When you commit somebody of that size to the running game it can only help,” left end Greg Ellis said. “Not just that he’s a pretty big physical guy but the fact he’s been playing the 3-4 and he’s been playing over offensive tackles for the majority of his career. Now he’ll be going against tight ends so you have to say
that should be a win for us.”

Linebacker Ricky Brown agreed.

“He’s considered the best two-gap player in the league, and he’s played in a system where he’s played a gap to his left, a gap to his right, now having him in a single gap, I think he’s going to be a dominant player for us,” Brown said.

Seymour, in theory will enable the Raiders to do defensively what they were never able to do with Warren Sapp _ move him to different places along the line and create mismatches as well as a ripple effect that helps the group as a whole.

“You get a quality player who has done a lot both as a run player and as a pass rusher. In the 3-4, when they reduce down, he’s played as a three technique, he’s been an inside rusher in nickel and all those things,” Cable said. “So there’s a lot of variation to what he brings to the table for us.”

Bringing Seymour aboard was enough to get the usually reticent Tommy Kelly talking.

“You can’t help but admire his game,” Kelly said. “There’s a player that myself, I kind of want to be like. It gives me a chance to see him up close and personal, see how he practices, how he prepares. You play with real good players, especially defensive tackles, defensive ends, you take something from their game.”

Kelly, having played both inside and outside, likes Seymour’s ability to adapt.

“He brings a lot of versatility to the defense,” Kelly said. I mean, if we can’t stop the run now, with that big (expletive) on the edge . . . it definitely upgrades us.”

More news and notes, Seymour and otherwise:

– “Inside, outside, however you want it. He brings it on. (He’s an) excellent complement to the team and hopefully we can shore things up on the defensive side of the ball with him on the field,” defensive tackle Gerard Warren on Seymour.

– Wide receiver Chaz Schilens wants to be back for the second game of the season.

“Without getting into anything too specific, I’d say it’s on schedule. Everything is settled, the bone is healing well,” Schilens said. “It’s not up to me. It’s kind of up to how much pain I have in my foot and how much pain I can deal with.”

– Center Samson Satele is taking news of Chris Morris’ asension as the starter in stride.

“It’s the case now and you know whatever coach wants, the team wants, I’ll do it, but I’ll be waiting for my chance and once I do, I won’t look back,” Satele said.

Satele played against Seymour’s New England teams twice a year, and blocked against him when Seymour moved inside on passing downs.

“He’s a big guy that can move and it’s a good pickup,” Satele said. “He’s a nasty player. It’s good he’s on my side now.”

– Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski said he talked to Jeff Garcia and believes Garcia might still want to play if the situation was right. Gradkowski is well aware of the role he and Charlie Frye will play as Raiders quarterbacks.

“We’re just here to help JaMarcus,” Gradkowski said. “JaMarcus is the show.”

Frye said he remained confident of a roster spot, but noted, “Nothing surprises me after I got traded after the first game with Cleveland.”

Frye last season was the first NFL quarterback to start a regular-season opener and be traded the following week.

– Six players were brought back to the practice squad _ linebackers Slade Norris and David Nixon, wide receiver Jonathan Holland, defensive end Greyson Gunheim, fullback Marcel Reece and safety Jerome Boyd.

– Those who did not practice Sunday were running back Justin Fargas, linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba and Schillens. Linebacker Kirk Morrison (elbow) and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha were limited. Tackle Khalif Barnes went through some drills with the linemen.

– Defensive tackle William Joseph was released to make room for Seymour.

– Brown was working at strong side linebacker Sunday.

– Cable said he has a good idea of his lead running back, but probably won’t announce it until Thursday after he’s talked to Darren McFadden, Fargas and Bush.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://atm Raider O

    He better be on TV in a few hours telling us how much he loves it here, and how it was his dream to play here, or NE can have their Pussy back!!!!

  • beeecham

    Hey, cool – Lil Ricky is back! Man, you’d think on Labor Day he might lay off the Red Bull and candy corn at least until noon.

    But he wouldn’t be the silly little spazz we all love if he didn’t, right?

    Man, I wonder if Lil Rick even slept a wink this whole weekend. You can see the awesome acquisition of Seymour really has his blood boiling today, so let’s just hope the little dude doesn’t go in sudden cardiac arrest.

    After all, the combination of candy, white drugs and adolescent rage is definitely not recommended by the Surgeon General.

  • Noshadowking

    Yeah Im sure Seymour is a bit pissed of right now. Give it a while he will play. People want to get paid. I agree with what was mentioned above. Id rather have a proven guy then have our team spend a ton of money on 1st round picks who arent proven in the nfl and cost more to sign than veteran players. Honestly why dont we just trade some 2nd and 3rd round picks for 2010 or 2011 and upgrade our defense some more. Heck if we can grab another great player trade away our 1st rounder for 2010. Would prove to Seymour and the rest of the defense we are serious about winning and we wont have to have any inflated 1st round salaries to pay out for 2 years

  • Richochet

    Raider75 Says:
    September 6th, 2009 at 11:56 pm
    Here’s a view I haven’t heard from you guys…

    Al is losing money on this franchise and can’t afford another season of blackouts.

    Seymour drums up some interest and restores some hope that was lost in the blowout loss at home to the Saints. Maybe just enough to put some butts in the seats at home.

    Bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush (or a 1st 2 years from now)
    ==============
    Didn’t happen when you signed Moss.
    Or when you signed Sapp.
    drafting Russell? No change..

    Are you aware that in ’02? Last home game of the season? Where Raiders needed the win for playoff ramifications? BLACKED OUT.

    Was humourous listening to JT the Brick (on 1050 at the time) literally begging Raider fans to show up. Saying “You’ve been saying for years that if the Raiders put a good product on the field you’ll show up…WELL, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?”

    Nope..the only thing that sold more tickets? Was the Raiders slashing prices to something like 27 bucks a seat for some sections (which REALLY PISSED OFF THE SEASON TICKET HOLDERS OF THOSE SECTIONS..but..I digress… :)

  • Chris in NY

    cornfieldraider Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 9:26 am
    I would rather trade 1st rounders for guys like Seymour than draft “can’t miss” prospects such as Gallery and Huff.

    ———————-

    Exactly. Gallery and Huff were not crazy picks either. They were the guys everyone said the Raiders should take. Draft prospects are a crapshoot. And 1st rounders are expensive. A pick in 2011 isn’t going to start to payoff for 3 or 4 years or maybe never.

  • http://sportmag.us/images/Lester_Hayes_November_1981.jpg RaiderDogg

    Oakglenn Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 9:22 am
    # Richochet Says:
    September 6th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    RaiderDogg Says:
    September 6th, 2009 at 10:45 pm
    How can any one person rationally explain over 10 STRAIGHT HOURS of pure bullsh1t on a blog about a football team?

    Clearly this is MR’s life, it’s all he’s got. If the Raiders win, his little sh1t cloud will evaporate and then what? He will have nothing left to live for.

    Sucks to be you MR, it so clearly and painfully does.
    ————
    Question is …how do YOU know if it was 10 hours or not?
    Were YOU HERE THOSE 10 HOURS?

    If so..lol..well..you figure it out.
    ==========================================================

    Or you could just scroll up and see 10 hours of posts since they are time stamped, but only a sheer imbecile would not be able to figure that out…..oh right, it’s lil ricky, forgot.”

    LMFAO!

    OG you are the man. These idiots just don’t get it do they? MaddenRaider was on here for over 13 hours straight yesterday, just getting off on being a total asshole. He was on here yesterday talking about having sex with my dead mother. All because he lost an argument with me. He loses an argument so he relies on classless and moronic insults. Clearly needs help.

  • Terrapin

    Richochet Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    *****************

    Be objective here. You are talking about 2 totally different situations.

    One player was the FIRST player picked in the draft and is a QUARTERBACK (not to mention it was well known that he would not play much IF ANY in his 1st year). He sets the pace – he is the highest paid. I don’t need to explain this. (And the dispute didn’t have to do with money, but something about the ‘claw-back’ the Raiders would be entitled to if he screwed up ala Adam Packman Jones as I recall. This was a big deal at the time b/c some team got screwed out of doe. So AD sets the trend here again).

    The other player is a WR with a SLOTTED PICK – meaning its standard practice (unless you are a QB taken in the 1st round) that you will get more than the player selected below you and less than the player selected above you.

    Yet this moron either wants more or at least the same coin as a WR taken 3 spots ahead of him!! 9 teams had the opportunity to pick him and they ALL PASSED!

  • http://sportmag.us/images/Lester_Hayes_November_1981.jpg RaiderDogg

    Terrapin

    You are expecting a complete MORON (Ricosh1t) to actually make sense. You will be waiting a very long time for this one, he is a total imbecile. Just wanted to give you the heads up not to waste your time.

  • JediRaider

    This is a good deal for us for a variety of reasons, but primarily because of the timing. This is JR’s third year in the league, typically the break-out season for young QB’s and we are stacked at all the skill positions on offense and our oline is good enough to be a top 5-10 rushing team and will be better in pass pro once Barnes replaces Green on the right side.

    If our offense is predicated on running the ball so we can go vertical with play action, we need more offensive plays per game which means we have to stop other teams from running against us and limiting our possessions.

    For the first time in years I witnessed the left side of the line being held vs. the run thanks to Greg Ellis. Many of you know I did not like Burgess because he could not hold the POA and simply tried to speed rush his way to sacks on all but the most obvious running downs which is why I wanted him gone or moved to 3-4 OLB (surprise, surprise that’s what he’s doing in NE).

    Remember that an offensive line’s job is to “get movement” – the reason behind that is if you can move defenders and spread them out, the RB will have big holes – and the LB will have to make tackles in space (if he can even cover all that space. Now that we have Seymour, our two bookends will hold the POA on each side which will clog up the middle by squeezing those gaps so our LB’s don’t have to make tackles in running lanes that are the size of freeways (one reason why most of Morrison’s tackles are so far down the field is that he can’t shoot a gap because the hole is too big, he has to wait for the play to come to him, break down, and react – our DE’s have been so bad it’s like watching punt return coverage – you have to give up some yards otherwise the returner is going to run right past you.

    Now, with Seymour and Ellis, two PROBOWL DE’s that can stop the run and hold the POA, the running lanes will be compressed, the LB’s will be able to attack the line of scrimmage and shoot the gaps, and our DT’s should make more plays because their gap assignments won’t be the size of the grand canyon. I remain concerned about Gerard Warren’s ability to hold up his end of the bargain and not get pushed around, but in all fairness he is a natural three technique and the Raider DE’s have not helped him at all overcoming double teams and taking some of that pressure off. If Warren can be just an average undertackle/nose tackle in this scheme, which he should be with his size and the presence of two probowlers, our run D problems are solved.

    Make no mistake, this isn’t all because of Seymour, but rather Seymour and Ellis -

  • Richochet

    Terrapin Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 10:33 am
    Richochet Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    *****************

    Be objective here. You are talking about 2 totally different situations.

    One player was the FIRST player picked in the draft and is a QUARTERBACK (not to mention it was well known that he would not play much IF ANY in his 1st year). He sets the pace – he is the highest paid. I don’t need to explain this. (And the dispute didn’t have to do with money, but something about the ‘claw-back’ the Raiders would be entitled to if he screwed up ala Adam Packman Jones as I recall. This was a big deal at the time b/c some team got screwed out of doe. So AD sets the trend here again).

    Richochet: Set the trend? lol..some label it as something different. What no one can dispute is that little hitch pretty much cost Russell a full year of developing..lost the chance at getting his feet wet in 4 consecutive preseason games, not to mention all of preseason practice..so..in essence..Russell got what? 8 mil? 10 mil? to sit, and basically be non-productive?

    What’s funny is Al then proceeded to sign “Off field mayhem of disaster” Javon Walker, while making JR sign that says he won’t pull a Javon Walker/Pacman?
    Irony at it’s best, wouldn’t you say?
    ========================================

    The other player is a WR with a SLOTTED PICK – meaning its standard practice (unless you are a QB taken in the 1st round) that you will get more than the player selected below you and less than the player selected above you.

    Yet this moron either wants more or at least the same coin as a WR taken 3 spots ahead of him!! 9 teams had the opportunity to pick him and they ALL PASSED!

    Richochet: And history teaches you what, exactly?
    That the chances are, IMO, a dozen or more teams will totally TORCH their first round pick.
    Yes, Crabtree was past on, because of his injury, and not being at combine, which happens.
    You will find NOTHING about Crabtree being a diva/prima donna, etc in college, or anywhere. Mancini’s comments mean squat..what matters is those who know him, and Singletary’s.
    Now back to your comment..if you look at what players contracts were, you’ll see they aren’t in line, at all. Saw an article the other day where there were a few who made more, per year, than players drafted before them.

    Like I said before, Singletary was a second round draft pick.
    He stated “I’m holding out for first round money. I should have been drafted in the first round. I’m the best.”
    He was.
    And he got what he wanted.

    And obviously that was a long time ago…

    And yes, next year? They’ll be another Crabtree.

    Oh..and the rookie salary cap? WON’T EVER HAPPEN..ever.

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