By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, September 17th, 2009 at 4:19 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Tom Cable called it a “prevent mode,” but defensive coordinator John Marshall said the final drive in a 24-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers was not a “prevent” defense.
“Absolutely not. No, no, no, no. We knew we couldn’t,” Marshall said Thursday following practice. “And the players knew they couldn’t. But they just softened the underneath part of the coverage and eventually it hurt us.”
The Raiders were rushing with four men and dropping linebackers into coverage and simply played too soft, Marshall said, failing to make tackles and keep Chargers players from going out of bounds.
“Hell, it’s on me,” Marshall said. “They needed to have a better understanding of what the situation was.”
More news, notes and quotes:
– Remember when Thomas Howard said during training camp that the Raiders were going to blitz because he could see it in Marshall’s eyes?
Marshall said the Raiders called five blitzes against San Diego. One was negated by penalty and two came on San Diego running plays. He admitted he’s not much of “pressure” coordinator, anyway, just like every other coordinator who has worked for Al Davis.
“I know there are some pressure coaches,” Marshall said. “That’s what they do. That’s their scheme, pressure. If you don’t have to pressure and you’ve got the coverage people and the upfront people to do it, then why, other than a change up, why put yourself in that position where somebody could get a big play?”
Given a do-over, Marshall said he wouldn’t be of a mind to dial up a few blitzes on San Diego’s last drive.
“I’d have to say no right now, even looking back on it,” Marshall said. “I would have done some things differently that I won’t mention to you in that last drive. But up until that time we felt pretty confident.”
– Marshall said Richard Seymour’s presence elevated the performance of the entire defense, and cited the five-time Pro Bowler’s bookwork and professionalism in getting ready for the game.
“It’s not like Richard came in here, and we drew it on the board and he went and made a sandwich and went to bed,” Marshall said. “He didn’t. He studied. He and (defensive line coach Dwaine Board) spent probably, oh, I’d say, six seven hours between the two days they were in watching film, and he did a lot of film watching on his own.”
– Guessing the legion of armchair defensive coordinators want no part of Nnamdi Asomugha as a future defensive coordinator. This was his response when asked if the “prevent mode” referred to by Cable against San Diego was a mistake:
“No, no, no, that’s what was needed. Our underneath coverage, maybe we got a little further deep than we probably should have, but, no, that’s how we needed to play in that situation.”
Asomugha said the touchdown surrendered to Vincent Jackson came with a good fake and a back-shoulder fade, noting, “We thought Stan (Stanford Routt) was going to get a hand on it, I guess it was just outside of him.”
– Justin Fargas is back at practice and said he was ready for any role the Raiders had in store for him. Michael Bush isn’t sure as well. All he knows for sure is Darren McFadden is the lead back.
“I heard in the press conference earlier there’s only two primary backs or something, “Bush said. “You never know what will happen. It’s like when I had to wait my turn last year. I don’t know if I have to take a step back and let him get back in or what. I’ll just play it by ear and go with the punches.”
– Defensive end Richard Seymour credited his coaches and teammates for getting him in the right position during the loss to San Diego.
“The coaching staff got me ready to play in less than 48 hours and even while we were on the field, my teammates helped me get lined up, told me where I was supposed to do, what I was supposed to do,” Seymour said. “I have to get adjusted to the terminology that we have here . . . I still have a lot to learn but I’m eager to do it.”
He said he didn’t worry about any stories about what life with the Raiders would be like.
“I try not to judge a situation before I come into it,” Seymour said. “That’s just like when I watch a movie. Somebody says it’s bad, you may like it. I just came into the situation and like I said, I had a lot of issues bigger than football at that time but the guys have been made my transition very easy.”
– With Johnnie Lee Higgins out of practice again, it appears Hiram Eugene will return punts for the first time in the NFL. He said he last returned punts at Louisiana Tech.
“I always joke around with (coach Cable) about returning punts or kickoffs,” Eugene said. “Now I get the opportunity. I’ve got to step up and show what I can do.”
– Defensive end Greg Ellis was limited in pracitce with a sore shoulder but will play, Cable said. Wide receivers Chaz Schilens (broken metacarpal) and Nick Miller (broken bone below shin) are out and did not practice.l
– The way the bandwagon is rolling, you’d think the Raiders actually beat the Chargers instead of the other way around.
Even Marty Schottenheimer doesn’t give the Chiefs much of a chance Sunday.
“I’m also going with the Raiders. Right now there’s just too much that has to get done with Kansas City for them to be able to compete even with the Raiders,” Schottenheimer said on Sirius Satellite Radio.“ I think the Raiders gave evidence the other night that maybe they’ve got some positive things going for them.”
Rich Gannon, not one to hold his tongue regarding his former team, agreed with Schottenheimer.
“I think newly acquired Richard Seymour will continue to have an impact once again and I think the difference in this game is going to be Oakland’s ability to run the football,” Gannon said. “I think that will be the difference. I’m going to take the Raiders on the road.”