Freeney awaits Veldheer and friends


As much as Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney would like to take on rookie left tackle Jared Veldheer one-on-one, he’s not counting on it.

“Normally what happens when I go against a rookie is there are two other guys with him,” Freeney told Bay Area reporters by conference call Wednesday. “I’m sure they’re going to scheme and not just leave him by himself. That wouldn’t be too smart.”

With eight sacks and two games to play, Freeney is two shy of his seventh season with double-digit sacks. He has five forced fumbles, giving him 41 for his career.

Freeney and left end Robert Mathis, who has three 10-plus sack seasons, form the NFL’s best outside pass rushing duo. The Raiders will counter with Veldheer at left tackle, either Langston Walker or Mario Henderson at right tackle, and plenty of help from extra lineman Khalif Barnes, tight end Zach Miller and chipping from running backs and fullback Marcel Reece.

Veldheer got this dose of faint praise from Freeney: “He’s done a decent job. He hasn’t done an overly great job, he’s hung in there.”

Even against veteran left tackles, Freeney estimates he gets two or three plays per game with single blocking other than three-step drops where the ball is out quickly. Otherwise, it’s a guard and tackle, a tight end and tackle or running back and tackle _ and often on both sides.

The best way to deal with Freeney and Mathis is to simply be effective running the ball, and the Colts’ veteran has a healthy respect for Oakland’s running game.

“They do a lot of different things, a lot of reverses, use their speed to their advantage,” Freeney said. “You can’t book ’em for just one thing.”

Listening to Freeney discuss the Colts’ 29th-ranked run defense is similar to the way Tommy Kelly describes Oakland’s issues with “stop, stop . . boom.”

“Sometimes people look at the stats and say, Oh, Colts are 29th in the NFL against the run, so they’re horrible against the run, and that may not be the whole truth,” Freeney said. “Normally the average is high for us because of one run. It’s not like every run is eight yards a pop. It will be one run, 80 yards, with one or two guys out of their gap, which will skew the whole stats.”

Indianapolis is coming off a 34-24 win over Jacksonville which gave the Colts control of their own destiny as far as the AFC South race, holding Maurice Jones Drew and the Jaguars to 67 rushing yards in the process.

“What we did the last game was make sure 11 guys play together, not just once in awhile,” Freeney said, adding that Oakland’s big-play ability is a concern.

“Obviously they have home run ability, and it’s going to be very important that we wrap up and two or three guys get around that ballcarrier,” Freeney said. “We can’t just rely on one guy making the tackle because they’er very good at making guys miss.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • raiderfankirk

    2 safties and play man? Your as dumb as they come. Cover two is all zone.

  • # RaiderRockstar Says:
    December 22nd, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I rather have a bull, than a clown..



    who is higher on AD’s scholarship list?

    John Herrerra or Sam Williams ???

    well I actually would say Alvis Whitted, of those two Herrera of course the highest..

  • raiderfankirk

    Any variation is man-zone

  • I’d like to see the Raiders run left at Freeney all day. Veldheer & Gallery, baby!

  • No Mas Diamante

    the only one in the league with a weaker arm than lienart is gradowski…

  • raiderfankirk

    Right on Kell w/ a full back or pulling guard. Wish they would activate B Campbell. I bet he can pull like nobobies buisness!!

  • raiderfankirk

    Lienarts problem is not his arm. It’s his brain. lol

  • SilverNBlackPA

    KoolKell Says:
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:58 am
    I’d like to see the Raiders run left at Freeney all day. Veldheer & Gallery, baby!


    I’m just a semi-pro blogger, but this is exactly what I’d do. Run it straight at Freeney & Session.

  • Pi$$ of Freeney.

    Eat his lunch Veldheer!

  • off*

  • KK, you wont see anything from your section 8 house will you?

    Buy a ticket with purp lips stimulus check and stimulate the economy! You can even bring your supermodel wife with you to the game!

    KoolKell Says:
    December 22nd, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I’d like to see the Raiders run left at Freeney all day. Veldheer & Gallery, baby!

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I hope the whole Colts team has Freeney’s attitude. “Yawn. We’re just gonna waltz in there and crush them without really trying.”

  • raiderfankirk

    I’m sure they will try running at Freeney. Thats what pretty much everybody tries.

  • You dont change your game plan or what works just because some mope like Freeney flapped his gums. We will run where we see fit, allover and everywhere that includes Freeney but the entire Colt Def is needs to smashed.

    If you want to follow KK down the road of idiocy be my guest but consider the source!

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I’m just a semi-pro blogger, but this is exactly what I’d do. Run it straight at Freeney & Session.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Madden Generation knows nothing.

    Arm strength? Quickness?

    Performance is all that matters.

    Dink and dunk vs. vertical? You can do both…Gannon, Young, Garcia, racked up huge yards and won games.

    So many people here with an agenda hoping for street cred while trying to be the next Jim Rome of the blog…wow, such lofty goals.

    How’s this, a boat load of Strong armed QBS have failed as have “intangible” QBs with weak arms.

    For those on a crusade, I’m tossing your comments in the “TBU” (True but Useless” file and bypassing your chest pounding….

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain


    you are confusing cover 2 with tampa 2, Regardless of the version both defenses keep the safeties deep, forcing the offense to throw underneath the deep safeties


    bone up a little, and be informed

  • SilverNBlackPA


    I’d run it at Freeney because he’s an average run defender and Clint Session is a light, oft-injured weakside ‘backer. Pat Angerer on the strongside is a much better run defender than Session and Mathis can be a bit more disciplined at staying home against the run.

  • Just Win Baby

    Remember when Wheatley racked up a bunch of yards against Tampa and their fast sideline to sideline defense a few years back? It is still the model for how to beat a fast defensive front. Run it straight down their throats and forget about trying to bounce it to the outside too much. I can see Michael Bush being the key to winning this week moreso than McFadden. No matter who runs the ball, the best way to beat Indy is to score on long drives and keep their offense off the field as much as possible. I think this is a good match-up for the Raiders as long as Cable and Hue get some help from the D.

  • Anderson

    Im happy to be a Raider fan once again I think we came along way but without veteran leadership at receiver and Oand D limemen that come to play every down I don’t think we’ll go much further next year. I am a JC fan and think given a couple of years in the same system he will be awsome. Stanford Rout must go, he’s so bad I call him toast (gets burned every game). Manning will pick us apart Sunday if he doesn’t get help. We also need some ball hawks on D. Maybe Washington will throw Haysworth to us since they can’t us him. Wow I must be happy to be a fan I have my Raiders hook on today!