526

Bob Wylie working magic with Raiders offensive line

Raiders coach Hue Jackson met with Bob Wylie at the Senior Bowl in January. It didn’t take long for Wylie to make a strong impression upon Jackson and earn a job on his staff.
Yet, it wasn’t until today that Wylie was made available to the local media for the first time since he replaced Jim Michalczik. Wylie more than made up for lost time by waxing poetic about everything from his philosophy to the play of his linemen to magic. Yes, magic.
Some might say that what Wylie has accomplished in such a short time is nothing short of magical, given he had no time with his players in the offseason, wasn’t here last season and he had to replace left guard Robert Gallery and right offensive tackle Langston Walker.
The Raiders offensive line has allowed only two sacks in three games — quarterback Jason Campbell tripped on one of those — and it has blocked well enough for running back Darren McFadden to lead the league in rushing.
“He’s everything I thought he’d be, and more,” Jackson said. “I’m really glad he’s here, and he’s done a sensational job. We have a long way to go, and he understands that.”
Wylie has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, given he has coached in the NFL for more than two decades and offensive linemen for even longer.
Center Samson Satele says he is amazed by the magic tricks that Wylie uses during meetings to break the tedium. He said he is even more amazed at how well the offensive line has gelled in such a short period of time.
“Oh, yes, without OTAs and none of that, just the bond that we had,” Satele said. “We started with Wiz at left guard (in the) third preseason game. This is our fourth game, and for us to solidify like this is awesome.”
Stefen Wisniewski is starting as a rookie, Jared Veldheer is at left offensive tackle in only his second season and Khalif Barnes is starting at right tackle for the first time in his seven-year NFL career.
Barnes said what people are seeing in games now is a manifestation of the teachings of Wylie and assistant line coach Steve Wisniewski, as well as hard work during training camp in Napa.
“What we tried to do was work so hard, make it as hard as you can during practice, then when Sunday comes it slows down,” Barnes said. “I wouldn’t say exactly easier but it slows down for you, and if it can slow down for you that’s half the game right there.”
Wylie said the key is getting players to understand the value of leverage. Most players in the NFL play too high, he said. It’s about using the leverage of the upper and lower body, maximizing your strenghts and repetition.
“My whole philosophy of blocking is, you need to create leverage,” Wylie said. “Period. And I don’t care what position. Whether it’s the tight ends, backs, receivers, the whole object of the deal is, the body has two power producing angles. There’s an upper body power angle and there’s a lower body power angle. And it’s the way it’s worked since the good dawn of time. It’s the way your body is constructed, and I try to teach them how the body works.”
Wylie said he hasn’t changed any of his drills since training camp.
“I really just consider myself nuts and bolts, down to earth,” Wylie said. “Nothing fancy, no frills. They know they’re going to carry their lunchpails to work and they’re going to work all day and, at the end of the day, they’re going to leave and when they come back tomorrow, they’re going to the same thing again.”

HUFF MISSES PRACTICE
Free safety Michael Huff was in uniform at practice, but he did not participate, according to Jackson.
Huff was running around during the early part of practice. However, he apparently wasn’t able to participate in full-team drills.
“I’m not going to say it’s a bad sign,” Jackson said. “Obviously, we’re being overly cautious. We have to make sure that he is where he needs to be. We have to put healthy players out there.”
Huff suffered a concussion against the Jets on Sunday and missed most of the game. He passed the mandatory tests for players who suffer a concussion and practiced Wednesday in a limited capacity.
Huff was not available for comment in the locker room during media access.

JACKSON THANKFUL FOR FAN SUPPORT
The Raiders sold out Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. That marks the second sellout in as many games this season and equals the total from the past two seasons combined.
Jackson said the fans’ support is validation that the Raiders are playing a quality brand of football and that people want to see what all the fuss is about.
“It’s tremendous,” Jackson said. “It truly means that the fans are beginning to truly like and understand what we’re doing here. I thank them for that. Our players do and our organization does. Now we need to go out and play Raider football the way we know we can play and give them something to keep screaming about.”

MAYO ON MCFADDEN
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo will be playing against running back Darren McFadden for the first time in his NFL career. Yet, he already knows what to expect.
Mayo played against McFadden in college twice, when Mayo was at Tennessee and McFadden at Arkansas.
“Obviously, he had a great college career,” Mayo said. “Ever since he came in as a freshman, he was a great running back. Great player and he’s very dangerous.”

MITCHELL ON THE MEND
Backup safety Mike Mitchell danced around whether he will play Sunday. Ultimately, Mitchell conceded that he is ready to play and is at the mercy of the trainers and coaches as to whether he will be allowed to go this Sunday.
If Mitchell plays for the first time this season, it’s a strong bet that he will be lined up against Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez.
“He’s very important,” Mitchell said. “Just the fact that he can be back out there playing is great if we need him. He’s a good football player, one of the star players on our team. He brings a lot of energy so if he’s able to go we’re going to stick him out there, that’s for sure.”

FORD READY TO ROLL
Wide receiver/kick returner Jacoby Ford said his injured hamstring is feeling much better and that he is ready to play in a game for the first time since Sept. 12.
“I’ll be on the field,” Ford said. “I definitely will be playing. I don’t know how much, don’t know when. Whenever they want me in there, then I’m going to go.”
Ford fielded kicks Thursday, which means there’s a chance he will take over the job held by Nick Miller and Taiwan Jones, respectively, the past two games.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Yeah, I think the defensive backs really believe it’s real. ‘Show me another trick, coach. How’d you do that?’ — Wylie on the effect of his magic tricks on his players

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

  • Share/Bookmark
45

Official injury report for Raiders-Patriots game

Wednesday Participation Thursday Participation Friday Participation Game Status

Haynesworth, Albert DT Back Limited Participation DNP
Hernandez, Aaron TE Knee DNP DNP
Vollmer, Sebastian OT Back DNP DNP
Wright, Mike DL Concussion DNP DNP
Arrington, Kyle CB Chest Limited Participation Limited Participation
Bodden, Leigh CB Groin Limited Participation Limited Participation
Chung, Patrick S Hand Limited Participation Limited Participation
Dowling, Ras-I CB Hip Limited Participation Limited Participation
Ellis, Shaun DL Knee Limited Participation Limited Participation
Guyton, Gary LB Hamstring Limited Participation Limited Participation
Mankins, Logan G Illness DNP Limited Participation
Mayo, Jerod LB Thigh Limited Participation Limited Participation
Mesko, Zoltan P Left Knee Limited Participation Limited Participation
Price, Taylor WR Hamstring Limited Participation Limited Participation
Wendell, Ryan OL Calf Limited Participation Limited Participation
Barrett, Josh S Thumb Full Participation Full Participation
Fletcher, Dane LB Thumb Full Participation Full Participation

Oakland Raiders
Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Participation Thursday Participation Friday Participation Game Status

Brown, Ricky LB Concussion DNP DNP
Huff, Michael S Concussion Limited Participation DNP
Johnson, Chris CB Hamstring DNP DNP
Murphy, Louis WR Groin DNP DNP
Reece, Marcel RB Ankle DNP DNP
Shaughnessy, Matt DE Shoulder DNP DNP
Campbell, Jason QB Foot Limited Participation Limited Participation
Chekwa, Chimidi CB Hamstring Limited Participation Limited Participation
Ford, Jacoby WR Hamstring Limited Participation Limited Participation
Mitchell, Michael S Knee Limited Participation Limited Participation
Boyd, Jerome S Knee Full Participation Full Participation
Giordano, Matt S Shoulder Full Participation Full Participation
Groves, Quentin LB Quadricep Full Participation Full Participation
McFadden, Darren RB Shoulder/Groin Full Participation Full Participation
Van Dyke, DeMarcus CB Knee Full Participation Full Participation

Bold indicates a change from the previous day’s report.

PRACTICE PARTICIPATION
DNP – Did Not Participate in Practice
Limited Participation = Less than 100% of a player’s normal repetitions
Full Participation = 100% of a player’s normal repetitions

GAME STATUS DEFINITIONS:
Out = Definitely will not play
Doubtful = At least 75% chance will not play
Questionable = 50-50 chance will not play
Probable = Virtual certainty player

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

  • Share/Bookmark
32

Sunday’s Raiders-Patriots game sold out

A Raiders official confirmed that Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots is sold out. Therefore, it will be televised locally.
The Raiders also sold out their home-opener against the New York Jets last Sunday. That gives them sellouts in back-to-back games for the first time since late in the 2008 season.
The Raiders sold out only one game each of the past two seasons.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

  • Share/Bookmark
140

WR/KR Jacoby Ford back working on kick returns

Jacoby Ford spent most of his first day back working on getting back in the swing of playing wide receiver. On Thursday, he added kick return to his workload.
Ford missed the past two games with a hamstring strain. He returned the bulk of the kicks in practice today, as Nick Miller, Denarius Moore and Taiwan Jones looked on.
Toward the end, Jones returned a kick. Ford returned kicks in the regular-season opener. Miller replaced him against the Buffalo Bills. Jones handled the role against the New York Jets.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson said Wednesday that he will consider using Ford on kicks against the New England Patriots on Sunday. Jones is the logical candidate to return kicks if Jackson opts against taxing Ford in his first game back.

Free safety Michael Huff is at practice for the second straight day. That bodes well for his playing Sunday and not being bothered anymore by the concussion he suffered against the Jets.

Fullback Marcel Reece (ankle), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), wide receiver Louis Murphy (groin/hamstring), linebacker Ricky Brown (concussion) and cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring) also are not at practice.
As of now, it appears a long-shot that Reece, Murphy and Johnson will be healthy enough to play Sunday. Brown won’t be cleared to practice until he passes the mandatory tests for players who suffer a concussion. Shaughnessy’s status is uncertain.

Three officials are presiding over practice once again. They have been out here for the Wednesday and Thursday practices the past three weeks on the heels of the Raiders committing 15 penalties in their first game.
Some might say the added attention is paying off. The Raiders cut down that figure to eight against the Bills and seven against the Jets.

Kicker Sebastian Janikowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for Septempber.
He tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal against the Broncos. He also had a 54-yarder off the dirt against the Jets.
Janikowski is the only player in NFL history with two field goals of 60 yards or longer. His first one came against the Cleveland Browns in 2009, when he connected from 61 yards.
In somewhat of a shocker, Moore wasn’t even considered for AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month despite two impressive games.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

  • Share/Bookmark
195

Live chat with WR Denarius Moore on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Wide receiver Denarius Moore is the most exciting rookie the Raiders have had in quite some time. He burst on the scene early in training camp by making the spectacular look routine every day in practice.
People began taking notice once they were able to see Moore’s exploits in Oakland’s four exhibition games. Once the regular season arrived, Moore caught the attention of people outside the Bay Area.
Now, he is on everyone’s radar, if not their fantasy teams. I am pleased to announce that Denarius Moore, a fifth-round pick out of Tennessee, has agreed to take part in a live chat Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until he runs out of answers.
So, please, sign in early, submit your questions and enjoy what the engaging receiver has to say on an array of topics. If he handles this assignment the way he does his roles with the Raiders, it’s sure to be a smashing success.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

  • Share/Bookmark
230

Raiders seeking ways to slow down Patriots WR Welker

There is plenty of talk this week about the Raiders and New England Patriots renewing their fierce rivalry, the Tuck Rule Game, quarterback Tom Brady’s first game at the Coliseum in nine years, defensive tackle Richard Seymour facing his old team and the Raiders primed to send shockwaves through the league with another surprising victory.
However, it’s one of the smallest players from both teams that is garnering the most attention. That would be Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, the league’s leading receiver in terms of receptions (31) and yards (458).
“Oh, my, god!” Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. “He is uncoverable. He is uncoverable! He had 16 catches last week. Are you kidding me? Man! Can we can get him not to show up this week? He is one of the catalysts for this team. We got to get this guy slowed down. He is as good as there is. And he’s not a big guy. But he plays big. And I respect that.”
Welker caught 16 passes for 217 yards against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, and he is in the midst of another prolific season as the focal point of the Patriots’ top-ranked passing attack.
Jackson wouldn’t say how the Raiders intend to cover Welker. However, it’s a safe bet that cornerback Stanford Routt will be lined up on Welker a fair amount of the time.
“All I know is, that I play left corner,” Routt said. “And whoever lines up out there, that’s who I got to cover.”
Actually, left corner is where Routt lines up most of the time. He has a history of playing against the slot receiver from his days as the nickel back.
He guarded Patriots receiver Deion Branch in the slot when the Raiders played the Patriots in the regular-season opener in 2005, Routt’s first-ever NFL game.
Routt said whoever covers Welker is going to have his hands full because of the way Welker and quarterback Tom Brady are so in synch.
“The main thing is that he and Brady got such a connection,” Routt said. “It’s tough because he’s Brady’s favorite target. … They’re all on the same page, so it’s tough. You definitely got to get your hands on them and play up close to the line of scrimmage against guys like that. But, no matter what, anytime they’re feeding somebody extensively the way they do him, it’s always going to be a tough task to handle.”

RAIDERS REELING FROM INJURIES
The Raiders welcomed back wide receiver Jacoby Ford from a hamstring injury after a two-week absence and safety Mike Mitchell, who missed most of the past two months with a knee injury.
However, they are far from healthy, as evidenced by Jackson taking quite awhile to read off the injury report at the start of his post-practice news conference.
“Injury report. One for the ages for me:
Ford, hamstring, limited
Murphy, groin, (did not participate)
Mcfadden, groin, full
Reese, ankle, DNP
Campbell, heel, limited
Brown, concussion, DNP
Groves, quad contusion, full
Shaughnessy, shoulder DNP
Boyd, knee, full
Chekwa, hamstring, limited
Guardano , shoulder, full
Huff, concussion, ankle, body, everything, limited
Johnson, hamstring, DNP
Mitchell, knee, limited
Van Dyke, knee, full.”
It’s difficult to gauge which of those players will be available for the Patriots on Sunday. Jackson said he won’t rule out using Mitchell, even though Mitchell will get in only three practices and hasn’t played in a game of any kind this season.
“He is one of the toughest competitors I have ever been around,” Jackson said. “I know he likes to play football. It was great to see that 34 out there running around and making plays. But we’ll be smart. We’ll see where he is. We just have to monitor it as we go along this week.”

TUCK RULE GAME REVISITED
Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour finds himself the center of attention most games as the dominant figure on Oakland’s defensive line.
He is in even higher demand by the media this week for his former ties to the Patriots and his participation in the AFC Playoffs game between the Patriots in Raiders during the 2001 season, when Seymour’s Patriots beat the Raiders in overtime, in part because of a controversial ruling that turned a fumble the Raiders recovered into a Patriots incomplete pass.
“I was on the opposite side of it, so I don’t have a comment on it,” Seymour said. “I don’t have a comment. What’s funny is that me and Wisniewski, coach (Steve) Wisniewski, we were lined up against each other that whole game.”
Wisniewski was the Raiders left guard in what turned out to be his final NFL game. He now is the Raiders assistant offensive line coach.
In general terms, Seymour said he has fond memories of the game that launched the Patriots dynasty.
“Well, it was a fun game,” Seymour said. “It was back and forth. In the snow, a playoff game. Obviously, it’s a big game, and I was just fortunate to be on the right side of it. But it’s a play that will always be in NFL history, and I can say I was a part of that game.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady laughed when asked about the play in a conference call with Bay Area media.
“You’ll never get the right answer out of me that you’re looking for,” Brady said. “So, that’s the way it goes.”
Speaking of Brady, he and Seymour are close friends. That brings about the awkward possibility of Seymour crossing paths with Brady in the Patriots backfield Sunday.
Sure enough, Brady and Seymour discussed the possibility during the offseason and reached a gentlemen’s agreement of sorts, according to Brady.
“I was hoping that day would never come when he was here because I know what kind of player he was for us,” Brady said. “I saw him this offseason. He promised me that if he got to close to me, he wouldn’t take me down too hard. I’ll see if he lives up to that.”

BELICHICK ON SEYMOUR
Seymour says he was blindsided by the Patriots trading him to the Raiders just before the 2009 season. It’s no secret that Seymour has had this game in his crosshairs since the schedule came out.
“It’s hard to get a win in this league,” Seymour said. “It’s a competitive, tough, league and we just want to follow up last week with a win. And that’s our ultimate goal. It isn’t me against New England, it’s the Raiders against New England. I just want to have the Black Hole rocking again.”
Belichick said in a conference call that Seymour is the kind of player that you don’t replace.
“Top-level players, you never get the same guy,” Belichick said. “You construct other parts of your team. Even if you find a guy to play that position, they play it a little bit differently, so I don’t think you replace those kind of players. You add players in other areas or players with different skills. Obviously, we did that with the draft choice we got this year, but they’re different players.”
As for what he thinks of Seymour’s play this season?
“He played some pretty good football for us here,” Belichick said. “He’s playing well for the Raiders. I don’t know. He’s a good player.”

PATRIOTS AND RAIDERS TRADES
In recent years, the Patriots and Raiders have become favorite trading partners. The numerous trades involved the Raiders trading or acquiring players such as Seymour, receiver Randy Moss, defensive end Derrick Burgess, offensive tackle Mario Henderson, Doug Gabriel, and a slew of others.
It’s nothing more than the Patriots and the Raiders having a good relationship and trusting each other when it comes to moving players and draft picks, according to Belichick.
“I guess it just worked out for both teams that way,” Belichick said. “No really set formula on that. I’m sure, we worked with other teams, they’ve worked with other teams. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. There’s open lines of communication and if there is something there where both clubs feel like they can help each other and there’s a deal to made, and if there isn’t you just move on. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
The Patriots selected offensive tackle Nate Solder with the 2011 first-round pick they received from the Raiders in exchange for Seymour.
Yet, that’s not how Belichick views the trade.
“We didn’t know we were getting him when we traded Richard,” Belichick said. “We knew what the value was; we didn’t know what the player was. In both cases, we did what was best for our football team. That’s really what it came down to. I know they’re related, but in a sense they’re independent, too.”

CAMPBELL’S COMFORT LEVEL WITH O-LINEJackson says he was confident all along in the players that comprise his offensive line.
Never mind that it took him until late in training camp to announce that Jared Veldheer, Stefen Wisniewski, Samson Satele, Cooper Carlisle and Khalif Barnes were the starters. He wants everyone to believe that he knew all along who his five best linemen were.
Maybe so, but he rotated other linemen in and out of the first-team in practices and games before settling upon his starting unit. That made it difficult for Campbell and others to get a strong feel for what to expect.
Campbell said Wednesday that it took him until late in camp to feel comfortable with the current group of linemen.
“I would say probably the third preseason game, when we got a chance to play against the Saints and all the different multiple looks that they were giving us, the different blitzes, and we were able to pick a lot of them up,” Campbell said. “That’s when you see, as a quarterback, that we’ve definitely improved as an offensive line unit.”
Center Samson Satele sets the tone as the person who barks out the signals. The others do their part by relaying their intentions to each other, especially when they see the defense back out of a particular look and into a new one.
“The one thing they do very well is communicate,” Campbell said. “That’s very important because everyone has to be on the same page, from the linemen to the running backs to the tight ends and to the quarterback, as far as having a complete communication and knowing, who’s got their guy.”

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

  • Share/Bookmark