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Run defense remains topic A among Raiders

Gap integrity, discipline, attention to detail and responsibility are phrases being thrown around more than footballs at the Raiders year-round facility in Alameda this week.
That’s what happens when you’re fresh from a game in which you allow 183 yards rushing, and you are last in the league at an average of 5.9 yards per carry.
As I write, the players are getting an earful from defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan on the proper ways to defend against the Houston Texans’ famed zone-blocking scheme, the one used to great success against the Raiders by the Denver Broncos for so many years.
The point has been hammered home during practice, as well. Coach Hue Jackson said he is spending more time overseeing the defense.
What needs to be done isn’t a great secret, he said.
“It’s a matter of going to get the guy with the ball, get off blocks, go and get the guy with the ball and take the guy down and take the guy down hard,” Jackson said. “Over the last two days, we’ve done a good job with that, getting better at it.”
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour played end and tackle during his eight seasons with the New England Patriots. It’s conceivable that the Raiders could move Seymour to end and insert run-stopping specialist John Henderson into the lineup in Seymour’s regular spot.
If that’s what it takes, Seymour said, he is up to playing end again.
“Wherever they ask me to go, that’s what I’ll do,” Seymour said. “If they ask me to play on the nose, I’ll play on the nose. If they ask me to be on the end, I’ll be on the end. Wherever I’m needed, I’m willing to go. It can’t be, ‘Hey put a guy over here to stop this’ because it’s all over the place. If everyone takes care of their responsibility and take care of their job, then we’ll be fine.”
The problem might be widespead, but it’s also fixable, Seymour said. Players aren’t trying to do too much, they just aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do from time to time.
“It’s just a matter of taking care of your responsibilities,” Seymour said. “My job is the B gap, take care of the B gap. As simple as it sounds, that’s the defense that we play, a one-gap responsibility defense. You have to take care of your responsibility, first and foremost. That’s what we preach around here, do your job. If everyone takes the same approach we won’t have any problems.”
The Raiders are expecting the Texans to run early and often Sunday. Why not? Jackson said. He would do the same thing if he were playing against a Raiders defense that allows 136 yards per game.

NOT SO HAPPY RETURNS
Only one of the Raiders 11 kick returns has yielded field position beyond their own 20-yard line the first four games.
Nick Miller, Taiwan Jones, Jacoby Ford, Rock Cartwrigtht. All have returned kicks this season. None has figured out how to get past the Raiders 25.
To hear Jackson tell it, there’s a list of factors conspiring against the Raiders reaping the kinds of results they did last season, when Ford returned three kicks for touchdowns and routinely got past the Raiders 20.
“The ball’s been kicked pretty well by the other team, hang time, balls been kicked deep, and we’ve got to continue to block better,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to give those guys a little bit more opportunity if we decide to bring it out.”
Jones and Ford returned kicks in practice Wednesday. It remains to be seen who will handle that duty against the Texans.

MOVING ON, NOT LOOKING BACK
Earlier in his career, it might have been difficult for quarterback Jason Campbell to put behind him a game like last Sunday, when he had two passes intercepted against the Patriots.
That no longer is the case. As evidence, offensive coordinator Al Saunders points to the way Campbell has looked in practice this week.
“I know one thing he’s had two of his best days of practice these last two days,” Saunders said. “And Jason is very, very competitive. This kid has taken a team to the National Championship in college, he’s taken a high school team to a championship. Everywhere he’s been he’s been a successful player.
“In that position, if you don’t have the ability to put a play behind you and go on to the next play, it’s real difficult. But he has an ability to do that.”
Campbell said he had no difficulty letting go of the frustration that came with a second-quarter interception in the end zone, when the Raiders were in position to take the lead.
The fact the Raiders bounced back from that interception and wound up with 507 yards offense showed that they moved on, Campbell said.
“You have to shake it off and move forward,” Campbell said. “We came back in the second half, we got the ball back and we went right back down the field. … We responded really well to come back in the second half and try to go down and score a touchdown. … Guys are able to put it behind us. I know I have to as a quarterback.”

RECEIVERS GALORE
Wide receiver Louis Murphy said he feels good after two straight days of practice in his return from a groin surgery. Whether he makes his 2011 debut Sunday remains to be seen.
Murphy said he feels as if he’s ready to go. The decision won’t be made until Sunday morning, during pre-game warm-ups.
Yet, at some point, the Raiders are going to have to find a way to incorporate Murphy and five other wide receivers into the offense.
Saunders said the key is designing certain packages of plays for each receiver and playing to each player’s strengths.
“We have the availability of some players that will give us an opportunity to do different kinds of things and typically you will have different packages for those,” Saunders said. “We try not to ask a player to do what he can’t do and accentuate the positives of his abilities. So there will be different packages for the players that we have.”
Murphy was Oakland’s most-productive wide receiver each of the past two seasons. Yet, that was before the Raiders drafted Denarius Moore and signed veteran Derek Hagan.
Campbell now has more talented receivers than he did last season. Murphy said he is confident that he won’t get lost in the shuffle and become the odd-man out, given he hasn’t played in a game of any kind since last season.
“I just let my actions speak on that end,” Murphy said. “Other than that, guys know what I’ve done around here. It’s nothing big. I just want to go out there and help the team.”

INJURIES UPDATE
Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), fullback Marcel Reece (ankle), linebacker Ricky Brown (concussion) and tight end Richard Gordon (hand) missed practice Thursday, and they haven’t practiced at all this week.
Jackson typically is hesitant to shed much light, if any, on the status of his players in the days before a game. However, he let slip with a rather telling remark about how he views the status of players who miss practice the week before a game.
“If a guy doesn’t practice, (people) have seen how we go about,” Jackson said. “If a guy doesn’t practice, it’s hard to help this football team.”
Translation: it’s unlikely that any of the aforementioned injured players will play against the Texans.
Jackson also said that some of those players are “close” to returning to action, while others are “a long ways away.”
He refused to attach names to either category.
Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa attempted to practice Wednesday with a sore hamstring, but he suffered a setback, he said. His status for Sunday is questionable, at best.
If Johnson and Chekwa can’t play, rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke and Joe Porter will get added playing time. Jackson intimated that Van Dyke might even start opposite Stanford Routt.
“Absolutely,” Jackson said. “Next man up. Hey, throw him in there. Let’s go.”

TONGA ITCHING FOR DEBUT
Fullback Manase Tonga spent last season on the Raiders practice squad after getting released at the end of training camp. He finally might get his shot at playing in a regular-season game for the first time.
Tonga said he received a majority of the reps at fullback in practice Thursday in the absence of Reece and Gordon. He should know Friday whether the Raiders intend to promote him from the practice squad.
“I haven’t heard anything yet but I’ll make sure I’m ready just in case,” Tonga said.
All this waiting has made Tonga eager to take it out on someone in a game.
“Whenever that day comes, I’ll make sure that first person is going to feel it,” Tonga said.
Jackson said Cartwright or one of the tight ends, presumably Brandon Myers or David Ausberry, also are options as a blocking back.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • Interesting statement by Hue, stating he would be overseeing the defense more.

  • TerrapinRaider

    Re-watching the Pats game.

    Man, I’m only on the 2nd series of the Pats possession and McClain really is not playing good run defense. Not attacking the line or running to the gap with efficiency …looks like he’s lacking instincts. A number of these runs so far is him not getting it done.

  • Otis60

    I hope Hue was being serious about that statement Kool. If a person was playing devil’s advocate he could say why would a head coach need to make a statement like that ?

  • Thec07

    DKnight007 Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    I want to see Chuck B blitz McClain up the middle more let him blow up the Center or Guards and allow him to hit right off the bat!
    ++++++++==

    Me too however, I doubt he is capable…Look at him when he tries to blitz, day late and a dollar short.

  • Otis60

    I hope McClain is a Nmamdi and a late bloomer instead of being a disappointment.

  • Thec07

    Not attacking the line or running to the gap with efficiency …looks like he’s lacking instincts
    +++++++=

    yep…He is not in the mold of a great mlb…

  • Thec07

    Only hope for mccrussell is we move him to SS or FS to take advantage of his “covering skills”

  • Thec07

    Otis60 Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:14 pm
    You’re right Knight, its not all on RoMac because the Raiders run defense has been bad for a long time but he was drafted to do a job.

    +++++++++++

    worst mlb in RAIDER history…

  • Thec07

    Kirk > mccrussell

  • Otis

    It’s an interesting statement, and, for him to say that publicly………….he feels he’s not going to get in trouble, or, he’s taking the heat off Al.

    Al’s gotta let it happen, surely he must know, this is probably his last chance.

  • Davy Jones

    Taking the long view on the Raiders this year, after this game they have an easy stretch: Cleveland, KC, bye week, Denver- all at home.

    In that stretch, they need to keep focus on winning those three games and not falling into a trap, AND getting healthy while playing at home with a week off.

    Because after the Denver game, the going gets tough. San Diego and Minn on the road, Chicago at home, Miami and Green Bay on the road, Detroit at Home, KC on the road, San Diego at home.

    They need a split with San Diego, to sweep the other AFC teams, to beat win the games that people would expect (Minnesota and Miami) and at least one that people wouldn’t expect (I like Chicago at home. Detroit looks nasty, believe it or not, and GB in December? Forget about it.)

    Taking all that into consideration, this Houston game is crucial. They’ve got to launch into the easy part of their schedule on a roll, so they can get healthy and explode into the home stretch. Come on Raidaz!

  • Thec07

    Interesting statement by Hue, stating he would be overseeing the defense more.

    ++++++++===

    The question is who’s Responsibilities is he taking, Coach Davis or Coach Bresh?

  • Otis60

    Kool, I am purely guessing but my gut feeling is Al knows this team and Hue are onto something special and I think he is willing to give in a little.

  • Otis60 Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Kool, I am purely guessing but my gut feeling is Al knows this team and Hue are onto something special and I think he is willing to give in a little.
    —————————————
    I sure hope so.

  • Otis60

    Thec, I can’t say if McClain is our worst MLB ever but I hope since he has a rep as a film fiend he will improve. He seems to be like DHB, motivated but not quite getting it. I always have hope for guys with great attitudes.

  • Otis60

    Hue is smart. He is giving Al plenty of credit. In fact he even gave a shout out to Amy so I think Al will give him a longer rope than he would others.

  • TerrapinRaider

    That INT was all on Campbell. Can’t blame DHB for that. He wasn’t even eligible OOB. And if he came in it was still an INT. One of those situations where QB has too much time and his mental clock is saying over time.

  • Davy Jones

    Corkran said in last week’s chat that he hadn’t seen or heard anything from anyone that would indicate friction between Hue and Al Davis.

    Hue is getting results on offense. He knows it, Al knows it, and non-haters know it. The team is getting better through the draft and the defense will come along.

    Hue knew the score as well as or better than all the anti-Al posters when he took the job. He knows how the team works, for better and worse.

    I know it’s pretty futile around here to say this, but how about not looking for rifts that aren’t there?

    Plenty to root for this year, how about giving Al a break and talking about Darren McFadden, the best Raider player since Bo Jackson?

  • TerrapinRaider

    He had happy feet back there, wasn’t relaxed. His mind was telling him one thing but he wanted to do another. You can tell. All on Camp that one.

  • Thec07

    Otis60 Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:37 pm
    Thec, I can’t say if McClain is our worst MLB ever but I hope since he has a rep as a film fiend he will improve. He seems to be like DHB, motivated but not quite getting it. I always have hope for guys with great attitudes.

    ++++++++++==

    I have more hope in the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, than i have in this guy being anything more than a SS or FS…

    He lacks EVERTHING a MLB/Mike would need
    Ball instincts
    Mean streak
    Attacker
    Run smasher
    Great blitzer
    Feared hitter
    Go side line to side line
    Allways around the ball

  • JB

    I’m submitting for the goofy name list:

    • Rolando McWhiffer

    don’t forget JaBustus…

  • JB

    If Rolando Bosworth can’t get his act together quickly and become a real “Mike” MLB then kick him to the curb and let him go out knocking on doors with his fellow whatever they are called. When/if he gets to my door I’ll just tell him that “I gave at the office” and “oh by the way, he’s right up there with JaLoser”. If nothing else, we seem to have perfected the ability to pick 1st round BUSTS. It very well may be that he might be fine in a 3-4 but in a 4-3 he’s out of his league – at least so far. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was hitting the purple drank. He seems out of condition, he runs out of gas, he tackles poorly, takes bad angles, can’t extricate himself from blocks, all things a LB let alone MLB should not have. I’m not sure he will ever be a good or great MLB. That position requires a level of crazy & intensity and I’m not sure his religion allows that. I’m thinking we use our 1st round pick next year on the best 4-3 “Mike” MLB out there. The name of Vontaze Burfict has been mentioned as a possibility. He looks good on some of his YouTube highlights. kind of the crazed dog we’re looking for.
    Check him out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvcsffTQojI

  • Otis60

    I am trying to think who would be a worse MLB than McClain and it comes down to Morrison or whoever was the MLB in the 1961 or 1962 teams. At this point in his career you are probably right Thec but I still have hopes he pulls a “Nnamdi.”

  • Davy Jones Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I know it’s pretty futile around here to say this, but how about not looking for rifts that aren’t there?

    Plenty to root for this year, how about giving Al a break and talking about Darren McFadden, the best Raider player since Bo Jackson?
    ——————————————
    Why don’t you tell what your children what to say and think. We’re grown azzed fans in here, going back many years.

  • Otis60

    In defense of McClain, he may not be as good as people thought he would be but unlike Russell he seems to take his craft more seriously.

  • Davy Jones

    KoolKell Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:43 pm
    Damn, how about that O-Line #1, geez!

    http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&role=TM&offensiveStatisticCategory=OFFENSIVE_LINE&tabSeq=2&qualified=true

    ====================================

    Interesting statistic, KK. Says good things and bad things.

    Definitely puts a spot light on the passing game’s fits and starts and some poor play by the O in the red zone. Can’t blame any of that on the O line . . .

    But it’s mostly REALLY GOOD news. This O line is young and is going to be good for a long time, gonna open it up for DMAC for a long time.

  • Otis60

    Don’t worry Davy, If the Raiders go 10-6 or better, Al will be given plenty of breaks.

  • KoolKell Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Otis

    It’s an interesting statement, and, for him to say that publicly………….he feels he’s not going to get in trouble, or, he’s taking the heat off Al.

    Al’s gotta let it happen, surely he must know, this is probably his last chance.
    —————-
    OMFG, KK has actually taken a sip of the kool-aid. Way to go! BRAVO!!

  • Davy Jones

    KoolKell Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Why don’t you tell what your children what to say and think. We’re grown azzed fans in here, going back many years.

    ======================================

    And to think that I just complemented you. Take some of your own medicine and quit telling all us grown azzed fans what we should think about Al Davis.

    You do it more than me. Fact.

  • JB

    Otis60 Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    In defense of McClain, he may not be as good as people thought he would be but unlike Russell he seems to take his craft more seriously.
    *********************

    So, does that mean he’s just seriously bad?

  • KK drinking the AD has turned the corner kool-aid, letting Hue “meddle” with the D now. I love you KK!!

  • Don’t get drunk on the Al Davis kool-aid KK, take it easy, the stuff is potent, but oh so sweet.

  • Otis60

    One Reece comes back and DMAC is 100 percent the Raiders will be a force. Since the O line lacks experience they can only get better.

  • What an actually intelligent article this afternoon, some actual insight even.
    Ring out did him self. Bravo Ring!

  • TerrapinRaider

    OMG. That run by Ridley was horrid for McClain. He could’ve hit that gap but he slowed up for the blocker and waited on Branch.

  • Otis60

    #331 yes for now. He is motivated so I have hope he will turn a corner. Like I have said before, if this defense just plays below average or even better, average, we will be fine thanks to our O.

  • Otis60

    #336 it has been mentioned by others, but it seems McClain is doing too much thinking and not playing enough instinctive ball.

  • HayesDaze37

    Ahhh… It’s a great night to be a Raiders fan. Isn’t it?!

    DVD Starting? No drop-off from Chimdi…they’re both going to mature at the position nicely. Bresnahan was responsible for Chimdi getting schooled on so many plays last week — not Tom Brady. Routt should’ve been on Wes like a blanket. DVD’s a future star at CB. Next man up.

    Gap Discipline?? What a novel concept.

  • MiamiRaider78

    I think Rod Woodson could shape DVD into a great corner. In preseason all DVD wasnt doing correct- getting his head turned around in time while the ball was approaching…looked great blanketing the wr. Aren’t you supposed to wait until the receivers eyes light up and then you attempt to make a play on the ball? He’ll learn in due time! the U! Go Raiders!

  • anhdazman

    Houston, Kelly, Henderson and Seymour. Heck yeah lets give it a try. More beef on 1st and 2nd down to get after the RBs. Why haven’t we given this a try earlier? Obvious passing down, put Wimbley, Bryant, Scott and Moss in there. We need to do some big changes to stop the run. Our base defense isn’t getting anything done.

  • qodrn

    Week One: Ghostraiders – exact score
    Week Two: Sullivan44 – closest
    Week Three: Pretty Rick – closest
    Week Four: Sullivan44

    860Todd Christensen Raiders 38 , Texans 24
    909RaiderLifer RAIDERS–34 ARMADILLO EATERS–31
    antispy3 Raiders 31 Texans 27
    CDERaider Raiders 27 Texans 19
    Chris in NY Raiders 27, Texans 17
    DeuceDeuce Raiders – 27 Texans – 24
    DMAC 31-28 Raiders
    fingers Raiders 23….Texas …20
    ghostraiders Raiders 27 Texans 23… awesome win!!
    Method To My Madness Raiders 35 Texans 17
    Oakland Raiders [BREAKING NEWS] blog on the high seas Oakland 38 Houston 17
    Otis60 Raiders 34 Texans 30
    qodrn Raiders 38 Texans 35
    r8eray 31-17 Raiders
    raiderkoolaid Raiders 31 Houston 24
    RaiderFanFromJersey Raiders 38, Texans 27
    RaiderRetribution Raiders 24 – Houston 13
    RaiderRockstar Oakland thugs 20 Houston Boots 17
    SilverNBlackPA Raiders 38 – Texans 34
    Steve Corkran: High-scoring game, with the Texans winning unless Darren McFadden is healthy and churning up a ton of yardage.
    Sullivan44 Houston 24, Raiders 20.
    TEXANFAN TEXANS 34 Raiders 0

  • UCLA Raiders

    If Rolando Bosworth can’t get his act together quickly and become a real “Mike” MLB then kick him to the curb and let him go out knocking on doors with his fellow whatever they are called. When/if he gets to my door I’ll just tell him that “I gave at the office” and “oh by the way, he’s right up there with JaLoser”. If nothing else, we seem to have perfected the ability to pick 1st round BUSTS. It very well may be that he might be fine in a 3-4 but in a 4-3 he’s out of his league – at least so far. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was hitting the purple drank. He seems out of condition, he runs out of gas, he tackles poorly, takes bad angles, can’t extricate himself from blocks, all things a LB let alone MLB should not have. I’m not sure he will ever be a good or great MLB. That position requires a level of crazy & intensity and I’m not sure his religion allows that. I’m thinking we use our 1st round pick next year on the best 4-3 “Mike” MLB out there. The name of Vontaze Burfict has been mentioned as a possibility. He looks good on some of his YouTube highlights. kind of the crazed dog we’re looking for.
    Check him out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvcsffTQojI
    ——————-
    Agreed 100%
    Ro Bozzworth. Perfect .
    On paper and in college Ro Bozworth was a beast. Won Botkus trophy just like Patrick Willis. Ro Bozworth ran a respectable 4.67 40 dash time. But he now runs sideline to sideline like a 5.0 40 guy. And does everything wrong as you mentioned. Man I wa so hoping we get our stud MLB like niners and not to have to deal w this weak guy. Ro Bozworth makes me have fond memories of captain Kirk who’s now a third stringer in Buffalo. Wow.

  • ghostraiders

    Michael bush interview comming up on the wheel.. 95.7..