By Steve Corkran
Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 4:10 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Breshanan knows what’s on everyone’s minds these days. He can’t run from the fact that the Raiders are being run on to the tune of 5.9 yards per carry.
Bresnahan is taking a proactive approach, rather than to try rationalize or place a positive spin on a glaring issue.
“When you give up 216 yards rushing (Buffalo) and 184 yards rushing (New England) in two games, it’s bad,” Bresnahan said. “So, do you panic? Do you push the panic button? No. We go back and we evaluate what we do, how we do it, the experience our guys have within our scheme.”
In doing so, Breshanan said, he is certain that he has the players on the roster to get the job done.
“No doubt in my mind, whatsoever,” Bresnahan said. “No doubt in my mind. And the way we practiced today, if we carry that to the field Sunday, I will be excited. Because, I’m telling you, the resolve of these players and the commitment they have right now is impressive.”
The Houston Texans are second in the AFC in rushing, behind the Raiders, and fourth overall — the Raiders are No. 1 at an average of 178.5 yards per game — and that’s precisely the kind of test Bresnahan’s welcome, and feels his players need after being gouged by the Patriots last Sunday.
The emphasis has been on discipline in practice this week, he said. That’s critical, especially when the Raiders commit eight players near the line of scrimmage against the run, one missed tackle turns a short gain into a long one, oftentimes with nothing but a safety between the ballcarrier and the goal line.
Bresnahan said he takes comfort in seeing how well his players have responded to the criticism. No one is pointing a finger, the players are asking for ways to get better and everyone is accountable.
Coach Hue Jackson echoed Bresnahan’s sentiment about no one panicking and everyone keeping things in perspective.
“A week ago (everyone) was all fired up, ‘Boy, here we go, the Raiders are doing some things,’ ” Jackson said. “This week all of a sudden, ‘Boy, you guys can’t stop the run again.’ It’s week to week. It’s what have you done for me this past week? The players understand that. They know that’s how I operate this thing. When it’s good, it’s good. When we need to get better, we need to get better. We need to get better.”
PRYCE ISN’T RIGHT
Jackson confirmed that he had in veteran defensive lineman Trevor Pryce for a visit Thursday. Ultimately, Pryce left without a contract offer because he isn’t sure if he wants to commit to the grind of a 15th NFL season.
“Sometimes, guys see football differently at this stage of their career,” Jackson said. “And making a commitment and having to do it on a high level, you’ve got to make sure you’re all in. Those are decisions people have to make, and they have to do what’s best for them and we have to do what’s best for us.”
With that said, Jackson said Pryce is in good shape and capable of playing still. He remains an option down the road.
Pryce was brought in, in part, because of the injury to defensive end Matt Shaughnessy. The Raiders aren’t sure how long Shaughnessy will be out with the shoulder injury he suffered against the New York Jets on Sept. 25.
Shaughnessy said Friday that he is “week to week” and that he doesn’t want to return to playing because of the fear of making the injury worse.
“I want to play but I know I can’t go out there and risk injuring it even more,” Shaughnessy said. “So, I got to wait until I get better.”
The plan is for Trevor Scott and Jarvis Moss to get added reps in Shaughnessy’s absence.
“It’s great because of the depth we have,” Scott said. “No matter who steps in that spot, they’re going to step up and do their job. We know we’re productive out there. So, we just have to take it from here.”
PRYOR’S SUSPENSION WINDS DOWN
Rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor spent his Friday morning working out aside from his teammates, just as he has since Sept. 3 when his five-game suspension kicked in
That suspension ends Sunday. On Monday, Pryor will be permitted to rejoin his teammates at practice for the first time since he joined the Raiders the final week of training camp.
For the past month or so, Pryor has worked out with two or three members of the Raiders who aren’t on the coaching staff. He has been allowed to attend meetings, learn the playbook and work out at the facility.
Offensive coordinator Al Saunders said Pryor has done an impressive job learning the system and the terminology. Now, he’s eager to see him in action.
“I’m real excited to see him,” Saunders said. “We had him for a few days in training camp. … He has been really upbeat. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.”
The Raiders envision Pryor being their quarterback at some point. Starter Jason Campbell and backup Kyle Boller are the only two quarterbacks on the roster at this time, and they aren’t under contract beyond this season.
The Raiders will be forced to release a player to make room for Pryor on the 53-man roster.
NEW STREAK FOR HUFF
Iron man free safety Michael Huff said he is good to go after missing the Patriots game with an ankle injury. The concussion he also suffered against the Jets on Sept. 25 no longer is an issue.
The missed game ended Huff’s streak of 83 straight games to begin his NFL career. He said he is ready to start a new streak, beginning Sunday against the Texans.
“Oh, yeah, good to go,” Huff said. “One hundred percent this week.”
Adding to Huff’s motivation to play is a return to his native state.
“Anywhere in Texas is a good trip,” Huff said. “I had to buy 30 tickets for this game. No matter where we play in Texas, they’re going to be there. It’s always special to play in your home state, especially all the way out here in California. It’s definitely a big deal.”
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