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Coach Jackson senses ‘urgency, intensity’ in players

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Wednesday’s practice had a different feel to it, unlike any the Raiders have had the past four or five weeks, according to coach Hue Jackson.
It’s all about the Raiders sensing what Jackson calls the “urgency and intensity” of the situation facing them with three games to play in the regular season.
“The margin for error is gone,” Jackson said. “There is no more.”
Indeed. The Denver Broncos lead the Raiders in the AFC West by one game. The Raiders either need to finish ahead of the Broncos or have the Broncos lose to the Kansas City Chiefs, if they finish with identical records, to win the division.
That’s a far cry from where the Raiders were two games ago, when they led the Broncos by one game with five to play. The Broncos won both those games. The Raiders lost to the Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers by a combined score of 80-30.
Jackson expects the Raiders team that won three games in a row to show up Sunday, not the one that lost the past two games.
“It was awesome,” Jackson said of practice Wednesday. “I mean, it really was. It probably was different than it’s been in the last four or five weeks because, again, these guys understand. I know this football team and I know where their head is, and they understand what we need to do, and we’ll come play, and we’ll play the way we’re supposed to play.”
Quarterback Carson Palmer said this year’s Raiders team will be defined by how they play the next three games.
“We have a chance to get to the playoffs,” Palmer said. “We have to go 3-0 in the next three weeks. There is no other option, there is no other route. We know that, especially if you want to make it to the playoffs and then you want to play well in the playoffs, you have to be playing really good football at this time of year. For us, we got to start on Sunday.”
Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley said he and his teammates know what’s at stake. Hence, the more-spirited practice Wednesday.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of energy,” Wimbley said. “We know we’re at that point where opportunities are few and far in between and we need to take advantage of them when we can. The guys know that. That’s why, in practice, we get after it with a sense of purpose.”

PRO BOWL VOTING NEARS END
Punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski maintain their lead in the fan portion of the Pro Bowl voting, with one week left.
Lechler is the top vote-getter among fans for the AFC punter spot. Janikowski leads all AFC kickers. Fans voting accounts for one-third of the process. Coaches and players get one-third each, as well.

SUH A SAINT?
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh returns Sunday from a two-game suspension for his egregious actions against a Packers offensive lineman on Thanksgiving.
To hear Lions coach Jim Schwartz tell it, Suh is just misunderstood and not as bad as people make him out to be.
“He’s a good teammate, he’s a hard-working guy, he’s very, very serious about football and he’s a very good football player,” Schwartz said in a conference call Wednesday. “His penalty on Thanksgiving was the first penalty that he’s gotten that’s been truly an after-the-whistle penalty, where he lost his composure.”
Other than that, Suh is a model player, Schwartz said.
“Other than that, I really can’t speak on what his perception is,” Schwartz said. “I know he’s a good football player, he’s a good teammate, and we’re glad to have him on our team.”
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said Suh is someone he and the rest of the Raiders offense will be well aware of Sunday.
“He splits double-teams, he pushes double-teams out of the way,” Palmer said. “He’s a guy that we’re very focused on, and we’re going to understand where he’s at at all times, and you have to because he’s a heck of a player.”

PENALTIES PLAGUE
Of the Raiders league-high 130 penalties, 45 resulted in first downs for the opponent. Also, those penalties kept alive drives that resulted in points 16 times.
The 45 first downs as a result of penalties are the fourth-most since the merger in 1970. The 1998 Kansas City Chiefs hold the record during that span, with 56.
That Chiefs team holds the league records for most penalties in a season (158) and yards penalized in a season (1,304). Even those aren’t safe. The Raiders are on pace for 160 for 1,374.
Jackson said he has done everything short of screaming from the rooftop at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway in Alameda in an attempt to get his point across.
“I can’t beat myself up about it,” Jackson said. “The one thing I know I am doing is trying. It would be different if I am not trying. I am doing everything I know how to do. I have called other people that I know in order to fix this, and it’s going to take some time, and I hope everybody understands that. There is no magical stuff that I can throw on this team and say, ‘No more penalties.’ That’s not how it works.”
Palmer said he and his teammates got the message again this week, in no unmistakable terms.
“That’s something that coach Jackson definitely addressed with us this week … loudly,” Palmer said. “It’s been going on for too long; it’s something he said. We’ll continue to work on it. It’s something that we understand that that can be the difference in a win and a loss.”
Cornerback Stanford Routt expressed surprise when informed that the Raiders are on record paces.
“Obviously, aggressive penalties you can’t do too much about those,” Routt said, “but offsides, false starts, stuff like that, personal foul, silly penalties we can definitely clean up. That just comes down to discipline.”
Fourth-year safety Tyvon Branch has witnessed penalty-fests seemingly on a weekly basis since he joined the Raiders.
He said the solution, as Jackson said, isn’t anything magical.
“Play smarter, man,” Branch said. “That’s the thing that’s been plaguing us since I’ve been here. We’ve just got to play smarter.”

PLAYOFFS PICTURE COMING INTO FOCUS
The Houston Texans clinched a playoff berth with their victory last Sunday. The New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are in position to nail down spots this weekend.
Once that happens, as expected, there will be only two spots left open — the AFC West and the second wild-card spot. The Raiders remain in contention for both spots.

FRONT LINES AT FOREFRONT SUNDAY
The 49ers, Ravens and Steelers might beg to differ, but as far as Palmer is concerned the two best defensive fronts will be on display Sunday, when the Lions and Raiders play.
“We’re a lot bigger, they’re probably faster,” Palmer said, “but as far as just having great players all over the place, both fronts are fantastic. You can’t think of two other better fronts, I don’t think, in the rest of the league. They have two big inside guys, we have two big inside guys. They’re very fast and small on the edge, but very fast. We’re fast and physical on the edge, but both teams have great ‘D’ lines.”

FOOT INJURIES A MYSTERY
The number of foot injuries to Raiders this season has caused Jackson and the training staff to try just about everything in attempt to find the root of the problem.
To no avail. At this point, Jackson is inclined to think it’s either a coincidence or the result of players not having the advantage of easing ino the season because of a lockout that wiped out the offseason.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Jackson said. “Never seen so many of the same type of injury, and it being a foot. So you go through it all. You go through the weight room, you go through in the medical department, you go through everything, trying to figure out why it’s like this.”
Jackson said he is out of ideas.
“We’ve done the shoe thing, orthotics, nice shoes, bad shoes, we do it all trying to figure it out,” Jackson said, “and there’s no pattern. And if you look around the league, it’s been more probably foot injuries this year than anything. And coach Jackson thinks, maybe it was because there wasn’t any offseason.”

CHRIS JOHNSON UPDATE
Cornerback Chris Johnson was excused from practice because he was at his sister’s funeral in Texas. His sister Jennifer was shot and killed by a 46-year-old man last week. The same man shot and wounded Johnon’s mother Della.
The exacting toll of the tragedy caught up with Johnson in Green Bay, which prompted him to tell Jackson before the game that he didn’t feel up to playing.
“Right before, he came to me and said, ‘Coach, I can’t do it. It would not be doing the team a good service.’ He says, ‘My mind and my heart are struggling right now,’ ” Jackson said. “We kind of embraced for a second, and I understand that. We don’t want to put him in a tough situation, or our team in a tough situation, so he didn’t play.”

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • YoungAmerican

    If the Raiders want to immediately improve the defense?

    1.) A defensive coordinator like Del Rio or Spagnuolo
    2.) Find a way back into the 1st or 2nd round and draft Ta’amu or Poe
    3.) Sign Mario Williams in free agency

  • J Hill

    I like the 4-3….problem is you need good players

    ——————————————————

    Problem for me is Wimbley and Curry not being able to play the pass AT ALL.

    Kelly, Seymour, and Henderson are getting way long in the tooth.

    McClain is slow as fuuhhggg.

    We have a lot of changes to make if we stay in the 4-3.

  • DMAC

    I said yesterday and I’ll say it again.

    Houston is our best run stuffer. (How many long runs bounced out his way?)

    Dude plays w/ a high motor and gets ugly w/ opposing linemen. (luv it)

    Dude gets overlooked because he doesn’t get many sacks. (something he can def. work on)

    As a matter of fact my next jersey will be Houston.

  • YoungAmerican

    The Raiders have a lot of changes they need to make on defense regardless of scheme. What they need is to find an impact playmaker who they can build around. Right now? None of the defensive personnel are impact players.

  • Method To My Madness

    739.DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:44 am
    Morning/afternoon peoples!

    **********

    well fk u too…lol

  • Method To My Madness

    747.YoungAmerican Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:45 am
    Method To My Madness Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    719.YoungAmerican Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:21 am
    Henderson isn’t a true NT. Too tall, too old. Not a even a 2-down player anymore.

    ***************

    He isnt a 3-4 NT…but he is a 4-3 NT…his height has nada to do with it…..and if he isnt a 2 down player then Seymour is a no down player

    ————

    He can play 1-tech in a 4-3, yes, but not a true 3-4 NT at all. His height has a lot to do with it if he’s playing directly over the center. It’s about leverage, and in that case it’s going to be difficult for him to get any.

    Any team that, at this point in his career, would rely on Henderson to play 1st and 2nd down all game long would come away very disappointed. He’s a solid role player now, that’s the extent of it.

    Seymour’s effort all season has been spotty to say the least.

    *****************

    Seymour only played in denver…after that he is houdini

  • DMAC

    Method To My Madness Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    739.DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:44 am
    Morning/afternoon peoples!

    **********

    well fk u too…lol
    ======

    A little taste of my own medicine, huh?

    (taste like schiiiiiiiit)
    lol

  • bcz24

    Problem for me is Wimbley and Curry not being able to play the pass AT ALL.
    ******************
    These guys are being asked to cover wide receivers, show me a linebacker in the NFL that can man up with a WR? They shouldnt be asked to play the coverages they do.

  • inonewordraider

    back next year:

    qb CP Pryor
    wr Moore Ford Dhb
    te Boss Myers Ausberry
    Oline Veld Wiz Barks
    RB DMAC Bush TJ
    DL Shaughenssey Sey Kelly Houston Bryant Moss
    LB Wimbley Mcclain Curry Groves Goethel
    SS Branch Mitchell
    FS Huff Eugene

    I say it’s Mcclains make or break next year hopefully with a healthy Goethel ready to replace him should he falter, we should look for a C or a NT with our 2nd round pick

  • YoungAmerican

    Williams – Ta’amu/Poe – Houston – Shaughnessy/Bryant

    There’s a front four that can keep blockers away from the linebackers, control their gaps and stop the run. With Mario Williams on the end? Terrifying.

    Need a guy who can play 1-tech and/or 0-tech.
    Need a guy who MAKES PLAYS.
    Need youth.
    Need a coach who teaches gap discipline, not merely gap penetration.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Someone needs to ask Houston what he was thinking when he clipped in GB. Want to clean up bonehead penalties, Hue ? There’s a place to start.

  • hwnrdr

    757.DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:52 am
    Method To My Madness Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:51 am

    739.DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:44 am
    Morning/afternoon peoples!

    **********

    well fk u too…lol
    ======

    A little taste of my own medicine, huh?

    (taste like schiiiiiiiit)
    lol

    LOL

  • J Hill

    I think our LBs would be impact players in a 3-4.

    Wimbley and Curry need to be turned loose on the QB. Keeping them at OLB instead of having one them put their hand in the ground allows them to move around and attack from different spots.

    Curry has every bit the athleticism that Von Miller has. Curry is that far behind. Let them reek havoc!

    Sign a veteran “solid” ILB to play next to McClain.

  • bcz24

    we should look for a C or a NT with our 2nd round pick
    ****************
    NE has our second round pick.

  • YoungAmerican

    If the Raiders can’t find a way into the 2nd round or higher, then Tydreke Powell and Marcus Forston could be options at DT. Those guys are more 1-tech/2-tech types, though, not 3-4 NT material.

  • inonewordraider

    None of the defensive personnel are impact players.
    _______________________________________________-
    Wimbley 3rd in the league in qb pressures, Routt pro bowl level, Branch pro bowl level

  • inonewordraider

    NE has our second round pick.
    _____________________
    How?

  • DMAC

    So it’s CP3 to Griffin on those nasty alley oops.

    DAAAAAMN!

  • bcz24

    Curry struggled rushing the passer in Seattle though. Didnt he play ILB at Wake Forest?

  • inonewordraider

    DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:56 am
    So it’s CP3 to Griffin on those nasty alley oops.

    DAAAAAMN!

    _______________
    if la doens’t upgrade pg (ellis, mayo, calderon) clips definitely run LA

  • bcz24

    767.inonewordraider Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:56 am
    NE has our second round pick.
    _____________________
    How?
    ****************
    Traded it to them during this years draft for the picks we used on Barksdale and TJones

  • DMAC

    YoungAmerican,

    Is your part time job a scout?
    Looks like you know your college players.
    (I don’t know half those dudes your talking about)
    lol

  • YoungAmerican

    Wimbley 3rd in the league in qb pressures, Routt pro bowl level, Branch pro bowl level

    ——————-

    I’m talking about Polmalu, Harrison, Williams, Willis, Reed, Ngata, Peppers… not fringe Pro Bowl players who are adequate in coverage.

    Wimbley is indeed the closest thing the Raiders have to an impact player, but the vast majority of his pressures are when he’s playing DE in nickel formations. Above-average 4-3 SLB, very good nickel rusher.

    NOT a guy who forces opposing offenses to account for him on every single down… which is exactly what the Raiders need on defense. Even one player like that can make a huge difference.

  • Raider-in-PA

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:42 am
    I mentioned in here yesterday that Travis Goethel could be a really good ILB but his injuries are a concern.

    Seems like he has the goods and the smarts but just cant seem to stay healthy.

    _____________________________________________________

    Ricky Brown 2.0.
    ———————-
    Both of which IMO have too small of a frame to play the Mike… If they were heavier, they could take more of a pounding… Both could use a good lifting program and back-up ass first into a couple needles…lol

  • J Hill

    I agree that it’s ridiculous to have LBs covering WRs.

    Our Curry and Wimbley struggle covering TEs and RBs too.

    McClain is the only decent coverage guy.

    Just don’t think our OLBs should ever be in man to man. I’d venture to say that they lose that battle more often than not.

  • bcz24

    NOT a guy who forces opposing offenses to account for him on every single down… which is exactly what the Raiders need on defense. Even one player like that can make a huge difference.
    ***************
    Can you imagine Williams rushing off the edge with Wimbley folling behind him, or rushing from the other edge… now THAT would have some QBs quivering in their booties.

  • inonewordraider

    Even one player like that can make a huge difference
    __________________________________________________
    I think the Texans without Williams have shown you can do it without a marquee name. Our Dline can get to the qb with the best of em just can’t consistently stop the run. Our secondary can cover with the best of em. Our have the talent, let’s see what we can do with a good DC and try to get a run stuffer

  • bcz24

    Just don’t think our OLBs should ever be in man to man. I’d venture to say that they lose that battle more often than not
    ************
    Agreed. Seeing Wimbley manned up on a TE 35 yards down field on a seam route is an absolute joke, but its happened.

  • LA to TheBay

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:44 am
    I have always thought the strength of using a 4-3 is that you can show a lot more looks than a traditional 3-4.

    You can better disguise what you are doing to the offense.

    Anyone else feel this way?

    ————-

    I think the opposite, really.

    in a 3-4, you can disguise more. You don’t know where the 4th and 5th pass rusher is coming from.

  • YoungAmerican

    DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    YoungAmerican,

    Is your part time job a scout?
    Looks like you know your college players.
    (I don’t know half those dudes your talking about)
    lol

    ————

    I just spend a lot of time watching college football. Not REALLY into college football, but following certain players who appear NFL-ready makes it interesting for me. I find some names that actual scouts are buzzing about and try to follow those players throughout the season, find clips of them playing whenever I can, stay up on any injury/character concerns and draft status, etc.. It’s just a way to pass the time, really, but from the looks of it plenty of amateurs have huge draft-related websites/databases and they’re not doing a whole lot more than I am.

    Twitter is a great resource, though. A bunch of scouts/personnel folk spend time on there and have some great insight on players to watch.

  • inonewordraider

    Traded it to them during this years draft for the picks we used on Barksdale and TJones
    _______________
    what round is our first pick?

  • J Hill

    clips definitely run LA

    ———————————————————–

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • DMAC

    JoshDubowAP Josh Dubow
    by JDJohnDickinson
    Carson Palmer coming off his 2nd 4 INT gameFollowed pvs one in 07 w/ his most accurate game ever: 32-38 in 35-6 win over Ten
    18 hours ago
    =======

    Bounce back game for CP?

  • RAIDERMAN99

    When I watch Wimbley play I get the feeling he would be an absolute monster playing in Pittsburgh’s or GB’s defensive scheme.

  • LA to TheBay

    what round is our first pick?
    ————-

    As it stands now, isn’t it a 5th?

    With the expectation we get a low 3rd for Nnam

  • J Hill

    Why do you think Mario Williams will hit the open market?

  • HairyBush

    NOT a guy who forces opposing offenses to account for him on every single down… which is exactly what the Raiders need on defense. Even one player like that can make a huge difference
    ——————-
    I hoped and wished last year by some miracle we got Suh. He would have been a perfect Raider.

  • inonewordraider

    Wade Phillips is all the proof we should need one of the worst d’s to the best no healthy big name players although Cushing should be. We have the talent, we need the discipline and scheme

  • DMAC

    YA,

    Who’s one of those nasty, all out LB’s this year in college?
    (I like that kid Skov from Stanford)

  • J Hill

    So if you want Williams, what do you do with Wimbley and Curry?

  • LA to TheBay

    J Hill Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:08 am
    So if you want Williams, what do you do with Wimbley and Curry?

    ————-

    Nothing.

    Williams a 4-3 DE.

    Plug Wimbley in at DE on passing downs.

  • bcz24

    781.inonewordraider Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:04 am
    Traded it to them during this years draft for the picks we used on Barksdale and TJones
    _______________
    what round is our first pick?
    *******************
    5th round is our first pick, but most agree we will get a compensatory at the bottom of the 3rd round. Without Compensatory picks we have 2 draft picks next year:

    1st – Cin for CP3
    2nd – NE for 2011 3rd and 4th (Barksdale and TJones)
    3rd – Pryor
    4th – Campbell
    5th – Available
    6th – Available
    7th – Curry

  • Method To My Madness

    clips definitely run LA

    ********************

    they do!

  • HairyBush

    Nothing.

    Williams a 4-3 DE.

    Plug Wimbley in at DE on passing downs
    ————–
    A lot of $$ for someone only playing passing downs.

  • DMAC

    inonewordraider Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Wade Phillips is all the proof we should need one of the worst d’s to the best no healthy big name players although Cushing should be. We have the talent, we need the discipline and scheme
    =========

    I don’t know man they also have….

    Ryans, Williams, Joseph, Watt, etc
    Pretty solid IMO

  • J Hill

    We are not getting Mario Williams.

    Stop it!

  • inonewordraider

    1st – Cin for CP3
    2nd – NE for 2011 3rd and 4th (Barksdale and TJones)
    3rd – Pryor
    4th – Campbell
    5th – Available
    6th – Available
    7th – Curry

    ____________________
    dang hope there’s an upgrade a C and an NT in FA

  • DMAC

    J Hill Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    We are not getting Mario Williams.

    Stop it!
    ======

    What about Mario and Luigi, then?

  • bcz24

    Anyone know if Kevin Smith is suiting up for the Simbas Sunday?

  • J Hill

    793.Method To My Madness Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    clips definitely run LA

    ********************

    they do!

    —————————————————–

    Awwww, you’re just upset there are 2 teams in LA better than the Ws now.