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Coach Jackson senses ‘urgency, intensity’ in players

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

  • DMAC

    Wiz needs to be running this O-line. We can draft Guards in the later rounds next year.

  • hwnrdr

    798.DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:12 am
    J Hill Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    We are not getting Mario Williams.

    Stop it!
    ======

    What about Mario and Luigi, then?

    No, because for some reason we may end up with Princess Toad!

  • YoungAmerican

    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

    ——————

    That’s the thing, though. DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing are both clear Pro Bowl-level players, but their OLBs Nick Reed (the rookie) and Connor Barwin have the talent to be household names. The Raiders currently do not have anyone of that caliber in the front seven.

    Wimbley, Houston and Shaughnessy are the closest the Raiders have talent-wise. And Houston is at DE when he should be a 3-tech DT and Shaughnessy is on IR, so we really don’t even know what they’re capable of yet, outside of being nice players with some upside.

    The key pieces, in my opinion, are a DT who can play 1-tech and 2-tech that would allow Houston to move back to his natural position, and an RE who can seal the edge against the rush AND make the Raiders’ 4-man pass rush more effective.

  • DMAC

    Bcz24,

    Kevin Smith (ankle) was participating in team drills at the beginning of Lions practice Thursday.
    This doesn’t necessarily mean that Smith will participate fully in practice, but he continues to trend in the right direction. He emerged from Wednesday’s light work in fine shape and says his mobility is much better this week than last. For now, Smith appears on track to play against the Raiders Sunday.
    Source: Anwar Richardson on Twitter

  • bcz24

    I have a feeling we will be trading off at least a few guys for picks. Probably wont be able to work back into the first or second rounds, but we should be able to get a few mid-rounders in the off-season

  • HairyBush

    Kevin Smith (ankle) was participating in team drills at the beginning of Lions practice Thursday.
    This doesn’t necessarily mean that Smith will participate fully in practice, but he continues to trend in the right direction. He emerged from Wednesday’s light work in fine shape and says his mobility is much better this week than last. For now, Smith appears on track to play against the Raiders Sunday.

  • Kirk

    The secret to the Raiders future success….

    Switching to a 3-4 defense.

    All the best defensive teams run a 3-4. The Steelers have run it forever!

  • inonewordraider

    With Orton back the Chiefs can beat the Broncos. Jets still play at Phi NYG and @ Mia. Tenn plays @ Hou. Can we win another 3 in a row?

  • DMAC

    Let’s see what this D is all about w/ a real DC!

  • HairyBush

    At least there is no Jahvid Best to worry about.

    On the other hand there is Megatron…

  • J Hill

    Billups starting at the 2?????

    LMFAO!

    Clippers gave up WAAAAYYYYYYY too much.

    That pick they gave up could very well end up being the top pick in the draft. PLUS Gordon and the African?????

    AND Kaman??????

    Would have been a better team standing pat and starting Chowncey at the point with Beldsoe coming off the bench.

  • LA to TheBay

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

    ————-

    I expect us to do some things in free agency next year.

    That being said?

    FK next year.

    3 games.

  • YoungAmerican

    DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    YA,

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

    ——————-

    I don’t see a whole lot of depth at LB in this draft. The good ones seem to be the big-name guys. Zach Brown is a prototype 4-3 WLB, looks to be a very, very solid player. I like Skov a lot but he might return to school because of the season-ending injury he suffered early in the season.

    For a solid contributor on special teams/very good depth player, I like Chris Galippo from USC.

  • ElkGRaider

    HairyBush Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:16 am
    At least there is no Jahvid Best to worry about.
    ========================

    Kevin Smith looks just as good when healthy…

    Gonna have our hands full

  • DMAC

    On the other hand there is Megatron…
    =======

    Hopefully we don’t see Huff trying to tackle him and getting dragged an extra ten-fifteen yards down field.

  • LA to TheBay

    HairyBush Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:10 am
    Nothing.

    Williams a 4-3 DE.

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

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

    No, in other words Wimbley stays at 4-3 SLB and puts a hand down on 3rd.

  • ElkGRaider

    811.J Hill Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Billups starting at the 2?????

    LMFAO!

    Clippers gave up WAAAAYYYYYYY too much.

    That pick they gave up could very well end up being the top pick in the draft. PLUS Gordon and the African?????

    AND Kaman??????

    Would have been a better team standing pat and starting Chowncey at the point with Beldsoe coming off the bench.
    ===========================

    They got the top player. Now have 2 allstars. You build with free agents after that. Not draft picks…

  • DMAC

    YA,

    Thanx for the response homie.

  • DMAC

    JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    Denarius Moore is practicing for the 2nd consecutive day for the #Raiders @957thegame
    1 minute ago

  • inonewordraider

    Wimbley, Houston and Shaughnessy
    ____________________________
    des bryant, curry, even kelly showing signs. Branch, Routt in the secondary Huff was solid last year, DVD and Chimdi showing glimpses. I think we have the talent, let’s see what we got with the right DC actually we have to see because we don’t have draft picks anyway

  • inonewordraider

    JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    No Darren McFadden, no Jacoby Ford at #Raiders practice @957thegame
    1 minute ago »
    JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    Denarius Moore is practicing for the 2nd consecutive day for the #Raiders @957thegame

  • HairyBush

    Hopefully we don’t see Huff trying to tackle him and getting dragged an extra ten-fifteen yards down field.
    ————————–
    I don’t want to see the old Hiram “I just got stiffarmed” Eugene move either!

  • LA to TheBay

    DMAC Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:19 am
    JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    Denarius Moore is practicing for the 2nd consecutive day for the #Raiders @957thegame
    1 minute ago

    ——–

    Great news, he should go.

  • DMAC

    JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    No Darren McFadden, no Jacoby Ford at #Raiders practice @957thegame
    1 minute ago

  • DMAC

    HairyBush Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Hopefully we don’t see Huff trying to tackle him and getting dragged an extra ten-fifteen yards down field.
    ————————–
    I don’t want to see the old Hiram “I just got stiffarmed” Eugene move either!
    =====
    lol

  • YoungAmerican

    J Hill Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:08 am

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

    ————–

    If the Raiders got Williams:

    Curry stays at WLB. He has his limitations, but you would think a good DC might say something like “Hey, so Aaron Curry can’t cover, in which case I’m not going to put him in our nickel defense covering the slot receiver”. You know, little things like that…

    Wimbley is a VERY good SLB, and you can put him at DE on passing downs across from Williams. Quarterbacks, in turn, s*** themselves.

  • LA to TheBay

    Even though Moore is back, I don;t expect him to get a ton of catches. He’ll probably get lots of attention and allow us to run against 7 in the box more often, open up stuff for screens or passes to TEs and DHB/Chaz.

  • DMAC

    Take over the twitter duties Inone

    We need people like you and I

    lol

  • raiderinparadise

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Jacoby Ford out of practice for another day. He also isn’t on an adjacent fid working with a team trainer. Doesn’t bode well for Sunday.
    23 seconds ago

    ———–

    Well at least we got t-pain aka D. Moore.

    and hopefully taiwan? makes no sense he said himself he was 85% last monday, i guess he isn’t a doctor afterall.

    Deactivate Pryor, move Lonyae Miller from practice squad to roster for game. Bush is slowing down big time. we need a change of pace.

  • ohioraider

    Whenever I hear Jackson’s happy talk I feel a strong sense of urgency.

  • DMAC

    LA to TheBay Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Even though Moore is back, I don;t expect him to get a ton of catches. He’ll probably get lots of attention and allow us to run against 7 in the box more often, open up stuff for screens or passes to TEs and DHB/Chaz.
    =======

    Yeah, you may be right.

    He just needs to hit the field tho.

  • inonewordraider

    Clippers gave up WAAAAYYYYYYY too much.

    ___________________________________
    no way did they give up to much. ppl don’t realize the clips have depth. Gordons always hurt his backup Foye looked good last year, Billups gna start at the 2. Kaman is just an expiring contract didn’t fit the Clips up and down system anyway. Aminu is a prospect but the Clips have Caron and last years starter Gomes now as a backup. The pick is a good one but you get a top 3 pg to throw it up to Blake and DJ

  • raiderinparadise

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Richard Seymour is practicing. Fellow DT John Henderson is not practicing, though.
    1 minute ago
    ———-

    Big Richard must be getting push back by the sled …. seemingly he deflated after first few games.

  • inonewordraider

    Tweets Favorites Following Followers Lists
    » JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    No sign of Jacoby Ford even working out w/trainers as had been the case both yesterday & last Friday… Setback? #Raiders
    1 minute ago »
    JDJohnDickinson John Dickinson
    Michael Huff & John Henderson not practicing as well for #Raiders @957thegame

  • ElkGRaider

    827.LA to TheBay Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:21 am
    Even though Moore is back, I don;t expect him to get a ton of catches. He’ll probably get lots of attention and allow us to run against 7 in the box more often, open up stuff for screens or passes to TEs and DHB/Chaz.
    =======================

    I see the exact opposite. You know Carsons gonna be looking his way the whole game with what our recievers have done…

  • inonewordraider

    eets Favorites Following Followers Lists
    »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    No issues for Denarius Moore, either. He looks more and more likely to play Sunday after missing past three games.
    1 minute ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Chaz Schilens are practicing without any apparent limitations.
    2 minutes ago

  • inonewordraider

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Michael Huff and Chris Johnson are not on the practice field.
    9 seconds ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    All five starting offensive linemen are at full strength

  • ElkGRaider

    All five starting offensive linemen are at full strength
    =====================

    Man…this includes Satele?? Heyer is a beast at LG!

  • imaquaman

    While Patriots coach Bill Belichick hasn’t formally announced a shift to the 4–3, media speculation has been rampant after the team acquired 4–3 specialists like Albert Haynesworth, Mark Anderson, Shaun Ellis, and Andre Carter. The Patriots debuted their 4–3 defense in week one of the 2011 season. Five of New England’s six sacks in its week one victory over the Miami Dolphins came from defensive linemen.

    While many still consider the Baltimore Ravens’ defense a 3–4, it has shifted towards a 4–3 scheme since 2006 when half their games were in a 4-3 base defense. The Ravens’ primary pass-rusher, Terrell Suggs, played the majority of his snaps in 2010 as a true defensive end.

  • DMAC

    Avril has 9 sacks this year so far.

    When need to keep a close eye in this dude 2.

  • J Hill

    to throw it up to Blake and DJ

    ————————————————————

    We saw plenty of throwing it up to those guys last year. Didn’t need to give away the farm for that. Especially after they picked up Billups.

    The Clips could have got that PG with the top 3 pick.

  • inonewordraider

    Tweets Favorites Following Followers Lists
    » CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Michael Bush getting stretched out on sideline. Trainer putting in double time, working on both legs.

  • YoungAmerican

    des bryant, curry, even kelly showing signs. Branch, Routt in the secondary Huff was solid last year, DVD and Chimdi showing glimpses. I think we have the talent, let’s see what we got with the right DC actually we have to see because we don’t have draft picks anyway

    —————–

    I agree, lots of players with potential. I’d really like to see what Bryant could do at LDE, not RDE. I’ve never been a fan of Huff, but he’s at least versatile enough to play some CB, too. Good player, not a game changer. Routt and Branch are both solid enough, but not game changers either. Kelly is good at certain things, but stopping the run is not one of them. Good fit in Waufle’s scheme, not a good fit with the rest of the defense. Has never been a very disciplined player, either. Curry has plenty of limitations but can run and hit. Again, not a clear game-changer.

    I understand what you’re saying, and I agree to a certain extent. But I think adding one single game-changing player, a guy whose reputation has been EARNED, a guy who is a premier player at his position and can do everything asked of him… THAT is a player who makes the players around him better. One player like that, and it makes a DC’s job a lot easier.

    You’re right, there aren’t a lot of draft picks. Which is why finding a player like that needs to be done in free agency, after the Raiders have shed some deadweight salary.

  • Chris in NY

    raiderinparadise Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:23 am
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Richard Seymour is practicing. Fellow DT John Henderson is not practicing, though.
    1 minute ago
    ———-

    Big Richard must be getting push back by the sled …. seemingly he deflated after first few games.

    —————————

    I think Seymour is playing banged up. He was a beast the first five games. Five sacks and 4+ tackles per through. Just one sack and less than 1 tackle per since. You may also remember he basically stopped practicing around that time and in some games was basically only playing on 3rd down. I think he’s probably play at like 70% at best right now.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Veldheer’s last month of games has been in the Kwame Harris level of play.

    Tons of penalties, and terrible pass-protection.

    ***

    ever since he bested Jared Allen. interesting

    struggled versus Chicago & Miami for sure, but I don’t remember any sacks surrendered or penalties from him @ GB

  • inonewordraider

    The Clips could have got that PG with the top 3 pick.

    _______________
    A PG as good as CP?. That’s an aggressive team right there Caron Billups CP Blake, plus clutch shooting of Billups and CP. I’m telling you if they can overcome lack of inside scoring with OKC Chicago the Heat and Boston are able to do, they’re a contender to win it all. I’m a laker fan but got love for all LA teams (angels dont’ count) but they’ll go farther than the lakes if the lakes don’t upgrade PG

  • baumraiders

    KoolKell posted yesterday that Carson Palmers 49-54 record is not elite. No one is saying he is elite, just saying he is better than JC 31-39 Record.

  • imaquaman

    another explanation i found is Linemen switching to a 3-4 defense will sometimes complain about having to “think too much” and not being allowed to “just play.” 3-4 principles require linemen to read the play as it is happening and react to it. The 4-3, however, is predicated on turning linemen loose. In a 4-3, linemen each have one gap assignment; they are responsible for controlling the area between two blockers and tackling the ball carrier if he comes through their assigned gap.

  • YoungAmerican

    Veldheer played well v.s. Green Bay. Definitely strugged against Peppers (and really, who doesn’t?) and Wake, though.

    Done pretty well for a 2nd year player from Hillsdale, I think.

  • raiderinparadise

    You know I was thinking …. who is our best D playmaker … and I had to think very long about it.

    I think Branch is our best Defender but he hasn’t had the knack for turnovers and sacks this year.

    Wimbley has 2nd most QB hurries in AFC … buthe purely is a pass rusher that dissapears in other faucets of the game. Bad LB overall.

    Routt had been good, but gets smoked in the redzone too often.

    then it hit me……

    Is Matt Giordano our best playmaking Defender? and its true, he made game clinching picks in 3 games this year.

    Thats sad.