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Jackson surprised by defensive performance

By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 7:44 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson said during training camp that he felt as if his defense had the makings of being an elite unit. With two games left, the reality is that the Raiders defense is among the league’s worst.
Jackson said Tuesday that he is surprised by the fact the Raiders defense has allowed 5 yards per carry, 28 touchdown passes and more than 27 points per game.
“Yeah. It does,” Jackson said, when asked if those stats surprise him. “I’m not going to run from that question. Yes, it does. It’s not what I was expecting. The players know that and the coaches know that. We got two games to get it right and play as well as we can play.”
There isn’t enough time for this defense to go from underachieving to elite. Yet, Jackson said, there’s enough time for the defense to make a difference.
He singled out games against the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos — the regular-season opener — as evidence that this defense has the ability to perform at a high level, if not on a consistent basis.
“Yeah, I do,” Jackson said. “I do. I really do. And I’m not just saying that to say that. We can. Not we can, we have to. If we’re going to win, we have to. Our players understand that. I know the coaches understand that.
“Now, we have to do it. Talking about it and doing it is two different things. The things that have plagued us have been there all year. It’s not like all of a sudden we’ve fixed it.”

CAMPBELL UPDATE
Jackson said Jason Campbell threw the ball about 30 yards in a recent session, which Jackson termed “a huge improvement.”
At the same time, he painted a picture of a quarterback who still has a ways to go before he can play in a game again.
Campbell suffered a broken right collarbone Oct. 16. He has missed the past eight games. Best-case, Campbell is able to return at some point and supplant Kyle Boller as the primary backup.
“I’m sure he’s not just whipping it like you need to throw it just yet,” Jackson said. “But he’s getting closer to that.”
Jackson said throwing the ball 30 yards is one thing, getting back into football shape and staring down oncoming rushers is quite another.
In other words, Campbell likely has played his last game as a Raider. He is a free agent after this season and there’s little, if any, chance of his being asked back.

BRANCH MAKES IMPRESSION
Jackson had no idea what to expect from Tyvon Branch, when he lined up to field a kick against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. In fact, Jackson was surprised to see Branch on the field.
“I looked back there because (Bryan) McCann was hurt and I go, ‘What are we doing?’ ”
That’s when punter Shane Lechler and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh informed Jackson about Branch’s history as a potent kick returner in college.
Jackson still wasn’t sold on the idea. Neither was Rock Cartwright, who advised Branch to take a touchback rather than risk bringing out the ball from 5 yards deep in the end zone.
“I didn’t know he had that in him,” Jackson said. “Then, everybody told me, ‘Hey, coach, that’s what he used to do.’ I was shocked.”
That’s not all the players told Jackson.
One of the players said to Jackson: “Coach, watch this, because it might be a touchdown,” Jackson said. “I go, ‘What are you talking about? I’m just worried about the guy getting the ball, catching it and making sure we get to the next down with the ball. You guys are talking about touchdown.’ He comes running down the sideline, I go, ‘You got to be kidding me.’ This guy’s electrifying returning the ball.”
Hence, Jackson said Branch will get another shot at returning kicks, perhaps Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Oh, man. Oh, man. You better believe I will,” Jackson said. “Wow, was that spectacular. … So, if anybody can help us score a touchdown, I’m all for putting him back there. No doubt.”
Branch said he is eager to show what he can do. His return Sunday went for 76 yards, though it got wiped out by a penalty on Jerome Boyd.
“Whatever Hue asks me to do, I’m going to do it,” Branch said. “It’s just one of those things that, if I think it could make the team better, I’m going to do it.”

MCFADDEN UPDATE
Running back Darren McFadden got in some light jogging under the guidance of a team trainer Tuesday afternoon. Jackson said it’s just the next step in McFadden’s recovery from a midfoot sprain.
“He was moving around, so that’s a good thing,” Jackson said. “We can’t run from that. I told you, I’m not hiding him, that’s for sure. He’s out here running around a little bit, and we’ll see where we are as we continue to move forward.”
Jackson said there is no firm timetable for McFadden’s return. One thing is for certain: Jackson is not going to bring back McFadden too soon and jeopardize his career.
McFadden has missed most of the past seven games — he suffered his injury two carries into a game against the Chiefs on Oct. 23.
“We just want to make sure he’s totally where he needs to be before we put him out there,” Jackson said. “We have to be very careful with that. This guy is very valuable to the organization and to this football team. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to jeopardize his career or his opportunity to play.”
McFadden was not available to the media after practice. He has not spoken with the media since before the day he got injured.

HEYWARD-BEY MAKING GREAT STRIDES
Jackson also predicted great things for third-year wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey before this season started. At that point, you would have had a much easier time finding someone who believed the Raiders defense was on the verge of being elite.
Yet, it’s tough to argue with the astounding leap made by Heyward-Bey after two subpar seasons that were punctuated by dropped passes, games without any throws his way and a lack of meaningful production.
Through 14 games, Heyward-Bey leads the Raiders with 51 receptions for 775 yards, with three touchdowns. Jackson said he saw this coming last season, when Jackson was the offensive coordinator.
“I’ve seen steady progress,” Jackson said. “I told you guys, at some point in time, it was going to just go this way, because the guy works extremely hard. He’s a talented player. … The numbers speak for themselves.”
At the same time, Jackson added, Heyward-Bey still hasn’t arrived. That won’t happen until he makes what Jackson refers to as the “uncommon plays.”
For his part, Heyward-Bey said there wasn’t any breakthrough moment. He has been building to this point. And he isn’t anywhere near reaching his lofty goal.
“There’s a lot of things that I can get better at,” Heyward-Bey said. “Each and every day, I’m trying to get better. That’s why I come to work every day, to try to reach my goal of being the best player in the league. That’s how high the standards are.”
He might not reach that goal, but it’s impressive how far he has come when you take into account his first two seasons.

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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  • Silverandblack666

    “Chris in NY, how much is a pretty penny?”

    The same as an ugly one which is why fat women still get laid!

  • inonewordraider

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Tough to envision Darren McFadden playing Saturday, if at all rest of this season.
    1 minute ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    All five offensive linemen healthy and ready to roll. There is that.
    2 minutes ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Bryan McCann returning kicks right now. Where’s Tyvon Branch? Wow.

  • Dakota

    244.silverback Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Lol, of course you label players. Jezuz, what are you an elementary school teacher who gives the fat kid a blue ribbon for finishing last?
    —–
    Any player that has made an NFL roster did not finish last.

    ++++++++++

    I am sorry to break this news to you, but the success or failures of players are judged by factoring in their draft position and contract. If a player is drafted high and makes a ton of money there are naturally more expectations on that player. With the salary cap and limited draft picks there has to be more scrutiny.

    Take Bob Gallery for instance. The expectations for the #2 draft pick and making $40 million dollars was that he would be a franchise LT for 12 years. In that he was a failure. Did he become a serviceable LG? Sure. Did that make him a success story for the Oakland Raiders? Fk no.

  • Silverandblack666

    Weather it was Routt’s fault or not CJ had a career day against our defense the end!

  • aig-raiders

    Life is full of irony. Cable was ran out of here and Hue was celebrated. Now I just saw a good article on Cable at Sea and Hue is being blasted here.

  • J Hill

    Stanford Routt is a top caliber CB in this league.

    ——————————————————-

    It’s not even debateable.

    He’s garbage all of a sudden becausehe gave up 48 yds worth of catches this weekend?

    Oh, because he got a PI in the last second of the game on a 6’4 250 BEAST with a 100 ft vertcial?

    Bashing Routt is just as ridiculous as bashing Nnamdi.

  • Dakota

    I can’t blame Routt for CJ’s great game. Saw McClain trying to guard CJ at least three times.

    How the fk could that happen?

  • Raiderbuck

    inonewordraider Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:29 am

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Tough to envision Darren McFadden playing Saturday, if at all rest of this season.
    1 minute ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    All five offensive linemen healthy and ready to roll. There is that.
    2 minutes ago »
    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Bryan McCann returning kicks right now. Where’s Tyvon Branch? Wow.
    *************************************************

    Yeah, wow.

  • J Hill

    CJ caught a bomb against cover 2 on Branch and Mitchell.

    CJ caught another bomb against Boyd and McClain.

    CJ caught a sideline tiptoe pass towards the end of the game against a cover 2 where Routt was not in the picture.

    Take away those 3 plays, which Routt was NOT involved in, and what type of day does Megatron have?

  • LA to TheBay

    37-83 for 470 is pretty damn good though. Fewer yards allowed than Revis despite more attempts his way. About the same completion percentage. Not sure why so many TDs along with that but could just be a fluke.

    —————–

    Red zone appearances maybe?

  • Dakota

    For you Warrior fans…yeah, both of ya….looks like Ellis pulled a Favre:

    “A former employee of the Golden State Warriors is suing the team and guard Monta Ellis for sexual harassment.

    According to an email from lawyer Burt Boltuch, the suit will be filed Wednesday morning in Oakland, Calif., at the Superior Court of Alameda County and a press conference will be held afterward to discuss the allegations, the Contra Costa Times reported.

    The suit accuses Ellis of sending “dozens of pictures” of “flagrant sexual contact,” to a female who was employed by the Warriors, between Nov. 2010 and Jan. 2011.

    Boltuch said the accuser had photographic evidence of the harassment. He said both the accuser and the photos will be revealed at the press conference.

    “You will be shocked when you see it,” Boltuch said. “It’s pretty disgusting and graphic.”

    The Warriors are being accused of covering for Ellis, with Boltuch claiming the plaintiff was let go because the team “wanted to cover it up.”

    Boltuch also claims the Warriors have refused to resolve the matter previously.

    A Warriors spokesman said neither the team nor Ellis had a comment and they had not received the lawsuit, Yahoo! Sports reported.

    Ellis, 26, was selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft. He averaged 24.1 points and 5.6 assists in 80 games last season.”

  • J Hill

    Routt on Megatron wasn’t really an issue. Watched the replay last night on NFLN and almost every catch by CJ and certainly all the big plays came against zone coverage or something else where Routt was not responsible for him. Routt drew a few flags, but only one that really hurt. He also broke up a few passes.

    Routt on Megatron wasn’t a problem for us. It was when Routt wasn’t on Megatron that we got into trouble.

    ——————————————————

    Thank You!

    Routt has basically gotten beat on a few 5 yd quick slants for the TDs he’s given up. A corner being on an island getting beat on a 5 yd pattern = he’s garbage???

    Like my man said, Routt is a a TOP corner in the league.

  • Dakota

    Jhill,

    You always defend the DTs on this team.

    You always defend the LBers on this team.

    Now you are defending Routt.

    Can’t recall what you think of Huff and Branch…..but

    …if none of the players are to blame, why is it that our defense sucks donkey ballz?

  • silverback

    Take Bob Gallery for instance. The expectations for the #2 draft pick and making $40 million dollars was that he would be a franchise LT for 12 years. In that he was a failure. Did he become a serviceable LG? Sure. Did that make him a success story for the Oakland Raiders? Fk no.
    —–
    Individual success stories do not win Championships.

  • Dakota

    264.silverback Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:41 am
    Take Bob Gallery for instance. The expectations for the #2 draft pick and making $40 million dollars was that he would be a franchise LT for 12 years. In that he was a failure. Did he become a serviceable LG? Sure. Did that make him a success story for the Oakland Raiders? Fk no.
    —–
    Individual success stories do not win Championships.
    ++++++++++++++

    Lol, oh sure they don’t….never helps when players live up to expectations lol. Get real man.

  • J Hill

    37-83 for 470 is pretty damn good though. Fewer yards allowed than Revis despite more attempts his way. About the same completion percentage.

    ——————————————————-

    Nah, throw all that out the window.

    He got a flag against Megatron this past weekend, so he sucks.

    He got beat by Stevie Johnson on a quick 5 yd slant, so he’s terrible.

  • aig-raiders

    Was talking to an Eagles fan last nite and he considered Nnamdi as having a rough year. Stan Routt gives up almost twice as many TD’s and Raider fans think he is outstanding. No wonder why we suck year in and out.

  • YoungAmerican

    CBs who make $10 million a year do not give up 7 TDs.

    Could have gotten Johnathan Joseph AND Carlos Rogers for less money. Thanks, Al.

  • silverback

    Lol, oh sure they don’t….never helps when players live up to expectations lol. Get real man.
    —–
    I did not say it didn’t help. I point out that it is only a factor.

  • Dakota

    Has Routt given up more TDs than the 3-4 CBs that have been scraped together to cover the other side of the field?

    I don’t know the answer….but if so I can’t see how he could be considered a top tier CB in the NFL.

  • J Hill

    why is it that our defense sucks donkey ballz?

    —————————————————-

    Because John Marshall and Chuck B are clueless.

    But I’m sure you knew that.

  • Seymour Bush

    # Silverandblack666 Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Weather it was Routt’s fault or not CJ had a career day against our defense the end!
    ===================================================

    I think this is the point. When a guy is ripping you a new one, you figure out how to stop it. It’s called adjustments. It is something we don’t do very well. On either side of the ball, (See Raiders, Oakland, 2011 season).

  • DeuceDeuce

    YoungAmerican Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:44 am
    CBs who make $10 million a year do not give up 7 TDs.

    Could have gotten Johnathan Joseph AND Carlos Rogers for less money. Thanks, Al.

    —-

    We could have? Link? Source?

  • aig-raiders

    Carlos Rogers was a FA I believe and he is having a monster year for SF.

  • aig-raiders

    Josh Dubow @JoshDubowAP 1m
    Routt 10 penalties nnamdi 5 revis 3 RT @aigbombers:
    —————-
    There you go Routt fans. twice as many penalties and TD’s.

  • Seymour Bush

    # Dakota Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Jhill,

    You always defend the DTs on this team.

    You always defend the LBers on this team.

    Now you are defending Routt.

    Can’t recall what you think of Huff and Branch…..but

    …if none of the players are to blame, why is it that our defense sucks donkey ballz?
    =============================================

    My take:

    DT’s have played well. Very well. Exceptionally well. The DE’s have not played well at all. LB’s; terrible. Now that Aaron Curry is here, LB’s are terrible except Aaron Curry. DB’s: good. Huff and Branch, good+.

  • J Hill

    Hey Routt!

    We don’t give a rats arsse that Chuck B called a defensive set that had McClain and Boyd give up a bomb to put them in the red zone.

    You’re making 10 million a year!!!!!

    When our defense has to defend the red zone, you need to be able to shut down megatron in single coverage!!!

    You effin BUM!

  • YoungAmerican

    Joseph signed a contract for 5 years, $48 million. Routt’s was 5 years, $54 million.

    Rogers signed with the 49ers for about $4.5 million on a one-year deal.

  • YoungAmerican

    Lions game he gets a pass. What about the previous games where he gave up 7 TDs?

  • silverback

    I always thought CB play was dependent on pass rush.

  • YoungAmerican

    silverback Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I always thought CB play was dependent on pass rush.

    —————–

    Jets haven’t been successfully getting pressure on the QB this season. Neither of their CBs have given up 7 TDs, and from what I’m told, Routt is as good or better than either of those guys, so…

  • DeuceDeuce

    Point is your looking with hindsight, which is always 20/20.

    Rogers was a 1st round bust coming off a horrible career, hence the cheap contract he signed.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    I think Hue was a good soldier when Al was still with us. As soon as Al died, Hue changed. After the Texans game the he almost gave away, taking about how much he loved that man. Really? Love? Hue only worked for him for what 2 years. The guy likes the bright lights. He has turned himself into a buffoon. The fact that Hue still won’t admit that he blew the 2 point conversion call after the Curry touchdown is downright disturbing. Basic math. The fact that he admits that he unaware that Tyvon Branch returns kicks??? It is his job to know. It is not his job to do ESPN interviews getting his nails done. Al knew what all his players did in Pop Warner. This team misses Al. My biggest problem with Hue is that he acts like he’s won something. Hue ain’t won $hit. Hue is a poor man’s Rex Ryan. A lot of talk but not a lot of winning. The clown needs to go.

    Just Win Baby.

  • Seymour Bush

    CorkOnTheNFL Steve Corkran
    Bryan McCann returning kicks right now. Where’s Tyvon Branch? Wow.
    ============================================

    You really don’t want your potential Pro Bowl SS returning kick offs. Unless it is a playoff game. Which, I guess, it is……

  • J Hill

    275.aig-raiders Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Josh Dubow @JoshDubowAP 1m
    Routt 10 penalties nnamdi 5 revis 3 RT @aigbombers:
    —————-
    There you go Routt fans. twice as many penalties and TD’s.

    —————————————————-

    Really??????

    Could you add who many times each of those guys have been targeted?

    And can you add on the BS factor? How many of those Routt penalties have we all say here and said “that was BS!”? The first penalty Routt got called for in this weekend game was BS!

    Revis should have been called for 2 penalties against us when he was gaurding DHB.

    You really want to use flags as a point for a Raider???? Of course we are always going to be in last as we all know the refs throw BS flags against us.

  • Chris in NY

    aig-raiders Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:44 am
    Was talking to an Eagles fan last nite and he considered Nnamdi as having a rough year. Stan Routt gives up almost twice as many TD’s and Raider fans think he is outstanding. No wonder why we suck year in and out.

    ——————————————

    According to Josh Dubow Nnamdi has only allowed 16 completions through 14 games for a total of 285 yards. I think your friend needs to get a grip. Those are typical Nnamdi numbers from the last several years with the Raiders. What does he expect?

    True, Nnamdi does not collect many INTs because he blankets his man rather than trying to bait opposing QBs into throwing picks. However, the Eagles are also leading the league in sacks despite not having a dominant pass rusher. How much of that can be attributed to coverage sacks induced at least in part by Nnamdi?

  • Seymour Bush

    # silverback Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I always thought CB play was dependent on pass rush.
    ==========================================

    And vice versa.

  • John David Booty

    This Defense definitely lost a lot when Shaughnessy got hurt. Not enough has been made of this. He was playing very good football before the injury.

  • GoodOle00

    283. Way off Doc.

    Hue has been amazing dealing with all this crap his rookie yr.

    We’re still in the hunt with 2 games left.

  • d-raiders

    ive seen the future
    raiders win next 2 games-broncos lose to chiefs orton laughs, tebow crys to god and broncos fans lose faith and worry about next years draft and what qb they should get

    raiders win afc west and chuck brez will get us blown out in the playoffs thats what go’s down if we make playoffs. only way we do better is fire chuck brez now. sounds crazy? noway mike waufle could step right in now and get us through the year better and we could try swoop up jack del rio 1min after our final game. jack is a raiders fan and a good def cord id love to have him this week as d cord he would give us better calls then this girls volleyball coach we got now

  • 505raiders

    damn, hue how does the team know more than about your players than you

    big ben damn near broke his leg and he finished the game but mc fadden sprains his ankle and has to be taught how to walk again w/suppervison
    he might trip over a sprinkler head and have a career ending injury
    must have a career for that to happen

  • silverbones

    Come to think of it. Bresnehan was never the first choice for DC. Hue has control of this team and first order of business next season is to bring in a bully minded DC. First hint, he’s surprised at the poor stats.

  • Raidernationdave

    “Raiders coach Hue Jackson said during training camp that he felt as if his defense had the makings of being an elite unit.”

    Elite at what? Gettin’ beotch slapped?

  • Raidernationdave

    “Jackson said Tuesday that he is surprised by the fact the Raiders defense has allowed 5 yards per carry, 28 touchdown passes and more than 27 points per game.”

    Surprised? Really? Hey JAX have you actually watched any games this year? Your defense sucks.

  • Raidernationdave

    GoodOle00 Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    283. Way off Doc.

    Hue has been amazing dealing with all this crap his rookie yr.

    We’re still in the hunt with 2 games left.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This division should have been wrapped-up by now.