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Branch, Seymour and McFadden talk about culture change

By Steve Corkran
Sunday, July 29th, 2012 at 6:50 pm in Oakland Raiders.

From the new coaching staff to the roster to the way business is conducted by the Raiders these days, it’s not difficult to notice that this is the dawn of a “new era,” as the Raiders media guide touts in block letters.
Things were run a specific way under late owner Al Davis for most of the past 50 years or so. Change abounds in Raidersland these days.
“They’re real strict on discipline now,” strong safety Tyvon Branch said, “as far as showing up to meetings. They’re even making us check in for lunches and dinners now. They’re trying to change the discipline factor.”
Let’s just assume that Branch meant showing up on time to meetings and not just showing up, period. Either way, general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen have a way that they want things done, and the players are learning that, you either climb aboard or get left at the station.
Bottom line, running back Darren McFadden and defensive tackle Richard Seymour said, it’s incumbent upon the players to take what they hear and see from their coaches and get it to translate onto the field.
“Just knowing where to be and where to be at the right time and being there on time, that’s one main thing for us,” McFadden said. “And I feel by tightening down a lot of things. that’s going to help the guys and that’s going to translate on to the playing fields.”
Seymour said there needed to be change, if for no other reason than the fact the Raiders went 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs for the ninth straight season.
Yet, the players shouldn’t have to be told what needs to be done. If they do need to be told, well, then, they should be able to do as told.
“We’re all grown men and we should all know how to follow the rules,” Seymour said. “I don’t think that’s a big adjustment if that’s who you are. That’s who you should be anyway.”

– Allen said he intends on using McFadden in exhibition games and not holding him out the way the San Diego Chargers used to do with lead back LaDainian Tomlinson.
That’s fine with McFadden, he said. Give him the ball and let him do what he does best.
“It’s whatever he decides to give me,” McFadden said of Allen. “If he wants me out there eight or nine plays, that’s fine. If he wants me out there 20 plays, that’s fine. It’s not a big deal to me. It’s playing football. I enjoy doing that. I love being out there doing it.”
As for McFadden’s role, he said he doesn’t mind if he is used primarily as a ballcarrier or if offensive coordinator Greg Knapp uses him as a wide receiver from time to time.
Former Raiders coach Tom Cable capitalized on McFadden’s ability to create a mismatch in the Raiders favor by lining him up out wide every now and then. That’s something that Cable’s successor, Hue Jackson, got away from.
It says here that the Raiders would be wise to go back to using McFadden as many ways as possible. Seeing him lined up against a safety or smaller cornerback oftentimes spelled doom for the opponent.
McFadden said he has heard the talk about him being injury-prone and not durable enough to hold up over the course of a 16-game season.
It’s something that he takes in stride, confident in the fact his injuries have been more of a fluke thing and not the result of his not being in shape or being able to play through pain.
“You hear that all the time, but that’s something I can’t do anything about,” McFadden said. “It’s not like I’m going out there and just falling over and getting hurt. I’m out there playing and going hard. So I can live with that if I get hurt that way.”
Through it all, McFadden doesn’t intend to change his aggressive style of play. It’s what makes him so successful, even if it also makes him more susceptible to injury.
“It’s one of those things, it happens in football,” McFadden said of injuries. “I can’t say I’m unlucky about it because I’m a very blessed person to even be playing in this league. I just go out there and take it one day at a time. I can’t control injuries. If I get hurt, I’m going to get hurt going hard because that’s something I can’t control, and I’m not going to go out there and play not to get hurt.”

– Seymour isn’t one to talk much about injuries. In fact, one time he chided me for asking a player about his injury status in the locker room.
Hence, it’s not surprising that Seymour isn’t keen about writing off his up-and-down play last season to his myriad injuries.
“Injuries are a part of the game,” Seymour said. “You never want to talk about injuries. That’s one thing you really don’t want to get into, how bad you’re hurt or whatever the case may be.
“I came out of the gate well and then a knee injury, and then I kind of slowed down from there. Toward the end of the year, I started to regain my form a little bit. I’m optimistic and feeling good right now. Feeling good and excited about the season. I’ll be ready to go.”
Seymour added that he is excited about the change in the Raiders defensive philosophy from one that relied upon man coverage, four defensive linemen rushin the passer and a dearth of blitzing.
Under first-year coordinator Jason Tarver, the Raiders intend to be what Allen calls “multiple.” That means an infusion of a 3-4 alignment, more zone coverage and frequent blitzing from all over the field.
“If you want to be one of the best, or one of the elite, in the league, you have to be able to do multiple things,” Seymour said. “Be versatile, playing this front, that front, rush the passer, stop the run, just being an every-down player. That’s how you make yourself valuable. It’s hard work but this is a big-boy league.”
Branch said he and his teammates are excited about the prospect of playing in a varied scheme, where teams aren’t as apt to know what’s coming on a given down.
“It’s a lot of new stuff we’re learning,” Branch said. “We were primarily a man-to-man team, so to get some zone stuff, some different stuff going in, there’s definitely a lot of learning going into it. But everybody is up to the challenge.”

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  • morilla

    Even pretty boy Howie would have been ejected. Multiple times. ( I use the term pretty boy loosely, he’s an all time favorite)

    I want there’s to be some piss and vinegar on the field. It’s part of being a Raider. Just now a days you have to reign it in. Getting ejected isn’t always a bad thing.

  • Try Some Reality

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 6:56 pm
    Seymour added that he is excited about the change in the Raiders defensive philosophy from one that relied upon man coverage, four defensive linemen rushin the passer and a dearth of blitzing.

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

    Wasn’t he talking about the old defense as well??

    Shill

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

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 6:57 pm
    *talking up*

    When he came over from New England, he talked up how much he liked the 4 down lineman approach, the simple go beat your man and play Raider football company line.

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

    Maybe so, don’t remember. I do remember him not being too happy last year about the defense. Hilarious watching him blow off a question he was asked during a preseason interview where they asked him what he thought of the defensive philosophy. I remember thinking…”oh boy, here we go.” Of course, we were all thinking that when Chuck was hired last year.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Did Regan Upshaw ever get ejected from a game (as a Raider)?

  • Method To My Madness

    Seymour Bush Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:13 pm
    Excuses Glenn….the dline is the main problem…..we dont have a NT…our UT is at LDE…Our RDE is really a LDE…our current NT is better served as a UT or LDE and our UT is a bum
    =================================

    I don’t agree that everyone is out of position. The players that seem to be out of position are 55 and Mitchell. And I mean they are out of position when it comes to making a play. One point I will make is we need to go with an 8 man Dline rotation. I think we had 6 last year. Guys wore out midway through last season and that has happened the last few years.
    ********************

    Yeah well you dont have to agree with fact…most dont in this world

    Mitchell plays the run perfect…and if McClain had better DTs in front of him he would be alot better

  • n8_austin

    Some people are acting like Seymour is the next coming of Warren Sapp. Relax, he’s gonna handle biz on that line.

  • realtruraider

    Isn’t there some big Condo fans on here? Check this out.

    @CorkOnTheNFL This could be yours, IF the Price is Right. (PS. The Price is the media guide. http://pic.twitter.com/NAZVJJQm

    LMFAO!

  • Method To My Madness

    Raider O Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:27 pm
    B,

    Btw, what’s your major?
    **********************
    CTVA….basically the entertainment major lol…

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    morilla Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Even pretty boy Howie would have been ejected. Multiple times. ( I use the term pretty boy loosely, he’s an all time favorite)

    I want there’s to be some piss and vinegar on the field. It’s part of being a Raider. Just now a days you have to reign it in. Getting ejected isn’t always a bad thing.
    ============================================

    This is exactly right. And in that Pitt game Kemoeatu who was generally regarded as one of the dirtiest players in the game kept taking cheap shots at all the Raider linemen. I thought Seymour punching Rothleisberger was an act of one of our guys standing up for his players. But of course you have to actually watch the game which Jamista Clown clearly didn’t.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Mitchell plays the run perfect
    ==================================

    Go put on the lst GB TD run from last year and say that statement again. this time with a straight face.

  • DJ Johnny

    55.n8_austin Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    Some people are acting like Seymour is the next coming of Warren Sapp. Relax, he’s gonna handle biz on that line.

    Problem is he hasn’t really handled biz yet as a Raider.

    I give him credit for blocking those fg’s at Arrowhead though. He came up big that game.

  • realtruraider
  • Intrepid

    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL

    “@SRoutt26: #ChiefsNation #ChiefsNation #ChiefsNation” — Guess is, the Raider Nation hears you, and you will hear from them at Coliseum.

  • r8eray

    That’s the North County Times’ Scott Bair breaking the news that the quarterback (Kyle Boller) the Chargers brought in to take snaps in preseason games while Whitehurst nursed a knee injury has decided instead to retire from football.

    He said the hell with it!!

    I would too if I played for them Dolts!!

    Lol…

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    realtruraider Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Seymour was a beast last year when he was healthy
    =======================================

    Exactly. There is no one that actually understands the game that will not agree with that statement. Seymour tweaked a knee half way through the season and was not the same til the last three weeks. The last three weeks of the season he was excellent again.

  • Method To My Madness

    Seymour Bush Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:48 pm
    Mitchell plays the run perfect
    ==================================

    Go put on the lst GB TD run from last year and say that statement again. this time with a straight face.
    ********************

    Wow one play….next

  • Tricky70390

    Intrepid Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:55 pm
    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL

    “@SRoutt26: #ChiefsNation #ChiefsNation #ChiefsNation” — Guess is, the Raider Nation hears you, and you will hear from them at Coliseum.

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

    Here’s hoping Carson throws at him all day

  • DJ Johnny

    62.Intrepid Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:55 pm
    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL

    “@SRoutt26: #ChiefsNation #ChiefsNation #ChiefsNation” — Guess is, the Raider Nation hears you, and you will hear from them at Coliseum.

    Cork, you picked the Raiders to be dead last in the division this yr.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Method To My Madness Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:46 pm
    Raider O Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:27 pm
    B,

    Btw, what’s your major?
    **********************
    CTVA….basically the entertainment major lol…
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Nice..interesting major, and you are in the right place.

  • DJ Johnny

    I saw Seymour playing patty cake with the SD oline when we had em deep in their own end that last game. He was not double teamed either.

    Rivers laid out a blanket, plugged in a tv and hooked up his dvd player…watched Cecil B Demilles “The Ten Commandments” then casually got up and threw to an open receiver.

    Gotta get more pressure this yr.

  • rob_raider

    Method To My Madness Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    Seymour Bush Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:13 pm
    Excuses Glenn….the dline is the main problem…..we dont have a NT…our UT is at LDE…Our RDE is really a LDE…our current NT is better served as a UT or LDE and our UT is a bum
    =================================

    I don’t agree that everyone is out of position. The players that seem to be out of position are 55 and Mitchell. And I mean they are out of position when it comes to making a play. One point I will make is we need to go with an 8 man Dline rotation. I think we had 6 last year. Guys wore out midway through last season and that has happened the last few years.
    ********************

    Yeah well you dont have to agree with fact…most dont in this world

    Mitchell plays the run perfect…and if McClain had better DTs in front of him he would be alot better

    __________________________

    sorry but ur simply wrong here. mcclain is basically a punk. he likes to body slam little guys but he won’t get after guys his size or close to it. you need to record the games and rewatch plays over and over, watching individual players. it also helps to know the positions are supposed to be played. mcclain doesn’t fly to the ball and remain on the inside shoulder of the ball carrier. thomas howard used to do the same thing.

    our DL is actually pretty good. seymour is a hall-of-famer. his penalties last year were stupid and he may be slowing down though. kelly is very good. makes a LOT of tackles for a DT. our LB’s have been horrendous for years. no discipline and no instinctiveness and no aggressive flying to the ball. mcclain is on the hot seat for a reason. he has shown flashes and he played much better in the 2nd half last season so there’s hope, but again, when ur a punk, ur weak in the face of equal competition. i’m not a believer. i hope he surprises me. curry has great athleticism and shows the willingness to actually go thru traffic and smack someone. he just may not have the greatest instincts. i’m hoping he improves. wheeler is a solid real LB. not great but a decent player. when i say “real LB’, i mean a guy who flies to the ball and shows ability to go thru traffic and keep his proper angle. we have had too many guys sitting back on their heels, like mcclain, or running way past their angle like howard used to. that’s why i really like burris. he shows a lot of playmaking instinct and desire. a real LB. and goethel playes like that too. not sure if he’ll be the same though. and don’t sleep on stupar. he’s nothing flashy but he plays the position properly. he played on an excellent defense at PSU and i wouldn’t be surprised to see him emerge eventually.

    actually, chaz powell comes from that same PSU defense, as does crawford. they all may stick.

  • rob_raider

    all of u cooper carlisle bashers don’t really know ur bizness. the man is a battler. he’s a ZBS guy. knows his angles and fights. he gets it done for the most part. and barnes is not bad either. the o-line is above average. not very much depth though.

    the passing game should be very good this season. palmer has a chance to start from training camp. having 2 actual starters at wr and not 5 or 6 guys trying to be starters will help too. dhb and moore are the guys and they should have big years. i’m thinking 80/122/8 for dhb and 65/950/6 for moore. ford is a return man. he’ll see 25/350/1. it’s criner that will come up and get 45/650/8. streater and calhoun are development guys. ausberry could have a nice year too. something like 45/650/5.

    the running game is top notch as long as dmc is healthy. goodson is perfect as a backup. he can handle 20 carries if needed, but if dmc is healthy, he won’t see much. jones should get 10 touches a game though. he’s light but he’s a big play waiting to happen.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Richard Seymour turned Tommy Kelly into a Pro Bowler

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Wow one play….next
    ================================

    Uh, last time I looked the Raider defense was giving up 5+ yards per rush. That’s more than one play.

  • mcfadden20.

    Can’t wait till the boys play for reals in about couple of weeks , and I know a lot of you people are concerned about the D and for a good reason but I don’t really think we can judge our D from any of the past years because they were already put in disadvantage starting with their D coordinator, no training camp , and last but not least their D scheme was old school … So we cant really judge those players until their actually play in the modern scheme for once and we’ll def find out what we on that side of our team this year and I can’t wait :) )) Go Raiders

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    The Raider DT’s were not asked to stop the Run.

  • rob_raider

    the defense is the key.

    the DL is pretty good. shaugnessy will emerge this year. he’s very good. seymour and kelly are tough. i’m not sold on houston as a DE. better as a guy slides up and down the line. he can penetrate and make tackles behind the line but i don’t see him as a pass rusher or an edge-sealer. i like bryant though. and crawford plays the position very well. very strong at turning plays in. stands strong when the plays are at him, then sheds the block and goes after the runner.

    LB is huge because they have sucked for so long. mcclain sucks and i think he’ll get replaced by goethel or curry, who might be a monster inside, where can just go to the ball. wheeler will be ok. and i think burris could be a stud.

    huff is ok. not great but not bad. i love branch. love his aggressiveness and tenacity. he never gives up on a play.

    bartell and spencer are ok. holding the fort until dvd and chekwa can take their spots. and both of them have pretty good ability. dvd can cover anyone. just needs seasoning. chekwa looked good before he was injured.

    the defense could potentially improve to the middle of the pack, and that would be good enough to get us in the playoffs because the offense will be very good, barring key injuries.

  • mcfadden20.

    I’m really excited to see what Jones does in this one cut and go ZBS and also excited to see what Criner can do in the Red Zone ,we sorely missed a big RZ target in that area, I’m also excited to see our OL become even better with the addition of Briesel and Berstrom, I’m not sure how our TE situation will play out but really intriguing situation though, and our WR’s group should be head and shoulder above from last year and please McFadden can you stay healthy for once and put up MVP #s …

  • rob_raider

    KoolKell Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:51 pm
    The Raider DT’s were not asked to stop the Run.

    _______________________

    ur pretty much correct here. a lot of people don’t understand the game very well. it’s very difficult to make a lot of tackles as an interior lineman. ur simply too engaged with blockers. the best DT’s do make their fair share because when a RB is nearby, they swallow them up, but it’s the LB’s who are responsible for most of the tackling. the DL ties up blockers and clog lanes, allowing good LB’s to fly thru traffic and chip blocks to the RB. they need to maintain good angles, just like when ur trying to catch a greased pig or chicken. and they need to wrap up. our DT’s have made a good amount of tackles and are well-respected by players and coaches. our safeties routinely make the most tackles on the team, meaning duh, too many RB’s are getting to the 3rd level. our LB’s have been making less than 90 tackles and sometimes, like 65 on the year. horrible.

  • mcfadden20.

    I think when you think about it ,we had good draft we prolly got 2-3 players who will be starting this year or next year

  • Que

    Rob_raider Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 7:49 pm
    there’s almost a guarantee of culture change. al davis is dead. many of the people involved with the raiders are gone. there are new people at owner, gm, and the coaching staff. it’s practically just another organization, with little ties to the raiders as we’ve always known (and loved) them. in fact, it’s the time to go to another team if u want to, because this is frankly a “raiders” team in name and uniform color only. many of the players return and they might bring with them old habits, but calling this team the raiders is barely more accurate than calling jon gruden’s buccaneers team the raiders. i will continue to be raiders fan b/c it’s what i know. but i’m not sure it will ever be the same.

    are the yankees the same yankees that had ruth, gherig, dimaggio, etc? kinda makes u wonder who ur really rooting for. mark davis, reggie mckenzie, and dennis allen? why do i care? it’s basically the uniforms and the memories the fact they’re in oakland.

    I felt this right after AL Davis Passed. We will see , I love the potential Reggie has and Dennis Allen. I myself am worried with all the religious good boy being drafted. And I so hope some AL Davis seeps into Reggie and Allen, this is the Raiders and We wear Black and Silver for a reason. The Raiders are supposed to be hated by the boring everyday nfl teams. I so felt this right after Al passed. GO Raiders and here’s to hoping some Raiders nastiness will still be there. GO Defense!

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    We’ll see, can’t wait.

  • mcfadden20.

    I’m thinking about a new slogan for this year .. How about “take no prisoners”

  • mcfadden20.

    I know it’s hella old.. We should come up with a list of like 100 slogans and vote for the best one

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    I expect at least 9 wins this year.

  • rob_raider

    if u read thru the lines and pay attention to what’s said, u can pick up on what the organization is thinking.

    1) cutting carlisle and then moving him to LG for the first time in his career obviously means they would like bergstrom to be the guy. he might be, but 3rd rounders don’t usually start immediately. off. lineman usually take a year or so to know what they’re doing. carlisle will be a great example to bergstrom.

    2) dennis allen said when he took the job that they really needed to get more out of the te position. well, i don’t blame him. look at the stats and ur not that impressed. but he hadn’t yet seen ausberry up close. i’m sure ausberry will be the guy. he has very good receiving skills and i think allen is very happy to have a player like him on the roster that no one really yet knows about. also reggie brought in humphrey, who started 7 games a few years ago for the packers. change is underway.

    3) bringing in schmitt shows that they realize how bad of a blocker reece is.

    4) they pretty much have to see if mcclain and curry will develop, but it’s soon or their out. they already brought in wheeler and with goethel, burris, and stuapr around, those two better start living up their abilities quickly, because options are in-house.

    5) reggie made a clear point of saying they needed better CB play. he brought in two new starters and several options for depth. it is no guarantee that dvd or chekwa will stick if they don’t show the goods.

  • mcfadden20.

    :) Raiders are the best

  • Kirk

    A real GM and a real coach….

    It’s a great day for the Raiders.

    ESPN was gushing all over Peyton Manning today.

    I hope we kick his a…

    Denver’s first game is against the Steelers.

    We will see how he does.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    t#5, They brought in scrubs.

  • rob_raider

    Mcfadden20. Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    I think when you think about it ,we had good draft we prolly got 2-3 players who will be starting this year or next year
    ****************************

    it may be a very good draft.

    bergstrom–looks to be a starter-type.

    burris–i really like him. a playmaker. i think he will start either this year or next.

    crawford–looked at his reel and he plays the run VERY well. very disciplined and gets off blockers and makes plays. needs work as a pass rusher. good potential. could be a starter.

    criner–i was puzzled by the fact he fell. i know his 40 time wasn’t great but this dude produced in the pac-10, has great size and hands, and looks like a man among boys in highlights. a definite starter in the future.

    bilukidi–yes he’s raw but what’s not to like. he’s big, strong, and athletic. this kid could rise quickly. may be a stud in the making.

    stupar–i like him to stick and possibly start in the future. he’s pretty good.

  • rob_raider

    Que Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I myself am worried with all the religious good boy being drafted.

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

    don’t be. religious guys aren’t pussi*s. they’re focused, disciplined, and stay out of trouble. they have commitment and aren’t punks. steve wisniewski, reggie white. and i believe vann mcelroy was a preacher’s kid.

  • rob_raider

    tim tebow is tuff as nails.

  • Que

    A real GM and a real coach….

    It’s a great day for the Raiders.

    ESPN was gushing all over Peyton Manning today.

    I hope we kick his a…

    Denver’s first game is against the Steelers.

    We will see how he does.

    Hell Ya ……..I want the raiders to end that dude career. Should have never came to AFC west baby

  • Que

    Im with you Kirk on that. All this Denver talk and no ones played yet

  • Que

    Rob_raider Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 11:23 pm
    Que Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I myself am worried with all the religious good boy being drafted.

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

    don’t be. religious guys aren’t pussi*s. they’re focused, disciplined, and stay out of trouble. they have commitment and aren’t punks. steve wisniewski, reggie white. and i believe vann mcelroy was a preacher’s kid.

    This is football and the raiders legacy was never written on Religious beliefs. You didnt get drafted by the raiders being…That was my point to your original great point. It was something people noticed during the draft also. We drafted alot of good guys

  • Try Some Reality

    Nice to see football back and the increased posts in here. Should be an interesting and hopefully fun year. All signs point to some great rookie WR pickups and that’s good news, Nation.

  • rob_raider

    my pick for the best (soon-to-be) starting lineup:

    veldheer-bergstrom-wiz-brisiel-barnes

    palmer-schmitt-dmc (reece as a pass catcher only)

    ausberry-dhb-moore (criner in 3 wr sets)

    bryant-seymour-kelly-shaugnessy (houston playing up and down line)

    burris-curry-stupar (mcclain in jail)

    dvd-branch-huff-chekwa (bartell and spencer watching)

  • blackandsilverside

    Thand God for miracles, big and small. AD has passed. Now finally the worshippers will quit sniveling and realize AD was out of his ever-lovin-mind for the past 10 yrs.

  • mcfadden20.

    Go Raiders ..

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Seymour rode up with the rookies last year on Saturday

  • mcfadden20.

    Ok quit talking about A.D already and let the man rest in his peace .. We all know what happened and didnt happen ..He is a legend and he could have done some things different but the team and the image it has we’re following is because of him . I like much of RAider nation is looking forward to watching real management do it’s work with really nice D to watch .. Can’t wait but please quit rubbing it in his face very time let him RIP