Part of the Bay Area News Group

Raiders eager for more takeaways

By Steve Corkran
Monday, October 8th, 2012 at 3:09 pm in Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders are tied for last in the league in terms of turnovers on defense. Perhaps most glaring, the Raiders are one of only two teams without an interception this season.
Hence, there is what strong safety Tyvon Branch calls an added emphasis on getting that turned around. In a hurry.
The Raiders forced four fumbles, and recovered three, their first four games. Even so, that’s not the rate of return coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver want on their investment.
Never mind that the Raiders played against three veteran quarterbacks their first three games — Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning, Allen and the players said. It’s incumbent upon the Raiders to force the issue.
“We call them takeaways, which means that we control them,” Allen said. “It’s not like the offense gives us the ball. We go out and take it away from them. So, yeah, there’s things that we can do.”
Branch said it’s as simple as tackling better on plays in which the quarterbacks checks down the ball and thereby forcing longer passes in traffic.
“Once we start tackling better, they got to start making high-risk throws in order to accomplish what they want to accomplish,” Branch said. “So, football’s crazy. Once they start coming, they’re going to come in bunches.”
Turnovers come as a result of defense played at a fevered pitch, Allen said.
“We got to have 11 people flying around to the football, flying around like their hair’s on fire,” Allen said. “And that’s the way you play defensive football. It’s been that way since the beginning of time, and it won’t change.”
Free safety Michael Huff envisioned the Raiders defense being a top-five unit that imposed its will on opposing offenses. Part of playing that style of defense, naturally, would result in numerous turnovers.
The realization that the Raiders are without an interception through four games is something Huff has difficult grasping.
“I wouldn’t have believed it,” Huff said. “Even based off preseason, you could just see, it was a great defense when we play our defense. And for us not to have any picks and only a few sacks just boggles (the mind).”

– The bye week afforded Allen and his coaching staff added time to evaluate the roster and the first four regular-season games.
Allen had this to say about what he gleaned from the process:
“Obviously, there’s things that we can do better as a coaching staff to put our players in a little bit better position,” Allen said. “At the end of the day, it comes down to players going out and executing and making the plays they get the opportunity to make.
“We’re all in this thing together and we’re continuing … This will be a constant thing, it is in the NFL. You never rest. You keep looking for ways to improve. Last week was a good week for us to kind of look at ourselves and what we’re doing and how we can do it a little bit better.
Allen said it was nice to be able to step away from the hustle and bustle of the season and see things from a fresh perspective.
In short, he said he learned some things about his team, as well as reinforced already formed opinions on some things.
“The season moves fast,” Allen said. “Sometimes you think you see something, and it’s not exactly the way you saw it. When you get a little bit of time to sit back and look at it, spend a little bit of time looking at it, it opens your eyes to a few different things. We looked at a lot of different areas from what we were doing well and what we have to improve on. We’ll move forward from there.”
Defensive end Lamarr Houston honed in on one aspect of his game during the bye week.
“As a D-line, we need to apply more pressure to the quarterback and we need to make more of an impact in the games,” Houston said. “That’s basically what I really was focusing on, because we’ve been pretty good in the run game, and we also need to improve on third downs, that’s a part of rushing the passer.”

– Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey has passed all his concussion-related tests, as mandated by the league, and been cleared for full contact, Allen said.
Heyward-Bey looked at full strength in practice today, running multiple routes at full speed and doing everything asked of the other wide receivers.
Therefore, it’s likely that he will make his return Sunday against the Falcons. He last played in a game Sept. 23, when he was knocked from the game with a helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers safety Ryan Mundy.

– Linebacker Aaron Curry is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list Oct. 16. Once he practices for the first time, a 21-day window begins for the Raiders to decide how to proceed.
Here’s what the rule states:
“At any time during that period, the club can restore the player to the active/inactive list. If the player is not restored to the active/inactive list on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, and the club elects to carry the player on reserve/PUP or reserve/non-football injury, the player shall not be permitted to play in any games and is not allowed to practice or participate in team or individual drills during the remainder of the season (including postseason).”
Rookie Miles Burris has filled in for Curry the first four games at weak-side linebacker. If Curry is healthy enough to be activated, Allen has to decide how best to use Curry.
Curry missed all of training camp and some of the offseason workouts because of sore knees. It’s a stretch to envision Curry getting into football shape in a short amount of time, but he certainly could reach that point during the 21-day window.
Curry declined an interview for the second time in recent weeks. He said he isn’t allowed to speak with the media as long as he’s on the physically unable to perform list.
Allen said he’s eager to see where Curry is at when he returns next week.
“He has made some progress,” Allen said. “It’s different when you’re doing your rehab work as opposed to when you’re actually out there playing football. It will be a great deal for us to get him out here, get him working some football, running around and doing some football movement and really getting back into the swing of what we’re doing defensively because it’s been a while since he’s gotten an opportunity to participate.”
Curry missed some of the offseason workouts and all of training camp.

– Allen said the Raiders did not work out any free agents last week. However, there’s the “potential” to do so this week.
He added that the starting lineup figures to look much as it did when the Raiders last played a game.
“I wouldn’t expect just a bunch of wholesale changes,” Allen said. “We’ve put a lot of time into the guys out there that we have on the field. We’re going to continue to evaluate that as we go through and whatever lineup changes we feel like are necessary to maybe give us a boost and help us maybe play a little bit better, we’ll make those changes.”

– Tight end Richard Gordon (hamstring), rigth offensive tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) and cornerback Shawntae Spencer (foot) are making progress toward a return to the field. However, it doesn’t sound likely that they will be back in time for the Falcons game.
Allen said Barnes and Gordon are “week to week.” As for Spencer, his right foot still is in a protective boot. Spencer and Barnes suffered their injuries against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 16. Gordon got hurt in practice two days before the Broncos game the following week.

– Several players spoke about the anniversary of managing general partner Al Davis’ passing. Hers’s a sampling of what they said:
“We don’t really talk about it, but I can tell you there’s guys in here that were close to him, including myself, that you do kind of take a moment to yourself and just think about it and know you’re thankful for him and what he’s done and his family and the organization that he built from the ground up. And you’re just really appreciative of it.” — fullback Marcel Reece

“All I can say is, I’m going to make him proud as his last pick. I’m getting better every day. I know he’s looking down scheming over the Raiders because he loved football. All I know is, I’m going to make him proud and I’m going to be exactly what he thought I was going to be.” — quarterback Terrelle Pryor

“When you think about the Raiders, you think about Mr. Davis and what he meant, not only to this franchise, but to the NFL He’s an icon that surpassed, when you talk about leaving a legacy, he’ll always be remembered whether it’s the one-year or the 10-year, the century mark, decade mark, you’re always going to think about what it meant to put on the silver and black and just that mindset and mentality.” — defensive tackle Richard Seymour

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  • ravenaider

    Been trying to heal the wounds Raider Nation.It’s been a tough season and it’s bigger that Greg “My Offense Always Takes A” Knapp!

    Idiot Head Coach was interviewed(see Raiders.com)and was asked if he and his coaches watched any film on the Atl Falcons…the idiot said NO! He then was asked did they work out or look at any players over the bye…NO again!! Mr Davis’ spirit will not rest this year.How can you be COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE,when you take a bye week and go on a freakin’ vacation after looking at this mess?

    Reggie is so stubborn that he doesnt want to look at Chris Johnson? He was dealing with his family issues last season…is he ready to play? Can someone get some info on why he hasnt been brought in? HE CAN HELP US!!!!! Hell,I’d take Lito Sheppard or Bodden.

    It is gonna be a long season NATION,just maybe we can win a few games with this mess of a FRONT OFFICE in place.

  • ravenaider

    *than

  • Kiwi_Blade

    Idiot Head Coach was interviewed(see Raiders.com)and was asked if he and his coaches watched any film on the Atl Falcons…the idiot said NO! He then was asked did they work out or look at any players over the bye…NO again!

    ————————————————–
    DA was too busy “evaluating” – no time to worry about the Falcons.

  • Kiwi_Blade

    The bye week wasn’t long enough to fully “evaluate” the 3rd worst team in the NFL.
    It will most likely take until the end of the regular season for a full and proper “evaluation” to be completed.

  • rediaR

    Think I might “accidentally” sleep in this sunday.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think the Raiders will find a way to win this weekend. I think it works in our favor that Atlanta is undefeated right now and we’re huge underdogs expected to get blown out he rest of the season and net a Top 5 draft pick..

    nobody respects us. This is a “prove you belong” in the NFL type game where we have the chance to make a statement, following what hopes to be the worst game of the season versus Peyton Manning in Denver

  • RaiderRockstar

    Hey DAV, remember when you posted the link to that PFF article about Tyvon Branch? You claimed he “shut down” Gronkowski and that he’s one of the best safeties in the league because of it.

    Do you still feel that way ?? LOL

  • Eye in the Sky

    There are 2 true defenses to this tort: 1) if those facts are newsworthy they can be revealed; and 2) if those facts can be accessed by public record they are not considered private.
    ——-
    It’s all public record.

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!
    I guess my two weeks off hasn’t really done anything Raider wise…but hey…I was doing The Bernie 2400 miles across the Pacific last Wednesday!

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    HEY HWNRDR,WELCOME BACK MAN..

  • hwnrdr

    DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL Says:
    October 10th, 2012 at 6:07 am
    HEY HWNRDR,WELCOME BACK MAN..

    Thanks, Dirt Lot!

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Mornin’ Nation.

    If you put a gun to my head, I still think the Falcons win, but I’ve done some reading & I’m a bit more optimistic than I have been the Raiders might be able to escape with a win.

    I read on another site that the Falcons are a Cam Newton fumble & an RGIII concussion away from being 3-2.

    You look at their other games and see that they’ve beat up on a sch!t Chiefs team and a mediocre Chargers team. They jumped out early against Manning and Donks but had to hold on for a win.

    Basically they’re overrated. If the Raiders had Bartell and Spencer in, I might be tempted to pick the big upset. As it is, since the Falcons do have weaknesses that can be exploited, I think the team’s performance will go a long way toward telling us just how much evaluation and tweaking went on during the by week.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I’ve said it all week and I’ll say it again: ball control ball control ball control.

    Atlanta can’t score if the offense is standing on the sidelines.

    Find the run game & fix the third down issues, this game is winnable.

  • hwnrdr

    Any Given Sunday, PA!

  • theghostronin79

    I think the Raiders could win too. NO, I ain’t crazy….That’s just how they are. They could win Sunday, then lay a MASSIVE TURD at home against Jacksonville. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it played out that way.

  • Custom Raider

    We’re Raider fans used to a ‘beat to your own drum tradition’. We just needed a little help re-loading, not a total overhaul and rebuild. The team was poised. Now we’re goin vanilla. It’s disguting.

  • Custom Raider

    Some apologists say look at Houston or Atlanta. They waited while they rebuilt. Well, we’re the Raiders. Different story. Besides, it starts with coaching. Look at last year. A good D coach and we’re in the playoffs. WTH

  • Custom Raider

    If the Raiders don’t get humiliated on Sunday, I will be shocked. Won’t buy the ‘scheme’ thing because if we win, it will be Palmer and McFaddens doings.

  • Custom Raider

    Break time. Gotta go.

  • Just Fire Baby

    2010, every 7-9 to 9-7 team failed to make the playoffs in 2011.

    From last year, the only 8-8 non-playoff teams that look like they might make the playoffs are the Chargers and Cardinals, maybe Eagles.

    The Titans were 9-7 last year, and re-loaded with the same team and even added Kam Wimbley.

    They may have the a top 3 draft pick next year.

  • Just Fire Baby

    You look back over the years, waaaaaay more teams that finish 8-8 go sour the next year instead of into the playoffs.

  • hwnrdr

    That is true, JFB!

  • Custom Raider

    Good point JFB. just sick and tired of all the face plants. Will it ever stop?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Will it ever stop?

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

    How this team competes on Sunday will be a good “tell” of what is to come, at least with this current staff and some of the roster.

    A faceplant, with the season in balance and off a bye is unacceptable. Quit frankly, a close loss with the team fighting to the end, is acceptable, being that the Falcons are massively more talented than us and at home.

  • http://000 Bob Marley

    You have to look at the other team as well.

    Falcons can control the ball too, Michael Turner’s annual mid-late season slide hasn’t started yet, he’s gonna keep our D honest, then you have White and Julio who can beat you on short, medium or deep routes and Tony Gonzalez working the middle, plus an above average OL and a no-huddle attack that can wear you down fast.

    We haven’t played an Offense this good and balanced yet and we’re already giving up 31 ppg, this game could be over by halftime.

    Looking back to last week’s game, Washington scored 14 of their 17 points on a Pick 6 by Ryan Kerrigan and on a busted coverage long TD from Cousins to Moss, those were freak plays and not the result of Atlanta showing a particular weakness.

    Besides, last week vs the Redskins may have been the Falcons “come down to earth” game where things didn’t particularly bounce their way and they still managed to win, I would expect them to be focused and ready to go on sunday.

    That being said,you can run on Atl’s front 7, they are undersized and play much better with a lead when they can just go after the QB and force turnovers, a big day from McFadden and the OL is our only hope.

  • Just Fire Baby

    We need to offset the talent gap with Atlanta, with good ST’s play, winning the turnover battle (somehow) and getting a big play or two offensively.

    We aren’t going to beat them matching them drive for drive. Won’t happen.

    However, the notion it will be “over at halftime” is ridiculous to me. We are coming off a bye, in the NFL, that is worth like 7-10 points almost.

  • theghostronin79

    So far, it seems that when they’re playing “Motivated” and resolute….even THEN, the biggest deficit they can overcome is 10 points. That’s at their BEST. If at any point in ANY game -regardless of opponent- they go down 2 touchdowns, and have to give the ball back ie: punt/turnover ; I feel that they’re DONE.

    None of this 21 point comeback Bullsh*t like the Colts pulled on Sunday.

    Touchdown and field goal?….ahhhh maybe they can hang around and pull one out.
    But 2 touchdowns and the wheels fall off and they go straight to Sh*t.

  • AmysInCharge

    Ok, Im still the leader in the clubhouse with our row 1 banner contest,..you shut-ins still have lots of time…the winner gets the row 5 pair for Jax,..so lets get this going,…rules are, best banner for the Jax game to be placed in a very prominant place, lots of tv time,..you have about a week. Heres what you have to beat.

    Obamma/Biden 2012
    Gruden/Allen (Bruce) 2013

    Good luck!

  • http://thswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    Klas lost all money in betting this year. Thinking bout taking out loan and placing it all on Falcons to cover the spread. Klas be rollin’ large on Monday!

  • http://thswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    Obamma/Biden 2012
    Gruden/Allen (Bruce) 2013

    Good luck!
    ———-
    Just snooze baby!

  • http://thswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    Obamma/Biden 2012
    Gruden/Allen (Bruce) 2013

    Good luck!
    ———
    Reggie and Allen = Norwegian Bert and Ernie

  • http://000 Bob Marley

    However, the notion it will be “over at halftime” is ridiculous to me. We are coming off a bye, in the NFL, that is worth like 7-10 points almost.

    —————————————————

    I guess that means oddmakers would have us somewhere between + 15 to 19 point underdogs if we weren’t coming off a bye then?.

    Look, I’m holding hope for the upset as much as anyone, but looking at the first 5 weeks is not helping.

    But, like I said, get to 4-4 somehow, make a push in the 2nd half.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Weren’t we down 10 points to the Steelers in the 3rd quarter?

    Agree that it is tough on the road to do so, but than, who in the NFL is overcoming 14 point deficits on the road?

    Only the elite of the elite.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I guess that means oddmakers would have us somewhere between + 15 to 19 point underdogs if we weren’t coming off a bye then?.

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

    You don’t see many 19 point spreads in the NFL, but if both us AND the Falcons were coming off a bye, you would see the line closer to 14 or so, IMO.

  • R8ER MIKE

    GOOD MORNING NATION !!!
    and my GreenParty brothers !!!

  • http://thswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    Raider’s beating Falcons as likely as Klas getting sun tan.

  • Just Fire Baby

    On a sidenote, I am working with the PD department in Durango, CO today, and my work-day was just cut in half as the first lady is visiting and speaking today, and every officer will be on the detail.

    Long live the first family!!!!!

  • http://thswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    Sweet deal JFB. Now you can spend more time with your second family! Us!!!

  • http://thswede.com Klas Tjorborn

    LOL, Packer player says “Refs are out to get us this year.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/10/packers-player-says-refs-are-out-to-get-us/

    Raiders are becoming Packers and Packers are becoming Raiders.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Now I don’t have to pretend to be sick to go watch the Giants game!!!!

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Mike!

  • DJ Johnny

    I knew by the end of the week we’d have the majority here somehow thinking we we win this Sunday.

    We are coming off a humiliating pounding at the hands of Denver and are 1-3. Playing on the road in an east coast game (which we almost always lose) against a 5-0, STRONG SB contender, without our starting corners against a QB that is arguably better than the one who just shredded us.

    ON PAPER, it looks like we’re looking at a thorough lambasting.

    I love the optimism, but even in my most kool aid drinking state it is hard to even conceive of us having a shot at winning this one.

    That being said, I HOPE for a miracle…as always.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Now you can spend more time with your second family! Us!!!

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

    Believe it or not ol ‘Klasy, you might be my 1.5 family.

    On my dad’s side, I have some Nordic stuff, and our last names have the same amount of syllables and even rhyme.

    Scary huh?

  • raiderzmaverick

    McKenzie in an interview said that Mark Davis and he understand patience and they know that they are moving in the right direction now.

    I’d say that we aren’t moving in the right direction. The last 3 years in a row we went to Denver and smoked them! We piled up rushing yards like it was a walk in the park. And we were blowing them away.

    This year we go in there and get beaten in all facets of the game, including not even able to run the ball.

    That’s WRONG DIRECTION I think, but they’re so fixated on “being right” that they can’t look really and work things back to the way they were working.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Klas Tjorborn Says:
    October 10th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    LOL, Packer player says “Refs are out to get us this year.”

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/10/packers-player-says-refs-are-out-to-get-us/

    Raiders are becoming Packers and Packers are becoming Raiders.
    =====================
    Nah, we’re becoming the 2nd hand Packers. They’re still the packers.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Johnny,

    Come Sunday around 2:30 pm MST, after a 30-27 Raider victory, I am going to demand you go stand in the corner, put on some John Cougar and cry, and reflect on the level of ninni-ness you have displayed in here the last month.

  • R8ER MIKE

    whats up there Hwnrdr ??
    how have you been brother ??
    got my tickets to the Raider/ravens game !!
    damn shame you wont be coming out this way
    this year.

  • hwnrdr

    Hey Mike,
    I just came back from Hawaii visiting my family! And I know…realy wanted to come out to that game!

  • R8ER MIKE

    ninni-ness
    ***********
    LMFAO !!!

  • AmysInCharge

    RIP Mongo. :(