Part of the Bay Area News Group

Gonzalez won’t have Raiders to kick around after Sunday

By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 3:20 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez has been a thorn in the Raiders side for most of his 16 NFL seasons, especially as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
If all goes according to plan, the Raiders will face Gonzalez for the final time Sunday, when the Raiders play the Atlanta Falcons on the road. Well, that is unless the Raiders and Falcons advance to the Super Bowl.
Gonzalez says he intends to retire after this season, even though he leads the NFL in receptions through five games.
“I’m still sticking to it,” Gonzalez said in a conference call with Bay Area medai. “I’m having some fun but I haven’t changed my mind at all. I’m still at 95 percent. I’m never ever going to say 100 percent. I’m just enjoying it one week at a time. I’m lucky enough to stick around this long. To end it like this, playing with some great players, great quarterback, great receivers outside, it’s a lot of fun.”
Falcons coach Mike Smith said he’s holding out hope that Gonzalez changes his mind at some point.
“I’m hoping for that 5 percent,” Smith said. “That’s all you can do. Tony’s without a doubt in my mind the greatest tight end to ever play the game, and he’s been a great addition to our football team and our organization.”
In 23 games vs. the Raiders, Gonzalez has 121 receptions for 1,473 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed one game with an injury. Gonzalez’ team won 16 of the 24 games against the Raiders.
Through the years, Gonzalez created a slew of memorable moments and milestones against the Raiders.
His first victory came against the Raiders on that infamous Monday night game in 1997, when Andre Rison caught a game-deciding touchdown pass from Elvis Grbac with 3 seconds left.
His longest touchdown reception came against the Raiders — 73 yards. The Raiders knocked the Chiefs out of the playoffs race in the regular-season finale in 1999 by overcoming a 17-0 deficit at Arrowhead Stadium.
Gonzalez also is quite fond of the memories from playing so many games at the Oakland Coliseum against a Raiders team he grew up rooting for in Los Angeles.
“I tell people that’s one of my favorite places to play, going out there, going into that chaos out there with all those fans and all that nuttiness,” Gonzalez said. “So, I kind of miss that.”
The Raiders certainly won’t miss searching for ways to defend Gonzalez, who is a sure-fire Pro Football Hall of Famer five years after he retires.
Former 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice is the only other player in league history with more receptions than Gonzalez. That won’t ever change, Gonzalez said.
“Jerry can have that record,” Gonzalez said. “I see Jerry every offseason and if that subject comes up, I’m always telling him, ‘Man, you’re record is safe because I’m definitely breaking that.’ Even if there’s a slight chance I did come back next year, that would definitely be my last year, so there’s no way. That record is safe with Jerry. That and the Dancing With The Stars, I ain’t doing that, either.”

– Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talks about how much he loves his draft picks. Hence, he said he is hesitant to part with his picks.
The Falcons took a different approach when it came to selecting wide receiver Julio Jones. They traded their own first-round pick (No. 27 overall), a second-rounder (59) and a fourth-rounder (124) in the 2011 NFL draft, in addition to their 2012 first-rounder and a fourth-rounder, to move up 21 spots and get Jones.
“Everybody was on board and, obviously, it’s something that worked out very well for us,” Smith said. “You’re going to have to make those kinds of decisions if you’re going to bring in a talented guy on to your roster.”
Jones caught 26 passes for 313 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons first five games. He recorded 54 receptions for 959 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games his rookie season.
The way Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff work hand-in-hand is something Allen admires.
“They, obviously, work together very well,” Allen said. “They got the right formula for winning football games. They understand how to win football games and they understand their personnel and what they’re looking for. So, yeah, in that mode, that’s a team that we, in some respects, try to emulate.”

– Kicker Sebastian Janikowski (groin) and defensive tackles Tommy Kelly (foot) and Richard Seymour (knee) were limited in practice today. All three are expected to play against the Falcons.
Allen said wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion) is looking good in practice and that Allen expects Heyward-Bey to play Sunday.
Quarterback Carson Palmer said Heyward-Bey isn’t showing any lingering effects from the helmet-to-helmet hit he received Sept. 23.
“Like he hasn’t missed a week,” Palmer said. “He caught the ball really well today. He looked extremely fast like he always does. There wasn’t one instance in practice or in meetings where he seemed a little foggy at all. That’s always the issue. It takes you a little while to kind of come out of a daze, but he’s out and he’s ready to play.”

– If the Raiders are going to emerge from their funk running the ball, now would seem to be the time, given the Falcons allow an average of 5.4 yards per carry this season.
Allen said he has seen progress from the running game the past week and a half, even though he isn’t about to make any radical changes.
“Well, you can’t throw everything out and just start over in the middle of the year,” Allen said. “So, yeah, there’s been a few tweaks, a few emphasis points, but nothing like a drastic change, other than we got to execute better. … We’ll see what it looks like when we go out and play on Sunday.”
Palmer said he realizes that people not associated with the Raiders aren’t pleased with the run game, but he said the team’s best bet is to run the ball even more because it puts the ball in the hands of their “best player.”
McFadden agrees that the run game is about to bust out any game now.
“You can see it,” McFadden said. “We see it out there. Guys keep grinding, like I say. It’s one of those things that you have to keep pushing and eventually it’s going to start hitting and it’s something we feel like we’ve been doing lately.”

– The Raiders are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak in terms of games played immediately after a bye week.
Palmer said he expects the Raiders to come out firing Sunday.
“It shouldn’t be hard there,” Palmer said. “There’s only two undefeated teams left. Their crowd is going to be really loud and intense, so it shouldn’t take us long to wake up.
“You’ve got a little bit of rust coming off of a bye but hopefully we shake that off fast. I expect us to. As big of a game as we’re going into and as difficult a situation, the hostile environment we’re going into, I expect we’ll bounce back and be ready to play.”

– Defensive end Andre Carter practiced in pads today for the first time since last year, when he was with the New England Patriots.
“It was good,” Carter said. “I felt like a new kid in school. It’s all great. I felt like I haven’t lost a step, getting accustomed to hitting. It’s definitely going to come down to the game as far as tackling, because you can’t really implement it at practice. You just go.
“I don’t have the preseason, I don’t have the training camp. You got to know what you’re going to do. You got to know your angles and just go ahead and go.”
Carter likely will get his first chance to go in a game Sunday. He hasn’t appeared in a game since he was signed by the Raiders two weeks ago.

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  • guest123

    The Seahawks and Texans WCO/ZBS comparisons all break down when you take into account their defenses. What we call a defense shouldn’t be mentioned with either of their defenses.

  • DJ Johnny

    445.Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:23 am
    The best season they’ve had is 7-9 since Cable came aboard.

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

    You mean the only season?

    You’re right. I forgot he’s only been there this season and last.

  • The Big Banana

    Humm baby! Giants!!!

  • DMAC

    Don’t know 2 many fans who root for the SF Giants, but are Raider fans also.
    Usually It’s a A’s fan, but roots for the Whiners.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Let’s put these dudes away!!

    Latos looks like a “shook one”, Mobb Deep style.

  • DMAC

    Scutaro has always been clutch. Luved him in the green and gold.

  • guest123

    I agree Johnny about not needing to blow up everything. Harbaugh correctly left what was working in place and tweaked the roster to fit the scheme that was put in place by Mike Singletary and adapted the players to the system without scrapping it.

    That’s how you can get a one-year turnaround with just coaching.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Scared to death, scared to look

    Shook

  • The Big Banana

    I’d love to see another Bay Series, DMAC.

    Go A’s!
    Go Giants!

    Never thought I’d ever root for both teams and always looked down on those that did, and now here I am. Lol. I like the grit and fight in the A’s.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Guys bring up how SF turned things around in one yr. from 5-11 to 13-3 with Harbaugh and then they get shot down by guys saying “well the defense was already in place. You can’t equate the Raiders situation with SF’s”.

    Well, one can rightly say the Raiders OFFENSE was pretty much in place and w/o McFadden last yr.

    +++++++++++

    The 2010 San Francisco defense had Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson and Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. Loads of game changing, play making talent. Just needed a better coach.

    The 2011 Raiders offense had Darren McFadden and…no one else when it comes to game changing, play making talent.

    So yeah, the two situations are different.

  • DMAC

    I seriously want to witness Cespedes kiss his bat after hitting a bomb against Alburqurque.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Flaherty should have ran on Ludwig, he can’t throw for crap.

    Posey gots to get em in now.

  • hwnrdr

    All my friends except for one that comes to my house are all Raiders/Giants fans. I also do know a lot of Niner/A’s fans…like I said before…wasn’t used to that! And all my friends are rooting for the A’s because they want to see a Bay Bridge Series part 2!

  • SilverNBlackPA

    7-9 consecutive seasons doesn’t do it for me.

    +++++++++++

    I know you’re very smart guy, DJ Johnny, so I have to ask if you’re deliberately ignoring/twisting my point? I never said I aspire to be Seattle.

  • The Big Banana

    DMAC Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:28 am
    Don’t know 2 many fans who root for the SF Giants, but are Raider fans also.
    Usually It’s a A’s fan, but roots for the Whiners.

    ——

    Yep! Especially during both teams’ heyday, which is why I became a Raider/Giants fan. I don’t like going with the crowd.

  • hwnrdr

    DMAC Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:31 am
    I seriously want to witness Cespedes kiss his bat after hitting a bomb against Alburqurque.

    That would be funny!

  • blackandsilverside

    Purvisman/Intrepid/ Full Disclosure Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 10:44 am
    blackandsilverside Says: Mr. Albert Bigelow Paine:
    You were correct and I was in error.////////////I’m impressed.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Purvisman,

    I was wrong and Paine was right. Especially because we had words I wanted to make it right with him, then move on. That’s always best.

    Btw, I live in LA now, but was born and raised in Yuba City. I heard that you now live in Grass Valley.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Ain’t no halfway crooks Latos.

    Shook

  • The Big Banana

    Killing’ em! Yeah baby! Giants!

  • DJ Johnny

    The zbs is what we are doing now and there’s no changing it. I get that. I thought DA might decide to at least temporarily scrap it but that ain’t happening.

    I don’t understand the rush to implement it given our personnel, but it’s here and what’s done is done.

    Maybe one of these days it’ll just ‘click’…I just wish it would happen sooner than later.

  • Just Fire Baby

    That’s what an MVP looks like.

  • DMAC

    Wow
    Congrats Giants!

  • hwnrdr

    FN Posey! All well…

  • DMAC

    Time for A’s to do their thing 2!

  • guest123

    I’m not holding my breath on the ZBS. I think it will “click” for a play here and there, and with McFadden’s talent, he’ll take a few to the house. But in between those long runs will be a long succession of 2 yards and a cloud of dust.

    I’ll feel much better when there is enough evidence that the system doesn’t work and the coaching staff is compelled to scrap it for good. But not holding my breath.

  • blackandsilverside

    DJ Johnny,

    Guys bring up how SF turned things around in one yr. from 5-11 to 13-3 with Harbaugh and then they get shot down by guys saying “well the defense was already in place. You can’t equate the Raiders situation with SF’s”.

    Well, one can rightly say the Raiders OFFENSE was pretty much in place and w/o McFadden last yr.

    With that line of thinking someone could make the case that all the Raiders had to do is fix up one side of the ball and away we go…instead it gets blown up and re-constituted.

    Is that akin to “blowing up” the niner defense? Harbaugh was smart enuff not to do that, instead focusing on what needed fixing.

    I love the example of Seattle and the zbs cuz it shows the system does not necessarily make u a winner.

    7-9 consecutive seasons doesn’t do it for me.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Great post. Excellent insight!

  • DJ Johnny

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:32 am
    7-9 consecutive seasons doesn’t do it for me.

    +++++++++++

    I know you’re very smart guy, DJ Johnny, so I have to ask if you’re deliberately ignoring/twisting my point? I never said I aspire to be Seattle

    Maybe I misunderstood your purpose for referencing Cable and Seattle’s struggles and subsequent success in implementing the system. I took it that you were saying “hey look..Seattle took a while to gel with this and we will to”.

    My bad if I misunderstood your point.

  • Just Fire Baby

    That error f’d up Latos between the ears, you could see it.

    Walked Scutaro on 4 pitches, hung a bunch of fastballs aftewards.

    Your buddy was on it.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    R8ER MIKE Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:11 am
    O !! whats up there V.P. ??
    and Dave where ya been my GreenParty brother ??
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    ODB,

    Smoking my share and yours. One bowl for O, one bowl for ODB & HB, and repeat daily. My lungs are starting to bother me, but I’m too high to care.
    You know what they say, if you don’t cough, You….

  • Just Fire Baby

    Long inning in between for Cain.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t take 2-3 batters to re-warm up.

  • r8eray

    They should have a poll on Raiders dot com to see how much the Raiders will lose by this Sunday!

    34-13 Falcons by 21 points!

  • DJ Johnny

    476,

    Thanks Blackside. There is debate, as u know, on whether our offense was really that good in the first place last yr.

    I have maintained doing as well as we did last yr. on offense (w/o McFadden) and with a QB that was still getting his bearings and only utilizing half the playbook, that we were pretty good on that side and just needed a bit of “tweaking”.

    Some feel that our offense needed much more fixing.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    If we lose by more than a TD after having 2 weeks to rest and prepare, I expect someone to get fired.
    This is BS! Offense, Defense, and STs are getting worse. WTF is this new, young, and inexperienced staff doing?

  • DMAC

    Bring back Wauffle and eggs!

  • inonewordraider

    We are beans and rice, to sf and l.a.’s steak and lobster
    ___________________
    guess you never been to east la, compton, long beach, south central etc

  • REALLIONAIREB

    Hey Reggie Mac…

    You signed Andre Carter

  • raiderkoolaid

    I don’t think that either the zone blocking scheme or the power blocking scheme is clearly better than the other, but the zbs takes time to jell, and since we were already a good power blocking team I saw no reason to fix what wasn’t broken, but now that we are already into it, I think it will work eventually, but it may not be this year. It would sure be a waist to have two quality linemen like Wiz and Veldheer, and not have them fit the zone blocking scheme. This team has as much offensive talent, or at least close to it, as any team in the NFL.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Our offense needed an identity from last year.

    One week we rush for 170 yards, the next week 50.

    One week we score 34 points, the next week 13.

    Not saying we gained an identity so far, at least not a good one lol, but you couldn’t count on anything offensively last year.

    When we needed a first down to ice a game, we NEVER got it, because there was nothing we could hang our hat on.

    We are trying to form an identity as a run-first, ZBS sytle, play-action offense. No great offense was created in 4 games.

    Things will get better, a lot better in fact.

  • REALLIONAIREB

    Now how bout you bring in Jarvis Moss…

    And wahhh-laaa

    Pass rush upgraded!!!

  • DMAC

    RaiderKool

    Don’t forget about Brisiel. He was suppose to be a great zone blocker.

  • DMAC

    Is that Clemens guy in Seattle, the one who used to play for us?

  • The Beeech Dawg

    YO BEEECH DIGGITY GOTS TO GIVE PROPS

    Whut Up Goobs

    You all KNOW the Beeech Diggity bleeds Dodger Blue, but gots to give it up to the G Men holding it down

    A battle of the bay would be totally epic, I might even take the tour van North for that one

    First off you KNOW the Beeech Diggity gots to lock down a hella sweet luxury box. Cause if the all you can eat nacho bar ain’t flowin’, then the Beeech goes a ho-in’

    Actually, even if I do eat piles of delicious nachos I still like to go find wasted hizzies

    HOLLA BACK TO THE WIZZLE

  • Just Fire Baby

    Serious question.

    If his name was Stefan Walton, instead of Stefan Wisniewski, would we be as patient and as fond with him?

    He lead the O-line in penalties last year, is doing so this year as well, and doesn’t seem that great in the run-blocking area.

    Good not great, IMO.

  • raiderkoolaid

    One thing, last year or this year we have not been good at being able to run for one yard when we need it, either on the goal line or on third or fourth and short. That needs to be fixed.

  • DMAC

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Serious question.

    If his name was Stefan Walton, instead of Stefan Wisniewski, would we be as patient and as fond with him?

    He lead the O-line in penalties last year, is doing so this year as well, and doesn’t seem that great in the run-blocking area.

    Good not great, IMO.
    =======

    I thought Wiz was a beast last year at Guard. Played well at Center also. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, since he missed a schit load of reps.
    + it takes a while for the zone blocking to get going

  • blackandsilverside

    DJ Johnny Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:48 am
    476,

    Thanks Blackside. There is debate, as u know, on whether our offense was really that good in the first place last yr.

    I have maintained doing as well as we did last yr. on offense (w/o McFadden) and with a QB that was still getting his bearings and only utilizing half the playbook, that we were pretty good on that side and just needed a bit of “tweaking”.

    Some feel that our offense needed much more fixing.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    DJ,

    I think the Raiders’ offense, even without DMAC was fairly solid last year, especially since Bush ran well after DMAC went down.

    Also, Hue knew how to use Reece and others in unique ways while Knapp is clueless in that regard.

    With tweaking we could have had a dynamic offense, especially since CP has gotten over the throwing of bone headed INT’s.

    We could have introduced the ZBS slowly, as another scheme complimentary to power blocking and we would have been set on that side of the ball.

    Reggie, DA, etc. would have had to worry about the defense only (for the most part) thus saving us seasons and seasons worth of grief.

  • blackandsilverside

    The Beeech Dawg Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:53 am
    YO BEEECH DIGGITY GOTS TO GIVE PROPS

    Whut Up Goobs

    You all KNOW the Beeech Diggity bleeds Dodger Blue, but gots to give it up to the G Men holding it down

    A battle of the bay would be totally epic, I might even take the tour van North for that one

    First off you KNOW the Beeech Diggity gots to lock down a hella sweet luxury box. Cause if the all you can eat nacho bar ain’t flowin’, then the Beeech goes a ho-in’

    Actually, even if I do eat piles of delicious nachos I still like to go find wasted hizzies

    HOLLA BACK TO THE WIZZLE
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Save the BS, dude: go milk some bulls.

  • inonewordraider

    DMAC Says:
    October 11th, 2012 at 11:53 am
    Is that Clemens guy in Seattle, the one who used to play for us?

    ______________
    yea continues to kill it

  • raiderkoolaid

    The offense last year was not consistent, but it was explosive. I really expected that if they continued in the same system they would become more consistent.

  • REALLIONAIREB

    There is no fight in this dog!!!