Part of the Bay Area News Group

Huff making the grade at cornerback

By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 3:27 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Michael Huff didn’t have much time to digest the switch from free safety to cornerback two games into the season. Yet, it hasn’t taken him long to make himself right at home.
In the past two games, Huff has been on the field in pass coverage for 84 plays. He had seven balls thrown his way during those plays, with one completion for 2 yards.
It’s enough to make coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver think twice before moving Huff back to safety if Ron Bartell makes a successful return from a shoulder injury.
“Listen, I’m not ready to put him in the Hall of Fame yet, alright?” Allen said Wednesday. “I don’t think Willie Brown has anything to worry about yet. But he has improved. That’s what we expect and that’s what we will continue to expect that every day he has an opportunity to go out and work he’ll get a little bit better every week.”
Huff’s first three games at cornerback, he faced Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. Huff had his struggles during those games, to be sure. However, it also enabled him to learn trial by fire.
“I had those couple of rough games early,” Huff said. “I knew I would go through some growing pains. I had never really played outside for a whole stretch. I knew I’d go through some growing pains and I’m starting to learn from them.”
Indeed. Quarterbacks no longer are targeting Huff as often as Roethlisberger, Manning and Ryan did his first three games.
Yet, Huff said he still feels as if he is a target every game because he spent his first six NFL seasons playing mostly safety.
“They’re still looking at me,” Huff said. “Every time I’m out there, I think the ball is coming my way. (They look at me) like I’m a safety playing corner, especially anytime I’m out there against a big-time receiver, like this week against Vincent Jackson. Every time I’m out there lined up out there on him, I have to assume the ball is coming my way because I’m a safety out there at corner against their best receiver.”
Bartell takes great delight in chiding Huff for his seamless transition.
“I kid him all the time (that) he’s a hell of a lot better corner than he is safety,” Bartell said. “I’ve been impressed with Huff. That’s tough to ask a guy to do. He hasn’t played a lick of corner all camp and all OTAs and then guys go down and he’s able to go in in a pinch. He’s gotten better every game, and he takes pride in it. I’m really impressed with him. He’s a pretty good corner. He’a s great football player.”
Coincidentally, the Raiders are playing against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that is led by Ronde Barber, a career cornerback who switched to safety this season.
It’s widely considered more difficult for a player to go from safety to cornerback, rather than the other way around.
“It’s probably harder going from safety down to corner,” Barber said. “That’s not a transition you see very often. Actually, I can’t think of any that have actually done it off the top of my head.”

– Allen said he isn’t in any hurry to decide what to do with Bartell just yet.
Bartell practiced today for the first time since he suffered a shoulder injury in the regular-season opener Sept. 10. He isn’t eligible to play in a game until Nov. 11.
Allen said he will evaluate Bartell in the coming days before deciding how to proceed. The Raiders have 21 days to decide whether to activate Bartell to the 53-man roster, waive him or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

– Curious what the Raiders offensive game plan is going to be against the Buccaneers? Check out the stats, and you should get a pretty firm idea on what they’re going to do before the game starts.
The Buccaneers are tied for first in the league against the run, holding opposing ballcarriers to an average of 3.5 yards rushing through seven games. The Raiders are tied for 26th in yards per carry on offense at 3.5.
On the flip side, the Buccaneers are 31st against the pass, with an average of 309.6 yards per game so far. The Raiders are 10th in passing offense at an average of 264 yards through seven games.
That doesn’t mean that the Raiders won’t at least try to establish the run game, Palmer said.
“We’re never going to abandon the run. They are very good against the run, and they’ve struggled some against the pass and they’ve had some big plays happen to him over and over again. But it’s a good football team.”
Palmer said Allen pointed out to the players that the Buccaneers are a lot like the Raiders in that they started off slow, overcame adversity and now they are riding some momentum after stirring upset of the Minnesota Vikings on the road.
“If you’ve got four guys that can rush the passer like they do, you can’t just go out and throw the ball on every play, because those guys are going to get to you, they’re too good up front,” Palmer said. “But we’re never going to just go into a game and completely abandon the run game. We’re going to pick our spots and definitely go in and be physical and run the ball, but when we have our shots downfield we need to hit ‘em this week.”

– Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is having a bounce-back season after a disastrous season last year.
He is the league’s eighth-highest-rated passer at 93.3, with 14 touchdowns and only five interceptions. This, from a player that was intercepted 22 times last season versus only 16 touchdown passes and finished with a pedestrian 74.6 passer rating.
In 2010, Freeman burst onto the scene as the unquestioned starter with 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions, as well as a 95.9 passer rating. He has nine touchdowns and one interception the past three games, with three touchdown passes in each game.
First-year head coach Greg Schiano said he and his offensive coaches broke down the video of Freeman’s past games and devised a strategy that centered on having him doing what he does best.
“We all spent time with him early on in the process, reviewing just so we knew where his basis was, and then Ron (Turner) and Mike (Sullivan) did an awesome job of teaching the system and continue to teach the system,” Schiano said. “We’re a long ways off from being all-in as far as implementation. What we’ve given him he has done a nice job with.
“The one thing about Josh is, he is just an incredibly hard worker and is committed to the whole process, the meeting room, walkthrough, classroom and practice. He loves every part of the preparation as well as at the game.”

– Here’s what Schiano thinks of Palmer after watching video of his play the first seven games.
“He’s a guy that there’s no uncertainty with what he wants to do,” Schiano said. “You can see he’s well coached, he’s been well coached. You can see the reads. He reads things very quickly. Just the entire Raider football team is a fast, fast football team. His receivers are fast, his running back is fast — running backs are fast. So you cannot make a mistake. If you do it gets exposed.”
Safe to say, Schiano is not in the camp that thinks Palmer isn’t the long-term answer for the Raiders at quarterback.

– Running back Mike Goodson said the turf-toe injury he suffered against the Chiefs isn’t about to keep him from playing in a game. Sure enough, he was at practice today acting as if nothing happened.
He said he got hurt at the end or a run when he jammed his toe as he was going to the ground.
Goodson and Darren McFadden credited the zone-blocking scheme for the Raiders late success against the Chiefs running the ball.
McFadden rushed for 73 yards on 12 carries in the fourth quarter after amassing only 41 yards to that point.
“Wear ‘em down, wear ‘em down,” Goodson said, “and it’ll start kicking in the third or fourth quarter.”
McFadden had runs of 19 and 28 yards in the fourth quarter en route to a 114-yard effort. He had only 17 yards on 12 carries at halftime.
“It’s one of those things, the zone scheme is designed to get 1 or 2 yards here and there, then eventually they’re going to start popping,” McFadden said. “That’s what happened last week.”

– Allen remains non-commital on whether he intends to activate linebacker Aaron Curry before the 21-day evaluation period expires next Wednesday.
“That’s a crystal ball you have to look in to say if there’s any chance that he wouldn’t (be activated),” Allen said. “Our anticipation is we will activate him. But again I don’t have that crystal ball.”
If the Raiders don’t activate Curry, their two others options are to waive him or place him on season-ending injured reserve. Curry missed all of training camp and the first seven regular-season games while recovering from sore knees.

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  • Priesttj12

    It’s also why people think the cover2 is ‘MODERN’ due to the rules changing the way you can play physically. The cover2 and 3 let teams play physical without a true bump’n'run covercorner. It gives them ability to hit and make the rec’s pay after they catch in those zones or separate them from the football and yet stay within the rules.

    But the KC Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers and SD Chargers to mention a few threw as much of not more than these teams do.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I love my Dubs, but winning by two against on of the worst teams in the NBA doesn’t do much for me.

    Bassy Telfair got minutes for the Suns last night, for the love of Pete.

    Bassy Telfair!!!! Good to know there is still one person left in the league I could score on.

  • DMAC

    hwnrdr Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 9:53 am

    LOL, DMAC…no I won’t…
    But yeah, The Dubs look good for a bit last night. Almost gave up a good lead, but at least they won!
    =========

    Kinda sucks that your a Laker fan, because they like to talk a lot of schit to Dubs fans. I’m just returning the favor. Nothing personal ever. You know that.
    Its all good in da hood.
    lol

  • aig-raiders

    JFB,
    The amount of a$$ kissing by the media to the Knicks is effin amazing. How all the so-called NBA experts back east like S. Smith and a few other guys kept on defending MeMelo while trashing Lin was ridiculous. The knicks are going to suck and the Rockets are going to be an above avg team for many years with Harden and Lin as their core. You already saw a flash of how Delphino will be having a career year like Novak in NY. Nothing like having playmakers create the shot for you.

  • hwnrdr

    DMAC Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 9:55 am
    hwnrdr Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 9:53 am

    LOL, DMAC…no I won’t…
    But yeah, The Dubs look good for a bit last night. Almost gave up a good lead, but at least they won!
    =========

    Kinda sucks that your a Laker fan, because they like to talk a lot of schit to Dubs fans. I’m just returning the favor. Nothing personal ever. You know that.
    Its all good in da hood.
    lol

    LOL, I know bro…You coming this Sunday, right?

  • DMAC

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I love my Dubs, but winning by two against on of the worst teams in the NBA doesn’t do much for me.

    Bassy Telfair got minutes for the Suns last night, for the love of Pete.

    Bassy Telfair!!!! Good to know there is still one person left in the league I could score on.
    =========

    You take the road Win any day Vegas. Stef and Lee combined for about 4-27 or something like that, and we still pulled it off.
    Our bench is deep. Credit the win to them last night.
    + the Suns starting rolling once we went small, because of Bogut’s precaution.

  • aig-raiders

    @448, agreed DJ.
    Routt can only defend the deep pass due to his speed. You take him on another other routes and he’s toast. Redzone – post slant is a slam dunk. Take him across the field or a comeback route and he’s toast.

  • DMAC

    455
    Yeah I’ll b there

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 9:40 am
    O,

    Terrell Pryor doesn’t get any practice, if he goes in the game can he just start throwing left-handed and blame it on no practice reps?

    Players get paid a salary, not an hourly wage!!! If you are the backup LS, you better be able to LS, no matter if the coaches force you to practice or not.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Chico,

    So now players should coach themselves?
    You do understand that most players don’t do that or don’t know how to do that, and that is one of the reasons why you have so many coaches on the staff.
    It’s the coaches responsibility to make sure his Players are ready to play on Sunday, and it’s his job to put Players in positions to make plays,

  • Priesttj12

    Statistically speaking you can say this in terms of the shere # of teams. But the old AFL was an air-show it took the olf NFL til maybe mid to late 70′s to start catching up.

    Singltary played in a hybrid defense called the 46 defense plus Singletary only wieghed 230 lbs. those LB’s in the old Buddy Ryan system were small quick guys more than big physical guys. I fact Singletary came from Baylor and barely was over 6′ ft tall he was smaller Pat Willis.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I like Landry and Jack a ton; strong, tough, defensive minded, team guys.

    What a concept!!! Playing defense for Golden State, lol.

  • DMAC

    How difficult is it to snap a football from a shotgun formation or in punting situations?
    I was about 5’9″ 170 lbs in high school and could pull that off. Whats so difficult about it?

  • DMAC

    Great pick-ups Vegas.

  • DMAC

    462
    With some little ass hands 2.
    lol

  • Just Fire Baby

    So now players should coach themselves?

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

    Now??

    They have been for 50 years, what do you think Knapp comes over in his PJ with Oreo’s and Milk when Palmer takes game-film home to review?

    Players in every sport practice on their own. Their game is THEIR game, they can’t just blame the staff for whatever failures they have.

    Goethel choked, and clearly blew off any resposibilities that came with being the emergency LS, be it intrinsically or not.

  • MiamiRaider78

    Second hand smoke kills?!?

    Said no group of potheads ever!

    PMPP!

    Good day to you all Nation!

  • Priesttj12

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:04 am
    So now players should coach themselves?

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

    Now??

    They have been for 50 years, what do you think Knapp comes over in his PJ with Oreo’s and Milk when Palmer takes game-film home to review?

    Players in every sport practice on their own. Their game is THEIR game, they can’t just blame the staff for whatever failures they have.

    Goethel choked, and clearly blew off any resposibilities that came with being the emergency LS, be it intrinsically or not.
    ************************************************

    Dude some of the stuff you say is so off base it’s incredible. This is not true, that is an obvious oversight by the coaches. When you have a issue like that it squarely goes on the coaching staff. Great staff leave no stone unturned. Goethel unpreparedness was NOT his fault………….period

    But I’m done man, this is why I should stay out of here because some of this staff borders on insanity……lol

  • Just Fire Baby

    O,

    BTW, Jared Allen filled in as a long-snapper last year for Minny, and said he practices it on his own from time to time, sometimes pre-game he will fire off a few here and there, after practice, etc.

    If our players are doing ONLY what the staff asks them to do and nothing more, we are toast.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Chico,

    That’s why we have OTAs, Camps, and players still manage to show up out of shape?
    Listen dude, you can blame the talent all you want (you can blame the market), but good coaches (and smart people) find ways to win.
    Goethel can’t practice LS Alone, and he didn’t get any practice during the week, and you want to Blame him and not DA and the STs coach?
    Your are killing me.

  • Just Fire Baby

    LOL at the hourly worker mentality.

    You will never get it then.

    Goethel took ZERO initiative on his own, but that is not his fault apparently.

    What gall I have to ask a player to go beyond the scope of practice reps to improve. Silly me!!!!

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Wow, our own Stevie Johnson went to the Giants? USA Today has him on their “Right Now” All-Pro team…nah, can it be?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Goethel can’t practice LS Alone, and he didn’t get any practice during the week, and you want to Blame him and not DA and the STs coach?

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

    First off, it was reported that DURING the in practice reps, the guys were snapping it at the goal-posts, so absolutely you can practice on your own.

    And why is it that things have to be so mutually exclusive in the blame game? Both parties are SEVERLY at fault, Goethel just as much as the staff.

    As a man though, he should have been ready, whether the staff asked him or not. That’s my opinion.

    You either care about your job and being as good as it as possible and need you hand-holding, or you need a coach or manager to push you along and constantly urge you.

    I guess Goethel is the later.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Chico,

    You don’t get it. You assume all players should have/ do have the same mentality as J Allen, J Rice, and R Lewis. Why do you think these guys are special/ elite? Great work ethic combined with talent. These guys coach themselves and they will succeed I’m any system, but most players are not like that.
    I can tell that you never managed people before.

  • aig-raiders

    If Goethel was smart, he’d practice really hard on his own time for LS. LS guys can have a very long career in the nfl. These guys are on contracts and that’s self employment isnt it? You’re a pro. It’s up to you to make yourself an asset to the team.

  • aig-raiders

    Goethel took ZERO initiative on his own, but that is not his fault apparently.
    —–
    I fault both the coach and player in this case.

  • Just Fire Baby

    O,

    When you sold cars, did you ONLY learn about the specs of the different cars, when your boss told you about them and told you look at them?

    Or did you go on your own, maybe take a manufacture guide home with you, and learn the MPG and a little “feature and benefit” of the cars as a way to better yourself as a sales person?

    Same thing, IMO, as this LS fiasco. Goethel treated it like a hourly job, when he gets paid a salary. If they hired him to be the emergency LS, then he needs to be ready to LS in an emergency, whether the staff had him practice everday or never.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    In*

  • r8eray

    Funny how everyone makes a big deal after 2 games played in the NBA….IT’S NOT THE NFL!!!

    There are over 80 GAMES….not 16!!

    SMH…the W’s aint doing sh1t this season and for anyone claiming they’re making the playoffs….put your money where your mouth is!!

    The Lakers will have a better record at the end of the season…I’m taking bets!

  • DutchRaider77

    Yeah Goethel should have been practicing Long Snapping…but I would imagine snapping off the dirt infield added a little extra adversity for a backup long snapper. Pretty tough.

    Do you guys remember who the backup long snapper before Goethel was? Zach Miller…

  • Just Fire Baby

    All right, so when Pryor enters a game, I will give him a pass if he forgets how to throw a football since he didn’t practice it.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    It’s not the same Chico!
    I was a good (being modest, I was a effin stud) salesman, I averaged 15+ cars/ month, I did my homework, I stayed late, etc…
    I did the same thing in school. I graduated with honors.
    You think every salesman sold 15+ cars/ month?
    You think all students graduated with honors?

  • Just Fire Baby

    Same with our defensive players when they turn the ball over and are running with it.

    They should be allowed to hold it like a loaf of bread, and if they fumble, who cares, they didn’t practice it I am sure.

  • DMAC

    I blame Goethal and the coaches.
    Goethal should of never volunteered to be an emergency snapper, if he couldn’t really do it. Those snaps were horrible.
    I also blame the coaches, because they should of had him prepared.

    It’s like being mad at your pitcher for not hitting and striking out all the time.

  • Just Fire Baby

    You think every salesman sold 15+ cars/ month?
    You think all students graduated with honors?

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

    So, metaphorically speaking (your metaphors BTW), you would blame the teachers for a student not graduating with honors and not the student.

    Sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it?

  • DMAC

    r8eray Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Funny how everyone makes a big deal after 2 games played in the NBA….IT’S NOT THE NFL!!!

    There are over 80 GAMES….not 16!!

    SMH…the W’s aint doing sh1t this season and for anyone claiming they’re making the playoffs….put your money where your mouth is!!

    The Lakers will have a better record at the end of the season…I’m taking bets!
    ========

    I’m listening.
    Whats the bet?

  • Just Fire Baby

    I am going to go eat lunch, if my waitress puts two ice cubes in my drink, I won’t blame her for being an idiot and realizing that is not enough ice, I am sure her manager doesn’t practice how much ice to re-fill.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:29 am
    All right, so when Pryor enters a game, I will give him a pass if he forgets how to throw a football since he didn’t practice it.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    No, He is a QB (Goethel is a LB), but you should understand that he doesn’t get a lot of reps in practice when you are making your evaluation.
    Goethel is a backup LB who wasn’t a LS in college. Players need to get enough reps to be solid backups since that’s not their primary position.

    It’s the coaches job to optimize production from the talent on their roster.

  • DMAC

    If I’m the back-up joint roller, I better be prepared to roll some joints.

  • DMAC

    Even though I roll blunts.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    The teachers’ job is not turning every student to an honor student. Their job is to teach students. Some students have a better work ethic, smarter, have more time to study, etc…
    Teachers job is to make sure the students understand the course, and students demonstrate that by passing which MOST students do.

    Enjoy your lunch, and don’t forget to blame management for the bad service.

  • hwnrdr

    Oh boy…LOL…
    That is the ONE thing I could not do is roll…but I did scrape a potatoe, poked a hole in it and used it to get high…then ate it after! LOL

  • inonewordraider

    the lakers will lose their share of games (remember when the miami heat was assembled) but they’ll end up in the top 4 in the west and make the finals. Is mike brown dumb and doesn’t realize jamison is too slow for a 3 and is a mismatch for 4′s while ebanks is a 3? also it’s about june, rest the starters, even if it costs some wins

  • DMAC

    hwnrdr Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Oh boy…LOL…
    That is the ONE thing I could not do is roll…but I did scrape a potatoe, poked a hole in it and used it to get high…then ate it after! LOL
    ========

    That’s dope!
    Need to try one day.

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “Even though I roll blunts.”

    As an old school stoner I have never understood the desire to mix crappy cheap cigar tobacco with nice fresh green sweet smelling weed!

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    A joint is pure green weed but a blunt has tobacco in it not sure why people like that?

  • The Beeech Dawg

    Brahs, the best way to roll tight PHAT j’s is get a wasted stripper to pass out on her belly, lay your Zig Zag in her buttcrack, then fill ‘er up with chronic

    If you want a tighter pack, just push it down deeper into the crack for pressure

    Lick N Roll then PUFF PUFF N PUFF AGAIN

    PMPP GETTIN’ STRAIGHT FIZZLE

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:53 am
    “Even though I roll blunts.”

    As an old school stoner I have never understood the desire to mix crappy cheap cigar tobacco with nice fresh green sweet smelling weed!
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Exactly.
    I still enjoy smoking a blunt, but I prefer bongs.
    Bonging & Posting!

  • hwnrdr

    My brother used to have a bong and he filled it with 151…man, that was the best, especially with some purlpe hair kona gold!!!

  • R8ER MIKE

    DMAC Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:53 am
    hwnrdr Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Oh boy…LOL…
    That is the ONE thing I could not do is roll…but I did scrape a potatoe, poked a hole in it and used it to get high…then ate it after! LOL
    ========

    That’s dope!
    Need to try one day.

    ****************
    lol apples work too !!

  • DMAC

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 10:53 am

    “Even though I roll blunts.”

    As an old school stoner I have never understood the desire to mix crappy cheap cigar tobacco with nice fresh green sweet smelling weed!
    =============

    Always easier for me to roll.