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Huff making the grade at cornerback

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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  • dr_robert

    Mcfadden20. Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Dr_robert Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 12:14 am
    get ready for palmer to have about 400 yards this week. we could have a game like gannon did against the steelers that one year when we basically passed every game. the bucs defense is good against the run and we suck running it, but they’re awful against the pass and that’s where w’re good. after this game, there might not be a single idiot left on this blog dissing palmer.

    they will challenge us on defense, but the defense has looked really pretty good ever since they took mcclain off the field for the most part.

    the good news is that there doesn’t look to be a single “unwinnable” game left on the sked.

    Your wrong there is still a guy on this board who might come in and criticize his 1 incompletion after going 39/40
    ********************

    actually, i can think of two. sullivan of course. he will always spin it some way.

    and mistic. cuz palmer’s not part of “the wave of the future”.

  • dr_robert

    The Beeech Dawg Says:
    October 31st, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    KrappyRat, the PMPP has owned you since ‘05

    It’s cool Old Troll, total badge of honor. No way you can match our epic hip hop flavor

    btw You figure out how to make that iPad open your garage door yet?

    HOLLA

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

    wow. beeech has been on here repeating himself for 7 years? when will his batteries run out?

  • mcfadden20.

    I’m out , good night

  • mcfadden20.

    Dr_robert Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 12:28 am
    Mcfadden20. Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Dr_robert Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 12:14 am
    get ready for palmer to have about 400 yards this week. we could have a game like gannon did against the steelers that one year when we basically passed every game. the bucs defense is good against the run and we suck running it, but they’re awful against the pass and that’s where w’re good. after this game, there might not be a single idiot left on this blog dissing palmer.

    they will challenge us on defense, but the defense has looked really pretty good ever since they took mcclain off the field for the most part.

    the good news is that there doesn’t look to be a single “unwinnable” game left on the sked.

    Your wrong there is still a guy on this board who might come in and criticize his 1 incompletion after going 39/40
    ********************

    actually, i can think of two. sullivan of course. he will always spin it some way.

    and mistic. cuz palmer’s not part of “the wave of the future”.


    Haha yah totally forgot about poor silly , he and Mistic will say something like they had injuries , their starting CB’s were out and Palmer should have been picked 5 times , he barely missed fumbling the ball etc etc , our run game was doing good etc etc

  • Priesttj12


    Haha yah totally forgot about poor silly , he and Mistic will say something like they had injuries , their starting CB’s were out and Palmer should have been picked 5 times , he barely missed fumbling the ball etc etc , our run game was doing good etc etc
    ******************************************************
    They would say similar things whenever Jason Campbell would have good games it was never he played well it was always a caveat.

  • mcfadden20.

    Priesttj12 Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Haha yah totally forgot about poor silly , he and Mistic will say something like they had injuries , their starting CB’s were out and Palmer should have been picked 5 times , he barely missed fumbling the ball etc etc , our run game was doing good etc etc
    ******************************************************
    They would say similar things whenever Jason Campbell would have good games it was never he played well it was always a caveat.


    Sullivan always have negative things to say about our team , Mistic only hates white Qb’s and in his eye black QB’s can do no wrong , so he def wasn’t one of those people who criticized JC

  • dr_robert

    some interesting thoughts about the raiders working out 6 players at this stage of the season:

    Quarterback Aaron Corp–former usc qb. could they really be considering putting pryor out on the field in another capacity, which would necessitate a practice squad qb, in case pryor gets injured? possibly as a return man?

    wide receviers Saalim Hakim and Shaky Smithson–both kick returners. after adams’ muff, DA may be looking for another guy. as we know, he said “that’s not the kind of team we are gonna be” after roscoe parrish did it, and taiwan hasn’t seen much time after he did it. DA apparently takes fumbles seriously.

    tight end Cooper Helfet–gordon’s injury may be worrying them.

    cornerback Buddy Jackson–another returner

    safety Cory Nelms–huff likely to stay at cb?

  • dr_robert

    get ready for aaron curry to be activated. keenan clayton has a shoulder issue and he will likely be the guy who gets cut.

    francies will go bye bye next week for bartell.

  • oklahomaRaider18

    DR_Roberts…what about Sterling Moore??

  • eastoaklandraider

    Fck Sterling Moore…. Holla at yall latr today.

  • dr_robert

    i don’t think they’re looking for new corners right now, except those that are also returners. huff has settled in and bartell is on the way back. lee and hanson are probably better than anyone else they can find right now. adams muffed the kick and may be replaced. franzies is gone when bartell comes back.

    i don’t think moore will be here.

  • Plunketthead

    Corp was probaly brought in to throw to the WR’s.
    TP is busy on the scout team making like Freeman

  • Plunketthead

    Moore was cut because he could not play man to man well enough in Al’s eyes.

    Lots of teams need CB help. Any word on why the cheats cut him?

  • RaiderSam

    Dr_robert Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 1:01 am
    some interesting thoughts about the raiders working out 6 players at this stage of the season:

    Quarterback Aaron Corp–former usc qb. could they really be considering putting pryor out on the field in another capacity, which would necessitate a practice squad qb, in case pryor gets injured? possibly as a return man?

    wide receviers Saalim Hakim and Shaky Smithson–both kick returners. after adams’ muff, DA may be looking for another guy. as we know, he said “that’s not the kind of team we are gonna be” after roscoe parrish did it, and taiwan hasn’t seen much time after he did it. DA apparently takes fumbles seriously.

    tight end Cooper Helfet–gordon’s injury may be worrying them.

    cornerback Buddy Jackson–another returner

    safety Cory Nelms–huff likely to stay at cb?

    —————————

    Buddy Jackson had some blazing times, and some decent cover highlights.
    Shaky Smithson was in GB’s camp, but if Torii Gurley didnt stick….he was supposedly a camp favorite.

  • Plunketthead

    Dang I was offered a FF trade Brandon Lyold and Alfred Morris for Demaryius Thomas

  • Pingback: Oakland Raiders Links That You’ll Want To See October 31, 2012 | Raiders Central | Oakland Raiders Blog

  • Plunketthead

    It looks good but lose production from DT to LB and I gain some at RB going from Green to Morris.
    I forget Mav was gonna throw in Ryan Broyles but I have plenty of flex options.

    DT and bighead are just getting rolling with easy schedule. Where Alfred has scanarat for a coach. Thats minus 5 points.

    Gotta turn down the trade but its a great offer

  • RaiderRockstar

    That’s what we are doing now (limited offense), and that’s one reason why we struggle to score points (12 TDs in 7 games).

    ***

    O,

    the players have to produce. Until they do, they are making the offensive boss look bad. As far as play calling, I haven’t seen more than a handful of head scratchers through the first 7 games

    his system/scheme is the reason he was brought on board. That is what Allen wants to run. WCO/ZBS. Reggie isn’t going to beg Hue Jackson to come back as OC next offseason, so most of you clowns should shut your mouths. Al Saunders isn’t gonna get promoted either. If Knapp is canned, expect the next OC to come in and run the same system Allen wants. Players better learn how to excel in it or ask to be traded. We are not going to let the players dictate the coordinators.

  • Plunketthead

    I for one welcome our new ZBS overlords

  • Plunketthead

    The only thing better then drinking the Knapple as the team improves is watching the Fakers and their bandwagon fans IMPLODE!!!

  • Plunketthead

    The Rockets may have been worse then the Fakers last week but not anymore

    Lin/Harding > Nash/Kobe

    That will start some fireworks :smile:

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Bulls 1-0
    Lakers 0-2

    Ha Ha!

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Would I be crazy to pick up Palmer and start him over RGIII this week in FF?

  • Dub77

    Fred Says:
    October 29th, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    My theory is “Ten…and Then” Give Reggie 10 years to right the
    ship and at least 8-9 yr’s. to see a winning record.
    I think that’s enough time to see if Reggie is the man for the job.
    If we can’t obtain a winning record in 9 yr’s maybe it will time to
    think about making a change.
    Give Reg at least 15 yr’s. to get us into the SB.
    ________________________

    Thank you Fred. I’m truely blessed to have witnessed such a great theory… eYe lik ( o Y o ) 2!?1!!?1

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!

  • DIRT-LOT FOOTBALL

    GOOD MORNING SPORT’S FAN’S.PUT OUT AN ALL AROUND TEAM EFFORT THIS WEEK,ALL 3 PHASES AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS..

  • hwnrdr

    everyone hung over from last night?

  • R8ER MIKE

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

  • R8ER MIKE

    hwnrdr Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 6:36 am
    everyone hung over from last night?

    *******************************
    lol still crashed from the sugar rush !!

  • hwnrdr

    R8ER MIKE Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 6:41 am
    hwnrdr Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 6:36 am
    everyone hung over from last night?

    *******************************
    lol still crashed from the sugar rush !!

    LOL…I stayed away from the candies last night…but even if I wanted to, my kids ate all of their good ones :)

  • DJ Johnny

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 5:09 am
    Bulls 1-0
    Lakers 0-2

    Ha Ha!

    The Chi town in you coming out this morning.

  • R8ER MIKE

    damn now that the storm is over we are
    busier then a two peckerd billy goat in a sheep heard !!!

  • hwnrdr

    LMAO! Mike…

  • DJ Johnny

    Interesting game tonight…Chiefs at Chargers.

    We’re rooting for the Chefs I would think.

  • DJ Johnny

    Don’t be shocked if Dallas beats Atl. this wknd.

  • hwnrdr

    Chiefs, yes…but I think Chargers are writing they’re own destiny!

  • hwnrdr

    So I guess it wouldn’t matter…we need Peyton to fall on his face. Maybe when it gets cold???

  • Just Fire Baby

    Anyone else catch the Showtime Inside the NFL on our game last week?

    What a dud that was. They just mic’d Eric Berry the whole game, who is apparently deathly afraid of horses, and likes to joke at the end of home losses (as he was).

    Other than that, not much on the Raiders side of things.

  • hwnrdr

    I guess we have 4.6 million of cap space…you think Reggie will make a move today, or will that be held onto for next season?

  • hwnrdr

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    November 1st, 2012 at 7:19 am
    Anyone else catch the Showtime Inside the NFL on our game last week?

    What a dud that was. They just mic’d Eric Berry the whole game, who is apparently deathly afraid of horses, and likes to joke at the end of home losses (as he was).

    Other than that, not much on the Raiders side of things

    Of course…I remember one week we won big, and I think it was aginst Denver in that 59-14 rout! Not one highlight! None!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    his system/scheme is the reason he was brought on board. That is what Allen wants to run. WCO/ZBS. Reggie isn’t going to beg Hue Jackson to come back as OC next offseason, so most of you clowns should shut your mouths. Al Saunders isn’t gonna get promoted either. If Knapp is canned, expect the next OC to come in and run the same system Allen wants. Players better learn how to excel in it or ask to be traded. We are not going to let the players dictate the coordinators.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Great logic. We should implement a system that doesn’t fit the players on the roster because it’s DA’s system?
    And you are calling others Clowns?

  • Just Fire Baby

    What should we do, implement a system for a guy who is the most injury-prone RB in the NFL?

  • R8ER MIKE

    Good morning Mr V.P. !!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    DA’s system/ offense?!?!
    You CLOWNS do understand that DA was a DC for 1 year, and he lacks experience, correct?
    Knapp’s system?!?! You Clowns make me sick!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Good morning ODB, Nation, and Green Party.
    Green Party Rules!

  • R8ER MIKE

    ?? when did we go from “You People” to “You Clowns” ??
    did i miss that memo ??

  • hwnrdr

    I think someone said something about that yesterday and O just changed it up…lol

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Clowns logic:

    We should trust the HC and GM because they know about football than we do.
    So you were OK with Art (2nd hire) and the B&B offense?
    Those people were pros too.
    GTFO

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    They know more* about….

  • R8ER MIKE

    lol.. just wanna make sure i got the lingo right !!