799

Watson getting his `baptism by fire’

Filed for print with additional material . . .

The ascension of Menelik Watson to starting left tackle of the Raiders is part desperation and part necessity.

A second-round draft pick out of Florida State, Watson will get what offensive coordinator Greg Olson called a “baptism by fire’’ in the loudest road environment in the NFL when the Raiders visit the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.

Watson, who played at Saddleback College with Kyle Long, the son of Raider Hall of Fame defensive lineman Howie Long, has been a at the facility before when it was much quieter.

“I spoke to Howie Long and he was telling me about it,’’ Watson said. “It’s a loud venue. I got to see it coming out of junior college on my visit to Washington. It should be interesting.’’

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Watson, along with quarterback Terrelle Pryor and cornerback D.J. Hayden, will remain in the preseason finale with the second team after most of the starters have departed.

“He hasn’t taken a snap in a game situation and he needs all the work he can get,’’ Allen said.

Watson was considered a raw prospect coming out of the draft because he played only 19 games of football at Saddleback and Florida State, all as a right tackle. He was late to football, originally playing college basketball at Marist College.

A calf injury kept Watson out of all of training camp except for a few drills, during which time he aggravated the injury. He finally got on the field for team sessions last Wednesday.

With Jared Veldheer out following left triceps surgery and veteran Alex Barron getting starts against New Orleans and Chicago, the Seattle game provides the only opportunity to see what Watson can do heading into the regular season opener Sept. 8 at Indianapolis.

“The question is whether or not time is on your side in getting a good evaluation, and the only way we’re going to get that evaluation is to let him play,’’ line coach Tony Sparano said.

Watson has so little experience that Sparano believes the problems associated with a switch from right tackle to left tackle are minimized “because he doesn’t have a history . . his bad habits are easy to break.’’
Having grown up in Manchester, England, as a soccer player before gravitating to basketball and then even dabbling in boxing before being talked into playing football, Watson has uncommon footwork for someone who is 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds.

Because of what Sparano calls “left tackle qualities’’ related to Watson’s athleticism, the Raiders were discussed in the offseason giving him some time on the left side to be a swing tackle who could play on the left side if Veldheer went down and compete to start on the right side.

The process has been accelerated because of Watson’s extended absence and Veldheer’s injury.

“It’s very technical, and things happen a lot quicker on the left,’’ Watson said. “Obviously, it’s the blind side, so you have to be double about your wits.’’

– The Raiders signed Justin Medlock to kick against Seattle and allow Sebastian Janikowski to rest a right calf strain and be ready for the opener on Sept. 8.

Medlock, who played at Mission San Jose High in Fremont and at UCLA, played in 10 days for Carolina last season and was 8-for-12 on field goal attempts. Medlock was a fifth-round draft pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007 and has played in the Canadian Football League for Toronto and Hamilton.

“I’ve always said I always wanted to play for a Bay Area team,” Medlock said. “I’ve always been a big Bay Area fan so playing for the Raiders or Niners would be awesome. I’ve always wanted top lay for one of these teams.”

– Four players were removed from the roster to reach the NFL limit of 75. Linebacker Miles Burris was placed on the physically unable to perform list and will be out for at least the first six games of the season.

“Miles is doing a lot better now but we want to see how he continues to get better before we go ahead and activate him,” Allen said. “You only get 53 spots and you have to make sure that you’re making the right decisions. Sometimes those are tough things when you have injured players.

Cornerback Joselio Hanson (groin) and running back Latavius Murray (ankle) were placed on the injured reserve list, meaning neither can play for the Raiders this season. Cornerback Mitchell White was waived.

Hanson had an interception in the Raiders 36-24 preseason loss to Chicago, but came out of the game with an injured and Allen said an MRI determined it to be a “significant’’ groin injury.

Murray, slow to recover from recent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle, remains property of the Raiders and can make another run at the roster starting next off-season. He was a fifth-round draft pick out of Central Florida who had eight carries for 29 yards in the preseason opener against Dallas but didn’t play against New Orleans or Chicago.

He had been expected to compete for the role as Darren McFadden’s backup.

“Right now we have Rashad Jennings and Jeremy Stewart,” Allen said. “Both those guys have done a pretty good job this preseason. It’ll be another opportunity for them on Thursday to go out and prove their worth and we’ll get another evaluation on them.

– Wide receiver Rod Streater has passed all the league-mandated concussion tests, was cleared to practice, and Allen expects him to face Seattle.

– Linebacker Sio Moore has a toe injury which has limited his practice time the past two days, Allen said.

– Sparano said the switch of Lucas Nix to right guard with Tony Bergstrom at left guard was because “the right side’s a little thicker position, a little stronger position, the left side a little more athletic. That’s kind of why we did that. But we’ll see what happens when we get down to Indianapolis.”

– Olson addressing the struggles of Matt Flynn against Chicago: “Some of it’s bad luck. He has a protection error that’s not on Matt Flynn at all where a free hitter comes that’s not Matt Flynn’s error. We have an illegal formation that’s not Matt Flynn’s error that takes away a pass there, so when you get started in a game like that, confidence has to do with it. Maybe his confidence got rattled a little bit early on. A number of factors could have come. But, he has played better, he will play better, we expect him to play better, and he expects it out of himself.”

– Perhaps believing he sounded a bit harsh during his last press session when discussing the maturity level of wide receiver Denarius Moore, Olson wanted to set the record straight before being asked a question.

“(Moore) is doing the things we have asked him to do . . . I have been pleased with Denarius Moore and the way he has approached our training camp and he’ll continue to get better.”

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    More like Lost in Space without Dr Smith
    ———————————-
    Wow a lost in space reference! lol

  • http://none Marley Bob

    Man the QB debate has gone too far now.

    From Zymurge flat-out calling TP too stupid to learn the playbook to the conspiracy theories about intentionally sabotaging him, both sides have take it to the extreme.

    Listen, Greg Olson already said they gave TP a package of plays to suit his skills and then admitted that TP’s performance in Camp and pre-season has forced them, in the good sense of the word, to expand that package and put a lot more into it.

    That is it, if TP doesn’t have a full grasp of the entire playbook it’s because the Coaches weren’t planning on him starting and decided to figure out something special for him and now, 2 weeks away from game 1, they are scrambling to get him up to speed regarding the playbook, that’s why TP is not all the way there” as he said, not because he’s too stupid or can’t handle it provided he had gotten the reps.

    They weren’t sabotaging him either, what happened is that TP beat the organization’s expectations and put himself into the starting picture, helped of course by Flynn’s lackluster performances, sabotage is not the right word.

    I’d say mishandling or negligence are better fits.

  • hwnrdr

    547.0ak r8rs Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:30 am
    Hwnrdr Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:24 am
    Sho-Nasty…had hopes for him as well!

    @@@@@@

    Ever listen to Ryan and Kerwin on NFL radio in the afternoon? Way better than the average talking heads. They really know football. Occasionally they rate guys coming off rookie off rookie contracts:

    1. Resign to big deal
    2. Extend a year or two
    3. Kick rocks

    Guess what the unanimous grade for Shaughnessy was? Four years of broken promises and failures is enough for me. Maybe he’s a REAL late bloomer? Rather not wait around for it.

    True!

  • hwnrdr

    550.J Hill Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:31 am
    Yeah, ShoNicely just couldn’t hold up.

    Was my guy before that last shoulder injury.

    Agreed!

  • J Hill

    The defense is definitely going to be what determines Allen’s fate.

    Quite a few of the Chicago runs were due to rookie mistakes.

    Moore over running his gap allowing the cut back. And Hayden not keeping the edge.

    DA better win AT LEAST 7 games or he’s gone, imo.

  • J Hill

    forced them, in the good sense of the word

    ——————————————————————————-

    Exactly.

  • 0ak r8rs

    I’d say mishandling or negligence are better fits.

    @@@@@@@

    I wouldn’t even go that far, unless you’re talking about how they handled Flynn? Pryor and Flynn have been getting equal snaps all TC as far as we’ve been told. It’s true that Flynn had more w the 1s, but he was, and may still be, the presumptive starter. You think breese or manning or Brady or even schaub or freeman gave up equal snaps to their number 2? I seriously doubt it.

    Don’t blame the coaches. Blame the friggin CBA. There’s not enough time w these guys on the practice field or in the QB room to make the kind of evaluation and progress you used to be able to make. The players union truly r a bunch of retards. The one “win” they got from the holdout was less practice time and less contact. The exact thing that SAVES the owners money, and hurts the players themselves. Complete morons. That new CBA could end up ruining this game.

  • RaiderRockstar

    prove me wrong, Watson!

    you british sissy!!

  • hwnrdr

    558.RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:44 am
    prove me wrong, Watson!

    you british sissy!!

    I’m hoping for more of a British Bull Dog…well, are there British Pitt Bulls?

  • J Hill

    Hasn’t he already proven you wrong than being better than your boy Barron?

  • http://none Marley Bob

    As for Matt Shaugnessy, that was another highly questionable move.

    First of all his best position was LDE in our 4-3, the spot now vacated with Houston’s switch, Matt showed he was a good defender vs the run and could generate a few sacks from the RDE spot, not his natural position, he would do much better on the Left Side where his run D would continue to hold and he’d have a much better shot at generating pressure while facing RT’s instead of LT’s.

    We gave up on Matt Shaughnessy for Jason Hunter, a career back-up with 11 sacks in 6 full seasons, Matt had 15.5 in 3 full seasons, both can play the run well.

    Shaughnessy is 26, he signed with AZ for 1 million and has done more in 3 healthy years than the 30 year old Hunter ever has and we signed Hunter for 840 K, you can do the math.

    Tell me if it wasn’t worth spending an extra 200 G or so on a younger player whose best football may still be ahead of him and at a position of need.

  • hwnrdr

    Tomorrow is gonna be a busy day for sports! A’s game at 10:30 AM, Pryor and the Raiders at 7! Hopefully its a good day!

  • J Hill

    You have to look at the DCs scheme.

    He has a bunch of big bodies on the DLine to take up space.

    LDE is not the problem, imo w/ Hunter and CRAWFORD, their own younger guy.

    There’s that phrase again, “their guy”, lol.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Marley Bob Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:31 am
    Man the QB debate has gone too far now.

    From Zymurge flat-out calling TP too stupid to learn the playbook to the conspiracy theories about intentionally sabotaging him, both sides have take it to the extreme.

    Listen, Greg Olson already said they gave TP a package of plays to suit his skills and then admitted that TP’s performance in Camp and pre-season has forced them, in the good sense of the word, to expand that package and put a lot more into it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Not only that but he hasn’t had three years to learn the playbook, just one year like everyone else.
    He’s had three different OC’s and three different playbooks.

    Conspiracy theories that Allen is out to get TP are crazy, I agee.
    There isn’t a head coach on the planet, in any sport, that isn’t going to play the best man for the position.

    It could be though that Allen sees Pryor the same way Fox saw Tebow.
    Just as not the kind of tradational QB that he preferred.

    In a year when we supported to win the division, Tebow came in and took it way from us, took the donkeys to the playoffs, and won the first game.
    And yes, I know they had a good defense but as far as I know the defense didn’t play any offense.

    Tebow’ss reward? They got rid of him.

    I’m not comparing the two quarterbacks though. I’m just talking about coaching preferences.

    Prior has earned his shot.
    We’ll see how he does in this although it many not be much of a challence since Seattle won’t risk injury in the 4th pre-season game while playing the Raiders and their 1st team probably isn’t going to be out there long.

  • J Hill

    Bilikudi was playing rde on some snaps just like seattle has big arssed Bryant at RDE.

  • guest123

    The whole exodus of all 17 UFA’s at the start of the free agency period seemed like an ego-trip decision on Reggie’s part. He didn’t discriminate, just told them all to take a hike. I think we will look back and see how heavyhanded and coldly stupid that was. Just because it’s a rebuilding year and the cap is full of dead money, doesn’t mean you gut it all.

    Reggie could have brought a handful of them back on reasonable contract extensions. The only guy who limped back for league minimum was Barnes.

    Guess Reggie showed them all who’s who though? Didn’t he?

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 6:44 am
    prove me wrong, Watson!

    you british sissy!!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It’s a good job I like you.

  • alex7

    Shaughnessy had 7 sacks in 8 starts in 2010.

    He then blew his knee out and had major surgery.

    Came back and had 3.5 sacks in 16 starts last year.

    Raiders saw a lack of explosion and, I’m guessing, didn’t think his knee would get better more than a year after surgery.

  • willy91137

    good morning raider nation 11 days till football and

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ POUND THE ROCK ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Y
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 11ANGRY MEN ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    tomorrow night we will find out how good Wats lets hope he is a another Muñoz

  • alex7

    guest,

    which players that left are you missing? Most signed ridiculously huge contracts that wouldn’t fit here, or are easily replaceable.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Hasn’t he already proven you wrong than being better than your boy Barron?

    ***

    take an english class, Wiggle

    “my boy” Barron?

    pretty sure Allen, Olson & Sparano talked him up … no?

    until further notice Barron > Watson

  • RaiderRockstar

    i’m glad Ty Branch is back healthy.

    not looking forward to him doing the “Miley Cyrus dance” every time he makes a tackle though … ugh

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    How about that Verlander?

    You’d think he was doing what A-Rod did all his career and decided to quit before he was caught.

  • http://none Marley Bob

    J Hill Says:

    You have to look at the DCs scheme.

    He has a bunch of big bodies on the DLine to take up space.

    LDE is not the problem, imo w/ Hunter and CRAWFORD, their own younger guy.

    There’s that phrase again, “their guy”, lol.

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

    Jack Crawford has nothing to do with the Shaughnnesy/Hunter move, Jack was going to be here anyway.

    The fact is for 160 K, we let a younger, better player (Matt) walk for an older, career back-up (Hunter).

    As far as the big bodies comment, they’re all in the same range, Matt goes 6’5 270, Hunter 6’4 271 and Crawford 6’5 274.

  • J Hill

    Don’t forget the college games, Hwn.

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Marley Bob Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 7:17 am

    The fact is for 160 K, we let a younger, better player (Matt) walk for an older, career back-up (Hunter).

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

    That’s one of saying it. Another is saying we let a guy who can’t hold the edge go for one who maybe can.

  • LTR

    guest123 Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 7:11 am
    The whole exodus of all 17 UFA’s at the start of the free agency period seemed like an ego-trip decision on Reggie’s part. He didn’t discriminate, just told them all to take a hike. I think we will look back and see how heavyhanded and coldly stupid that was. Just because it’s a rebuilding year and the cap is full of dead money, doesn’t mean you gut it all.

    Reggie could have brought a handful of them back on reasonable contract extensions. The only guy who limped back for league minimum was Barnes.

    Guess Reggie showed them all who’s who though? Didn’t he?
    ****************************
    I agree with this! This is Reggie’s team. He’s responsible for it and the subsequent record. So far I don’t see any area of the team that has been improved outside of lower payroll and cap NEXT year. I think it’s going to be a long painful season no matter who starts at QB. That breing said, go Pryor!

  • Marks hair

    561. agreed

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Saw the short interview with TP on the NFLN piece about the RAID QB situation.

    TP seems like a good guy with his head on straight.

    Knows he isn’t there yet, readily admits it.

    Still, there’s an air of understated confidence.

    When the RAIDS drafted TP, I didn’t have a good impression about him. Thought he was a bad apple.

    Then I heard him interviewed by Gruden during a Monday night game and I liked what I heard.

    Began to think maybe this kid isn’t the prick I thought he was.

    It was the way he was so respectful and seemingly sincere about working his tail off and validating AD’s belief in him.

    And he has worked his tail off and still says all the right things.

    Man, I like the guy.

    Now I don’t know if he’s going to be the RAID answer at QB, but I’ll tell you this – give me a bunch of guys with TP’s abilities and attitude – and I’m going to be tough to beat.

  • Marks hair

    the olsen interview gave me a headache..

  • RaiderRockstar

    @RM99

    glad to see you back on the Tits bandwagon

    8)

  • http://none Marley Bob

    alex7 Says:

    Shaughnessy had 7 sacks in 8 starts in 2010.

    He then blew his knee out and had major surgery.

    Came back and had 3.5 sacks in 16 starts last year.

    Raiders saw a lack of explosion and, I’m guessing, didn’t think his knee would get better more than a year after surgery.

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

    Wrong, he lost the 2011 seaon due to a shoulder injury, his knees are fine.

    Yes, he lacks explosion for a RDE, which is why I said for a while that he was a much better fit at LDE vs slower, less athletic RT’s.

    For a 160 K, I would have given him a shot there over Hunter, the guy is still just 26 and fully healthy now.

  • Marks hair

    I want a títs jersey..

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    RaiderRockstar Says:

    prove me wrong, Watson!

    you british sissy!!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ENGLANDRAIDER Says:

    It’s a good job I like you.
    ======================================================

    You just don’t know him well enough!

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    Good Morning Raider Nation!!!
    It’s a Beautiful Day to be a Raider Fan, isn’t it?

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    JK, RR.

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    Marks hair Says:
    I want a títs jersey..
    =====================================================

    ENGLANDRAIDER wants some Jersey tits..

  • RAIDERMAN99

    glad to see you back on the Tits bandwagon
    ==========================================
    That’s funny, I don’t recall ever being on it !

    Kind of like you being back on the JFORD, VYOUNG bandwagon…

    Actually, JFORD’S and VYOUNG’s resumes are more impressive than the glorified DB coach and mediocre DC currently masquerading as the RAID HC.

    FTY

  • RaiderRockstar

    morning Purv.

    any update on Sebastian’s calf, Sio’s toe or Rod’s melon ??

  • hwnrdr

    575.J Hill Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 7:19 am
    Don’t forget the college games, Hwn.

    True dat!

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Anyone at the chat with Jerry today might mention the state of this blog in regard to logging in.

  • hwnrdr

    591.ENGLANDRAIDER Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 7:41 am
    Anyone at the chat with Jerry today might mention the state of this blog in regard to logging in.

    I know right? Today, so far so good though!

  • 504 Raider

    Marks hair Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 7:30 am

    I want a títs jersey..
    —————————————————————————————————————————-

    you probably already have about 10 of them.

    Go into your wife/girlfriend’s dresser and pull out a black bra.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Rock, I admit I bash the hell out of TA.

    I know the Tits nickname drives some humorless blowhards on this board crazy.

    That’s too bad.

    Yeah, I bash Tits.

    But when I do so, I give reasons for doing so.

    Yes, there’s an element of making fun of his moobs and transgender appearance, but my dislike for Tits has virtually nothing to do with that.

    It’s based on legitimate critques.

    Yeah, I bash the fk out of TA, but I try to be objective and fair when evaluating his performance as HC.

  • hwnrdr

    Geez…as soon as I posted that last comment, I got logged off…

  • http://none Marley Bob

    Marley Bob Says:

    The fact is for 160 K, we let a younger, better player (Matt) walk for an older, career back-up (Hunter).

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

    Sir RaiderDuck, OMS Says:

    That’s one of saying it. Another is saying we let a guy who can’t hold the edge go for one who maybe can.

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

    Richard Seymour on Matt Shaughnessy:

    “I tell him all the time, he’s the best run defensive end in the NFL, for sure, in terms of stopping the run. He’s the best in the NFL against the run.

    I can’t say that against the pass now for all the sacks a lot of the other defensive ends have.

    In terms of the run, I’ll put him out there with anyone. He’s definitely developed into a complete player. It was a big blow for us when he went down.”

    * You are sure to dismiss Seymour’s comments, I know.

    But according to PFF’s ratings, he was always pretty good vs the run, in 2010 he had a + 11 grade and last year it was + 7.

    This is an analysis on his 2nd year performance:

    “Now in his second season, Shaughnessy was making a living as an early-down specialist, again playing especially well against the ground game.

    He was simply doing everything right when faced with runs to his side: sliding off of blocks, compressing lanes, and stringing plays to the sideline.

    When Trevor Scott went down with an injury in Week 11, the door was opened for Shaughnessy to take on a legitimate starting role.

    His per-game snap percentage jumped from 49% as a split-timer to over 83% during the next six games.

    His run defense was remarkable: Shaughnessy finished among the 4-3 DE leaders in overall run defense grade (ranked No. 5) and in stops (his 36 were seventh-best.)”.

    He went down the following season (2011) but returned in 2012 and like I said, posted a + 7 rating vs the run, not as good as his + 11 in 2010 which was good for 5th in the League, but I’m guessing the + 7 still put him among the top 20 or so vs the run, certainly above average.

  • http://none Marley Bob

    Gotta run, have a nice day people.

  • RaiderRockstar

    That’s funny, I don’t recall ever being on it !

    Kind of like you being back on the JFORD, VYOUNG bandwagon…

    ***

    @RM99

    shows how little you know!

    during #12′s rookie season I compared smurfette to a poor man’s Steve Smith (Panthers) – ask Thec

    and I would gladly take VY over clowns like Russell, Gradkowski, Boller, Edwards, Frye, Leinart & Wilson

    Jason Campell? no. I’ll take him over suicide diva any day

  • Raider Fan in Fremont

    0ak r8rs Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 5:55 am
    Plunketthead Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 4:10 am
    Rag on Raiders chatroom rules
    #1 Don’t let goobers rent space in your head
    #2 Don’t cash checks your arse cant cover

    feel free to add

    #4 don’t ever state a fact that isn’t a fact
    #5 be prepared to defend an opinion for multiple hours, if not days

    #5.01 where is #3
    #5.01.1A perhaps even weeks, months
    #5.01.1B even if you are wrong
    #5.01.2 tossing in words like moron, he sucks, et.al. etc., for the illusion of adding credibility to your comment.
    #6 keep a weather eye on the horizon

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist Says:
    August 28th, 2013 at 7:34 am
    Marks hair Says:
    I want a títs jersey..
    =====================================================

    ENGLANDRAIDER wants some Jersey tits..

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Speak for your self.
    I like them big but I’m not into Jersey cows.
    You farmers will do anything.

    An elephant asked a camel,”Why are your breasts on your back?”

    “Well,” says the camel, “I think that’s a strange question from somebody whose wiener is on his face.