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Woodson, Young, Ross to pick up safety slack

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, September 16th, 2013 at 3:59 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Unedited version for print . . .

The Raiders were resigned to moving forward without strong safety Tyvon Branch Monday, with Charles Woodson, Usama Young and Brandian Ross charged with picking up the slack after the loss of their highest-paid player.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen declined to confirm an ESPN report that Branch had a fractured fibula, saying, “ he’s probably going to miss some time, how much that time is, I don’t know.’’

Allen termed the injury “significant’’ following a 19-9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, the same term he used when Jared Veldheer had surgery to repair a torn triceps.

“We’re going to be missing a good player,’’ Woodson said. “It’s unfortunate it goes down like this and it just means somebody is going to have to step up.’’

Having already used the short-term injured reserve designation in Jared Veldheer following surgery to repair a torn triceps, Branch will be carried on the 53-man roster until he’s healthy unless the team determines he needs to be placed on injured reserve for the season.

Branch, who signed a four-year $26.5 million extension last year and is earning $9.5 million this season in a restructured deal, has been a favorite of three different coaching staffs because of his work ethic as well as an explosive, physical style.

The Raiders did fine for three quarters without Branch against Jacksonville, with Young getting 1.5 sacks and Ross getting a sack.

While Ross is listed as the backup strong safety to Branch and Young the No. 2 free safety behind Woodson, Allen said he wasn’t sure which player would start in the place of Branch and isn’t really sure if it matters.

“If Ty’s out for awhile ew’ve got guys we feel can step up and make plays, whether it’s strong safety or free safety,’’ Allen said. “I look at those as interchangeable positions and they really need to be to have the flexibility to do different things defensively.’’

Young, having played in New Orleans when Allen was coaching defensive backs, is used to moving around.

“I’ve played free, I’ve played strong, I’ve played nickel, I’ve played corner,’’ Young said. “Here as a safety, you’re a safety. We mix it up so much, with guys in the box or back in space, you never know where you’re going to be.’’

Allen and Woodson said the Raiders believe they won’t have to alter their game plan to account for the absence of Branch when they visit the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

“I believe we have smart players and guys that can go in and know what’s expected of them, what to do,’’ Woodson said. “We won’t have to alter our game plan at all. We look forward to going down there with our full arsenal of plays and just have to stick different guys in there to implement it, and we’re comfortable with that.’’

– Woodson has gotten plenty of feedback from his leaping tackle of Maurice Jones-Drew which prevented a potential Jacksonville touchdown. He saw it on film and liked what he saw.

“It’s pretty impressive,’’ Woodson said. “It was one of those sellout plays that you need during the course of a game that hopefully can turn the tide and give you some momentum.’’

– Guard Lucas Nix is getting an MRI on his injured ankle and his status for Denver is not known. Andre Gurode played in place of Nix, who was struggling in part because of the injury.

“He did well,’’ Allen said of Gurode. “A couple of things need to be cleaned up but overall I was pleased with what he did when he got in there.’’

– Allen said place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, whose miss from 35 yards snapped a streak of 50 straight field goals from 40 yards and in, is still working on gaining confidence with Marquette King as the holder. Shane Lechler was Janikowski’s holder from 2000 through 2012.

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  • RaiderRockstar

    One convert at a time…

    ***

    see? that’s funny!

    got any still shot of Nix getting abused?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    still not sold on PFF. it’s not gospel, but it’s information. to be taken into consideration, but certainly not the end all – be all

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

    Pretty much my position too, well said.

  • willy91137

    above 3 or 4 years a go the patriots played the Colts that was a quarterback duel

    I can’t remember who win is a beautiful game to watch two masters at their craft

    I hope our next quarterback is good as Peyton Manning you don’t need an offensive coordinator
    he is the quarterback and the coordinator on Fridays he gets a game plan he gets a red marker out
    and he starts marketing off the plays he does not like

  • RaiderRockstar

    Just as long as DA composes himself for the post game handshake and doesn’t hump John Fox’s leg, then we’re all good.

    ***

    @G123

    Dennis Allen is going to be laughing like a hyena with John Fox after the Raiders blowout win @ Dungver

    then RM99 will be forced to remove the “Tits” nickname and pay the man some respect

    #COY

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I hope our next quarterback is good as Peyton Manning

    ++++++++

    10 years is pretty far away to think about. Til then we got TP2

  • bcz24

    My boy Houston got PFF’s game ball this week, does that translate to DPOW in here, or do we give it to Mike Jenkins who had the highest overall grade on our defense?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Saw somewhere yesterday that Mike Jenkins has allowed 3 catches for 12 yards all year. Straight ballin’.

  • Gdog

    fingers Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Im surprised the Donks arent favored by 3 td’s…..love to see an upset…

    >>>

    Thats a ton of points vs the 8th ranked defense. Not sure I have seen that before. Bookies obviously know Raider fans don’t believe…

  • Gdog

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    I thought you said PFF was a toilet paper substitute in a pinch? Now you cite PFF like the Gdog? What happened?

    ***

    @G123

    yeah – I’m warming up to Gdog. Turns out, he’s a good fella. still not sold on PFF. it’s not gospel, but it’s information. to be taken into consideration, but certainly not the end all – be all

    it said DMAC had a rough game vs Jags, but to Raider fans it’s the best we’ve seen him since the Steeler game last season (lost fumble & all – lol)

    >>>

    I was thinking about this.. it makes sense. They grade every play, and McF had 15 plays where he got slight negative ratings, and only a few with positives.. plus one ended with a frigging fumble.

    He will always be one of PFFs lowest rated RBs.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @Gdog

    i’m not about to hand DMAC a Top 5 or even Top 10 RB contract … but he played better vs Jags than Indy and almost every game last year (besides maybe Pittsburg) i’m hoping for a few more long runs to average out his ypc – like Dennis Allen

    still would like to see Reece more involved though, whether it’s carries or catches. something. he’s a playmaker

  • SilverNBlackPA

    still would like to see Reece more involved though, whether it’s carries or catches. something. he’s a playmaker

    ++++++++++

    I keep hoping they’re going to spring him on Denver who won’t be really prepared since they won’t have much film on him in Olsen’s offense. Probably wishful thinking though.

  • Violent Hands
  • RaiderRockstar

    one thing NOBODY mentions about Peyton Manning is, he’s had the same offensive system his entire career. he’s had the same supporting cast of excellent coaches and mentors. thats why it didn’t take him long to develop

    Jim Mora, Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, Howard Mudd, Tom Moore, Clyde Christensen

    those guys formed PM.. by the time he gets to Denver, he basically runs his OWN system he knows it so well

    nobody is going to be stupid enough to credit guys like Adam Gase, Eric Studesville & Greg Knapp for the Broncos offensive production this season (lol)

  • Gdog

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:13 am

    @Gdog

    i’m not about to hand DMAC a Top 5 or even Top 10 RB contract … but he played better vs Jags than Indy and almost every game last year (besides maybe Pittsburg) i’m hoping for a few more long runs to average out his ypc – like Dennis Allen

    still would like to see Reece more involved though, whether it’s carries or catches. something. he’s a playmaker

    >>>

    I dunno… I hated him when we drafted him, but have been pulling for him ever since. He actually kinda reminds me of how Pryor will play down the line… he breaks your heart on a bunch of plays then its like WOW. Where has that been?

    I don’t care either way if we keep him. We could prolly draft a more consistent back in the 3rd round.

  • The Big Banana

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 7:49 am
    I said it for the night crew….

    ——

    MR and the sock puppet parade appreciate it.

  • The_Judge37

    If DJ Hayden finally looks back for a pass this week, he could have his 1st Int of his NFL career off of Billboard head.

  • jesusraiderjim

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:14 am
    still would like to see Reece more involved though, whether it’s carries or catches. something. he’s a playmaker

    ++++++++++

    I keep hoping they’re going to spring him on Denver who won’t be really prepared since they won’t have much film on him in Olsen’s offense. Probably wishful thinking though.
    *********************************************

    What could be the reason for not using him besides this?

    It is the only explaination, ain’t buyin DA’s scheme excuse dicating Reeses play.

    Hope we unleash the beast Monday Night.

  • The Big Banana

    Lol @ Billboard head.

  • RaiderReggie

    I was watching NFL network and Warren Sapp and Ladanian Tomlison totally laugh and disrespected the Raiders for the Monday night game in Denver. They said this is a bye week or homecoming for the Broncos. Dennis Allen should take that clip and play it after every team meeting or practice this week.

  • The_Judge37

    I think Woodson should make the move down to SS in Tyvonn’s absence.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I don’t care either way if we keep him. We could prolly draft a more consistent back in the 3rd round.

    ***

    @Gdog

    I think (like Dakota) that #20 is a talented back, but injuries have derailed his career. I don’t agree with Shaun King that he’s just collecting a paycheck. Struggled with fumbles early in his career and seemed to have that issue solved. Hoping after sunday that doesn’t become an issue again. The biggest thing I knock DMAC for is vision. He seems to run right into a pile rather than finding a hole to burst through. I thought that burst was gone truthfully, but saw glimpses against JAX. Seems sad that we’ve been waiting 6 years for McFadden to become a superstar. With RB’s you usually know after 6 games!

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think Woodson should make the move down to SS in Tyvonn’s absence.

    ***

    me too, Judge. I have a feeling (either way) that Manning is going to abuse Kevin Burnett & Usama Young

    for that reason, i’m calling for more of Sio & B-Ross

  • bcz24

    Dmac is frustrating because for 2 weeks now our line has been opening dump truck sized holes for him, and his only hitting them about 20% of the time. I agree with Rock, his vision sucks. There are cut back lanes all over the place for him, and he just doesn’t make the right read.

  • fingers

    Gdog… The points spread ….its not that i dont believe … Its more that im not convinced ” yet”..
    I would love to be convinced …weve only played 2 games and so far i like the direction but its gonna take a little more to convince me ….im still very open to Pryor developing into an NFL qb…just need to see more growth

  • 0ak r8rs

    @RRS. Idk why you think Burnett is a weak link? His stats don’t show it the first tow games, but his last three years r all better than Wheeler’s last year w us, which was a career year.

    80+ tackles each year

    11 or 12 sacks

    Unless he’s gotten old instantly, and I don’t think he has, he’s gonna show us something too.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Denvers TE will be our toughest matchup cuz you can’t just stick a guy on him.

  • hwnrdr

    I would love to see the faces of Sapp and LT (both tards in my eyes) if teh Raiders pull off an upset! Then someone should find out their emails and keep sending it to them…

  • bcz24

    Denvers TE will be our toughest matchup cuz you can’t just stick a guy on him.
    ************
    Cwood will lock down Thomas. No worries there.

  • The_Judge37

    1126.eastoaklandraider Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:47 am
    Denvers TE will be our toughest matchup cuz you can’t just stick a guy on him.
    —–

    Why not? Best defense against Billboard Head is tight man2man across the board.

  • willy91137

    they will throw the whole book at Denver Reecea will probably be running the ball

    the only way we can beat Denver is dink and dunk down the field and keep Manning off the field

    when he gets inside the 20 which he will we have to stop them their and make them kick field goals

    if he gets two touchdowns on us we are done

    the thing that hurts Peyton the most is have somebody in his face

    we will jump in and out of coverages to keep him guessing and we will have to adjust at halftime

    he will sit down and figure out what we were doing and come out in the second half and start firing away

    so we will have to change it up at halftime and I don’t think our offense has enough weapons

    if we were to beat Denver the raider nation will start saying were going to the Super Bowl and that will not happen

  • 0ak r8rs

    Jenkins is as good a pick for D player of the week as any. Could be any one of about 6 of them. Gotta hand it to Tarver if this keeps up. I’ve never coached at this level, obviously, but I can’t imagine having a team full of guys that have essentially never played together. Ever.

  • bcz24

    Welker in the slot against Porter is my #1 concern. We should have Porter man up and take the sideline and seam options away, and a LB sit in a middle zone to take the in routes away. Welker is a beast to cover because every route he runs is an option route based on the coverage.

  • DutchRaider77

    1132.bcz24 Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:53 am
    Welker in the slot against Porter is my #1 concern. We should have Porter man up and take the sideline and seam options away, and a LB sit in a middle zone to take the in routes away. Welker is a beast to cover because every route he runs is an option route based on the coverage.

    _________________________________________________

    Kinda like what the Jets used to do?

    Instead of having Reavis cover Welker they would just double him and have Reavis take someone else away.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @Oak

    Burnett didn’t impress me thru the first 2 games

    I really thought he was going to be a stud for us. Maybe he’s thinking too much, trying to learn Tarver’s defense. I don’t know. Hopefully he can get it together and get off my “weak link” list

    Usama too

  • willy91137

    I just hope that if we lose we only lose by one touchdown I hope it’s not 3 or 4

    and we kicked four field goals I hope we can score some touchdowns

  • SilverNBlackPA

    RaiderReggie Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:28 am
    I was watching NFL network and Warren Sapp and Ladanian Tomlison totally laugh and disrespected the Raiders for the Monday night game in Denver. They said this is a bye week or homecoming for the Broncos.

    +++++++++++

    I’m shocked those two would have schit to say. Fck them both.

  • DutchRaider77

    @Rockstar

    Usama > Giodarno?

  • Gdog

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I don’t care either way if we keep him. We could prolly draft a more consistent back in the 3rd round.

    ***

    @Gdog

    I think (like Dakota) that #20 is a talented back, but injuries have derailed his career. I don’t agree with Shaun King that he’s just collecting a paycheck. Struggled with fumbles early in his career and seemed to have that issue solved. Hoping after sunday that doesn’t become an issue again. The biggest thing I knock DMAC for is vision. He seems to run right into a pile rather than finding a hole to burst through. I thought that burst was gone truthfully, but saw glimpses against JAX. Seems sad that we’ve been waiting 6 years for McFadden to become a superstar. With RB’s you usually know after 6 games!

    >>>

    I am guessing the poor guy has mush in his head… he looks like a fumble waiting to happen because he never wraps the ball up at impact… you are right, his vision is poor, especially last year. He gets distracted when not in the play (forgets to block, etc) he doesn’t do the little things (like drag his feet for a TD catch vs Indy.)

    I have never doubted his talent, and he might explode with a team that doesn’t really need a RB… he should prolly play for a SB quality team that just needs a burst player here and there.

    He is just too skitzo to be a featured back.

  • Gdog

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    @Oak

    Burnett didn’t impress me thru the first 2 games

    I really thought he was going to be a stud for us. Maybe he’s thinking too much, trying to learn Tarver’s defense. I don’t know. Hopefully he can get it together and get off my “weak link” list

    Usama too

    >>>

    he made some great plays vs Indy, but was pretty pedestrian last week.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Knapp had no imagination as OC. This week will tell us how much Olson has because as someone said above, they’re going to have to throw the kitchen sink at Denver. That goes for Tarver too.

    Or as Robert Mathis said about Pryor: Empty your gun, then throw the gun and holster at him. That’s what it’s going to take.

    I think the Giants in the Super Bowl against the Bills provided the blueprint forever to beat a seemingly unstoppable, high scoring offensive machine…keep them standing on the sidelines. Grind, grind, grind.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    If Denver has the “bye week” view of this game, then the Raiders can keep it close enough to steal it because they’ll be coming 100% that’s for sure. Marquee matchup against Chip Kelly’s offense coming the week after. Donks could primed for a shocker.

  • DutchRaider77

    Still want to see Reece and McFadden used in a no-huddle lined up as wideouts…with Pryor you will always have the running threat. Didn’t Jerry think McFadden had the best hands on the team?

  • spiff

    no ryan clady for the donkey’s …… time to tee-off lets go lamar.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I’ll say this much: after the first two weeks, I think this team can hang with anyone. Even if they only go 6-10, I can live with that (for this one more year) as long as the days of the 45-3 blowouts are over.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    spiff Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 9:15 am
    no ryan clady for the donkey’s …… time to tee-off lets go lamar.

    ++++++++

    He can make himself a whole pile of money from someone (hopefully the Raiders) if he goes out and tees off on Manning.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Welker vs Hayden, I like his agility to be able to stay with the quick but not fasst Welker

    DThomas vs Mjenkins, Jenkins is our best cb right now, so in my mind you put him on their best wr

    Porter vs Decker, I like Porter in this matchup

    Thomas vs Roach is a decent matchup

    Leave Woodson to roam and make plays on the ball

  • RaiderRockstar

    he made some great plays vs Indy, but was pretty pedestrian last week.

    ***

    @Gdog (and 0ak r8rs)

    I know you have mentioned that Burnett batted down a Luck pass in Week 1, but the plays in that game that really stick out in my mind are negative ones – blown assignment covering the TE Allen, that ended up being a TD. Missed tackle/sack on Luck, where he ran for a first down.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I know you have mentioned that Burnett batted down a Luck pass in Week 1, but the plays in that game that really stick out in my mind are negative ones – blown assignment covering the TE Allen, that ended up being a TD. Missed tackle/sack on Luck, where he ran for a first down.

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

    Burnett also had a really nice run stuff where he knifed into the backfield and blew up the play against Indy but yeah, those two things you mentioned were backbreakers.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Usama > Giodarno?

    ***

    @Dutch

    Gio had ballskills, but was pretty awful at just about everything else. couldn’t tackle, took terrible angles, slower than a molasses

    Usama has the speed, but can’t cover anybody.

    Matt G = Stuart Schweigert
    Usama Y = Hiram Eugene

    Young had 1.5 sacks versus Jags , but the plays that stick out in my mind (again) are negative ones – the pass Henne completed when Woodson went out briefly due to injury (before Woodson came back in with the “Superman” tackle and during the 4th preseason game when Wilson & T-Jax went right at him

    the completion by Wilson was a long ball to some WR named Williams? not sure he even made their team. Can’t remember the intended target for TJ was, but I know the TE Willson got the best of him a few times for easy 1st downs

  • 0ak r8rs

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 9:03 am
    @Rockstar

    Usama (blindfolded w a cane) > Giodarno?