If the Raiders make it to the Super Bowl this season, it won’t come as a surprise to Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
Reid on Wednesday heaped enough praise upon the Raiders that it makes one wonder if he knows something that most others don’t or he’s just this way before every game his team plays.
You be the judge.
First, here’s what Reid had to say about the Raiders special teams:
“If you look at special teams, Bobby’s done a phenomenal job there,” Reid said in reference to coordinator Bobby April, who worked under Reid at the Eagles. “They’re the best special teams in the NFL.”
And the Raiders defense?
“Defensively, you’ve got to consider them as one of the better defensive units in the NFL,” Reid said of the Raiders. “They fly around, they make plays, they’ve got great coaching.”
Don’t forget about the offense, especially quarterback Terrelle Pryor, eh coach?
“You look at their offense, and they’ve got that quarterback rolling, man,” Reid said. “Heck, I remember when he was a high school player in Pennsylvania, and he was a heck of a player then. He goes to Ohio State, a heck of player there. And now he’s transferring that into the NFL and he looks like he’s got great command of what he’s asking them to do.”
Overall, Reid has a take on that, as well.
“They’ve got a good football team,” Reid said. “Reggie’s done a nice job there.”
— Rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson aggravated the calf injury that has dogged him since late in the offseason.
As a result, Watson did not practice Wednesday. That stalled his third return from injury and likely delayed his regular-season debut.
Watson missed most of training camp with the calf injury. Soon after he practiced for the first time at camp, Watson suffered a knee injury that required surgery.
He returned to practice last week and was destined to make his debut soon, perhaps Sunday against the Chiefs. Now, that’s up in the air.
“Obviously, it’s frustrating for him,” Allen said. “It’s frustrating for us that we haven’t been able to really have him out there. We’ve had him for a total of maybe 10 days since the start of training camp. He’s got to get healthy. Once he gets healthy, we’ve go to have a chance to evaluate him and see what we have.”
Watson was unavailable for comment.
— Safety Charles Woodson was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Chargers on Monday.
Woodson returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown and later sealed the Raiders 27-17 victory with an interception of Philip Rivers.
— The Raiders already played two divisional games. For the Chiefs, this will be their first game of the season against an AFC West foe.
Even so, Reid said he already has a pretty fair idea of what to expect.
“I know we’re playing a good football team and I know there’s some good football teams in the AFC West,” Reid said. “If there’s anything that the time here has shown, it’s that the AFC West has quality football teams.”
As for the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry, Reid also doesn’t have to be brought up to speed on the rich history and enmity between the old AFC franchises.
“I’ve got it,” Reid said. “I’ve got the picture. It’s a neat thing and I’m sure as Dennis (Allen) will tell you, it’s kind of a neat thing to be a part of.”
— As it turns out, the Raiders worked out veteran defensive tackle Daniel Muir last week, more than a week before they signed him.
How Muir fared in that workout, combined with Muir’s history with McKenzie, led to the Raiders adding Muir to their 53-man roster.
“We had a chance to watch him,” Allen said. “Reggie’s got some familiarity with him from Green Bay, he played in Indianapolis, he was with Houston during the preseason. We saw some good things about him. And so we wanted to upgrade our depth at the D-line position and thought he was a good addition.”
Muir wasn’t available for comment during the media access period. He was assigned No. 97.
— The Raiders worked out quarterbacks David Carr, Trent Edwards and Pat White on Tuesday. Allen refused to comment on how those workouts went, but he said the Raiders are content with Pryor and Matt McGloing for the time being.
“You’ve got to continue to evaluate that as the season goes on,” Allen said, when asked about the prospect of adding a third quarterback. “I don’t think, we’re not dead set one way or the other. If we feel like there’s somebody that can help us, then we’ll make that move. But right now we feel good with the guys that we’re going into the game with.”
The Raiders had three quarterbacks for the first five games. That changed when veteran Matt Flynn got released Monday.
— Speaking of Flynn, here’s what Pryor had to say about the Raiders jettisoning the player Allen and McKenzie traded for this offseason and envisioned being the starter.
“I really appreciate Matt,” Pryor said. “He helped out an awful lot while he was here and we definitely appreciated him while he was here but business is business.”
Pryor said he didn’t sense any awkwardness once he supplanted Flynn as the starter. In part, he added, that had to do with the fact that Allen made it clear that Pryor was the unquestioned starter.
— Allen said left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer and linebacker Miles Burris are making progress toward a return to the field.
Velhdeer suffered a torn triceps tendon during training camp and underwent surgery to repair the damage. Burris underwent surgery to repair a knee injury suffered last season. Both have been out all season but are eligibile to return soon.
Veldheer said today that he feels fine and things are going well. He will speak at length with the media next week, he said.
Burris ran around on the field during the early part of practice, and he looked pretty sharp.