Part of the Bay Area News Group

Raiders try to play takeaway with Smith

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 3:44 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Unedited version sent for print . . .

Being Alex Smith means dealing with backhanded compliments.

The quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs got another one the other day, courtesy of Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor, when asked if he aspired to the kind of efficiency displayed by Smith, said, “ I think I’m a little more risky than him. He does his thing and that’s him. I just go play ball . . . I know they’ve got a lot of checkdowns. That’s efficient, I guess. We want to be explosive and try to attack.’’

Less than a year after losing his job to Colin Kaepernick because of a concussion, Smith leads the Chiefs (5-0) against the Raiders (2-3) Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Smith, traded to the Chiefs for two second-round draft picks, remains as he was with the 49ers. He’s safe and efficient. More of a game-manager than a game breaker.

“He doesn’t turn the ball over. He makes good decisions in the passing game,’’ Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “They’ve done exactly what they need to do.’’

What Smith has done at a higher rate than any quarterback since 2011 is win games. His 24-5-1 record as a starter during the span is a winning percentage of .800. That is superior to Tom Brady (29-8, .784) and Aaron Rodgers (27-8, .771). Only Peyton Manning (18-3, .857) is better, and he missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury.

Smith took over a team that was 2-14 a year ago and had better passing and rushing numbers than Kaepernick, but has no interest in claiming vindication.

“It’s five games in,’’ Smith said by conference call. “This is still so early in the season. We’ve done a good job positioning ourselves, but talk to me in December.’’

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Smith probably has exceeded expectations in terms of being a leader.

“It’s not so much what he says, it’s the way he carries himself, the way he emits what it is to be a leader,’’ Chiefs tight end Sean McGrath told the Kansas City Star.

Smith said he didn’t attempt to assert himself as a leader so much as he simply tried to be himself.

“I think one thing everybody sees is when you’re not sincere and when you try to be someone you’re not,’’ Smith said. “Everybody can see a fraud.’’

Smith faces an Oakland defense which blitzed heavily and from every angle through most of the first three games, only to back off somewhat with a lead against the San Diego Chargers. The result was 315 passing yards in the second half by Philip Rivers, but also two of their three interceptions in successfully protecting a lead.

Whatever the Raiders were doing, don’t call it a “prevent’’ defense.

“Prevent means taking your foot off the gas,’’ defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “We don’t ever take our foot off the gas. We play.’’

Allen called it “situational’’ football.

“At that point in time, yards don’t cost you anything,’’ Allen said. “The only thing that costs you is points.’’

From what Smith has seen on film, he expects the Raiders to vary their looks and send extra rushers from different angles.

“They throw a lot at you. A ton of different looks. A lot of pressure,’’ Smith said. “I think every guy on that defense is coming at one point or another, all 11 guys. Last week they scored early and were kind of able to sit on it a little bit because the Chargers were out of a balanced game. ‘’

The Chiefs are an NFL-best plus-10 in turnover ratio in part because Smith has only three interceptions and Kansas City has lost just two fumbles. Allen feels the best shot the Raiders have of getting the ball back lies with being unpredictable.

“It’s all predicated on being able to get some pressure on him and make him uncomfortable in the pocket, to be able to do some things that hopefully make him make a bad decision,’’ Allen said.

– Running backs Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Rashad Jennings (hamstring) practiced for the second straight day, increasing their chances of facing the Chiefs.

Center Stefen Wisniewski (knee) did not practice and Andre Gurode is the probable starter at center.

– Sebastian Janikowski was puzzled a bouquet of balloons at his locker Monday. They came courtesy of punter and holder Marquette King, celebrating their first 50-yard kick to together.

How did Janikowski respond?

“He said, `What’s wrong with this guy?,’ ‘’ King said.

– Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston, second in the league with 7.5 sacks, has been cleared to practice but has not yet been cleared to play in the game against the Raiders following a concussion, according to ESPN.

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  • Raider_Riff

    Try taking the emotion out of your thinking and maybe logic wont be so hard to comprehend.

    I never blamed the kids for autism. Nor do I care. If anything, blame the parents.

    Why is a kid born with autism now the tax payers burden to treat?

    Besides, autism isnt something you treat. It’s something that needs to be prevented. Treating it is a waste of time and money. If the parents want to do it, fine. Have at it. Just dont ask me to have to foot the bill.

  • PlunkforHOF

    Why is that psycho still here?

  • PlunkforHOF

    Ditto.. was afraid I’d have to retire his jersey from my collection. Now I’m wearing it to the Steeler game.

  • PlunkforHOF

    I usually refrain from grammar policeman. But yours fits your intellect.

  • Raider O

    Autism is one example. There are many more like cancer, birth defects, etc..
    You can’t blame healthy parents who didn’t do anything to cause illness and you can’t blame the kids (victims).
    In a Civilzed society we don’t let these victims die because they can’t afford to pay.
    Why should I pay for your kids to go to public schools? Why should I pay to take care of vets who fight in wars I don’t agree with? Why should I help homeless people? Why should i pay to help rehab crimnals or drug addicts? The answer is simple: it’s the best thing for the society.

  • Raider_Riff

    Cancer is preventable.

    Birth defects… some are preventable, some are just bad luck. Until pregnant women stop drinking alcohol, Im not gonna have much sympathy.

    Your idea of a “healthy parent” is much different than mine.

    The list of toxins we come in contact with on a daily basis is staggering. And is why NOBODY should be surprised when someone is ill from cancer or any other preventable issue.

    “Civilized society” you say? The same civilized society that oppresses other countries to continue our way of life? Ya. That’s real civilized.

    As for your other examples… too easy:

    You shouldnt pay for my kids school. Public schools are a waste of money. Hugely inefficient. Not even close to effective.

    Vets shouldnt have been fighting in wars unless they were actually DEFENDING this country. Nobody is invading us any time soon. The only wars we’ve fought were when we were out on OTHER peoples land carrying out the work of the world BANKING CARTELS dirty work. I got no sympathy for a soldier that goes and fights someone elses war for them. Fvck the chicken hawks in Washington and the lemmings that do their dirty work on the ground.

    Rehab criminals? HA! That’s funny. Especially considering most “criminals” are in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Want your answer? Legalize all substances and let people have at it. Stop putting them in jail for doing the same drugs our politicians and movie stars also use.

    Drug addicts? Now we’ve gotten to the meat of the arguement. I dont want to pay for someone elses rehab any less than I want to pay for someone elses tummy tuck becuase they couldnt put down the Burger King.

    ALL OF OUR COUNTRIES HEALTH ISSUES ARE SELF INDUCED from our crappy diets and lifestyles.

    You really want the tax payer to pick up the bill for all the cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, fast food eating idiots in our country?

    Gimme a break.

    Eating organic is expensive. But it’s way cheaper than health care. When people start thinking like that, you’ll see less cancers and autism cases.

    Otherwise you will NEVER solve the issues we are speaking of. But Im having a hard time figuring out if you are even aware what the real core issue is?

    You think the cancer is the problem. It’s not the problem. The problem is the idiot that drinks Pepsi for 20 years and then wonders why they have health issues.

    I let that idiot die. Let natural selection take over. It worked for thousands of years but now we are supposed to cater to the DUMB because “it’s best thing for society”? That isnt a reason. That is just a ambigous statement that holds no weight because you cant explain WHY its best for society.

    What is best for society is a smarter society. And nobody will get smarter until they are forced too. Holding everyones hand is only going to encourage more IDIOCRACY. It’s a good movie. You should watch it for the first 10 minutes. It explains everything.

  • Raider O

    IMO you lack sympathy and tolerance for other members in our society. Not all our problems/ sickness is caused by bad diet, smoking, and alcohol.
    Just because you can afford to eat healthy organic foods means the rest of the members in our society can. People can’t afford to pay double/ triple the price to eat organic.
    Some people including some posters here can barely afford to eat top ramen after they pay their bills.
    Civilzed societies don’t let idiots die. They don’t do that in 3rd world countries.
    Civilzed societies try to educate the idiots and help them improve. You know why? It’s the best thing for the rest of the members.
    Public schools are not great, but they help. You rather have more uneducated people “idiots” because they can’t afford education? Makes no sense. Are you going to tell kids that they don’t need or deserve education because their parents can’t afford private education?
    You think having more “idiots” is going to improve our society?
    Why help rehab drug addicts? Legalize it, let them do more drugs, and kill and rob more people. Let them rape women too.
    I watched the movie and I liked it.

  • Raider_Riff

    I gotta go work… so I can afford to not have to resort to healthcare.

    I’ll be back in a few hours.

    I’ll respond in ernest then.

  • W.J

    Nonsense. The Palmer trade was by far the most stupid and costliest transaction they have ever done. Talk about just peeing money away. Flynn and Palmer were just give ways. Anybody with a tad of football acumen knew Palmer was crap (and continues to be so in ARI) and with just a bit of due diligence the waterboy knew Flynn’s arm was shot. At least JR had the promise of unbelievable talent. To say Palmer and Flynn had such promise is delusional.

  • W.J

    Keep in mind we got Veldy to reup.

  • W.J

    Great point. For me personally this will
    be a litmus test for RM and will confirm one way or the other my suspensions about him. He practically gave away 6.5 million to Flynn and then he will try and nickle and dime Pryor? I’m curious as to how he negotiates.

  • Raider_Riff

    You say I lack sympathy for other members of our society? I say so what. In general I do. But in many contexts I do have sympathy for my fellow brethren.

    Blatant stupidity is not an area where I will EVER sympathize or even empathize with someone.

    And yes, damn near all of our problems are due to the environment we have created for ourselves. Youre in over your head if youre going to start debating health and diet with me. In order to get you to understand my view it would take me trying to convey 20 years of research on my part in the field via typing over a blog. That aint going to happen.

    Just take my word for it, You know I managed athletes. Ive also trained them. I also was one. Diet & health have always been part of my profession and it’s a huge part of who I am. If you ever need advice in this area I can help you out quite a bit. But I digress…

    The next point you made was regarding the fact that I can afford to eat organic foods. When the truth is, I cant afford NOT too.

    The money I’d waste on health insurance each month I instead spend at the grocery store.

    And only in America, does it cost so much to eat healthy. In places like Europe, you dont have to eat “healthy”. Most everything is organic and GMO free anyways. It’s the standard. Most pesticides and nearly all GMO’s are illegal.

    You are probably not aware that about 80% of the ingredients found in the common grocery store are illegal in other countries to put in the food supply for one reason or another.

    The ingredients to coca cola arent even close to the same in France as they are here. Half the crap in our cola is illegal over there.

    So dont say we dont do this to ourselves.

    And we have only oursleves to blame for why it is so expensive to eat healthy here.

    Our grocery bill per month was $250 a month.

    To eat the same quality of food here in the USA we spend $600 a month.

    But under no circumstances is it ever excusable for us to be drinking the copeus amounts of soda we do as a nation. Sugar is the single most dangerous drug in our country today.

    And spare me the top ramen excuse. The single most valuable thing on the planet is TIME. So if there are people that have the TIME to post messages on a blog, then they only have themselves to blame for only being able to afford top ramen to eat. They got better things they need to be doing with there time OR they got ZERO excuse for when the health bills start to pile up from their poor diet.

    You cant educate the unwilling. For proof, go look in the mirror. The things Im saying in this argument about health are hugely beneficial to you. Lets see if it effects the way you take care of yourself in the slightest. I doubt it will.

    Im not knocking you for that and trying to make this personal. To each his own. Im only trying to illustrate that you cant educate the ignorant. They have to educate themselves or be willing to learn. Most are not.

    Im not saying private education is the answer. I never said that. Im saying, dont have a kid if you cannot afford to educate them. There’s a difference.

    And the reason why public schools dont work? Is because most parents use it as a day care. Their isnt any repurcussions or encouragement from home for the kid to get good marks in school. Our public school system is designed to effectively do one thing… teach kids how to socialize with each other (poorly) and respect authority.

    And dont even get me started on the teaching curriculums. They are a freaking joke.

    Im not saying “having more idiots will improve society”. Im saying, we couldnt possibly have any more. So lets stop wasting money on stupid was of trying to prevent them.

    Lastly, your take on drugs shows a severe lack of experience in this field as well. Pharmeceuticals are the biggest drug dealers in the world. Most of our country is on some pill or another. And the stuff they are popping is FAR more dangerous than some pot or coke. Personally? I hate all drugs. But I also know that the only reason they are illegal is so that certain people can make profits from them.

    Legalize everything and people wont have to steal to get the money to afford it.

    Heck, alcohol is a drug. And it kills more people than any of the rest. And it’s legal.

    O, you are going to have to come at me with more than just hollow statements about my ability to “sympathize” with people. Pulling on my emotional heart strings wont get you far in this debate.