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Jones ‘one of the best in the league’

ALAMEDA – Taiwan Jones entered the NFL three years ago with visions of running away from defenders and dancing in the end zone after touchdowns.
Things haven’t quite panned out that way, but Jones is making the most of his role as a backup cornerback and key special teams player.
“He’s done an outstanding job,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s one of the best special teams players in this league right now.”
Jones spent most of his time the past two seasons biding his time, waiting for his chance to show what he can do as a running back.
That chance never materialized, with Darren McFadden and others getting almost all the carries and Jones buried on the depth chart. He channeled his energy on special teams.
Jones also made it clear to Allen that he was willing to play anywhere, do anything to get on the field more, even if it meant a position change.
Hence, Allen converted Jones to cornerback, a position Jones played some in college.
Jones is making progress as a cornerback, but it’s special teams where he is making a name for himself as one of the best at sprinting downfield on punts and kick-offs and tackling returners before they realize they’re even in Jones’ sights.
“After making a tackle, that’s when I see the defense running on the field and they feel good about the field position,” Jones said. “That makes me want to work that much harder.”
Jones said his career hasn’t unfolded the way he imagined, but he’s plenty satisfied with the niche he has carved out.
Allen said Jones’ attitude is every bit as important in his success as is his superior speed.
“The first attribute for any special teams player is to understand the importance of it, and understand what that role is on the football team and how that can help this team win games,” Allen said. “Taiwan Jones loves to play football. He’s embraced that role.”

– Raiders special teams play is gaining plenty of recognition for its well-rounded play. Allen said he’s still waiting on the return game to get untracked.
Jacoby Ford’s longest kick return through six games netted 30 yards. On punt returns, 30 of the Raiders 96 yards came on one Phillip Adams return.
Ford said the time is coming when he and Adams are going to bust off long returns and ride that momentum the rest of the season.
“It’s one of those things where you just keep plugging away at it,” Ford said. “Eventually you break one. … As soon as you hit one, everything just starts clicking everywhere.”

– Allen limited practice Tuesday to young players and those in need of extra work as the Raiders head into their bye week.
That meant only 36 of the 61 players on the active and practice squad rosters participated in on-field drills. The 25 others got in some work in other capacities.
This represents a departure from last year, when all healthy players practiced before the bye week.
“It was important for the veteran players to get some time to really take care of their bodies and get themselves back healthy and ready to go for next week,” Allen said.

– Wide receiver Rod Streater said he and others appreciate quarterback Terrelle Pryor being accountable. At the same time, they make sure Pryor knows that not everything negative is his fault.
That’s easier said than done, though, given the way Pryor is wired, Streater added.
“It will bother him for a little bit,” Streater said, “but once he watches film and he sees exactly what he needs to correct he gets over it. But he’s a perfectionist so he’s going to want to work hard and make no mistakes.”

– The Raiders practice Wednesday, then the players are excused until Monday.
Allen said he wants his players to enjoy their down time, yet remain focused on the big picture.
“We’ve got to … understand that when we get back rolling, we’ve got to have our body and our mind ready for the stretch run of the season,” Allen said. “That will be critical for our success moving forward.”

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Steve Corkran

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    perhaps. he hits like a mack truck on ST, but I don’t know about his instincts or ball skills in the secondary

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    JFB doesn’t like my “Andy Reid” act in Dell’s FF league? Vegas your team should be in 1st place. great offense, defense and special teams. this week’s game will be a serious challenge. God be with the players on my squad

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Our “Disqus added” commenters aren’t aware of our time honored ‘AM crew’ civility protocol.

  • PlunkforHOF

    I’ll be there! JLofty too!

  • GotNext

    Colony Capital is one of the largest and most respected private equity firms in the world. They’ve invested in distressed debt (which you call subprime) in the last few years because there was an opportunity to make money (which I suspect they did). They’ve also done many successful real estate developments. They are the current best chance to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

  • Dakota

    No, the right team is in first place.

  • The_Judge37

    Just what we needed for the pain of a divisional loss, a Taiwan Jones Puff peice.

  • hwnrdr

    Cool, see you there! It’s been awhile!

  • Zymurge

    It’s a rebuilding year. The ways of past no longer hold true, even in blog board etiquette.

  • SnBG

    Good morning to all my Raider nation friends around the world.

  • Dakota

    Well, I have been surprised at the level of play TP has demonstrated this season. He still isn’t very good at playing QB, but if he can improve the rest of this year like he did this past offseason then he might work his way up to decent QB status. Still not the guy that will win us playoff games, but at least it is something exciting to watch. I will be sad to see his talent walk out the door eventually. I think he could have been a great player if he had followed in Curry or Taiwans footsteps and switch positions. The guy needs the football in his hands with room to run…..he is very talented.

  • MaddenRaider

    Bye week.

  • Dakota

    If the Raiders are going to stay in that area they should just share the 49ers stadium. If it is good enough for the Jets and Giants, it should be good enough for the 49ers and Raiders. A little common sense fiscal responsibility wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  • The_Judge37

    Which means this is the last article we’ll get from Cork for the next 13 days

  • MaddenRaider

    Steelers and Eagles both winnable. 4-4 at half way point.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    I have said this many times before…I was in New York in June and talked to a bunch of football fans there who liked the idea of sharing a stadium and were confused as to why we were not doing the same thing. This is a cash strapped state you only use it 10 times a year.

  • seymour bush

    The Whiners killer new stadium is decked completely in Red and Gold with all the whiner players and banners in it. We would have nothing that said this is our home. That isn’t going to happen. It would be less insulting to play our home games in Mile High when the Buncos aren’t using it.

  • MaddenRaider

    After two decades of cities building separate, state of the art, enormously expensive venues for each of their sports team, with little objection from fans, now fans want “fiscal responsibility” and stadium sharing. Too funny.

  • Dakota

    If they agree now those plans can be altered to provide options for both teams. It isn’t like the 49ers stadium is that close to being finished is it?

  • Dakota

    So because people were stupid before, they should continue to make those bad decisions?
    alrighty then.

  • MaddenRaider

    Just laughing at it. That’s all.

  • seymour bush

    It is. They are putting the seats in now. Red and Gold seats. That would have had to be done years ago. A better option is staying in the Coliseum rather than playing in a red and gold stadium with Lott/Montana/Clark icons around it.

  • SnBG

    The Niners stadium is built for the Niners and reflects that in it’s design. I don’t want to see the Raiders play there. We need a stadium that’s designed with the Silver and Black in mind. An ultra modern space age facility with silver and black seats.

  • MaddenRaider

    Levi and its location was a calculated move for the Niners to take over the horseshoe that is the peninsula, the south bay, and even the east bay up into Fremont and Union City. Let the Raiders have everything from North Hayward to Richmond. The Raiders need to counter and get something done, make sure the entire east bay from Fremont on up is their turf.

  • Dakota

    And they would have to remove all of the vibrators in the seats that are required by the 49er season ticket holders…..so it might be too late.

  • Zymurge

    Hate pee in your Wheaties but this offense ain’t just a legit QB away from playoff caliber. I do believe that a vet signal caller that actually calls ALL the signals and does so on time would be a big step in the right direction. The other 10 need a QB that can run the whole playbook, make all the audibles, find the 3rd guys in the progressions and so forth for them to go to the next level. The thing with Pryor’s style and limited mental game, it feels like half the time the rest of the O is standing around watching him because he thinks he can do it all himself.

    With a year of the full playbook and adjustment, and the gelling that comes with that, then it’d be time for the big spend on QB. Going after a big ticket FA QB this offseason (Cutler being the only one worthy that will be FA in 2014) would be difficult to attract and would cost more than market to pull to this offense.

    There aren’t a ton of great choices currently slated for 2014 free agency (but there are always surprise cuts due to contacts and cap) but there are a few interesting options to discuss. Freeman will get a chance to show the league what he can do without Tampa Bay and will either increase or decrease his value doing so. Henne has looked decent starting for some pretty bad offenses in Miami and Jacksonville, so could still have upside in the right system. Whitehurst, is more of a flyer, but was in conversations as a potential starter for some teams before the Chargers signed him last year.

  • Dakota

    But, instead, what you will get is the NFL’s smallest stadium

  • SnBG

    I know Oakland get very bad press and people that don’t know it think it’s a terrible city but that’s not true. The cities future is very bright and a new stadium wold be fantastic.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    We’d probably still need the tarps, so that would help.

  • Zymurge

    I could have written exactly that myself, so totally echo the sentiment.

    The guy really could be special as a WR, with the ball in his hands in open field. As QB he’s struggling just to be mediocre and limited.

  • marks hair

    it needs to be big enough to host a Superbowl

  • SnBG

    As long as the tarps are in silver and black. I see it as a simpley marvelous design feature darling.

  • bcz24

    MetLife was designed from the beginning to be shared though. Everything that shows ‘team colors’ is lights which they change to represent either the Jets or Giants (whomever happens to be using the stadium). They also have 2 very nice ‘home team’ locker rooms which are unique to the Jets or Giants. Levi was built with the express intent of being used only by the 49ers. It is passed the point of no return for it to be a joint venture.

  • Zymurge

    Plus, they’d need to retrofit all of the white wine holders to fit large beer cups and replace the cheese stands with actual sporting food options.

  • SnBG

    Mark said a 58,000 seat stadium would work for him.

  • Dakota

    I know that if the Raiders put a decent team on the field Oakland would have 70k fans attending the games….the idea of building a small stadium because they want to see it look more full during the lean years just seems weak. I would rather see a stadium with tarped off upper decks in bad years than a tiny full stadium that can’t generate the fan support or crowd noise we will need once we return to dominance!
    I see how 76K fans cheering the Broncos can affect the game. Or look at Seattle. We will never have that if Mark Davis gets his tiny stadium.

  • SnBG

    The tarps could be designed with a Raider logo that flashes silver and black every time the Raids score.

  • bcz24

    If he struggles understanding the route tree concepts as a QB, what makes you think he can be a WR??

  • SnBG

    Unfortunately, during the past several decades, Oakland’s substantial business tax rates have not been offset by attractive tax incentives or aggressive promotion of Enterprise Zone tax credits. A daunting permitting and licensing bureaucracy has stymied many fledgling businesses. In addition to these issues, the city’s general reputation for high crime and underperforming schools has made business attraction a long-standing challenge.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Mark aint buying new tarps. Re use the ones we have. Might be a few wrinkles, but that adds to the ambiance.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Dakota envisions a Raider home crowd being 6th man with Terrelle Pryor as QB? boy he changed his tune quick on #2 !!

  • Zymurge

    Because he only needs to know his route and not the routes of everyone on the field. Even then, they can start him with a few and build. Look at Randy Moss’s career. The guy only ever ran a handful of routes. Pryor has nearly the same combo of hieght and speed so he’s a deep threat every time he lines up and that gives you a lot of leeway as a wideout. The difference between him and Moss is that Pryor will work his butt off to be the best WR he can be, whereas Moss only cared when deep balls were coming his way so he wouldn’t get hit.

    I don’t think he is a moron, he’s just not smart enough to play QB in Olson’s complex WCO system that is very read oriented. Probably 80% of the non-QBs in the league aren’t either, so it’s not a knock. The two positions that seems to take the most intelligence (defined in football terms as the ability to process football data quickly and correctly under pressure) are QBs and OLs. Just because you don’t have the head for one of those, doesn’t mean you can’t play in the NFL.

  • Dakota

    He would not have to read an entire defense, watch for blitzes, and know where the HB, FB, TE, and WRs are all going to be on any given play. As a WR he would just have to be able to read his portion of the field….much less to think about.

  • hwnrdr

    They could…kinda like when Balfour comes out for the A’s in the 9th…the billboards all flash!

  • Zymurge

    Based on this season, they would be very energy efficient then :-(

  • Dakota

    6th man? I guess we have 6 starters on offense and defense that the crowd might beat out lol.
    Not sure where you are picking up on the TP stuff though.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    A 39 dollar solar panel and one of those big 6 volt batteries ought to do the trick.

  • bcz24

    Moss was a WR for his entire career. You can’t just switch a QB to WR and expect him to understand all the route concepts, how to beat press coverage, how to find holes in the zone. You know why Wes Welker is Brady/Mannings favorite receiver? Because he DOES read the whole defense and understand what they are doing. Being a WR goes so far beyond running fast. Does anyone even know if Pryor can catch the ball??? He could look like DHB trying to catch a fade with clubs for hands….

  • Zymurge

    Seriously? You really think the NFL would sponsor their highlight game of the year in Oakland?

    I know that the city is improving year by year, but it’s still far from what I would call tourist friendly, let alone attractive. Even then, it’ll take several years of no articles with people getting mugged even in the “good parts of town” for the image to die down enough to be considered.

  • Dakota

    So just let his talent go without giving it a shot? I guess it is a moot argument because he is not going to change positions for us…..he will have to have failed at another opportunity at QB before he makes a business decision to change positions.