Part of the Bay Area News Group

Hayden has firm grasp on perspective

By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 at 4:51 pm in Oakland Raiders.

A year ago, Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden collided with a teammate at the University of Houston and suffered an injury that required emergency surgery.
“A day that I’ll always remember — the day I got hit in practice and almost lost my life,” Hayden said. “I thought about it when my mom texted me this morning (about) how good God has been. This day is just another example of how he works in mysterious ways.”
And it’s another reason why Hayden is able to keep things in perspective and not get too down about a game such as the one he had against the Eagles last Sunday, when he allowed three receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Hayden said he is heartened by the fact that he was in position to break up all three passes that he allowed to be caught by Eagles receivers.
“It’s about how you respond to it,” Hayden said. “I could have made both plays, I’ve just got to finish the play. If I’d have finished the play, who knows what the outcome would have been.”
Hayden suffered a ruptured vein in practice a year ago. Quick thinking by a team trainer resulted in Hayden being treated properly and rushed to a hospital, where doctors were able to save Hayden from an injury that has a 95 percent fatality rate.
He has a scar that runs from atop his chest down to his belly button. During the late offseason, Hayden underwent a second surgery as a result of pain caused by scar tissue.
The initial injury and the two resulting surgeries compelled the Raiders to keep Hayden under wraps until late in training camp, when he finally got cleared for contact.
Coach Dennis Allen is convinced that Hayden will validate the Raiders using the No. 12 pick in this year’s NFL draft on the speedy cornerback and that Hayden will be even better next season, if for no other reason than he will have an offseason in which to prepare at full strength the entire time.
“Nothing in football can compare to what he had to go through and the type of mental toughness that it takes to battle through the injury that he battled through and to be able to come back like he’s been able to come back,” Allen said. “I have no doubt that he will be able to respond, he’ll be able to come back and he’ll perform at a high level.
“Not a lot of people have gone through the things that he had to go through. Being a rookie is one thing and that has its own unique challenges but being a rookie after suffering through the setback that he had is a challenging thing but he’s done a nice job.”

– There’s a sense that part of the drop in production in the second half of games by the Raiders offense in general and quarterback Terrelle Pryor in particular has to do with Pryor wearing down as a result of all the running he does.
Pryor has rushed 63 times in seven games and flushed from the pocket numerous other times in which he ultimately got sacked or attempted a pass.
Against the Eagles, Pryor rushed for 94 yards and spent most downs running around in an attempt to elude defenders, buy time and wait for receivers to get open.
Pryor scoffed at the notion that his play might suffer as a direct result of all the running around he does in games, particularly in the first half.
“I don’t ever wear down,” Pryor said. “It’s just whatever happens. If that’s what it takes to win … I run about a mile every day on the treadmill, so that adds up as the week goes on. So I could go pretty good so far – I’m young, so hopefully I’m blessed enough to play a while and we’ll be talking about that in the future. But right now, I can do that.”

– Mychal Rivera and Jeron Mastrud combined for 20 catches for 245 yards and a touchdown the first half of the season. On Sunday, the Raiders get their first look at Brandon Myers since they allowed him to leave via free agency.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Myers has been “solid” for the Giants this season. The stats seem to validate that assessment. Myers caught 23 passes for 265 yards and one touchdown in his new team’s first eight games.
As for the production of the Raiders tight ends this season, Allen made it clear that there’s room for improvement.
“It’s an area that we’d like to see a little bit more production from,” Allen said. “Those guys are going in there and battling and doing the things that they’re capable of doing.”
Rookie tight end Nick Kasa has yet to catch a pass this season. He got a handful of snaps against the Eagles last Sunday and even had a pass thrown his way.
Here’s Allen’s take on where Kasa stands halfway through his rookie season.
“He’s making some strides,” Allen said. “He’s not there yet. He’s still behind the other two guys. But he’s gotten better, It was good to get him in the game the other day and let him get some game time experience. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him some more experience.”

– Had a brief chat with strong safety Tyvon Branch in the locker room today. He said he isn’t sure when he’s going to be able to return to practice or play in a game again.
Branch hasn’t played since he suffered an ankle injury against the Washington Redskins. The Raiders have carried Branch on the roster all season in hopes of his returning at some point.
When that is, no one knows. Allen said last week that he was hopeful of Branch being a week or two away.

– As it turned out, kicker Sebastian Janikowski wasn’t able to participate in practice. He was spotted taking part in stretching before practice started. However, Allen said that his kicker was held out because of the ribs he injured against the Eagles.

– Menelik Watson watched the video of his play against the Eagles and came away satisfied at how well he performed despite a lack of practice and game action since training camp started.
Still, he added, he isn’t in to being just satisfied. He wants to be a key cog on the Raiders offensive line, someone able to impact the game.
“I want to be a part of the reason why we win,” Watson said. “I want to be a difference-maker, not just a body. So, therefore, I wasn’t happy with the overall result.”
Watson made his regular-season debut against the Eagles last Sunday, but he didn’t enter the game until a toe injury sidelined right offensive tackle Matt McCants.
As of now, it appears as if Watson is going to make his starting debut this Sunday against the Giants. Allen said Watson graded out pretty well against the Eagles.
“He’s an extremely talented athlete for as big as he is,” Allen said in response to why Watson is able to succeed despite little experience in the game, even before this season. “He’s a great athlete. He has good power. Fundamentally he has to continue to work to improve. That’s probably the biggest area he needs to work to improve on because he hasn’t got a lot of experience.”

– Allen said receiver Juron Criner’s shoulder injury is an A-C sprain. Criner had his right shoulder in a sling during practice today. There’s no word on Criner’s status for Sunday’s game.

– Couldn’t help but notice Pryor talking about the difficulty in getting fullback Marcel Reece the ball as much as desired and thinking back to how the Raiders managed to get Rashad Jennings 22 touches against the Eagles on Sunday.
By comparsion, Reece has 25 touches in eight games this season. Pryor said Reece gives the Raiders a favorable matchup whenever he’s covered by a linebacker or safety, but teams have a penchant for using a cornerback on Reece.
It says here, throw the ball to Reece and take your chances with him and his 255-pound body against a cornerback that might tip the scales at 200 pounds.
“I know coach wants to get him the ball,” Pryor said, “it’s just tough to find the matchups because a lot of (teams) are starting to play him like a receiver.”

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  • bcz24

    You can go finish your degree anytime you want. Roethlisburger went back and finished last year.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    bush do you have a response to what i posted? i just outlined how and why players like poncy look to diffuse this sort of thing.

    i know you have nothing

  • rifflicks

    where did you read this b s …in your Al Sharpton monthly new letter???

  • the douche dan garcia

    Nobody discussed race for three weeks. I knew there was a reason u showed up.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    still can refute what I posted?

    your limited brain wont allow a real dialogue

    what a loser

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    im not incognito, nor did i leave voice mails on martins phone

    its a national news story hill billy

  • NewEra S&B

    Incognito is not racist nor a white supremacist. If that were the case a few of his “black” teammates would not have vouched for him in the media. Just a loco 300 pound mammoth with a mean streak and an odd passion for the N word.. Get over it. The white man created that word no? Let him have it. And irregardless of that fact, it is so casually used these days you’d find it a synonym to “friend” in someone’s dictionary. This society is just so quick to blow situations out of proportion. Martin and Richie were friends according to Clabo and others. It should have been handled in the locker room and remained in the locker room.

  • rifflicks

    your idiotic post refuted itself…it needed no assistance to show how stupid it is

  • the douche dan garcia

    Hillbilly? Who’s the bigot now?

    U can’t help how stupid u are I guess.

    U and Richie Incognito. The same doofus bigots.

  • the douche dan garcia

    I don’t call u names that have a racial connotation but u and priest and Kell do it constantly. U guys are the racist bigots on this board. Sad.

  • NewEra S&B

    I’m just saying.. There’s a long history of irresponsible spending. Once they see their first mil? Who know’s what they’ll do with it. And once it’s all gone and they’ve become the bust of the century.. They can’t go back and get their degree. It’s situational, but a plan B is always better than none.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    You’re such a douche–no credibility. There isn’t a teammate of his that thinks he’s a racist. Why don’t you stick to Xs and Os or at least stick to topics that don’t reveal for all to see here on this board your overcompensation.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    beat it you sister humping toothless inbred, i nkow you cant actually read, so there is no way for you to know about the books i mention or the national news stories.

    now get , your going to beat late for jug band practice, and your on spoons tonight

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    once again

    just because a player classified as black is trying to diffuse the issue is not proof of anti racism on incognitos part
    incognito was empowered to do this by 3 powerful white men, the head coach gm and owner

    what player classified as black could take on that four some of white supremacy without fear of losing thier job?

    none

    just as slaves on a plantation at times defended the slave master for fear of a worse condition coming next

    not shocking at all

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV
  • the douche dan garcia

    Like I said. Ur a bigot clown. No better than fangs.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Uh oh.

  • Rico Stifler

    Carr has been compared to Stafford and Cutler.

  • NewEra S&B

    You’re trivializing.

  • rifflicks

    I pity you…there’s help for people like you if you truly seek it out

  • Rico Stifler

    There are a fair amount of scouts who think Carr will be a top 10 pick by the time the draft rolls around.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    peace inbreds, your goats are ready for you

  • the douche dan garcia

    Don’t u guys see? All whites are racist. Any black who doesn’t see it are brainwashed and suffering from post traumatic slave syndrome.

    It’s the same as stormbringerSS argument that all blacks are bad and whites who don’t see it are brainwashed by Jews.

    They’re the exact same bigot.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Mistic: Working to destroy MLK’s legacy since 1968!

  • rifflicks

    Obama is looking for more Navigators to help sell ObamaCare…you’d be perfect

  • rifflicks

    ying and yang
    in an ironic way

  • the douche dan garcia

    Who said this: “Black people are not capable of thinking for themselves. I’m right about them no matter what anyone says.”

    Missdick or stormbringerSS?

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Stormbringer and Mistic really don’t see the similarity, do they?

  • turf toe

    Hayden may miss this week’s game due to a groin injury. Woodson must have kicked him harder than he intended.

  • the douche dan garcia

    I don’t think so. But it couldn’t be more plain to see.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Mistic…or maybe Priest?

  • the douche dan garcia

    Basically, missdick. And stormbringerSS.

  • rifflicks

    for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction….who knew it worked in bigotry too?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    That’s a fair description of Miss Tick’s impact here. And probably most everywhere.

  • the douche dan garcia

    Missdick is actually really insulting to black people. Saying they are brainwashed cowards. Afraid to go against whitey.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    He doesn’t realize what a disservice he is doing to the people he identifies with when he infantilizes them.

  • turf toe

    Does the S&B stand for Stars and Bars?

  • NewEra S&B

    Slavery and Blacks.

  • the douche dan garcia

    He basically acts like black people are too stupid too see the truth. Like they’re incapable of realizing all the secrets we whiteys have and they need him to explain the mystery.

    I feel sorry for him cuz he’s fallen for sine serious hucksterism.

    Same as stormbringerSS.

  • 2romes

    That last sack looked like some Pryor situation. Should have stayed in the pocket scream a Raider fan but the pocket collapsed

  • The Big Banana

    So let me get this straight. Because Incognito had black players vouch for him, he’s allowed to hurl racial epithets?

  • CJ Legend 34

    Key – Olson sets up the offense not TP he makes the calls….Where did you see that video of Gannon? I want to check it out!