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Get ready for battle of rookie quarterbacks

The Raiders and New York Jets still are in playoff contention, despite being well below .500 through 12 games. Both staked their fortunes to a rookie quarterback, which is something that worked well for the Seahawks and Redskins last season.
The jury’s out on Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin and Jets counterpart Geno Smith. However, both are expected to start for their respective teams Sunday, with the team that loses all but certainly eliminated from playoff contention.
Jets coach Rex Ryan is on his second rookie quarterback since he became the team’s head coach. First it was Mark Sanchez, a first-round draft pick. Now it’s Smith, who was selected in the second round.
“We’ve experienced some ups and downs and things, but the best way to learn is the player gets out and plays,” Ryan said in a conference call with Bay Area media.
That philosophy worked well for Terrelle Pryor, who started one game his first two NFL seasons but entered this season as the unquestioned starter after a sterling training camp.
His reign lasted all of eight games before he was sidelined with a right knee injury and ultimately replaced by undrafted rookie McGloin.
Like most rookies, they are prone to mistakes, Raiders coach Dennis Allen and safety Charles Woodson said.
“He’s like most young quarterbacks that come into this league and are thrown into the fire right away,” Woodson said in an interview with NFL Network. “He’s going to for the most part let you know where he’s going with the ball and teams are able to get their reads on him pretty quickly.
“People have been getting to him in the rush and making him make bad decisions back there in the pocket. Our game plan is really what everybody else has been doing: try to get pressure on him, make him antsy back there in the pocket and hopefully he’ll deliver that ball to us.”
Avoiding those pitfalls is a strenght of McGloin’s. In his three starts, he has been decisive, quick to get rid of the ball and avoid sacks.
“I see a guy that makes a lot of quick decisions with the football,” Ryan said. “He’s accurate and he’s very poised. I see a guy that has outstanding fundamentals and plays smart. It seems like it’s coming out quick and he knows where to go with the football.”

– Rashad Jennings prides himself on being in tip-top shape, doing everything he can to ensure that he is as fit as possible and making the most of every opportunity.
Yet, even he can’t do much about avoiding or speeding up the recovery process from a concussion. To that end, he’s still questionable for the Jets game.
“I never in my life have been in a locker room and not planned to play,” Jennings said Thursday. “And never in my life have I made that decision whether I’m playing or not.”
That’s the key point here. Whether or not Jennings plays Sunday is contingent upon his passing a series of league-mandated tests. Allen said Jennings has cleared some in the week since Jennings suffered the head injury.
If Jennings can’t play, Allen said, the Raiders will go with a “running back-by-committee” against the Jets. In other words, you’re apt to see Marcel Reece, Taiwan Jones and Jamize Olawale.

– Strong safety Tyvon Branch made it through his first day of practice Wednesday without any setbacks in his return from a severe ankle injury. That enabled him to push it a little more Thursday, which he did without any lingering effects.
Even so, Allen said Brandian Ross is going to start against the Jets, with Branch entering the game at some point as a means of easing him back into the mix.
“You have to see what he’s able to do,” Allen said. “If he’s able to go and can function and be productive we’ll put him in there and let him keep playing.”

Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson ought to take up juggling as a side job given how well he has dealt with so many injuries and lineup changes the first three months of this season.
That mixing and matching began in training camp, carried right into the regular season and hasn’t abated. Worse, Olson has been forced to alter his plans at every position — quarterback, offensive line, tight end, wide receiver and running back.
Naturally, the Raiders offense has been disjointed at times and far from a juggernaut.
“Lack of continuity, certainty, isn’t a recipe for success when you’re doing that, we’re finding that out,” Olson said. “They’re competing and we’re giving ourselves a chance to win games, we just have to find a way to win them in the end.”
Consider, Olson is working with a starting quarterback that wasn’t projected to make the 53-man, opening-day roster. Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn and McGloin started games so far this season.
He also went 11 games without left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, hasn’t had access to tight end David Ausberry at all, has coached games without wide receivers Andre Holmes and Denarius Moore, and now is working with a running backs corps so depleted that Taiwan Jones converted from cornerback.
“When you look before the season started and what are the Raiders, where are the Raiders going to be? Certainly our goal is to score more points,” Olson said. “Has that happened? Have we scored more? No, we have not done that. I believe that part of it is lack of continuity, part of it is lack of depth.
“When you look back at the beginning of the season, and where we’re at, everyone has injuries. Those teams that may not be as talented, when they have injuries during the season, it takes a bigger toll. That’s been a big part of it is the constant turnover and the constant changes in the lineup.”
This might come off as self preservation coming from someone else. In Olson’s case, he’s simply stating the facts.
For example, the 49ers went all of last season and most of this season with their offensive line intact. Olson hasn’t had his projected starting offensive line on the field at one time yet this season.

– Woodson’s dealings with Bay Area media is limited to postgame interviews. Yet, he is a regular guest on national shows during the week.
So, the best we can do during the week is to pass along things Woodson says elsewhere, while his teammates handle the day-to-day interviews.
Here’s Woodson’s take on the Raiders being in playoff contention, as told to NFL Network:
“It’s crazy to be here at 4-8 and not completely be out of the race,” Woodson said. “That’s pretty amazing to me. We have four games left and we want to do this thing right for the rest of the season. We’re looking forward to going in there and playing the Jets this Sunday.”

– Credit Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston for his candor based on his assessment of his play against the Cowboys.
In that game, Houston got shut down in pretty sound fashion by left offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Houston recorded two tackles out of the 67 snaps he played.
“I don’t I think I did too well,” Houston said. “In certain situations, I probably should have used different rushes. I don’t think I was picking my moves well. My timing was off. The aiming point with which I was coming at the tackle was bad. I should have studied more and thought about the depth of the linemen. That was really effective for them.
“It wasn’t a good game overall for me. So I’ve got to definitely show improvement this game and bring it, because that was probably the worst game I think I’ve played in my life.”

– Olson offered this rather telling nugget, when asked if McGloin has separated himself from Pryor.
“I don’t know if you would say that,” Olson said. “I just think that right now, that he is continuing to improve. Again, we always talk about the opportunity. He was given an opportunity when Terelle got hurt and he’s running with it right now.”

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Steve Corkran

  • rudegruden

    100% agreed.

    However, the conversation will turn to what Progression means. I personally say playoffs next year, some will think 7/8 wins shows enough progress.

  • Gdog

    If he signs the blue-chippers to long term contracts with high guaranteed money, he can do a LOT of damage. Of course that is going to make puzzy Raider fans head spin… because that is how we got into trouble in the first place, but after a decade of losing, I wish he would do it.

    Just go ALL IN next season and see what happens.. the consequences won’t be felt for years… he’s cleared so many contracts out. I want a KC like season flip!

  • Gdog

    Money talks… and we have the most. Hands down.

  • Howard Benner

    Spook city. . .

  • Dakota

    Have you read the new S.K. book? It has the boy from The Shining in it. Danny.

  • 10centsworth

    0I have NEVER done this but I will. I don’t predict, I SEE 10-12 wins next year.0

  • RaiderLen

    LOL…Dakota your “sourpussness” is epic.

  • Dakota

    Hey, I am optimistic that we can still get the #2 overall pick, draft a HOF player that will change our fortunes, and find a coaching staff worth a schyyyyt.
    Glass is half full baby!

  • RaidO

    “Gary Kubiak fired by Texans”

    Texans record:

    2006 6-10
    2007 8-8
    2008 8-8
    2009 9-7
    2010 6-10
    2011 10-6
    2012 12-4
    2013 2-11

    DA needs at least 7-9. Most likely not going to happen.

    4-12 2012 and 4-12 or 5-11 or 6-10 in 2013= GONE

    FIRE DA!

  • 408RAIDER

    I don’t expect reggie to make a big splash in FA. its going to be zzzzzzzzzzzzz in the offseason.. I hope he gets us a stud DE, Oline depth and a WR draft of FA

  • willy91137

    A lot of marked drafts say the Raiders take Johnny football at number eight hope they traded for two more draft picks we don’t want that guy as soon as he gets paid the party will start

  • rudegruden

    Agreed, use that guy as trade bait depending on where we are

  • 10centsworth

    0Oh? really? he’s just biding his time, huh. Please, show some common sense if not football sense.0

  • RaiderLen

    Hahaha! Ok Ok. This off season
    SHOULD be exciting/encouraging.

    Reggie has the best hand at that table.

    Let’s see how he plays it.

  • RaiderLen

    Have a good day Fellas.

  • 408RAIDER

    Came out of his mouth. He intends to build through the draft..

  • gerry559

    That guy is way better than the garbage we have!

  • willy91137

    No drafting Jonny football

  • lefty12

    You can be sure that at least 1/2 the people here hope whatever he does fails.

  • rudegruden

    Say No to Manziel.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Just a fine

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Hopefully, Houston will draft him take him off the board

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Boom goes the dynamite!!!!
    Let the Manziel madness begin

  • rudegruden

    If he fails, we are f*cked for years to come. This offseason is going to make or break us for at least 5 years. He can spend money on sh*t players and draft a bust at QB and we will be the Cleveland browns. Or he can do what he is supposed to do and bring in value players along with some play makers, draft smart and we should be in the playoffs in 2014. No excuses.

  • rudegruden

    oh f*ck me

  • KoolKell

    Wow, the United States listed Nelson Mandela as a Terrorist until 2008!

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Good question

  • 10centsworth

    0its obvious the last 11 years have had their effect. My luck, I get these yahooze sitting in front of me at the games. WHOOPS, sorry about that beer. What? Talk’s over.0

  • lefty12

    We haven’t had a winning season in 11 years and guys like you are demanding play-offs.How about a winning season 1st.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    with Branch probably playing, possibly Casey, cb or Johnson, s

  • rudegruden

    So your expectations is to take over an 8-8 team, and take 3 years to get to 9-7? Sorry my expectations are higher.

    No excuses. All the money in the world, three years to “fix” things. 10-6 three years after back to back 8-8 seasons isn’t asking for much.

  • lefty12

    Branch is out.

  • Dakota

    What an outrage! You should move!

  • 10centsworth

    0Gee, a RB to play LB, how clever.0

  • roger

    Its ok. Unless your post is 100% pro reggie/ raiders, this guy will get upset.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    What makes you think that I’d be interested in The Shining lol?

  • rudegruden

    There are a few here like that. Forbid us to demand success.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    with Maiava going on IR, Burris injured again
    puts Barr as well as Clowney at the top of the Raider draft board

  • 10centsworth

    0there should be a study/documentary on how many “terrorists”/criminals/antisocials went on to be heroes to their people, and venerated by history. Care to give me a candidate in DC?0

  • Dakota

    Barr round 1 and Carr in round 2?

  • Chino

    Uhh yeah where have you been.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    No to Clowney.

  • 10centsworth

    0well, he’s “shining” you on and you responded.0

  • lefty12

    An 8-8 team that was maxed out.The main offensive weapon on that team is a RB that is finished.As soon as he went down the team went with him.We had to go into total rebuild.I’ll take a winning season fighting for a play-off spot.

  • roger

    I’LL take it.

  • Chino

    The colonists were labeled terrorists as well.

  • roger

    Pretty sure they didn’t fly a jet into a building of innocent people thoughh.

  • KoolKell

    Remember when the Republican demigod Ronald Reagan vetoed sanctions against Apartheid South Africa in 90′?

  • rudegruden

    3 Years is enough for me. He chose to blow it up the way he did. There was no reason to blow up the offense but he did. All the work was needed to be done on the Defense INCLUDING the salary cap issues. However, he wanted to do it his way. 3 years is plenty of time.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Try to catch up 10cents or maybe go look for the other 90 cents.