By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 12:12 pm in Oakland Raiders
By Steve Corkran
By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 10:52 am in Oakland Raiders
Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin spoke with the media Monday night, one day after he and the Raiders came up just short in a last-second loss to the Tennessee Titans. Here’s what McGloin had to say in a question-and-answer session in the locker room:
Q: You are going to have to match pace with Dallas offense . . .excIted about the opportunity?
McGloin: It’s definitely an exciting week. Unfortunately it’s a short week for us, but today was a good day. A lot of guys were in here, working on their bodies. We had a pretty good walkthrough out there today so it was a pretty good start to the week.
Q: What goes into being sharp with this little rest?
McGloin: A lot of mental preparation. Obviously, they’re going to take it easy on us physically this week and we’ll what happens. It’s tough any time you play a tough, hard game Sunday, then you have to turn around and play Thursday, there are only a few days in there, but like I said, we’ll take care of our bodies and the main thing is to get ready mentally.
Q: Dallas has given up a lot of points, lot of yards, both passing rush but have DeMarcus Ware and some good players . . . what do you see?
McGloin: They’re a good defense. A lot of good players on that defense. We’re definitely aware of all those guys. Like I said we have our own problems that we have to correct and we’re doing that each and every day, but I thought we started off today pretty good with the walkthrough, we got a good jump on them.
Q: TD play, you’re going to get hit, throw back foot, get the touchdown, you probably didn’t even see it?
McGloin: I saw the celebration. That’s a play we’ve been running for a long time there and Marcel is a guy you can trust is going to be there and you know he’s going to run a good route and sometimes you have to give them an opportunity and go up and make a play. He made a great play. Sometimes you’ve got to stand there and take that hit. I’ll take that hit every time for a touchdown.
Q: Rivera said he’s been cleared 100 percent, ready to go, passed all tests . . . how good to have them back. He said you two have a rapport, he was out there during your tryout.
McGloin: I’ve enjoyed to throwing to Mike for awhile now. He’s a good talent and another guy that goes about his business each and every day, works hard, pays attention, listens, does everything he has to, does the right things, runs great routes for us. He’s abig part of our offense he’s improving each and every week so it’s a big plus for us that he’s going to be playing this week.
Q: Dennis came out Sunday night, said Matt’s our starter, one less thing to get out of your brain?
McGloin: Yeah, it feels good, you don’t have to wonder or deal with it this week. It gives you some relaxing, in terms of mental preparation, kind of just focus on Dallas now and not have to worry about who’s starting.
Q: Given how many points Dallas scores, puts premium on TDs and not field goals . ..
McGloin: Regardless of who you’re playing the objective is to score points when you get in the red zone and we didn’t do too good of a job on that Sunday so that’s something we have to work on the next few days, especially against Dallas, that offense has been doing some good things this year so it’s crucial when we get in the red zone we have to score touchdowns.
Q: No stranger to big stage, exciting national TV on Thanksgiving . .
McGloin: It’s a great opportunity for us. I’m sure everybody has grown up watching that game with their families and to be a part of it is something special. We’re all looking forward to it. We’re excited about it. It’s going to be a tough atmosphere for football, but we’ll handle it, we’ll work on it the next couple of days and we’ll be prepared.
Q: How do you guys fare better on third downs?
McGloin: Just keep at it, keep improving, watch more film if we have to. Continue to work the routes, the reads, communicate with guys. Just more of the things we’re already doing. Just continuing to preach it and work on it. Obviously it’s not a lot of things that are difficult there, but like I said, we’re right there, we just have to work out the kinks.
Q: Two conversions first drive, one the rest of the day, what do you see form the cut-up . . . that was right there, could have had it?
McGloin: We’re that close. As frustrating as it is it’s good to see how close we are. We’re communicating with one another. That’s never been an issue. Just continue to practice that’s all we can do. But we’re right there, it’s only a matter of time before we break out and have a big game.
Q: Haven’t played with Veldheer yet, but to have him back a big benefit . . .
McGloin: It’s great to see Jared back. He’s such a great part of that line and he has been since he’s been here. What’s great is we’ve had so many guys step in and do a tremendous job. Guys playing tackle, guys playing guard. I was really proud of those guys, and how they work, and how they accept any role that the coaches give them.
Q: Offense executed second have, as young QB constantly evaluating self and how you’re doing?
McGloin: Well yeah, you’re trying to gain as much experience as you can by playing and obviously I don’t have a lot of experience playing at this level yet, but it was good to see the way we made those adjustments at halftime. We came out, we fought, we put some good drives together and we put a good drive together at the end when we needed one.
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 7:16 pm in Oakland Raiders
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 5:39 pm in Oakland Raiders
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 2:16 pm in Oakland Raiders
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Monday that tight end Mychal Rivera and cornerback are going through the league-mandated concussion protocol and that both players already are showing progress.
Both players suffered concussions against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. It seems a stretch for either Rivera or Jenkins to play in the Raiders next game, given it comes Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Allen said he isn’t ruling out either player, though.
– Sebastian Janikowski has missed seven of 22 field-goal attempts this season. That’s as many as he missed in 2011 and 2012 combined.
Much has been made of Janikowski adjusting to a new holder, Marquette King, this season after spending his first 13 seasons working with Shane Lechler.
Allen has no interest in pointing fingers at anyone, and he downplayed the suggestion that there might be an issue between Janikowski and King.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s an issue,” Allen said. “But I would say that when we go out there to kick field goals, we got to make field goals.
“I said this (Sunday) night, that there’s 11 guys that take the field on that field-goal unit. All of them have to do their job to be able to execute and get three points on the board. We’ve obviously got to do a better job in that phase of converting on our field-goal opportunities.”
Allen said “no” when asked if he intended to bring in another kicker as a result of Janikowski’s struggles. Janikowski wasn’t available for comment Sunday.
– The plan remains for left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer to make his 2013 debut against the Cowboys, Allen said.
Veldheer has spent most of the past four months recovering from a triceps injury that required surgery. Allen said Veldheer hasn’t suffered any setbacks since he resumed practicing. Therefore, it’s time to turn the big fella loose in a game.
Just the game, Allen said, it’s likely that Veldheer will be eased into the mix and not play an entire game. That way Veldheer can work his way into game shape.
As for what happens with Khalif Barnes once Veldheer returns, Allen didn’t offer any specifics.
Don’t plan on seeing rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson anytime soon. He was a healthy scratch against the Titans, with Matt McCants getting the nod as one of the backups for that game.
“With Menelik, we have a situation with a guy who has really played a year of junior college, a year at Florida State and then missed training camp and the majority of the season,” Allen said. “He’s behind from a fundamental standpoint.”
Watson missed most of training camp and started one game before he suffered a second injury — he arrived at camp with a calf injury. He then missed significant time before he returned during the first half of the season.
“Matt McCants is a guy who we picked up early who’s been in the system and has been getting the work in,” Allen said. “And, when he’s gone in there, he’s played well. He’s ahead of Menelik. We still feel like Menelik has a bright future for us, but he’s missed so much time.”
– Running back Darren McFadden and strong safety Tyvon Branch are working out today, Allen said.
It’s conceivable that McFadden’s hamstring will heal enough and in time for him to play against the Cowboys. Allen said Branch is “getting closer” to playing again, though it likely won’t be this week. He hurt his ankle in Oakland’s second game this season and he hasn’t practiced or played in a game for more than two months.
– Linebacker Kevin Burnett is day-to-day with a quadriceps bruise. Coach Allen said he is confident that Burnett will be able to play Thursday.
“I saw him in there this morning, and he seemed to think he was fine,” Allen said. “So hopefully that’s the case.”
– Fullback Marcel Reece executed the Wildcat formation the two times the Raiders used it Sunday. This, despite the fact quarterback Terrelle Pryor was healthy enough to play.
Allen said the plan beforehand was to use Reece in the Wildcat. There also was a package of plays in the offense for Terrelle Pryor, though none of those plays got used.
“I felt like if we could play this game and still do well offensively and didn’t have to use those packages we’d be able to give him another week to heal up a little bit,” Allen said. “That was beneficial to him. We’ll see how that goes moving forward if there’s a way we can get him into the game in some of those packages.”
– Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa received some meaningful playing time against the Titans. It’s possible that he will get even mnore against the Cowboys unless Jenkins’ bounce back is a fast one.
“Chekwa was solid,” Allen said. “Obviously, they went at him on the one third-down play for a third-down conversion. It was a catch-tackle with just enough to get the first down, but that’s the first action, really, that Chimdi’s seen this year at the corner position.
“He’s a guy that, he’s really much improved from where he was at this point a year ago and if he has to go in there and play, then we’ve got confidence that he’ll go in and play well.”
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 1:01 pm in Oakland Raiders
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 12:48 pm in Oakland Raiders
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 12:42 pm in Oakland Raiders
Raiders coach Dennis Allen is scheduled to speak with the media at 1 p.m. at his weekly day-after-game news conference. It’s expected that Allen will provide more updates that usual on things such as injuries, given the Raiders play on Thanksgiving.
Of note, tight end Mychal Rivera and cornerback Mike Jenkins suffered concussions Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Also, linebacker Kevin Burnett left the game with a quadriceps bruise.
Something else to keep an eye on is the health of running back Rashad Jennings, who appeared to injure his shoulder at some point in the game.
Later today, the Raiders will practice under the lights as they jump right back into things on a short week. The proceedings kick off around 5:30, with portable lights in place to ensure that the Raiders can get in a full two hours or so.
They are back on a regular practice schedule Tuesday and Wednesday, with everyone boarding a plane Wednesday afternoon for the flight to Dallas.
– Linebacker Miles Burris played 28 snaps Sunday in his first game action since last season. Half his snaps came on special teams, the other half on defense.
Burris’ playing time ramped up once Burnett suffered his injury. He looked quick on a short pass in the flat one play. On another, the Titans receiver had little difficulty running by Burris before he turned upfield.
All in all, not a bad debut for Burris, who underwent knee surgery soon after last season ended and spent the past 10 months or so recovering from the surgery and working his way back into shape.
– Allen said after Sunday’s game that rookie quarterback Matt McGloin played well enough to merit the start against the Dallas Cowboys.
McGloin rallied from an unimpressive first half — he completed 8 of 17 for 105 yards and one interception — and finished with 11 completions in 15 attempts for 155 yards and a go-ahead touchdown in the second half.
His touchdown pass to fullback Marcel Reece was a thing of beauty, with McGloin forced to throw off his back foot and release the ball a split second before he got drilled.
The ball floated over the defender’s head and into Reece’s arms at the goal line, as the fans erupted. That likely would have been the talk of the town had the Raiders defense not allowed a 14-play, 80-yard game-winning drive by the Titans on the ensuing possession.
– Wide receiver Rod Streater absorbed several big hits Sunday. Yet, he managed to finish the game and showed no lingering effects in the locker room.
Streater started slow Sunday, then gained steam and finished with five catches for 93 yards despite being covered most of the time by Pro Bowl-bound cornerback Alterraun Verner.
– Reece touched the ball nine times Sunday — five rushes for 14 yards and four receptions for 44 yards. Two of his rushes came out of the Wildcat formation.
That’s 15 touches in two games after he averaged three per game the first nine games. By comparison, Jennings touched the ball 20 times Sunday.
It’s looking less and less likely that Darren McFadden will regain his starting job if he returns from a hamstring injury. Jennings simply is playing much better than McFadden did at any point before his injury against the Eagles.
Jennings rushed for 413 yards the past four games, which McFadden missed almost all of, save a few plays against the Eagles. McFadden amassed 352 yards in the seven games he played so far.
– Sebastian Janikowski converted four field-goal attempts against the Titans. He also missed two, one from 32 yards and another from 48.
He now has missed seven of his 22 field-goal attempts this season. To put that in perspective, he missed only 7-of-69 in 2011 and 2012 combined.
So, he would need to convert 47 straight from here to match his success rate the past two seasons.
Allen said the issue is with the entire field-goal unit and not just Janikowski. Tough to tell what Janikowski is thinking, given he bolted the locker room Sunday long before the media gained access.
– Jacoby Ford’s uneven season continued Sunday, with Ford fumbling a punt. Fortunately for Ford and the Raiders, teammate Brice Butler recovered the fumble.
Later in the game, McGloin targeted Ford on a short pass on a third-down play. The Titans defender shadowed Ford on the crossing route and got a hand on the ball before Ford had a chance to make the play.
– Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick gained only 26 yards rushing Sunday. However, it was how he moved whenever he felt pressured by the Raiders defense that hurt the Raiders the most.
Time and again, Fitzpatrick eluded a Raiders defender, stepped up, rolled out and did whatever it took to buy extra time so that he could get the ball to an open receiver.
The Raiders sacked Fitzpatrick only twice on 49 drop backs — he ran five times and attempted 42 passes on the plays he wasn’t sacked.
By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 11:55 am in Oakland Raiders
Beat writer Jerry McDonald doled out grades for the Raiders based on their performance against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in a 23-19 loss at the Coliseum:
It was a different Matt McGloin in the second half. He completed 11 of 15 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions for a passer rating of 128.5. His first half, which included an interception deep in his own territory that resulted in a Titans field goal, was 42.5. McGloin had four passes deflected by pass rushers in the first half. Rod Streater, with five receptions for 93 yards, was the most reliable wide out. McGloin correctly found Marcel Reece (covered by a linebacker) for a 27-yard touchdown pass which put the Raiders ahead.
Rashad Jennings had 10 rushes for 55 yards in the first half, but got dinged in the second half, finishing with 16 carries for 73 yards. Reece got 14 yards on five carries and McGloin had a key scramble for a first down. Raiders finished with 93 yards on 23 carries with a long of 15 yards. Got steady yards for the most part, but never had the big breakaway run which would make it an exceptional rushing game.
In a game like this, it’s an “A” or “F” scenario. Once the Raiders scored with 6:10 left and were up 23-19, it was up to the defense — most specifically the pass defense — to put the game in the win column. Instead, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick sliced the Raiders to ribbons on third down and finished the game 30 of 42 for 320 yards and two touchdowns, including a brutal 54-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter where Brandian Ross and Phillip Adams wound up on the wrong side of the highlights.
Chris Johnson got 73 yards on 20 carries and Shonn Green 15 yards on four carries, with the two primary ball carriers averaging less than 4 yards per carry. Fitzpatrick managed 26 yards on five scrambles. The Raiders have consistently shown the ability to get multiple players to the ball. Whenever one player misses a tackle, one or more players are there to follow up.
Sebastian Janikowski missed from 32 and 48 yards out, while converting four kicks, including one from 52 yards. He also made a 48-yarder which was a low line drive that somehow made it in. It’s been a bad year for Janikowski, with seven misses after missing just seven kicks in the last two years. Taiwan Jones, one of the NFL’s top gunners, continues to do well on kick returns (26.7 average vs. Titans). Jacoby Ford is struggling on punt returns. Marquette King punted only twice for a 47.5 average.
The best coaching for the Raiders came at halftime, when adjustments were made which turned McGloin from a struggling rookie into a quarterback who looked like a confident veteran. Defensively, the Raiders were never able to rattle Fitzpatrick, considered for the most part a career backup. Allen admitted that on the game-winning 10-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Kendall Wright, there probably should have been more pressure other than a three-man rush.
By Steve Corkran
Sunday, November 24th, 2013 at 6:13 pm in Oakland Raiders