Category Archives: Oakland Raiders

Jack Del Rio On Day 3 Of Oakland Raiders Training Camp; First Day In Pads

All photos by Shawn Jonas

Napa Valley, California – The Oakland Raiders 2015 Training Camp Day 3 was their first in pads. It was time for Head Coach Jack Del Rio and the rest of the coaching staff to get a good look at the players being more physical and in different sets of drills.

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COACH DEL RIO’S ASSEMENT ON DAY 3

“As coaches, you know what you want it to look like in the end, and so we’re just focused on teaching, and growing, and developing and all those things. I thought the energy was good. We’re a long way from being clean, a lot of work to do.”

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DEL RIO, MICHAEL CRABTREE AS ADVERTISED

“I think Mike is a proven player. I think you’re seeing a guy that’s a good player making some plays out here. That’s what he should do. That’s what he will do. It’s been great to see, but that’s kind of what we expected when we brought him here.”

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THE DEFENSIVE BACKS

“They are young. There’s no denying that. They are young. There weren’t many veteran corners available. The best option, in our opinion, was to develop. That’s what we’re doing. They are young and we need them to grow up. We need them to come along and develop, and I like the way we’re working at it.”

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THE OFFENSIVE LINE

“We’ve got a big, strong group of men in our offensive and defensive lines. We’ve got some big, active men so it’ll be good tape to go over. It’s day one in pads. There were some good things, some things we’ll be a lot better at, but I like the eagerness. We have an eager team. They’re working hard and it’s just day one.”

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RUNNING BACK MICHAEL DYER MAKING BIG STRIDES

“I think Michael has done a nice job developing from what we saw in the spring to where he is now. He’s more comfortable. He’s more accountable, more dependable on special teams units, in the offense, and every now and then he’ll pop through there and show some of that speed that he has. I think he’s off to a nice start.”

Oakland Raiders Coach Jack Del Rio Speaks To Media After Day 2 Of Training Camp

All photos by Shawn Jonas

Napa Valley, California – Head Coach Jack Del Rio spoke on a number of topics to the media  after Saturday’s session of on-field work at the Oakland Raiders Napa Valley Training Complex.

End Of Acclimation Practices

Head Coach Jack Del Rio

“That right there is the last of our acclimation practices, now we can actually put the pads on tomorrow, so we’ll do that. I thought it was a pretty solid day’s work. So much to get done, but energy was good. I think having the pretty good crowd out there today was nice. The game’s played in pads, so you really can’t get a full evaluation until you get your team in pads and see them compete. That’s the next part, so we’re excited to get that phase going and that’ll be part of what we do.”

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THE YOUNG DEFENSIVE BACKS

The decision in free agency by Reggie McKenzie to stay with the young defensive backs that he already had on the roster is one up for debate. Coach Del Rio feels that he and his staff can develop the group.

ON THE FIELD REPORTS SHAWN JONAS  ASKS COACH:

Your young defensive backs did pretty well out there today. How confident are you feeling in that group right now?

“We feel like we have a group there that has a chance to develop. Some young, talented guys, physically-talented guys that need work. They’re going to get that. It’s going to be a very competitive camp and we’ll let them be developed, be coached, let them compete against each other and let the guys who are the most productive play the most. We feel like we have a good young group.”

HIGHLIGHT PLAYS FROM THE DEFENSIVE BACKS ON DAY 2

Newly acquired free agent  Nate Allen picked off a pass from Derek Carr intended for Michael Crabtree. Carr scrambled to his right on the play trying to buy some time for someone to get open. He tried to drop it over the top, but Allen made a nice play on the ball.

Second year corner back out of Utah Keith McGill punched a ball out from rookie Amari Cooper. The forced fumble created by McGill was recovered by second year corner back TJ Carrie.

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LINEBACKER SIO MOORE RETURNS

“We need to find out what he can bring. I haven’t really seen him full tilt, but he is active now. He has joined the team again now in a full-go capacity and so I’ll get to learn more about him. We’ll learn more as we go with him. We need all of our players to grow, and to improve and to become great teammates, and he’s no different.”

Del Rio Talks The Importance Of His Coaches Ability To Teach

“I think we’ve assembled a great group of teachers, so we’re busy teaching. There was a segment there, prior to the field goal-kicking segment, about two periods before the end, it was like a 15-minute teaching period, and in that you’re seeing individual coaching going on, and individual techniques being stressed. As we get the pads on, some of that will be a little more physical in nature, but the bottom line is we believe in fundamentals. We’re going to stress fundamentals and we have a staff that understands that and are good teachers.”

RODNEY HUDSON LEADERSHIP

“It helps if the center is that type of guy, because basically it all starts with him. He’s going to make the calls. He’s going to snap the ball, so every play starts with him. I knew that he was, I think, an emerging player in the league, having gone against him twice a year. I felt like he was one of, if not the best, centers in the league and had a lot of respect for his game and so we were able to acquire him and I’m very excited about that.”

Oakland Raiders Second Year Cornerback T J Carrie Excited For Training Camp

Photo by Shawn Jonas 

T J Carrie the Oakland Raiders second-year cornerback addressed the media on Thursday at the team’s Napa Valley Training Complex.

Carrie and other Raiders’ veterans arrived at the team’s Napa Valley Training Complex Thursday morning. Carrie is excited to get back to work.

“I’m excited, man. A lot of energy has been boiling up. A lot of hard work has been prepared and put in to come down to this moment and start Day 1 of training camp. So we’ll get it kicked off today with the conditioning test and go from there.”

OFFSEASON

“A lot of working on technique and focusing on learning different aspects of the defense. We’ve got a new system going in and things like that. So just getting acclimated to what we’ve got to perform on the field and definitely working on my craft.”

Talks Team

“A lot has been asked from all of us as individuals to perform at a high level coming into season two. The coaches have put a lot of trust into us as far as the prior draft classes and things, so the expectation is high for each and every one of us. I’m glad we’ve been able to put in some work as a team and as a unit in OTAs and mini-camp. Today we’ll be able to hash out some more things and be able to become more one as a team.”

Expectations

“When you are looked at as a starter, the mistakes and errors have to be limited to pretty much none. So last year as a rookie, they’re willing to give you those mistakes and opportunities to fail because you’re learning, you’re getting acclimated to the NFL and to the season and the different aspects of what you have to do. But coming into the next year and you’re projected to be a starter, they expect more of a higher level from you as an athlete. The pressure is definitely building higher. That’s something that we live to play this game for, is to be in the pressure. All pressure is good pressure.”

Carrie’s Thoughts Of Amari Cooper

“Amari has been able to do tremendous things on that field. He’s coming in and he has a business mind-like, a professional mind-like at a young stage, which is very good, because the pressure they’re going to continue to put on him and the rest of the receiving corps is going to be vital. “I think he’s made everyone on that defense better as far as him and, like I said, the other receivers. Bringing in more receivers and their expectation of being great challenges us to – iron sharpening iron as far as us being able to go at each other and battle each other every day, day in and day out, and sharpen each other’s skills.”

Oakland Raiders Training Camp Preview: Get To Know Mario Edwards Jr.

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California – With the third pick in the second round, 35th overall, The Oakland Raiders Select Mario Edwards Jr.

Mario Edwards Jr.
Defensive Line
Florida State
6- foot-3
279 pounds

College career: Edwards was the No. 1 prospect out of high school, and played three seasons at Florida State. He registered 89 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three forced fumbles over his career. He was a first-team All-ACC and a second team All-American as a junior.

Edwards Jr. is considered a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defensive system that the Raiders use. His versatility may be the best aspect of his game. He can be used as an interior rusher, especially after Antonio Smith was cut. He flourishes in stopping the running game. The Raiders plan to keep his weight around 280-285 lbs. which leads me to believe he will also used as a defensive end. With the versatility of Khalil Mack and now Mario Edwards they could use both in a multitude of ways to keep offenses and opposing quarterbacks guessing.

NFL Scouting Report

OVERVIEW
Started 13 games and selected first-team All-ACC in 2014. Did not play against N.C. State after suffering a concussion the previous game (vs. Clemson). Selected third-team All-ACC in 2013 and missed two games with a hand injury. Had a sack in the BCS National Championship Game against Auburn. Only true freshman to start on defense in 2012 after replacing injured Tank Carradine. Rated No. 1 prospect in nation out of high school and was selected USA Today Defensive Player of the Year. His father, Mario, Sr., was a heralded cornerback at FSU and won a national championship in 1999-2000. His father also played in the NFL for five years after being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys (sixth round) in 2000.

Analysis

STRENGTHS: Scheme versatile. Can play base end or defensive tackle in a 4-3 (depending on weight) or as a 3-4 defensive end. Has thick bubble and legs. Comes off snap with decent power. Can brace and anchor at point of attack. Flashes upper-body strength to press and lock out tackles. Above-average closing burst as tackle. Strength to leverage and toss blockers when motivated.

WEAKNESSES: Ineffective as pass rusher. Played some stand-up defensive end in college and showed no explosiveness off snap. Play speed and fire go missing from pass rush. Hand usage is hit or miss and appears to lack power with hands. Inconsistent getting arm extension, limiting ability to control and dominate a snap. Too involved in hand fighting and plays through a straw, losing sight of ball carrier.

DRAFT PROJECTION Rounds 3-4

BOTTOM LINE He’s a 3-4 defensive end or a 4-3 defensive tackle who has to make a living playing the run. Edwards failed to reach expectations while at Florida State and ended his career as a core defender rather than dominant force. His “level of ability” is higher than his current level of play and could continue to be the case unless he finds more passion and effort from snap to snap.

Oakland Raiders Q & A Transcript

Q: Did you grow up a Cowboys fan because of your dad? Who did you root for growing up?

Edwards Jr.: “I definitely was a Cowboys fan because my dad played, but I’m excited that Oakland chose me.”

Q: Were you in the same recruiting class as Menelik Watson at Florida State? Did you come in together?

Edwards Jr.: “No we didn’t come in together. Menelik came and had one year left. He was older than me.”

Q: Did you guys overlap one year?

Edwards Jr.: “Yeah we were there one year. I was there with him one year.”

Q: How much do you weigh right now? I had read that you are about 272 ppund, at least it was that way at your pro day.

Edwards Jr.: “Right. I’m at 277 right now.”

Q: Were you surprised that the Raiders called? Did you know that they were in on you? Was there interest expressed at the combine?

Edwards Jr.: “My first time I had talked to them was yesterday and then I talked to them again this morning and then my agent called me about four or five minutes before they were on the clock and let me know I was moving out West.”

Q: Are you excited to be reunited with Raiders linebackers coach Sal Sunseri?

Edwards Jr.: “Definitely man, my two years when he was there were great. I learned so much from him and we developed a great relationship and now to go back and play under him again is definitely an honor.”

Q: What’s the weight range that you feel comfortable playing at, because I know you’ve played different positions?

Edwards Jr.: “Talking to them, they like me at the 280-285 weight range, so that’s pretty easy to stay at.”

Q: Do they want you as an end then at that weight?

Edwards Jr.: “They want me as a Leo and to rush and then mismatch on the inside and do things like that as well.”

Q: Did you get caught up in all the pre-draft criticisms about your effort, desire and weight and how do you answer all those criticisms?

Edwards Jr.: “Not really. If they really understood that coming into FSU there was never a set weight for me to be at. The whole motto or the whole goal was as long as you can run and do what we ask you to do I don’t care what your weight is. And I’ve even asked [Florida State Head] Coach Jimbo Fisher to what was just too high of a weight and he replied, if you’re 310, 312 then they have to deal with you being at 310, 312. Don’t worry about the weight just play. It was never a structured weight for me to be at. Then again it was in my sophomore year when we were playing just two quarters and we were done when I was 280-287 and then I also have where my following junior year I’m 310 and I’m playing 70-75 plays a game. We played 14 games and out of eight or nine of them I didn’t step foot off the field. Even if I was 277 right now, nobody can go 100 percent 77 plays straight and be effective. If they really understood how it was set up and that there was really no weight limit for me, then they would understand how things turned out.”

Q: When you come out of high school as a top recruit, do you think that the bar is set so high that if you statically fall anywhere short of that then you are going to hear about it?

Edwards Jr.: “I mean that’s just the world that we live in today. I feel like if I would have controlled my weight my three years that I could have lived up to what my rankings were. However I can’t put myself behind the eight ball. I took full responsibility for that. I understand how it works.”

Q: What do you think of this role, as the Leo position can have a bunch of different responsibilities?

Edwards Jr.: “I’m excited to play anything, honestly. Whatever they want me to play, whatever fits best. I’m not just focusing on one specific thing, whether it’s pass rushing or anything like that. I’m trying to be a complete player. I’m trying to go out there and be great in the run and be great in the pass and go out there and contribute to the team.”

Q: You’ve played in a lot of big college games at Florida State. What kind of an advantage, if any, does that give you over some other prospects?

Edwards Jr.: “We may have played a few other better players, but I was [inaudible]. I don’t think it gives me any advantage over anyone else, because now if they’ve made it to the NFL, that means that they’re good as well. Every game, every week is going to be like a national championship game, because now it’s the cream of the crop. Everybody is good. Everybody is great. Everybody is big, strong and fast, so now you have to go separate yourself from them.”

Q: What was the scene like when you got the news today? Where were you and who was with you?

Edwards Jr.: “I was in Ocean Springs, Miss., with my grandma there, my aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, immediate family. Man, it was great. My whole house shook when they called me name on TV. We were definitely excited.”

Q: How many people do you think were there total?

Edwards Jr.: “Maybe about 20 to 22 people. Not many.”

Q: Your dad said you were a little overconfident coming out of high school. Do you think that was true?

Edwards Jr.: “I could say some of that was true. Coming out, No. 1 in in the nation and all that stuff, you have people saying you’re this and that, and all you’ve got to do is this and this and that. You kind of relax and take the foot off the pedal a little bit. But now, knowing that was the wrong thing to do, because once you get comfortable, as my dad said, you either get worse or you get better. There’s no in between. Me taking my foot off the gas pedal definitely caused me to gain weight and become worse. I just say that me getting a little too comfortable and complacent with where I was ranked kind of had its toll on me coming in overweight.”

Q: When did that light come on for you, when you realized you weren’t giving it what you needed to?

Edwards Jr.: “I would kind of say it came on when I first started in the Orange Bowl my freshman year. Coming into my sophomore year, I played at 280 to 287. Then my junior year, I came in at 310. I would say probably my freshman year. I got up to 310, but I was still a 500-plus squatter, 450-plus bencher, and still running 17 or 18 miles per hour. So it wasn’t that I couldn’t perform, I just couldn’t perform for a long time.”

Q: A lot of scouts think you helped yourself at your pro day. Did it feel like that to you?

Edwards Jr.: “Definitely. I felt like I had a decent enough grade coming out and I knew that if I could do great in my – first of all, getting my weight down and controlling it for a long period of time, from Oregon until now standing in the 270-280 range – then on top of my combine and pro day workout, I felt like I could have helped myself tremendously in the draft.”

College Bio

Entered Florida State as the nation’s No. 1 recruit and lived up to the billing as he developed into an All-ACC First Team selection and All-American as a junior in 2014…appeared in 36 games with 26 starts in his career and had 89 tackles, 23 TFLs and eight sacks.

2014: Versatile second-year starter led the Seminoles with 11 tackles for loss in 13 games, while playing defensive end, defensive tackle and Jack linebacker…also played fullback in some jumbo goal-line packages…All-ACC First Team selection by the coaches and media and two-time ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week…collected Sports Illustrated All-America Second Team accolades…established season-high marks in tackles (44), pass break-ups (5) and forced fumbles (2)…ranked second on the team with three sacks…registered new career-highs with nine tackles against Virginia, including four for losses; also forced a fumble to win second ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honor…forced a fumble on FSU’s first defensive play and finished with three TFLs versus Wake Forest…able to play on the inside and on the edge on FSU’s defensive line…his 23 career tackles for loss was four shy of FSU’s all-time top 20…appeared on the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lombardi Watch Lists.

2013: Seminoles starter at the right end and a key contributor to the nation’s third-ranked total defense (281.4 ypg) and No. 1 scoring defense (12.1 ppg)…the sophomore was named one of the top defensive linemen in the conference by both the coaches and the media…in his second season in Tallahassee made 11 starts and appeared in 12 games, making 28 tackles…became a major force when it came to splash plays in 2013 with two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, an interception and a TD return…recovered a fumble and returned it 37 yards for a touch- down at Clemson…had a monster performance in the BCS National Championship Game, totaling a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss in- cluding a sack… had six tackles against Auburn…recorded 2.0 TFLs and 1.0 sacks on four total tackles against Miami…intercepted a pass and made two tackles, including 0.5 sacks, at Wake Forest… had three tackles and then-career-highs with 2.0 TFL, an eight-yard sack and a forced fumble at Florida…posted three tackles in the season opener at Pitt…finished with four tackles and 1.0 tackles for loss against Nevada…made one tackle – a 3-yard loss – and broke up a pass against Idaho.

2012: Appeared in 11 games and made his first career start in the ACC Championship Game replacing Cornellius Carradine…the only five-stars from Rivals, Scout and 247Sports…unanimously ranked No. 1 at his position whether it be defensive end or defensive tackle…the top player coming out of the state of Texas… Scout said it is hard to find a player as big and explosive as Edwards…of his 72 tackles as a senior 32 were for a loss including 11 sacks…named the state of Texas Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior by the Associated Press…recorded 127 tackles, 50 tackles for loss and 18 sacks leading Denton Ryan to a state runner-up finish…recorded 69 tackles and three sacks as a fresh- man on top of catching 17 passes for 361 yards and three TDs…his high school coach raved about his work ethic as he and his father, former FSU star Mario Edwards, work out together at 6 a.m. each morning…Edwards wears the same number (15) as his dad did at FSU…chose Florida State over Texas, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, among others.

Only true freshman to register a start for FSU on the defensive side of the ball…came into the ACC Championship with seven tackles on the season and doubled that number in one game, registering seven versus the Yellow Jackets, including a tackle for loss… made three tackles and registered his first pass break-up against Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl in his second career start… recorded his first career sack on the road in a win over Maryland… was projected to redshirt in 2012, but was forced into action due to the loss of Brandon Jenkins in week one and then into the starting line-up after losing Carradine in week 12.

Oakland Raiders Unveil New Preseason Local Broadcast Team; Tim Brown, Matt Millen

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders will introduce new talent for the team’s three locally televised preseason broadcasts in 2015.

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Veteran announcer Beth Mowins will handle the play-by-play duties and will be joined in the broadcast booth by Tim Brown, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015, and former Raider and veteran television commentator Matt Millen. Nicole Zaloumis will provide sideline analysis, and JT the Brick will return, serving as host and sideline reporter for the telecasts.

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Mark Davis

“I believe we’ve assembled an all-star team for our preseason broadcast,” said Owner Mark Davis. “It means a lot to this organization that we create a great experience for the Raider Nation, in-stadium and at home.”

“It’s an honor to join the Raiders broadcast team with Tim, Matt, Nicole and JT,” said Mowins. “Calling games for one of the premier franchises in the NFL is a real privilege, especially alongside a Hall of Famer and a four-time Super Bowl champion. The Raiders have always taken pride in being innovative and we are excited to engage with Raider Nation in what promises to be an exciting buildup to the new season.”

Tim Brown

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Brown. “Not only is it the Raiders, but I’ll be alongside Matt Millen, who took care of me when I first joined the team. I can’t wait to get started.”

Silver and Black Productions, the Raiders’ Emmy Award-winning in-house television production team, will produce and broadcast three of the Raiders’ four preseason tilts via FOX affiliate KTVU-2/KICU-36, beginning with the team’s preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams on Aug. 14 at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders will travel to Minnesota for a preseason contest on Aug. 22 before returning home for a nationally-televised game against the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 30, to be broadcast on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Oakland closes out the preseason with a road game at Seattle on Sept. 3.

Mowins has worked with ESPN since 1994, beginning as a commentator for women’s college basketball. She began calling college football on ESPNU in 2005, and currently commentates on NCAA Championships in basketball, softball and volleyball in addition to regular season college football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Brown, who was selected for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January, played 16 seasons for the Raiders from 1988-2003 and is the fifth-leading receiver in NFL history with 1,094 catches. The 23rd Raider elected to the Hall of Fame, Brown ranks sixth all time in receiving yardage (14,934) and scored 105 career touchdowns. In 2012, Brown joined SiriusXM Radio as a football analyst and host and he currently is a college football analyst for ESPN, as well as a co-host on a CBS radio affiliate in Dallas.

Millen, who entered the NFL as the Silver and Black’s second-round pick in 1980, played 12 seasons with the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins, and was a part of four Super Bowl winning teams. Following his playing career, Millen was an NFL commentator for both CBS and FOX before becoming President and CEO of the Detroit Lions from 2001 to 2008. He returned to broadcasting in 2009 with ESPN, covering both the NFL and college football. He has also served as an analyst and color commentator for NBC, the NFL Network and Westwood One radio. He returned to FOX Sports in May 2015 as the lead game analyst for the Big Ten Network.

Zaloumis is currently the SiriusXM host of B/R Spotlight on Bleacher Report Radio after previously serving as co-host on the NFL Network’s NFL AM show from 2012-14. A Bay Area native, Zaloumis was a host and sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network prior to a stint Comcast SportsNet New England, where she was a main anchor and reporter on the network’s daily show, “Chevrolet SportsNet Central.” She was also a host and reporter in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

JT the Brick currently hosts a nationally-syndicated talk show on FOX Sports Radio. He has handled preseason sideline reporting duties for the Silver and Black since 2008, has served as the host for the “Raiders Report” television show, and has appeared on numerous national radio and television broadcasts.

The Oakland Raiders Place Linebacker Sio Moore on Active/PUP List

Photo By Shawn Jonas

The Oakland Raiders third-year Linebacker Sio Moore will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Raiders confirmed the news on www.Raiders.com as well as the NFL’s Adam Caplan with this tweet.

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Moore had surgery on his hip  late last season and went on the injured reserve list Dec. 16. Moore’s offseason program has included very little on-field time as he rehabbed the injury.

The third-round draft pick out of UConn, has played in 26 games with 140 tackles in two season in Oakland.  Ray-Ray Armstrong will likely fill the void left by Moore with the first team when camp begins. Ex-Seahawks LB and Superbowl MVP Malcolm Smith is also an option at the position.

Napa Valley, Ca.– Moore reported to camp at the Napa Valley Marriott with the rookies, quarterbacks and other players rehabbing due to injury on  Sunday. With the first practice scheduled for Friday the Veterans will  report on Thursday.

The Raiders can activate Moore any time they feel he is ready. Until then, he will not count toward the 90 players on the camp roster.

Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rios’ Goal, Win The Division

All photos by Shawn Jonas

The Raiders have missed the post season for the past 12 seasons, but that doesn’t change the expectations for head coach Jack Del Rio. He’s entering the 2015 season letting his players, the league, and the Raider Nation know what his number one goal is.

Del Rio wants the Raiders to secure the AFC West crown in 2015. It would be the Raiders’ first division title since 2002.

“Goal No. 1 is to win our division, and I don’t see why not,” Del Rio said via the Raiders’ team website.

The sentements in the building aren’t just Del Rio’s alone.  Just ask offensive line coach Mike Tice, who tossed out an even loftier goal for the Raiders.

“We’re going to be a championship football team,” Tice said.

The mindset of the entire organization has changed since Del Rio, Ken Norton Jr., Mike Tice and the rest of this coaching staff was assembled.

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Reggie McKenzie has done his part by bolstering the roster with premier talent such as Amari Cooper, Mario Edwards Jr., and Clive Walford in the draft.  The roster has been influxed with a mix of young talent with much added depth in free agency as well.

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The Raiders have the most talent and depth in almost a decade. The biggest question  if these young players can take the next step. The bulk of the players they will rely on have been in  the league less than three years. Derek Carr,  Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper will have a lot of weight on their shoulders in 2015.

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The AFC West quarterback group is an aging one, with the likes of Peyton Manning possibly having only 1-2 years left. Del Rio did coach against him everyday in practice for three years.  Chargers’ Phillip Rivers is also on the backside of his career.  He’s also in th middle of a contract situation. Does he return to San Diego?  Chiefs’ Alex Smith has been very productive in the winning column, but is yet to take that next step as a big passing threat.  Smith didn’t throw a touchdown pass to any wide receivers the entire 2015 season.  Who can forget the Raiders first win of the season on Thursday Night  Football to help knock the Chiefs out of the 2014 playoffs.

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Del Rio’s expectations are lofty, but who’s to say there isn’t a change in the winds.

 

Ken “The Snake” Stabler Passes Away At The Age Of 69

July 9, 2015 – 5:05pm

Best known with the Oakland Raiders and the Alabama Crimson Tide, the legendary quarterback Ken “The Snake” Stabler died Wednesday from complications resulting from Stage 4 colon cancer, the Oakland Raiders organization and the Stabler family confirmed Thursday. He was 69.

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The Oakland Raiders Statement

“The Raiders are deeply saddened by the passing of the great Ken Stabler,” said Owner Mark Davis. “He was a cherished member of the Raider family and personified what it means to be a Raider. He wore the Silver and Black with Pride and Poise and will continue to live in the hearts of Raider fans everywhere. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to Kenny’s family.”

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Statement from John Madden

“I was head coach of the Raiders the entire time Kenny was there and he led us to a whole bunch of victories including one in Super Bowl XI. I’ve often said, If I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenny. Snake was a lot cooler that I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders you think about Ken Stabler. Kenny loved life. It is a sad day for all Raiders.”

Family’s Statement on the Passing of Ken Stabler

We announce with great sadness that our father, Ken Stabler, passed away Wednesday, July 8 as a result of complications associated with colon cancer.

He passed peacefully surrounded by the people he loved most, including his three daughters and longtime partner, as some of his favorite songs played in the background, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Van Morrison’s “Leaves Falling Down.”

He quietly battled Stage 4 colon cancer since being diagnosed in February 2015.

He wanted to make a difference in the lives of others in both life and death. At his request, his brain and spinal cord were donated to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center to support research for degenerative brain disease in athletes.

He was a kind, generous and unselfish man, never turning down an autograph request or an opportunity to help someone in need. A great quarterback, he was an even greater father to his three girls and grandfather to his two “grand snakes.”

We are grateful for the tremendous love and support from friends and fans. We ask that you please respect our privacy during this difficult time as we grieve this heartbreaking loss.

Funeral Arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the XOXO Stabler Foundation to support research of colon cancer and sports-­‐related head trauma. More Information will be available on Ken Stabler’s Facebook Fan page and the XOXO Stabler Foundation.

He is survived by his three daughters Kendra Stabler Moyes (husband, Scott), Alexa (fiancé, Hunter Adams) and Marissa; His grandsons Jack And Justin Moyes; Sister Carolyn Bishop; Nephew Scott Bishop; and great nephew and niece Tayler and Payton Bishop. He is preceded in death by his father, Leroy Stabler, and mother, Sally Stabler.

Hall of Famer Willie Brown Remembers Ken Stabler
Posted Jul 9, 2015

Following the news that former Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler passed away Thursday, Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown appeared on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s Movin’ The Chains with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller to discuss the legacy of the Raiders legend.

Stabler and Brown were teammates from 1970-78 and were key members of the team that won Super Bowl XI 32-14 over the Minnesota Vikings.

During his time on the air, Brown touched on a variety of topics regarding Stabler, including the quarterback’s demeanor as well as the championship season of 1976.

Here are some of Brown’s remarks about “The Snake.”
On Ken Stabler:

Brown: “My first reaction when I heard the news about him was that I was concerned about his family, and to make sure that his family was okay. It’s a tough time [for] them, a tough time for everybody who came in contact with “Snake” Stabler because of the way he was. I hope the family’s okay. It’s tough when two of your colleagues – Former Detroit Lions Tight End Charlie Sanders just died – he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, now it’s Kenny. Those kinds of things – you don’t realize it, or understand what happened. They happen so fast, before you have a chance to really react to them. Snake was a great quarterback, there’s no question about it. He helped me out a lot and I helped him a lot in practice by going one-on-one with the wide receivers and him. He was very competitive. He did his own thing. He was ready to play come Sunday. That was the best thing about him. Playing came easy for him. He was a great leader. He was a great Raider and he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

On if close games brought out the best in Stabler:

Brown: “There was no question about it. When he said something, you listened and did what he said. Again, he was a great ballplayer. He had a lot of support around him. [We were] all together. His teammates loved him, in particular the offensive line. He hung out with those guys more than anybody. He and Fred Biletnikoff, Gene Upshaw, Art Shell, all those guys, [Dave] Casper. We lost a great friend.”

On Stabler’s relationship with Al Davis:

Brown: “They had a good relationship. When you’re talking about your number-one quarterback, you have to have a good relationship with him. It doesn’t have to be great, but I know Mr. Davis had a lot of respect for Snake; a lot of respect because he was a winner. He knew how to win and he knew exactly about the system. He knew about Al Davis. He knew about assistant coaches. [People] tend to believe that he did not have a good relationship with Mr. Davis, but he did.”

On the 1976 season:

Brown: “No question about it, that was one of the best years that we had. Not only that game, but Snake had a lot of great games. If you look at the tape and film on Snake, you looked at how he played in all those games – he played well. Snake had a fantastic career and he had a great game, but that particular year he was clicking on everything. He couldn’t do anything wrong. We knew that we had a shot that following year after the season we went to the Super Bowl. We knew we were coming back together – if the team stayed intact that we could win this thing, and there was no way we could have won it without Kenny Stabler.”

On Stabler’s demeanor:

Brown: “I know that getting ready in the locker room he was just nice and loose. He wasn’t uptight. He wasn’t walking around in a corner and hiding himself. He’d get up. He’d move around and say, ‘okay boys,’ in that Southern accent of his. He’d say, ‘okay, boys, we’re going to go get them today,’ stuff like that. We’d say, ‘okay, Snake, whatever you say.’ He was just that kind of guy. He didn’t get uptight and wasn’t tight before the game or anything. He was nice and loose, ready to go.”

On the Divisional Playoff game against the Baltimore Colts in 1977:

Brown: “The game was pretty tight. Baltimore, they thought they had it, but knowing Snake and what he could do and how he played in that game, I knew we had a shot at it to win the game, because Snake was, like I said, very competitive. He was a challenging guy. If there was something there he was going to challenge it, going after All-Pros, going after whoever was playing in those particular positions. He was going to take advantage of it because he was very smart, and he knew his teammates, and he knew what they could do and [what] they couldn’t do. He knew everything that his teammates could do for him. He did the rest. There he was on the sideline, cool and calm. He wasn’t upset about anything. He was ready to roll. In that Baltimore game, we knew we had a shot. As long as there was some time on the clock, get the ball to Snake and he would get a touchdown for you.”Courtesy to the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

The Biletnikoff Foundation Groundbreaking Ceremony For Tracey’s Place Of Hope On July 23, 2015 Moving The Chains For A Successful Rebuilding Project made Possible by Foundation, Friends, and Football

Loomis, California –– Tuesday, July 14, 2015 –– NFL Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff and wife Angela together with the Biletnikoff Foundation announced today the hosting of an official ground breaking ceremony in the town of Loomis on July 23 at 11:00am Pacific, to celebrate three years of dedicated support and fundraising to rebuild Tracey’s Place of Hope. This home is being restored from ground up, specifically designed to accommodate the educational needs of the program. The Tracey’s Place of Hope rebuild will also be more nurturing and functionally supportive, with added sleeping quarters, and serene communal space.

Hall of Famer and Raiders Legend, Fred Biletnikoff along with the Biletnikoff Foundation will gather at the rebuild location, joined with partners, program facilitators, city and county officials, and members of the Oakland Raiders organization. Over a half million dollars has been fundraised for this special project with the help of the Biletnikoff Foundation donors, partners and friends, along with a most recent donation of $50,000 presented to both Fred and Angela by the Oakland Raiders Owner, Mark Davis.

Tracey’s Place of Hope provides substance abuse and domestic violence treatment through its residential program, preparing teenage girls ages 14-18 to manage their recovery, support their mental and emotional health issues, and teaching them the necessary skills to live independently.

“Most of our teens come to Tracey’s Place of Hope with little or no vision for their future, but flourish when given the opportunity,” said Fred. “Tracey’s Place of Hope is where miracles happen every day! We appreciate everyone understanding the need and pulling together to make all of this possible.”

“It is rewarding to break ground on something that we have been working on for so long,” said Angela. “Tracey’s Place of Hope is already a place of hope and recovery, but our efforts are to improve the overall functionality and condition of the home for the girls’ safety. We’re moving the chains, and it is amazing!”

The Ground Breaking Ceremony will acknowledge the following Biletnikoff Foundation friends and supporters:

· Loder Construction
· Koinonia Homes for Teens
· Oakland Raiders
· Wells Fargo
· Air Systems
· Barnum & Celillo
· Norman Scheel Structural Engineering
· Bennett Engineering Services
· Aaron’s Appliances
· ASI Alarms
· BSLA Creations Inc
· SMA America
· Borges Architectural Group
· Alcal Specialty Contracting
· Simas Floor and Design Company
· Robert W. Baird & Co
· Hector Cortex
· Crusader Fence Co., Inc
· Central Valley Floor Designs
· Home Depot
· TMC Construction
· Tidwell
· Dimension Construction Inc
· B&K Painting
· Warehouse Interiors
· Homewood
· Moorefield Construction, Inc
· Century Lighting & Electrical
· Elite Power Inc
· Daltile
· Jeff Van Slooten

About Biletnikoff Foundation:

Biletnikoff Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youth, primarily from low to moderate income neighborhoods or backgrounds, who are “at risk,” particularly to the realities of drug and alcohol addiction as well as domestic and gender violence. The mission of the Biletnikoff Foundation is to commemorate Tracey Biletnikoff’s life and her untimely death and to enable young people to realize their full potential through the support of community and education programs that effectively address the related problems of substance abuse and gender violence. Founded in 2000, Tracey’s Place of Hope is a residential program for adolescent girls in crisis with mental health and substance abuse problems. The facility houses girls, aged 14-18. For more information, please visit www.Biletnikoff.net

Media Release Courtesy to the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

John Madden Remembers Ken Stabler; Q & A Media Conference Call Transcript

John Madden On The Passing Of Ken Stabler

Opening statement from Coach Madden: “Yesterday was a very sad day with the passing of Ken Stabler. It was a shock to all of us. You think that Kenny is one of those guys that whatever you throw in front of him, it’s not going to get him down. Then, when you hear Kenny Stabler died, it’s like a kick in the gut. You think of the good times and the memories, all of the games and all of the practices and all of the meetings. No matter what you throw in front of him, he enjoyed it. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile. He was one of the greatest competitors ever. When you think of the Raiders and you think of the Raiders of the 70s, Ken Stabler has to be right on top. He was just, of all the people you coach, and I coached a lot of great ones and a lot of Hall of Famers, he’s one of the guys that is really at the top of the class.”

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Madden Remembers Ken “The Snake” Stabler Q & A

Q: Can you think of a logical reason that Ken Stabler is not in the Hall of Fame?

Madden: “No. If you just look at how he played and what kind of quarterback he was, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback. I think what happens is we get so caught up today in statistics and then comparing statistics. You can’t do that with different eras. For example, when we threw a medium range pass it was 17 yards deep. Now a medium range pass would be 8-10 yards. We didn’t have any of those smokescreens or when you split it out and throw one yard passes, or throw passes behind the line of scrimmage. I’m not saying that’s wrong, that’s the way they play today. But then you look at his stats and his completions and interceptions, the deeper you throw, the more you’re going to have but the more big plays you’re going to have. Then you compare those to the players today and it’s not fair. That’s the only thing that I can think of. If you were to look at Kenny Stabler as an Oakland Raider… we had great rivalries with the Miami Dolphins, who were one of the greatest teams in the history of the NFL, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were also one of the best in the history of the NFL. Terry Bradshaw is in the Hall of Fame and Bob Griese is in the Hall of Fame, and look at Kenny’s record when he played those teams.”

Q: In the last few years there, after the Super Bowl, could you talk about how the tension between Al Davis and Ken Stabler?

Madden: “Not really. There was nothing there. That’s not a thing. I’ll tell you, we won the Super Bowl in the 1976 season, which was ’77. The best team, to me, in the history of the Oakland Raiders was the next year, was ‘77, the year after we won a Super Bowl. We went back, we beat Pittsburgh in the playoffs and they didn’t have Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier, and that was one of the things they said. The next year, early in the season, we went back and we played Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh and we beat them there. That was the hardest fought, hardest played game that I can remember. It was also the height of the Raiders. I don’t think there was a ever a team before that or after that who was better than the Raiders. Having said that, we had a lot of injuries in that game. We struggled. We lost the Championship that year to Denver. There was nothing there after the Super Bowl because I thought we were better after the Super Bowl than we were the Super Bowl year. Although the Super Bowl year we only lost one game.”

Q: You were with the organization when they drafted Ken. Can you remember the circumstances?

Madden: “Yeah I do. It was ironic. We drafted another quarterback in the first round, Edlridge Dickey. We were kind of choosing between the two. We had Kenny Stabler rated as the number one pick. So, we took Eldridge Dickey from Tennessee State and then in the next round, the second round, and Kenny Stabler is still there. So we said he’s too good of a player to leave on the board in the second round so we took him. We ended up with two of them. What we didn’t know, and scouting back then isn’t what it is today, is that he had injured his knee and that he needed surgery. We brought him in and then he had to have the surgery so he missed that whole first year. He missed the second year so he really didn’t start playing for the Raiders until the third year that we drafted him.”

Q: Did you ever come to Alabama to visit with Coach Bryant to talk about Ken?

Madden: “Yeah I talked to Coach Bryant about him a lot. I had the greatest respect for Bear Bryant and his quarterbacks. I had George Blanda, who played for Coach Bryant at Kentucky. George would always talk about Coach Bryant, this and that. He was a well-disciplined, well-trained quarterback. Then I had great respect for Joe Namath. I thought, if we can get a quarterback that’s like George Blanda and like Joe Namath on our team, that’s going to be a pretty good deal. Eventually, we did.”

Q: You mentioned yesterday in your statement that you trusted Ken because he was ‘cooler’ under pressure than you. How would you describe his demeanor? How did you balance each other?

Madden: “He helped me because the hotter the game, the hotter I got and Kenny was truly just the opposite, the hotter the game, the cooler he became. We’re playing Baltimore in a playoff game in Baltimore and it was one of the real great games in NFL history, the kind that got lost because it wasn’t a championship game or a Super Bowl game. It went six periods. The end of regulation, we’re tied, and we go another period and then we’re tied and then we’re going into another period. We had a timeout and it’s our ball. We’re just crossing midfield. I’m talking to Kenny during the timeout and he has his helmet cocked back and he’s looking up at the stands and I’m saying let’s do this, let’s do this. Then, he says, ‘you know what, John?’ and I thought, ‘oh great, he has a play.’ So I asked him ‘what?’ and he said ‘these fans are getting their money’s worth today.’ That’s the way he was. I was going all over the board on what we should do, and he was just cool, looking up into the stands. In the Super Bowl against Minnesota, the first couple of drives we got stopped and had to kick field goals. I was all upset about not being able to finish and score. Kenny put his hand on my shoulder and said ‘don’t worry about that, John, there’s plenty more where that came from.” It did affect me. I thought, when he said that, he’s right. I felt a heck of a lot better about it. It was the whole team. That’s what he gave to the team. He would throw a bad pass and it didn’t bother him. He would forget it and go on to the next one. He’d throw a low pass into the dirt and he’d move on to the next play. He didn’t let things affect him. He was always positive. In those days, the quarterback called the plays. There was a lot to that, too. Sometimes we forget how smart Kenny Stabler was. He was a brilliant quarterback with a brilliant football mind. He would set things up. There’s a thing that they don’t even judge anymore, called field general. Ken Stabler was a true field general. The offensive players really believed and followed him. Anything that came out of his mouth, they totally believed.”

On The Field Reports’ Shawn Jonas Asks John Madden: 

Q: Could you tell us a story or a quote on things that Kenny would say postgame, after the win or loss?

Madden: “We didn’t have a lot of losses. After the game, he wasn’t one to say a lot. He didn’t give speeches before the game and he didn’t give speeches after the game. He just enjoyed it. He enjoyed football. He enjoyed practice, he enjoyed playing. He enjoyed every part of it. He enjoyed living. After the game, he was just thinking of the next thing. His leadership was brought about the way he presented himself, held himself, and the esteem his teammates held him in.”

Q: Did he say anything after the Holy Roller game?

Madden: “No. I think after that Holy Roller game, you think of Kenny Stabler and you think about how he was involved in more name games than anyone. We were all in shock after that game. We had used our last timeout and we called a play and the last thing I said to Kenny when we went out, I said ‘no matter what happens, the ball has to come out of your hands. We cannot take a sack,’ because the game would have been over. So, he knows that. He’s thinking that and he starts to scramble, he starts to get tackled, he knows he has to get rid of the ball and he does. The rest is history. After that, it was just kind of shock. The day or two after that, then it kind of became like oh yeah, that was a play we work on, we knew what we were doing, and all that bologna. The bologna didn’t follow right after the game.
Q: Thinking back on the character that was Kenny Stabler, was there ever a moment where, knowing he was that kind of free spirited character that you were afraid he’d get that phone call that night before a game. Do you have any stories of that?

Madden: “No. No, because he wasn’t that way. That was, at the time when I was with him, that was overplayed and overrated, and that wasn’t the way he was. I made a deal with him and I don’t know if it would work today, but I made a deal with him that I won’t mess with him in the offseason. I didn’t have one of those things where you have him come in for minicamp, OTAs and all that stuff. I just let him go. I said the offseason is yours, but the tradeoff is you give me the season. The season is mine. And you know I mean anything that I say that we have to do during the season is done. We had meetings before practice, we had meetings after practice, we had meetings at night, and he was always there, he was always attentive, and like I said, he was a brilliant guy, and the stories about him that came out later, to me, the Kenny Stabler, that I know, the stories were vastly exaggerated.
There’s one story, I don’t know if anyone remembers this, someone was talking to his mother about Kenny, and saying, you know, he’s this and he’s that he’s wild and he stays up all night and he does all these things and his mother says, ‘You’re not talking about Kenny, you’re talking about his daddy.’ And I always thought of that quote and I always thought that there’s quite a bit of truth in that.”

Q: How aware would you say you were of the severity of Stabler’s cancer, how advanced it was, and what do you think it says about him that he made it such, that he kept to himself, that so many of his former teammates didn’t have any idea?

Madden: “Yeah, I was unaware. I was not aware of that he had cancer, and I didn’t. That was a big part of the shock, but if you know Kenny Stabler that’s Kenny Stabler. We used to have a thing. Kenny Stabler never went into the training room. And he didn’t want any of his teammates to ever see him getting treatment. He never went in the training room. He wouldn’t be seen in there, he wouldn’t step in there. So, I thought, well this is ridiculous because he would take a little beating during these games too, and he needed treatment. So I would talk to him about it and he just didn’t want to go in the training [room]. So I said, well you know, let’s do it at night, so you know when everyone leaves. And you know George Anderson our trainer would come back at like nine o’clock at night and that’s when he got his treatment. But, he didn’t want any of his teammates to ever see him in the training room getting treatment. And I think that probably followed him through life.”

Q: I was just hoping you could tell us kind of a story, maybe not on the field, but about Ken Stabler that kind of epitomized who he was as a person?

Madden: “Well, you know the thing was, he was always, always ready to help in any way he could. And, when he would go out he was always polite. I mean he was a real southern gentleman, you know. And, he was, we would have post game parties and he would be around and he’d make a point to talk to all the coach’s, all the coach’s wives, and treat them like they were really something. He really treated people with respect and then, the other side of him, like I said, he enjoyed life. He would rather tell a joke or tell a story or hear a joke or hear a story then anything that’s real serious. But, when he had to be serious he’d get down and be as serious as anyone. And, when that wasn’t needed he was just going to enjoy the moment.”

Q: Many players recall the immaculate reception game. What do you remember about it?

Madden: “Yeah, I’ll never forget that game. He did. He came in off the bench and the Steelers didn’t know a lot about Stabler at that time, and they gave him a little room to his left in there pass rush, and he ran, and he ran for a touchdown, and that put us ahead. So that set up the immaculate reception. Now, the Steelers were behind, time was running out, it was a fourth down play, the immaculate reception was, and the last play, last ditch effort, and then that happened. So, he set up the situation that put them behind, that made them get into that mode to make that drive.”

Q: Did you ever wonder if the dynasty would have been different if they didn’t win that game?

Madden: “No, it wouldn’t have been different. I mean, they lost the next week, I think, but that was just the start of their dynasty. I think they probably realized then that, that they had put together a pretty good team, a very good coaching staff and they were ready to make their move. I think that was a thing. I don’t think that they realized that this is the start of the dynasty, but this is definitely our turnaround in the playoffs, going in the right direction now. And, we’re not going to be the same old Steelers.”

Q: What do you credit his, just innate ability to throw the football and get the ball to open receivers?

Madden: “You know that was what he had and do it quickly. I mean he had a thing that would always set in his mind from the time he saw something until the ball left his hand, was the quickest mechanism that I’ve ever seen. And, I don’t know how you measure that or I don’t know exactly what that is, but I mean some guys see it, then they’re going to step, then they’re going to throw, and then it’s too late. I mean he sees it, boom. It would come out and then, you say with great accuracy and that’s what a quarterback has to have. When Kenny Stabler came to us that’s what he had. He didn’t have the strongest arm, but he had a very accurate arm, and he knew where to go with the ball and he could see and read quickly, and then when he read something, and saw and it read it quickly, the ball would be out of his hands. And the thing that I always liked about him, is, I made a statement yesterday, that up until this day, if I had you know, one drive, or we had to make a drive to win the game, I’d want Kenny Stabler as a quarterback. And you just think of, in those situations, and in those drives when he would, when he gets in his drop, in his drop back, and his drop and that back foot would set, then he would stand straight up. I mean, he would get, I don’t know if you ever remembered this or would have seen this, he would get taller. He would make himself taller in the pocket. There’s some guys that tend to make themselves smaller in the pocket, Kenny Stabler would go back and then he would rise. You just think, that’s the way he played. The bigger the situation I’m going to get back, I’m going to get to the head of my drop and I’m going to step and I’m going to rise and then I’m going to rise to the occasion, and that’s what he did. And then, like you say, he just had great accuracy. To me, that was a natural thing more than a taught thing.”