Tag Archives: Denver Broncos

Oakland Raiders Mourn Passing Of Mickey Marvin, George Karras

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders are saddened to learn of the passing of former offensive lineman and scout Mickey Marvin, and former player personnel executive and consultant George Karras.

“The Raiders family is deeply saddened by the losses of Mickey Marvin and George Karras,” said Raiders Owner Mark Davis. “Mickey and George were Raiders in every sense of the word and they each leave a strong legacy with the organization and throughout the NFL. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the families of both Mickey and George.”

Marvin, who was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2015, played in 120 regular season games for the Raiders from 1977-1987. He started at right guard in 11 playoff games, including Super Bowls XV and XVIII. Marvin was part of an offensive line that blocked for Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, the team’s all-time leading rusher. He was originally selected in the 4th round of the 1977 NFL Draft out of the University of Tennessee.

After hanging up his cleats as a player he joined the front office in 1988 and worked as a scout for the Silver and Black for 29 years.

Mickey Marvin will be missed dearly by the Raider family and the entire NFL community,” said Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie. “He was a great man of faith, an exemplary teammate and co-worker for four decades, and was truly a Raider for life. Mickey was a tremendous asset to the Raiders, but most importantly he was a true friend. Our prayers are with his family at this time.”

George Karras was a member of the Raiders player personnel staff from 1987-97 after a long career as a college coach and as a scout for the Denver Broncos. He helped build Raiders teams that qualified for the playoffs in 1990, ‘91, and ‘93.

Karras had worked for the Raiders as a consultant in recent years, evaluating college prospects in advance of the NFL draft.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Punter Marquette King Wins AFC Special Teams Player Of The Week

Photo by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders P Marquette King has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his Week 16 performance against the San Diego Chargers, the National Football League announced today.

This marks the first time in King’s career that he has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. A Raider has now won the award 23 times, with King’s recognition being the first since K Sebastian Janikowski won it in 2012 after his Week 15 effort against the Kansas City Chiefs. In total, a Raiders player has won AFC Offensive, Defensive or Special Teams Player of the Week 82 times.

In last Thursday night’s win over the Chargers, King punted eight times for 400 yards (50.0 gross average; 49.8 net average) with a long of 65 in the Raiders’ 23-20 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers. Six of his punts were downed inside San Diego’s 20-yard line. His 49.8 net average led the NFL in Week 16, and his six punts downed inside the 20-yard line ranked second. King pinned his 39th punt of the season inside the opponents’ 20-yard line (second in the NFL this year), setting a new single-season franchise record since the statistic became official in 1976.

This is the second time this season that Oakland has had a player win a Player of the Week Award, as DE Khalil Mack won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 14 performance against the Denver Broncos. Additionally, S Charles Woodson was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack Wins AFC Defensive Player Of The Week

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 14 performance against the Denver Broncos, the National Football League announced today.

This is the first time in Mack’s career he has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The award marks the 31st time a Raider has won it and first since S Charles Woodson won the award in 2014 after his Week 12 effort against the Kansas City Chiefs. In total, a Raiders player has won AFC Offensive, Defensive or Special Teams Player of the Week 81 times.

In last week’s victory over the Broncos in Denver, Mack posted nine tackles (six solo), a career-high five sacks and one forced fumble. His five sacks tied a single-game franchise record, matching Howie Long’s performance on Oct. 2, 1983. Mack became just the sixth player since 1982 to record five sacks and one forced fumble in a game, and he tied the mark for most sacks in a half since 1991. After posting nine sacks over the last three weeks, Mack now leads the NFL with 14 sacks this season.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Raiders Come From Behind On The Road To Upset Broncos 15-12

Denver, CO. – The Raiders traveled to Denver and laid an egg in the first half. Oakland battled back in the second half fueld by two Derek Carr Touchdown passes, and Khalil Macks‘ five sacks of Brock Osweiler including one in the end zone for a safety. Oakland (6-7) upset the Broncos(10-3) on the road 15-12.

The Raiders trailed at the half 0-12 as Oaklands’ defense  held the Broncos to four first-half Brandon McManus field goals. The Raiders offense struggled on all fronts. They only ran 15 plays the entire first half for a total of -12 yards.

Derek Carr Struggles & Fights Through Adversity

Derek Carr completed just 12 of 29 passes for 135 yards. But two of his throws were for touchdowns, and the Raiders (6-7) beat the Broncos for the first time since Sept. 12, 2011 despite being held to minus-12 yards in the first half — the worst performance by a team heading into halftime in nearly a quarter-century.

The Raiders drove 80 yards to open the second half and trim Denver’s lead to 12-7 when Carr threw an 11-yard pass to Seth Roberts.

Khalil Macks’ Huge Day

Mack’s fifth sack crushed Denver’s  hopes on the final drive. Afterward, he said he counts this performance as sweeter than his big game at Ohio State in 2013 that cemented his first-round status because “this is the Broncos.”

Mack said the Raiders knew they had a chance when they held the Broncos out of the end zone four times in the first half.

safety pulled the Raiders to 12-9 when Mack sacked Osweiler in the end zone and Broncos guard Max Garcia recovered the loose ball.

Jack Del Rio On Macks Performance

“He was unbelievable,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said of Mack. “He’s just getting better and better.”

Charles Woodson On Macks Performance

“I remember playing Derrick Thomas my first game in the NFL against the Chiefs and he had six sacks against us,” Oakland’s 18-year veteran safety Charles Woodson said. “Today, Khalil kind of reminded me of that.”

Defense Holds in First Half, Dominates in Second

The Raiders held the Broncos to three field goals on three red zone trips in the first half and did not allow Denver back into the red zone for the entire second half.

The Raiders held the Broncos scoreless in the second half for the first time since Oct. 15, 2006, a 3-13 loss. The last time the Raiders did so in a win was Nov. 22, 1992 (24-0).

The Raiders did not allow the Broncos to run more than three offensive plays on five-of-eight second-half drives. Broncos 0-for-3 in the red zone in the first half


Raiders Stifle Broncos’ Rushing Attack

The Raiders held the Broncos to 34 rushing yards, giving the Broncos 77 total rushing yards against the Raiders this season. That marks the Broncos’ second lowest season total versus the Raiders (51 yards in 1972).

Along with 1963 (96 yards), this marks the third time in team history the Raiders allowed less than 100 rushing yards to Denver in a season (excluding the strike-shortened 1982 season).

The Raiders allowed 25-or-fewer rushing yards in a first half for the fourth time this season and the second time in three weeks (also Nov. 29 at Tennessee).

2-Point Conversion Dilema 

Oakland long snapper Jon Condo recovered Emmanuel Sanders’ muffed punt at the Denver 11 early in the fourth quarter, but he injured his right shoulder in the pile. He was in the locker room getting it looked at when Carr threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mychal Rivera to put Oakland ahead 15-12 with 14:26 remaining.

Without Condo, the Raiders went for 2 and Carr threw an incompletion, leaving the margin at a field goal.

Kicking Game 

Brandon McManus clanked a 49-yarder that would have tied it off the left upright with 10:22 remaining. Sebastian Janikowski then missed a 43-yarder with 5:07 remaining, giving the Broncos good field position at their 33, but Davis had his big drop on fourth down after that.

Gary Kubiak Talks First-Half Opportunities, Turnovers, Drops 

The Broncos couldn’t get into the end zone in the first half despite 224 yards of offense, settling for four field goals from McManus, each one shorter than the previous — 41, 35, 29 and 21 yards.

“We had a chance to really do some damage in the first half and didn’t do it,” Denver coach Gary Kubiak lamented. “And we obviously helped them in the second half with turnovers, I think four or five drops. We lost line of scrimmage offensively. We played great defense.”

Oakland’s lack of production in the first 30 minutes was the lowest figure by any team in the first half since Nov. 1, 1992, when the Chargers held the Colts to minus-5 yards.

Raiders Defeat Broncos on the Road, 15-12

The Raiders defeated the Broncos 15-12 to snap the team’s eight-game losing streak against Denver. The team’s last win against Denver came on Sept. 12, 2011.
For the first time in the Raiders-Broncos series history, the Raiders did not allow the Broncos an offensive touchdown in a season. It marks the sixth time the Raiders held Denver without a passing touchdown (last: 2002) and the eighth time without a rushing touchdown (last: 1993) in a season series.

Khalil Mack Ties Howie Longs’ Raiders Franchise Sack Record With Five

Photo By Shawn Jonas

DENVER, CO. – Defensive End Khalil Mack tied a franchise record and set a career high with five sacks, matching Howie Long’s five sacks on Oct. 2, 1983.

Mack Also goes into Sunday night leading the NFL in sacks with 14. Before J.J. Watt battles the Patriots on NBC’s Sunday Night Football he has a total of 13.5 sacks

Mack is the sixth NFL player since sacks became official in 1982 to record five sacks and one forced fumble in a game. The last player to do so was Aldon Smith for the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.
The only other Raider with four sacks and a forced fumble in a single game was Anthony Smith on Oct. 18, 1992 (two forced fumbles).

San Francisco 49ers Transcripts: Head Coach Jim Tomsula, Speacial Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr, and QB Colin Kaepernick

Head Coach Jim Tomsula
Press Conference
San Francisco 49ers

Opening comments:
“Good morning. We had, obviously, our walk-thru yesterday and our installation day. And then, today, obviously, coming out with our first practice. Guys are in meetings right now and then we’ll have our walk-thru and then practice later on. What do you got?”

Fans seem concerned about your offensive line. Obviously, you guys haven’t, you know, the starting five hasn’t taken a ton of snaps in a game situation together. How concerned are you as far as cohesion and how ready they might be?
“Cohesion, I feel pretty good about it. I really do. I feel good about that. Again, we’re not standing in a position to defend anything nor will I. I feel very comfortable with the guys. I feel good about the guys. I feel good about the group. It’s a good group.”

When you talk about cohesion, I feel like you are going to do a little bit more zone blocking. Do you want guys who maybe aren’t as talented but can play more together to get that thing going?
“That’s an educated question. No. I mean, obviously we are looking for the most talented guys we can find. We feel good about our talent. But, there again with cohesion and when you are working in those schematics, it’s the fundamentals and the footwork. So, whether you are working with a guard and a center or you’re working with a center and a guard or a guard and a tackle, those combinations are very repetitive. So, when you come out of an individual period, and you’re making me go somewhere I really don’t want, but when you come out of an individual period, everybody’s working together. So, when you’re working different positions, your footwork, your center’s, obviously, you’ve got to snap a ball, so there’s something. But, the footwork, your targeting and all those things are the same across the board. So, I guess that when you talk about the cohesion side of things, that’s been worked quite a bit.”

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said this morning, he complimented LB NaVorro Bowman for the way he’s come back. He hopes Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson comes back in a similar way to what Bowman has done. What’s your take on Peterson and defending him and playing? There’s some anticipation for him coming back.
“Yeah. I’ve been on the other side of Adrian Peterson a few times. I’ve watched a ton of film on him, as has our staff. He’s a very talented football player. Extremely talented. Adrian Peterson does a great job, but he’s also in a schematic that emphasizes the things that he does and he’s got some other players around him that help him. So, that whole package there and obviously that’s a, [Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator] Norv Turner is the offensive coordinator, we’re all very familiar with Norv. We all have a tremendous amount of respect for Norv and what he does and the way he does things. It’s the full compliment of things. I mean, there’s no denying the skillset of Adrian Peterson.”

Sorry to ask again about RB Jarryd Hayne. You’ve obviously got training over the next few days. What do you want see out of him? What are you specifically looking for to ensure or to better his chances of getting a go on Monday night?
“Well, in Jarryd’s situation, just like everybody that is a first-year player here, you’re into game preparation now, so you’ve got that aspect of it. But, we’ve also got to stay on the development side of it. There has to be those techniques, those fundamentals, the developing that has to stay on course, has to stay on point. And we have got to stay on that road. And that first year for all rookie players is, that’s the line that you balance there. How much do you give them? How much don’t? When is it time? So, that’s just where that has to stay.”

And when you say those, for people in Australia who don’t understand the game, when you say those fundamentals, can explain what you mean by that?
“Just the technique. Obviously, Jarryd has got the body position, the balance, the leverage points and all those things that he has. That’s proven, he has those. But now, how to use them and when to use them. Blocking, pass protections, he’s done a great job. Where he was to where he is, is terrific. I guess that’s why I temper all this speculation because I don’t want to take anything away from what the man has achieved. But, all he’s achieved was an opportunity to be in the locker room. That has to continue. And he’s the kind of guy that will do that. I mean, you feel confident that he will continue to ascend with his approach and the way he does things. So, I guess that’s my temperament. I don’t want to be the guy downplaying his accomplishment or the excitement for the country but it’s in a place. So, that’s where I feel there.”

I assume you’ve got the game plan sort of in. How much have you thought about what the first offensive play call is going to be? And I’m curious about as the game goes on, obviously, that’s offensive coordinator Geep Chryst’s area. How much do you see yourself getting involved on a play-by-play basis?
“Play-by-play in the game?”

Yeah.
“No, I’ll know everything that’s going out there. So, if there’s anything out there you don’t like, I’m the guy. But, the plan and where it is right now to date, I’m very excited about. I think the guys are, we’ve got a really good group of coaches. We really do. And the way they, the thought process behind everything and the flow and yinging and yanging and being able to, you’ve got your jabs and your punches and your heavy-hitters and then you’ve got your change-ups. So, I really like where it is right now.”

As the game is progressing, how involved will you be in the play calls, offensively and defensively?
“The call to call, no, we’ll have that streamlined. That’s worked, in my opinion and my approach to it, that’s all done during the week. So, I’ll be fully aware of where everything is and we’ll all be on the same page. We had a coordinators meeting yesterday and we will continue to talk through that. But, as the game changes, obviously, we’ve got to be able to adapt and adjust as it goes. But, the game plan itself and where we are and what we’re doing, we’re all on the same page. But, I won’t be involved in calling the play. If that’s what you’re–?”

Well, what did you learn your previous time as a head coach? You’ve done this before. What’d you learn from that that will help you here in terms of that, the play-by-play?
“The players win games. The magic call, if you’re searching too hard for a call you probably have more problems than that call. That’s coming from a defensive coordinators perspective.”

In light of what you’ve just said about Hayne, how much confidence do you have in him right now that he can field punts efficiently?
“All the confidence.”

In a game on Monday night or even late in the game if it comes to that?
“Very much confidence. Very confident in his ability to field a punt. But again, you start talking about the 46. How much can you do? What can you do for the team? And then with the schematic that we’re installing, that we’re going through, that we’re talking about here. How are you practicing within that scheme? The things that we’re doing this week, do they fit your skillset? That’s where that all comes into in my head. Special teams, OK if you can catch a punt, but can you do other things? What else can you do in the special teams area?”

WR Bruce Ellington’s hamstrings are fully healthy?
“Yes ma’am.”

Yeah?
“Yeah, I mean we had walk-thru yesterday, everybody was on and accounted for.”

You mentioned after the Chargers game you wanted to get back on the practice field those two days last week. What was the goal of those two practices? Was it more for game planning or was there still some fundamental things you wanted to work out?
“Both. Situational stuff, making sure we went back and hit some things. You saw us hit a lot of situational things throughout camp. There were a couple there that we circled, that we wanted to go back an revisit just to stay on those situations and make sure that we had another time to go, another opportunity to go through those and coach it up and get out on the field and actively get through it. So, I would say all of it.”

WR Torrey Smith talked about how he and QB Colin Kaepernick were practicing well these couple days. Can you just, looking at the league overall, it’s such a quarterback-driven league and a lot of eyes are on Colin. Does he need to play at a league MVP level for this offense to succeed?
“Colin just needs to be Colin. And I think Colin is really good.”

But, he seems driven to prove everybody.
“I don’t know that you’ll meet a more driven person. I don’t know that you’ll ever meet a more driven person than Colin Kaepernick. I mean, he is driven.”

What did you learn about the Vikings organization from that time you spent with them in Charlotte?
“Class. I mean, I felt like they were really good people. I felt like they were honest. I met with [Vikings General Manager] Mr. [Rick] Spielman and [Vikings Assistant General Manager] Mr. [George] Paton and I really enjoyed my time with them. I thought they were two really, really down to earth but sharp football guys, in my opinion if that matters or not. The interesting thing was the phone call I got from [Vikings Owner] Mr. Wilf, he called and just to thank me for, I thought that was just a really nice gesture.”

Was there, when you, I don’t know how much research you had done into their organization, but are there any things that now you can apply about how that roster was built and–?
“No, I don’t think so. No, I mean, I wouldn’t read a whole lot into that. Honestly, no. I know of those two gentlemen and the way they think over the years and what they’re looking for and the way they go about it. But, I wouldn’t say that few hours, there was nothing.”

How flattering was that, for them, for an outside organization, you’ve only been with one NFL organization, for someone from the outside to think enough of you to bring you in for that kind of opportunity?
“Obviously, those are huge honors. I mean, obviously, it’s very humbling for somebody to take a few hours of their day to talk to you. I mean, that was very humbling, I’m very appreciative to it.”

Are you guys using the virtual reality this week?
“Yeah, we’ve got a room. Well, I don’t have the exact time schedule, but we do have the virtual reality. I have put it on, our coaches have put it on, our players have put it on. It is, you have seen that pole out there. Have you ever looked at practice and you see that little pole? That’s what that is and you’ve seen it there every day.”

Is it just from a quarterback perspective or do you have other–?
“We’ve found a few things here and there that we can use it for, that’s about all I’ll go. Not that it’s a secret, but yeah it’s a pretty neat deal. If you grew up playing video games, it’s a real cool deal for you.”

That was the one developed by Stanford, correct?
“I’m not sure who developed. Is it?”

What’s your assessment of Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater?
“I think Teddy’s a good quarterback, a well-coached quarterback. You saw him improve dramatically and again, that’s no, that’s not a surprise to any of us on who’s coaching him. But, he’s done a really good job. Obviously, mobile, he can throw the ball, he’s got all the, he can move the pocket and he can make you pay with his feet.”

How good were you at video games?
“I never did them. But, that thing really is a cool, it’s a cool tool.”

Mike Zimmer, obviously, is a defensive guy. As far as stunts and things he did when he was a defensive coordinator, is there anything you’ve noticed through the years that may be unique or special to him and will you be expecting some of that Monday?
“Yeah, I mean, schematically, yeah he’s a four down guy. He’s obviously creative. But, probably the one thing that’s always stood out about a Mike Zimmer coached defense or the Vikings is how hard they play. They play hard. They’re, nothing but respect for how hard they play.”

Special Teams Coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr.
Press Conference 
San Francisco 49ers

Who’s going to be your return man on Monday night?
“Great question. No, we’ll see. Guys have been working. We have a great group of guys to pick from, so we’ll see.”

Does that make the decision harder though, that you now have three guys who can do it?
“Absolutely. They’re being evaluated every day. We love who we’ve got and we’ll see who pops out.”

What are the primary factors that you’re considering right now when picking a candidate?
“Well, shoot there’s a ton of them. Obviously, on Monday Night Football you want to have guys that you feel confident in and that can do the job and they’ve all shown that.”

You realize Australians will declare a war if RB Jarryd Hayne doesn’t get in the game?
“You know what, I’m aware of that. No, Jarryd’s a heck-of-a player, very talented. A young player that needs to mature a little bit as far as just getting experience. But, he’s going to be fine.”

Speaking of experience, 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula talked about you have to do more than just being a punt returner. What do you see Jarryd Hayne’s progress in terms of taking proper angles when he’s on kickoff units and punt returns and so forth?
“That’s one of those deals, that’s a learning situation for him. Every experience is a new experience for him covering kicks because he’s never done it before as far as being in the NFL. He’s going to get better at it. It’s my job, me and [assistant special team’s] coach [Richard] Hightower as a special teams staff to get him better at it and we will. That’s just something that he’s going to have to learn.”

He lined up in the middle on the kickoff coverage. This is maybe just a general question. How do you decide where to put somebody on kickoff coverage across that line?
“Body types, depending on the job. Jarryd can make people miss out in space so we put him inside. There’s a lot of stuff coming at you so he’s going to have to learn to read on the run. But, he has the ability to get to the ball, he has a nose for it just like a number of guys that we have. Putting him in the middle, be able to take on a wedge, be able to defeat a man block and get to the ball and kind of cover the whole field as opposed to just being on one side or the other.”

WR Bruce Ellington, I think, is the only guy who returned punts last year and maybe the only guy who, other than RB Reggie Bush who’s ever done it. When you look at Reggie who looked a little rusty in the game at Denver, WR DeAndrew White and Jarryd, how much do you have to really hone in on just decision making when you’re back there?
“Oh, it’s huge. I mean, obviously the ball is the most important thing and we want to make sure we take care of it. Decision making is huge and it’s something that all those guys, Reggie obviously has the most experience at it, but moving forward those guys got to know that making those decisions inside the 10, being able to fair catch a ball when a guy is barreling down on you, those are things that you normally really get only in the game. You get a little bit in practice, but not so much. So, you’ve got to be able to kind of go through those experiences as you get in the game. We try as coaches to try and put them in those situations as much as possible, but it’s kind of hard to simulate.”

I have a question along those lines. I believe it was the second preseason game where Jarryd made an over-the-shoulder fingertip catch. Is that something that you want to see or in that kind of situation is it best for the guy just to let it go?
“In that situation right there, for Jarryd in the preseason, that’s something that we wanted to see, him to be able to field the ball naturally and kind of make that kind of play. And that’s not an easy play to make, obviously and he made it, kind made it look routine. But, we wanted to see that and he made that play. Now, obviously, during the game, running back in a real game in that situation, yeah we want to make that catch. Because, if they’re out-kicking the coverage and that ball is going, it’s going to hit and travel and roll. So, if it rolls that’s another 15-20 yards of field position depending on where the ball is so we always want to save field position.”

So you need, he needs to prove to you that he can make that catch, which he’s done?
“Yeah, he’s shown that.”

Could we see different punt returners based on field position as the game progresses?
“Could happen.”

How much is, you know the three guys you’ve mentioned returning the kicks all did very well. How much is that to do with how well it was blocked up?
“I think it has a lot to do with it. If you look at, everybody is flying the Hayne Plane right now, but if you look at who led our team in punt returns in the preseason, it wasn’t Jarryd Hayne. It was DeAndrew White. So, I think the guys up front and the vice outside, they’ve done a great job of blocking and understanding the concepts of what we’re trying to do executing the fundamentals of the techniques of the scheme. And, I think they’ve kind of found a home there so now we’re just trying to build upon that.”

What’s your assessment of DeAndrew White as a returner?
“I think he’s a heck-of-a returner. He’s a good young player that like Jarryd, he needs to mature a little bit as far as experience, get that experience. But, he’s going to be a heck-of-a player.”

Last time we talked, you said you needed to see more from WR Bruce Ellington, he hadn’t been on the field enough. Now that he’s been on the field, what’s your assessment of Bruce?
“Bruce is a heck-of-a player. He’s a good young player who’s ascending. He needs to stay healthy and Bruce knows that. We’ve had extensive conversations and he just needs to take care of his body so he can be on the field and show us more of what he’s shown that last preseason game and the things that, taking the ball 70 and hitting a good punt return up the sideline. Those are things that we see in practice that he has the ability to do, but he has to continue to do that and stay healthy at the same time.”

Coach Tomsula actually said he sat him down, maybe you were there, and talked to Bruce and said this is what you need to do before practice, after practice, healing, recovery. Have you seen a big difference in him since those two chatted and just taking more responsibility for that?
“Well, and I don’t mean to sound like a butt when I say this, but I don’t watch him that closely. I know that he knows that those are things that he has to do. He has guys that are around him that do those types of things like [WR] Anquan Boldin, like a [RB] Reggie Bush that stretches an hour before practice. And, a guy like Anquan Boldin who gets out there 30 minutes before anybody else does and goes through his whole routine. So, he has those guys to watch and to follow. He just has to make sure as a young pro, I take the steps to get to where I need to be because those guys are double digits in this league. So, he has that in front of him to follow.”

Since coming back from his foot injury or back into practice, how much has DB Jimmie Ward played on special teams and do you expect him to be an option on Monday?
“Oh, absolutely. Jimmie’s done a great job. He’s a heck-of-a player. Love his energy and his passion for the game. He wants to do everything right all the time and he’s a fun kid to coach.”

Has he been a gunner primarily?
“He’s been a gunner. He’s done a bunch of different things for us. I mean, we see him as being a core guy for us and doing a great job on defense and helping to contribute to this football team.”

And WR DeAndrew as a gunner? It looked like he did some stuff pretty early in camp. How has he progressed in that area?
“He’s done a good job. Again, he’s young and there’s some, there’s certain things that he needs to learn about that position. He needs to learn how to be a little bit more physical and be more efficient with his movement. But, he’s any other young player. He just needs to continue to develop.”

It seems like there’s a very real prospect that Jarryd might play on Monday night, would you say that? You guys seem to be downplaying it.
“It’s, well, when you get so much of this, it kind of gets, we have to keep everything in perspective. He’s a young player in this league. He’s new. He’s a rookie. Just because he’s from 3,000 miles away or wherever he’s from, he’s still a rookie in this league. Most rookies, unless you’re a top 10-15 pick in the draft, they don’t get that much hype. So, we’ve got to kind of keep everything in perspective and understand the preseason is the preseason and right now is right now. This is real bullets flying. That was kind of paintball. This is real bullets. So, we’ve just kind of got to temper it all and take it all with a grain of salt and move forward. And, as the weeks go on and things start to progress, then we’ll address it then. But, until then you just kind of, that’s just me.”

Just on that, on the flipside of that, even though he hasn’t played the game before, have you guys looked at what he does naturally and thought, “Hey maybe that could work in our game?”
“Oh, absolutely. That’s why he’s here. He wouldn’t be here if we didn’t look at him and kind of assess that and evaluate it. Obviously, he has natural skills. But, like anything else, you’re excited about him but he’s still a rookie and you’ve still got to prove it on the field in the regular season.”

But I mean, can you take some of his skills, what he has, and translate that and get your guys to look at what he’s doing? Have you seen that?
“Yeah. I mean, he has that natural make you miss. He has those types of things that you naturally can’t teach, the fearlessness, all of that stuff, absolutely. He has some great characteristics about him as a runner, as an open-field runner. But, there’s still some small little nuances of the game that he needs to get better at and he knows that.”

Are we going to see any lateral passes?
“Great question, I don’t know. I wish I could give you that answer.”

Your special teams guys have got to play a scrimmage position too. When you’re making a choice about who to be active or not, how much does that play into it and who makes the final call?
“Well, obviously, all the personnel decisions run through the front office and obviously special teams is something that you definitely consider. It has to be. When you start talking about the bottom part of the roster, all of those guys are going to play on special teams. So, they have to be able to contribute in that fashion.”

In terms of making a decision in a given game?
“Oh, absolutely, going in week-in and week-out.”

Does it sometimes have to do with the game plan?
“Absolutely, it sure does.”

QB Colin Kaepernick
Press Conference
San Francisco 49ers

You’ve obviously switched modes from the preseason to the regular season now, but in terms of your mindset, where are you at going into this?
“We’re just trying to prepare to make sure we’re ready to go out and get a win.”

You’ve had six months of preparation now. Where has this team gotten in the six months to convince you of that?
“We’re a lot farther along than where we started. So, I think this team has confidence in what we’re doing and we need to go out and execute.”

You guys obviously kept stuff in reserve, a lot of stuff in reserve during the preseason. Would you say you kept more hidden than in previous years or is this just typical as far as what you showed during the preseason?
“It’s not really hiding things. At the end of the day, you go out, you play football. It’s not really about what plays you’re running. It’s about the players running the plays and executing them and using their technique and getting the job done.”

In June, you talked about cleaning a lot of things up and you wanted to take on a greater load to carry this team. Where do you feel like you’ve come from, you know, in a matter of those three months since mini-camp?
“I think I’ve improved personally. I think this team’s improved. It’s something that everyone in here has worked everyday and tried to get better to make sure when we did get to Week 1 of this season that we’d be ready to go and ready to go out and compete.”

It’s a team game, obviously, but personally, you’re 4-0 on Monday Night Football. You’ve got nine touchdown passes, no interceptions. What is it about the lights of Monday Night Football that kind of makes you ramp up the game?
“Well, I really didn’t know that. But, I’ve loved playing under the lights since high school. Just kind of takes you back to the old days of being under the lights. It’s a different vibe then when you’re playing in a day game and I think everyone likes that feeling.”

And I know, also, you’re looking forward to a new start, new beginning. But also, looking back a little bit, what’s the biggest lesson you took from Jim Harbaugh?
“He taught me a lot. A lot about professional offenses. A lot about the defenses, how they can react, how they can change based on what you’re doing and what their game plan might be. So, I really can’t say one thing. He’s taught me a lot.”

How do you think the offense has adapted in camp and the preseason as far as the faster tempo that you guys are trying to implement?
“I think our players have adjusted phenomenal. It’s become second nature for us. It’s something that we don’t think about anymore. We just operate at that speed.”

You don’t seem like a guy that’s really worried about outside perception given everything that’s happened this offseason. As a team captain, how do you relay that message to block out all that outside noise to the rest of your teammates?
“I don’t think that’s something this team really needs to be talked to about. They come to work everyday and work their butts off. So, it’s something that this team kind of handles by itself. It just naturally comes about.”

How eager are you to see TE Vernon Davis turn the page? I’m sure all of you turned the page on last year, but he especially wants to get things started in a positive direction.
“I don’t really see it as turning the page. We just need Vernon to be Vernon. He’s a phenomenal player, a great talent and someone that can make great contributions to this team. So, when we step on that field, I think everyone will be excited to see what he does.”

Head coach Jim Tomsula was saying he wants ‘Colin to be Colin.’ How do you be yourself in this league? What do you want people to say about what kind of quarterback you are?
“To be honest, I’m really not worried about what people say about me as a quarterback. I’m worried about what my teammates think and what my coaches think about me as a quarterback. So, that’s ultimately who I give that ability to judge to.”

A couple years ago, you had the dual-threat. You took pride in being a dual-threat. Is that something you want people to take notice of again?
“Once again, I’m really not too concerned about peoples opinions of what they see or view me as. I mean, I was also the black quarterback with tattoos. So, once again, not something that really crosses my mind.”

What sticks out to you about Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense. What are you looking out for?
“They do a lot of different things and they do them well. They play fast, they play hard. Something we’re going to have to be ready for everything.”

Are any blitzes unusual or a lot or is that something you have to prepare for in particular, the blitzes?
“Every defense blitzes, they just do it different ways. So, we have to get ready for the way that they’re going to blitz us.”

Have you found the virtual reality to be valuable in preparing for opponents? How much are you using it this week, for example?
“A little bit here and there but really haven’t used it too much. Something that we have to kind of progress with as the technology progresses.”

Will it be special to see coach Tomsula? It’s his first real game as head coach and you know how far he’s come to do this.
“Yeah, it’d be great for his first game to be a win. So, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

Press Conference Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers Media Relations

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.

 

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.”

Pro Football Hall Of Fame Willie Brown Remembers Kenny “The Snake” Stabler

Photo by Shawn Jonas

On 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.

Ken Stabler and Willie 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.

Willie  Brown’s Remembers “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.”

Q: 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.”

Q: 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.”

Q: 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.” 

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.”

Oakland Raiders Sign Trindon Holliday, Waive/Injured Andre Debose

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent WR/RS Trindon Holliday, the club announced Wednesday. To make room on the roster, the Raiders have waived/injured WR Andre Debose with an Achilles injury.

Holliday joins the Silver and Black after stints with the Houston Texans (2011-12), Denver Broncos (2012-13), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014) and San Francisco 49ers (2014). He has appeared in 33 career games, totaling 82 punt returns for 769 yards (9.4 avg.) and 54 kickoff returns for 1,455 yards (26.9 avg.), with a total of four return touchdowns (two punt, two kickoff). In four postseason appearances with Denver, the 5-foot-5, 170pounder has added 90 yards on three punt returns (30.0 avg.) with one score and 12 kickoff returns for 344 yards (28.7 avg.) with one touchdown.

Originally a sixth-round pick (197th overall) by the Houston Texans in the 2010 NFL Draft, Holliday played four years (2006-09) at LSU, where he contributed at running back and led the SEC as a senior in punt return touchdowns (one) and average yards per punt return (18.1). With four career rushing touchdowns in college, Holliday also amassed four return touchdowns (two punt, two kickoff). The Zachary, La., native also won the 2009 NCAA title in the 100-meter dash.

Press Release Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media Relations