Sept. 17, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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CSNCalifornia.comBUFFALO -- As far as season debuts go, it wasn't exactly a profile in discipline.The Raiders were flagged for 15 penalties totaling 131 yards in their 23-20 defeat of the Denver Broncos on Monday night. So how did rookie coach Hue Jackson, whose mantra is "Build a Bully," respond? By bringing in referees to this week's practice."I've got to get the curse stopped," Jackson said of the Raiders' long-standing proclivity for yellow flags. "Just like we broke the Monday night curse, I've got to get this one turned the other way, and that's going to take time. I'm not here to tell you it's going to stop next week or the week after, but I want you to know and I want our fans to know that we're working at it."I'm not going to just sweep it under the carpet and say, 'O.K., it is what it is' because we won the game. I don't think that's right. There's 15 (penalties), too many penalties for this football team, and it starts with me, down through our coaches to our players. We have to get this corrected, and we will."Another dime-and-a-nickle-penalty day, against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, might be too much to overcome this time around for the Raiders.Against the Broncos, the Raiders ran the full spectrum in what they committed.Consider: Oakland was called for five false starts, two offsides, twice for unnecessary roughness and once each for roughing the passer, illegal contact, defensive pass interference, defensive holding, holding on special teams and offensive holding.Twelve different players were flagged, with three committing two apiece -- cornerback Stanford Routt (holding and pass interference), right tackle Stephon Heyer (two false starts on consecutive snaps) and left guard Stefen Wisniewski (holding and false start)."Well, some of those things are concentration errors," said offensive coordinator Al Saunders. "And when you have great pass rushers on the outside like we faced last week, sometimes the tackles get a little nervous. They try to get set a little quicker than they need to. We've worked real hard on that, establishing what they need to do on the edge to be more consistent."Of course, the Raiders' 15 penalties for 131 yards both lead the league after Week 1. To put it in context, six teams -- the New York Jets, Kansas City, Washington, New Orleans, Cincinnati and San Diego -- combined to commit 14 penalties for 91 yards on opening weekend, with the Jets not being flagged once.A year ago, the Raiders led the NFL in penalty yardage (1,161) and were tied for second with Baltimore in penalties committed (117)."I will stomach the physical (mistakes) because those are going to happen," Jackson said. "That's a part of the game. The mental things eat me alive. And we had quite a few of them in some very tough situations (Monday) night and those are the things we've got to correct."I want to be the first to tell you -- I've said it before and I'll say it again -- there's a good football team in there. A really good football team. And when we figure this thing out on a consistent basis, play in and play out, we're going to be something special. I truly believe that."Then, there's this -- the Raiders have won eight of their last 10 games in which they've committed at least 10 penalties. Penalties, it seems, are the Raider Way.
Sept. 17, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE