Raiders notes (830): CB Johnson returns to practice


Raiders notes (830): CB Johnson returns to practice

Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- Raiders fans weary of their young cornerbacks getting the Elvis "Toast" Patterson treatment this preseason might have reason to rejoice, or at least, exhale.Chris Johnson, who underwent an undisclosed surgery two weeks ago he likened to getting an "oil change," practiced Tuesday for the first time since the procedure. And while he said he is not playing in the Raiders' exhibition finale Friday in Seattle, Johnson said, "Hands down, I'll be there Monday night" in the season opener at Denver on Sept. 12."By the grace of God, I think that's why I'm back so fast," Johnson added. "He has everything in control of my body. All I can do is go out there and do what the coaches ask me to do. I don't even think about it. I've felt better the last couple weeks than I've felt in the last two years. So it's a big improvement I feel in my body. I'm just ready to go."As Johnson has been sidelined, he could only watch as rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke and second-year cornerback Walter McFadden have had their troubles. Van Dyke surrendered 73 yards on four Drew Brees passes in New Orleans' opening 80-yard drive Sunday.RECAP: Saints double up Raiders at the 40-20
"It's tough, but ... when I first came in it was the same way," Johnson said. "It just takes one or two plays for you to just knock a ball down or pick the ball off and they'll respect you. If you don't do that, they're going to continue to pick on you in this league."Our guys, they can run with anybody, so we just have to turn our heads (and look for the ball). People see we're there. All you've got to do is turn your head and it's a pick. I told the guys, 'Don't worry about it. You've got good quarterbacks in this league ... you're playing elite quarterbacks. Just don't let one game determine your season.'"I asked Johnson, a Green Bay seventh-round draft choice in 2003, if it was tough accepting that message as a youngster."It was because, as a man you always want to be able to back up your ground and back up your last name," he said. "It's kind of frustrating to the guys, but I think the young guys are are actually getting the input they need from the coaches and also some of the players."I think it's going to be a good (experience) for us once we get into the regular season."Chekwa making a switch? -- Fourth-round draft pick Chimdi Chekwa, who played cornerback at Ohio State, is close to making the full-time transition to safety after being switched last week and playing there against the Saints."I'm a rookie," Chekwa said. "I'm going to try to get on the field any way I can -- special teams, safety, corner, whatever it is. Do whatever they ask of me and see what happens."At corner, you're kind of locked into one side of the field. At safety, your eyes open up. You see a lot more than what you usually see at corner ... you've got to have eye control at any position on defense, but at the safeties, it's a lot different because you see so much more. That's something I learned in the past week."Showing his leadership skills -- Center Samson Satele said Oakland quarterbacks got hit 121 times by their count last year.Obviously, that's something they want to change. Especially with Jason Campbell exhibiting newfound leadership skills."You can see it," Satele said. "Guys used to leave the huddle last year when he's not even done with the call. This year, he's keeping them in. You can just see little things like that. You can see how comfortable he is back there, with us giving him time to throw the ball."Seymour sits out, again -- Richard Seymour (hamstring) did not practice, but coach Hue Jackson did not mind. Even if Seymour last practiced full early last week and did not dress Sunday."He's doing well," Jackson said. "He'll be fine. Richard will be fine. Again, as I tell you guys, I get to reserve the right with some of these guys, and some of these guys I like to keep under wraps and make sure they're ready to go. And Richard is one of those guys."Also, rookie left guard Stefen Wisniewski sat out practice with what Jackson described as "one of those little dings."Long time, no talk -- Jackson was asked if he had spoken to Tom Cable since he was dismissed by Al Davis and resurfaced in Seattle."Mainly, when coaches leave, you don't really talk for a while," Jackson said. "I think there needs to be some time. I'm sure we will (talk) in the future. We haven't (talked) at this point but that's part of it and I understand and respect that. I will speak to him on Friday if our paths cross. But I think it's all good."Quote of the day: "Oh wow. A lot of things have surprised me. I'm 0-3." - Hue Jackson, on his first training camp as a head coach in the NFL.

Notes: 'Carr to Crabtree was special' in Raiders win

Notes: 'Carr to Crabtree was special' in Raiders win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree was a non-factor in last week’s loss to Kansas City, an aberration of the highest order this season.

It proved to be just a one-game lull.

Crabtree was an offensive catalyst yet again Sunday in a 33-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown, including a long bomb that changed the game.

Quarterback Derek Carr went big on 3rd-and-5 late in the second quarter, sending a perfectly-arched ball down the right sideline that Crabtree caught over his shoulder at full gallop for a 56-yard gain that set up the Raiders’ second touchdown in five minutes.

Crabtree got it, again on third down, using a quick slant just beyond the goal line.

He refused to speak with the media again, but those around him were again wowed by his impact on the game, especially when Jaguars corner shadowed and largely shut Amari Cooper down.

“Michael Crabtree made some incredible plays today for us,” Del Rio said. “…Throughout the game he came up big for us and I thought he play really, really well for us. Obviously our quarterback is a good player. He did a good job for us hooking up with different receivers, but today Carr to Crabtree was special.”

King shows speed: Raiders punter Marquette King doesn’t have to run much. Players at his position usually don’t, except as a last resort when chasing a return.

King ran forward this time, prompted by a uncharacteristically poor Jon Condo snap. He didn’t have room to punt so he took off running, converting a 4th-and-24 with a 27-yard run down the sideline. It was a move that showed great athleticism, one he

“I just picked the ball up and started running,” King said. “After I passed the orange sticks, I got a little light-headed and realized ‘I’m really running the ball right now.’ It’s been since high school that I ran from the punting formation. I came in as a wide receiver for Fort Valley State and was really good at punting so they stuck with me.”

King ran out without getting hit – a plus in the coaches minds – and extended a drive that ended with a game-icing touchdown from Latavius Murray.

Too many field goals: Sebastian Janikowski had four field goals on Sunday night, which isn’t always a positive sign for the Raiders offense. They let too many touchdown-scoring chances escape, which bothered offensive players despite the fact they scored 33 points.

“When we’re in the red zone, we want points,” Murray said. “That’s most important, but we need touchdowns over field goals. We have a lot of work to do and we’ll keep striving to get seven points over three.”

Winning turnover battle: The Raiders forced three turnovers against Jacksonville and didn’t give up any.

David Amerson had an interception. So did Reggie Nelson. Andre Holmes recovered a punt muffed by Rashad Greene. That’s a recipe for success, something that’s become common for this Raiders team.

They’ve forced three turnovers without coughing it up three times this season. They’ve ended up with a plus turnover ratio six times in seven games.

Notes: Raiders LB Bruce Irvin recorded his fourth forced fumble of the season against Jacksonville, which are the most by a Raiders since Nick Roach equaled that total in 2013. …DE Khalil Mack had his second sack in as many games, and now leads the team with three. … Nelson nabbed his second interception this year and has 32 since 2007, a total that leads all active safeties. …RB Latavius Murray has five touchdowns in seven games, the highest total in that span since 2005. … The Raiders are 4-0 on the road, a mark that hasn’t been matched since 2000.

Del Rio gets a game ball in triumphant return to Jacksonville

Del Rio gets a game ball in triumphant return to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jack Del Rio spent nearly nine full seasons as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach. He had three winning seasons and two playoff appearances in that time, before he was fired during the 2011 season.

He hadn’t been back to Jacksonville in a professional capacity since, but returned Sunday with a new team ready to face his old one.

The Raiders head coach publicly downplayed the impact of this return, and did so again Saturday in a speech to the team. He wanted players to locked on the game, not storylines surrounding the head coach.

“Jack said to focus on being a great teammate and having each other’s back,” Raiders cornerback David Amerson said. “With him coaching here before, we definitely wanted to have his back. We wanted to get him this ‘W,’ it was big for him and our team.”

As much as Del Rio wanted to turn attention away from his return, coming back to Jacksonville was a big deal.

His family united at EverBank Field on Sunday, a place where they had so many memories as the children grew up. He has friends in town and within the organization. He brought the Jaguars back to relevance, and it has fallen on hard times since he left.

The Jaguars are 18-57 since Del Rio left, mark set after the Raiders’ 33-16 victory on Sunday afternoon.

His players understood the moment and honored it once victory was secure. Quarterback Derek Carr gave Del Rio a game ball after his triumphant return to old stomping grounds.

Jacksonville’s a place Del Rio will remember always fondly.

“(There were) a lot of great memories here,” Del Rio said. “It was a great place to spend nine years raising the family and being blessed with the opportunity to lead the Jaguar franchise. I was very appreciative of that time. I met a lot of good folks here; a lot of good memories, a lot of good friends. It is good to come back here and get a good effort in this stadium.”

That’s as reflective as Del Rio would openly get during this process, which comes as no shock to the players who work with him every day.

“Coach is cool, calm and conservative,” edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “The motto is the same each week, even here (in Jacksonville). We want to come out and dominate. That was the whole focus for him. He didn’t worry about coming back. Everybody knew he had history here, but we were concentrated only on getting that win.”