Raiders notes: Ford sets return record

Raiders notes: Ford sets return record
October 17, 2011, 3:01 am
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OAKLAND -- Jacoby Ford had an inkling he was going to break a long kickoff return against Cleveland.One hundred and one yards later, Ford had his franchise-record fourth return for a touchdown, giving the Raiders a lead they would not relinquish after the Browns tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter."Yeah, special teams had a good week of preparation this week and I also got to say that Rock Cartwright actually called that," Ford said. "He actually said it in practice, as soon as we got done running that exact return, he said, 'You're due to break one this week.'"According to Ford, who also had a 37-yard return, it was all about the blocking scheme employed by the Raiders.

"That blocking scheme is great and is definitely something that's hard to defend," Ford said. "And if they try to defend it, it's like there's another way to defeat it."Ford, who had been slowed by a strained right hamstring suffered in the season opener at Denver on Sept. 12, initially came out of the end zone to the left hashmark before bouncing out to the right sideline. He walked the tightrope down the stretch and the play was reviewed to see if he had stepped on the line. He did not."I didn't know how close I was when I first got to the sideline," he said, "but I knew I didn't step out when I started tight-roping."Making his debut -- Two days after his first and only practice with the Raiders, linebacker Aaron Curry started at weak-side linebacker.Curry, acquired from Seattle, had three tackles."I'm going to watch the tape, but I thought he was out there flying around, trying to make plays," coach Hue Jackson said of Curry. "As I told you when I traded for him, I traded for him for a reason, to stick him in there."And while Curry did not have a statement play, he said his defensive calls were not limited at all."I feel like this is a defense that allows me to utilize what I do best, which is run," Curry said. "They blitzed me one time but I think my best attribute is when the ball is snapped, who has the ball and go and get it and play smart."It's amazing. It's exactly what I saw on film. It's the same exact defense I saw on film. Nothing new, nothing surprising."Straight outta L.A. -- Rapperproducerdirector Ice Cube was at the game and held an impromptu press conference before the game.His 2010 documentary on the Raiders' years in Los Angeles and their influence on rap music was critically acclaimed. He was one of the last to be granted a one-on-one sit-down with the late Al Davis."Al, I don't know if he would condone this, but to me he's the original gangster," said Ice Cube. "He did it his way. I call him the Frank Sinatra of football. He really showed that you could be yourself and you still could be the best. You dont have to conform to be the best. That's what I got from Al."That's what we took, that you could be yourself with your flaws and all that and still make it to the top. With NWA we took on that philosophy. We said, 'Yo, we're not going to conform. We're just going to be ourselves and we're still going to win with it.' That's still the Raiders' philosophy."Ice Cube said the passing of Davis shook him. "It was a shock ... really unbelievable," Ice Cube said. "You always know that some days your heroes are not going to be with you but you never expect to wake up in the morning and not have him. When I heard that Al was gone, it's like youre losing an era. You're not just losing a person. Youre losing an era."You're losing, to me, one of the best football minds that we've ever seen. Without Al Davis, we've got three yards and a cloud of dust out here and that's it. With Al you've got the bomb, you've got speed, you've got the passing game. Al brought all that into our league. It's a sad day. He'll definitely be remembered."