Raiders still looking for a pick

Raiders still looking for a pick
October 10, 2012, 7:50 pm
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ALAMEDA -- There were more questions than answers about the Raiders' secondary coming into the season, of course. And those queries became full-fledged worries when both starting cornerbacks went down to injury in the first two games.But after four games, who would have expected the Raiders to not have a single interception?"I wouldnt have believed it," said Michael Huff, who made the switch from free safety to cornerback. "Even based off preseason, you could just see, it was a great defense when we play our defense. And for us not to have any picks and only a few sacks just boggles (the mind)."The Raiders, who lost Ron Bartell to a broken shoulder blade in the season opener against San Diego and Shawntae Spencer to a sprained foot a week later in Miami, have only three sacks, tied for last in the NFL with Jacksonville.Oakland has, though, recovered three fumbles on defense, which was a huge key to the victory over Pittsburgh.Obviously, the Raiders need more interceptions, and against Atlanta and its pass-happy offense, they wll have more opportunities."We call them takeaways, which means that we control them," said coach Dennis Allen. "It's not like the offense gives us the ball. We go out and take it away from them. So, yeah, there's things that we can do. I think really, and I think (defensive coordinator Jason Tarver) hit it the other day a little bit with you guys -- we've got to have 11 people flying around to the football, flying around like their hair's on fire."And that's the way you play defensive football. It's been that way since the beginning of time, and it won't change."The lack of picks is directly related to the dearth of sacksand vice-versa.Still, when they come, they tend to come in bunches."We hope so," said strong safety Tyvon Branch. "We definitely got to get some interceptions. Once we start getting interceptions, that will help our pass rush. Everything works hand in hand, man. So, we've got to start covering better and the pass rush will start getting some sacks."