Bresnahan: 'I have to be like a cornerback'


Bresnahan: 'I have to be like a cornerback'

In the wake of Oakland's defense collapsing Sunday in the second half at Buffalo, Raider Nation turned its lonely eyes to Chuck Bresnahan. As well as some cold, hard stares.The returning defensive coordinator oversaw the Raiders, ahem, contribute to the Bills making some history as they were the first team since at least 1993 to score touchdowns on all five of their second-half possessions.

So surely Bresnahan would have something, anything to say about the meltdown, right?"To be honest with you I have to be like a cornerback, because if something doesn't work or you have a game like last week, you have to put it behind you and move on and get the confidence of the team back, the unit back and they've done a fabulous job of that," Bresnahan said. "You just have to stay balanced."You can look at missed tackles, dropped interceptions, a penalty on a key third down. It was everything. It was like dropping a deck of cards on the ground and trying to pick out which reason you didn't get off the field. We have to get that corrected, and we will."Rookie head coach Hue Jackson echoed Bresnahan's sentiments."Our coaches are saying there are things they can do better, and we will," he said. "When we become the team that I envision us becoming, well make those plays."With the high-powered New York Jets coming to town for the Raiders' home opener this weekend, they better.The Jets are 2-0 after defeating Dallas, 27-24, and Jacksonville, 32-3, both at home.Offensively, the Jets have a three-headed monster at wide receiver in Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, as well as a bull-headed rusher in Shonn Greene."This is a team that runs the ball extremely well since Rex (Ryan) has been there," Bresnahan said. "They've been the leading rush team since he took over as head coach. But they're a team that's going to mix. (Offensive coordinator) Brian (Schottenheimer) does a great job of mixing in their play-action passes to match their run game and it's going to be a challenge for us."But the initial goal every week for us, or the objective, is to stop the run and force (them) to be a one-dimensional team."And with the NFL being such a copy-cat league, you should expect a steady diet of quick timing passes, spread offense and slant passes used to perfection by Buffalo against Oakland, if not hot dogs provided to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. 'Member? You 'member."When you watch Buffalo's offense, if you go back and look at the Jets, who have gone to the AFC championship game two years in a row, it's very mirrored to what they did," Bresnahan said. "We're expecting some of the same things, but I do know Rex's mentality is a physical, no B.S. type of deal and they're going to try to establish the run game as well while we're here."Against the Bills, though, the quick-strike passing attack is what kept the Raiders on their heels."There was not a pass over 19 yards," Bresnahan said. "But when you don't control that intermediate passing game, that's where we have to focus our attention right now. But other than that, we've got to make plays when we have the opportunity to make plays. We've got to finish the game. That falls on me. I've got to have our guys prepared to play 60 minutes."We had opportunities to get off (the field) in four of the five series in the second half and we didnt get it done."

Cooper seeks counsel from former All-Pro Lions WR, Raiders guest

Cooper seeks counsel from former All-Pro Lions WR, Raiders guest

ALAMEDA -- Todd Downing and Calvin Johnson go way back. The Raiders offensive coordinator got to know the retired Detroit receiver during four seasons coaching Lions quarterbacks, a relationship benefitted current Silver and Black receivers this week.

Johnson is in Alameda as a special guest and advisor for the first week of Raiders OTAs, offering tips and tricks learned during an excellent career.

“(Downing) thought it’d be a great idea for our wide receivers to just pick his brain and have him be around and give us a point here or there,” Del Rio said. “Talk about some of the things that he did so well in his career and how we might be able to have some of our guys learn from that. It’s great to have him out here.”

Amari Cooper gravitated towards Johnson, and has spent significant time picking his brain

“I’ve just been asking him a whole bunch of questions,” Cooper said after Tuesday’s OTA session. “How does he run certain routes? What was his regimen like? And how he was so productive? He’s a really cool guy. He’s been giving me some really great feedback, so he’s nice to have around.”

Johnson’s a unique talent, a difficult cover at 6-foot-5, 236 pounds. Cooper operates in a smaller frame and has different receiving strengths, but still found wisdom in working with Megatron.

“He just gave me some really good tips on like how I can run some of my routes,” Cooper said. “…he’s a different receiver than I am, obviously. But I really admire the way he high-points the ball and that’s something that I try to do as well.”

Cooper does most everything well, and has had a productive start to his NFL career. He’s just the third receiver in NFL history to exceed 70 receptions and 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons – Odell Beckham and Marques Colston are the others – and made the Pro Bowl after both campaigns.

He continues to tinker with his approach and offseason workouts, trying to finish seasons stronger and become an even more dynamic player. Cooper has no problem learning from others, especially the greats.

“I seek advice all the time,” Cooper said. “My rookie year, when I was fortunate enough to go to the Pro Bowl, I asked Adrian Peterson like when did he start working out, how did he go about his offseason. And I tried to pattern after him a little bit.”

Cooper is smarter and working better thanks to information absorbed from others, which he hopes will help him become a deadly weapon.

“I know he’s just scratching the surface of what he wants to accomplish in this league,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “Very prideful. Amari has always been very serious about the game and works hard at everything, really. His conditioning level and understanding what he needs to be able to do to play at a high level. Again, talking and having a guy like Calvin here as we’re getting started in these OTAs, to be able to share some of the insight of what he experienced playing that position is very valuable for us.”


Lynch 'soaking up the system,' easing into Raiders OTA practices

Lynch 'soaking up the system,' easing into Raiders OTA practices

ALAMEDA – Marshawn Lynch didn’t bring his helmet to Tuesday’s OTA practice. Didn’t need it then, or on Monday. It's uncertain when he'll need it next.

Not for a cameo appearance during individual drills. The veteran running back wasn’t available during team sessions, and spent most of the two-hour practice working in the team’s performance center.

Lynch skipping full-speed work isn’t cause for alarm. First of all, it’s May. Second, Lynch is in great shape but still ramping back up after a season away from NFL football. It would make sense to ease him back in during the spring.

Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t say when Lynch’s activity would increase, but wasn’t concerned one bit about Lynch’s limited OTA participation – he routinely skipped them while playing in Seattle -- and praised the Oakland native’s level of involvement in the Raiders offseason program since a new contract was worked out and his rights were acquired from Seattle on April 26.

“He’s coming along. He’s doing great. There are no issues there,” Del Rio said. “He has been here like he said he would. He has really been committed. He said, ‘Coach, this is home for me. It’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here. He is committed to being here and is excited to be a Raider. We’re excited to have him.”

Lynch was on the practice field for some team periods analyzing plays with offensive teammates, and was working out with them after the session. Del Rio didn’t delve into when Lynch’s on-field activity would increase, but there’s no reason to rush a veteran player who ultimately must be ready come September.

“He’s doing great,” Del Rio said. “He’ll continue to do the things we’re asking him to do. He is really soaking up the system, and has done a great job fitting in.”

That’s clear. He gets on well with left tackle Donald Penn and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and gravitates toward fellow former Seahawks like edge rusher Bruce Irvin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. General manager Reggie McKenzie said last week Lynch was already entrenched in the Raiders locker-room culture, which was evident in how teammates talked about him.

“Getting Marshawn has been great,” Penn said. “He brings a lot of energy here and a lot of momentum. It feels good having him here. We joke around a lot, having fun. You all probably don’t know Marshawn, but he’s a pretty funny guy. He’s really cool, and it’s good having him around here.”