Bucs use 17 big plays to embarrass Raiders


Bucs use 17 big plays to embarrass Raiders


OAKLAND -- In the smoky wreckage of the Raiders 42-32 loss to Doug Martin and various other Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach Dennis Allen kept going on and on and on about execution, as though he was considering it as a midweek drill.His problem in that case, though, would have been in amassing sufficient ammunition. When a team loses like this, the blame is thick, wide, and applies easily.Mostly, though, Allens specialty, the defensive side of the ball, is the reason the Raiders got chased out of their own building Sunday. Tactically, strategically, technically and chronically, Oaklands defenders did little to earn the name.And while the offense had its issues (Carson Palmers three interceptions, two born of sheer Palmerian impatience), and is going to have more if the news on the ankles of Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson is bad, the Raiders shamed themselves Sunday because of atrocious tackling and pursuit, which remain two of the most important things a defense can do.We didnt tackle well, is how Allen put it. Weve done a good job of tackling but today was not a good day.Then again, watching your garage burn down is not a good day, too.Martins 251 rushing yards and four scores were plenty in and of themselves, and it was only Tampa coach Greg Schianos conservatism down the stretch that kept those numbers from being more jaw-dropping.I kind of stumbled on a few early, and my coach was like, Get your head up, get your head up, Martin said. So I started to pick my head up after I was stumbling. What follows the head is the body, so I just kept going and I was on to the third level.The fourth level, of course, being Oakland International Airport.But the more elemental truth is this: Of the 63 offensive plays the Buccaneers ran Sunday, 17 went for 10 or more yards. Thats 27 percent of their plays from scrimmage. How they only ended up with 515 total yards based on that number alone is stunning.And not all 17 of those plays were Martins doing, which means this was not a matter of one man beating 11, as much as fantasy blokes might paint it as such. From the games first play, when Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman scrambled into wide open prairie for 11 yards, the Raiders gave up huge hunks of yardage to a multiplicity of Buccaneers. Martin for 12.
Freeman to former Stanford defensive end Erik Lorig for 11.
Freeman to wide receiver Vincent Jackson for 64, minus 15 for Jacksons taunting of Tyvon Branch.
Martin for 13.
Freeman to Jackson for 20 and the first touchdown.
Freeman for 11.
Freeman to tight end Dallas Clark for 10.
Freeman to Williams for 22.
Freeman to Clark for 12.
Martin for 10.
Freeman to running back D.J. Ware for 12.
Martin for 45 and the second touchdown.
Freeman to wide receiver Mike Williams for 37.
Martin for 67 and the fourth touchdown.
Martin for 70 and the fifth touchdown.
Freeman to tight end Nate Byham for 10.Thats 437 of the 515 yards, an average of 25.7 yards PER PLAY. Next to that, Palmers performance, which probably infuriated more people than it should have given the fact that the Raiders played most of the game without McFadden and half the fourth quarter without Goodson, was downright incandescent.Now you may be comfortable with the idea that this was just one of those days, but they play Baltimore (Ray Rice) next, and before seasons end still must face Cincinnati (BenJarvus Green-Ellis), Cleveland (Trent Richardson), Denver (Willis McGahee), Carolina (Cam Newton) and San Diego (Ryan Mathews). They all rank 22nd or higher (Martin was 11th), and theyve all had or nearly had 100 yards in a game.In short, there may be other days that approach this one not 251 yards worth, but enough to make an impression on a team whose latest impression is Doug Martins foot on their faces.And therein lies the true and enduring problem. The Raiders changed a lot of things over the off-season, and they manically emphasized defending the run. As a result, they ranked in or near the top 10 in total yards, yards per carry, and various lesser run numbers. After Sunday, they went from a thoroughly acceptable 3.9 yards per rush to 4.7, which would now place them 29th.In one day.In other words, this is still a work in progress, and slower progress than one would think. Many changes remain to be made before this ocean liner completes its U-turn, and Sunday was a 40-piece brass bands proof of that.And yes, execution still sounds like a pretty good idea. No matter how you define it.

Report: No meeting scheduled between Aldon, Goodell; return in doubt

Report: No meeting scheduled between Aldon, Goodell; return in doubt

Raiders fans are clamoring for edge rusher Aldon Smith to be reinstated into the NFL. That hasn’t happened yet.

Smith remains banished as a repeat offender of the NFL substance abuse policy, punitive action taken against him on Nov. 17, 2015. He was eligible for reinstatement after a calendar year, and applied for amnesty in early October.

The NFL hasn’t commented on the prospect of Smith’s reinstatement, per their policy in these cases. But, in order to be reinstated, Smith has to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell first.

According to a NFL Network report on Sunday morning, that hasn’t happened. Smith reportedly wants to meet with Goodell, who will ultimately decide Smith’s fate, but one has not been scheduled.

That’s a major issue considering how little of the season is left. The Raiders play two games in five days starting with Sunday’s home game against Buffalo and, on Friday, will have just three games left this regular season. A postseason berth could be possible, but nothing is secure yet.

Even after meeting with Goodell, it might take some time for the commissioner to adjudicate Smith’s case. That seems to make it less likely, though not impossible, that Smith will return this season.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said earlier this week that the NFL will give him news on Smith “in due time,” and that he wouldn’t count him out of the lineup if he was reinstated in 2016.

Smith is pushing for that to be the case.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported that Smith has taken steps to get back in the league’s good graces, including an extended stay in rehab this summer.

The process of getting reinstated following a Stage 3 banishment levied against Smith is difficult.

As previously reported, here are the stipulations and steps that must be taken, according to the NFL’s collectively bargained substance abuse policy.

“Any Player who has been banished under Stage Three may apply formally in writing for reinstatement no sooner than 60 days before the one-year anniversary date of the letter so banishing him.

The application should include all pertinent information about the Player’s:

(a) Treatment;
(b) Abstinence from Substances of Abuse throughout the entire period of his banishment;
(c) Involvement with any Substances of Abuse related incidents; and
(d) Arrests and/or convictions for any criminal activity, including Substances of Abuse-related offenses.

Set forth below are the procedures to be used when an application is received by the Commissioner.

1. Within 45 days of receipt of the application, the Player will be interviewed by the Medical Director and the Medical Advisor, after which a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner with regard to the Player’s request for reinstatement.

2. The Player will execute appropriate medical release forms that will enable the Commissioner’s staff and NFLPA Executive Director’s staff to review the Player’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to attendance at counseling sessions (individual, group and family); attendance at 12-step and other self-help group meetings; periodic progress reports; and all diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.

3. The Player will submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the Medical Advisor.

4. The Player will agree in a meeting with the Commissioner or his representative(s) to comply with the conditions imposed by the Commissioner for his reinstatement to the status of an active Player.

5. All individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.”


A's, Raiders team up to raise money for those affected by Oakland fire

A's, Raiders team up to raise money for those affected by Oakland fire

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have teamed up with the Oakland A’s to aid those affected by Friday’s Oakland warehouse fire. The Raiders have pledged to match up to $30,000 in contributions through the YouCaring.com page established by the A’s. 
The Raiders will also observe a moment of silence in recognition of the victims and their families prior to tomorrow’s game against the Buffalo Bills at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
To join the A’s and Raiders in making a donation, please visit: https://www.youcaring.com/oaklandfirevictimsfrom130531staveinoakland-706680#mlb-oakland

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