Raiders notes: Extra-veteran secondary, big backs, etc.

Raiders Report: Allen wraps up minicamp

Raiders notes: Extra-veteran secondary, big backs, etc.
June 13, 2013, 6:00 pm
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The Raiders, who were second-from-last in the NFL last year with 25 total sacks, are looking to their re-vamped their defensive line. (AP)

ALAMEDA -- Offseason moves left the Raiders with a decidedly veteran secondary -- 34 years of NFL experience among four defensive backs, to be exact. Charles Woodson brings his 16-year body of work to the table already occupied by six-year veterans Tyvon Branch, Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter.

"We have some players back there," Woodson said Thursday. "We have guys that have won games in this league, have been good players in this league.

"We know how to win."

The secondary has been an area of concern for the Raiders of late. Oakland was 20th in the league last year, allowing 236 passing yards per game. They were 27th two years ago, allowing 251 yards per game.

"I think so far we have gelled together really good just in the couple of days that we have practiced together," Woodson said. "We’re all feeling each other out. That type of thing is only going to help us grow as a unit."

 

The bench doesn't get any greener, as next-in-line safety Usama Young is entering his seventh NFL season and cornerback-in-the-wings Joselio Hanson is a nine-year vet.

One of the biggest keys to locking up the passing game is getting to the quarterback. The Raiders, who were second-from-last in the NFL last year with 25 total sacks, are looking to their re-vamped defensive line of Jason Hunter, Pat Sims, Vance Walker and returner Lamarr Houston to make that happen.

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With rookie running back Latavius Murray out for all of minicamp with "a foot thing," the Raiders got an extended look at five-year veteran Rashad Jennings.

"I think up to this point he’s done a nice job for us," Allen said. "He moves well, he’s a big back. I think the telltale will be, when we get into the pads does he run like a big back in the pads? We’ll find that out when we get to training camp."

Jennings stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 230 pounds, but he still gives up two inches to Murray -- the team's sixth-round draft pick this year.

Second-year running back Jeremy Stewart out of Stanford took the third-team reps.

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The Raiders starting linebackers appear to be Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett and rookie Sio Moore, with Roach manning the middle. When the team shifted to a nickel defense in minicamp, Moore -- who signed his rookie contract with the team Thursday -- left the playing field in favor of cornerback Joselio Hanson. The nine-year NFL veteran entered to cover the slot, with first-string corners Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter flanked out wide.

[NEWS: Raiders ink Moore]

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In Dennis Allen's first game as head coach last year, the Raiders were exposed for not properly preparing a backup long snapper. Linebacker Travis Goethel was the scapegoat after three muffed punts resulted in a 22-14 loss to the Chargers.

Allen won't be caught unprepared this year. It was center Stefen Wisniewski who handled the backup long-snapping this minicamp behind pro bowler Jon Condo. And Wisniewski got reps.

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Toward the end of the field goal drills during the special teams period, the Raiders lined up for a mammoth attempt. "An NFL-record 64-yarder," one coach announced.

Sebastian Janikowski, known for his powerful leg, came up well short, and it turns out that was by design. Safety Reggie Smith was waiting to receive the field goal attempt as the team ran through long field goal situations on defense.

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Left off my notes piece from Day 1 of minicamp was a personal -- and timeless -- note about rookie Sio Moore and his obsession with pajama bottoms. Moore addressed the media rocking a mean SpongeBob SquarePants look on Tuesday, saying it's just one pair from his exhaustive collection.


Future SportsNet Reports feature, anyone?