Ryan weighs in on Raiders


Ryan weighs in on Raiders

ALAMEDA -- He's one of the more boisterous coaches not only in the NFL, but in all of organized sports. So when Rex Ryan speaks, it's usually entertaining. And with his New York Jets coming to Oakland for the Raiders' home opener this weekend, Ryan spoke via conference call to Raiders beat writers this morning. A sampling, then, of some "Rex-isms" from Wednesday...On how hard the Jets went after free-agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha this offseason: "I'd say we definitely went after him. We made an offer to him that we thought was fair and we never came off it one bit. We just made the one offer and he chose to sign somewhere else for more money. Obviously we recognize hes an outstanding player but you know. Thats one that got away. We did not come off our offer one bit.On how different the Raiders appear to be two years after they last played: "I think Richard Seymour is playing outstanding I can tell you that much and he obviously knows the system and everything else. I think hes been absolutely fantastic. They have the size, speed and then the back. Its an offense that features the running back and the vertical passing game, as everyone knows, but theyre really doing a good job. That running back has a lot of speed."
On Raiders rookie receiver Denarius Moore: "We really liked him and Im sure the young man can tell you that. We had him in for a visit. We really did like him. It never worked out for us. I tell you what, he had a huge game this past week with about 150 yards receiving and a reverse for 25 yards. He really did a nice job. That catch he made in double coverage against Buffalo was big time.On if the Raiders might be more dangerous considering their defensive collapse at Buffalo: "I cant tell you that because it never happened to me. I'm not worried about how they feel I'm worried about how we feel."On Nick Mangold's status: "Well, just like Darrelle Revis is the best corner in football, Nick Mangold is the best center in football, so clearly that will hurt. Theres only one Nick Mangold in the league. But weve had to replace good players in the past. Revis went out for a couple of games last year. We had Kris Jenkins, was out, really played I think five games in two years. Were a team, were not just individuals and all that stuff. Were a team, well replace them, next man steps up, as long as youre wearing that Jet decal youre expected to play at a certain level and a certain temperament, and the next guy will be (Colin) Baxter and Im sure hell do a good job."On how he built the Jets in his own image: "I dont know. I was just myself when I came here and were fortunate, Im fortunate to have a lot of excellent coaches with me. Its just something that we believed, its a style, I have one shot to be a head coach in this league and I was going to build it a certain way. Whether its building a bully or playing like a Jet, whatever it is, this is whos coming in. This is our football team and this is how we play, and I guess thats kind of our trademark of how we play. Were a passionate football team, play snap to whistle, play 60 minutes and thats the type of team we have and the type of character we have in our room."On Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell's growth: "I just see a guy that has a bazooka for an arm. He can make all the throws. I remember going to his workout at Auburn, and he was sitting on a knee and threw the ball like 60 yards, and I was like, 'Golly.' He has that kind of arm talent, he really does. Hes got some mobility and now hes been in the league a long time, so I think hes at his best right now. This is probably the best Ive seen of Jason Campbell."On his own quarterback, Mark Sanchez, eating a hot dog on the sidelines the last time the Jets played in Oakland: "Yeah, I think that was more to do with he had some stomach issues or something. We dont think that will be an issue this time."

Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain


Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Raiders are remarkably healthy heading into Sunday night’s game against the Washington football club.

The entire 53-man roster practiced fully on Friday, before heading to the nation’s capital.

That includes veteran cornerback Sean Smith, who missed the previous game with a neck injury. A shoulder ailment cropped up during the week, which prompted the Raiders to label him questionable heading into Week 3. Smith’s the only Raider on the injury report, and even he’s in decent shape.

“I mean we put it on there because there’s still a little bit of a question,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “You don’t have probable’s anymore. Given the choices, I just left him that way.”

That means the Raiders are going to have some healthy scratches a week after Smith was the only injured player sitting out.

Washington has some impact players on the mend. That included tight end Jordan Reed, who is questionable with a rib/sternum injury. He stands 6-foot-2, 246 pounds and is the type of receiving tight end that gives the Raiders fits. He has 1,638 yards 17 touchdowns the last two seasons, using good hands and a large frame to create mismatches in the secondary.

It’ll be key for the Raiders to defend him well if he’s active, with Nicholas Morrow as a primary coverage option.

“We’re prepared to face him,” Del Rio said. “We think he’s a good player. We’ll approach it that way and adjust if he doesn’t go.”

Washington also lists starting inside linebacker Mason Foster and running back Rob Kelley as questionable.

Raiders Injury Report
CB Sean Smith (neck/shoulder)

Washington Injury Report

TE Jordan Reed (rib/sternum), LB Mason Foster (shoulder), RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Monate Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder)

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Raiders safety Karl Joseph notched his first career forced fumble in Week 2’s blowout victory over the New York Jets. It came on his first sack, where he bent around a tackle into the pocket and devoured his pray.

Joseph recovered the ball, and the Raiders quickly scored a touchdown. The second-year pro enjoyed that moment, but left the game with regrets.

"I should have definitely had more sacks than I did,” Joseph said. “I feel like I should have had three.”

Joseph had quarterback Josh McCown in the crosshairs three times, and feels like he should’ve finished each one. The game plan provided opportunity. Joseph blitzed six times – fellow safety Reggie Nelson attacked thrice – and pressured the quarterback four times.

It was a relatively new responsibility, considering he blitzed nine times all last year. Joseph will be first to say he was a different player then. He was less explosive, more tentative and a smidge less confident, lingering effects from an ACL tear during his final college season. Joseph was cleared to play as a rookie but wasn’t all the way back, doubly hampered by missing an offseason program where rookies grow quick.

"I wasn’t completely myself,” Joseph said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports California. “I feel a lot more like myself this year. I obviously feel better physically, and the year of experience in the system has definitely helped. So has adjusting to the NFL life. That’s been an easier transition for me.”

Joseph is playing more like his highlight reel from West Virginia, where he proved a heavy hitter and a solid cover man worthy of last year’s No. 14 overall draft pick. The Jets game isn’t the only evidence of that.

Joseph had an excellent training camp, flashing an aggressive style and solid timing making plays in practice. That translated to the regular-season opener at Tennessee, when he saved a touchdown on consecutive plays. The first came on an open-field tackle. The second was a leaping pass breakup in the end zone, proof positive that Joseph was ready to make a big impact.

"He’s really good close to the line of scrimmage,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "He’s a really good tackler in the open field. He also plays well on the back end. I think his development is right on time right now.”

The Raiders recognize that, and are using him like a queen on the chessboard. He can move back or forward, as an attacker or the last line of defense. He’s a rover at times, with an ability to create havoc at all levels of the defense.

Joseph is an excellent fit for the defensive scheme, bring a tone-setting physicality to the secondary. He is learning, as part of his development, that the nuclear option isn’t always best. There are times when it is, and Joseph enters those scenarios without fear.

"You can’t play worried about getting hurt. That’s not the way I play,” Joseph said. “It’s about being smart. I had to adjust my game coming into the NFL. Every hit can’t be a big hit. Sometimes you have to be smart and just wrap people up, but you can’t ever play scared.”

He isn’t afraid to take risks or attack when asked, and is already making a major impact on this year’s defense. That isn’t a surprise. It’s expected of first-round picks.

"That’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s supposed to make plays,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s a guy we selected because we thought he’d be a guy that could come in and impact on our defense. In the first two games of this year he’s played well. There are still things, like I tell you all the time, that have cleaning up to do, work to do, things to improve on, but he’s off to a good start and obviously it follows up from a good offseason. Healthy, a lot of good work and confidence that he’s gaining as we go.”