Warriors

Gutierrez: Seymour Kicked Out, Raiders Knocked Out

277066.jpg

Gutierrez: Seymour Kicked Out, Raiders Knocked Out

Nov. 21, 2010GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- Still trying to figure out what prompted Richard Seymour to drop Ben Roethlisberger with a swift open-palm strike to the facemask seconds after Pittsburgh scored to take a 21-3 lead late in the second quarter?So, too, is Seymour, apparently."Well, first of all, I thought I let my teammates down," Seymour said as he walked to the team bus, surrounded by media. "You never want to do anything to hurt the team. That's first and foremost. It was a lot of ongoing (drama) and you're out there to protect yourself.""It's still no excuse. I'm not sure exactly what happened on the play. I just turned around and he just ran up on me quick. It was just a natural reaction, it just happened quickly. It was what it was."Asked if Roethlisberger said anything to him before the martial arts-worthy blow, Seymour looked straight ahead and kept moving."You heard a lot of stuff going on," he said. "I never complain about what happens in the trenches. You've never heard me complain about anything that goes on. Like I said, my main focus is on the team and not doing anything to hurt the team."Seymour, at defensive tackle, had been getting into skirmishes with left guard Chris Kemoeatu all day."Me and him were exchanging words and punches the whole game," Kemoeatu said. "But of he had something personal with me, he should have took it out on me, and not on Ben."We knew what we had to do to win this game. We had to give it everything we got, whether it was eye-gouging or spitting on each other. A lot of that was going on this game. It's uncalled for, but in the heat of battle, a lot happens."Even the NFL's poster boy for illegal helmet-to-helmet hits was stunned by Seymour's strike. In fact, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was fined 75,000 earlier this season for a hit, thinks Richard Seymour should hear from the NFL."I'm playing the game within the whistles," Harrison said. "What he did was way outside."You tell me what the next step is or a guy who blatantly, outside the play, when it's already been done and said, and the guy is celebrating with his teammates, and you punch him on the face."

Don't let Raiders coach Tom Cable's decision to replace Jason Campbell with Bruce Gradkowski late in the third quarter allow you to think there's uncertainty at quarterback again."They turned up the blitz a little bit more on (Jason) and it started to get out of hand a little bit for him," Cable said. "He'll be the starter next week. There is no issue there. We just felt like a change was needed. As we all saw, it didn't make a lot of a difference."Campbell, who was sacked four times and has been sacked 11 times in six-pls quarters by the Steelers, had a passer rating of 26.2 after completing seven of 19 for 70 yards and an interception; Gradkowski's was 46.9 on 13 of 24 passing with an interception. He was sacked twice."Each and every week it's a tough question," Campbell said of being asked who the starting QB will be.Gradkowski seemed resigned when asked if he was disappointed with Cable's proclamation."Yeah, I mean, that's not my decision," he said. "So I mean, I can't do nothing about it."

Defensive end Trevor Scott was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee after being injured on the final play of the first half covering a punt.Cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) was the only other Raiders player to not finish the game.
What's your take? Email Paul and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

With lofty win total unlikely this year, here's a number the Warriors can chase

durant-kerr-ap.jpg
AP

With lofty win total unlikely this year, here's a number the Warriors can chase

OAKLAND -- Getting to 73 wins is impossible for the Warriors, and the pursuit of it never entered their minds.

Reaching 69 wins, their average in three seasons under coach Steve Kerr, is highly improbable.

Even winning 67 games, the lowest total under Kerr, is extremely unlikely.

There is, however, a number the Warriors are aiming for that also happens to be within their grasp -- but only if they can fight through the regular-season malaise and break an unhealthy tendency.

They can get to 35 victories at Oracle Arena. Currently 16-6 at home, the Warriors would have to go 19-0 to reach 35, and it’s possible insofar as they are less than two years removed from posting an NBA-record 54 consecutive wins at home.

Can a team that once went 14 months without losing at Oracle summon a three-month stretch of perfection at home?

The schedule invites the possibility, but it’s still up to the Warriors and how they cope with tug of three long seasons and that tendency to float a bit in front of their home fans, two factors that have had more effect at home than on the road.

“In general, the appropriate fear we always talk about, it’s there on the road for most games and it’s not there as much at home,” Kerr conceded Monday.

Kevin Durant used different phrasing but echoed the comments of the coach.

“You tend to relax a bit when you’re at home because you’ve got your home crowd,” he acknowledged. “You’re just comfortable in that situation. You can go home and go to sleep in your own bed after the game. So you relax a bit.

“On the road, it just feels like this is the last game of your career. It just feels that way, especially when you’re playing a tough opponent and somewhere with a crowd that’s going to be really, really into it.”

Having gone 39-2, 39-2 and 36-5 over the last three seasons, the Warriors are assured of having their worst home record under Kerr. Still, 35 is not impossible.

The drop is not unanticipated, as Kerr experienced something similar as a member of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when they won three straight championships as their regular-season wins steadily dropped, from 72 to 69 to 62.

“Where it has truly been the most tangible and palpable is home games against lesser opponents,” Kerr said. “We’ve lost six. Maybe two of those are playoff teams.

“We didn’t lose those games the last the last three years. We dominated the home floor. That’s where it really shows.”

The Warriors have lost at home to the Rockets, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets, Hornets and Clippers. Only Houston is a playoff lock. Detroit, Denver and the Clippers are on the fringe of the postseason race. Charlotte is a longshot, Sacramento a no-shot.

The Warriors, in every home loss, have started drowsily or played too carelessly or were self-destructive enough to give back a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

“This is the first year in my four years where we’ve lost a lot of home games that we shouldn’t,” Kerr said. “That just points to emotional fatigue. Trying to get up for 82 games is a difficult thing, especially in Year 4 of a quest to get back to The Finals.”

Coming off a successful road trip during which they won four of five games, the Warriors this week face the Knicks, Timberwolves and Celtics -- the latter two being playoff locks.

A home sweep is difficult, of course, but hardly inconceivable. And if the Warriors can pull that off, they’d have only four remaining home games against teams fighting for a top-four playoff slot: the Thunder and Spurs twice each.

Oklahoma City appears to be getting their act together. The Spurs, while still formidable, are starting to look like a team in decline.

They’re also the two teams most likely to get the full attention of the Warriors, who began the week by sitting through video of their last three games, during which they committed numerous hideous errors.

The message: Their unforced mistakes are the surest route to defeat.

“There are key points of the year where we have to hit the reset button in terms of our priorities,” Kerr said. “Right now is one of those times. This is an important week for us. We need to take care of the ball. We need to be smart and make good decisions. If we do that, we’re really, really hard to beat.”

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

chucky-ap.jpg
AP

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

Jon Gruden has been interviewed several times since becoming Raiders head coach. Quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t listened to most of those sessions, and certainly doesn’t seek them out.

One landed in Carr’s inbox recently, and something Gruden said really resonated.

Gruden’s message, paraphrased: If Derek Carr is not successful, then I’ve failed as a coach.

There are two comments in that one. Gruden considers Carr extremely talented, and he’s taking responsibility for unlocking the quarterback's vast potential.

Gruden will be hands on in Carr’s development, with all the coaching intensity and fire and eyebrow raises that have become Gruden’s signature.

“He’s going to demand of me. He’s going to push me,” Carr said on this week’s episode of the Raiders Insider Podcast, which will drop Tuesday morning (Subcribe right here). “He’s going to make me be the best version of myself.”

Carr had a direct answer to skeptics wondering aloud whether he can thrive under Gruden’s particular coaching style.

“I want him to be tough on me,” Carr said. “For anyone who thinks I want him to be a different way has no clue about me or how I play football or how I prepare to play this game. I don’t need to tell stories about how I prepare or manage myself.

“(Jon) and I are going to get along great. I hope that he demands of me. I hope he’s hard on me. I don’t need to know he loves me. He has already told me that about 20 times. I appreciate that and we’ll be friends forever, but I know he’ll be demanding and tell me what I need to do. Let’s go fix problems that I have and let’s do what I need to do to win championships. Hopefully that will give people some insight and hopefully that’s the story that gets out, because that’s the truth.”

Carr met his new head coach briefly before his introductory press conference, but has known Gruden since filming the Gruden QB Camp segment back in 2014. They got along great then, and in each interaction since.

“We have so much more in common that people realize,” Carr said. “I think it would blow some people’s minds. Him and I are very similar in the way we go about our business and how we carry ourselves. It’s an exciting time.”

Carr’s excited to have some stability in his football life. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will start his fifth NFL season with his fourth head coach, fourth go-round with an offensive coordinator and third offensive scheme. Gruden signed a 10-year contract. OC Greg Olson signed a four-year pact. They’ll be here a while, and Carr’s excited about that.

“It’s going to be really nice,” Carr said. “To know Jon signed on for a 10 years and (Olson) signed on for a long time shows me a couple of things. No. 1: that they believe in me. I don’t think Coach Gruden would’ve quit his day job, which I’m thankful he did. To get (Olson) out of a good spot in L.A (with the Rams), shows that they believe in me and that’s awesome. And, No. 2: I’m going to have two people I can talk to in a different language for years to come. We can grow within the relationship, and hopefully we’ll all ride off together. It’s set up that way right now, and we have a lot of work to do to reach that point.”