Raiders

Jay Cutler admits he was wrong

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Jay Cutler admits he was wrong

From Comcast SportsNetCHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler acknowledged Tuesday that he was wrong to shove teammate J'Marcus Webb on the sideline during the loss at Green Bay last week.He has no second thoughts about yelling at him, however."I probably shouldn't have bumped him, I'll go with that," Cutler told WMVP-AM in Chicago. "As far as me yelling at him and trying to get him going in the game, I don't regret that. I shouldn't have bumped him, I'll stick to that."Cutler drew widespread attention for berating and bumping Webb, the starting left tackle, on the sideline and for making some pointed postgame comments after the 23-10 loss to the Packers on Thursday. National analysts such as Terry Bradshaw and Bill Cowher spoke out, and so did Bears defensive back D.J. Moore this week, saying the quarterback was wrong to go after Webb like that.Cutler looked great in a season-opening blowout over Indianapolis, finding new receiver Brandon Marshall often, but it was a different story last week. He threw four interceptions and got sacked seven times, an all-too-familiar sight for a quarterback who took a beating the previous two years under former offensive coordinator Mike Martz. His tirade against Webb and lack of remorse he showed in the postgame interview brought back questions about his leadership and demeanor.As for why the outburst happened at that particular moment, Cutler wasn't sure."I can't put a definite reason why it happened," he said. "It happened. It's an emotional game. I put a lot into playing quarterback, and I take it seriously. It's just one of the things that happened during the game. Since then, we've talked about it, and it's really behind us."Cutler discussed the incident "with the powers that be" and with the linemen individually. Did he apologize to Webb?"That's between me and J'Marcus," Cutler said. "We've talked. It's in the past. We're moving on. He's our left tackle. He's my left tackle, and I expect him each and every week to play at a certain level. And I think he expects himself to play that way, too."Webb will certainly have to do better, considering Clay Matthews went off for 312 sacks, but he wasn't the only Bears player who had problems. Marshall had just two catches and dropped a potential touchdown pass, yet Cutler consoled him after that.So why didn't Webb get similar treatment?"Everyone's different," Cutler said. "Everyone reacts differently. I've known Brandon for a long time. I've played a lot of football with Brandon (in Denver). I know what Brandon's capable of at a high level, and I know no one was more disappointed in that stadium or as a Bears fan than Brandon Marshall for dropping that touchdown. I know that genuinely in my heart."He also said the offense as a whole needs to improve, including himself. But if there are any lingering issues surrounding the incident, Cutler doesn't see any."We went out there (for practice on Monday), started preparing for St. Louis, had a crisp practice, put in some good stuff," he said. "I think in our building internally, we kind of circle the wagons. I don't care if you win, you lose, there's going to be criticism. There's always going to be something that someone's picking on, someone's trying to make a story out of."He was asked if he can lead the Bears. To that, Cutler said, "Without a doubt. Without a doubt."He was also asked about Moore's comments."He's entitled to his opinion and whatever he wants to say is up to him," Cutler said.Cutler disputed the idea that he lost his composure against the Packers, saying, mistakes by him and other players derailed the Bears. He said he knew what he was doing "as we were calling plays, and everything was going smoothly."In fact, he insisted he wasn't rattled."I'm actually proud of that game," he said. "I thought I fought. I thought I competed hard, made a few errant throws. But whenever we got what we were looking for, I put the ball on the money for the most part."

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

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USATSI

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

ALAMEDA – John Pagano can’t implement his scheme in a week. He can’t import his plays and preferences cultivated during five seasons as Chargers defensive coordinator. Full offseason programs and training camps are required for that.

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was fired on Tuesday. Pagano will call his first Raiders game five days later against Denver at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders’ assistant head coach – defense believes he can impact how the Silver and Black does business.

“There’s always room for change and there’s always room for doing things better,” Pagano said Thursday. “Without telling you our game plan, it’s about how we go out and execute the call, bottom line.”

Head coach Jack Del Rio said the Raiders weren’t playing fast enough. They weren’t creating enough turnovers, weren’t doing well enough on third down and weren’t regularly affecting the quarterback due to a lack of both rush and coverage.

That’s why Norton had to go.

Pagano’s first objective, which must get accomplished in a few days, is getting the Raiders to play with confidence. Then he can add some design wrinkles with some of his personality.

“You have to have that ability of going out there, knowing your assignment and playing faster,” Pagano said. “It’s not to say that there have been times where we’ve simplified things, but taking the thinking out of the game and making them react is, I think, most important. Going out there and playing fast and that’s doing the little extra things, the attention to details of studying and getting those things processed. See ball, go get ball.”

That last sentence sums up how Pagano wants his guys to play. He’s a quality play caller and creative blitzer with a knack making simple plays look complex. He can find and exploit opposing weak links. His defenses have always been good creating pressure and turnovers alike. The Raiders need more of both.

To do that Pagano wants to relieve a player’s mental burden and keep them focused on using talent well.

“The one thing I’ve always stressed and always been about is technique, fundamentals and unbelievable effort,” Pagano said. “I think those three things can get you home.”

The Raiders haven’t been home much as a defense. They’re tied for last with 14 sacks. They’re dead last with six turnovers. They’ve gone 10 games without an interception, the longest single-season drought in NFL history.

A lack of big defensive plays has killed the Raiders this season. It obviously increases points allowed. Good field position has been hard to come by. The offense has to earn everything the hard way. That’s a recipe for losing football, a maddening turn after the Raiders finished second with 30 takeaways last year.

Pagano has a chart listing “MOPs,” short for missed opportunities. There have been many, especially in a secondary he oversaw before this week.

“I talked to these guys this week about we need to do simple better,” Pagano said. “What is simple? It’s fundamentals of covering. It’s tackling. It’s communicating. It’s catching the ball when it comes. We’ve had opportunities. It’s not like we’re out there struggling and straining to dive and layout for the thing. It’s hit us in the hands where we’ve had many, many opportunities.”

Missed opportunities have also plagued a pass rush featuring reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack. Pagano brought up a moment early in Sunday’s lost to New England, when Treyvon Hester forced a fumble near three teammates that the Patriots somehow recovered.

Pagano’s goal is to improve performance. Players must buy in to do that. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin headline a large group close to Norton, one with enough pride and professionalism to get behind a new playcaller in Pagano, who could be here long term.

“There is a human element to this,” Pagano said. “We are family. It’s sad any time a member of your family gets dismissed or something. At the end of the day, we have the Broncos coming in here on Sunday and we have to get our minds right to go play this game. That’s something that they’ve done a great job with this week, truly focusing in on what we need to do.”

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season.