Raiders

Bresnahan: 'I have to be like a cornerback'

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Bresnahan: 'I have to be like a cornerback'

In the wake of Oakland's defense collapsing Sunday in the second half at Buffalo, Raider Nation turned its lonely eyes to Chuck Bresnahan. As well as some cold, hard stares.The returning defensive coordinator oversaw the Raiders, ahem, contribute to the Bills making some history as they were the first team since at least 1993 to score touchdowns on all five of their second-half possessions.

So surely Bresnahan would have something, anything to say about the meltdown, right?"To be honest with you I have to be like a cornerback, because if something doesn't work or you have a game like last week, you have to put it behind you and move on and get the confidence of the team back, the unit back and they've done a fabulous job of that," Bresnahan said. "You just have to stay balanced."You can look at missed tackles, dropped interceptions, a penalty on a key third down. It was everything. It was like dropping a deck of cards on the ground and trying to pick out which reason you didn't get off the field. We have to get that corrected, and we will."Rookie head coach Hue Jackson echoed Bresnahan's sentiments."Our coaches are saying there are things they can do better, and we will," he said. "When we become the team that I envision us becoming, well make those plays."With the high-powered New York Jets coming to town for the Raiders' home opener this weekend, they better.The Jets are 2-0 after defeating Dallas, 27-24, and Jacksonville, 32-3, both at home.Offensively, the Jets have a three-headed monster at wide receiver in Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, as well as a bull-headed rusher in Shonn Greene."This is a team that runs the ball extremely well since Rex (Ryan) has been there," Bresnahan said. "They've been the leading rush team since he took over as head coach. But they're a team that's going to mix. (Offensive coordinator) Brian (Schottenheimer) does a great job of mixing in their play-action passes to match their run game and it's going to be a challenge for us."But the initial goal every week for us, or the objective, is to stop the run and force (them) to be a one-dimensional team."And with the NFL being such a copy-cat league, you should expect a steady diet of quick timing passes, spread offense and slant passes used to perfection by Buffalo against Oakland, if not hot dogs provided to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. 'Member? You 'member."When you watch Buffalo's offense, if you go back and look at the Jets, who have gone to the AFC championship game two years in a row, it's very mirrored to what they did," Bresnahan said. "We're expecting some of the same things, but I do know Rex's mentality is a physical, no B.S. type of deal and they're going to try to establish the run game as well while we're here."Against the Bills, though, the quick-strike passing attack is what kept the Raiders on their heels."There was not a pass over 19 yards," Bresnahan said. "But when you don't control that intermediate passing game, that's where we have to focus our attention right now. But other than that, we've got to make plays when we have the opportunity to make plays. We've got to finish the game. That falls on me. I've got to have our guys prepared to play 60 minutes."We had opportunities to get off (the field) in four of the five series in the second half and we didnt get it done."

Bowman out to prove something with Raiders: 'I have a lot of juice left'

Bowman out to prove something with Raiders: 'I have a lot of juice left'

NaVorro Bowman hasn’t been a Raider long. The inside linebacker visited the team’s training complex Monday morning, signed a one-year, $3 million contract that afternoon and was on the practice field a few hours later.

Bowman’s in something of a rush. His new team plays the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. Bowman plans to face them.

That’ll take a crash course in Raiders defense. There’s new terminology to learn and roles to master, even if he hones on a specific package.

It won’t be easy. Even a perfect week might come up short with but one real practice in an incredibly quick turnaround.

It’s rational to think he won’t be ready, fair to give him two weeks practice before a Raiders debut.

That’s not the tack he’ll take.

“Hey,” Bowman said, with a wry smile. “I’m going to show you something.”

He understands the situation. The Raiders are 2-4, in desperate need of an AFC West win. A loss might put the Raiders too far down to rebound. The four-time All-Pro knows he’s needed, and believes he can help if he can get some scheme down.

“It’ll take a lot of hours, a lot of studying, a lot of repeating the same words and things like that,” Bowman said after Monday’s walk-through. “It’s part of being a good football player. You have to put the time in. It doesn’t come easy.

“I’m the guy to do it. I won’t let them down. I’ll put the work in that’s needed to be done.”

Immersing in brand new can be a cleansing process. Bowman left the only NFL team he’s ever known Friday when the 49ers cut him loose. He wanted to spend his career with one team. After seven-plus seasons, a switch was required. He didn’t like losing snaps. The 49ers wanted to go younger at the position. A trade was attempted. He didn’t like the suitor, and the 49ers respectfully pulled back. An outright cut was the decisive action.

It gave Bowman an opportunity to choose his next step. He didn’t go far. Bowman’s new job sits 35 miles north in Alameda, which offered plenty of advantages for a family man.

“My twin girls are five and my son is eight and they’re in school,” Bowman said. “They’re doing really well so you always want to keep that going as a parent. You don’t want to keep switching them in and out. That played a big part in what I was going to do. For the Raiders to show as much enthusiasm in wanting me to come here made my decision a lot easier.”

Enthusiasm was evident in two ways. The bottom line comes first. The Raiders offered $3 million to make this deal quick, adding a solid sum to the $6.75 million base salary guaranteed by the 49ers under his previous contract.

The second was clear in a Monday morning conversation with Jack Del Rio. The Raiders head coach spoke plainly, saying Bowman could make a major impact as a player and veteran leader of a shockingly young position group.

“It was really upfront, letting me know their position and how bad they want me,” Bowman said. “He let me know exactly what he wanted to get out of me coming here and being a presence for this defense. Being more vocal, getting guys to understand the urgency to be really good at the NFL level.”

His lessons start Tuesday morning. Starting weakside linebacker Cory James introduced himself in the locker room Monday and asked Bowman when he’ll start watching film. The answer: bright and early.

Bowman has a game to play Thursday. That’s possible because he didn’t have to relocate. He can just hit the ground running. He’s been constantly learning new systems during the 49ers coaching carousel, so he’d a quick learning. He also sees similar concepts between schemes.

“It’s not too different,” Bowman said. “The terminology is really the hard part. I’m a fast learner. I went out there today and I think I did pretty well. I’ll get in here early tomorrow and learn from my mistakes and try to keep getting better.”

That’s Bowman’s first goal. He also wants to show knee and Achilles’ tendon injuries haven’t sapped his effectiveness as many believe.

“I’m only 29 years old,” Bowman said. “I still have a lot of juice left in me.”

With Bowman heading to Oakland, everyone ends up happy, unless...

With Bowman heading to Oakland, everyone ends up happy, unless...

NaVorro Bowman’s employment odyssey lasted three days, and he didn’t have to get his mailing address changed.

The one-year, $3 million deal he reportedly signed with Oakland Monday came after a fairly quiet weekend for all parties. It was an easy choice for him, since there is minimal disruption, and an easy choice for Oakland, which needs all the defensive expertise it can get and has players that Bowman’s diminishing speed cannot expose.

In other words, everyone ends up happy . . . unless Bowman suddenly improves to the point where John Lynch has some ‘splainin’ to do.

The Raiders and 49ers have often shared players, thus belying their often overblown rivalry. The convenience was too . . . well, convenient, and will not be in evidence once Las Vegas becomes an NFL city.

And lord known the Raiders need some new voices in a room that has seemingly gone stale as expectations start to brown into disappointment. Bowman brings an effervescence borne of deep playoff runs, without being too loud a voice in a room that needs to develop more permanent leadership.

As to how much any of this translates into improved defensive play, or just a better vibe coming from Oaktown, well, put it this way.

If Bowman can stanch that level of bleeding, he shouldn’t be playing, he should be an EMT.

But at least he won’t end his career with a sour meeting with the people who run his original team, and that must count for something.

Maybe.