Raiders

Gutierrez: Next Steps Will Tell Raiders' Tale

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Gutierrez: Next Steps Will Tell Raiders' Tale

Nov. 9, 2010GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

ALAMEDA Gridlock never looked so good to Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski.

The Raiders punter and placekicker, teammates since coming into the NFLtogether in 2000, car-pooled to the Coliseum on Sunday. A familiarfeeling overcame them, not unlike the buckets of rain pouring down fromthe heavens, like some long-lost cousin emerging from the wilderness.

There was traffic, Lechler said with a wide-eyed grin. That was pretty cool.

So Lechler leaned over to the his fellow specialist, the guy he freelycalls SeaBass and said, Man, this kind of feels like the old days.But it was good. The place was packed. They were loud and that made iteven better for us.

And with a roaring sellout crowd sent home with a 23-20 overtime defeatof Kansas City and visions of 2002 dancing in their collective heads,the Raiders, 5-4 for the first time since that Super Bowl season, entertheir bye week.

Yes, the Raiders have turned a corner. No doubt theyve learned how towin again. But how they handle not only the relative success of theirfirst nine games, including a three-game winning streak for the firsttime since you guessed it 2002, and also the bye week, will tellthe tale of this rebuilding team.

They have lost their last seven games the week immediately followingtheir bye. And this is Oaklands latest bye since 2004, when it alsoplayed nine games before the break. Byes were instituted into the NFLschedule in 1990.

There is a fine line between rest and rust, and by the time the Raidersresume their schedule at Pittsburgh on Nov. 21, we will know on whichside of the stripe they reside.

If you dont handle (the bye week) right, it can be bad, offereddefensive tackle Richard Seymour. You can gain a lot from it, and youcan lose a lot. But I think if we handle this thing the right way theway things have been going with the attention to detail and the waysguys have bought into what were trying to do, I think its going to bea really good thing for us.

Beside keeping their heads on right, the break gives the Raiders anopportunity to heal and regain the services of such injured key playersas shutdown cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), run-stuffing defensivetackle John Henderson (foot), rising star tight end Zach Miller (foot),sure-handed receivers Louis Murphy (chest) and Chaz Schilens (knee) andfolk hero quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder).

Oakland has won three consecutive games without some of its best players. How good could it be at full strength?

Yeah, its very exciting, said coach Tom Cable. But until theyreout there going full time, we cant really get too high yet. Its niceto know thats just around the corner.

All of which begs dual questions with the Raiders rolling (again, arelative term in these parts) and 3-0 in the AFC West for the firsttime since 1990, could the bye halt any momentum, and do any of theveterans worry about such a hiccup effect?

No, I dont, Seymour said. If you can play, you can play. If youre a baller, youre a baller.

Besides, with the Steelers playing Monday at Cincinnati and home nextweek against New England, the Raiders have two opportunities to checkthem out and scout them on national television before facing them.

So its a great opportunity for us to physically get well, Seymour said, and to explode when we see them next time.

Sounds like a plan. So long as the Raiders continue buying what Cable is selling.

I guess you can say (its a) feeling of brotherhood, like a bigbrother, I got your back, you got my back, said cornerback ChrisJohnson. For the last three weeks weve been playing like abrotherhood, and you can see it on the field. If one person misses agap, you got your brother right there beside you. Everybodys got eachothers back around here now.

Sounds like those not-so-long-ago old days Lechler was talking about, right?

Its good to see it turn full circle, he said.

And the reason? Lechler said it was Cable, who followed Lane Kiffin,who came after Art Shell, who replaced Norv Turner, who succeeded BillCallahan, who was Jon Grudens replacement. All since Lechlers rookieseason of 2000.

Everybody trusts him, Lechler said of Cable. Not that we didnttrust the other coaches, but we can believe everything he says.

Honesty, and we believe him.

Gridlock and trust. Two commodities in short supply here the past eightyears. The bye also afford the Raiders a chance to restock both.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

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AP

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.

Snap count: Bowman worked overtime to be 'hunting dog' in Raiders' defense

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Snap count: Bowman worked overtime to be 'hunting dog' in Raiders' defense

OAKLAND – NaVorro Bowman would’ve been forgiven for skipping Thursday’s game. The veteran inside linebacker signed with the Raiders, and had one practice and a pair of walk-throughs before facing Kansas City.

That isn’t much time to absorb a new scheme. No matter. As he said Monday, Bowman wanted to show you something.

The former 49er certainly did, even more than Bowman expected. He played 60 of 62 defensive snaps in a crucial 31-30 victory over the Chiefs.

He didn’t just play. He performed. Bowman led the Raiders with 11 tackles, including one for a loss and a crucial hit on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on a crucial third-down stop in the fourth quarter.

He wore the green dot – play calls were relayed to his helmet speaker -- and helped get the defense lined up.

“I just absolutely love the football player in him. He’s a hunting dog,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He loves to play. He brought experience during the week. He was a settling influence, kind of a determined influence on the sideline. I thought he did a remarkable job.”

That’s the result. The process of getting there was remarkable. He put in 40 hours of work in three days, memorizing terminology and defensive concepts specific to the game plan. He bunkered down and ignored the world during his acclimation process, and came out a functional member of the Raiders defense.

“Everyone knows I’ve only been here for three days and must be wondering how I did it,” Bowman said. “It was my commitment to the game, and my family understanding how much I love the work and giving me that peace and quiet time in hours away from them to really get everything down. This is why you want to come out so well and execute. So many people are sacrificing so you can play the game.”

Bowman helped keep the Raiders close down the stretch, and had key stops in a pair of defensive stops that allowed quarterback Derek Carr to orchestrate a successful two-minute drill.

"I was on the sidelines with my back turned, saying ‘I can’t watch, I can’t watch,’” Bowman said. “They all looked at me funny like, ‘This is what we do.’ They went out and won, and acted all normal. I guess that’s how we roll. It was a great game, and I enjoyed it.”

That was clear after the game. There was a good reason for it. Bowman hadn’t won a game since September 2016. Bowman lost most of last season recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury, meaning he last tasted victory in Week 2 last season.

“I’ve worked my way back from the Achilles injury, and to have a shot to better and get better and possibly win a division is huge,” Bowman said. “We just beat a really good team. I think this will propel us and get us going.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback –
Derek Carr 82
Running back – Jalen Richard 26, DeAndre Washington 25, Jamize Olawale 11, Marshawn Lynch 10
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 78, Seth Roberts 72, Michael Crabtree 72, Cordarelle Patterson 18, Johnny Holton 6
Tight end – Jared Cook 67, Lee Smith 17, Clive Walford 8
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 82, Rodney Hudson 82, Donald Penn 82, Vadal Alexander 82, Gabe Jackson 82

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 62, Denico Autry 46, Justin Ellis 44, Treyvon Hester 32, Mario Edwards 28, Eddie Vanderdoes 19, James Cowser 3
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 60, Bruce Irvin 59, Nicholas Morrow 38,
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 62, Dexter McDonald 50, David Amerson 28, Sean Smith 19
Safety – Reggie Nelson 62, Karl Joseph 62, Keith McGill 7, Shalom Luani 1

SPECIAL TEAMS
Keith McGill 25, James Cowser 25, Shalom Luani 21, Xavier Woodson-Luster 19, Erik Harris 19, Jamize Olawale 19, Shlique Calhoun 16, Jon Feliciano 14, Lee Smith 14, Giorgio Tavecchio 12, Johnny Holton 12, Marquette King 11, Jon Condo 11, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, Jalen Richard 10, Nicholas Morrow 10, Darius McCray 8, Kelechi Osemele 7, Gabe Jackson 7, Vadal Alexander 7, Clive Walford 7, Justin Ellis 7, David Sharpe 7, Khalil Mack 6, TJ Carrie 6, Denico Autry 6, Treyvon Hester 6, Eddie Vanderdoes 6, Mario Edwards Jr. 5, Karl Joseph 5, DeAndre Washington 4,

DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel

INACTIVE
CB Gareon Conley, QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, LB Marquel Lee, LB Cory James, DL Jihad Ward, RT Marshall Newhouse