Raiders

Raiders notes: Game ball goes to Al Davis

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Raiders notes: Game ball goes to Al Davis

Sept. 13, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOFollow @PGutierrezCSNPaul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comDENVER -- A red-eyed Hue Jackson approached the post-game dais with a pair of footballs under his arms.The Raiders' rookie head coach had just won his first regular season game, 23-20 over the Denver Broncos, and Jackson had gifts to give. Actually, game balls to re-gift, so to speak, after he was given a game ball by the team.
"My players are awesome but I want everybody to know one of my biggest speeches at the end of the game is that it's not about Hue Jackson at all," Jackson said. "This is about the Raiders organization and the man that leads this organization -- Al Davis. Al Davis has entrusted me with this football team and I'm not taking this game ball. I'm giving this game ball to him because what this is truly all about is a man who is an icon in this game who has given me an opportunity to run this team."And at the end of the day, all I want to do is win for him and that's what these players want to do. To me, this is his game. We haven't won on Monday night and that's well documented, but we got that broken tonight."Jackson also had another game ball to present, to the Raiders' chief executive."I know Amy Trask is in this audience, and she deserves it too," Jackson said. "I mean, there have been a lot of years of Monday night (losses). But tonight, we got that monkey off our back and I truly believe that there are great things to come for this football team."Record night for kickers: Sebastian Janikowski tied the NFL record for longest field goal with his 63-yarder to end the first half, equaling the feat accomplished by Tom Dempsey in 1970 and Jason Elam in 1998.And Shane Lechler had a 77-yard punt, equaling the team mark set by Wayne Crow in 1961."What Sebastian did was unheard of," Jackson said. "But I think we have two of the best kickers in the league. I trust those guys. I truly believe in them."Janikowski's previous long was a 61-yard field goal in Cleveland in 2009. But he hit a 70-yarder in pregame warmups."Coach knew about it," said Janikowski, who came into the NFL with Lechler in 2000."I'm not big on setting goals, but I wanted to be 10 years in the league, break the record or tie the record and win the Super Bowl. Those were my three goals. So I've got two out of three. Hopefully this year I get the third one."DHB steps up: So guess who was quarterback Jason Campbell's most dependable receiver? The much-maligned Darrius Heyward-Bey, who caught four passes for 44 yards. But it was when he caught them and the chunks that came with them that mattered most.He had a 14-yard reception on a 3rd and 8 as well as a 15-yard pickup on a 1st and 10 and a 10-yard gain on a 2nd and 9 on the game's final clock-killing drive."I felt good out there, Jason was looking for me, made some plays," Heyward-Bey said. "Just felt comfortable out there."So how much more comfortable does he feel now as opposed to last year?"You mean two years ago?" he asked with an impish grin. Sure, two years ago."A thousand times," he said. "Yeah, definitely. Just the mentality. I've always gone to work with a purpose. That's never been an issue, but it's always good when it transitions over from practice to a game."Just keep my eye on the ball and make plays. That's what Jason needs me to do." Raiders are streaking: While Oakland ended an eight-game streak of losing its season openers, the Raiders also won their eighth straight game against the AFC West, dating back to 2009. Four of those victories are against the Broncos, with three coming in Denver. Oakland also ended its 11-game losing streak in primetime games.Statistical anomaly -- The Raiders had more penalty yards (131, on 15 penalties), than they had yards passing (105, on 13 completions).Ford, Huff injured -- Jacoby Ford left the game in the second half with what was described as a hamstring strain and never returned. Huff, meanwhile, left the game but returned for a play before leaving again with an undisclosed ailment.What, no Hagan? -- Wondering why receiver Derek Hagan, the Raiders' most productive receiver in the preseason with 12 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown was not activated?"Because I decided not to activate him," Jackson said. "He was down for a couple days, and when it's all said and done, I'm going to put healthy guys out there. That's just the way it is. I get to make that choice and that decision and that's what I decided to do."Hagan was nursing a calf injury but was "full-go" in practices Thursday, Friday and Saturday and was listed as "probable" heading into the game.

Back again: Patriots rally past Jags, head to eighth Super Bowl since 2001

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AP

Back again: Patriots rally past Jags, head to eighth Super Bowl since 2001

BOX SCORE

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Give `em a hand: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl.

Brady shook off a hand injury and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 2:48 remaining , rallying the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship Sunday.

Brady, wearing a black bandage on his right hand after hurting it during practice earlier in the week, showed no signs of being hampered.

And, with the game - and possibly the season - on the line, the Patriots star came up big again.

"I've had a lot worse," Brady said. "I didn't know that on Wednesday. It was a crazy injury. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday was a little scary. Then I started getting some confidence and today we did just enough to win."

Brady finished 26 of 38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots (15-3), who'll play the winner of Sunday night's game between Minnesota and Philadelphia in Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

It's the eighth Super Bowl appearance for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, who have won five times - including last year's 34-28 overtime rally against the Atlanta Falcons.

The Jaguars (12-7) led 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't hold against the defending champions.

Jacksonville - looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history - had one more shot, but Bortles' throw on fourth-and-15 to Dede Westbrook was knocked away by Stephon Gilmore.

The Patriots then ran out the clock, with Dion Lewis' 18-yard scamper with 90 seconds remaining sealing the victory. And they did it mostly without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who left the game late in the first half and didn't return.

Brady's hand was the most-scrutinized body part in Boston since the quarterback's right ankle before the 2008 Super Bowl, and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's right ankle tendon - the bloody sock - in the 2004 playoffs.

Brady was listed as questionable after he hurt his right hand during practice earlier in the week. He was limited Wednesday, sat out Thursday and was limited again Friday because of the injury.

That caused some panic among the Patriots faithful.

Turns out, it was nothing to fret about.

Brady came out for warmups without a glove on his hand, and he came out throwing. He completed his first six passes - including a 20-yarder to Amendola on fourth-and-1 from the Jaguars 30 - for 57 yards to march the Patriots down the field. The drive stalled when Brady was sacked by Dante Fowler Jr., and New England settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal.

A wide-open Marcedes Lewis gave the Jaguars a 7-3 lead 45 seconds into the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown catch from Blake Bortles, who was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on an impressive and efficient seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Leonard Fournette gave Jacksonville a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter with a 4-yard TD run, hushing the crowd at Gillette Stadium.

The Jaguars made some big mistakes that hurt them just before halftime. Bortles completed a 12-yard pass to Lewis on third-and-7 from the Patriots 44, but Jacksonville was called for delay of game - after New England called a timeout.

That wiped out a first down, and Bortles was sacked by Adam Butler on the next play to force a punt.

With just over two minutes left before halftime, New England's offense took over and the fans chanted "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!"

And their quarterback delivered - with some help from the Jaguars on two long penalties.

On first-and-10 from the Patriots 40, Brady threw a long pass for Gronkowski, who was injured when he got popped by Barry Church just as the ball was arriving. Church was called for unnecessary roughness, putting the ball at Jacksonville's 45.

A.J. Bouye was called for pass interference on the next play on an incomplete throw for Brandin Cooks. The 32-yard penalty put the ball at the Jaguars 13. After a 12-yard catch by Cooks, James White ran it in from the 1 to make it 14-10 with 55 seconds left.

Josh Lambo gave Jacksonville a 17-10 lead 4:37 into the third quarter with a 54-yard field goal. He added a 43-yarder 8 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it a 10-point game.

But Brady & Co. were just getting started.

Report: Before hiring Olson as OC, Gruden interviewed ex-Texas A&M coach

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USATSI

Report: Before hiring Olson as OC, Gruden interviewed ex-Texas A&M coach

Greg Olson is back as the Raiders offensive coordinator, but he may not have been Jon Gruden's first choice.

Before hiring Olson, Gruden interviewed former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin for the OC position, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Despite not getting the Raiders' job, Sumlin was able to find work as he was announced as the new head coach of the Arizona Wildcats on Jan. 14.

Sumlin went 51-26 in six seasons with the Aggies and was 35-17 in four prior seasons with the Houston Cougars. The 53-year-old Sumlin has no NFL coaching experience.

Olson served as the OC in Oakland in 2013 and 2014. He spent this past season as the Rams quarterback coach.

“Greg Olson coached Derek Carr for a year here. His intel there will be very important. He coached with me in Tampa and he coached with Sean McVay, one of my ex-assistants, in LA. So, the system of football that we run will be a real natural flow,” Gruden said when the Raiders announced Olson's hiring on Ja. 12.