Raiders

Raiders notes: Who runs the no-huddle?

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Raiders notes: Who runs the no-huddle?

OAKLAND -- So, who's at the helm when the Raiders offense goes into full no-huddle mode, quarterback Carson Palmer or offensive coordinator Greg Knapp?"There's communication between (Carson) and Greg Knapp," said Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen. "But at the end of the day, Carson makes the final decision on what plays we'll run based off the gameplan and what we feel like we can do to exploit their defensive structure."Of course, Palmer is calling the plays off a "menu," of sorts, provided by Knapp. Such was the case in the second half of Oakland's 26-23 overtime win over Jacksonville on Sunday."We tired them out a little bit, especially in their secondary," Palmer said. "They went down a corner(back) and only had like three real corners left. So, we got them tired, kept things off balance, and it was a great halftime adjustment by coach Knapp and the rest of the crew."Speaking of halftime adjustments, Knapp made an attitude adjustment on his offense in the locker room."Coach Knapp was not happy at halftime, so to speak," Palmer said. "We had a great gameplan coming in (but) we werent executing as individuals and it starts with me being the quarterback. Youve got to executethe game plan."Coach Knapp let us have it, and offensively that fires us up and (we) took it as almost a threat. He was all over us and sometimes you need that from your coach. He picked the right time and let us have it. We came together and found ways to move the ball and found ways to score in the second half."The Raiders seemingly caught a break when Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew's day ended after just two carries with an injured left foot.Jones-Drew, a native of Antioch who prepped at De La Salle High in Concord, is now 1-5 in Bay Area games since living the East Bay for UCLA."It was a routine tackle and (I) just got rolled up," he said. "I didnt know what it was. It felt like it was kind of just a little boo-boo."It just didnt feel right. I didnt want to go out there and hurt our team if Im not feeling right."Jones-Drew, like the 50 or so friends and family who came to the game, was a mere spectator the rest of the game. The player, though, watched the second half on crutches and in a boot.Allen said the only injury of note to emerge from the game to his team was an elbow injury suffered by defensive tackle Desmond Bryant. He had an ice bag on his right arm as he left the locker room.And Allen left no doubt who emerged victorious in the trenches between the Raiders offensive line and the Jaguars defensive line."They won the battle up front, theres no question about it," Allen said. "We werent able to run the ball effectively. We had too much pressure on the quarterback. That will be something that we will have to look at. We have to get that corrected moving forward."The Jaguars entered the game allowing an average of 4.7 yards per carry; Darren McFadden averaged 2.8 against the No. 30-ranked rush defense in the NFL.Plus, Palmer was sacked twice times and the Jaguars also had six QB hits.
And finally, Allen, on when he used his last timeout, with 3:53 remaining in regulation, and whether he thought of having Sebastian Janikowski attempt a 43-yard field goal -- the unit was on the field before the timeout -- despite being down by seven points, or going for it on 4th and 10: "I thought that we had enough time that we could kick the field goal, (though) we still needed a touchdown to win the game. With it being 4th and 10, my thought process was originally to kick the field goal knowing that we had played pretty good defense there in the second half. I felt like we would get another opportunity to get the ball back. Thought differently and we decided to go for it and obviously we got helped out by the pass interference call in the end zone. That was the big play in the game."Aaron Ross was flagged for the PI in the end zone as he covered Darrius Heyward-Bey, setting the Raiders up at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Palmer went in over center for the keeper and touchdown before Sebastian Janikowski's PAT tied the score at 23-23.

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.