Roenick's Game 5 blast on Marleau sparks frenzy


Roenick's Game 5 blast on Marleau sparks frenzy

EDITOR'S NOTE: What is your take on Jeremy Roenick's criticism of Patrick Marleau? Post your comment at the bottom of this article. staff
In case you were wondering how to kill the time between Games 5 and 6 in the Sharks' series with the Detroit Red Wings, hockey analyst (and former Shark, it should be noted), Jeremy Roenick ripped Sharks forward Patrick Marleau in the aftermath of San Jose's 4-3 loss to Detroit.In case you've been sleeping under a rock (or perhaps rightly preoccupied with the A's taking a pair in Kansas City and the Giants sweeping Colorado), here are Roenick's comments on Versus Sunday night:REISS: Roenick out of line with Marleau criticism
"Unbelievable comeback by Detroit but an unbelievable poor effort by Patrick Marleau -- a gutless, gutless performance by Patrick Marleau. Count them, zero points in this series and he has a a game like that."Later, when asked if Marleau was hurt on the play where he lost the puck to Pavel Datsyuk, which led to the game-winning goal, Roenick said this:"Yeah, he's hurt, he's hurt all right -- right here (point to his heart), he's hurt."RATTO: Sharks lose composure, Game 5
Shortly afterward, Sharks announcer Randy Hahn had this to share with the masses, via his Twitter account:"Jeremy Roenick only cares about furthering his broadcasting career. His Marleau take was WAY over the line. Many bridges burned."Hahn's partner, Drew Remenda, also weighed in (see the attached video) with his own response, saying it's one thing to criticize the play but another to go after the player.PHT: Why Roenick wasn't wrong with his take on Patrick Marleau
Just to be clear, this is not the first time Roenick has targeted Marleau. After the Sharks dropped Game 1 of their playoff series to Colorado a year ago, Roenick had this to say: (courtesy of L.A. Kings blog "Surley and Scribe"):"When's Patty Marleau gonna come out and hit somebody in a playoff game?" Roenick asked incredulously. "When is he gonna come out and start showing why he was so good in the regular season? Not just scoring goals, but playing physical and being emotional in a playoff round. Look at the way Shane Doan came out in Game 1 against Detroit. He hit everything that he could possibly get his hands on to show his team how they need to play. When is Patrick Marleau going to do that in a playoff round?"Closer to home, San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami shared this opinion:"Marleau wasn't great, obviously. Hasn't been great all series. Is never great against Detroit. It's just not his thing.But gutless?I'm never going to be president of the Paddy Fan Club, but that description seems to speak more of a philosophicalpersonal thing between Roenick and his former teammate than of an intrinsic part of what happened tonight.I do admit that I couldn't stop watching Datsyuk and linemate Henrik Zetterberg skate and drop-pass and basically instigate Detroit's huge third-period comeback.Maybe that's an indirect indictment: Datsyuk was incredible; Marleau was invisible."Also from the Mercury News, courtesy of Sharks beat writer David Pollack, who reached Roenick by phone on Monday:I am a huge Sharks fan, said Roenick, whose last two NHL seasons were with the Sharks. I am a huge Doug Wilson fan. I think Doug Wilson has stepped to the plate and been very loyal to people, including to Patrick Marleau. And Im going to call things the way I see them. This is not a personal attack. Its my job to speak my mind. People can say whatever they want. I want the Sharks to win the Stanley Cup someday. I think the fans deserve it. I think Doug Wilson deserves it. But when youre in a position to close out your arch-rival, I think you need a better effort. I dont think it was there and I stand by what I said.

Pollack pointedly asked Roenick if there something personal between them.

This is totally on the record, he said. I am not a Patrick Marleau fan. Im not going to pretend to be. But I also will tell you that he is an incredible, incredible talent. I wish I had the talent he has. If I had the talent Patrick Marleau has, I wouldnt even know what I could have done. But I have my opinion of his determination and effort level, especially with the amount of money that he makes. I respect peoples opinions, but I have one, too. I really feel that the San Jose Sharks, the fans, and Doug Wilson deserve a better effort than they have gotten on a lot of nights in this series. And I have the ability to say that. This is not an act. This is me speaking my mind. Patrick Marleau has a lot of fans. I just happen to be not one of them.About the only thing we can report with certainty, is that we have not heard the last salvos fired on this topic. And again, we want to hear from you, the fans. Leave your comments below!

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice


Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin were out at Raiders practice Wednesday for the stretching period. Both edge rushers left one-at-a-time during the individual period, which open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.

There was no reaction, certainly no surprise, from the coaching staff or players on the field. Irvin and new defensive coordinator John Pagano were seen joking around on the field before practice began in earnest. 

Both guys were given a day off, one scheduled earlier in the day. A Raiders official called it a day off/rest-type day that was not injury related. The Silver and Black typically practice in pads or shells on Wednesday, but were in jerseys and sweats in the interest of recovery.

Wednesday marked the first practice Irvin has missed since training camp. Mack hasn’t missed one in months.

Mack and Irvin’s downtime comes a day after beloved defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s firing.

Mack and Irvin especially were among those loyal to Norton. Mack and Norton developed a bond after the coach was named defensive coordinator in 2015. Norton and Irvin go way back to their days together in Seattle. Irvin credits Norton for helping him get on the right path and stay there.

Neither player was happy Norton got the axe. Irvin made his displeasure clear, tweeting “BULLS***” shortly after news of Norton’s demise broke. Mack told ESPN “I like to keep my thoughts private.”

It isn’t immediately clear if the non-injury related day off was related to Norton’s dismissal. Head coach Jack Del Rio won’t speak to the media again until Friday. New defensive coordinator John Pagano is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon.

Del Rio addressed the media before Wednesday’s practice, and was asked how he’ll handle players unhappy with the in-season shake-up.

“I don’t try and 'handle' them,” Del Rio said. “I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship, respect that, give him a little space and then at the end of the day, we’re going to get on with our work. But, I’m human. It wasn’t easy for me either.”

Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing


Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio put out a statement Tuesday explaining why he fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

He went into greater detail Wednesday afternoon, his first time facing the media since a change was made

Specifics will be discussed further down this story. We don’t, however, want to bury the lede.

Del Rio’s main message wasn’t about Norton. It applied to all in Silver and Black. This season has not met lofty expectations. That is unacceptable.

“I know one thing,” Del Rio said. “Nobody should feel comfortable, because what I’ve been watching is not good enough.”

Del Rio didn’t absolve himself from blame. Norton got fired, but everyone has played a part in this disappointing 4-6 record.

“It’s always shared,” Del Rio said. “A change was made, obviously. We all share in it, all of us, starting with me. It’s coaches and players. It’s a team game, and we’re all in it together. And nobody is coming to help us.”

The Raiders must look inward to start a prolonged winning streak they’ve shown little evidence they can create.

The seat will be warm under players and coaches alike, even if only one change was made. Expect further shakeup on the coaching staff after the season, if vast improvements don’t come down the stretch, possibly with several position coaches being shown the door. More than a few higher profile players could be cut or allowed to leave, especially on defense.

While Del Rio has taken more heat the past month than at any other time in his Raiders tenure, expect him to be around a longer term. He was given a contract extension in February, and has significant capitol built after changing the culture in Oakland and re-teaching this team how to win. One bad year, even if this season continues heading downhill, shouldn’t erase that.

Del Rio was looking to shake things up, and Norton was the obvious move. Experienced play caller John Pagano was on staff – he was Chargers defensive coordinator from 2012-2016 – and firing the popular Pagano’s style could create some new waves and looks that any offensive Norton would make an impact in the locker room and prove this story’s opening quote, that no one should feel comfortable.

Del Rio hopes firing Norton will be a shock to the defense’s system.

“I really felt like I needed to shake things up,” Del Rio said. “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.”