NaVorro Bowman

Raiders snap count: Bowman a three-down linebacker vs Bills


Raiders snap count: Bowman a three-down linebacker vs Bills

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Raiders have a new field general running their defense. NaVorro Bowman played all 69 defensive snaps in a 34-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, acting as the three-down linebacker his former team didn’t prefer.

Bowman’s snaps were expected to decrease with the 49ers, a major reason why they released him roughly two weeks ago. The Raiders had a glaring need on the inside, especially for someone with Bowman’s experience, on-field leadership and tackling ability.

He won’t be a part-time player here. The Raiders are banged up at linebacker, Bowman’s the position group’s permanent fixture.

Weakside linebacker Cory James was a three-down player – he missed most of the last two games with a knee injury – but left in certain packages.

Nicholas Morrow, previously involved in sub packages, only played special teams on Sunday.

Time will tell if this change is permanent or injury related, but Bowman has quickly taken command of this defense. He led the team with 11 tackles, including one for a loss. He allowed three receptions for 19 yards – just two after the catch – on as many targets. Pass coverage was a perceived weakness in Bowman's game, but the Raiders aren't putting him in bad spots. They're playing to strengths whenever possible while keeping him on the field. 

“We haven’t really asked him to go eliminate people in terms of if they’re trying to play a lot of man and isolate him on backs or things like that or tight ends," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. "We’re not asking him to do a lot of that. From what I’ve seen, he’s a good football player. He’s come in, two weeks in a row he’s led our team in tackles. He’s taking charge. He’s been a very positive addition to our football team. His experience, his toughness, his love for the game; it’s a positive for us.”

Quarterback – Derek Carr 65
Running back – DeAndre Washington 32, Jalen Richard 26, Jamize Olawale 5
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 63, Cordarelle Patterson 57, Michael Crabtree 55, Johnny Holton 13
Tight end – Jared Cook 46, Lee Smith 19, Clive Walford 6
Offensive line –Kelechi Osemele 65, Rodney Hudson 65, Donald Penn 65, Marshall Newhouse 65, Gabe Jackson 65, Vadal Alexander 2, Jon Feliciano 1

Defensive line – Khalil Mack 58, Justin Ellis 47, Mario Edwards 43, Denico Autry 37, Eddie Vanderdoes 37, Treyvon Hester 30, Mario Edwards 28, James Cowser 7
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 69, Bruce Irvin 61, Cory James 49
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 68, Dexter McDonald 67, Sean Smith 29, Shilique Calhoun 11, Xavier Woodson-Luster 1
Safety – Reggie Nelson 69, Shalom Luani 68, Keith McGill 8

Keith McGill 25, James Cowser 25, Xavier Woodson-Luster 19, Erik Harris 19, Nicholas Morrow 15, Shalom Luani 16, Jalen Richard 12, Johnny Holton 12, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, DeAndre Washington 9, Lee Smith 9, Jon Feliciano 9, Elijah Hood 8, Demetrius McCray 8 Clive Walford 7, Jamize Olawale 7, TJ Carrie 6, Mario Edwards 6, Denico Autry 6, Eddie Vanderdoes 6, Treyvon Hester 6, Jon Condo 6, Marquette King 6, Giorgio Tavecchio 5, Gabe Jackson 2, Marshall Newhouse 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, Vadal Alexander 2, Justin Ellis 2

QB EJ Manuel, WR Seth Roberts

CB Gareon Conley, QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, LB Marquel Lee, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, OT David Sharpe

Del Rio: 'Remarkable' Bowman aced his Raiders crash course


Del Rio: 'Remarkable' Bowman aced his Raiders crash course

ALAMEDA – NaVorro Bowman took a Raiders crash course last week, and it wasn’t Defense 101.

The former 49ers linebacker was learning high-level stuff right away, using six-plus years NFL experience to absorb and apply Silver and Black schematics.

Bowman’s big test came Thursday night. He aced it.

He played 60 of 62 defensive snaps in a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, and led the team with 11 tackles and four run stops near the line of scrimmage.

He also wore the green dot, called the plays and made checks before the snap.

He did all that three days after signing with the Raiders.

“It helped, obviously with his veteran experience and his overall knowledge of the game to begin with, to put it our terminology,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “Then green dot, the whole bit, called it. In some respects I think it’s a little better to have the green dot because (defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.) is able to talk to him the whole time. That’s an added benefit really. But pretty remarkable for him to come in and three days turn around and have that kind of performance.”

Bowman has had time to decompress since that night, and now has a full week to prepare for a Week 9 clash against Buffalo. His preparation still isn’t back to normal. Bowman has a lot to master as the defensive brain stem.

“The routine is still altered. The scheme is still new,” Bowman said Tuesday afternoon. “It will be for a while. You start getting that, ‘I know it’ feeling for a while, but then you get out in practice and realize you don’t know it all. Every week is important for me. I was fortunate enough to play so many years and pick up on the playbook as fast as I did last week. I’m going to take advantage of this full week and prepare the same way, if not more heading into this next game.”

That’s important for the entire Raiders defense, which received a lift from its new middle linebacker. He wants to turn one win into a streak, knowing that’s required of a team just 3-4 heading into the halfway point.

“The key is letting it go,” Bowman said. “We had the weekend off, and I’m sure guys enjoyed it after a big win. Now it’s time to get back to work and focus on the Bills.”


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


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.”

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

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

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,

QB EJ Manuel

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