Gabe Jackson

Longtime coach Ron Wotus remains with Giants on Gabe Kapler's staff

Longtime coach Ron Wotus remains with Giants on Gabe Kapler's staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- Gabe Kapler's first move as Giants manager was a popular one. 

Longtime Giants coach Ron Wotus was offered a job on Kapler’s staff and accepted, pulling his name out of the running to be the bench coach for the Mets. Wotus, who interviewed for the job that ultimately went to Kapler, told NBC Sports Bay Area that his preference has always been to work for the Giants and stay in the Bay Area.

During Kapler's introductory press conference, the new Giants manager announced that Wotus will serve as the team's third base coach.

Wotus, 58, will be in his 33rd year with the Giants organization and will be working for his fourth manager. He is the longest-tenured coach in franchise history and has previously been on staff for Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou and Bruce Bochy.

Wotus was the bench coach before moving over to the third-base box in 2018. Through both jobs, he drew endless praise for his work with Giants infielders, and Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Matt Duffy are among those who have credited him in recent years for helping them become Gold Glove-caliber defenders. 

Wotus should provide a valuable bridge for Kapler, who is learning a new clubhouse and will have to gain the trust of the existing core. He also should be a perfect fit for an organization that is going heavy on analytics and modern methods while also trying to pay respect to traditional coaching and scouting. Wotus was the first on the big league staff to really dive into defensive shifting and he was instrumental in helping the Giants change the way they positioned infielders. 

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Wotus was one of two internal candidates to interview for the manager job, along with former bench coach Hensley Meulens. It had been previously reported that Meulens was joining the Marlins' staff, but a source said he has not yet committed to that. Meulens also interviewed to be Mets bench coach.  

Raiders snap count: Offensive line vital to victory over Chargers

Raiders snap count: Offensive line vital to victory over Chargers

OAKLAND –The Raiders offensive line finally joined forces. The presumptive starting five had played 10 snaps together entering Thursday night, but finally, after nine weeks, they played an entire game together.

Kolton Miller, Richie Incognito, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown worked all 58 offensive snaps together in a 26-24 victory over the LA Chargers at Oakland Raiders.

They weren’t 100 percent healthy with Hudson battling through an ankle sprain and Brown dealing with a knee issue. They still were good enough to beat a talented Chargers front featuring Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They allowed three sacks and 12 total pressures, a survivable sum that allowed quarterback Derek Carr to get work done.

They kept him upright on a fourth-quarter comeback drive, which ended with Josh Jacobs’ 18-yard touchdown run. While the run game struggled throughout the night, that play was expertly blocked.

Rodney Hudson sealed the right side, combining with Richie Incognito to take out the defensive tackle. Then Hudson and fullback Alec Ingold took out a linebacker and Jacobs was able to glide right through for a touchdown.

“We've been able to have some success, but we can do any of that stuff without the guys in front of us,” Carr said. “…The Chargers won some plays, we won some plays, but when it mattered, our offensive line created this gaping hole. And Josh is able to do what he's, you know God blessed him to do, which is make people miss and win the football game.”

The Raiders line will see imperfections in this performance but great potential in the front line working together as originally assembled.

“We just have to keep rolling,” Brown said. “It’s going to be real nice real soon.”

Thin D-Line creates havoc

The Raiders were lacking up front with two injuries at defensive end. No matter. They were able to create pressure nonetheless. Rookie pass rusher Maxx Crosby is proving a three-down commodity, playing the run and pass well off the edge.

Crosby played 70 snaps, and had a sack , a tackle for loss and seven quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus stats. Clelin Ferrell had an excellent day, with eight tackles, 2.5 sacks, two other tackles for loss and a pass defensed in 56 snaps. PFF tallied Ferrell with three total pressures and six(!) run stops near the line of scrimmage.

The edge rushers were productive despite playing a ton and were effective down the stretch.

“It was a lot of heart,” Crosby said. “It was hard, especially with the quick turnaround, but we just had to keep going and keep coming after him. Their offensive line was out there a ton, too, but we feel like we’re in better shape. We just kept bringing it until the game was over.”

[RELATED: Raiders' resiliency becoming theme of surprising season]

Here’s the full Raiders snap count:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 58

Quarterback – Derek Carr 58
Running back –Josh Jacobs 30, Jalen Richard 22, Alec Ingold 12, DeAndre Washington 6
Wide receiver – Tyrell Williams 49, Zay Jones 39, Hunter Renfrow 31, Marcell Ateman 6
Tight end – Darren Waller 56, Foster Moreau 26, Derek Carrier 12
Offensive line – Richie Incognito 58, Kolton Miller 58, Trent Brown 58, Gabe Jackson 58, Rodney Hudson 58, Andre James 1

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 77

Defensive line – Maxx Crosby 70, Clelin Ferrell 56, Johnathan Hankins 47, P.J. Hall 40, Maurice Hurst 36, Benson Mayowa 33, Terrell McClain 12
Linebacker –Tahir Whitehead 77, Nicholas Morrow 76, Kyle Wilber 16, Will Compton 5
Defensive back – Karl Joseph 77, Erik Harris 77, Daryl Worley 75, Trayvon Mullen 75, Lamarcus Joyner 70, Nevin Lawson 3, Curtis Riley 1, Isaiah Johnson 1

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 25
Carrier 25, Dallin Leavitt 23, Lawson 23, Wilber 23, Riley 19, Moreau 19, Compton 16, Ingold 13, Daniel Carlson 12, A.J. Cole 11, Trent Sieg 11, Johnson 9, Harris 9, Trevor Davis 8, Crosby 7, David Sharpe 6, Denzelle Good 6, Mullen 6, Incognito 6, Brown 6, Jackson 6, Miller 6, Quentin Polling 5, Washington 5, Hurst 4, Hankins 4, Ferrell 4, Worley 4, Whitehead 4

Why Gabe Jackson sees plenty of potential in Raiders offensive line

jacksonap.jpg
AP

Why Gabe Jackson sees plenty of potential in Raiders offensive line

ALAMEDA -- Gabe Jackson was back in action after a long layoff Monday. The Raiders' star right guard hurt his knee during a joint training camp practice with the Los Angeles Rams and hadn’t worked out with the team since.

Just being back with his team was an accomplishment, an important step in his return to action after missing five games. The Raiders left him on the 53-man roster hoping he could be back before midseason.

That should happen. Jackson said he hopes to return Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. If that doesn’t work out, he should be ready for a Week 8 clash with the Houston Texans.

“I feel pretty good,” Jackson said Monday. “I’m excited to be back with my brothers. It has been a long time.”

Jackson went more than nine weeks between practices, a layoff that sent his position into flux. The Raiders tried several at right guard, settling on Denzelle Good as a quality placeholder on an offensive line off to a great start. The Raiders are averaging 4.9 yards per carry and rank fourth in pass-blocking efficiency.

Jackson will pair with longtime running mate Rodney Hudson on the interior and work with Trent Brown on what should be a dominant right side.

The 28-year-old was part of a dominant offensive line in 2016 that was integral to the Raiders' lone trip to the playoffs this decade. He believes this year’s line could compete with that one.

“I think we could be even better,” Jackson said. “If everybody stays the course and grinds it out, I think we could be pretty good.”

This offensive line operates in a different scheme but has executed well to this point. Jackson will energize and fortify the unit, which has been bolstered by Brown’s addition in free agency.

“I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I can say for sure Trent is a beast,” Jackson said. “When he first came here, I knew it would be fun to play with him. Watching the things he has done recently and since he has been here, he’s impressive.”

[RELATED: Raiders' Jones ready to make impact after 'shocking' trade]

Raiders coach Jon Gruden said that Jackson might be in his best shape, certainly over the past two seasons. Jackson did shy away from that compliment. He believes it’s warranted after training hard during this down period.

“I had some time to work on myself,” Jackson said. “There are some things I’m still working on, but I feel like I have gotten better. Now, I’m ready to get back at it and play.”