Behind Enemy Lines

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Behind Enemy Lines: A Quick Look at the Oakland Raiders


NASHVILLE – The Titans face the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Here's a quick look at the Raiders:

Record: 6-6.

Last game: Lost 40-9 to the Chiefs.

Points for/against: 19.8 ppg/27.0 ppg.


Offense: 16th overall, 354.8 ypg (10th rushing, 15th passing).

Defense: 20th overall, 361.8 ypg (11th rushing, 24th passing).


Head coach: Jon Gruden.


QB: Derek Carr (259-of-367, 2,843 yards, 16 TDs, 8 INTs, 98.6 rating).

Top RB: Josh Jacobs (218 carries, 1,061 yards, 7 TDs).

Top WR: Hunter Renfrow (36 catches, 396 yards, 2 TDs).

Top TE: Darren Waller (66 catches, 807 yards, 3 TDs).


Sacks: DE Maxx Crosby (7.5).

Leading tackler: LB Tahir Whitehead (82).

Interceptions: SS Erik Harris (3).

Take/Give: minus-2.

Kicker: Daniel Carlson (12-of-17 FGs, 27-of-29 PATs).

Punter: A.J. Cole 46.2 (38.9).

Last meeting: September 10, 2017: Raiders 26, Titans 16.

Injury Report

T Trent Brown (pectoral)

C Rodney Hudson (ankle)

G Gabe Jackson (knee)

RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)

DB Lemarcus Joyner (hamstring)

WR Hunter Renfrow (rib)

LB Kyle Wilber (ankle)


(on what he's seeing Ryan Tannehill do effectively right now)

That's hard to do. I think a lot of people might not remember that the guy didn't start the season, didn't get the starters reps. For him to come off the bench, that's a real hard thing to do – and earn the trust and respect of his whole team. He's been money at crunch time. You saw the Chiefs game, he's played very, very good football when all the chips are on the table, that's number one. He's showcasing his dual-threat ability – he can throw it, he can run it and they can run a lot of creative plays with him because of his athleticism, his experience. His game is going really good right now, it's a credit to him.

(on if the Titans' pass threat makes Derrick Henry more dangerous)

Yeah, it really does. What happens, as you know, you have to commit to stop (Derrick) Henry, or he can really ruin you. So, the play actions that they have, the run-pass option offenses that they can utitilze with (Ryan) Tannehill, it's a dual threat. It's a double-edged sword. It's a problem for us.

(on what makes a quarterback effective in the red zone)

Well number one, you've got to make some really tight-window throws, you've got to really have confidence in your accuracy and you've got to let the ball go. But, you have to make some tight-window throws and obviously, you've got to be able to scramble. You've got to have the ability when you scramble to find your receivers and make some off-schedule plays because down in the red zone, there's just not much grass that these defenses have to defend. Sometimes they rush three, sometimes they rush four, sometimes they rush everybody, so it's a hard area to see exactly what the coverages, defenses are different. But, his ability to stick it in there in tight windows and make plays scrambling as a runner and passer is really, I think, is what makes him one of the better guys in the red zone.

(on what Derrick Henry is doing that makes him a threat to defend)

I think conditioning is the secret sauce is what I tell our players. This man will not get tired, he just won't do it. I don't know, I'd like to see the GPS numbers on this guy. I mean, he can run fast for a long time. He can run hard for a long time. You know, there's no tag-team wrestling. He doesn't have to reach over and get another back to get him out of there, he can go, and go, and go hard. That's what I love about him the most. This guy is a great back with incredible stamina. The more you give it to him, the longer the game goes, the better he plays. He reminds me of Eddie George that way.

(on if he ever seriously considered taking the head coaching job at the University of Tennessee)

I did strongly consider buying season tickets and just enjoying Neyland Stadium because I love UT. My son, Michael (Gruden), just graduated from there, my wife cheered there and I was a GA there, so I love the big orange. I'm really excited about the progress they're making. Always, always pulling for them.

(on if he decided a while ago that he would rather coaching professionaly than collegiately)

I'm not going to get into all that. I'm just happy to be back on the grass. I love football, I love coaching and I love the competition. This is where I've always wanted to be. Fortunately for me, I have one more opportunity to coach here in Oakland.

(on if he sees the similarities between Josh Jacobs and Charlie Garner)

Not really. They're both great talents. They're different types of backs. Charlie (Garner) was one of my favorites. I had a chance to coach him in Philly, in Oakland. I got to coach him at Tampa and he's one of my favorite (Tennessee) Volunteers. This kid (Josh) Jacobs is bigger. Probably more of an every down, first, second, third down back than (Charlie) Garner was – no disrespect to Charlie. I thought he was a 195-pound guy and this guy's a very big banger when it comes to running the ball. I can't wait to see (Derrick) Henry and Jacobs on the same field. Alabama, they should be proud.

(on what made him feel like Rich Gannon was the guy that could turn things around for his team)

Well you know, we need to acknowledge what he had. He had something this organization didn't have, he brought a certain fire, leadership, somewhat like (Ryan) Tannehill's doing for the Titans. He could run. He was a dual-threat. He had over 500 yards rushing one year, he completed almost every pass, a coach on the field. Just a real contagious vibe about him that really caught fire here. He got people to follow him, and that's what I admired about him the most.

(on if there is something that could be said for guys like Ryan Tannehill and Rich Gannon making the most of their opportunities)

Yeah, no doubt. You don't rush greatness. Sometimes they hit a bump in the road and they get cut, or they get released, or a guy gets fired. You've got to comeback. (Rich) Gannon didn't get here until he was 34. I mean, Steve Young didn't start in the NFL until he was 30. Kurt Warner, he had to do the same thing and Joe Theismann had to do the same. There's been a lot of guys that didn't explode onto the scene immediately. If you know (Ryan) Tannehill, you know you're getting a quality guy that's a very good quarterback. I'm happy for his success. Hopefully we can slow him down.

(on the difference in the makeup of a really good special teams unit and one that isn't quite so good)

I think the great special teams units have a core. What I mean by that is five, six, seven guys that are on every phase, every special team. They can cover the punts, they can cover the kickoffs, they're on kickoff and punt return. They give you quality snaps. They protect the punter, they protect the kicker. Their specialists are icemen – they can punt it, they can kick it. And you have a return guy that can do something with the ball. I think discipline. The really good teams, they don't make stupid penalties. There's so many penalties now on special teams. The elimination of penalties, making your kicks, making your returns and I think a good nucleus of core guys to give that special teams some continuity is what makes the great ones.

(on what Maxx Crosby's play as a rookie means to the Raiders' defense)

We wouldn't trade (Maxx) Crosby right now for anybody. I mean, he's come in here – forget the sacks, he's got great effort, he's getting stronger, he's getting heavier, he's really maturing physically and he's starting to recognize plays, schemes and protections much, much better. So, we like (Clelin) Ferrell, we like Crosby. We didn't feel like we had the 4-3 defensive ends, the classic 4-3 ends to fit our scheme, so we went out and got a couple. Fortunately, we got some good ones.

(on what he's seen from Harold Landry III so far this season)

Well, you've got to be careful with him. They do a great job of bringing people everywhere to get him some one-on-ones. But, he has tremendous getoff and speed. He can really hurt you on the edge. He's a great edge rusher. He does a lot. I get tired of talking about all the stats and the sacks, he's a guy that drops into coverage, he has great range and we know who 58 is, believe me. looks back at the all-time series against the Oakland Raiders. (AP Photos)

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