Cornerback Mike Jenkins and the rest of the Raiders' defensive backfield are getting their share of involvement in blitz packages. Randall Benton

Raiders notes: Young leads the sack attack

Published: Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 7C
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 - 12:44 am

OAKLAND – At halftime of the Raiders' 19-9 win over the Jaguars on Sunday, backup safety Usama Young said he poked his head into the trainer's room where starter Tyvon Branch sat icing his injured ankle.

"I just said, 'Stay up, keep your head up,' " Young said. " 'We've got your back.' "

Branch, one of two returning defensive starters from last year, suffered what coach Dennis Allen said "looks to be a significant injury" to his ankle early in the first quarter on a play where he blitzed quarterback Chad Henne.

Playing in his stead in the second half, Young, whom the Raiders signed as a free agent during the offseason, recorded 1 1/2 of Oakland's five sacks of Henne. It matched the seventh-year safety's high for sacks in a season, set last year with the Browns.

Through two games, the Raiders already have as many sacks (nine) as in their first seven games of 2012. Cornerback Tracy Porter shared half of one with Young on Sunday, and safety Brandian Ross and linemen Christo Bilukidi and Jason Hunter each added one.

"It's just a combination of rush and coverage," Allen said. "We try to be multiple and send several different guys in different directions. And then I think our rush has continued to improve."

The Raiders have showed a willingness to include defensive backs in blitz packages, and Young said that adds an element of fun for the defense.

"We like to mix it up and keep the quarterback and everyone on offense on their heels," Young said. "As a defense, we like having those moving pieces, and then once the ball snaps they don't know where we're coming from."

Allen said the Raiders will "find out more later" about the extent of Branch's injury, but that he has "said from the beginning we felt good about our safety position, that we have some depth there" with Young and Ross.

Guard Lucas Nix also suffered an ankle injury. Allen said his injury "doesn't seem to be as significant."

Fan interaction – Veteran safety Charles Woodson had a homecoming of sorts in his first game at Coliseum as a Raider since 2005. Woodson, who played the last seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, spent his first eight years in the NFL with Oakland.

"It was fun," Woodson said. "Come out and play good football, the fans are behind you. You make plays and they get loud."

Woodson wasn't the only player interacting with fans. Linebacker Sio Moore, after time expired in the fourth quarter, sprinted to the Black Hole cheering section and leapt to greet the fans in the front row.

"That was my first time – I wanted to go in there and I wanted to jump in it," Moore said.

"I didn't know (the wall) was that high. I almost got stuck a little bit. I had to get pulled in there. But it was fun."

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara

Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by
Quick Job Search
Sacramento Bee Jobs »
Used Cars
Dealer and private-party ads


Price Range:
Search within:
miles of ZIP

Advanced Search | 1982 & Older