Insight from Raiders’ assistants on Abram, Jacobs and more

Raiders players got the week off from the media Wednesday, with three assistant coaches lending some insight on a 3-2 start and what’s head.

Defensive backs coach Jim O’Neil, running backs coach Kirby Wilson and tight ends coach Frank Smith took some time to field some video teleconference questions on some of their key players:

A sampling of their responses:

Jim O’Neil

Bio: Former defensive coordinator with Cleveland Browns and 49ers. Linebackers coach with Buffalo and New York Jets. College coach at Eastern Michigan, Towson and Penn.

The play of safety Johnathan Abram

“He’s better than advertised. He’s exactly what this team needed. He’s exactly what this defense needed. We wanted an alpha dog in the back end that was going to make the middle of the field a scary place and fly around and be a relentless player . . . John is one of those players who is truly all gas, no brakes. It’s a lot easier to slow guys down than speed ’em up . . . I know skill players on the ohter side of the field, they’re finding him pre-snap. Because they want to know where he is.”

Development of cornerback Trayvon Mullen

“I think he’s taken a big jump and I think it started with the mindset that he came in to training camp with. He put on some good weight. I think he increased his lower body strenth and the game just slowed down for him a little bit. Instead of going to the line and just playing, he’s going to the line with a plan and he’s executing his plan.”


Versatility and the use of Isaiah Johnson at safety

I tell the guys, if you’re not the bonafide No. 1 safety or the bonafide No. 1 corner or the bonafide No. 1 nickel then you’d better have some versatility if you want to stay around in this league. Isaiah’s done a nice job. We’ve worked with him some inside during camp and as we get going we face some of these real good pass-catching tight ends. He’s a big body with length that can challenge guys at level one, and he helps with some of the man coverage stuff.”

Josh Jacobs (28) has benefitted from a friendship with Marcus Allen. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty ImagesKirby Wilson

Bio: A 22-year veteran who at various stops has coached Emmitt Smith, Adrian Peterson, Curtis Martin, Edgerrin James and Le’Veon Bell. First year with Raiders was last season in Josh Jacobs’ rookie year. Was Jon Gruden’s running backs coach with Tampa Bay in 2002 and 2003.

Jacobs friendship with Marcus Allen

“Marcus has really spent a lot of time with him just mentally preparing him, how to read defenses, understanding the front, how to have that recognition pre-snap and obviously the post-snap you’ve got your read and key and it goes from there. But they’ve got a great dialogue going on. I know Josh is extremely happy that they’re communicating. I think it’s only going to improve as you move forward.”

The addition of Devontae Booker

“We just had to figure …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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