Some of the facts that cannot be ignored include the Raiders having to deal with the burden of traveling 3,000 miles across the country on a short week after a tough Monday night loss to San Diego, and having to wear their black jerseys, which attract the sun. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are used to the weather conditions.
“I definitely think it’s an advantage,” said Dolphins Pro Bowl left tackle
Long is more adamant about the weather being a factor than the short week and the travel because he believes Oakland’s first-year head coach, Dennis Allen, will have his team ready to play. That’s the theme that pervaded inside the locker room after today’s practice.
Head Coach Joe Philbin actually recalls beating those elements back in 2006 when he was the offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers. After falling behind early, the Packers came back to win, 34-24, on October 22nd, so as much as he is looking for every extra edge on Sunday from a loud home crowd to the heat, he is more of a realist when it comes to what truly will decide the outcome.
“I think it really depends on how well our guys block and tackle and pursue and what kind of decision making they play with and what kind of play speed we have and what kind of preparation week we have,” Philbin said. “I think it’s great (the weather) if we’re playing well, but we don’t have control over the NFL schedule or where our opponent plays or what their weather pattern is over there. Really, we’re not concerned about that. This week we’re concerned about tightening up our own ship and finding a way to improve and getting better.”
“He’s an explosive player, there’s no question about it, so I think you kind of have to have your radar up so to speak and you want to minimize the impact he can have on the game. He’s an excellent football player, he can obviously take it to the house at any time and we’re going to have to do a great job of tackling and on pursuit, kind of gang tackle him and that’s going to be a challenge for our defense.” – Philbin on trying to defend versatile Raiders running back Darren McFadden
“I don’t think it’s all on the fans, I don’t think it’s all on the players but I think it’s on all of us to create that kind of spirit, that momentum and that positive direction that we’re going to take this franchise and build this thing back up.” – Philbin on the role the crowd should play in the home field advantage
“I think he’s doing a good job. I like the way he practices. I think he hustles, I think he gives good effort and I think it’s important to him.” – Philbin the maturity and development of left guard
“I thought they were okay but obviously you can’t step on your quarterback and have a sack (referring to right guard
LOCKER ROOM TALK
“They’re a big, physical unit up front. They’re really good at stopping the run and their linebackers run very well, but they’re really physical up front and fast.” – left guard Richie Incognito on the strengths of the Raiders defense
“I enjoy it a lot. I enjoy running behind Pouncey, Incognito and all of the guys up front. They really do a great job at opening up holes for me and I think making it easy for me to go out there and be a playmaker. It’s been great running behind them and I look forward to running behind again this next game.” – running back
“I think we have a great approach to be able to frankly correct our mistakes and the communication between coaches and players. So I think all of those corrections were addressed and we’ve been working the last couple of days to correct them and we’ll continue to have good preparation.” – tight end
“It was more like just getting back to just playing football and not over thinking it or dwelling on the past. Yes I got sick and yes I got injured, but being able to respond as quickly as I did, I cannot be happier for myself. When the bullets started to shoot my body was ready and it was a blessing, so I’m kind of at a loss for words when it comes to that.” – wide receiver
##Two familiar faces returned to the locker room today in defensive linemen
## There was a good musical mix this time around before practice while the team warmed up and stretched, beginning with “Welcome To Jamrock,” by Damian Marley. That fell into the reggae and rap category and was followed by a country music song. The popular rap song “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Jay-Z finished things off.