Raiders vs Cards Official Preseason Week Two Game Thread

Discussion in 'Raiders Discussion' started by RF34, Aug 15, 2019 at 7:39 AM.

  1. RF34

    RF34 Habitual Line Stepper

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    Raiders’ A.J. Cole and four other young players who have to keep kicking the door down against the Cardinals

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    By Vic Tafur 24m ago
    A.J. Cole is a smart kid. The Raiders’ new punter graduated from North Carolina State with a degree in industrial engineering.

    So, he won’t let this week’s good news change him. The Raiders waived 2018 fifth-round pick Johnny Townsend on Tuesday and Cole is the only punter on the roster.

    So what?

    “I don’t think the mentality changes at all,” Cole said this week. “I think that just because I am the only punter here, that doesn’t mean that I am the only punter. There are plenty of really good players that don’t have contracts right now, and I am just going to keep doing what I am doing.”

    Starting Thursday night in Arizona, in the Raiders’ second preseason game. Cole’s audition is not over, and the undrafted rookie is one of the five players we highlighted to watch as the 53-man roster starts to take shape.

    ‘“The mentality can never change as long as I am in the NFL,” Cole said. “If I come out here every single day and I play to my standards, I think that I am going to have success.”

    Cole has also handled holding duties for placekicker Daniel Carlson and showed off the power of his leg by doing kickoffs. Most importantly, he had four punts for an average of 43 yards, two inside the 20-yard line, in Saturday’s preseason win over the Rams. (Oh, and he also says he can be the emergency placekicker, having done that in high school.)

    After the game, coach Jon Gruden compared the strength of Cole’s leg to former Raiders Shane Lechler and Marquette King. Cole heard the comments and he had great hang time going over the moon and back.

    “Shane Lechler is one of the greatest to ever play this position,” Cole said. “To even have your name mentioned in that sort of stratosphere is, you know, kind of a surreal experience. What he did for the punting position … and the consistency he had over so many years, playing 15-plus years, is incredibly hard to do. That’s an unbelievable comparison.”

    Townsend’s only chance at the job was to be consistent, as he simply didn’t have the power that Cole does and directional kicking can’t be a hit-or-miss deal. The end still came surprisingly fast. (Townsend was claimed off waivers by the Giants on Wednesday.)

    “I thought this would go all the way through camp, but I am really trying to focus on what I can control,” Cole said.

    Cole found out he had won the battle when special teams coach Rich Bisaccia asked him Tuesday morning if he had had a chance to say goodbye to Townsend. Townsend was packing his bags before practice.

    Bisaccia then told Cole, “This is your time, make sure and play the way you’re capable of.”

    Townsend had a 42-yard run on a fake punt last season, and nothing else significant. That’s not ideal for a punter. The Raiders drafted him in the fifth round mostly because he wasn’t King, who was too flashy and expensive for a punter for Gruden’s taste. Townsend didn’t make any noise, though the home fans started booing him toward the end of the season. (It was clearly a bad pick and a quick glance at last year’s draft haul is a little lacking thus far.)

    The Raiders would have liked to give Townsend a few more weeks, but they needed to add some cornerbacks to the roster due to injuries, and Townsend was the 90th man on the roster. Next man out.

    Cole was caught off guard by the news, he said, but he relishes the chance to prove the Raiders correct.

    “To me, it meant that they believe in what I do and they believe I can be a difference-maker in this league,” Cole said. “I just have to go out there and not try and do anything crazy, just be myself and play within my constraints.”

    The other four players to watch Thursday night who should try and go a little crazy making plays:

    Quarterback Nathan Peterman: He was solid last week, but Gruden wants him to let it rip and take some chances downfield. Peterman checked it down a lot against the Rams because he had just watched Mike Glennon throw two interceptions. Gruden wants to build up Peterman’s confidence, and will probably give him the whole second half after Derek Carr and Glennon both play a little bit.

    Linebacker Jason Cabinda: The second-year player is battling Marquel Lee and Nicholas Morrow for seemingly two backup spots, and Lee seems to be close to a lock because of his versatility and his special-teams skills.

    And Gruden recently raved about nickel linebacker Morrow:

    “Morrow, to me, has stood out,” Gruden said. “Morrow is really playing well. He’s finding the ball and he is fast and I’m really impressed with Nick, and Lee has also gotten better.”

    Cabinda needs to do something quickly.

    Safety Curtis Riley: The former Giant has a chance to push Karl Joseph for a starting job. He is more of a center fielder than either Joseph or rookie Johnathan Abram. “He’s a good coverage safety,” Gruden said. “We want to see him be more impactful on special teams. He’s off to a really good start. He’s definitely in the mix here.”

    Defensive tackle Anthony Rush: The undrafted rookie out of UAB came out of nowhere last week to make four tackles, three at the line of scrimmage and one behind. But it doesn’t mean anything if he doesn’t play well again on Thursday.

    “He was in the Philadelphia Eagles camp,” Gruden said. “On his way to another camp, and we had an intercepting airline go in there to steal him away. It was a great job by our scouts, really, getting him here.”
     
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  2. TheMadStork

    TheMadStork Record Deepness

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    I'm glad we have Rush, but I'm not sure Gruden understands how airports work.
     
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  3. raiderfreak7

    raiderfreak7 Well-Known Member

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    No clue if he really touches the ball more than a handful of times but I really want to see Jacobs make a play or two tonight.
     
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  4. TheMadStork

    TheMadStork Record Deepness

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    If he evades tacklers as well as he does Hard Knocks cameramen, he should be getting some serious yardage.
     
  5. DonkeyKilla

    DonkeyKilla Well-Known Member

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    I bet he doesn't see the field until game 1...
     
  6. raiderfreak7

    raiderfreak7 Well-Known Member

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    We'll see. Gruden said the starters would play tonight.
     
  7. gst8

    gst8 Well-Known Member

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    I understand the logic with regard to injury but I'm not sure I like treating a rookie like he's made it already either.

    You gotta earn that.
     
  8. Nobodyinparticular

    Nobodyinparticular Well-Known Member

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    I would guess it's more about using the preseason to sort out the bottom half of the 90-man roster. Jacobs isn't going to get cut, so let the guys who are fighting for roster spots go out there in preseason.

    Use TC, practice, and season games to decide the depth chart.
     
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  9. raiderfreak7

    raiderfreak7 Well-Known Member

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    I bet Jacobs plays today.
     
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  10. 007

    007 Commitment To Excrement

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    I can't decide if I want to hate AJ Cole or give him a chance.
     
  11. Nobodyinparticular

    Nobodyinparticular Well-Known Member

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    Why would you want to hate him?
     
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  12. gst8

    gst8 Well-Known Member

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    I can't decide if I want to leave early so I can bullshit with you guys while I watch or actually do my job.

    Stupid ass start time.
     
  13. 007

    007 Commitment To Excrement

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    Punters can suck my dick.
     
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  14. gst8

    gst8 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't even let them do that.
     
  15. 007

    007 Commitment To Excrement

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    They give me way too much stress recently.

    I have an instant hatred until they prove to be reliable.
     
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  16. TheNextStep

    TheNextStep TX BBQ > KC BBQ

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    I’ll be there, behind the Raider bench. Probably won’t be able to see shit but figured it might be fun for a pre-season game.
     
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  17. phxraida15

    phxraida15 Well-Known Member

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    Why is this even a question?
    The best material is in the game day threads.
     
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  18. gst8

    gst8 Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming he was originally flying Jimmy G airlines.
     
  19. TheNextStep

    TheNextStep TX BBQ > KC BBQ

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    Me: Should I grab some sunscreen too?
    GF: Um, it’s an indoor stadium, sooo...
    Me: So that’s a “no” on the sunscreen then?

    113° outside. What a stupid place to build a city.
     
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  20. NIPS

    NIPS Comin' to a thread near you

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    Lester Cotton looked real good Saturday night..Id like to see him start against the Cards #1s for a few possessions
     
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