Duane Starks....

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Being helpful....

Raiders insider: For interception advice, Starks is a logical pick
The free-agent signee brings experience and a knack for being around the ball.

By Jason Jones -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Saturday, May 13, 2006

ALAMEDA - When Raiders cornerback Fabian Washington talks about one of his newest teammates, his eyes light up as if he's about to intercept a wobbly pass.

That's because the new teammate, Duane Starks, is showing Washington how to get to the interceptions that eluded Raiders defensive backs last season.

The Raiders ranked last in the NFL with a franchise-low five interceptions. Of the Raiders' returning defensive backs, none of the cornerbacks has any career interceptions.

Oakland didn't make a big acquisition as in past years - getting free agent Warren Sapp in 2004 and trading for Randy Moss in 2005 - opting for veterans with something prove and who can help younger players develop.

Starks fits that bill. Entering his ninth season, Starks has 25 career interceptions and is trying to reestablish himself as a solid cover man after being slowed by injuries the last four seasons with New England and Arizona.

Starks said he is healthy and looks forward to proving so on the field. He also has been a mentor since signing with Oakland in March.

"He being a crafty veteran and being in the league for nine years, he's showing me things that are helping me right now," Washington said. "He's the main guy I go to right now if I have any questions."

Last season, Starks played in seven games with New England before going on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury. He's looking to regain the form that helped him lead Baltimore in interceptions with six during its Super Bowl run in the 2000 season.

"He's so natural with God-given ability," Starks said. "I'm teaching him the small things that will put him in better position. I think that's going to make a difference."

Washington raves about Starks' influence after two minicamps.

"Anytime I have any problems with anything - if he sees something I can correct - he'll just come over to me and give me tips on how to make a play on the ball a little better," Washington said. "That's just so much help for me."

One of Starks' greatest moments came against the Raiders during Baltimore's 16-3 victory in the 2001 AFC championship game.

"One of the trainers keeps giving me a hard time about getting two picks in that game," Starks said.

They'll pat him on the back for such as an effort now.

Otto honored
Raiders Hall of Fame center Jim Otto received the UC Davis Foundation's 2006 Charles J. Soderquist Award on Friday for his volunteer work and charitable giving to the UC Davis Cancer Center.
Otto, a prostate cancer survivor, has raised $300,000 through celebrity golf tournaments with his wife, Sally, and helped raise funds from other agencies.

Otto will donate the $5,000 prize that the recipient chooses for a UC Davis college, school or campus unit of his choice to the UC Davis Cancer Center's Capital and Endowment Initiative golf benefit, the Fred Biletnikoff Celebrity Golf Classic. The tournament, featuring current and former Raiders and other athletes, will be held May 21-22 at Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln.

Proceeds will benefit the Biletnikoff Foundation to fund programs for high-risk teenagers.

Biletnikoff was a Hall of Fame receiver for the Raiders and now is an assistant coach with the team.

For information on sponsorship fees and times of tournament activities, call the Biletnikoff Foundation at (925) 556-2525.
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