Seasons Greetings and Happy Happy New Year to all my fellow members of the Silver and Black Pride community! I am pleased to bring to all of you the 16th installment in the series, Talkin' With Tyvon, from Raiders starting strong safety Tyvon Branch.
The Community is invited to pose some questions for Tyvon in the comments section and he will do his best to get as many of them answered as quickly as possible:
Hey Raider Fans!! One more game left to really get after it. Things did not really go as well as I would have liked last week, but we get another AFC North team coming in this week. Some things slipped away from us last week, and we did not capitalize on all of our opportunities. Obviously we are not going to win games doing that. We will work hard and prepare for the Ravens this weekend. Go RAIDERS!!!
SABP: The game in Cleveland will certainly be remembered for the 13 flags thrown at the Raiders. It seemed at a certain point that the refs had had enough and were going to throw flags at the slightest thing that happened. What was really going on down on the field that we may not have seen on camera?
TB: We made a lot of mistake and got caught doing it. There is not too much else to say regarding those penalties. Obviously we weren’t doing anything on purpose, we just need to play more disciplined.
SABP: Do you think that the team maybe pressing too much in these games where they are cognizant that that particular game would with a victory represent winning two in a row? It seems to be kind of a "monkey on the back" type of thing as now there is a distinct pattern of beating playoff caliber teams one, only to lose the nest week to a lower echelon team?
TB: I don’t think that has much to do with it. We just need to come out and put a few good games together. The Browns have been playing well the past few weeks and we were unable to stop them when it mattered.
SABP: We are near the seasons end and obviously, you would have liked to have won a lot more games, but do you believe now that the defense has taken a step forward compared to last season?
TB: I feel we have made tremendous progress. We have grown as unit. The camaraderie in the locker room and on the field seems to increase every day. We are all looking forward to next season.
SABP: I know everyone would like to get a win against the Ravens coming up this Sunday and end the season with a victory. How do you see the challenges of this game and in particular your match-up with Todd Heap?
TB: He is a great player. I will study film all week and continue to work as hard as I can to prepare. Year after year it seems Todd is always making plays. It will be a challenge to face him this week. I am looking forward to it. They are a good team.
Thanks Tyvon, best of luck against the Ravens this Sunday and all the best for a Happy New Year!