Good Morning Nation! Silver and Black Pride is proud to bring you the 3rd installment in the series, Talkin' With Tyvon from Raiders starting strong safety, Tyvon Branch. As you can imagine, Tyvon as well as the whole Raiders team are quite upset about how the game went down last night. Below you will see that Tyvon was kind enough to answer some questions from SABP and provide us some insight from last night's game.
Put your new questions to Tyvon in the comments section and he will do his best to get as many of them answered as quickly as possible:
Hello Raider Nation! Thank you for everything last night. You guys were great. It is tough taking a loss like that in the final seconds, but we will learn from it and move on. As I have read on the site, you guys expected a more energetic defense. I hope we gave you a glimpse of what we are capable of. The past week leading up to the game was a great of week of practice and film. Film this week really allowed us to react and anticipate some of the Chargers moves and calls. They are a very good club, and we look forward to playing them again. Right now, it is on to film to check out the chiefs. Thanks again, and I will be back on to answer some questions. Go Raiders!
SABP: Tyvon,that was really a tough loss to take, especially at home with the crowd so pumped. The team though looked like it has elevated the intensity and teamwork to another level compared to seasons past. How was the mood and vibe in the locker room after this loss say compared to last year's opener?
TB: First off, the fans were great. They add such a dimension to our defense. Losing a game in the final minute is rough. The mood was pretty down. We played hard and to not come out with a win hurts. Like you said, the intensity was there, we just need to step up in big situations. Losing a game like this is rough, and it is not a feeling we like. We will study the film and move on.
SABP: A tough assignment for your first game starting as you had Antonio Gates to man up on. He caught 5 passes, but you mostly had him neutralized, what was your plan on how you defended such a great pass catcher?
TB: Our defense was set up where I had Gates in man most of the night. He is good and he finds ways to get open. There is no excuse for allowing him to catch some of the balls he did last night. Our game plan was to get pressure, and I feel we did an excellent job of maintaining the line and keeping pressure on Rivers. He had to make some quick throws and he did.
SABP: In the second half, San Diego seemed to make adjustments to what the Raiders defense was giving them. They were able to complete some crucial passes in the 4th quarter to Sproles, who seemed to have a lot of space to work in. Was it the type of defense that was called on those plays to Sproles or did San Diego just make some good reads?
TB: It was a mixture of both. They went to some wider sets and spread us out more. That gives Sproles an opportunity to sneak out of the backfield and get those first downs. We needed to do a better job containing him.
SABP: You had 8 tackles overall and it looked like you were able to come up and play in the box on a few occasions and lay some wood. Is the game coming to you quicker now that this is your 2nd year with regards to your reads, where you are now able to let your natural abilities take over and trust your instincts?
TB: I feel comfortable in our defense. I feel each player is given the opportunity to utilize his skills and make plays. Whether I am coming up to the line, or dropping back in coverage I feel more comfortable in the D. As I continue to play, my confidence increases and instincts take over. With my speed, and if I can react a split second sooner I will be in better position to make plays.
SABP: You have a short week and have to go on the road an face Kansas City this Sunday. Do you just have to have a short memory and forget about the San Diego game, move on and get ready to take down the Chiefs?
TB: We will watch film, evaluate, and move on. The chiefs will bring some different challenges, and this week will be all about them. The Chargers are a great team, and we will remember this for round two. Keeping up our intensity is crucial throughout the season, and with fans like you it should not be hard. The louder you guys are the better! Go Raiders!!
Thanks Tyvon and good luck next week against the Chiefs.