Greetings Silver and Black Pride community! I am pleased to bring to all of you the 6th installment in the series, Talkin' With Tyvon, from Raiders starting strong safety Tyvon Branch. The game against the Texans was a rough game for Tyvon, the team and the fans and this week Tyvon lays it out about what he and the Raiders need to do to get the team back on track.
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:
Hello Raider fans. It was another tough loss this weekend. We made a lot of dumb mistakes and are in the process of eliminating those. This week against the Giants you will see a fired up squad ready to go. We had a productive film session and will continue studying the Giants. They pose a lot of challenges for our D. Eli is a great player and can distribute the ball well. It will be a tough game, but with the right preparation I am confident.
SABP: First off, I must say that your defense is really coming into its own. It also seems like when you went into a two deep zone, (Tampa Two) that is when the big passing plays happened on Sunday. Being that you are mostly a man on man defense, is it difficult to transition to zone? And how do you feel your game is coming along?
TB: Getting in a rhythm with one defense is sometimes easier, but being predictable is not something we can do. It is our job to continue throwing different looks at the offense and try to make plays. Personally, I feel like I am progressing as I get a better feel of the defense and become more confident in my ability.
SABP: On a personal note, it looked like you were being held on Special Teams yesterday, right in front of the ref, but, he didn't blow the whistle. And that was only one such situation where it seemed that the "Zebras" were not calling plays for the Raiders, while they were being ticky-tack against the team (CJ getting a penalty for celebrating when he pointed to the sky, but their kick returner not getting one for doing the booty slap dance in the back of the end-zone). It is widely accepted as truth that when you come to the Raiders you must beat the other team and the guys in black and white. Is there any truth to that?
TB: First off, I love the question. Especially your description of the dance. There is really no other way to put it, and it sounds much less manly being said then when it was performed on the field. Second, the refs have to call the game as they see it. I know this weekend across the league there were some calls against defensive linemen on quarterbacks that everyone is questioning. The refs do get graded on their performance, and at the end of the day I do not think the officials purposely miss calls. The game is fast, and there is a lot going on.
SABP: Many of us have been through 1-3 starts before, in fact, it has become the norm for us fans over the past 6, now 7, seasons. I know that the team expects more from themselves and I am wondering who is stepping up, besides Nnamdi, as a vocal leader that can galvanize this unit so that hope for this season is not lost?
TB: Everyone is responsible for the start of the season, and I think we are all becoming more vocal. We need to win games. The veterans are getting in our ear about working during the week. Coaches are staying on top of us as well. Everyone has to do their part.
SABP: With the 4-0 Giants coming up this Sunday on the road, scoring points may be difficult to come by. Does the defense believe that they will need to force turnovers and create scoring opportunities for the team to prevail against the Giants?
TB: That is one of our goals every week. Putting our offense in the best possible situation to score is crucial to winning games. Giving them a short field, and not allowing points are goals we have every week.
Thanks Tyvon and good luck Sunday for bringing home a W from the Meadowlands.