Greetings my fellow members of the Silver and Black Pride community! I am pleased to bring to all of you the 11th installment in the series, Talkin' With Tyvon, from Raiders starting strong safety Tyvon Branch.
This week's edition is a little longer as it covers some of the period during the bye-week when we only had one installment. Tyvon discusses the various topic both prior to and following the Chiefs game.
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...sorry I was unable to get in touch with you last week. It was a busy week, and we all had some time to rest up. I also had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my UCONN teammates and discuss the tragedy that occurred there. It makes you really value what we have. My thoughts and prayers are with Howard family. It definitely puts things into perspective.
Unfortunately we were unable to come away with a win yesterday, but the bye week allowed us to go over some much needed adjustments. I thought we had them this week, but we were unable to capitalize on some of their mistakes. That was one of the key points Coach Cable stressed. We have to take advantage of every opportunity. People always say good teams find ways to win. Well we need to start finding those ways. We felt great coming into the game, some things just did not go our way.
SABP: With a 2-7 record, it's very easy to get discouraged, but it is evident that you are playing with a lot of energy out there. What are the things that you are doing to keep yourself motivated under the circumstances of this season?
TB: Having the opportunity to play football for a living keeps me motivated. We put in an extensive amount of time, but it is great to be out there on Sunday's with the fans. You guys keep us going. Thank you for your support.
SABP: You were in the Chiefs game all the way and the defense held them to 16 points. Does the defense feel any add pressure thinking that they have to keep teams to 10 points or less to have a chance for win?
TB: Our goal is to always go for a shutout. Obviously this is a tough task, but we never feel pressure to keep them to a certain point level. We just go out and try to make plays. Putting pressure on your self can cause unnecessary mistakes, and that is something we do not need.
SABP: You have the surprising high-flying Bengals coming in with all of their offensive talent. What are your thoughts on how you will personally prepare for the challenges of that offense?
TB: They are going to be tough. Offensively I do not think they scored a TD this week, but their D looks great. We need to go out and shut down their running attack. That has been a surprise this year, but with Carson back there they are tough all around. Once I get a chance to watch more film this week, I will have a better idea of our gameplan.
(Editor's note: The following two questions were asked to Tyvon during the bye-week prior to the Chiefs game)
SABP: It has been reported that during the Raiders bye-week that the team practiced last Wednesday and Thursday and worked exclusively on correcting the various problems the team had during the first 8 games. How did that go and do you think the various problems were corrected?
TB: Practices went well. I know we have the talent out here. We continually give up some big plays and that hurts us. Minimizing those was a big focus. I think we did a relatively decent job against the Chiefs keeping the big plays to a minimum. We need to build on that.
SABP: The bye-week must have been good for everyone to get healthy, in fact Coach Cable believes that the returning injured players are going to make a big difference in the teams' play. Can you say if noticed a difference on the practice field with the returning injured players?
TB: I would say there was more confidence all week. The team realizes we need to be healthy, and getting some guys back will help. There was also a more upbeat feel to practice.
Thanks Tyvon for taking the time to answer all the questions and good luck against the Bengals.