Cornerback David Amerson
For an NFL defensive back, there's no rest for the weary -- just ask cornerback David Amerson.
After opening the 2016 regular season in New Orleans against Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks, Amerson and the Raiders defense will now be tasked with squaring off against another dynamic quarterback-wide receiver tandem this week when the Raiders play host to Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the Atlanta Falcons.
"I don't think there's going to be a break," said Amerson. "This league is full of good receivers, good quarterbacks. It's something you have to deal with."
Last season, the Falcons boasted a Top-10 offense, averaging 374.4 yards per game, and after their first game of 2016 – albeit a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – they look to be recreating that success. Ryan threw for 334 yards in the team's Week 1 game, and the Falcons were also able to add 52 yards on the ground.
"I think they [Atlanta] have a good, balanced offense," Amerson said. "They have a good run game that really sets up the pass, a lot of play actions, stepping up the linebackers and trying to bang it in behind them, stuff like that. I think he gets a lot of his yards like that, and when you have a freak outside like Julio [Jones], sometimes he'll just lob it up for 60 yards, and he goes and makes a play. I think for years he's been striving on little things like that."
Jones is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has hit the 1,000-yard mark every season he's been in the NFL save two, but although he's undoubtedly a tough cover, Amerson believes that he has the skillset to match up with the dynamic receiver.
"I feel like bigger receivers, for me, are better matchups for me, because things that they're good at are things that I feel like I'm good at," Amerson explained. "Stuff like going up and getting the ball, or playing the ball at the highest point, or [being] physical off the line, so it kind of matches up compared to a faster, shiftier, speedier guy."
The Raiders are now in the midst of their on-field preparation for their Week 2 contest with the Falcons, and there likely isn't a player more excited to strap the pads back on than cornerback Sean Smith, who was pulled during the second half of the game against the Saints.
However, even with another high-flying offense coming to town, Amerson is confident his running mate on the outside will bounce back.
"He's been in this league long enough to know how stuff goes," said Amerson. "You're going to have your good and bad days, your good and bad plays, you just have to keep competing, and trust in your technique and your ability, and keep playing. Sometimes receivers are going to catch the ball. Stuff happens in this league. I've been on that side where stuff didn't go so well for me in the game. You just have to keep playing. I don't think anybody really tripped out or anything."
T – Austin Howard – Ankle – Full
C – Rodney Hudson – Knee – Did not participate
G – Gabe Jackson – Knee – Did not participate
RB – Taiwan Jones – Concussion – Did not participate
T – Matt McCants – Knee – Did not participate
T – Menelik Watson – Groin – Did not participate
-Veteran tackle Austin Howard returned to practice Wednesday after missing the entire first week of regular season action. However, he was the only tackle who was able to return to work, as both Matt McCants (knee) and Menelik Watson (groin) were unable to take part in the day's work.
-The offensive line group was even sparser than originally expected, as center Rodney Hudson and guard Gabe Jackson also didn't go through Wednesday's on-field work.
-The Silver and Black made a transaction prior to Sunday's practice, terminating the practice squad contract of linebacker Curtis Grant, and then signing defensive end Jimmy Bean to the practice squad.
Bean – who played his college football at Oklahoma State – was out on the field with his new teammates going through drills.
-Coaching never stops. During the stretching portion of Wednesday's practice, special teams coordinator Brad Seely spent several minutes talking with linebacker Daren Bates, reviewing some aspects of the team's walkthrough earlier in the day.
David Amerson on the similarities between Amari Cooper and Julio Jones:
"I think Coop is a little more finesse than Julio in terms of like quickness, and getting out of breaks, and stuff like that. Julio is a buildup guy. He's more speed, like long term, like running down the field speed. He can go get the ball. Him and Coop can both do that well, but I think Coop is a little more finesse."
Head Coach Jack Del Rio on Latavius Murray's touchdown run:
"Latavius did a nice job finishing that run off; lowered his pad level. I mean he's a high cut guy, so he has to work to get his pads down. He did and obviously great results."
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