WR Derek Hagan goes up and makes a nice catch. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
News and notes from Napa: The Raiders hosted special guests from the United States military – SSG Matthew Laybourne, SSG Ruben Gonzales, and PVT Alberto Soriano.
The Oakland Raiders will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Battle of the Bay this Saturday at Candlestick Park in the second game of the preseason. The Raiders continued to prepare for the 49ers on Thursday during meetings, morning walk-through, and an afternoon practice session. The 49ers beat the Raiders in both the preseason and regular season in 2010, but the Silver and Black hope to reclaim the Bay this weekend.
Head Coach Hue Jackson and his staff have been working with their players to prepare for their cross-town rivals. "They are a very powerful football team and I think they have some very good talent," said Coach Jackson. "They play a 3-4 defense and I know their defensive coordinator pretty well. Vic Fangio, we worked together in Baltimore; me, him, and Al Saunders. He is one of the best in the league at what he does. He has been a long time defensive coordinator in the league so I am sure we will see some things differently. Vic likes to bring pressure so we need to combat that. They have some very good pass rushers. They have a very formidable front and I think just playing the game against the Niners is going to be a very good test for our football team."
The Raiders offense wants to improve on last week's performance after being held to one touchdown and four field goals. The offense is expecting to be tested by the 49ers defense, including LB Patrick Willis, S Dashon Goldson, and NT Isaac Sopoaga. "I'm sure they'll try to challenge us and bring a lot of different things at us because they want to win the Battle of the Bay," said FB Marcel Reece.
WR Derek Hagan will play in his first Battle of the Bay this weekend. "I definitely expect them to play hard," said Hagan. "Obviously, they're coming off the loss in New Orleans and I definitely expect them to be ready and to put a better game plan out there for us. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
The Raiders defense will have to contend with powerful RB Frank Gore, TE Vernon Davis, G Mike Iupati and WR Braylon Edwards. "They have a really explosive back in Frank Gore," said LB Kamerion Wimbley. "He is very respected in the league. I think they also have a really good threat in Vernon Davis. They have a lot of young explosive guys on their offense. I just look forward to a physical game. I look forward to a fast game."
The defense expects the 49ers offense to give it all they have after being held to three points against the New Orleans Saints last week. "I expect to see them try to pound it because they're a running team," said S Tyvon Branch. "Also probably some quick passes to get into rhythm because the Saints got after them a little bit in the first preseason game. We'll see when game day gets here what decision they make when they come out."
Although the team wants to leave San Francisco with the win, they are determined to come away with more than just the victory. "I'm looking to get better," said Hagan. "You know its preseason, but also trying to go out there and work hard and win this game. We lost against Arizona and hopefully we can go out there and improve whether it's on offense, defense, or special teams and definitely come out with a victory so we can get used to that feeling."
The players have individual and team goals for Saturday. "We want to work on being physical and everybody getting to the ball and get a win," said Branch.
"We want, first and foremost, the win, but besides a win, just more experience for us as veteran players," said Reece. "And to get our young guys more experience and more looks because the more looks you see in preseason, the better off you are in the regular season because you get to build off them and nothing is new for you."
The Raiders will head across the bay on Saturday afternoon to take on the 49ers. The game will air on KTVU Fox 2 at 5:00 p.m. PT. For complete game day coverage, log on to Raiders.com, Facebook, and Twitter.