ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -When Jay Cutler dropped back to pass in the season opener against Oakland, he rarely felt any pressure and was able to pick apart the Raiders' defense quite easily.
Despite the inability to get pressure with their front four, the Raiders still were unwilling to alter their philosophy and call blitzes.
``I'm not going to get really get into if I was the defensive coordinator what I would do because that doesn't really matter,'' coach Lane Kiffin said Wednesday. ``I'm the head coach. I oversee everything and I control what I can control. Do I have the exact belief we do on defense? No, but it's hard to have the exact belief that we do. So, it is what it is.''
ingle time. Last year, Oakland's 74 blitzes were tied for the fewest with Indianapolis.
Owner Al Davis is known not to like blitzing and that has been the Raiders philosophy for years. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's father Buddy coached some of the game's most aggressive defenses in Chicago and Philadelphia and twin brother Rex uses blitzes frequently in Baltimore.
But Rob Ryan rarely calls for them in games in Oakland despite using them frequently during practice to test quarterback JaMarcus Russell and successfully at times during the preseason.
``We talk about it early in the week,'' Kiffin said. ``Rob and the owner are always in communication. For the most part, I let Rob do his thing over there. He has a belief in certain things and he has a conversation with the owner about that. So, that wasn't the way the game plan ended up the other night.''
Control of the defense was one of the issues that came between Davis and Kiffin in the offseason. Kiffin wanted to change defensive coordinators but Davis insisted that Ryan stay on board. That dispute led Davis to send Kiffin a letter of resignation to sign, but the coach refused and is back for a second season.
ed to be a strength.
Cutler was not sacked once during the game, going 16-for-24 for 299 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos had two starting tackles making their first career starts in the game and often kept extra blockers in to help. That made it very difficult for Oakland's front four to get sufficient pressure.
``When you have max protection and three-man routes and not a whole lot of guys rushing the quarterback, it makes it difficult to get there,'' defensive end Jay Richardson said. ``I think this week we'll show some different looks. It was the first game. We didn't want to pull everything out yet.''
The lack of pressure allowed Cutler to target cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who struggled to keep up with rookie Eddie Royal, who had nine catches for 146 yards and a score in his debut.
Hall said more blitzing would help the defensive backs, but isn't sure that is in the cards.
``That's not the way this defense is,'' he said. ``We're a four man pressure kind of defense. That's why coming in at halftime we found out they're max protecting, we can't get to them with four, let's change it up a little bit. That was the game plan. Then we come out after the half and just blow a coverage, leave Darrell Jackson open for a touchdown. We just didn't play, we just didn't execute.''
gess (shoulder), OT Kwame Harris (knee) and S Tyvon Branch (Tyvon Branch (shoulder) missed practice but are expected back Thursday and are slated to play Sunday. ... The Raiders re-signed T Seth Wand and placed Paul McQuistan on IR, ending his season. Wand was released on Monday, to make room for OL James Marten, who was claimed off waivers from Dallas.
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