Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 23, 2008
Long and Ellis would fit

INDIANAPOLIS – No Glenn Dorsey today. So thoughts from the LSU defensive tackle and former teammate of JaMarcus Russell will have to wait until tomorrow.

But two defensive linemen that could end up Raiders did speak today.

Chris Long, better known as Howie’s kid to Raider fans, addressed the media with the composure expected from a player that had a father in the spotlight as a player and television analyst his entire life.

Sedrick Ellis also spoke. The USC defensive tackle is the most likely of the top defensive players to be available when the Raiders pick fourth in the first round.

Here’s Long on what it would mean to play for the Raiders:

“It would mean the same as playing anywhere else, honestly. It would be an opportunity to play in the NFL. Obviously there's so much more to it there. I'm not afraid of any situation or any burden with the name. I've been dealing with this stuff my whole life. But obviously it will be taken to a new level in a place like that. It's pressure, but I tend to welcome any pressure with open arms.”

Long’s first memory of Al Davis was being a child hiding in his mother’s car while visiting Howie in training camp because families were prohibited from visiting:

“It was so long ago. I was young. I just got down in the car. I was a little kid. I was young enough to hide on the floor of a car, which means I was pretty young.”

On where he’d fit in a pro defense:

“Interestingly enough, people talk about what a transition it would be for me to be a 3-4 outside linebacker. But, let's not forget that I never played in a 4-3 in college either. I was a base defensive end in a 3-4. Either position would be a fresh start for me and an opportunity to learn and an opportunity for me to progress as a player.”

That he played end in a 3-4 means Long has plenty experience playing against the run. And the Raiders need help in that area.

Ellis would also help against the run. He’s strong with broad shoulders. At 6-foot, he’s able to play with good leverage. He played for the Raiders’ coaching staff at the Senior Bowl, so they know his talents well.

Ellis on where he fits on the defensive line:

“I can do either – the nose tackle, the 1 technique, or the 2 technique. I played both in college so I’m used to doing that kind of thing. Whatever a team needs me to play I’ll play.”

More on Ellis playing nose tackle:

“I’m pretty comfortable with that. Coach Carroll has implemented a 3-4 scheme in the last two years into our defense, which was mainly a 4-3. I’ve been playing a lot of ‘zero’ technique, playing the two-gap system, and I was actually pretty good at it. I didn’t know how I would fare at it but it turned out I was very good at it so I’m very comfortable.”

On his height being an advantage:

“A lot of people like taller tackles but I think my height is just great. You get these big 6-5 linemen and I can get up underneath them and uproot them out of what they’re trying to do. Great feet work, great hands and the leverage I think works to my advantage a lot.”

On does he need to add weight to play in the middle:

“I think I can do it at 309. At 309 I’m moving fast and very few of those guys who can keep up with me. I have no problem playing double teams, as you guys have seen in the Senior Bowl and often in my career at SC when I took on double teams. I never had a problem with it before so I don’t see why it should be a problem.”

Ellis would be a great addition at a spot the Raiders have ignored in the draft too long.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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