Women learn about football from the Raiders

Four members of the Carson City Raiders Booster Club recently attended the Oakland Raiders Football 201 Workshop for Women held at the organization's training facility in Alameda, Calif.

The event is held as a fund-raiser for the Alta Bates Summit Medical Foundation to help low-income and underinsured women receive mammograms and treatment for breast cancer.

The workshop, an advanced form of Football 101, is designed to teach more intricate aspects of football in three areas -- offense, special teams and defense. Members of the training team also were on hand to describe uniform, equipment and how they help the players ready for each game.

Special appearances were made by Chief Executive Amy Trask and Head Coach Bill Callahan.

With each area of the game, a member of the Raiders football team addressed the women describing the finer points of their individual job and how they work in conjunction with the remainder of the players on the field.

Taking the helm at special teams was running back and kick returner Terry Kirby. Kirby explained how the middle line of players on the return team will form a wedge in front of him, and act as blockers to open a line for him to run through.

"That's how that is supposed to work," Kirby described, as the film review showed him running around the wedge and down the field for his first-ever NFL kick return for a touchdown.

"There I am, in the end zone."

The audience responded with a resounding cheer.

With a warm sense of humor, defensive tackle John Parella described the purpose of his position and that of the defense -- get to the quarterback and get to the ball.

"When you're lined up like this (five-man front), my job and the job of my teammates, is to break through the offensive line and get to the guy with the ball," Parella said.

The film clip ensued showing Parella break past an offensive lineman and sacking the opposing team's quarterback. Parella reversed and showed the play a few more times, gaining applause and laughter after each one.

"That's the best part of my job," Parella explained, while he received "high-fives" from his teammates in the clip.

Adding to the anticipation of who would be the final speaker, was the painstakingly slow introduction by Executive Assistant Bruce Allen of wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Rice was humbled by the extreme applause and standing ovation received as he walked on stage. A very cordial man, Rice thanked the women and began to talk strategies of the offense.

"When Tim (Brown) and I line up like this (pointing to the film clip), it gives quarterback Rich Gannon an option as to who to throw to," Rice said. "Whoever is open, or has the best potential to make the play, is usually the one who gets the ball."

Rice fielded a number of questions from the audience, thanked everyone for attending and left the stage.

Allen then introduced former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Morris Bradshaw, now an executive assistant with the organization, Dawn Roberts, business affairs, and Renell Brooks-Dawn, public address announcer with the San Francisco Giants and longtime Raiders fan., who served as co-emcee. All were responsible in organizing the event.

Women attending from Carson City were Paulette Patay, Laura Hill, Leni Manning and Rhonda Costa-Landers.

"I learned what special teams were," Hill said.

"And I didn't know you had to use so many types of equipment, like the different cleats for different playing surfaces.

"But I enjoyed myself. They treated us very nicely."

"To have the privilege to see Jerry Rice in person was amazing," Patay said.

"Just to be in the same room with the man and knowing he would take his own time to be with us was incredible.

"I also enjoyed the locker room and sitting in front of each one of the player's own locker area. Tim Brown's was a mess. It was cool."


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