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Raiders Football 101

Rhonda Costa
Appeal Staff Writer

ALAMEDA, CALIF. ” The Oakland Raiders recently held its 12th annual Football 101 Workshop. In a changed format, the event was held at the team’s headquarters in Alameda and McAfee Coliseum in Oakland.

In an effort to teach attendees the basics and then some about the game of football, former players Robert Jenkins, Kenny Shedd and Greg Biekert, along with former running backs coach Joe Scarella, and Hall of Famers Fred Biletnikoff and Willie Brown talked about various plays on offense, special teams and defense.

“This defense is called a 3-4,” said Biekert, who showed why it is called that in reference to how many players are lined up on the line, and in the secondary. Biekert played middle linebacker for the Raiders for eight seasons and led in tackles in six of those eight seasons.

Talking offense was former lineman Jenkins. Jenkins described a play in which the quarterback would put the tight end into motion, have him set at the left end (to block), then fake a hand-off to the halfback and give the ball to the running back.

Participants of 101, mostly women, lined up on the 5-yard line in the Red Zone and ran the play. Each position from center to guard to tackle were told what to do. The running back ran wide left and scored. They then ran the play in reverse to the right, and scored again.

At the center of the field were Scarella and wide receiver Shedd, who talked about extra-point attempts. Scarella explained the positions and the basics of an extra-point either by kicking or in attempting a 2-point conversion. Again, the women lined up on the field and their attempt at the kick was good. The 2-point conversion failed as the pass was dropped.

“I learned so much by actually playing the position,” said Gloria Langenbach, who is a member of the Carson City Raiders Booster Club. Langenbach, along with Paulette Patay and Rhonda Costa attended the workshop.

“I don’t know a whole lot to begin with, but this helped make the game make a little more sense for me.”

“I thought it was great being on the field at the coliseum,” Patay said. “It was fun being out here. I liked it and really enjoyed it.”

Raiders CEO Amy Trask spoke with the attendees and agreed the past five years in the Raiders organization have not been easy.

“But it’s (situation) going to get fixed,” Trask said. “And it’s going to get better.”

Offensive line coach Tom Cable was promoted recently to interim head coach for the Oakland Raiders. Inside information from Raiders personnel said if Cable performs well, he could be in line for the job on a permanent basis.

It was also mentioned the biggest issue of fired coach Lane Kiffin and owner Al Davis was personality and poor play calls by Kiffin.

In the 11 years the workshop has been held, more than $200,000 has been raised to provide breast cancer treatment for low income and underinsured women in the Bay Area,through Alta Bates Summit Medical Foundation.

“The history of the Raiders is great,” Scarella said. “Like Greg and Morris (Bradshaw, former wide receiver) and these other guys have said, ‘Once a Raider, always a Raider.'”