ALAMEDA — Doug Marrone wasn’t sure what to expect when he went to see Al Davis
Marrone, head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was head coach at Syracuse from 2009 through 2012 and had been a Raiders sixth-round draft pick in 1986. He knew Davis, with whom he had maintained a relationship, was in failing health.
Davis immediately put Marrone on the defensive.
“Even near the end he was very, very sharp,” Marrone told Bay Area reporters Wednesday by conference call. “He was sharp enough that the first time I walked in he said, ‘If you’re looking for me to donate money, you’re in the wrong (expletive) place.’
“You know what’s so funny? That’s exactly what my intention was. So right off the bat he just threw it right out there.”
Marrone brings the Jaguars to the Coliseum Sunday afternoon for the last scheduled Raiders game at the Coliseum. He will be thinking of Davis and their talks over the years before the Raiders’ owner died in 2011.
Given that Marrone is from the Bronx and went to Syracuse, he was a natural to connect with Davis. The late Raiders’ owner grew up in Brooklyn and also went to Syracuse. When Marrone was taken in the sixth round by the Los Angeles Raiders, he discovered Davis had done his homework.
“He knew everything about me, and he knew everything about everyone around me,” Marrone said. “He can bring things up — talk about the origins of scheme, whether it be the vertical passing game with him and Sid Gillman. You could talk about Paul Brown’s influences, (Bill) Walsh’s influences. The way he came up, his experience at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn.”
Marrone didn’t make the Raiders, but reconnected with Davis once he got to Syracuse.
“I would go to Oakland and meet with him once a year and those memories, they are something I would share with my son and I’m sure my son will share with his children and on and on and on,” Marrone said. “I think he’s one of the greatest men I’ve ever met and had one of the greatest influences on our game.”
Although drafted by the L.A. Raiders, Marrone learned all he needed to know about Oakland as a visiting line coach with the New York Jets from 2002 through 2005. Marrone was warming up his veteran linemen in the end zone when a heckler zeroed in.
“For some reason, there was this one guy, he was all over me. Like just killing me,” Marrone said. “Not the players — me. And the players would come up to me and say, `You’re going to take that (expletive) from that guy? If he did that to me I’d go up in the stands. You need to go into the stands. You need to confront him.’
“I’d go, `shut the hell up. We’re just going to go and play.’ ”
Marrone will be thinking about Davis Sunday.
“It’s a special place. I remember going there back in the day, you’d look over pregame warmups and Mr. Davis would be down on the sideline. A lot of the old Raiders would be there,” Marrone said. “I think for me, there will be a moment where I think, `Wow, I can’t believe the Oakland Raiders are moving.’ ”
PARKER READY IS BROWN CAN’T GO
Right tackle Trent Brown could miss his second straight game with a pectoral injury.
“It’s been tough on Trent, tough on our offense. But Brandon Parker right now will be prepared to play,” coach Jon Gruden said. “David Sharpe will continue to get reps and I think Trent is getting a little bit better but he’s not ready to roll yet.”
Parker had one holding penalty, but got good reviews from Gruden.
“Obviously not as good as I wanted it to be, but I think I did well overall. It took me a minute to kind of get my feet back into the ground,” Parker said. “Once I settled down and got back into my element I was fine.”
Parker tends to be hyper-critical of his own play, however.
“I’ll call my parents and they’ll say I played good, and I’ll tell them every single play I did bad on,” Parker said. “It’s the bad plays that haunt me. It can be a good trait to have, but it’s frustrating sometimes, too.”
After being outscored 7-0 in the third quarter against Tennessee, the Raiders have been beaten to the tune of 98-20 in the third quarters of 13 games.
“Coach talks about it with us, he addresses it,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Is it something that’s not being said? Something that we’re not thinking about? Are we too casual coming out? You look at all those things. Are the mental errors up on those drives rather than at the beginning? We really need to improve on that, especially against this team.”
REVENGE OF D.J. HAYDEN?
D.J. Hayden, the No. 13 overall draft pick in 2015 under G.M. Reggie McKenzie departed as a free agent after four years when the Raiders didn’t offer a fifth-year option. Hayden, who was seldom healthy, was largely a disappointment considering where he was drafted.
In his second season with Jacksonville after one year in Detroit, Hayden told the Associated Press he was looking forward to playing in Oakland.
“Yeah, they ain’t bring me back so, you know what I’m saying, got to make them pay for it,” Hayden said.
Marrone said Hayden, a nickel corner who has played in 12 games with seven starts and no interceptions with five passes defensed, has played well.
“He’s tough, he’s everything that we would want,” Marrone said. “He’s having a good year, he’s really played well for us.”
— Linebacker Preston Brown, who was released by the Raiders Tuesday, was claimed by the Jaguars, who now have access to anything Brown can tell them about Paul Guenther’s defensive scheme.
— The Raiders, down to 50 players after Tuesday’s roster moves, were back at 53 after the additions of defensive tackle tight end Eric Tomlinson (6-foot-6, 263 pounds), defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (6-foot-3, 295) and promoting cornerback Nick Nelson from the practice squad.
Tomlinson has played in 41 games with 31 starts for the Jets, Giants and Patriots. Rookie tight end Foster Moreau was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
Gruden said after the release of D.J. Swearinger that cornerback Daryl Worley would see time at safety and that Dallin Leavitt, who has played exclusively on special teams, would also get practice reps.
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