Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Healthy Branch trying to fit into Raiders revamped defense

By
June 11, 2014 |

ALAMEDA — Tyvon Branch has gone from being one of the most experienced members of the Oakland Raiders defense to one of the unproven ones after missing almost an entire season with an injury.

An injection of tested veterans with Super Bowl experience led to the change a year after Branch was one of just two returning defensive starters.

Branch went down with a broken leg in the second game of the season in 2013 and never returned, leaving a big void on a thin defense that was exposed throughout the year.

Branch is once again healthy this offseason and trying to fit into a revamped defense that was overhauled in free agency.

“We have guys at every position that have had a lot of success in this league,” Branch said Monday. “So, the more leaders you can get the better, obviously.”

Branch’s absence forced Brandian Ross to take a starting role last season and contributed to Oakland allowing the second-most points per game (28.3) in franchise history while staggering to a second straight four-win season.

Branch hoped to return late last season but was not fully recovered so the team didn’t rush him back.

“It was difficult sitting out,” he said. “I love the game. I tell you all the time, I love playing football. I got a lot of the guys on the team to help keep my spirits high.”

Now Branch gets a chance to show he can be an impact player. He showed flashes of that since entering the NFL in 2008, but has yet to generate the game-changing plays the Raiders believe he is capable of from his strong safety spot.

“It will be great for him coming off the injury,” fellow safety Charles Woodson said. “You know he’s hungry. You miss time from this game, you get a chance to reflect on a lot of things. Having him back, having him be hungry, as I know he is, will be great for our defense.”

Despite having the size and speed that could make him a top safety, Branch has struggled to make big plays in the NFL. He has just four interceptions, seven sacks, 24 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 72 career games.

But he was usually a sure tackler and his presence will allow Woodson to roam the field more than he did a year ago when he spent most of his time in the deep middle of the field to cover any mistakes made in front of him.

“Any time you lose a player of that caliber, it hurts you, and it handcuffs you a little bit,” coach Dennis Allen said. “I think we’ve addressed a lot of our needs on the football team. We’ve got more depth, where now we can do a few more things.”

Branch is one of the few players drafted by late owner Al Davis who is being counted on as a foundation piece in the rebuilding effort by Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Branch is one of the longest-tenured Raiders non-specialists, arriving in 2008 along with running backs Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece.

But he has never been part of a team that posted a winning record or made the playoffs and he lacks the winning experience of most of the newcomers added on defense this offseason.

McKenzie signed defensive linemen Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley and Antonio Smith and cornerbacks Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers, giving the defense five potential new starters who all have played in the Super Bowl.

“There’s a lot of winners on our defense, a lot of guys that have had a lot of success,” Branch said. “There’s a lot of great defensive players out there. One of the most talented defenses. I can say that.”

NOTES: CB DJ Hayden (right ankle) remains sidelined and might not return before training camp next month. … WR James Jones (hamstring) did not practice and DE Justin Tuck was not in attendance. … RB Darren McFadden got work as a kick returner in practice.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Those addictive, terrible, wonderful smartphones

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Police, faith groups look to change troubled neighborhoods

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Supervisors consider changes in various county fees

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
‘Operation Babylift’ kids, soldiers reunite 40 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

A dozen arrested as Freddie Gray protests turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Primary challenge could force Harris’ hand

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

 
How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Veterinarians are too expensive, and it puts pets at risk

By The Washington Post | From Page: C5

Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics