Posted November 18, 2011 on AP on Fox
Oakland left tackle Jared Veldheer has a monumental task this week trying to slow down NFL sacks leader Jared Allen of Minnesota. While it might sound a little crazy, Veldheer hopes the Raiders let him go at it alone. The second-year offensive lineman certainly respects Allen and calls him one of the best in the league. Veldheer just thinks the Raiders' offense could suffer if they have to send help his way. ''You want to have (teammates) be able to do their thing,'' Veldheer said Thursday. ''You want them to be able to get in the pass route to make a first down or do something to help us convert. As long as you do your job and someone doesn't have to help you, then we're better off.'' Then again it really hasn't mattered what strategy teams have used against Allen. His 13 1/2 sacks are two off his career high, and the three-time Pro Bowl defensive end needs only 4 1/2 more to reach 100 for his career. Since notching half a sack in Minnesota's opener against San Diego, Allen has had at least one full sack in eight straight games. In four of them, he's had multiple sacks. ''He's as good as there is in football,'' Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. ''The guy has 13 1/2 sacks, and it's not by accident. He doesn't make any magical things happen, he just goes and plays extremely hard. What we have to do is get him blocked.'' That job will primarily belong to Veldheer. Oakland's third-round draft pick in 2010, Veldheer has been one of the Raiders' most consistent players on an offensive line that is second in the NFL for fewest sacks allowed (11). A year after getting burned for 7 1/2 sacks as a rookie, the 6-foot-8, 315-pound Veldheer has been beat for sacks only twice this season. He's also reduced his penalties, from 15 in 2010 to just five through nine games this season. Jackson acknowledges Veldheer has never faced a challenge quite like the one Allen poses, which is why the Raiders will probably scheme for some additional help on the left side of the line. ''He's one of those guys (where it) doesn't matter if you're running the ball away from them, they can make the play,'' Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer said. ''He's a high-effort, explosive, fast, tenacious defender. He can do it all so he's a guy that we definitely need to keep an eye on and know where he is at all times.'' Veldheer was drafted out of Hillsdale College to play left tackle for the Raiders but he wound up making his NFL debut at center when Oakland couldn't find anyone else to do the job. He moved back to tackle the following week and hasn't left the job since. ''I feel like I'm always still working at it,'' Veldheer said. ''I don't feel like I'm at a spot where I'm there where I need to be. I don't feel that at all. There are a bunch of things I can get better at.'' Oakland's entire offensive line has been playing well despite starting two players - Veldheer and rookie left guard Stefen Wisniewski - who have been in the league fewer than two full seasons. The Raiders have allowed just one sack more than the league-leading Buffalo Bills. Oakland also owns the league's fourth-ranked rushing attack, a nod to the five men up front. Still, as good as Veldheer and the line have been, Oakland will almost assuredly deploy some extra help to slow down Allen. ''(Veldheer) doesn't want a lot of help, truth be told,'' Jackson said. ''He wants to be out there on his own. But I have the right to determine that. So, what we'll do is help when we think our guys need help and we'll try to get our guys out when we think we can get them out.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Raiders’ Obstacles and Weapons

The Raiders are one of the most up and down teams in the NFL, but with good reason. At the beginning of the season, they rose with the Autumn wind, fueled by the emotion of the passing of Mr. Silver and Black himself. They looked unstoppable; that is, until Campbell got hurt. The team, who [...]

Veldheer to take on the NFL sack leader

ALAMEDA – Oakland left tackle Jared Veldheer has a monumental task this week trying to slow down NFL sack leader Jared Allen of Minnesota. Jared Veldheer

Seymour misses second straight practice

Oakland defensive tackle Richard Seymour missed his second straight practice Friday, leaving him questionable for Sunday's game in Minnesota. Seymour has been hampered by a knee injury and has not practiced since Oakland's 24-17 win in San Diego on Nov. 9. Coach Hue Jackson sounded optimistic earlier this week when asked if Seymour would play against the Vikings but backed...

Raiders DE Seymour questionable after missing practice

Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings. Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he was surprised that Seymour was unable to practice Friday. The 32-year-old Seymour has 24 tackles and 5.0 sacks in nine games this season. The former first-round draft pick has 54.0 sacks in 11 seasons with the Raiders...

Seymour misses 2nd practice; his status for Sunday in doubt

ALAMEDA – Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour missed his second straight practice Friday, leaving him questionable for Sunday's game in Minnesota. Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour hurt his knee Nov. 9 in San Diego.

Week 11 NFL Barometer

RISERS Denarius Moore, WR, OAK - Moore hauled in five passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10; and it looks like he'll be the Raiders' top receiver while Jacoby Ford is out with an injury. Ford's replacement, Darrius Heyward-Bey - the team's top wide out for a few weeks earlier this season - saw zero targets after replacing him. Moore, meanwhile, has...

The Shutdown Corner Interview: Kevin Boss

Despite battling some injuries this year, Raiders tight end Kevin Boss looks to be a prominent part his team's offense heading into the stretch run of the season. The 2008 Pro Bowl selection when he was with the New York Giants talked with Yahoo! Sports taking a "nickel" of questions: Yahoo! Sports: You made a name for yourself while with the Giants, having spent...

Behind Enemy Lines: Michael Bush, Carson Palmer eyeing big day against the Vikings

This week's Behind Enemy Lines segment with Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Raiders' Big Task is to Contain Adrian Peterson

The Raiders go into Minnesota this Sunday with a lead in the AFC West, and they know if they just take care of business every week it’s their division to lose. “That’s all you can ask for is that you are in control, that it’s not about somebody doing something for you,” Oakland head coach Hue Jackson told the Bay Area News Group’s Steve Corkran. “It’s about taking...

NFL Preview - Oakland (5-4) at Minnesota (2-7) (ET)

While the Oakland Raiders had a few extra days to savor their biggest victory of this 2011 season, the Minnesota Vikings won't have much time to try to shake off their worst beating in a decade when the struggling club hosts the current AFC West leaders in Sunday's interconference showdown from the Metrodome.
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.