Lots To Prove for Morrison on Sunday

The Raider game is a special one for linebacker Kirk Morrison, but he doesn't want to admit it. He has deep roots in Oakland as an Oakland native who grew up rooting for the Raiders. His father is still a Raiders' season-ticket holder, he played the first five years of his NFL career in Oakland and he still owns a home there.

"I grew up knowing all the guys from Tim Brown and Marcus Allen. I could name about 10 guys. Bo Jackson and Howie Long. I could go on for days. It was my childhood team. I loved watching them and I loved playing for them," he said.

Still, he insists he is not hyped up about playing the Raiders Sunday for the first time since they traded him to the Jaguars last April during the NFL draft.

"I'm not even thinking about all that stuff right now," he said. "I put that stuff all away."

He said the goal is to win the 13th game of the season to keep the Jaguars in first place in the AFC South as they continue their bid for their first division title since 1999.

"We want to go out and win this game more for what we're trying to accomplish, not about where I played at before or going against my old team. It is nothing about that anymore. The thing I'm preaching all week long is it just happens to be the Raiders. I don't care who it was this week. We've got to get a win," he said.

Morrison also insists he's not upset that the Raiders decided to draft Rolando McClain in the first round to replace him and then traded him.

"They went in a different direction. I'm here in Jacksonville with a great opportunity and I don't see it as they got rid of him (Morrison) doing this and doing that," he said.

He feels that with several defensive veterans, including Richard Seymour, becoming free agents after this season, they decided to build around McClain.

Morrison also will be a free agent at the end of the year and he's hoping the Jaguars will re-sign him because he is enjoying his time with the Jaguars.

"Coming down here and being a part of this organization has been great. I wouldn't really switch it around. I'm happy to be here because you get a new look at the NFL. You get a chance to see a different perspective, a different coast and see the way things are run here. I really do like the way the things are done here," he said.

Morrison, though, is the first to admit that he struggled earlier in the season and got off to a slow start while meshing with his new team.

"Definitely," he said. "There was an adjustment period. I'm starting to hit a groove. The last few weeks, I finally understand everything. I was just scratching the surface of what I can get done with this defense."

Coach Jack Del Rio said, "He's definitely been better in the last month. I think more decisive, more downhill. It's hard to be any good up front if you aren't doing that with your linebackers."

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