Schweigert shakes off mistake

Athletes are taught not to get too high after success and not to get too low after failure. Oakland Raiders rookie safety Stuart Schweigert got his first serious lesson on Sunday in practicing the latter in his NFL career which now spans 12 games.

Schweigert, whom the Oakland Raiders drafted in the third-round out of Purdue, is one of the more upbeat guys on the team but even he took a couple of days to get back to normal when the Raiders lost Sunday 34-27 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

With the game tied at 27-all late in the fourth quarter, Kansas City quarterback Trent Green lofted a pass to wide receiver Eddie Dennison. Schweigert arrived late and Dennison shook free of the tackle and went into the end zone for the game-winning score.

"It was a situation where I was trying to make a play," Schweigert said. "I was trying to get a strip. The guy got away from me and made a play. I'm learning as I go. Maybe next time I'll just make sure I secure the tackle instead of strip at it."

The reason Schweigert arrived late toward Dennison was because he was initially keeping his eye on tight end Tony Gonzalez, who according to head coach Nor Turner was already double-teamed on the play. Then, perhaps in his desire to make up for that mistake, he compounded matters by making another.

"Usually I don't go for things like that but, again, I just remember seeing those things and tried to make a play," Schweigert said. "It kind of backfired on me."

As for what his veteran teammates might have told him after the fact, "They just told me, ‘Keep your head up.' I'm learning as I go. I'm going to make mistakes, it's just a matter of forgetting about it and moving on."

The Hot Rod in the middle

After the Raiders tumultuous 2003 season, no one was more eager to bolt than defensive tackle Rod Coleman, who essentially bought his way out of Oakland after voiding the last year of his contract.

Coleman was courted during the off-season by the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons. Coleman eventually chose the Falcons, who host the Raiders Sunday. Coleman has enjoyed a superb season in Atlanta, where he has recorded 8.5 sacks, 5.5 more than any Oakland defender.

"He's playing real well in rushing the passer," Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins said. "He gets off on the ball extremely well. He's become a disruptive force for offenses. They certainly feel they can put pressure on the quarterback."

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at

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