Middleton fires more salvos

"They'll be a fight on Sunday. I'm wearing No. 73. I'm lining up at left guard. I'm not hard to find."--Oakland Raiders guard Frank Middleton


The "Frank Middleton Hour" featured more salvos fired at New York Jets defensive tackle Josh Evans on Wednesday.

            The Jets' interior lineman suggested that Oakland Raider offensive guards Frank Middleton and Mo Collins were unathletic and needed to resort to diving at opponent's knees in order to block. The two players and their teammates will meet Sunday afternoon in Oakland for an AFC Divisional playoff game.

            "They'll be a fight on Sunday," Middleton said. "I'm wearing No. 73. I'm lining up at left guard. I'm not hard to find."

            Middleton later offered a partial tongue-and-cheek comment.

            "Everything he says is true. He's God," Middleton said with a smirk. "He's a defensive lineman. His job is to tackle. I'm an offensive lineman. My job is to block the guy in front of me. If he thinks he's just going to get a free pass, he's joking. Find me on the field."

            Collins had a more subtle answer for Evans' claims.

            "I don't give in to any of that," Collins said. "We just play football. I was drafted in the first round. I know I'm athletic."

            The two teams played each other on Dec. 2 in a Monday night game, which Oakland prevailed 26-20. Raiders' safety Rod Woodson intercepted quarterback Chad Pennington's last gasp pass to preserve the win. New York offensive lineman Dave Szott commented that the Jets "ran out of time and it wasn't like they clearly beat us." Actually, Oakland outgained New York 440-297 in total yardage.

            "We know how long the game is," Middleton said. "The loser goes home and the winner stays here to play the winner of Pittsburgh and Tennessee in the AFC Championship Game."

            Oakland, the AFC's No. 1 seed, has played the Jets at home five times since 1999 and has won four of those meetings.

            "It's not a game of what if," Middleton said. "Stop being a punk. I get pumped up no matter who I play on Sunday. We can be playing a Little League team and I'll show up pissed off."


Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com

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