The answer came from a sixth-round draft pick still learning the intricacies of defensive end after playing his first two years of college ball at Buffalo as a tight end.
“That’s a big void to fill,” Scott said this week. “They just told me you need to grow up real fast. I’m not thinking about being a rookie and stuff. You go out and play.”
Scott did just that. He beat veteran right tackle Damien Woody to sack Favre and cause a fumble that the Jets recovered in the third quarter. Then with New York near midfield on the opening drive of overtime, Scott once again used his speed to sack Favre and force a punt.
That speed off the edge is what attracted the Raiders to Scott during the draft in spite of his limited experience on defense.
“I’ve always had a good eye for talent, and that kid has got a lot of talent,” defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said. “Of course, a blind man could see him on tape. That kid can play, and he’s getting better. The kid is like a sponge. … He’s going to keep getting better and better.”
Scott figures to get more opportunities this week at Baltimore with Burgess unlikely to play. After struggling in his first few chances filling in, Scott had a breakout performance against the Jets.
He has already come a long way from the raw rookie who arrived at minicamp five months ago.
“I thought early he seemed like a rookie, didn’t quite get it,” coach Tom Cable said. “He played at Buffalo, had some successes because he would play longer and harder than the guy he was playing against. He’s quick. But you get to this level and it’s a lot more than that. It’s really your mind and how you prepare it and how you take care of your body. All those guys go through learning how to do that.”
Scott frequently shows up early at practice to get extra work in with defensive line coach Keith Millard, a skilled pass rusher during his playing career. Cable, who is also the offensive line coach, has stressed to the undersized Scott the importance of splitting the offensive lineman in two and going after either his outside or inside shoulder.
That’s a big change from college, where Scott used his raw speed to record 19 sacks in his two years as a defensive end.
“In college, I just went out and played,” Scott said. “I was thrown into the position. I really didn’t know much. When I stepped on the field, I knew that I could burn the corner every time so I just tried to get pretty good at doing that. That’s pretty much what I did in college.”
Scott is listed at 258 pounds and is so undersized for the position that fellow defensive end Jay Richardson assumed he was an outside linebacker when they first met during offseason workouts.
But once he saw his speed, Richardson figured out why the Raiders drafted him.
“I watched him go through drills, come off the ball and thought, this kid’s fast,” Richardson said. “If he figures out actual pass rush concepts and how to use his tools he could be really good.”
RB Darren McFadden was limited in practice because of a lingering turf toe injury but is expected to play Sunday. … DT Gerard Warren was limited with an ankle injury but should be able to participate fully on Friday and play against the Ravens. … LB Jon Alston did not practice because of a foot injury and might miss Sunday’s game.
By: JOSH DUBOW