Archive for Sunday, July 27, 2003

Stubblefield happy to be wearing silver and black

July 27, 2003

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— Dana Stubblefield had been curious for some time what it would be like to wear the silver and black.

Oakland Raiders senior assistant Bruce Allen had the answer.

"Doesn't he look good in it?" Allen said of the team's new defensive tackle, a former Kansas University standout. "He looks much more handsome in it. It does him well."

Stubblefield, released by San Francisco in February in a salary-cap move, is less interested in how he looks -- his top priority is making sure he can keep up with the rest of the Raiders' talented veterans on defense.

"It's always good to know that a team wants you, and these guys wanted me," said the 32-year-old Stubblefield, who's beginning his 11th NFL season.

Stubblefield has spoken to Jerry Rice and Charlie Garner about the transition of going from the 49ers to the Raiders on the other side of San Francisco Bay.

"I think everybody is curious, especially when you play so close together," he said of being with the Raiders. "I'm getting my opportunity. I talked to Jerry and he says it doesn't take you too long. Once you're in there, you're in there, doing what you do best."

Stubblefield spent two stints with the 49ers, seven years total. He was with Washington the other three seasons.

San Francisco cut Stubblefield after general manager Terry Donahue said he gained too much weight and struggled as the season wore on, but Raiders owner Al Davis is known for providing players with second chances.

"It's sunk in, but it really won't hit me until come game time," Stubblefield said of being a Raider. "(Davis) takes care of his players. That's what's made him so successful over the years. He's realized it's the players who are going to win these ballgames."

Stubblefield is listed at 6-foot-2 and 290 pounds on the Raiders' training camp roster. The team is pleased with his conditioning, so far.

He joins an experienced defense featuring John Parrella, Trace Armstrong, Rod Woodson, Bill Romanowski and Charles Woodson.

Stubblefield appreciates that defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan has so much trust in his players.

"Chuck is allowing us to do things on our own," Stubblefield said. "It's not a baby-sit, let me walk you through this, let me hold your hand and walk you through the game plan. You see on guys' faces. It's just all the little things."

Stubblefield was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1993 and NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1997, the same year he notched his third Pro Bowl berth after recording a career-high 15 sacks for the 49ers.

"We're thrilled to have him," Allen said. "He reported in terrific shape."

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