SEATTLE – Fadol Brown has had an excellent Friday against the Green Bay Packers. The first-year Raiders defensive end had seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in that preseason game.
Head coach Jon Gruden was focused on the stat line. He honed in on something else.
His factor grade.
"Forget about the sack and a half he was rewarded," Gruden said. "His factor grade, pressures, penetrations, pursuit plays, was very, very good for a defensive end. I know he didn't go up against the Packers first team. I know he didn't see Aaron Rodgers, but it's all relative. He did a lot of good things."
One positive review came from the game film. Another came from Donald Penn, an offensive tackle who has sparred with him several times in practice.
"Fadol is out there just balling," the two-time Pro Bowler said. "He's having a great camp. Hat's off to him."
That might be the biggest compliment of all. That's good thing when offensive tackles single you out.
Brown has a high motor pushing every day, every practice. That has got him involved in some scuffles, but the on-field intensity shows how bad he wants to take advantage of this opportunity.
Brown is firmly on the roster bubble heading toward Saturday's final cut. Thursday's exhibition finale in Seattle won't change his standing much, not after mountains of game and practice tape has already been evaluated. The Raiders know what he can do, and how he fits into the scheme.
He loves the scheme and the new coaching staff, especially after a frustrating rookie year where he didn't feel the previous regime didn't give him a fair shake. He ended up on the practice squad, and thought late last year he was headed to another active roster. That didn't pan out. He's thankful he chose to return to the Raiders and work with Gruden and Guenther.
"It was one of the smartest decisions I've made thus far," Brown said. "I love these guys. I love the new coaching staff. Since the first day they got here they demand what they demand from everybody. A second-year guy or a six years in the league, it doesn't matter. They demand the most out of everybody. And it gave me a shot."
Brown has no regrets, no matter what happens on Saturday or the inevitable roster shuffling thereafter.
"There are a lot of people focused this week on making their future better," Brown said. "I just try to do everything I can do to gain an advantage. I'll do anything to put me in the best situation to be successful."
That Packers performance put him in a better spot, and had friends and family calling to celebrate a job well done. He didn't dive into texts and voicemails following the game, choosing instead to stay centered.
"I don't want to get too high or too low about myself or what happens in the preseason," Brown said. "Every week it starts over, and I have to keep grinding and pushing forward."