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ALAMEDA – Considering the Raiders beat Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night, interim head coach Tony Sparano might be able to look back at Sio Moore and Khalil Mack’s excessive sack celebration and laugh.
Friday was not that time. The memories of a foolish act that jeopardized the Raiders’ chance to beat Kansas City are a little too fresh.
“I don’t chuckle over it,” Sparano said. “I can just imagine what the headline would be today.”
A loss credited partially to an offside sack dance while the Chiefs were driving would’ve been ugly, maybe among the worst in Raiders history.
The Raiders won, and nothing came from the incident, but it’s been dissected at the local and national level. If you’re not sure what happened – how that’s possible, I don’t know – Sio recorded a big sack on third down of a last ditch comeback attempt with less than a minute left. Moore and Mack celebrated behind the line of scrimmage as the Chiefs lined up for a fourth-down play
Moore and Mack received a stern talking to in-game by defensive end Justin Tuck, and afterward by Tuck and safety Charles Woodson in lighthearted fashion.
Sparano doesn’t feel the need to lecture, but will certainly tell his young players to celebrate the right way.
I want my team to play with a lot of enthusiasm and I want them to play with a lot of passion and those are two young players that honestly played their tails off last night.
“These are young players that have to learn and you’ve got to learn that those are situations,” Sparano said. “…We always talk about football awareness and football situations, situational football during the course of the game. That’s an odd one, because you usually think you’re off the field on third down, we just got them off the field and then all of a sudden they’re lined up on the football and they’re ready to run a play and you’ve got a problem.
“That’s something that I think both players will learn from and it’s a lot easier making those corrections after a win, but nonetheless, they’ve got to be corrected.”
Moore is an energetic sort, but even he understood the error of his celebration and apologized after the game.
“I was so caught up in the moment, man,” Moore said after Thursday’s game. “That was an error I’ve got to make sure I clean up, because in another situation – in all seriousness – that can make it the difference. I’ve got to understand that. I do apologize for putting the guys in that situation because that could come up in another situation later. Can’t let the emotions get the best of me, man. I’m just glad we were able to finish and capitalize, and most importantly, like I told my defensive coordinator [Jason Tarver] and my linebackers coach [Bob Sanders], I appreciate them trusting me to make the play in the fourth quarter for them.”