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James Cowser: Fumble recoveries were like 'manna from heaven'

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Sunshine? More like Johnny on the Spot.

James Cowser, whose long blonde hair triggered the same Sunshine nickname given to the quarterback with flowing golden locks in the seminal football movie "Remember the Titans," is ready for his name change and, well, close up with the Oakland Raiders.

The outside linebacker/defensive end provided the Raiders with two rare highlights during a 27-10 thumping at Washington on national television Sunday night. He recovered two fumbles deep in Washington territory. As such, Cowser just may discuss his being in the right place at the right time on his upcoming Webisode series that will air in China.

Yes, a crew is following Cowser, who spent two years in Hong Kong on an LDS mission, around this fall and he will interact with Chinese fans on the Internet.

The more astute will want to know about his takeaways.

"Just doing my job my best and then I've got great teammates around me that did their job, and I just happened to be the person that picked it up," Cowser said Tuesday. "It was weird. People asked me about it and I just kept saying, it felt like manna. Manna from heaven."

Cowser's first recovery came on special teams in the third quarter.

Racing downfield on Marquette King's 44-yard punt, Washington's Jamison Crowder muffed the catch at the 9-yard line, the ball rolling directly to an oncoming Cowser. He jumped on it at the Washington 18-yard line.

Two plays later, Jared Cook took Derek Carr's short pass to the left over the pylon for a touchdown, and Oakland was within 21-7 with less than four minutes to play in the third.

Early in the fourth quarter, Samaje Perine was popped by Cory James for a 2-yard loss and the ball came loose, bouncing straight to Cowser, who dived on it at the Washington 12-yard line.

The Raiders would get to the 4-yard line, but after three straight incompletions, had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio to get within 24-10 with 11:57 to play.

Truly, Cowser's two plays resulted in the Raiders' two lone scores.

"That's what he does," linebacker Bruce Irvin said of Cowser. "He's not going to wow you, but he's always in the right spot. He's a smart player. He must be living right."

Cowser, who played 21 snaps on special teams and 16 snaps on defense and had three tackles there, simply smiled.

"It was just placed before me," Cowser said, "so I just felt really blessed in that sense."