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The Oakland Raiders are tapping into animal instincts

Nov 22, 2013, 3:00 PM PDT

A lot of professional athletes post pictures of cars, their kids, or inspirational quotes on Instagram. The Oakland Raiders post pictures of predacious animals.

A new social media trend is developing inside the Raiders locker room on game days. It started with defensive end Lamarr Houston, who fills his Instagram photo feed with images of wolves in the hours leading up to each game. It helps him get into a certain mindset before hitting the field.

“You have to have that wolf in the winter cold mentality,” Houston said.

He likens the way wolves hunt and survive in packs to the way he competes on the field with his teammates.

In his fourth season in the league, Houston has emerged as one of the Raiders defensive leaders. He has five sacks and 42 tackles this year. Following Houston’s lead, special teams gunner Taiwan Jones started doing the same thing, but with his own twist. He didn’t want to be a copy cat, so he went with lion pictures instead.

“I’m a Leo, so my symbol is a lion,” Jones said. “They’re just beasts and that’s what I try to be every Sunday.”

Jones is eating up would-be return men on the field and garnering pro bowl buzz in the process. Wide receiver Rod Streater has also posted a pregame lion picture recently. The trend is slowly catching on. It’s cool that on and off the field, Houston’s teammates won’t let him be a one-man wolf pack.

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