Henderson could start


Quick hits from Thursday’s practice and session with coach Lane Kiffin, which preceded Rob Ryan’s press briefing:

— If Kwame Harris doesn’t recover sufficiently in the next two days, Mario Henderson will be protecting the blind side of JaMarcus Russell in what could be the NFL’s toughest road venue.

Henderson took all the reps at left tackle for the second straight day as Harris sat out with a knee injury sustained against Denver.

Kiffin said Henderson’s presence would be taken into account with regard to play calling.

“Part of that depends on how the game’s going. Obviously, the opening script, we will take that into account, Mario’s first time playing and being on the road,” Kiffin said. “We’d take that into account but then we’ll see the flow of the game and see how it’s going.”

Two of the worst beatings I’ve ever seen a left tackle take were at Arrowhead _ Harry Boatswain of the 49ers in the Joe Montana-Steve Young game in 1993 and Pat Harlow of the Raiders in 1998. Of course, both of those came against the late Derrick Thomas, who was virtually unblockable at home.

— Kiffin, who has been blunt regarding Henderson’s lack of progress in the past, sounded cautiously optimistic should he have to start.

“Mario’s had a good week of practice. Over the last two days, has been able to get a lot of reps with the 1s with Kwame being out,” Kiffin said. “If he has to go, I’m sure Mario will go in there and do well and last year we went in there with Paul (McQuistan) playing tackle and were able to move the ball and came out with a win. Our expectation will be the same if Mario’s playing.”

— Derrick Burgess (shoulder) and Gibril Wilson (elbow) did not practice. Kiffin said he anticipated both practicing tomorrow. Harris and Burgess both went out to practice in pads, but didn’t end up practicing.

— Javon Walker practiced for the second straight day, but he may not be 100 percent and Kiffin wasn’t sure he would start if he played.

“There’s still something there a little bit,” Kiffin said. “I don’t know that I would sya he has th ebest burst that he’s had since he’s been here but he looks like he’s ready to play.”

If Walker doesn’t start, Ashley Lelie will open at split end with Ronald Curry at flanker.

— After not getting a run from scrimmage or a pass reception in the opener, Michael Bush may get his first regular-season touch Sunday.

“There were certain plays we had ready for Michael (against Denver),” Kiffin said. “One play that we did call was a pass play where we were trying to get him open in the flat and they had him covered and JaMarcus had to come back on the goal line back to his left to Ashley. Michael has some plays in the gameplan we’ll look to get the ball to him.”

No passing the buck

You’d like to think Raiders defenders will reward Rob Ryan for his loyalty by erasing the stench of the Denver loss.

Before Ryan came to the Raiders, it was a commonplace for defenders to roll their eyes and point fingers when things didn’t go well. It hasn’t happened on Ryan’s watch, even during the worst of times, and the defensive coordinator’s meeting with the press Thursday was a prime example why.

In contrast to Kiffin, Ryan absolutely will not roast one of his own players in public. He may be all over them in the meeting room or on the practice field, but when it comes to addressing the media, he steps up and takes the blame.

There were two reasons he met with the press Thursday _ to shield his players as much as possible from the Denver debacle while preparing for what he hopes is a winning effort against the Chiefs, and to refute Kiffin’s notion the previous day regarding the involvement of Al Davis in the weekly schemes.

The second part was a tricky tightrope, because Kiffin has made repeated references to Davis’ defensive involvement. Ryan had to stick up for himself while at the same time not ruffling the chain of command, and he did it forcefully and respectfully with regard to both the media and the head coach.

Blitzing has long been the cure-all for armchair defensive coordinators. As pointed out in yesterday’s blog, according to the statistical service Stats, LLC, opponents were 9-for-12 with two touchdown passes against Raiders blitzes on third down last year.

Ryan said the Raiders sent a blitz into a max-protection against Denver and paid for it by giving up a big play.

Without ever pulling Kiffin into the fray, Ryan said the three worst plays the defense had against Denver were in a “Tampa 2,” the defense run by Monte Kiffin with the Bucs and Tony Dungy in Indianapolis.

If the Raiders get things right against Kansas City and beyond, expect Ryan’s role to reverse. He’ll recede to the background and let the players take the credit.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer



  • NATION Collective – Thec

    So post 644, we win next week but kiffin fired. How does that make any sense. We need continuity not 10 HC is 6 years. Again I ask you what dept do you work for?

  • * Yo not you

  • Some Idiot, posting under “FIRE KIFFIN” is telling us everything is going to be alright.

    Oh yeah, how does that work Genius?

  • NC-Thec FireKiffin is MR.. Im surprised you didn’t already spot him.

  • Anger clouds the mind! So does this grandaddy! 8)

  • S&B

    Here’s how I see it.
    1. To the old school fans: You are right that our past is glory and there is something to be said for patience. As bad as Monday was, it still was only one game. A victory over the Chiefs, better yet a blowout victory, gives us back our swagger going into Buffalo.

    2. However, I don’t believe the anger expressed by “Nation Collective” is the knee-jerk reaction to simply one loss. This is definitely targeted towards 5 years of losing. Not 8-8 or 7-9 losing, but worst team in the league losing year after year after year. Their anger is justified.

    3 Regardless of your view, all have to agree that the bottom line is winning. Al Davis knows this as his own mantra is “Just Win Baby” Rob Ryan knows this because he felt compelled to come out and address the media and even said it himself that “kicking arse” solves everything. And Lane Kiffin wants to win, not only for the young players on offense, but I believe he wants to coach here for a long time and knows the best way to shut up Al Davis and get more authority is to win.

    Beat the Chiefs!!!!!

  • M,

    I have to make it as plain as possible to the sheeple.

    And thanks, it needs to be done, and I’m able to do it.

  • NATION Collective – Raider11680

    Well said S&B.

    Winning is the bottom line. And that’s something we all agree on.

  • Get blowed out, in your season opener, against a division rival, On a Monday Night National TV audience?

    There’s nothing about that, that’s alright. Aint gonna be alright.

  • KK

    Sheeple LOL…..

    Thanx I needed a good laugh..

  • senileAl

    Other than “Fire Kiffin”, I think everyone should stop posting their comments.
    By the way…not that I care what you think…But how do you think I’m doing as an owner?
    And if anyone has an idea where my walker is I’d appreciate the input.

  • The Real Mediaiots are the clowns in the Raider PR Dept.

  • NATION Collective – Thec

    Thats just it I am old school. I have been a fan of the Raideers since 1970… My favorite team of all times is the 76 Raiders. that team is the best team ever in the NFL in my opinion better than the 72 fins.

    Stabler is my favorite QB ever…. “The Snake” no one will ever be better than him to me. So its not just the young guns who want change, i want change too. i will continue to support the team but man I want us to win and win now…

  • so should I start Mcnab or cun tler

  • senileAl

    start Lenny Dawson

  • NATION Collective – Chaos

    He Al……I sent your walker fed ex to hell……I have another box for you too if you want……

  • props to you Nation Collective people, heard about you on KHTK 1140 last night before the Sean Salsibury show. If nothing else, you’re making the statement that fans are absolutely sick of this and that’s great. Well done.

  • Mr why don’t you answer me dude? I’ll totally stop calling you tard boy if you stop having multiple screen names.. Deal?

  • “Ok then, the main questions about the defense have not been answered. Mainly: Why you are transparent in your tactics and formations. Other teams have the book on your defense because there is no variation from year to year- or at least none detectable enough to fool anyone.”

    Answer: Because it’s the only Defense Al Davis knows.

  • senileAl

    “NATION Collective,what type of box…like chocolates
    Also could you go to hell and fetch my walker…I’d appreciate it.

  • NATION Collective – Chaos

    Jerry….its 10:00 and there is no new news……come on we all know the tyrant can’t go that long without at least pissin his pants……..give us something?

  • NATION Collective – Chaos

    Yeah I will take you with me….

  • NATION Collective – Chaos

    Hey Common…..thanks bro…..but we dont need any glory for doing what is right…..we are just stepping up and trying to get change to this……????……??????…..what are we right now?

  • NATION Collective – Chaos

    A Failing Franshise…..thats what I meant…..

  • RaiderRockstar

    Hobs: I wanted Gholston and Laws 1 & 2 cause I knew there was no rush, nothing against McFadden who has been a nice surprise, but was not needed in a sense of what was the most pressing issues.

    I think if Kiffin had any say he would’ve kept Dominic Rhodes and used a Fargas/Rhodes/Bush combo this season. We probably would have kept Fabian Washington, instead of dumping him for a 4th rounder and traded a 2nd & 5th (next year) for D Hall a flashy player who is overrated according to the league’s elite receivers. Kiffin probably would have taken Dorsey, Ellis or Clady in the 1st and a Wr in the 2nd. Addressing needs instead of building on things you’re already good at – running the ball & defending the pass. We might have went after Stallworth or Berrian instead of Walker. Probably could have got T-Kelly back in the fold for half the price. Who knows though? Maybe Al Davis is right? If Walker, Harris, Kelly, Wilson, Hall & McFadden all live up to their contracts we should be playoff bound. We sure didn’t see it in week 1 though!

  • when is that buytheRaiders.com website going to up?

  • yo NC- Chaos I think some 1 might have already posted this but your voice is being heard brother! RAIDER ON

  • yeah, we need that website, up and running. One member of the media has already attempted to access it.

  • senileAl

    RaiderRockstar, Some of your comments make too much sense..if you were with the Raiders I’d fire you.

  • “If the Raiders don’t get a clue in Kansas City on Sunday, they’re looking at 0-4 going into the bye … and bye-bye Lane Kiffin. Kiff can beat Mike Shanahan’s dismissal record by a game.”

    -Carl Steward

  • Dakota

    Guys, Fans have the right to their opinions, and if some of us want to express them, fine, let us call the team, call the radio stations, and call the NFLN. Why not? Pressure often can create movement in the right direction. Only the ignorant would question your loyalty to the team. You place team first, whereas others place one man above the team.

    On the other hand, don’t just assume that those who ridicule you for voicing your opinion work for the Raiders. It is okay if you are only kidding, but if you are serious, well, then you need to get a grip on the paranoia.

    M and Dell don not work for the Raiders, lol. They have much more important jobs. BHP, well, you might be on to something there, lol.

  • NATION Collective – Thec

    The website will be up shortly… We are working on it.

  • Californiaguy

    As the Raiders self destruct there is anarchy in the stands, mob fights.
    I am never going to a Raider game again.
    You thugs are responsibile for fans not attending, not the Raiders Lousy play.

  • The KC game should not even be close. We should blow them out and demoralize their fans. Will that happen? I am not confident enough to say given Rob Ryan’s continuation in the way he’s running this defense: Absolutely no aggression. None!

    If KC scores on the opening drive it may very well be a long day; unless Kiffin’s offense miraculously catches wind and scores right back. I have a bit more confidence in this occurring than I do in that defense after Monday night’s debacle.

    Still it won’t be easy for this young offense jump out to a fast start in Arrowhead stadium. That’s why its pivotal that the defense shows up. Will they? We’ll see soon enough.

    By mid-late season this offense should be able to hold up its end without an unbalanced reliance on the defense. But they are not there yet and we all know it.

    I just don’t understand how Rob O can believe in what he believes in given his lineage and what his brother does in B’more? Its a head-stratcher.

  • “Before this season is over, Davis’ defensive marionette, Rob Ryan, may wish he’d been fired by the man himself instead of just Kiffin.”

    -Carl Steward

  • BHP doesn’t “work” for the Raiders, he just thinks he does. If anything he volunteers for the Raiders.

  • The Raiders will commit 5 False Starts in the 1st qrt at Arrowhead.

  • NATION Collective – Thec

    I am not paroniod, i just know that some of the employees visit the blogs…. Weather M or that hayes guy who is very funny is an employee i dont know. but paraniod is a strong word for this sitiuation in my opinion.

  • Robert Gallery alone will probably get 5 false starts, and I fear for Henderson. At least Jared Allen is gone.

  • “The one Brett Favre story I’d love to read but haven’t found yet: The one about his new relationship with the Jets’ assistant head coach for offense. A guy by the name of Bill Callahan. Yep, that Bill Callahan.”

    -Carl Steward

  • And please stop playing Warren at NT. That sht is a joke! We need a new line period – on both sides cause I know Jam is jealous seeing the other QBs get PLENTY of time to throw the rock.

    I’m already jealous of Buffalo. They are playing backups on the line. Trent Edwards is getting plenty time to throw in a nice pocket and they are in no rush to put Peters back in the starting lineup. That’s called depth!

    The way Ryan plays defense, it’ll take a miracle to knock off Buffalo with that kinda line.

  • That guy is still alive? I figured he would turn up face down and ‘husked’ in a cornfield on the outskirts of Lincoln. Wow, good for him, apparently Mangini loves Raider rejects, I’ll bet he already has his eye on Kiffin for a position on the staff.

  • Seth

    Raider Nation…Good Morning!!!

    All, just saw a clip on NFL.com on the Atlatna Falcons…and all I got to say is ‘wow’. Tremendous synergy thoughout the organization; Owner to GM to Coaches to Vetern Players to Young Players.

    I’m getting more and more convinced that given the current Raiders organization culture we are in serious serious trouble.

    I admire and respect Mr. Davis. But at this age, I wish he would get a real GM and give Kiffin more power.

    Raider Fan Since 1982
    ‘In Lane I Trust’

  • RaiderRockstar

    Thanks Senile.

    I think the Denver loss is going to light a fire for not only our players, but our coaches. Starting NFL players have a lot of pride, especially if they are getting paid a lot and considered a leader or captain. I expect Ryan to blitz against KC and Hall to play in press coverage. I’d like to see Nnamdi on Bowe, but unfortunately the Raiders just have their CB’s stick to a side, so the Chiefs can shuffle their guys around to find a favorable matchup. Anybody think Huff will be all over Gonzalez like he was the past 2 years or do you think since he switched to FS that the duty belongs to Wilson or a LB? We couldn’t contain Kolby Smith last year.. what do you think a healthy Larry Johnson will do to us? I hope the run defense is prepared. I think the coaching staff and players all expected our pass defense to be the best in the league before we even played a game. Then we got embarrassed by Shanny, Cutler & Royal. That opened the eyes for the db’s – prove you’re the best. on paper don’t mean squat. Opened the eyes for the coaches – you still have to scheme. Having the best db’s doesn’t mean they’re all in the best position to make plays. I think we’ll beat KC by 3 or 4 points if we limit the penalties & turnovers. Those killed the momentum for us on Monday night.

  • Mark H

    I finally think Raider fans are fianlly starting to realize that Al Davis is the cancer. I have had season tickets since 95′ and I kept eventhough I lived in Cleveland for 3 years. The sad part of this deal is that Russell and McFadden are going to go to waste because Al is a stubborn myopic person. I truely believe Jamarcus can be a superstar in the NFL but he wont happen under these conditions.

    I am done with this organization! I am done with Al Davis! The organization is a joke!

  • RaiderDogg

    Rob Ryan shouldn’t be head coach, but his rant showed Kiffin how a HC should be. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AND DON’T PASS THE BUCK!

    Way to take one for the team.

    Dakota works for the Raiders.

  • no more infield

    Ryan Clady looked great for his first start at LT for the Broncos. Basicly locked down his side. I wanted to trade down for the guy. Glad we have DMAC though.

  • Dakota

    Another Statement from Al Davis:

    Dear Loyal Members of Raider Nation,

    Hold fast my minions; do not allow the logic and common sense of these rebels cloud your loyalty to me! Have faith that I have a vision for our future, a vision of greatness, of a commitment to excellence, to just winning baby. However, I must first shake off this child coach that has dared question me! I, and my loyal assistant defensive coordinator, shall make life very difficult for Kiffin. The world will know that Kiffin is responsible for all of the Raiders’ problems dating back to 1984. I should have never listened to him when I fired Shanahan, or hired White, Bugel, Norvell or Shell! I should never have allowed Kiffin to talk me into denying Gruden power and then trading him to Tampa Bay. This is all Kiffin’s fault, and those that follow that reasoning shall be rewarded when I lift the Marshal Law that has been placed on Raider Nation.

    Remember, sign your loyalty oaths and get your temporary loyalty cards in the next 28 days, or face the consequences!

    Al Davis

  • Seth

    POST 692: NATION Collective…..Indeed, Raiders employees do monitor this site. In fact, Jerry has referred to team officals (Ed Herrerra..i think) calling him after seeing or hearing about one of his posts.

    Jerry…if you’re monitoring correct me if I’m wrong.

    Raider Fan Since 1982
    ‘In Lane I Trust’