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Russell content handing off _ for now

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, September 18th, 2008 at 6:47 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Thursday’s media window and locker room availability, with quotes relayed from Medianews beat writer Steve Corkran:

– Interesting take from Bills quarterback Trent Edwards Wednesday about the philosophy of playing it safe and avoiding turnovers, comparing his own experience to what JaMarcus Russell is going through this season.

“There’s a fine line you have to walk to know when to check the ball down and when to take chances, too,’’ Edwards said. “It’s kind of an instinctive thing you’ve got to have. A coach can tell you not to turn the ball over but you have to take your shots or you’re not going to put points on the board.’’

Russell, as cool as ever, said he is content to execute Lane Kiffin’s plan of being better safe than sorry. Russell has drawn raves from the coach, even during a 1-for-12 streak against the Chiefs, because he used his strong arm to throw the ball out of bounds rather than run the risk of a turnover.

“That last game or any game, control the ball and not give it away and give them a free chance to do whatever they want to with the ball, then you’re going to be pretty good,” Russell said. “I was just going out there, if it wasn’t there, check it down or throw it away. That’s basically what we go through throughout the year. We did that in camp so that’s basically what I try to go out there and do.”

Russell didn’t deny a part of him that would like to throw more often.

“Deep down inside yes. But the team player part of me says whatever it takes to win,” Russell said. “If I have to go out there and hand off 100 times in a game and we win, I’ll hand off 101 times. No matter what it is to win that game I’m going to be that team player and go out there and help out.”

— Herm Edwards once said, “You play to win the game!,” in an infamous postgame tirade which will some day be a beer commercial once he’s retired. Here is how Kiffin explained it: “I was talking to (Russell) between series, `Don’t take any risks. We don’t care about stats. We want to win the game.’ . . . as you had the momentum and you had the game, the thing you couldn’t do was turn the ball over, and he did a good job.”

Kiffin said in a different situation, Russell may need to reverse field and go for a big play, depending on the circumstance. It just happened that Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium wasn’t one of those times.”

– Running back Darren McFadden has been practicing with a steel plate in his shoe and concedes his turf toe injury is bothersome.

“You think you see a guy with turf toe, ‘Oh, it’s just a toe, he can go with it,’ ” McFadden said. “Once you get it, you understand why because every move that you make on it, it all revolves around your toe, and it’s pretty painful.”

Charles Woodson needed pain-killing injections every week to get through the 2001 season, missing practice every day and playing on Sunday.

McFadden said he wasn’t sure if he would need to take a shot. He said he was timid running on it at first but that the pain seemed manageable.

As far as running with a steel plate in his right shoe, McFadden said, “It made me feel like I was running flat-footed. I feel like once I get used to practicing with that, playing with that, I’ll be all right.”

– While discussing turf toe, the possiblility of injections and all the practices Woodson missed in 2001, Kiffin said, “I thought Woodson didn’t practice anyway, the stories I heard. I don’t think it had anything to do with his toe.”

– Sounds as if Justin Fargas, who almost certainly won’t play against Buffalo, doesn’t stand much of a chance of being Wally Pipped even if McFadden and Bush burst to the forefront with games similar to the ones they had in Kansas City.

Not as long as Kiffin is around, anyway.

“We’ll be on the safe side with Justin. That does hurt us in a number of things because he is the one veteran back that understands our protections the most,” Kiffin said. “To me he’s kind of the heartbeat of our offense by who he is. If you can be in our locker room before games and on our sidelines during games, this is a guy that keeps these guys together with his energy. He’s just a dynamic competitor that we’ll miss if he can’t play. The young bucks will have to go and step up.”

– Tampa Bay may be the season-ending opponent on Dec. 28, but that doesn’t stop Kiffin from bouncing ideas off his father Monte, and vice-versa.

“When we’re playing somebody from the system he’s in defensively. I might bounce something off him like ‘hey has anybody ever done this to you? What would be your adjustment here?,” Kiffin said. “And he’ll call me and say ‘Hey defenses keep doing this. I know you guys run this play, what are you telling the quarterback? What are you telling the backside tackle?’ It’s just competing to help each other.”

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  • S&B – Nation Collective

    MaddenRaider — The fear I have of firing Kiffin is two-fold:

    1. Kiffin has developed a modern approach to offense that many of us believe can be successful. We fear a reversal back to the Bed & Breakfast Offense and visions of 7 step drops and bombs down the field

    2. Given that Kiffin is at least competent — we also realize that young QBs suffer when they end up getting multiple offensive coordinators/philosophies in their formative years. Firing coaches every year or two produces Alex Smith’s and Vince Young’s and not Peyton Manning and Donvan McNabb’s

    3. Al Davis has hired two count’em 2 competent coaches since 1987 -I’ll give him credit for Art Shell part 1 & Jon Gruden- Although he ended up firing both of them!

    Davis needs to step back and bring in some personnell help and let his coaches do their job. Bring in a Ron Wolf or Bruce Allen. Al has to realize the league has passed him buy and simply playing fantasy football with the roster don’t cut it. I’m still waiting on Javon Walker to clean up his attitude and get on the field!

  • http://. Coach on Wheels

    Slapper – Rob Ryan. Concrete Enough?

    The Head Coach was not allowed to hire a Def Coor or fire him. Kiffin is not allowed input into the style of D run or the bringing in of players to run it. It is also a huge weak spot.

    Four blown 4th quarter leads last year or Kiffin is 8-8?

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Gene Upshaw
    Jim Otto
    Art Shell
    George Blanda
    Willie Brown
    Jack Tatum
    Dave Grayson
    Howie Long
    Free Bilitenkoff
    Dave Casper
    Ken Stabler

    Those who made it happen on the field, are the real heroes. Al Davis, you are the owner, ok? Not a football player. Just the Owner!

    Don’t try to take the glory or the credit away from these guys. The guys who gave their all on the gridiron. Back the fuk off!

  • http://madeendouchebaaag.com Madden Raider Slapper

    >>Nobody is saying Kiffin is great but it would be nice to see what he could do if he was allowed to function like 31 other head coaches.

    Al’s Title is of no concern. His legacy as a revolutionary would benefit if he showed the wisdom to surround himself with winners instead of yes men.>>

    LMAO!! No I’m not saying anything like youl. Even Kiffin admitted in his interview with Al that ‘I wasn’t gonna tell him what he wanted to hear’, and f-ing Al decided to hire him. Guess that’s means Al only hires yes men doesn’t it?

    What exactly is different in Kiffin’s job than the 31 other coaches in the league? Marvin Lewis had no idea they were re-signing Chris Henry, it was reported that Gruden wanted to cut Chris Simms last year but the Glazers wouldn’t let him, does the guy in Miami have the same powers that his boss Parcels yearned for, did Holmgren and Nolan not get their GM powers stripped from them? Was it Wade Phillips decision to hire Jason Garrett? Sounds like “TOTAL CONTROL” to me LOL!

  • http://www.macacapalin08.com Caribou Barbie

    Any suggestions for a new Raider GM that Al trusts? That NY Times article from 07 said Al had spoken to Upshaw often about needing one, implying Gene should do it. Plus, Al knows his son can run the business side for the next several decades, but not the football end.

    I am not saying any or all of these would be welcomed by myself, or even successful, but could help mediate between coaches and ownership:

    > Art Shell (of course, Al would still be the personnel decider but Art could bring much needed structure).
    > Matt Millen (at least he wouldn’t be blamed for ruining TWO teams).
    > Tom Flores (I see little impact from quiet Tom).
    > Freddy B (may have burned his bridge to the ground with the “too many backups” comment).
    > Ted Hendricks (has Al’s trust but does he have football IQ?)
    > Sean Jones (smart, youngish, trusted, and my preferred choice).
    > Tommy Trojan (nailed Al’s draft this year, and putting up HUGE numbers on register #4 at RaiderImage store).
    > Steve Mariucci (an odious, yet not wholly unlikely choice).

    So WHO DO YOU BOZOS WANT TO TAKE THE JOB?

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    Great Coach on Wheels -post 558- I missed that point.

  • http://www.macacapalin08.com Caribou Barbie

    And Hackett and Fassel could also be considered candidates…

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Al Davis has Mismanaged his way through 4 Head Coaches since 2003′

    HE HIRED TOM WALSH FOR GAWDSAKES! that should be plain enough for any flunky cultist to understand.

  • R8R4FER

    the coliseum is now back to being the oakland alameda county coliseum. Maybe AL buys the naming rights and calls it Als Shoe repair home of the retreads

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    It’s a good thing he got into the HOF when he did. Because his legacy is almost completely shot.

  • http://madeendouchebaaag.com Madden Raider Slapper

    And the only guy Kiffin thought of replacing Ryan with was a guy in Tamper who isn’t available. So Kiff wanted to Al to fire Ryan(pay him money) and not have an available option to replace him with. Makes sense to me. By the way how the cover 2 stop the run which has been one of our bigger problems…And if you noticed my last post and looked around the league you’ll see that coaches are often kept around even if the head coach didn’t hire them.

  • http://. Coach on Wheels

    Slapper – Al surrounds himself with people like Herrera, Taylor, Trask, Ryan etc… The reality is as soon as Kiffin tried to exercise some control over his staff, Al stepped in and not only spare one yes man he hired anoter in Lofton.

    If Kiffin only had to deal with a GM signing a WR he’d be waaay better off. Lewis is allowed to run an offense and defense of his design.

  • Al Davis

    KoolKell Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 1:13 pm
    “Al Davis has Mismanaged his way through 4 Head Coaches since 2003′

    HE HIRED TOM WALSH FOR GAWDSAKES! that should be plain enough for any flunky cultist to understand.”

    Your wealth of stupidty is astounding. EVERYBODY but you knows Art Shell hired Tom Walsh and Davis approved it. Walsh was Art’s guy, not Al’s.

    KoolKell please do not speak of things of which you do not know. You’re just embarassing yourself.

  • lefty12

    hey al,name another headcoach that has no say on the make-up of his roster.it looks like you are the one without a clue.we Kiffin was hired the real AD said it was due to his knowledge of college players,then al doesn’t take any input from him,strips him of any say.but if you Davis apologists would read posts what i said was let him do his job and then judge him on the results.if he fails,he fails and he should be let go.btw,you can’t judge someone after18 games.he inherited a team that won 2 games the previous season.what was he supposed to do,win a super bowl with a team that won 2 games?

  • http://www.macacapalin08.com Caribou Barbie

    I wonder if Willie Brown could be a GM…

  • R8R4FER

    Ever since the coliseum put up the Mc Afee logo on the stadium the Raiders seem to have caught a virus.

  • Al Davis

    C.O.W.

    Please don’t use Cinci as an example of how things should be. Your ignorance and lack of real knowledge regarding this entire situation is causing you to make serious errors in judgement.

  • http://. Coach on Wheels

    Slapper – Are you kidding? There are no available DCs but Kiffen Sr? Please. BTW – If he wanted Kiffin Sr he could get him by calling him an Asst HC and thus he’d be getting a promotion and be allowed to break his contract.

  • R8R4FER

    Willie already was the mayor of SF he might be qualified

  • Raiders in LA

    I have really been impressed by Jay Richardson! he will be a beast one day…

    who picked him up? Kiffen?

  • Al Davis

    lefty, I don’t have time to explain it to you, again. Just read post #507 and understand that you know NOTHING!

  • HayesDaze#37

    We all know Al’s screwed up a number of times in his long AFL/NFL career. Not exactly breaking news.

    KK — Why won’t you answer the questions about age? Are you going through the same changes everybody else goes through as they age? If so, why should your opinion matter anymore? Just because you think it does? That’s the way you accuse Al of thinking.

  • Raiders in LA

    I have really been impressed by Jay Richardson! he will be a beast one day…

    who picked him up? Kiffen?

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    He’ll bring in some docile loser with no backbone, and them blame the poor idiot at the end.

    The Chikensheit won’t even come out and speak to the media himself. He hides behind his flunkies.

  • http://. Coach on Wheels

    Al – I didn’t Slapper brought up Cincy. All of your lackys bring up bottom feeders to compare you to. Wonder why?

  • darkknight01

    Paul Hackett as Head Coach?? That WOULD BE AS TERRIBLE OF A CHOICE as when he hired NORV TURNER!! LOL

    Ugh!

  • Al Davis

    All of the good decisions were made by Kiffin, the bad ones by me.

    Thats all you idiots seem to think.

  • Raiders in LA

    Has anyone else noticed Richardson’s play? i say better than Clemons when it comes to defending the run

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    HayesDaze,

    Don’t be stupid, I’m not the issue. Al Davis’s management of the Raiders is.

  • lefty12

    al,and i suppose you working in the mail room makes you an insider.

  • Al Davis

    KoolKell telling someone else not to be stupid? Thats like the sun telling a light bulb not to shine!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Al Davis Flunkies,

    Do you care at all about winning?

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    MaddenRaider (MDR) – my response

    MDR-”Marvin Lewis had no idea they were re-signing Chris Henry,” — The Bengals are 2nd to us in incompetence and poor performance

    MDR-”it was reported that Gruden wanted to cut Chris Simms last year but the Glazers wouldn’t let him,” — no one is saying Kiffin should have total personnel control just significant input.

    MDR “does the guy in Miami (Sparano) have the same powers that his boss Parcels yearned for”,–Sparano got to hire his own staff

    MDR – “did Holmgren and Nolan not get their GM powers stripped from them?” — again no one is saying that Kiffin should be Coach & GM. Holmgren and Nolan pick their own staffs. But many of us would like a competent GM to help out Al Davis.

    MDR – “Was it Wade Phillips decision to hire Jason Garrett? Sounds like “TOTAL CONTROL” to me LOL” — Err, Wade Phillips was hired on a successfull PLAYOFF team rather late in the process with all the pieces in place. Jason Garrett was not the reason the 13 AND 3 NFC EAST CHAMP Cowboys lost IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!No one on this board had a problem with Ryan being retained when Kiffin was hired. But after a 4-12 year of poor defensive performance (31st against the run) Kiffin, and any head coach, should have the right to make a change, which Kiffin tried to do.

    Al Davis does not run this team correctly. Its archaic and very disruptive. Read the article in the link below and let me know what you think!

    vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1008197/4/index.htm

  • Al Davis

    mail room? Are you referring to your own life?

    In case you haven’t noticed I am one of the most powerful people in the NFL. I am THE insider. So STFU little man.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Without Al Davis, Mike Taylor would be at McDonalds. He knows it too.

  • Al Davis

    KoolKell Says:
    September 19th, 2008 at 1:28 pm
    “Without Al Davis, Mike Taylor would be at McDonalds. He knows it too.”

    The sad thing is that he would probably steal your spot as the fry cook! Careful what you wish for genius.

  • lefty12

    you are nothing but a fool!

  • LosT
  • RaiderTay

    JMac wont be able to do anything but hand off until Walker gets healthy. Who knows when that will be.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Al Davis,

    Unfortunately, you’ve become the laughingstock of the professional sports industry.

  • Al Davis

    let me get this straight

    You assume you have any idea as to how things are really run in an organization that you have never been a part of, yet I am the fool? Look in the mirror son.

    Post #507, read it, learn it, and then stfu!

  • S&B – Nation Collective

    RaiderTay — Javon Walker has been a huge disappointment. Hopefully he can get on the field and contribute this weekend

  • Al Davis

    which is still light years ahead of fry cook on the food chain!

  • LosT

    563,

    Al Stated that Tom Walsh is a Genius…Al must have liked him…

  • http://www.macacapalin08.com Caribou Barbie

    To all of you wanting a GM to spare us 5 more years of underperformance, PICK ONE! And please pick someone who Al would consider, not some mercenary. Someone who would stay after Al dies/retires.

  • Al Davis

    I never said any such thing LoseT

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Al Davis, you’ve become a laughingstock! Stop it!!!!

  • Al Davis

    At least I make people laugh KoolKell, people just feel sorry for you stupid a$$, except Unknown of course. That dude will follow you into any trench ;)

  • lefty12

    you are obviously a wanna be who would like to be a big man but will never achieve it.my pity goes out to you.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Al Davis, save what little of your legacy you have left. Please.