Eugene will challenge Huff


Quick hits from Wednesday’s interview sessions and post-practice press briefing from coach Tom Cable:

— A second consecutive poor game from free safety Michael Huff has put his status as an unquestioned starter in peril five games into the season.

“We’re going to create some competition for Michael and give Hiram Eugene an opportunity to go out and press him a little bit, and see if we can’t bring the best out of either one of those guys,” Cable said.

Eugene started five games in place of a struggling Stuart Schweigert at free safety last season while Huff was the strong safety. He had some of the same problems Schweigert did in terms of open-field tackling.

`The main thing is that we’re going to try to do a little competition thing as far as the free safety thing,” Eugene said. “Just kind of shake things up a little bit and see how it works. I’m just grateful for the opportunity for whatever they decide to go, as far as if I start, the playing time, it doesn’t even matter.

“I’m going to prepare like I prepare every week, like I’m going to play anyway, or start. I’m pretty sure that Mike is going to do the same.”

Eugene said he learned from his five-game trial run last season.

“Well, my main thing was angling, taking the angles on the tackles and bringing the guy down in the open field,” Eugene said. “That’s what I tried to improve on the most because I know that was my (weakness).”

Huff has started all 37 games since being the No. 7 overall pick of the 2006 draft out of Texas in 2006. He has one interception and one forced fumble. Huff was as invisible in the locker room Wednesday as he has been on the field of late.

— Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha can’t count on one hand the number of passes headed his way this season.

But he can do it with one hand and one additional finger.

Asomugha recounted one pass thrown at him in each game, with the exception of the Chiefs game, when there was two. Every week he talks himself into believing it will be the game where teams will come after him, and every week he’s wrong.

He writes all of it down in a spiral bound notebook he showed to reporters Wednesday.

“Don’t get lazy because they’re not throwing at you,” Asomugha wrote in his book, followed by reminders of what can happen if he happens to let his guard down for even a single play.

The Raiders have begun putting in Asomugha at safety in certain formations, as they used to do with Charles Woodson, hoping to get him some opportunities at interceptions. Asomugha had his breakout year with eight interceptions in 2006 and saw only 35 passes his way all last season, picking off one.

“Nam is a special guy,” Cable said. “He accepts that that’s the way it’s going to be but the minute people talk it up too much, all of a sudden someone says, ‘We’ll take that challenge. We’ll come after you.’ At some point it’s going to happen so you want to make sure he stays alert and stays focused on what he’s doing.”

Jets coach Eric Mangini said the low total of passes headed Asomugha’s way is a sign of respect, and that the reasons for leaving him alone are twofold _ one, because Asomugha is that good; and two, when quarterbacks do look his way, the receiver is usually covered and they go somewher else.

— No boot, no limits for running back Darren McFadden. His role Sunday against the Jets should be more like the Raiders envisioned in training camp.

“That was kind of the plan. That’s what we worked on in OTA, that’s what we worked on in fall camp so you want to continue to progress with that,” Cable said. “It has tied our hands a little bit but it’s nice to be getting him healthy so we can continue to get back on track that way.”

The Miami Dolphins, in particular, have had success using running back Ronnie Brown in the “Wildcat” formation as a shotgun quarterback who runs the option. The quarterbacks coach at Miami is David Lee, who installed it at Arkansas last year as the offensive coordinator for McFadden.

“When I was looking at it, I know where it was started, so it’s something you look at, you wish you were healthy so you can go out there and do the same thing,” McFadden said.

— Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell has avoided opportunities to run the ball but said he may be more daring in future games.

“If I time comes for me to run, I will,” Russell said. “Some of the times late in the game, I was trying to make a pass on the run. If it’s that time where I”ve got to keep the chains moving by myself while running, then I will.”

— Jets quarterback Brett Favre owned the Raiders as a member of the Green Bay Packers, with a 4-0 record a 61.7 completion percentage (79-for-128) for 1,188 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.

His last game in Oakland was the night after his father died suddenly in 2003, and he passes for 311 yards in the first half alone en route to a 22-for-30, 399-yard, 4-touchdown performance in a 41-7 win. When the Packers crushed the Raiders last year, Favre was 15-for-23 for 266 yards, two touchdowns and no picks.

Still, there’s the other side of Favre _ the one who occasionally delivers the turnover _ that the Raiders would love to see.

“He pulls it out of his hat but he also gives you a chance to make plays,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “Brett’s the kind of guy, he’s got nothing to lose. He’s not playing for Pro Bowls, he’s not playing for money, he’s just out there having fun and those are the scariest guys. He can go out there any time, throw a pick to the house or throw a 60-yard bomb so he’s a guy we definitely got to keep contained.”

— Fullback Oren O’Neal was in the locker room on crutches and said his rehab is coming along fine. He said he was surprised to read Lane Kiffin’s comments after the surgery that it was a career-threatening injury.

“I talked to (team Doctor) King and didn’t say anything like that,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said he hopes to be ready by training camp.

— Running back Justin Fargas was on board with the idea of Tim Brown joining the front office. Brown floated the idea Tuesday on Sacramento radio station KTHL (1140-AM).

“A guy like Tim Brown, with his experience, not just as a football player, but as a Raider and a member of this organization, that would be very valuable to us as players. His knowledge as a player and how things work here, I’m sure it would help.

“I don’t think we’re too far off. It’s just a matter of coming together as a team and getting things done on the field. There are a lot of distractions and different things around here but, overall, as a team, we do a good job of trying to focus on what we can control, focus on our work, because there are so many things that go around, after awhile you kind get numb to it, so you just have to focus on your work. I’m biased. I’d love to see Tim Brown around here a little bit more, interacting with us, because of the type of player he was and the type of person he is.”

— Defensive end Derrick Burgess (strained triceps) was the lone player who did not practice. Cable said Burgess is showing progress in his rehab and said the Raiders would know in a day or two if Sunday was a possibility.

Asomugha (elbow) and linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder) were limited, but Cable said both should play. Guard Robert Gallery and tight end Zach Miller were limited with what Cable called “bruises” but netiher was on the official injury report submitted to the NFL.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Rockstar,

    Tom Brown can go to hell, he is a traitor that demanded to be released and signed with the Green Bay Bucaneers despite me ordering him not to. I want to talk to Warren Gault, now he was a great Raider wide receiver, even if Mitch Shanahan thought otherwise!

  • DoneDeal

    post 251 is an instant classic lol

  • AlisGod


    20-17 we win. The jets are one of those teams that we match up better with. They’re not as talented in play calling and imagination as Payton or Shanahan.

    Expect the D to get one int and set up a short field position for a TD. Expect the O to score one themselves. Expect the D to get us short field position for 1 FG and the spec team to get us another short field position for another FG.

    As for the Jets offense, they will get sloppy early on and then make a rally in the 4th quarter to keep us scared.

    I see this as another Bills game but this time we should win. The jets D are not as good as buffalo.

  • S&B

    Scary thought: Raiders secondary in 2009 or 2010

    CB1: deAngelo Hall
    CB2: Adam Jones????

    I have a sneeky suspicion about this happening. This would be all Al Davis. Especially if Nnamdi no longer wants to play for the Raiders

  • DoneDeal

    as long as we score its good.

    I wonder what mark davis has to say about the raiders current state? I sure he would side with his dad but just curious as to where his mind set is regarding the great debacle, the oakland raiders.

    1-15, we draft a punter, ss, then cb.

  • AlisGod


    Nnamdi does not have any say whether he wants to play for the Raiders or not. If he gets franchised again, most likely, he aint going to sit home and not take the 10+ mil.

  • DoneDeal

    keep dreamin if we win another game would be a miracle. everyone wants off this ship including the players. only ones sticking around is us fans as we have no choice.

  • DoneDeal

    chance of the raiders have a winning season in the next 5 years? low

    chance the raiders will have 10 losing seasons in a row? high

  • DoneDeal

    knowing al we could take a rb first pick also.

  • Please Cable Guy,..start Andy Walter this sunday.

  • AlisGod

    Donedeal, you might be right. We might not win another game this year. Anything is possible. But then again St. Louis did beat Washington right? Any given Sunday.

    right now it is too early in the season for teh players to pack it up. In Dec, they will pack it up.

    But try to be logical on this. The teams we got blown out to this year are teams that have very good play callers, gives up few sacks, and have a topflight QB.

    1. Favre is no longer a top flight QB. The last time he was here he had an awesome WR corp. not right now other than the Cards game.
    2. He has been sacked more than Brees and Cutler.
    3. Their playcalling is not the same as Payton or Rat face.

    When we play a team straight up, we do pretty well actually. When we play a team with lots of play calling imagination we get torched.

  • MR I quit worrying about wins and losses 5 years ago,..I go to the games now simply as a place to get drunk in public. Not alot of places to do that anymore.

  • DoneDeal

    the goos ship oakland raiders is a sinking vessel. Who can keep this boat afloat? who would want to? alas poor oakland raiders I knew them well when they were a good football team. I still love them but hate to losing oh well.

  • Alisgod,..will you please change your name to Alisstupid,..then we will take you seriously. Thank you.

  • Hey people, Im outta here,.off to get a 40 and bring it to the river with my dog,…nice day out here. Go Rays tonight!

  • AlisGod

    Norco…you’re a racist and you dont normally have anything good to say other than talking about getting drunk and degrading black people.

    Why dont you change your name to I-am-a-racist. I know people that are racists but at least they dont hide it. At least stand up for what you believe in. chump.

  • DoneDeal

    you have aq complelling argument alls the onbly problem is that you forgot to take into account our offenss outside of the running game flat out suks.
    we score 3 points against no. wtf is that? sorry to say this team is lousy lousy lousy. but still love um.

  • DoneDeal

    norco bob, you are Alemeda insider right. why are you drunk all the time? Is this real or some act?

  • Wow you leave for a second and people want to jump in rivers and call eachother chumps. I thought there was some sort of togetherness this morning. Guess not. Oh wait, those were all my comments for a while. No wonder they all made sense!

  • AlisGod

    donedeal, I understand your point.

    However, other than the one pass in 4th qtr in buffalo, one pass to miller against SD, and a couple of runs by Bush and McFadden, our O never really put a good drive this year.

    the reason we were able to be competitive in those 3 games (bills, KC, and SD)is because largely due to our spec team and D giving the O good field positions. In Buffalo, it was Dhall’s int that gave us a very short field to score a TD. The same goes for the SD game. We got the turnovers. Against Denver and NO, we didnt benefit from any D’s turnover and only one good return by the spec team.

    One thing I did like (and there wasnt many) from the NO game was that we actually put together some first downs. They end up getting stalled but we were able to move the ball. That rarely happend in the first 4 games.

  • DoneDeal

    cant reason with someone under the influence of al davis.

  • Wow. I guess Old Jon Becker and Jerry took offense to my comments a few days ago. They are deleting just about every other post on here from me.

    Losers! Delete that Losers!

  • The new policy on Jerry’s Blog for the Mods:

    “Delete anything that talks about what happens on the inside of this building. I want nothing on our blog that talks about how we rub eachother.”

  • Chaos

    Always causing havoc

  • AlisGod

    My screen name is more a sarcasm. I consider myself pretty fair when it comes to Al. People bitch and whine but they have to know Al is going no where. Deal with it. I take his good with his bad.

    You can make fun of my screen name but I believe my points are pretty valid.

  • DoneDeal

    alls, i cant get drunk off of wanting this team to be good, and hoping we get better problem is neither will come to furition any time soon. we will be very fortunate to win another game. also we are the laughing stock of all pro sports.

    I am no longer under the influence of al davis like some drunkard who is about to OD on the al davis is good kool-aid.

  • S&B

    Shouldn’t our defense be able to manage these “high powered” offenses. Isn’t that why Al signed deAngelo Hall to pair with Asomugha? Is Gibril Wilson a top tier safety? Isn’t Huff a former top10 draft pick? Moorison and Howard, aren’t they pro-bowl caliber? And the D-Line, didn’t Davis pay Kelly top money and give Terdell Sands a big contract? Isn’t Burgess supposed to be a premier pass rusher?

    I want to know why this defense, led by Rob Ryan, is no better than 26th against the pass and pedestrian against the run? What possible free agent acquisition could significantly improve one of the more underperforming defenses in the league right now?

  • AlisGod

    We are not the 97 Raiders nor the 2006 Raiders. I believe you win with talent and this team has enough talent to be a mediocre team.

    We still need one DE to pass rush and one receiver who can actually catch the ball in traffic. You cannot defend by relying on a passrush from the DT position (warrne and sands). Curry used to catch in traffic but he no longer wants to sacrfice his body.

  • Sup Nation?

    Tim Brown for Front office position!

  • AlisGod

    S&B, to me, Burgess had 2 good years and that was it. He disappeared last year and so far this year as well. i dont know what happened. he is playing for a new contract. Our D in 2006 was good because of his production and the other team not challenging our passing game.

    I am not sold on Burgess. A good passrush remedies everythign in the passing D. The QB must go down.

  • So as far as Defense goes Should I start

    Buc’s Vs Seattle

    Titans Vs KC


  • ao

    i havent comment in forever
    but asomugha is dope.
    hopefully we resign him to a long term deal nxt yr.
    we should put tyvonn at fs.
    if he doesn’t do good
    put nnamdi back there and
    tyvonn at nickle w/ routt starting.

    schilens should start.
    I cnt wait to see arman shields nxt yr.
    chaz is playing gd and shields is supposed to b better.

    I’m still upset that we couldve had monte
    but didn’t bring him in w/ kiffin.

    still a raider regardless!!

  • AlisGod

    correction post 280…i meant to say our pass D not passing game.

  • LMN

    Nice playlist.. It took me weeks to get mine together… 😛

  • RaiderRockstar


    20-17? good call. I’m gonna say 24-20 we win.

    Favre has an average day. 270 yards, 2 TD’s, INT

    Jones rushes for 75 yards. Coles & Cotchery 1 TD each

    I think our defense will have 2 sacks. 1 by Warren, 1 by Edwards. Hall gets the INT

    on offense, 1 rush TD from Fargas, 1 rec TD from McFadden, 1 rec TD from Miller.

    Russell finishes 190 yards, 2 TD, INT, fumble lost

    Fargas has 90 yards on 17 carries. DMC has 50 yards on 8 carries and 2 catches for 40 yards. Bush has 35 yards on 8 carries.

    Miller has 4 catches, 70 yards

  • Doe new fix!

  • HayesDaze#37

    #261, AIG — Favre is no longer a top-flight QB?? And he doesn’t have an awesome WR corps like last time?

    Favre currently has the 5th-highest passer rating in the NFL. His 2:1 TD to INT ratio (13-6) isn’t the greatest — but when you’re winning games, you’ll take Favre’s high risk-high reward style of play any time. He was one of the best QB’s in the league last year, and he’s showing he hasn’t lost anything this year. The Raiders might be able to capitalize on some of his risk-taking, but it’s going to be another long, sad day if they don’t.

    As for his WR corps — He’s formed a good relationship with two very good WR’s (Coles and Cotchery), either of whom the Raiders would LOVE to have right now.

    That 6-TD game Favre had a few weeks ago wasn’t a mistake, they’re good at what they do. And, the Raiders are good at letting other guys come in and have legendary performances at the Coliseum. RR’s schemes better have old man Brett running for his life.

  • S&B


    I don’t think we have anything better on the horizon than Burgess. Other teams generally don’t get rid of great players. Right now that would mean two Defensive Ends we would need? Not good given Al’s track record with free agents the last few years

  • TrevJo

    Unsolicited thought of the day: Did any of you Russell hawks/Kiffin haters that think Kiffin should have trusted the passing game more (or at least thought so, before the Saints), based on what Matt Ryan is doing, ever consider that his defense and pass protection are huge advantages Ryan has that Russell doesn’t. Sam Baker is doing a great job for the Falcons after they gave up a lot (including the 2nd round pick we gave them) to move up and get him. Meanwhile we’ve got crappy Kwame Harris protecting Jamarcus’ backside. Maybe if the Raiders had taken my advice and used their 1st & 2nd round picks to shore up their problems in the trenches, rather than take a RB with the 4th pick and trade the 34th pick for DeAngelo, we wouldn’t have such a crappy team now and an even crappier future ahead of us.

  • TrevJo

    Left out a word in my last post. The beginning of that should say, “Did any of you Russell hawks/Kiffin haters WHO think that Kiffin should have trusted the passing game more based on what Matt Ryan is doing…”