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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.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • La Milicia Negra

    So no news like King Davis was shopping Nnamdi to KC??

  • Lynn from Snot

    Nap back with Vikings

  • Lynn from Snot

    What are the odds that Walker and Curry sit out this week. The results would be the same on the stat sheet.

  • La Milicia Negra

    The German Bundes Liga (best Soccer League in Germany) have made an analysis of Coach firings..

    On avg if a team fires its Coach it results in two more defeats than previous year.. or loss of 6% more games..

    They play 34 games a season.. makes one think why we suck so much more than other franchises..

    Another thing, the best Danish player ever, Michael Laudrup, Coach of the 5th greatest team in Russia, the 3rd greatest in Moscow, he gets everything he wants..

    “I want a new field” “We need another type of grass” “I want that Player” “I want to do it this way” Same answer each time, “Yes, Michael, what ever you say and need”..

    If our last 12 coaches or what the number is today, had such a free rein I bet we wouldn’t suck as much either..

    just something to think about…

  • kirk

    Al Davis and Rob Ryan are responsible for the plight of the Raiders. Davis for his poor drafting, and Ryan for his passive defense.

  • http://fanscanfuqoff.com/ Al Davis

    For the last time; I DID NOT WANT TO DRAFT MARTY HUFF, ART SHELL MADE ME DO IT!

  • Lynn from Snot

    It is time to get back to running the ball thats what we do best, forcing the pass just retards the devolopment of the offense. I believe in balance but it’s been run run run or pass pass pass. Set up the pass by sticking to the run then use play action but, the patience is not there to achieve that game plan. How about having a plan and sticking to it.

  • http://fanscanfuqoff.com/ Al Davis

    I love Rob Ryan. He alone is the reason we have won 19 games in the last 5+ seasons!

  • Lynn from Snot

    Al .. Huff sure looked like a playmaker in the championship game against USC. Thats the player I thought we would get ….sigh

  • http://fanscanfuqoff.com/ Al Davis

    Snot,

    Here’s a little secret; I don’t watch film of players actually playing in college, that is a waste of time. I only pay attention to the combine, and even there I only watch the 40 yard dash and the weigh in. I watch the weigh in to see how comfortable the guy is in his birthday suit. If a guy is confident while naked, I know he will be confident on the field. Now you know why I have so much success on draft day. Don’t tell anyone, it is our little secret snot.

    P.S. I know I have said I wanted Mel Leinhart instead of Marty Huff, but I really wanted Jack Cutler, not Mel Leinhart. USC is overrated these days you know.

  • http://barackobama.com/ Joe the Plumber

    In light of my recent rise to celebrity, I would also like to campaign for the GM position. I would like to start off by saying that Timmy is a brown noser and will bring more years of more of the same.

    JOE THE PLUMBER for GM!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Asomugha play FS? yes please! he’s a ballhawk, covers like a blanket and makes the open field tackles. Huff, Branch and Routt can compete for the CB spot opposite Hall.

    I know this isn’t likely to happen …

    so let’s hope Hiram has improved from last season. It’s safe to say that Huff hasn’t – even though he’s only had 5 games at the new position. How many years did we give Stu ???

  • RaiderRockstar

    Oren O’Neal will be back. Kiffin tried to scare him. What a tool! He will be back here punishing guys next season..

    Fargas wants Timmy. I’d like to have Mr. Brown on staff in any capacity! At the very least he and Lofton could provide JaMarcus with 2 reliable targets in practice. Tim can help mentor these young WR’s and tell Al Davis to give Watkins, Schilens and Higgins more playing time instead of Curry, Walker & Lelie. If Davis feels he can trust Tim – we’ll be in good shape

  • MaineRaida

    Huff has had plenty of time to demonstrate that he just ain’t got it for the NFL level. Too bad, but true. He looks like he really doesn’t want to clobber anyone. And one interception?!, c’mon. Sadly, this is yet another draft bust, unless he turns it around dramatically, and soon.

    And, Curry too, he looked so promising in years past and now injury-free and getting his real shot, is looking sub-par.

    Let’s hope Russell and McFadden mature to full poyential, or else…we’re really screwed!

  • MaineRaida

    not only their poyential, but their potential as well!

  • La Milicia Negra

    Oren O’Neal will be back. Kiffin tried to scare him. What a tool! He will be back here punishing guys next season..
    ______________________________________________________

    What on earth do you talk about, he was a Kiffin pick, Kiffin raved about how he liked him..

    I think you have a very selective mind..

  • RaiderRockstar

    – 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.

    *****************************

    LMN, i read the (above) article. did you?

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    I would NOT let Nnamdi play safety, what have you been eating, he practical shuts off the one half of the field..

    I always said Huff would be better CB than any of the safety positions, let him take the side opposite Nnamdi.. But I have very little faith in Hiram, my boy Branch is a better safety. Now Branch is without the cast so that makes him better, I like him over Hiram..

    CB1 Nnamdi
    CB2 Huff
    SS Wilson
    FS Branch
    CB3 Hall (nickel)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Maine, good points. How much potential does this team have? tons! whether they actually show on on gameday and meet our expectations is another story. Hopefully Cable proves he can motivate our players better than previous coaches have. It starts one game at a time. Cable made a bold prediction we would beat the Jets on Monday, did you catch that? I like the confidence and I’m glad McFadden is finally healthy. 3-4 weeks seemed like 8!

  • RaiderRockstar

    no doubt Branch probably has more talent than Eugene. He’s a rookie though and he played corner in college. We basically drafted him for special teams… Eugene started 5 games last year, improved this offseason and has 2 years in the system

    and you don’t pay a player 10 million per season to sit on the bench and come in for occasional obvious passing plays – especially if he leads the team in INT’s!

  • RaiderRockstar

    LMN says “I would NOT let Nnamdi play safety, what have you been eating?”

    From the article above …

    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.
    ****************************
    It’s already happening smart guy! you really didn’t read the article did you? You don’t come here for Raider football, you come here to argue with people..

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    Lane Kiffin’s comments after the surgery that it was a career-threatening injury.
    ______________________________________________________
    Okay then, what would Kiffin gain from scare him, i see it, if he did say it, as a way to say to the guy.. “you might not come back”, not “you will never come back” so OO was mentally ready for what could happen.. surgery like that alway has the possibility to end peoples career, even if its usually doesn’t..

    And yes i read the article..

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    RRS..

    so because i don’t agree with the things JerryMac is reporting, i haven’t read it..

    or what is you chain of thought..

  • http://fanscanfuqoff.com/ Al Davis

    Rockstar,

    What potential? We have no players with potential on the o-line or d-line. Our LBs are limited in run stopping. Half our secondary is a bust with Matt Huff and Dean Hall. We have some fast young WRs that can’t catch.

    The only potential we have is at QB and RB and that just is not going to cut it.

    Why did I let these coaches make me draft all these flops? Jim Herrera, get Mike Millen on the phone, pronto. We need a proven winner like Marv Millen around here!

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    RRS..

    I read this last night.. its over 16 hours old you know..

    and who am I arguing with, it seems to me you are arguing, thats all fine with me..

    pleas point out, my post in this thread where i argue.. except of course these ones with you.. =)

  • DirtyBathWater

    Rob ryan don’t have the slightest clue as to utilize his players. How the hell can u look at huff when ur not giving ………damn what’s the freaking point!!! Never mind this sht blows big time

  • RaiderRockstar

    so because i don’t agree with the things JerryMac is reporting, i haven’t read it..

    ***************

    LMN, so you know for a fact that Nnamdi isn’t playing safety in games or practice? I find it hard to believe that you might know more about that than Jerry

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    no doubt Branch probably has more talent than Eugene. He’s a rookie though and he played corner in college. We basically drafted him for special teams… Eugene started 5 games last year, improved this offseason and has 2 years in the system

    and you don’t pay a player 10 million per season to sit on the bench and come in for occasional obvious passing plays – especially if he leads the team in INT’s!
    ____________________________________________________

    First, Kiffin said that within 3 years the plan was that Branch would be a starter.. yes he was drafted to the ST, but on long term they wanted him be a starter.. and he will be..

    the last paragraph, i dont know if its Hall or Nnamdi you are talking about.. I assume Hall, BUT..

    As i listed it Nnamdi wouldn’t be on the bench at all, Hall would, and this isn’t about the money, this is about making our team better, and keep Hall in just makes the field lopsided..

    Hall would get more Int’s as a nickel, than now because then he can roam..

    Lastly, Branch is already better than Hiram Eugene, he has INT’s even though he had the cast on, now he is cast-free, means even better

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    LMN, so you know for a fact that Nnamdi isn’t playing safety in games or practice? I find it hard to believe that you might know more about that than Jerry
    __________________________________________________

    Don’t be stupid, we all know you are not that stupid..

    I didn’t say i knew what was going on, I said I didn’t agree with what is going on..

  • RaiderRockstar

    Rob ryan don’t have the slightest clue as to utilize his players..
    *******************

    DBW, i agree. RR needed to go when Kiffin was first hired, but of course Davis and others looked at the #1 ranked pass defense as a positive, when it was really a stat reflected because teams ran the ball down our throat, chewed up clock and didn’t have to pass – even on 3rd down! RR hasn’t done squat and this is his 5th year as DC. Yet we go through head coaches like dirty socks around here

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    RSS..

    you do know that there are a big difference between Agree and believe..

    I believe almost every word JerryMac is reporting, if I don’t believe it, then its because its a quote from someone I don’t believe..

    I BELIEVE the raiders are doing this, but I don’t AGREE with it.. I thinks its foolish, but almost all our defensive decisions have been foolish, so no surprise there..

  • Lynn from Snot

    Regarding Branch,he is a big hitter and that was one reason he was drafted along with his speed.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I don’t know who Branch would start in place of. Look at all the money we have locked up in Hall, Asomugha, Huff & Wilson. All are relatively young too. If Asomugha gets a long term deal this offseason that becomes even less likely. Routt is still here as a solid nickel.

    I saw the signing of Branch as a replacement for Chris Carr. nothing more, nothing less. an extra db, st coverage guy & return man. he was a pretty solid corner in college though. should use him in dime packages instead of Chris Johnson

  • RaiderRockstar

    i agree with posts 181 & 182

    lmn & lynn ..

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    fino =)

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    If Hall was a nickel he didnt have to focus on the line, that would Wilson do, then he can do what he always does, stay a bit away and snag the ball..

    I think he would be better that way..

  • http://fanscanfuqoff.com/ Al Davis

    I like bread.

    Give me a bath!

    Fire Cable!

    Fuq Marcus Allen!

  • http://fanscanfuqoff.com/ Al Davis

    How’s ya mutha?

  • RaiderRockstar

    instead of nickel, what if we used Hall at FS instead of Asomugha? that would make more sense. he’s known for sure tackling & ballhawking too. just get burnt more often than Phillip Buchanon

    then Huff, Branch & Routt could compete for the CB spot opposite Nnamdi.

    now that i know you weren’t disputing the facts, just weren’t happy with them makes things easier :)

  • Lynn from Snot

    How about geting pressure on the QB that would fix everything thats wrong with this defense.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    RRS..

    I could live with that =)

    and you are totally right, then our money would be used better..

    I don’t like the idea of Branch a CB, then it should be the nickel and let Huff get it.. As I said, I always saw Huff as a CB, not any kind of safety..

    Routt and Branch would then battle it out in Nickel, and maybe they are better suited for different plays..

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    Sad thing Buchanon was hopeless in Man2Man, so was Fabian, then they go to Cover 2 and they thrive.. Buchanon clearly has been TB’s best man..

  • Lynn from Snot

    Cutler and Brees had clean jerseys at the end of the game tells you all you need to know

  • Lynn from Snot

    Man to man is not Halls strong suit to say the least.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    CB1 Nnamdi
    CB2 Huff
    SS Wilson
    SF Hall
    CB3 Branch/Routt (nickel)

  • Lynn from Snot

    Wade who? Phillips?

  • http://www.whatthefukisgoingon.com Chaos

    I say we pull a SD and get rid of The Entire Offensive line, except for Cooper and start over again!

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    # Lynn from Snot Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Man to man is not Halls strong suit to say the least.
    ____________________________________________________

    and we all knew it.. :/

  • http://www.whatthefukisgoingon.com Chaos

    Lynn from Snot Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:31 am
    Wade who? Phillips?

    Seriously? 5th Grade education I see.

  • http://www.whatthefukisgoingon.com Chaos

    We shoud fire Lofton and bring in Timmy to coach the WR’s.