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

  • We should fire Mark Tresman and bring in Gannon to coach to QB.

  • We should fire Willie Brown and bring in Ronnie Lott to coach the DB’s.

  • We should fire the Offensive line coach and bring in Tom Cable to coach the O Line!

  • We should get rid of Keith Mallard as LB Coach and being in Mike Singletary!

  • We should bring in a real defensive coordinator like Monte Kiffin to coach that D into shape.

  • and last but not least, we should bring in Arnold “The Terminator” Swartchenhagger to do strength and conditioning.

  • Chaos..

    Marc Trestman isnt here, but we sure as hell should get him

    John Defilippo is our QB coach, I don’t like him, that much..

    Marc Trestman, would an upgrade, because that man is intelligent.

  • Lynn from Snot

    Chaos 201

  • Lynn from Snot

    victim of public scooling, lol

  • La Milicia Negra Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Marc Trestman isnt here, but we sure as hell should get him

    John Defilippo is our QB coach, I don’t like him, that much..

    Marc Trestman, would an upgrade, because that man is intelligent.

    My bad. I was dreamin. Ok then bring in Norm Chow.

  • Gonnon is payed more now at cbs than he ever was as a player so I don’t see him come here at all..

  • Lynn from Snot


  • # Chaos Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    and last but not least, we should bring in Arnold “The Terminator” Swartchenhagger to do strength and conditioning.

    lol, good one, but have in mind all our players would get banned because illegal substance use..

  • This is what I was alluding to:

    The Roe v. Wade decision prompted national debate that continues today. Debated subjects include whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the nation into pro-Roe (mostly pro-choice) and anti-Roe (mostly pro-life) camps, and inspiring grassroots activism on both sides.

  • Lynn from Snot

    Yeah I konw, I’m not Sara Palin

  • LFS..

    yeah come on you know gonnon, he was that dude who, oh well =)

  • RaiderRockstar

    i agree with Lynn about the lack of pressure from the d-line. Look what the Giants have done with pressure. Makes life a whole lot easier for your db’s! I think the year Nnamdi had 8 INT’s was the year Burgess had 16 sacks and Sapp had 10, wasn’t it? Now (when healthy) teams double Burgess and the rest of the d-line can’t get there. Plus Ryan doesn’t blitz …

    New D-Cord please!

  • konw?????

    Is that an abbreviation for something…..?

  • now when 408, haven’t been present i’ll say it for him..

    FREE DIRT!!!11

  • dammit!!

    Free DirtY!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    who’s dirty?

    Barry Bonds? Shawn Merriman?

  • Scottish Raider

    Mr Pain will be back. Yippee. Best news for a long, long time.

    And how much have we missed his blocking ability. Griffith is a smart player but he doesn’t have O’Neal’s power. Mr Pain scares the wits out of linebackers, he is just relentless.

    And a brilliant guy.

    PS: Why don’t we try Huff at CB or as the Nickel. He played well at CB for Texas and maybe better suited by a man-marking role rather than something more complicated.

    PPS: Apart from Howard, am I the only one who thinks that Morrison and Brown are not on their best form at the moment?

  • Here it is boys and girls……..

    Defensive pressure causes teams to think about play selection. They tend to go for shorter pass routes which causes them to do one of two things:

    1. Streach the field with more WR’s or more deep routes, typically ending in incompletions.
    2. Run the ball, of which, our Defensive line has been playing well against the run.

    On the flip side, the offensive team needs to keep the clock management under control. Stop throwing the fukin ball downfield ( See comment 1 above) and see comment 2 on how to fix it.

    It is simple football. You learn that playing in Mighty Might. God maybe we can send some of our coaches to school to learn how to call plays.

  • RaiderRockstar

    why did Jarrod Cooper retire?

    to pet the doggies in animal shelters? maybe he’s going to inject them with his roids to see what happens. crazy guard dogs! wooohaa!

  • Lynn from Snot

    post 230 His tatoo washed off

  • Lots of great ideas from everyone today. I can’t imagine a scenario where Rob Ryan returns next season. He is at the end of his contract, and I don’t think Al likes his scheme as much as people seem to think. Ryan has failed to improve this defense one iota since arriving 5 years ago, and for all of his decently schemed games, he has two or three complete failures. Robbo is a great D-coordinator, but I don’t think he embraces the Cover 0 bump-and-run that Al wants as our base D. Al needs to find a D-coordinator in the college ranks that plays a bump n run, if he insists on employing that defense. It is obvious that Ryan does not use the free-safety very well, everyone they have tried to plug-in there is burned. Ryan also doesn’t use a dominant CB very effeectively, as they are just avoided. While his LB’s have played well in some situations, they have lots of holes in their games. The D-line has been a joke during Rob’s tenure, period. If Al is serious about winning another Super Bowl in his lifetime, he needs to find a competent D-coordinator this off-season, who has a background in secondary coaching or playing.

  • Bart,

    Don’t worry, I will get Ryne Ryan to sign a new contract as head coach of the defense before I hire a new head coach that wants to hire his own defensive coordinator.

  • Lynn from Snot

    Willie Shaw please come back

  • RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    who’s dirty?

    El Dirty… Raider Fan..

  • BART Bridge Brigade Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Lots of great ideas from everyone today. I can’t imagine a scenario where Rob Ryan returns next season. He is at the end of his contract, and I don’t think Al likes his scheme as much as people seem to think.

    Then why did he get 5 years, and 3 HC’s? that doesn’t compute to me..

  • RaiderRockstar

    Ryan won’t be back in Oakland unless Al Davis offers him the HC job. Same with Tom Cable

  • That was his contract, for 5 years. Al loves to ax head coaches, but for everyone else he seems to honor the contracts.

    I think Al would have fired Ryan last year if Monte Kiffin had actually been available. The fact of the matter was that Kiffin did not give any suggestions to Al that were feasible so he stuck with Ryan, so that he could fulfill the contract. Plus, Ryan has a standing offer from Mangini to coach the Jets defense, why would he want to stay here, being forced to defend himself in post-game press conferences because the owner forces him to play man-to-man, Cover 0 defense.

  • I wish these guys would just leave. Up and go without warning.



  • The players could probably do better coaching themselves at this point.

  • WWWWWWWOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



  • RaiderRockstar

    Tim Brown needs to pay Al Davis a visit. Bring him some prunes and vanilla ensure as a gesture of kindness. Timmy can be a guy that disagrees with Davis w/o being rude or insulting. He loves the Raiders and appreciates Davis and his legacy. He’s young and the players (especially WR’s) will look up to a player headed to Canton as a Raider

  • yep Chaos,

    During the KC game the commentators mentioned that Morrison had approached Ryan about being more aggressive. So basically they are already trying to coach themselves, but Ryan is just getting in their way.

  • RaiderRockstar

    does anybody think Cable will sit Russell on the bench during cold weather games like Kiffin did in Green Bay last year? protect him! get Walter in there to freeze his balls off!

  • RaiderRockstar

    how is fatboy bigmouth Sapp doing on Dancing With The Stars?

    Anybody watch that crap?

  • At some point, Pride takes over and the paycheck doesn’t matter. Look at Nnamdi. He plays on an island. He is probably the BEST player on this team, hands down!

  • # RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 16th, 2008 at 10:12 am

    how is fatboy bigmouth Sapp doing on Dancing With The Stars?

    Anybody watch that crap?

    Our NFL presenter, a former player and won the danish cahmpionship as coach is sadly the male host in the danish edition.. But No I don’t see it, his Co-host on the NFL show, teases him at every minute he get =)

  • ….and winner of the danish championship as coach….

  • S&B

    Raiders have to go out and play ball. That’s it. Its just time to play ball. As for coaches, they have to prove that they are better than a man off the street. Defensively, Rob Ryan has to find a way to use a talented roster. Pure and simple.

    offensively, if you can’t find a way to utilize DMAC, Fargas, Miller and that O-Line, you shouldn’t be coaching at the nfl level.

    I want to think that this team is more than just a team that is marginally better than the Lions or Bengals

  • RaiderRockstar

    I want to think that this team is more than just a team that is marginally better than the Lions or Bengals

    you’re right, but at the same time, even if we played the Lions, Bengals, Rams or Chiefs (again) we could win. We have to play better across the board as a team, the coaching especially has to improve

  • RaiderRockstar

    i doubt we would win (above)


  • well I even don’t see us as better as those I still see us as the 2nd worst team

  • RaiderRockstar

    how many passing yards and TD’s will Favre have this week?

    Any INT’s ?

    predicted score?

  • 54-0 Jets over the Raiders.

    Farve 350 yards 4 TDs, no ints.

    Commitment to excellence!

  • Negra, where did all the decent commentators to this blog go? Realfootball 365?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Mr. Davis, please go meet with Tim Brown and quit wasting your time on Jerry’s blog!