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Notes, quotes

Notes and quotes from Tuesday at the Napa Marriott, a day before the Raiders begin practices:

– JaMarcus Russell has not been made available to the media yet _ that would probably be Thursday _ but at least two players, Johnnie Lee Higgins and Zach Miller, did not attend his “passing camp” in Alabama.

Higgins said he was spending time in his family and Miller was on vacation with his fiancee. Both are expressing their confidence in Russell’s maturity and leadership ability.

Cable dodged any questions of whether Jeff Garcia had any legitimate chance of unseating Russell as the starter.

“I think right now in moving forward our starting quarterback is JaMarcus Russell and Jeff is his backup,” Cable said. “How it all plays out and all that, we’re always evaluating this football team. We certainly want to put the best chance on the field to win.”

Cable’s rationale on ditching Lane Kiffin’s Morning-evening-afternoon practice schedule, a with double sessions separated by several hours and always followed by an mid-afternoon practice the next day:

“They need to be in the heat and the sun. It hardens you. They need to go through the struggles of camp and the hard work, kind of the ups and downs with it and learn to help each other through it,” Cable said. “That’s part of building leadership and building a closer camp. Perhaps you can make it through easier by having this and then at night, back in the morning the next day. It’s almost like it’s too soft, it’s too easy.”

OK, then, how come there will be eight “learning intensive” practices with no pads before getting down to the serious business of knocking some heads?

“We’ll do that plenty. One thing I do know about football players and humans in general, if you’re mind’s right, the rest of it kind of fits,” Cable said. “You can go beat the hell out of them all you want, but if they don’t know where to go or how to go there, in a hurry, you’ve got problems.”

– Hard to see the Derrick Burgess saga having a happy ending. Challenging Al Davis is never a good thing. If Burgess is seriously considering sitting out, Davis will have no problem letting him until he either comes back, tail between his legs, or if a legitimate trade offer comes forth. And what is a legitimate trade offer to Davis is often more than the other team is willing to give.

From Burgess’ perspective, it’s no way to begin a salary drive.

– It’s time to set Andrew Walter free. Trade options were explored in the offseason, but it’s tough to get a draft pick when everyone knows he’s going to be cut.

– If the draft picks are going for the likes of Arman Shields and Stryker Sulak, it hardly matters. Hindsight is 20-20, but those were undeniably wasted picks by any standard.

– I’m still of the opinion Darrius Heyward-Bey will be in Napa shortly. At most, he’ll be like Michael Huff, Darrell Russell and Miller _ players who missed maybe a practice or two while details of the contract were being ironed out.

The Raiders track record in signing all their picks is beyond reproach other than the Russell disaster. The fact that Cable said Heyward-Bey is essentially on standby somewhere in the Bay Area is a good sign.

Cable also said there are no issues with Heyward-Bey’s hamstring, which slowed his progress during the mandatory minicamp and OTAs.

– The company line through camp last year was that no one was worried about Lane Kiffin’s relationship with Al Davis. It was a media creation, overblown, taken out of context, etc. Now the story, according to Kirk Morrison, is that it was tough to deal with.

“I think it’s a big weight lifted off our shoulders. Last year going into it, I just think every week there was a question. It wasn’t about who the opponent was, it was more about ‘Is your coach going to be here? What do you guys have to do to keep his job? If you guys don’t win do you think he’s going to be fired, ” Morrison said. “These are the questions that had to be answered on a continuous basis for the first couple of months and all of training camp. That’s just something as players you don’t want to here.

“You just want to keep going and practice, worry about the opponent, worry about stopping the run, worry about completing passes down the field, worry about winning. Now that’s what the basis of our camp is right now is figuring out ways how we are going to win football games. That’s why I’m excited. We haven’t heard any of that other talk. Our main focus is getting the guys together and getting out on the football field and producing as a 53-man roster that can get out on the football field and win games for us.

– Morrison promises the Raiders will do what they haven’t done consistently since he arrived _ stop the run. It will happen through discipline, repetition and gap control.
“We have a mission. Our mission is to stop the run this year.” Morrison said. “What we have to do about that is going from step one, the basics, learning, teaching. I think the guys understand that. Once we go from those basics to putting it out on the field, repping it as many times as possible, so when game time comes we’ll be ready to go.”

– Morrison on the value of continuity: “Same head coach, same year. I’ve been through four head coaches in four years so far. I just hope that this one stays. I think that what he laid out for us so far, it looks like he’s going to be here a long time.”

– Last year’s surprising finish, considering the mostly unwatchable team of the first 10-plus weeks, has Morrison hoping for some momentum.

“We’ve been through it, a lot of guys are still here from last year that were part of that team that went 3-3 over the last six games and saw the improvement that we made,” Morrison said. “We saw what winning felt like and what it tasted like and I think coming off what we did last year, guys are ready to let that thing roll over into this year. We see what we can be. Now it’s just up to us to go out and become everything that people think we aren’t.”

– Cable opened his press briefing by expressing condolences to the Philadelphia Eagles over the death of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

“First thing I want to say is this: I want to send out our thoughts and prayers to the Philadelphia Eagles and the family of Jim Johnson,” Cable said.“For all of us in this game, there’s a guy who epitomizes what coaching at this level is all about and has for a long, long time. So it’s important for me to say that.”

Johnson never coached for the Raiders, but interviewed for the job of defensive coordinator on Jon Gruden’s staff in 1998. Gruden wanted to hire Johnson, but Davis opted for Willie Shaw. Shaw did a remarkable job in his first season, but was gone two years later in favor of Chuck Bresnahan.

On the Dan Patrick Show, ex-Raider Warren Sapp said of Johnson, “Al Davis may have said it, but Jim Johnson lived it _ the quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.”
Johnson’s zone blitzing teams were almost always among the leaders in sacks.

– Lots of issues with the blog because of an aborted server change today, and it may be troublesome tomorrow as well. Check in with my Twitter account for updates if the blog is down . . .

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # KoolKell Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    And the same pettiness.
    ——————————————-
    what do you think of his post #189 if you are so smart. And did you notice he came in here mouthing off and embarrasing himself again. Answer that.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Priesttj Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    We had high hopes for a player who’s got great talent but injuries have derailed him.
    _______________________-
    Who’s “we” who are you speaking for. I noticed that with Oakglenn earlier. Who’s we?

  • Mistabrown

    Priest you just dont get it do you ?

    You jock EVERY player the Raiders draft. EVERY single one.

    It doesnt take 1 single brain cell or football knowledge to do that!

    You’re a joke!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Someone get that guy a drool rag.

  • jhill

    Yes they did come in and turn it around, and props to them for getting it done.

    But are you seriously suggesting that Ryan came into a tougher situation than Russell did? Russell didn’t fold up in the situation he was in here, so why would he do so in an easier situation like Atlanta?

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    what do you think of his post #189 if you are so smart. And did you notice he came in here mouthing off and embarrasing himself again. Answer that.
    ——————-
    So what? I’m talking about you, not him. You’ve been at that petty shyt for over an hour. Nasty too. Name-calling for an hour. That’s your personality.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # KoolKell Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Who’s “we” who are you speaking for. I noticed that with Oakglenn earlier. Who’s we?
    ————————————————

    Is this a stupid question? Who do you think?? Who do you think has high hopes that DHB is going to be a good player?? Who do you think has high hopes that Jamarcus is going to be a good player??? I know I do. But then, there are probably some people who would rather those players be busts, just so they can rail on Davis and the Raiders. We don’t call them fans. We call them mentally deficient. Don’t you think?

  • Mistabrown

    You can train a monkey to think everything silver & black is GOLDEN.

    When you start being realistic & objective Priest thats when you wont be thought of as the VILLAGE IDIOT.

  • HayesDaze37

    Don’t compare JaMarcus to one or two, historically extreme, examples.

    Compare JaMarcus to QB’s in HIS class…or if you’re going to use Flacco and Ryan…add their entire class also…or it’s not a valid comparison.

    The relatively REALISTIC comparison would show that JaMarcus is right where he needs to be (even ahead of most of those other guys, in terms of development?).

    Is JaMarcus John Elway? In our dreams. As good as Flacco and Ryan? Quite possibly. As far along as either of them? Maybe. As good as Eli Manning? Probably. Ready to be a great NFL QB? Not out of the question — methinks he’s got what it takes.

    Don’t compare JaMarcus to the greatest 1st-year stories in NFL history…or, IF YOU DO…compare ALL QB’s at the same level.

    By those standards…Elway, Montana, Aikman, and on and on would all be complete failures.

    Next?!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    What’s funny KK is I have been here and it’s the same people who devolve this into a mess. And you are one of them. You add nothing, you come here to argue, and you are really not very smart. Anything else?

  • Mistabrown

    Absolutely! I never seen a franchise in shambles like Atlanta when Petrino quit & then the next year they have a rookie Qb & rookie Coach!!!!

    C’mon man!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Once again, if you all remember correctly, Denver traded with a very very bad Indy team for the rights to Elway, after Elway said he would not play in Indy. So, Elway went to a team that was a solid team. Even tho he was an overall number one, it is again, NOT COMPARABLE.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Gnite Beecham, King of the Trolls.

  • lefty12

    KK,don’t you have high hopes for any player the team you root for drafts?it seems when they say we they are talking about those of us who are Raider fans.we all know they aren’t all going to be successful,but we still root for them,don’t we?

  • Mistabrown

    Thats funny Pokeglenn because you went after me in post #6 for something as petty as the round Shields was drafted. But you are innocent right ? You’re a fraud & joke as well.

    # Oakglenn Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    # KoolKell Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    What round was Shields drafted in, that was another wasted pick.
    ———————————————

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    3rd I believe
    ———————————————-

    Wrong again missedabrain. But one day, you might finally get something right. After all, even a blind pig finds a peanut every once in awhile.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    good nite paranoid man. don’t worry paranoid man. Just becuase you are paranoid does not mean people are not out to get you. I feel sorry for you. You have serious mental issues.

  • Mistabrown

    Thats you in post #6 right ? Look in the mirror you nit wit!

    # Oakglenn Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    What’s funny KK is I have been here and it’s the same people who devolve this into a mess. And you are one of them. You add nothing, you come here to argue, and you are really not very smart. Anything else?

  • Mistabrown

    Priest you just dont get it do you ?

    You jock EVERY player the Raiders draft. EVERY single one.

    It doesnt take 1 single brain cell or football knowledge to do that!

    You’re a joke!

    _______________________________________________________

    You can train a monkey to think everything silver & black is GOLDEN.

    When you start being realistic & objective Priest thats when you wont be thought of as the VILLAGE IDIOT.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Thats funny Pokeglenn because you went after me in post #6 for something as petty as the round Shields was drafted. But you are innocent right ? You’re a fraud & joke as well.
    ——————————————————-

    Did someone find you a drool rag?? You are not making sense. My point is you were wrong on a simple fact like that. You can’t even get that right. I don’t think you have ever gotten anything right. It’s actually frightening. It really is. How someone can be wrong sooooooo often. Even on simple things. You must be jinxed or something. Seriously.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Did you find your drool rag??

  • jhill

    But Ryan wasn’t there for any of that Petrino stuff. Niether was Turner. Ryan came into a situation where his coach was fully behind him from draft day, and he had a Pro Bowl RB and WR as weapons.

    Need I remind you of Russell’s circumstances?

    Again, just commenting on your Russell would curl up argument. He had a tougher situation to deal with than Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, and I just don’t see how you can try and debate otherwise. Lame duck coaching staff leading to 3 different playcallers?

    You Cmon!

  • Mistabrown

    Pokeglenn, you told KK other people start with you yet it was you that started with me on post #6. Im sure you cant follow along now…

    Hypocrite & Fraud

    # Oakglenn Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    What’s funny KK is I have been here and it’s the same people who devolve this into a mess. And you are one of them. You add nothing, you come here to argue, and you are really not very smart. Anything else?

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Pokeglenn, you told KK other people start with you yet it was you that started with me on post #6. Im sure you cant follow along now…

    Hypocrite & Fraud
    ———————————————-
    So what you are saying is I lit up on you and so I am a hypocrite and a fraud correct?

  • priesttj

    Mista, are yu stupid or just pretending, The only players in this draft that I’ve made statements about are the ones I personally studied, Matt Shaunessey, Mike Mitchell whom I really haven’t studied but was WOW’d by the youtube tape and DHB whom I’ve seen 2 games on. I also saw Myers but haven’t said much about him other he better inline blocker than reciever. The rest of this years draft I haven’t seen nor have I said anything about.

    Last years draft I didn’t want DMC and everybody knows it. Great player but we didn’t need him. I wait until I see the player before I say anything about them………….period

  • priesttj

    So to add to that Mista, you have lied again because you don’t have a point.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    What is the answer missedabrain??

  • Mistabrown

    Obviously Flacco was in the best situation of the 3.

    Ryan had walked into a situation with 0 foundation. Russell pissed away his rookie year with contract issues.

    No comparison unless you want to hold Russells hand like a girl scout.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    So I just completely unloaded on you out of nowhere is that what you are saying missedabrain?

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    If Priest & OakGlenn ride BEY’s jock like they did Shields it could be a disastrous career for the poor kid.
    ————————————————–

    Here, obviously you forgot that you posted this just earlier today. And no, Priest and I were NOT riding Shields jock, nor did we call him the next Jerry Rice, we just both ackowledeged he had a nice college career and was most likely worth a 4th round pick. IT WAS YOU, that jocked us. So, under your own defintion, you are the hypocrite and fraud. And liar. And POS

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Notice how he runs away and hides. gutless POS that missedabrain.

  • Mistabrown

    Im saying you started with me for something as meaningless as the round Shields was drafted & you have the audacity to blame others for arguing.

    Itsnothing new this is your M.O in here. A troll & a fraud.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Obviously Flacco was in the best situation of the 3.

    Ryan had walked into a situation with 0 foundation. Russell pissed away his rookie year with contract issues.

    No comparison unless you want to hold Russells hand like a girl scout.
    ———————————————————

    wrong as ususal. Hypocrite and fraud. Get the guy a drool rag.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Im saying you started with me for something as meaningless as the round Shields was drafted & you have the audacity to blame others for arguing.

    Itsnothing new this is your M.O in here. A troll & a fraud.
    ——————————————————-

    Did YOU not bring both Priest and I up earlier in the day?? Or is that some mirage??? I didn’t bring you up. I never bring you up. You are something I step on. So by your own definition, you are a liar, hypocrite and fraud. Check/mate.

  • Mistabrown

    Priest you just dont get it do you ?

    You jock EVERY player the Raiders draft. EVERY single one.

    It doesnt take 1 single brain cell or football knowledge to do that!

    You’re a joke!

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

    You can train a monkey to think everything silver & black is GOLDEN.

    When you start being realistic & objective Priest thats when you wont be thought of as the VILLAGE IDIOT.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    check mate. loser.

  • Mistabrown

    Like I said you 2 goons are the equivalent of a monkey. It doesn’t take 1 ounce of knowledge to suck every player, GM & coach dry that wears the S&B.

    You 2 derelicts are the definition of fraud.

    The end.
    G’night :)

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    check mate hypocrite fraud.

  • dr ice

    im just glad camp is here no more talk about off season and this years draft picks let the guys fight it out and see what happens i hope morrisons comments about stopping the run come true with the schedule we got were gonna need it DMAC fantasy steal of the year GO RAIDERS

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!
    Time for coffee…Everyone have a cup on me!

  • Richard Bentley

    Prior Engagement?? Prior Engagement?? Where is the man’s sense of priority?? And as for Kelly jumping offside: hey, keep your eye on the ball. Or don’t they teach that technique any more??