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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

    So, now you are wrong about the Falcons, wrong about the Giants and as I wrote earlier you are comparing guys with 5,6,7 years in the league to a guy with one year in the league, where WE ALL KNOW, QB is a position that takes time to develop. Wanna keep going???

    “It’s the trifector baaaaabbbyyyy!!” Dick Vitale

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    missedabrain, now you are just talking nonsense. Pretty soon you are going to go Dud or maddenraider on us and have a Chernobyl type meltdown. Is there any rudimentary type stuff you can discuss. Like, how to open a can of coke, or maybe how to jump rope??

  • Mistabrown

    Your family has NYG seas tix?

    Whats your point?

    Why do I care?

    And you still didnt know they blitzed the pants off NE in the SB. Your family must be embarrassed by you Pokeglenn,

  • lefty12

    Grant Napar(?) of khtk radio in Sac. is a NYG fan.i clearly remember him questioning Eli and saying how Giant fans were ready to run him,the coach,and the GM out of town because of the Eli trade.
    BTW,didn’t Oak say the Falcons were a 12 win team in 2004?didn’t they win 12 games that year?
    sorry for butting in!!!!

  • Mistabrown

    Pokeglenn did your cat give you the cold shoulder again ?

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Missedabrain-”we must support the military. I hate anything that is publicly owned.”

  • HayesDaze37

    The only established QB that should even be thought of as a replacement for JaMarcus right now…is an established STAR QB, not a journeyman.

    I’ll give Eli Manning all the respect in the world for his Super Bowl win, on a team loaded with talent and coaching, but I wouldn’t trade him for JaMarcus right now.

    Palmer could take this Raiders team a long way…and he’d win the job from JaMarcus right now. But, I think JaMarcus has all the physical tools that Palmer has, and then some, and he can surpass Palmer as a pro if he’s got the head for it.

    The worst case scenario for us is for something to happen to JaMarcus this year that would stunt his development. He should have a pretty good year, and if he does, his team should be a pretty good team.

    Jeff Garcia would be a safe bus driver for awhile, but nothing special will likely come from it. If the Raiders need a real talent, for a short run, halfway through the year…until JaMarcus is ready to go…

    …Brett Favre’s phone number will be handy.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    missedabrain, you are beneath me. I do not wish to engage you in stupid banter. I don’t have time for you. And BTW, my cat is much, much much smarter than you. And I will wager any amount of money that can be proven.

  • Mistabrown

    No Atlanta went 11-5 in the reg season. In the post season they went 1-1.

    You’re welcome to butt in.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Thank you HD. Comparing Jamarcus Russell right now to Carson Palmer is like comparing DHB to Ocho Cinco or Larry Fitzgerald. They are not comparable players at this point and anyone who would try to do it is showing their ignorance. You want to compare Jamarcus to someone, compare him to Alex Smith. THAT, is an apt comparison.

  • Mistabrown

    LOL @ Brett Favres phone # being handy. Id rather lose with Russell than lose with a washed up hillbilly that is Brett Favre.

  • He Hate Me

    Server problems?? Are you FN kidding me? On opening day of training camp!? Are these not issues that should’ve been fixed already??? This isn’t freakin baseball!! It’s opening day of our NFL SEASON!!!!

  • Mistabrown

    Yeah compare Russell to an established “bust” in Alex Smith.

    Way to lower the bar Pokeglenn!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    No Atlanta went 11-5 in the reg season. In the post season they went 1-1.

    You’re welcome to butt in.
    ———————————————————-

    I said they won 12 games in 2004. in 2004 they were 11-5. Plus 1-1. Looks like 12 wins to me. In fact it looks like 12 wins to everyone on earth that can count to 12 other than missedabrain, who clearly cannot. Of course, missedabrain is probably wearing one of those 19-0 New England Patriot shirts that 2 million kids in Zimbabwe own.

  • HayesDaze37

    Better emergency QB for the Raiders…*AFTER mid-season…Garcia or Favre?

    * Hey, it’s my poll!

  • Mistabrown

    #162

    Its training camp. The season starts in Sept. The blog is up & running. GO ring out your pannies & wash the sand out of your clit.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Yeah compare Russell to an established “bust” in Alex Smith.

    Way to lower the bar Pokeglenn!
    —————————————————–

    Right over missedabrains head once again. And you’re calling Favre a hillbilly??? I bet you chew tobakky, swill bud, are missing 10 teeth and live in some rotted trailer. I’m right aren’t I missedabrain??

  • lefty12

    nobody should be even considered to play over JR this year.we HAVE to let him play.if he falls on his face,so be it,but he has to play.like Vermeil said about Johnson-it’s time to grow up young man.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    You DO live in a trailer right missedabrain??

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # lefty12 Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    nobody should be even considered to play over JR this year.we HAVE to let him play.if he falls on his face,so be it,but he has to play.like Vermeil said about Johnson-it’s time to grow up young man.
    —————————————————–

    Exactly.

  • Mistabrown

    Pokeglenn, the reg season & post season is separate. You dont ad them together unless you misspoke on a blog & somebody called you on it…thats the ONLY time you ad post season wins to the reg season.

    Keep trying to cover your anus..

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Someone must have pulled down the ‘lektrick wire off the power pole agin in missedabrains trailer park.

  • jhill

    There is no current comparison for Russell. I doubt their has been a 1st year starter who without question had the worst T combo in the league, and 3 different playcallers. I’ll stop right there as far as the BD that went on last year. Again, no comparison.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    missedabrain, you’re losing it. rain coming in the trailer top agin?

  • lefty12

    HD37-Charlie Frye

  • Mistabrown

    I agree play him all 2009 unless he becomes an embarrassment. At the end of the year decide to keep him or flush him.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Thank you Jhill.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    You don’t have a flushing bowl in your trailer do you missedabrain. you gotta go down to the local Union 76 to wash up don;t you?

  • HayesDaze37

    When comparing JaMarcus to ANY other QB…to be close to fair…it needs to be vs guys with a similar amount of time/games played in the league.

    Alex Smith is a much better comparative example than Carson Palmer.

    Anybody trying to have a realistic discussion on the matter would find guys with even experience to do it with.

  • Mistabrown

    The whole premise of not comparing Russell to Flacco or Ryan was a retarded one to begin with.

    Regardless of Atlantas record before Ryan got there you can absolutely compare rookie Qb’s. They were 4-12 the year before Ryan arrived along with a ROOKIE coach!

    The only reason a nit wit like Pokeglenn wants to kill the debate is because Russell has been a clod so far and he hates to admit it.

    Hows Shields doing Pokeglenn ?

  • jhill

    With that said, this year he better get it done. Henderson and Barnes should be adequate at the T positions, and he actually has some weapons to throw to.

    The thing I am most anxious to see is how the new coaching staffs impact this team, if at all.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Pokeglenn, the reg season & post season is separate. You dont ad them together unless you misspoke on a blog & somebody called you on it…thats the ONLY time you ad post season wins to the reg season.

    Keep trying to cover your anus..
    —————————————————–

    Sure. In you’re warped little world, little man, You make the rules. Did I forget to tell you that I am looking at the Sporting news and they do what I did?? In fact they also do that in college football as well. In fact everyone who knows what they are talking about does that. You know, you would think you might get something right just once on sheer luck. hasn’t happened yet tho. unbeleivable. What a complete utter moron.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Thank you HD. Would someone tell this moron missedabrain he is a complete utter moron. Baltimore is an excellent team that has been to the playoffs and has established pro ball and future hall of fame players. Compare that to Matt Stafford who is coming in to complete and utter disarray. They are not comparable situations. Unless you are a know nothing moron.

  • Mistabrown

    Yes we need to lower the bar & determine how many play callers & how many burgers he ate, how many fur coats he wears, how many times he played like a girl in practice.

    Its like affirmative action. Find someone who struggled as much as our Russell & compare him to that guy!

    DONT compare him to achievers like Flacco & Ryan…..that would be “unfair”. You guys are pathetic!

  • He Hate Me

    Leave it to Miss Brown to officially misspell panties. Go look Raider Nation. Post 162. There for all to see. The one, the only, Mista illiterate Brown!!!

  • jhill

    You can’t compare Atlanta and Baltimore to the Raiders! Are you kidding me?

    Matt Ryan had a Pro Bowl WR AND a PB RB, and a pretty decent team around him.

    Flacco had a ridiculous defense that allowed him to coast all season.

    Those two guys should continue to have success based on their teams being strong overall, but their situations hardly compare to JRuss’s.

  • lefty12

    i don’t believe even comparing smith to Russell is fair due to the injuries Smith has had.that and the way the whiners have totally mishandled Smiths development.imagine the field day the media and the critics would be having if the Raiders had handled JR as bad as the whiners have handled Smith.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Jhill, Mike Holmgren threw together an excellent staff up there in Seattle and it showed. The Raiders and Tom Cable were very smart to pick up the pieces of that staff once Mora Jr, blew it up. John Marshall has 30 years in the NFL. Think he knows what he’s doing?

  • Mistabrown

    Pokeglenn loves thanking other posters if they agree on something. He loves dropping to his knees & sucking off Priest.

    What kinda retarded schit is that for a grown man? Were you abused as a child or did your mommy feed you with a slingshot ? What happened in your life that led up to this ?

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Someone is raving and drooling in the corner. Could someone call an ambulance.

  • priesttj

    Mista canyou name anything else Oakglenn has been or can you anything at all that you’ve been right about?

    We had high hopes for a player who’s got great talent but injuries have derailed him. It happens all the time doesn’t mean he or I were wrong about Shields talent just wrong that he’d be able to display it. Big difference but of course you would have a tough time understanding that.

    Arman Shields is a very talented player who’s hurt dumbell which says nothing good or bad about his ability.

    Figure it out why don’t ya’

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    I wonder if the psyche ward will be able to do something about missedabrain’s rancid smell

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Mistabrown Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Pokeglenn loves thanking other posters if they agree on something. He loves dropping to his knees & sucking off Priest.

    What kinda retarded schit is that for a grown man? Were you abused as a child or did your mommy feed you with a slingshot ? What happened in your life that led up to this ?
    ——————————————————-

    Melting down faster than Chernobyl.

  • Mistabrown

    Ryan inherited a 4-12 team where the coach left a note and quit during the season. A rookie coach came in with Ryan & turned it around.

    How much worse of a situation could that have been? Russell would have curled up like a baby given that scenario!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

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

    Someone is raving and drooling in the corner. Could someone call an ambulance.
    ———————-
    Sounds just like Beecham’s lingo.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Well Priest, in the immortal words of Bill Polian who build those Buffalo Bills teams in the 1990′s and Indy Colts teams recently that won it all, the draft is a crap shoot. But somehow the idiot raving and drooling in the corner, who lives by himself in a trailer and lives off food stamps, knows more than guys who make millions of dollars a year as NFL execs. Suuuuuurrrre, he does. Where is that ambulance???

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    And the same pettiness.

  • Mistabrown

    Absolutely, his injury is tragic. I would have loved to see Shields play.

    But I wasnt the boot licking koolaid guzzling fool saying how GOOD he is before he even stepped on the field. Thats the reason you are a fraud & a dope!

    Priest, you are stuck on stupid!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # lefty12 Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    i don’t believe even comparing smith to Russell is fair due to the injuries Smith has had.that and the way the whiners have totally mishandled Smiths development.imagine the field day the media and the critics would be having if the Raiders had handled JR as bad as the whiners have handled Smith.
    —————————————————-

    I think that is the point. Both took over bad teams. The entire thing with Smith has been completely bungled by them. Of course, the Lame Kiffin debacle and swirling disaster was no Rose Bowl parade either. That’s why it is an apt comparison on some levels.

  • priesttj

    Lefty12, I say that all the time Jerry can’t wait to declare Russell a bust but the local media never says much about the mess the niners made of that pick.

    But Jerry loves to announce 4th and 6th rnd pick mistakes the Raiders have made. I know this is a Raiders blog which of course speaks to that, but the local media sidesteps that all the time. It’s just all about Russell.

    If anyone is in a make or break year it’s Alex Smith…………….period