More news and notes preceding Tuesday’s second practice:
— Thomas Howard may have been flush with the feeling of coming in unobstructed for what would have been a sack to end practice. Perhaps it was wishful thinking. Or maybe, just maybe, defensive coordinator John Marshall plans on sending the house.
“I’m telling you we are going to pressure teams. I can see it in John’s eyes,” Howard said. “John’s like this. If he calls a pressure and we don’t hi iit, he may back off. But if we call it and we’re hitting it, he’s going
to keep letting us come.”
Really? Based on what?
“I really do believe so after watching John and what he did in Seattle,” Howard said. “If you watch the Seattle tape, they brought pressure a lot,” Howard said. “(Julian) Peterson, linebackers, safety, they brought pressure a lot. He’s used to calling it in games. It’s not just what you see out here in practice, it’s going to spill over in games. I believe that.”
Linebacker Ricky Brown, a candidate to start at both middle and strong side linebacker, wasn’t so sure.
“We’re going out there during our blitz period, and sometimes we’re doing a drill for the offense, sometimes the offense is doing a drill for us,” Brown said. “You can’t have too many weapons. If we’ve go the personnel to blitz _ which I think we do _ I think it would change things up and be beneficial. But we also know that we’ve got guys that can just line up and play football.”
“Either way, I think we’re going to have a good arsenal of stuff to choose from. So once the regular season gets going, I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Maybe we’ll blitz a lot, maybe we won’t.”
Said Cable: “I like what we’re doing and, really, all those guys have shown they kind of have a knack for something, whether it’s coming off the edge or something inside. So, I like it and it’s something I think we’re pretty good at it.”
— Rookie fourth-round draft pick Slade Norris worked with the first team at strong side linebacker for the second straight day as Jon Alston was sidelined with plantar fasciatis. He’ll get a long look against Dallas
“(We want to) see how far he’s come and where his deficiencies are as we get into a game environment,” Cable said.
Norris is apparently of the opinion that the Raiders are global even in a preseason opener that will be tape-delayed in the home market.
“I just really want to come out and show the world what I have,” Norris said. “I played D-end in college, so nobody really knows how I’m going to translate as a linebacker. I have a lot of confidence in myself, and I just want to show everybody else I can do that.”
— Cable identified competition spots as strong side and middle linebacker, with Brown, Kirk Morrison and Alston competing for two starting spots, as well as the No. 3 quarterback spot between Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye.
“The battle’s not really between me and another quarterback,” Gradkowski said. “The battle’s between me and myself. That’s how I look at it. That’s all I can control, is how I prepare, if I’m prepared, and go out there, I know I’m going to play my tail off and I’m gonna’ play as hard as I can, and you know, the chips will fall where they may.”
Somewhat surprisingly, Cable also mentioned center as an area of competition, even though trade acquisition Samson Satele has taken virtually every snap with the first team over John Wade.
— Among those who didn’t practice Tuesday morning were quarterback Jeff Garcia (calf), Alston (plantar fasciatis), cornerback Jason Horton, S Michael Huff (ribs), lineman Mark Wilson (back), defensive end Greg Ellis (day off) and Gerard Warren day off).
Horton left practice in a protective boot, putting his status against Dallas in doubt.
Safety Mike Mitchell missed the end of practice and was having his hamstring stretched by a trainer on the field. Usually one of the last Raiders to leave the field house for daily work his hamstrings, Mitchell was considerably earlier Tuesday and could miss the first preseason game if the Raiders want to play it safe with their second-round draft pick.
— Cable reiterated he expected starters to play approximately a quarter against the Cowboys.