Postgame wrap


News, notes and quotes from the Raiders’ 31-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night at the Coliseum:

— Second-year receiver Chaz Schilens seconded the notion offered by JaMarcus Russell that much of Oakland’s struggles with the passing game during Tuesday’s practice had to do with familiarity.

“We just got in a funk,” Schilens said. “We’ve practicing against the same guys every day. They’re smart guys. They are going to pick up on what we’re doing. It came together today.”

— Assessments of Schilens, Russell and McFadden are included my my Web exclusive column.

— Coach Tom Cable, making it clear Russell’s reporting weight was an issue: “That’s between he and I and we’re working on that. He’s doing really good right now.”

— Rookie first-round draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey had a modest 8-yard gain for his first reception, and missed a chance to come up with a big play on the third play from scrimmage. However, safety Ken Hamlin broke up the pass which was just underthrown from JaMarcus Russell.

“I knew the ball might be coming my way,” Heyward-Bey said. “Outside release, corner did a good job, safety got over and helped pretty fast. Tried to make a play, didn’t happen.”

— With the Raiders in a burn-the-clock mode late in the game, Gary Russell played the role Michael Bush will get during the season and finished with 11 carries for 44 yards.

— Three players did not finish the game. John Wade left with a stinger, Nnamdi Asomugha with a heel bruise and Isaiah Ekejiuba with a shoulder injury. Becasue of Wade’s injury, Samson Satele played much of the game at center.

— A whopping 18 diffeernt players were targeted for 37 passes by Gradkowski, Frye and Russell. Fifteen different players accounted for 22 receptions.

“We now have a talented group there,” Cable said. “It’s nice to see a bunch of guys catching balls and making plays. We need that if we’re going to grow offensively and become a good football team.”

— First a hip flexor, now a heel injury, hopefully it’s not one of those years for Nnamdi Asomugha, and Chris Johnson, battling a knee strain, needs to hold up as well.

Stanford Routt, who had a poor practice Tuesday, struggled against the Cowboys. And when the Raiders went late in the game to a secondary of John Bowie and Jason Horton and corner and Jerome Boyd and Darrick Brown at safeties, it was scary.

— Hard to know exactly what to expect from the defense with the first unit being on the field for such a short time.

The Cowboys scoring drive included an 8-yard gain by Marion Barber, a 14-yard run by Felix Jones and a 12-yard reverse by Patrick Crayton.

On the other hand, the Raiders were stout in forcing Dallas to a three-and-out on its first possession back at its own 7, with Asomugha dumping Barber for a yard loss.

“It was OK. It wasn’t great,” linebacker Thomas Howard said. “It’s early. We got out of our gaps and they creased is a little.”

— Shane Lechler is ready. Three punts, 45.0 yards gross, 44.3 net. One inside the 20.

— The Raiders outgained the Cowboys 456-274 and had 26 first downs _ 15 passing.

— Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye were relatively even in terms of stats, but there were a couple of short throws on sideline passes which will be a staple of the Raiders offense that Gradkowski has trouble throwing.

On one play, he came up short to Louis Murphy, who picked it off the grass for a catch, only to have it correctly overturned by replay.

It’s worth noting that throw is not a strength of Jeff Garcia, either.

Charlie Frye showed a good awareness in the pocket of surrounding defenders and was able to get off completions.

— Players have the day off Friday, with Tom Cable available to the media for a 5 p.m. conference call.

For quick hit notes throughout the game, check my Twitter page.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • jhill

    Now AZ does make a good point about the right side of the defense. Perfect example was the first series when Nnamdi is in the game. That 1st series was textbook. I think Shaugnessy at RDE, Norris at SLB, and Brown in the middle might be what we need. Lets see that combination of guys, as Cable like to say, play against the starters.

  • Lynn, you’re right. It’s not entirely true that only the first quarter matters in preseason games. The first quarter doesn’t matter, either.

  • As soon as Nnamdi was out they went right at his replacement and had success.

  • AZ Raider

    raidersince87 Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 3:43 pm
    after the excitemant of watching the first raider game iv’e seen in months, i watched the replay, i wasnt that impressed with either starting unit, thats just me though, maybe some of you were

    Yup, myself included. Any improvement over the last 6 years impresses me. That was drastic improvment however. I’m not saying we looked like a 10+ win team, just that I’m impressed with our progress.

  • HayesDaze37

    MR — Your negativity isn’t going to change the fact that Chaz Schilens looks like a real player. Not just one game, but multiple games…and in separate years now. What’s wrong with pointing out his potential, and his OBVIOUS top-flight WR traits?

    And…I didn’t put him in the Pro Bowl. But, I think he has that kind of talent. If ANY other WR on the team comes along in a hurry, to the point of being truly feared, Chaz will be even better. The reason I say he reminds of Hoosyermama, is because he does…and, when Hoosyermama has another #1-quality WR opposite him, he’s awesome.

    JaMarcus Russell is holding the keys to a Cadillac Offense (even with most of them being young). If he can play like a veteran — a wise veteran — and put the ball in the hands of his weapons at the right time, the Raiders will score 22+ points per game this year…a TD over what they averaged last year.

    It’s time for this Offense to make its debut.

  • AZ Raider

    Lynn from Snot Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 3:46 pm
    As soon as Nnamdi was out they went right at his replacement and had success.

    Lots of it too. 4 completions on Routt in one drive. He looked like Hall out there LOL. As I said before, if Nnamdi was in for that drive, it never happens.

  • One improvement i saw last night was that Shilens is a starting receiver that was not the case last year.

  • Rout = Nickel at best

  • raidertbone

    Won’t someone please acknowledge what a terrific game Garcia had?! I mean, he carried that clipboard like a true future Hall-of-Famer!!

  • Raider Headbutt

    BJ Raji signed, I wonder how long its gonna take some of the others now…



    How about if I type backwards?

    Is it because of what I said to Mr?
    Just kidding Mr. We all know you’re the only authority here.

    Anyone ever notice how Mr is never here when Jerry is on vacation?

  • raidertbone

    If B.J. Raji signed, it will be interesting to see now if the “clothing diva” does too!

  • raidersince87

    Lynn from Snot Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 3:51 pm
    Rout = Nickel at best

    routt= practice squad at best

  • jhill

    Yeah, your right Az …

    Just watched the second play of the game. Scott was pancaked by Whitten, Warren was doubled and blown back by the LT and LG, and Nnamdi saved the day with a helluva play. Ricky Brown was in his gap as well, as was Morrison.

  • HayesDaze37

    MR’s not JMac. Hahaha.

    JMac knows the difference between the words “rather” and “whether.”


    You have to credit Mr with endurance.

    He’s been trying to get Al Davis fire to Al Davis for years.

  • AZ Raider

    Don’t count on it T-bone. Watch, if we all know the 9ers, they won’t budge and Craptree will still have to sign he knows if he holds out the whole season he’ll drop even lower in next years draft for being a complete douche. He can’t be that stupid though. He’ll sign for #10 money with the niners right before the first regular season game.


    Mr also repeats himself so I will.

    You have to give Mr credit for endurance.

    He’s been trying to get Al Davis to fire Al Davis for years.


    As 4EVA would say……………………

    BEER ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Hey LMN, you out there.

    We’re gonna give you your fleet back honest!

  • DirtyRaccoon

    raidersince87 Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 3:56 pm
    Lynn from Snot Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 3:51 pm
    Rout = Nickel at best

    routt= practice squad at best


    Rout is better on the outside. He will be the backup LCB. Branch may end up the Nickle CB.


    Hey Jerry! I’ve reading some of your back columns.
    Lots of good stuff there. You’ve still got it kid.
    Lots of sardonic wit leaking all over the place.

    You hate to to let on that you’re part of the Nation though don’t you?
    You’ve got people here thinking you’re anti-Raider but I can see that’s not true.

    You love Al just like we do.
    You’re just PO’d because we don’t play like the years of the Snake.

    We’re coming back Jerry.
    Russell’s got plenty of cool just like Snake.
    The only thing we don’t know yet is can he live Snake’s life and still be cool on game day.

  • HayesDaze37

    New Post…

  • AZ Raider

    Dirty, are you for real? Routt made D. Hall look great! LOl, ok maybe not that bad, but he’s a nickle, nothing more. C. Johnson and Nnamdi be holding down the outsides.


  • DKnight007

    Chris in NY Says:
    August 14th, 2009 at 2:29 pm
    From Cam Inman:

    “Russell will command the majority of attention this season by virtue of (a) his position, (b) his No. 1 overall draft status and (c) his weight.

    Russell looked enormous in his unflattering uniform. He must be pushing close to 300 pounds, and he admitted at the start of training camp that he is a “little heavy.” Thursday, he had a Santa Claus torso with thighs that resembled a defensive tackle’s.”


    WTF? Is that even true? Didn’t show up on TV at all. Anyone who was at the game notice it? I thought Russell looked like he was in probably his best shape since joining the Raiders.

    ^^^^^^Inman is just a dumba$$ HATER with no credibility who has a man crush on Jamarcus Russell….