By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, August 20th, 2009 at 5:58 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News and notes from Thursday’s practice as relayed by beat writer Steve Corkran:
– Raiders coach Tom Cable didn’t shed much light on the most recent reports regarding his alleged altercation with defensive assistant Randy Hanson, but didn’t appear to be overly concerned.
“Yeah, we’re still going to take care of it internally,” Cable said. “One thing I will tell you is this _ when all the facts come out, everything will be fine.”
When Cable was asked if the reason for his silence is personal or legal, he said, “We’re just going to handle it internally.”
If there has been any contact through the Raiders to make Cable available to the NFL or the Napa Police Department, the coach said he hadn’t heard.
“I don’t know any of that,” he said.
– Sounds like the starting running back should be able to be identified through workload over the rest of the preseason.
Justin Fargas started the first game, and Cable said Darren McFadden and Michael Bush would each get a start over the next two, without specifying which one would open against the 49ers Saturday night.
“I have a pretty good idea who the starter is going to be, and we’re going to lean on him from here on out a little bit more,” Cable said.
– Speaking of starters, Cable said the opening wide receivers against the 49ers would be rookies Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy.
– Perhaps it was a post-49ers practices hangover, or the amount of players (21) who sat out the session, but Cable said, “Both sides got a little lethargic at the end out there,” noting the team was deep into camp.
– Cable said most starters would play the first half against San Francisco. He said Jeff Garcia would enter the game at some point in the second quarter and get some work before giving way to Bruce Gradkowski in the third quarter and Charlie Frye in the fourth quarter.
– The Raiders don’t plan to do a lot of game-planning, with plays being called depending on how they help in the selection process.
“It’s the same idea we had going in to Dallas,” Cable said. “Our biggest concern is evaluating players.”
– So far, so good for tight end Brandon Myers, who was drafted in large measure because it was thought he could provide a complement to starter Zach Miller, who in theory would be more of a factor in the passing gam*e.
“Brandon has allowed us to do that,” Cable said.
With Chaz Schilens out, the Raiders could use more double tight-end sets in order to get Miller free more often as a move-the-chains option in the passing game.
– Javon Walker donned a full uniform for a post-practice workout Wednesday, in part because he wanted to get used to it, and, according to Cable, “because he’s just getting itchy.”
– Safety Rashad Baker, in his second day of his second term with the Raiders, made a nice play on a medium-depth pass from Garcia to Johnnie Lee Higgins breaking it up at the last instant.
– As the coaches were preaching `tempo’ during the first team session, JaMarcus Russell promptly fumbled the snap, forcing a do-over.
Russell also made some nice throws, including a 30-yard strike to Nick Miller between two defenders and and a sideline strike of some 40 yards to Murphy, who scorched Darrick Brown.
It was an encouraging moment in that it was the first time Murphy had made a big play since sustaining a hip injury on a big sideline hit against Dallas.
– With right guard Cooper Carlisle and right tackle Cornell Green not practicing, the Raiders’ first team was lining up like this _ Mario Henderson and Seth Wand (alternating) at left tackle, Robert Gallery at left guard, Samson Satele at center, Mark Wilson at right guard and James Marten at right tackle.
Henderson was alternating because of a sore back, Cable said.
– Upon closer inspection, 21 players sat out practice Thursday, with Carlisle, Green (eye) and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly sitting it out.
As noted earlier, the others were CB Nnamdi Asomugha (heel), S Michael Huff (hip), Fargas, CB Stanford Routt, CB Jason Horton (turf toe), S Mike Mitchell (hamstring), LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder), LB Thomas Howard (said he had back spasms on his Twitter page Tuesday), DT Gerard Warren, T Khalif Barnes, TE Zach Miller, Schilens (foot), WR Walker (PUP), TE Tony Stewart and DE Greg Ellis.
Barnes (broken ankle) appears to be progressing well, walking in a boot without a limp.