By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, August 22nd, 2009 at 10:33 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News and notes from the Raiders 21-20 loss to the 49ers Saturday night at Candlestick Park:
– Kirk Morrison, out after the first series wearing a sling, said he dislocated his left elbow and will be out a couple of weeks, although it’s worth noting most players are overly optimisitc when it comes to diagnosing their own injuries.
“Someone landed on it. I got up and it was just kind of hanging,” Morrison said.
– There was a lot of conversation about the 49ers gashing the Raiders for 275 yards on 47 carries. Roiokie Glen Coffee led the way with 129 on 16 carries, Michael Robinson had 97 on 14 attempts and Kory Sheets 51 yards on 12 tries.
“I just feel like they had a play. We had an answer for it,” Morrison said. “They just kept hitting us with it. We’re going to work it out this week. We understand we’re going to see that play a lot. It’s a copycat league.”
Said defensive end Greg Ellis: “They were pulling some of the linemen around and we’re just going to look at it. I’m pretty sure the coaches are going to come up[ with a solution to make sure that doesn’t happen again. It wasn’t like they were able to run any play and get yardage on us. That one play, we just didn’t handle it well. They did what they should, they kept doing it one side to the other and they kept having success with it.”
– Robinson gave credit to offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, and described his philosophy this way: “We’re going to go out there and we’re giong to knock ‘em in the mouth! Kick ‘em in the teeth, knock ‘em in the mouth! He’s always saying that.”
– Cable said the Raiders weren’t necessarily having issues with gaps and discipline, the mantra in exorcising the Rob Ryan years. Instead, tackling was the big issue.
“A couple of those, it was really kind of the same play,” Cable said. “A couple of times we really had guys in the hole who had to just wrap up and they did not do that.”
– Asked if he was concerned about the defensive effort, lineabacker Thomas Howard said, “I don’t lknow if you are going ot sell the farm and move, but there is definitely concern.”
– Jon Alston’s take: “It was basically one person getting cut out of the gap or something like that. These are small things that we have to work on and make ourselves better as a team.”
– Cable said he believed the Raiders left 21 points on the field in the first half, meaning that on either a three-and-out or a series where they got one first down, he saw a sure-thing touchdown. No doubt the Raiders should have scored after Ricky Brown’s intercepted a tipped pass and returned it to the 7.
Instead, the Raiders ran four plays and didn’t score, with Russell coming up empty to Louis Murphy on fourth down.
Brown returned the interception 46 yards but was brought down, much to his chagrin, by quarterback Alex Smith.
“About the only thing that bothered me was that I got caught from behind by the quarterback,” Brown said. “Once I get my legs under me, I’ll be all right.”
– JaMarcus Russell was 7-for-11 for 76 yards but only the only completion to a wide receiver was the touchdown pass to Murphy. Read in my Web exclusive column why he should have finished the first half and been the quarterback for the final 1:59.
– Pad-level was once again an issue. The Raiders, Cable believes, are simply playing too high and its costing them both running the ball and stopping the run. The Raiders ran for 69 yards on 18 carries, with Charlie Frye leading with 16 yards on two carries _ including his 14-yard scoring run.
Darren McFadden carried four times and gained five yards.
“I thought I had an all right game,” McFadden said.
Michael Bush had 15 yards on three carries and starts next week against New Orleans.
“I thought we were very high,” Cable said. “I didn’t think we fit our helmets right in the offensive line.”
– Murphy had two catches for 34 yards, including the 24-yard touchdown reception from Russell on third-and-21 against Nate Clements, one of his tormentors during the four practices in Napa.
“It was just a good call against the coverage that they were playing,” Murphy said. “It just so happened that he bit up on the coverage and left me open in the end zone.”
– Jeff Garcia, Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski each had an interception to go along with Nick Miller’s lost fumble.
“I think we showed some good things and there were some things we need to work on, like the turnovers,” Zach Miller said. “Overall, we just want to have a legit passing game.”
– Terdell Sands could be playing for a roster spot. Undrafted rookie free agent Desmond Bryant played before Sands and has caught Cable’s attention.
“He has consistently gotten better each day over the last two weeks and showed some flash in the Dallas game so we just felt like we’ve just got to continue to push that along,” Cable said. “As long as he can keep delivering it every day like he has, let’s find out how much he’s got.”
– The 49ers’ drive consuming 6:46 of the clock following the Oakland touchdown relegated Garcia to a mere 1:59 of playing time. He guided the Raiders deep into 49ers territory before throwing late and behind Johnnie Lee Higgins, with Allen Rossum getting the interception.
“We had hoped things would work out would be that I’d get about half of the second quarter,” Garcia said. “But, unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way and I was left with about two minutes to go in the half and that’s just how it is.
“There wasn’t really any time to get your feet wet and just have to jump right in an attack. And I love playing the 2-minute situation. I feel like that’s something that I have been able to do successfully throughout my career and we were doing some good things. It just didn’t have the ending that we would have liked at the end of that half but there were some good things that we can take out of it.”
– The Raiders wore a No. 95 on the back of their helmets in memory of linebacker Marquis Cooper, who died at sea after a tragic fishing accident off the coast of Florida.