By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Some leaders and trailers with regard to Raiders roster spots and starting roles a day after a 21-20 loss to the 49ers at Candlestick Park:
– WR Louis Murphy. We won’t know for sure until Javon Walker shows what he’s got starting Monday, but he has looked like the rookie wideout most ready to start since the day he arrived. That doesn’t mean Darrius Heyward-Bey won’t play a role _ he will _ but Murphy is doing more than clearing out space at the moment. He’s catching passes and producing.
– DT Desmond Bryant. He is going to be given every opportunity to prove he belongs over the next week, as evidenced by his ascension to the second team. Picked up a half sack along with William Joseph, who also is making a move inside at tackle.
– MLB Ricky Brown. Has had a knack for getting his hands on the ball, whether it be batting down passes like he does in practice, or intercepting a pass and returning it 46 yards, as he did against San Francisco.
– TE Brandon Myers. Was supposed to be a blocker, and maybe he is. But he’s a heck of a receiver, and he’s not simply a block-and-release guy. Myers gets downfield and catches the ball in traffic. The Raiders apparently know how to locate tight ends in the draft.
– RB Michael Bush. Carried three times for 15 yards and it’s his turn to start against New Orleans. Justin Fargas (two carries, three yards) and Darren McFadden (four carries, five yards) couldn’t make any headway against the 49ers. Cable blamed the o-line for high pad level.
– QB Jeff Garcia. Cable saw what he needed to see in the last two minutes of the half. Was beginning to wonder if there was a chance Garcia wouldn’t be on the roster at all because of the length of time he missed. He’ll be the backup, with Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye relatively even for No. 3.
– WR Nick Miller. A bit of a setback for undrafted free agent from Southern Utah as he averaged 17.2 yards on three kickoff returns and fumbled away a punt return, removing any chance of a Raiders comeback at the end.
– RT Cornell Green. The Raiders don’t seem serious about making Erik Pears a competitor for the starting job. Green was illegally downfield for one penalty and had an illegal formation penalty declined because JaMarcus Russell had tripped and been touched down by Manny Lawson. Those aren’t the penalties of a veteran.
– LB Kirk Morrison. A dislocated left elbow may have given Brown the starting job he’s held for the last three years, but truth be told, Brown has been outplaying him in practice of late, anyway.
– DT Terdell Sands. Bumped to third team and Cable said the move was not related to injury.
– FS Michael Huff. Hiram Eugene has been running with the first team most of the time even when Huff was healthy. With Huff not healthy enough to with a hip injury to face San Francisco, he’ll need to make a few big plays to have a chance to start. Making big plays has never been his specialty as a Raider.
Your own contributions are welcome, of course . . .
No practice today. Conference call with Cable scheduled for 5 p.m. and will relay information later this evening . . .