Offense gets a passing grade


News and notes from Wednesday’s Raiders practice:

— The Raiders had their longest practice of training camp, which coach Tom Cable says was the plan all along.

It would be hard to blame him for keeping things going just so he could keep watching a passing offense that looked to be putting things together.

Keeping things in perspective, the Raiders had their first units playing against scout teams again as they game plan for the New Orleans Saints.

So they should look good.

But that hasn’t stopped them from having desultory passing sessions for the better part of the last three years regardless of their practice opposition.

During the team and seven-on-seven sessions included in a two-and-a-half hour practice, that changed. Instead of seeing balls strike the ground with alarming frequency, receivers ran crisp routes and caught passes just as they were coming out of breaks.

JaMarcus Russell was extremely accurate, Jeff Garcia had his moments and Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye occasionally got into the act.

Instead of a parade of checkdowns and block-and-release throws to tight ends, virtually every wide receiver got into the act.

Darrius Heyward-Bey may have had his best training camp practice. Yes, he had a drop, but he also had what may have been his best catch _ a play in which he came to a stop, reached back to catch a Frye pass that went behind him, and somehow caught it while falling to the ground.

“Right after he caught it, I said to him, ‘Your mistake is you showed me you can do that and so now the expectation goes up,’ ” Cable said. “But he had a great day catching the ball. You all saw that. That catch right there would be difficult for anybody.”

Heyward-Bey shrugged his shoulders, called the catch “normal,” and said it was all in a day’s work.

“It’s a catch that needed to be made,” Heyward-Bey said. “I was working for the scout team, just went out there, ran a play, caught it.”

Tight end Zach Miller, who a week before said he was hoping for a “legit” offense, was appling adjectives to the potential of the passing game which seemed laughable after a practice meltdown against San Francisco.

“As soon as our offense gets that rhythm and our quarterbacks are on time with the receivers and anticipating them coming out of their breaks, our passing game is unstoppable,” Miller said. “It’s all about timing, rhythm and quarterbacks having trust in their receivers that they’re going to be in there break at a certain yardage, coming out at the right time.

“As soon as they’re feeling them and they’re letting the ball loose on time, you can’t defend it.

Cable called for a repeat performance Thursday morning, the Raiders’ last practice in Napa.

“We’re getting there. We’re getting closer,” Cable said. “I want to see us come out in the morning and do the same thing and build some consistency. When we’ve had a good practice or two, we’ve kind of tailed a little bit, so I’d like to just see us keep it at a high level. But it’s getting there.”

Said Johnnie Lee Higgins: “If we don’t do it again tomorrow, we wasted our time.”

— Cable said he was pleased with the session all the way up to the end, which was out of view of the media.

“Loved all three phases until the last period,” Cable said. “It was a long practice and I wanted to push them a little at the end.”

— Additional practice highlights are available on my Twitter page.

— Among those who didn’t practice included WR Chaz Schilens (foot), T Khalif Barnes (ankle), DE Matt Shaughnessy (foot), C John Wade (stinger), RB Justin Fargas (hamstring), LB Kirk Morrison (elbow), LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder), S Hiram Eugene, S Mike Mitchell (hamstring) and P Shane Lechler (groin).

Cable said those who could possibly play against New Orleans included Shaughnessy, Ekejiuba, Eugene and Lechler.

Cable said Eugene has missed the last two sessions with the stomach flu. Eugene told reporters he was out with a pectoral strain.

— Two new players, cornerback Michael Hawkins and defensive tackle Joe Cohen, got in their first work as Raiders. Hawkins was released recently by Tampa Bay after being released by Dallas. Cohen was cut loose by Miami.

Jason Horton was waived/injured and received a settlement, and wide receiver Samie Parker was waived to bring in Hawkins.

“We wanted to add a little depth along the D-line and get some more speed at corner,” Cable said.

— Cable said he still considered cornerback spot opposite Nnamdi Asomugha an open competition between Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt. Johnson at times was running second teams, with Routt moving inside as the slot corner when the Raiders went to nickel.

— Tight end end Brandon Myers needed an I.V. for cramps following practice.

— Advertisers for KSFO (560-AM) made for one of the biggest practice crowds of the season. Following practice, quarterback Jeff Garcia walked alongside a fence and signed an autograph for every fan who wanted one.

Russell, meanwhile has discovered a backdoor route out of the field house and was later spotted in the hotel lobby, where there were fewer autograph demands and no media requests.

— Barnes orchestrated a portion of the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to Cornell Green. When Green attempted to exit through the gate to avoid the serenade, CEO Amy Trask brought him back.

— According to an ESPN report, Napa police will talk to Tom Cable about his alleged involvement in an incident that left defensive assistant Randy Hanson with a broken jaw.

The Napa police have not updated their statement after announcing they were reopening the invesitgation of one Raiders coach being injured after an altercation with another Raiders coach.

— Al Davis has a Napoleon complex. A search of Profootballreference.com reveals only four players in pro football history named Napoleon. Three of them have signed with the Raiders _ Napoleon McCallum, Napoleon Kaufman and Napoleon Harris (twice).

The other Napoleon was Napoleon Barrell, a 5-foot-8, 200-pound center who played for the Oorang Indians in 1923. No way Davis could tell if Barrell had “Raider speed.” He wasn’t born for another six years and was probably 15 years away from dominating stickball games in the streets of Brooklyn.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Over the past 6 seasons everytime we win a game half of us go nuts and start proclaiming a turnaround! The best was after the Jets game last year…hell, some guy in here formerly known as BHP even started comparing Cable to Madden after that game, lol.

    This preseason, we beat Dallas’s scrubs and we are the best ever, but when the 49ers scrubs beat us, well, we won the game while the starters were in by gosh!

    Good stuff!

  • priesttj

    Again common sense makes no sens with you Dakota, I’m referring to the RUNNING game and the speed at WR working in combo. Get it? the plays when a HB get’s the ball and runs. You ever seen those?

    Anyone that knows football knows trying to stop a power running game and also stop deep speed puts the defense in a quandry (limbo if you will). I was not just talking of the passing game when I used the word Impossible. I mentioned the passing game will start to take off by midseason. And yes with assistance of a fully functional OLine. Which should go without saying. But nonetheless I do agree with ZMiller when the timing is tight.

    But enough of this banter. Your point is well taken.

  • DirtyBathWater

    Andrew your crazy, it makes nooo sense how is that possible with the bleeding and the grand canyon effect? Your just blurting out crazy madness.. No way any women has sex 4 days after child birth

  • priesttj

    He reminds me of Madden that doesn’t mean he will have that type of success of course. Dakota does one have to spell out every thought to you in order for you to comprehend a passing comment. No one in here is aying Cable is the next Madden. And anyone would understand that except of course YOU.

  • weaselbit

    It’s not just one good practice.

    Anyone with a brain can see it’s different this year.

    We would have won a lot of games last year if it hadn’t been for Ryan’s swiss cheese d.

    Offense wasn’t that great but good enough if the d had done it’s job protecting leads.

    It’ll be fun watching you haters eat crow with your boogers in about 6 weeks.

  • Andrews Mom

    Ryan>>>>>>>. Thats the most informative report I have ever heard on a practice.
    I have not ever used Twitter. It sure caught on fast.

    Do you have a link for that info?

    Dirty<<<<<<<<<<< True story!! I was shocked as well.

    I had to write to everyone in one post because I am posting too fast and need to slow down. Thats getting a little ridiculous.

  • Non of this is going to matter when teams can run through our defense at will.

    Be prepared for long sustained running drives against us all year. Can you still win in those situations, yes a few games but we won’t be over .500 until we address the run defense.

    I love my team and I just as much as all of you want a winning season but seriously lets be real our run defense is 31st.

  • DirtyBathWater

    Huff should start over Eugene, eugene freaking sucks man wtf?! Huff will start this year!

  • So BHP, when you say Cable reminds you of Madden, you just mean that they are both fat white guys?

    Otherwise, you are comparing Cable the coach to Madden the coach right?

    ….but hey, you are also the guy that said all was well between Kiffin and Al Davis before last season lol.

  • Florida Pete

    Richochet Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Cable is a slob. Players know that. Cable hasn’t done squat, himself, on the field. Players know that. Cable is a hypocrite when he stresses “control”, AND PLAYERS KNOW THAT. Cable isn’t in charge, Al is, AND EVERYONE KNOWS THAT.

    Just the way it is.


    and you, sir… are a moron…


  • Andrews Mom

    I like Cable. I think he will prove himself to be a very good head coach.
    If he gets the team to 8-8 he deserves a new rock em sock em set for Christmas.
    And if he takes us to the playoffs (which I deem highly likely) he will be coach of the year.

    Best year ever!!!!!

  • priesttj

    I see this team as fledgling trying to establish it self in the league. How long that will take, who knows. But the principle parties such as Russell, DMC, Bush and the WR’s are all attempting to establish them selves as NFL starters.

    Saying what they will or wont do this year is a shot in the dark. Health is key. But this is a very young team that first needs to gain confidence in THEMSELVES. You can’t win sonsiteantly until you have that.

    So I see us using this year to establish who we are. That’s defensively and offensively. The sooner they do that the sooner you can say where they will end up.

    Anything is anybodies guess yours as well as mine. They don’t have the confidence it takes to be dominant at anything. And we’ll see how long it takes to gain that confidence.

  • Florida Pete

    Andrews Mom Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:25 am
    Rich——– Who is your favorite team?


    are you takling to richochet??? he prefers rack-o-schit…

    rack-o-schit’s favorite team of all time are the Bay Street Bungholers…

  • NoMoreFargas

    Saying we would have won more games without ryan d is liking saying the Dubs wouldn’t suck so bad if Nellie knew how to coach D. Oh well I still rather go into a season with DHB,JLH,Murphy and a hurt Chaz than Lelie,Curry, and the abortion that was the 2008 Raiders wr core!

    GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • priesttj

    I was just speaking on demeanor and approach, that’s all.

    I still say Kiffin has the ability to be a brilliant coach. If he can just growup and cut out the distructive behavior.

  • DirtyBathWater Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:34 am
    Andrew your crazy, it makes nooo sense how is that possible with the bleeding and the grand canyon effect? Your just blurting out crazy madness.. No way any women has sex 4 days after child birth



  • priesttj

    But hey!! Dakota make of it what you will, you always do.

  • OAKlifer

    Oh well I still rather go into a season with DHB,JLH,Murphy and a hurt Chaz than Lelie,Curry, and the abortion that was the 2008 Raiders wr core!

    I would take myself, Dakota, and Pete above Crabtree any day!!!!1

  • Florida Pete

    I would take myself, Dakota, and Pete above Crabtree
    any day!!!!1


    are you kidding???

    going through pre-game exercises would put me on IR…


    maybe ER…

  • What are all these football fans doing on a sex-after-kids blog?

  • Dakota are you playing FF in the jerrykidz league?

  • Andrews Mom

    Yes Pete I was talking to rich but he did not answer me.
    It does not sound like he is a Raider fan or he is one of those Raider fans who rags on the Raiders 24/7. If so he will find lots of company at this here chatroom.

    If memory serves me correctly, last year we had a discharge and a mule fan in here last year who were more regular on here then they were on their team sites.

    PriestJ<<<<<<<< are you BHP?
    If so, then hello and I look forward to reading your insights this year here at Scarys ROR chatroom.
    Scary use to get real mad when I said that and would delete it.

  • jhill

    Are there some things to be encouraged about?


    Fact of the matter is there are some HUGE questions marks that need to be addressed before you can talk about this team being a serious contender. Now if we want to play the “we can win the AFC West game”, then that’s different. Doesn’t mean shyt to me in terms of how good our teams is though because every other team in the division is awful, IMO. I really think 7 wins should be able to win this division, and that is a F’in joke.

    Green and Carlisle on the right side don’t allow me to watch the games comfortably. I just KNOW they are going to get a penalty, or miss a block, or something, and at the most F’d up time. They are old, and need to be replaced.

    Satele has been a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to his play, but I’m just not seeing it so far. The guy is whiffing on everything, and on his back at other times. Of course not every play, but more often than need be. And to think he was running that I’ll be a pro bowler smack. Fugg!

    Dline? Well, I tend to think it is more of an OLB problem, and Trevor Scott isssue, but whatever! The hole is a big as can be, and it needs to be plugged.

    Fix those things, then we can talk.

  • tazZraider

    priesttj Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 8:49 am
    Now that ZMiller has said it it has a lot more meaning, but I’ve been saying it all along. By the end of the year no one will wan to play this team.

    By midseason this passing game will start to really take off. There is no way to take away DHB and yet stop that running game. It’s impossible!!

    Give me a break.
    You still have a makeshift o line. How is that “scary’?
    You still aren’t even sure who’s the receivers. how is that “scary’?
    D line is still the worst in the league..D backs aren’t even set..Qb is very spotty, inconsistent, and little defensive awareness.

    I notice you run the “by the end of the year” take.
    A month ago wasn’t it “this year”???

    In other words, you know that now the Raiders scare no one and you’re hoping for a miracle.

    We aren’t sure who are th receivers? at least we got receivers that are workin they ass off to make the team and improve the receiving corps from last year.If any body the niners dline is the worst in the league yall couldn’t even get any pressure on us at all.Are dbacks aren’t even set? Your a fukin moron dogg we got one of the best secondary in the league while yall got people like clements who gets burned all the time and bly who is even worse.Our qb is actually improving and you can see his stats in preseason meanwhile when yall got a first round fukin bust in alex smith and shaun hill is an average qb at least we din’t have 3 different starters at qb last year.even though the niners tore us up are run game is still way better. why don’t you just leave this blog everything you say is stupid. in case you haven’t noticed this says “inside the oakland raiders” not inside the niners and you annoy everybody on this blog with your stupid remarks and jealousy of this team that’s probably the only reason why you’re on this blog.

  • Andrews Mom

    I want to join a FF team this year.

    We had two leagues in here and I won the championship in one of them.

  • tazZraider

    oh and thats directed at ricochet not priest

  • How ironic is it that just as camp ends, tropical storm Danny is strengthening…

    And Dakota, remember, you’d have to know a little about football to understand that.

  • OAKlifer

    Florida Pete Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 11:07 am
    I would take myself, Dakota, and Pete above Crabtree
    any day!!!!1


    are you kidding???

    going through pre-game exercises would put me on IR…


    maybe ER…


    AHHHH but the difference is at least you would be at pregame exercise with a contract so if you got hurt or died you and your fam would be takin care of….Pete you are still about two roster spots above Crabbs in my book ER or not!!!!!!!!

  • TazRaider, the NFL is an elite profession. It doesn’t matter how hard the players are “working”, as you put it. All that counts is what they do on the field on Sundays.

  • jhill

    My two cents on the DTs….

    Talk to me about the guys who are NOT getting doubled!

    Warren and Kelly are getting doubled, so Trevor Scott, Alson, and Morrison should all be making plays. The guys who only have ONE guy to beat should be making plays. A DE who is being single blocked by a TE should be able to make an impact. It’s just not happening at LDE with Scott, MLB with Morrison, and SLB with Alston. And GOD forbig they are all on the field at the same time!

  • # priesttj Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    “I still say Kiffin has the ability to be a brilliant coach. If he can just growup and cut out the distructive behavior.”

    He and Al Davis both. And what’s most troubling for the Raiders is that Al Davis is still here.

  • OAKlifer

    LET J RICH PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    That will help our D end problem…the start brown and alide capt over to outside we will be fine should I just call cable and tell himm…oh yea and play Bush and Macfadden more….I make the call

  • priesttj

    Jhill, hmmmm that’s funny when Satele was on the Dolphins he was way better than Grove. I agree with Coop and Green with penalties especially in the redzone. That crap has to stop or else they have to sit……………period Our QB (offense)needs to gain confidence down there and that will never happen if the penalties continue.

  • SNB666, no worries about the run defense. Hayez Dazed said we’re going to put up 22 ppg, so therefore opposing teams will have to throw the ball. Believe me, we won’t be forgetting his prediction.

  • priesttj

    When Grove was here it seems everyone hated the guy. Now it seems me may miss him. He rarely made mistakes and was a very good technician but everybody wants another Barrett Robbins. Those guy’s are extremely difficult to find.

  • Javon Walker still figuring it out, runs wrong route on timing pass to nowhere.


    And that just about sums up Javon Walker’s time in Oakland. Wrong route on a timing pass to nowhere.

  • Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 11:14 am
    How ironic is it that just as camp ends, tropical storm Danny is strengthening…

    And Dakota, remember, you’d have to know a little about football to understand that.

    You know it pumpkin.

  • AZ Raider

    Richochet Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 10:22 am
    Andrews Mom Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 9:05 am
    So I bet a lot of the folks in here were mighty unhappy as draft day unfolded?

    Any good war stories from that day?

    I suspect history will have proven Al to be at the top of his game during the draft and all the naysayers will eat crow.
    Sorry, but history is already saying that Bey was a bad pick for #7, and that your round two pick makes this years draft the WORST of any team.

    So far those day one reports are dead on, and Bey and Mitchell are both sub par.


    I think the General already gave you a history leason last night about your team last night, did he not? LOL, you 9er fans owe it all to Al Davis. NONE of those 5 trophies would be in your trophy room if it wasn’t for Al Davis. You should either learn about YOUR team before you bash another, or you should just pick a REAL one.

  • AZ Raider

    vegas raider Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 11:26 am
    Javon Walker still figuring it out, runs wrong route on timing pass to nowhere.


    And that just about sums up Javon Walker’s time in Oakland. Wrong route on a timing pass to nowhere.

    Tisk –tisk Vegas,

    C’mon brother, it’s his first practice all of camp. He ran the wrong route. Happens all the time in everyone’s camp.

  • Florida Pete

    Maddenraider !!!

    i was talkin’ about you this morning !!!

    Florida Pete Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 6:00 am
    raidertbone Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 2:51 am
    # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 2:07 am

    The draft was not a crap shoot. Crabtree is a sure thing and the only reason he’s holding out is because both he and the niners know that any team other than the Raiders looking for a receiver would have picked him at 6. Al Davis CHOSE to gamble, and his gambling has been less than stellar. The last solid bet he made was in 1998. He’s been crapping out ever since. I just hope Cable takes control of this football team and doesn’t cow tow to Davis. He already knocked out one of Davis’s guys, so let’s see.

    I don’t know what else Cable needs to do to prove to you that he has taken control of this team. He is a warrior, he has stressed fundamentals all the way through, and he has galvanized this team with a fighting spirit. Does he need to come over to where you are and knock you out of your chair?


    clearly, you do not appreciate Maddenraider’s resilience…

    there is no beating… there is no punishment… there is no amount of humiliation that will get him to shut-up…

    the Raiders could go undefeated for the next two seasons and win both super bowls…

    and Maddenraider will:

    1) say that the raiders are still only 56-72 since 2002…

    2) say that until Al Davis retires they will never win 3 super bowls in a row…

    3) say that Al Davis deserves no credit because it was Tom Cable standing up to him that allowed anything good to happen…

    so ??? give up on MR… he is not a Raider fan…

    but he loves Kiffie !!!


    Alameda, Ca. (AP) – A promising newcomer to the Raiders receiving corps is in intensive care this afternoon after falling into a coma during pregame stretching at the Colisseum.

    Wide receiver Florida Pete fell ill soon after taking the field, complaining about how heavy the shoulder pads and helmet felt in the oppressive eighty degree heat. After receiving an IV treatment, Florida Pete returned to the field only to collapse while trying to touch his toes.

    Sebastian Janakowski administered CPR and Florida Pete briefly regained consciousness and smiled before being rushed off the field.

    Coach Tom Cable hopes to have Florida Pete back soon, adding “our trainers tell me his system was overwhelmed by lactic acid…the first it has experienced since training camp in 1978.”

  • Ryan

    Andrew’s Mom,

    I believe there are still two open spots on one of the Yahoo FFL leagues. Live draft is this Sunday at 6pm PDT.

  • jhill


  • AZ,

    Hey I thought it was funny. “Wrong route on a timing pass to nowhere”, sounds very poetic, almost Shakesperian.

    More importantly, we are about 6 hours away from hopefully watching Mike Vick’s leg snap in half. Is anyone really rooting for this guy?

  • Florida Pete

    LMFAO !!!

    very good…

  • Andrews Mom

    Kiffin may have the football smarts it takes to be an head coach but he is sorely lacking in all other skill departments, including being a man.

    Personaly I think Lane has a vag between his legs and he has sex just days after giving birth to soft creatures like bunny rabbits and richochets.

  • Florida Pete

    “Wrong route on a timing pass to nowhere”, sounds very poetic, almost Shakesperian.


    more like a country song…

    where’s Hank!!!

  • That is some funny schit bo.

  • MR

    The way I see it is no matter how many points we score when the 4th quarter comes and teams are driving for the winning touchdown or field goal and our 31st ranked run defense is tired it wont be fun to watch.

    Again I say this: to get above .500 we will have to be better against the run. Or holding on to leads in the 4th quarter will be impossible.

  • AZ Raider

    I can care less about Vick. I like the Eagles though so I’ll be rootin for ’em fasho! Desaun Jackson is a local guy outta Cal. I always root for my Cali players if I can (meaning they don’t play for AFC west opposition).