More news and notes from Tom Cable’s post-practice press briefing:
– Kirk Morrison was limited in practice Tuesday, but is expected to play and will start at middle linebacker, Cable said. He’ll be flanked on the strong side by Ricky Brown, who will start ahead of Jon Alston.
“He’s doing more and more within the practice so I think we’re pretty close actually for full-time,” Cable said.
Asked about the decision to start Brown on the strong side, Cable said the difference was “consistency. Wherever he was at he was pretty consistent.”
– Patriots spokesman Stacy James told the Associated Press he’s not aware of any “issues” holding up the trade of Richard Seymour to the Raiders.
New England announced the deal on its Web site Sunday, complete with quotes from coach Bill Belichick.
The key words in Cable’s statement regarding Seymour is that the Raiders have “attempted to make a deal” meaning that they don’t consider it a done deal.
The Raiders also eventually posted the trade on their Web site transactions, as well as announcing it on their Twitter account.
– Cable continued to play it coy regarding his starting running back, saying Justin Fargas wasn’t necessarily out of the race even though he’s still sidelined with a hamstring strain.
“We’re closer. We’re just not ready to cut it loose yet,” Cable said.
On Sunday, Cable said he expected to name a starter Thursday, so he won’t drag it out to a ridiculous extreme with his quarterbacks before the 2007 season opener.
– Second-round draft pick Mike Mitchell will play on special teams against San Diego, but Cable isn’t sure if he’ll be ready to play in a limited defensive role in some packages.
“I think we’ll see as the week, we’re fortunate to have this long period of time before the first one,” Cable said. “He’s catching it pretty quick but his primary role has to be special teams in the first game.”
– “Tremendously intelligent guy. Whatever limitations he has, he overcomes them with his brain and knowing where to put his body, and knowing how to get there. He just kind of plugs along and just keeps grinding and trying to perfect what he does. He’s smart enough to understand where his limitations are and how to fix them and work on them,” Cable on starting center Chris Morris, an upset winner at the position over Samson Satele.
– Morrison and CB Nnamdi Asomugha (wrist) were limited. Fargas and WR Chaz Schilens (foot) did not practice. T Khalif Barnes continued to work in some drills with the offensive line. LB Isaiah Ekejiuba (shoulder) was practicing.
Cable is pleased with the Raiders health, with Schilens and Barnes potentially being the only scratches because of injury.
“I’m getting excited because we are approaching it,” Cable said. “I was thinking about that this morning. Each day we get a little more and a little more. Come next week, we should be pretty darned close.”