By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, September 12th, 2009 at 1:47 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Ideally, on the first play from scrimmage before a packed house, presumably on national television, Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour will toss aside Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill and stop LaDainian Tomlinson for a 2-yard loss.
With the Chargers facing second-and-12, John Marshall switches to a nickel defense, sliding Seymour inside and flanking him with Trevor Scott.
Scott swoops in from the outside, Philip Rivers attempts to step into the pocket _ and is crushed by Seymour, who makes good on his promise to the Boston Herald about “being the guy on top of the quarterback.”
“If he could do something like that, I’m sure it would get everybody going,” cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. “We already know what to expect from him so anything he can do on Monday night would be a bonus.
“I don’t think we’d expect him to get every snap out there. He should do OK.”
Raiders defenders were happy to have Seymour aboard but curious how much he would actually play, given his lack of familiarity with both his new teammates and the defensive system.
When asked how much Seymour could actually contribute immediately, linebacker Thomas Howard said, “That’s a good question. We have some different checks, we slide the fronts. We could keep it simple. But without any practice, it’s tough, but you never know.”
Defensive left end Greg Ellis said there will be some adjusting on the fly with Seymour on the field.
“There are certain things that you can get him in there, and the rest of the three defensive linemen in there know what to do, and we can tell him beforehand, ‘All right, on this play you gotta do this, on that play you gotta do that,’ ” Ellis said. “There will be a lot of those types of things going on.”
Said defensive end Jay Richardson: “We got a lot of calls, and we play some different fronts, so there’s gonna be a few things he has to catch on to. But at the end of the day, he’s gonna be lined up over somebody in front of him, he’s got to beat that person to get to the quarterback or to the ball carrier, and that’s the essential part of football. He’ll be fine.”
Middle linebacker Kirk Morrison thinks just Seymour’s presence should add some juice to the environment.
“We know it’s going to be a limited role but he’s going to help us out,” Morrison said. “I think he’s going to bring something to us Monday night . . . a little leadership, a little knowledge. I think guys are giong to be pumped up.”
Ellis was willing to wait until Seymour felt comfortable enough to come to Oakland.
“You take a human being, a man has wife and kids. Football is important to all of us, but there is a priority list, and wife and kids obviously have to come first,” Ellis said. “And wife and kids was his concern, from my understanding, and something got done to make him comfortable enough to say, ‘Hey, I can go do this now.’ ”
More news and notes from the open locker room session Friday:
– With Nick Miller listed as doubtful with shin splints, Louis Rankin has leap-frogged Johnnie Lee Higgins and will return kickoffs if Miller can’t play.
“(Cable) asked me yesterday if I was comfortable with it and I said yes,” Rankin said. “Hopefully we get the ball first and I can get a big return.”
– Even with Chaz Schilens listed as “out” with a broken foot, Miller doubtful and rookies Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy in the starting lineup, Javon Walker won’t be suiting up against San Diego, Cable said. On the Raiders depth chart, Walker is not listed among wide receivers
Even Jonathan Holland, a practice squad receiver recently moved to cornerback, merited a third-team mention on the depth chart which omits Walker.
“(He’s) just not ready yet,” Cable said. “Not quite there.”
Walker spent nearly three weeks running hard on the sideline without a limp, but has looked to have problems with separation since playing against teammates and opponents in preseason games.
Walker doesn’t see it that way.
“My ability right now is where it’s been at my whole career,” Walker said. “I can go out and play a game to the best of my ability and do what we have to do to win.”
Walker said he sensed during the week when he saw practice reps it was possible he wouldn’t play but said he will be prepared when active.
“They’re kind of getting the other guys a chance to play and a lot of those guys play more special teams than me, so they’ll be more useful in the wideout and special teams,” Cable said. “When my number is called, I’ll be ready to play.”
– Cable’s reasoning on picking Bruce Gradkowski as the backup quarterback over Charlie Frye: “I think at the end of the day, you go with the guy that scored the most points in preseason. They were really pretty even, but I think just production, getting in the end zone.”
– Cable was eager to give Raiders fans a show and make good on his promise of a new era.
“We’re certainly hoping for a packed house,” Cable said. “They’re going to get to see who we are. I think we’ll be just fine.”
More to follow after Seymour-Cable press conference at 5:30 p.m. . . .