By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, September 21st, 2009 at 3:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.
When Robert Gallery missed a series with a back injury in the opener and then went down with a broken left fibula against the Chiefs Sunday, the solution was the same.
Move center Chris Morris to left guard and put Samson Satele at center.
Gallery, Cable said, will be out four to six weeks after having surgery Monday (or possibly sooner if he’s a fast healer).
“He’s a great player and hopefully he has a quick surgery and gets back,” Morris said.
Gallery has started the last 34 games for the Raiders at left guard and made 36 consecutive starts. The only time in his career he didn’t play 16 games was in 2006 when he had a groin strain, a calf injury and an elbow dislocation and missed six games.
With Gallery out, Cable wouldn’t commit to making the same Morris/Satele move made in Weeks 1 and 2.
“I want to sit down and really think that through this evening and tomorrow and make a good call,” Cable said. “We’ve got to look at it like the plan to fix the next month where we can be productive that way. That may be the right way to do it. I just want to make sure as I look at the big picture.”
Cable said other options include Erik Pears, Khalif Barnes or Paul McQuistan at left guard, with Morris remaining at center.
More news, notes and quotes:
– Cable said game balls were awarded to kickers Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski, safety Michael Huff, defensive end Greg Ellis and long snapper Jon Condo.
“Our two kickers, in my opinion, they put this team on their back and carried us yesterday,” Cable said.
Janikowski kicked field goals of 48 and 54 yards and was 4-for-4 recording touchbacks on kickoffs, meaning the Chiefs opened every drive at their own 20 after a kickoff. Lechler averaged an incredible 56.9 yards on seven punts with a long of 70 yards and a net of 45.9.
Correcting an error I made yesterday, Janikowski is 23-for-26 for his career at Arrowhead Stadium. He missed two field goal attempts in his first game at Kansas City _ winning it with a last-second field goal _ and then had one blocked in 2002. He has made his last 17 field goal attempts in Kansas City.
“That punter of theirs, I don’t know you punt the ball that far,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said.
On Oakland’s first two three-and-outs, Lechler had punts of 66 and 70 yards, putting the Chiefs back at their own 16 and then their own 21.
“I thought he single-handedly changed field position by himself,” Cable said.
– Cable wanted the offense to take a hard look at the issues in the passing game which resulted in JaMarcus Russell going 3-for-17 going into the final drive.
“We each have to do, in my opinion, a lot more work,” Cable said. We have to invest a lot more time in what we’re doing every day on our own with our books, and note taking, and film watching, and all those things because I think it has to get so ingrained in your mind that failure is not an option.”
That includes Russell, of course, but is not exclusive to Russell.
“I think that he’s just part of everyone on offense,” Cable said. “This entire offense has got to do that.”
– Doesn’t sound as if there’s much of a chance Chaz Schilens will come to the rescue of the passing game this week.
“I would say very, very little, although he is out of the boot and moving around,” Cable said. “As we talked about last week, he’ll do a little more this week. But, as they told me Thursday, we’ll see.”
– Cable said Johnnie Lee Higgins shoulder sprain was improving and that he would be “questionable” for this week, while safety Hiram Eugene is also questionable with a lower leg strain outside his calf.
Although Eugene’s injury could mean a return to the starting lineup for Huff, Cable said he would be inclined to leave things the way they are if Eugene is healthy. Huff has intercepted three passes in two games and had a breakup on the game’s final play.
“I don’t think there is any reason to change it or do anything crazy like that,” Cable said. “If we had to due to injury that’s one thing, but I think we’re right where we need to be in regards to that.”
– Cable, who benched Huff last season in place of Eugene, said he never got any sense of bitterness or bad attitude after he made the decision.
“Michael Huff is a man’s man,” Cable said. “You don’t get any baloney from a guy like Mike. He’s what you are supposed to be about.”
– The NFL Network’s Deion Sanders had this to say about Huff on the air: “It takes some players a little time to mature in this game and understand what the NFL is all about. He has now hit that point of maturity.”
– A week after catching six passes for 69 yards, tight end Zach Miller was blanked against Kansas City. It was his first game without a reception since Week 3 last season in Buffalo.
“They were paying extra attention to me, a little bit of bracket coverage, making sure a guy was trying to jam me or wall me, that kind of thing,” Miller said. “They made sure that I wasn’t too involved.”
– Richard Seymour, moved up and down the line at different points in the game, was not as conspicuous as he was in his debut against San Diego, but Cable felt he was still very effective.
“He played very well again. Did he have the sacks and all that? No. But it was probably the reason Greg Ellis got a couple, it’s the reason some other guys made the plays they did,” Cable said. “We said when we got him that he had been exposed to a lot of football in his career and so it’s nice to have a guy like that on your team. Tight ends really struggled to block him.”
– Ellis has three sacks in two games _ three more than the Dallas Cowboys have in two games. The Cowboys released Ellis in the offseason.