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Pears will start at left guard

Rather than create change at two positions, Raiders coach Tom Cable said Wednesday Erik Pears will replace Robert Gallery at left guard when Oakland hosts the Denver Broncos.

Cable said Pears has every position along the offensive line in the NFL, but the only game action has been at right and left tackle, where he had 26 starts with Denver in 2006 and 2007. Pears had seven starts at guard for the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe in 2005.

Starting Pears at guard will enable to keep Chris Morris at center.

“I think one move rather than two is the way I felt,” Cable said. “That was the deciding factor.”

It’s another indication that Samson Satele, acquired by trade (the Raiders gave up a sixth round pick and swapped fourth-round selections) from Miami in the offseason to replace Jake Grove, has fallen far below expectations.

Morris is considered more versatile and better at making line calls and sight adjustments, something which will be crucial against a Denver 3-4 defense which Cable said can send pressure from different angles.

Punt returner Johnnie Lee Higgins fielded some punts and ran some plays at receiver, but sat out enough reps that he was listed as limited and classified as questionable. Cable said he believes Higgins will be able to play.

If not, Cable said Darren McFadden would return punts and call for fair catches.

That’s a dramatic shift from last week, when Hiram Eugene was the punt return specialist backed up by Javon Walker, with Cable saying he wanted them to return kicks and didn’t want to essentially forfeit that part of the game.

Eugene had a pair of fair catches and failed to field another punt which fortunately rolled into the end zone when it could have been downed inside the 5-yard line. When Eugene left because of injury, Javon Walker called for a fair catch, appeared to have his arm brushed by a Chiefs defender, and muffed the catch, with the Raiders recovering.

Cable said the Raiders had gotten a letter back from the league saying that Walker had indeed been hit and the non-call was a mistake on the part of the officials.

Those who did not practice included LG Robert Gallery (broken fibula), WR Chaz Schilens (broken metacarpal), WR Nick Miller (broken shin) and Eugene (calf strain). Eugene was walking in a protective boot, meaning Michael Huff could start at free safety.

Cable said he hoped Schilens would be practicing more at the end of the week but didn’t think he would be available to play Sunday.

More to come later . . .

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 4evaRaider

    yo

  • LA to TheBay

    Manage the game, JR.

    Just get the ball completed and let these guys get some YAC (please also explain the meaning of that, as they were probably thinking of a run to the liquor store for some Henny).

  • LA to TheBay

    So it looks like we do get to see MM start.

    Where is everyone that said he was already on scholarship, not to be unveiled until next year?

    Hopefully he plays well enough to make Eugene obsolete, and lives up to his YouTube video and cracks some fools.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    jlh needs to play, we dodged some bullets last sun. fielding punts

  • 4evaRaider

    keep Morris at center…good non-move

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Per David Whte Tweetter:

    Eugene officially out. Branch moves to FS and Mitchell to start at SS.

    2 minutes ago from web

  • Terrapin

    # Terrapin Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    A lot of this may very well have to do with confidence in his players. That they are going to be where he expects them to be. As well as some fundamental flaws in his rhythm.

    That’s the essence behind what JR said and what Gannon eluded to when saying he’s very accurate to the TE. Just think about that …how can that be? It just doesn’t make much sense to be accurate to some and not others.

    ZMiller says the same thing ….JR just has to develop a level of trust with the wideouts (ex-TEs).

    +++++++++++++++++

    Really thinking about it …it makes total sense why he would be throwing off his back leg soo much per Gannon. If he doesn’t have a rhythm with his WRs he’ll be hesitant in his throws to them and try to force it at the last second if they are not exactly at the spot. Like JR said, sometimes when he looks the WR is not where he expects them to be. This is all related to the youth and inexperience between the WR and QB.

    They’ll get it down in time.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    YOU LIE!!!!

  • raideredoutL.A.

    denver has been playing d out their a**, this sun. will be an awakening to them. LETS GO! the offense has to have the mentality as if they lost last sun. with that performance.RUN THE BALL TO SET UP THE PASS!

  • LA to TheBay

    4eva,

    Cable doesn’t want to risk injury to McFadden, a guy he named the starter to much praise from the Nation.

    I have no problem keeping him healthy. Besides, who is to say he doesn’t return one anyhow. Denver wouldn’t be expecting it now, or at least not as much.

  • 4evaRaider

    just call 4 a fair catch????????

    I dont believe my eyes

    thats just deleting a scoring opportunity,imo

  • The Big Banana
  • raideredoutL.A.

    i predict denver will allow more points in this game than they have the first two games. didn’t watch the game vs. browns but the cincy game they were very quick and physical, challenging wr’s for every ball. i remember lavernious coles dropped like 3 1st downs though, which could have changed that game. i still see their front 7 (den) being on the small side that is why i say JUST POUND THE ROCK BABY!

  • DT42

    hey what ever happened to JRuss’s QB coach for the draft Tom Martinez, he worked with Brady and cleaned up his mechanics why can’t the Raiders bring him in to help out also??

  • Raider Dell

    Dakota Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:32 pm
    YOU LIE!!!!

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Dakota

    Are you calling yourself a liar? Now that would be funny!!!

  • Terrapin

    What happened to my post?

    Again DW’s piece on JRs interview is very informative

  • r8eray

    First down run, second down screen pass, third down play action..first down again!!! Let’s try running the ball this game. We have to establish the run game from the beginning.Short pass, slant routes, P.A.,RUN!!!

  • raiderdeek

    Branch moves to FS, Mitchell at SS? I hope for the Raider Nation’s sake that David White’s info is wrong. Branch has been playing very well at SS especially when covering TE’s or the 3rd receiver. I do want to see Mitchell eventually take over and knock people out but I can’t imagine his pass coverage is reliable enough to earn a start (especially reading all the notes from camp). I’d rather see them ease him into the defense at first. Crossing fingers this is not true.
    I love these apology letters from the NFL also. If the NFL videotaped their apologies to the Raiders, the Raiders would be able to see that the NFL is laughing uncontrollably while “apologizing.” NFL didn’t apologize for the non-td by murphy because NFL officials almost died of laughter trying to write the letter seriously.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Really, vick what do you really think he is gonna do right now no offense but that was pretty dumb

  • toec

    Schilens pseudo-poll:

    1) Schilens will return next week and be healthy all year
    2) He is rushed into a return next week, reinjures the foot and is out for half the season
    3) He is rushed back next week, and get into a cycle of aggravating the injury and playing dinged up (MacFadden year)
    4) He is given time to completely heal and plays great all year

  • Terrapin

    Aaahhh that’s what happened. Jerry is blocking the competition. Wouldn’t let me post the link to DWs blog.

    BTW David White did not twitter that Mitchell is starting SS.

    ++++++++++++

    Anyway, I think its very obvious Russell and the WRs have to get on the same page. That’s what’s causing the hiccups in the passing game. Starting two rookie WRs is no joke. You think its some weird coincidence that Chaz was getting all the catches for JR when he was playing?

    They’re all learning on the fly.

  • r8eray

    If we continue seeing the same problems after this game we should strongly consider trading for Dereck Anderson or Vick before trade deadline!!

  • 4evaRaider

    Please let it be #4

  • dt_raiders

    I see college quarterbacks having more accuracy than JRuss. I salivate at Mark Sanchez who is playing like a veteran with poise & accuracy. Is JR not working hard enough? I mean the Raiders provide him the best QB coach money can buy, why his mechanics are still wrong after all that off-season OTA, camp, etc.?

  • LA to TheBay

    Sanchez looks about as good as possible in two games and Russell the opposite in two.

    Keep in mind, it’s two games.

    Sanchez will struggle in some games and JaMarcus will improve and play better in some games.

    Let’s not anoint Sanchez just yet, and by that same logic, let’s not crucify JaMarcus either.

    I must say it again, he is capable of throwing the ball well. We all saw it last year. We know he can complete more than 60% and we know he can manage a game.

    It’s important Russell and the Raiders O as a unit, strike early and get a rhythm going.

  • itzSteve

    I don’t understand why they would move Branch to FS and start Michell at SS. Leave Branch at SS and give Huff the start at FS. He has earned the chance!!!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    I trust whatever Gannon says about Russell. He did some Raider games last year where he appeared to be impressed with Russell’s growth.

    I think his comments are well intentioned.

  • Raider Dell

    r8eray Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:52 pm
    If we continue seeing the same problems after this game we should strongly consider trading for Dereck Anderson or Vick before trade deadline!!$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:51 pm
    Really, vick what do you really think he is gonna do right now no offense but that was pretty dumb
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    16 year old

    The proper way to debate the comment is Derek Anderson can’t even beat out Brady Quinn, so why do we want a backup as our strating QB, and Michael Vick who was out of football for two years, and was a free agent. Vick was available to all teams and only a few had any interest. The Raiders had no interest or they would have signed him.

  • Terrapin

    When in doubt Russell has a tendency to just throw it away. And you are seeing a lot of throw aways now.

    *********************

    I swear, some of you ppl are completely unreasonable. The ignorance and grandiose expectations are just unbelievable.

    These players a young. Let them get their work in. You are talking about two of the most difficult positions to come in the league and play. And you guys are expecting fireworks out of the gates? Get freakin’ real.

  • Terrapin

    Stop talking about these young QBs coming in the league and appearing to do OK. The situations are totally different and that’s how these players look NOW.

    You don’t know how they will turn out. Matt Lienhart looked good his first year. VY looked good. I’m sure Pennington looked good his first years and so did many other QBs just stepping in the league. But you know what …they all either plateaued or regressed. You never know how these things are going to turn out.

    That’s why I say the comments on this board are beyond ignorant. And entirely premature.

  • LA to TheBay

    Terrapin,

    It’s a young team and people fail to realize that.

    It won’t happen overnight.

    2nd year starter with two rookie wideouts and playcalling that consists of “deep, deep, deep, screen, deep, deep, run, deep, PA deep.”

    At least they’re all getting their feet soaked.

  • 4evaRaider

    Quick blog on everything I just tweeted. http://bit.ly/G3qbu
    about 1 hour ago from web Cable thinks Johnnie Lee Higgins (limited) can return punts Sunday. If not, Darren McFadden will do fair catches at PR.
    about 1 hour ago from web

  • Pingback: [Raiders] Raiders OT Erik Pears To Replace Injured Robert Gallery - GridironFans.com

  • Richochet

    Oh stop it, LoggerHead.
    YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT A TIMING PATTERN..stop and go, hook, whatever..but a slant is a slant..going deep is going deep..a screen is a screen..YOU LOOK AT THE RECEIVER AND THROW THE BALL TO WHERE HE IS MOVING TO.
    JR is standing in the pocket..and there’s Murphy going STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE towards the endzone. JR throws, and misses horribly. How is that on the receiver? How can you say he wasn’t sure where they were going to be?

    What’s obvious is Russell is repeating the excuse others are giving him, and he’s even bungling that.
    Honestly, do you actually believe JR is sharp enough to where HE knows where he needs to get the ball, before hand? He looks lost, and he just flings it.

    Yeah, he gets it to his TE.
    Why is that?
    BECAUSE IN ALMOST EVERY CASE, THE TE IS BLOCKING THEN RELEASING..and in most cases he runs his route, and turns around, usually with no one around.
    Amazing that Flacco and others can step in, WITHOUT EVER HAVING ANY TIME TO ESTABLISH CONFIDENCE IN A RECEIVER, and throw the ball, leading the receiver, and complete it.
    Year 3 and Russell and RAIDER FANS are still making excuses that you make for rookies…sad.
    —————-
    Terrapin Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:29 pm
    # Terrapin Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    A lot of this may very well have to do with confidence in his players. That they are going to be where he expects them to be. As well as some fundamental flaws in his rhythm.

    That’s the essence behind what JR said and what Gannon eluded to when saying he’s very accurate to the TE. Just think about that …how can that be? It just doesn’t make much sense to be accurate to some and not others.

    ZMiller says the same thing ….JR just has to develop a level of trust with the wideouts (ex-TEs).

    +++++++++++++++++

    Really thinking about it …it makes total sense why he would be throwing off his back leg soo much per Gannon. If he doesn’t have a rhythm with his WRs he’ll be hesitant in his throws to them and try to force it at the last second if they are not exactly at the spot. Like JR said, sometimes when he looks the WR is not where he expects them to be. This is all related to the youth and inexperience between the WR and QB.

    They’ll get it down in time.

  • LA to TheBay

    Gannon should go in there and correct it. A hall of fame nod and a chance at a ring I think merits ‘ol Rich getting past his dislike of Al Davis and being a member of the coaching staff in some facet.

    Problem is, I don’t think Davis wants to give him a job. Gannon was reported to have approached Davis about a front office spot and was turned down.

  • GalacticGus

    # DT42 Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    hey what ever happened to JRuss’s QB coach for the draft Tom Martinez, he worked with Brady and cleaned up his mechanics why can’t the Raiders bring him in to help out also??

    *****
    why isn’t this Martinez guy, a qb guru, not doing in the NFL? he should at least be a qb coach. he’s a local guy

  • Terrapin

    HA! You can make the argument that the Raiders don’t pass for less than 10yds unless its a screen or a check down! lol.

    But you know what …I don’t mind it too much because the plays are there …the QB and WR just have to get on the same page. When they do ..watch out b/c this offense will be hell on the field.

  • GalacticGus

    well, we can at least say that Gannon on many occasions has come out and state his support for the Raiders and that he wants to see them turn it around. His critique is out of frustration. He has some respect, loyalty and appreciation for the team that gave him a team to call his own after many years of being a journeyman.
    I would not mind having Gannon come in and assist Paul Hackett and eventually take over as qb coach. It is the Raider tradition to have former players come in as coach. If sanjal Lal aint’ getting it done with our Wideouts, heck, bring Tim Brown in.

  • Chris in NY

    “Cable said the Raiders had gotten a letter back from the league saying that Walker had indeed been hit and the non-call was a mistake on the part of the officials.”

    I forgot about that play because we recovered. But he didn’t just get brushed by the defender. He got run into. Should’ve been a 15-yard penalty. Another blatant screw job vs. the Raiders, although the Chiefs did get their fair share of penalties in that game.

  • Washington Raider

    raiderdeek Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:47 pm
    Branch moves to FS, Mitchell at SS? I hope for the Raider Nation’s sake that David White’s info is wrong.
    ——————————————————-

    I couldn’t agree more, Mitchell will see the field plenty just by virtue of us being thin at safety. There is no need to start him in a spot Branch has played very well at. The Logic of starting Pears at LG so as to only make one move on the OL as opposed to two is very sound. Why not use this same logic in the secondary. Huff at FS with Branch staying at SS seems to make alot of sense.

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    “There’s a number of things that you need to take into consideration. First and foremost, he’s had a number of different coaches, a number of different play-callers, a number of different coordinators, different QB coaches, in just his three short years in the league. That, I think, has had an impact on him, a negative impact. The second thing is the inexperience and lack of production at the wide receiver position has hurt him as well. Finally, after looking at all the film, I am convinced that all the things that he is struggling with can be corrected. So that’s a positive.”

    THIS IS ENCOURAGING KNOWING HOW GANNON DOESENT HOLD BACK.

  • Richochet

    “plateaued” lol..that alone is ignorant.

    Leinart NEVER looked good. He struggled from day one.
    But hey..WHY CAN’T ANYONE MENTION THE QB’S WHO COME IN AND DO GOOD?
    Oh..I know why…BECAUSE IT DOESN’T BODE WELL FOR THOSE DEFENDING RUSSELL..that’s why.
    You don’t want to read about other qb’s connecting with a WR running a route. That blows apart the “isn’t familiar with that WR” or that sorry weak take of JR that blames his WR’s for NOT BEING WHERE HE THINKS THEY SHOULD BE.
    Here’s a reality check..gosh Russell…considering these guys are running full speed, running their routes..maybe it’s YOU who’s not getting the ball to where THEY ARE????

    Wow.

    What a novel idea.

    Throw it TO AN ACTUAL RECEIVER???
    Just might work..or hell…just throw it over his head, and then wonder why he didn’t grow two feet..yeah, that works.

    —————–
    Terrapin Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    Stop talking about these young QBs coming in the league and appearing to do OK. The situations are totally different and that’s how these players look NOW.

    You don’t know how they will turn out. Matt Lienhart looked good his first year. VY looked good. I’m sure Pennington looked good his first years and so did many other QBs just stepping in the league. But you know what …they all either plateaued or regressed. You never know how these things are going to turn out.

    That’s why I say the comments on this board are beyond ignorant. And entirely premature.

  • Frank YoooooooLLL

    Free Huey
    Free Dakota

  • raiderdeek

    I wrote this in the previous article but I cant believe JR partially blamed the 0-line for the passing games struggles. As the QB and leader of this team, he needs to take on the full responsibility, even if it really isn’t all of his fault. The last two games, I have seen very good pass protection for Russell including many, many blitz pickups. Cornell Green has put Russell in holes with his false starts but other than that, the protection has been great. Let’s go JR. Earn that paycheck, starting with the Broncos.

  • LA to TheBay

    Terrapin,

    I agree. If Russell and the WRs can make the adjustment it’s on.

    KC didn’t respect Russell at all, and gave him opportunities all over the field. If they can start connecting, that vertical offense can work.

    We’ve seen the 70s D work with the proper coaching and personell.

    Apparently Branch can be used at either safety spot, but I like the way he’s been playing.

    want to see Mithchell play, but not if it’s going to cost the team in the long run.

  • Einstein

    # itzSteve Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t understand why they would move Branch to FS and start Michell at SS. Leave Branch at SS and give Huff the start at FS. He has earned the chance!!!

    ———————————————————-

    He has earned the chance by having TWO, TWO, TWO, decent games? Are you fauking stupid or just a moron?

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Can you believe it, the Donkeys are now a 1 pt favorite.

    What did Dakota say now?

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    For the Record, I believe in JaMarcus Russell.

  • The Big Banana

    Einstein Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    # itzSteve Says:
    September 23rd, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I don’t understand why they would move Branch to FS and start Michell at SS. Leave Branch at SS and give Huff the start at FS. He has earned the chance!!!

    ———————————————————-

    He has earned the chance by having TWO, TWO, TWO, decent games? Are you fauking stupid or just a moron?
    =================================================

    Look at the mess you’ve caused Dakota. Hey fellas. Don’t take everything that is written in here as gold. Double check. David White didn’t write that.

  • Terrapin

    Where did you see JR blaming the Oline?

    The essence of what he was saying was him and the WRs need to get on the same page. He took blame.

    I think sometimes ppl read what they want to read.